– Prosecco (little buddy in the shot glass)
– Passion fruit
They may look far too summery and deceiving in this droning winter, but once you’ve escaped the pulse of commuterdom (whether in New York, London or Paris) they are a lovely if unoriginal choice.
So step down mulled wine and soggy cinnamon sticks (that just get in the way).
As Shakespeare the very man himself famously said:
It is a known thing that a martini maketh merriment
I’m sure there was once a point to human handbag-shelf and tottering bottle of hair-spray Olivia Palermo, but I’ve forgotten it. The reason I bring her up is because I ran into her website the other day and then ran away for fear of turning into a pink Furbee embellished with diamanté bits and oversized sunglasses.
“I ran into her website the other day and then ran away for fear of turning into a pink Furbee embellished with diamanté bits and oversized sunglasses…”
What I am happy about is the new Porter magazine which I found on a colourful mag vendor in Campo de’ Fiori the other day. Don’t get me wrong, Vogue UK and Italia is still up there with top magazine totty, but I was curious how yet another magazine could be brought to life, successfully.
Turns out, the editor Lucy Yeomans has a point. She is an example of magazine goddess-ism, swanning her way from editor-in-chief of UK’s Harpers Bazaar to the luxury online fashion website of Net-A-Porter. Before you ask, yes her big, blond hair is bouncing with creative originality and tons of ways to present fashion, art and design to the consumer and culture hungry audience. More significantly, she knows how to merge commerce with content. This will be the “fashion magazine of the future.” I hear your cry: don’t they all bloody say that?
“Before you ask, yes her big, blond hair is bouncing with creative originality and tons of ways to present fashion, art and design to the consumer and culture hungry audience…”
As an avid reader of magazines (I love the scent of a fresh publication, the new season’s adverts and where possible, interviews of the female power forces behind loud industry brands,) surely it must be hard to push yet another one into the market. Giving Lucy Yeomans the benefit of the doubt, her editor’s letter already has more substance than some of the existing fashion comments that drip across the already limited pages filled with the written word.
As you can imagine – adverts still breed adverts and so it is basically the same as every other sodding mag you know. BUT it also aims to offer “a unique global curation of all the most beautiful and interesting things in the world…” whether you want to know about a book, a trip of a lifetime or a magnificent art-show. It’s not all skirts, people!
In a recent interview, Yeomans states that the “traditional publishing world has so many boundaries…but the internet changes that completely.” In other words the internet allows for reaching a vast global audience. Being a reader and consumer it is vital not to waste time on rather flat, poncy websites that are ultimately tools of self-promotion (sorry Palermo) but to focus on something that brings inspiration on top of the flat and poncy stuff.
The thing is, fashion is a living and breathing thing and I admire Lucy Yeomans for leaving the Ferrero Rocher scented and Champagne gilded Harper’s Bazaar to launch Porter into our hands.
Essentially, she’s celebrating a bouquet of “incredible women’s stories and empowered women to be everything they dreamed of.” See, that’s nice, isn’t it?
“Essentially, she’s celebrating a bouquet of ‘incredible women’s stories and empowered women to be everything they dreamed of.’ See, that’s nice, isn’t it?”
You are probably wondering (nosy) what happened to Mr American Pilot who I met the other day and I’ve been meaning to describe the date. This was a Saturday a few weeks ago now and what with Paris and the demands of au-pair life I’ve not written anything yet. Here we are then:
“I’m still getting used to the joy of real, homemade fresh pesto and the children turn up their noses as if it’s bloody beans on toast – ungrateful if you ask me…”
The hardest part of the date was actually leaving the house as the children decided that they didn’t want delicious fresh pesto pasta which is a) quick and easy b) quick and easy especially as I needed to get ready and go out for a date later. Seriously, I am still getting used to the joy of real, homemade fresh pesto and the children turn up their noses as if it’s bloody beans on toast – ungrateful if you ask me.
Frilly fusilli with pesto was swiftly served and greedily eaten despite the fuss and the children’s parents returned later than planned meaning I had about twelve minutes to make myself look vaguely respectable for my first date in a LONG time.
When was my last one? Of course I’m not telling you.
“I had about twelve minutes to make myself look vaguely respectable for my first date in a LONG time”
As you can imagine I was really nervous, but didn’t think it appropriate to have a small glass of wine over dinner as the children were on the juice (why do I never just think of myself?) Of course as soon as I put a SMALL bit of make up on Tesesa bounded over to me in the bathroom and demanded to know where I was going. I lied (I don’t know why I lied but she was annoying me) and said I was seeing friends from my language school to plan for the upcoming trip to Paris (see recent photos). That threw her off the scent so I manged to pull on my All Saints puffy, black jacket over my jeans and silky top and close the door gently behind me once I heard the father turn on the TV.
Note to self – when getting date-ready, apply make-up en-route to said-date, for fear of incessant interrogation in shape of bouncy-blond-Italian-bambina. Seriously – children are SO nosy. If I was that nosy as a wee girl I would have earned myself a flick or two on the nose.
“Seriously – children are SO nosy. If I was that nosy as a wee girl I would have earned myself a flick or two on the nose”
Anyway, I was late with half-face full of make up and pesto hair. I think what needs to apply hear is ‘what happens at work, stays at work.’ The whole ‘leave your troubles at the door scenario’ and not worry about anything. By that point I’m reluctant to say I wished I was only going to meet my friends.
Anyway, as agreed, Mr Pilot was waiting by the monument in Campo de’ Fiori and was looking dashing and taller than I remember in a light blue shirt and jeans. It was a warmish night and my coat was too heavy, the piazza starting to stir with the hustle and bustle of loud locals merging with quiet tourists drinking in the bars scattered outside. My Pilot had one of those very, white American smiles and probably twenty-twenty vision (a pilot-must-have – as you can see I did my research for this date.)
“Mr Pilot was waiting by the monument in Campo de’ Fiori and was looking dashing and taller than I remember in a light blue shirt and jeans”
I’d quite forgotten how American he was in the sense that he had a loud, Southern drawl that transferred to his vaguely-learnt Italian. So the foreign words he’d learnt were even more stretched out and funny sounding. My mind was going a bit silly so instead of thinking about that strangeness I decided it would be better for both if I listen to what he was saying. We had Prosecco, (good choice) and then another glass (they were quite small) and he told me all about why he was in Rome and his early experiences as a pilot. (Turns out he is a bit older than I thought but I decided not to point that out.)
I told him about what I was doing in Rome and felt quite open to talking about the disastrous homesickness of my earlier days here, the search for actual friends and the genuine relief when things in my life started to fall into place and I didn’t constantly Skype family and mope like a big girl’s blouse.
We left the piazza and he decided he wanted a Crepe. I thought two thoughts:
1) “I definitely want a Crepe because I am hungry and he will probably offer it to me”
2) “I am never allowed to eat Nutella in public ever because I get it all over my face. Friends and family have investigated why it goes quite so all over the place but after numerous findings and detailed analysis no ultimate nor successful conclusions were drawn.”
To avoid Nutella-over-face dilemma, I suggested we wonder into the Baroque Piazza Navona as it is beautiful and quiet at night. Then I worried he thought I might be cornering him but at that point I decided my brain needed to just shut up. We wondered amongst the marble benches and majestic Bernini sculptures (Fountains of the Rivers is one of them) and laughed at a man sitting on a bench with an icecream in one hand and an impatient dog in the other.
“To avoid Nutella-over-face dilemma, I suggested we wonder into the Baroque Piazza Navona as it is beautiful and quiet at night…”
Behind the piazza was a hidden bar with the entrance disguised in draping green Ivy like an emerald cloak.
“Table for two please” we gestured and ordered a colourful cocktail each. There was even live guitar music! By this point I was relaxed and enjoying the sophisticated company of the Pilot. He was charming and funny and to be honest, I liked very much speaking in my mother-tongue English finally. The conversation flowed perfectly and I felt a little disappointed when he said he couldn’t stay too late as he had to travel the following morning. He said he would like to see me again and asked if he could walk me home. I said it wasn’t necessary (I don’t know why as it definitely was – I blame brain that was in sleep-mode as had told it earlier to shut up.) So outside the bar amongst the cobbles, floppy ivy and acoustic guitar music he gave me a light kiss and said “I’ll be in touch,” as in the films. I forgot to use any words and so waved, then wondered home.
When I arrived back in the apartment, Elena (the mother) was in the sitting room reading a magazine and drinking herbal tea. She asked where I had been and after I explained all she said was:
“Why American boy when you are in Italia?”
She had a point.