04 Feb 2018

A BOOK BY A STYLIST TO INSPIRE STYLISTS BY ANTONIO MARRAS

No Comments 55Factory, art, fashion, my words, review, sara darling, Stylist

CREATIVE GENIUS ANTONIO MARRAS SHARES HIS PASSIONS

For a coffee table book that has a lot more than pretty pictures, this stunning tome by super stylist, and all round creative Antonio Marras will keep even the most closeted fashion fan turning the pages.  

With illustrations, poems, musings and an insight into Antonio’s creative mind, it is a must for inspiration.

It might even impress a guest or two! 

Read my review for 55Factory here:

http://www.55factory.net/55cultures/antonio-marras-intellectual-stylist

 

13 Dec 2017

55PAGES ISSUE 13 IS HERE

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WORDS FROM 55PAGES EDITOR

55Pages is a magazine that I founded with Christopher Sims nearly seven years ago. We didn’t plan on it lasting this long (some relationships don’t even make it!!) and to be honest it is a labour of love.. but love it we do. It’s a showcase for our talents- mine in styling, writing and editing, and Chris in photography, creative direction and design. Together we bicker and banter, but generally come up with a compatible new baby every six months! 

If you haven’t checked it out before, please peruse the archives, and join the mailing list on the site. 

We publish the hard copy every Summer and Winter, but you can see it online too. 

If you have a spare half hour and want to check out some fashion, art, comment and culture, please enjoy the mag here 

 And enjoy a couple of articles I wrote here: 

SD xx

27 Oct 2017

PRINCE LIVES ON AT THE PICTURING PRINCE EXHIBITION

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THE LEGEND THAT IS PRINCE DIED ON 21ST APRIL 2016

However he will remembered forever. A recent photography book by Steve Parke is a personal insight of his time spent working with Prince, as his official photographer, friend and art director. 

The release also coincides with an exhibition of these intimate images at the new Proud Gallery in central London.

Having collaborated with Prince for 13 years during the 80s and 90s, Parke has an enviable collection of rare images which are a collaboration of two creative minds, and are a sneaky peek into the man behind the purple mac.

Showing unseen shots of Prince at home in Paisley Park, the enigmatic popstrel has been snapped in his personal environment in both posed and unposed situations.

Known as a flamboyant showman, the juxtaposition of his shy and vulnerable off-duty persona shines through, alongside his overtly sexy, flamboyant and playful side. There is no doubt these images will give you goosebumps whether you were fan or not. 

Showing from 9th November – 3rd December 2017

Proud Central
32 John Adam Street
WC2N 6BP

 

‘Picturing Prince: Photographs by Steve Parke’ is available on Octopus Books. Buy it here

 

26 Jun 2017

ONE MONTH TO GO UNTIL CROATIAAAAAAAAA

Comments Off on ONE MONTH TO GO UNTIL CROATIAAAAAAAAA 55Factory, lifestyle, music, my words, news, sara darling, travel

SUMMER IS HERE, AND SO ARE THE FESTIVALS….

If you are looking for something a little bit different, head to the sunny climes of Tisno in Croatia for Soundwave

It’s got Roy Ayres, Laura Mvulva, The Pharcyde. Booooom. 

Read more here: 

http://www.55factory.net/55travels-blog/soundwave-croatia-the-best-place-for-summer-music

14 Jun 2017

THE ART OF FRANCE

Comments Off on THE ART OF FRANCE flush magazine, food, hotel, lblogger, lifestyle, my words, travel

Who doesn’t love a bit of  ‘oooh la la’?? 

I certainly made the most of my basic French when I visited the beautiful Loire Valley for Flush magazine.

See the full feature here

Loire Valley_FlushMagazine

 

Heading to The Loire Valley with my history head on, I wasn’t quite sure what delights I was letting myself in for. At a hop skip and short (90 mins) train ride from Paris, the pretty village of Amboise was worth the trek. Winding country roads, and chateaux a plenty, the village is probably best known for its Chateaux du Clos Luce, where Leonardo da Vinci spent his final years, but there are lots of other things to explore for a long weekend too, particularly if you are an outdoorsy sort, or like wine! Both of which appeal to me.

Everyone has heard of the Mona Lisa, but how much do you really know about the man behind her? With A-level art to back me up, I thought I might be teacher’s pet on the art- history part of the tour, but as Leonardo would say, there is always more to learn. In addition to his painting skills, Leonardo was a restless genius in many fields, excelling in whatever he set his mind to.

chateau-de-chenonceau

He was invited to move in to the King’s estate in Amboise by King Francis I, as he was a great believer in Leonardo da Vinci’s talent. Giving him the title of “Premier Painter, Engineer and Architect of the King” he had a special, if ambiguous friendship with the Italian; Granting him full access to the Château of Cloux, (later known as Clos Luce) which was on the grounds and located only a few meters away from his own castle at Château d’Amboise. It is not known whether they were having a love affair, or whether King Francis just accepted his genius mind. Even with all the diaries and log books from the time, da Vinci’s sex life remains private.

Now open to the public, his home has been fully restored and furnished in the 16th-century style. The final years of his life at Château du Clos Lucé, were seemingly happy times, and he worked on several projects for King Francis, along with two of his trustworthy students. At the time, da Vinci was christened with the moniker “Renaissance Man” along with his contemporary Michelangelo, who was a sculptor, painter, architect and poet. A term which was befitting of both, working on the principle that man is the centre of the universe and has no limits. Knowledge is there to be consumed, questioned and embraced and every man should develop their own capacities for enrichment as fully as possible- which is completely

 

30 May 2017

PINK FLOYD AT THE V&A

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pink_floyd_V&A

Anybody with a cool mum, dad or older sibling will no doubt have some Pink Floyd records in their collection. Known as a band which influenced past generations, they were most known for their psychedelic approach to pop in the sixties and seventies, when music, dancing and experimentation were wild n trippy! Which was later credited to Syd Barrett, as the other members never re-gained the coolness after he left!

For the first time, London’s V&A Museum, has dedicated a retrospective show to celebrate the band in all their glory. Entitled ‘Their Mortal Remains”, the show provides a complete audio and visual journey through the unique and extraordinary lives of the original band members, to the where they are today.

Starting out as a four piece- Syd Barrett, Nick Mason, Richard Wright and Roger Waters pioneered experimental pop, which was like no other. Popular with the masses, the original songs were social expressions of discontent and flicked their finger up to authority. Fuelled by experimental drug taking, the band were poster boys for the excesses that came with the fame (although they were middle class credible musicians!) However it wasn’t long until Syd Barrett dramatically quit, after experiencing one high too many in 1968….

Replaced by guitarist David Gilmour, the band then took on a much more sensible musical outlook, moving away from fickle pop songs, to longer ballads which wallowed in darkness and melancholy. The infamous album, ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ was released in 1973, and still sells 7,000 copies per week, which is an indication of how influential is still is all over the world.

As you make your way down a darkened corridor illuminated by a holographic representation of the pyramid prism from Dark Side of the Moon, you can hear the song via the supplied Bluetooth headphones which bring the static installations to life. 

With the music becoming more musical, the great minds behind the band were still working in overdrive, and the exhibition incorporates the bonkers inflatable flying pigs and sheep from ‘Animals’ and sketches done by political illustrator Gerald Scarfe, designer of the infamous album ‘The Wall’. You can even have a go at remixing their classic tracks. 

A totally immersive experience, this will inspire any fan or think they know it all! You get to hear some of the most astonishing music and iconic imagery of the rock era. Even if you are a second generation conformer, this exhibition is a no holds barred exploration of how a band lives, loves and makes music together- plus all the ugly bits! 

Make sure you leave time for the highlight of the show when the band reunited for 2005’s ‘Live 8’ concert in Hyde Park, and you can lose yourself in the surround sound and image room listening to the extended version of “Comfortably Numb”.

Bands today could take note of making music for the masses, but there will never be another Pink Floyd! 

Buy tickets here

17 May 2017

SIRENS OF TITAN: SWEET SURRENDER

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SOUND OF THE SUMMER

When I like a band, I really like a band! And Sirens of Titan is a band I have fallen for big stylee.. Check out my review on 55Factory of their latest track Sweet Surrender. The video rocks too! 

http://www.55factory.net/55platforms/sweet-surrender-sound-of-the-summer

17 May 2017

FOODIE DELIGHT HITS UNSUSPECTING SOUTH KENSINGTON

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CERU IS THE PLACE TO KNOW FOR FOOD FUSION

Ceru_S.Kens_SaraDarling5

For a taste of the Med mixed with a touch of Arabia, and all the best bits of Turkey, Persia, Egypt and Greece, head to the latest addition to the Foodie Circuit, Ceru, in South Kensington. 

 

Slow cooked, freshly prepared dishes have been rounded into a well flavoured menu of sharing dishes, inspired by the Levant; The owner’s approach to bring the sunshine and spices to experimental customers who love good food and wine, seems to have found the perfect home in Bute Street.

 

An understated exterior, leads to a warm and buzzy interior, complete with candles, booths and mosaics which transport you faraway from Central London.  

Super friendly and knowledgeable staff are happy to help with the small but perfectly formed menu, and offer choices and suggestions for any allergies or dietary requirements. They also know a thing or two about the cocktail and wine menu, and I struck lucky with my ‘Too Hot to Handle’ concoction. A mixture of Famous Grouse, Disaronno, Chilli, Lemon, Sugar, Egg white, it could have gone either way with the chilli, but it tickled my pre-dinner taste buds, and got me excited for more!

 

Ordering a selection of food for sharing is the done thing in Ceru, and the waitress brought the mezze dishes as and when, which was meant there was always something on the go, and something to look forward to! I recommend eight dishes for two people, and definitely try and squeeze in the Chef’s special desert…

 

Depending if you prefer meat or vegetables, (there are plenty of options for veggies/vegans) I would recommend the roast pumpkin and cauliflower salad, (melt in the mouth) lamb kebabs, roast beetroot and fennel salad, crisp apple, mint and pomegranate salad, beef kofta, courgette fritters, fadi dip and flatbreads… And if that sounds like a lot, it is ample! But going to Ceru is a treat after all. AND they serve the delicious Lebanese wine Ksara, which complemented everything!

Ceru_S.Kens_SaraDarling6

Spending hours chatting and making ourselves at home, it was great to end the night with the chocolate surprise. A mousse topped with crumbled pistachios (and a cherry hidden inside).

Yum.

Perfect for couples, catch ups, small groups or mums. They even do an express lunch and afternoon tea. Not sure how this works Levant style, but I’m very keen to give it a try!

See the menu here and check it out for yourself 

 
 
Ceru, 7-9 Bute St, Kensington, London SW7 3EY
 

 

 

22 Feb 2017

London Fashion Week AW17

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LFW : My Fashion Editor’s Picks

London is a stylish city, there is no doubt about it, and it is always a pleasure to be one of the lucky ones to get to see the collections on the catwalks and earmark the trends for press. 

There is never one trend to come out of the shows, there is always something for everyone, and if I had to pick my faves, they would include 

Tartan

Embrace your prim and proper side, as seen at Mulberry and Preen, you don’t need to be a librarian, to enjoy this trend. In fact, let that hair down and embrace what else you can get up to in an office! 

Cowgirls

Double denim has always been a credible choice for the fashpack, and AW will see embellished denim, fringed shirts and oversized leather. And if you shop at House of Holland, all you need is a mule!

 

Cartoons for girls

Boys have been enjoying the cartoon character embellishments for the past few seasons, but with SpongeBob Squarepants celebrating his 15th birthday, Nickelodeon snapped up some of the hottest designers for a collaboration- check out Peter Jensen and Bobby Abley for their take. With Mary Katrantzou utilising Disney’s Fantasia, an House of Holland working Woody the Woodpecker on to the back of some rather fetching denim jackets.

The hills are alive with the sound of peasants

If you are over the bell sleeve, fear not, the new sleeve is all about the peasant! And why you’re at it, why not add some serious lacing and a pair of very impractical shoes, and you can channel your inner milkmaid. 

It’ll be all bright on the night

Fyodor Golan opened Fashion Week with a selection of ice l0lly hued catsuits, apparently inspired by the Powerpuff Girls and the humble Post It note! And if you are a glass half full kind of woman, you will probably already be in the queue for the in yer face colour blocking at Roksanda and Ryan Lo. You might want to tone the make up down. Or perhaps you might not! 

 

 

24 Dec 2016

Art and Fashion in The Hague

Comments Off on Art and Fashion in The Hague art, fashion, lifestyle, my words, review, Stylist

Read my feature on the fabulous art and fashion exhibition celebrating the 88 year old Hubert De Givenchy and the infamous relationship he had with Audrey Hepburn. 

Out now in Candid Magazine

Hubert de Givenchy: To Audrey With Love