Insights • Inspirations • Destinations • Design

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Beautiful New Books, Hotels, Insights & Other Things


Having just bought Alice Temperley's magnificent book – arguably one of the most beautiful fashion books ever published – I'm now catching up with her recent collections. Her S/S 2014 collection has been hailed as her best yet by many fashion journalists, and it's easy to see why. Every piece had poise, elegance and grace, while still being flirtatious, feminine and downright sexy.

No wonder she's one of the Duchess of Cambridge's favourite designers.

If you're not familiar with Alice's talent (and her engaging personality and style), invest in her book, True British. The cover is disappointing – it doesn't convey the delicate, almost ethereal beauty of the dresses inside – but thankfully the interior page designs do justice to Alice's extraordinary talent.

True British: Alice Temperley
Rizzoli New York, 2012


My new book on New York has just gone off to the printers and I'm so grateful and honoured to have worked with such a lovely publishing team. This is only the second book I've ever designed, and MUP let me have complete freedom. (So trustworthy!) It was such a joy to work on – although it's really only turned out well because of MUP – and I'm still touched that they agreed to this new travel series.

We'll feature some excerpts over the coming months, including the best place in NY to buy vintage Chanel and Dior (for incredibly cheap), a cluster of secret Manhattan gardens that are absolutely spectacular in spring, the best rooftop places to see New York from high, the prettiest hotels and bistros to frequent, the best fabric and design stores, and many other hidden neighbourhood treasures from one of the most inspirational cities in the world.

Published October 1, 2014.


There's a slew of new hotels opening during this half of 2014, and many of them are surprising in design. 

This is the Christian Lacroix-decorated Hotel du Continent in Paris (this has actually been opened for a little while), which features enormous maps as headboards and other travel-themed whimsy. Lacroix can be slightly left of centre when it comes to hotel design, and this hideaway is full of Christian's typically quirky touches. It's a great one for creatives.


This is another eagerly awaited hotel opening: the Baccarat Hotel in New York

If you've been to the Cristal Room restaurant on the first floor of the Maison Baccarat in the 16th district of Paris (above), you'll know how elegant their interiors are. If New York's version is as spectacular, it's going to raise a lot of (cristal) glasses.


Another Manhattan hotel opening is the SLS in the Flatiron District, which comes hot on the heels of the success of its Miami design (above). SLS has targeted the increasingly popular Flatiron 'hood for its newest baby, having no doubt seen how well The Ace, The Nomad and many other hotel newbies are doing in this part of the city.


And one last hotel worth considering is the Archer Hotel New York, which is said to have a rooftop bar so gorgeous, you won't need a martini to make you giddy with happiness.


A grand book to celebrate a grand event. Written by Hamish Bowles, it's certain to be as fascinating as The Met's guests and ballgowns that dominate the fashion media each year.

Abrams, September 2014.


If you're down south (I mean, really Down South) on Saturday, October 18, or  Sunday, October 19, 2014, consider heading to New Orleans and the famous French Quarter, where more than a dozen private homes will open their gardens in aid of Patio Planters. It's a rare opportunity to see inside these charming houses, and their owners are incredibly generous for allowing the public to wander through. It's a self-tour and details are on the website. Afterwards, you can do another ander through the Garden District (above), which is also a haven of horticultural loveliness.


Speaking of gardens, I've been emailing the always-gorgeous Laura Stoddart this week about a few things. Like me, you've probably bought one of Laura's books over the years. (Up The Garden Path is one of my all-time favourite garden books.) Her intricate watercolour illustrations were so exquisite, Kate Spade commissioned her for many of its products, as did many English companies.

She's still doing commissions, so contact her if you'd like her to design anything. She's worth every cent. And she's an absolute delight to work with.


And finally, apologies for not doing a Paris post for Bastille Day. Very shameful. 

I'm still struggling with the page designs for the new Paris book (above), among many other projects (including websites and whatnot). I did a watercolour at 2AM last night , while the family was sleeping and then woke up this morning and realised it was very, very bad! 

However, I'll shortly post some great places to go next time you're in Paris. And of course, we're offering a memorable tour to France in 2015. I won't be leading it, but will be helping with the itinerary for both Paris and Provence, and will include lots of places off the beaten tourist track to make the trip truly unique.

In the meantime, here's a great article from a recent edition of the New York Times' T magazine. It's about  botanically-themed destinations in Paris, by Charlotte Moss, who's always a great source of info about these kinds of things...


  1. If I were the Duchess I would buy Temperley's entire collection and put it in a closet with painted doors by Laura Stoddart!!

    Good luck with your beautiful NY book - and your water colors!

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment – so kind of you. I'd love a closet painted by Laura too! (Or a potting shed...) She's such a delightful person. Do hope she does more books / products in the future,

  2. What a feast your blog post is today Janelle. And news of a new book and especially on New York, I cannot wait for October soaking up the Spring sunshine reading your new masterpiece.

    Merci - Shell - A Darlings Nest

    1. That's so sweet of you to say Shell. I can't wait for October spring either – so many great new books coming out then. (Anna Spiro's is out then too, as are many Rizzoli books.) May be a loooong Christmas Wish List...!

  3. Delighted to see your nod to New Orleans. While October isn't actually Spring here as it is for you, it is the beginning of our planting and gardening season--we enjoy gardening all year 'round except for Summer when we simply try to keep it somewhat in bounds! I am hoping you will visit here one day, perhaps a garden tour or a book tour?

    1. Hi Anita,
      So lovely to hear from you. I was very touched by your comment. I've actually been speaking with my publishers today about a book signing or a small event in October but will most likely be New York or LA. I'd love to come to New Orleans, but not sure many/any people would know of me? May just be you and me at the champagne table! (We'd probably have a lovely time anyway.)

      That said, I've always longed to see New Orleans properly, and indeed send a Garden Tour there. I've seen Charleston (so elegant), Savannah (hauntingly beautiful) and Key West (just love the Keys), but have heard NoLa is just as beautiful. It would be such a privilege to see its amazing architecture and gardens.

      If we do make it down there this October for a few days for the Open Garden Weekend, I'd love to meet, if you're around and it's convenient for you? I'd be happy to treat you to lunch. Would be such an honour to meet a NoLa local.


Thank you for stopping by. It's always lovely hearing from The Library's readers.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...