English Heritage Georgian Makeover + Kenwood House London

Big Wigs Going Viral

“Hello! I’m Fashion Historian Amber Butchart and welcome to Kenwood House which is cared for by English Heritage. We’re standing inside an incredible Georgian house in north London that was once home to William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield, and his high society companions in the 18th century. Today we’re looking at the late 18th century and we’re going to show you how to recreate an authentic Georgian look inspired by one of the people whose portraits hang here at Kenwood. We’ll be exploring not only what the cosmetics can reveal about England during this period, but we’ll be investigating why bigger was better when it came to hairstyles of the Georgian aristocracy. Plus we’ve got an extra special treat for you. We’re going to be recreating two Georgian looks and talking about how women and men used makeup to make an impression on Georgian society.”

Cosmetics reached a zany zenith in the closing decades of the 18th century. Powdered wigs piled high with miniature ships celebrating naval victories, mouse fur eye brows, zinc and arsenic makeup: this is beauty to die for. Breeches and crinolines donned, the new Lord and Lady Mansfield are ready for a busy day’s strolling and lolling around while the cameras are rolling. So many cantilevered staircases and hard landings! Then it’s time for The Reveal in Kenwood’s Library, the room of a myriad mirrors. The cast and crew:

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Le Détroit Restaurant Calais + Serge Clabault

Crickets and Cockerels

The country lanes around Calais are lined with wild roses and poppies framing fields of barley and corn. This coastal restaurant in Hauts de France region though is named after the small town of Le Détroit in Normandy. The three gourmet graces of Calais are in one Corbu-on-Coast modernist block opposite the quay: La Sole Meunière | Le Channel| Le Détroit. Unsurprisingly, the focus is on seafood: “spécialités de poisons et crustacés”. Equally unsurprisingly, as the competition on either side is stiff, Monsieur Clabault’s food is top notch. On a hot summer’s afternoon, taking a Gallic break from Pimm’s and Proms, lunch is:

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Museé des Beaux-Arts + Conquête Urbaine Calais

Calaisfornia Dreaming

On a summer’s day. Liberal Christian philosopher Marilynne Robinson speaks: “What is the errand you came to flesh upon? It’s yours, not somebody else’s. Do you know what I mean? And it’s beautiful, and it has much potential as you give it attention and possibility. You are not in competition with anybody else. There’s nobody else who can be you. Your uniqueness is guaranteed so long as you respect it. My deepest feeling on this question is that if you find that something is so interesting to you that you put aside other things that are more practically important to pursue that interest, you’re doing the right thing.” Living art.

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Fréthun Town Hall Hauts de France + Mairie

Xanadu in the Boondocks

Frethun Hauts de France © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Town hall as château. The Hôtel de Ville of the Fréthunois and Fréthunoises is terribly smart. Under the direction of the recently appointed Mayor Guy Heddebaux, it’s become even smarter: “We’ve built a square in front of the Town Hall to make the heart of the village more pleasant, more attractive.” It’s the best landscaping scheme imaginable – grassy cobbled parking spaces and brassy trellis artwork.

Frethun School © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Frethun Mairie Landscaping © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Frethun Mairie Lodge © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Frethun Town Hall © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Frethun Hotel de Ville Landscaping © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Frethun Hotel de Ville © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

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Hôtel Meurice Calais + Lavender’s Blue

Schmotel

From Paris to Berlin Calais, we’re always at home in Le Meurice. C’est bon. Cest très bon. Tout suite.

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Fréthun Farm Hauts de France + Summer

Gîte Alors

Storied lives, crowded with incident. There’s always respite in a shadow place of contrasts.

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St Tricat Hauts de France + St Nicaise Church

Bronze Brawns

Well of course we’d end up in St Tricat this summer. It’s where the Big Hitters and Hot Shots are hanging out. The new St Tropez. We’re a breeze in from the Opal Coast; what’s not to love picnicking in the flatlands under the shadow of a 12th century church? La vie en rosé. Welcome to a hypernatural world.

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Blessed + Fréthun Hauts de France

A Strong Tower

The righteous.

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Masterpiece London Preview 2019 + Peter Fetterman Gallery

Shooting Stars

St Ermin's Hotel London © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Such a conundrum. A clash of the titanic invites. House of Commons Summer Reception, St Ermin’s (not St Ernan’s) Hotel Afternoon Tea or Masterpiece Preview? We’ll go to all three, thank you. And so the afternoon seamlessly merges into the evening, swapping a marquee along the Thames for a roof terrace and later another marquee further upstream.

Royal Hospital Chelsea London Masterpiece 2019 © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

In the Houses of Parliament, The Right Honourable Kit Malthouse reminds us that we should be “building the Conservation Areas of the future”. He favours mansion blocks. Who doesn’t? St Ermin’s Hotel was once a mansion block. This year at Masterpiece it’s all about the people. Such constructs of beauty and art and beauty + art. One big photoshoot. And Perriet- Jouët with Lady Henrietta Rous.

Masterpiece Marquee 2019 © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Who better to share tips about photographs than Peter Fetterman of his eponymous gallery in Santa Monica? Prising ourselves away from Scott’s obligatory potted shrimps on Melba toast, we find Peter singing abridged Frank Sinatra into his mic, “And now… the time is come…” It’s the Saturday after the Private View and a sweltering 33 degrees in Chelsea. Speaking this time, revealing his English accent: “It’s a hot ticket! Thanks for braving the heat. This is my third year at Masterpiece. I come from a very humble background. I feel like the child who flew to the moon being at this very posh fair!”

Masterpiece Preview London 2019 © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

He explains, “I was a filmmaker and moved by accident to California. I planned to stay there two weeks. I went along to a dinner party and the host was selling photographs – I was obsessed with them. I’d literally $2,000 to my name. I bought the lot for $400. I became a collector. You can reinvent yourself easier in America than Europe. I just love photographs! I started trading out of a rent control apartment. I bought more photographs and travelled round in a Honda selling them. Business escalated until now here I am!”

Pugin Table Masterpiece 2019 © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Masterpiece London Party 2019 © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Masterpiece 2019 © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Mask Masterpiece 2019 © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Painting Masterpiece 2019 © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Masterpiece London 2019 © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Statue Masterpiece 2019 © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Water in Dripping by Zheng Lu Masterpiece 2019 © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Party Masterpiece 2019 © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Perrier Jouet Bar Masterpiece 2019 © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Perrier Jouet Masterpiece 2019 © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Perriet Jouet Reception Masterpiece 2019 © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Basha Masterpiece Preview 2019 © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Lady Henrietta Rous Masterpiece Private View 2019 © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Lady Henrietta Rous Masterpiece 2019 © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Lady Henrietta Rous Masterpiece Preview 2019 © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Masterpiece Private View 2019 © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Mark Francis Masterpiece 2019 © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Mark Francis Made in Chelsea Masterpiece 2019 © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Mark Francis Masterpiece Private View 2019 © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Royal Hospital Chelsea Masterpiece 2019 © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Lady Lloyd Webber and Lord Snowdon Masterpiece 2019 © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Lord Snowdon Masterpiece 2019 © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Lord Snowden and Lady Lloyd Webber Mastepiece 2019 © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Charles Plante Rory O'Donnell and Friends Masterpiece Private View 2019 © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Lady Lavender Masterpiece 2019 © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Masterpiece Show 2019 © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

So what’s his take on collecting? “There are hundreds of years of painting. Photography is relatively new, only dating from 1839. I’ve seen its appreciation start from zero in the middle of the 1970s until now.” He points from the floor to the ceiling. “Collecting is all autobiographical. I grew up in an ugly gritty environment. But I knew there was another world, a beautiful one. Photographer and publisher Alfred Stieglitz was one of the first to promote photography as fine art. But it’s also a democratic medium, accessible to all. That’s what I love! There’s no one quite like Ansel Adams. His photography is in the Getty Museum but you can get a print for $1,200. Next door in Masterpiece you can only buy a Modigliani for £14 million.”

Masterpiece Party 2019 © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Peter notes great photographs are in demand so prices keep rising. Of course, there’s a price differential between a signed and an estate print. “There are two rules to collecting,” he argues. “Only buy what you love and from whom you trust. If you love it buy it.” Any regrets? “The only mistakes I’ve made is when I didn’t buy!”

Masterpiece Art 2019 © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

The one person missing from this year’s Masterpiece is Min Hogg. She died peacefully in her Brompton Square flat two days before the Private View. Two of her closest chums were Lynn Barber, the journalist, and Madam Fitzgerald, the former châtelaine of Glin Castle in County Limerick. Olda Fitzgerald’s late husband was the Knight of Glin, a former President of the Irish Georgian Society. Min was a dedicated Irish Georgian.

Masterpiece Artists 2019 © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

“I love seeing other people’s houses,” she confided. On a visit to a particularly perfect country house in Sussex she chided “it desperately needs a faded throw over the back of a sofa”. She was impressed by The House of Lavender’s Blue. “It’s very World of Interiors. I love the T + G panelling in the bathroom!” Her own flat on the nursery floor of a Georgian townhouse was effortlessly stylish in a completely non designed way. She did, after all, coin the phrase “shabby chic”. When we interviewed Min about her wallpaper range she ordered, “Please don’t ask me what is my favourite house. That’s such a lame question!” We didn’t. Thankfully Min enjoyed the end result, the published feature: “I’m as happy as a clam!”

Masterpiece Artist 2019 © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

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Masterpiece Preview 2019 + Lavender’s Blue

You Made Us Feel So Free

Title as quotation. Business (card) as usual. We’re on it like a Jane Austen bonnet. Walking down an emerald aisle. One hundred years of San Sebastián style.

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