The Introduction of Milliner, Tracy Chaplin at My Favorite Thing

Yuliya Zakharenko, owner of My Favorite Thing in Kensington Church Street hosted an evening to introduce milliner, Tracy Chaplin.  Tracy experiments with different textiles and accessories to produce distinctively different hats, suitable for weddings, Ascot and Henley. She trained under Rose Cory who holds a Royal Warrant as former milliner to the late Queen Mother, and then worked with two couturiers in Belgravia, creating handmade and made-to-order hats for members of the aristocracy.   Tracy now lives in France with her husband but she continues to make one-off handmade hats and has kept up her bespoke service, selling her work from her studio and in small local boutiques.   In England you can find examples of her couture hats exclusively at My Favorite Thing.

What was fascinating about watching people try on Tracy’s hats during the evening was the change in their deportment once they found a hat that really suited them. And all Tracy’s hats seemed to suit all different people, tall, short, dark or blond – all were gravitating towards the same hats! (www.thekensingtonmagazine.com)

Images copyright The Kensington Magazine

Nearly Spring in Kensington

Kensington at this time of year looks wonderful. The architectural lines of historic houses/palaces against the crisp blue sky, spring flowers popping up. It’s as if flora, fauna and the people of W8 are coming out of hibernation.

As they famously used to say “….. and here’s one I prepared earlier”. A few shots of what Kensington looks like today. www.thekensingtonmagazine.com

Rifat Ozbek launches ‘Yastik’ in Holland St. W8

Turkish Fashion Designer Rifat Ozbek opened his third boutique yesterday, not, surprisingly, for fashion, but for his beautiful and eclectic range of embroidered cushions.  This is his first boutique in the UK, the other two being in Ismir and Istanbul.  Here in Kensington, in Holland Street famed for his ’boutiquey’ and individual style, you can find ‘Yastik’.  Rifat’s minimalist white walled – soft lit gallery.  More art gallery than boutique, his extensive range of cushions adorn the walls, as if in a library.

Rifat sells exclusively luxury cushions – hundreds of them in varying hues of colours and fabrics.   Antique fabrics such as velvets, Ikats and Suzanis are used and are sourced from mainly Turkey and South Asia, as are the embroideries used.  Yastik house a collection of  some 150 cushions, with a hundred designs and are available as limited editions.  So with such a range it would be impossible not to find one to suit you and to add a splash of colour and texture to your home.   As a testament to this, Manolo Blahnik at the launch party was overheard to say, ‘oh dear and so much choice, what am I do to’.  He solved the problem by buying three large ‘Yastik’ limited edition cushions! www.thekensingtonmagazine.com

Images: copyright The Kensington Magazine (with the exception of image marked with an *)

Top row left to right:  Rifat Ozbek. Rifat with Erdal Karaman and Asli Bohane*.

Second Row:  Robin & Lucy Birley with Manola Blahnik.  Fenton Bailey & friend

Third Row:  Team at Rebecca Willer.  Fourth Row:  Sarah Giles and Manola Blahnik.  Fifth Row:  Ninivah Khomo and daughter

Sixth Row:  Lucy Birley.  Steve Willan, Nick Bohane & friend

Retirement of Alberto, Thackeray Street’s Street Cleaner

After twelve years, well known street cleaner, Alberto, retires from his duties of cleaning around Young Street, Kensington Square and Thackeray St.   To mark this occasion members of the Kensington Court Residents Association (‘KCRA’) together with the Mayor of Kensington and Chelsea, Councillor James Husband presented Alberto with a cheque from the KCRA, and a beautiful framed photograph (taken by local resident, Sally Cooper and framed by Gordon of Gallery 19).   The event, organised by members of the KCRA, was to wish Alberto a fulfilling retirement and to thank him for his street cleaning, (particularly in Thackeray St.) over this long period of time.   Although Alberto will miss the residents and business owners with whom he has become great friends, he feels the time has come to retire and spend more time with his beloved Grand-daughter, and to tend to his roof garden in Fulham.  However, the first thing he will be doing is going to Spain for a couple of months for a well deserved rest!  He will be missed and we all wish Alberto a wonderful and happy retirement.