Fashion mavens, Blenheim Palace, England's Versailles, is your destination for its stellar Icons of British Fashion Exhibition from Zandra Rhodes and Vivienne Westwood to hatter extraordinaire Stephen Jones and more. ( See below for the full lineup). The exhibition opens on March the 23rd 2024 and runs until June 30th 2024. A little bird tells us that Sir Winston Churchill will play a starring role, as a quintessential icon of British style from his bowties to natty Savile Row pinstripes and boilersuits.
Pale Pink Underwear is Essential for Wellbeing - Winston Churchill
Winston is celebrated for his flamboyant love of very fine Savile Row suits, his beloved Siren boilersuits ( for dashing to the air raid shelter) and pale pink silk underwear. He famously declared that the latter was essential for his well-being.
The exhibition is the biggest in the history of the Unesco World Heritage site. The Featured designers read like a whose-who of past and present British fashion luminaries. They include Zandra Rhodes, Stephen Jones, Vivienne Westwood, Jean Muir, Temperley, Terry de Havilland, Barbour, Turnbull and Asser, Bruce Oldfield and Lulu Guinness.
Each designer will be featured amongst Blenheim's priceless treasures. The story of each legendary designer will be told through clothing, sketches, iconic fashion photography and patterns.
Admission to the Icons of British Fashion exhibition in 2024 is included with any valid Blenheim Palace ticket including Palace, Park and Gardens, Park and Gardens, Annual Pass or a Privilege Pass.
Archie - The Man Who Became Cary Grant
Cary Grant has long been my favourite leading man. I admire his wit, his innate intelligence and his supernova charisma on screen. I could watch him play diplomat Philip Adams morning, noon and night and spar with Ingrid Bergman as actress Anna Kalman in the film Indiscreet. The sexual tension is delicious!
No wonder Cary always gets the girl. So, it was with considerable trepidation, that I watched Archie - The Man Who Became Cary Grant - on ITVX. Biopics of celebrated people are always going to be tricky, subjective and a pale imitation of the original. There is often a deliberate attempt to destroy what we most admire.
So it is with this dramatised four-part series of Cary Grant. Jason Issac stars as the actor and portrays Grant as a profoundly damaged human being who says he always gets his heart broken. No! No! No!
What woman who adores Cary Grant the perfect man film icon wants to hear that?
Now Issac isn't bad. The accent is uncanny. And yet, I never for an instant forget that he is not the real thing. The story does attempt to show us how Leach worked on his accent and delivery, but it doesn't show us enough of the metamorphosis into the magnetic Hollywood heartthrob he became from the thirties to the sixties.
Issac is stronger as an older Cary, looking back on his life. The main problem is that the dramatisation of the star's life is focused too much on tragedy and personal failures and not enough on his remarkable talent and success. I want to know how he crafted his alter ego to survive. Who were his role models? How did he perfect a talent for business? In Archie - Issac portrays the star as tortured and haunted by his awful and tragic childhood and constant rejection.
LSD and Picnic Chocolate Bars
In this ordeal of a biopic, Grant appears weak, uptight, desperately lonely, jealous and controlling towards Dyan Cannon. He seems to exist on junk food, Picnic chocolate bars from England and LSD therapy. No, no, no! It just won't do. It's just too grim and sad. I will take the dazzling fantasy and the perfect man Cary Grant became.
Watch Cary Grant's Greatest Films Instead. There's a fantastic season of his films on ITVX , BBC iPlayer and a couple of gems on Amazon Prime including the Christmas film, The Bishop's Wife, where Cary plays a clever angel who falls for David Niven's beatific wife and almost steals her. It's wickedly funny and smart and it's one of the few films that truly captures what Christmas is all about.
Cail Bruich - Michelin Star Magic in Glasgow's West End
I'd like to take the sleeper train from London to Glasgow and bag a covetable table in the evening for the seasonal seven-course tasting menu at Cail Bruich, the Scottish Michelin Starred restaurant creating a buzz in Glasgow's West End where Andrew Fairlee protege Lorna McKee is head chef. The ethos of Cail Bruich and its chef's brigade headed by Lorna and Simon is to create alchemy on a plate from the farmer, fisherman and forager to you with simplicity, husbandry and a passion for provenance. Read my full slow Scotland by train feature here - AJ's Slow Scottish Love Affair from travel to fashion, history, art and food. Oh, and I want to make a slow foodie Spring pilgrimage to Mull, to feast on jewel fresh local seafood and the crofter's larder at The Ninth Wave, under the stewardship of Canadian chef, Carla Lamont.
Chocolate and Chaos
One more thing. I opened a box of yummy, new-fangled Booja Booja dark chocolate spiced truffle loglets with a dash of ginger for Christmas and there was a tiny note that audaciously declared - "Relax, nothing is under control." I laughed, scoffed too many chocolates and said to myself. " I'm alive after the worst time of my life for the past two and a half years. I don't know what tomorrow will bring. So long as there is chocolate, I can write and think again and watch Cary Grant, the stellar movie star, making love to Ingrid Bergman, Irene Dunne, Audrey Hepburn, Loretta Young, Katherine Hepburn and Deborah Kerr... phew! Oh, and not all at the same time, I think I will be all right.
Courageous Discourse with Dr Peter McCullough and John Leake
On that note, meet the world-renowned internist and cardiologist, Dr Peter McCullough MD. Peter is my ideal of a doctor and a medical hero. It is his Spike Support vaccine detox formula from the independent, patient-centred
The Wellness Company that has saved my life and my health. His Substack, Courageous Discourse is a visceral, must-read for unbiased, peer-reviewed science and functional medicine free of vested interests. Peter cuts to the core of why Western nations are struggling with chronic disease and vaccine injuries and presents the idea of a new way for patient autonomy through cutting-edge, preventive medicine harnessing the power of food as medicine.
Until next time.
Alison Jane xxx.
Copyright Alison Jane Reid/The Luminaries Magazine December 2023. All Rights Reserved. No copying or reproduction without permission.
Support The Luminaries Magazine for Slow, Independent Journalism that Makes Your Week