Posts Tagged ‘Diana Ross’

Death and meaning…

Posted by Winifred on June 12th, 2014  •  No Comments »


Death has been much on our mind lately. Famirie Wikkeling has suffered much loss. There was Tante Olga, Neef Andro then Tante Joke, Nicht Cisca, Oom Charles and now Nicht Jennie. The deaths of our aunts and uncle made us reflect on the rich lives they had lived and loving children they have left behind. They all lived long lives surrounded by family and many friends who cared for them. What troubled us was the feeling that their stories, family history, was taken away with them too.

The passing of our cousins was more difficult to understand. We were lost somewhere between fog, confusion, numbness, waiting for a light to shine. It made us question our expectations for life and longevity. How were we supposed to accept death and what was the perspective that would allow us to do that?

We considered a viewpoint of life that is about fulfilling a purpose and not necessarily staying on beyond that. Perhaps the ones we lost had completed this part of their journey and it was okay for them to go on to the next one. They had all been parents who loved and cared for their children as best they could. They had all had an impact on their community of friends and their family and we would remember them for that.

We wanted to stop seeing death negatively, stop with the mourning and the sadness and move toward more of a celebration. Especially where there had been a release from illness which was the case for all three. Why do we feel we know the proper time line for life anyway?

These thoughts presented themselves again with Lady Sings the Blues. What a film; and such chemistry between Billy Dee Williams and Diana Ross, still magic. The way we were, and may never be again…Prior screenings of Lady Sings the Blues always left us sad, always the word “tragic,” stamped in our minds. This time we had an entirely different view.

First we were just amazed at the ability of a people to face each day filled with hardship, oppression, inequality, indecency, prey for all manner of injustice. How did we, under these circumstances and duress, maintain our faith, raise children lovingly, still have laughter and find joy in so little? How did Billy Holiday, portrayed by Diana Ross, fight to leave behind poverty and prostitution and use her gifts to create music?

What makes more sense to us now is that her pain was so deep she had to escape to be able to survive it. An escape into drugs and death at a young age seemed not so tragic this time. Rather it seems the only way. Why, when she was not able to gain licenses to perform where she wanted and when her talents were going to go to waste, why live a long life full of regret and resentment and ugly memories of rape, abuse, racism and a life incomplete?

Now we feel Billy Holiday did not die tragically, but that she was released when she could face no more pain. Her burdens taken away when she could no longer manage to carry them. And how magnificent that in her short life, she did leave us her gift that 50 years later still survives and inspires and is admired. We want to celebrate that. Maybe it’s not about the time spent on earth, but it’s what you leave behind…

Posted in : Dimensions, We digress  •  Tags: , , , , , , ,

Things to look forward to for Summer…

Posted by Winifred on May 21st, 2014  •  No Comments »

Unlike most here on the East, we never complained during the long Winter. There was that one day when the puddles of melted snow almost sank our Fiorentini and Baker biker boots and had our poor toes, though not wet, quite frozen. But for the rest we paid it no never mind. We can always stay in sweaters and coats, ear muffs, and woven hats. Besides, what is more romantic than being wrapped around Mr. K while watching glorious fat snow flakes floating down on a sea of blanketed trees and roofs? We can stay entirely in the moment, even when that moments stretches on for months.

But when the sun begins to shine and warm balmy days finally happen, we really light up. We waste no time becoming ever present on the roof deck, finding the open air and sunlight compatible to most anything we might do in a day; meditation, guitar sessions, reading, stretching, cocktails, all meals, even sleeping.

We’ll use Memorial Day Weekend to start off a long delicious season of communing with nature…


Working on our a mixologist credentials and

earning reasons to own a

Buster and Punch Rockstar Bar,


We will start with

Whiskey Ginger’s,

sipping them overlooking the city,


They will give us the courage to rock out

as if we were Nik West,


In a jumpsuit of course,

we might need another,

like this one by Maria Grachvogel,


We really never stop wearing a scarf, in Winter under a fedora,

in Summer tied through our hair,

nonchalantly falling over our shoulders,

at least thats how Diana and we do…


But the most heavenly of all,

is lounging languorous and sweet,

basking with contentment and harmony,

in all of our blessings,


A refined, passionate, meditative peace

that sings,

can you feel the brand new day?

Images Via ShrimptonCouture, BusterandPunch, NYTimes, Pinterest

Posted in : A Taste Refined, Classic Films, Dimensions, Looks we Love, Objects of Our Desire, On Style, Vintage Fashion  •  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Who we are and why we are what we are….

Posted by Winifred on August 26th, 2013  •  No Comments »


We have been talking to you for some time now about the things that warrant our attention. Delightful distractions that go on our mood board and keep us creating A World Refined. We realize that we have not yet shared much about us. We have not given you a foundation for all of these inspirations or signs for the journey on which we are taking you. Today, we would like to introduce ourselves and give you a peek at Winifred’s world.

We remember as a little girl watching our mother prepare for entertaining or an evening out.  In her bedroom was a vanity, her place for transformation. She would sit on a satin cushioned chair and use the vanity’s oval shaped mirror to apply her make-up.  The vanity is where she kept her lipsticks and perfume bottles; our favorite was a crystal dish with a body powder in it. Our mother would apply the powder to her décolletage with a lovely sky blue powder puff.  We still recall its scent and the sensuous act of her delicate hands ever so lightly dabbing the powder, with a careful press or two against her skin.  She would emerge in her heels, perfumed, painted, coiffed – a lady.  It was a glamorous time filled with ritual, ceremony and beautiful things crafted towards a woman’s enhancement.

This has continued to inspire our tastes and influence our outlook on life.  Refinement, ritual, the art of beauty. It is this we want to share with you. A World Refined is more than a website, it is a portal that is transporting and takes our readers to another time and other cultures – to a place of elegance. A World Refined offers beauty, creativity, revelation and surprise. Our website is a salon, a beautifully styled space, where we envision our style icons might gather.  Diana Ross, Faye Dunaway, Lana Turner, Marlene Dietrich would all feel at home in this space and the conversation would flows effortlessly, gracefully. There is always something new, an unexpected detail, a unique point of view.


A World Refined makes the simple, decadent, stays away from the obvious and predictable - that which lacks grace. A World Refined is a transformation to elegance that is, for now, our site. As such, you will find that there are themes and people we continually come back to:


Our Style icons ~ Diana Ross, Faye Dunaway, Bianca Jagger. Our Style Point of View ~ the glamour, jet-setting, rocker chick style of the 70s and the decadent, more is more Art Deco style of the 1930s. Our Style Quirk ~ We never leave home without our gold necklace with an ogrie ai, black tourmaline (Provenance, Suriname) a Red Jasper Stone in the shape of a foot (Provenance, Spain) and gold snake bangles (Provenance, Suriname). Story to follow soon! Jewelry we covet ~ Cartier Love bracelet in rose gold & platinum, de Grisogono Sensual ring. Perfume ~ JAR Lightning. Necessary Extravagance ~ Flying first class on Arab Emirates Airlines Airbus 380, a return to the chic, exclusivity and service of air travel in the 60s. Style fetish we try to keep secret ~ We adore Gothic Victoriana, particularly as executed by Alexander McQueen, Rick Owens, Rodarte, Olivier Theyskens for Nina Ricci. In the event of a fire we would save ~ Jardins de Nouvelle Angleterre scarf (Hermes), gold bell sleeved maxie dress (vintage, early 1970s), chocolate brown & creme cloche hat (vintage, early 1970s), monogram trunk (Louis Vuitton).

Images Via Coco+Kelly, Sassysistah

Posted in : Dimensions, We digress  •  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,