Thursday, 29 September 2016

You Can't Get the Staff | Season 1 Episode 1 | Full Episode


You Can't Get the Staff
About the Show
Cameras venture behind the doors of some of Britain's poshest homes to see how the cream of society handle their domestic staff

Episode 1 - Princess Olga, Baronet Sir Humphry and Lady Colin Campbell

New series exploring how the cream of society handle domestic staff. In episode one, Princess Olga Romanoff hires a 'garden boy' while renowned hostess Lady Colin Campbell seeks a butler.
Show Clips & Extras
Lady Linlithgow, Detmar Blow and Carina Evans

Episode 2 - Lady Linlithgow, Detmar Blow and Carina Evans

Lady Linlithgow needs a new recruit to help run Bryngwyn Hall in Wales, while Carina in Henley wants a home worker to do everything she does, apart from sleep with her husband
Show Clips & Extras
Caroline Lowsley-Williams, Drew Rieger and John Mew

Episode 3 - Caroline Lowsley-Williams, Drew Rieger and John Mew

Caroline plans changes to the staff at the 2000-acre Chavenage House, and American composer Drew Rieger has a housekeeping crisis in Baltimore with an ex-royal butler coming to the rescue
Show Clips & Extras
Sir Benjamin Slade, Aurora Eastwood, The Rogers

Episode 4 - Sir Benjamin Slade, Aurora Eastwood, The Rogers

Sir Benjamin Slade of Maunsel House in Somerset is on the hunt for a handyman after the last one ran off with his wife. And are Aurora Eastwood's standards too high for a new groom?
Show Clips & Extras
Sara Vestin Rahmani and Anna Trent
Episode 5 - Sara Vestin Rahmani and Anna Trent

Sara Vestin Rahmani seeks a butler able to co-ordinate private jets and get along with her two bulldogs. And the settling in period for Anna Trent's au pair proves trickier than expected.

You Can't Get The Staff, review: 'lightweight'
This documentary about bumbling gentry and their long-suffering staff lacked insight, says Gabriel Tate

By Gabriel Tate10:00PM BST 21 Oct 2014

The opening episode of the five-part documentary series You Can’t Get the Staff resembled one long compilation of “comedy” moments from Downton. In other words, the activities of an assortment of bumbling gentry and long-suffering staff were put to a soundtrack of plucked strings, with results that were mildly entertaining but hardly hilarious. Lady Colin Campbell, for example, asserted that “14 [dinner guests] always ensures a row” like a latterday Violet Crawley. “Eight,” agreed Grant Harrold, her hired butler, was “a nice number”.
While royal muckraker Campbell (author of Diana In Private and similar pap) was only hiring help for the night, Princess Olga Romanoff (descendant of Tsar Alexander III) and Sir Humphry Wakefield (owner of Chillingham Castle in Northumberland) wanted permanent staff: the former to tend to her 35 acres, the latter to polish his 2,000-plus items of armour and weaponry. Following a series of job interviews awkwardly staged for the camera, both hired suitable candidates with their rivals ruling themselves out after minor quibbles over foxhunting and swordsmanship.
The snarky voiceover, with its ready indulgence of screamingly obvious puns and wordplay, obscured what could have been a far more insightful documentary. Why, for example, did they all live alone? What did their staff really make of them? Barring the passing mention of a broken marriage or the nouveau riche, this was gaily ignored in favour of another cutaway to a reaction shot or brief tutorial on how to polish a chandelier. The result was lightweight and incurious.


You Can't Get the Staff | Season 1 Episode 2 | Full Episode

You Can't Get the Staff | Season 1 Episode 3 | Full Episode

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

The Russian White Emigrés / VIDEO: Former People- The Last Days of the Russian Aristocracy.mov



A white émigré was a Russian subject who emigrated from Imperial Russia in the wake of the Russian Revolution and Russian Civil War, and who was in opposition to the contemporary Russian political climate. Many white émigrés were participants in the White movement or supported it, although the term is often broadly applied to anyone who may have left the country due to the change in regimes.

Some white émigrés, like Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries, were opposed to the Bolsheviks but had not directly supported the White movement; some were just apolitical. The term is also applied to the descendants of those who left and still retain a Russian Orthodox Christian identity while living abroad.

The term is most commonly used in France, the United States, and the United Kingdom. A term preferred by the émigrés themselves was first-wave émigré (Russian: эмигрант первой волны, emigrant pervoy volny), "Russian émigrés" (Russian: русская эмиграция, russkaya emigratsiya) or "Russian military émigrés" (Russian: русская военная эмиграция, russkaya voyennaya emigratsiya) if they participated in the White movement. In the Soviet Union, white émigré generally had negative connotations. Since the end of the 1980s, the term "first-wave émigré" has become more common in Russia. In Japan, "White Russian" term is most commonly used for white émigrés even if they are not all Russians.

Most white émigrés left Russia from 1917 to 1920 (estimates vary between 900,000 and 2 million), although some managed to leave during the 1920s and 1930s or were expelled by the Soviet government (such as, for example, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Ivan Ilyin). They spanned all classes and included military soldiers and officers, Cossacks, intellectuals of various professions, dispossessed businessmen and landowners, as well as officials of the Russian Imperial government and various anti-Bolshevik governments of the Russian Civil War period. They were not only ethnic Russians but belonged to other ethnic groups as well.






Beauty in Exile: The Artists, Models, and Nobility who Fled the Russian Revolution and Influenced the World of Fashion
by Alexandre Vassiliev

Book Review by By K. Maxwell on July 5, 2003

This book covers the now vanished world of Russian exiles from the Revolution till the 1950-60's. It covers such areas as the influence of the Ballets Russies in Paris prior to the revolution, the clothes the exiles bought with themselves, and the importance of the Kokoshnik to Russian fashion design.
We are also given the history of the now vanished Russian émigré communities in Constantinople in Turkey, Berlin in Germany and Harbin in China, with a smaller amount of discussion of the communities in Paris and London.
London and Paris mostly get discussed in context with fashion, as many émigrés, both noble and poor made a living in the various parts of the fashion industry in exile. There is a whole chapter devoted to the house of Kitmr with its exquisite embroideries and beading, which was run by Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna the younger in the 1920's.
The author has also unearthed other Russian émigré fashion houses which were well known and respected in the 1920's but are mostly forgotten now, houses such as Anely, Mode, Paul Caret, Tao, Yteb and Irfe which was run by the Youssoupoff family.
The majority of the book concentrates on fashion, but there is also discussion of the theatre, cafe's and other craft oriented activities which the Russian communities produced, especially in the 1920's. Many years of painstaking research as been conducted by the author to reconstruct this lost world. The book is full of black and white photos, which I imagine would not have been easy to find. However, if you are looking for nice colour photos of Russian costume, you will not find it here, but if you are trying to find something out on the background on émigré communities or the Russian fashion industry in the 1920's this book will be the standard work for many years to come.


Émigré enterprise: How Russian aristocrats became fashion pioneers
February 19, 2014 INNA FEDOROVA, SPECIAL TO RBTH

These days fashion trends typically make their way to Russia from Europe, but a century ago Russian designers were dressing the chic and fashionable on both sides of the Atlantic.

Every year, from January onwards, the world of fashion fixes its attention on what is happening on catwalks and behind the scenes at Fashion Weeks across the world. Industry professionals, lovers of beauty and glamor, and it-girls from all over the world put New York, London, Milan and Paris into their diaries.

One event unlikely to feature on their itineraries, however, is Moscow Fashion Week, which is not that well known even among fashion industry professionals. Although the Russian couturiers of today lack the high profile enjoyed by the giants of France and Italy, at one time Russian designers dressed fashionable people on both sides of the Atlantic.

The history of Russian "expansion" into the foreign fashion market began with the break-up of the Russian Empire following the revolution of 1917. Hundreds of members of the Russian aristocracy found themselves making a new life abroad as refugees.

Most of the women among them had brilliant education as well as fine manners and impeccable taste. Moreover, as young girls they were all taught embroidery and needlework.

The Paris magazine Illustrated Russia wrote about them at the time: "A Russian émigré lady has shyly entered this city. There was a time when her mother and grandmother ordered their dresses from Worth and Poiret, but this young Russian woman has just escaped from the hell of the revolution and civil war! She has arrived in the capital of female elegance and knocked on the doors of a luxury maison de haute couture. And the massive doors opened to let her in and she has captured everyone's heart…"

The Russian Revolution created ripples even in the world of fashion. Chic women in Europe began to wear styles à la russe: kokoshniks (headdresses), furs and boyar (aristocratic) collars. Collections featuring these elements were presented in the 1920s by Paul Poiret, Coco Chanel and many others.

Russian émigré women, who had been trained in delicate needlework since childhood, found themselves in great demand. Duchesses and countesses began to produce embroidered accessories, costume jewelry, embroidered fabrics, clothes and interior design items in the Slavonic style.

Russian aristocrats mainly specialized in embroidery work and did it so well that they began to receive orders from leading fashion houses. The most successful of them all was Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, who set up an embroidery workshop called Kitmir and signed an exclusive contract with Chanel to design and manufacture embroidery.

All in all, Russian aristocrats founded over 20 fashion houses. Maria Putyatina set up a hat firm called Shapka (“hat” in Russian), which became so successful that it soon branched into London.

Countess Orlova-Davydova opened a Russian fashion house in Boulevard Malesherbes, which specialized in "hand-knitting and printed wool and silk fabrics". Meanwhile, Duchess Lobanova-Rostovskaya set up her own Russian fashion studio in London, called Paul Caret.

The parents of one of the founders of modern U.S. fashion, Ralph Lauren, came to America with their parents from Russia in the 1920s. Until he turned 16, the legendary fashion businessman was known under his father's surname, Livshits.

Having started out selling neckties that "looked expensive but cost little to make" from an office without windows, Ralph Lauren now runs a fashion empire of his own and is a regular fixture at New York Fashion Week.

Or take, for instance, "the father of modern cosmetics", Max Factor (Maksymilian Faktorowicz), the founder of cosmetic industry giant Max Factor & Company.

Though a Polish businessman of Jewish origin, he too was born in the Russian Empire, of which eastern Poland was then part.

He opened his first cosmetics store in Ryazan, and later worked in Odessa and Nikolayev. Today one of the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame bears his name.

Another incredible success story took place in Italy, where Irina Borisovna Golitsina, a girl from a titled family of first-wave émigrés, brought up in Russian aristocratic traditions, became a principessa of the Italian fashion world.

Her fashion house, Galitzine, was on a par with the houses of such established masters as Gianni Versace, John Galliano and Yves Saint Laurent. It was she who in 1963 designed the famous "palazzo pajamas", silk pajama sets that were chic enough to be worn as eveningwear.

A special place among successful Russian fashion houses abroad belonged to IRFE (the acronym stood for the initials of its founders, Irina and Felix Yusupov). Princess Irina, nee Romanov, was a niece of Tsar Nicholas II and a favorite granddaughter of Alexander III.

Her husband, Prince Felix Yusupov, famous for his involvement in the assassination of Rasputin in 1916, belonged to one of Russia's oldest and richest noble families.

All the splendor and sophistication of their background was reflected in the models they created.

Delighted by the house's first collection, a review in the French edition of Vogue magazine said: "This is a collection which is at the same time a selection because it does not have a single model that does not work."

The aristocratic nature and flavor of the brand brought it enormous success and IRFE opened branches in Normandy, Berlin and London.

In addition, it released a revolutionary line of perfumes: Blonde for blonde women, Brunette for dark-haired women, Titiane for redheads, and Grey Silver, for elderly ladies - all in limited edition.

The sports of the Russian tsars: Chess, cycling and tennis
Read more! The sports of the Russian tsars
And yet in 1931, seven years after its spectacular launch, IRFE was forced to shut down, unable to cope with growing competition.

The same fate awaited the majority of Russian fashion houses in Paris. Smart and sophisticated but lacking in business acumen, Russian aristocrats created beautiful pieces but were unable to fight for their place under the sun.

However, the story has a silver lining: In 2006 a Paris-born Russian, Olga Sorokina, revived the brand IRFE, which is now available in more than 20 countries of the world and has already presented its 2014 spring and summer collection at Paris Fashion Week.


Countess Olga “Lala” Hendrikoff was born into the Russian aristocracy, serving as a lady -in- waiting to the Empresses and enjoying a life of great privilege. But on the eve of her wedding in 1914 came the first rumours ofan impending war – a war that would change her life forever and force her to flee her country as a stateless person, with no country to call home.
Spanning two of the most turbulent times in modern history- World War I in Russia and World War II in Paris- Countess Hendrikoff’s journals demonstrate the uncertainty, horror and hope of daily life in the midst of turmoil. Her razor-sharp insight, wit and sense of humour create a fascinating eyewitness account of the Russian Revolution and the Occupation and Liberation of Paris.
In “A Countess In Limbo”, Countess Hendrikoff tells her remarkable true story that includes the loss of her brother in the Russian Gulag, her sister-in-law, Anastasia Hendrikoff, murdered with the Russian Imperial family and herself being robbed at gunpoint and accused of being a spy by the Nazis. She also speaks of the daily life that continues during wartime - ration cards and food restrictions, the black market, and the struggle to just get by for another day. Her gripping story and thoughtful analysis provide an invaluable look at life and humanity in the face of war.

Monday, 26 September 2016

The MGA / VIDEO:The Sports Car Of The Year (1955-1956)

The MGA is a sports car that was produced by MG from 1955 to 1962.







The MGA replaced the MG TF 1500 Midget and represented a complete styling break from MG's earlier sports cars. Announced on 26 September 1955 the car was officially launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show. A total of 101,081 units were sold through the end of production in July 1962, the vast majority of which were exported. Only 5869 cars were sold on the home market, the lowest percentage of any British car. It was replaced by the MGB.

The MGA design dates back to 1951, when MG designer Syd Enever created a streamlined body for George Philips' TD Le Mans car. The problem with this car was the high seating position of the driver because of the limitations of using the TD chassis. A new chassis was designed with the side members further apart and the floor attached to the bottom rather than the top of the frame sections. A prototype was built and shown to the BMC chairman Leonard Lord. He turned down the idea of producing the new car as he had just signed a deal with Donald Healey to produce Austin-Healey cars two weeks before. Falling sales of the traditional MG models caused a change of heart, and the car, initially to be called the UA-series, was brought back. As it was so different from the older MG models it was called the MGA, the "first of a new line" to quote the contemporary advertising. There was also a new engine available, therefore the car did not have the originally intended XPAG unit but was fitted with the BMC corporate B-Series type allowing a lower bonnet line. The MGA convertible had no exterior door handles, however the coupe has door handles.

It was a body-on-frame design and used the straight-4 "B series" engine from the MG Magnette saloon driving the rear wheels through a 4-speed gearbox. Suspension was independent with coil springs and wishbones at the front and a rigid axle with semi-elliptic springs at the rear. Steering was by rack and pinion. The car was available with either wire-spoked or steel-disc road wheels.


1500
MG A 1500

The 1489 cc engine fitted with twin H4 type SU Carburettors produced 68 hp (51 kW) at first, but was soon uprated to 72 hp (54 kW). Lockheed hydraulic drum brakes were used on all wheels. A coupé version was also produced, bringing the total production of standard MGAs to 58,750.

An early open car tested by British magazine The Motor in 1955 had a top speed of 97.8 mph (157.4 km/h) and could accelerate from 0–60 mph (97 km/h) in 16.0 seconds. A fuel consumption of 26.7 miles per imperial gallon (10.6 L/100 km; 22.2 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £844 including taxes.




Twin-Cam
MG A Twin Cam

A high-performance Twin-Cam model was added for 1958. It used a high-compression (9.9:1 later 8.3:1) DOHC aluminium cylinder head version of the B-Series engine producing 108 hp (81 kW; 109 PS). Due to detonation problems, a 100 bhp (75 kW; 101 PS) low-compression version was introduced later. Four-wheel disc brakes by Dunlop were fitted, along with Dunlop peg drive knock-off steel wheels similar to wheels used on racing Jaguars, unique to the Twin-Cam and "DeLuxe" MGA 1600 and 1600 MkII roadsters. These wheels and chassis upgrades were used on a small number of the "DeLuxe" models built after Twin-Cam production came to a halt. Aside from the wheels, the only outside identifier was a "Twin-Cam" logo near the vent aside the bonnet. A careful look at the rear wheel vents would also reveal another feature unique to Twin-Cam and DeLuxe: those 4 wheel Dunlop disc brakes mentioned above.

The temperamental engine was notorious for warranty problems during the course of production, and sales dropped quickly. The engine suffered from detonation and burnt oil. Most of the problems with the Twin-Cam engine were rectified with the low-compression version, but by then the damage had been done. Many restored Twin-Cams are running more reliably today than they ever did during production. The Twin-Cam was dropped in 1960 after 2,111 (2,210 according to some) had been produced. Production ended in April 1960, but had slowed to a trickle long before.

An open car was tested by The Motor magazine in 1958 and was found to have a top speed of 113 mph (182 km/h), acceleration from 0–60 mph (97 km/h) in 9.1 seconds and a fuel consumption of 27.6 miles per imperial gallon (10.2 L/100 km; 23.0 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £1,283 including taxes of £428.

Oddly, an open MGA Twin Cam (Reg. No.PMO 326)road tested by The Autocar magazine and published on 18 July 1958 only recorded a 0-60 time of 13.3secs with the Standing quarter mile of 18.6secs. The mean maximum speed was 113.5 mph, with a best of 114.0 mph. So the explanation must be that either their car was down on power, or that a mistake was made when recording the acceleration figures.


1600 and 1600 De-Luxe
MG A 1600

In May 1959 the standard cars also received an updated engine, now at 1588 cc producing 79.5 bhp (59 kW; 81 PS) . At the front disc brakes were fitted, but drums remained in the rear.

31,501 were produced in less than three years.

Externally the car is very similar to the 1500 with differences including: amber or white (depending on market) front turn indicators shared with white parking lamps, separate stop/tail and turn lamps in the rear, and 1600 badging on the boot and the cowl.

A number of 1600 De Luxe versions were produced with leftover special wheels and four-wheel disc brakes of the departed Twin-Cam, or using complete modified Twincam chassis left redundant by the discontinuance of that model. Seventy roadsters and 12 coupés were built.

A 1600 open car was tested by The Motor in 1959. It had a top speed of 96.1 mph (154.7 km/h) and could accelerate from 0–60 mph (97 km/h) in 13.3 seconds. A fuel consumption of 29.7 miles per imperial gallon (9.5 L/100 km; 24.7 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £940 including taxes of £277.



Mark II and Mark II De-Luxe[edit]
MG A 1600 Mark II

The engine size was increased again to 1622 cc by increasing the bore from 75.4 mm (2.97 in) to 76.2 mm (3.00 in) for the 1961 Mark II MGA. The cylinder head was also revised with larger valves and re-engineered combustion chambers. Horsepower increased to 90 bhp. It also had a higher ratio 4:1 rear axle, which made for more relaxed high-speed driving. An inset grille and Morris Mini tail lamps appearing horizontally below the deck lid were the most obvious visual changes. 8,198 Mark II roadsters and 521 coupés were built.

Road & Track magazine reviewed the MG A 1600 Mark II in the September 1961 issue and reported an estimated top speed of 105 mph and a 0-60 acceleration of 12.8 seconds.