And it is in that vein that we bring you our new monthly series, where we curate a selection of things that are currently inspiring and delighting us. This month, our Founder Rachel chooses her top art, film and music picks.
It's July and escapism is top of the agenda. After three months of lockdown and a new baby due in two weeks, the pull of being somewhere else (ideally by the sea - having grown up there) and being somewhat lighter on my feet has taken firm hold.
Here's a potter around some of the small pleasures bringing me joy.
April Mornings at Blakeney Point, by Bethany Holmes
I first discovered Bethany's art work a couple of years back and had the pleasure to meet her at a London art fair, which prompted a visit to her studio in Essex.
Bethany specialises in abstract expressionist paintings and I was so delighted to find this perfect picture for the Navygrey studio. The work forms part of the 'Morsten Quay' series, which explores the horizontal and vertical boundaries of the north Norfolk coastline. Across the series, Bethany examines the intertwining relationship between the natural, flat seascape and the beautiful impact of manmade objects, such as the strong vertical masts of the many boats and staithes along the salt marshes.
As someone who adores the north Norfolk coast, the view from my studio desk to this beautiful picture has been all the more important over the past few months.
To Catch a Thief, Alfred Hitchcock
Photo credit: Alamy / All Star Picture Library
This jewel-heist caper starring Grace Kelly (her third and final Hitchcock film) and Cary Grant transports you from the sofa to the glamour of the South of France. With some outrageous metaphors and breathtaking Côte d'Azur scenery, the colour and sounds of this film ooze summer escapism.
Whether you find yourself lusting after Grace Kelly's cornflower blue chiffon gown or craving Grant's impeccably tied cravats - particularly when paired with the simplicity of a grey sweatshirt - this is an indulgent, romantic comedy with style that remains relevant, even if the setting is pure fantasy.
Surfin' USA, The Beach Boys
I recently rediscovered the sheer happiness of this song during lockdown. Whilst looking for some musical accompaniment to another round of musical statues (to keep my three-year-old entertained), this 1963 classic popped up on the playlist and, within seconds of the beat kicking in, my daughter was hooked.
Despite not being close to the sea for over four months now (which is a very long time when you've grown up next to it, and where Grandma still lives), from the get-go, when the sun is shining outside, this song captures the excitement and simplicity of summer by the sea and as one critic said... 'the exhilaration of escaping mundane conformity and diving into a party of everlasting youth.'
Watch this stylish striped shirt Beach Boys' performance for the ultimate classic hit.
To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
First published in 1960, Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize winning novel retains its remarkable power.
Exposing the sheer brutality of racism through the eyes of the child narrator Scout, this is one of the best books of the twentieth century. It is based on Harper Lee's observations of her family and neighbours, as well as an event that occurred near her hometown in Alabama in 1936 when she was a 10-year-old girl. Despite tackling the very serious and heartbreaking issues of racial inequality and rape head on, there's a warmth and humour to this incredible book that pulls you right in from the off.
Whether you first discovered it, like me, at school, or came to it later in life, To Kill a Mockingbird could not be more relevant right now. A must read.
And finally... the quotation
"What good is the warmth of summer without the cold of winter to give it sweetness."
As we bask in these warmer climes and retire those hats, scarves and thicker wool jumpers to the back of our wardrobes... it almost seems unimaginable to remember a time when they were needed. And yet at Navygrey, even when the sun is at its peak, we're creating new warming styles and colours for this coming autumn.
We adore long summer days. But we also love the way in which we can embrace it all the more knowing that behind and ahead of us there are cooler days, darker nights and, of course, the need for an excellent jumper.