Sunday, 31 January 2010

Coco Chanel - the woman behind the clothes

I am reading a book about Chanel at the moment. No...not the Justine Picardie one, the Axel Madsen. I am about half way through and what strikes me is just what an amazing woman she was. Her determination and power used to create this business in which she knew what women wanted, from the freedom clothes afforded them to the manner in which people assumed good taste, and hence were willing to pay a whacking great premium is fascinating. She was so calculating and so darn good at what she did. And timeless - squint a little and take out the ciggie and this could be Erin O'Connor in a editorial today.

Please also allow me a little vent - I have had the Justine Picardie book on order since October, and since then the release has been pushed back and back - I still don't have it! It was going to be my holiday reading on a plane flight in December, and then my tucked up in bed Christmas treat. Now it's looking like it will be my holiday beach read. Pfft. 

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Christian Louboutin for Charity...If Only.

Last year I found a pair of Christian Louboutin for Chloe shoes in a charity shop for under £20. They have a dark red almost purple-ish sole, which makes me think they must be from very early on in his career. 

I know that heels have gone up and up in recent years, which is one reason why I love earlier Louboutin and Manolo shoes - the heels are much lower and the styling is now retro enough to feel ready to bust out again. 

As much as I was thrilled to find my pair - dusky blue satin mary janes with a embroidered flower on the side  (camera still broken...), I can't help but feel slightly upset it wasn't these babies that I found instead. If I did I might just hyperventilate so much I'd faint in the shop and someone else would swoop right in and buy them. 

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Sailor Chic

Maybe the photo of me as a kid I posted yesterday seared into my brain without me noticing. The little sailor outfit is clearly what I want. This lovely is from Net a Porter made by a brand called Lover. As Rachel Zoe would say, "I Die". I would buy it in a New York minute, but it's a size 10 and alas, my boobs could never accept that. 

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Me and the elephants

With my new mac has come new opportunities to tag and organise photos. This image struck me, not least because in the early 1980's a child's proximity to elephants (even if just babies) was clearly no biggie, but also due to the outfit. I'm liking my blue and white sailor style with the Peter Pan collar and puffed sleeves. Also note the ribbon. Accessorising at such a young age. Yep. Haven't changed that much.

Monday, 25 January 2010

When Beyonce met Bettie

I love Beyonce's look in her latest video. She's a funny woman, totally beautiful, but often dressed very badly - by her mother and lord knows which stylists / designers, all of whom must resent having to be in the same room as her - let's face it, most of us would. 

This Bettie Page mixed with rude girl look really suits her. I am dreaming of a sharp fringe and long hair right now, and wishing I could wear red lips without being self conscious...well I did say dreaming.      

Friday, 22 January 2010

Kind of want a Launer bag...?

I know, I know, it's the most old school granny bag of all time. It's by a company in England named Launer - they make the Queen's handbags, and there is something in the utter simplicity and forceful dedication to never follow a fashion or make anything other than a bog standard smart bag for old ladies that really appeals to me. Just think - me and Queen having something in common!

I am fascinated by companies like Launer. Why don't they make more of their heritage and the fact that for the last 40 years Queen Elizabeth II has been carrying one of these? After all, look what Diana did for Dior bags. Have you ever heard of Launer?

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Marrakech and the Jardin Majorelle

The Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech is glorious. I took these last year and they are just the pictures to flick through on a cold wintery night in London. Yves Saint Laurent bought the place in the 60's and lovingly restored the buildings and grounds. I urge you go, you won't regret it. 

Everyday icon of cool

I've had this picture for years, and although I could never carry off such bad ass tattoos there is something about this image that I love. In my mind I could be this girl, but sadly I always chicken out when I think about the future - if I ever get to wear Chanel or McQueen gowns I want to do it properly, hence no massive tatts. Still, she looks amazing, non?

Monday, 18 January 2010

You can never have enough, though sadly you always have too little storage

After months of putting it off I took to rearranging my tee-shirt and jean storage.

I now know:

I have wayyyyy too many tee-shirts, including an impressive array of blog based ones dating back to 2005 when I first purchased a Go Fug Yourself tee.

American Apparel have changed the jersey they use to make their long sleeved tops, and not for the better.

I cannot resist buying Uniqlo jeans - I have over 20 pairs of the skinny cut in all shades of blue, black and earth tones.

In fact, almost all my jeans are super skinny apart from two very baggy pairs I have left over from the late 90's that remind me of being a slouchy student when I thought that wearing jeans meant you couldn't avoid them sucking up all water nearby when it rained. I could never go back - this is why skinnies rule for me - no wet legs.

I'm gonna have to stop buying stuff and wear what I already own.

Please remind me of this as the spring/summer 10 stuff hits the rails over the coming weeks.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Inappropriate bag lust thanks to Giles Deacon

My mother would have a heart attack if I ever bought this bag. "You're too old for novelty fashion" she'd say, or perhaps even worse, "You do know you're in your 30's?"

Well - pah! Look how great the dino bag is! The world is so ageist. First the Natural History Museum does a sleep over for 8 - 12 year olds, I mean, hello, give me a chance first, and now I'm 'too old' for a bag?

So, what do you say? Would you be able to stifle your giggles if you saw me bopping round London with one of these triceratops hold alls?

Saturday, 16 January 2010

How to walk in high heels...

The best thing to happen in weeks, literally weeks, is the end of the great freeze (albeit briefly I am told). This means two things: 1) I can go out without a scarf, gloves, hat and ear warmers which means leaving or entering a building no longer takes 20 minutes and 2) normal shoes are back on the agenda! I don't have to worry about slipping on ice or my feet falling off due to extreme cold. In the recent cold snap it's been Uggs (I know they're not trendy, but oh heck they're warm) or big boots with at least two pairs of thermal socks.

One of my resolutions for this year was to wear more of my shoes more often - especially my heels. I am a flats girl at heart, and like nothing more than slouching around town in pirate boots. But I'm going to start training myself for height with Vivienne Westwood strapped boots because the heel on them is do-able, but one day soon I will conquer the Charlotte Olympia platforms outside...if only to hop into a cab after 15 seconds.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

What a girl wants (Tsumori Chisato)

I love Tsumori Chisato's designs, which I guess is a little odd, as I'm not usually the whimsical or playful type of girl. I'm normally attracted to black, men's tees, skinny jeans and clothes with 'attitude' - but sometimes, just sometimes, Tsumori Chisato is the only thing that will do.

I live in a Tsumori Chisato scarf - grey with lion faces on it. It is the perfect blend of practicality and mischief that means you don't take yourself or your clothes too seriously (not that anyone would think that about me, I hope). Tsumori Chisato dresses are a thing to behold. So far I only own one jumper dress, but one day I want some prints - arty, playful and just so fun you want to squeal. Oh - and the tights! I gotta get me some of those tights!

They stock a limited range in Liberty, but for a true taste of her style you have to go to Japan - the shops in Omotesando and another in Ginza are worth visiting for the window displays, glitter floors and the clothes, of course!

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Two Tone Boots - Marni and Emma Cook

My most recent shoes - sorry about the photo quality, my camera has died so it's mobile phone pics all the way for now.

I must have a thing about two tone ankle boots judging by these purchases. The tasselled wedge pair are Emma Cook for Topshop that I got on sale, the others with the white patent stripe are Marni from the Selfridges sale and a real thing of beauty. I think the Emma Cooks pip the Marni's for comfort. I want to do outfit posts because I have a couple of black and white dresses I think would rock with these babies.

Alexander McQueen 'Event' Dresses

Meeting my dear friend Maggie last week at Liberty I had some time to window shop. On display was a gorgeous feather print full length gown by Alexander McQueen. It was a thing of the beauty and the kind of dress that I might even consider laying down a couple of grand for for a really special occasion if I was 1) about 3 inches taller and 2) about 20 lbs lighter. I just can't see the point of presenting good clothes badly.

In reality I think the full feather olive dress McQueen dress would suit my body shape more, although I'd still need to hit the gym something serious to do it justice. Sadly as this was over 5 grand IN THE SALE I think it's safe to say I'll be sticking to Topshop, Zara and Whistles for my party dresses.

Dreamy Chanel Bag and Cold Weather Musing

Oh my, it is so cold in London, and my house remains arctic no matter how much heat my radiators pump out. I should be working / tidying / gyming / wardrobe decluttering, but all I can managed is lying in bed with electric mattress on reading magazines or watching Law & Order SVU.

Still, at times like this one can reflect and begin to PLAN for the warmer weather. And speaking of warmer weather - how perfect is this handbag? It is sadly 'one that got away' on ebay about two years ago. I try not to look at this picture too much because it makes me sick and angry all at the same time, but I felt like I had to share it with you. If you have one that you want to part with (are you mad?) please let me know!

Monday, 11 January 2010

It's not Nigella's cake, it's mine!

Christmas is over, but I thought I would squeeze one last drop out of the season with these pictures - my 'Nigella' cakes (although I would like to point out I bought the cake tin pre Nigella - so actually Nigella's cake was a copy of mine)and some other assorted food porn shots.

I always think hosting is terribly glamorous, but sadly forget it all ends in one big old mess at the end of the night.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Emma Hope & Emma Cook & other bargains

Yesterday I went to Westfield with my Mum, for no reason really, other than to get out the house. The extreme cold and snow meant Croydon for an Ikea and big T.K.Maxx was out of the question, as was Hammersmith (which sucks because I really need to get two pictures framed at the good framing shop there) and the 'charity ship triangle' of Blackheath / Lee Green / Lewisham (we are nothing but classy my Mum and I).

Westfield is a pretty good destination - 15 to 20 minutes by one tube, charity shops if you walk the long way round, a library and then the shopping centre itself.

In the first charity shop I found a pair of Emma Hope plimsols - for £4! They retail for £200 +, and indeed in Westfield where this is an Emma Hope shop the very same ones were in the sale for £179, down from £259 or something like that. Crazy.

With that bargain in the bag I was already quite happy to bimble around for the rest of the day, but I got quite a haul:

2 pairs of peg legged trousers in grey and black from M&S (one pair reduced to £5, the other pair to £9).

1 Jill Sander for Uniqlo wool cardie for £12.99 and one v neck sweater also £12.99 in black and oversized from the mens department

An amazing jersey slub sweater from Gap in a lovely bluey gray for £14.99 - I am super excited about this with long skirts if it ever stops freezing over...

And a pair of Emma Cook for Topshop shoes in the sale.

Lots of stuff! Will do an outfit post asap x

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Polpo - The Verdict

Went to Polpo last night avec the rentals with the reasoning that as London was pretty much deserted because of the snow we would stand a better chance of getting a table.

And get a table we did. Although we still had to wait 45 minutes. Whilst the rest of the City was empty this place was throbbing with people - just goes to show what great reviews does for a place - everywhere else was dead.

It was all worth it. The food was yummy - and at £83 for 3 people with wine, puddings and tip it's one of the best meals of the year so far...okay it's the first week of January...all I can say is that future meals out will have to be pretty special to trump this.

The pizzetta bianca was delicious - don't share, have one for yourself. The cuttlefish amazing and the liver just right. The wine list was very reasonable and the half litre house red at £9 totally quaffable on a cold winter's night. Service was very friendly although there are a few kinks to iron out (we didn't get our spinach and the bill when it came had a few omissions - heck we're honest) but it was heaving and being so new these things happen.

Will be going again asap to eat more from the menu. There are no reservations so it really it pot luck. Cross fingers this is a lucky year.

Interested? Click on the heading to find out more x

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Mum in Brogues

Well, not just any old brogues - my Dad's when she was a bit tiddly one night and decided to get in them to take them downstairs. I grabbed my phone to snap her, but she was already laughing too much - hence the blurriness.
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