Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Quick American Teen Drama Rant - 90210, Gossip Girl, Glee & Vampire Diaries

Can I just get something off my chest please?

I am getting really upset with how certain teen US dramas are creating an incredibly bad stereotype of what female friendship is. That women are ‘frenemies’ with one another who will turn on each other in order to achieve their own aims at the drop of a hat. Yes, GOSSIP GIRL & 90210 I am talking to you. But also GLEE, VAMPIRE DIARIES and other trashy things that I don’t even bother to series record.

Who decided that this is how young women should act? And what message are we sending to teenage girls when Blair and Serena make up and break up every week, humiliating one another in public, dobbing one another in and routinely scuppering each other’s love lives? Plotting one another’s downfall is a seemingly acceptable part of female friendship and support is something that is only done if it also aligns with your own plans – even when it’s your own sister (Jen & Naomi on 90210). Surely this is not the only way that storywriters can inject dramatic tension, by making all women uber bitches and / or crazy deliusional liars (see also Jen on 90210, Lily VdW on Gossip Girl, Terri on Glee)?

I went to a girls school, and I know that a whole bunch of teenage girls are no picnic, but the backstabbing and unpleasantness is simply not my experience, especially at the age of 16 / 17 / 18, which happens to be the age of most of the characters in these dramas.

Of course people may dislike one another, but rarely did anyone go out of their way to be deliberately mean. And what typifies many of these acts of meanness on TV is that they are often perpetrated by ‘besties’. The friends I made and the friendships I solidified at in my late teens were among the most important of my life. We learnt who we were with each other, as we made decisions that would define the next decade of our lives and supported one another, regardless of how different they may have been from us.

I really hope that girls today do not think that the way that Annie, Silver, Naomi, Blair, Serena, Georgina et al carry out their friendships, full of lies and deceit, is the way to get ahead. It would be a great shame, as now in my 30’s, the friendships I have with the many amazing women I know – from school, college and work are the key to my sanity and happiness. If we teach the younger generation to distrust those who should be support whatever will happpen?

And breathe. And waves hello to mates.

Monday, 22 February 2010

The perfect footwear for a holiday capsule wardrobe

The problem with lots of shoes is that when it comes to packing there is more choice and hence more headaches about what should be taken away with you. Unless you are packing flats most heels and boots take up a fair bit of room.

I have written 3 different lists of the shoes I want to take with me to Melbourne but so far haven't quite decided on a definitive collection. I always mis-pack in one way or another and never really feel like 'me' when I go on holiday. I like my choice, and with limited options get a little discombobulated. Sad, huh?

These are the shoes languishing outside of my bedroom whilst I decide on the best storage to free up my 2nd bedroom from being "the shoe room" and make it into "the second bedroom" once and for all. I am an equal opportunities shoe freak - Prada or Primark, Christian Louboutin or Charity Shop, I care not if they have something that speaks to me.

Top picture L - R: Pierre Hardy for Gap wooden heeled sandals, Preen for Topshop stiletto sandals, Maloloes boots, Topshop shoe boots.
Middle pic L - R: F-Troupe brogues, Primark wedges, Charlotte Olympia platforms.
Bottom pic - L - R: Charity shop white brogues (11 years old, what a buy), YSL Trib 2 platforms, Opening Ceremony blue suede ankle boots.

This is my confession...I am a shoe addict

I have a confession.

From Sunday 14th through to Saturday 20th I managed to acquire 6 new pairs of shoes:

  • New Look dusky blue low heeled sandals (thinking: Australia, but still able to walk and at £16 I can get them dusty and beat up)
  • New Look camel wedge desert boots (sooooo comfy, they will be my staple)
  • Louise Goldin for Topshop black spiky stud courts (I die)
  • Topshop flat elastic strap sandals (again, Australia but remind me of Marni flats)
  • Jil Sander white peep toe wedges (from a discount shop)
  • Charity shop yellow low heeled jazz shoes from the 80's (technically fun, but not sure now)
This is VERY naughty of me and I must be punished.

But I will also lay some of the blame on the shoe floor of New Look, Oxford Street (the in the old Borders building). The shoe floor is massive and whilst many of the ultra high heels look cheap as old boots, the camel wedges especially were too tempting to resist. I thank you New Look. And Topshop, your Louise Goldin shoes are a thing of beauty, I feel like a warrior from rad girlsville out to eliminate all from my path...rather a good feeling on a cold rainy day.  

Friday, 19 February 2010

Why Charity Shops Rule

I've never really 'got' vintage shops. Sure they are packed full of cool hipster clothes and designer labels, but for me it takes the hunt out of the mix. I like charity shops for the thrill of the chase and the fact that objects seem to have a story behind them rather than a fat price tag.

This Sunday Pictorial was picked up in a charity shop in a small Somerset market town - I've forgotten where to be honest, but for me it's the languishing charity shops in out of the way places that most often reap the rewards. I love this magazine of old. It is full of amazing pictures, interviews with stars from the age of the silver screen and basically a whole lot more fun than most mags about now because it's not cover to cover ass kissing interviews, new diet trends and 'real world stories' slotted between articles about fashion trends.

I know, that's a bit mean, but really, look at that art direction. Would Grazia, Elle, Vogue, Bazaar do that these days?

(oh, and yes, that IS a jigsaw underneath that I bought at the same time, yes I love jigsaws and yes it was a bloody hard one).

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Breakfast in the USA

The thing I love most about the United States is probably ‘the breakfast’. Now, I like a fry up as much as the next Brit, but American’s win the breakfast war hands down. Pancakes with blueberries and bacon. Brioche French toast. Ham, scrambled eggs and biscuits (basically scones the size of my head). Even egg white omelettes seem to not be rank. In Texas I took the opportunity to eat pancakes with strawberries, bacon and maple syrup – the kind of breakfast you wouldn’t get in a million years here (and when you do it will be 1/10th of the size and half the quality). They were massive and fluffy and came with whipped butter. Life couldn’t be better…unless I was at the Clinton Street Bakery on the Lower East Side of New York. The breakfasts there are to die for (the lunches are dinners are also amazing), the stuff that dreams are made of. Here are some of the meals I dream about (with a bonus picture of my Dad looking proud at his choice).

Fantasy Shoe of the Week - Charlotte Olympia

Okay, so I was in Texas last week and bit remiss with the whole updating thing. I will do a whole post on the pleasures of Austin (many) and the buys in the Houston Galleria (Louboutin's and Alexander Wang) once I've worked out how to use MY NEW CAMERA!

But first - the ever important fantasy shoe of the week. These were featured in Stylist, the free women's fashion handout in London. Apparently they cost £805, which is pretty steep but when they are this delicious I can see how beauty could override wallet unfriendliness if you were so inclined. With these I could be a forest imp of extreme rad-ness. Sigh.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Woolly Hat and the Monster Bobble

On a cold crappy February there is nothing like a hat with a whacking great bobble to make everything a bit warmer and jollier. FACT.

p.s. Still don't have a camera, so demonic red eyes due to camera phone. I don't *think* I am the devil. 

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Results of mini shopping trip

I bought this little shoulder bag / purse in a charity shop in Ipswich today before my Uncle's 60th birthday party. It cost £2.20 and I'm sorry, but it is totally cute. I do love a good charity shop find. I am thinking sun, cut of jean shorts, white tee, brown flat sandals that this bag. For this situation I also two pairs of sunnies in T.K. Maxx - one pair by Etro that will fit this outfit and another that are v. 50's by Jigsaw - will be going for a Betty Draper look in them instead!

Friday, 5 February 2010

Shopping in Australia

As the cold continues in London I keep thinking more and more about getting on that plane and being in Oz. But what will I do when I'm there? Aside from my brother's wedding I will be mostly shopping, eating pho and going to the cinema (I love the cinemas there for some reason, they really float my boat).

This is Brunswick Street in Melbourne's Fitzroy - my brother lives just off the street itself, so it will be prime hunting ground...as you can see it's a great mixture of independent boutiques and yummy cafes (and a kebab shop you'd go to when sober).

Gorman is one shop I always enjoy. It's a brand founded in Melbourne that has that very laid back Aussie style, but also stocks other great finds too - shoes and accessories from around the world that always seem to catch my eye and then hook in my wallet. Plus, as the brand isn't really known in the UK you know that anything you get from the clothing line will be pretty a much a one off here. 

I'm hoping that with a bit more time there we'll really get to hit the charity or 'op' shops too. My bro says S, his girlfriend is on first name terms with the assistants there. Cross fingers that means good buys!

Thursday, 4 February 2010

In just under 3 weeks I'll be in Melbourne...

The last time I went to Australia about 2 years ago I had just missed summer - hence wearing thermal leggings in this picture. Hopefully this time there will be a smidge of heat around. I am bursting to wear shorts! sandals! and tee shirts - without a million layers.

Oh yeah, and also shopping. Minor detail. Bonds underwear end of line stores on Smith Street, Chapel Street boutiques, Myers and Brunswick Street in general. 

Why Don't I Care About Hair?

A bit like Gossip Girl and Topshop, Alexa Chung has suffered from too much hype recently. It gets a bit boring after a while - and for me whilst she looked amazing on the cover of British Vogue this month, the photos inside were a bit "meh". I don't like her new lighter hair and with her popping up at every ruddy show from here to kingdom come these days it's all a bit clothes horsey for my tastes. 

But this pic reminds me of how, what made her in the first place, was a haircut. Pre the dark bob, she was a rather striking, funny presenter who wore some great clothes. But with the choppy bob she became something more than the sum of her parts. It was her Liz Hurley safety pin dress moment, albeit less desperate and far far classier, but it catapulted her into the public domain as an icon. 

I know hair can make or break a look. Which is a pity, because for me, I just can't do it. Hair. I just don't have the skill, inclination or time to make my hair anything. Ever. How much I care about my hair is up there with how much I care about drugs, horror movies, cars or tanning, in that they just don't figure in my life at all. 

My hair gets washed after the gym, dried in winter and then tied back. In a couple of week's time I am hoping to get the new Brazilian Blow Dry at my salon - a treatment that promises easier to style, glossier, more manageable hair. I wonder if it will be a turning point for me, or if the only thing that will ever sort my lack of hair know how will be a NBF who happens to be a hairdresser? 

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Proenza Schouler - my fantasy shoe of the week

With trips to Houston / Austin, Texas and Melbourne, Australia lined up in the next 2 months I know that spending money is a foolish thing to do.

But testing my resolve are these beautiful creations from Proenza Schouler at Net a Porter. If I listen carefully I can hear them singing to me about how my life will be instantly better and flooded with a bucketful more sass if I owned them.

From now on I will be giving my fantasy shoe of the week, which will hopefully work the same way as walking around a shop with an item you know is impractical / too expensive / silly - just walking around holding it and then putting it back tricks your mind into thinking you owned it, if just for a little while. 
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