Sunday, 20 December 2009

Giving Good Gift

I know what a friend's getting from Santa this year, and so does she. In fact she called me a couple of weeks ago to impart some very important information, "I've got a Mulberry Mitzy Hobo for Christmas."

Cue a sharp intake of breath from me, many congratulations and a little twinge of envy.

The envy quadrupled after I hit Google and this came up:

Her response to my "OMG it's amazing!" text?

"I know! I might even let you hold it."

This girl is a cruel and unusual genius.

Monday, 7 December 2009

This Winter I'll Mainly Be Giving Good Coat

Winter's here, and as Christmas fast approaches, one's thoughts turn to being properly attired. Basically how does one work minx in sub zero temperatures? Looking like the Stay Puft man from Ghostbusters, may insulate you from the wind, but it ain't gonna get you style points. Ever. I mean it.

It's no wonder he looks pissed, the outfit clearly adds pounds.

So, this season I will mainly be working grown up glamour in a coat by Oasis. Black, knee length and chock full of this season details, without doing anything so crass as shouting about it.

It's a peach ain't it?

Single breasted, it nips in the waist with clever darting and tailoring. It then draws the eye to your oh so beautifully hourglass proportions with a sash belt and a deep v neckline. The slightly exaggerated shoulder not only nods towards victorian romance, it also broadens the shoulder, bringing you right back to that itsy bitsy waist again. It's knowing, clever and feminine. I like to think of it as the Lauren Bacall of coat cuts.

And, ladies and gentlemen wait until you see the back (insert squeal of delight here).

Isn't it delicious? The pleating is completely this season, with a nod to the '90's, it channels a healthy dose of Russian Tsarina, the femininity of the 1940's, and finally, a subtle hint of military chic chucked in for good measure. In theory combining these influences should result in a big old mess, but what we get is somehow a coat dripping with stylish restraint.

Jack Frost, do thy worst.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

I Met My Future Husband Yesterday...

...Ok, so not in person, but viewing his work counts right? Right?

I finally got my act together and went to see the Anish Kapoor exhibition at the Royal Academy, and oh my, it was breathtaking. I've been swept off my feet, I'm in love. I've always had an art crush on Kapoor, but now I know it's forever. 

The exhibition takes over the 1st floor of the RA and showcases some of his major pieces over the past 10 years or so. The work itself ranged in size, scale, finish and ambition, and is some of the most engaging, exhilarating and captivating work i've ever seen.

I could rhapsodise for ages on each piece, but one of my favourites was Shooting into the Cornera simple, yet theatrical piece, which involved an air pressured cannon shooting large crimson wax rounds into the corner of room in the RA. The corner was entrenched in splattered red wax that oozed its way out of the room by the time I visited.  In the room before 'the corner' stands the cannon, and right behind the cannon stands the crowd, waiting for it to do its stuff (every 20 minutes). The room took on an eerie silence as a man (undoubtedly a frustrated actor), came to load the cannon with a profound sense of ceremony. The wait for the pressure to build in the cannon was as tense as any i've had, even the crowd issued an 'ooou' when the cannon finally fired.  And then that was it. The spell broken by a grumpy invigilator wanting us to leave so the next group could go in. 

I've been trying to find an image that truly depicts the magnificence of Svayambh, 2007, but I can't. This one isn't the one in the RA and doesn't really come close to what I saw. All I can say is that as another installation, it confounds your senses, your willingness to just wait and see, and cleverly challenges the RA's own sense of identity. 

I want to ramble on at length about the way Kapoor fills space, challenges dimensions and your sense of self, the erotic, sexual undertones of some of his forms, the way he draws you in, the way he hypnotises your senses, but like listening to your friend witter on about their new lover for the umpteenth time in a day, I appreciate it can get a little old, so...

...go see the show and enjoy. Oh and I'm planning a spring wedding, so wish us 'mazel tov' while you're there. 

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

What Lies Beneath

I've been meaning to mention this for a while, but haven't managed to get around to it. The humble stocking. In short, decadent, naughty, and depending on your mood, damned sexy or bloody hindering awkward. Being of the latter school of thought more often than not, stockings have been purchased (by me and for me), been much admired and then tossed into the back of the drawer to be overlooked in favour of tights for evermore. But, this may no longer be the case. As much as it galls me to say it, Chanel's new muse de jour, Lily Allen has been spotted out and about in the perfect solution, stocking-tights.

See Exhibit A below.

What do we think? C'est chic non?

These bad boys are by Chanel (quelle suprise, as a good spokesmodel she's got to be seen in the brand as often as possible, this is, after all, why they pay her). The beauty is you get the comfort and practicality of a pair of tights, but with naughty, sexy edge of a stocking. Especially if you wear them on display à la Lily. Where stockings on show would look too vaudeville, the stocking-tights tights convey edge with class.  Mixed with this season's tough girl leathers and tailoring, it adds an unexpected frisson and just the right touch of feminine.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Something Pretty and Useful, Can It Be Done?

....Er...Yes it can, or so Smythson would have you believe.  I need one of these in my life.  NEED damnit!

Take note benevolent fairy godmothers/Father Christmas/demigods etc.

Please and thank you.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

All That Glitters

It's been a while I know. Sorry. Moving and all that.

Speaking of which, as I start to get my life back in order and condemn a procession of empty boxes to the skip, i've decided to that a tidy mind means a tidy closet. Actually, makes that closets. Yep, I have two now. It's what a girl dreams of and they're far from full! To bring good fashion Feng Shui to my new home i've decided to have a clear out of clothes. Those that don't fit (due to shrinkage thank God), or those that for the love of all things stylish really should be consigned to fashion's graveyard, will be Ebayed.

This is a big step.

I purchase from Ebay, I do not sell. This is not because I'm averse to the concept, it's just that I'm scared of it. Like nylon, it's something that happens to other people.  Not being the most organised, or the most business savvy, this is going to be a bit of an undertaking. In fact all the signs are there - a pile of clothes waiting to be photographed and I'm yet to unearth my camera. Odds are looking good for no progress being made for at least week.

In other news, I have been investigating this season's trend for sequins. My conclusions; sadly cheap and cheerful looks merely cheap and sad. Like a discarded Christmas Tree in February. It's got to be upper end of the high street at least to get something of quality.

This from Topshop is lovely.

Unfortunately sequins also add a lot of volume, and being a lady possessed of a moderately fine décolletage and a distinct amount of ass, it's a no go for me. Oh the shame, my inner Gloria Gaynor has been craving them. Finally, less is definitely more with this look, but having said that I hate the tops and dresses that only have sequins in a panel down the front. It looks unfinished, cheap (again) and creates a displeasing dissection of the body.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

In a Fug

I have literally nothing to report this week, nadda, zilch and zip.

In short the turning of the seasons (fashion wise and weather wise) has got me down. Add to that a cold that just won't give up and suddenly seeing the leaves turning brown and fluttering to the ground makes me feel a bit sad for the passing of summer. Now in theory this means I can revamp the wardrobe for A/W '09 - think coats, scarves and a sensible pair of tights - but A/W '09 looks are depressing. Tweed? Again? Grey? Again? Against the dull palate that is London in winter, this is not inspiring.

I think I might start my hibernation now, if anyone needs me I can be found beneath my bright magenta duvet, rereading a summer issue of Elle.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

The Perfect Sunday

A quick update. Dirty Dancing on Five tonight. The perfect end to a weekend. After all, nobody puts Baby in a corner. I may need to add some Dirty Dancing style, 1950's inspired outfits to my look this autumn! Yes, I am very excited.

Where Does the Time Go?

Well, it's been another hectic week for this Londonienne...

Let's start with the Futurism show at the Tate Modern. Took in the show last Sunday, post a 7th floor lunch and half a bottle of Pinot Grigio. Maybe that's what made the colours in the paintings sing. Or, maybe it was because it was one of the best shows i've seen in a while.

Having studied futurism in my arty days it was good to see a lot of old friends there, Boccioni, one of the Duchamp brothers (who wasn't a Duchamp. I can't remember why, I think Marcel changed his name to Duchamp - if that makes sense. Hey, if it doesn't, it's ok, it's art.). The exhibition was tightly curated and showcased major pieces from the strong holds of Futurism - France, Italy and Russia. It also exhibited women in the movement, who stuck it out despite the misogyny of the times, the movement and its male protagonists.

A riot of colour it overwhelmed and drew you in. In spite of the crowds (that'll teach me to do on the last day and a saturday), I could lose myself in the colour and the form. Simply stunning. Plus I got to see a couple of Picassos and a Braque, showing the link between Futurism and its perhaps better known cousin, Cubism. Simply lovely.

Needless to say an afternoon of art required a relaxed yet chic outfit. Cue pirate boots, boho black dress, long cardie in charcoal and a navy sequin beret. Sienna Miller by way of Paris?

Unfortunately this was then additionally accessorised by the onset of a fearsome cold that's still got me in its grasp. I'm sitting here typing and snuffling simultaneously. I disgust myself and probably quite a few of the unlucky folk who've had to sit next to me on public transport this week.

The highlight of this week has been a haircut. Tragic maybe, but much needed and much enjoyed. Ladies and gentleman, Goldilocks has taken a hike and been replaced by something else. Who is she? I don't know yet. But the long and short of it (ha! Love a bad pun) is that 10 inches of hair has been lopped off and I'm now sporting this season's shattered bob. Think Louise Brooks but without the robotic aspect, think Audrey Tatou in Before Chanel and think a slightly less disheveled Alexa Chung. I feel lighter, literally (10 inches is a lot of hair!), and mentally. In a way it was the final shrugging off of something that had been weighing me down for a while. It's been a bad, mad year, but I'm coming out of it as something different. Better, tauter and more focused. The hair was one of the final steps in the transformation and boy does it feel good.

This weekend i've had the pleasure of attending the opening of a hot new salon in Exmouth Market, opened by two ladies who are very close to my heart. It's chic, yet welcoming, modern without being soulless, and I hope it will be a massive success. Met some interesting people and got to go on a night on the town with the Italian and my gorgeously charming and erudite grandfather. At 93 the man knows what's what and also appreciated my new crop.  The salon is called LIV and can be found here. Get yourself down there for some pampering at non highway robbery prices!

I've also managed to catch the 3rd installment of Bette Bourne's show at the Soho Theatre. Not quite a play, and not a performance, but a conversation. It's autobiographical and explores Bette's life as a mover and shaker in gay theatre and the gay liberation movement. Bette and Mark Ravenhill took to the stage for an hour and it was captivating. Bette's a showgirl through and through, but with a thoughtfulness and keen intelligence underneath the shimmer and sparkle. An unusual saturday night for me, but a lovely one. Outfit? Dark denim, studded flats and working this season's lace trend with a black backless top paneled in the stuff. Add a blazer with a rolled up sleeve and a smokey eye and I felt ready for anything.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

The Starting Line

Right, well here we are then. Hmm...What to say, what to say? 

Not knowing what to write is probably not the best start to a blog. 

Right, this blog is my little experiment, my little dose of creativity in my otherwise uniformly corporate world. Somehow i've gotten so far in to 'real life', that more and more I feel that i've left my creative life behind. To rectify this i've decided to get back a little balance. 

The balance (why do I feel like i'm quoting a sci-fi film?) will be expressed here. I don't know what it will be yet, how it will grow up, whether it will be a model blog that you're happy to introduce to friends and family, or whether it will leave home shouting that it hates me and I fucked it up for life. 

What it's likely to be is my diary, my random musings, an outlet for my sometimes not so sane behaviour  and crucially it will focus on fashion, style and creativity, whatever shape and form it comes in.