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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Holes In Fishnets

Last winter I bummed this pair of fishnet tights that I chopped up and cut holes into, and fell head over heels in love with the 90's grunge aesthetic. With all this autumn winter 10/11 business rolling about I'm feeling more and more that I need to work out my winter wardrobe. Especially since I'll be selling a bunch of my old clothes off to fund the cold season's crop of new purchases. Today, well, actually, now, I'm sitting in starbucks writing this with my nylon magazine peeping from my bag. You all know I hate hipsters, I'm a massive hypocrite. So, I've decided that this winter my summer hipster-musings have to be binned.
Kim's already semi-shunned me for my betrayal, and so I need to fully commit to getting out of my rut. After seeing Telva's Michael Kor's spread (shot by one of my fav fashion photographers at the moment, Ruben Vega) I felt inspired to go back to grunge. If that bastion of american sportswear lux can grunge it up, I definitely can.

Vega's shoot with Tosca for Telva (try saying that fast, doesn't work) is pretty darn awesome. At first it can come off a little bland, but the longer you look at the garments, the more you're sucked into Vega's world. How did he get those pieces so.. angry? I'm not sure that's the right word, but there's an edge to the clothes that you don't usually see in Kors. An A-Line skirt and high necked white jumper shouldn't be that fierce, but here, I'm bumming it. I'd never wear it, but that's not the point.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Something terrible has happened.
I've realised that when I go back to cambridge, there will be no teapot accompanying me. With the rapid rise in leaf tea popularity at home, I am no longer monopoly share-holder on the old faithful teapot. This means I'll have to start hunting for a teapot to take up to Cambridge come October. While this may at first seem like a great opportunity to spend more money on frivolous things, it is actually one of the most daunting tasks I have been presented with for a while. While at first I was hypnotised by the exotic promises of ebay's East Asian Antiques section, I realised that while a 99p extravagant teapot might be all fine and dandy, but it doesn't count for crap in the cuppa department unless it pours well.

I've had too many dreadful experiences with poor pourers (geddit?) to fall foul of that mistake again.
So, tomorrow, armed only with a bottle of water, credit card and stubborn resilience to shop assistants saying "miss, you can't test out our pots", I'll begin the hunt for a good teapot.
Wish me luck.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Apologies, this post is going to be pretty tiny. I'm tired and preparing food for my dinner party tonight. Mad Excited.
Anyhow, I found something on my morning stumbles that needed sharing, even though I don't feel I can comment particularly well on the work in question. This morning I came across Federico Erra and his stunning, black and white portraits. His set titled SuperModels captures each woman in a moment of intense emotion, and each is completely unique. Erra's work grabbed me because it seems he has managed to pull a different kind of drama from each model. Some are hard and challenging, staring down the camera as if daring you to find fault, while others surprise you with the softness and delicacy of their expressions. Erra's work at times seems almost documentary, capturing a moment that you don't quite expect in such a close, tight photograph.

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Monday, August 23, 2010


I may have recovered from my hangover, finally, but my body's definitely not recovered from 2 weeks of wine, cheese and 4 packets of oreos with a glass of milk a day. According to my doctor, I'm lactose intolerant and my body's very special way of telling me it hates milk is to give me a lovely big belly an hour after I've had any dairy to eat/drink. Sexy.
Because I'm terrible at turning up to the gym or even to Yoga now that this ridiculously hot guy started going (I don't want him seeing me giggling through downward facing dog), I need a new exercise.
It's been recommended by Velma that I just dance through everything I do. Her theory is that I'll get fit and also get all my tunes set for carnival.

I've fallen for this song, it makes me think of that moment on a night out when everything is absolutely perfect. You've got your girls, the world is fuzzy and pumping to the DOPE tune that's playing.

SomethingALaMode - 5 AM (post50UND Remix) by post50UND

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Hungover, Me?

For those of you that fell victim to my drunken texting last night (I checked my outbox. There were a lot of you, sorry), you'll understand why it is that this morning I'm not feeling too chirpy. If there's one thing that wakes me up properly and makes life worth living again post-big night, it's a really good pot of tea and some gentle comedy.
If I'm honest, it's not gentle comedy that I'd go to first of all, it'd be the crime drama's, but this morning alibi (best sky channel in the world) was only showing that episode of Diagnosis Murder where Barry Van Dyke is dating the serial killer rapist bitch. I've seen that one a billion times.

Fill the kettle, I'm having 5 cups at least, but I need to warm the pot first. Up to 6 we go. The kettle's full of limescale, but I'm sure that adds to the taste.. That's gross.

Lift open the lid just before boiling, the thermometer stops working then, and the water boils to super hot. Probably destroying my kettle's fuse, but it means the tea is piping hot. Yum, yum. I like the noise of the water splashing inside the kettle. I'm trying to imagine the warm water washing away my headache, but it's not working.

Warming the pot makes the tea taste better. I fill it half with warm water from the tap and half with boiling water from the kettle. Swill twice and pour it out, singing "I'm a little teapot, short and stout". I think I'm still a little drunk.

Earl Grey tea is the best tea. It smells like cool rain on my aching head. You know those nurofen adverts, where the nurofen speeds to the red target headache and gets rid of it? I have no nurofen, and I don't want to leave the safety of my home to get some. I look like crap. Anyhow, I imagine the sweet clearing smell of the tea is the nurofen and it's speeding to my head.

Three spoonfuls of the purpley tea leaves into the warm pot. Taking this photo was difficult. I nearly spilled the tealeaves everywhere. I don't have much left either, so that'd have been a disaster. Especially since I'm in no way fit to go get more from tesco. Then fill with hot water, I boiled it again to make sure it was super hot.

Stumble back into the living room, it's cosy and dark, and as much as I want to curl up under my blanket again and fall asleep, I've done that before. I always wake up 20 minutes later feeling even worse. Have to open the curtains and let daylight in, as much as it hurts. It feels like it's burning my frontal lobe, but once I stop being a drama queen, I feel slightly better being able to see stuff.

Turn on Frasier. It'd be Diagnosis Murder, but like I said, it's a repeat. I'll watch it until 10.40 when Cash in the Attic starts, that's brilliant hangover tv.

By now the tea should be brewed. I put the strainer on the cup and pour it out. Again, this photo was mad difficult to take, especially since I had my runway edit under the cup. I was so scared I was going to spill it on that holy publication that I set my camera on a timer.

That's a wonderful sight. That teamed with Niles' antics pursuing Daphne makes me feel much better.

This is a better sight. Oreos yum. I justify this by telling myself that I need to replenish my blood sugar. It's mad low at the moment.
Cash in the Attic's on now. I'm going to watch it.

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Boys With Swagger

Now I'm not usually one to follow men's fashion. Firstly, there's not much point in it for me, as I'm not really the demographic the menswear lines are aimed at, and secondly, because it's so boring compared to women's wear. However, after I put my prejudices to one side and decided to check out the catwalk photos for some of the men's R-T-W shows I found myself absorbed by the sharp shoulders, careful tailoring and intensely beautiful models interesting fabric choices found in many of the Autumn/Winter menswear lines for this year. So, on the back of this new and exciting obsession, I decided to take a look at some of the cool kids bringing menswear into the limelight.

The Fayed and Goncalves brothers make up the team behind Bespoken Clothiers, a brand that brings Italian and British fabrics together in classic Americana styles with an east end mod twist.
I just re-read that sentence, and there's a lot of themes and ideas bouncing there. Let me try to re-phrase it in a less poncy and more grammatically correct way...
The brothers source all their fabrics from British and Italian textile mills, in this way keeping the quality of their fabrics standardised and (from the way the pieces move in the video lookbook) of a very high standard. With three out of the 5 men behind the brand receiving tutelage from the world renowned Turnbull & Asser of Jermyn Street, the classic sharp London suits are easily spotted, but the freshness of the designs, teamed with the New York edge (coming from the Goncalves brothers) gives the autumn and winter collection a mod edge. These guys bring the best parts of modern trends into a brand that focuses on quality tailoring and beautiful textiles. The photos from their lookbook made me cry sharp-fitted tears of beautifully-cut joy.

The brand describe themselves as part Saville Row, part Rock and Roll. I want me some of that mixture. Anybody that knows me, knows I'm a sucker for a really really good suit. It makes me so angry when I see men in suits that don't fit them. Why would you do that to yourself? Pay all that money, go to all that effort, just to look absolutely shite. So brands like bespoken make my days, weeks and months. Their philosophy states that, just as in old England, where bespoke tailoring meant your garment was "spoken for", aka, made to fit and labeled with the owner's name accordingly, Bespoken don't make garments that won't look good. They have taken the delicate process of suit making and modernised it to fit today's trends.
Ah, music to my ears.

Anybody else really want to be that sofa?
I went a trawling to find more info on the brand and cold-season collection and found an interview with some of the brothers on LimitedHype...

"I guess you can say this is a goal.  If you think about it, our generation has been accustomed to having things whenever & wherever we want, down to the stylish clothes we sport.  And now with some of the mass brands that have popped up in recent years, they could be purchased with very little expense.  Due to that, some people have been willing to overlook the quality & craftsmanship.
But I do think more and more people are now taking notice of things that have more of a handcrafted story – whether its bikes, or lo-fi records to clothing.  It feels like people are searching for something authentic, something they could appreciate.  I don’t believe we’ll ever be for the “masses”, for now we’ll take it one customer at a time."
»Paulo Goncalves to LimitedHype

Making Sewing Sexy - The Process by Bespoken:

Passion for the Details... from Bespoken on Vimeo.

Goncalves makes a good point, our generation have begun to overlook quality and individuality in favour of immediate trend-hopping. With "disposable clothing" from chain stores such as Primark and Matalan, people look less for quality wardrobe staples and more for immediate trend-hitting items. We have our culture of mass-consumerism to blame as much as we do chain-stores on the high street profiting from our indulgence. Hopefully, more brands like Bespoken can edge into the market and push forward the appeal of really damn good clothing.
Now we just need a womenswear line from them... How's about it boys?

Fall/Winter 2010 from Bespoken on Vimeo.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Too Cool

So many times I've seen a photograph and thought damn, I wish I was that cool.
That happened just now with the Jamie Bochert spread for Vogue UK's September Issue. Since I'm still locked away in France, heavily sedated this evening (my back's gone iffy again), I've been trawling the editorials blogs, wishing I was back in London with my Elle Collections magazine and a cup of Earl Grey. French tea is crap.
Hedi Slimane did a spread with Bochert channeling the 70's rock goddesses look. A fabulously disheveled and luxurious look, like, "yeah, this chiffon shirt is dry clean only, and I'm stanking from my mad cool night out last night, but I don't give a damn. I can afford a new one once I've stained the pits and collar on this £300 bad boy."
Or perhaps that's my over active imagination putting words into Jamie's mouth. Anyhow, she looks fine, and Slimane's still a frigging genius with black & white on a black background.

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Home Is Where The Kick-Ass Decoration Is

London will always be my home, the friends and family I have there are irreplaceable and are some of the people I will hold closest to my heart for the rest of my life.
Now that I've got the soppy stuff over and done with, today, after our family riverside walk, I got in and decided to go trawling websites for stuff I'd buy for the new house in Cambridge if I had bottomless pockets. Or the trust of Natwest PLC.

1 - Skull Moneybank, Urban Outfitters £20
2 - Milk Frother, Habitat £30
3 - Glass Teapot, Habitat £15
4 - Cafetiere, John Lewis £35
5 - Hip Flask, Urban Outfitters £14
6 - Slang Glass, Urban Outfitters £8
7 - Outdoor Ashtray, Suck It UK from £10
8 - Tea Strainer, iwantoneofthose.com £8.99
9 - Eco Coffee Cup Set, Urban Outfitters £8

Anyone got  £141 laying about?
Gimme it please.

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

I Can't Stand The Rain

Yesterday, because of the bad weather and my emotional attachment to Harry Potter (and thus inevitable difficulty when re-reading The Chamber of Secrets. He's NOT Voldemort's heir, WHY ARE HOGWARTS STUDENTS SO JUDGMENTAL?), I didn't have much to do other than turn my vision square with blog trawling and online shopping wishlist making.

I found the Proenza Schouler Fall 2010 campaign for America on said blog trawling, and after I got over the horrific first image (either this girl needs to take her internal organs out of her handbag and stick them back inside of her, or someone got too keen with photoshop), the images made me yearn for my winter clothes again. Summer has sent me into a plain clothes rut, all of my patterns, stripes and dots are in woolen/heavy jersey form, and thus highly unsuitable for summer traveling. It also made me yearn for money and the body that lets clothes hang on my frame like how these girls rock it. Without photoshop.

This, plus Dobby keeping Harry from Hermione and Ron is making me long for October to roll around. I want to move in to my new house in Cambridge, lugging boxes about in aztec inspired cardigans with no pesky house elves attempting to prevent me from rejoining my magical friends. I'm also longing for October because that's when student loans will dump some money in my account, and Natwest will start to trust me again.
Until I pay my ridiculous rent with it all and tear said trust away again.
Anyhow. In my boredom I decided to compile a list of stuff I'd own if I had LOADSA money and didn't have to spend my grant on paying for silly things like food, shelter and hot water.

1- Stoned Necklace by Solange Azagury
2 - Leopard Zip Front Bandeau Bra by Urban Outfitters
3 - 1940's Blouse by Pins & Needles
4 - Stripe Suspender Bodycon Skirt by Simon Preen
5 - Bounty Blouse by Paul & Joe
6 - Abstract Print Leggings by Ostwald Helgason

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C'est Pas Possible!

Today me and Coral went with the couple that own the barn we're staying at to the village of Pellegrue, where the village was hosting its bi-annual market from 8am onwards. Since 8 was disgustingly early for both of us (I'm still one hour behind. I refuse to leave English time for such a wee difference), we were up and out with Jim and Jan (the people who own the barn) by 9.

Yesterday some of the markets I bummed at Bordeaux were a little disappointing, just a french version of Shepherds Bush, but this little village had the most amazing things. Quite a few stall owners weren't happy with me taking photos, and asked that I delete any photos of them and their wares (not surprising since a fair few were selling what I presume to be seriously illegal guns. Like FOR REAL.) Anyhow, I took photos of everything I bought.

At Pellegrue there weren't many clothes or shoes for sale, but there was LOADSA furniture and general antiques for around the house. I was so up for buying myself a Hogwarts-style trunk so I could properly pretend I was heading back to wizarding school this October (like you don't do it when you drag your suitcase up to Kings Cross - I know your game), but I couldn't afford any, and I reckon if I had bought any, they wouldn't have fit in the car.

Despite not getting my hogwarts trunk (OR THE HARRY POTTER AFTERSHAVE I SAW, it stank like behind a toilet though. I reckon it was off.), I bought some lovely things.

2 jars with TAPS on them. How cool is that? A jar.. That has a tap. It sounds boring, but I was so excited when I saw them, and pieced together in my poor french, comment ça marche??????? Then when the lady put in the pink liquid and poured it out with those cute little taps, I literally exploded. 2€ each.

2 old syrup bottles. Jim was very disparging of my purchase. He said I could have bought two bottles of syrup and gotten bottles and syrup, but my argument is... Well, there isn't any. He has a point. But I definitely wouldn't have cleaned out those bottles. They'd have stayed sticky and gross for like 3 years before I chucked them out. Anyhow, what I'll do with them is put cocktail mixes in each and shove speed pourers in the top, then anytime we're feeling some zombies or long island iced teas, there'll be some available from pretty, speedy bottles.

A sausage, baguette, garlic and apple juice. Don't ask, I buy silly things when I have money. The sausage is so good though. English sausages are shit.

The Pièce Du Resistance, a vintage coffee set that Coral spotted. The woman selling spoke french with the weirdest accent, and has nothing but contempt for my poor grasp of the language. She kept telling me "Cinq", "Le Petit BLUUURRRRHHHHHH" and, keeping in mind it was quarter past 9 (meaning 8) in the morning, I had no idea. Coral had to go "five euros, duh.".
I'd thought she'd said 10€, so I was CHUFFED to get the entire set for 5€. In it there are 12 cups and saucers, a milk jug and a super cute coffee pot.

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Friday, August 13, 2010

I Do, Say

The weather here in France has taken a turn for cloudy and muggy, so there's no fun in sitting outside or even going for walks.
It's just BAD weather.
So today is my indoor quiet time for Mariel day. I decided, perfect! I can sit inside with my bucket of red wine that I bought at a market have a glass, and read some literary canons. (It's still chic despite being an actual bucket of wine, because I got it at little French market. And its acceptable to be drinking at this hour of the day because I'm in the south of France. Everyone does it. I hope.)
But after five minutes of trying to read Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets, I was too depressed by Dobby's antics of trying to keep Harry away from his super cool friends at Hogwarts, and I kept seeing parallels between Hogwarts and Fitzwilliam. I miss my girls and guys up there too much. So I got to remeniscing. Especially about our Sex & The City times, where we'd all abandon our degrees and diets for "just one episode." Obviously, this would always quickly turn into at least 3 episodes and at least one glass of something alcoholic and 3 of McVities' finest chocolate biscuits.

After watching that episode of Sex & The City where Aidan has to get Samantha in to help choose Carrie's ring, me and the Cambridge girls had a chat about the rings that we'd like to receive when our multi-millionaire model-turned-investment banker-turned-russian-spy-turned-mastermind-detective-turned-artist proposes to us. Or at least rings we wouldn't barf at the sight of.


Anyway, this reminiscing lead to one of my elaborate daydreams where, being stranded in the south of France, every single one of my friends' boyfriends suddenly wanted to propose to their respective girlfriends and I had no objection to this. They all demanded help from me, and I couldn't decide what rings they'd like or get to the UK in time, it all went horribly wrong and everyone got rings from Argos with some sort of engraving in Comic Sans font on them. So obviously, all the boys got dumped. It was terrible, I actually broke out into a cold sweat.

But that might have been something to do with my polyester t-shirt and the 28 degree weather with no wind.

Anyhow. I was worried.

So I got to googling, something I do very well. (Although, admittedly, not as well as Jen).

I found, thanks to vogue.co.uk (bless that website), Solange Azagury, a brand that creates engagement rings for women who don't want a standard engagement ring, and are looking for something a wee bit different. Some of the things this woman designs are amazing.
So, in panic mode, imagining that at some point in the near future a mysterious model/investment banker/russian spy/mastermind detective/artist is going to run to ONE OF YOU for help in choosing a ring for me, I compiled a list exclusively from Solange's collection.
Here it is. Be amazed, these rings are stunning.

If my mystery man is a hip hop star (Lupe Fiasco, once he meets me, will obv want to leave his wife and marry me), this ring would do just fine;

The 'Big Fringe' Ring, 18ct Yellow Gold & Diamonds.

If my mystery man is a comedy writer and wants to get me an extremely expensive gimmick ring to amuse me until he finds something with a sparkler in it, because he will find me something sparkly...

The 'One/Three Carrot Ring', 18ct Yellow Gold & Enamel

If my mystery man is a super edgy, too cool for himself photographer with an eye for architectural detail in jewellery and clothing...

My favourite, The 'Offering' Ring, 18ct Yellow or Black Gold & Diamond

However, on my stumblings, I found something for my favourite keeno. If that "norn" Irish lass ever stops pulling the "Oh-My-God-Kill-Me-Now" faces when you drop the "obviously, once we're married..." bombs, I reckon these rings will do your bride well.
Even if I've just massively pigeonholed her as a huge heavy metal goth that needs symbols of death even in one of the most joyous moment of her life.

'Till Death Us Do Part' Engagement ring, 18 ct White Gold & Diamond

And the wedding bands to match, 'Bones' 18ct Gold or Platinum bands.