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Wednesday, 26 May 2010

HAVE A LISTEN TO THIS



My younger sister, Francesca, who is infinitely cooler than I ever hope to be, has put me onto this lot: The Portico Quartet.

This track "Pompidou", as in Le Pompidou Centre for les artistes what is French, is simply lovely.

Whack it on and have a blissful little Amelie style 12 minutes and 2 seconds.





Tuesday, 25 May 2010

OMG

Saw this in an anonymous shop window in Oxford the other day, you know the sort that sell fake Crocs and breathtakingly realistic LV holdalls.

I think as a rule of thumb, anyone that wears a t-shirt declaring them 'glamourous' is anything but, and if you slap on a picture of "you literally make me want to die" Taylor Momsen, well, then you're bloody certifiable.





CHING CHING GETTIN PAID OVER HERE


A few years ago I got very into the ghett-faux jewellery trend, spurred on by Lily Allen and Carrie Bradshaw circa season 3, it was Elizabeth Duke all the way. 

In the past year or so, I calmed it down, even wearing silver for the first time since I left school. But now, with the simplicity of the black "Wang" phase seeming to be coming to an end, I'm itching to doll up Mr T style once more.

A few weeks ago I spied a pair of Rocawear mega hoops at my favourite car boot sale - but the two young sellers were having a spot of beef with their fellas on the phone so I left it, what an idiot I am. Hopefully they'll be there next time I go, if not, it's back to flicking through the catalogue of dreams.





STUFF IT...



...Aubergines that is. The wonderfully fleshy vegetable's are 40p at the minute in Lidl, so, having watched my veggie mummy eat this dish for years, I thought I'd give it a go. 

Kitchen labour was minimal, ingredients were cheap and it leaves you very full. The recipe I followed called for chilli and curry powder, but being the spicy-phobe that I am, I left these out.



Ingredients:

1 aubergine
100g cous cous
1 cinnamon stick
1 shallot (diced)
1 clove garlic (diced)
1 tsp ginger
2 tomatoes (finely chopped)
150ml vegetable stock
olive oil
parmesan

Preheat oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
Roast the aubergine in a griddle pan on all sides until cooked through.
Cut in half, spoon out the flesh and reserve.
Prepare the couscous by placing the cinnamon stick, garlic, shallot, ginger and diced tomato in an oven-proof dish with the couscous and vegetable stock. Cover and cook in the oven for 4 minutes.
Spoon the aubergine flesh back into the shells and top with the couscous mixture. Drizzle with olive oil and grate over parmesan.
Finally cook in the oven for around 10 minutes, then place under the grill for 5 minutes and serve with salad of your choice - I chose rocket with classic vinaigrette dressing.


OOOH YOU SO BAD






I just practically robbed this French Connection dress from ASOS, getting it for £16 as opposed to £65. With it's loose, lightweight cut, neo-tribal print and military-esque green; how could I resist?



A ROLLING STONE GATHERS NO MOSS






It seems apt that the BBC dedicated the latter half of Sunday evening to The Rolling Stones, documenting their rather fabulous period of tax exile in the Cote D'Azure during '72, as Kate Moss has today shown what exactly one should wear on such an occasion. This latest collection for Topshop deserves to be treated to a series of reckless nights under stars, drinks should be spilt, ash should be dropped and frankly, the dresses would be wasted draped against anyone other than Keith Richards. Nick Knight has shot the campaign video, it's good, watch it. These are a couple of my faves from the line:



£130



£120




Monday, 24 May 2010

BECAUSE IT'S MONDAY -



- and you're worth it. 

What with the 30 degree tropics, how much would you like to be his t-shirt right now?





Friday, 21 May 2010

GIVENCHY



Where to begin? Ok, I apologise in advance for this post probably coming across as the ramblings of a madman, but I'm still buzzing my tits off so allow it please.

 Earlier on this week, my cousin Sebastian, who's currently doing very clever things at Oxford Uni, and I exchanged messages along these lines:

Sebastian: Hubert de Givenchy is giving a talk at the SU this thursday, fancy it?
Me: Actual Givenchy?
Sebastian: I believe so.
Me: Errrrrr... Obvs.

Getting the chance to meet someone that falls under the genuine, bonafide 'legend' label is a rare feat these days, and to sit in the same room as someone who lists Audrey Hepburn as one of his bezzies (r.i.p) is not the kind of offer you pass on.

So today, Tony and I drove over to Oxford, enjoying sunny skys and listening to a variety of hits including 'Gasolina' and a little Rod Stewart.

It was a journey of excitement tinged with trepidation, whilst the possibility of meeting such a legend made me want to pee a bit, I couldn't help thinking that somehow we wouldn't be let in, like we'd have to do an IQ test first or something.

Anyway, after some worries over shirts and ties, we were finally seated in the room, right by the front and I felt like I was waiting for Obama.

Givenchy, is without a doubt THE nicest man I've ever met in the fashion industry. Firstly apologising for his English, then doing a kind've Franglais the whole way through he answered too many questions to recount, each with wit, grace and amazing insight; but here are a couple of quotes:

"I feel that fashion has no direction now, you take what Mr Dior did with the New Look from after the war, that was truly revolutionary. Now, everybody wear the long, the short, the trouser, the amusing jumper. There is no direction."

"There are no real stars anymore. There are many actors and actresses but you cannot tell one from another. To be a true star you must not always change your style. You have to be iconic, recognisable. That is just my opinion but I believe it is true."

"Dress makers, couturiers, used to design to make women look beautiful, to make them prettier. Now this is not the case, I don't understand it."

"When I was a young man, I wanted to become a dressmaker, I was from Beauvais, where there is the famous tapestry, and I decided to go to Paris to see Mr Balenciaga and to work for him. I was a little presumptuous I think as when I arrived to show my drawings, I was told to go away."

"There is nothing so hard to design as the little black dress - le petit robe noir."










He even signed my DVD without calling me a freak.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

GET YOUR STUDIO 54 ON...



...HALSTON's 70% off at The Outnet.







DIFFUSION LINES...



...Can be pretty hit or miss. Julian MacDonald's 'Star' line par example - not so great. However, what with the national tightening of the purse strings, the game needed to be stepped up, and boy has it ever. Maybe it  was the introduction of Vogue's 'More Dash Than Cash' that saw bonafide fashion forces making their mark on the high street, whatever the cause, I, for one, am very grateful. Not only does this clever marketing ploy introduce the designer's name to 'the masses' as it were, it also makes them more likeable; plus it enable's ordinary folk to buy into the brand without having to go without food for a month, (so fashion though...). 

Two of my favourites, championing the 'more look for less money' cause are Pearl Lowe and Henry Holland, working with Peacocks and Debenhams respectively. Both designers have successfully managed to provide exactly what a diffusion line should do - wearable, stylish collections that truly mirror the brand they've filtered down from. Lowe's line is typically 'her', a selection of vintage print tea dresses with plentiful amounts of lace, chiffon and fine ribbon. Modelled to perfection by daughter Daisy, these should be worn with undone hair and sturdy accessories for the intended 'grunge picnic' feel.


Holland's collection showcases his trademark use of colour and print, yet also incorporates masses of deceptively high-end looking luxe basics. This is no doubt a range loaded with fun pieces, but they stand alone and manage not to fall foul of the fine line of tackiness. The printed kagool, for example, is perfect for festival season, whilst the tie-dye leggings could have been peeled straight from the (ridiculously long) legs of Whitney Port. This is proper, well designed, well thought out stuff that can be and should be considered a rival for go to brands such as H&M. And if anyone asks, it's designer, yeh?





Buy it all here:






Thursday, 13 May 2010

ENVY



My flatmate Kate got this bloody gorge jumper today. JALOUSE is an understatement. £55 is out me budget though. If you have that kind of wonga, go forth and purchase, this will literally go with anything; dresses, leggings, shorts etc etc. This is what I'd team it with - theoretically like.






Jumper £55, Jeans £35, Wedges £135 all:

 


Wednesday, 12 May 2010

TIGHT JEANS, DOUBLE D'S, MAKIN' ME GO WHIT-WHOO



So, whilst speaking with a friend recently, an issue of particular contention came up. Bearing in mind this was Friday the 7th of May - there was a lot to discuss - it was nothing to do with any Con/Lib/Labs. This, my friends, was a hushed conversation about... double denim. Now, frankly, I thought this had all been dealt with circa 2008 when the whole 'cherry pie Americana' bandwagon swung around - evidently not. People have A LOT to say about this, not least the Guardian, whose readers, rather ironically I must add, left a ridiculous amount of comments on one article discussing the pro's and con's of the trend - labelling it: "Utter poverty of imagination" amongst other, frightfully clever things.

Fair enough, whether or not someone choses to wear two items of clothing, clap-hand-over-mouth, made of the same material, isn't exactly a Nobel Prize winning debate, however, the fact that this particular article made people so angry, in comparison with say the countless number on the correct distance of your skirt in centimetres from your upper knee, is interesting. Double denim winds people up for some reason. Personally, I don't really give a shit. If it works, it works. Hell, if you feel like go for triple or even quadruple. I suppose it's a kind of russian roulette decision - will it be a look that whispers 'effortlessly sexy' a la Chung, or will it scream 'I enjoy long walks up mountains no one's heard of and I have some soggy egg sandwiches in my bag, but LOOK, I'm still hip'.

Either way, it's a decision you'll have to make on your own. I like it, I might do it, but if I do I don't think I'll make it a conscious thought if you get me? I think it's like love, (soz about this) if you force it, it's naff and embarrassing, but if it just happens, you won't realise until you notice you're very happy.






Nobody Denim Boyfriend Fit Jeans, Twenty8Twelve Moores Denim Jacket, Levi's Superwashed Soft Denim Shirt all from:





IT'S THE MUTHACHUCKING NINETIES...



...Well, it kinda was this time last year. This is something I wrote then, which I suppose is kind've true now. HOWEVER - I've been feeling like fashion/trends/whatever is all a bit non-directional at the moment. There seems to be a large influx of a LOT of different influences all cajoling for top spot in the sartorial stakes. I, for one, have absolutely no idea what I want to be wearing, let alone some kind of thematic approach to my wardrobe at the minute. Maybe I'll have a Eureka moment soon, until then I am thoroughly confused.com.


WRITTEN MAY 2009.


As we approach the end of our first decade into the 21st century, there’s been a definite whiff of nostalgia for years not that long gone detectable in the fashion air. From 2005 onwards Britain has been on a steady tour de force with the nineties – starting with rave. Or should we call it Nu? Marrying, in a somewhat hit and miss fashion, the essence of the Hacienda glory days of dance hall brights and neon, with modern day transvestite style make-up peeled straight from the face of Hello Kitty loving web Celebs Jeffree Star and Jodie Harsh. It was a look that was embraced wholeheartedly by those on the club-scene and enabled the country to live out it’s last days of economic stability in a flash of colour, even though the Tweens still cling to the wristbands as if their lives depend on it – thanks in no small part to Claire’s Accessories – the party is most definitely now over.
As monetary conditions worsened in 2007, we as a nation turned to America, and classic early nineties Americana specifically, for some guidance – after all they survived a depression with a smile on their face so who better for a bit of fashion support? Unashamed reds, blues and bold stars emblazoned everything from Yves Saint Laurent necklaces, to Chanel suits, and double denim was a dirty alliteration no more. Such a big look required a big grin, but as the accounts kept dwindling our cheeks began to ache – and we looked elsewhere for something that would lend itself to our newfound state of static finances more suitably.
Enter, grunge. Doc Marten’s had been kicking around amongst the cool kids for a while before everyone else caught on, scuffing the side-streets of Dalston unobserved before Alice Dellal and Aggy decided to champion them to the masses. They signified the introduction of practical, long-lasting fashion. People didn’t have money to be splashing out on a new pair of decorative pumps every other week, and what good were they in the depressing British rain anyway? We were a country in the midst of a big fat mope. Initially, people lacked inspiration thus paired them with the obvious skinny jeans or aged Levi cut-offs and a check shirt, the androgyny signifying that romance and the definition of the sexes was now completely ludicrous, dates aren’t cheap.
But after a few months we got frisky, and before you knew it there was the occasional glimpse of pretty chiffon or lace cutting a fine dash on the high street. As is the way with a revolution, the trend spread like wildfire and grunge got a whole lot more interesting. Forget the Kurt look of before, now it’s all about Courtney – teaming the sturdy footwear with the most delicate slips of summer dresses somehow reinforces femininity rather than detracting from it – the juxtaposition of frailty with a sturdy, solid base is demonstrative of our nation as a whole in these troubled times. In the spirit of the Spice Girls and Oasis of years gone by, kick arse England is most definitely back. We might be down, but we’re definitely not out – and this teenage rebellion attitude is one of the best revivals from 1996 we could have hoped for, that is unless E-17 decide to forge a comeback. One can but dream.



Thursday, 6 May 2010

SOMETHING FOR THE FELLAS


Summer Woolly Hats

These days festival season seems to roll round in less time than it takes to polish off a KFC bargain bucket, and finding some head gear to cover a greasy barnet without looking like Robbie Williams in the fat sportswear days is a pretty hard task.

Of course you could always go for the safe straw porkpie, but realistically, in a field full of them you’re not exactly making it easier for your mates to find you when you wander off in search of the nearest cider tent. A little summer woolly job on the other hand not only gives the impression that you look like you know what’s going on in fashion, making you as irresistible to fit girls as a massive chocolate handbag, it also gives a little ‘pep’ to the scruffiest of t-shirts and shorts – and when your mates are wearing them next year, you can have all the satisfaction and man-points going.







Grey Beanie £6 at:

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

SORRY I CAN'T TALK RIGHT NOW...



...BECAUSE I'VE JUST DIED.

I've been listening to this song for ages now but never thought it'd have a video or be released as it was originally a bonus track. I am so so so so so happy I was wrong. Tough thing to say but I think this might be my fave Beyonce video EVER. Strong words I know, but how could it not be??


"Why Don't You Love Me" - Beyoncé from Beyoncé on Vimeo.




OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION



How could you not applaud this??





And just because I had to:





END OF.

ALTERNATIVE & JEWEL TONES


Ok, so these were originally going to be two separate posts, but they were only little so I've merged see. Chung threw a big old masculine spanner in to the works and manages to make her Chaplin-esque get up look pretty nifty, with not a whiff of the Dion back to front tuxedo in sight. Gainsbourg is the epitome of cool and raises hellfire with this Balenciaga jobby. January Jones is, I think, the shocker of the year - normally fit for the Maxim cover at the drop of a hat she's embraced Stefano Pilati's directional approach with gusto. You go girl. 

Naomi Watts can sometimes suffer from 'Kidman Syndrome' - maybe it's cos they're mates? But here she looks anything but washed out in a rich fuchsia, I think she should become bezzies with Rachel Weisz, then they could look resplendent together all the time.









(T-B) AC - 3.1 Philip Lim, CG - Balenciaga, JJ - Yves Saint Laurent, NW - Stella McCartney, RW - Oscar De La Renta


TACKY


These looks were for the most part, pretty flawless on paper, but somehow, on they looked like they could have appeared on an early season of Project Runway. We're talking a lot of Chanel Couture amongst other things so this is pretty controversial and I'm a little scared that Karl's going to come and stab me with a fine liner pen in my sleep tonight but I can't help it. Je n'aime pas. Oh and who else thinks Dylan Lauren looks like she's got lost on her way to the Sports Personalities of the year awards if you get my drift? A build that could make Paula Radcliffe look feeble, arms of steel innit.

Rosario Dawson, I don't know what to say. I honestly, just have no idea. Demi, in the oven for half an hour. Donatella, same goes for you. K-Stew, why didn't you go with something like Kane?? You look like that frightful overlay is in fact Jellyfish stingers and you are in excruciating pain. Take it off! 

That is some truly Bad Wang. Oh no she didn't! Oh yes I did. It should work but it just feels wrong, and if even Giselle can't pull it off it must be really shit. Lily Collins looks cheap as a ring from a cracker whilst Katy Perry should just Grow. The. Fuck. Up.











(T-B) DL - Ralph Lauren, RD - Giambattisa Valli, DM - Lanvin, DV - Versace, KS - Chanel Couture, GB - Alexander Wang, LC - Chanel Couture, KP - Cute Circuit 

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