Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cuff Me Please

Who wouldn't say no to a pair of these gorgeous limited edition Verdura cuffs. A replica of those frequently worn by the eternally fabulous Coco Chanel, after she was presented them by the Duke of Verdura, the cuffs are decorated with a bejeweled version of the Maltese Cross, and would look great on my wrists. Shame however, as the price is 'on application', so I guess I'll be making do with my lucite cuffs from Target.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New York state of mind......and packing

Off to NY for a few days tomorrow. My posts therefore may be a bit sparce for the next couple of days, as I intend to keep myself very busy while I'm there. No doubt I'll have much to post about on my return.
See you soon xoxo.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Discarded Vintage Library Books

Whilst attending night school at a junior high school in the US one evening for a Japanese Class, I saw a cart buried in books with a sign on it that read " Old library books, FREE, help yourself! ". So, I had a rummage around during a break from my class and found these two gems.

The first, entitled "The Concise History of Fashion and Costume", was published in 1969 and has some amazing sketches, illustrations and photos.There are loads that i love, but here are my favorites;

(i'd love to own this coat)

Lanvin sketches from 1931

Photograph from 'The Evening Standard' 1968

Yves Saint Laurent sketch .

Interestingly, after this sketch, there was an article about the 'new' see through clothes, and how these would 'for obvious reasons' not become popular. 
If only the author could fast forward to today.

The book is a small-ish hardback book, and has this very sixties print on the front and back. Best of all though, it has its library index tags on the spine, and still has its 'due date' stamps inside the cover. 

My second free find of the evening, was entitled "Heavens to Betsy!" and has nothing to do with fashion at all. It basically contains everyday expressions and phrases, and attempts to explain their origins.The author is a bit wishy-washy when trying to pin down the origins of some of the phrases, however I love the randomness of it , as well as the illustrations (by Tom Funk - what a great name) on page 144 of a 'Bear with a sore head', and on page 89 of 'Putting on the dog'.

On My Feet Today #5

After my brief experimentation with flats , its back to heels for now. Miu Miu Platform heels from 2008. Amazingly comfortable, with a squared toe and chunky beautifully wierd heel.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fashion Adventures

The December issue of British Vogue had a great article which listed '30 Ultimate Fashion Adventures'. Number 18 on the list was ;
"Wear head to toe Gareth Pugh when meeting your boyfriend's parents"
Already having a man of long term standing, I don't expect to be having any 'first-time-meeting-the-parents encounters.' However, if I had the opportunity, the above look from his Spring 2007 collection, would easily be my look of choice for its sheer impracticality and beauty. Not to mention, I wouldn't have to worry about hair or makeup. 

Close runners up would be :

Fall 2006

Spring 2008
(photos courtesy of

I remember GP creating some amazing pieces during his stint on the reality show 'The Fashion House' which was aired in the UK years ago, just after he graduated. He has talked about this phase of his life being on the show as 'horrible', and the only alternative to being on the dole. I however can picture all the wonderful things he created, including a Breton stripe body suit (covering the head and face also) attached to some sort of cube (i think), and a big black PVC suit with a chesterfield sofa-like giant hump/bulge on the back. Sadly however, I couldn't find any pictures out there on the web.  

Anyway, I digress.(Sorry, any excuse to talk Gareth Pugh again..) Other notable fashion adventures listed in the article included;

"Gallop away in a Balenciaga riding hat" (number 26)
"Climb the fire escape of a 30 storey Manhattan hotel in a Gucci minidress and heels" (number 1)
"Walk barefoot across Venice's Piazza San Marco at midnight, with a full-skirted silk Prada dress billowing around you" (number 20)
"Wear Le Smoking to seduce a man in the bar at The Carlyle in Manhattan" (number 11) 

Suddenly, the life list I made last year (containing the usual stereotypical goals - run a marathon, see the Great Wall of China etc, etc...) all seems rather dull in comparison. Time to dive into my wardrobe, slip into my glad rags, and go live some fashion adventures. 

On My Feet Today #4

Having scoffed earlier at the newspaper article concerning flat shoes (see post earlier this month), well what do you know, I seem to have been nervously trying this trend lately. I found this pair of brogues whilst rummaging around in my old bedroom at my parents house. They are about 10 years old, but after a bit of polishing looked as good as new. I still haven't yet mastered a way of actually photographing the shoes whilst they are on my feet, but couldn't help photographing them in the fallen leaves in our garden, as I loved all the colours.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Louise Goldin for Topshop S/S 2010

Yes, more spiky things, and yes, more to the point, more spiky SHOES!!

Topshop unveiled a further collaboration with Louise Goldin for S/S 2010, which included these beauties, which are similar to those seen in her own S/S 2010 runway show. I love the studs and the mega-spikes, which remind me of the Louboutin for Rodarte shoes of Fall 2008.

I'm not sure if I can wait to get my hands/feet on these. I might have to try and DIY myself a pair, just to tide me over until the collection hits the shelves.

Here's more pictures, courtesy of Nitrolicious.


Gareth Pugh

Much as I am enjoying being in the USA right now, I wish I was back in London in order to watch the masterful Gareth Pugh in action at SHOWstudio. Gareth will be in residence at SHOWstudio starting at 11am tomorrow (also on Monday and Tuesday) creating a one off piece which will then be sold in the SHOWstudio shop on Bruton Place. For the lucky people in town, you can go along and watch him at the store, but for those of us not lucky enough to be there, we can watch the live streaming each day from 11am until 6pm GMT.

Whilst we are on the subject of Mr Pugh, I though it would give me an opportunity to obsess over his S/S 2010 collection all over again. My Favourite look has to be the dress above, and in particular the way it is styled with the headpiece. (By the way - check out Illustrator /blogger extraordinaire Fifi Lapin's Halloween entry, for her her bunny illustration of this look. - Love it). The collection as a whole was a lot more wearable than previous seasons, yet managed to retain the sense of originality and uniqueness for which we love him. 

Just because I love looking at his designs so much, I've also included some of my other favourite looks from his S/S 2010 show below. -Enjoy!

Photos From Style.Com

P.S. More of My Gareth Pugh Obsessions

Firstly check out this video (I was trying to find it for ages) which was launced in collaboration with Gareth Pugh's Fall 2009 show during Fashion Week. The film was a collaboration with Ruth Hogben and showcases the designs from the Fall 2009 collection.

Secondly, See the tips from Blogger Annie Spandex 
on how to create a black and white Gareth Pugh 
inspired manicure.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Crochet Parking Meter

Checking through the photos on my camera, I found this photo of a parking meter which I took a few weeks ago. The metal post section of it was covered in a crochet knit of different coloured stripes. I remember laughing at the randomness of it, yet also finding it rather adorable in a strange way. Hopefully someone will fabricate some sort of clothing for the other meters nearby, so they don't feel so naked.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Signat Case

This weekend I was hanging out in Denver, Colorado. Seeking shelter from the very (and i mean VERY)cold weather, I found myself in the Cherry Creek shopping mall. The mall itself, was the usual mix of upscale, high street stores, with a few Luxe retailers thrown in for good measure. Anyway, I stumbled upon a Samsonite store which was closing down and had everything greatly reduced. Here, I found this Matthew Williamson Signat case, which I had seen in several magazines ages ago when it was released back in 2006(I think) as part of one of the Samsonite Black Label designer collaborations.

The bag (which I love for its nerdy, geek-chic appearance) comes in a silver and pink strapped carry case, and includes a small makeup pouch. The true joy however, is when you open up the little briefcase itself, and see the very williamson-esque printed cloth interior, in all its technicolour glory. At a mere $50 (reduced from $360) I just couldn't help myself.

CFDA/Vogue Fashion Award 2009

A big congratulations to Womenswear designer Sophie Théallet who was named the winner of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in New York City on Monday night. As a result of winning this prestigious award, Theallet, whose clothes have been worn by Mrs Obama on several occasions over the past year, will be the lucky recipient of $200,000 as well as a year of mentoring.

Innovative jewelry designer Monique Péan was awarded runner-up, alongside menswear designer Patrik Ervell

Out of these two, I have to say that I was most disappointed that Monique Pean did not get the 'big' award for her amazing Jewelry, which combines luxury materials with unexpected components. An example of this being the statement diamond necklace pictured below which features a necklace of champagne diamonds with a large piece of fossilized woolly mammoth ivory which is about 12,000+ years old. (Now that's what I call some serious vintage.)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Wild Thing

I thought I was soooo done with the whole leopard print scarf trend until I saw this one literally staring at me from luxe jeweler and lifestyle retailer Asprey. It must be that pair of yellow eyes staring me down, as I can definatley hear the call of the wild....or us that just me hailing a cab to Bond Street?

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

I love The Birkin Bag

In my dreams, I own a Birkin Bag. Probably a black one.

Being one of the most famous, and lusted-after handbags from luxury label Hermes, the Birkin Bag has been seen hanging from many a celebrity and fashionista arm, for what seems like decades. For those of us who sadly can't get our own Birkin, we can nonetheless enjoy in the beauty of this iconic accessory through these printed cocktail napkins made by Canadian based designer Avril Loreti available for purchase on Etsy.

The napkins, are available in sets of four or eight, and add a touch of chic to any cocktail soirees you may be hosting over the upcoming festive season. For those non-cocktail lovers, there are also Birkin Bag handkerchiefs available on the site, which should help provide cheer during any winter sniffles. 

Off-Duty Kimono

Much as I would like to think of myself as appearing 'polished' at all times, sometimes my fashion centered day-wear clothes seem too binding and restrictive when just hanging out at the house, or relaxing at home in the couple of hours before a big night out. At times like these (or on days spent convalescing/ lazy mornings reading the papers/ weekend mornings nursing a hangover), I reach for this Kimono I purchased from a Japanese department store last year. The crazy blue and white print( see detail below)  puts an instant smile to my face, and its so light, it can easily be crammed into overnight bags when heading off somewhere exciting for the weekend. Its the perfect alternative to the boring bathrobe, or worse still - the tracksuit.

Fashion Cookbook

Tonight I'll be eating Isaac Mizrahi's Mushroom Truffle spaghetti, or perhaps Yellowtail Crudo courtesy of Derek Lam. Sadly, no, I haven't found myself some new fash-pack friends, but I have been leafing through the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) Fashion cookbook. The book contains several recipes ranging from no-fuss meals for lazy nights in, to more impressive dishes to impress friends/ loved ones. All recipes are contributed by famous American designers, so naturally these dishes are best served with a touch of fabulousness.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thinking of Luella

Sad news, as you all probably know by now, about Luella- the fashion industry's latest victim of the recession. :-(. The label, which has one four designer of the year awards, including the British Fashion Council's designer of the Year award last November, is famed for its quirky take on traditional aspects of British society. Go to the label's website (where everything is on sale) and check out their range of pretty garden party frocks,such as the Rebecca dress above. 

On my feet today #3

Had a lot of walking to do today. Well, just to get some lunch at the fabulous Grove Cafe (home of the best chocolate cupcakes ever) so I pulled on some skinny jeans, a warm cashmere jumper, and went all biker chic with these boots from Topshop.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Thank you 'Karl'

The Alexander McQueen shoes in his S/S 2010 collection created quite a controversy it would seem. I personally, found them original, thought-provoking, stunning and clever and have been longing for them since my fashion-greedy eyes fist saw them. Others it would appear had other ideas, slating them as 'ugly' 'grotesque' and 'ridiculous'. Shame on you, I say!

Thank heavens then for 'The Fake Karl' who when questioned upon the merits of these shoes in a segment for the Sunday Times Style Magazine, had this to say: 

" The people who complain about these heels are the same people who complain about unrealistic things in movies. They always, without fail, wear flats - probably sandals with socks on."

Shoes going all comfy? Surely not?

(Backstage at Giles S/S 2010)

Being of average height I love my high heels, and have been loving the ever-increasing shoe hight trends of this season. Not only do they give me those highly-valued extra inches, but they can transform a basic outfit (think skinny jeans and a top) into something more put-together. Heels also have the ability to transform a persons' shape by both lengthening the body, and helping give a sort of 'butt-lift'.

Today, in the UK Sunday Times in an article entitled, 'The Revenge of The sensible Shoe', Author Gemma Soames highlighted the shoes of lower-elevation that were seen in September's S/S 2010 fashion shows by many of fashion's big-hitters(Marc Jacobs for LV, Marni, Giles to name but a few). Whilst this is all well and good, I for one do not relish the styling challenges that flats pose. For those without stick-thin, uber-long legs, how the hell are we to pull off kitten-heels, brogues, ballet flats and other pavement-hugging styles. I'll be trying to embrace these looks soon, but for the moment, i'll be running for comfort towards my platforms and stilettos. 

(Photo Credit The Times)

On My Feet Today #2

(Well, actually on my feet last night , but never mind)
Gorgeous spike-studded heels from this season's Topshop Boutique collection. I Love the look of them, but sadly I haven't worn them that much, as for some reason I find the angle of the heel a little too steep to walk in. I guess I will just have to practice, as I love their edgy, punk-ish vibe, and they are a great alternative to all the high priced designer spiky shoes out there.

P.S. Talking of  which. Here are the Givenchy shoes designed by Riccardo Tisci, no doubt the inspiration behind the Topshop version. 

Also, these beauties by Christian Louboutin which are definitely on my ever expanding wish list.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Oversized Spike Ring

I seem to be having an accessories thing going on at the moment, as whilst looking at the Patricia Field website I was drawn to this large,spiky, in-your-face ring. I'm not a goth, but i do seem to find myself wearing a lot of black, and I can see this ring (along with some killer heels) being the perfect accessory to any LBD outfit I may have going on for cocktails/parties etc. 

(image from

Champagne and Shoes-Two of my Faves.

Go to Selfridges, and check out this beautiful crystal champagne flute, shaped like a shoe. Designed by none other than Christian Louboutin himself, in collaboration with Champagne producers Piper-Heidsieck, the glass pays homage to the 1880s ritual of drinking champagne from a lady's shoe. Yummy.

On My Feet Today...#1

Scanning my ever-expanding shoe collection I found myself flashing back to last Fall's shoe purchases. Donning these Stella McCartney black patent platform wedges, I was reminded how amazingly comfortable  they are. Besides, lets face it, everything looks much better when you are several inches taller.

Vintage Orchid Brooch

And so.. here I am in New Mexico. Albuquerque to be precise. Ahhh... the beautiful scenery of the Sandia Mountains towering over the desert.

Anyway, onto Central Avenue, in the Nob Hill District, where I stumbled upon a great vintage store 'Revolver', owned by a fellow Brit. The shop is crammed with racks and rails of women's and men's vintage clothing and accessories, and I found this beautiful orchid brooch in one of the many jewelry cabinets towards the front of the store. I happened to be wearing a nude/flesh pink coloured cardigan/shrug thingy from Reiss, and the two seemed to go together rather nicely.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Origami Tea Bags

Love, Love, LOVE these origami, bird-shaped tea bags designed by Russian designer Natalia Ponomareva. I Just wish I could actually get my hands on a package, as it appears for now, these little beauties are still in prototype stage. 

P.S In the interim, I will just have to make do with Tea Forte's pyramid tea bags. Not quite as good but adds a touch more glamour than the usual tea-bag. Available at most posh food halls, and provided (as i have discovered) in good hotels. Otherwise click here for their website.

I wish i was a child again.....

...Just so I could wear this mini military blazer (see below left) designed by Stella McCartney, as part of her new range for Baby Gap and Gap Kids. When I looked at the rest of Stella's Gap baby and kids collection, Literally, for like, half a nano-second I actually considered having children just as an excuse to buy these glorious pieces. Then I remembered all the reasons I don't like children (noise, smells, their ability to turn trans-atlantic flights into a nightmare, their inability to speak a proper language,etc etc), and sadly (unlike many other of my life decisions)fashion won't be ruling over this particular choice.

P.S The range is out in selected Gap stores now, so all you Yummy Mummies better get a move on before its going, going .....gone.

Urban Picnic Spots #1

Brown Hart Gardens, W1

Much as we all love London, we do often find ourselves needing to take a moment to chill the f. out. At times like these, particularly when I find myself caught up in the horrors of Oxford Street on the way to/from Selfridges, I make my way up the steep stone steps into the tranquil surroundings of Brown Hart Gardens. The perfect spot to just sit and nibble on a snack from any of the numerous surrounding eateries, or meet friends on a break from work. Relatively tourist - free, the gardens, comprise of a private, raised terrace, with large colourful flowerbeds, and seating on benches, and in little alcoves, carved into the stone. During the Summer months the Gardens host a series of free outdoor concerts - perfect coupled with a lover (or good friend, if you must) and a bottle of wine.

P.S. There's also a rather nice sculpture by Lorenzo Quinn entitled 'Volaire', which fits beautifully within the gardens. 

Map showing how to get to this Urban Oasis: