Today I am a big (5'2" is big in the grand scale of things, OK?) ball of lub. Lub lub lub.
You see my sister has just gone into labour. Her husband called to say the plug had 'come out' (I'm not sure what this 'plug' is but I have a feeling I really don't want to know. Sounds icky). So, with the arrival of my first niece imminent, obviously anything fashion related in proportions small enough for a sprog is getting me whipped up into a right ole frenzy. Tis the bringing together of two of my greatest lubs. Lubs lubs lubs.
So, as you can imagine, I was especially excited when a lovely box containing this landed on my desk this evening:
Anything that isn't an anti-aging product (frankly, I'm starting to find it insulting. Are people trying to tell me something?) or boring press release about bikinis is a very welcome change. But a sample relating to bambinas, well, what with sis about to explode, it's guaranteed to get me all riled up (in a good way of course). Ohhhh, the squeal of delight I made when opening the box and discovering this 'orange' hat was audible all around the building.
Now, a friend of mine once said to me that her friend (I promise you this story isn't going to end in an urban myth type tale where everybody dies and the killer licks your foot whilst pretending to be your pet dog and then writes a chilling message on your wall) had a rule about clothing for her children. Nothing with ears or tails was permitted. Now, I think this is a RIDICULOUS rule. Where is the fun in your friends and family having children if you can't put them in comedy outfits and convince them they are the very animals that they are dressed as? I have very fond memories of a friend's kid who on being presented with suitable attire became convinced that he was a monkey. He proceeded to howl in such a manner for over a week, even whilst at school. It was comedy gold.
Anyway, in the event that my sister decides to adopt this 'no ears and tail' rule, it's no biggie. I can be down with that thanks to the good people of Cob Web Knits. Now, these hats could be perceived as a leetle bit freaky in a cabbage patch doll kinda way, but they are also veh veh cute. I can already envisage my niece rocking the lemon hat (yellow is sooooo this season dontcha know) this summer. And it is something delightfully different to present to my sister that isn't the standard gift-voucher, baby grow or a bib (that says something hilarious and equivalent to 'I'm a boob man'). Buying one of these is securing my place in the baby's memorable gift hall of fame. And isn't that what we all secretly want? To gain/buy the unquestionable love and admiration of another's child so that we can teach them naughty words and gestures and in doing so annoy the shit out of their parents? HELL. YEAH.
Cob Web Knits is a family run business based in rural Dorset, which means that they get the Some Like It Fashion sustainable seal of approval!
Monday, 23 June 2008
Today I am a big (5'2" is big in the grand scale of things, OK?) ball of lub. Lub lub lub.
Monday, 16 June 2008
Fashion has a reputation for being ‘fast’. For swallowing up trends and spitting them out. We’re constantly being reminded that frivolous fashion-orientated consumer spending is destroying the world. Yet in spite of this, the seasons ‘looks’ have become oddly predictable. While some trends become fads destined only for revival every few years, others have longevity and become fail-safe wardrobe staples.
This is great news, because in these such uncertain times when no-one can decide whether we're in recession or not, this offers some hope of spending a little and wearing a lot. So, as the title of this post suggests, lets take a look at the guaranteed trends, one for every season of the year:
- Spring = Nautical
- Summer = Safari
- Autumn = English country
- Winter = Sequins
While the fashion message may stay the same over the years, the way we deliver it does not though. Yes, we wear the same four looks annually, but each time we style them in a way that makes them fresh, timely and contemporary. For example, in spring we wore our nautical stripes and sailor trousers with simple, bright clashing coloured accessories (preferably yellow, orange and purple). This season's safari is all about soft layering using chiffon and silks to offset the traditional heavy cotton fabrics. When the leaves fall from the trees and the autumn arrives this year we will be wearing our tweed and tartan at calf length and contrasting it with lace. And when winter eventually draws in and the sequins come out, we'll be layering them with a variety of different fabrics to create interesting textures.
So, if history teaches us anything, it's that for the foreseeable future these four looks will still be dominating the catwalks and our wardrobes. Do you ever wonder why this is though? I think that Jess Cartner-Morley may have hit the nail on the head when she said this about the safari trend:"The longevity of safari as a look is due to the fact that it has nothing whatsoever to do with dust tracks or looking at animals through binoculars, and absolutely everything to do with looking as if you are on a very posh holiday".
YEAAAAHHHHH! Money talks, baby. All of these trends represent cash. And, well while grunge is transient, wealth is enduring. Fashion, being the caring, considerate industry it is has (perhaps) surprisingly become the modern day Robin Hood. Taking from the rich and giving to the poor! Obviously in the form of achievable trends that represent an aspirational lifestyle rather than chests of gold of course. But still, I applaud the effort. Are you managing to follow my mad rambling train of thought? You see, if I wear nautical inspired apparel it means I have my own yacht. Yah! If I clothe myself safari style this means I take exotic expensive holidays. Tally ho! Wearing tweed means I have a country manor retreat for weekends away shooting clays and entertaining aristocracy. Rah! And well, sequins mean I can afford to buy all that glitters! Gold, diamonds, rubies, emeralds. Jolly well spiffing chaps!
So, while Vogue may be trying to confuse me with their talk of pale denim, painterly prints, and Americano this season, I ain’t buying it. It will become redundant so very quickly. And in these financially worrying times, that won’t do at all. I’m going to stick to what I know will serve me well; money. And for summer fashion that translates to 'big game'. Sure, I can’t afford to go on an actual African Safari, but I can don a safari jacket and stalk the streets of London. The national park of Kruger actually has more in common with the UK than you might think. Both have thousands of wildebeest loitering at watering holes. Sly hyenas on the look out for an opportunity to snatch a prize, groups of baboons making arses of themselves. And of course, both have shed loads of 4 x 4s driven by the rich.
Tuesday, 10 June 2008
Hmmm, what can I say? What can I say? I like shoes. I like strawberries. I like cream (actually I don't like cream but you get where I am going with this). And yet, I find that I do NOT like these:
Shoes inspired by Wimbledon. They are designed by Shandals, are made from Vinyl and lined with Cream Connolly leather (the very same leather that Rolls Royce and Bentley use to make their cars seats from. Oh er missus).
Now, correct me if I am wrong. But the first thing you think of when you look at these shoes is not a tennis tournament is it? Admit it, you thought of a tablecloth as well, didn't you? The kind you find in a well dodge greasy spoon cafe. Yessum?
And so, while I appreciate the sentiment (very entrepreneurial, capitalising on opportunities blah blah BLAH) made by the clearly very amusing Mr Alan James Raddon I feel I must say nnnNNNnnoooOOOOOOooooooOOOOOooooooooooOOOOO to it.
Monday, 9 June 2008
So, my BBC news worthy fashion observation of the week... The usual press freebies (that are rarely directed at me but often at my bosses) are very thin on the ground at the moment. This is bad because anything they reject I get first dibs on. I show no shame; I'm in like Flin. Like a rabid dog foaming at the mouth. Imagine Smeagol and the "precious" and you get the idea. Anyway, the freebies seriously, very thin on the ground. I'm talking anorexic thin. I'm concerned. Is this what they mean when they talk about recession?! Fuck the mortgage crisis and the starving people around the world. What about ME! I need stuff that I don't yet know I need!
So, as the pickings at work are slim, I was seduced by a store opening invite that promised a free pair of shoes (of my choice) on attendance.
9:30 last Thursday, I roll up to the new Geox in Covent Garden London. Polite chit chat is made with the PR girls and my peers. They're smiling. I'm smiling. They're laughing. I'm laughing. They're not eating. I'm eating. All the while my eyes are darting around the room like a crack head looking for my next pipe and I'm screaming on the inside "JUST GIVE ME MY SHOES. I KNOW WHAT I WANT. I CHECKED THE WEBSITE BEFORE I ARRIVED! GIMMIE GIMMIE GIMMIE!". Fashion really does bring out the very best in people.
1 hour, 3 muffins, 2 bottles of water, 1 full bladder and a VERY long speech about rubber soles with holes in them later I have my prize. These:
Can my shitty old ballet pumps feel me now?!
I've been hankering for some loafers / boat type shoes for a while but I have held off in favour of topping up my ISA (people never warn you about how boring being a grown up actually is, do they?). First and foremost, I was attracted to the colour. That dull bronze is very trans-seasonal (and metallic NEVER seems to go out of fashion). I find that black can look harsh in the summer, whereas this colour compliments all seasons' palettes. First pro: Longevity. Check!
I'm picturing these shoes in all sorts of combinations. In the summer with girly dresses, bare silky legs, manish blazers, long but delicate jewellery. The billowing breeze flowing through my hair not unlike a shampoo advert. Small animals following me, helping me with my tasks at work and bursting into song. A sorta post-modern ironic Cinderella if you will. And when the weather cools, I'm going to work them with slim jeans with narrow turn-ups, a crisp clean shirt and a tailored jacket. My hair will be sleek and chic. Children will cower and shy away from me. This look will be all about being rich and badass and driving a 4 x 4. Second pro: Versatility. Check!
Now, having spent the best part of a weekend wearing said loafers in a combination of the above looks I can confirm that these shoes can also be likened to slippers. I could happily run around in them all day and night. No rubbing, blisters or pinching to report. My only criticism would be (and it is very small) that they do very little to support the ankle. I'm quite unsteady on my paws generally so I have almost gone over on my ankle twice whilst wearing them. That could be down to my own clumsiness rather than the shoes though so I ain't going to hold this against them. This leads me nicely to my final pro: Practicality. Check!
The big question remains though. If I had to buy these shoes with my own £65 worth of cold hard cash, earned with blood, sweat and tears, would I? If you'd have asked me on Wednesday I'd have said no. They're just Loafers, right? Cheaper pairs can be found easily. However, having had them in my possession for a weekend, I am starting to wonder how my wardrobe ever worked without them. The technology in the sole that stops sweaty feet and keeps out rain water means they are suitable to wear for most of the year, they work with almost all of the looks I like to rock, and perhaps best of all, they do not hurt my feet at all. No painful wearing in to be endured. In fact, I'm so enamoured that I'm thinking about using some of that ISA money to do my bit to end the recession and buy a pair in pink...
Saturday, 7 June 2008
- Bryanboy brings to our attention the fabulous and refreshing political style of Ukraine's Prime Minister Ms Yulia Tymoshenko.
- Random questions to Alexander Wang by the Fashion Informer make interesting reading.
- The coveted set us a fun DIY fashion project for the weekend that includes a vest and the of the season 'fringing'.
- Fashion porn publicised by Miss a la Playa is a delight to the senses.
- Read about Ms Beckham's style secret with Red Carpet Fashion Awards.
- Finally, take a peek into the world of Amercian Apparel with a tour of their factory with Fashion Toast.
Friday, 6 June 2008
As of yet I know very little about it (launches on the 25th of June so I will fill you in with the gossip then) except that the first issue is called Pigeons and Peacocks. And apparently, we have to decide which one we are:
Edith: Ladies, have you heard about the launch of the London College of Fashion magazine? There is an event somewhere trendy in the East end, I think we should go. It'll be like old times! According to the invite we have to decide: Are we a pigeon or a peacock?
Betty: I tell you I just don’t know. See I’ve been musing on this one, and I reckon all the cool kids are gonna be like ‘yeah I am so like a pigeon yeah Hoxton yeah’ but maybe I shouldn’t neglect my home counties upbringing and my grammar school education. So I reckon peacock.
Phoebe: Please don’t tell me we have to dress up as a pigeon or a peacock?! Damn this new ‘concept’ prospectus…
Betty: Yeah, you'd better start planning your outfit now.
Phoebe: Is this going to be one of those awful Neighbours style moments where I turn up in full-on pigeon outfit, shaking my tail feather, beak fastened to face with piece of elastic, pink clawed feet firmly attached, only to find that everyone else is looking really cool in their Reiss/Topshop/Prada (depending on who they are), sipping on a martini, face aghast as the crazy lady who’s just walked in? Cos if it is, I ain’t there sister. So, are you being serious?
Edith: Yeah totally. You better get yourself down to Angels and rent a giant pigeon costume. Go as one of those skanky old pigeons from the Walworth Road that have a club foot and dirty feathers.
Phoebe: Yeah! One of those ones that can’t really walk and just sit for most of the day cooing like an old lame tramp on a bench
Edith: And the other pigeons poo on it.
Phoebe: And children kick it!
Betty: So you gonna rent the peacock outfit instead right?
Phoebe: I may just go to Peacocks and buy it, does that count?
So, what say the rest of you?! Are you a pigeon or a peacock? Show us yer feathers.
Remember when you used to complain to your parents about not having a kids day when they had a mothers and a fathers day? And they'd be like "EVERY DAY IS KIDS DAY". And you'd be like, if that really were true, things would be pretty different round here...
And so this brings me to the point of my post, it is that time of year when we bestow gifts upon our beloved dads to say thanks for the lessons they have taught us. Wisdom from Bunny (that's my dad's nickname by the way) includes:
- On big meanies at school: "When you know someone so well that you can anticipate how they will react in a situations and they then behave in the way you expected you shouldn't get upset or angry. You know they are going to do it. Except it and don't get frustrated."
- On relationships: "Love isn't always enough. You have to like the person as well"
- On asking for some Miss Sixty jeans: "Give your head a shake girl, who'd you think I am? The bank of England?"
Lazy days Dad: His perfect day involves crashing out in front of the TV after a Sunday roast and maybe (if the conditions are permitting) having an afternoon snooze.
Suggestion: 3:10 to Yuma, the modern re-make of a classic western. £7.99 including delivery.
Snores so loud that wakes himself up Dad: The neighbours think it is thundering, when you go on holiday the locals think a boat has hit rocks and is sinking. Loud doesn't even come close to describing the noise.
Suggestion: A hilarious head brace thing from Snoozer. Can you imagine his face when he opens that? Priceless. Priceless. But if you want the price it's £64.95.
Money talks Dad: He says not to bother but you know he doesn't mean it. When you were a kid he'd slip you a tenner so you could buy him something on his birthday and at Christmas. The man loves a gift!
Suggestion: Quality leather. Smythson do a very fine selection of classic, handsome wallets and cardholders. Perfect for those moments when he needs to impress by getting a round in at the golf club. Prices range from £65 - £400.
Fathers day is Sunday June 15th in the UK but the date may differ in other countries.
Wednesday, 4 June 2008
I received an email this morning (shown below) about what appears to have been quite a dramatic and heated exchange by Burberry front man Christopher Bailey and Peta's Bruce Friedrich. With the exception of the anal and vaginal electrocution references *shudder*, I enjoyed reading it, especially the script detailing the exchange. As someone who falls on the anti-fur side of the wall it's still good to be reminded why fur (including vintage pelts) isn't glamorous. It's to easy to ignore the moral issues that are part and parcel of the this trade:
After years of trying to reach executives at Burberry about the company's use of fur—via polite letters as well as lively protests—and getting no response, PETA took the issue to Burberry designer Christopher Bailey personally Monday night when PETA VP Bruce Friedrich caught up with him at a London College of Fashion discussion. In front of more than 200 students, Friedrich confronted Bailey about his continued use of fur and refusal to meet with PETA.
Below is Friedrich's play-by-play. On the heels of successful, behind-the-scenes negotiations with Polo Ralph Lauren, Vivienne Westwood and Tommy Hilfiger over the past two years—which have resulted in the companies' formal policies against fur—Burberry refuses to engage in any sort of dialogue. So PETA is turning up the heat, a tactic not without a successful precedent: it took a sit-in at Calvin Klein's office in 1994 before he took the fur issue seriously, and banned fur.
Event started at 6 p.m... It was “a discussion” about men’s fashion moderated by Colin McDowell of the Sunday Times. After about 30 minutes of talk about trends, I [Friedrich] raised my hand:
- Mr. McDowell said, “Oh good, a question! Yes. Oh and you’re prepared, you have notes! Please wait for the microphone so that everyone can hear you”
- Friedrich: Do you mind if I take the discussion in a slightly different direction?
- McDowell: No no, please do!
- Friedrich (reviewing my notes, which is how I know exactly what I said—I had the microphone and spoke very slowly): I have a question for Mr. Bailey about morality in fashion. [Bailey starts to look nervous]. Specifically, fur farming is so cruel to animals that it is illegal in the UK and many other countries, yet you continue to put it into Burberry's collections. Animals are anally and vaginally electrocuted and skinned alive [gasps], and you seem not to care at all. Is there any abuse of animals so hideous that you would object? For those who are interested, there is video and documentation available at BloodyBurberry.com.
- Bailey: I would be happy to have that discussion with you, but not here.
- McDowell (blustering, livid, bursts out): Now I have a question for you—What gives you the right to come in here, what relevance does that question have to the issue of men’s fashion. Take his microphone away!
- Friedrich: Well you asked me a question, so please do me the courtesy of hearing my answer. [he looked like “oh shit, well that was stupid of me”] What Christopher Bailey pays people do to do to animals on some of the worst fur farms you can imagine, would put him in jail for cruelty to animals if he were paying people to do it to dogs or cats. The fur industry is a violent bloody industry that skins animals alive and crams them into crates where they go insane, and he supports it. Every time and everyplace is appropriate for this discussion.
- McDowell: Well he says he’ll talk w/you about it later. This is not the time.
- Friedrich: He told us that before and then he didn’t return our calls or reply to our letters.
- McDowell: You have made your point. You’ve done what you came here to do. You are welcome to stay or go, but we will not be discussion this issue at this forum. [thunderous applause, though til this point, you could hear a pin drop].
- About 10 minutes later I [Friedrich] walked up and slipped Bailey one of our Burberry leaflets and a note that read “Please make good on your promise this time. You told us you’d meet with us before; this time please call” and gave him my contact info. McDowell looked very concerned as I walked up.
- When they finished up, I [Friedrich] was able to go up and have a very heated exchange with him, our faces about 5 inches apart, in front of the line of people who had come for his autograph.
- Friedrich: I hope you will meet with us; I think if you saw these fur farms, if you really understood the horrible abuse of animals involved in the fur industry, you’d agree to stop designing with this cruel material.
- Bailey (moving in and putting his face about 5 inches from mine—very angry and intense): What gives you the right to come in here and hijack this event and take over everything and disrupt it and ruin this event? This is not the place for this discussion.
- Friedrich: You told us you’d meet with us and then you backed out. I hope you will call or email me to set up a meeting; you are supporting horrible cruelty.
- Bailey: I have to talk with other people. You have no style [yes, he actually said “you have no style”; maybe he meant “class”?]
Tuesday, 3 June 2008
As a woman, I have found that two things happen as you get older. 1. You become more interested in babies (although not necessarily interested in having them) and 2. You discover that less can be more in terms of fashion and style.
And so with this second realisation, jewellery becomes increasingly important in our wardrobes. Cue Goodman Morris who produce very simple, modern and yet beautiful, unique jewellery.
The rings pictured really hold your interest when you see them in person, you can't help but fondle them. They're made to order, so you can choose the stone and finish and create something very personal. The result is an individual ring that is reassuringly heavy, almost like a paperweight and looks beautifully crafted.
So having read the above, picture this: Me groping one of these rings like a deranged, starved, wide-eyed pervert shrieking, "Yes, yes, yes, YES. Sold! Wrap him up, I'm taking him home!". Delirious I was, thinking about all of the sophisticated outfits my new addition was going to compliment. Oh yeah! YEAH!
That was my dream exploding into a million tiny pieces on hearing the price of said ring by the way... Turns out, he's a pricey piece at £425. Hurumphf! What to do? What to do? Fashion doesn't pay much in a financial sense, so the ole budget doesn't stretch much past accessorize. As a compromise I'm going to settle for one of these torque rings. They look stunning on, subtle and elegant and they are priced at a more purse friendly £113. Actually, thinking about it, I don't really feel like I am settling at all. YEY!
Having just won the UK Jewellery Awards' 'Supplier of the Year', Goodman Morris the originally Brighton based company has now expanded its stockists to 40 independent jewellers nationwide. Prices range from £35 - £4000.