Saturday, 29 March 2008

The coat search continues....

...and so does the Eva adoration.

Someone please, please find me a passable, affordable replica of this coat:


Friday, 28 March 2008

Contemporary Wardrobe Collection sale

The Contemporary Wardrobe Collection are having a sale this weekend. They're a specialist hire company, set up in 1978 by stylist/costumier Roger K Burton, that provide film/tv/fashion bods with vintage and contemporary street fashion. As a fundraiser for the Horse Hospital Gallery's 15th anniversary, they'll be selling off tons of clothing - it's advertised as 1940s-2007, but a quick phonecall to them suggested it's more likely to be 1950s onwards. They've also got lots of memorabilia onsale - posters, magazines, records, postcards, collectable toys & all sorts. By the sound of it, it'll be the best jumble sale around and the prices are low - most things'll be between £5 and £40.

It's at the The Horse Hospital, Colonnade, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 1HX. It's open to the public from 29th-31st March, midday-6pm, and the preview is tonight.


Two people who never age

[Image: Ellen von Unwerth, US GQ, April 2008]

40 year old Claudia Schiffer evidently made some kind of Dorian Gray pact in her late 20s, and Joseph Gordon Levitt, bless his heart, still looks about sixteen.

They're great photos though. Someone on thefashionspot forums scanned them here [scroll to the end of the page].


Osman Yousefzada

Everytime I've gone shopping lately, I've come home with a new black dress. It's not intentional, it just keeps happening. With that in mind, I like Osman Yousefzada's capsule collection for Mango. I like him generally but didn't think it would appeal - black dresses one and all, highlighted with plasticky looking gold or dull metallic ultramarine, didn't sound the most inspiring thing. Looking at them the other day though, they're pretty good, albeit overpriced [£80 is too much for dresses like these - nice as they are, they look very high street]. Really, really well-cut. Actually, one of the cheapest ones is the most attractive, a terrifically sharp black racerback column with a tiny waist accentuated by ruffles. Getting the thing on is rather like reverse escapology, but it's worth it.

His main A/W 08 collection upsets me though. It ranges from the uncomfortable to the unspeakable. He's gone and decided that matadors and Latvian figure skaters are the thing, and the clothes are horribly literal. Oh god.

[Images: Kirk McCoy, LA Times]

The best of the collection is uninspired and dated looking, and some of it is deeply, deeply unattractive. Not a fan of the cheap-looking satin. I hate the palette - and I suspect there will be a lot of these awful salmon and aqua colours around in the coming months.


Monday, 24 March 2008

Eva Green - Mont Blanc

How amazing does Eva Green look in this Mont Blanc ad? I saw one of the watches ads a few weeks back, didn't make much impression on me, but this one [for their jewellery] is stunning. Very Bond-esque. Way better than that ill advised dark lipstick and hippy/witch look she was given for Dior Midnight Poison.

[Image: scanned from April Harper's Bazaar]

I could pretty much look at Eva Green all day. I think she and Justine Frischmann are the only two women in the world who could turn me.


Saturday, 22 March 2008

Hendricks Spring Masked Ball

To celebrate the Spring Equinox, The Last Tuesday Society convened in Covent Garden's Historic Arts Theatre for an incognito night of music, food, alcohol, and unabashed glamour. Among others, The Broken Hearts spun the tunes while an eclectic and gloriously clothed crowd danced, posed and cavorted the night away. And they all looked bloody wonderful.

Among the revellers was Lucy Wills from Glamour Kitten, selling a selection of her vintage jewellery. I bought these earrings for £15 [they're £12 on the website]:

Love the fastenings on them - much more comfortable than normal clip-ons. Lucy also has a couture/ethical/reused jewels service called Seraglia - more details here.

Here's more photos from the night.

And this is my mask. Made from a scrap of lace and two chocolate box giftwrap ribbons. I wore it with this tasselled black dress.


Friday, 21 March 2008

The odd couple

Never thought I'd see this [before January of this year, anyway]. Eyewear shot from the Burberry S/S 08 campaign. Most over-exposed model ever - she of the 'kooky' wonky limbs and slack-jawed angry-eyebrowed perma-pose... draped around Martin of Selfish Cunt [alias Best Rock 'n' Roll Frontman In London], the pair of them decked out in posh togs.

Every cloud has a silver lining.

At least Peaches Geldof isn't in the photo.

Question: If Agyness had long hair, how much attention/how many bookings would she get?



Well done Jasper [Project Catwalk]. I'm dead pleased he got it.

I know when the judges are doing their thing, they're supposed to be harsh, but their comments about the 'impracticality' of his collection were absurd. No-one accuses our favourite inventive designers of being absurd [hello John, Miuccia and Jean-Paul, for three really no-brainer examples] - they send magical creations down the runway, and they get interpreted into versions we can actually wear. The work involved in his collection - and the professionality with which he produced it - really didn't leave room for anyone else to win.

Thank God Chelsey didn't get it.

Actually looking forward to seeing what he produces for Oli.



I really like Leona Lewis. Like Girls Aloud [and yet.. er.. so not] she's one of those freakish examples of Re-ally-dee Teevee actually producing something of worth. This doesn't happen often, and it should be clung to passionately, as a talisman against the rest of the crap that Pop-Idol-Factor usually excretes. Like her songs - just the right side of epic, clutch-your-heart sentiment. Like her videos - colourful but not garish... she looks great in each [the sparkly gown in Bleeding Love, the white silver-screen style silk dressing gown in the new one]. Like her - she comes across as really likeable. Keep it up, Leona. Far rather see and hear you than the crop of boring, dull-eyed Amy MacDonald types that are everywhere right now.


Thursday, 20 March 2008


This is what I spent tonight doing. Once a big crinkly Indian silk scarf of my mother's. A slit across the middle, and some strategic pinning later, and this is where it's going. I guess I'm aiming for somewhere between Prada's liquid prints and green and purple S/S 08 palette, and Marios Schwab's soft structural shapes.

Marios Schwab S/S 08

Prada S/S 08

Haven't sewn it together yet, so that's work for tonight and the weekend.

Runway images:

P.S. It goes without saying I will be finding some kind of under-dress option once this is done. Tempted to cut wide stripes out of a black vest for graphic, sheer/not-sheer approach.


Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Dry the rain

My biggest weakness is umbrellas. It started a year and a half ago, when someone left a £100 umbrella in the club where I work... and still hadn't claimed it after six months. By the law of finders-keepers, it was mine. All 34 inches of Liberty-print silk and sturdy fox frame and maple handle and silver engraving. Miiiiine. And so the obsession began.

My favourite shop in London for brollies is James Smith & Sons, a small, elegant gentlemen's outfitters style emporium on New Oxford St. They do bespoke umbrellas, if you can afford such things, and even mend broken brollies [as I found after a drunken friend shattered the resin cane-top on my favourite parapluie].

I'm not altogether pleased with the manic explosion of florals across the fashion landscape this spring, and I certainly won't be stepping into flouncy little teadresses for spring. But a floral umbrella seems like a gorgeous and practical way to indulge in the trend on my own terms. My favourites:

In the end, not having £120 to spend, I went for this one:

Try out these sites for unusual umbrellas:

Signature Bella
Umbrella Boutique
Simply Umbrellas
Brollies Galore


The difficulty of buying coats in any month other than August

Tonight I spent a fruitless evening searching for a new coat. Spring/summer might be coming, but it's cold out there, and my black wool/cashmere beast is getting rather beaten up with being worn every day.

The problem is, I want these:


Sadly I can only afford these:


And a swift recon mission around Oxford Street's main stores surrendered nothing except a pleasant but average Zara trench that in desperation I probably would have snapped up, had a rival shopper not beat me to the last size S. Curses.

The search goes on. Sigh.


Tuesday, 18 March 2008

She & Him

M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel are already a pretty charming pair. He does antiquated, rattly blues folk very well, and there's a definite warmth about his music that I always find comforting. But somehow he just seems to keep passing me by. I always forget about him as soon as I stop listening to him, and it takes other people to remind me of him, to make me go back to it. I like Zooey Deschanel in a similar kind of way, I suppose. I always forget she exists until I see her in a movie or a photo and am again startled by how appealing and chic and watchable she is.

She & Him, their new project together seems to have filled in the blanks, though. A friend who just got back from A&Ring at SXSW pointed me in their direction.

And y'know... it's early days, we've just met, it's premature to start saying the L word... but gosh, I'm so bowled over by them. She's an actress! I didn't know her voice could swoop like that! Or that the two of them together would write such fluttery, dextrous and addictive songs. Change Is Hard is like a beaten Jolene's dejected apology, and Sentimental Heart starts off naive and raw, before... well, I won't ruin it for you.

I know I'm jumping in here, but I think I love them.

She & Him @ the Hype Machine


Monday, 17 March 2008

John & Jehn

Maybe you already know John & Jehn.

Maybe you've witnessed their live show - petulant guitar stabs, sparse but insistent basslines, Farfisa organ that hovers over the songs like a swarm of bats, and the French duo's voices echoing around each other. Maybe you've just heard songs here and there, likely online. Maybe you've read the recent press about them calling them the coolest French export in years. If none of these apply to you, maybe it's time you listened to them.

I first heard them on Myspace in 2006, when my boss was trawling the net for bands to book. They were so different from anything else around - I've seen people compare them to the Kills, but it's a lazy and inaccurate point of reference, particularly given how unwavering the Kills are about their sound and their style. [There's also the fact that J&J don't make b[l]oozy sleaze-rock or sound like Royal Trux.] Looking at J&J, the first thing you notice is how unstylised they are. That's not to say they lack style. Actually they're rather like the lovers in Bande a Part - Jehn's rather like Anna Karina, chic and gawky and charming in a completely unstudied way, and wonderfully sabotages real-life-lover John's skinny, 'man-in-black' mystique. But there's no visible suggestion of them having made stylistic decisions. The music seems to reflect their moods quixotically, touching on shoegazey guitar screes, ghostly Gainsbourg duets and painfully tight, spiteful post-punk; the recorded drums veer between Spector-ish crashes and Pink Panther cymbal tsh-ti-tshhs as befits each song.

Did I mention they're shockingly - and increasingly - good live?

John & Jehn @ the Hype Machine


Sunday, 16 March 2008


I picked up a copy of new fashion fanzine Lost+Found on Thursday. Their first issue, Brand Archaeology, is sparse but intriguing, with features on famous photographic homages, Ossie Clark shopgirl and Harpers/Vogue fashion editor Vanessa de Lisle, and 14 pages on the inspirations behind Chanel's most iconic trademarks, all printed on black and white newsprint.

[Images: View Creative]

With this and rightly admired music sharpshooter The Stool Pigeon, it's good to see newprint being used creatively and cleverly in magazines. There are worse things in life than inky fingers.

You can view the PDF or order a printed copy at View Creative.


Happy feet

I got these yesterday.

They'll be a good way of wearing all the coloured and patterned tights I have, which don't go so well with closed-toe shoes [as most of mine are]. They remind me of original Biba shoes [incidentally, when are Biba going to take on board the concensus of everyone from regular shoppers to Ossie Clark/Vogue veteran Vanessa Lisle, and realise that Topshop rendered them obsolete long before they relaunched - their transition from daring, inexpensive and inventive everygirl phenomenon to exhorbitant, 70s retro-hash catwalk brand is irrelevant and far from convincing? Only good thing Biba have done since Barbara Hulanicki left is the brief revival of their makeup and nail polishes, 10 years ago or so]. Yesterday I wore them with shocking-fuschia Topshop tights. Today they're paired with red, white and black houndstooth tights from Emilio Cavallini. Their height & platform are leg-lengthening enough to make even the least flattering tights a possibility.

One look I really liked from the shows in Feb was this:


Tights the same colour as one's shoes are fun and very flattering, and an easy, chic way to wear bright colours. I've been wearing blue tights with blue patent stilettos, and now I want more. [I particularly want more patent. I now know how addictive this stuff is.] I went in search of coloured, round-toed, ultra-high-heeled shoes yesterday, but drew a blank. Best I found were some admirable fuschia suede round-toed stilettos in Schuh but my inbetweeny sized feet scuppered my chances. Everything else was either too low, or leaning towards open toed boot styling. I'm not convinced by this whole open toed boot phenomenon. I shall keep looking though...


Missed opportunities

Last year I spent a long time hankering after this jacket by Australian label Shakuhachi.

I wanted to wear it with cigarette pants, draped or tuxedo-style tops and high pointy brogues or flat ankle boots. Or over knitted dresses. UK stockists were non-existent, and the only websites I could find selling Shakuhachi's clothes weren't stocking this jacket. Now I'm living in high-waisted, tightly belted trousers, the jacket would still be the perfect piece to go with it. Alas.

Their current collection has a few consolation prizes though. Plenty of their trademark informally masculine influences, with summery 70s shapes and 80s prints - some of it seems to be informed by the Kylie of the late 80s and early 90s.

[All photos from Shakuhachi's website.]

Still no offline UK stockists, but you can buy in Australia, US, Ireland or Japan, or online at My Catwalk or 0Z Designer. I'm off to said websites to see if they have any of my favourite pieces...



For months I have intended to start a blog of this kind, and procrastinated myself out of it. No more prevarication! I cannot say yet how its format or style or content will unfold; merely that it will be a place where I'll scribble about fashion, music and occasional miscellaneous gumph. I expect for a while I'll be burbling to a non-existent audience, as I suppose is the case with any new blog, but burble I shall.

The name is a corruption of an Eartha Kitt lyric [you win points if you can guess which one]. People talk a lot about Nina Simone and Billie Holliday, and certainly these ladies are to be admired. But I'd like to see a little more love for Eartha - it's kinda sad that she seems to be most famous for 'Santa Baby' when it wasn't a patch on her better stuff. She was as cool and funny as Nina, she could sing in Turkish, she sang unashamedly about wanting to be filthy stinking rich, and her French accent is devastating - if it doesn't reduce you to rubble, there's something a bit wrong with you. Download C'est Si Bon if you can find it.