Wednesday, 30 June 2010

I heart menswear

The Tempest
As You Like It

Both images from here

I would not even think to trawl the pages of for the menswear collection, but the Sartorialist featured a photograph taken at the Junya Watanabe collection that featured stripes. Now you all know I am not a little obsessed with all things stripy so I had a look, then had a longer look and was struck by the androgynous feel of many of the collections, especially the Agnes B collection.
This comes hot on the tail of As You Like It, which Daisy and I saw on Friday. It was absolutely brilliant, in stark contrast to The Tempest, this time they nailed it. I was riveted by the Miranda's beautiful costumes in The Tempest and the costumes in As You Like It were great too, Rosalind's summer suit and trilby were wonderful, it seems that menswear in general is most desirable this year.

left to right

Agnes B 2x Kenzo & 2x Junya Watanabe

Plus 4x Paul Smith who's textures were lovely too.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Howard Hodgkin

Hodgkin is for me the greatest living painter, I find it hard to explain why, other than his work genuinely moves me the more I see it, whilst most other paining can slip into surface decoration his suck me in.
I always enjoy reading any interview with him as he gives such thoughtful heartfelt answers and yesterdays Observer carried this discussion with him. My favourite soundbite was this one. Particularly pertinent after the miserable football match yesterday! But I do wonder if I too am living that life of quiet desperation!

So would you believe just as Mother leaves Oxford the MoMA finally puts on a descent exhibition, which is coupled with an equally amazing exhibition at the Ashmoleon of his Indian miniature paintings of elephants.

I will console myself with this book instead.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Where the streets have no name - Muse feat. The Edge - Glastonbury 2010

I watched the concert on BB2 it was AMAZING, but this gave me goosebumps. A real what if moment, because I just cannot watch or listen to Bono which is a shame as the music is great.

Wolfgang Tillmans

I have always loved Tillmans work, he is a HUGE inspiration, not least in his eclectic subject matter. London seems awash with amazing photography shows at the moment and I always like a visit to the Serpentine Gallery because of the pavilion.

So another gallery to add to my ever growing list.

Saturday, 26 June 2010


I have already bought two lovely pairs of jersey trousers from ASOS they are both perfect, but the heat is on at the moment so they are biding their time. Just to scratch a little itch I have bought these, they should be in the post as I write... Not to be worn with those heels I might add!

Do you remember this picture on the left? Well I found this leather Obi belt on ASOS and although it may look hideous, it may work and breath new life into some nice but shapeless cardies I have. Fingers crossed.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Wardrobe watch No10

It was a bit of a shock to leap from 13 to 27 degrees in one day! My room at work gets the sun very early and as it has a metal roof you can only imagine how hot it gets, we open the piddling little windows and set off some fans but it barely touches the surface. So loose and fluid is the answer. Monday 9/10
This is not the most flattering of photographs, it did look better on I promise. The stripy top is from Next, it is so light, it is lovely in the heat, worn over a a random black skirt via EBay which although very long and full is cool to wear.
Tuesday 9/10
Again a very thin fluid dress which is so sheer it is see through, so layered for modesty and Emin, worn over some COS PJ bottoms.
Wednesday 7/10
I loved this skirt when I bought it from White Stuff in St Ives, it features my favourite bird the swallow but I felt quite frumpy wearing it. The top is from Jigsaw a lovely forgiving shape but my least favourite colour now, brown. Why I do not like brown any more, I don't know. I have a some lovely skirts in that colour but they never feel very cutting edge on.
Thursday 8/10
Lovely tissue thin silk skirt from Kew, worn with one of 'those' GAP tops that I hate but fulfils a function, which is to cover the tops of my arms. I particularly dislike this one as it has two pathetic waterfall frills down the front that make me feel like a stegosaurus.
Friday 9/10
You've seen it before, it drops a grade because it is not new and I am unconvinced by the colour of the trousers. Still it is lovely to wear.

I have thankfully saved many skirts from the discarded pile over the years 'just in case' and I am very thankful, as at a time when I normally have to get the wellies out. Glastonbury + Wimbledon = RAIN the temperature is rising daily, along with the humidity so although nothing special, I am staying pleasantly cool.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Picasso at Gagosian

Get your arses down to this awesome exhibition at Gagosian
How on earth a private gallery can put together an exhibition such as this when the Tate seems to struggle I do not know, I do know I can't wait to see it, but it is on a loooong list and most I have to see before my holiday the clock is ticking...

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

This weeks style icons

So when Emin said my new look reminded him of his grandad you can see why, only they wear it better don't you think? How wonderful is this picture? I love the waistcoat with the trousers and how I wish I could have found more pictures to show you, but I guess photographs like this were probably taken at weddings, since I can't imagine many on the island wandered around with a box brownie in their pocket.
This image is from it appears to be an image promoting an ethical project by Donna Karan but although I love the room, I LOVE the outfit even more.

Two images from All The Pretty Birds I love the bag collection above and the whole outfit below

Well I am eating a slice of humble pie as we speak, I have always thought Stella McCartney rode on the coat tails of others more able, but this resort collection is a slice of heaven, each one I could frame.

left to right
(Lost the name) The Row, Bernaz Sarapour, Stella McCartney, Vera Wang

This random image has been in my inbox for too long, it is a magazine cutting from Geometric Sleep my new favourite blog squeeze
I love the colours and was irritated that very few shops picked up on the whole camel thing this year maybe next season they will.

Monday, 21 June 2010

That was the weekend

Daisy and I hooked up with Mater and Pater from materfamilias on Friday night for a bite to eat and a chat, thoroughly enjoyed ourselves especially Daisy after a gruelling day of exams.
We all went to see the Tempest which was not as good as I had hoped, Good, but this was my first Shakespeare play I saw bizarrely 20 years previously at the Old Vic, this time a Jonathan Miller production with Max von Sydow, for me his interpretation was better, more melodramatic and focused.
Last year I thought Sam Mendes had worked a miracle with A Winters Tale, but too many of those tricks had been applied to this production too and it all ended up looking and feeling like a trailer for Lost! The cast was hamstrung by their inability to enunciate some of the dialogue without mumbling, but I am being mean now, I would give it 3/5 Oh and there was no interval! My poor bum. I will be interested to see the reviews. Friday we will see the same cast in All's Well That Ends Well I suspect the frothiness will work better.

The rest of the weekend was the usual domestic drudge of gym, shopping, washing. Leyla was back in A&E with a suspected broken wrist which was a near tragedy as she is supposed to be serenading her cousin at their wedding in a few weeks time. Luckily is is just a sprain and so she gets a week off practising.

Oh, and shall I tell you the story of Daisy's prom dress? I had not really quite registered the details of this looming catastrophe, I had enquired as to what she was wearing since previously she borrowed a lovely dress from her step mother, me jealous moi?
This year as she has a boyfriend from an opposing school she will be going to two proms and I think having done it on the cheap once she thought she would push the boat out. I was told many friends were ordering dresses from America!! Why? But she assured me she had found somewhere half the price and I did not bother to investigate further. Then Saturday I get an angry phone call from Daisy livid because the box the dress had arrived in look like it had been drop kicked by Johnny Wilkinson, to make matters worse she had had to pay Parcel Force £36...I was so confused, I told her to let me sort it out when I got home.
The story appears to go like this;
  • Daisy wants a dress
  • Daisy's boyfriends mother tells her of a dress maker who can make one cheaper in Malaysia!!
  • Daisy's boyfriends mother measures Daisy and emails the measurements with a vague picture
  • The lady in Malaysia makes the dress and writes the cost of the dress on the customs note and passes on the p&p charges to Daisy.
  • Daisy not only has to pay £10 p&p but £26 tax.
Not looking so bloody cheap now is it Daisy? The dress is OK, but....too big and since it has a fitted bodice we now have to pay someone to take it in two fucking inches...I am so ANGRY, why did she not check with me? I could have helped her find a lovely dress for A LOT LESS.
Something died inside me this weekend. I love Daisy and to be honest I would have been just as stupid at her age, except I thought we had a better relationship than that, plus I would NEVER even then trust anything I could not feel and fit on.
That child is a fucking money pit and to make matters worse on the day of her prom she is travelling to LIVERPOOL!! to compete in a cheer leading contest. She is INSANE.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Jane Lewis

One of my favourite finds at the Summer Exhibition currently on at the RA was the work of Jane Lewis. The exuberance and movement I love as well as the colours.
I found these at Cobbold & Judd
She also has her own site here

Friday, 18 June 2010

Wadrobe watch No9

OK, so I am kind of wedded to the whole trouser thing at the moment. Memo to self Break out and wear a bloody skirt or two...the thing is it is just sooo easy to wear trousers and I am loving these harem pants despite the fact that a colleague described them as a little 'MC Hammer!' how rude! especially as she is the ONLY woman I have EVER known who at 4'11 manages to wear trousers that are too short. Ha, buy a full length mirror and weep.
She is marvelling at my persistence with this project, but I am like a dog with a bone and have decided to keep going at least until the end of term to prove to my students it is not hard to sustain a sequence.
Emin on seeing the green trousers said I had traumatised him because it was like living with his grandad who wore identical trouser in Cyprus, I MUST find a picture of him he had real style. The grandad not Emin. Monday 10/10
Not in million years did I ever think I would wrap a belt round my waist, but those tummy crunches have worked a little and I can now wear them at a pinch, so my floppy Jigsaw top is belted to perfection here under a long Zara cardie and Zara trousers.
Tuesday 10/10
MC Hammer trousers from COS. That top would you believe was given to Daisy by my mother, Daisy wore it with a thick elastic corset belt with trousers and looked lovely, she says it has shrunk! she is a size 10 to my 16, so she was throwing it out, it is spotty silk from jasper Conran and how good does it look with these trousers? That is thrifting.
Worn with a black silk COS cardie and bright orange beads.
Wednesday 10/10
Obviously because I do not have enough grey cardies I bought another one, this from Phase Eight, not normally on my radar but this year I have been really impressed with quite a few pieces. Not quite so 'mother of the bride' as they used to be. worn with another pair of black Zara jeans (I have 4 pairs!) The soft jersey ones and the blue version of the top from Jigsaw I wore on Monday.
Thursday 10/10
My Cyprus peasant harem pants, worn with a Jigsaw vest under a Primark Cardie.
Friday 9/10
Another pair of Zara trousers worn with the pretty silk rosette top from Southwold under a lovely butter yellow cardie from COS
Guess who I am meeting for dinner? Materfamillias! then we are off to see the Tempest at the Old Vic along with Daisy who today is currently sitting 2 hours plus of physics and 2 hours plus of maths!
She will need a lot of TLC

Bellette if you are reading this I can't access your blog...where are you? Can I join the club?

Thursday, 17 June 2010

A sight for sore eyes

How wonderful it must be to dress like this, just for one day mind you.
This image from the daily mail is food for the soul. Proof that size really does not matter because each and everyone of these women look amazing.
I survived the trauma of checking my bank balance. I had to print a statement then go and sit down before glancing at the figure. I had to check 3X that there was no dreaded DR after the amount. Although I was DR free I had not saved enough money to pay for the holiday, so it will be DR for the next 3 months. It is my fault, I have had a lot of expense with Daisy and Kitty, since their father married his wallet has shut tight and so I get to pick up the tab. This combined with my own profligacy has left me short. But I have stopped spending before and will do so for the next 2 months which tend to be quite barren anyway as I am not a fan of the sale rack.
The moderation was so bad I went to Bluewater and bought two cardies. Yes pathetic I know yet strangely cathartic. You will see one tomorrow and the other is an acid yellow one that I have wanted for over a year. The wardrobe watch has spurred me on to add just a splash of colour occasionally at least! Talking of colour, I was veeerrry tempted by this necklace from ASOS my new retail squeeze.

The hours of mindless virtual shopping you can do on this website is amazing, I am very impressed with their stock, the free p&p and the fact that many own brand clothes go up to large sizes. What's not to love?
On the home front there is little grist for the mill, primarily because all of the girls have a room of their own and a desk of their own.
Emin is busy calculating his retirement, (having made it to 10 years in full time employment! compared to my 25...) I told him that women living with younger men die earlier..(why I do not know) he is now trying to work out a way for me to retire at least a couple of years earlier. We both of course have to wait for Leyla to finish school so 10 years and counting.
The only elephant in the room is Kitty's adolescence, she continues to veer between angelic and the angriest girl in the world. Festering in her mind are all my shortcomings and I only have to proffer a tiny exasperated sigh to unleash hell at the moment. Nothing too shouty but venomous nevertheless. So appease the demon I have to race home a rustle a shepherds pie up or else.......

Monday, 14 June 2010

I would SO rather be here right now

It is the day before a big GCSE moderation, I feel sick with nerves. I worry I will forget something and worse still that the marks I gave will seem totally ridiculous once presented to the rest of the group.
Next week is my A' level moderation different but no easier as it is one on one, her opinion versus mine. Again you spend the whole day feeling queasy.
Worse still I have to pay for the holiday and have been too scared to check my bank balance. Today is the day and that combined with feeling sick is probably enough to give me heart failure. So I would far rather be here... The best book ever published on Picasso is called Goodbye Picasso, it is a wonderful mix of photographs from his Chateau and paintings he liked enough to keep. Sometimes I dream of such a place, I will probably need to when the ambulance has to resuscitate me later!

Saturday, 12 June 2010

If I were a rich man...doobe be doobe dooby do

I would bankrupt myself buying huge amounts of clothes from Madewell, mail order clothes I would love if only we had it over here.
  • Complex geometries I could buy all there next seasons collection it is awesome
  • Paul Smith from ASOS loving this sopping site, the nearest we have to Madewell I think
  • Top Raquel Allegra
  • Dress & top from Zero Cornejo Maria
  • More lovely stripes from Madewell

Friday, 11 June 2010

Wardrobe Watch

Did you ever play with these?
I LOVED them, seriously could not get enough of them. I would take the template and create my own designs. Hours of fun. Later I would sew dresses for my Daisy doll
Then I went to college and learnt how to make the real thing. I no longer make my own clothes but derive inordinate amounts of pleasure playing dress up at home instead
You can always tell if I feel under the weather because I invariably gravitate towards trousers, plus the weather is vile. Monday 9/10
Lovely with the cardie but without it was a bit dull. New green top from COS, Zara jersey trousers and Zara very floppy cardie.
Tuesday 10/10
I love this one, very simple Zara trousers with a heavy viscose top from COS and the heavy almost gold cardie from Massimo Dutti.
Wednesday 8/10
Conscious I was slipping into my comfort zone I popped a pair of Capri tights under this to keep me warm. Linen wrap dress Betty Jackson. would score higher without the frilly hem line.
Thursday 10/10
I needed a day to night outfit as I was going to the RA summer show and then out for a bite to eat. My new trousers and top from COS plus a floppy cardie from Banana Republic. I am truly in love with these trousers and may try and get another pair before they go out of fashion!
Friday 9/10
You've seen it before, pin tucked COS dress.(sorry some repetition may begin to creep in) I would have liked a brighter cardie but had not time to think so wore it with what was on the hanger.
More from the summer show next week, it was suprisingly good.
Paper doll from here

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Icons of style

Iris Apfel
Meandering through some web site or other I tripped over some images from the CFDA awards. I confess I have never seen or heard of Iris but I am obviously late to the party, my loss. What an Icon of style. image from Peabody Essex Museum

This image via The Guardian

and this one from both showing the stunning jacket (Balenciaga) she was wearing. Conclusive proof that age is and never will be a barrier to looking stunning on any occasion.
I have in my scrapbook another image of someone whose name I had forgotten, when I saw these images I thought it was Iris Apfel, but further trawling the web revealed her name was Fleur Cowles.

Again stunning to the very end.

Images from here and Vanity Fair

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Sally Mann

One of my all time favourite photographers is coming to town, truly if you are near the Photographers Gallery this is a must see, and it's free. Go now....

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Half term wardrobe watch

An eclectic week, not least because I ate out twice. You will notice immediately the predominance of trousers which is my default setting when on half term, sprinkled amongst all of this will a have been numerous outings wearing jeans.

Tuesday Night 10/10
My sister got tickets to see a warm up gig with Michael Mcintyre, so we met for a quick bite to eat at cafe Uno clutching a voucher, the money we saved on food we of course blew on a bottle of Prosecco. I am wearing a lovely floppy cardie from Zara over a very fine viscose Jigsaw tunic. Trousers from Zara too, they are new and I love them. They are jeans style but made of a thick cotton jersey, so comfortable
Wednesday 10/10
off to york, it is difficult to see by the photograph but the tunic is an old cotton one from GAP over really old jeans from Miss Selfridge. The cardie is a very light navy linen from Muji.
Saturday* 8/10
back home to London the heavy cotton long grey cardie is great for travelling, from Muji
Thursday 9/10
Stripy top, not sure what make but it is made of Hemp and is very light I bought it in a garage shop in Walberswick. I love the shape of it, worn over a pair of light linen trousers from New Look.
Friday 10/10
Mother wanted a long but lightweight dressing gown. The only shop I could think of was Next, I would never try and clothes shop in York but walking through Next I spied these trousers. I LOVED them, maybe not hugely flattering around my chunky calves but soo comfortable. I was wearing the loose viscose top from Jigsaw, I tied the belt that came with the trousers around my waist and Voila, Leyla decreed I looked great, an outfit fit to go out for a delicious Italian meal in.
* not sure how I got these in the wrong order!

The view from here.... On the train to York

The journey to York I only lived in York for two years. There is a 10cc song "One Night In Paris is like a year in any other place" Well 2 years in York and truly if I had the time I could fill a book such were the adventures.
The men, the nightlife, the laughs, despite the shock of moving there (especially as I had always partied in Leeds) It was an amazing place to be.
I had (if you have read the blog for more than a year you will know this) lived in a small Yorkshire village, not too bad and I certainly loved the countryside but the trek into Leeds every time I wanted a night out was a pain. But I was settled, friends? I had a few, two lucrative jobs and I was half way through A Levels. I was using my wages to pay for driving lessons, I was crap and really not that into them.
One day Mother quite out of the blue insisted I drove her mini with her to Leeds. I was wearing clogs and the pedals on an old mini cooper are beyond vile. I nearly killed us both and instead of a patient sigh I got a full scale rant listing AGAIN the inadequacies of my shortcomings., of which she could now add an inability to drive to.
I was puzzled at the outburst. I was paying, it was my choice, what was the problem? Out of the blue she announced "we were moving to York", 12+ miles from my school, it was a done deal, father was moving out AGAIN and they were buying a house next to where Mother worked. At this point I guessed you suck it up and deal with it. Now as a mother I am appalled that they could have been so self absorbed and selfish, but they were both very good at that.
So I shrugged said "No problem" went to school and blagged a lift from a teacher. Many teachers lived in York, probably because it was nice and cheap. I knew a pretty tasty specimen lived there but quelle surprise his car was full. I had to then pray the teacher recommended to me as having a space did not recognise me as the nosey, bone idle idiot who interrupted his lessons in the next room with my incessant laughing. He did not and the rest is history.
I got my lift and for a year walked right across town to meet him and another teacher. I gleaned lots of gossip, was told off for spreading said gossip! and developed a HUGE crush on him. luckily it was reciprocated and the following year having blagged my way into art college without an art A Level! We dated and had lots of fun. Lots of tears too, but as I say there is a book in there somewhere.
After 2 years I moved to London for good. My parents reconciled then moved to Nottingham, then moved back to York opened a restaurant then split up for good. Don't EVER open a restaurant if you in any way cherish someone.
They both left York again but now Mother has retired she has moved back and once again I find myself on the train to York.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Aging with Style

So once again my arse is glued to my seat whilst I tap away at the keyboard. Not the most relaxing of half terms, but as I always seem to say "it was nice to get out of London", and I am lucky that I get out and go to York which is only 3 hours door to door to where I live and is one of the most amazing cities to visit even if it was with a HUGE number of other tourists. I have a few images to share once edited so as not to bore the pants off you.

Meanwhile I was struck by how popular the whole 'age' thing is at the moment. Much editorial space was dedicated to it in Vogue this month and the weekend supplements had chunks on it too. maybe retailers will start to see that this is an un-yet untapped and sometimes unfulfilled market. Although if your like me and love to shop you will have a wardrobe replete with much that is good from the high street. I am very lucky my high street is Regent street and Long Acre but there is mail order and some of my best finds have been from local boutiques in small towns. It can be done but I wish we had more that is similar to the myriad of shops I saw in Sweden. I hope you can read the text, I really relate to much of what has been written above, being an art student does allow us a huge amount of experimentation so that when we have to pare it down we can do so building on successes of the past.

Funny how much black appears at this age, I guess women would rather appear slimmer than look younger, although I am not sure that black if broken up by jewellery is that aging. I love the outfit above and envy her cropped hair. I am currently applying a LOT of John Freida product in an effort to smooth the frizz!

It is still slightly galling to read features about normal sized women only to be treated to uber skinny models in the fashion editorial. I forgive this image from Stella magazine because it is sublime and I really would LOVE to at least try it.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Cycle style

I just love what she is wearing and that I even managed to pan the camera to get her in shot given the speed she was going!

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Sarah Burton

What struck me when I saw this photograph in the Guardian was what a gorgeous, gorgeous jacket. Le sigh.
I am away until 7th june