Murakami Memories

As we're almost into 2007 I thought I'd do a flashback to the 2003 Murakami/Louis Vuitton collaboration. I realize that not everyone was (or is) a fan and the line is thought of as a joke by some. I can only say that, personally, I love Murakami's art and though I didn't buy one of the bags I did get a silk headscarf (which I have got a lot of wear out of) and a smaller cotton neckscarf.

I was living in London when this line hit the stores and I remember standing outside the windows of the Bond Street store transfixed by the flat screen monitor in the window and the special "cartoon" that had been created...I just found it on YouTube and was so excited that I had to share. So, belatedly, but showing no signs of Murakami's "Superflat Monogram" for Louis Vuitton.


One of these things is not like the others...

I was in American Apparel yesterday...not for myself you understand (perish the thought, no) but my husband had been eye-ing up a cardigan in the window everytime we went past and the time had come to take a look at it. The cardigan was not quite what he was looking for, but I managed to pick something my own defense I would like to say that the Weekender Duffle Bag (in swamp grey/black) will be perfect for our upcoming trip to NY...lightweight for the trip there and spacious enough to carry all my "finds" on the way home.

On the way out I noticed American Apparel's "Looks No.1" which bears a striking resemblance to Harvey Nichols' "small"...both being bite-size chunks of fashion and lifestyle coveted by many but attained by HN's case this is due to AA's it's their too-cool-for-school aesthetic. Having said that, both are entertaining hors d'oeuvres before a fashionable feast.


A page out of history...

At this point it's probably self-evident that I consider Jalouse magazine one of the best there is and my only concern is the fact that there is such a delay involved with actually getting my hands on it...tomorrow will be January and I still don't have December's issue!

In desperation I started poking around their website and discovered the Heritage incredible online catalog of Jalou magazines...editions of l'Officiel from 1921 to 2005, Jalouse from 1997 to the present, l'Officiel 1000 Modeles from 1996 to 2006, and all the other publications that fall under the Jalou umbrella...every page from each of the issues can be viewed and the website can be searched for keywords.

Unfortunately this kind of comprehensive fashion library does not come cheap...after a free two-hour trial there are three options...24 hour access for 10 Euros, 1 month (25 hours) for 100 Euros, or 1 Year (400 hours) for 1,000 Euros. For the time being at least it looks like I'll just need to sit tight and wait for December to arrive...


There's no place like home...

I've either been having a Wizard of Oz moment recently or the grey days of winter are making me long for a little color. Either way I seem to be developing a red shoe fixation. I just got these metallic red ballet flats from Me Too which are possibly the most comfortable shoes of this style that I have ever worn. Now I'm casting covetous glances at these pointy red slingbacks from Miu Miu. I think they'd be so chic in the summer with a shirtdress or pencil skirt or jeans or...darn it, just about anything.

Admittedly red shoes are not for the faint of heart...each time I've worn them I've been the subject of several jokes...but, do I care? No. I just click my heels and walk away.


A Lack of Resolve

According to Wikipedia, New Year’s resolutions date back to 153 B.C. and Janus, the mythical king of early Rome. “With two faces, Janus could look back on past events and forward to the future. Janus became the ancient symbol for resolutions and many Romans looked for forgiveness from their enemies and also exchanged gifts before the beginning of each year.”

Subconsciously, perhaps this is why I am a firm non-believer in New Year’s resolutions…I don’t want to be two-faced. It seems like the majority of people break theirs by January or February…is this really how we want to start the year, feeling like we failed at something? Naturally, I would love to lose a few pounds, drink less, eat a little healthier (I’m not going to say start going to a gym because I know that’s not going to happen)…but I’m not going to motivate myself through guilt; if that worked I wouldn’t keep buying expensive handbags.

Plus, wouldn’t life be very dull if we all lived in such a state of perfection? As Oscar Wilde said, “The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it”.



The last piece of Christmas arrived today...yes, I'm dragging it out but this was ordered pre-Christmas and just didn't make it by the day itself. The book's title, Look Portraits Backstage at Olympus Fashion Week, pretty much gives the game away. Fascinating pictures of the people we're used to seeing, and some that we're not, all dressed in their finest for Fashion Week...okay, to be honest some people didn't dress up at all and some went way over the top but that's part of the fun, right?

Designers, models, press and industry types, and the group labelled "The Front Row" (a wide-flung net...from Lady Bunny to Salman Rushdie...from Alan Cumming to Lou Reed...and Parker Posey to Rufus Wainwright). A little fashion voyeurism to curl up with during the dark winter months...


White Out

I think that I have mentioned previously my reluctance to use a white bag. Nothing to do with any dictats related to the seasons...more that fact that I am a klutz, acknowledge the fact that I am a klutz, and realize that the combination of white bag and klutz is not a match made in heaven.

Then I saw the Balenciaga Four Bags video featuring the Giant, Matelasse, Whistle, and Coffre-Fort. Four bags...all white...against the backdrop of Paris, train stations and art galleries.

I am still a klutz, but now I want to be a klutz with a white bag.


No Sale

Even though it's Boxing Day and I have been besieged with e-mails and mailers...35%...50%...75% off!!! I actually managed to steer clear of any stores today. I have to say, it wasn't painfree...and a mild intervention was needed...

My husband: Want to walk home?
Me: know, we could check out the sale at Club Monaco on the way...75% off and they sell men's clothing (the sneaky double whammy)
My husband: No, that's okay...I don't need anything right now
Me: Ah...

I am trying to be good though and save some money for our trip to NY. Plus, sales are so insidious...something that you only marginally like becomes magical because it's cheap. Okay, I have managed to get some major deals...a Chanel cardigan, Lucien Pellat-Finet sweater, Balenciaga bags...but, in the main, sale items tend to be things that I wouldn't have bought at full price. And, if I don't like them enough to spend the money on them in the first place, why am I suddenly drooling over them? If I resisted the impulse I could have bought something I really was lusting over.

No, I'm going to try and ignore the little devil on my shoulder...angel wings are sprouting...but, we'll know how it is? Sometimes being bad is fun...


Fun & Games

What's Christmas without games? In the spirit of the season I put together this "fashuku"...same rules as Soduku but with some Cruise items from Net-a-Porter instead of numbers.

The nine images are Mulberry Bayswater bag, See by Chloe banana print dress, Fendi leather B belt, K Jacques Parys gladiator sandals, Tom Binns skull bracelet, Graham & Spencer bubble hem top, Marc by Marc Jacobs Clara trapeze jacket, By Malene Birger Debrah tulip skirt, and Marc by Marc Jacobs Nan Stripe print umbrella.



Gilded Youth

I don't know what it is, I used to be a silver girl...and I still am...but recently I've been having some serious Goldfinger moments. I can't even justify these feelings by saying that gold will look good against a tan as I am so pale that I become invisible against a sheet of must just be pure greed.

Dries van Noten shoes, La Jeunesse Doree t-shirt by Skism, Oui necklace from Dior, Chanel cuff (my collection)

So, I can't make the shoes or the necklace but a t-shirt from American Apparel and some iron-on letters and...I should be golden.


Window Shopping

I thought I was done with the Christmas related posts but couldn't resist just one more...French Vogue has posted pictures of the Christmas windows from various stores around the world. My favorite is Lanvin in Paris, followed closely by Dover Street Market in Tokyo. If, like me, Christmas windows put you in the holiday mood you should definitely take a look.


Merry Christmas!

May your fashion wishes be granted and everything you wished for be under your tree...


Let's play British Bulldogs

I've always been partial to hats...sailor's hats, straw name it, I've stuck it on my head at some point. If I didn't know that it will be staggeringly expensive I would be channeling Spike the bulldog this Spring and buying this incredible Alexander McQueen hat.


All bags great and small – Part V - every bunny loves snow-bunny sometime

It's been a while since my last ABG&S post so….in the spirit of the holiday season…here's the "Snow Bunny" bag by Paul Smith. I originally saw this image only on small bags and I didn't think that did it justice (ok, the price of the bags had something to do with it too). Then, a couple of years ago, I was in the Paul Smith discount store, just off Bond Street in London, and spotted this shopper...vastly reduced. Isn't it wonderful when that happens? You lust over something, don't get it, regret it, and then suddenly find it again like a long lost friend…flowers bloom, birds sing, and all is right with the world.

The cons on this bag, apart from the color (me + pale bag = accident waiting to happen), were the weight of the bag when it's empty and the lack of any kind of closures. On the pro side, and outweighing almost all other considerations, was the Vargas-style girl. So much do I consider this art-before-bag that I had it on my mantelpiece for a while. It's spent more time as a still-life than it has for its actual purpose…now I feel guilty, I need to take her out more…perhaps a little sunbathing in the snow...


Make love not war

Fashion that tries to convey a political statement can be very hit-or-miss...okay, generally miss...having said that I love this Peace in the Middle East shirt from Built By Wendy

Yes, I am on a "Built by Wendy" kick and no, I can't help it!


Have yourself a Minnie little Christmas...

All I want for Christmas is to be this girl...



Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while will know that I have had an ongoing quest for a new trench coat. There were a few criteria that I was working with but the main ones were classic (with a twist) and knee-length. I was also looking for something relatively some point, when I'm in London, I'll spend some serious money and buy an Aquascutum trench. Until that time I want a raincoat that I can wear into the ground (as happened with my Joseph trench which was once black and is now a dirty grey...every time I pull it out of the closet my husband asks me to "please throw that away and buy a new coat"...but, I can't help it, I love my Joseph trench...should a love be discarded because it's a little shabby?).

Anyway, with a little luck, the trench quest has ended...thanks to Built By Wendy and her plaid-lined, slim-fit trench.


London Calling...or is it Italy?

It will soon be a new year, and that year will bring (amongst other things)...Prada cellphones. I don't have an image of the phone but the press release promises an "avant-garde design" and an "advanced touch interface which eliminates the conventional keypad"...thrilling stuff. Europe will get their hands on the phone first, followed by the Asian market later in the word on U.S. distribution dates. all about it!

I realize that the following admission will forever remove me from "cool kid" status but...I just don't like Jeremy Scott's work. I think it's possible to be edgy, funny, irreverent, avant garde (call it what you will) and still create clothes that actually make people look good. Scott's clothes just seem to be out there for the sake of it, with nothing more than that to back them up. And even if you find them amusing surely they're overpriced for a joke?

His latest collection takes its inspiration from the popular his words...

"I was thinking about how these tabloids just pile up once a week, more than fashion magazines do, and I thought what if you did a collage with them and you made them into a trenchcoat so you're wearing the tabloids, and the chased starlet is turning it around on them and throwing it back in their face in a way. The whole idea originated with the trench for me from the get-go."

Trench - $515

Backpack - $205

Dress - $160

Pants - $140

While this isn't my idea of a good read it may be yours...if so, the pieces are available at Yoox.


All that glitters

I found this picture on my hard drive and it rekindled my longing for a pair of gold men's style shoes (brogues or Chelsea boots)...not bronze or dull gold, but a true, shiny gold…


A question of sport

I'm trying to not make this blog a constant, dull musing on what to wear...having said that...I just got invited to an ice hockey game...

Now, this will be the first ice hockey game that I will be attending and I'll be going straight from work. I'm not a fan of taking a change of clothes to work because, no matter how hard you try to say "oh, this old thing" you still come across as trying way too hard (posting your neurotic tendencies online is so much more preferable). I should also mention that the venue for the game is in an "up-and-coming" area of town and this is a work sponsored event. So, the criteria, sporty-ish, with comfortable shoes in case I need to make a quick getaway.

My current thinking is...

Cardigan by Edun and plaid shirt by H&M
Fair-isle skirt from H&M
Badge made by my husband and Scotch pebble brooch

Does this say "pucks away"?



Growing up in Scotland it was pretty much a given that I'd learn to play golf. This wasn't from any golf lust but, let's be honest, the options for other activities were slim so I gave it a try. I never enjoyed the game though; who was it said that it ruined a good walk? However, when I saw these golf club covers from APC it almost made me wish that I played...almost.


Fly me to the moon

We have a few short trips coming up...and I think I just found the ideal winter travel bag. To help combat all that grey outside, Colette has these travel essentials by LeSportSac featuring the work of Fafi (who you may remember from an earlier post). A limited edition collection with two sizes of duffels and cosmetic a backpack but I'm not really a backpack kind of girl...

Functional and girly...and basically guaranteed to make travel a little bit more fun.


Something's missing

I just finished my first pass of Vogue Collections and realized that something's missing...yes, there's no Eley Kishimoto. I don't think their Spring/Summer collection is as strong as some prior seasons but there are still certain looks that I would love to have in my closet.

I envy their ability to mix these strong patterns and colors to such wonderful effect. The thing is it's just as impressive in person...I saw a show of their clothes at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London a few years ago and even though there is a lot of pattern the overall effect isn't overwhelming...just very chic and co-ordinated.


A little light reading

There's nothing like a lazy Sunday. A cold wind is blowing outside but do I care? No...and it's not just the glass of chilled white wine at my elbow...I just got Vogue Paris Collections issue 3, Spring-Summer 2007...332 pages...130 designers, 2600 looks, and 1100 accessories...I may be in this chair for the rest of the day.

My husband did have a partial stroke when he saw the $29.95 pricetag for a "mere magazine" but (as usual) I have a justification. The similar publication by L'Officiel is split up into various editions...Milan/New York or Accessories or Haute Couture...and each issue is $25. Admittedly the L'Officiel magazines do have additional designers but Vogue Paris has a nice selection of all of the main designers and some smaller ones from Paris, Milan, London, and New York. A comparative bargain (at least that's my story, and I'm sticking to it).

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