Singing the blues...and reds

This porridge it too hot
This porridge is too cold
This porridge is just right

I was having a Goldilocks crisis this morning. Having finally decided to wear my insane air hostess outfit I discovered that the glittery red shoes I'd envisioned wearing were just a little "off" from the red of the jacket.

Time was ticking as I opened my closet door and quickly realized just how many pairs of black shoes I own...of the remainder there were two possible contenders.

Blue cut-out flats - unfortunately of such a different shade to the skirt that I would have come across as color blind...distance lends enchantment and the two shades were too close for comfort.

Topshop Japanese flag flats - I love these shoes but with this outfit I went from camp to cartoon in one, very small, step.

The clock was running what was the end result? Inevitably I wore the red shoes I'd initially considered. Why does this always happen? Why?


Painting by numbers

Even though I only have a small walk-in closet (well, okay, let's be's more of a take one step and swivel from side to side closet, but for the sake of this discussion we'll call it a walk-in) I still planned the decor...slate grey walls, shelves, and hanging rail and a framed 50's advertisement for hosiery.

If I had more space (and a bigger budget) I can't think of any better closet art than these paintings of Kate Moss and Pete Doherty by julip on deviantART...they're disturbing but I can't look away...


"Cheap, cheap, cheap", said the little bird

Once again the shoe miser who lives inside me has been wrecking havoc and I have been left drooling over these Miu Miu canvas flats for the last month or so. They seemed just the thing for summer...equally cute with a dress or pants...adding just a hint of the French gamine to an outfit. Were it not for the $295 price tag I'd have worn them into the ground by now (pause to shake fist at shoe miser).

Then I came across these canvas flats at Urban Outfitters. I'd rather they were black than red, but at $19.99 should I be that picky?


In Memorium

To most people Memorial Day means a 3-day weekend and a lot of time eating food cooked on a barbecue. To me, it meant no internet access but, if I was grill-inclined, I would be all over this dress from's the ultimate picnic dress, as long as you can put up with the oh-so-witty comments about the fact you're wearing the tablecloth.


Issues, issues everywhere...and not a drop to drink

Apologies for the reduction in posts; I'm having problems connecting to the internet, something that always seems to happen around the holidays. Anyway, technology difficulties mean less time browsing the web and more time for introspection...albeit on a web-by theme.

A few days ago I was asked how the "blogging thing" was going and if I really imagined that people were interested in reading about non-celebrities. To be honest, I hadn't thought of it that way...I regard my blog, and a lot of others as online 'zines (admittedly with limited readership) as opposed to "Dear Diaries".

After all, there's an incredible worldwide community of fashion bloggers out there...each with their own unique viewpoint. And, while I may not admire the same designers as person A, or be able to pull-off the outfits of person B, it's that diversity which makes it all so interesting. I can appreciate their enthusiasm and see the same overall passion in them as in myself...and it's a passion that appears to be lacking in a lot of the magazines on newsstands today and, let's face it, in the majority of people that we know in "real" life.

With all that going for it, I feel proud to be a non-celebrity blogger.


The candyman can...

A little tacky never hurt anyone (at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it).

Case in point...this sweet little cell phone charm from Colette.


Canne'd Style

I came across this picture on the Times' website of one of the photocalls at Cannes and had to share it...they're not all outfits that I'd personally wear (though I covet Emmanuelle Seigner's ensemble) but I love the fact that each woman looks stylish, and summer-y and comfortable in what she's wearing.

I often feel that it's difficult to maintain your personal style when temperatures's the fashion equivalent of the Kinsey images like this act as a gentle reminder to me that summer doesn't have to be the constant parade of baggy t-shirts, shorts, and flip-flops that I see when I go outside.

Emma de Caunes, Marina Hands, Emmanuelle Seigner, Marie-Jose Croze, Anne Consigny, Olatz Lopez Garmendia and Agathe de La Fontaine


Now you see me, now you don't

"Since I personified the savage on the stage, I tried to be as civilized as possible in my daily life."
Josephine Baker

With that quote in mind, Josephine Baker would surely have loved this Hermes silk scarf emblazoned with her image...after all, what's more civilized that a chic silk square?

Unfortunately, as usually happens with this type of scarf, there's an's beautiful when laid flat but the minute you attempt to actually wear it you'll lose the majority of the design that was the main reason for your purchase in the first place. Perhaps this explains the popularity of Alexander McQueen's skull can actually see the print when you're wearing it...


Lightning doesn't strike twice...does it?

Back in 2002 (isn't it depressing how long ago that seems?) I lusted after one of the bags created as part of the collaboration between Louis Vuitton and Julie Verhoeven...sadly it wasn't meant to be...though I do still have an occasional daydream about that cute little patchwork snail making its way through its Alice in Wonderland-esque habitat.

So when I heard that Julie Verhoeven had created a capsule collection for Mulberry, which will be available this Fall, I wondered if I was getting a second chance...after all the definition of "skewed English eccentricity and tradition, a surreal English rose" used to describe the collection could equally apply to me (on a good day). Unfortunately, while I like the tote bag and dress, I don't love lightning, just a mild thunderstorm.


To bare or not to bare? That is the question...

I know that summer is upon us and that means we're supposed to revel in the freedom of not having to wear tights. I also know that should make me happy as a clam (well, happy as a clam with legs who no longer has to wear tights) but...I can't help thinking that a lot of outfits just look better, unless your legs are perfectly tanned and toned (and mine are stunningly pale), with hosiery.

It's not that I don't do the whole "bare legged summer thing", I just find myself looking wistfully at the bag containing my tight collection whenever I go into my closet.


Under the microscope...

Sorry, couldn't help myself with the title...I'm just so excited that Prada has finally done something with their website. No longer do we need to suffer the frustration of going there only to be welcomed by a static image. Not that a lot has been added, mainly links to the sites for Prada's Foundation, ski schools, perfumes, and their America's Cup boat but it is a start and the downloadable pdf of clothes and accessories from their Spring/Summer 07 collection makes everything worthwhile. I've put a few of my favorites here but there are 100 images in total so I hope you take a few minutes to check them all out.


Par Avion

My first Chanel experience was when my mother took me as a child to one of their make-up demonstrations...twenty women in a room each with their own workstation, each desperately trying to emulate the instructor...the resulting 80's-explosion-in-a-paint-factory look is probably the reason I am a minimal make-up girl now.

But I digress...although Chanel's 07/08 Cruise collection shown at Santa Monica Airport last Friday had some nods to the 80's there was nothing to cause the flashback above, lust maybe, but not flashbacks.

The bags and shoes shown on French Vogue's site offer a few things to add to my wish list (and a new reason to save money)...especially the futuristic spats on the right. It's depressing; I used to just be a bag girl (a barely affordable addiction) I'm turning into a shoe and bag girl (one!)

But what I found most inspiring were the three looks below. They're not particularly fancy or over-the-top, but they combine a sense of ease with a dash of cool to just the right degree.


The friendly skies...

Anthropologie describes this as a "folk dance skirt"...isn't it funny how a name can completely put you off something? When I saw the skirt and description online I clicked right past them; if I'm sure of one thing it's that I'm not a "folk" kind of girl.

But when I saw the skirt in the store my first thought was "Greek airline stewardess"...why this is appealing to me, I don't know...but it is.


My eyes!!!

Just glance at this image from eLuxury, just a quick look though in case you burn your retinas...

Like the pastels that are habitually brought out by stores at the first hint of spring we now welcome the summer variation...blindingly white accessories. Handbags and shoes so searingly white that no mere mortal could keep them in their pure form for more than 5 minutes. And once that first smudge or hint of discoloration hits, all is're no longer oozing South of France chic, you're just a little grubby.


In vino veritas

A definition of vanity usually includes a looking glass...a definition of vin-ity (or what happens when Bacchus and Narcissus get together for a little wine & cheese party) would include a wine glass...and these loeffler randall cork ballerina flats

Okay, I have issues...I'm finding the correct shoes to drink in...


Something concrete...

I love architectural oddities, so I had to share this picture of the General Confederation of Labour union building in Ivry-sur-seine that Jean Touitou posted on his blog. Something so wrong...and yet, so right.


When she was good she was very, very good...when she was bad, she was rotten

It's like a Twilight Zone episode...two bags that look like they're distantly is ladylike in the extreme whilst the other dips its toes in the seedier side of life...

Lanvin's Hero in fabric and python falls under the "lady" category. Even though I love it, I just can't convince myself that the bag can handle much abuse...heck, even the straps seem delicate. So this is a bag that only comes out when I am going to be ladylike and "good" and, as those terms are rarely used to describe me, the bag doesn't get that much use. It's got to the point where I almost feel like messing it up on purpose to remove some of the saintliness that surrounds it.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Marc Jacobs' Christina bag, on the other hand, has leather that starts out slightly rumpled and a golden clasp that is textured and rough. It looks like it could handle all kinds of punishment and still maintain an air of disheveled beauty.

Perfect for my "bad" side...the bad side which is trying to talk me into buying a bag so similar to one that I already own just because it has a different personality...
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Turn that frown upside down...

Having spent the last three days with my head wrapped turban-style in bandages I think I know why the models at Prada looked so upset. Frankly, I didn't like the satin headwraps when I first saw them but now I fully appreciate how un-flattering the look is...I'm assuming the change of fabric wouldn't eradicate the overall god-awfulness of it.

Okay, rant over...normal posting should resume tomorrow.


Orphée et Eurydice

Circumstances beyond my control mean that for the next three days I will be a walking science experiment with a series of wires coming off my head...something which, quite frankly, seriously limits a girl's clothing options. Headscarves are definitely a possibility but there are only so many times you can go for the "cyber Grace Kelly" look...which lead to my husband suggesting a hoodie. Not normally my thing, and I was pretty sure our trip to American Apparel would be a waste of time...which leads to the question...

When is a hoodie not a hoodie? Or, to be more precise, when does a hoodie step beyond the boundaries of work-out clothing or the kind of "casualwear" beloved by people who buy Juicy? In this instance it's because the reliance on form and color transform the hoodie into a piece of Orphic least that is my argument and I'm sticking to it.


All Wrapped Up

I had a little epiphany the other day...much as I love the boxes and pouches that jewelry comes in (and boy am I a sucker for pretty packaging) it is actually stopping me from wearing things. As an example, in the early hours of the morning, when I'm trying to get dressed, I can barely remember my name...let alone which box contains the specific brooch that I want to wear. So I'm faced with the dilema of either ransacking everything (waste of time #1), followed by putting everything that I don't want back (waste of time #2) or giving up on the idea of wearing the brooch.

Obviously a change had to be made and, sadly, the packaging had to go. So, armed with a divided hobby box from The Container Store and some of the tissue paper that the jewelry had been wrapped in, I set to work.

And while the end result may not be a thing of should make getting dressed a lot easier. Now I just have to bring myself to throw away all that lovely packaging...


Pump up the volume

Sunday inspiration courtesy of The Sarorialist...romantic and childlike, just the thing for a long walk before lunch...


Get to know the 'drill...

When I was 13 or 14 I bought a pair of traditional rope soled espadrilles and (although memory may be lending a rosy glow) I seem to recall that they were the perfect summer shoe...cute and comfortable. After that summer, espadrilles and I parted ways...maybe I was looking in the wrong places but I never found anywhere that stocked them...

Until, that is, I came across Espadrilles ETC's website. Along with the traditional plain or striped canvas shoes they have a huge selection including python patterned leather and Liberty floral prints. They'll be perfect with my summer skirts and dresses and will make a change from ballet flats (which I love but, let's face it, some of them are just not designed to be worn in the summer without tights or socks...they look great but walking more than twenty feet causes agony).

So, like some creepy teen magazine, this summer the espadrille and I will be reunited...and hopefully spend our summer going on long walks...isn't it romantic?


Oh, the shame...

Deep breath...I have to begin this by saying that I am decidedly not a Roberto Cavalli fan (and that was before I witnessed the spectacle of Jessica Simpson's dress at the Met)... It is therefore not a little shamefacedly that I admit to being completely smitten by these bangles...

I love the faux-natural some Victorian's lady's aspdistra collection...nature in a highly polished form and free from any of the sordid clean-up or maintenance aspects. Something I need, as my success rate with pets is many goldfish have died I've performed more burials at sea than a 19th century ship's captain...


Lazy days...

Looking at pictures like these, all I want is to be lying in the grass in the sun. It doesn't have to be Parisian park grass...and I don't need the Chanel handbag...I just want the feeling of serenity that these images evoke...


The Emperor's New Dress

Okay, this...I my last Kate Moss for Topshop related post...promise.

You may remember from an earlier entry...I'd assumed that due to the current mind-boggling exchange rate between the pound and the dollar shoppers at Barneys today might have been shocked into taking a step back...and actually looking at the quality of the clothes they were buying. From all reports we'd better chalk that down as a hugely incorrect guess on my part (and probably a good indication of why I don't gamble).

Case in point, the black & white transparent mini-dress that Moss wore to the Barneys evening preview on the 8th was on sale for $475 (plus tax)...for a Topshop dress? Sorry, for a transparent Topshop dress.

Somebody stop the madness, please.


Art for All

Calling all Gilbert & George fans! For a very limited time (until 11.35pm GMT 10th May 2007) you can visit The Guardian's website and download the nine panels needed to create the unique G&G work, Planed, shown above...absolutely free.

Isn't that a better use of your time than waiting for Barneys to re-stock their inventory of the Kate Moss for Topshop pieces which launched on their website today?


The king of fashion is dead...what a strange dress to mourn in

As the theme for the annual Costume Institute gala at the Met last night was Paul Poiret it was surely reasonable to assume that the evening's clothing would fall under one of two categories; either paying a homage to Poiret's designs or showcasing the best in modern fashion. Sadly, there were two categories that I never even considered...prom (both the dowdy and the stripper-ish varieties) and the bake-in-a-bag-chicken look (I love elements of silver or gold in an outfit but when the dress, shoes, AND bag all appear to be made from tin foil it's no longer chic, more chic-ken).

So, here are my favorites (both in a good way and in a can't-look-away-from-a-car-crash) kind of way.

The Poiret Tributes

Jessica Stam looked perfectly period in Dior Couture

Hamish Bowles' custom Tom Ford robe was an inspired choice, both in color and design

Dr. Lisa Airan pulled out all the stops by wearing a Paul Poiret cape over her custom Rodarte dress

The Best of Modern Design

Miuccia Prada proved, once again, that women over a certain age do not need to look dowdy or matronly in the evening

Charlotte Gainsbourg, as usual, beautiful in Balenciaga

Mary Kate Olsen in Giambattista Valli

Attack of the Killer Prom

No words are required...

Sarah Wynter wore a Calvin Klein Collection bridesmaid/prom combo look

Marc Jacobs, the man, looked incredible...Marc Jacob's dress on Winona Ryder, looked like something from an 80's prom

Foiled Again

Kate Bosworth took the nod to the 30's too far with the hair and everything else too far with the's a kind of 1930's movie starlet look which may have been workable at the Oscars but didn't look good at a fashion event

Eva Mendes' Michael Kors' ensemble is the one that made me think chicken in tin foil...

Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, on the other hand, accented her outfit with gold and looks gorgeous

My overall feeling when looking at the pictures of the attendees was one of disappointment. This is a fashion event and the main thing should be the fashion...the designers, the models, the clothes, and the people who genuinely love clothes...instead it looked like a movie premiere...

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