“All our lives we live in chains and never even know we hold the key.”

Much as I loved the Mr. T meets Catholic goth looks that Riccardo Tisci gave us for Givenchy's Fall/Winter collection I know that they are so far out of my price range that it's laughable. In the same vein (and slightly more affordable) is this vintage Zandra Rhodes dress from one of my favorite online vintage stores,
Vagabond NYC.

An additional benefit, apart from the financial aspect, is the trompe l'oeil chains are much less likely to end up in a tangled pile in your closet...



How awfully sneaky...

As someone who is not a fan of the bulkiness of conventional sneakers* I am always on the lookout for the "anti-sneak"...a shoe with the same comfort factor, just less...clomp. The latest example of this that I've come across are these peephole sneakers from B Store. For some reason the red ones make me think of French schoolchildren though I have no idea what is subconsciously prompting that thought...probably some very inaccurate old book or film...

* in a non-gym setting, though as I never go to the gym it's probably safe to say that I'll never be seen in a 'regular' sneaker


When you're a Jet, you're a Jet all the way...

As you can see by my labels for this post, I was a little unsure of how to classify these delightfully rustic, handcrafted wooden knuckledusters. Should they fall under...

Accessories...something to carry in your handbag for whenever those inevitable "punch-ups in a logger's bar" occur?


House and Garden...perhaps they should be on a coffee table as some kind of woodsy-thug objet d'art?

Or is trying to classify them a redundant feat? Should we simply sit back and enjoy?


"I am not a number — I am a free man!" - Patrick McGoohan as The Prisoner

If I were still a part of the corporate rat race (having disengaged myself, for a while at least) I would definitely be buying one of these "I Feel Like A Number" pendants by Canadian designer Melanie Favreau...a combination of the tags that you take to save your place in line and the exhortation of Patrick McGoohan in the 1960's counterculture show, The Prisoner.

As an added twist, as the pendants are a limited edition batch of 100, you won't know what "your number" is until the pendant arrives.


How can something so wrong be so "write"?

There's no way to say this without sounding like "Super Nerd" but I've always had a soft spot for the black and white pattern on the classic Composition notebook...so much so that I admit to being a little intrigued by American Apparel's new "Composition" t-shirt. I'm debating with myself whether it would come across as ironic or 80's High School flashback...I think a trip to AA is needed so I can see it in person and get a better idea.

If I do get it, stay tuned for a future outfit Homage to a 2B Pencil...



Stick 'em up!

It's enough to make you spit (in a ladylike way, of course)...I finally make a break from the 9-5 office life...and the grey cubicle that came with it...and then along come these Post-It cubes from United Bamboo and For Office Use Only which merge a kind of 60's, Piero Fornasetti vibe with images from United Bamboo's ad campaigns. My little patch of grey would have been so much more visually appealing with a couple of these strewn around...though, I admit, it probably would have felt sacrilegious to tear off a sheet and actually "use" them.



“Though this be madness, yet there is method” - William Shakespeare

A couple of days ago it was so cold that I had to wear one of my winter sweaters...today the temperature is supposed to be near the eighty degree mark...and I'm currently perusing some images from H&M's collection for this winter...it's enough to make a girl schizophrenic. But I suppose if you have to go crazy you may as well do so while ogling nut brown leather "sweaters", chinoiserie, and some shoots (shoe/boots) which look suspiciously like the ones that Chloe gave us this spring.

So however mad it may sound, though I'm ready for a little summer, I'm definitely looking forward to fall.


Question of the Day...

Why send out an e-mail like the one below...which tends to give the reader the impression that they have the chance to shop for some items by British designers...only to show them pieces from Juicy, Marc Jacobs, or Cynthia Rowley when they click through? Just be honest, say "would you like to look at some pieces that don't really go together" instead of grouping them as an example of British eclecticism.

Okay, I've got that out of my system...rant over...continue as you were.


"Culture's worth huge, huge risks. Without culture we're all totalitarian beasts." - Norman Mailer

I can honestly say that it's been a while since I saw a handbag from the Marc by Marc Jacobs line that incited any kind of feelings of lust...a few yawns, maybe...but no lust. But the Huge Hillier Eclectic Hobo might just be the bag to break that trend. It's just so bright...and huge (talk about truth in advertising)...and one of those perfect summer bags for days when you're wandering around and want to be able to carry everything.


No white after Labor Day (and not much before either)

This summer Mr. Heb had a urge to channel Robert Culp circa 1965-68 (aka the "I Spy" years)...mainly in the white pants, though I'm sure some velour may make its way in there. At this point I have to say, of all the items that could have made their way on to his summer shopping list, I was assuming that the aforementioned white pants would be an easy one to check off...especially since a glance in the windows of some men's stores showed that this was the summer of the white jean.


Until, that is, we came to find out that this is the s.o.t.w.j. for...how shall I put this...shorter gentlemen. In store after store we were met with bemused glances and barely disguised smirks as we tried to find white jeans with a 36" inseam. In the Levi store, for example, our statement that "we'd like to get a pair of these in a **/36" was met with the (slightly too honest) response "not in this store you won't". It's exceedingly frustrating, and quite frankly incomprehensible, to run into the assumption that a taller man shouldn't be able to clothe his lower appendages in the same dazzling manner as his shorter brethren.

We were, eventually, able to track down one pair of jeans at The Gap that were available (online) in the correct length. Which I'm thankful for, but not something that gives one a feeling of having a plethora of choices...it's a case of "here's this particular cut, take it or leave it". And so, I am a woman on a mission, for some Culp-worthy white pants to make Mr. Heb's summer complete.

** sizing omitted to protect the innocent


"We lost because we didn't win." - Ronaldo

As I sat on a bar stool yesterday afternoon and watched Chelsea's dreams of a Champions League win in Moscow against Manchester United melt away...or should I say sail away considering it rained heavily for the majority of the game...I knew that something was missing.

It wasn't till today, however, that I knew what it was...and that is an 8oz jar of optimism. Yes, a little optimism would be very useful right about now...


"Do not free a camel of the burden of his hump; you may be freeing him from being a camel." - G.K. Chesterton

When I came across this triple bracelet at Old Navy it seemed like something you might find in a Moroccan souk...hence the fact that it is being modeled by Trevor, the plastic camel. They are united in the fact that they both have a whiff of the desert about them and were both incredibly cheap...I can't remember exactly how much Trevor cost but the bracelet is currently available for $9.50.

Trevor will be staying home this summer but I think that the bracelet will be a constant companion...until, that is, the inevitable happens...the elastic breaks...and I'm forced to crawl around the floor trying to find the beads.


All that glitters is not gold...

A little dressy inspiration for us flat shoe wearers...in, what must have been, a sea of heels Irina Lazareanu looking decidedly modern (and comfortable) at the private dinner for Chanel's Cruise collection.

For me this is actually a doubly "feel good" picture as she wore the same dress...this time with mid-calf length flat boots...at the ICP Infinity Awards...and I always find it heartening when people with unlimited access to clothes re-wear items. It's a nice change from the constant barrage of "must buy a new dress for such & such occasion" messages that we seem to be constantly surrounded by.


“A weed is no more than a flower in disguise.”

The recession...and a job change...are taking their toll. So, while I find myself lusting over the overwhelming blossoms on Balenciaga's Hortensia print bag, I need to take a step back and remind myself that...

1) the body of the bag is silk and would therefore get dirty faster than you can say "Green Acres is the place to be"

2) the exchange rate is still horrific right now (and this is on a UK website)


3) I have plenty of bags in my closet, I just need to go through them and (in all likelihood) I'll find a bag to meet my needs. Like...this vintage floral clutch...a similar feeling of being assaulted by flowers when one looks at it plus it's in a waterproof fabric (perfect for getting caught in summer showers or for throwing on the grass at a picnic). My only concern is whether it looks too much like a giant cosmetic bag...



I love a parade...

And I love a gift certificate...

Or, to be more specific...I love a Sunday afternoon...a glass of white wine...a chicken (bathed in garlic, shallots, rosemary, and olive oil) roasting away in the oven...and a (relatively) blank check at Amazon.com.

Thanks to which I will soon be the recipient of enough bad television to make Lucille Ball wince...a 4GB Flash Drive (my practical, "work related" purchase)...and these Thunderbird Boat-soled shoes from Minnetonka Moccasins. As I explained to Mr. Heb, "yes, they are kind of preppy lost in a trailerpark but that's why I want them..." plus, they're a comfortable option for pounding the streets this summer.


To paraphrase Elizabeth Barrett Browning...

Ah, Colette, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways...

On second thoughts, just let me say Cola-flavored Mentos and Prada shoes side-by-side...seriously, could I ask for anything more?


“I take Him shopping with me. I say, "OK, Jesus, help me find a bargain." - Tammy Faye Bakker

Once again the Sale Gods have been good to me...and I've been lucky enough to find something that I had given up all hope of getting my sticky little fingers on...and at a very good price, to boot. The item in question? The Officer dress from Heimstone's F/W 07 collection. I'd originally been drooling over the mustard version (which nobody in the US seemed to order) but the black and blue style was also terribly appealing (to my mind, at least...I've never been able to understand the whole "never wear black and ink blue together" diktat).

On a side note I have to say that I'm very impressed with Heimstone's quality and details...the dress is made of a medium-thickness cotton, fully lined in silk...and all six buttons on the bib of the dress are functional (it's little things like that that I absolutely love...it's so easy to just stick a fake button on items that finding something with real, working buttons gives a girl more of a thrill than it probably should)...plus, it has pockets!

As an additional helping of luck the temperatures here are still barely hitting spring levels so I should be able to get a decent amount of wear out of the dress before summer hits...though I should probably go and touch some wood right about now so that I don't jinx myself and find that the temperatures suddenly jump up to the 80's.



Some Splendid reading for the weekend...


The weeks Splendid best!

Style...a work in progress will be practicing her origami this weekend so that she can download her own Hermes Kelly bag!

Indie Style File has an awesome retro boombox necklace from Zlanarama up for grabs (scroll to the end of the interview, but make sure to read it first)

NY Spender thinks that there is a time and a place to wear JLo gear, and this is not it!

Her Accessories proves that you can be fashionable and sun-safe with these great accessories.

The Space Between My Peers shares artistic principles for selecting prints to wear.

Shopalicious thinks it's time to pack up the winter boots, and you can win a pack of nifty clear boot storage boxes for yourself!

Get a great discount for the Merry Martini at All That & a. Use it for gifts, or a cute hostess present for the best hostess -- yourself!

The Mineral Makeup Blog reviews Cosminology Pressed Mineral Powder

Leon of Beauty Secrets Revealed Releases Her First e-book "Leon's Anti-Aging Beauty Secrets"

Viva Woman finds out if facial exfoliation is for all skin types.

My Women Stuff digs around for some dupes for the infamous Nars Orgasm blush.

ShopDiary will be gearing up for intense sun exposure this weekend with Sephora's Sun Safety Kit. It's only $25 and 100% of net proceeds (or $21.55 from every kit sold) will benefit the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Karen from Makeup and Beauty Blog gets a surprise Stage Makeup makeover at Kryolan Cosmetics.

Beauty Match discovers Neutrogena Natural Radiance Bronzer free beauty samples ... just in time for summer!


'All that succession and repetition of massed humanity... Those vile bodies...' - Evelyn Waugh

I usually try not to do "what the hell?" posts...mainly because one man's meat is another man's poison and...who am I to judge? Which was a great sentiment...until I came face to face with a picture of Antipodium's Vile body jumper. I can't decide if this is some kind of (very obscure) Evelyn Waugh tribute...or a reference to that fact that no-one is going to look good dressed in what is essentially a variation of a 1920's bathing suit with buttons on the nipples...either way I can't think of a more fitting name.Photobucket


“The stroke of the whip maketh marks in the flesh; but the stroke of the tongue breaketh bones.” - the Bible

I know that I seem to have a fascination with shoes that, logistically, I could never wear...I suppose it's just as well to get it out of my system on this blog rather than tottering down the sidewalk like a drunk on stilts. My latest obsession to fall under this category are these incredible "don't mess with me or I will crush you little man" shoes from Barbara Bui.

Oh, how I wish I had a sense of balance...and a very large bank account.


All Shriners are Masons... but not all Masons are Shriners

The title is just a teaser...I won't give too much else away...if you want more info, check out the "Shriner Primer". Yes, it's one of those evenings when I really need to need to log off and pick up a good book.

Instead, prompted by this 1920's Shriner (I mean Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine) ring I am skimming through the primer. And so, when I should be admiring the feeling of delicate masculinity that the ring gives off, I am intrigued by the fact that Kris Kristofferson is a (you guessed it) Shriner. Yes, it's definitely time to log off...


Rockin' Robin? No, Boogiein' Budgie.

He rocks in the tree tops all day long
Hoppin' and a-boppin' and singing his song
All the little birdies on Jaybird Street
Love to hear the robin go tweet tweet tweet

The other day I tried, unsuccessfully, to describe a Budgerigar to a friend. I think my lack of success stems from my British explanation of "small blue and yellow birds that old ladies keep in cages in their living rooms" to a bewildered American audience...especially as I've discovered that (according to Wikipedia) they are known in the US as "common pet parakeets"...poor little blighters, instead of being known as 'rather cheerful pet parakeets' they get lumbered with "common"...it's enough to make you choke on your bird seed.

All of which bring me (rather indirectly) to Tatty Devine's budgie brooch and necklace created for artist Susanna Edwards' 'Jayne amongst the birds' exhibition...a recreation of the 1959 East London Budgerigar and Foreign Birds Society's show where the prizes were presented by Jayne Mansfield (let your mind boggle a little while over that one). Regardless (or is it because) of the tenuous connection to Ms. Mansfield I am now lusting over a budgie brooch...



7,200 seconds...

As I read through an article on The Times' website...basically a Public Service Announcement on the danger of the ruffle...I was struck by the following...

Tough accessories, such as gladiator sandals, harden the look. But beware the curse of the buckle: these Topshop knee-high sandals took two hours to fasten during the photoshoot (pity the poor stylist - and her fingers).

Two hours? Seriously? That has to be a typo. Who on earth would buy shoes that took that long to put on. And, an even bigger question, what happens if you go out for a couple of drinks while wearing them? I think we all know the answer...a lot of people sleeping in knee-high sandals this summer...


Origami - from ori meaning "folding" and kami meaning "paper"

I think that it's pretty well established by this point that I have "handbag issues"...and have spent more than any rational person should to obtain my latest obsession...but the one bag that I always assumed I would never get my sticky little hands on was an Hermes Kelly bag. Having concluded that even I would baulk at spending that much on a bag...especially when weighed up against, say, a round-the-world cruise or other item on my 'things to do before I die' list.

So, imagine my excitement when I learned that it was possible to visit Hermes' website and download your own Kelly...admittedly, not the leather version...but a paper mock-up (not for use during rainstorms). Of course, I could always trace it onto canvas for a slightly sturdier version...




How very random...

disneyrollergirl tagged me to reveal six "random/quirky" things about myself several days ago...as this week has been a little hectic here is my belated response...

1. I have never ridden a rollercoaster
2. I once worked on a sheep farm and delivered a lamb (and, as I was once asked if that meant that I drove a van, let me clarify...I was a sheep’s midwife...)
3. I love walking in snowstorms
4. I almost ran away with the circus...
5. If I have a bag of flavored candies I will (obsessive compulsively?) work my way through one flavor before I start on the next...
6. I lean towards non-conformity...if you ask me for six quirks I’ll only give you five...

I now ask The Style Observer, enc, and Hot Off The Sales Rack to tell us their quirks.


A working class hero is something to be...

Geek girl that I am, I'm always on the lookout for laptop bags that don't necessarily look like laptop bags (LBTDNLLLB for short)...the majority of laptop bags not exactly being a thing of beauty.

Enter the limited edition unfold bag from Working Class Heroes. Versatile...it can be worn over the shoulder, under the arm, or in your hand...fully extended for a 17" laptop or folded over for one of its smaller brethren. And luxurious...constructed from premium aniline cow leather & cotton canvas. It reminds me of a vintage travel bag and I can only imagine that it would improve with age, which is not something that can be said for your usual nylon number.


Another day, another scarf (print)

If I was going to have a slogan it would probably be something along the lines of "if there's a keffiyah print on it it's going to find its way into my closet"...because I do have a somewhat alarming fondness for that pattern.

My latest find in this category are these espadrilles from Rubber Duck. R.D. is the brainchild of former Danish model, Eik Ottosen, and apart from the fact that they are a step up (design-wise) from your normal espadrille these shoes are also handmade in China and Bangladesh by workers who are paid a decent wage and given an annual bonus. Corporate responsibility and a new way to satiate my lust for the scarf print...what more could I ask for?


As they say in the Blues Brothers...

Elwood: What kind of music do you usually have here?
Claire: Oh, we got both kinds. We got country *and* western.

Thus we welcome contender number 69 in the summer dress sweepstakes. Now I'm usually adverse to anything that contains any kind of Dolly Parton - Little House on the Prairie - cowboys and indians connotations...possibly due to my lack of interest in westerns (except the cheesy spaghetti kind) and my mother's love of Ralph Lauren's Country collection during the 80's (in case anyone's interested you very definitely can have too much faded denim and Santa Fe prints)...but this dress manages to have a hint of the desert without going over the top.

Another couple of inches of dress and we may have had a winner...as it is it will have to mosey on over to the maybe pile.


Wild horses wouldn't make me do it...

Whenever I see Maison Martin Margiela's horse print t-shirt in editorials (like this one from the May issue of Interview) lust starts to cause my eyes to glaze over...and the fact that when I look at it on Net-a-Porter I get a "my name is Trish and I'm into White Snake" vibe completely vanishes.

It's, sadly, way too expensive for something that causes such mixed emotions...so now I'm left to decide (with the current exchange rate) if Topshop's "inspired by" shirt is also too costly for a shirt that, when all is said and done, makes me think metalhead...


“She who waits for her knight must remember - she will have to clean up after his horse”

It's reprehensible (and I should be ashamed of myself) but this Marc Jacobs coat does not make me thing 'chic, 1950's housewife, out for an evening of dinner and dancing'...no, it makes me think 'cleaning ladies smock'...irregardless of which, I LOVE it.

Were it not for the hefty $4,000 pricetag (yes, you read that correctly) I would be trying to figure out ways of adding it to my (already extensive) coat collection...as it is I'll just pause, smell the flowers, and then move on...


"...in some ways, I'm like an old woman-lived it, seen it, done it, been there, have the T-shirt.” - Drew Barrymore

Did you know that 'on average, 20,000 liters of water are needed to produce 1 kilogram of raw cotton'? Or that 'approximately 10% of the pesticides produced world-wide are used in cotton growing'? No, neither did I...until I visited Re-shirts' website.

Re-shirts is an Austrian-based company with an interesting idea...to give second-hands t-shirts a second home. The t-shirts are listed on the site, along with a story about the shirt from its previous owner...when a shirt is purchased it is given an orange Re-shirt numbered label and new owners can update the site with stories of the shirt's newest experiences. It's a unique mix of conservation, community, and art installation...



"Holy haberdashery, Batman!"

I hate to say it but the above really is a quote from the 1966 series of Batman...I'm not sure which episode so the mind is left to boggle over what happened to cause such an outburst...but as a haberdasher is someone who, according to Webster's dictionary, is "a dealer in notions" I think I'm safe to use it for this post...though "Holy hosiery" would probably be more apt.

Because I seem to be addicted to American Apparel's tights at the moment...they're long enough to cover even my pins...beautifully opaque...and in a selection of colors that is making me giddy with excitement. The toe was stuck into the water, so to speak, with a bright red pair. A trip to the store yesterday garnered blue tights and bright yellow mesh socks...what I am going to do with b.y. mesh socks, I don't know...but once I had them in grasp I knew they were coming home with me. Now if I can just get my sticky little fingers on a pair of the back-seamed pantyhose in the "Coming Soon" section my hosiery drawer may be replete.Photobucket


Smile for the camera...

My father had an old school camera...with various lenses and settings. It looked terribly professional...and I think he considered himself the Scottish David Bailey...however the results were appalling...and we had albums full of family photos that were either blurry or off-center. His particular forte was to get 80% of a person in shot...and, like a picture of an iceberg, you always knew that something was missing.

I'd put his camera out of my mind (as you tend to do with painful memories) but it forced its way back in when I saw these bracelets made from used camera components. Unique, one-off...I just wish my father had used his camera for this purpose instead of photography...



Some Splendid reading for the weekend...


The weeks Splendid best!

Beautiful Makeup Search picks some great makeup for the multi-tasking Mom.

NY Spender loves her new T3 Tourmaline wet-to-dry flat iron!

ParisB of My Women Stuff shares some thought on the new Origins Organics face lotion.

Viva Woman takes a closer look at toners, toning mists and facial sprays and examines how each is suited for different skin types.

Karen from Makeup and Beauty Blog interviews MAC Cosmetics Senior Makeup Artist Jennifer Karsten and gets the skinny on how it's like to work with Kanye West.

Beauty Bento Box learns a thing or two about eye makeup via a MAC fafi eye makeover.

Beauty Secrets Revealed shares a Tropical Hair Conditioner Recipe for Silky and Shiny Hair

Beauty and Fashion Tech tries out a number of products from the new Sally Hansen Natural Beauty Line and posts a picture of the completed look.

Beauty Match discovers Cossidia Rejuvenating Capsules: Nanotechnology skincare!

Style...a work in progress ponders whether jewelry can have the evil eye when she says " Wish me luck!"

Petite Fashionista got an email from Hayden's Panettiere's mom and she's got some exciting news to share Once you read this, you better hurry and grab a ticket to this petite friendly event!

Sasha of Style Manila discovers a way to wear her vintage silk sari as a dress.

Tops 2 Bottoms offers the Bandeau One-Piece Swimsuit as a stylish reason to get wet this summer.

Indie Style File take a long lustful look at Vancouver Fashion Week.

Shoe Blitz features this chunky heel sandal, which is a great alternative to flats.

The Space Between My Peers recommends Making Peace With Your Body Image.

ShopDiary says Gossip Girl Serena Van der Woodsen’s Burberry Prorsum The Mason Warrior Bagwill come in handy when she eventually goes to battle with her arch-nemesis, Georgina Sparks.

Shopalicious shows you how to impress your Mom on Mother's Day with this charming Ava Rose wicker handbag -- and get 15% off too!

Her Accessories has been blogging about her favorite picks for Mother's Day and has posted her favorite picks - sure to win you Mom points!

All that & a found a gorgeous knife pleat dress that will take you through summer


A very merry un-birthday to you...

Belated birthday greetings to the lovely enc over at observationmode...as an tribute to your one-woman quest to worm the humble jumpsuit into our hearts and minds...and potentially our closets...I offer this little number from American Apparel's vintage store, California Select.

May I draw your attention to the luxurious polyester fabrication, the floral hood-lining, the toggle neck-closure...and the look of desperation on the model's face as she tries to figure out how much longer she has to wear it for...

Joyeux Anniversaire! Buon Compleanno! Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!


“Life is like music; it must be composed by ear, feeling, and instinct, not by rule.” - Samuel Butler

When I came across this picture of Anouck Lepère at Coachella I was smitten. This one image represents my ideal for summer music festivals...a mix of vintage (the dress)...designer (the shoes...though I will say I wouldn't personally wear Lanvin ballet flats for a day in a potentially muddy field)...and the eccentric (in this case Margiela's mono shades).

Great inspiration which sadly, given my track record, may not be put to any use...based on the (rather embarassing) fact that I got heat stroke at the last similar event I attended. How people manage to spend a day outside in the heat of the sun and look cool, calm, and collected I will never understand...in this instance I'm going to assume it's thanks to an air-conditioned VIP tent...or else I am a genetic freak so accustomed to cold rainy weather that I melt like an ice cream in the sun.

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