Jolie laide?

I seem to be on a sandal kick at the moment but I think it's part of my getting-equipped-for-summer-angst...more on that another day when I get my thoughts in order...

When I first came across Modern Vintage's gladiator sandals I couldn't decide if they were a)ugly, yet pretty and kind of cool or b)ugly, vaguely orthopedic, and 70's glam. At this point I think they're a mixture of all those things...and a little odd pot-pourri of Gene Simmons, Bande à part, and 50's schoolgirl...slightly wrong and yet oddly attractive. Or jolie laide, as the French say, unconventionally attractive. But, really, who wants to be conventional?

"Not I", said the fly.



Every bunny loves some bunny, sometime

There's something so Alice in Wonderland-y creepy about this brass caged rabbit necklace...probably because the rabbit is in a raises so many questions.

Does it have identity issues and think it's a canary?

Does it belong to some eccentric...or short-sighted...old lady?

Or is it just a rebellious rule breaker, determined not to be forced into the conventions of life in a hutch?


The Bear Necessities…

I’d like to say, right now, that I am not specifically searching for Lagerfeld related oddities...I just keep stumbling across them. First the Yuletide log...then the "collectible figure"...and now, news that German stuffed toy Gods Steiff (creators of the very first plush animal back in 1902) are planning to produce a Karl bear...complete with a dark suit, dark glasses, et al.

I don’t know about you but I am dying to see what Lagerfeld loot I uncover next...


“No man who is in a hurry is quite civilized” - Will Durant

I’m sure everyone’s heard by now that Net-a-Porter plans to offer two looks from Halston’s Fall/Winter collection for sale on February 5th, the day after it is shown in New York...which is great for anyone who hates that pesky six month lag between seeing the clothes on the runway and actually being able to buy them. But...

Isn’t this going to make fashion, with a capital F, more disposable than it already is...with items becoming “old” and “out of date” before they are even available in the majority of stores? And, as a consumer, isn’t a waiting period a good thing? I know that I, for one, have coveted items when I saw pictures, fresh from the runway...and probably would have purchased them, had the opportunity arisen...but, after a few month's sober reflection, the madness passed and the realization set in that maybe they weren't for me. Let's face it, I have enough "mistakes" in my wardrobe that were bought with adequate time for sober contemplation...the damage that I could do in the heat of battle doesn't bear thinking about.

Likewise, I feel that some collections need to drill into your subconscious before you can truly appreciate their subtleties. Immediate access calls for immediate action...which may be great for retailers but feels too rushed, for me at least. But what about you, dear reader, do you see this as an idea that fully utilizes modern technology and beats the knock-off artistes at their own game...or a step on a slippery slope that will lead to items moving from “one season wonders” to “five minute flash-in-the-pans”?


Bang Bang Rock & Roll

Do you ever have one of those days when you're feeling a little bit Commedia dell'arte...a little bit rock groupie? You do? Then do I have the t-shirt for I imagine this is what Harlequin would wear when he was hanging out listening to Art Brut (I've said it before...I have an over-active imagination).


Cue music...


“You are my inspiration…Yvette” – Rock Hudson, Pillow Talk


I came across Bazaar en Espanol by accident...having flipped through all my usual targets at Barnes and Noble I was still, quite frankly, bored. But there was Diane Kruger, looking golden and welcoming, so I gave it a try.

Advance far as the editorials it is, if anything, slightly more bland than US Bazaar (who knew that was possible?). There were, however, several pages of snapshots...“women who provide inspiration”...that were so spot-on that it was worth the $2.95 purchase price (real big spender...).

Casual Chic...featuring, amongst others, Catherine Deneuve, Talitha Getty, and Marianne Faithfull. The only oddity being Madonna in a green tracksuit...compared to everyone else on the page she stuck out like a sore (gangrenous) thumb and I couldn’t figure out why she was included. The Eccentrics...Isabella Blow, Cecilia Dean, Charlotte Rampling. The Society Dames...the Traina sisters, Babe Paley, and Gloria Guinness. And the Icons...Betty Catroux, Jean Shrimpton, and Amanda Harlech.

The thing that I really appreciated was that the images weren’t all the “It Girls” of the moment. Much as I love the style of the Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen (and both graced these pages), it was refreshing to see Nancy Cunard...Julie Christie...and Lauren Bacall...looking gorgeous and...inspirational.



Back to Black…and White

You may recall I mentioned a couple of days ago that I really don’t need any new sunglasses...well, I really don’t need any more gladiator sandals either. I do, however, desperately want this two-tone woven leather pair by Sigerson Morrison. To my mind they’re a user-friendly version of the knee-high shoes at Balenciaga...all of the black and white graphic glory...none of the towering heels and concern over whether the cut-outs areas make your calves look fat.


Walk like an Egyptian

When I first saw this brooch, I had a mental picture of some Victorian gentleman coming home and bringing it to his wife as a gift, only to be met with "a Pharaoh got me the head of some dead Egyptian guy? Some women get one of these new fangled vacuum cleaners, but you get me a brass head." Cue an antimacassar being whipped off the sofa and thrown, petulantly, to the ground.

Then my brain cleared, and I decided that even if my imaginary lady from the past didn't like it...I did.


“Do not let Sunday be taken from you. If your soul has no Sunday, it becomes an orphan.” - Albert Schweitzer

As the weather has been pretty horrific recently I haven't done much "bricks & mortar" shopping and have, instead, been roaming the web while my radiator hisses and puffs away by my side. But today we saw some actual sunshine and temperatures above freezing so I grabbed my credit card and hit the streets.

My main impetus for the shopping expedition (apart from the nice weather) was to check out the new season's merchandise at a local boutique. Lesson #22, always call first...even though it's the end of January, no new stock was on the shelves...but I did pick up a heavily reduced Isabel Marant Etoile dress...too thin for winter but a welcome addition to my summer I really can't complain.

Next stop was the Marc by Marc Jacobs store which recently opened in town. It was, I have to say, surprisingly disappointing...a concrete shopping bunker that didn't seem to have had much done to it since the builders left...and the general ambiance of a fire-sale (albeit an expensive file sale). I've actually been in guerrilla stores that had more of a sense of permanence...there were price tags left on some of the tubs holding the merchandise.

A few more stores, unexciting for various reasons, and then I hit the jackpot at Urban Outfitters...

I've been searching for a certain style of Havanna hat for a while now...ever since I saw Sarah Jessica Parker wearing one in Sex and the City (I know, I know, the cliche police will be by shortly to shoot me)... I've been using Mr. Heb's but it didn't quite have the cheeky tilt that I was looking for. I have found a few contenders in the past but they've always been a couple of hundred dollars more than I was happy paying for a hat that could blow off my head and end up squashed under a car tire...this $28 version though meets my "cheeky" criteria and my price point.

U.O. also yielded these ankle-strap flats whose faux-snakeskin gives me a jolt of the python from Christopher Kane's summer collection...and should liven up some of the gray that I seem to have loaded my closet with recently. Unfortunately I didn't see these on their website so I'm unable to add a link for anyone who would like a pair of these to slither into their lives.



“Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot; others transform a yellow spot into the sun.” - Picasso

I'll admit right now that I don't actually need a new pair of sunglasses...but then, how often does need come into play when we're discussing prospective future purchases? And so, working on the premise that I need new glasses like a hole in the head (which presumably I could disguise with the new glasses), I am seriously coveting these beauties from Lara Bohinc.

Reminiscent of the Art Nouveau metalwork found at the entrances of Paris Metro stations perhaps they could help soothe my wanderlust...or is that asking too much from a pair of sunglasses?


Ask not what consumerism can do for you...but what you can do for consumerism

Having read an article on the Stanford Graduate School of Business' website regarding some research that was conducted on shopping I have come to the conclusion that my purchasing habits are either severely outside the norm (always a possibility) or this survey did not take clothes shopping into account. Take a look at the entire article and see what you think but, in the meantime, here are a few sentences that especially caught my eye...and some snippets of what passed through my mind as I read them...

The researchers also learned that the more the first item was perceived to be a luxury buy––with the associated guilt––the less likely people were to make a second purchase.
Obviously the researchers had never seen me at Prada...or Barneys...or Selfridges...or, well, almost, after one luxury buy, it always seems alarmingly easy to make a second.

“Stores should put momentum starters at the front of the store––things like newspapers and umbrellas in the rainy season, which don’t require a lot of deliberation. Those kinds of things can get customers on a shopping roll,”
Personally, an umbrella is unlikely to start a shopping frenzy...neither is anything vaguely utilitarian...but, to each his own.

“If you’re out doing Christmas shopping,” for example, says Khan, “buy that indulgent item for yourself first. That will curb your shopping!”
Though I'm not going to argue with the concept (i.e. get yourself an "indulgent item" first), I can state categorically that this doesn't get your gift, everyone else gets their gifts, and the end result is your credit card is scorched.


Beau Comme La Guerre

I'm a scarf lover but, even for me, there comes a time in the summer when the temperature reaches a certain level and I have to forgo my safety blanket...or maybe I just came across this t-shirt from L.A. label, Harlow. Not only would I get to keep my keffiyah when the mercury rises...this shirt would also give my outfits some of the military vibe that I so loved in Isabel Marant's summer collection.


Madame Butterfly

Another entry in the "butterflies other than the type that lunge out at me from behind a flower in the Summer suddenly being sort of appealing" category...the cover of the Spring/Summer issue of Another Magazine. Not only part of the b.o.t.t.t.t.l.o.a.m.f.b.a.f.i.t.s.s.b.s.o.a. group but one of the most interesting magazine covers that I've seen in a while...proving that you can have an actress on the cover of a magazine without it looking like a generic clone of every other magazine with an actress on the cover.


North, South, East, West

The only downside to the plethora of street style blogs currently available is that you often come across a photograph and, like Veruca Salt, you simply want more...more detail...more angle...a different view. The outfit has so much detail and nuance that you want to immerse yourself in it. Case in point, this intriguing lady from Paris who I found on The Sartorialist. Someone who has veered away from the concept of "look in the mirror before you leave the house and remove one accessory" and, instead, has embraced excess and eclecticism...but not in a way that I, personally, think is overdone. She looks like she is expressing her true self...and appears supremely comfortable in what she has on...and, let's face it...looking comfortable in those Balenciaga "lego" shoes is quite a feat in itself.

Luckily, in this instance, I got my "more"...courtesy of Café Mode...including the mirror-topped small bag which is merely a sliver of blue in the initial shot. This is my "more", my hidden detail...and something I'd love to get my sticky little hands on.


Not quite what the doctor ordered

I've been a little "off" for the last few days...hopefully it hasn't come across in my writing, but just in case it has, I felt a little explanation was in order.

The reason is that after ten (or more) years of waking up to a morning Diet Dr. Pepper...and re-visiting the Dr. several times during the day...I have decided to give up soda. And, not to do the thing by half-measures, I'm going cold-turkey. So, Day fizzy caffeine...and it's actually going surprisingly well...apart from a slight headache....and a feeling that something is a little out of whack...


"Come fly with me, lets fly...lets fly...away"

I've always had a horror of butterflies. Well, at least since the time I was taken to a lepidopterist's house as a child...every wall, every space, was filled with specimens...pinned down and unable to fly (death, of course, also being a pertinent factor in their lack of movement).

Which should, of course, mean that I recoil from the idea of wearing butterflies on my clothing. It should...but such is the strange way that the mind works (well, mine at least)...that even though actual butterflies fill me with dread...when they're printed on something, like this Tawny Emperor top from Anthropologie, I find myself oddly attracted.

Work that one out, Dr. Freud...


"Hate mail is the only kind of letter that never gets lost by the Post Office." - Philip Kerr

When I saw these cards from Caulfield Parcel I was struck by two thoughts. Number one, I can't actually remember the last time I received a card that wasn't related to a birthday, Christmas, or some other celebration. Number two, I need to write more letters...or, to be more precise...I need to get off the computer and actually start writing letters again.


How far is too far?

Let me answer Members Only jackets is officially "too far". And, if their mere existence wasn't bad enough, there's the $600 price tag. Let's be honest though, their existence is enough...and it's pretty much a given that combinations of Juicy sweatpants and M.O. jackets will be hitting sidewalks near you in the very near, run for your lives!

I actually had one of the original jackets...a gift from a friend of my mother's from a slightly bilious grape color, its "cool factor" had to be explained to a small Scottish child (i.e. me). I "thanked the gentleman nicely" and then put the jacket in the back of my closet. You know what they say, "Never except candy, or ugly jackets, from strange men".


"Life in plastic, it's fantastic"

My fascination with discovering cute wet weather footwear is relatively well documented...I give you exhibit A...and B...

Though they won't be available until next Winter, these plastic Mary Janes (created as a collaboration between Vivienne Westwood and Brazilian designer Melissa) are now my favorite rainy day shoe. I don't care how smeggy the weather, could you wear these and possibly feel depressed?


These shoes were made for walking…well, at least to the limo…

Flat shoe wearers of the world rejoice...because at Chanel’s Spring/Summer Haute Couture show a couple of days ago there was not one pair of heels to be seen in the entire show. As a flat shoe girl it was rather heartening to see...and, with a hefty bank account, highly covetable.

All in all, definitely a “step” in the right direction...


Sweet Bobby and the uptown girl...

So sayeth a recent entry from APC founder, Jean Touitou's blog...and, with a link to the image from APC's homepage, he adds the following "It looks like Bobby just picked-up so uptown girl, and she takes him to the beach house". "Lucky old Bobby", say I...with nary a beach house looming in my future.

It is interesting, though, to hear what the inspiration was behind their Spring/Summer some elements make a little more sense...the sailor dress, the seashell necklace, the reefer-esque jacket...though the vaguely Sprouse-for-Louis-Vuitton leopard print is still a little confusing, not because it's leopard print (she is an uptown girl after all) but because it is awfully similar to Vuitton's pattern.

Explanations in place I am still a little disappointed though...both last season (to a greater extent) and now this season have left me with a sense that something is missing. These are still wonderful basics but they're lacking that spark that always drew me to APC in the past...maybe with a ton of APC in my closet I'm just getting jaded, but I don't think so...fellow APC addicts, what do you think? Yay, Nay, or somewhere in-between?

The good news for the eternal optimist (deeply hidden) inside me, is that the Autumn/Winter collection is looking least, this image from the look-book shoot is. Even though this is part of the men's collection, the shredded knit is calling to me in a very "APC of days gone by" kind of way.

Note: this image was removed as the "shredded vest" was not part of APC's future collection...


Red Rover, Red Rover

There are no pets in the Hebden household, the main reasons for this state of affairs being...Mr. Heb's allergies to dander...our mutual inherent laziness when it comes to walking any kind of pet...and any interest in a lizard disappearing as soon as we found out we were supposed to feed them live bugs.

If we could find the kind of super-civilized dog though that refrained from shedding, needed no exercise, and ate food that didn't make us squeamish I'd splurge and get them Gargantua's bowl and placemat...aka the dinner setting for the minimalist mutt.


In the Navy...

I seem to have been finding only high-ticket items recently so it was with some relief that I came across this burlap and suede-trimmed bowler bag at Old Navy. I was actually looking for shoes, "The Navy" being my place for a cheap shoe fix, but this bag sprang out at me...and who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth?

Especially as I'm trying to get a more minimal "summer look"...once it gets past a certain temperature, excess seems to make me look and feel even warmer...and one of these would be a nicely muted, yet chic, addition to my summer wardrobe.


"Good Girl (Looking For a Bad Time)" - Suzi Quatro

PhotobucketThis is an update on a post from a couple of months ago, when I mentioned my love affair with Heimstone's Spring/Summer collection...especially their leather trimmed jackets. Well, I'm still in love...but, sadly, it's going to be I found out that the jackets retail for around $1,700 pre-tax (star-crossed love is one thing, fiscally suicidal love is another thing altogether). But, though my love is on the ropes, it hasn't actually been knocked a further foray onto their website uncovered these very covet-worthy accessories.

The necklace suggests that another craft project is on the Hebden horizon...the cuffs as well, if I'm feeling particularly optimistic. The bag, on the other hand, which conjures up images of Suzi Quatro (for some inexplicable reason), is now on my wish list. Love has changed...evolved...and is hopefully a little more affordable.


The race is to the swift...aka the Devo tribute brooch

"When a problem comes along
You must whip it
Before the cream sits out too long
You must whip it
When somethings going wrong
You must whip it"

Devo, of course, wasn't discussing the dog...and the Victorian who made this delightful rolled gold whippet brooch back in the 1870's probably wasn't thinking about New Wave art rock. Yet I managed to link the two, which probably says terrible things about the state that my mind gets into when it's too cold to go outside and play.

Bad puns aside though, you have to's a very cool brooch.


Shabby chic?

Usually a sneak peek at French Vogue sets my pulse racing...and means that the staff at Barnes & Noble are about to be besieged with a daily game of Question & Answer..."is it in yet?"..."no". But this time there's no excitement, instead I find February's edition a little disturbing (and a little sad and depressing too).

According to the cover this is the "Bad Girls" issue. But what qualifies someone as a Bad Girl? Well, if the editorials are anything to go by...marrying decaying millionaires for their money...drug overdoses...short-shorts, and tattoos. Maybe I'm just old-fashioned but in Paris Vogue I'd expect slightly more "wanton, yet chic, femme fatale" and slightly less "trailer trash". Is this really aspirational? Are there really no better role models for modern wannabe bad girls than Amy Winehouse and Anna Nicole Smith? Don't get me wrong, I like Amy Winehouse's music...I just feel that style-wise (especially since her latest tracksuit and Reebok phase) she may not be the best person to emulate.

I think, in the end, it comes down to this...I love satire, but this is overly cruel...both to the people being satirized and the people paying to enter the funfair.


Splendid Reads for the Weekend

From the Splendicity community comes the best beauty and fashion links of the week.


Viva Woman
offers 5 tips to get the most out of your facial moisturizer.
Beauty and Fashion Tech reviews Laura Mercier Oil Free and Silk Creme Foundations.
Makeup and Beauty Blog says Glow in Style with Shu Uemura Glow On Blush.
Temptalia provides a detailed diagram on the parts of the eye you should know before applying makeup!
Beauty Secrets Revealed shares a Relaxing And Soothing Foot Soak Recipe.
Ellen from Spa Beautifully says that you may not need to get that liposuction done - now there is lipomassage.
Savvy Skin shares some Beauty No-Nos.
Henna at Canadian Beauty tells you about her new favourite primer.
The Mineral Makeup Blog shares info about Blusche Minerals' Phoebe Mineral Veil.
Aging Fabulous is in love with The Hand Treatment by La Mer.

Style...a work in progress questions the advisability of following the trend for sheer hosiery set by some designers in their Spring shows when she asks "I can see clearly?"
Shopalicious finds a cure for wardrobe malfunctions with the Bosom Button.
Indie Style File wants to warm up with Finnish knit socks.
All that & a wants to know: can you have a jazz shoe and a sneaker in one?
Petite Fashionista shares how the fashions of designer Laura Dahl are "petite friendly".

Laya's EYE
is drawn to the glamour of Gold & White.
ShopDiary gives us the scoop on the California gift card law: get cash back from your gift cards!
Her Accessories has teamed up with Nomination Italy to give away one of their "Prisoner of Love" bracelets.
NY $pender is in love with these colorful handbags!
ShoeBlitz love these Jimmy Choo Lois Snake Patent Pumps.
CelebLOOK tells us where to get a pretty red wool coat just like Katie Holmes'.


Dinner is served

There's something insanely satisfying about getting an exceedingly good deal on something. The feeling that though you have been known to run amok with your credit card on occasion you still have the ability to be frugal...a definite inner glow of satisfaction is attained.

Today's glow came courtesy of Anthropologie (which I actually only went in to to kill some time and warm up). Though I've cooled off on their clothes recently I do like their household goods with their eclectic country house vibe...and the sign saying "additional 40% off" was like one of those rocks which lured sailors to their doom. The end result? I left the store much warmer...with two over-sized melamine platters...and only $2.56 poorer.

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