Aw, nuts!

I have to say, nuts make me think of Christmas...thanks to childhood memories of the inevitable bowl of nuts in shells (brazil, walnut, hazelnut) and accompanying "festive nut cracker" a household where no one actually liked them...which accounted for the layer of dust that was gathered on them by New Year's. I assume that they were part of my mother's childhood and she felt the need to carry on the tradition but, to me, unless you're a peanut or cashew I have very little interest.

Until now...when I have had to amend my list to include whatever nut was used to carve this vintage Barong mask ring. The Barong is a Balinese deity who is a "force for good"...the Christmas nut basket was, of course, a "force for evil"...together they equal each other out.


I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream

There are a myriad of uses for these frosty treat drawstring bags...I'm thinking of using them as shoe bags for when I travel...but whatever you do with them they're sure to make you smile...and have an overwhelming urge for an ice cream.

Okay, so not the best bet if you're on a diet...



“Mild restraint will go a long way with lace. No one has done a floor-length lace evening gown since the late '70s.” - Brian Primeaux

T-shirts may be a summer basic but don't you wish that sometimes they just weren't so...basic?

If, like me, you need a break from basic cotton get ready to say hello to Slow and Steady Wins the Race and their unique take on the humble white t-shirt. The shape we all know (and to some extent love) in ten different fabrics...including coated linen, panne velvet, leather, and (my particular favorite) lace.

A nice little break from the norm, don't you think?


Life is like a box of chocolates...

He may have banned Hadley Freeman from attending his menswear show in Paris but I'll always have a soft spot for Paul Smith's clothes...especially when I see something like this floral t-shirt dress. In an instant it makes me think of chocolate box lids...paintings on velvet...vintage jigsaw puzzles...and all kinds of other dated quaintness.Photobucket


Take a little walk with me...

You may be familiar with Louis Vuitton's printed travel guides...I must admit that I've seen them in stores but never flicked LV is moving into the arena of audio guides which you can download into your mp3 player or phone. It's an interesting idea though the website did leave me with more questions than answers...if only because of the disturbing way that actress Shu Qi tells me she's going to show me "her Hong Kong"...quite frankly the one thing that I don't need from an audio tour is that overwhelming suspicion that it's trying to proposition me.

My other issue is cost-related as, at $17 each, it's rather expensive to go for a walk in Beijing, Hong Kong, and Shanghai (the three cities currently on offer)...which is rather galling, in these times of rising gas prices surely a virtual walk should be relatively inexpensive?


"Quack, quack" says the duck

I've mentioned my fascination with rubber shoes before and, gosh darn it, I'm going to do it again. I can't help it...the idea of having fashionable shoes that also allow me to go for a walk in the rain and keep my feet dry is too entrancing to ignore...I'm obviously part human/part waterfowl.

My latest find are these black and white rubber brogues. Shoes so snazzy that I would brave the pound to dollar exchange rate to get them in my grasp...were it not for the fact that they're not available in my size.


“Men make counterfeit money; in many more cases, money makes counterfeit men.” - Sydney J. Harris

These coin necklaces look like something that you'd find as you rummage through a box of odds and ends in an antique shop. Nicely worn and knocked around, comforting in the well-worn way.

What do you think...a penny for your thoughts?



“One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I'll never know.” - Groucho Marx

As an EPP (exceedingly pale person) who spends the majority of the summer under a hat or parasol I am constantly on the look out for something new and interesting in the head-covering line. Like this (completely unsubtle) elephant hat...from the front, slighty wacky with a vague pith helmet feel...and from the side, 70's tourist souvenir.

If it wasn't for the price, which is a little high for what is admittedly a novelty item, I would be adding this to my summer hat rotation faster than you can say "in the jungle, the quiet jungle".



That basilisk is sure to kill...

“Man may escape from rope and gun;
Nay, some have outliv'd the doctor's pill:
Who takes a woman must be undone,
That basilisk is sure to kill”

- John Gay

I seem to have a fascination at the moment with weapons made of unlikely substances, first the wooden knuckledusters, and now these felt weapons from mp industries in Berlin.

I obviously have some pent up aggression...that I want to relieve with objets d'art.



Some Splendid reading for the weekend...


From the Splendicity Community, comes this week's best in Beauty, Fashion and Shopping. Check out the very splendid best!


CelebLOOK tells you where to get the fab tee, for charity no less, that Courtney Cox has been sporting.

ShopDiary has invites to a Rue La La, an exclusive invitation only shopping site whose past sales featured Chloe, Prada, Hanky Panky, Juicy Couture and more.

Her Accessories has just launched a new jewelry blog, Gleaming Things - come and check it out!

Glamour Gift Guide talks about the Miu Miu Dragonfly Clutch.


Come test your luck! NY Spender is giving away a beautiful Amelia Rose necklace worth more than $500!

Tops 2 Bottoms welcomes the new Black. Explore style options with Navy as it makes its comeback in the fashion scene.

Check out what Sasha wore to the Philippine Fashion Week over at Style Manila.

Style...a work in progress experiences monomania when she takes a look at Louis Vuitton's latest collaboration with Takashi Murakami.

Shoe Blitz shows you the Christian Louboutin suede booties with tonal leather stripes.

Viva Woman shares with you the DIY way to store and organize your hook earrings.


Beauty and Fashion Tech reviews two good acne treatment products, the Bioelements and DDF Acne Treatment Masks.

Beauty Bento Box invites you to join the conversation on makeup and Asian skin and get the chance to win Artistry goodies!

Beauty Secrets Revealed asks Is Wine An Anti-aging Potion?

Krizia from Beauty Match discovers UnDamage free beauty samples specifically created for smoker’s skin

Cinnamon Kitten launches a string of upcoming contests with a contest giveaway for a goodie "box" stuffed with beauty products!


As the Mad Hatter said...or was it the March Hare?


March Hare: Birthday? Hahaha! My dear child, this is not a birthdayparty!

Mad Hatter: Of course not! Hehehe! This is an unbirthdayparty!

Alice: Unbirthday? Why, I’m sorry, but I don’t quite understand.

March Hare: It’s very simple. Now, thirty days have Sept- no, when... an unbirthday, if you have a birthday then you... haha... she doesn’t know what an unbirthday is!

Mad Hatter: How silly! Ha HA Ha Ha! Ah-hum... I shall ellusinate! Now statistics prove, prove that you’ve one birthday.

March Hare: Imagine, just one birthday every year.

Mad Hatter: Ahhh, but there are 364 unbirthdays!

This happens to be my opposed to all those other days which I celebrate as unbirthdays...and possibly the only time I could envision wearing Martin Margiela's gift bow ring.

However, as the ring is a momentary whim, I will focus on the tapas and gallons of sangria...which, later today, will be a reality.



Confucius says...

When putting your new bicycle helmet upon your not get all goofy. Otherwise the edge of the helmet slams into the bridge of your nose and you end up with a good-sized bruise...and everyone you meet assumes you've been hit with a club.

Yes, I am speaking from personal experience here...



How can a (relatively) rational woman conceive a desire for something based on a description and the associations created by her mind...finally see it and realize it is not the object of lust that she imagined...yet still experience a yearning for it? It's simply not the act of a sane person.

And yet, embarrassing as it is to admit it, I am currently in the throes of this monomania. The item? A piece of the latest Louis Vuitton/Takashi Murakami collaboration...Monogramouflage...which, in my mind, was going to be tough (yet feminine)...Sergent Benjamin meets haute couture...amusing and earthy and, a chance to add to my collection of Murakami ephemera.

Then I stopped by my local Louis Vuitton store and was...severely disappointed. Though I only saw a bag...and the object of my affection was an over-sized scarf...the colors were washed-out...sad. I left disillusioned.

And yet...and yet...a part of me still wants that (hideously expensive) scarf. What is going on here? The madness has to stop.



On an impulse...well, not really...

Though it seems a little earlier than usual, we have entered that magical time of year when items that you've been a lioness on the Serengeti going after a particularly succulent wildebeest...are now slightly more appealing (pricewise that is).

Yes, the summer sales are here...and two items which I have been yearning after, but ignoring in a vague effort to be fiscally responsible, will soon be winging their way to me.

Item #1, Opening Ceremony's suede desert boots...because I need some comfortable shoes and my skirts and dresses need a touch of "Bridge on the River Kwai". Item #2, Junya Watanabe's reverse pants...or, as Mr. Heb said when I showed him a picture of them, "MC Hammer pants"...something which I naturally countered with "not just MC Hammer pants...Japanese-preppy MC Hammer pants". Which isn't the snappiest of comebacks, I admit, but it was that or start singing "U Can't Touch This"...



Beyond the fringe...

Having been pondering some knee-high fringed sandals from Topshop for a few weeks now I happened upon this picture of Elle Macpherson in a much more expensive (though remarkably similar) pair from Etro...yet another lesson that it's often best to stop and think before making the leap into the shopping abyss...because if these shoes can make "The Body" look stumpy what hope is there for us mere mortals?Photobucket


A jug of wine, a loaf of bread...and thou

Working on the theory that 'one out of five isn't bad'...even when it's applied to the five food groups...I once spent several weeks in Paris surviving on baguettes and red wine. Something which I can't recommend from a dietary perspective but is certainly a regimen that saves money for the necessities of, shopping.

On the upside, it appears that I'm not alone in my love of the dough and the grape as I just came across this bread and wine bag...


The happiest drink in the world...?

When I was in my local wine store the other day I came across a piece...or should that be a drop...of my childhood...otherwise known as Babycham, the (self-titled) happiest drink in the world. Unfortunately it's also one of the chav-iest but, be that as it may, a small tingle of anticipation ran down my spine when I saw the bottle nestling on the shelf.

A tingle which lasted until I opened the bottle. Because, as it turn out, when they say "you can never go back" it relates to liquor as well.


This is Ground Control to Major Tom...

Even though I have a slight fear of flying...well, alright, to be precise it's not the flying as much as the crashing into the ground...I'm entranced by the idea of spending a vacation aboard Manned Cloud...the dirigible designed by Jean-Marie Massaud...which hopes to be the first luxury hotel in the sky.

There's something about the idea of floating (relatively) noiselessly above the ground that is very appealing...and, of course, the restaurant, bar, library, and terrace wouldn't hurt either.


Les vacances

Monsieur Hulot, the character created by French filmmaker Jacques Tati, was a man of few words. They simply weren’t needed in his world where music and mannerism could express so much. With virtually no vocabulary Tati was able to comment on everything from Western society’s obsession with material possessions to France’s class structure and even the cold and often impractical nature of the space-age design that captured the public’s attention at the time.

Which makes me wonder how he would have responded to the Mr. Hulot’s Holiday scent created by Christopher Brosius for his company, CB I Hate Perfume. Brosius was previously known for his work at Demeter, which he founded, and whose scents gave the wearer the opportunity to smell like an idealized form of familiar, everyday aromas such as tomatoes, rain, or dirt.

With CB I Hate Perfume he takes that idea and moves it forward, instead of a single scent an entire memory or experience is evoked. Fragrances such as In the Library, which conjures up “Russian and Moroccan leather bindings, worn cloth and a hint of wood polish” or At The Beach 1966, whose “prime Coppertone 1967 blended with a new accord I created especially for this perfume – North Atlantic. The base of the scent contains a bit of Wet Sand, Seashell, Driftwood and just a hint of Boardwalk. The effect when you wear (it) is as if you’ve been swimming all day in the ocean.” For Mr. Hulot’s Holiday Brosius combined “the salty breath of the breeze off the Mediterranean, driftwood, rocks covered with seaweed and the smell of old leather suitcases”.

Tati said of his creation, “His principal defect is inattentiveness which makes him unsuited to our functional age. Everyone has a bit of Hulot in them”. Now thanks to Brosius everyone can have a little Hulot on them as well.



“Just tell yourself, Duckie, you're really quite lucky!” - Dr. Seuss

After some restless clicking...some days visiting numerous websites in a short span of time can have a curiously calming effect...I ended up at Lucky magazine, where my eye was caught by the "cute outfit of the day" for May 30th.

I always think that this particular length and style of skirt can be problematic...with a definite tendency towards it's nice to see someone wearing one and looking, yes, cute. Maybe it's time to resurrect a few of these skirts which have been languishing in the furthest outreaches of my closet...


“Well, if you're tattooed on your face or your arms ... where people can see it ... most employers probably would not hire you.” - Laura Bush

I'd never get a tattoo...due to a low pain threshold...and the over-riding question of what, say, a 3" blue M&M would look like on my upper arm when I'm an old age pensioner (a question which has to occur to Marc Jacobs at some point in time). I am, however, all for temporary tattoos...the cheesier the this To Do List one...useful if you're anally retentive and like to write notes on your hands.



Things that make you go, "hmmmm"

At first glance, this viewmaster from Belgian conceptual artist Wim Delvoye reminded me of the version I had as a small child. Then I delved a little deeper and all similarities ended. My viewmaster featured slides with, I believe, scenes from Snow White and Sleeping Beauty...

Wim Delvoye's version contains 12 discs of 3-D photographs of his "Cloaca-installations". Having no idea who or what a Cloaca was I decided to do some investigating. And I found that Cloaca are combinations of art and science which duplicate certain bodily functions or, to be more precise...

"Mini Cloaca is a tubular structure made of metal and glass, and composed of mechanical organs that swallow, grind, digest and defecate a given amount of food. The quantity of food ingested is equivalent to that of a French-style breakfast. The particular aestheticism of this machine, with its transparent organs and visible Archimedes-screws, is an attraction in itself."

Apparently Delvoye tries to rid the figure of the artist of "the romanticism commonly attached to it". I think he's succeeded, how about you?



As I'm having some summer clothing "issues" you may have noticed that my mind is moving onto accessories...for the simple reason that no matter how much I may look like a wilted piece of lettuce after 5 minutes outside at least my bag/bracelet/shoes can retain their dignity (yes, the high humidity of summer has finally arrived and I'm feeling...limp).

This pompom bedecked basket bag however looks crisp, yet fun, and reminds me of a summer that I spent in the south of France (where, thanks to the lack of humidity, I didn't feel as generally mauled by Mother Nature as I do at this moment).


“The way money goes so fast these days, they should paint racing stripes on it.” - Mark Russell

It's a little tacky, I a weird kind of punk meets 80's Madonna kind of way...but I do find myself strangely drawn to Uniqlo's striped belt t-shirt. Thankfully their website doesn't deliver outside the UK, thereby saving me from any random acts of clicking...Photobucket


Some Splendid reading for the weekend...


From the Splendicity Community, comes this week's best in Beauty, Fashion and Shopping. Check out the very splendid best!


Teri from Aging Fabulous has been testing the Lancome Absolue Premium bx Cloth Masks and the results are in.

Viva Woman takes a look at sunscreen ingredient Helioplex from Neutrogena and compares its Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch with La Roche-Posay Anthelios containing Mexoryl.

Karen from Makeup and Beauty Blog shows you how to get a silver and pink eye look with eyeshadows from MAC Cosmetics.

Beauty and Fashion Tech tries the Sally Hansen Natural Beauty oOundation, Concealer, and Powder and loves them!

Beauty Secrets Revealed is Giving Away Bramble Berry's DIY Eyeshadow Kit Worth $45

A Touch of Blusher's guest reviewer reports on the new Thierry Mugler makeup line .

Youthful skin is IN! Beauty Banter dishes on Jurlique's new anti-aging collection! After all, who doesn't want to look younger?!

Raging Rouge gets lipstick tips and tricks from the Lipstick Queen herself, Poppy King! You won't want to miss her advice, or information about her new book!

Krizia from Beauty Match Network highlights her Essie's Summer Neons!


Style...a work in progress's husband has found his summer muse...but can they find the right pants? Find out why she says No white after Labor Day (and not much before either).

Snarkstress doesn't recommend taking Office Wear style cues from the ever-so-classy Amy Winehouse, but notes there are moments when the fashion forces of Kat Von D may take over - right, Charlize?

Petite Fashionista is all shiny and new and invites you to check out all the new features, plus to celebrate there will be lots of contests in the nest few weeks!

The Space Between My Peers describes three color combining techniques for blondes who want to wear black.


Over at NY Spender, Bullitt the cat points you to some great online deals. This week he has found some cool bermuda shorts!

Shopalicious has found a place to score cute summer dresses for under $50!

Her Accessories is loving the vintage style of these metal and enamel pendants from designer Peggy Li.

Indie Style File is

ShopDiary has
invites to The Top Secret, a private online sample sale site.

eye4style tells lucky readers how to get their hands on an iconic piece of Sex and the City movie memorabilia.

STYLEnosh asks readers to weigh in with their opinions on Wear or Return these heels5 Under $50 Father's Day gifts to show Fathers how we appreciate and love them this Father's Day


" be possessed with double pomp..."

“Therefore, to be possessed with double pomp,
To guard a title that was rich before,
To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
To throw a perfume on the violet,
To smooth the ice, or add another hue
Unto the rainbow, or with taper light
To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish,
Is wasteful and ridiculous excess.”

- William Shakespeare

Though I'm having issues with certain aspects of my summer wardrobe after a little shopping expedition yesterday one thing is certain...I'm developing a fetish for brass bracelets (try saying that ten times, fast). It started with Old Navy's multi-strands of beads and is continuing with this Bonnie double-wrap bracelet from Club Monaco. I think part of this is regression (in years gone by I wore a selection of bracelets during the summer until, one by one, they disintegrated)...I was going to add that it makes even my pallid skin look a little tanned but clearly, and undeniably, after one glance at the picture above I have to admit that that is an optical illusion.

An added bonus is that, as the bracelet is designed to be wrapped several times around the wrist, it can also be worn as a long necklace or double wrapped choker...making it a nice little multi-tasker to take on my travels.


"Greetings Everybody! This is your number one enemy, your favourite playmate..."


With no vacation plans on the horizon I found myself drooling over the Tokyo Rose editorial in the summer issue of 10 magazine. Not necessarily for the clothes...Marc Jacobs' deconstructed dresses not exactly being my cup of sake (though I wouldn't say no to the Anna Sui top and skirt above)...more for the general ambiance of the shots.

A slightly surreal vacation, with suitably twisted sightseeing outfits, sounds fun right about now...and Tokyo is on my "one of these days I'm going to get on a plane and go there" list...but until that happens I will live vicariously through the pages of a magazine.



Vanity, thy name is...Hebden

Having decided that a little exercise may not be such a bad thing (thanks to whatever boffin at Hagen Daz invented their Sticky Toffee Pudding ice cream) I dragged my bicycle out of storage and had it tuned up, only to realize that the majority of bicycle helmets out there are...hideous.

I know they're necessary...I know they could save my life...and I know it's incredibly vain under these circumstances to want something that is neither pink, nor patterned, nor featuring various visors and fins but there it is. Thankfully I came across the Faction helmet, designed for use by BMX-ers and skateboarders it resembles a WWII motorcycle helmet and, in matte black, I love it.

Which means that the only unresolved question is bicycle bell or horn...?


“About the only thing we have left that actually discriminates in favor of the plain people is the stork.” - Kin Hubbard

The world is a very unfair place when someone can look as good as this wearing a cast (even if the person in question is Erin Wasson attending the CFDA Awards)...and, to add insult to injury, she's wearing heels!

Okay, to be precise, one heel...which, if anything, only adds to my awe.


"Letting 'I dare not' wait upon 'I would' the cat in the adage..."

PhotobucketAs you may have noticed, I've been hemming and hawing over summer dresses for a deplorable amount of time now. So long in fact that fate has given me a reminder that sometimes a girl can take too long to make up her mind as...having finally narrowed down my selection to Wood Wood's lilac over-sized shirt dress...I clicked on the link I had saved and's sold out.

Yes, there's definitely a fine line between waiting to make the right selection and sitting on the fence so long that it develops woodworm. So, back to the drawing board go I...and at this rate summer will be over before I make up my mind...


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

I was taking a walk around town the other day and came across this sticker on a lamp post by the lake...

Perfect for those days when you need a little affirmation (and aren't too proud to take it from an inanimate object).


One is the loneliest number...?

Any frequent readers out there in the blogosphere may have noticed that my posting schedule has changed from a (hopeful) twice a day to a (slightly depressing) once a day...anyone visiting here due to a random search on Google probably just thought "why did 'bare-legged stewardess' or 'VEST FEEDING BEFORE BASKETING IN RACING PIGEON' (why all caps? why?) pull this up, this isn't what I was looking for"...

The reason for the change of pace is dual fold...firstly, an alteration in my work schedule...and, secondly, an increase in the number of places that I am writing for...I know, I know, I shouldn't whine...Susie Bubble posts at an astounding rate with nary a whimper...and here I am bemoaning the lack of hours in the day to get everything's obviously a case of "not so much a bang as a whimper, not so much a whimper as a wimp".

If you are, however, a glutton for punishment and miss the additional posts you may want to take a look at 212DRESSINGROOM...part store/part fashion and art magazine ...for a chance to shop and read some more in-depth posts from myself and fellow bloggers (like Patricia Yagüe of bobble bee) similar to the one below...


When I glanced in the mirror today I saw a rather eclectic mix of an Isabel Marant dress, American Apparel t-shirt, Chanel cuff, and no-name shoes. A look that is both comfortable and an expression of my personal style but by no means fast fashion; thought and effort are required. And though, for myself, I love the thrill of mixing and matching, and dislike the accompanying knowledge that some days will be decidedly more “miss” than “hit”, I do occasionally yearn for the ease of ‘le tout ensemble’. But, in today’s society, is there any place for loyalty to a single designer or label? Especially when one considers that the very concept of wearing a solitary designer’s wares from head to toe seems dated and more of a uniform than a method of self-expression.

Initially I thought that a look at a roll-call of women with such fashion faithfulness may assist me, though both Vanessa Traina at Proenza Schouler and Lauren Santo Domingo at Nina Ricci fall under the “designer and their muse” category which, though I’m sure is pleasing for both parties isn’t possible for most of us. A glance at the socialite roster gives us Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy and her affection for Calvin Klein, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and her allegiances to Chanel, Givenchy, and Oleg Cassini (amongst others), and Babe Paley who regularly bought entire haute couture collections from major fashion houses. Once again, though this kind of largesse inspires envy it probably doesn’t help to answer the label loyalty question for the majority of us. Perhaps a perusal of history may help.


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