|In case you haven't noticed, I tend to fall prey to the idée fixe...thoughts which take hold of my mind and squat for a while. At the moment my brain is filled with all things tartan...though I'm sure that will be pushed to one side once a different i.f. nudges its way in there.|
Until that happens though I'll continue to hunt around for plaid-y items of interest...like this clutch, whose bow is so rigidly perfect that it seems to subjugate the tartan...and make it toe the line...but not conquer it completely.
As I'm not a fan of plastic surgery...either the results or the concept of being sliced and diced like a side of beef...I'm probably severely out of touch with the plethora of possibilities ("procedure"-wise) that are available. So maybe I was more (shocked/horrified/amused) "insert correct word here" that I should have been when I came across an article on eyebrow replacement surgery. A brief synopsis...if you have over-plucked and are lacking a little something in the eyebrow line, doctors will now harvest some hair from the back of your head and transplant it in your barren brow region. Of course, at this point you transform from a plucker to a trimmer as the transplanted hair continues to grow as normal...unless of course this starts a trend for shoulder-length eyebrows...eyebrows worn in plaits and braids...or other potential styling opportunities.
As they say though, "a picture is worth a thousand words"...and what could be better than an infomercial (I'd suggest fast-forwarding to around the 1:10 area for the full effect)?
|"I wish I'd seen you as a little girl, without your armor to fend off the world...I would have kept you underneath my wing...I would protect you from everything." - unknown|
As I've been on "helmet patrol" recently I had to post a picture of this fur version from Rachel Comey. I think that, technically, it's more of a hat than a helmet...as I don't believe it offers much in the way of protection...but what it lacks in practicality it certainly makes up for in the "60's starlet meets 20's aviator meets baby bird" cute factor that it exudes.
|I'm buying less these days (I swear)...there's a lot of window shopping going on...but items that I actually lay down cold, hard, cash for are depressingly few and far between. So I wanted to do a quick follow-up on something that did actually make a dent in my credit card. Namely the APC leopard scarf that sold out in about 24 hours and therefore made me extremely dubious that it would ever actually appear in my mailbox. But, surprisingly, it did...this first shock was closely followed by a second, courtesy of the fabric...as my brain had registered this as a "silk scarf" and I'd been dubious about buying yet another silk scarf which, though pleasing to the eye, lacked any kind of warmth-factor. This scarf, as it turns out however, is actually a much more functional (and thicker) silk/cotton blend...which should keep me nice and toasty during the winter months...and make me a happy little leopard lady.|
Just the thing for whiling away a few hours on a dreary Sunday...or for adding a comforting, hazy blur to any photos that aren't quite as flattering as you could wish them to be...the Bakumatsu Koshashin Generator. A website which plays with time...in that your images gain an antique quality...and you lose several hours of your life as you play around (seriously, this site is so addictive it should come with a warning label, do not click through unless you have some time you wish to fritter away).
Infinitely more appealing than the offerings in Neiman Marcus' Christmas catalog this year (you may recall my curiosity regarding who would buy a $60,000 replica of themselves in Lego) is this Boardwalk Photo Booth from Hammacher Schlemmer. For a reasonable (if you're talking 'fantasy gifts') $10,000 you get the booth and enough film to take 3,200 pictures.
On my master wish list...not one of the transitory seasonal wish lists...but their big sister...who is eternal and only contains items which are "classic"...well, to me at least (a previous entry on this list was a Lucien Pellat-Finet sweater and I'm assuming that not everyone considers a cashmere sweater featuring a large skull wearing Mickey Mouse ears to fall under that category)...pieces which will, one day, make their way into my wardrobe...are listed Repetto ballet flats. Unfortunately I've heard from various sources that they have a tendency to run on the small side...and being someone who loathes returning things I've never wanted to risk ordering a pair online...and so they are destined to remain a m.w.l. item until I find myself in an actual bricks and mortar store that stocks them.
Which is a shame as I just came across this limited edition plaid pair which, even in my current state of flux over the advisability of wearing tartan, are pretty darned appealing.
|Apologies in advance to any Jeremy Scott fans out there but when I stumbled across Las Vegas based Shop Fruition (in my hunt to find a price for Ambush' “Beeeeethoven" necklaces...sadly too expensive for something that I'd be buying purely for the amusement factor) I was initially put off by the sheer volume of J.S. on offer.|
Thankfully (or not as the case may be when I'm trying to be "good" and not spend any money) I'm a born window shopper...even if the windows are on my computer...so I kept browsing. Luckily (as far as my new buying philosophy is concerned) the tiger sweater has been sold...and the Christian Dior trench a men's XL. And yes, I realize the irony of not liking Jeremy Scott yet falling for the (admittedly God-awful) tackiness of the tiger sweater...what can I say, I obviously have issues.
Thanks to the lovely enc for putting me onto yet another helmet hat, aka fancy dress for your bike helmet. Ever since my fainting spell a year and a half ago (and the subsequent collision between my head and an area of concrete flooring) I am paranoid about wearing my bicycle helmet whenever I set foot to pedal...regardless of the fact that I am by no means a speed demon (actually, as I get lapped by little old ladies and depressingly unfit looking folks, I wouldn't even qualify as a vaguely fast demon).
But even the most beautiful helmet gets a little dreary after continuous wear, hence my fascination with helmet hats...like these from Danish company, Yakkay. The thing about their covers, unlike some others that I've found, is that you'd actually want to wear them as hats (regardless of whether they were over a helmet or not).
|Word of the day..."recessionista". First spotted in this article on The Times' website...then on the cover of The Sunday Times' Style magazine. Some of the best before (fashionista) and after (recessionista) suggestions...|
Having it all - Having to choose the one, utterly perfect thing you just have to have this month
A hot tub for the garden - An hour-long bath, while sipping a vodka tonic
Pretending you’re allergic to wheat - Baking your own bread
As they say, "every cloud has a silver lining"...
It's funny...I've been contemplating pulling some tartan out of my closet this winter but have been racked by similar doubts as Merle Brown when she asked "Do I look too Scottish in this?". Because that's the problem for us Scots...even ones like me who have been out of the country for so many years that I only have an accent under times of severe stress (or, as Mr. Heb say, " I can tell when you're pissed off...you sound Scottish")...there's always an inner voice saying that once you don some tartan you look like you should be selling shortbread, whiskey, and postcards featuring The Loch Ness Monster.
Which causes me to pause when I find myself casting covetous glances at these leggings from Forever 21. Part of me says they'd look phenomenal peeking out from under skirts and dresses...the other part wonders when the céilidh's going to take place...
|One thing that I will be wearing...because I already own it and it therefore causes no outlay of finances on something "frivolous which might not get worn"...this antique plaid. The plaid was the forerunner of the kilt...a piece of tartan cloth up to 6 yards in length which was draped and folded around the body to create a kilt-like piece of clothing with an attached sash. The beauty of this arrangement being that come night-time the plaid could be unfolded and used as a blanket to sleep under. Though I don't plan on sleeping in it my mini-plaid (only half its original length, doubtlessly hacked in half by some overly enthusiastic Victorian maiden) should keep me warm when the temperatures drop...and inject some pattern and color against my all of my dark overcoats.|
* Today's quote comes courtesy of Albert Einstein.
As you've probably all figured out by now, when it comes to clothing I am (in no particular order)...a consumer...a hoarder...a packrat...and a collector...not just of new clothes but vintage and antique as well. Unfortunately I don't have the limitless storage space that this kind of collection requires so I have decided to get rid of some of my vintage pieces. Though I've eBay-ed in the past I'm not a fan so I decided try a different method...hence, Style...the Store.
Essentially I have set-up a "guerilla" Etsy store...ie it's going to be around for as long as it takes me to photograph, post, and sell a chunk of my wardrobe, and then it's gone. The majority of the pieces are designer and inherited from my mother (so I can vouch for authenticity).
So stop on by, or send some friends over, to assist in my clearance project...and if you buy something (and would like to) please send me a picture of how you styled your new (old) piece...I'd love to see how these items get re-worked into other people's styles and would enjoy sharing the results here.
Advertorial over...normal posting will resume shortly.
The lovely Rowena over at Rosiepop tagged me to reveal 11 things about myself...which is a lot...so apologies in advance in case I get to 7 or 8 and run out of anything vaguely interesting or amusing...
- I attended boarding school for possibly the shortest time span known to mankind...one week in the Sixth Form at Roedean and I took to the hills...
- I love brussel sprouts
- Second only to my love of clothing is that of my love of books...sometimes I wish that I collected things that took up slightly less storage space
- Speaking of which...as an (incredibly nerdy) child I collected beer mats...which, looking back, tends to suggest that I spent too much time in pubs as a child
- I loathe the fact that the majority of people who can afford to buy gorgeous sports cars seem to do so in banana yellow...it's a waste...and it's ugly...and, yes, I'm jealous and wish that I could afford one (in dark, racing green)
- As a child I was attacked by three different German Shepherds and now have an irrational fear of large dogs...especially anything that constitutes a "guard dog"
- I have an embarrassing love of bad action movies...you are looking at a woman who own the box sets of both the Die Hard and Mummy movies and the original Poseidon Adventure and Towering Inferno...start one playing and I am like a kid with a Barney movie
- I am very un-tidy...a trait that I constantly try to combat, with varying degrees of success
- I cannot cook stir-fry...regardless of the ingredients or the amount of seasoning that I use it is invariably bland...I have now officially given up trying...if we want stir-fry I'm ordering in
- I can remember poems that I learned in school when I was in my early teens but I have issues with putting names to faces...I am a master at the "covert nametag glance for purposes of identification" move
- I used to ride horses, "Western style", in the wilds of Scotland...not because it was unusual but because you essentially sat in an armchair and got to hold onto a handle...and I doubted my ability to stay on the horse without them
|I obviously need to put a little more work into being focused and single-minded when I shop because on a trip to Urban Outfitters to look for a lamp (either my eyesight is going or the wall fixtures in our living room fall far short of providing the amount of light required to read by) I was positively seduced by a bowl by the register containing bottles of nail polish. Did I need any nail polish? Not really. Specifically, did I need the bottle of neon yellow polish that I walked out of the store with? At the time, I'd convinced myself that the answer was yes.|
I've now tried the polish and discovered that...as beauty equations go...neon yellow plus pale skin does not, as I had fondly imagined that it may, equal an interesting shock of color against all of the black and grey I've been wearing lately...instead, it gives the wearer a decidedly jaundiced appearance. Going forward, whenever I feel my focus slipping, the code words will be "yellow peril".
Peter Stone’s novel, Charade, begins with the words “Two weeks at Trouville on the Normandy coast had darkened Regina Lambert’s skin, lightened her hair, added six pounds to those parts of her that were most often admired, and convinced her to divorce her husband”.
In director Stanley Donen’s 1963 movie our first sighting of Regina Lambert comes in the guise of Audrey Hepburn (impeccably chic in a fur sweater, matching hat, and dark glasses) ignoring the ski slopes behind her as she finishes her lunch. A meal that she is eating alone, despite any of the social diktats of the period which tended to look askance at a single female dining in solitude. And thus two main themes of the film are established, the fashion, represented by a soignée selection of Givenchy’s finest, and the food, in which Regina finds comfort during times of difficulty. In fact, as we currently face a barrage of commentary and debate on diet and models, it’s refreshing to find a film that marries style and sustenance in such a way.
Another thing that Charade provides a hearty dose of "sparkling wit"...but that's hardly surprising as it really wouldn't be a Cary Grant film without it. One of the most thought-provoking...from a personal perspective...is the following (Reggie is Audrey Hepburn and Dyle is Cary Grant, in their hotel in Paris)...
REGGIE: Alex - how can you tell if someone is lying or not?
DYLE: You can't.
REGGIE: There must be some way.
DYLE: There's an old riddle about two tribes of Indians - the Whitefeet always tell the truth and the Blackfeet always lie. So one day you meet an Indian, you ask him if he's a truthful Whitefoot or a lying Blackfoot? He tells you he's a truthful Whitefoot, but which one is he?
REGGIE: Why couldn't you just look at his feet?
DYLE: Because he's wearing moccasins.
REGGIE: Oh. Well, then he's a truthful Whitefoot, of course.
DYLE: Why not a lying Blackfoot?
REGGIE (confused): Which one are you?
DYLE (entering, smiling): Whitefoot, of course.
What brought this to mind...apart from the fact that the Fall and Winter are my favorite times of year to curl up and watch old films...are these Paradox Buttons...but which one is telling the truth?
A small gripe...why, oh why, is this Ear Hat from Peter Jensen's collaboration with TopShop $60? It's unbelievably cute/iconic but it's also something that I know I would love deeply for a short time and then consign to the depths of my closet never to be seen again. Curse you new philosophy...curse you! (Retire to the murky depths of the blogosphere shaking my fists and muttering imprecations on the Gods of self-restraint.)
As part of a new buying philosophy...well, new for me as my previous one was more of an instinctual "me like, me buy"...which was all well and good but meant that my cupboards were overflowing...and some of the things they were flowing with were not quite what I envisioned when I bought them (isn't it strange how things mysteriously morph from 'perfection' to 'close but no cigar' in the time it takes to get from changing room to wardrobe?). Hence the aforementioned new philosophy where I identify a gap in my wardrobe and look at a vast-ish array of options before I open my wallet. The end goal (hopefully) is that larger purchases should only be things that I love and want 100%...I know I'm going to still fall under the spell of impulsive cheap buys but at least I'm trying.
Regular readers may recall (how's that for an alliterative start) that back in August I started the search for something "big-ish and bold-ish in the bracelet line" in a subtle gold or brass. There were a few more contenders (1, 2, and 3) but, in the words of the immortal Goldilocks, "none of them was quite right". But now...now, I have my fingers crossed that the search is over...I can't say definitively that "this is it" because, so far, I haven't seen my bracelet in person...and sometimes there can be a vast gulf between a photographic representation and reality but...I'm very hopeful.
And the winner is...this talon cuff from New York based designer Pamela Love. The bronze plated in 18k gold fits my brassy-gold criteria to a tee and the design is classical, yet modern...tough, yet delicate...and basically all that I desired in bracelet form (something that I could wear, and enjoy, but not worry about every time I move my arm). It is (of course) more than I had budgeted for when I started this odyssey but I think it's a piece that I can wear everyday...and at any age...and that will add a rough elegance to any outfit.
A month or so ago I mentioned a photograph from a Paris Vogue editorial that had shown me the light...actually the light and the dark...as it awakened me to the possibilities that tie-dye jeans could provide.
|Now that I've actually tracked down a suitable candidate...in the shape of these Winter Light jeans from Built by Wendy...my frugal inner voice is speaking up and raising the question of whether DIY might not be the way to go.|
Oddly enough, for all my experiments in that line I have never tied and dyed...and I'm rather wary of tying and bleaching as an initial experience...which probably harkens back to some home hair-dying that I tried. I won't go into detail...let's just say that I ended up with Astroturf green hair...green hands...and mottled green bathroom fixtures. Quite frankly, the mind boggles at what I could accomplish with a bottle of bleach...
"How ungenerously in later life we disclaim the virtuous moods of our youth, living in retrospect long, summer days of unreflecting dissipation, Dresden figures of pastoral gaiety! Our wisdom, we prefer to think, is all of our own gathering, while, if the truth be told, it is, most of it, the last coin of a legacy that dwindles with time. - Brideshead Revisited"
As this was the year of a Brideshead Revisited re-make (though why you would think you could do better than made-for-tv version with Jeremy Irons and Anthony Andrews I don't know) the timing does seem right for something eccentrically whimsical in the teddy bear line. Not quite bears, though they do fall under the category of "furry and decadently outlandish"...these furry, bejewelled, little creatures from Jun Takahashi's Undercover collection for Spring/Summer '09. I say 'creatures' because I couldn't quite figure out what they were until I ran across a piece that explained that "This season Takahashi notes that he was inspired by white, fluffy creatures with luminous eyes called "Graces". These creatures, invented by Takahashi, keep their distance from humans. A secret organization called Gila, he says, has succeeded in breeding and protecting the Graces. Gila also has played a crucial role in fostering a relationship between both the Graces and the human species."
This could very well be my favorite accessory from the Spring/Summer collections. So much so that I have a sudden urge to unearth some stuffed toys...and costume jewelry...and go for a walk...like Sebastian with Aloysius...or an ethereal pirate with his stuffed parrot.
An article on Coty's deal with Balenciaga to create and develop fragrances (with the first one due to appear in stores in the spring of 2010) led me to ponder over what exactly attracts us to a perfume. On a personal level I can honestly say that scent is one of the few instances when "designer" connotations hold no appeal to me whatsoever...possibly a throwback to all those instances during my childhood when I was trapped in elevators and other confined spaces with numerous women who'd obviously bathed in Yves St. Laurent's Opium...it marked them as part of a tribe but gave no clue to their individual personality. And, after all, fragrance is such a personal thing...both from the point of view of the emotions it evokes in you and in those around you...and because the same scent can smell so differently on different people.
Thankfully, after much trial and error, I eventually found three fragrances which I can happily say are "me" and which span both my moods and the seasons. They are...
- Melograno aqua di colonia by Santa Maria Novella - pomegranate with baby powder-ish undertones shouldn't also have a masculine feel but this scent does. Though I generally find it too heavy and cloying for warm weather it's my daily companion through the colder months. Interesting factoids (because I love inane trivia)...#1, this scent was purportedly used by the character Vesper in the James Bond film Casino Royale...and, factoid #2, the pomegranate was often depicted in Egyptian tombs and classical works of art where it symbolized wealth and abundance...some scholars believe that the forbidden fruit of biblical and mythological fame was, in fact, not an apple, but a pomegranate.
- Cannabis Santal by fresh - Sephora sells this as a men's fragrance and, as this is the second scent where I'm going to use the word "masculine" I can only say that my butch side must appear whenever I go near a make-up counter...however once I realized that I wasn't a "light and flowery" scent kind of girl I've been much happier so I'll continue to enjoy this heavy-but-still-wearable-in-the-summer scent.
- Sake by fresh - the most feminine of the three but almost poisonously so...spicy, yet sweet...a perfume that initially seems to welcome you in, and then slams the door in your face.
That's my olfactory triumvirate...but what about you? Have you discovered your signature scent and, if so, what attracted you to it...and what continues to hold you in its sway?
|Having just polished off an entire toffee apple...something which neither sounds nor looked that impressive but which left me with a feeling of severe gluttony and a kind of sugar-y hangover...I think I need to swear off sweets for a while.|
Or at least those of the edible variety...because I just stumbled across this silver and gold "candy" necklace and I think I could handle its saccharine quality...the hint of childhood grown up...much more alluring than the originals which somehow always tasted like chalk.
“[Wisdom is] the science of happiness or of the means of attaining the lasting contentment which consists in the continual achievement of a greater perfection or at least in variations of the same degree of perfection.” - G. Wilhelm Leibniz
Variations on a theme...and a continuation on yesterday's stud-related post...but this time one that falls under the category of " a great idea, poorly executed". Because the juxtaposition of rustic, cableknit sweater and studs would be quite brilliant...if only it didn't look quite so cheap. Re-engineered, though, using an actual Aran fisherman's sweater...and with some assistance from a Be-dazzler (which I know I'm going to end up buying...despite my resistance to bringing one more piece of plastic "junk" into my home...as I have so many DIY projects in minds that could use one)...and I think this could be something special.
"Hi, my name's Hebden and I have...stud issues..."
For the record, the 12-step plan didn't work...I'm still fixated on all kinds of studs...usually on fabulous boots with heels so high that I get vertigo from looking at them...or pieces of clothing with dramatically high price tags...so it was nice to come across something that I could actually both a) wear and b) afford with my beloved studs on. Namely, these Converse hi and lo tops...
I think I'm in love...or, at the very least, lust.
I think the time may have come to part ways with my Neiman Marcus card...not only have I not bought anything there in about three years...but their emails are leading me to the realization that I am not part of their demographic...and don't have any particular desire to morph into it. What brought me to this? In a word...emails. When a company sends me two inane emails in the space of as many days I start inching towards the "Unsubscribe" button.
Example number one, if you can refer to the sole of a shoe with 4 1/10" high heels and the kind of overemphasized look that screams "wear me for one season because I'm 'in' and then remove me to the back of the closet" as..."a golden sole that lasts over time"...I have to question your sanity. Of course it's going to "last over time"...you're not going to be running marathons in it... If that wasn't enough the same email tells me that I'll receive 12 notecards FREE if I spend $350 online on shoes or handbags. Now, I'm a conspicuous consumer but I have to say that stationary would not be on my list of 'things that swing the deal when I'm trying to talk myself into buying'. But maybe there are hordes of women out there who've been cutting costs on notepaper so that they could blow their load on designer shoes...
Gripe number two, the email for their Christmas catalog...which led me to find...amongst a sea of rather dreary offerings...these life-size replicas in Legos. You send in your picture, and your dimensions, and for a mere $60,000 (not including delivery) you get your very own doppelganger. Which, of course, leads me to ask...would you want to see yourself (or your significant other) in Lego? And, if so, couldn't you buy more than enough blocks for...say...$5,000...and do the job yourself? You'd get a nice virtuous glow from having saved $55,000...the mental exercise of trying to figure out if you need a square bit or a rounded bit for your collarbone...and there'd be plenty left over for life's other necessities, like notecards and lug-soled heels.
|I think it's fairly obvious by this point that I love a good pun...either verbal or visual...so how could I resist the double whammy of the Chainel t-shirt from Haeftling...not only a take on Chanel's interlocking C's but a reference to the fact that all of the company's products are made by German prisoners.|
It's not subtle...actually it veers towards the tacky...but sometimes you want something a little "off". After all, too much restraint can often be as bad as too little.
If you're anything like me you have a pile of old cassette tapes sitting in a drawer...you never listen to them (partially because you no longer have a device to play them with but also because your musical tastes have evolved somewhat)...but they have a nostalgic value...so you disregard the little voice saying it really is time to get rid of them.
Much more practical would be to throw them away (goodbye Erasure and dodgy mix tapes!)...and buy a set or two of these cassette badge sets...nostalgia in compact form.
I have to ask a question...but, before I do, imagine that you are incredibly wealthy and therefore have no budgetary concerns when it comes to clothing...focus...now...do you forsee any occasion when you would want to look like this?
I wanted to remove the financial aspect because, as this is Chloe's Spring/Summer '09 collection, nothing is going to be cheap but...in this instance...I don't care...because I can't recall when I've seen so many unflattering clothes in close proximity to each other. So much so that I'm questioning both my eyesight and my taste (hence my initial question)...I just want to know, is there anyone out there who wants to tie a lamé bow around some paperbag-waisted, baggy, mid-calf pants? Anyone?
I'm all for the idea of jolie-laide...ugly-pretty, as I was trying to explain to Mr. Heb the other day regarding a difference of opinion on some Comme des Garcons Humpty Dumpty pants...but, to me, this has bypassed pretty altogether. More than ever this is encouraging me to enjoy the winter because it's going to be a long, cold (fashion) summer.
Went to Gloucester
In a shower of rain.
He stepped in a puddle
Right up to his middle
And never went there again! - 13th century English nursery rhyme
I mentioned Swims' ballerina galoshes a while ago...because, as we all know by this point, I am besotted with anything that can keep my feet dry when it rains and which allow me to maintain some semblance of style while doing so. Their latest incarnation are designed to be worn over high heels...and therefore not for me...but are so gorgeous that I had to share. Less practical, but more covetable, as it gives you the opportunity to add an injection-molded slash of color to any of your shoes that may have seen better days...personally I'd use them to add variety to my shoe selection, regardless of whether it was raining or not...but that could just be my galosh-fetish raising its ugly head again...
|This next item is something that manages to combine functionality with utter whimsy...namely these steel Dancing Legs Calipers from the 19th century. I have absolutely no practical need to measure anything in this way but, at the same time, I'd love to have them lying on my dressing table.|
Sometimes I have to wonder why I have such a deep-seated attraction to the "essentially useless but lovely" or, as Mr. Heb would put it, "the sea of crap littering our apartment"...
Everyone who's ever taken a shower has an idea. It's the person who gets out of the shower, dries off and does something about it who makes a difference. - Nolan Bushnell
|And now...a non-serious contender in my continuing bracelet search. The lack of seriousness is because, much as I like this particular specimen from Martin Margiela it does remind me of one of the rings holding up my shower curtain...which gives me an irresistible impulse to forage around Home Depot and see what I can come up with for a DIY version...but no interest in handing over $345 for his "nice" brass version.|