"Embrace nothing..."

“Embrace nothing:
If you meet the Buddha, kill the Buddha.
If you meet your father, kill your father.
Only live your life as it is,
Not bound to anything.”
Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta


Top - Old Navy, cardigan - Fred Perry, skirt - See by Chloe, zip flats - Ash, 1930's bakelite Buddha necklace


"God of the golden bow...And of the golden hair" - John Keats

It must be because my hair is currently longer than it's ever been...either that or I really need to get a hobby...but I'm currently fascinated by videos of weird and wonderful hair options. The latest gives very detailed instructions for creating a hair bow. If I didn't have such miserably thin hair I'd give it a go...as it is I'll just marvel at the dexterity (and lush locks) of the girl in the video...


“A skull to your right, a leg bone to your left, a rib cage not too many feet away.” - John Bankhead

As I mentioned the other day, the embellishments on a Rika bag have initiated a quest for a skull and talon to hang around my neck this summer...not that I actually need to find the skull portion of the equation as my fixation with the macabre means that there's an enameled brass skull pendant from Chloe currently sitting in my jewelry box just waiting to find its mate.

It doesn't look like there will be any issue getting hold of a talon either...the only questions being price and which bird or animal part I want to wear. Though I'd love to get my hands on another piece from Pamela Love her eagle claw ($352) is more than I want to spend. Thankfully another NY based jeweler, Erica Weiner, offers a similar bald eagle talon (in brass instead of gold vermeil) for $70...a slightly smaller raptor talon for $60...and a definite conversation starter...the fox's penis bone for $60.

At the moment I'm leaning towards the raptor talon but I'll keep looking a little longer just in case something else turns up...



“Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.” - Doug Larson

I can't say that I feel like whistling, though there certainly is plenty of slush around...nature's way of killing off anything that was energetic (and presumptuous) enough to thrust its head above the soil in recent weeks. Enough already...I may have a sweater collection to rival Imelda Marcos' shoe closet but I'm fed up with wearing the darned things...



"I don't know who you are or where you've come from, but from now on you'll do as I say, okay? " - Princess Leia

The Guardian's fashion videos leave me groaning and cursing the ease with which these things can be made and posted...this week's topic, "rave meets safari", ignored Louis Vuitton's Spicy shoe...which is, after all, the shoe that symbolizes this look...and, instead, focused almost exclusively on Jimmy Choo...and left the viewer with the information that if you spend 795 quid on a pair of shoes and a further 1,395 on a bag you can be "on trend" (as Jess Cartner-Morely loves to say in these things).

Grazia's offerings, on the other hand, actually seem...useful. Well, useful if you have an urge to recreate the bagel bun from Philip Lim's Spring/Summer 09 runway...or give yourself clip-in hair extensions...that kind of "useful"...not rocket science but fun if you want to do something different with your hair and have some time to kill on a Sunday afternoon. Though I don't see myself having the urge (or the patience) to clip in some faux locks I may try a one-sided Princess Leia tribute once the weather warms up.


“With an evening coat and a white tie, anybody, even a stockbroker, can gain a reputation for being civilized” - Oscar Wilde

As part of my consideration of "all the things that will make summer bearable" I've been giving some thought (at least tentatively) to adding a white dress to my summer wish list...I like the idea of something blindingly pure to wear on a scorching summer day (pure, that is, until I manage to acquire a grass stain or some other summer-related form of discoloration).

There are, however, two mental stumbling blocks connected with this plan that I find myself banging into like a bird slamming itself against a glass window...

  1. When confronted by a white dress I have a tendency to think about shampoo commercials from the 1970's which, from what I can tell, were infested with blonde women in white dresses...running around alpine meadows...and washing their hair in streams
  2. As someone who is incredibly pale I'm a little concerned whether my limbs and the dress will merge together...perfect as a form of camouflage but not necessarily the look I'm going for

Obviously I need to spend some quality time with a few w.d.'s in a changing room to ascertain whether they do indeed cause me to resemble either an alpine maiden with cleanliness issues or the invisible man in a flour factory. On the off-chance that neither of these dread happenings take place I was happy to stumble across some white dress inspiration at the end of a video clip on Style.com...not terribly helpful for summer but the tones and layers were too beautiful to ignore.



“You'll see everything from gold teeth to hood ornaments. It's almost like Halloween during August.” - David Carson

I think I can safely say that this is the first time that I've lusted over a bag purely so that I could rip the embellishments off and use them as pendants (I'll admit that there have been many other random and negligible reasons for bag purchases, just not this particular one). Yet, there we are...Rika's tote bag has filled me with longing for a gold skull nestling next to a talon/tooth to hang around my neck this summer.

All I can say is...let the hunt begin...



“Quoth Hudibras, Friend Ralph, thou hast Outrun the constable at last” - Samuel Butler

My mother bought the heavy cotton Navajo cardigan from the Ralph Lauren store in Paris...there's a fashion anomaly for you...English woman living in France buys faux native American cardigan by American designer. I'm not sure what she wore it with...my best guess would be more Ralph Lauren in the form of wrap skirts and country casuals...but since I got hold of it I've found it incredibly difficult to partner with anything except jeans.

As this is the perfect time (temperature-wise) for wearing it as a jacket alternative I'm determined to unearth some skirt...dress...or other non-jean item...that it can actually be worn with. Not a plan that worked today but we'll see if I can figure something out before summer...


Brogue: a dialectic pronunciation...a stout, coarse shoe

While I can't actually claim to have "saved" $500 I did feel remarkably frugal when I noticed Church's classic Burwood brogues on Net-a-Porter...well, frugal and closely related to the cat in the adage who let "I dare not wait upon I would"...as they're virtually identical to a pair that are lurking in my closet (an Ally Cappelino/Church's collaboration that I bought many years ago and have worn...let me see...probably less than ten times).

Not that they languished unworn for any good reason...for a while they were "too new" and therefore "too nice" for regular wear...then they "no longer fit my current aesthetic"...then, for a while, they were in storage and therefore inaccessible...now, they're just not something I wear very often (for no particular reason). Yet another reminder that what comes around goes around...and I really need to de-lurk all of the things in the back of my closet and work with what I've got before I fulfill my automatic urge to buy something new.


Dream a little dream of me...

After spending way too long on YouTube trying to find an interesting video of "Dream a Little Dream"...and failing miserably I might add...I came across this one featuring Paolo Conte singing "Via con me"...nothing to do with the topic of this post but they were both part of the soundtrack for French Kiss...and the antics of the Playmobil figures made me giggle...so I'm going with a little free association on this one.

But why was this relentless pursuit of D.A.L.D. taking place you ask? Well, quite frankly, it seemed the perfect accompaniment for Chanel's "Mattress" bag...as the appealing squishiness of the bag just seems to beckon me to nap time (and the accompanying dreams said bag ignites). Though, to be honest, the quilting reminds me far more of vinyl banquettes in seedy pubs than divans...though I understand why the boffins at Chanel didn't want to call it the "seedy pub seating" bag...



“Spring has come when you can put your foot on three daisies” - proverb

No daisies to date...though a few crocuses are bravely thrusting their heads out of the soil...a decision they'll regret come this weekend when snow flurries are forecast.

In my mind I'm ready to begin my bi-annual closet overhaul...where winter clothes get taken out of my main closet and moved into the storage closet and their summer brethren get to see the light of day...but, realistically, I know that I've got to wait (or else the crocuses won't be the only thing suffering from hypothermia this weekend).


Dress - Gap, necklace - vintage Emporio Armani, denim jacket - Gap, flats - Gentle Souls


Hang the DJ...or the handbag designer?

As someone who doesn't really like slogan t-shirts (apart from vintage Katherine Hamnett ones) I admit that I might be slightly biased...there again, I might be biased because I'm a fan of The Smiths... Perhaps it's best to say that I realize that I'm biased but...what in the name of hell was Pauric Sweeney thinking when he created the bags below? Browns website describes them as "bright roomy shopper(s) with attitude"...personally I think they're an abomination...plagiarism run amok.

Why a designer who usually makes such beautiful bags would succumb to a gimmick like this I have no idea. And it's not just The Smiths either...Prince's Sign o' the Times ("Let's fall in love, get married, have a baby...We'll call him Nate, if it's a boy") is lasered into leather (at £575 a pop) as well. Really...is nothing sacred?



“Yeah, feathers get ruffled. But she tries to balance the newer stuff with the classics.” - Ed Joiner

Today's words..."road"..."hell"..."paved"...and the ever popular "good intentions". Because just when I was (mentally) patting myself on the back for sticking pretty close to my summer wish list and not wasting money on fripperies I find myself completely smitten by this ruffled vest by Swedish designer Carin Rodebjer (an F.I.T. graduate whose collections draw inspiration from...Swedish national costumes, Parisian bohemians in the twenties and Finnish trash-rockers Hanoi Rocks).

What I find so appealing about this piece...apart from the toughly delicate, or delicately tough, sea of ruffles...is the fact that it is so lightweight that it would allow me to continue wearing my beloved layers even in the midst of summer. So now, the internal battle begins...to be "bad" or to be "good"? Or, as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow put it...

"There was a little girl
And she had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead,
When she was good,
She was very, very good,
And when she was bad she was horrid."



“I think we consider too much the good luck of the early bird and not enough the bad luck of the early worm.” - Franklin D. Roosevelt

A walk around the bird house at the local zoo made me feel like spring had indeed sprung...thanks to all that greenery and trilling. Of course, it also made me feel incredibly...subdued...as I watched a Golden-breasted Starling strut its stuff on one of the branches.

Suddenly I have an overwhelming longing for a bright yellow top...purple bib necklace...and kingfisher blue jacket...

Ribbon top - United Bamboo, jacket - Heimstone, jeans - Joe's, moccasins - Minnetonka


"`Come, come,' said Tom's father..." - Thomas More

“`Come, come,' said Tom's father, `at your time of life,
There's no longer excuse for thus playing the rake
It is time you should think, boy, of taking a wife'
`Why, so it is, father - whose wife shall I take?'”

I've raved about Blogotheque before...and their unique take on the music video...featuring bands playing in streets, bars, parks, public transportation, and a host of other locations...so apologies for the repetition. However, I couldn't not mention (oh God, my excitement caused a double negative) their recordings with Tom Jones. The videos are much larger on their site so you can fully appreciate the black and gold ensemble worthy of an editor at Paris Vogue...the shots of Mr. Jones' hotel room...and all other minutiae. The attached is more than large enough however to completely enjoy the music...

Tom Jones - If He Should Ever Leave You - A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.


“Erudition. Dust shaken out of a book into an empty skull.” - Ambrose Bierce

Our newly found (and probably...or should that be hopefully?...short-lived) "let's be healthy and bask in the joy of nature" regime meant that today included a 7.5 mile walk to pick up my Chalayan pants. If I wasn't so knackered at the moment I'd do a little dance...or at least try the darned things on...

And yes, this is what I wear for a long walk...

T-shirt - American Apparel, Mickey skull sweater - Lucien Pellat-Finet, skirt - Zucca, flats - Gentle Souls


“Iron rusts from disuse; water loses its purity from stagnation ... even so does inaction sap the vigour of the mind.” - Leonardo da Vinci

I'd like to thank the Times' website for momentarily making my day as I read the words "Fashionable Creasing...Throw away your iron! The new look is slightly crumpled". As a confirmed non-ironer...to the point where an ex-boss once gave me an iron for Christmas (not the most subtle of gifts, it was like giving a case of deodorant to someone with odor issues)...I felt like this was the moment I'd been waiting for.

I sat and daydreamed and imagined a day when I...and my equally disheveled breathern...would be able to walk the streets without fear of mockery or reprisal. Not thought of as slobs who were too lazy to remove the creases from their clothes...but as pioneers in a rumpled revolution. Then I clicked through to the slide show and found...barely a wrinkle...the sartorial equivalent of a shot of Botox and a few rounds of microdermabrasion.

Perhaps the "slightly crumpled" of the introduction was purely iron(y)...


“That scraping sound may not be an iceberg after all,” - Mike Boyd

I'm determined to find ways to wear my H&M dress-on-a-shorter-person-top-on-me "dress" as an actual dress...or at least a close approximation thereof. I really like it with jeans but that seems like the lazy/easy option so I want to see what else I can do with it. Today I tried it with a gingham patterned lycra miniskirt that I bought from Benetton eons ago. Truth be told, this is essentially a last ditch attempt to find something to do with the skirt...I haven't worn it for a long time and have no urge to do so now unless most of it (and therefore me) can be hidden (kind of like an iceberg...nine-tenths submerged at any time).

Taking a step back I don't see this as either a massive success or a complete failure...though there is something decidedly strange about the final silhouette...ah well, back to the drawing board, I don't suppose Archimedes had his Eureka moment the very first time he took a bath.


"I am not ready to bring out the pom-poms and start the cheering. I was hoping I could." - Jan LaRue

Though I haven't made a pom pom in...well, let's just say it's been a while....I feel the craving upon me...thanks to this bag and instructional kit courtesy of pom pom international who are, according to their website, "the home of pom pom making for world peace".

Their aim...to create the world's biggest collective pom pom (comprised of single poms sent in by anyone who has the time or inclination to make one...as of last May the total stood at 1,427)...and use it as a kind of goodwill ambassador. I know what you're going to say...will this really stand as the "ultimate symbol of social harmony for the 21st century" or a "whimsical,non-political...gesture of peace and reconciliation"? Probably not, but I've heard crazier ideas.


“From forty to fifty a man is at heart either a stoic or a satyr” - Arthur Wing Pinero

A couple of days ago I mentioned wanting to be "the girl in the leather jacket"...well, with sufficient funding, I have found the leather jacket that I would like to be in. I hadn't noticed it when I viewed the images from Rodarte's spring/summer show but...there it was...staring up at me from the pages of Barney's latest missive...looking like something that a satyress would choose for a quiet weekend of wine and debauchery. Stone colored leather...knitted areas at every orifice...a satisfying amount of buckles...and a shaggy "threaded" area on the chest (thus taking care of the goat portion of the satyress' make-up).

Sadly my budget does not encompass a $3565 leather jacket...especially one in a pale hue which I would manage to stain within a matter of hours...so I will restrict myself to ogling and dreaming...



“We are all born charming, fresh, and spontaneous and must be civilized before we are fit to participate in society” - Judith S. Marin

Two slightly random thoughts...

  1. The summer-like temperatures of the last two days have left me...pink and ache-y. One because my extreme paleness means that even a liberal dose of SPF15 can't offer sufficient protection. The other because of Mr. Heb's psychotic attempt to get fit(ter) by cycling (12 miles one day, 7 miles the next). It wasn't until this humbling experience was concluded that I realized how a winter of sloth can affect you...last night I could barely move my legs...today I simply wince when I make a rash movement.
  2. My new flats are unbelievably comfortable. I gush not because I didn't have to fork over any cash but because I am fed up with flats that have virtually no soles and cause a dull ache in the foot after an hour or so (note to shoe manufacturers...while it's anticipated that heels will cause the wearer misery flats are "supposed" to be the comfortable choice)...these puppies are a feather bed for the feet.


Linen dress - Anthropologie, vintage t-shirt with sueded image, flats - Gentle Souls, "pleather" jacket - H&M, keffiyah scarf - Harald, bag - Mayle, talon cuff - Pamela Love


“Only in our dreams are we free. The rest of the time we need wages.” - Terry Pratchett

Up until last week I didn’t believe in fairy godmothers (they were on the list with Santa Claus, leprechauns, and the tooth fairy)...then I received an email from the lovely Danielle over at Solestruck.com letting me know that I could select any pair of shoes from their website and they would send them to me...for free (which certainly beats the 50p that the alleged tooth fairy used to leave under my pillow).

After a good amount of to-ing and fro-ing I decided on a pair of flats from Camper...Mr. Heb having sensibly (and therefore rather irritatingly) pointed out that as I have one pair of Hunter Wellingtons I don’t need another...even if they had laces. Unfortunately the pair that I’d requested weren’t available in my size (under the heady influence of free footwear I’d neglected to check such small details) but Danielle suggested an almost identical pair that were actually more expensive (something that I, rather cynically, expect to happen when I’m handing over my hard-earned cash but an occurrence that I wouldn’t anticipate with a freebie).

Yesterday my Gentle Souls arrived...just in case anyone is concerned that I'm turning new age-y I should explain that G.S. is the brand name...and, with their deerskin lining and flaxseed memory pillows, I'm hoping that these will be the "comfortable yet cute" shoes that will see me through all the walking that I plan on doing this summer.

And, who knows...after this I may even regain my faith in Santa...



Two sides of the same coin...

As I was cleaning out the files on my computer...(does anyone need to store thousands of images on their laptop?...I think not)...I came across a couple of pictures that I'd saved to my inspiration folder.

Dating from 2006 they still seem current...and illustrate the dichotomy that I find in my personal style...I want to be the girl in the leather jacket...but I also want to be the girl in the cashmere crew neck with the fabulous jewels (though thankfully both personas have the same unkempt bed head). Sometimes I feel like this duality works...while on other occasions I feel like I should be able to focus on one look that is "me"...whoever that may be...

These musings have, of course, made me curious. Do you have one, single, style that you focus on and which reflects "the real you"...or do you flit between various styles, taking elements from each? And, are you happy with your choice?



"He has a way of mixing fine tailoring with clothes that are relaxed, so he looks equally put-together and casual at the same time." - David Granger

Another variation on the Zucca skirt...which is fast becoming my "go to" skirt when I want something casual...yet not too casual...

(These multiple wearings also helps to assuage any remnants of purchasing guilt...thanks to the ever helpful cost per wear formula.)

"RIP YSL" t-shirt - Blood Is The New Black, cardigan - J Crew, skirt - Zucca, moccasins - Minnetonka


“You have to earn your stripes here. So far, I've got half a stripe.” - Tim Campbell

Amongst the remaining items on my summer wish list is a striped dress...vague, I know...but I really don't have any preconceived ideas about the shape, just the pattern. I'm in no hurry...I've been lucky enough to check several items off my list and, even though the temperatures are rising, summer's still quite a way off. Having said that, if it weren't for a couple of inescapable "issues" I'd have found a definite contender with this stripey little number from Future Classics.

Issue #1 is...the price. I can't get over the mental block that $520 is too much for what is, essentially, a t-shirt dress.

Issue #2...not knowing whether I'm coming or going. The cascade of fabric...one of the things that essentially draws me to this dress...is actually on the back. Now normally that wouldn't be a problem...I have several items that I wear back-to-front on occasion...however, they're not t-shirt dresses (which bag in the...um..."seat"). Whichever way you decide to wear this dress, you're basically stuck with it...and it's probably a mental block on my part by I can't rationalize spending my pennies on a dress that I'm always going to wear backwards.

...as I write this I realize that issue #1 is the over-riding factor...if the dress was cheaper I wouldn't care if I wore it back-to-front or upside down. So it's back to the drawing board...with an amended summer wish list that reads "relatively inexpensive striped dress".



“Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.” - H. G. Wells

Now that it's warm enough...well, almost...to start using my bicycle on a regular basis I find myself on the lookout for "cycling accessories". Not the lycra-induced nightmares that that term implies...rather bells...and horns...and miscellaneous storage containers that I can add to my bike.

A couple of years ago I fell for a traditional wicker bicycle basket...only to discover that the cons (1. the fact that the basket rests on the handlebars and can therefore be dislodged by the combination of speed and uneven road surfaces, and 2. the fact that riding around town with your bag or any other kind of valuable placed in an open basket is an invitation to every thief in town) far outweighed the pros (brief spells of looking like a vintage postcard come to life).

Which is why I'm casting covetous glances at this handle bar bag...which manages to be both cute and secure...and simultaneously measuring it up as a potential DIY project (to add to my ever-growing list).


"I didn't know there were any witnesses. Now I'll have to kill you too." - Jake Johanson

“A lady came up to me on the street and pointed to my suede jacket. "You know a cow was murdered for that jacket?" she sneered.
I replied in a psychotic tone, "I didn't know there were any witnesses. Now I'll have to kill you too."”


I blame the sun for today's overload of suede...I was so excited by the prospect that I started pulling "the soft stuff" out of my closet like a squirrel unearthing its nuts. And, even though the colors of today's outfit are decidedly autumnal (and relatively accurate in the detail photograph), I feel positively springlike...though once again mulling over how utterly impractical these Prada gloves actually are. I've yet to find the ideal temperature to wear them in...too warm, and you don't need gloves...too cold, and your fingers feel like they're about to break off...of course, my mind was not running along such utilitarian lines when I bought them...

Lion sweatshirt - APC, plaid skirt - Zucca, moccasins - Minnetonka, coat - APC, bag - Tila March, fingerless gloves - Prada


"The venom of such looks..."

So happy be the issue, brother England,
Of this good day and of this gracious meeting,
As we are now glad to behold your eyes;
Your eyes, which hitherto have borne in them
Against the French, that met them in their bent,
The fatal balls of murdering basilisks:
The venom of such looks, we fairly hope,
Have lost their quality, and that this day
Shall change all griefs and quarrels into love.

Queen Isabel - Henry V, Act 5, Scene 2

Prepare for a small gush...not a full-on gush because, I didn't love everything about Isabel Marant's Fall/Winter collection...I did, however, love a decent portion of it. The furs...the leopard prints and muted florals...the boyish tweeds and girly skirts...the inherently relaxed sexiness of it all...the sparkly little disco bags worn with some of the daytime looks...

Nothing "innovative" perhaps...but definitely the kind of feel good clothing that I wouldn't mind having a closet full of...


“If you become a nuisance ... they're not going to like you.” - Scott Adams

I've suddenly remembered why it took me a while to start ordering items online. My package arrived from LaGarconne and there...nestling in the black tissue paper...I found...

Well, certainly not the pants I ordered. I held them up...they looked...short. I tried them on...they looked...ridiculous. I'd been sent...a pair of greased bermuda shorts.

Now, the last time I wore bermuda shorts I was about twelve...and I still bear the emotional scars. And I say this as someone with height on their side...this style does after all, according to most magazines, "work" on people with a fair bit of leg. "Liars!", I say. In the glimpse I caught of myself before I hastily took them off I resembled the little Dutch boy who stuck his finger in the dam (post water damage and with shrunken trews).

Now I have to go through the whole rigamarole of returning them and waiting for the pants I ordered to be shipped to me...thus turning this into a "nuisance" as I dislike returning things and usually put a lot of thought into the pre-purchase process so that I don't have to.

On a more positive note...I do like the fabric...


“A home-made friend wears longer than one you buy in the market” - Austin O'Malley

Of course, once the basics are covered (or on their way to being covered), a girl's thoughts do tend to stray (once again) along the lines of accessories. Something summery...yet not in a cloyingly sweet kind of way...and something inexpensive...as one's main money has been spent on basics.

Something like...these faded striped cotton market bags...which appear to have already spent a summer or two lying out in the sun. And, to avoid any potential sweetness, I'm thinking some studding on the strap or around the edges may be just the thing...



“Your ability to rationalize your own bad deeds makes you believe that the whole world is as amoral as you are” - Douglas Coupland

I suppose it was inevitable that the week in which I fret over a $25 prospective purchase I should break down and make a much larger one. Lest that makes me seem like someone who should trot herself over to the nearest insane asylum and get fitted for one of those nice little straight jackets with the leather restraints I should include the following information...

  1. Both purchases were on sale and heavily reduced
  2. They're pieces which I've been considering for a while
  3. The purchase of one of them wipes another item off my "summer wish list"
Yes, I'm in full justification mode...but, truth be told, I do feel a little guilty...happy, but guilty. But what pushed me into this paradigm of schizophrenia, you ask?

Well...my warm weather wish list included a pair of lightweight black pants because, believe it or not, I don't currently have such a basic necessity in my closet (something which probably says a lot about my buying behavior up to this point but I won't go into too much depth on that right now...I am, after all, trying to be a wiser owl when it comes to what I buy so I won't dwell on past indiscretions). My wish for l.b.p. was answered by a pair of "greased" pants by H Chalayan. What really attracted me to these...apart from the fact that they were indeed the basic, straight-fit, cuffed, trouser of my dreams was that they were then removed from mere "basic" status by the aforementioned greased finish.

The "completely unnecessary but I've been staring at this for months and as I was making a purchase anyway it found its way into my cart" portion of the proceedings was fulfilled by this grey plaid skirt by Zucca (the label started in 1989 by Issey Miyake protege, Onozuka Akira). I've been drooling over various pieces from this label...on different sites...for months now. If I had to fall I'm glad it was for one of the more wearable (on a day-to-day basis) items.

Well, there it is...guilt confessed, but not absolved...



“Leopards break into the temple and drink the sacrificial chalices dry..."

“Leopards break into the temple and drink the sacrificial chalices dry; this occurs repeatedly, again and again; finally it can be reckoned upon beforehand and becomes part of the ceremony” - Franz Kafka

Very somber today...though I'm not exactly sure why...I can't complain though as my dark mood allowed me to pull out a couple of my favorite sale purchases (namely the dress and sleeveless jacket) and give them an airing...

Draped dress - Isabel Marant, sleeveless hunter's jacket - Alexander Wang, zip flats - Ash, leopard scarf - APC


“If we did not flatter ourselves, nobody else could” - proverb

I realize that this post may be taken as mean-spirited but I honestly don’t mean it that way...I see it more as an confirmation that, regardless of what the air-brushed, heavily Photoshop-ped images in magazines may tell us...everyone has a bad day...and, regardless of how much something may cost, it can make even the most perfect body look slightly...off.

Case in point, the utterly gorgeous Lara Stone...looking positively dumpy (and a little peeved by the fact) in not one, but two, outfits from Chanel’s Fall/Winter collection.


* Just when I was afraid that I was being uber-bitchy I read Hilary Alexander's review of the show which included the line "pink fur shrugs and sweater dresses (unfortunately given to one of the more generously-proportioned models)" and I realized that I wasn't alone in wondering what they were thinking when they put Lara into that little lot...


“Short words are best and the old words when short are best of all.” - Winston Churchill

My frugal inner voice must be thrilled...I'm "closet shopping" more now than ever before (previously my vintage items generally just languished in suitcases...moaning bitterly and starting the occasional fight amongst themselves).

My let's-go-shopping-baby inner voice isn't having such a good time but the little swine has had his own way for so many years that it's probably about time that he learned a little humility...

T-shirt - Dover Street Market, tweed and velvet jacket - Nicole Farhi, high-waisted flannel shorts - vintage Ralph Lauren, flats - Jones the Bootmaker


“While the miser is merely a capitalist gone mad, the capitalist is a rational miser” - Karl Marx

At the beginning of the year I mentioned my plan to (amongst other things) "spend more time pre-purchase considering whether I need...or how badly I want...an item". And I'm happy to say that, overall, the plan is working...though I've noticed a disconcerting side-effect...I have, quite frankly, turned into an Ebenezer-Scrooge-like miser over smaller purchases. I can still rationalize larger purchases quite effectively...but my inner voice turns the thought of an inexpensive impulse buy into some vast, capricious, whim.

Case in point, I stumbled across a Karen Walker skull and rope necklace for a mere $25. As someone with a morbid love of skulls...and a less morbid enthusiasm for Walker's work...pre-plan I would have snapped it up. Post-plan I find myself mentally weighing up the pro's and con's of this prospective purchase to the point where I want to shake myself and scream "it's $25 you fool...that's like 1.5 issues of Paris Vogue". But, realistically, I know that this kind of thing is a fashion amuse-geule...I'd enjoy it over the summer and then it would spend the rest of its life (and mine) sitting in the darkest depths of my jewelry box. The sensible option is to save all the amounts that I would fritter away here and there and buy something "nice"...but, oh, how painful it can be sometimes to be "sensible". Photobucket


“Banquet: a plate of cold chicken and anemic green peas completely surrounded by dreary speakers and appeals for donations” - unknown

Just to be contrary...all this talk of silk scarves (and all of their classic connotations) caused me to veer wildly in the opposite direction and to unearth possibly the oddest hybrid scarf in my possession...a rather luridly colored keffiyah with feather trim on two sides. Who knows what the nameless diabolical design mastermind who conceived this unlikely combination was thinking about...could it have been cold chicken and anemic green peas?

Sweater - Banana Republic, scarf - Urban Outfitters, skirt - See by Chloe, flats - Jones the Bootmaker


“Style, like sheer silk, too often hides eczema” - Albert Camus


As you may...or may not...have been able to surmise from my trench ensemble post I am on a mission to take the various silk scarves that I have folded in drawers and actually (gasp) wear them. Not that I'm by any means a scarf virgin...rarely a day goes by that I don't have a wool scarf of some description wound around my neck...it's my silk scarves that are languishing in drawers, gaining crease marks and little else.

But now, partially due to these stunning shots from Benjamin Nitot's website I feel the urge to drag my vintage Hermes and Ferragamo from there resting places and let them see the light of day. If only I could manage to tie one around my head and look vaguelu chic...and not like the horrific lovechild of a member of the British royal family and a cleaning lady...



“Men are like wine - some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age.” - Pope John XXIII

I think that...at least from the perspective of an ex-Brit living in the US...I have discovered the ultimate Anglo-American snack treat. And though this may revolt those of you with any form of taste buds whatsoever...ladies and gentlemen...may I introduce you to the delights of...salt & vinegar popcorn.

Yes, it's the un-godly combination of the flavor of salt and vinegar crisps and the all-American more-ish-ness of popcorn and, like Dr. Frankenstein, I'm proudly claiming this little monster as my own invention. And, just in case anyone is brave/crazy enough to try this in the safety of their own home...here's the "recipe"...

  • In a le Creuset (or similarly heavy pan with a lid) place two capfuls of corn oil and a single kernel of yellow corn
  • Heat on high until the kernel pops then add enough yellow corn to cover the bottom of the pot
  • Reduce heat infinitesimally
  • Wait until frantic popping has slowed then reduce heat to medium
  • When popping is essentially over turn heat off
  • Place golden kernels in a large bowl and add vast quantities of freshly ground black pepper and half a tablespoon of salt
  • Take bowl and a bottle of Sarson's vinegar to your "snacking lair"
  • Shake a little vinegar onto your popcorn...hear the release of air and watch some of the popcorn deflate...
  • Eat upper layer of popcorn...continue adding vinegar and eating until all the popcorn is gone

Note: this snack is greatly improved by the presence of a glass of dry white wine.

Note #2: am I the only one who feels that today's quote would be better attributed to Mae West than Pope John XXIII?


"Video killed the radio star..."

Online video clips are a harsh mistress...for every fond memory that can be re-lived courtesy of YouTube (and if you're even a semi-regular reader you'll know that I'm a glutton for whatever cheesy vintage commercials or childhood cartoons I can get my hands on)...there are the "if this were a decade or two ago I'd say what a waste of film but now I have to say what a waste of memory" clips.

Like "How to dress: The forever bag" on The Guardian's website...a video in which (and I quote) "Jess Cartner-Morley, the Guardian's fashion editor, guides you through the latest trends. This week: cripplingly expensive handbags". Except...she doesn't...it's about 60 seconds of coverage on the merits of Chanel's 2.55 bag...a quick look at a knock-off Burberry trench from Banana Republic...and the admonition that, if you do spend the money on the 2.55, you'd better wear the strap as long as possible or you will be the naff-est person ever to live in naff-town.

All of which leaves the viewer with the realization that they've just watched a video clip that makes even Charley the killjoy cat (and 1970's Public Information cartoon character) seem riotously entertaining...


“I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term of Natural Selection” - Charles Darwin

So many choices...slight variations on a theme...cotton, suede, or leather. The playfulness and complex simplicity of a design created by folding a piece of paper (fashion origami anyone?).

Although I'm smitten by almost everything on Acne's website I'm particularly attracted to their Moholy skirt...a pencil-ish bubble with pleats and volume. If money were no object I'd get the leather or suede (heck, why not both?)...but sadly, as it is a concern, I'm strongly considering the royal blue cotton version. Pure, strong, color to work with all the black and grey in my closet...and an interesting shape to play up against basics.



"I am not strange, I am just not normal." - Salvador Dali

There's something incredibly surreal about pulling your bicycle out of storage and heading off on your first ride of the year...only to be confronted by the incongruity of temperatures in the low 60's and miniature icebergs bobbing along on the surface of the lake that you're cycling beside. You almost expect one of Dali's melting clocks to materialize on the horizon.

And I know I wasn't alone in my confusion. I spotted a very bemused goose...perched on a floating, icy, island...gazing up at the sun...

Jacket - Belstaff, Art Brut tour t-shirt, plaid shirt - H&M, jeans - Levis, skull scarf - Topshop, hi-tops - Converse, bag - vintage Moschino, helmet - Bell


"We are the music-makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams" - Arthur O’Shaughnessy

My own personal "music-makers" have let me down...way down...I feel like I'm stuck at the bottom of a mine shaft and 80's ephemera is being heaped down upon me. Balenciaga may give me nightmares...draped, satin, heavily-swathed nightmares. Nina Ricci was just...odd. Balmain...80's prom...or trailer park...or...prom in a trailer park. Not that I'd be buying from any of these designers (short of a lottery win) but that's what makes them the dream creators...at least normally.

And so, I'm looking to the (somewhat rarefied) streets of fashion week for a little inspirational dream induction...



"Come, let us make love deathless" - Herbert Trench

I almost can't believe it but it was actually mild today...positively spring-like, apart from the overwhelming quantities of mud created by all the snow and ice that just melted. Which meant that today's outfit was a mixture of carefree clothes and utilitarian boots...oh, to be rich/in a good climate and not have to worry about schlepping through goo when you go grocery shopping.

On a more up-beat note, this was the second day of test-running the vintage Moschino bag that I was debating on selling...and which I've decided to keep. It's proving much too useful to get rid of and, to be honest, I'm beginning to revel in the over-whelming blinginess of all those faux gold logos.

Sailor dress - Heimstone, trench - Built by Wendy, silk scarf with cowboy print - vintage Ralph Lauren, ankle boots - APC, bag - vintage Moschino


Searching for the middle ground...

It started a week or two ago at Club Monaco...I went in to look at their "desperation sale" (at least, that's my term for it, I'm not sure what else to call massive reductions allied with no sales tax)...and I spotted a necklace...a huge chunk of faux coral on a faux gold chain. I loved the idea but, even reduced, it was faux-faux-much-too-faux.

Then I found the deluxe version...courtesy of Bottega Veneta...a nice chunk of coral resting majestically at the end of an amber rosary.

Without meaning to appear too picky I'm now looking for the middle ground...somewhere between overwhelmingly tacky knock-off and cringe-inducingly expensive original. I could see myself wearing a version of this all summer long but, for one reason or another, I don't like the extremes that are on offer.


Symmetry is a terrible thing...

Well, the vintage Moschino bag that I was debating over selling has finally made an appearance...not that I've actually made a decision...but it was black and had the virtue of allowing total freedom of hand movement when worn cross-body and, so, it got some quality time outside of the closet.

Let's not mention the fact that today's ensemble looks like I have a line running down my center...an outfit split down the middle by buttons and fastenings...two halves, but do they make a whole?

Jacket - Built by Wendy, scarf - Harald, skirt - See by Chloe, suede ankle boots, bag - vintage Moschino


Who sank my battleship?

As I dried my hair this morning I realized that, thanks to a recent purchase ($5 at Urban Outfitters in case anyone is interested) and completely unwittingly, my nails now match the towels in my bathroom. And, even though there is plenty of grey in my wardrobe, I have a new love...gunmetal grey...the grey of thunderous skies and battleships...towels and nails...and, hopefully, a couple of clothing purchases if I can find something in this shade.

(Just in case anyone is about to mention the seemingly obvious point that I presumably bought the towels because I liked the color I should say that I consider towels to be hideously over-priced and usually buy what is largest/softest/least expensive/in a color that doesn't actually make me feel ill.)

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