"Maybe they weren't punks at all, but New York drama critics." - Tennessee Williams

Punks...don't necessarily get wiser, or more conventional, as they get older...though they may get a taste for more expensive jewelry...


"...you've been sitting much too long, there's a permanent crease in your right or wrong." - Sly Stone

If you are anything like me, being slightly rumpled...creased...and d├ęshabille...is a daily fact of life. Not that I don't admire people who iron the folds in their clothes to knife-edge precision...and can look as unwilted at the end of the day as they did at the beginning...I just know that I do not belong to their ranks. I am the Columbo to their James Bond.

Which probably explains my enthusiasm for these crumpled city maps. Paris...London...and New York...printed on virtually indestructible Tyvek...able to be rolled into a ball at the bottom at the bottom of my handbag yet still maintain their functionality...and...waterproof (which means that not can I indulge in a little singing in the rain, I'll be able to get where I'm going as well)...



"Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each." - Henry David Thoreau

Back on the seasonally-challenged motif I'm afraid...veering wildly between lusting over the cosy delights of sheepskin lined rain boots one second...and contemplating the sublime simplicity of Reed Krakoff's pre-Spring collection the other.

One day, my whims...and those of mother nature...may actually collide...



"Why hope to live a long life if we're only going to fill it with self-absorption, body maintenance, and image repair? When we die, do we want people to exclaim 'She looked ten years younger,' or do we want them to say 'She lived a great life'?" - unknown

If I were a sleek, high-maintenance sort of femme I know what would be top of my Christmas wish list...Nars wooden bento box...with two Kabuki cups nestled inside...hand-poured with Maiko and Sakura lip colors...with a Kabuki lip brush for precise application. Of course, I'm as un-HM as you can get...and manage to nibble off lip color within about 5 seconds of application...this is one of those "admire from afar" kind of items...



"Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed: lest, if he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee." - the Bible

Given my enthusiasm for all things stripe-y...a fact attested to by the almost obscene number of striped tops (reasonably) neatly folded in my closet...whose main differences (color and thickness of stripe) I can muse upon for equally obscene amounts of time...it was only a matter of time before the rest of my closet became infested. And. although it's a while since I chased any fish around with rod and reel, a fisherman's hat seemed the way to go...




"Thanksgiving is possible only for those who take time to remember; no one can give thanks who has a short memory" - unknown

So...full disclosure...the following was taken from an email from James Perse...but, somehow, it encapsulated all that I'm feeling about Thanksgiving this year...or, as Horace said, "Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero"..."Seize the Day, trusting as little as possible in the future"...



"From the sublime to the ridiculous is but a step." - Napoleon Bonaparte

Herm├Ęs...finger-skateboards...it's geek-tastic but hard to ignore...and even harder not to enjoy...


"I was like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me." - Isaac Newton

I'm used to the vagaries of fashion seasons...the pressure to ponder over winter coats and knitwear while winter is still a distant blip on the horizon...and giving serious consideration to flimsy dresses whilst schlepping through the snow...yet, despite all this, I was still caught unawares in H&M.

But first (as always) a little back story...a few moons ago...when I was a mid-teen...and knee-high to a (no, wait, that won't work...I've always been an extra tall freak of nature)...anyway, back in the day I was the proud possessor of a sort of leather and shell friendship bracelet. It spoke of summer in a way that the dank depths of Scotland never did and was one of those things that, once slipped on, stayed with me every second of the day until it disintegrated and was given a decent burial at sea.

So...in the back of my mind...and occasionally the front when not a lot was going on up there...there existed the longing for a similar leather-y shell-y item (preferably something in the necklace realm). Every summer I assumed I would find it at some craft fair...or tourist shop...or...somewhere. And, every summer, I ended up bathed in disappointment (and a barely visible "tan").

Then...in the middle of November...in a suburban H&M in a suburban mega-mall...I found it...three strands of plaited leather...bedecked with enough shells to make the ancient mariner feel at home. Do I care that it is going to languish, unworn, in a drawer for the next six months? Not a jot...because I know that, come next summer, I will be wearing it every second of every day...




"His socks compelled one's attention without losing one's respect" - H. H. Munro

I know that, given half a chance, I can witter on about travel-related items that...unless you also spend a decent portion of time commuting at 30,000 feet...may seem a little restricted in their usage. The zenith of this jets into us courtesy of Tory Burch and her "travel socks"...designed, according to her website, to "make taking off your shoes for those long airport security lines more stylish"...at $48 the pair you do have to wonder though if something slighter cheaper, yet equally woolly, might do the job just as well...



"The cat would eat fish, but would not wet her feet." - early 13th century English proverb

I think I know how she felt, wet fur is a terrible thing...


Fur-lined trench - Phillip Lim, plaid shirt - Zara, sweatshirt - APC, jeans - Gap, talon cuff - Pamela Love


"I got nasty habits; I take tea at three" - Mick Jagger

I could wish that my seasonal affliction...that of feathering the old nest in contemplation of a chilly winter...took a slightly more exciting form than that of the adoration of tea towels but...what can you do? Faced with a "One for You, Three for Me" swath of fabric from British purveyor of all things sugar-y and delicious, Suck and Chew, I find myself going weak at the knees...of course, that could be due to all those Refreshers...



"What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset." - Crowfoot

Like warring factions whose relations are destined to be less than chummy, historically cold weather boots (at least the ones that I've been attracted to) have fallen into two distinct categories...a) the rain boot that keeps your foot dry as a bone yet requires two pairs of socks to avoid hypothermia...or...b) the boots that are blissfully warm but spring a leak when they come into even the briefest contact with rain, snow, or (heaven forbid) the couple of inches of slush that seem to cover the ground for a minimum of two months each winter. With the buffalo plaid version of Sperry's shearwater boot though I think all my bases may finally be covered...thanks to the combination of rubber soles and shearling lining...of course, the cute black and red check doesn't hurt anything either.



"I just can't wait for the day when I see you walking out of this house carrying the same two cheap plastic suitcases that you walked in here with!" - Alexis Carrington

'tis the season...for spending time aimlessly wandering around the web looking for potential "party dresses". Not that you need a new PD...not that you'll probably buy a new PD...but because you can imagine yourself at some fabulous party in the cute ones...and indulge your catty side by wondering who would wear some of the designs on offer. Case in point...just in time for Thanksgiving...and birds wrapped in BacoFoil...this little number from Roksanda Ilincic. Dramatically, and somewhat unsurprisingly, reduced from $3,195 to $958.50 the question still hangs in the cranberry-scented air, "Apart from a Dynasty themed fancy dress party...when would you wear this?"



"When life gives you scraps make quilts" - unknown

As the nights grow longer...and colder...there's an almost natural progression that causes the brain cells (well, mine at least) to yearn for all things cosy and blanket-y...actually add rustic-y to the list, as the winter months tend to make me lust after the sort of home furnishings that wouldn't be out of place in a vintage Ralph Lauren ad. All of which goes some way to explaining the attraction of these patchwork quilts...blending fabric from APC's archive...with a hefty dose of homespun craftiness. Making me long to be both bundled up (preferably inside, by the radiator, whilst winter winds blow outside)...and...making me think that I should wade through the mass of fabric remnants sitting in bags in my closet, and try my hand at a little quiltin'...



"I heard his library burned down and that both books were destroyed - and one of them hadn't even been colored in yet." - John Dawkins

Blogging allows you to fully embrace your quirks...the good...the bad...the frankly bizarre and confusing. As far as the latter...pre-blogging I never fully comprehended my latent passion for coloring books...not that I spend my free time trying to color within the lines or anything like that...but the urge is definitely there. Case in point...the Sneaker CB...a compilation of 100 iconic sneaker designs from 1916 to the present...all waiting to have a little life breathed into them. Something that makes my fingers itch for a little crayon and watercolor action...



"The English country gentleman galloping after a fox the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable" - Oscar Wilde


When it comes to patterns, I tend to go for the extremes...swinging from patterns that instantly make you think of 1970's era bathroom wallpaper (and are visible from several miles away)...to the sort of muted design that requires a certain amount of contemplation to decide what it's actually supposed to represent. The design on this top is so discreet that it wasn't until I zoomed in on the detail shot that I figured out that it was comprised of a stack of foxes heads...or, to be precise, the heads of a skulk of foxes (for such is the collective noun when more than one fox is gathered in one place...such as at fox bingo or when they nip down to the pub for a pint).

Just the thing for skulking around in...



"There's nothing wrong with eating pizza and french fries occasionally, it's the every day choice that becomes a problem." - Linda Fleming

'Nuff said really...

Wrong Day sign - Richard Tipping


"A medal is a small metal disk given as a reward for virtues, attainments or services more or less authentic." - Ambrose Bierce

At this point in my life, I feel that it's highly unlikely that any medals will be coming my way...not being especially athletic...or heroic. Unless, that is, I decorate myself...for, um, services to shopping perhaps...with a handful of these wooden medals.

Just the thing for those of us who are all pomp, and very little circumstance...



"Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom." - Albert Einstein

Some (visual) thoughts for the upcoming season...


Averyl Oates (buying director of fashion at Harvey Nichols) in Uniqlo, Celine, and Balenciaga


Natacha Ramsay...in a trench...in Trouville


Eva Herzigova (a vision in black...blonde...and a hefty amount of eyeliner)


"There is no time for cut-and-dried monotony. There is time for work. And time for love. That leaves no other time." - Coco Chanel

I'll admit that I write this as a woman with a perfectly usable dishwasher in her kitchen that she refuses to use (blame this on years of childhood guilt and a mother who firmly believed in hand-washing)...but...even if you simply flip a switch..and can therefore ignore the tea towel...can you ignore the Oui towel (and it's compatriots, allo-allo and ooh-la la)?





"A picture is worth a thousand words." - Napoleon Bonaparte

Or so they say...but sometimes you really have to stop and ponder the words themselves. Case in point, these tights from Les Queues de Sardines. The pattern is...slightly evocative of a meteorological chart (does anyone else see clouds and rain?)...the name is...more than a little odd. After all, who wants to wear Angel's fart tights?



"Of all the wonders of nature, a tree in summer is perhaps the most remarkable; with the possible exception of a moose singing ''Embraceable You'' in spats." - Woody Allen

Gratuitous shoe porn post of the day...actually, make that doubly gratuitous...for even if the day came when spending $1,000 on a pair of shoes seemed like a feasible/good idea, I am safe in the knowledge that I still wouldn't be able to stand/walk/balance/move (take your pick from any/all of the above) in 4.5 inch heels. Having said that, these be-spatted Balenciaga beauties are perfect for a little idle pondering...Photobucket
Especially when the most recent foot-related purchase to cause a fluttering in the Hebden heartstrings was a balance board...yes, these are the depths that I am currently wallowing in...where a lump of molded plastic (albeit one that offers relief from my podiatric problems) is preferable to Balenciaga...



"A cabin with plenty of food is better than a hungry castle" - Irish proverb

This is either a) a cautionary dating tale...or...b) just a rather sad reminiscence. For the time being, I'm going to go with "a". The time (a few too many years ago)...the occasion (Heb's first New Year's Eve in the good old U.S. of A.)...the date...

"Why don't you come to my friend's party?"

The trouble that you can get into with one little word...

Twenty-or-so guests...offered, in terms of entertainment, the thrill of watching their host play a video game on his computer OR perusing the "buffet" (a table comprised mainly of apple slices and a caramel goo for dipping purposes). At midnight...plastic champagne glasses were handed out...which the host had thoughtfully (though rather idiotically) sandwiched together with wood glue. After several minutes...and a certain amount of movement by the wood glue wielding guests...the apartment resembled the habitat of a rather energetic snail.

Self (at approximately 12:01am): "I have to go home now"
Date: "You haven't eaten much...let me buy you dinner"
Self (thinking "maybe I should give this a second chance" and "there's only so much apple a girl can eat in one evening")": "Sure"

With visions of romantic late night dinners dancing in my head, imagine my surprise (and chagrin) when we pulled into White Castle. Two sliders later...hastily consumed...I was finally able to go home. Which is why I will not be purchasing White Castle's scented candle. The smell of meat "steam-grilled-on-a-bed-of-onions" has no positive associations for me...



"Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence." - O. Henry

Sad...in the way that only something that isn't really that bad given the passing of time can be...the knowledge that my childhood passed in a Play Dough free haze (courtesy of an unexplained childhood allergy...hastily attributed to PD...and a parental unit who enforced the exclusion of PD in our home with the efficiency and enthusiasm of a social worker stamping out STDs).

Clearly some retrogressive therapy is in order...mainly centered around Tate Modern's Play Dough Bucket and those hours of the day that one sets aside for mindless pursuits...



"Travel and society polish one, but a rolling stone gathers no moss, and a little moss is a good thing on a man." - John Burroughs

Oh suede...you sumptuous yet impractical devil, you...why do you pluck at my heartstrings this way?



"The only things one can admire at length are those one admires without knowing why." - Jean Rostand

I always wonder who came up with the designation "falls above knee" as a description of skirt lengths...it covers such a multitude of sins...yet gives the bare minimum of useful information. After all, "above the knee" on my 5'11" frame is on the knee (or possibly below it) for my more diminutive brethren...and, even assuming that a.t.k. is accurate, it covers a sizable amount of territory (everything from the modest knee-skimmer to the overly-friendly crotch grazer).

The question is...would it kill the majority of online retailers to give actual measurements (of the "blank" inches from waist to hem variety)?

Ruler necklace - Tatty Devine


"I find sitting at a specially equipped desk in front of some pretty ugly plastics and staring at a little window is a very unnatural event." - Harold Hambrose

Once again the plastic bag that the Transportation Security Administration insists upon the weary traveler shoving their (miniaturized) beauty products into is getting me down. Having typed that sentence I have to add that I do realize that, in the grand scheme of things, this is pretty low on the scale...way lower than the aspirations of a Miss World contestant ("ending world hunger, curing every disease known to mankind , and making everyone happy")...yet it's amazing how demoralizing the sight of that square of plastic can be every time you pack and unpack your bags.

Especially when there are jaunty little gingham cosmetic bags out there...endowed with a French, beach-y, sort of joie de vivre.


"Pointless. . . . Like giving caviar to an elephant." - William Faulkner

In the general run of things, it has to be said, that of the two of us...Hebden and elephant...the elephant would probably be slightly happier to be faced with a portion of the small, salty balls. They would, after all, have something of a novelty value in his eyes...whereas I've never been able to muster up any enthusiasm for what are, essentially, a sturgeon's ovaries.

Much more exciting...as I'm sure the elephant would concur...is this Chocaviar. Admittedly, just an excuse to try and make a chocolate bar more exciting by dint of a little judicious re-forming and re-packaging but...who cares?



"I've waffled before. I'll waffle again." - Howard Dean

I know that every addict swears that "this is their last hit" but...honestly...this is...no more sweaters will enter the Hebden closet this year (acts of God, as the insurance companies say, withstanding). Though...really...faced with waffled cashmere...caramel hued...and with a zip at each side of the neckline...what was I supposed to do? Especially when the twin devils...a 20% discount and free shipping (am I the only one who feels like a successful hunter when I manage to track down a discount code online?)...were whispering in each ear.



"Think, in mounting higher, The angels would press on us, and aspire To drop some golden orb of perfect song Into our deep, dear silence." - Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I realize that by this point you're probably a little sick of my waxing rhapsodic about World Market's absurdly inexpensive jewelry...especially those of you who live nowhere near one of their stores. All I can say as a mea culpa is that they do sell a few items online...though, inevitably, none of those that I find in their stores...like this leather and brass-balled beauty...offering a certain amount of subdued glamor for a little less than $20...




"I have too much money invested in sweaters." - Bob Hope

Twisted little cynic though I may be, the sight of the My Own Private Idaho editorial in November's UK Vogue...or, to be more precise, this one image of Dree Hemingway wearing the uniform of my formative years (over-sized Joseph sweater, wisp of a skirt, and a pair of un-girly boots) caused a certain lightening of the wizened little lump that I call a heart.


Even more so, it allowed me to revel in the fact that, as unlikely as it seemed at the time...the knitwear that I spent the majority of my childhood savings on...we're talking pocket-money, Christmas money, pity payments from the tooth fairy, you name it...fully justified the oft thrown about moniker of "investment purchase".

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