"Living in the past has one thing in its favor - it's cheaper." - unknown

Rather disappointingly...just as I was patting myself on the back for a massive 'fashion math' saving courtesy of J Crew's tweed-y cardigan...the package containing said item appeared. On the pro side of things, it's very soft...on the con, just about everything else...as it was obviously designed by someone who never learned that just because an item is on the (relatively) cheaper side, it shouldn't actually look...well...cheap.

And so, back the package goes...slightly lightened by the absence of the fingerless gloves that will be staying at the Hebden hacienda. Perfect for those work-related occasions when I need to type in less than desirable temperatures...and equally perfect for layering under my sadly-looking-a-little-the-worse-for-wear vintage Emporio Armani faux fur gloves.





"Coffee should be black as Hell, strong as death, and sweet as love" - Turkish proverb

Even though I love it, I'm trying to imagine just how bad a coffee habit you have to have to buy Alessi's travel espresso set...I see someone wandering up to strangers on corners, begging them for a hit of 'the granular'...spending hours searching under the cushions of their sofa in an attempt to come up with enough spare change for a grande cup of Starbucks' Anniversary blend. If you've done similar (or worse) this kit has it all...an electric coffee maker...two espresso cups and saucers...two small spoons...and a can of ground Illy coffee...all your average caffeine junkie needs is some water and an electricity source.

Though, as I say, with a coffee shop on almost every corner...and considering how time-consuming it is to get through an airport with even the most basic baggage these days...you do have to wonder who's buying this...



"The universe is built on a plan the profound symmetry of which is somehow present in the inner structure of our intellect" - Paul Valery

For those who crave a little more structure in their scarves...say "guten morgen" to Berlin-based Bless' Sakkoscarf with rather nifty black and white tweed shoulder pads. Admittedly, at $475, it's over-priced for what is...essentially...a visual pun...but as the starting point for a little DIY craftiness it does offer some suggestions...



"Innovation! One cannot be forever innovating. I want to create classics." - Coco Chanel

Not Chanel...but a delightfully classic piece of arm candy nonetheless...in the form of a wholly traditional string shopping bag with the slightly not-so-traditional additions of leather handles and cotton lining. Much more appealing than the equally classic plastic bag...



"To be successful, keep looking tanned, live in an elegant building (even if you're in the cellar), be seen in smart restaurants (even if you nurse one drink) and if you borrow, borrow big." - Aristotle

I have to ask...who out there is familiar with the term 'American tan tights'? Anyone? I'm secretly hoping for a low response rate as I'd hate to be the only person oblivious to the phrase. Yet as I watched Jess Cartner-Morley's video on The Guardian's website dealing with the (heavy irony warning..."thoroughly relevant and important topic") it took me a minute to realize she was talking about the hideous nude tights that most of us wouldn't be seen dead in.

More than talking about them...suggesting ways to incorporate them into our wardrobes. Did I miss something...or, in the midst of fashion weeks, have we really reached such a grasping-at-straws need for conversational topics?


"It was all very well for an Englishman like Mr. Fogg to make the tour of the world with a carpet-bag; a lady could not be expected to travel comfortably under such conditions." - Jules Verne

She needs...if she is anything like this lady...a vintage Gucci travel bag from the 1930's...whose leather is stained and worn and speaks of countless adventures...



"The rewards for those who persevere far exceed the pain that must precede the victory." - Ted W. Engstrom

As a follow up to yesterday's "good things come to those who wait" post...and also, oddly enough, featuring a scrap of yellow silk...comes a tale of perseverance, determination, and a dash of luck. For when I read that Opening Ceremony had collaborated with famed Parisian taxidermists Deyrolle on a silk scarf that would only be available on Fashion's Night Out in OC's NY stores I knew I had my work cut out for me.

For someone as laid back as myself, I have to say that it's amazing how invigorating the uniting of twin passions for silk scarves and stuffed animals can be. Numerous emails were exchanged...the period between each of which was a time for bated holding of breath...money has changed hands...but, thanks to my chaotic work schedule, even though FNO took place a couple of weeks ago the scarf is still tantalizingly just beyond my reach. Which is why I will be repeating the "g.t.c.t.t.w.w." mantra...and stalking the FedEx man...for the forseeable future.



"Happiness is a wine of the rarest vintage, and seems insipid to a vulgar taste." - Logan Pearsall Smith

Generally, I encounter about the same level of luck on a trip to a thrift store as a vegetarian visiting a steakhouse...everything (that I like) appears to have been designed for someone about a foot shorter (and a tad skinnier) than I...which leaves me feeling like some fairytale giant running amok amongst the villagers' corn fields.

Which is why I was so amazed when I came across this outerwear offering...a mix of utilitarian...60's Catherine Deneuve...a sort of ladylike punk (witness the brass details on fastenings and pockets...chic, yet dangerous if you poked someone with them)...with beautiful details (the notched back of the collar...the goldenrod silk lining)...and roomy enough to hit at-the-knee and allow for the wearing of a sweater underneath.

It took a while, but I can finally lay claim to a successful thrifting experience...






"Difference between savage and civilized man: one is painted, the other gilded" - Mark Twain

When, at first glance, I thought that United Bamboo's cardigan was constructed of a Ferragamo-esque combination of wool and printed silk panels...I thought it was lovely. Clicking on the detail images...and seeing that the silk is actually embellished with golden sequins and braiding moves it into the realm of the exquisite.

With more common sense that I can usually muster, however, I realize...not that I need to stop lusting over sweaters...but that my klutziness would have snagged the decorations from it before I'd even left the house...but that's not going to stop me worshiping it from afar (and waiting for the sales)...


"I got the blues thinking of the future, so I left off and made some marmalade. It's amazing how it cheers one up to shred oranges and scrub the floor." - D.H. Lawrence

There are some people out there who will try to convince you that washing the dishes...hands immersed in sudsy foam...brings the sort of Zen-like contentment that can usually only be found after a great deal of inner contemplation and a few hundred Downward-Facing Dogs.

I, as you've probably guessed by now, am not one of them. Dishes...to my simple mind...are a chore that should be accomplished as quickly as possible...like taking medicine...or going to the dentist. It did occur to me, however, that something slightly more aesthetically pleasing that the usual plastic scrubber might (just might) make the whole process a little more enjoyable. Enter the bamboo handled pot scrubber from full circle whose rapidly expanding loofah (when brought into contact with water) will, at the very least, add a little childish enjoyment to the proceedings.



"All who would win joy, must share it; happiness was born a twin." - Lord Byron

It's been a while since I did a 'separated at birth' post...probably because I haven't had the free time necessary to troll the internet in search of more fiscally friendly versions of the things I am lusting over. The following, however, leaped out at me from J Crew's catalog with such force that all my lazy bones had to do was a quick search on the Crew's website. On the left, Rag & Bone's tweed cashmere sweater...beautiful and, I have to say, not horrifically over-priced...on the right, J Crew's dream tweed cardigan...offering the extra option of being worn open and saving the Hebden budget a couple of hundred dollars.


You have to take a minute and enjoy the (totally inaccurate yet completely excusable) virtuous glow that comes from such 'savings'.


"O sleep, O gentle sleep, nature's soft nurse, how have I frightened thee, that thou no more wilt weigh my eye-lids down and steep my senses in forgetfulness?" - William Shakespeare

I imagine that, every so often, the humble beaver wanders home...after a hard day chewing on trees and pushing them upstream...asking nothing more than to put his tail up and run a little dental floss through his weary incisors...when he realizes that he completely forgot to do 'a', 'b', or possibly even 'c'. I, my friends, am that Castor canadensis. For, knowing that I was facing a week of days whose sole activities were work and sleep, I pre-wrote what (in my addled mind) I considered to be enough posts to cover my blog-free period...completely managing to forget Saturday in my calculations. Hence yesterday's deafening silence...

A couple of more hours sleep is needed...during which time I will (hopefully) be dreaming of Phillip Lim's collection for next Spring...and not sleep-deprived semi-aquatic rodents.



"It gets you nowhere if the other person's tail is only just in sight for the second half of the conversation." - Winnie the Pooh

Never...even in my most effervescent...i.e. alcoholic...moments...would I suggest that a $600 sweater from Topshop should be perceived as a "good"...i.e. even vaguely rational...buy. It's just not possible. And yet...this shearling/knit cardigan from their Unique range...hitting the scale at the 600 dollar mark...is sold out.

Even assuming that not that many were produced...who are these millionaires...armed with the twin urges to spend like there's no tomorrow and look like Winnie the Pooh in a grandpa cardigan?


"Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear." - Thomas Jefferson

Generally, I can stumble through craft projects...creating an end result that may be a shade short of perfection but doesn't fall to pieces on its first outing...with Hermès' "make your own collier de chien" however, I have met my Waterloo.

I was on track when it came to finding a decent thickness of paper to print the design onto...I was a whiz with the scissors and blades needed to cut out the multitude of slivers of paper required to complete the project...I was an utter failure when it came to the level of dexterity necessary to fold and assembled the aforementioned slivers. Forget bracelet...my overabundance of thumbs created a Hermès-patterned paperweight.



"You can say this for ready-mixes - the next generation isn't going to have any trouble making pies exactly like mother used to make." - Earl Wilson

I'm not quite sure why I initially signed up for Selfridges weekly emails...perhaps it was just the urge to torture myself with the memories of glorious shopping expeditions of days gone by...or to give myself a chance to bemoan the lack of similar department stores in the US.

Whatever the reason was I currently find myself ignoring the fashion listings completely and heading straight to the unintentional humor of the food updates. From childhood, I know the lure of the "foreign" food aisle...when my mother, a woman who could whip up a 3 course meal...from scratch...without even breaking a sweat...would buy ridiculously over-priced boxes of Betty Crocker's au gratin potatoes as if they were the food of the Gods...but the idea of someone paying £7.49 (almost $12) for a box of Lucky Charms cereal never fails to elicit a slight giggle.

Those seeking more food/fiscal related should click through to read about the "Marshmallow Fluff collection" and the ever popular "American favourites collection" comprised of more sugar and man-made preservatives than should be contained in one gift box.



"Eden is that old-fashioned house we dwell in every day Without suspecting our abode, until we drive away" - Emily Dickinson

Wallpaper in the bathroom is one of those things that veers wildly on the acceptability scale...one second every private washroom you visit (and quite a few public ones) seems to be bathed in a dizzying array of stripes and medallions...flocked and vinyl...while the next minute it's all cold austerity and yards of marble.

Having vintage tiles in my bathroom...and therefore being unable to fall prey to the passing diktats of bathroom design magazine...I'm not sure if we're currently in a wallpaper phase or not...something that matters not a jot when faced with Barnaby Gates' This Other Eden paper...a sepia collage of a Britain long gone, yet one that never ceases to raise a lump in the expat throat.



"The bosom can ache beneath diamond brooches; and many a blithe heart dances under coarse wool" - Edwin Hubbel Chapin

Given my enthusiasm...once the temperature has dropped to points south of cold...for the humble sweater (a fact that can be attested to by a barely-able-to-close cupboard, stuffed to the gills with more wool than you'd find in a shearing shed)...it's not going to come as a shock if I wax lyrical about a sweater dress. Even if the sweater dress in question is more about corset-like restraint that the usual baggy comfort that I usually look for in my knitwear.

The work of Milan-based designer Isabella Tonchi (who can be seen talking about her inspiration and work in the video below)...if I was feeling rich...and skinnier than is possible when one is nursing an injured leg and a predilection for Starbucks' mochas...I'd indulge in a little futuristic-librarian-Prime-of-Miss-Jean-Brodie chic this winter.

Watch Isabella Tonchi presentation in Lifestyle  |  View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com


"I have a simple philosophy. Fill what's empty. Empty what's full. And scratch where it itches." - Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Throwing fiscal caution...and potential stupid question aggravation...to the wind...the Carine Roitfeld designed Pull Tramp Pour Femme is now mine...in a satisfyingly go-with-everything shade of black.

Being my first Lutz & Patmos purchase...just in time for the label to cease to exist at the end of this year...I was curious about the quality of their cashmere. For anyone contemplating a purchase, it's slightly on the hard and scratchy side of things...not off-putting so...just more than you'd expect given the cost involved. That said, I could see this being the sort of basic that I pull out of my closet at every opportunity...given the right long-sleeved undershirt...



"All sports are games of inches." - Dick Ritger

I've always thought of Ritter Sport as a curiously retro candy...enjoyed by women with Farah Fawcett hair...and men with exorbitant amounts of chest hair accessorized by odd medallion nestling in its luxurious midst. That, however, was before I happened upon their miniaturized brethren...

For those times when you want something sweet...just not very much of it...



"Time has been transformed, and we have changed; it has advanced and set us in motion; it has unveiled its face, inspiring us with bewilderment and exhilaration." - Kahlil Gibran

Sometimes you don't even need to click past a website's welcome screen...a remark that could sound catty but...in this instance...in the case of Maje and Joseph...the first impressions are the ones I want to last. I want...while simultaneously not wanting to sound like Veruca Salt...grey...fur trim...faux leopard...and, above all, leather buckles...




"Men do make passes at girls who wear glasses - but it all depends on their frames" - unknown

There's more than a hint of reinvention in the air when it comes time to buy a new pair of eyeglasses. The sense that...with the right selection...you'll look like a 1950's secretary (cue the line, "why Miss Jones...you're beautiful")...a college student...or any other of the myriad of, admittedly rather stereotypical, choices.

All of which means, of course, that my current frames...librarian with a hint of 50's housewife...have reached a point of decay where I am forced to carry a miniature screwdriver with me at all times in case one of the arms falls off.

As 'quests' go this one was, blessedly, rather short...but then, over the years, I've narrowed down what I'm looking for. Kooky is not an option...something that I found out thanks to the horribly misguided purchase of a pair of banana yellow frames in high school...round frames make my head look like a pumpkin...the list of cons goes on...

On the pro side...black and tortoiseshell...frames with a little bit of weight to them...classic, but not dull...which, this time around, translates to the sort of geek glasses that would make Clark Kent kryptonite-green with envy...handmade Italian sunglasses from Super, whose UV protected lenses will be exchanged for prescription ones faster than you can say "speeding bullet"...



"The colour of my soul is iron-grey and sad bats wheel about the steeple of my dreams." - Claude Debussy





Linen dress - VDC, metallic linen tee - Zara, snakeprint scarf - Club Monaco, 
suede desert boots - Opening Ceremony


"Vanity, I am sensible, is my cardinal vice and cardinal folly; and I am in continual danger, when in company, of being led an ignis fatuus chase by it" - John Adams

In a world without calendars I think I'd still be able to say, with a certain amount of assurance in my voice, "this is September"...because, every year, regular as clockwork...this is the time I get an uncontrollable urge for sweaters, jackets, and nail polish. Perfectly happy to spend the summer with naked nails...indeed the very thought of polish in the summer is somehow off-putting...as soon as September hits I'm ready for a little color.

This year I'm breaking my varnish fast with a nice, bright, red...Sally Hansen's Cardinal...in a vague effort to add a little gloss to my otherwise disheveled appearance.

For anyone else who was curious what the second President meant by "ignis fatuus"...according to Wikipedia...in the original Latin, foolish fire...and in more current language, will-o'-the-wisp.


"Those who flee temptation generally leave a forwarding address." - Lane Olinghouse

Yes, it's time to torture myself again by writing about shoes that I can't wear today...and am beginning to seriously doubt will ever be able to wear in the future. I kid, slightly, the interminable road of convalescence that I see spreading before me is obviously starting to take its toll...clearly I need to get mean...something that would be easy in these metal toe-capped little numbers. Mean...yet ladylike...like a perfectly coiffed little old lady wielding an umbrella...or a snake wearing L'Air du Temps...


"We were the leopards, the lions, those who take our place will be jackals and sheep, and the whole lot of us - leopards, lions, jackals and sheep - will continue to think ourselves the salt of the earth." - Prince Don Fabrizio Salina (The Leopard, 1963)

Though, in this case, it's not a case of one leopard...or two...or whether the leopard changed its spots...rather, it's a instance of which leopard looks best from behind. Namely, this rather cheerful little fellow from Mulberry...whose demeanor is rather more kitten than alley cat...


Or his slightly more ferocious (vintage) brother...


On reflection...though there's nothing wrong with cute...I think I want something a little more carnivorous clambering up my coats this winter.


"Splish, splash! I jumped back in the bath...Well how was I to know there was a party going on?" - Bobby Darin

If you're a frequent...or even semi-frequent...visitor to this blog you will know that I have a slight addiction to tracking down rubber footwear. It's not a fetish...just the knowledge gained from a childhood spent in a very water-logged part of Scotland that walking around all day with damp feet makes you miserable.

The latest bits of rubbery goodness to float into my field of vision are these lace up booties from Loeffler Randall. Certainly worth splashing out on...sorry...I love a pun almost as much as I love rain boots...


"If I had a rose for every time I thought of you, I'd be picking roses for a lifetime." - Swedish proverb

In summer I want my flowers to be bright and cheerful...in autumn, the sort of mauve-grey blooms that would receive a nod of approval from Miss Havisham seem more appropriate...


"Style is the dress of thoughts" - Lord Chesterfield

A dip in temperatures...if I squint...and ignore the upcoming weather forecast...I can almost convince myself that Fall is here. Thereby making it time to daydream about cold afternoons spent curled up on an overstuffed sofa...cup of tea in one hand...good book in the other. Or, of taking the sofa with me...or at least its stereotypical constituent parts...when I hit the road...by tucking my iTouch up in one of these Chesterfield-esque studded leather cases.




"If even dying is to be made a social function, then, grant me the favor of sneaking out on tiptoe without disturbing the party" - Dag Hammarskjold

The fact that they exist for all of us...those items for which we conceive a wholly irrational dislike...despite the other 99.9% of the population finding them totally acceptable...is no help whatsoever. The fact that they affect you that way is enough...especially if you find yourself in the situation of being forced to buy them.

My own nemesis is the sneaker...not being of an athletic temperament I haven't owned a pair since childhood...something that I was fine with as, on my foot, they've always reminded me of the "special" child in class (the one that collects bits of old radios and sits by themselves for no determinable reason). Yet, the time had come where...according to my podiatrist...I had to buy a pair.

Cursing foot injuries in general...and my own particular complaint in particular...prescription firmly clutched in hand...and sure in the knowledge that if I ever want to be rid of this walking cast certain concessions must be made...I entered New Balance...only to be confronted with the slightly sexist reality that if I were a man I could choose from retro greens, browns, blues, and oranges...while as a woman I had to vocally stand my ground to avoid pale pinks and greys.

Thankfully I was able to find one pair that were predominantly black...equally thankfully Mr. Heb is a man of his word who blocked my escape route so that I was forced to concede to the inevitable and make a purchase. While I can't say I love them...it could have been worse...



"The difference between a neurotic, a psychotic, and a psychiatrist. The neurotic builds castles in the sky, the psychotic lives in them and the psychiatrist collects the rent." - unknown

Or...to paraphrase a favorite vintage Joseph print ad of mine...

"Heb had some spaces in her day,
Which she didn't want to waste away.
She took the spaces with great care,
And built a castle in the air.
On the turret she climbed up high,
And cut a hole out of the sky.
Out of the hole she built a boat,
And put it in the castle moat.
Sure enough came evening soon,
And through the hole fell the moon.
The moral of this story is,
Nothing's out of reach with resourcefulness."

Though, at the moment, I'm thinking less of castles in the sky...and building the darned thing myself...and more of brooches on my jacket...courtesy of the masters of the humble Lego brick, Dee & Ricky.

The question...for today at least...is how much is too much for something that is...witty...humorous...but, when all's said and done, made of building blocks?



"Poverty often deprives a man of all spirit and virtue; it is hard for an empty bag to stand upright" - Benjamin Franklin

Normally, it has to be said, I'm not a huge fan of Coach bags...the majority of their design inspiration seeming to be teen-at-the-mall or her older counterpart, mom-at-the-mall...and therefore not something, in the general run of things, that I aspire to. So imagine my surprise when I clicked into their men's bag selection and found these...
...washed vachetta leather...suede with leather trim...practical enough to carry a laptop...and at a price where I won't be completely heartbroken if something spills on it.

Not, perhaps, the structured ladylike box-bag that this season demands...yet infinitely more useful for work...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...