"The same dress is indecent ten years before its time; daring one year before its time; chic (contemporarily seductive) in its time; dowdy five years after its time; hideous twenty years after its time; amusing thirty years after its time; romantic one hundred years after its time; beautiful one hundred and fifty years after its time." - James Laver

I highly recommend reading Carol Edgarian's article on the origins of chic in its entirety...as it's the sort of thoughtful discourse on personal style that seems to be a rarity nowadays. As an amuse-bouche...and an incentive to click through and read more...I'm including the paragraph that most struck a chord with me below.Photobucket

"Style is how you see the world and how the world sees you. It isn’t today and it isn’t tomorrow; it isn’t a dress or a car or a shoe or a comment — it’s the cut of your sail as you cross this crazy, uncharted sea. Far ahead, legions of boats have already made the crossing—some grander, some more sleek—and still newer boats are always coming up behind you. Style is the manner in which you navigate your one remarkable voyage."


"He's an individual, and they're always trying." - Number Two (about The Prisoner)

At the beginning of each episode of the 1960's psychological spy show, The Prisoner, Number Six (played by Patrick McGoohan) would be asked for "in-formation". Which really has nothing to do with the rest of this post...except that when I first saw Sofia Coppola's outfit for the after-party of a film screening in NY my first thought was "in-spiration". Understated...with a touch of luxurious "evening" (the 3 C's...collar, cuffs, and clutch)...more comfortable, and personal than many of the other party-goers...




"This award is meaningful because it comes from my fellow dealers in celluloid." - Alfred Hitchcock

In theory, winter has bid us adieu and spring has entered from stage left...waving a bunch of daffodils and offering chocolate Easter bunnies to one and all. I sound skeptical, I know...but the local weather forecasters are still using snow (albeit flakes rather than flurries) in their conversation...so I am not feeling especially spring-like.

The only upside that I can see to this situation is that...instead of feeling guilty about wasting a perfectly glorious day indoors...I can plan a mini-film festival...and be doubly lazy because the aforementioned m.f.f. comes in a box...like pizza (without the calories but hopefully higher in entertainment value)...for toppings, I can choose from amongst zombies, love, or dark comedies.

Take that, winter-that-won't-go-away!



"I see you got your brand new leopard-skin pill-box hat...you must tell me, baby...how your head feels under somethin' like that" - Bob Dylan

Oh, how I wish I cycled more...not, you understand, for the health benefits...the joy of riding through the park, watching the sun filter through the leaves...dappling the ground as the squirrels dash off for fear of being run over. Or any other rational reasons, for that matter.

No, my current urge to put foot to pedal and wobble off into the sunset is entirely due to Sawako Furuno's leather-clad, leopard print helmet. Put simply, it's perfection...in life-saving form.


The Road to La Mancha...

Don Quixote: Dost not see? A monstrous giant of infamous repute whom I intend to encounter.
Sancho Panza: It's a windmill.
Don Quixote: A giant. Canst thou not see the four great arms whirling at his back?
Sancho Panza: A giant?
Don Quixote: Exactly.


It's hard to explain the breathtaking beauty of a wind farm...especially when you come upon it unexpectedly. Mile upon mile of turbines...turning in slow, methodical, hypnotizing, rhythm...


"Born a shapeless lump, like Anarchy." - John Dryden

Chalk this one up as "all the elements are there"...

Cotton...with leather trimmed pockets. In the abstract...a relaxed, loose, silhouette...

On the body...a sack.


The Hunting of the Snark - part 2

"‘But oh, beamish nephew, beware of the day,
If your Snark be a Boojum! For then
You will softly and suddenly vanish away,
And never be met with again!’"
The Hunting of the Snark - Lewis Carroll

Before I delve deeper into the conclusion of my own, personal, Snark hunt allow me to add the snippet of information that I usually steer well clear of whites and off-whites (be they of the winter or summer variety). Not that I dislike them in theory...I just rest safe in the knowledge that I am a klutz, a buffoon, a stain magnet par excellence who will mar their pristine beauty in the space of about 5 minutes.

Which is why basic number two was such a shocker (and not purely from a pricing perspective)...for it is white...crisp white...pure white...”Don’t ask me if I want to eat or drink anything more exciting than a glass of stain-free water while I am wearing this” white. A blend of silk and linen that must make dry cleaners rub their hands with glee just thinking about it.


At this point...when you are surely about to ask why in hell I made such an insane purchase...let me add that, in addition to all this white-ness, it is simply...achingly...beautiful. Beautiful in the graphic way that Diana Rigg's were when she played Emma Peel in the 1960's show, The Avengers. Beautiful in the way that only a jacket which is structured yet casual can be (down to the perfectly rolled collar and wind-breaker-esque zipper and tie). Beautiful in the way that almost anything trimmed with navy lambskin would be.


And...despite my earlier comments...and with the certain knowledge that I am going to do something idiotic (sooner rather than later)...once the threat of snow finally disappears...I plan on wearing this jacket. Everywhere.



"Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for - in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it." - Ellen DeGeneres


It may have something to do with my status as a non-driver but give me a sunny day...and the chance to go on a little field trip...and I'm as happy as a spaniel with his head out the passenger window...

Coat - vintage, scarf - Restoration Hardware (lace trim added by me), Chelsea boots - Frye, sweatshirt - Resistance RT, skirt - VDC


"Real life in Paris, the waiting-for-a-bus kind of existence that goes on without ever crossing the tracks to the city's elegance and worldly ambitions, moves on its own, without manifestoes or injunctions to stop it." - John Vinocur

The problem with having a personal manifesto is that, sooner or later, you're going to abandon it. Well, unless you're a dictator...you rarely hear them saying "I used to believe in such-and-such but then I changed my mind"...but, for us non-dictators, the PM can be a problem.

Case in point, for the last 2-3 years I have stood by my own PM of never visiting a hairdresser...for, armed with only a glass of wine and a pair of professional scissors, I was perfectly happy with the results of my own weed-whacking experimentation. The other day. however, I decided that...while I love "disheveled"...I wanted a slightly more polished disheveled than my skill-set would allow. Cue an almost obscene amount of online research...and a rather sheepish (insert lamb to the slaughter reference) visit to a local salon.Photobucket

PM in tatters I am...as I recline upon the broken ruins of my personal policy...rather happy.


The Hunting of the Snark - part 1

"We have sailed many months, we have sailed many weeks,
(Four weeks to the month you may mark),
But never as yet (’tis your Captain who speaks)
Have we caught the least glimpse of a Snark!"
The Hunting of the Snark - Lewis Carroll

It seems like there’s always a lot of talk about “the basics”. Summer...winter...a year round conversation on the standard capsule piece that goes with everything and makes you feel good whenever you put it on. Unfortunately, finding the aforementioned basics generally takes on the same, elusive quality as the hunting of the snark (an "impossible voyage of an improbable crew to find an inconceivable creature"). For me, it’s a quest that I find especially difficult in summer...when finding something that I love (and could vaguely be called flattering) yet which doesn’t cause heatstroke can, on occasion, seem impossible.

Which is why I was utterly flabbergasted...and lulled into performing a rather dangerous introduction of plastic to swipe machine...when I found not one, but two, perfect summer basics at Barneys. I know, I know...cries of “Is this really a shocker?”...but there are, let’s face it, a myriad of designer clothes...officially created for summer...that are neither weather nor wearer friendly...and Barneys own label does put out simple, yet luxe, clothing (and accessories) that well-designed, well made, and satisfyingly seasonless (I’ll admit that it’s lovely to have the latest thing...but it’s also nice to know that, come summer, you have an old friend that you can rely on).

And so, to basic number one...a take on the djellaba...made in Italy from crisp, navy cotton. Loose, but not shapeless...basic, yet interesting...as serviceable for work as it is for wandering the streets of a foreign city on vacation. The sort of thing that makes you actively look forward to summer...



"Self-denial is indulgence of a propensity to forego" - Ambrose Bierce

Firstly, I have to say that I realize that collecting virtual Karl Lagerfeld ephemera is...how shall I say it...slightly unusual...but, what can I say, the man "collaborates" like none other...especially when it comes to foodstuffs. Champagne...salad...Bûche de Noël...can all vaguely be attributed to a certain joie de vivre lifestyle...the Bûche being the only truly calorific evil on the list...and, thanks to it's seasonal status, it's the sort of once-a-year indulgence that can be ignored.

The latest melding of the kalorific and the kaiser, however, is a little more difficult to...umm...swallow. For, in celebration of Magnum ice cream bars finally landing on U.S. shores, Lagerfeld has directed a three-piece short film series starring Rachel Bilson. Today's question...does the thought of "a world-renowned prima ballerina who, when unexpectedly faced with an over-zealous throng of fans and the amorous embrace of her boyfriend, played by internationally renowned model Baptiste Giabiconi, evades them all to savor a moment for herself by enjoying a Magnum bar" make you feel like dashing off to the nearest store to get some ice cream on a stick?



Well, hello doily!

From an interior design perspective I can definitely say that I am anti-doily...those irritating, overtly genteel, ineffectual circles of lace...supposed to "protect" furniture...though from what I've never been quite able to decide.


Dye the aforementioned offender to good taste black, however...and bung it atop a simple tee...nestled upon a bed of Swarovski...and another DIY idea is added to the "things to do when I have more than 5 minutes of free time" list...



"I've always liked Atlanta. And not just for the strip clubs, but the shopping and the food." - Jon Stewart

Home...tired...and slightly battered by the sheer size of Atlanta airport (by the time you've walked for 3 or 4 miles...gone up and down numerous escalators...and taken 2 trains...to get to your rental car...you've lost the will to go on). Normal posting will resume shortly...



"As perfume doth remain In the folds where it hath lain, So the thought of you, remaining Deeply folded in my brain, Will not leave me: all things leave me: You remain" - Arthur Symons

I realized the other day that, unless my liquor stash runs dry and I start using them in cocktails, the four bottles of perfume huddled together on my (sorry, I know it's terribly old-fashioned but I love the term) dressing table will run out sometime around 2020. Which, all things considered, should, I suppose, be chalked down as a "good thing"...I certainly can't complain about getting value for money and...having finally tracked down a quartet of "signature scents"...I can't whine about being bored of the same old smell day-in, day-out...about the only niggle left to me is that three of the four bottles are considerably larger than the FAA will allow in hand-luggage.

Which leads me to ye olde quest for a non-plastic travel atomizer that I'll actually enjoy carrying...stay tuned for future developments.



Hi ho, hi ho...

Much like one of the short guys who used to spend so much time following Snow White around, I'm inundated with work...so, with apologies, there will be a lack of posts for the next few days...Photobucket


"Inside every working anarchy, there's an Old Boy Network." - Mitchell Kapor

As a self-confessed...self-admonishing...label whore (sometimes, not always, I just can't help myself)...I should be dismayed by Operation Skankbag. Instead, I applaud it...go figure.



"Physician, heal thyself..." - the Bible

Being (somewhat) bent double by a sudden lower back spasm I'd like to take a moment to sing the praises of two unsung heroes of the popular press. Sunbeam's King Size heating pad...and Dr. Singha's Mustard Rub...I salute you...for without your combined efforts I'd currently be lying on the floor in the fetal position.



"Good design begins with honesty, asks tough questions, comes from collaboration and from trusting your intuition." - Freeman Thomas

It's been all too easy to become more than a little jaded by the ubiquity of Liberty prints recently. They went from being, at least in the US, an object of reasonable rarity...to an unavoidable occurrence...having been strewn around on everything...from Target's (depressingly cheap feeling) clothing to gladiator heels at J Crew.

The latest in this long, long line of collaborations however feels...right...proper in a "pip, pip, old chap...stiff upper lip...let's go do some huntin' and fishin'" kind of way...for it is with that other bastion of all things British, Barbour.

The end results are a rather pleasing mix of the pretty and the practical...


"It is not I who become addicted, it is my body." - Jean Cocteau

Addiction is...according to the great God Wikipedia..."a continued involvement with a substance or activity despite the negative consequences associated with it. Pleasure and enjoyment would have originally been sought, however over a period of time involvement with the substance or activity is needed to feel normal." Depressing though it may be, that pretty much sums up my relationship with sweaters...

The latest...a basic, heavy, navy, cotton number. Relieved from boredom by 3/4 sleeves and zippers up each side (the latter embraced by a little shimmer).


Like any addict I'm claiming that this hit is my last...but I know it's not...



"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

Welcome to another installment of "The Travel Trials of Tallulah"...this week's episode "If I see another small plastic baggie I may burst into tears."

I don't mean to be a whiner. I am, I'll admit, fortunate to have a job that affords me the luxury of travel...the chance to see new places...and try my hand at karaoke in a multitude of hotel bars. However, the ubiquitous FAA toiletries baggies are bringing me down...the demoralizing placement of baggie in bin...the knowledge that your fellow travelers can cast judging glances on your murky selection of under 3fl oz toiletries and products "borrowed" from hotels...the lack of mystery and, let's face it, style.

I'm going to daydream about leisurely travel...in-flight snacks of a slightly higher level than Nabisco...and leather toiletries cases...



"You say tomato, I say..."

I may not be able to pronounce it...a-kay...a-cay-ah...ah-say-eee...but that doesn't mean that I can't appreciate the benefits it confers upon my skin.

Kiehl's a-kay...a-cay-ah...(damn it) Açaí Damage-Protecting Toning Mist...a couple of squirts (or, if like me you have the misfortune to be saddled with a broken pump, a few splashes) on the old visage and you are better prepared to face the day.


"In department stores, so much kitchen equipment is bought indiscriminately by people who just come in for men's underwear." - Julia Child

I have been tempted by other tchotchke-ish kitchen accessories before...naming no names...but I'm looking at you pig cooking lid...and, I quote, "this multipurpose lid can be placed directly over ingredients in a pot to help them cook evenly, releasing steam through the pig's snout".

With these bone china milk bottle measuring cups, however, I may have found a viable melding of practicality and whimsy...



"True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country." - Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Remember the (let's admit it, irritating) girl back in high school...the one who could take a pair of scissors and a t-shirt and end up with something cute (as opposed to Cinderella's "before" picture)? Well, she's back...courtesy of Maison Martin Margiela. I hate myself for saying this but...I like it. Would I buy it? No...but I do kinda like it.



"Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair, so that I may climb the golden stair..." - Brothers Grimm/Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de La Force

You've probably noticed that I've recently been on somewhat of a braided/rope jewelry kick recently. Recently though...much like Superman running headfirst into a block of kryptonite...or Popeye losing his can opener and finding an unopened can of spinach in at the back of a kitchen cabinet...I have met my match. For even though the twisted cotton cord has been organically hand-dyed using cochineal, logwood, osage and onion skin...I can't help but imagine that Rapunzel has been locked in the tower so long that her hair turned gray...



"Like Catholic schoolgirls engaging in wild promiscuity to prove they aren't fanatics about their religion..." - Pat Robertson


It has to be said that...in the general run of things...Amish-schoolgirl-at-a-sleepover-while-on-vacation-in-Paris is not a look I aim for...but then I found myself browsing around my local American Apparel...and being suddenly confronted by the double whammy of a below-the-knee skirt in pajama flannel plaid...and a boat-necked tee in red and blue stripes. Individually I may have been able to withstand their lure...together, it was like a thunderbolt from heaven. Maybe Amish en vacances is my metier after all...



"Who among us hasn't envied a cat's ability to ignore the cares of daily life and to relax completely?" - Karen Brademeyer

In celebration of lazy Sundays everywhere...the colored bunting says "retro church bazaar"...the text, say it all...



"Prove to me that you're no fool...Walk across my swimming pool" - Jesus Christ Superstar 1970 - Herod's song


Average house price - £4,975
Paul McCartney announced that the Beatles had disbanded
Boeing 747 made its first commercial passenger trip to London
The First Computer Chess Tournament took place

1970 Monochrome sweater - Bella Freud


"Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning." - Gloria Steinem

After a sea of fall collections that failed to thrill, I'll take anything (and everything) from Carven. Disclaimer: the preceding sentence assumes a virtually limitless budget...oh, and finding the right place to wear a mustard yellow, fox-meets-yeti-sleeved, coat.


"The most important and stunning discovery I made at art school was the ability to live by the single line...no shading, no multiple lines, no cross-hatching, no subterfuge. Just that line." - Chuck Jones


Coat - APC, turtleneck - Nicole Farhi, corduroy jodhpurs - Maria Cornejo, bag - Celine, boots - Frye


"The simplest things are often the truest." - Richard Bach

Life is full of contradictions...a fact that is generally reinforced at the moment when, having just finished a healthy salad, I yearn for a piece of candy...or when I realize that, much as I love a statement necklace or cuff as much as the next girl, the idea of a couple of simple bracelets is rather appealing...even more so once the weather gets warmer and weighty jewelry can feel wrong (and, during the muggiest months, downright uncomfortable).

Enter two simple strands...the first, a circle of ebony beads...the second, black onyx...with (what else?) a rose gold skull...because, after all, you can take simplicity too far...



"Waldo is one of those people who would be enormously improved by death." - Saki

Think of this as Where's Waldo? for the short-attention span set...the name of the game, to spot the differences between the two J Crew catalogs pictured below?


If you said that "A" is quite a bit thicker you either have x-ray vision or received the same catalogs that I did. If you noticed that black dot on the lower right of "B" you are a winner (well, if you're a man...or able to steal the mail from one).

Let me explain...both of these catalogs hit the Hebden mailbox on the same day. After cursing the ecological wastefulness of sending two catalogs to the same address I noticed that catalog "A" (addressed to me) was, indeed, thicker...whilst catalog "B" (addressed to the male demographic) contained...according to the back dot..."a little surprise inside". Aforementioned surprise was a 20% discount code...which begs the question, why does Waldo get savings when Mrs. Waldo is left to pay full price?


"Let me tell you something...all that glitters ain't gold..." - Aloe Blacc


"Good bargains are pick-pockets" - Thomas Fuller

Note to self: remove the ring from Gaia Repossi's collection for Alexander Wang from my summer wish list (and the somewhat shallow depths of my soul). There was me (blissfully delusional) thinking this would be an opportunity to get my sticky little fingers on an affordable version of one of Repossi's delicate/bold digit covers. I have to admit, the ring is cheaper than one from her main line...but that doesn't mean I can consider $7,300 to be a bargain...


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