'A ball gown is your dream, and it must make you a dream... I think it is just as necessary in a woman's wardrobe as a suit. And it is wonderful for morale...' Christian Dior

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Party like it's 1950

I've had this 1950s silk gown (complete with original bones) in my wardrobe for about three years, after borrowing (well, stealing) it from my sister, who bought it from Bang Bang. It's rescued me on a number of occasions when I've needed a formal dress so it was great to wear it to a 1950s-themed party last night. It's a brilliant green, a colour that actually looks better on pale skin, and how often can you say that?! Because it's quite bold and structured (ie, hard to breathe in), accessorising needs to be kept to a minimum. I eschewed pearls or earrings and opted for a flower in my hair instead.

I didn't have many options with my hair, being cropped and about ten years too late for the era, but my friend Ellen curled hers and wore a sparkly hair grip a la Dita Von Teece, who does fifties hair very well.

Despite our efforts, I think the award for best-dressed has to go to Jesse, above. Ok, so he's clutching a plastic cup in this picture, but he was smoking a pipe, did have a hip flask and you can't really argue with that moustache (which he had started growing especially a month before).

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Knickerbocker Glory

Navy harem sailor shorts, Topshop. Navy lace top, vintage. Sandals, vintage.

I've clearly spent too much time away from Topshop. And too much time avoiding harem pants. (I still maintain they're not flattering. On anyone.) But these harem-style shorts (or knickerbockers as my flatmate Ellen calls them...) are a perfect compromise and a perfect addition to the spring/summer wardrobe. I would have rather teamed them with a primary colour, but I was in Manchester for the night when I bought them (30 quid - bargain) with no tops and no other choice than to raid my sister's wardrobe, so navy lace it was.

I haven't consciously avoided Topshop, but I do have quite a love-hate relationship with the place. Whether that's because I feel about 50 next to the other shoppers born after 1995 or because the bigger the store the more repetitive the fashion seems, I can't work out, but it was a nice surprise to find so many interesting pretty but classic pieces. Spring has sprung.  

Friday, 19 March 2010

Hooray Henry

No, I didn't think I'd ever picture Pixie Geldof in my blog either. But she's the face of the H! by Henry Holland line launched this week at Debenhams and as much as it pains me to admit it, she makes me shout out, 'Hooray Henry!'

Henry (friend to Agyness, Alexa, etc *yawn*) has always kind of gone a bit over my head. But the collection shows there's a lot more to him than the slogan tees I deliberately avoided. And they're a lot more affordable too. You can view the collection here.

Love the 'ditzy' florals (there's even a jumpsuit with my name on it), cute culottes and the checked plaid suit, above. Think it might be time to start sporting a new spring/summer wardrobe. I've resisted so far. It's still so bloody cold, if I do step out in a floral tea dress, there's usually a long-sleeved jumper underneath. Come on, I've only just discovered thermal underwear, it would be cruel to part with it so soon...

Some inspiration for the line is said to come from the characters in My So-Called Life. One of my all-time favourite shows, I'd say that's the sole reason for my new appreciation of Henry Holland. So this season, I'm channelling my inner Rayanne Graff. In the early nineties, I fancied myself as a Rayanne, sadly, I was more like Angela Chase's little sister.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

This week I've mostly been wearing...

There's been a distinct lack of blogging on my part lately, in fact a distinct lack of fashion all together. This has been me for most of the last week. I think I'm taking this season's Utility trend a little too seriously...

Down jacket, fleece, thermal underwear
 (thankfully not visible but I'm sure you can imagine), power stretch pants, 
waterproof trousers, ice breaker glove liners, ski gloves, walking boots, all model's own. 

But what else can you do when you're sent to Norway at a moment's notice for work, warned it's going to be -5 degrees and that the dress code is layering? Needless to say the closest thing to waterproof in my wardrobe are patent leather handbags and the warmest jumper I own is vintage Harrods and covered in sequins. But you too, could achieve this look by visiting an array of outdoor shops – Snow & Rock, Cotswolds, Mountain Warehouse and Ellis Brigham to name just a few. It's been an education...

Stomping in and out of each of them, all flustered and stressed, it was like that scene in Pretty Woman when Julia Roberts is walking around the posh shops in her hooker get up, bewildered and infuriated by a whole new world where nobody is paying her any attention or taking her seriously. The staff in outdoor shops don't really know what to do with a bleached blonde in a mini dress, red tights and fur coat and the bleached blonde certainly doesn't know her power stretch from her insulator. Throw in that the staff at Ellis Brigham work on commission and you're heading for a big mistake, HUGE! 

The trouble with investing in waterproofs and down jackets (how ever 'super stylish' and 'retro' they claim to be) is that, if you're not an outdoor person or don't go skiing twice a year, you're not really going to get much wear out of them. I went straight from Heathrow airport to a Wild Beasts gig in Coventry with no other option than to don the down. Case in point...

Monday, 1 March 2010

Scarf face

It's Monday. It's late. I moved house at the weekend. And today I was accused by a guest house I recently stayed in, of urinating into the lamp. So I'm going to make this short and sweet and hope tomorrow brings better things. 

More scarves from Miss Kiki Salon Presents and the interview I did can be read here: Queens of Vintage

By artist and film-maker Adele Elizabeth , the above was inspired by vintage illusionists, levitation and the nursery 'Who Killed Cock Robin?'

'The Paphiopedilum, commonly known as the 'ladies slipper', has intrigued Darkest Star,' explains Miss Kiki. 'They have studied the flower from the first sign of bud to the glory of full bloom, slowly wilting to final decay.'

Oriental kitsch meets Zen-inspired glamour, by Kundalini Arts.

“Birds are expressions of freedom, of joy in movement, of grace and style; I hope that this design will be worn in the same spirit,” says its designer Mark Wylder.

A' New Mandela for Tibet' by Robert Burton