Monday, 28 June 2010

Happily ever after

I'm going to tell you a little story. It's a tale of love, despair, heartache and above all, one girl's absolute determination to battle through the evils of modern culture.

First let me set the scene and introduce the main character.

Our heroine is a jeans, shorts, leggings, skirts and dresses king of girl. Seldom often does she buy or wear proper trousers, but this one time, not long ago, she saw a pair and quite simple had to have them. They were perfect. Grey, twill woven, harem-style and just lovely to wear.

One day, she wore the trousers to work. A long, hard day at the office later, she was eager to get home and start the weekend. Luckily, a seat was available on a busy train: she sat down unaware that her world was about to come crashing down on her.

"OY, LOVE, YOU'VE GOT GUM ON YER BUM" , a train guard shouted at her as she was making her way through the other passengers during rush hour a short time later.

She ran home as fast as her legs could go, stopping at nothing but the traffic lights. Tears ran down her face as she sat in the kitchen scrubbing away at her trousers until her Fairy Godmother produced a book called "Household Tips for the Modern Day Damsel", which instructed her to put her garment in the freezer overnight and to pour a large vodka to allow time to pass a little faster.

The next morning, with a slight hangover, she was able to pick off the chewing gum with ease and lived happily ever after.

Monday, 21 June 2010

I'd like a brown satchel.

Ah, the joys of joining the nine to five slog of city workers in London. A daily of commute of three hours is, however, a rather exciting experience if, like me, you like to people watch. My favourite part of the whole shebang, is to wait at the Euston station every morning and watch the world go by, everyone scuttling about like ants in a colony. They dodge between people, glued to their i-phones, ignoring the world and missing out on the beautiful fashion show that goes on far beneath the streets in the busy tube tunnels of the underground. What a spectacle.

Everyone looks so sharp and well dressed and smart and well presented and business like, as if they could take over the world in an instant. I stand there looking like the little, timid intern that I am, completely lost in this new, overwhelming environment. I am trying to ‘blend’ in. Gone are the weekdays of slobbing about in jeans and leggings. My work wardrobe consists of tapered and straight-leg trousers and plain tee’s, dresses that sit just above my knee and flat shoes. I put my work outfits together optimistically thinking that they say “please take me seriously”.

I was hoping to tap into the whole ‘geek chic’, but I fear I come across more ‘geek dreich’. Maybe I’m a happy medium in between? Whichever way, I’d like a brown satchel.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

If only I had the time to wait for the delivery

Tomorrow I’ll be embarking on yet another journey. I’ll not drone on again about packing (it’s done, thankfully) but I’d quite like to complain about travel clothes. ‘Urggghhhh’ does not convey the stress, annoyance and sheer effort that goes into the thought behind what on earth I’ll be wearing on the train.

The thing that makes it so difficult about choosing something to wear is that:

O: I’d like to be comfortable (and generally, my version of comfortable is looking like an absolute slob)

O: I’d like to arrive at my destination looking semi-decent (which is hard when I also want to be comfortable)

O: Its going to hot and raining, therefore I must dress appropriately for the multi-season weather.

Gosh darn, I’ve nothing to wear.

Thankfully though, a little trip to advises me on my predicament: their link for ‘First Class Style, All you need for long haul chic’ is a real winner. If only I had time to wait for the delivery.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Hat heaven

Its been two years since Carrie and the girls have hit our big screens and what a long two years its been waiting for the friendships, frolics, fun and fashion (not to mention another dirty ‘f’ either). You’ve gotta give it to those New Yorkers, they sure know how to dress, well all thanks to a wonderful stylist who seriously doesn’t get enough credit. Patricia Field I salute you: you manage to make it look so easy – Carrie can get away with a turban or a bird casually perched on her head while the rest of us mere mortals would probably be sectioned for such a thing, which (as the appreciating granddaughter of a milner) is a shame.

If you think about it, headwear really is due a comeback any day soon. Sure, every year the high street regurgitates the straw hat or trilby just in time for festival season and there is always a wedding guest with some kind of illustrious bonnet (but even there, the notorious wedding hat is being phased out by fascinators). But what’s really needed to catapult this soon-to-be-trend into the spotlight is a partnership of sheer brilliance: enter Lady Gaga and Phillip Treacy (which is still to be confirmed officially, but rumour has it that it's a dead cert).

The maverick milliner and avant-garde singer/songwriter have collaborated before: when you’re Lady Gaga, known for your flamboyant and un-orthodox outfit choices, who else do you go to for the accompanying hats? Viewed as someone who sees little, or no, boundary between fashion and art, Gaga truly gets extreme pleasure from style, often seen in un-compromising creations for her captivated fans. So, what better way to move forward and develop her unique and innovative love of original headgear? Apply for an internship at one of the worlds most celebrated and inspirational hat designers of course!

Irish born Treacy began making hats to complete his garments while he was at Fashion College. A spot of work experience with Stephen Jones, renowned friendship with Isabella Blow and international acclaim later, Phillip Treacy has given new meaning to the word ‘hat’. He famously kitted out members of the Royal Family for Charles and Camilla in 2005; designed the exquisite green (2008) and black (2010) creations Sarah Jessica Parker wore for the premier of Sex and the City and not to mention the lightning inspired headwear Lady Gaga showed off at the Grammy Awards this year.

Personally, I’d never go for anything nearly as outlandish as the above, all the hats that hang on my hat-stand are for the winter months only. I have a Russian Imperial Army inspired faux-fur hat, which, despite its ridiculousness, is actually quite cool; I have a cream beanie hat with giant sequins covering the bobble and I have another knitted hat which looks like it was made from one of Father Dearest’s Christmas Jumpers. I love a good metallic, cone-shaped Party Hat too, oh and those crowns that you get in crackers too.

Watch this space though, this dynamic duo could thrust the hat back into the 21st Century where it might just belong. Surely a match made in hat heaven.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Season friendly

Yesterday at the park, with a Pimms and Lemonade in hand, sunglasses on and music sounding out from a nearby boom-box, I looked around at everyone enjoying the glorious sunshine we’ve had of late. Groups of friends lay about laughing and soaking up the rays wearing shorts, t-shirts and summer dresses, sandals and flip-flops. It’s my favourite part of the season when you can sit out all day long without a care in the world and enjoy the atmosphere that builds up as the day progresses.

But, and this is a big ‘but’, I get easily distracted by the little details. It astounds me year upon year that girls are able to walk about looking oh-so-cool yet with ruddy, horrid chipped-off polish on their toenails.

I just don’t get it. Surely, if you’re going to put so much effort into curling your hair and placing your hat on perfectly or even pre-applying factor 30 so that you tan evenly, it wouldn’t take much more effort to look down at your feet and realise that they need re-painting. Right?

Wrong, evidently. Take a look around, once you notice one, you’ll notice it again and again and again. This is not a trend and it should not catch on (like the contagious and equally terrible ‘double-denim’ style, blugh): quite simply, it does not look good.

At the moment I’m favouring Topshop’s newest venture into the world of make-up, or more specifically, their ‘nails’ range:

Rose Royce, Feisty and Art School are the ones I’m sporting at the moment, and although Mother Dearest doesn’t think of this range of colours is entirely appropriate for all occasions (Wedding’s specifically) she does agree that they are, in general, season friendly.

P.S. Wanna hear my joke? Of course you do, how silly of my to even ask!

Q: What do you call a Frenchman wearing sandals?

A: Phillipe-Flop

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Hangers, how I’ve missed you

There is something so exciting about asking Father Dearest to get my suitcase down from the attic. I get a rush, a pang, a burst of adrenalin knowing that I’ve to pack before I jet-set to somewhere exotic.

In case you’ve not caught on from previous entries, I’m a bit of a saddo. I like packing: I like raking through my clothes pulling items out for the ‘yes’ and ‘maybe’ pile, then neatly rolling my tops (for minimal creasing), folding my knickers and stuffing shoes, electricals and bottles of wine down the sides. Afterwards I look down at my ‘good work’ with a sense of pride, grading myself with an A* for effort, artistic ability and time management.

The initial enthusiasm I got from packing has long gone though, for the last five days I’ve been living out of a suitcase. My grey ‘holdall’ does not ‘hold-all’ it seem. Despite my best efforts, I have failed at maintaining the tidy environment I created last week.

It started off well. I even laid out my travel outfit on the top of my case which was filled with wardrobe gems like my favourite beaded cardigan, shoe boots and my lucky pants. I ruined it all after a drunken scavenger hunt for my pyjamas on the first night though: the suitcase lost all of its original dignity and let it all hang out thereafter.

Right now I’m back home for a day to wash, iron and re-pack my clothes before I live it all again for anther five days. Hangers, how I’ve missed you.