Thursday, 17 April 2014

A mermaid's tale...

Given the choice between being able to fly or live underwater, I've always fancied becoming a cold-blooded fish that can breath underwater and never feel the chill of Winter days.  I didn't want to be a Disney Princess and couldn't understand Mr Andersen's Little Mermaid's desire to walk on two legs when the freedom of all of this could be hers...

Do you ever dive as deep as you can on a really hot day and watch the rays of the sun through the water?
I've always been a bit obsessed by all things marine, my bathroom has turned into a mermaid grotto...
Complete with Louis style mirror

Giant clam and decorative coral...

A mermaid picture over the bath...

Wouldn't it be great if pictures moved like the ones in Harry Potter, this is the view that I have when I am washing my hair.  I love the idea of the baby mermaid catching the boy (it is a proper oil painting and was only about £30 from ebay)

This is a long-winded way of justifying my splurge on Sergio Rossi Mermaid shoes.  I have always loved them...
But those death-defying heels are an inch or so too high for me, they give me a gait as becoming as Dame Edna and bunions the size of cricket balls.

So joy of joys apparently there is a 7cm heel...

Which I might be able to manage.

All this silliness made me think about the role of fantasy in our lives, with my new job I spend a lot of time with a younger crowd. And there is a tendency towards nihilism and despair that I am not familiar with. Someone sent me a link to a new magazine website that wanted the company to advertise, I was struck by how bleak and depressing it was.  I've noticed amongst the younger bloggers how there is much black and white photography with grey skies, sad faces and androgynous clothes.

Am I alone is seeking my fantasy Zeitgeist? Are you a hard-edged realist or are you for suspending your disbelief and dreaming a little?

Friday, 4 April 2014

a couple of outfits this week....

I know it's shallow, but I love the clothes pics on everyone else's blogs, I like to see how they put things together, the rationale and where they are are wearing them to, and so trying to reciprocate here I am going to work....

The first 'look ' if you can call it that is for a fairly laid back office day, with lots of walking.  The bag is one I always assumed to be a fake, but I was thinking about it the other day and now I am wondering.  I was given it by a Chinese supplier with whom my company had spent about £3 million, they had given me fake Rolexes and bits and pieces in the past, so I just kind of assumed it was another knock off.  
The next meeting we had she looked a bit strangely at said bag on the floor and made some comment along the lines of 'Oh shame you scratched your bag'.
Then I was in a designer second hand bag shop in Paris and started chatting to the guy and he offered me 6000 euro for the bag, I laughed and told him if he looked closely he wouldn't want it.  He told me it was the best knock he had ever seen. Putting it all together, along with the big box it came in, I am beginning to wonder if I have been kicking this around for the last 8 years and it might be the real deal.  Isn't it strange the way we assign value, it's the same bag, but now when I am on the bus, I keep it on my lap and not the floor.

The blue trousers are a nod to the ice blue colour that is now apparently very 'in' they are Christian Dior from the 1990s and I really have to 'squeeze' to get into them.  Trainers are cheap and cheerful Everlasts from Sports Direct, who needs New Balance? (err that'll be me)

I know this coat doesn't suit me at all, but I so fell in love with the print on the dress of the Matches ad, and this is the nearest I could get without parting with £1300 (it was about 50 quid). Whatever I put it with, I can't make it 'work' any ideas gratefully received.  However I was determined to wear it so here it is with silk wideleg trousers from Temperley London and a very old thin Donna Karan pink knit.

What are your favourite blog posts, do you like to read in-depth or just the fluffy stuff?

Sunday, 30 March 2014

A place where it is always Summer....

My favourite shop in the whole world in situated in Summertown in Oxford.  The street is aptly named, South-facing, the sun shines fully on the cafes and outside dining restaurants all day long.

However grim the weather, Vanilla is full of light and beautiful things, brands include 120% Lino, Juliet Dunne, Velvet, Citizens of Humanity, Graham and Spencer and many more...

 They make it very easy to spend money there, with everything from small gifts for under £10 to beautiful leather jackets and bags for a few hundred, it's almost impossible to leave without one of their delicious little bags.....

Do you have any brilliant boutiques near you? Do you support them or are you a hardened online shopper?

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Herself Magazine...

If you are passing Collette or Selfridges or the Saatchi Gallery you could avail yourself of the latest copy of Herself Magazine.

How to explain what herself is an illustrated fashion magazine, which seems very strange in this digital day and age.  Edited by Lula, her illustration means that she is not confined by the limitations of time and space and her imagination is free to run wild, and what an imagination it is.

In the 'Amazing' Issue is out this week, the Summer beauty pages are edited by the Goddess Aphrodite, with Calgary Avansino and Mary Greenwell playing a supporting role.  Famous works of literature from Jane Eyre to Lolita and the Iliad are brought to life with the latest season's fashion collections and there are interviews with Eleanor of Aquitaine (in Ralph Lauren), Zelda Fitzgerald (in Roberto Cavalli) and Boudicca in Givenchy.

If you are bored of every day magazines, this is something different and magical.

Many wonder if the mysterious Lula really exists, she is easy to find in animated form...

...but trickier to track down in the flesh.  She was there and she is a dead-ringer for her cartoon alter-ego, she is tiny and perfectly proportioned with the biggest eyes I have ever seen.

Lula is clearly a fashion visionary with impeccable taste and a chameleon approach to fashion, if you want to  be surprised and delighted try to get your hands on a copy before they sell out.

Amanda Wakeley

On Wednesday night I went to an event at Amanda Wakeley on Albemarle Street, her new store is stunningly beautiful with the most amazing interior design, I thought there would be some great pics of it online, but I couldn't find any that did it justice.

I used to be a regular at Amanda Wakeley back in the early 90s and remember going into the Fulham Road store listening to a lady laughing at how she had accessorised her evening gown with a pair of trainers as she was still in gym kit, and when she stepped out to look in the mirror, it was Princess Diana.
I am not sure when I fell out of love with the brand, but for the last 6 years or so, it stopped being somewhere that I made a beeline for.

There is a new CEO and the lady in charge (apart from Amanda herself) is ex Azzaro, of the flowing statement gown fame.  She is nearly 6 foot tall with thick dark waistlength locks, Amanda is of similar stature with her trademark blonde, they are like a couple of Valkyries and I would imagine will be quite a force to be reckoned with.

AW used to be quite an investment buy, up there with the more expensive designer brands, but in a world where a Top Shop T shirt is £60, the price points seem a little less extreme than other Bond Street fashion stores and the value is superior to either the high street or the big names.  Think some where above Whistles, around Joseph, but the quality is superior to their more expensive neighbours. Everything is made in Europe and the dresses hail from the same factory as Victoria Beckham mainline.

There is a movement away from 'gown dressing' to great leather jackets, perfectly cut trousers and statement bags, pretty much the London lunching ladies uniform.  You could shop exclusively here and and always look a million dollars (literally) and eternally chic.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Grace Belgravia

This week  has been one of those mad weeks with loads on, but everything being positive and moving in the right direction.

Early in the week it was a 5am start to set up a networking event at Grace Belgravia.  Grace is a new ladies only club just behind Knightsbridge, between Waitrose and Mosimanns.

It is probably the most beautiful and livable interior design I have ever seen.  I've probably mentioned before about how I get quite bored in those Zen like spas and that all the emptiness makes me feel distinctly uncomfortable, my mind goes to depressing places and I start to feel well, just empty.

Grace is different to that, it is precise and ordered, but very busy, there is lots to see and discover and many details that occupy your mind and keep you centred in the present without feeling lost.

Full membership is quite pricey (around £3,000 a year) for that you get full use of the spa and all of the classes, but there is an evening membership which is only £250, it is offered fairly quietly, but I am tempted to join as I loved the crowd there.  Unlike most uber-luxury places, it's not full of women hunting for a rich man.  Quite the reverse, since it's ladies only, it's a place for women who like the company of women (not sure how to put that without some kind of double entendre).  Simply, if you are a girl's girl you will love it.  Everyone is relaxed and chatty, it is the friendliest I have ever found a group of London ladies to be.  There's just no distrust/female competitive behaviour, if that's your bag you wouldn't even consider joining.  I thought it would be all local Knightsbridge ladies who lunch, but it was mainly business women, who use the club as a second office, and what a beautiful second office...

I wore my Jaeger trousers and Alberta Ferretti top from the Music Rooms, (just realised I looked like I was in my beautician's uniform)

I was admiring how pretty the roses were, when they came to change them as they were looking a bit old!
My friend looking stunning in a Preen dress she tried.

We finished the day with a couple of glasses of wine and some of the delicious food made on site, it was a lovely day, and I met some great people.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Day trip to st tropez

It is possible to get there and back in a 24 hour period. The only day that it 'works' with easy jet is  Thursday with 7am departure and 10pm return.
The 'season' starts next week and it was like watching the preparations for the biggest party ever, everything is being swept, cleaned and painted and the sense of anticipation is palpable. I didn't realise how many places just shut down outside of the main season.  The shopping was pretty good with new season arriving soon, the shops that were open we're offering everything at knock down prices to make room.  Marionette is a beautiful interiors shop with a number of outlets in the centre of the town, and even they have a total clear out with everything at up to 70% off.
I had lunch at Senequier in the port, I had always dismissed it as an expensive tourist trap, but interestingly it was the only restaurant full of Tropeziens in their lunch hour.
I loved the tiny house that I had come to see, but it needs a lot of work....