Monday, 30 June 2008

Forward planning

While the sale tills continue to go ding, your purse should be staying firmly zipped between now and if you can last, the end of September. I've talked about this before. You will have three whole months to save some money for your winter wardrobe.

I'm on a tight budget this year with student hardship looming but have my eye on a some everyday boots so need to save the pennies and pounds. I'll be making do with my bargain £22 Primark patent olive green mac as my winter coat - I'll layer up if it gets a bit nippy.

What's on your wish list? What item will you be making do with?

image: Kurt Geiger Sapphire Chocolate brown boots £140

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Controversy, Effort, New stuff and Sales...

...must be a week in Blogging!

Dressed and Pressed gave a dressing down of Vogue Italia and rightly so, please read to understand her forthright views.
The Fashion Assistant and her Camera admitted to not one but three blogs! See Style Slicker for great London street shots.
I decided to join the effort department with my new blog Fashion and Film, two posts to date.
And Susie of Style Bubble went to the sales and produced her usual delightful pics!

Friday, 27 June 2008

New Blog

Introducing Fashion and Film a new blog by moi. It predates starting my MA but I thought I'd share films that have been great style inspirations over the decades. I'll be keeping it quite light but that might change when I start my studies!

Take a peek if you have a mo....

'Tis the season to be tagged..

It's a bit like a mexian wave so wrong you shouldn't do it but hey what the heck!
And how can I ignore the delightful Observationmode and the page 123 tag.

The page 123 thingy is as follows:
1. Pick up nearest book
2. Open to page 123
3. Find the 5th sentance
4. Post the next 3 sentances
5. Tag 5 people, and acknowledge who tagged you.

Luckily I've been to the library and my nearest book to hand is Mary Elsey's Pedals and Petticoats: On the road in post war Europe.

Here's the bit from page 123

'Darkness descended early that night. Later when the tent was finally set up and we were eating our meal of macaroni and cheese in what we believed was its safety, Agnes had to light a candle, the stand of which we affixed to a pole. Its cheery flicker somewhat offset the gloom outside.'

No pressure just skip if you can't be ar**d but the tagilious babes are (which reminds me using such dreadful words - I completed missed Gok last night - did I miss anything?)
Mud on My Tea Dress
Sorting it Out
Couture Carrie
All things Blonde and Beautiful
and Disney Roller Girl as she is the finding a book gem person

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Should they stay or should they go?

I'm such a neat pup when it comes to my clothes. All orderly, washed, pressed and put away. And of course I have a bit of a make do and mend attidude. Nothing like a hem shortening or clothes dye project to keep me happy.

However, I suffer when my wardobe gets too full. Sometimes it is because I move items outof my draw and hang them up or I haven't cleared out unworn items. The hardest thing is when I get some new items and I have to determine what goes! I'm not a hoarder, much as I wish I could be, I find it very difficult and I'm a terror for coverting new items.

Now I've noticed that lots of you keep everything and a mass a ton of stuff to pull out at a later date and dress up in. I don't throw away or sell my designer items on ebay - as the sum total is not much, so they are keepers - that's the easy part. I do sell stuff for clients on ebay as somethings are little gems or are in good condition

Worn out stuff gets used as dusters or recycled. Good stuff that's not very expensive goes to charity or friends. I like to kit my friends out! It's just how do you make the cull? Is it ok to keep the 6 LBDs of which two haven't been worn for years, should they stay or go?
What sort of rules should one apply to their closet? How much is too much?

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Does your underwear determine your style?

I got to thinking that, is what you wear under your clothes, as defining as the image you portray to the world? Only a few weeks ago a friend remarked how she didn't understand why people didn't have matching underwear.

I nearly choked on my calamari and muttered something incomprehensible, gesticulating my mouth was full. I used the nodding head and wide eyes in agreement look to disguise my bra and pants were of the non matching kind.

In my world a proper fitting bra is paramount and yes, at times, I do wear black pants with black bra, white pants to white bra etc. However, they are not necessarily a matching set and I'll quite happily wear any colour knickers with my bras. My pants draw consists of one purple pair of pants that match my recently purchased purple bra, the rest are a white, black, flesh, red, blue, pink mix of boy shorts. I love boy short/camisole knicker cut. They are all mostly pretty with lace or lacy in design. I love cotton and tend to buy them in M&S.

I do think that I fall into the Amy Winehouse/Patricia Field camp when it comes to underwear - ok now someone is going to tell me Ms Field wouldn't be seen dead without her matching pure silk undies - ditto for Amy. Basically I prefer my bras to pants. I worry about bras and like to wear brightly coloured ones that show - hence purple number - with the right outfit.

When it comes to underwear I'm a tomboy that occasionally plays tiger. How about you?

Monday, 23 June 2008

Enrollment day!

I was very happy last Thursday when the London College of Fashion offered me a place on their MA in Fashion and Film.

After graduating many moons ago I swore I wouldn't even undertake a course in basket weaving but my resolve broke and a few short courses and evening classes later I got my act together and submitted my application form for the MA course.

Today is enrollment day for me and open day for many others. I hope that Mrs Fashion occassionally still reads blogs as it was her invaluable advice that helped me make my choice!

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Tired old moi

Doing a round trip of 525 miles in the name of fashion ain't much fun. In fact myself and the make up artist eating at Burger King at 7pm at a service station on the M6 on midsummer's night isn't and hasn't ever been on my top 10 list of things to do. The fashion assistant was a good girl and ate a perfectly respectable M&S pasta salad. The make up artist and I also did M&S but only the Percy Pigs!

Today I'm snuggling up on the settee and reading yesterdays Guardian and todays Sunday Times - phew! And don't tell anyone that I ate at Burger King.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Tagged:Seven Songs for Spring

Disney Roller Girl tagged me good and proper to reveal my 7 songs for Spring.

This set me off on a You Tube dallience of which downloading videos and uploading to my blog proved to be a techno step to overcome. I choose not to ransack my iPod for my top seven as my selection of Amy Winhouse, Mark Ronson, Kayne West, Stereophonics, All Saints have sat there unchallenged due to complete laziness.

The choices by Disney Roller Girl set me off an trip down memory lane and also nearly a tear as I had to part with my LPs and singles during our move from Bristol to London. Downsizing and clearing out were the top issues at the time- agh!

Still here's mine, eclectic and diverse

Hong Kong Garden: Siouxsie and the Banshees

Should I stay or should I go: The Clash

Down in the tube station at Midnight: The Jam

Unfinished Symphony: Massive Attack

I try: Macy Gray

Could it be Magic: Take That

Say what you want: Texas ( I choose the vid for pure Sharleen Spiteri oggling - she is just the coolest!)

Now all I have to do is upload them to iPod and continue the spirit and rules of the game as dictated and therefore request 7 fellow bloggers to list their 7 songs for spring.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Sales are upon us!

It is starting with a little trickle but will fully blossom next week.
High Street stores such as H&M already have a few rails
On-line, Matches have already begun their sale, with new designer items being added daily all of next week.
Selfridges begins on this weekend.

Normally, I caution sales as too much stock is stuff that no one wanted ..with the exception of bags, jewellary and shoes. BUT, this time, oh there are veritable bargains to be had. There are some lovely duster coats in the DKNY concession at Selfridges currently retailing at £380, come Sunday 22nd they'll be down.

Do your research, work out your budget. Put on comfy flats and take a bottle of water. Have fun!

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Grown up choices

Now if I'd been a smarter shopper this year and planned my wardrobe better then I would be whooping for joy and parting with my hard earned pennies for this little number.

DKNY Pleated cummerbund dress £210

The Net-a- Porter description is pure grown up delight 'Navy instantly gives an air of elegance and combined with the intricate pleating and cummerbund this is a classy cocktail dress that can be pared down with sandals for a chic grown-up day look. Exchange the cummerbund for a belt to add color.'

If I had the funds to purchase this dress then I wouldn't be sharing with you!

This would fall into the 50 essential wardrobe buys probably under the category of day dress or understated evening dress for gallery opening invitation (as if!)

Monday, 16 June 2008

Ascot Attire

For those of you who are off to Ascot, no doubt you've been alerted to the enclosure dress code - see Disney Roller Girl

Your best option to look good and refrain from recent modern shows of distaste is to chanel either these lovely ladies sitting pretty in 1960 or my three stylish gals in my blog banner.
image: Vogue ArtGroup photographer Henry Clarke

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Little beuts!

Much as I love my high heels, I've always been a bit of a flats girl.
(see Observationmode poll)
I found these little beauties a few years ago in a boutique in Copenhagen. I've actually never wore them but I feel as if their moment of glory is nigh.

I'm hoping for a glamorous dinner date or an invite to some supper and cocktails number.

Now I have a quite chic shortish black dress (a veritable £29.99 bargin from H&M), which provides the perfect background for adornements, I'm going to go out loud and proud in these.

I'll just have to make sure I do a great fake tan number not to let the shoes down.
PS - it's a mirror image, I've not got ridiculous wonkey legs or weirdy feet, though my toes are quite fugly so they appreciate a shoe of this style.

Friday, 13 June 2008

Perfect pins at any cost?

If I were a man, I reckon I'd be a leg man. I just love a perfect set of pins. The sort of legs that really look good in dresses and skirts. Think Elle McPherson or Giscelle. Good thighs, toned and shapely, long slim calves and defined ankles. You have to know the shape of your legs so you can wear the right skirt, (although pencil works on many levels for all) and get your leggings postioned in the right place for showing off your legs. Then there are shoes, got to make sure ankles look good in them etc... I could go on.

I'm not a leg sizeist, just admire good legs, that was until I saw the Prada Resort/Cruise collection. It is a gorgeous little collection that is pure Miuccia Prada. You know she wants to or wears every little item - it is her expression of self and it is delightful. The clothes, the jewellary and the shoes need no thought. It is a simple well structured collection for women. Yet... why has she selected models whose legs remind me of being 9 years old. I had sparrows legs as a child and the knobbliest knees to boot. It was ok as a 9 year old and yes it was a shock at 15 to get thighs but believe me I wouldn't trade my female thighs for that of a sparrow.

I have to say I was appalled when I saw this shot because this models calves are thicker than her thighs. I don't believe for one minute these legs haven't been produced by some starvation programme but that's all I'll say on the matter.

I loved the black shoes throughout the Prada collection. Two quite similar pairs of which I spotted in M&S in the Autograph Weekend and Autograph section. Now, M&S shoes ar not crafted by Italians but they are certainly a make do option.

This mid heel pointed court retails at £39.50 - someone please explain the 50p.

It actual looks good on and flatters the foot.

The next pair are shown in nudeish colour but are available in black.
These are clever little numbers borrowing a trick from the Italians of nice shock absorbers on the sole.

Autograph Weekend Bow detail Driving Pumps £35 - the title is very Cruise/Resort - get these little critters now in black for S/S2009.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Purse string perfect

Whilst I'm not quite brave enough to abstain from spending any money on clothing for a period of time i.e. one year or six months, I do set budgets. The budget for clothes etc. this month is zero, as it is for next month. This is due to an overspend last month. If I have an overspend that means something went on the credit card so I must pay it off first.

I'm quite miserly with my credit card it has a limit of £1000, and the only reason it isn't lower is because they won't do less than the limit I have. I'd have to go on some credit card which was for people who couldn't be trusted with their money due to bad debts, (hello - why do you think low limits are good!) and pay very high monthly interest.

On my wish list is a new bikini top and a pair of fit flops (yes I know style wise hideous, but it might help to keep pin perfect, I figured they'd useful for in betwen places and nursery jaunts).

In a complete grown up fashion I've hidden my credit card (well hubbie has) until then end of the month. I've allocatted myself some cash for the next few weeks and have a zip purse which has enough room for coins and notes - no cards.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

What's in a name

I'm going to be updating my little old book or rather produce a new version.

It needs to be updated as things have changed so much in a year - not least what I've learnt by publishing a book. Doing it all yourself and I mean doing it all, writng, editing, proofing, type setting, graphics, cover, setting the price - agh! Really, I totally admire publishing houses.

For a self published baby with no advertising or distribution it has sold well.

There are lots of good things about the book (writing style 'ahem', the energy) and lots of things to be improved (all of the above minus the ideas, writing and creativity!).

Also the world of blogging has injected so much learning and sharing of people's views, imagination and lives that some of this needs to be recognised. I want to include blogger interviews. Susie Bubble gave me a great interview about thrifitng and of course Enc of Observationmode has to be included for her six month Self-Imposed No-Clothes-Buying Moratorium. (With their permission of course)

I hope to re-publish in September (please god if anyone knows an agent or is a pubilsher help!!) and I want to keep Make Do and Mend in the title but am going to change the overall I'm looking to you lot to help define the new title.

Here's two options to get you going and I look forward to your suggestions in the comment box.
1. How to Make Do and Mend to beat the Credit Crunch
2. Make Do and Mend: how to beat the credit crunch and still buy a designer handbag

Monday, 9 June 2008

Protecting the purse strings - beauty products

Summer wardrobe, check. Holiday booked, check. Bikini bought, check. Euros, a few...Money saved for A/W clothes, zero, zilch.

OK, that gives you June, July, August and September to put some pennies and pounds away. I always think that October is the perfect month to make ones purchases. It is easy to be beguiled by the new items filling the shops late August and in September, but if you can sit tight for one more month then some real gems appear from October 1st. You also get a real feel for which way the trends are going - embrace or reject as your views dictate.

One area you can make great savings is with beauty grooming products. It requires effort, a plan and determination. No salon treats!

Essential ingrediants are body scrub, body lotion and self tanning products. A razor, shaving gel, wax products and oil.

None of the above have to be expensive. Supermarkets and Pharmacies stock a great range often with special offers and two for one deals. If you go online to Veet you can get a free SATC beauty guide plus a 20% off token for Figleaves which is valid until 31st December 2008!

Use wax for bikini line and underarm. Use Aqueous cream to sooth skin after waxing and the same for after shaving legs. I prefer men's razor and shaving gel to get a great smooth finish. If you find your legs getting dry then rub in some olive or rapeseed oil.

If you're self tanning your legs or using products such as Johnson's, Doves or Nivea's body glow gradual tanning lotion, make sure you exfoliate before applying. Any body scrub will do - go for a cheap and cheerful one or make you own with Maldon sea salt and some olive oil, it's very easy just mix together.

If you do undertake a mega grooming session then just add a hair treatment product, again you can get sachets from £1.45. By the time you've finished your grooming you can rinse it off and have lovely soft hair to boot.

One other treat is a scrub and buff for your feet, particulalry needed if padding around in ballet pumps and/or flip flops. Use the scrub to invigorate the feet. Soak in hot water with lemon and then apply Scholl Footcare's deep moisturising cream. To get super soft feet apply oddles of the cream and put on a pair of socks for an hour or so.

One salon treatment for all these thing is about £110 verus an initial outlay of £25 - £30. Put the money you save towards your A/W clothes fund and don't forget practice makes perfect. My first bikini self wax was rubbish but now I could give myself a Brazilian at a push!

Saturday, 7 June 2008

The continuing love....

I was truly disappointed with The Sartorialist photos taken in London, except for the John Lobb trio. The disappointment lies in the fact he takes such vibrant interesting shots in NY and everything, the look, composition and lighting I enjoy.
At first I thought it was the quantity, I wanted lots and then I realised that London looked flat, stereotypical almost drab.
Was it the locations, the look or the composition? Dunno but something doesn't seem right or reflect the London I know and see.
So I reference my photographic icon, Norman Parkinson - Phonebox, London 1963. I realise I'm not comparing like for like but it is the essence of the city that is real here as well as the focus on the fashion.
image: vogue art group

Thursday, 5 June 2008

The Answer

Do you remember the blog post that wanted to know about certain clothes in SATC:The Movie...well I now have the answer.

It's a book! "Sex and the City":The Movie by Amy Sohn. The blurb reads like a blah blah blah until the bit which says 'including notes from costume designers that guide readers through the movie's two-million-dollar fashion closet'. Oh yes.

Get it for £11.99 at Amazon or $19.77 from Amazon .com.

Wish you were here....2

Continuing with my Norman Parkinson obsession, here is another stunning photo of Jerry Hall, this time in Russia.
I wish it was me about to dive into clear blue sea or a lake for today the sun is out and I have to hot foot it to Oxford Street and work.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Lazy blogging...

Due to work pressures over next three days i.e. full on busy I'm filling a gap in my writing head with two posts by Everybody Says Don't.

The first one is a piece on the new design collaboration for Fit Flops - whadda ya think?

The second is a fabulous visual feast of the A/W 08 H&M collection - it looks very promising.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008


I have a fascination with zips and it's completely in a saucy minx way. I love asking my husband to zip up a dress for me. However he is complety impervious to my James Bond fantasy where the zip never really gets done up! One day we might be late for an evening out....

Zips are a great way to change an item, to add zing. I have a cheapie Zara shift dress that I'll wear again come Autumn but it has an insipid cloth zip so I intend to change it for a fierce YKK heavy duty metal zip.

Zips from Calico Laine.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Wish list...information

Hm, not the greatest of images but I lack a certain apptitude when it comes to digital enhancing etc. Not my fortay. I've been helped in the past by the wonderful Observationmode and made much progress indeed.
Now I'm looking for help of a different kind - identfying SATC items. Jen from Mahalo Fashion is usually whizz at this.
I'm being dreadfully lazy and have made some effort to trawl, but what I really really to know the designer of a couple of evening style coats Carrie wore during her personal assistant period and brunette hair. One is picture above and the other is equally divine with its wide 3/4 length sleeves. Help pretty please.....


It is sad news indeed that after his retirement due to ill health in 2002 that Yves Saint Laurent died late yesterday age 71.

"To be beautiful, all a woman needs is a black pullover and a black skirt and to be arm in arm with a man she loves." Yves Saint Laurent

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Quirkily tagged

Given my exhausting weekend as a host to guest, I'm quite glad to have been tagged by Observationmode otherwise I might have bored you with my trifling last 48 hours.
Instead I will reveal my 6 quirks (that I'm aware of!)
1. I nearly always wear a pearl necklace, I have 5 of varying quality and length.
2. I've worn sunglasses since the age of 5. I have blue eyes and used to squint them up in the summer sunlight so was made to wear sunglasses and have been addicted ever since. Except now it's all year round and even on the tube, I'm such a poser.
3. I can't abide drawers being left open, even the wardrobe door. I'm forever closing drawers.
4. I love raspberries and eat them every morning at breakfast.
5. Lists - love making them, for shopping, things to do, places to go and the perfect clothes list, ref project top 50 post!
6. Long argyle socks over the knee. This is now a quirk to go.....
And I tag Delicious Industries and Charponnaise