Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Autumn air

Yesterday was my first proper day at the London College of Fashion for my MA in Fashion & Film. It was very exciting and made me feel like skipping (how not grown up am I?). I also realised I had a lot of reading to do and so its a bit head down this week to be a swot.

On my walk back this afternoon I noticed there is definitely a chill in the air and so I'm thinking a dress of winter warmth is in order.
I fancy this little number from Toast (the very name makes me feel roasty toasty)

Plaid tunic dress £75

Monday, 29 September 2008

The Miele Fashion Prize

Apologies for the through the gathered throng shot to the moment when...Jasper Garvinda announced the Miele Fashion Price
The Miele prize, is in conjunction with Sparks the children's medical research charity , gives the opportunity to design a dress to be worn by a surprise celebrity at the Sparks charity fashion show in October 2009.
Jasper Garvinda the series 3 Project Catwalk winner (the programme was axed by Sky1) will be making the winning outfit.

It's a great opportunity for fashion students or any designers to grab the spotlight. Jasper struggled with the planned formal announcement, you know the 'delighted to be involved' lines that seem so pointless yet are de rigueur for some reasons. Then he managed to delight us all when he went off piste and delivered this little gem:
"Fashion shouldn't be just throw away. It is about making a statement in your wardrobe. What we wear should reflect our personalities and be as precious as our memories."
How make do style was that!
I'm loving the slow fashion movement, just like the slow food movement, there is a move amongst the fash pash to reclaim some wardrobe wonders. Items that are perfect to wear no matter what the current trends. It is as if the convenience of the high street and the fast food of trends are starting to feel a bit like living off microwave meals, cheap and quick but lacking in ingredients.
And it was in this vain that Helene of The Luxe Chronicles (who also has done a proper interview with Jasper) and I debated many things relating to fashion during the London Fashion Weekend show, when really we should have being watching the models, but hey it was this season's A/W clothes and you know we're already on S/S09!

Pics from the taste of A/W08 in case you'd forgotten what to wear!

Saturday, 27 September 2008


Two separate issues are inextricably linked by a man in Gütersloh, Germany, one an increase in the sale of tights to men (remember that one!), the other the solving of the mysterious tiny holes that appear in cotton tees. For in Gütersloh is the Miele factory and at then end of the production line is a man who puts a pair of tights on his hand, runs his hands through the drum and if the tights get snagged, the machine is kaput. Suddenly I realised my washing machine at home was the culprit for annoying little holes which I knew weren't moth induced. Then I abandoned the champagne and made my way over to the washing machine that I was to place a rose in to be washed.

The only thing that stopped me from climbing into the honeycomb drum was Helene's G9 camera. Fashion Assistant had been raving about hers and has taken some great shots and I have to say I'm completely smitten too - its fab!

Anyway, in went the roses on a cold silk wash with no detergent. The cycle is 36 mins long and spins at 400 rpm. As fascinated as I was, (and I was) I had a glass of champers to finish, so I dragged Chris Wright, Miele's Brand Director to the table to answer all my household appliance q's.

It was sheer bliss for me to discuss washing machines, vacuum cleaners and even cooking utensils. I was of course being utterly selfish making a mental list of best buys to make my life easier. But part of my checking out the strength of Miele products was to investigate it's company credentials. One of the reasons I like American Apparel is the company's commitment to a proper manufacturing process. Dov Charney isn't a man I'd want to meet but I can't fault his companies ethos and goods. I admire the growth of the textile industry in the Far East and India, and who wouldn't begrudge the development of their economies but I think companies should have a mix of manufacturing bases and not debunk fully to the cheapest production processes just to increase the margins on already healthy profits. My 'never deal with them again' awards go to Burberry for closing their remaining British factory in Treorchy, South Wales making 300 unemployed in an already poor area and also to Dyson for doing the same in Wiltshire, the place where is all started - all for some far east cost reduction.

The durability of a Miele washing machine is backed by credentials that have ensured the family company had remained faithfully to its 100 year roots in Gütersloh. I like that sort of loyalty as well as the amazing Miele portfolio.

Back to the roses - well they came out quite peachy and still smelling of roses.

I knew I wanted the washing machine then and there as the ability to wash items that routinely have dry clean only on them (because the manufacturer won't pay to test how they can be washed and so classify them dry clean only or hand wash) was definitely a reality. I already do it on some items in my sub standard machine but this was a step up indeed!

The trouble was the machine wouldn't fit in my bag and the Miele demonstrator threw me by mentioning fuzzy logic - turns out she wasn't commenting on me per se (phew) but the fact if you only wash one item the machine uses only the right amount of water. I thought I'd sleep better at night knowing that or was it just champagne that helped!

Friday, 26 September 2008

In a spin

Now some bloggers get to do very cool things in the evening, (cough, Ms Bubble & Ms Roy and yes Ms. Dressed & Pressed, gals about town!) Moi, I mainly get to do bath time and books before catching up on things and blogs.
So, when Miele, invited me as a guest to the start of London Fashion Weekend and as it was before 7pm I thought why not. At 9:30am yesterday, I sat down to a lovely cappuccino in Cafe Primo in South Kensington with the Miele PR & Marketing agency peeps from 1000 Heads and Helene a fellow blogger of The Luxe Chronicles.
When I first got the invite I thought someone was pulling my leg as I'm a bit of a washing nut. I can talk for hours on all manner of fabric care and pour forth on DIY dry cleaning solutions. When I found out it was a genuine invite I then upped my stakes and demanded a washing machine, no, actually they told me it was a champagne breakfast so I replied yes in a interweb nano second.

Equally I couldn't resist a bit of fabric geekery and to check out a Miele other than my mother's one. Actually the most important element of the event was the launch of the Miele fashion award more of which later... in part three. This is part one and it is all about me - well all about the incidental stuff!

Outside the site and remnants of LFW, the PR girl was meant to get my sequined cape(let) in not the board!

All the samples were on rails for punters to purchase later - this was the Sass & Bide stall.

Jasper Garvida the 3rd Project Catwalk winner (with friend) - he was here to announce the details of the Miele Fashion competition

Me with Mark Foster, British Olympic Swimmer, World Record Holder etc who currently isn't washing his clothes as he's appearing on Strictly Come Dancing and has a housekeeper. When he isn't stood next to me and making me look like a dweeb - come on he last posed with Paris Hilton and I'm looking like a complete...... - he buys his tee shirts from American Apparel and only puts his pants and socks in the tumble dryer. I told him he wasn't allowed to mention his swimming trunks and lycra.

During the breakfast my style booker phoned me to clarify some dates in the diary. She knew I was at the Miele event so asked if I was having fun. Of course I was after two glasses of champagne - I hope she didn't hear the PR correcting me firmly in the background saying 'you've had three.' Technically I'd had 2 and was on my third.


Thursday, 25 September 2008

The other images

From the Clark's Village shoot. The pictures are for A/W and Christmas Party looks. All the looks are pulled together to emphasise colour and/or texture. When you work with outlet clothes you have to find the items that sell the place to potential punters. Plus you have to produce looks that appeal to a wide range of potential punters.

And finally one more red dress shot....

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Clarks Village images

Laura the lovely PR at Primal PR sent me a couple of untreated images from our Clarks Village promotional shoot. I don't often get to share images and sometimes don't even get copies, but Laura is super efficient and also gave permission to post.

Tori was the model and my brief was to make previous seasons clothes contemporary and relevant to now!

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Making do

Given that I don't preach make do stuff on a daily basis, I felt it was timely to do a post with a personal making do round up. Particularly as I metaphorically spent about £2k the other day for my wifely golf outfit.

But in real life after a few years of having it all, a wedding and a move to London, it taught me the errors of my ways, I don't like being in debt. In truth it is jolly hard living within ones means and I've hardly done myself any favours by undertaking an MA - seriously denting my income.

I have no money now to buy any new shoes or clothes and being creative is my only asset. I've always been a keen follower of fashion and whilst once I was a setter of trends in my youth, I'm more an early adopter type these days. However, of late I have been inspired to just thrown it up and go for glory. I worry not about the current trends, although I keep on eye on it just to be able to adapt my wardrobe and wear it in a way that gives a nod to the current.

I've also rediscovered fun with clothes (thank you Style Bubble, Susie loves her style, is adventurous and inspired but always retains the fun lovin' element), I've learnt to think about only buying clothes I love, this top tip was from a Disneyrollergirl comment on a post and it made me think. Plus I was inspired by Rebekah Roy's talk at the Barbican. I love the pics everyone posts on their outfits and all the worries about dressing that people share. This all helps when your funds are limited, I've even embracing secondhand foraging although my first time cost me dear. I need to get Sharon Rose's thrifty fingers!

I've stepped away from Grazia, the fast and furious in, out, on trend, off trend patter is a roller coaster of nothing. I'll buy one occasionally because it's a great weekly magazine but I've had to stop the impossible wants.

One day I hope to plan my seasonal wardrobe and add a few key items but for now you'll find me using whatever I've got to full effect. If you see someone on Oxford Street on the way to London College of Fashion with a sequin black cape over a skinny polo with skirt, tights and holes in her shoes be kind!

Monday, 22 September 2008

Tis the A/W season lest we forget!

Chanel A/W 08 image style.com

While all around lose their heads upon a feast that is S/S 09 let's not forget that the nights are drawing in and it will soon be time for winter woollies!

Award ceremony

The talented and totally brilliant La Belette Rouge kindly gave me this delightful little award. I was second to Observationmode but I can't think of anyone better to be behind! It's nice to be appreciated and is timely as I deal with more tears induced by chicken pox - no not me the petit garcon. Mind you I'm close to the edge.....

Saturday, 20 September 2008

A pox upon this house

It's all chicken pox and no fun at the moment. Although the petit garcon obliged with 'cheese' for these pox shots! So apologies for not much posting or commenting.......

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Keeping it minimal

Over the next few days I become a golf widow due to the Ryder Cup.
Last night I was subjected to the opening ceremony.
I was too tired to move off the settee and so caught up with every ones blogs whilst the rambling Ryder thing rumbles along.

It sort of involves all hail to the wonderful wives, fiances and girlfriends, quite dreadful stuff and they all look like Stepford Wives in a homogenised uniform dress selected for them to wear. The Europeans were all in blue and white.

Well I'd have picked this little number as my dress

RM by Roland Mouret pigalle wool dress £990 net-a-porter

These glorious Isobella Wolf-Fang earrings by Wendy Brandes (I'm officially obsessed with them)

And my blue element would be my Blahnik's (technically not mine yet!)

If your going to do Stepford then do it in style and attitude!

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

London Fashion Week part 3

My final event on the opening day of LFW was the front row of Karen Brost London S/S09.
This is what I saw from the front row (I refrained from wearing my Tom Ford shades)

Then two models brought Karen onto the catwalk to receive her deserved applause.

The collection (not done justice by my blackberry) was pure grown up glamour. Feminine, flirty and fabulous. I relished the cut and detail, the turn ups on the trousers, the buttons on the sleeves and the enticing flash of lilac under the red dresses. I particularly loved on floaty red number 10 & 11 in the photos for its loose languid drape and drop at the back with a good tight cut at the front. Lots of Karen's clients were at the show (with their daughters bearing names such as Savannah) wearing her clothes and it suited the Chelsea, Notting Hill lady. I would recommend the clothes because it is pure women and yet had the right amount of edgy.

Sat next to me on the left was the gorgeous Naomi from Glamour magazine but she felt the show did have anything to offer their readers. If the accompanying press release is correct then the selection of Karen Brost items for 'Gossip Girl' might change that - I'd prefer the grown ups to have Karen as their best kept secret but such a talent is bound to become bigger than the sloaney ladies who lunch.

Stylist :Rebekah Roy

Makeup: Rachel Wood using Benefit

Hair: Toni & Guy using Label.M

Shoes:Red or Dead

Swarovski Crystal Skull Caps (I want!):designed & made by Marc Eastlake@BalconyJump