Thursday, 31 December 2009
Wednesday, 30 December 2009
Just click here to go to the Fashion and Film blog to find out more about the MA outputs, if you've got a spare moment or suffer from insomnia!
PS update - I realise my throw away remark about botox is potentially a sign that I'm considering it. I'm not! La Belette is a big fan of botox and always tells me to get some as a top tip for skincare. I just don't think I'll ever succumb because a) cannot afford it and b) a fringe will do instead!
Tuesday, 29 December 2009
A great jumper to wear with your jeans - Sonia by Sonia Rykiel striped bow sweater now £118
A cardigan to take you from now all the way through to the summer. Until the sun shines and the flowers spring from the ground, just wear this cardi over a skinny polo neck or over a white shirt. See by Chloe gold cropped cardigan now £181Or this neutral but beautifully pale toned tunic dress from Antik Batik now £199 is embellished enough to add sparkle day or night but easy to wear with tights or leggings layered with boyfriend cardi. Then come summer time wear with flats and a good piece of jewellery.
Monday, 28 December 2009
In no particular order this is the Make Do Style top 10 quality items as determined by you the readers (can you tell I'm missing X Factor!) from the items that got the most mentions.
1. A watch - the suggestions were Cartier, Tiffany tank, a gold Rolex and an Omega constellation
2. A bag - the brands cited were Bottega Veneta, Chanel, Mulberry to name a few
3. A scarf - Hermes and Louis Vuitton were mentioned
4. Pearl necklace
5. Beautiful jewellery - this included heirloom, diamond studs and a Wendy Brandes Empress Wu ring (forthcoming)
6. A beautiful or timeless coat - the list range from Max Mara, a shearling coat and a Margaret Howell Trench plus I'm adding a Moncler!
7. Great pair of shoes - Christian Louboutin, Prada and Jimmy Choo and Manolo Blahnik all got a vote of confidence but Chanel ballet pumps and also a couple of boots were mentioned
8. A gorgeous dress - Roland Mouret, vintage Ossie Clark, a beautiful black cocktail dress got a mention
9. White shirt
10. Great pair of jeans
And the nearly there... a pair of black trousers, a pencil skirt, a Chanel suit and a cashmere sweater...
Saturday, 26 December 2009
I have two consistent dislikes queuing for sales on boxing day and fox hunting, which was always a boxing day event. I consider both past times barbaric. The latter, fox hunting is obvious in the fact the thrill of the chase is to scare a creature out of its wits and then when eventually it dies of a heart attack or is caught, the hounds are allowed to maul the creature and rip it asunder.
I know you thought I was talking about the sales, the thrill of the chase and the grabbing of an item out of another human beings hand.
In fact it wasn't that long ago a Wal Mart employee died as bargain hungry humans stampeded into a store. The opening of Primark on Oxford St also took casualties as gathered crowds pushed open the doors because they were tired of waiting for it to officially open.
I know there will be those of you who indulge in or support one or the other. Mainly sales participation I suspect but for those of you who support fox hunting I have to say before you think I'm some lefty city dweller, I would like to point out I grew up and lived on a farm. I've pulled calves out of cows, hunted for new born lambs who's mothers have died in the night to save them and hand rear them. Equally, I've fed pigs to be slaughtered and bred grouse to be shot. It's all in a days work. When it comes to pest control i.e. rabbits and rats then the guns come out and the same goes for a fox. If the farm dogs ran off and caught something then so what. But we never ever went native and barbaric - looking for the kill, savouring the chase, riding in a wild frenzy wearing red and blowing horns, yuk! It always struck me as undignified to be a hunter in a group all brazen and vindictive pursuing just one poor lowly fox.
I don't miss living on a farm, it was a hard life in the wild west of Wales as is farming anywhere. I I do love the countryside but I cannot reconcile eking a living from the land with bunch of folk chasing a fox. It is those same folks who turn their nose up at city folk as they queue in a pack to run and bag a bargain.
Moi, you'll find me on boxing day with a glass of red wine or two, a book in hand and some family and friends. The only hunting we'll be doing is for the remote control when we've tired of conversation and eating.
Wednesday, 23 December 2009
Basically if we view 2000 as a year of excess in respect of partying, money and the day all computer were going to crash (remember that), then the latter end and 2009 is the bit where it all came crashing down figuratively. I would say that the excess of the decade was typified by Tom Ford and Gucci, with the greed and consumption of the developed nations typified by the rise of Primark. Gosh, I'm a cheery soul aren't I.
I loved the Tom Ford era at Gucci but in retrospect it was like a lot of tinsel and too much champagne - you can have enough of a good thing.
I know I'm going to sound like a broken record and retailers aren't going to thank me, but please remember these three things.
1. Make do with what you've got from now until March 2010 and save every penny you would have spent on a frivolous buy.
2. Make your own quality list of things that would add WOW to your wardrobe - not just clothes think jewellery (shout out for WendyB here!). Look how great Queen Michelle looked with just the addition of swear rings. Don't compromise to fill an emotional hole on an off day.
3. Save a little each month for a rainy day (or year) trust me this is a wise move. If all else fails eat cake and have a nice cup of tea - wouldn't you agree Queen Marie!
Over at Fashion and Film blog is my top three chick flicks for this holiday season.
HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS OR HAPPY HOLIDAYS
Tuesday, 22 December 2009
Angie wants to look beautiful not trashy. Now my first view is that it is always important to remember that it is the brides day. Regardless of anything it is not your day it is the bride and bridegroom who matter. So, the best thing to achieve is a look that is fitting for the day, fitting for you and not too showy.
Angie has told me she is taller than her sister and she adds a bit rounder but she has had two children! Her sister is opting for a Grecian white dress. I've decided that for Angie to feel at ease she needs to wear flats and a dress with colour. I've opted for blue as the setting will be quite gorgeous and in my opinion it will be calming for the wearer and won't be attention seeking and will allow for understated and gorgeous accessories.
I've selected items from the forthcoming season and gone for designer, as Angie can potentially buy the dress, and then find cheaper flats or a necklace (choose one expensive item and sub any cheaper version but don't compromise on style). Or she can source similar items as new stock arrives. The dress is clever in that the shape is in the bow, and a shift dress is more forgiving than anything body con. The shorter length will allow longer legs to be shown but will be balanced by pretty flats. The items are respectful of the Grecian theme but are not imitating or trying to compete. Just add perfect manicure and pedicure - be daring go for a dark midnight blue or black nail varnish to avoid a prissy look. Hair up or down depending on the bride.
As for a bag... well hand your lippy to husband and be hands free for easy elegance and a glass of champagne!
Moschino Cheap and Chic bow front crepe shift £335 Net-a-Porter
Oscar de la Renta Gold plated chain necklace £525 Net-a-PorterStella McCartney Metallic braid detail flats Net-a-Porter £195
Monday, 21 December 2009
We also had to do Christmas Day version 1 yesterday with in-laws as they are off skiing in France. I wore my Christmas Day outfit as snapped minus my head. I had no will to smile, smirk or give the evils. I will wear this again on Christmas Day proper.
Sequin leggings H&M (August purchase)
Stripy top from Gap (years old) worn underneath tunic.
M&S Autograph blush pink pumps (2 years old)
M&S gold faux Moroccan necklace (4 years old)
Nail varnish - Chanel Vendetta
Thursday, 17 December 2009
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
Today's victim is across the ocean and some.... Enc of Observationmode This is a look for the toned and honed! Which means keeping it simple....
Warehouse One shouldered dress reduced to £35 in dark teal
Oasis Bright green round facet stone necklace £18
French Connection Jess shoe reduced to £96 in red
total budget is £149
Monday, 14 December 2009
Dress to wear over sequin leggings New Look Tiered Chiffon Dress £25.00
Dorothy Perkins Pink gladiator sandals £30.00
Dorothy Perkins Cobalt leopard print cardigan £32
DP's Facet stone collar £12
2 x New Look gold Chain stretch bracelet £6 (one for each wrist)
total cost is £111
Rachel -wear cardi undone and just add black nail varnish to fingers and toes, apply smoky eyes! and some pink lippy!
PS the necklace might not work but just try and see...if not substitute earrings.
Saturday, 12 December 2009
Friday, 11 December 2009
Ow my head hurts. It is my own fault I rather overdid the champagne last night and somehow sampled some sloe gin in the process. I was celebrating a planning objection victory plus the birthday of petit garcon.
He got his bike on Sunday and he is as pleased as punch with this first bike - what a great feeling. I'm off to nurse my frightful hangover and I think I've been put off drinking for a very very long time....
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
Tuesday, 8 December 2009
You'll be needing to hit the gym or making with the aloe vera as spring fashion is mainly of the body conscious kind. Once again the cut of the cloth veers towards the 80s but reigns itself back from being the brash flash persona of late. Really the garments although opting for 80s lengths owe more to the 30s.
For Spring/Summer 10 (we are in to double figures) think pale pink, lilac, navy and taupe for block colours, with lace and satin , prints and embellishment. The Miu Miu collection encapsulated this perfectly although this is not the only collection to do so, I'm just not in the mood for listing designers!
So my forward planning tips are to pack up your brights and keep your black lace and sequin items to wear with summer dresses and skirts. Think pink but rose, blush and nude.
Monday, 7 December 2009
I've read up and digest all the differing views on this matter and it basically distills down to one fundamental point - your disposable income. The problem is you have to choose what you buy very carefully if you have very little or no disposable income.
Think about planning your wardrobe as a map - a map of activities. If you are a stay at home mum for example then you need more casual clothes than going out items. I would recommend you buy more items but at lower prices for things around the home, a couple of easy but fashiony school run items and save up to buy a gorgeous dress and bag for going out. Make the dress a stylish designer number and the same with the bag. You have a special item to pull on for dinner dates, drinks with girl friends and an item you can keep. The idea is whether you are working, young carefree or burdened down by responsibility or mortgages, then plan your basics and build the fabulous stuff in year by year.
I think the less is more approach allows you to have goals and these goals mean carefully selected items that you will keep. TK Maxx and thrifting at charity shops and car boot sales are a great way of getting individual well made items by great designers.
As a rule of thumb I always keep any designer item I've bought and I include certain high quality retailers like Joseph in this category. But I do not buy overtly high fashion items from designers otherwise their glitz fades. And this is always a hard one to qualify or agree on but sometimes certain garments are of a moment and unless you've got money to burn be careful.
I bought a silver maxi skirt from Kate Moss's first Topshop collection which I was always keep and I have a New Look leather jacket which is a winner as it is very 70s and always comes in handy - but these are exceptions. I tend to wear out and never keep most of my high st buys in the long run. Although I don't buy expensive white tee shirts and I've had a Gap one for years.
Choosing style and slow fashion over the immediacy of trends and a jam packed wardrobe is quite hard but with planning, wardrobe mapping and a bit of patience fabulous pieces that work year in year out can be yours.
Sunday, 6 December 2009
I take all the clues from the clothes the blogger tends to wear, the colours and then challenge their usual looks a little! Being Make Do Style the budget is set as it was last year at £150. The total for this outfit is £137.99
Dorothy Perkins Blue geo print shift dress £32
Monsoon Cotton Stretch Ivory Bolero £36
Clarks Daily Bread Smart Shoes in Red £59.99
Navy 80D opaque tights £5
(I'll leave you to imagine navy tights! This look could easily substitute red tights instead of navy)
New Look Heart Necklace £5
It isn't often I cite the Sunday Times Style magazine after all they usually draw upon me, but I forgive them every time because they cheer my Sunday up in the same way The Guardian Weekend magazine fulfils the same role on a Saturday. However today for good measure in the Going Down section were Melissa Shoes and I quote "Crocs for the fashion pack. Stop this plastic madness!"
Saturday, 5 December 2009
Friday, 4 December 2009
I will say that it was a long day and I wore my opera going togs from 9am in the morning as I had to get to Holloway at 10ish to pick up my dissertation from the book binders. There followed a morning of coffee on Upper St in Islington just down the road with a fellow MA student. We then hit Oxford St and college to bind our supplementary copy and had lunch in Pret! After our dissertation handing in (yes yes yes!) we did what any sensible gal would do hit the shops. Just for a browse.... Selfridges and H&M were enough for visual pleasure and I have to say H&M have some great things in. We also discovered a pile of rotting Jimmy Choo shoes downstairs in the H&M at Oxford Circus and some clutch bags, we understood why they didn't sell and spent a splendid time discussing collaborations.
A final stint in the LCF library (goodbye books) and I met Mr MDS outside work and we walked to Covent Garden where we enjoyed a hasty but satisfying supper at Carluccios. In fact me saying 'pasta con fungi' was the only Italian of the night as the ENO sing in English. I loved the music and singing but found the production 'interesting'. All I can say is I love it when I can make a bunch of old folks laugh in the aisles with a Gordon Ramsey take off, at the end of an evening.
Of course I'm to busy being a crowd pleaser to take photos of outfits so I hastily recreated it this morning.
Purple top Limited Collection - M&S
Glitter cardi - Zara
Patent navy blue belt - LK Bennett
Silver grey Skirt - Joseph
I call my skirt 'Carrie' it is a great skirt which stands out on it own and is such fun to wear.
I wore the outfit with purple tights and years old boots from Sacco Shoes in New York. They were probably my faux pas but I has a lot of walking to do yesterday and it was raining in the morning so I wanted dry feet.
Thursday, 3 December 2009
Wednesday, 2 December 2009
Back to the skirt - well I just about squeezed into it! It was a shocker as I realised my fat hip issue was really a fact that was here to stay unless I tackled it pronto. I engaged in public ritual humiliation by using a weighing machine that prints out your height, weight and body mass index. The one I choose actually said it out aloud. At 169 cms, 5 foot 6.5inches I'm officially 64kilos, 10 stone or 140lbs. According to my BMI I'm in the healthy range but nearer the borderline than I'd like to be. If I go by Edith Head's 1967 assessment of healthy weight ranges I should be 13lbs lighter at least!
Basically I've eaten and drunk like a good 'un during my MA and done little in terms of exercise. My hips are a frightening 38 inches where once they were 33 inches - opps. In fairness I will have a Master's degree and I have managed to work when I can, look after petit garcon and run a home. But it is time to stop the rot. I'm going to have to exercise a lot to get rid of the deposited fat and seriously pull a healthy balanced diet together that stops me from adding any more pounds.
Any top tips other than zipping my mouth!
Tuesday, 1 December 2009
I had toyed with a Jilly Cooper or a chick lit special but I haven't the heart for it. I went for a browse in a few charity shops on Saturday whilst the petit garcon was at a birthday party. I had £2 on me for a coffee but I spent my pocket money on this book instead.
It is a bit heavier going than I intended to choose but I fancy being transported to Paris and that of the 30s and 40s.
Monday, 30 November 2009
So, this week I'm going to ask you for your top five items that you would spend serious money on - the things of quality you would buy to keep forever.
Saturday, 28 November 2009
I don't mean to encourage anyone to drink but I can't recommend the wonderful writing on wines and other drink by Victoria Moore,enough. After many years of reading and trying her recommendations - she has a column every Saturday in the Guardian Weekend, I can vouch and attest for her wonderful palette. Her £8.99 book available from Toast is a worthy contender for a Christmas gift. Not fashion but hey what's fashion without the occasional tipple.
Friday, 27 November 2009
...yes, yes, bar the final few bits of proofing and the typesetting offer from the marvellous Delicious Industries, I done it!! 'That Red Dress Moment - Hollywood’s continuing love affair with the red dress, the ultimate motif for narrative change and character revelation' is complete.
Having 'nailed it' I decided to indulge in browsing and imagine my surprise when The Times current fashion slide show happens to be the red dress.
This Vionnet number is my favourite. I saw the model in a red dress on another blog (don't remember which one as my mind is on halt mode) and didn't even register the fact as the discussion was how lovely the female model is ... and she is.
We are doing a special weekend treat and offering a 30% discount on all our brands only excluding sales items.
So now is the time to get shopping Partydresses and Christmas Presents, spread the love!
The code is MWFF, just enter it in at checkout for a 30% off, Enjoy!And this is in lieu of any bloggy thoughts I might have although I've nearly finished the dissertation, only abstract and acknowledgements to go!!