Saturday, 31 January 2009

High Street pick of the week

I give you the scenario - 3 stylists in a room critiquing a wannabee stylist on her choice of item. It was so a winner because all three of us instead of talking through and evaluating the whole outfit , were, where are they from and how much do they cost? This was after earlier dissing(can't believe I'm using this word) harem pants, in the sense they are quite difficult to wear, so, we were agog at this offering by Warehouse which offers a water downed harem, combined with an almost structured tailored trousers meets a pair of shorts and it works!

Recycled Silk Hareem Pant £60 Warehouse

Friday, 30 January 2009

Hey Senorita


I'm not one for being buried, as in dead and buried, I'm a sort of burn my corpse and send me down a river type of person. But I'd be happy to be buried alive in this number from Gaultier's couture collection. Gosh I love a bit of drama and he's definitely all about the drama!

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Fab blog award

When the lovely Sharon Rose of Sharon Rose-Vintage Fashion, Me gave me this award the other day I decided to run it asap; as of late I've been completely remiss on this sort of thing and it is such a good way of showing support to every ones blogging efforts. I have to nominate ten bloggers and I'm loathed to pick just ten but here goes, ones that Sharon didn't get to first - oh and those of you who haven't got the will or time to carry it on don't worry just have a head swell mo instead!
1. Delicious Industries - this blog provides me with lots of amazing design images and inspiration every day!
2. Disneyrollergirl - I love reading a different perspective on fashion and garments and this blog delivers great quotes of the day.
3. CocosTeaParty - fab images and so well presented, mind you I'd go and look everyday just for the banner!
4. Dressed&Pressed- how I laugh when Denrele's being funny and I never want to be on the receiving end of a dressed and pressed rant - they are the best!
5. Mahalo Fashion - I don't know how Jen does the wonderful realms of images. It is always a visual feast.
6. Tales near the Runway - by rights I shouldn't give an award to someone who can only post occasionally (for very good reasons) because if you get hooked to this blog like me it is a bad habit just waiting and waiting... but worth it!
7. Style Salvage -I've dipped into this blog on and off but of late it has become my second favourite insight on menswear after David Mills in Style magazine (gosh hope Steve doesn't think that's an insult!).
8. The Fashion Assistant and her camera - Kit is so talented and hard working, it is a joy to see a such young female talent.
9. Wee Birdy - Stylish, cute and that's just the blog!
10. Goddamit I'm Mad - Ah Sister Wolf, never a dull moment and always a surprise thought and angle what's not to like.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Autograph hunter!

I've never been an autograph hunter but on the occasion I bumped into Christian Louboutin in his concession store in Harvey Nicks, I couldn't contain myself

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Oh my!

Strutting around London this morning were a bunch of guys not to shy to put their smalls on display. Granted they were wearing Paul Smith and not Tesco so that might have had something to do with it; plus they were suitably attired with bowler hat and accessorised with a newspaper.

Now this bunch are not as rockin' as Kanye's posse as posted by Jac&Jil and referenced by DisneyRollerGirl and Style Salvage
But for the discerning chap, he can now watch Soccer AM/Match of the Day/Sky Sports and The Heineken Cup and still shop - truly multi tasking is now an opportunity for men thanks to the launch of My-Wardrobe's Menswear Menswear, Paul Smith boxers, Falke Socks and a £1000 comp is on offer too for both you and him!

I got sent these as my-wardrobe advertise on my site. I very much like the business as it has taken them years to build up against fierce competition. I'm really pleased Sarah Cullen has made such a success and it is nice to have a good news story in the midst of a recesion.

The shrine of conspicuous consumption!

In the days of my travels to New York, Paris and Milan , rarely thank goodness for the fashion shows. I have to say New York was and always will be my favourite place to shop. My first luxury lust was in Paris but then I was a poor fashion assistant journalist who had no money and when I was that person with money, I was working hard in Paris with no time for shopping! Although, somehow I always fulfilled the family beauty orders. My mother's sister is addicted to Guinot, which is only sold in beauty salons in the UK. I am addicted to BioDerma's Crealine H2O so always stock up in France.

My first designer handbag purchase was at Gucci in Milan - a beautiful leather old school small hobo. It is as chestnut as the best racehorse and the leather is sheer bliss. My best fun in Milan was always in Prada's shop in the Gallerie Vittorio Emanuele II, for some reason I reverted to a silly schoolgirl messing about on a Saturday afternoon in Dolcis and used to try on loads of shoes there in the downstairs and never buy a single pair. Mind you I'd always been having a lunchtime tipple with friends in the Piazza del Duomo.

But it is in New York that the experience moves into another bracket. The service is unforgettable. If its bad you can have a good old ding dong and be satisfied! My best argument was in Starbucks in Trump Tower and it was extremely satisfactory for both me and the girl serving. I'm surprised we didn't high five after it! I do like the rudeness factor in New York - its all give and take, whereas in London, stroppiness is one step away from a straight jacket.

And just when the memory of your NYC trip is fading you get a little card from Gucci or Bergdorf to thank you for you custom. Sometimes even a Christmas card. Not only have you got the goods but you've got a keepsake of the moment you bought them. Mind you it is only the shoe and bag people that do this.

Except for one of my Bergdorf excursions but for good reason! I couldn't get my size shoes in the Manolo shop on 54th street so went to Barneys, then Bergdorf. In Bergdorf not only did I have fun with the rich old ladies who take their dogs out in plush pushchairs to shop, but I encountered the only straight guy in the store. If it has been an episode of SATC, I would have channelled Samantha and had fun in the store cupboard. Being more like Charlotte, I bought the shoes but it really is the only time I have ever flirted with a sales assistant and the only time I didn't get a card -shame!

In these times of doom and gloom I decided to create my shrine of conspicuous consumption a la NYC, and bow down to such good times!

My New York footwear and bag purchases. I realised I left my half insole in my Manolo!

Monday, 26 January 2009

God bless you one and all...

I might be being a tad Dickensian in my title, but think of Uriah Heap and a multitude of characterisations that he created, that are still with us today - really I sometimes wonder if anything is different today than in Dickens London. OK, fashions have changed, thankfully living and working conditions have changed but human nature ...mmmn not so sure.

Really it is years since I read any Dickens but the best thing I watched over Christmas was Roman Polanski's Oliver (2005). Dickens truly captured an essence of human nature whether from the poorest to the richest. I keep meaning to read his books again but defer to my current academic reading requirements of which I have to say I'm glued to Celebrity by Chris Rojek. It is very academic and theoretical but I am gripped by every sentence because he throws in Kurt Cobain and others when you least expect it.

Anyway, the point is... gosh I'm really on a role with my tangents of late.. the wonder of human nature expressed in the blogosphere. When I posted my rambling, it really was just thoughts pouring out and I truly valued opinions which can be best summed up by don't worry, do nothing, do as you please! I absolutely loved every ones opinion and really treasured what was said. I actually asked because I thought I would get some useful insight. January is a mixed month in that you reflect and try to forward plan. On the one hand its resolutions and the other debunking, plus detox. I'm such a change monkey it is really useful for me to have opinions from those who aren't, it helps me to centre and take a chill pill.

Therefore I'm going to retain the status quo and enjoy the stability of no change that brings until my next self analysis interlude!

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Rambling continued...

Yesterday I mentioned that blogging had changed my life. Which, on the face of it sounds like an epiphany of mega proportions that I'm obliged to follow it up with revealing I'm off to Eastern Congo as a missionary. But of course I'm not!

The world of blogging is a funny old thing on the one hand we have the return of Liberty London Girl and a number of exits stage left such as Je Ne Sais Quoi, a holding pad with Observationmode (possible return?) and a gone gone gone with Mrs Fashion. Blogging is still small fry in the UK compared to the USA and it is no surprise the three I mention are stateside.

Attending the talk with Susie of Style Bubble seemed a bit surreal after having read her blog for 18 months, having done a blogosphere interview with her and then to be sat there in a room with other people listening to her discussing blogging and her passion for it. Susie truly is an A+++ blogger (sorry lazy ebay speak!) and has plans for her blog. Moi, I am a mere amateur. When I started last January I did it as an outlet for my writing, the inner journalist (I was one once!) who was creative and opinionated. I didn't find my styling work demanding, as working part time with a young child limits the effort you can put in, and therefore the work you get to do.

So, I had a blogosphere chat with Mrs Fashion (all my sleuthing and cajoling didn't result in a revelation) on a couple of courses I was considering and went with my heart's desire, my MA in Fashion and Film. Since, I am nothing but always honest, I choose it thinking I was going to up my game on styling and work on films as costume designer or wardrobe supervisor - along those lines anyway; plus maybe a few published articles here and there...

Nothing prepared me for a) absolutely loving being a student again and this time a studious studying one not the social butterfly I was last time around! And b) realising that my writing and visual executions (plus my photographic memory which relates only to images, I store light and scenes in my head - I can evoke a place and a face anytime. Names, things to do - forget it! I have to take a list with me and even then I miss things off) meant I knew I wanted to create and direct films. I have a vague memory of wanting to do this before, I think that is why I went into advertising when I left university but I was too much of a sensitive soul to stay. I can't watch Mad Men as it reminds me too much of my bastard creative director! I learnt photography and film techniques and copy writing but it wasn't enough to keep me hooked into the world I was desperate to leave.

It took me years even to step foot in Soho Square again and I did it by accident in last November as I walked from Central St Martins in Charing Cross to LCF at John Princes St off Oxford Street. It was weird walking there and now I'm ready for the industry - mainly because my confidence now controls my humility and I'm no longer in awe. You see I told you this was a ramble. It is just weird when you realise what you want to do and as a realist, I know I might just spend the rest of my life scrabbling money together to only make hi res video shorts, but at least I'll be doing what I want.

Styling, fashion stuff all seems a dim distant memory. It's dreadful but I'm just going through the motions regarding styling work at the moment, I feel a teeny tiny bit guilty and I need to fess up soon to my contractual work. I still absolutely love the fashion industry and fashion itself but I've taken a step out and feel like I'm peeking in at it. None of this would have happened if I hadn't started my own blog, it is like a stream of consciousness for me and I admire the focus of other blogs who have a defined remit and deliver against that because I've become such a rambler!!

My question is to you the blogosphere (truly it is the new answer to clairvoyance and consulting ones horoscope) do I continue to execute posts per se as I've been doing? Or do I really up the ante on make do style stuff - more recessionista (yukky word)? Or shall I raise my Fashion and Film blog to the fore and be an informative soul? What do you like to read and why?

If I was a rich girl I wouldn't be using my computer to post a blog, I'd be online buying these!

sunglasses Oliver Peoples at Net-A-Porter

leather ballet flats Lanvin at Net-A-Porter

dress APC at Net-A-Porter

bag Anya Hindmarch at yep Net-A-Porter

Exactly I'm a shallow wannabe film director!

Friday, 23 January 2009

Still stuff to be had in the sales (and a rambling to boot)

Normally, I'd be fully absorbed in the new items hitting the stores, I'd have left last season behind without a by your leave. Sales, pah! Who cares about the sales has always been my mantra...but... a combination of forces, global economics (actually I'd love to be more specific and execute a rant about a bunch of ****** who played monopoly and one player failed to tip the board up to prevent the game going to far, I'm big into digressing at the moment), personal circumstances and the fact fashion went too far, or more specifically the retailing of garments went bonkers. Equally this time last year I'd be chomping at the bit for my weekly fix of Grazia and I was also fresh to blogging, I'd been reading quite a few and then decided to join the party too. Well my views on sales have changed and my life has changed due to blogging - bizarre!

On the sales front there are still plenty of desirable items to be had. Take these going out shoes in Reiss at £74.50 they make more sense than at their original £149.00 price tag.

Still at Reiss this belt at £24.50 is bang on colour for the coming S/S09 season. It is a hip belt and the leather is quite iridescent, not quite patent, but nearly. I quite like hip belts because I can pop to my little man at Bond St tube heel bar and he punches new holes in the belt and I can get more use out of it wearing it on waist or hip. He keeps telling me I can buy better hole punch pliers in B&Q and I keep telling him do I look like I want to go to B&Q!

Of course, the reason sales are better is due to a downturn in spending and also over proliferation of stores and garments in the high street. However, I will wait in future to see what the sales deliver on items that are nice but indulgent when I can spend again!

What changes have you made? Are sales more appealing than before?

PS. Plus more on my rambling later...

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

I should Rocamora...(the Style Bubble talk)

Well a tenuous play on a bit of rhyming slang that emerged in London in the 1930s, oh dang I'd better explain it now. 'I should cocoa' was originally a sort of sarcastic expression of disbelief but has more nostalgic overtones now to evoke a bygone era. There is a point to this at some point so bear with me...

Getting back to the point of the post - the formidable, (never be late for her classes!) but of course wonderful London College of Fashion senior research fellow Dr Agnes Rocamora was fashion forward enough to invite Susie Bubble of Style Bubble who needs no introduction, to an evening talk to discuss her blog as part of a series of talks on Fashion and the Internet.

It was lovely to meet Susie, and the talk arranged by Agnes was a stroke of genius given the gathered throng. It was a tough call to know whether staff, students or the public were vying most for places! The last time a talk had people turned away was when Patricia Field was a guest. As a geeky MA keeno student I had the pleasure of escorting Susie to Agnes prior to the talk and enjoyed every minute of it. The trouble with blogging is we do sort of get an impression of a person by their writing style and also the visuals. Yet no computer gazing can reveal how lovely someone is far all my blogoshpere real life meets have been an absolute delight ... and Susie added to this list (no I don't keep a black book or scorecard!). I love it when you meet people without guile, who are open and honest. I hate to use the word sweet but Susie is oh so sweet.

Susie and Agnes

Gushing aside, it was a good talk and gave me food for thought ref my mere amateur blogging. The good news is the talk has been videoed and when Susie or the LCF load it up to blog or website, I will of course link it. You will all enjoy it, but you might raise a few eyebrows on some points regarding the questioning; not least the member of staff who prefixed a question with 'Can I ask a mean question.' I sat there thinking 'No please don't', which, I wish I said a loud even more so after the really stupid question was vocalised 'Do you think your blog is popular because you are good looking?' Geez this from an academic, I should cocoa!

Anyway, I was sorry I couldn't stay for drinks as had to dash to home although petit garcon was being attended to by the more than competent Mr MDS and was asleep anyway. However, upon leaving I bumped into Mr Style Bubble the lovely Steve of Style Salvage who I happily escorted to the drinks area to be with Susie who was surrounded by a gathered throng. I then skipped to the tube.

Moi and Susie (I don't know what my foot action is about!)

Dear M&S

I think you need my help. I'm sure you might assert that on principle I'm just another opinionated stylist, however, I would like to assert back that this isn't the case. Currently, after many successful years in fashion journalism, marketing and as a freelance stylist (who isn't!) I'm undertaking an MA in Fashion and Film at the London College of Fashion.

My view is that you need to undertake a radical rethink and over haul of your womenswear offerings. I have struggled over the last few years to attire one single female client in anything other than your pants - waist clinchers and tummy tuck ones to be precise, oh and some great claret tights last season. BTW we are talking 40+ peeps here, I'm taking my 50+ lot to Kew and elsewhere to reconnect them with style, they all felt tired and dull.
With what do I find fault, I'm not going to list it all but here is a selection:-

1. Overstocking on the shop floor, this is with regards to the rails, the multitude of them on the floor and the fact you can't see things. Yesterday with one item, product code T572433A - a Perfect Military Pocket Knee length skirt with belt to be precise, I had to struggle with a multitude of skirts all hung on one rail intended for 15 to swish nicely at best. There were about twenty size 10s in amongst a few other sizes. This is unnecessary and immediately puts the customer or stylist in a sweat as they grapple to stop the items falling on the floor, as you bump behind into the adjoining equally overstocked rail and then stick your right and left elbow into the others.

Please go for a stroll around Selfridges 2nd floor, enjoy the stroll, the ability to view items and browse. Note how items are hung and think about how you could achieve the same.

2. Bring back the square jumper/tshirt things - even Primark has these and yes they do get untidy but you don't have to overfill them and restocking and keeping things tidy would reconnect the sales assistants with the customer and save them pulling rails around in a random fashion. I'm not advocating old style but a new interpretations of an old classic presentation retail style.

3. Less is more - please scale down Limited Collection, Autograph and Per Una (actually I'd love you to get rid of Per Una but that will happen naturally), in fact scale down everything. There is too much volume. Have better processes that improve production on lines selling well and an ability to deliver what the customers want, think Topshop. Topshop deliver a line of basics that only vary occasionally, in colour or a minor style tweak. Then they add the rest. You do basics too but they are not quite right, not clearly defined except on the knickers front. don't just go to Topshop, go to Zara too. Look at their cardigans and jumpers folded on the shelves. Do this for UK women and get a template that is trendy but for the over 35 year body - it'll be a winner.

4. Do a line that are style classics, do not mess with these, get the cut, cloth and colour right and exploit this gap in the market. Get the body standard deviation right too based on post twenty something (see above). I know that you might think that your new Perfect offering is doing this but. The above mentioned product is quite nice but you are delivering an old school Next offering mainly in polyester and it isn't going to be a winner - but you can come back to me and tell me I'm wrong with your amazing sales results.

5. I give you a favourite dress of mine. It is simple, well made and has lovely beading detail. It wasn't expensive and not many were made. It isn't an amazing design but it works as a dignified understated LBD when the moment requires one. It is an Autograph New York number - and I bought it because the Autograph section was attended to by a lovely lady who knew her stock, customers and loved her job. In the last 5 years all I have bought from M&S apart from food occassionally are some pants, a pair of ballet pumps on sale and some pirate socks for my 3 year old - and goodness you are actually delivering some clothes for children I can buy again, great Spiderman pants!

Here is my lovely dress. Please ask me to come in to be a consultant for a 6 month period - I will make you millions and save you during the hard times - failing hiring me get some A list designers in again and ditch the F listers you seem to think will make do, well they won't.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Best Programme Alert!

BBC Four is reshowing the marvellous House Of Chanel series!

8:30pm on BBC Four TV not available on iplayer so watch or Sky+, the ladies of the House of Chanel are not to be missed!! Madame Jacqueline et al...

Blue but on budget

Now if you are one step up on me and have a few spare pennies but would prefer not to blow the budget then there are new items online on Pret a Portobello the thrifty and quirky girl's answer to internet shopping. This Tobi and Nabi Ink blue smock top/dress will keep your leggings working for a few more months and give the comfort of something new and versatile without breaking the bank at £49.00.
Added PS! Also blue is a great choice for today with the inauguration of the first black, African/American President of the Unites States. I wish I was there for such a momentous occasion, I wish I wasn't working so I could be a voyeur for hours upon hours via the TV, and listen to every interview, comment and speech given. I'm wearing some Democrat blue today to be part of it all in spirit.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Fashion High Brow

Given I ended the week with low brow fashion goss, I thought it would be a good idea to engage in more illuminating events of more cultured activities.

This is an image to celebrate the Year of the Ox and is part of French Connections sponsored Friday Late at the V&A.

"Held on the last Friday of every month, the V&A's programme of French Connection Friday Late events explores contemporary ideas ranging across fashion, design, music, art and performance."

The next session celebrates the Chinese Year of the Ox and takes place on Friday 30th January.

The reason I was scouring the French Connection website was due to finding the perfect summer t-shirt to accompany your 80s bleached/faded denims! I'll be requesting a photo from their press office to share!

Saturday, 17 January 2009

New Ways

Mmm now what do you think of this? A new website called Covert Candy has launched with the principle aim of selling your clothes for candy credits. These credits will enable you to buy other items listed with your earned credits. Now I haven't signed up, so, have not investigated the site or browsed the available booty or browsed, I've only gone to the site and read the blurb, following the email they sent.

It talks about being a community and like minded people which is all very well but how successful will a bartering system on line be? What will the quality of goods be like and how are they defining the 'worth' at least on ebay it is actually what you are prepared to pay. I'm always cautious of alternative or manufactured economies.

Part of the blurb runs as follows...'CovertCandy provides an alternative to the cheap throwaway fashion that fuels the proliferation of sweatshops in developing countries. By exchanging clothes on CovertCandy, alongside buying organic cotton, and buying for quality not quantity, we can help reduce the environmental and social strain that the clothing industry has on this planet.'
Which is all very worthy and noble but it is mixing two premises here - one, the lack of disposable income and two, piggy backing on recent exposures of what we perceive as sweatshops - I use the word perceive as I don't know the culture of certain countries and the views of those who live there.

Oh so I'm all confused, have I've been sent the blurb because of my blog, the title Make Do Style seems to make some people think I'm worthy. And I'm not! Actually focusing on my need to make do with what I have is simple selfish. I like to use my blog to discuss style, promote myself to some extent and keeping me focused on not being caught up in more, more, more.

When I first got caught up with putting the breaks on and being more organised it took ages to adjust to the effort it required, but bit by bit I've learnt to live within my means; although it has taken ages. If Covert Candy helps to ensure you don't go overboard on spending and yet enables you to get 'new' things then it might be for you. Moi, I've got a pile of stuff I need to work and work and lots of essays to write! Please take a peek at Coco's Tea Party for a more upbeat analysis!!

If bartering isn't your thing either, than you can always plumb for LUCKY and enter this at My-Wardrobe

Friday, 16 January 2009


Far be it for me to be a gossip but in the absence of any other gems, I thought a bit of inside fashion industry tales wouldn't go a miss.

Now, which well heeled business woman drops her six year old off with the receptionist without a by your leave, yes not even a smile. The reward for the obliging receptionist 'give me your head thing now or I'll get my mummy to fire you.'

A rather seasoned campaigner for your money to feed the world has a habit of popping into a well known British bag emporium and taking them for free, no doubt so many girls in his life to take orders from.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Colour loves colour!

I say the above to my personal style students all the time even though I'm usually teaching them all in black - note to self wear colour!

One of my favourite magazines is Saturday's Guardian Weekend. And last Saturday Jess Cartner-Morley nearly broke my resolve to stay squeaky clean on the spending front!

The skirt is from Tommy Hillfiger, shoes from Russell & Bromley (£175), top from Salvatore Ferragmo (£132) and cardigan by Miu Miu (£195)

PS note to sub editors - stop using the future's orange ref anything orange coloured. Crikey it's been 14 years now since Orange branded the UK with the futures bright the futures Orange and every sub has exhausted it! Howz about 'there's no skirting the issue'!

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Kitchen pickers...

...wear big knickers! I had a boyfriend who said this to me once, so I chucked him. One boyfriend surprised me with a tickets to an Elton John concert. I had no choice but to join in - I only found out when we were at Wembley. I chucked him too; geez sorry if anyone is an Elton John fan but when I found myself waving arms in lieu of a lighter at Daniel I knew I needed drugs and not the man next to me!

However, clothes have always been my drug of choice and so far my resolution to not buy clothes for a year is working. Now, lets face facts here! My resolution is due to many an overspend over many a year on little bags of joy and treats of the retail variety. I would like to pretend it was a holier than thou ban, in search of inner redemption or learning but truth be told I can't afford to buy anything other than my college books, travel fares and pay for petit garcon's nursery fees. Had I been a better saver well...

But I am nothing less than resourceful. When Mr MDS came home and mentioned that someone at his work had been praising my rocky road crunch bars to someone in HR who requested a taster I sprang into action - look either I'll get a nice pressie from the said work place for supplying them in goodies or hubbie will get a gold star and potentially a reward. My reward will be an item from Cos and I won't have broken in to my account. Now who's wearing the knickers hey!

PS it also allows for me to add a picture of Nigella - the rocky road recipe creator. When I met her in real life I could not get over her beauty, seriously I was smitten.

PPS. Mind you is it just me or do you think Sally Hawkins of the Golden Globes Best Actress in Musical/Comedy could do with eating a few of Nigella's meals? How scrawny is she?

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

What a find!

I had actually become a thrifting and secondhand sceptic until a) I interviewed Susie Bubble of Style Bubble for views and tips and b) started to read Sharon Rose Vintage blog. Both inspired me to think again. Then, the other day I was looking through a Couture Carrie post and spied a print that reminder me of a post by Sharon Rose in the summer, nautical always sticks in my mind. So, if you have any doubts about the creativity of thrifting or the finds you can snag then I present you a dress from Stella McCartney's forthcoming S/S 09 collection and something Sharon Rose found earlier!

image from Couture Carrie vai Net-a-Porter

image from Sharon Rose Vintage, Fashion, Me

Monday, 12 January 2009

If there was one outfit I could buy this month

I wish I could be employed as a wit! Yes that is wit not twit or nitwit.

Some days I make myself laugh and that's just with my outfits. It was so cold last Monday (5th) that I added ear muffs to my layered stuff. As I descended the escalator from Waterloo station to the Northern line, two heavily armed police officers were stood at the bottom. One started to smirk as I neared the bottom so I immediately quipped:
Ear muffs are not a crime!

Thankfully, they both cracked up as being arrested wasn't top of my list that morning. My husband is never amused by my at large stand up comedy, but he does like my ear muffs. I think this is based on some Britney Spears fantasy, so, on that basis I heartily recommend to married and single girls alike, this skirt - its a winner on all fronts. I'd be buying it pronto if I could! Those two officers wouldn't be laughing at my descent in this.

Helmut Lang stretch mini skirt Net-a-Porter £181.07

Taken in for questioning!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

'Tis the bleak mid winter

When we nipped out yesterday for a Saturday bookshop and cappuccino fest we knew it was -2 at 2pm in the afternoon! Honestly all I do is skulk round the house in roasty toasty sweatpants and thick socks or arm my legs with my H&M woolly leggings when I venture out.

I need the weather to change as I'm in danger of wearing my hat a lot and I usually only reserve it for my cycle to the station and then hide it under the child seat on the back. The trouble with exceedingly cold weather is warmth is the driving force, so, after a while one feels like a lost sock in a washing machine - will I ever get my style mojo back or am I consigned to looking like a layer cake or slob every day. Seriously I think of Carrie running to Miranda's in the cold of NYC on New Years Eve in SATC The Movie and I think heck where's my stylist when I need her!

Still the frosty visitation does make London and the suburbs look mighty pretty. I took photos to prove it!

Saturday, 10 January 2009

These are a few of my favourite things...

The lovely Grayburn has been terribly organised and sliced and diced fellow bloggers in a mammoth favourite things post for today!

As much as I wanted to be clever and link things with Maria's song from the Sound of Music I could envisage a few eye rolls upwards so I've refrained from such absurdity.

However, blue satin ribbons do make an appearance as I cite John Lewis's haberdashery department for their ribbons and dyes under the category My favourite useful place. In fact John Lewis is very useful all round but I can't recommend their women's wear section much.

Although my Favourite best value High Street shop has much to recommend itself. Without fail it delivers useful and often well designed items to use a lot! I never regret an H&M purchase.

Which brings me onto my Favourite Purchase of 2008. My Marc Jacob shoes. Most importantly they were lusted after for months and I hung on until the Matches sale and got them for a snip. Unbelievably I've yet to wear them!

This brings me to my Favourite Designer of 2008 and my answer surprised even me because if there was one item I could have bought it would have been from Prada. I do think that Miuccia was the most influential designer with polo necks and lace. This look translated and dominated the high street above everything else. I thanked H&M for their skinny polos which I bought in grey and black plus John Lewis for their lace material which I used to put over my ballet bun. I didn't go for any of the high street offerings as nothing short of this would do!

I could go on for ever but this is just a flavour as you've got many others to view. Okay if pressed my favourite book was Alicia Drake's The Beautiful Fall, ,CD The Sterophonics Decade in the Sun and my film ...well it goes to SATC the movie of course, for all the hype, fun and entertainment. Was it a good film, probably not but it was such fun, but SJP word of advice step away now, no SATC 2, it will be wrong! But most of all my ALL TIME Favourite thing of 2008 is all you lot, your brilliant blogs that I read, acknowledge and comment on - thank you for making the effort it makes me smile, snort (sometimes) and think - a lot!

PS. Couldn't resist Favourite present of 2008 is a tie at the top with two lovely presents from Mr MDS, a necklace from Paul Smith (below) and a t-shirt from Agnes B (also below).

Friday, 9 January 2009

If I were a rich girl...

I'd be shopping at Prada and Lanvin for my summer collection! My UK Vogue dropped through the door - it's on subscription via my business account and for the first time in ages I was glad of it for it's S/S09 runway selection. I'd forgotten all about the looks and as I tend to just reference blogs I'd not given a whirl in ages. I loved the Prada and Lanvin collections which now look just peachy perfect for the coming spring/summer we hope to have! On the subject of British Vogue, it needs a shake up! The front cover with Cheryl Cole would be fab if it looked like her, but lovely as she is, what is she doing on and in Vogue mmm.

all images

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Take 3 bags

A while ago I had a quandary on my school bag. Yes even as a mature student and studying an MA I needed a school bag and ultimately as I discovered a pencil case!

I started to use my Gucci shopper bag but it really is a shopper- perfect for bookstore or clothes shopping on a Saturday with your best sunnies on, but it didn't really work as a school bag.

I'm too posh for the LCF toilets don't ya know!

Determined to not spend any money, I then started to use a freebie bag that I found in my stylist work box stuffed full of fabrics. It was easy to bung everything in and is sturdy and worked well. But I knew it was a magazine freebie and the pattern sort of clashed with everything!

But I'm free and useful!

Then I spied my school bag. I was shopping with a client one day at the end of October and saw it in Kew. Kew is my life saving shop for ladies who are scared of change and reluctant to spend too much money - it takes all sorts on personal styling! It also is owned by Jigsaw, has a great little creative team and delivers hidden gems. I think one of the design team must be a Francophile because the pieces I always like say le rive gauche, Paris in an intellectual artisan way. At £69.00 I thought it was worth it and one of my very well bagged friends (we are talking Chanel, Anya Hindmarch only here) greatly admired it. So a week later after payday I bagged it! It has served me well and called out for a pencil case which I found in Paperchase.

Mais oui! Perfectament

The Gucci bag is happy now she only get magazines and a few bits popped in her at nice places. The freebie is full of library books to take back so she is still a useful workhorse that will be retained and my darling Parisian artisan number is just the business, it doesn't just say student it says film director - you see all good things come to those who wait.

Today I found out...

...Body Jam is not for me! Well I'm sure it would be if I knew the basic moves but to enter a class a complete aerobics virgin was not a wise move. I confess I left after 10 minutes as I was in danger of an explosive expletive of the banned variety. Geez I need to do a course in how to follow flying people without just standing there with mouth open. Hence, I returned to the safety of the cardio area and cycled my annoyance off in pursuit of poundage loss.

PS thank you for kind words of not stressing about pounds. I'm not but I really do need to lose the flab for health reasons, I want to stress I'm not being a thin-ist, I still eat cake and carbs honest. I know it will only come off with exercise and a few modifications on the eating front.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Resolution update!

If you need a reminder of my resolutions then the edited edited version is:

1.No clothes, shoes, accessories for a year
2.Lose 13 pounds
3.Observe Lent
4.Be nicer to Mr MDS
5. Tend to the home (i.e. decorate)
6.Make a film
and finally ...7. no swearing e.g. the F word.

So far so good as they say. I haven't used the F word once which is an ******* miracle. I was joined in this one by a friend who expanded on the uses of crikey to crikey moses for difficult moments. This amused me a lot so has made it easier and actually I noticed when I said 'bloody' the other day which I wouldn't have given a fig about before.

On number 4, I'm doing quite well only a few mutterings under the breadth. Progress indeed. We'll see how this bears up given I'd gotten in to bad habits of late due to pressure of MA and work and home etc. But there is something to be said for being chirpier rather than snapping.

5 is work in progress, all on paper at the moment but such thought will result in action at some point. Number 4 is time bound so far I know it starts on Wednesday 25th of February so plenty of time before this is undertaken. The film project will gather momentum over the next few weeks as I have to submit my outline for my final MA project. I've written the short although need to hone the dialogue.

And on number one well I've done good. It has been helped by a day of being at home writing an essay so I give you my Monday at the BFI library look. It was absolutely freezing so what you can't see is my thermal vest!

Shirt H&M (Dec 2008 purchase), woolly leggings H&M (Oct 2008), Pringle knee length socks ( TK Maxx 2004), black cotton long t-shirt (M&S 2005), Gap biker boots (Nov 2008) necklace (Topshop 2005)

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

I got to Shane Watson right?

Just when you think you've got your wardrobe sussed (even with no funds) along comes an article to turn it upside down again!

Now I'm not predisposed to walking the streets in high heels and towelling shorts but I'm not a grown up gal. I definitely have a younger than I am dress sense so when Shane Watson (one of my favourite columnists) made a few pronouncements I didn't know what to think - is she right?
You can read the whole article here but below is the dos and don'ts!

- Glitter make-up
- High-street jewellery
- Plaits
- Dungarees
- Tiered skirts
- Hairbands and bandanas
- Ankle bracelets
- Rock-band T-shirts
- Tattoos
- Leggings
Grooming Now it’s not so much grooming as survival: a single stray hair on your lower leg will look like decay.
Waxing your moustache Unless it really is a downy bit of blonde, for God’s sake do it. Bleaching only advertises the lady tache.
Pedicures Even if you are hairy as a bear under your clothes, a pedicure suggests that all is shipshape and tidy.
Proper specs Boots’ £3 jobs make everyone look like Great Uncle Bulgaria.
Big sunglasses These should be worn whenever possible. Not only do they do wonders for disguising fine lines, but in a pair of Oliver Peoples, you, too, can be an A-list star hunted by paparazzi.
Colour You can’t get away with a plain white T-shirt any more.
Feminine Even the poster girls for utility dressing soften up in their mid-thirties and add a bit of detail — you could start with some earrings.
Make-up Go easy, but the days of getting an eyelash tint and leaving it at that are numbered.
Ironing You need to be totally crease-free yourself to get away with crumpled clothes.
Exercise You really should. I fully intend to.
Yes, if you can say:
- I can touch my toes.
- I draw the line at leggings.
- I have my own teeth.
- I have stopped home-dyeing my hair.
- I only have friends who make me laugh.
- I still buy albums.
- I crave fashion (sometimes).
- I own nothing beige.
- I never compromise on shoes.
- I have danced in the kitchen in the past six months.
No, if you would say:
- I still want to look like Sarah Jessica Parker.
- I never eat carbs after 6pm.
- I sometimes wear over-the-knee socks with heels.
- I lie to everyone about my age.
- I never touch my face with my hands because it is bad for the complexion. (This is something Glenn Close once told me in an interview. I have, literally, never got over it.)
- I won’t allow animals in my house.
- I am always in bed by midnight.
- I need my own room.
- I cannot see the point of ear-splittingly loud music.'*

So, at the tender age of forever 21, ehem (cough) I feel doomed on the basis of I do still quite like looking like SJP or more realistically Carrie - in a kooky sense when the whim takes me, I've always worn over the knee socks with heels and flats but have been trying to ween myself of this one. I don't lie about my age I never mention it ('cept above!). And I sort of like Madonna in her skirt with those lace leggings., well actually I did. High street jewellery is such fun and cheap but I thinks she's got a point. Oh crikey (I'm holding to my resolution) what's a gal to do! I absolutely love Susie Bubble and her style expression and experimentation; in my head I'm still like that, but on the other hand I think should I become the sort of grown up sexy type of the Yasmin Le Bons of the world - questions, questions oh drat!

*© Shane Watson 2009. Extract taken from How to Meet a Man After Forty and Other Midlife Dilemmas Solved, published January 15 (Penguin £7.99). Buy it for £7.59 (inc p&p) through the Sunday Times BooksFirst on 0845 271 2135 or at

Monday, 5 January 2009

Promises, promises

A while back I mentioned Brigitte Bardot and have actually done a small post on her on my autre blog Fashion and Film.

I consider my promise duly kept and also give you Girls Aloud and my secretly listened to tune - The Promise and see if you don't think there is a Bardot influence in their current styling!

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Out of outfits

Mmmm well I'm need of a few garments that of course I can't buy! A girdle, a spare one and a corset would do. Honestly so porked out am I that on New Year's Eve and the following day I could only wear one pair of trousers because they didn't hurt as much as everything else and are my only black pair. I have a number of LBDs that would have worked but given we were only going to a friends house and had the petit garcon in tow I wasn't going all out on an outfit. You'll have to excuse all the lumps but I give you my best t-shirt!

It says Maverick on the back and also you can't tell from the quality of the photo but the red stripes are metallic and shiny. Equally I'm channeling Tom Cruise in his pre unveiling of recent new worked out body. Let's keep this one as a before reminder so in a few months time I can do a post that unveils a lesser roll of fat tummy.

This is why I need to go to the gym all that damn champagne that I love.

So, the next day whilst I wanted to don sweat pants, warm socks and a comfy top, I made the effort to pull together an outfit that said New Years Day at home but didn't reflect a Britney Spears bad day in track pants. Although, I've merely scraped my hair back into a ballet bun, (I added ballet to make it sound better!) dispensed with make up of any description and feigned what I intended to be a faraway gaze but actually turned out to be a smirk as Mr MDS took photo without warning. Oh look the fat pants are still working their magic!

Gap cashmere light grey t-shirt

Zara long boyf cardi

Gap black 7/8th trousers

LK Bennett black quilted ballet pumps (bought in summer sale)

Oasis tassel necklace

PS - I gave in after one hour and donned tshirt and sweat pants, which meant I could wear fat pants and rest of outfit again yesterday for a sojurn to Bristol. I wore a different necklace, black fishnet 'pop' socks with the ballet flats and my leopard print coat plus rayban aviators and make up! My friend commented I looked glam and petit garcon mentioned my stomach in public - look wobbly tummy were his words. Thankfully Madonna's trainer was interviewed in today's Guardian , no worries just 1 hour of exercise 6 times a week FOREVER!