Saturday, 28 February 2009

High Street pick of the week

Technically this is not a high street offering as Boden mainly operates as a catalogue/internet shopping business. As I always say they are hardly cutting edge or luxe but you can always find a quiet useful number amongst the shout!

And I'm telling you if I don't get a thank you from the Boden PR for once this'll be the last time! Enough of my feuding...

I thought this piece would add to any wardrobe and be a key spring summer piece. I like the metallic detail and a summer jumper always comes in handy for the UK! Ignore the smug middle class aspect of the image and think how to work it!

Friday, 27 February 2009

Fashion, Food and being Fierce

It was so lovely to receive an award from Sharon Rose Vintage the ever successful thrift queen! Particularly as it is the Fierce award!

Although given my ramblings of late I'm not sure that I'm possessed of enough 'fierceness' when it comes to fashion. The trouble with studying fashion is the too much information overload and the doubts that creep into ones brain cells. Issues such as relevance, conspicuous consumption, the ascribing of the female identity blah, blah, blah. After finished one essay yesterday (yes! one down two to go) I decided to view the blog posting on LFW and the shows on and just enjoy some spectacle!

My three favourite shows were Erdem, Paul Smith and from the trenches the Momo pics courtesy of Marian of The House of Style

Erdem and Paul Smith Women images from

On the food front I am going great guns although I'd be fibbing if I didn't admit to dreadful lusting after chocolate - I don't usually care that much for it apart from choc cakes and desserts - and a momentary longing look at a chilled bottle of wine in the fridge. I started today with porridge made with water and added blueberries, raspberries and pumpkins seeds plus Spanish lemon honey and a glass of orange juice. Lunch is homemade hummus, crackers and carrot with supper a wonderful mix of couscous and vegetables. In between I sate myself with water and green tea. I might lose some of my fierceness on this fayre but I'll be able to wear fashion!

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Sale info!

For those of you who've been good and have some money to spare then take advantage of the 20% off the Matches sale price.
All you have to do is enter MATCHES20 in the promotional box before checking out. The offer last only until Friday!!
If I had some spare coins and wasn't under a resolution to not spend then I'd be snapping these up!

Pierre Hardy white open toe stiletto shoes down from £350 to £96 (with 20% off that's £76.80!)

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Resolution update!

Today is Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of Lent and therefore my random resolution conceived of at the beginning of the year is upon me. Having watch Schindler's List (1993) again on Saturday as part of Sky's Oscar season I lost any temptation to moan about my choice or fail. It won 7 of it's 12 Oscar nominated categories and it is a shame that Liam Neeson didn't win best actor. Seeing it again reminded me of the importance of being strong, resolute and to care about others. I also am surprised Slumdog Millionaire won 8 Oscars. I do believe the cinematography was amazing and the musical score was good but I'm not a fan of the essence of the film so...

Anyway...I've done my plastic pop research into Lent and get the idea of soul searching, reflection and taking stock. It is all a bit 'heavy' if I go into too much detail but it is not a happy and uplifting time. There is varying guidance on observing length by the different churches. The Anglican church seems most light weight with an emphasis on giving up something you like e.g. chocolate. The Catholic church has specific fast days and encourages participation in hunger days where you have a light meal of soup and bread to set aside money for the poor. Whilst the Orthodox gives the most structure to the Lenten period and has five levels of fasting!

I decided to take something from everyone and create a make do style approach. I'm giving up coffee and chocolate. I will attempt when possible to have a hunger day and donate the money saved to charity and I've selected level four of the Orthodox churches fasting options which means abstaining from meat, eggs, milk, cheese, fish, oil and wine! The only good news is that Sunday is not counted as Lenten day so I can eat, drink and be merry with gluttony on a Sunday! Oh and the Sunday thing is RC and I'll be on for the RC and Protestant calendar too. The Orthodox Church runs to a different timetable. I'm all for inclusiveness!

Apparently meditation and prayer helps you get through this. Given I do neither this will be an interesting approach. One of my course books this term is Celebrity by Chris Rojek and his view on celebrity worship is due to the absence of spiritual guidance or the dominance of organised religion. Watch this space!

PS The last bit ref Rojek. It doesn't mean he is calling for organised religion in society he is merely debating the fact if God, monarchy and tyranny are dead as divine ruler then we have democracy (some poor peeps live under totalitarian states) yet we still gravitate towards the creation of 'god' like individuals in society - read the book!

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Fund raiser purchases.

Having stuck to my resolution about not spending money on clothes etc. I knew I needed a wardrobe top up somehow without breaking into my MA survival funds. I've been working my wardrobe quite well so any item I felt served no further purpose was put on ebay.

Two good things happened as a result of this. Firstly I breathed new space and fresh organisation into my closet. Secondly I got to shop for me! I compiled my fantasy wish list - you know it only reads like a Net-A-Porter or editorial script - then I went on a high street reality check and made a proper list. Which consisted of a pair of trousers, day dress, going out dress, skirt, top, earrings, belt and sandals/shoes. My hit list shops were narrowed to items in Zara, Topshop, Reiss and Cos.

Luckily for me Mr MDS bought me the coveted belt from Reiss as a Valentine present. It is a gorgeous dusky pink patent number with a gold buckle detail.

I tried on my lusted after items and then thought about it for a day before I purchased. I decided to get the Zara items as they would go quicker than the Cos ones - it is a retailing fact, merchandise moves quickly in Zara. And also I got two pairs of earrings in Dorothy Perkins as its cheaper than Topshop but I still get 10% student discount!

Zara (Chloe-esque) blue cotton trousers £25.90

Zara (quite YSL 70s vibe) Orange Dress £69.90

Dorothy Perkins faux gold dangly numbers £7 and silve butterfly hoops £4 (- 10% discount £9.90 in total)

I have to confess this small retail therapy indulgence felt good!

Sunday, 22 February 2009


Now I know you'll all be concerned with LFW and the shows blah, blah blah but I'm caught up in a self absorbed holy trilogy, mainly my three 4000 word essays for this term.

Bad timing as well for LFW as tomorrow will be all about the Oscars and how global recession has impacted on the red carpet. All the glitz and glamour will be down played dutifully by the Hollywood glitterati.
As part of one of my essay submissions I've been exploring performance and obsession. I'm nearly there, only a couple more thousand words to go, thanks to the questionnaire participation. Part of my submission is a photo shoot I styled and performed in last Friday titled 'I am Carrie Bradshaw'. So here's my bit of glitz, 3 untreated yet to be cropped photos!

Saturday, 21 February 2009

High Street pick of the week

Today you have two options courtesy of New Look- one is for now and the other is a S/S investment piece!

If you feel like adding some colour and fringing to your life then this purple shopper is a bargain at £10.00

You know you are going to succumb to polka dot even if you can't bring yourself to wear it. So, this bag will add 'on trend' moments into your life for £6.00!

Friday, 20 February 2009

Fave ad of the moment!

Every once in a while an ad comes along that makes you love ads so much. The new Adidas advert is one such one. Nothing beats a short film that leave you wanting more. Adidas sportswear is diverse, including the Vespa originals collection and the range by Stella McCartney is fabulous.

What I love about the ad is the soundtrack which is by Madcon and is remake of a Frankie Valli song Beggin' it makes me skip!

I've had to link rather than upload video as it wouldn't upload onto blogger!

Thursday, 19 February 2009

The fashion editors say no, you say yes!

In or out; so now, so then. Going up or down. Does anyone take any notice of these quips and directives anymore? Remember the not allowed to wear Ugg boots nor pashminas dictates.

I ask the question based on the fact Mango and few other stores are reworking the maxi dress again in their stores for the coming season. Will you be ignoring the trends and wearing last years maxi again?

image from

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Nifty thrifty endorsement!

A Wee Birdy told me that my blog gets a ringing endorsement in India Knight's latest book The Thrift Book: Live Well and Spend Less on page 75 to be more specific!

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Why pay full price?

I popped into Kingston TK Maxx lat week and flicking through the rails found a great Dolce & Gabbana jacket reduced from £790 to £230 - no I didn't buy but it is about time I reminded you of the great bargains and items they sell! If you don't want to undertake random pop ins to the store you can sign up for alerts of new deliveries.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Model test photo

As promised here some photos from my recent model test photo shoot for those of you gripped by the inside my stylist's bag post! I've only got what the photographer sent and so these are untreated and not high res images. I'm quite pleased with my contribution to the outcome - whether the model is successful or not, whether these photos help her to get booked, is another issue - I won't go into that here!!

This was my favourite look - it is quite strong and shows off her figure without too much else going on!

It annoys me when the photographer doesn't get me to check all the shots, as I can see a crease in the top - he'll have to get that photoshopped!

Again I've got nipple shields! It was actually a cold studio...

I was forever sorting out the t-shirt but I like this shot because the colour of tee and her makeup work well - it's a nice fresh look but I wish this was perfect then it would be great!

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Interview with Phoebe Philo

Best moment this week was a cup of coffee and Wednesday's Guardian. G2 had a fashion special of which Hadley Freeman's interview with Phoebe Philo was the bees knees!

image: The Guardian

Friday, 13 February 2009

Blogger Pajama Pyjama Party

Now today's post is a special blogging day arranged by Sister Wolf of Goddamit, I'm mad!
In my action packed week I'm only hazily remembering why- here is the explaination!

I had promised rollers in hair but I've mislayed my carmen rollers (joke!). Anyway petit garcon wears them much better and he is with me in spirit regarding not obsessing about youth and hairiness, he likes fun, walks, talks, books, films and squishing my soft belly! He's obliged with a few poses over the recent weeks to model pjs in different styles.

favourite ones and best for jumping on mama's bed

even pirate pajamas don't stop you from doing important stuff around the house as a workman

cheese and here's to a pajama party!

Thursday, 12 February 2009

What a week and it's not even the weekend!

Blimey! I'm feeling like an extra in Star Trek seemingly to be in the midst of a warp factor 9 situation and also in need of Scotty and his 'beam me up' magic. Now this is partly all your fault!! What you say? Well thanks to the wonderful world that is the blogosphere I've achieved a questionnaire response that MORI dreams of. Seriously, you've made me very happy and very informed. I will of course publish my essay, thanks to your contribution, because it should be quite interesting - I hope.
Also, after all the snow, rain and cold it was a joy to have a moment of spectacular sunshine today as I walked over the Hungerford footbridge. The view of the Thames and the city skyline was glorious. I'm only sorry I didn't have a proper camera and only my blackberry to capture the moment.

The view is closer than this perspective as the camera facility on the crackberry is limited. It does show how high the Thames was and there was concern that it might burst its banks.

My journey was to college via Paul Smith in Covent Garden to purchase Mr MDS his Valentine present. Except they were out of the very cuff links they were promoting for Valentine's day or more accurately they had two pairs. Now I might be wrong but I only consider the day before or on the day as last minute And...surely you want to have stock to meet potential demand. Anyway, I sort of felt slightly exasperated by the Floral Street branch of Paul Smith (isn't it his main shop?) due to shop assistant and the Manager's answers to my probing retail questions. Really I don't want to hear that the concessions store in Selfridges is separate or that the Internet outlet is based in Nottingham and nothing to do with the store in Covent Garden. Yes the manager was offering to try and get me the purple pair I coveted for Mr MDS but I'm more than capable of tinternetting myself or calling them.

Honestly when are stores going to get customer savvy. Did I mention they don't open now until 10:30am! Luckily I could nip to Central College St Martins before returning to Paul Smith on my fruitless journey. Well actually it wasn't exactly fruitless because in the midst of my foot stomping I want purple heart cuff links moment, I spied some rather fetching vintage numbers. The first pair I admired broke - yep properly broke but not my fault, phew. So I settled for my second choice. Apparently they are from New York, fingers crossed Mr MDS is up for 70s old school numbers!

Then I spied the lovely Rob Ryan cards on sale. I'm sure they were strategically placed for men to buy for their other half but I went for style over appropriateness.

Again another crackberry photo but you get the gist. Paul Smith wasn't a complete let down but I'm beginning to wonder why people really don't get proper customer service. They were nice but I dunno something ain't right. I also had a cheeky peek at Cos and lost a sliver of my fashion heart to a few items. Damn you Cos - it will be my undoing!

Then... oh joy of joy I did VERY well in my film essay and this was on top of doing very well in my fashion consumption unit essay too. I had to laugh at my tutor on Monday as she said I must have been a good undergraduate student. I had to fess up to being more of a social butterfly than a bookworm. I phoned my mother to tell her my marks prefaced by 'this is like being at school but you know I'm not because I'd have never phoned you about school marks.' My poor parents, at last, after years of school reports for 3 daughters suggesting if we applied ourselves, a result!

PS I'm kind of up to my eyes in it and am really sorry I'm not really commenting at the moment on all the lovely blogs or responding to comments. I'm taking quick peeks and will try to as much as poss. Apologies in advance. I do mind about floundering in my duties!

Monday, 9 February 2009

Sex and the City...

...questionnaire! Are you a willing participant? Would you complete a SATC form for me as part of my MA??
Go on! If you'd be a happy to do so then email me at and I'll send you a form to complete.
All will be revealed...

image:HBO episode one promo shot!

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Hard times call for enterprise...

...of the ebay variety. Yep I've dutifully trawled through my wardrobe, styling stock and posted on ebay for what seemed hours! Spurred on by the fact I need a few new season items and I'd like to buy Mr MDS a nice valentines present from Paul Smith for being so understanding of my MA obsession!

I've listed lots of items including my Max Mara dress and a top I bought from Joseph that I've never worn with its tags proudly still on. It is really nice but I have never had a tagged unused item sat in my wardrobe so on ebay it went.

the evidence!

I'm determined to stick to my no spend resolution but think raising funds is a way to circumvent and get one or two key necessary updates to my now parred down wardrobe items.

As I was being so industrious, I decided to finally get round to cleaning the petit garcon pram/pushchair and putting it on ebay too. He has used it once in the last year as he's so good at walking or riding his tricycle and I have the Mclaren lightweight buggy too. I was almost weeping as I listed it as he was such a gorgeous baby in it and it was such a trusty number. But someone who needs it and can't afford a brand new one will get tremendous value and use out of it.

Gosh I feel virtuous! Just pop to my list if you fancy some highwasited peg trousers.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

High Street pick of the week

Actually this weeks pick is a shocker - in the sense that I'm not a fan of Karen Millen. To overstated for my liking. It has always been a poor woman's homage to Gucci of the Tom Ford era without any of the panache. You do get the occasional numbers of note, but my main beef is with the silly buttons with 'Karen Millen' emblazoned on them. Why? Why is this necessary. It is the same matter with River Island who year after year produced great linen trousers for the summer. A great suitcase staple. Until last summer - someone in their design dept decided to 'brand' said lines with River Island on the back of them. All my Notting Hill ladies who'd relied on these reasonable priced 'secret' numbers were advised they'd be supplied no more. Who would want to display their finds in such a way!

On balance I steer away from Karen Millen, however this season a lovely cardigan in three bright colours caught my eye and I had to say I was smitten. It falls into my 'I must grow up and look like Tamar Mellon' bracket. Okay I don't really want to look like Tamara Mellon but a bit of sophistication and pseudo LA glamour wouldn't go amiss. This cardigan can deliver an upgrade in the sophistication department under a £100, despite the buttons.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Retro car love

Still surrounded by snow in the outer nethers of the capital, and after a slushy wet style shop in London yesterday for a client, I can't think clothes today. Layers and sensible snow wear is not an inspiring look - without my coat to cover up the dullness that lies beneath I'd be in danger of being papped as a bag lady. My central London shopping look was useless for the snow packed streets of home. Today, London and suronds is beset with rain and grey skies, normal business resumed!

So. it was with great cheer that The Luxe Chronicles diverted me from my icy and now wet mire with the news that Citroen is to bring back an updated DS. The DS car is the coolest of the cool and star of many a French nouvelle vague film mainly by chance!

This fashion for retro car revivals is a joy as the updates have all the comfort of modern technology with the soul of past design. My love of French cars of old leads me to make a plea to Renault and bring back the Renault 4 - the car I first fell in love with. My mother had a bright yellow one with a dashboard gear stick. The back seat was really a bench and the car was much loved by the French in the provinces to carry their wares to market! It seems I am not alone, there is a Renault 4 enthusiasts forum!!

What was your first car love and why? Which old banger do you want to see make a return in the 21st century?

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Valentine Perfume

Now you've got a good few days to think up wish lists and drop hints if amoured or buy yourself your own love token if single. I always did - what's not to love about yourself!

Much as I think Valentines day is too commercial and overrated, I do enjoy the potential present and a bit of romance. I have a little box with Mr MDS's little offerings over the year which have all been tres delightful. But I do remember the funniest Valentine's I spent was with a girl friend. We decided to go out for some food and had completely forgotten it was Valentine's night. Tried as we might we got turned away from all eateries including Pizza Express; to whom I pointed out that the late table for two was a couple who'd argue and they'd be a no show. Nope, it didn't work. Finally we settled on MacDonalds and couldn't stop laughing especially as the service was the worst imaginable from a poor grunty spotty youth. It's the last time I ate there, as at night the lights are too bright and not as flattering as candlelight - okay eating at McDonalds is a bit of an oxymoron and it isn't on my top ten list!

I've picked two romantic perfumes Paul Smith Rose and Jo Malone Red Roses (of which I have one courtesy of Paul Smith - they messed up on a suit for Mr MDS once and as a sorry gave me some perfume, clever boys!). Both are utterly delightful and are quite nostalgic smells - I think Roses conjure a pastiche of life, hence rose tinted spectacles no doubt!


I'm alerting you to the MA showcases for 2009 from the London College of Fashion of course this is because next year I hope to see my name and showcase on display!! Forward planning...

Mel Bagshaw MA Fashion Photography

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Il a aimé la neige

Due to popular demand, I'm pleased to announce le petit garçon a eu le grand amusement dans la neige (he had great fun in the snow)

Et voila!

Star gazing

I admit a liking of stars, mainly of the astronomy kind, and this has always led me to having star accessories. When there was a recent craze for stars I was a tad upset believing I only had a right to this indulgence! I know, where does one get ideas in their head like this. I also took exception to the gladiator trend on the basis I'd been wearing them for years every summer so didn't wear any last year!

I also have a weakness for Cath Kidston - this is not to be compared with my weakness for Marc Jacobs or Lanvin. I know the difference. can't fault Ms Kidston for her twee and quirky quintessential British seaside, jolly hockey sticks delights.

At £12.00 these little star numbers are quite cheery and glitzy at the same time without screaming what ho!

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Dans mon sac il y a...

Tor of Fabulous Frocks and Fashion Disasters challenged me to reveal what is in my bag, after she had bared all. Given my school bag is quite dull, a few notebooks, some books, a pencil case, my ipod and my Filofax which also carries all my cards, receipts and oyster card, I thought my bag from last week's model test shoot might be more interesting.

Normally I have a wheelie case but I bust it with too much stuffing and lazily bouncing it up and down steps instead of carrying it properly. I need to replace but so far no peeks in TK Maxx has yielded a bargain replacement although I did spy this nice number in Topshop Oxford Circus on Saturday.
Actually only having a holdall to fill went quite well and as I'd planned the looks with the photographer beforehand I kept things to a minimum. It was my first time working with a young up and coming photographer and I was sort of thinking gosh how young everyone is, the hair and make up peeps too. I'm glad he wanted me for my input and experience and it was all quite sweet. Dazed Korea were at the same studios doing a shoot and they were quite a serious team. I always feel like the naughty person when I work with people I don't know, everyone takes it way more seriously than I do! When I get some images I'll post the new photos. Helena was a lovely young lady from Norway and I think the shots taken on Friday will do wonders for her card! Of which you'll be able to judge...

In my bag, or dans mon sac il y a....

I've just taken the iron and towel out before laying the contents out for you to see.

l to r, bright orange tee (still unworn with it's Primark label on!), masking tape, Jigsaw belt (very handy as it can be altered although it is a pain to do), another Primark tee with some random vinyl design on it, jewellery pouch with vintage diamante necklace showing.

l to r, jewellery pouch, my last Primark tee offering (at £2.49 they were real bargains!), short denim skirt, metal stud belt, 3 x white vests, gunmetal boob tube.

l to r, the belt, vests, and boob tube again, sequined scarf on bag, crumpled black Ralph Lauren cocktail dress at the front with snakeskin belt on top and black tuxedo jacket.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Oh the weather outside is frightful...

...let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow! On of my favourite Christmas songs by the composer Jule Styne and lyricist Sammy Cahn in 1945 - also associated with Bruce Willis in Die Hard! Except it isn't Christmas it is February and no sight of wearing a spring summer or tranisition number!

Well I certainly had the die hard attitude this morning as I attempted to get into central London. The news was quite rubbish on the tube and overground info although all the buses had been cancelled plus all the travel info websites had crashed. In fairness every London and South East commuter wanted to know the score and the websites couldn't cope. Anyway it was a great excuse to trundle down to the station in the hope of a train, but it wasn't to be. Although I enjoyed what is usually a solitary experience, with lots of hellos, idle weather/snow related chit chat and general bon ami.

London and the surrounds has ground to a standstill. Only the Victoria line tube is running and ironically the reason there are no trains or tube is the fact the drivers can't get to work!
Hope sets off in a foot of snow...with sturdy hunters wellies

Reality is a handwritten notice on a faded art deco station facade

Resolutions update!

The only thing I haven't had a chance to do, which I meant to on Saturday is weigh myself. I'm only allowed to weigh myself on the last day of the month (in my head, obviously there is no new law issued by the Government on this!). But, I was so busy I missed the chance to go to the gym and use the 50p machine to record my progress if any. Now I have to wait until the end of February, I might have to relax my head on this one and be all risky and do it on a random day!
So, who knows if I've dented the 13 pounds I need to shift. I do feel post Christmas lighter but we'll see.

On the swearing front, I'm doing surprisingly well and have manage to amend the f word to frig or fricking if I inadvertently start to use it. Mind you 'bloody' seems to be increasing as a substitute, I'll know the true result of my not using the f word resolution when petit garcon uses an expletive for the first time - what one will it be.

I've bought no clothes, this has been hard due to new season items calling to me but easy as I have no fricking money.

I have been nicer to Mr MDS and the benefits are quite pleasing, mainly it has shown me things are not that important - so now I just rearrange the dishwasher and empty it without getting fricking annoyed and mentioning my annoyance. I don't think you can never not be annoyed though except with the help of drugs!

The house has the beginning of a plan and am pleased with progress. Equally short film is progressing well at the first stage. And I have found out all about Lent so will reveal more on my take later...

Sunday, 1 February 2009

No really...

...I have nothing better to do on a Saturday night other than read your blog posts and write some of my own. After a full on week, college, petit garcon, teaching at the NHJ Style Academy and styling a model on Friday for her test shots plus a Saturday shopping session for a client - it is blog or bed! Oh and did I mention a visit to the final week of the Annie Leibovitz exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery on Wednesday morning before lecturers.

So, when Sharon Rose tagged me to reveal the fourth picture in the fourth folder, I thought great that's Sunday's blog post sorted! Tiredness makes one lazy.... What you do is, go to the fourth folder on your computer where you keep your photographs, choose the fourth picture, explain it and tag four other people.

My fourth folder is my new decorating folder with samples and ideas. This picture is a wallpaper from Cole & Son.

I'm thinking of putting this on one of the landing walls which is very high and we are going to put lots of framed photos on a dramatic wallpaper. I'm waiting for the sample along with many others to put on the wall to select.

I dutifully or annoyingly tag:-
Fabulous Frocks and Fashion Disasters
Siljes Fashion
Sorting it Out
Same cat....different spots