Sunday, 31 January 2010

How to wear a belt

1. Only use a belt to make an outfit interesting. There is a great danger with constantly adding a belt ( a la Gok) as a style statement which tips an look over the edge.

2. How do I know if I'm adding interest not going overboard? I still have a horror of the boho look that was the bane of my life circa 2003/4/5 when every woman alive seemed in possession of a belt with a big round metallic buckle for decoration. Usually worn over the hips of jeans or long boho skirt. It was the rise of the Ugg boot and the shaggy or faux fur gilet. Beloved by every retailer and the consumer - that belt transferred easily to the real and faux Juicy Couture track/leisure suit thing that was going on too. This is an example of a belt being overkill or overboard. It was essential to the look but did not add interest.

3. How to add interest? Take a shift dress which is tailored and has a defined waist -think Anna Wintour. Now our Anna is not a woman in search of a belt, instead she relies on her tennis in the morning and her coffee to keep her trim. Also Anna is quite prescriptive and her necklace(s) add to her signature style. If you have such a dress then you can add to it with either a necklace or a belt.

4. How do I do that with certainty? Use your eye and check your mood! Some days you might add a belt to the dress and it looks/feels great and on another you hate it. Your moods do have an effect on when you wear an item and not just your clothes. If it feels good do it but if not so what.

5. But I haven't got a shift dress. How else do I wear a belt? Okay here's a few scenarios! Long boyfriend cardi, top and skinny jeans. Add belt over the b/f cardi. Shirt and skirt - add waist belt at waist of skirt. Top plus black trousers - try a hip belt, these have a curve at the back of the belt. On no accounts wear a belt as described as above! Wear a belt over a jacket or coat. I was wearing a navy blue tunic dress with a black jacket the other day and wanted to look more formal so I did up my jacket (which was a charity shop find ages ago) and added a navy patent belt at the waist. I breathed in all day but it did the job. Look at old magazine images for a vintage take - remember those 60s dresses with a gold chain belt. The trick is not to be prescriptive or rule bound this should be experimental to develop your own sense of what suits you.

6. What about my body shape? Even though I know everyone is obsessive about body shapes I prefer the idea of proportions. One of my friends is an apple shape and sworn off all things round her middle because of her voluminous bust. But her back size and round her ribs under her bust is her tiniest point. At first I introduce a ribbon on her favourite empire line dress (which does not look like maternity wear due to gorgeous pleating flowing beneath) and then a very skinny belt. It isn't something she does a lot but occasionally it lifts her mood when wearing the same old dress. You just have to try differing widths of belts in different places with an item you wish to dress up. Therefore you go in said outfit to a variety of shops and try on lots of belts.

In short, experiment, use your eye and don't be afraid no one is going to appear with a big foam hand pointing out your belt wearing. I wouldn't do it every day, and go for weeks without donning one but is nice to have in your arsenal of style props.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

High Street Pick of the Week

To belt or not to belt that is the question. Whether it is necessary to supplement your outfit with a belt or not is a personal choice. Some people wear them well and sometimes they lift a look.

If your spring summer wardrobe needs a new belt or you want to add a belt to your wardrobe then this one from Karen Millen* is the perfect width for your waist and is a fabulous colour. If your going to be heavily into the nudes this summer it will work with taupe and beige but not blush pink.

It's yellowy green blend (sorry can't give a pantone number) either combines or perfectly clashes (contrasts) with black, white, grey, yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, blue and green. You can't ask much more from a belt. The matt finish and colour moves the accessory away from last years neon bights.

Colourful Waist Belt Karen Millen £49

* Psst Karen Millen is moving away slowly but surely from its Sharon Millen tendencies. Please lets hope this means the buttons will stop being branded!

Friday, 29 January 2010

A touch of Bardot is required

I need to look this glamorous when shattered. And perfect a pout like this too.
'Scuse me while I zzzzzzzzzzzz

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Moisture for less

Diprobase cream is a pot of magic that doesn't require a pot of gold to pay for it. When I need to seriously save money on beauty products I used to default to Aqueous cream which is even cheaper; but if you are going to go cheap then why not select the creme de la mer version of cheap and chic.

If you suffer with dry skin then this delivers. I use it on face and body but add an SP15 for face. I discovered it when petit garcon suffered dreadfully with eczema. I couldn't keep using his so was mightily pleased when after drawing a blank in the high street chemists I could order it online.

The perfect make do aid for your purse.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Frozen assets and ice cool icon

Whilst my will power might flounder on occasions, I have not succumbed to any frittering. with my focus firmly on paying back masters loan I'm a model pupil in the school of restraint.

This is aided by a forthcoming V&A museum exhibition from the 17 April - 26 September 2010. I wait in trepidation for Grace Kelly: A Style Icon. With this feast of curation to look forward to I can steel my mind on what is to come rather than caving in and buying anything.

Photograph by Erwin Blumenfeld, New York, 1955.
Copyright The Estate of Erwin Blumenfeld 2009.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

High drama

Gosh I suffered a blogger malfunction last night. It was dreadful, I couldn't post, couldn't comment or anything. I had a 'bad error'. Not being able to blog is a bad error. Choosing not to post or being busy is okay. Being cut off by blogger is hideous. It was weird to be able to look but not get involved. Worst point, painstakingly replying to 12 comments and losing it all! So thank you to all who left comments to the thought of the week post and I did respond individually but a bad error happened. I gave up resigned myself to telly and watched the Good Wife instead. Although I soon realised that I would be enjoying the show for its storyline and writing not its costuming (plus a bit of Chris Noth).

I've suddenly rediscovered telly and thankfully this week so far has yielded 24 (Sky), The Good Wife and I'm contemplating the new series of Desperate Housewives (both Channel 4), which I haven't watched for a very long time so I can be persuaded out of this one. I've tried to get into Material Girl (BBC)but find the clichéd characterisation and predictable storyline looking very D list next to the gloss of American dramas.

Which neatly brings me to this bargain at Net-A-Porter of an Oscar de la Renta dress at £568.40 from £2,030. I can hardly contemplate the less pricey amount but if you are a size 8 (US4) then Oscar is pure gloss for the wardrobe.

After the Chanel adverts, it was de la Renta's Spanish vibe dress from his S/S10 collection that took my fancy.

Will my love for black or white ever end? Do you have a favourite colour for clothes? Are you all gloss or pedestrian!

Monday, 25 January 2010

Thought of the week - Contentment

When The Mercer Hotel in New York sent me a Happy New Year card last week, it brought a smile to my face.
My first thought was the fact they'd never sent me a card before when I was a good customer. Now I'm not a customer they must be chasing me to become one again, are times hard(er)? It was however, pleasant to be transported back to a glamorous time. A time when my friend and I would often say 'Ah the glamour of it all' as we were flown in by helicopter to the Monza F1 grand prix. When a shop was in order, off it was to New York or Milan. Selfridges was just a lunch time browse. I recalled popping into Gucci on Bond Street to help a colleague choose a belt and how I casually bought a bag without it denting my salary.

I haven't stayed at The Mercer since 2007 and in those three years I've become a make do, currently penniless soon to be awarded a Master's degree person, contemplating doing a Ph.D. I envisage a scenario where someone calls out 'is there a doctor' in a public place and I say 'yes' but of course I would only be a doctor in fashion so the most help I'd be is to advice the person in need of medical assistance not be caught short in that dreadful outfit again. Hardly a way to make friends and impress people!

Yet I used to be impressed by money and wealth. I was never wealthy enough to be considered rich. I was never stopped at Heathrow after a long weekend in NYC as I was hardly worth the effort, in fact my poor suitcase looked dreadful after a mauling by the US customs when I went to Philadelphia. Now I can't afford to buy a new one. What impressed my about money was the lifestyle you could lead. How it bought an ease. People did things for you, like open the door and when I stayed at The Mercer I could skip across to Prada and browse and they'd show me things give me coffee or champagne even though I rarely bought. It was the experience. However I became inured of it all to dull the sheer boredom and stress that was my job. This year will be the sixth year of my escape from corporate hell.

Working in a corporate is not hell to all. We all have different purposes and likes. This is a good thing we enjoy different things, but for me I felt like a caged animal. Shopping, wine, restaurants, travel etc. were a lifestyle addiction to compensate for the fact I hated my job. I couldn't articulate my dislike because it wasn't the companies fault, nor my colleagues, even the ones I viewed as idiots, no it was me. I was never cut out for it. I remember driving to work some days with the rest of the commuters and thinking what if we all just go home and refuse to pay our mortgages. This was not what others were thinking.

Being content is much underrated. Happiness is the one that gets all the focus - finding happiness is the holy grail. I prefer being content. Contentment means even when you feel a bit down you don't have any pressure. When you feel content you can look but not be envious; you can want but shrug your shoulders and still smile. You value the toothless person who asks you the time as much as business person who buys you coffee when you have a meeting in Carluccios.

I actually gave up my marketing job nearly six years ago and thanks to a generous payout and my work as a stylist I had time and money on my side for a while. Which again to some extent I squandered. Now in my content (but not smug) state I can safely say you won't find contentment in perfection (home, job, setting the dinner table just so), but you will find it by not setting your standards too high. You won't find contentment by using your credit card on an item you haven't got cash for, but if you manage on your income, paying bills first, having a contingency fund you'll feel easier. Planning for a pension will drive you up the wall regardless given the systematic abuse of pension funds by bankers et al.

Contentment is not a Chanel 2.55 bag*, it is appreciation of your life and well being - which doesn't mean to say luxury doesn't have its place but pleasure should be found in the humdrum of existence as well. If we could somehow all of us across the world find contentment then compassion will heal more suffering and question the defining drive of materialistic gain that cost lives. In the developing world poverty and disease kill but in the developed world a sense of worth costs countless lives. Last week many of us in the blogging community were shocked by news of a suicide that has immense implications for a family. Whilst money isn't the long term answer to such a matter in the short term it will provided food and sustenance. If you have a moment do read this post.

So apologies to The Mercer, what with Haiti and fellow bloggers in need, I'm afraid I'll keep the memories for now.

* I still want one. I'll freely admit to this shallow desire but it doesn't define me and it won't make me happy- well just a smidgen!

Saturday, 23 January 2010

High Street Pick of the Week

I thought if you were lacking a versatile wardrobe basic then this Topshop jersey pencil skirt at £35 fits the bill. A little bit Joan from Mad Men methinks and the buttons add detail, preventing Gok trying to add a belt.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Sew sew

Spurred on by my voyeur admiration of K-Line's sewing progress, I decided to attend to my own. I often repair and alter my clothes but I usually drop off my alterations at the dry cleaners. Viewing K-Line's dress making unfold has made me think how silly I am not to make my own clothes again.

My first step was to purchase a book. I felt I needed a prop and a refresh and this manual is clearly laid out. I can only assess its merit on the basis I do know how to sew and dress make. To my eye and knowledge it is fantastic. I love the layout and clear information.

My next move is to purchase a sewing machine and I will start off with a easy to store, lightweight and basic model. The fact is I'm out of practice and the best sewing is done after heaps of practice. Control and tension are key to a well sewn garment, so once my competency levels are back I'll see how much I use the machine and assess whether I need a sturdier model with more settings and stitching options.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Just a hint

As a French housewife (yes I know I'm not really) I remember the joy of the rare sighting of the Chanel Camper Van. Yes, in the days before waiting lists galore for nail varnish or lipstick. Before the advent of mass media and the new fangled penchant for blogging. Now where ever I look there is an advert, a celebrity with yet another Chanel bag. There is no longer the mystique, the moment where you are briefly and fleetingly reminded of your Chanel parfum you smile. A quick dab of it on your wrists and oh la la.

image courtesy of Delicious Industries and Sell Sell

Wednesday, 20 January 2010


I am a complete book worm even if my current crop are less literary and more literal.
I felt compelled to construct the perfect bookworm look for the month of January. Wear to the library, for coffee and book read and a visit to Waterstones (are they the only mainstream book sellers left on the UK high street?)

Psst don't tell anyone I selected a Boden cardi! It's just the look needed some colour.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

In search of chemisette heaven

'They had a very fine day for Box Hill; and all the other outward circumstances of arrangement, accommodation, and punctuality, were in favour of a pleasant party.' I've always had a longing for a sojourn to Box Hill due to my love of Jane Austen. As well as quoting from her novel Emma above, I choose the last paragraph of the novel for our wedding reading. Although it is Persuasion that is my favourite.

Living just outside of London has opened up the countryside in a way I couldn't have imagined. So, when Mr MDS proposed a visit to Box Hill on Sunday I jumped. I wondered why we hadn't made the effort before but it seems Mr MDS had failed his first (and last) attempt at a Duke of Edinburgh Award on Box Hill by getting lost through losing the map.

It was a very fine day for us and we enjoyed a hearty walk, although given it is January I was quite miffed I couldn't have re-enacted an empire line Regency dress with a chemisette. I was just wrapped up in bits of stuff which kept me warm. The walk up the hill did result in removal of snood and arm warmers as the sun was bright and a small sweat was worked up.

Full stride ahead for the petit garcon

Soaking up the sun's rays, which have been in short supply this month

The path was quite muddy in places after the snow

Emma was first published in 1816 a year before Jane Austen's death. I'm not sure she would have been on an outing to Box Hill, but I hope she did and was equally amused as me by this headstone.

I also had no will after the outing to attempt a hunt through my items to convey a romantic outfit; but it did put me in mind of the summer months and tea dresses. I will attempt to have a lovely picnic in the summer months ahead on Box Hill, suitably attired of course.

Sketch Garden Dress £45 Topshop

Monday, 18 January 2010

Thought for the week - size matters

It is a long time since I've discussed the issue of size and clothes but it is a reoccurring debate. Of late I've been reading and watching on TV lots of diet related articles and programmes. Firstly it is that time of year post Christmas but secondly I'm still unable to pick up a novel post Masters. IT is with a great deal of trepidation that I post it as with my last couple of posts, it falls into that iffy bracket of do I post or not. Without an editor making the decisions I panic about the wisdom of my choices. I am a risk taker but doubts will linger...

When it comes to the models are too thin debate and setting a bad example chorus -I'm always torn between the reality of making samples for shows and the cost of this, hence the requirement for a slim model so less material is used. Then there is the issue of a more equable visual representation of women but I just like looking at the clothes, the model doesn't really influence me much in my view of size or beauty.

Whitney Thompson Plus Size model (America's Next Top Model series winner)

Underlying the size debate is the stark truth of people, men and women being en mass heavier and bigger than they used to be. There is no doubt that many of the world's population lives in poverty with the rest having access to a glut of food stuff.

After decades of diets, nutritionists, dietitians and bio chemists are returning to the message of input and output. Calorie control or understanding is back in favour. If this is the case then might it mean the fashion industry is absolved of the negativity of using slim models. Leaving aside the fact the fashion industries preference for thin - will the shift on body image and weight issues return to the individual to take responsibility for their own health.

We know smoking kills you, and having tackled smoking and the tobacco industry - isn't it time to turn on the food industry and go after them for all the nasty ingredients they add to food stuff to make you be addicted to sugar and salt.

In my case I had a rude awakening with my fat hips. I suddenly put on 10lbs over a year. In part this was due to not running so much but also upon investigation I looked into my calorie intake. I don't wish to divulge the amount but if you check out the Pret website it handily gives you the calorie content of their food. I like Pret and it is nothing to do with them that I had no idea that a mid morning cappuccino, a lunchtime free range egg mayo sandwich and hippy shake would result in 612 calories. If I add anything else it gets worse. Basically I don't know how much I eat in calorie speak a day and this is the crux of my fat hips.

I do know to burn 1lb a week you need to cut down by 3500 calories or expend 3500 calories. The maths is really simple and the knowledge is simple too but yet I've been fooling myself or blissfully unaware about hidden calories such a glucose syrup acting as a sugar, which is more fattening or rather calorific than sugar itself!

I'm in the process of weaning myself off sugar - this will mean no more cappuccino's as they are wrong without the chocolate on top! I'm taking responsibility for fat hips and considering producing warning labels similar to the smoking ones. I can't deny petit garcon his occasional treats but I may have to stick 'This makes you fat' on his rich tea biscuits in case I try to sneak one. I'm not advocating not eating - I need my 2000 calories a day to function, but they should be from proper food, food the body can breakdown, digest and use. Can you imagine shopping in the supermarket and picking up foods with such a label on!

Are we delusional in our eating habits? Have we really forgotten to eat to jut fuel ourselves? We are all different shapes and sizes, much of which is laid down by our genes but are we adding the rest? Does any of this matter or is it just fashion?

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Blog wars

Are you Team Hooker or Team Drag Queen!

You can read about it here or not read about it here.

Wears it well

The Sonia Rykiel H&M collaboration is something to look forward to. And I did treat myself to one of her fun hair bands from her November 2009 lingerie collaboration with H&M.

However it broke the same day as I bought it, which is sort of a reminder about the quality of items produced. I do steer clear of the collaborations yet equally think it is a great way to get designer input into your wardrobe for less. I'll remain torn between my purist head and my hopeful heart.

But before it broke petit garcon modelled it!

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Luck of the draw

It's not often the post yields nice things. Mainly it is the usual, household bills, credit card bill or bank statement, supplemented by the occasional postcard, thank you note or a wedding invitation. I only added the latter as we've been invited to a wedding and after a glut of them I've not been to one in years so when friends of ours got engaged over Christmas I was quite cheered as I felt we could do with a good wedding to go to.

But this week I got two nice surprises, due to forgetfulness. One was a prize I'd won from Aussie via the lovely FabFrocks and the other was a product review. Having sworn I'd never entertain anything again I was just about to press the delete button on the email when I stopped in my tracks. I hastily replied and gave my terms to which they said yes and it was a done deal.

Now the package I received contained some pretty earrings from a jewellery company called LuShae and I selected a pair of Horseshoe stud earrings to review. I know Sister Wolf would say 'horse shit' to luck but when it comes to the luck of the draw, we have a pretty good deal here in the UK when it comes to health care and not suffering from earthquakes. If you break your leg, get involved in a car accident or suffer a heart attack to name a few, we pay nothing to be treated. We might have to buy prescriptions and we might not always get the best service but we have access to free health care.

My earrings are very pretty, very light and look more expensive than they are. I have a great fondness for all things equestrian and as I don't get to ride horses much these days the earrings will make me feel quite horsey for a moment. I also know when I wear them that they didn't cost me anything but they helped in part to address the imbalance of being born in a country where you pay through the nose for health care or suffer significant natural disasters. I consider myself lucky not to have the stress of these matters. The only detail I would quibble about is the manufacturing process could be better as the earrings are inserted via the left part of the horseshoe shape - if anyone has two right sided one perhaps we can swap!

Although I would add if you do get approached as a blogger over the next few weeks by companies regarding products perhaps you can suggest you'll oblige for a donation to the Haiti Relief Effort.

High Street Pick of the Week

Having ventured into the stores to start to check out new stock I actually got no further than Gap (on Oxford Street near Selfridges) as I was buying socks for the petit garcon. After my obligatory purchase I had a wander around upstairs. There is still a lot of sale stock and the new season items are primarily khaki trousers in varying styles, some nice stripy vest tanks and a lot of cobalt blue tops. amongst the trousers I spotted a rather chic cardigan.

You will have to bear with the blackberry image quality and the colour is a richer taupe than it looks. It also comes in a dark grey and at £39.50 it would be a good item for work to smarten up the winter wardrobe during these transition months before it is warm enough to fully embrace S/S 10.

The visual merchandising leaves a lot to be desired as the poor cardigan plonked between very urban chic khaki pants is hardly inspiring.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Bringing back blue and brown

As a teenager one of my most rebellious moments was mixing brown and blue to gasps of amazement (read horror) from my friends. It was akin to mixing blue and green or black and navy. My friends were all about Ralph Lauren and I was patted on the head and called quirky.

Yet I seem to recall a phase when everyone wore brown and often with the blue of denim, except me as for years I've found brown a rather risible colour for fabrics other than leather, maybe even velvet.

In short brown has been consigned to a non feature. However, it is making something of a return thanks in part to some clever teaming and less block colour that was a feature of its height in the 90s. The trick is to work brown with other colours to stop it absorbing the light and flattening the look of the garment.

I think this look from PPQ's S/S 10 runway shows that brown has merit again and most definitely when worn with blue.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

In the Pink again

Once in a while in the life of a stylist everything goes wrong. Well actually you can substitute stylist probably for lots of other jobs but I'm all about the drama today. The weather has hindered my normal operations, appointments, meetings, castings and samples.

Also I've noticed a few brave souls have jumped ship from their jobs in a fervour of new beginnings, meaning I have to build new relationships (sigh). However, in the midst of my woeful snow bound fat hips*, (toast and tea does not make for svelte stylist) hidden in thermals and pyjama bottoms world, there has been a chink of light enough to lift my lips from mug hugging to a heartfelt smile.

The wonderful my-wardrobe peeps have accommodated my late in the day request for samples for this Friday. They are such a nice bunch and it makes me happy that when all around is cold and slushy, warmth emanates via email.

And speaking of warmth how about these candy pink trio to add a sorbet splash to your wardrobe when the sun shines once again.

Sonia by Sonia Rykiel Pink Tapered easy fit trousers £234

* not wishing to detract from today's post but I made my 10:30 Mayfair meeting with a lighter load as it appears my fat hips are abating! Put on the dress that started whole hips crisis and it is noticeably slacker over hip area.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Make it White Make it Bright

When the sun shines again (for those of us in the UK shrouded in murky grey skies) then one item in your wardrobe you can make do a lot with for the S/S 10 season is a white shirt. If you lack said garment then go get one!

The main difference is you should go for a bit of detail either in the fabric, the cut or the addition of a ruffle or a bow. Wear with denim shorts, khaki rolled up trousers or a skirt and you are good to go.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Bit of a Borrower

Due to heaps of time indoors, I've been devouring blogs and blog posts. I've realised you can almost circumnavigate the globe on a blog thread (via comments and blogrolls)- it gets a bit patch across Africa and some of South America.

I've also noted that some blogs borrow heavily from others. Now this is a tricky area as sometimes a few bloggers lift items from magazines and comment, which is no different to newspapers - many a national print journalist or a news researcher has to pull feeds from or pour over a regional paper for a local story of interest. However it is obvious that certain blogs have spawned mini me's.

When the new season adverts appear in print I'm a happy bunny, I peruse the adverts before the editorial. I love the catwalk to camera metamorphosis, although this does depend on the creative execution. But hey I straying off the point to some extent. We are probably all agreed liking similar stuff and posting our preferences is par for the course. Also a press release or PR push is similarly going to result in a few posts on the same subject(though I ignore these now).

In all there are some good reasons for content overlap and in the main it is nothing to worry about but occasionally we find thievery! Yes it does happen zur alors... so with no further delay I'm posting my pinched image of Amanda Lear from Miss Peelpants blog Get some Vintage-a-Peel.

There are two reasons for this image:
1. The hair style (I need one)
2. The outfit (I love it)

You can see the full wealth of images and the original post here!

Monday, 11 January 2010

Thought of the week - S'now complaints

Err...I started this post before opening the Style magazine of the Sunday Times. Then I read Shane Watson's column and it was spookily similar to the musings I was undertaking as thought of the week and it equally contained my previous post regarding no spending.

Now of course all this is merely coincidence, but Shane if you do read this blog - love your column.
The similarity lay in two points. Point 3 regarding money concurred with me regarding no frittering. Basically buy nothing at all for months and go get a great item. If I was earning proper money again and not paying off a masters loan then without a shadow of a doubt I'd be selling the family silverware as well to bag myself a look from top to toe. Forget the rule of not wearing designer gear from head to toe, I'm completely beguiled by the new Chanel adverts, my particular favourite is the white suit with the Aline puff skirt. I only wish I'd asked wife in the city to get me one of the hats on her recent visit to Argentina. Instead I had to content myself with pinching this image from Wildernesschic's blog

Sigh and crossing fingers Zara does a homage! Well.. actually I'll go without because this brings me to what I was going to say and Shane mentioned in a similar vain in her first point on 'six steps to de-stress'.

I've really been enjoying the snow as I've had to wear the contents of my ski bag which I pulled down from the loft because we've been deluged with snow. It's about 16m from my front door to Oxford St via road, and far less as the crow flies, yet we on the outskirts of Greater London are marooned in a snow fest. This has been good for lots of reasons, Fashion or being stylish is currently pointless, warmth and mobility are the first waking thoughts. I need to be warm to get things done and my Hunter's wellies are my shoe of choice to get me from A to B. I have to wear silk socks plus thermal socks to keep my toes warm as wellies aren't the best when it comes to insulation.

I'm wearing my ski jacket and layers. When I went to an appointment in Mayfair on Thursday as I stepped out at Bond St tube station I did feel mildly foolish attired in my half Ray Mears survival kit teamed with jodpur leggings and long fine knit jumper and red lipstick. I'd gone from compacted snow to a wet pavement without a trace of the stuff.

This is Mr MDS and petit garcon yesterday as we tobogganed with countless others on the Epsom Downs racecourse. And this morning I woke to further light smattering of snow although it is meant to that this wee.
Having gone without for nearly a week I've sort of lost any pressure to be perfectly presented or stylish along with an organised diary on my blackberry. I've been lost in a world of wellies and fun with a four year old. We've wiled away many an hour with a Toy Story memory card game, the hungry hippo and the Gruffalo snakes and ladders games.

This has helped in breaking any doubts I might have had about 'stepping out/away' from my own personal bind of retaining an edge in the style stakes. I'm never not going to be a fashion junkie but at the moment I can't afford a cup of takeaway coffee and so I'm going to relax on this matter.

I do think it is hard as a fashion industry person to admit to being broke and then sticking to your guns of not updating your look and making do. I had a good little spurt last autumn with some much need additions to my wardrobe and apart from a couple of things they are all thankfully keepers.

Also when Queen Marie does a post like this I'll have no complaints about making do except when I gaze upon the Chanel adverts.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

High Street Pick of the Week

It may be snowing, cold and looking at staying that way, but if you are braving the shops then whilst your mind might be on warmth and woolies - spring is in store.

Whatever your preferences I think you will be hard pressed not to add a dash of yellow to your wardrobe for Spring Summer 10. This top from Oasis will work well with jeans, the new structured track suit pant trend or a skirt.

Friday, 8 January 2010

London Fashion Week and LCF Short Film Premier

Regular readers and fellow bloggers will know (seriously I might have bored you on this subject) that I've completed a Masters in Fashion and Film for which I have made a short film.

You can hear more about this here - London College of Fashion MA-sters Showcase. And I hope to have a trailer for the film shortly but weather is hampering access to all manner of things at the moment.

The premier for the short will take place on Thursday the 18th of February - the eve of London Fashion Week at the London College of Fashion with a panel of experts (fashion journalists, academics and retailers) discussing the issue raised by the film! Plus drinks on the wonderful terrace overlooking Oxford Street before and after

Invites are being sent out shortly but I suddenly realised that some of you non London/British fashion bloggers might be coming to London for LFW. If so, and you'd like an invite then please let me know. I'm not sure of numbers as it's not me in charge of the guest list, except those I've specifically noted although I nearly forgot my mum and dad! But I can forward your details to the lovely events team. Let me know.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Summer necklaces on my mind

When I got my February edition of UK Vogue I was particularly taken with the runway report supplement's section on 'neckpieces'. I allowed myself a momentary wish list and then attempted to select the winning piece. That didn't happen I'm still torn between the Bottega Venetta,

the Lanvin,

or Veronique Leroy full on necklaces. (All images

Of course this is pure fantasy wish list as none are on a shopping list proper. I think if I really had to make a choice I'd bag the Leroy. Will you be blinging it up with a beast adorning your décolleté or passing on such detail?

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Snow time

It's not often one gets to have fun in January particularly with snow and a petit garcon

Confusion reigns so off to bed

Sometimes I think not only do people get out of the wrong side of bed but the solar system revolves a different way so your axis is out of step with someone else's axis who say got up before or after you.

This occurs more frequently at this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere due to the short days and the very long nights. In order to avoid these disconnects, clashes and all manner of nonsense it would be better to stay in bed!

Given how cold and how snowy it is, this might not be a bad idea all round. So these are a few sale items to assist a stay in bed. None are romantic, all are for keeping toes and body cosy and warm.

Just add a mug of hot chocolate, some magazines, books and let the world go by.....