Friday, 30 April 2010

Out with The Outnet

Tra la! It arrived and all was joyful. I had a quick try on to check all okay and now the Moschino dress is safely in the wardrobe ready for July 16th. I feel quite grown up being properly organised for my graduation rather than a last minute dash.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Jobbing Stylist does Double Denim

Let me tell you when two stylists have a meeting cake is involved. And a rather nice slice or two from the Konditor & Cook bakery, more specifically the Chequered Raspberry and the Coffee Walnut. Yummy.

Chequered Raspberry

Coffee Walnut

We then had a press viewing to go to so it was an opportunity to have a photo in my double denim outfit. I was challenging the ubiquitous shirt/jean combo and referencing the 70s and the Runaways. And as I sat in my look du jour I was shocked by transatlantic thought travel with a mention of the Runaways by Wendy Brandes. Although I was not attempting to pretend for one minute I was a rock chic, past or present.

Cut up v.old denim jacket
M&S kick flare jeans (S/S09)
Belt from Spain
Raybans (S/S06)
Flower brooch (Handmade by Clems Daughter) pressie from friend
Topshop Cowboy boots (A/W 03)
Bag Ally Capellino for Toast (A/W 09)

Bracelet family heirloom
Bandage Stylist's own!

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Jump for joy

Feeling slightly sorry for myself in a hurt paw way, I was roused from my self pity by a wonderful post by Delicious Industries I duly requested permission to use a couple of photos and 'cheat post' by shamelessly piggy backing on the post of the work of photographer Philippe Halsman.

What is there not to like about a jumping for joy Audrey Hepburn and amazingly the jumping duo of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor!

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

A graduation and two weddings

Such occasions require a suitable number don't you think? Anyway I decided to peruse the Outnet for a dress and settled on this Moschino one. Should be perfect for all three and of course the unit cost per wear is £88!

Monday, 26 April 2010

What I learnt pre, during and post op

Fashion really has no place in a hospital. Style is probably useful to employ to distinguish oneself from all and sundry; but being fashionable in hospital is pointless unless you are celebrity exiting the Portland with baby as new accessory to the waiting paparazzi.

I realised this when a couple of weeks prior to my minor operation on the 22nd of April to remove a 'pearl ganglion'. For those of you interested in medical matters a small hard ganglia called "pearl ganglia" may occur on the flexor tendon sheaths of the fingers. These are very tender and painful when gripping objects. Mine was at the base of my left index finger. When I went for my pre op - which was a MRSA swab under armpit and in nose - I was very fashionable. Even in a private hospital (thank you Mr MDS for our medical insurance) I looked 'overdone'.The only reason I was getting the thing removed was because it hurt. It hurt when driving and working, think carrying clothes removing hangers, undoing buttons. It popped up last September and when I went to the doctors the NHS waiting list for ganglion removal was probably years down the line due to it being non essential z list medical stuff. If there was a leaflet on it, it would read try hitting it with a heavy book in the hope it bursts and goes away. If not come back to us and we'll try book option. Then after all book option hitting sessions have been exhausted there may be a consultant we've dragged out of retirement who might do it.

So I opted to use our medical insurance and having stepped over that line it is actually quite addictive. Mainly due to the carpets, the receptionists focused on their job and not drinking a cup of tea talking to their colleagues. They smile in private hospitals and look you in the eye. The trouble with entering such a world it is like an upgrade to club on an aeroplane, you always hope for one and the moment you get on it spoils travelling for ever as it really highlights the misery that is economy.

When I arrived for my operation even though it was a minor one under local anaesthetic, I was shown to my room. I had decided to use my time productively and engage my focus on a script. After my pre op talk by the consultant who found me sitting in the chair working on the script I abandoned such nonsense and watch ITV's 60 minute makeover. What worried me is this is not the first time I've seen it. On the few occasions I've been to the gym I've watched it on one of the screens whilst listening to my ipod. What I've now realised is you must have a hard luck story told by family and freinds to the production team to get help, plus be in possession of a really old, preferably ugly, gas fire in your living room.

As the local anaesthetic worked and I watched TV, I found out I didn't have MRSA, that my blood pressure is still 110/60 (low stuff) and amazingly I've lost 2kilos. In my hospital operation gown I wished I'd done matching underwear or something more exciting, and had a better pair of slippers and a dressing gown. The only style advice I would give is go luxe on the underwear, slippers and gown. My cosy Celtic Sheepskin slippers and Toast flannel dressing gown might cut muster in a highland log cabin but when it comes to that catwalk stroll to the operating theatre I wish I'd selected a few lovelies from Net-A-Porter.

As they've yet to offer slippers I'd opt for these from Holistic Silk.

After my walk of style shame to the theatre, I was able to marvel on the insides of a hospital theatre, having not set foot in one before. Whilst laying down as the prep started (it was like being in a medical drama), I noted that the varying medics are graded with the colour of their gowns, trousers and clogs. The clogs were the only on trend feature, although the clumpy cut and the white (hue) were not the most flattering. Not a double C in sight. Also the fabric and colours range from a green for one type of person and then varying shades of blue. They were all very nice and tried to engage me in conversation to allay any fears but I was far too busy imagining animal print, nude and even an injection of double denim for them to wear. Even if they stuck with all the necessary uniform , the headgear could go fashion. Personally I'd want a Pucci headscarf rather than the paper shower cap number despite the hygiene issues. To my eternal shame I thought this would be an improvement.

With the operation under way, one of the team hit the music button and despite Holby City and Ian McEwan giving us dramatic consultants who choose their classical music to assist them during the op with the music creating a crescendo to their surgical brilliance, I was treated to a random selection of film scores.

Moi: The music is film scores
Consultant: Is it? Right we're just starting.
Moi: Yes this is from The Way We Were with Barbara Streisand and Robert Redford.
Quiet for a few minutes. My left arm is encased by something which is blown up to stop the blood flow.
Consultant: Ok, it is out now
A few more moments silence whilst proper work matters going on.
Moi: You'll all recognise this one!
Consultant: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly?
Moi: Correct, directed by Serio Leone and music by Ennio Morricone.

Thankfully I stopped at this point as I had begun to feel slightly done in. More proper medical stuff is conducted and then I sit up, alight off theatre bed into waiting wheel chair.

Moi: So how big was it?
Consultant: Oh yes I forgot to show you (I actually am glad I didn't see it!). It was the size of a small grape.
Moi: What! That's hideous!
Consultant: Yes is was bigger than I thought. But it is a pearl ganglion so it moves and hides a bit.
Moi: Did you not thing it was slightly freakish?
Consultant: No (laughing) it looks like a pearl.
Moi: Seriously I would have thought what a freak with a lump the size of a small grape .

I was given some more medical spiel and advice on post op matter regarding care of hand then wheeled back to me room. I spent a while recovering which meant having coffee and biscuits and slightly regretting not selecting a sandwich, as I was surprisingly peckish. I settled down to watching Countdown which I haven't seen in years. The young whipper snapper who's the new Carol Vauderman was either wearing Miu Miu or a Miu Miu-esque swallow print dress. It was very short I thought for Countdown. And exactly what place does Miu Miu have on a Channel 4 show in the afternoon watched by students, retired people and the hospital bound.

Soon afterwards I was released from my fashion rage and pondering back out into the world with a sling. Slings are not a micro trend.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Jumpsuit exposure

Gosh, blimey it is a chore to be posting and not because blogging is hard work but on Thursday I had a minor hand operation. I blame it on years of styling and holding hangars etc. but more of that another time when I can properly type two handed. So all of you who are thinking that Make Do Style hasn't commented on my blog, responded to a comment, I'm not fudging or slacking or entering the world of my blog is too big/I'm too busy to comment on yours - frankly I've got a poorly left hand.

It is getting better and to all of those I scared in Selfridges on Friday with my black gloved one hand, I apologise. Okay a few of you were worried it was a new trend... and the rest thought poor person with her prosthetic hand.

Anyway yesterday I had a hard days work at a fashion event and I wore the jumpsuit and before I disembarked into civvies (read pyjamas) I took some photos but obviously my one handed effort managed to mess up the camera and turn the normal mode into some weird fuzzy mode - so here I am (wounded) but in a jumpsuit!

jumpsuit: Topshop (S/S10)
belt: Reiss (A/W09)
wedges: Studio TLS (S/S09)

Saturday, 24 April 2010

High Street Pick of the Week

You'd never guess from the image that this chunky little knit would release the inner Alexa Chung in you. It's a serious contender for a faux Chanel. You know the drill, team with pretty skirt, a tee and some clogs/brogues...

Friday, 23 April 2010

Style crush

One of my favourite films is West Side Story (1961). I often write about it or mention it or sing a few numbers from it because it is such a great film and yes I cry buckets every time at the end. When I was at university it was on the big screen at the arty Cinema City and my friends and I had to wait until the auditorium empty so our blubbery noses and red eyes were slightly reduced before exiting holding each other up.

I tried to get some good images but it is hard so I could share my style crush Natalie Wood.

To get a good look at the screen and off screen shots click here. Better still get it on dvd and curl up for a perfect film evening, just don't forget to have tissues handy.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Summer Fall

I know the sun has suddenly started to seriously shine and the planes are back in the sky again so all holiday options look a sure bet...but I'm not really hearting any of the summer looks. I often wonder if one gets season fatigue due to working in fashion and being over something before it's happened. I'm sure I'll be embracing my summer soul in a day or two but today I've got Autumn/Winter (Fall) wander lust.

These two images from the Prada Fall 2010 collection say transitional and now to me. Do they speak to you too?


Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Back in time...

I was sent these pics the other day by Lucas Kroulik a MA Photography student of the MA FAshion & Film showcase evening at LCF in February, where my short film was premiered and we had a panel discussion with Coco's Tea Party and Melanie Rickey of Grazia, plus Pamela Church Gibson LCF and Tamar Jeffers McDonald of the University of Kent, who has a forthcoming book out called Hollywood Catwalk

Moi, caught multitasking with phone balanced on shoulder and ear rammed next to it,
plus putting out business cards! Hardly an elegant pose - ah well.

l to r Ella (Coco's Tea Party), Tamar Jeffers McDonald,
Pamela Church Gibson & Melanie Rickey

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

How many clothes do you need?

I'm back to thinking about the perfect wardrobe, those 100 pieces (max) that make you stylish and never have you reaching for the style panic button. Do you believe there is such a thing as the perfect wardrobe? In your world what would this contain?

UPDATE: I meant to link to Nina Garcia's 2008 book The One Hundred This is a great starting point to agree or disagree and adapt your wardrobe for your own personal style.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Like buses three come along at once...

...yep I fell in Zara and Topshop and purchased a few things! The good point is two of the clothes I bought were spur of the moment. My new wonderful Helmut Lang trousers sent by Queen Marie excited me so much I felt inspired. So when I went out to get some food and necessary sundries I sort of popped into you do and spied a great skirt which is very Celine like but falls outside of the leather homage going on everywhere.

It's a gorgeous colour and a great fit and length. Not too short and semi A-line which looks and feels super. I can carry it on for next season too. It was a good price as well at £39.99.

Then I thought oh well a quick look in Topshop - can't hurt. Not Oxford Circus so I had the joy of flicking through the 'get it before it goes/last chance' rail. And of course I found a wonderful top.

Peachy perfect. Great detail, a lovely blush colour with enough of a pink/apricot hue to make it current and look super stylish in a 1930s vintage way.

The back is the modern twist with the obvious gold zip detail. The left sleeve has a slight imperfection on the sleeve. The stitching on the zipper seam is bunch in one bit. Therefore I got 10% off. I won't pay full retail price if there is any imperfection. The top looks wonderful with skirts, trousers and jeans.

Then on Friday I was working and I got a jumpsuit which I'd decided was a necessary item for work from Topshop Oxford Circus. I was lucky as it was no longer an item on the shop floor and but there were a few in the store room. When I first spied it I was on the no fritter challenge so didn't buy. Also I got it as part of my work so technically it was free! I wore it for work on Saturday and it was wonderful. Often I need to be hands on and my jumpsuit was stylish but gave me freedom to move. I love it.

I definitely appreciate my purchases more for not having bought anything since November 2009. I'm more picky and the item has to add something great to my wardrobe. I feel these pieces will be worn and worn until they fall off me. I was too tired to pose and prance over the weekend what with work and gardening! Don't laugh I've got peas, beans, spinach, raspberries, potatoes and strawberries plus chilli's on the go. My toil ruined my Chanel nail varnish though.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

If the Volcanic dust cloud was a coat

Then it would probably be this one from Alberta Ferretti's Fall 2010 Ready to Wear

It has the shimmer of thousands of glass particles in an ash like colour!

Saturday, 17 April 2010

High Street Pick of the Week

Mint Velvet is a new brand that is making a bit of a stir amongst stylists. It is just a great range for some really great not too expensive grown up pieces. Mmm must think of a word to encapsulate all of that! The range is available in House of Fraser and Bentalls.

I think the dress adds lots of swish and glamour at a great price. It's a lot brighter than this picture. It also doesn't say mumsy or Boden. Good enough for me.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Oh to be Grace

Looking picture perfect in To Catch a Thief Grace Kelly is wearing my favourite style of sunglasses. Only wish I had a pair to wear tomorrow to the V&A exhibition.

The nearest available style is the Prada Postcard collection all priced £160. I actually like the Ivory Sixties style ones at £190 as well!

Prada sunglasses

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Helmet Lang part deux

Knowing I did no justice to the Helmet Lang trousers/pants I quickly snapped my outfit yesterday as I rushed off for an appointment. I wore the gifted Helmut Lang's from Queen Marie with a Topshop pale pink silk short sleeve blouse (last summer purchase), Russell & Bromley wedges (2008 purchase) with large pearl earrings, hair in side bun and threw on my Wallis gold dress coat (2003 purchase altered) at last minute as slightly cooler today. In essence I'm very heavily influenced by Mad Men as I caught up on all the missed episodes before last one this week. I love Mad Men.

And then I went to the gym later to attempt to reduce the protruding pot belly the lovely trousers keep highlighting!

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Ye gods, long live the Queen

Queen Marie that is and the Kingdom of Style. Truly I am humbled by a royal gift. The very generous and lovely Queen Marie aware that one of her loyal subjects had been lusting after the perfect pair of cigarette pants bestowed upon me a pair of Helmut Lang cigarette pants that had lain neglected in the royal chest. It was mainly in recognition for my services to economic duties of the no frittering kind.

Given the joy when the dashing knight delivered them to my door (ok it was only the postie and dashing he is not but it is the Royal Mail) I had to try immediately. The pictures are raw, no posing no style. Off came the denim skirt and leggings, I'd just taken the petit garcon swimming and on went the Helmut Lang trousers. At last a pair of pants that fit in the nape of the back and don't gape around the backside. The lesson I draw from this is you pay for what you get. You however are subjected to a view of my flesh as I hastily raise my grey American Apparel sweatshirt up to show the lovely unfinished (how on trend!) white silk that overlays the waistband. I did have to roll them up too.

The next royal mission is for Queen Michelle to get Sister Wolf into a pair of leather shorts. The Kingdom of Style are truly the A Team.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

In a magazine but not in store?

The most annoying aspect of styling is not just your pecking order but the research for key pieces. Most of you will have experienced the spying of an item in a magazine or a newspaper and lo and behold the item is not in store.

The store doesn't know what you are talking about even if they have a look book to reference and it always turn out the product isn't due to be dropped into store until the 3 or 4th drop in the season cycles.

One of the reasons Topshop and Zara are so successful is the product is in store 9 times out of 10 the moment it appears in editorial. H&M undertake campaigns to specific designer collaborations and new collections like the Garden Collection, so editorial indicates clear availability dates.

However, there are still retailers who don't get the timing right. They are happy to promote a garment heavily in editorial and then it takes months to come into store. Very frustrating and a disappointing experience for shoppers and stylists alike.

And that is why Rachel of Borth you never did get that M&S dress you so coveted and I have now lost the will to get it as I'm not important enough (coughs).

Monday, 12 April 2010

Willing Stylist

I quite like the challenge of working with budding professionals and yesterday I was hauled over to Bethnal Green to assist a part time photographer and an ex ballet dancer from the English National Ballet build their portfolios. There is a freedom when there is no brief and I can create a look from whatever springs to mind. I persuaded the photographer to send me one image over. I'll share the others when I get them. My main obsession at the moment is head scarves and turbans - I'll probably wear this ensemble to the Sex and the City Movie numero 2 with WendyB's Cleopatra earrings!

But my favourite photos of the day were the spur of the moment ones when we stopped the lovely Liz in her gorgeous two seater with her Breton top, red scarf and those retro ray bans - the perfect poser!

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Caved in

Just got back from photo shoot and watched the new SATC2 trailer here. I said I wouldn't fall for it again but just one trailer and I'll be in the cinema on May 28th no probs!

And big shout out to WendyB as her earrings feature on Samantha in the trailer! I'm tempted to buy a pair to wear to the film with a maxi dress and turban.

Max Mara Voucher

A £100 of Max Mara voucher if you spend over £200 in the Wimbledon or Richmond shops is available to anyone who thinks they might have a splurge before 30th of April 2010.

I won't be, but couldn't bare to think of it going to waste. Just leave a comment if you or a friend or family member can put it to use in South West London. I'll post it to you pronto.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

High Street Pick of the Week

We've gone from blistering biting cold to almost a heatwave! It has been a delightful couple of sunny days and suddenly that mac seems pointless. However this number from French Connection is a winner on the colour front. Truly the colour is wonderful and will lift any one's spirits in the same way that sunshine does.

The only maybe factor is the buttons but these are easily changed next year and the year after. It will rain again so maybe there is a need for it after all.

French Connection Mister Magic Coat (silly name!) £160.