Monday, 28 June 2010
One of Mrs MDS's all time favourite films is Summer Madness or Summertime (1955) starring Katharine Hepburn and directed by David Lean. Set in Venice it is a tale of a lonely American woman finding romance. Summertime was the original title of the film and remains so in the UK but Summer Madness became the US release title. However, there was no madness involved merely a beautiful setting and fabulous clothes.
Anyway, Mrs MDS is off to Venice for her hols en famille. Keep your fingers crossed she can lose them all for 5 mins to replicate Katharine Hepburn for a moment!
Saturday, 26 June 2010
Friday, 25 June 2010
I'm no fan of matching anything but this was magnificent. I'm actually no fan of royalty either but the Queen's appearance signified a moment of dignity in the midst of the Lib/Con austerity fest which is beginning to grate. It seems their view of austerity is to deprive women of any benefits and curb their lifestyle. So much for the Liberals. The Tory view of women in the home baking jam in jolly spirits and sacrificing nice clothes for the good of the children is at the fore. For some reason the Queen seemed to be showing off and giving us hope. Perhaps she was saying wear your clothes loud and proud. Have nice skin, slap the makeup on and ignore that Osbourne, waste the housekeeping on gin and lipstick. I do hope so - she can become a beacon for womankind against losing the child benefit to spend on The Outnet or god forbid essentials.
All images of her Majesty off the big screen at Wimbledon.
Wednesday, 23 June 2010
Project 100 helps to give you a basis to make those decisions and today is all about tops.Often the icing on the cake - a top needs to balance or accentuate a look, depending on the image to be created. A top will make or break a look. I've selected tops on the basis of capsule, adding drama and detail.
All examples are, just that, examples. I often select designer to show cut and design (and they are better images). These influence the high street and you can always source a similar item within your budget. You'll always find the equivalent in my Saturday' High St Pick of the Week post.
1. The White Shirt - you knew I was going to say this! I know I couldn't survive without one but for some of you, you will have a basic that is your white shirt. When I say white shirt I do imagine some detail whether it is the quality of the cotton, the collar or cuff or that it is all lace. I found the perfect white shirt dress in TK Maxx last week for £39.99 - a DKNY jeans number I intend to wear it to a book launch.
2. The t-shirt - there has to be one. Mine is a grey Top Gun t-shirt. I love it. It says Maverick on the back. For one of my friends it is her Clash t-shirt and another has the most beaten up t-shirt from Greece that looks wonderful because she wears it with attitude. Don't go all Balmain on me with a designer number get something that means something to you.
3. The going out top for jeans - you know the score something sparkly, you need sparkle in the night lights.
4. The easy breezy day top for jeans - I miss watching Americas Next Top Model. I used to be a firm follower but as with anything formulaic you drop it at some point. My favourite task was the Cover Girl commercial when they had to say 'easy breezy' oh the tears! This top is a great example of an easy top to throw on for no effort styling.
5. The Jumper & 6. The Cardigan - do I really have to give an explanation? Useful, necessary and not exciting. These two items will hardly light up your fashion credentials but where would you be without them. I always think Coco Chanel, the Duchess of Windsor and Nancy Mitford when I wear such items or even Kate Moss. Attitude and spirit to dress up the basics.
7. The Blouse - a wondrous item that can change an outfit in an instance. I love to use a blouse to make me look either Park Lane Princess or a de-constructed rock chic - bed head hair, skinnies and boots with black nails, heavy eye make up and... a blouse. I like to think of blouses as subversive.
8. The Fab Top - the top you love that is nothing to do with fashion and everything to do with your personality. It is a top you buy and just love. It makes you feel good. If you haven't got one find something that fits the bill.
9. The Waistcoat/Gilet - Sometimes an outfit won't work without a bit extra. It either requires a bit of drapery or some structure. I like both but sometimes the structured waistcoat can harden a look and whilst that works for editorial in real life yo might want to convey a softer image. You can't beat All Saints for a bit of drapery that is more from the Maison Martin Margiela than middle of the road.
10. Striped Sailor Top - Come on did you think there wouldn't be a mention of a stripy top. Think Seberg, Bardot, Gaultier - go and watch Breathless and then nip out and get one.
Tuesday, 22 June 2010
Deepa Gurnani gun Triple Loop Headband £29.00
Deepa Gurnani Chain Embellished Headband £60.
Monday, 21 June 2010
I found some old (old!) photos, this is a taster. Here I am testing out an idea with the fashion director and photographer. The model is probably getting ready whilst I play stand in. This must be about 1987!
Sunday, 20 June 2010
Saturday, 19 June 2010
Friday, 18 June 2010
Lakeland and John Lewis offer reasonable and effective protectors, mainly natural and nice smelling.
Can you believe it, I've been nominated for an award! I'm up for best fashion blog written by a mummy. A mummy! I keep forgetting I'm one when I'm blogging. I think I'm young, free and only cough, ahem...only 21. I think I'm just a stylist when I write this blog, although I do like to include amusing matters at home occasionally as I like to balance the style element with personal stuff ...so mummy I am.
Gurgle.com is a social networking site for new mums to focus on issues including fashion and beauty. I haven't been very gurgle of late more lion roar but gurgle is a lovely baby noise that makes you want to squeeze their fat little cheeks.
If I were going to be a real yummy mummy at the moment then a maxi dress would be my choice even for nappy changing. Get one with a good pattern to disguise you know stuff like bits of sick.
These ones from ASOS are really pretty. ASOS is so easy to order from and return to, that it makes sense to do this rather than parade with baby around shops, when you could be having fun or a playdate.
Thursday, 17 June 2010
I think sales really come into their own if you get an item you really wanted but at the sale price because you waited and stuck immediately. Forward planning is good but risky if you're not quick enough.
Also you could find something unexpected whilst browsing in a store. Bargain!
Or you decide to go for something fabulous, extravagant and indulgent. My money would be on this jacket from my-wardrobe
Wednesday, 16 June 2010
Has it saved any money? I think so. Well apart from basil I have all the herbs I need. My basil growing keeps gong pear shaped. Plenty of rocket means points make prizes and if those strawberries come to fruition then petit garcon will be very happy.
Emotionally being thrifty has changed my view of materialism and also made me more compassionate. When you reconnect with nature (and the Romans - I make spelt bread) you value soil, rain, sunshine and creatures. I love the bees and the worms and I wish the ladybirds would hurry up and come to eat the pesky grubs.
Which leads me on to trope. Trope and hegemony were two favourite words I learnt during my masters degree. Hegemony is quite complex in that it is attributed to power whether political, historical or cultural. I was discussing it in the cultural sense of a dominant presence or ideology.
Hence, and I quote from my dissertation (make a cup of tea/coffee now or find a pillow this is a long unforgiving post).
“This hegemony of the red dress as a motif in Hollywood is an external item attempting to interrogate an internal dialogue or representation of women. It becomes a useful indicator of their ‘authentic’ self or their social standing. It is the fashion theory books which provide further insight into the symbolic nature of the red dress on screen."
"It is the visual spectacle of the red dress upon the screen, a dress which is a complete garment with a bodice and skirt, fitted upon the body, which alerts the audience to a shift in plot. Stephen Gundle and Clino T. Castelli in their examination of the colour red attest that ‘the association of red with vanity and excess means that it can depending on period and context, take on positive and negative meanings at different times.’ (Gundle, and Castelli, 2006:122) So, no surprises that, when you create costumes in red they have particular potency and that the red dress has associated meaning making it a visual trope for the female character."
Trolls and confusion is the answer. A certain blogger namely Sister Wolf suffered a dreadful loss, the death of her son Max. Sister Wolf is infamous for her wonderful writing. She challenges the hegemony of collective acceptance and particularly social matters.
In the UK today we celebrated a report, the longest report ever, into Bloody Sunday that took place in Derry in 1972. 13 males were killed mainly teenagers and Eamonn McCann an Irish journalist campaigned long and hard to get to the truth and to get justice. All those killed were declared innocent. Would this have happened without constant challenges against the political system and the hegemony of power, probably not.
I've said it before and I'll say it again blogging started as being outside the mainstream. Some blogs have become part of the system. This is clear with many fashion blogs. Blogs which are defined by the press as the best or in their top 100. The invites to shows, magazine features and of course advertising. There is nothing wrong with this at all. But a hierarchy has been created. So the cycle of discourse shifts and those in the mainstream become representative of a hegemony and therefore develop as representing specific things. They can then be examined in respect of antithesis, irony, metaphor or hyperbole to name some literary uses of trope. however with language meaning develops and trope tends to mean a common or over used device. Which is why I examined the red dress moment in Hollywood films.
Back to Sister Wolf, she employs many techniques to examine and challenge - and certain individuals become symbolic and are used as tropes to discuss wider issues. It seems that this is a difficult concept for many to comprehend. When it comes to styling I look for visual expression to create a story or props/locations that will place clothes within a context. However this is limited by the client or defined by the 'house style'. Strictures are in place even in fashion but fashion is 100 times more creative than many jobs as is journalism. There is a culture which creates and encourages thought. Thought, that must keep challenging and shifting views.
I accept for many in their work, Mr MDS is no exception, the rigours of 'professionalism' create more conformity. Some families have more structures and differing ideas of behaviour than others. We all carry views created and defined by others.
In my garden and making my bread I find time to reflect, to remember the fun I've had and to be thankful for living and being alive. When I was doing my 'A' levels my late aunt bagged me work experience with Isabella Blow. My aunt was very glamorous and worked in the Foreign Office and had all sorts of arty friends. Isabella was working at The Sunday Times. It probably wasn't the best work experience in respect of structure. My aunt must have known what to expect because she gave me a wad of money for the week. Isabella had a way of saying 'Would you darling, be a love' which was either followed by a hand wave in a direction so I had to make a guess at to exactly what; or coffee/cigarettes/food was mentioned. Off I duly trotted. She never once offered me money. But she did ply me with advice even though I never asked for any and attempted to ply me with gin, which I did eventually grow fond of.
One of my favourite comments was after a bit of a row she had in my earshot. I must have looked like a scared rabbit because she said "If you don't have enemies you can never have friends." She was chaotic and she was quite bonkers but she was one of the many people who have enriched my life by providing a different perspective.
Sister Wolf takes risks in that she challenges, creates debate but it seems some people confuse this with being obsessive or have no understanding of discourse - using people or things as examples to discuss wider issues. I had to defend her this week because she wrote a typical post in the midst of her grief and some people attacked her. They did not unpick the commentary.
Eamonn McCann is a campaigning journalist, he work with facts - he wanted an outcome, justice for the 13 dead. Due to his focus and against the odds 38 years later he got it
Sister Wolf is a commentator/a columnist, she is provoking and opinionated. Like Julie Birchhill or Marmite you either love it or hate it. Normally disagreement or attacking remarks bounce off her or she gives a response, but currently she is a mother who has lost a son. This is why I defended her against trolls. in the same way I choose thrift over debt I choose to be a friend and if that makes for enemies then mines a G&T hey ho.
Tuesday, 15 June 2010
I think she has a promising career and could go far. I hope she does and I made her promise she'd make Claire and I her favoured stylists. I rarely favour a model but Brooke is fresh and learning so guiding her brings out the best out in me. I hope to use her a lot. Here is a flavour of the shoot.
Brooke has lovely long long legs...
The lovley long gown is a Jasper Garvida loaned by Push PR.
Claire has a great pink wig one of the many favoured props that are an obsession of ours! Don't ask about my prop frenzy for 5 mins that killed a few frames. Sometimes experimentation goes wrong - opps.
Monday, 14 June 2010
I've taken inspiration from That's Not My Age and embraced granny chic in the form of wedge sandals from M&S. Having recently product tested nearly every single shoe in their new range I realised that stomping around London in a 'comfy' pair of wedges that give height but cushion your feet seem like a good idea.
The M&S Footglove range (serious granny credentials) and Autograph have some very Chloe-esque wedges. At £45 it makes economic sense to grab some granny action and not blow the budget. In addition I discovered M&S's own range coconut body butter that is cheaper than the Bodyshop and also there was a 3 for 2 offer on. Then ....finally I broke the knicker drought.
I've made no effort in respect of time or parting with folding to get some much needed new knickers. I cannot begin to admit the disgrace that has been my knicker drawer for the last few years. Once again good old M&S (it feels nice to have the love back for M&S) have lovely well priced cotton pants galore to choose from and so I did. Proper grown up now. Don't read on if you have no patience for someone who shares too much information...
The M&S booty, l to right granny wedges, coconut body butter and new packs of pants.
Close up of the soon to be street pounding wedges. I will wear with my flared jeans or khaki rolled up skinny chinos.
Okay, don't panic they are clean but are evidence of how falling apart I was in the knicker department. I feel like a new women now I've admitted to my underwear failing. I did actually lecturer a lovely model on Saturday on the need of having a flesh thong, brief and boyfit short with her for shoots; while crossing my fingers behind my back in the knowledge that knickers really weren't my forte.
Out! Worn out and being dumped. I will use them as dusters first before I bin them. Thrift before wastage.
Sunday, 13 June 2010
He's got good taste and had selected a Wendy Brandes Little Woolf necklace. I bought this to wear whilst I did my dissertation for my masters. I loved that is inspired by Virginia Woolf and it was a very good talisman as it turns out as in a months time I graduate with a distinction.
I suspect that prior to yesterday no one, not even Patricia Field had thought of a teaming a Spiderman t-shirt with a nice necklace.
After this little gem it went downhill. Rather I went downhill. Mr MDS had invited a posse around to watch the football and had done a sterling job of a barbecue feast. I had to cook some extra items and set about laying tables, presenting things in nice dishes and generally embarked upon hostessing.
This meant I spent the whole time amusing kids, clearing and cleaning dishes. Replenishing beer and before I knew it I'd scoffed more wine than I'd normally do. Be aware this is not a problem until one thinks that turning on your laptop at 11pm is a good idea and oh, going on twitter is an even better idea. I somehow thought I could resolve troops in Afganistan and the BP crisis in one go with my well researched opinions. Research conducted via the Metro and radio news does not make for well informed person. And drink is certainly is no friend to intellect! I've banned myself from wine and twitter.
Friday, 11 June 2010
Day 4 of capsule wardrobe outfit is ASOS jumpsuit, Zara flats, Jigsaw belt, Hussain Chalayan tank worn under jumpsuit, Topshop necklace and Chanel sunglasses.
The event went really well and all the women who came from all ages were lovely. Having abandoned my attempt to get the women of the UK to feel the Fashion Force on jumpsuits, I set about underwear as outerwear. I've completely sold the maxi dress to one and all but I still want more risk taking. However the underwear as outerwear was another Fashion Force special that met with slight horror, sweaty foreheads and made for much sucking in of stomachs.
Day 4 capsule wardrobe evening wear for event. Topshop jumpsuit, Pierre Hardy for Gap shoes, Reiss belt and I threw on a grey kimono Topshop item from my clothes rail when I realised I had tan marks on my back from swimming outdoors.