Thursday, December 31, 2009

happy new year!


one little teeny tiny post before 2009 bows out.
and while I get ready to hit town.
boohoo, it was a good year, a much better friend to me than some of the other double Os.
and bloody hell, I feel like I've grown a lot too.
so, to all of you, A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR my lovelies!
have a splendid night whatever you do and most of all enjoy it without ridiculous expectations.

I'd also like to send new years vibes and cuddles to my dearest
abby. christmas has been mad and it's been hard to find the time to catch up with her, so darling, have a fantastic one whatever you're doing. champagne in the bath again, perhaps? here's to 2010, I haven't told you this yet, but this time in around 3 months, I think I'll be by your side!

and now a little something for the rest of you, some wise words, these were from my chinese fortune cookie last New Years and I've had it blutacked to my bathroom wall since so I may mull it through my head while I brush my teeth: 'don't give up. don't lose hope. don't sell out.'


Monday, December 28, 2009

up north

i'm going to be spending a couple of days in the lakes with my dad and his dysfunctional side of the family. this should be interesting...

rather looking forward to the train journey up though; 5 hours of eating sandwiches parcels (turkey, gherkin and mayo, undefeated best combination), listening to the mix cds I received for christmas, finishing my book and starting the next one and watching the countryside whiz by.

back in a couple of days!


'Holiday' - Toni Garrn, Vogue Germany, January 2010'Holiday' - Toni Garrn, Vogue Germany, January 2010'Holiday' - Toni Garrn, Vogue Germany, January 2010'Holiday' - Toni Garrn, Vogue Germany, January 2010'Holiday' - Toni Garrn, Vogue Germany, January 2010'Holiday' - Toni Garrn, Vogue Germany, January 2010

i think lara stone has competition in the brigitte bardot lookalike stakes..
toni garn as the kitten in germany vogue jan 2010




julianne moore in robert altman's 'shortcuts'

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

advent season: day twenty two: admitting defeat

I think it's high time I admit that this years 'advent calendar' didn't quite go according to plan.
yes, working a stupid amount (topshop is exceedingly busy over christmas, don't you know) combined with bro daycare has taken it's toll and as a result all of those fabulous seasonal posts I had on my mind didn't quite come to fruition.

ever wish you had a hermione granger style multitasking machine? my to-do lists are never completed, no matter how hard I try! I know everybody is in the same boat, things get mad in the run up to christmas so this post is partly me talking aloud to myself and partly a reminder to all of you that people work themselves too hard these days. we can't do everything, so put some things on the backburner this christmas and give yourself a chance to really relax. properly relax-turn off the computer. sit, lie, think, clear your brain, stop stimulating it.
lecture over.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

advent season: day nineteen: velvet dress


So a few weeks back I found this velvet dress in one of my local charity shops.
It was floor length, but after a couple of snips and rounds at the sewing machine from my lovely Granny I now possess a matching minidress and skirt.

Working at Topshop I am accustomed to seeing body conscious Velvet dresses on a daily basis, and I've been kind of over the whole super-tight-super-sexy velvet look look, but the loose fit of this one is so very cosy and I like that it is quite Cranberries-esque in that simple, slightly baggy way. It's a great go-to outfit during this cold weather when paired with 120 denier tights (brr!) and a slouchy cardigan.

Friday, December 18, 2009

advent season: day eighteen: christmas do

here are some snaps from the Topshop Christmas Do a couple of weeks back.
I have to say, this party had nothing on last year's.
drama was restricted- no throwing of flower pots, no boss passed out on the sofa and being ever so elegantly carried out at the end (oh dear..)
I bowed out pretty early on and felt smug to be all curled up in bed just after midnight.
I hear that I missed the conga and some tears from one of the managers though.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

advent season: day seventeen: ink


i've never had myself down as much of a tattoo kind of person. I was always of the view that if something was important enough you shouldn't need it tattooed to your skin as a way of proving it's significance because it was part of you anyway. And I considered how tattoos must 'date'-how could you be sure that you wouldn't feel the same way about a tattoo as a haircut from ten years ago; that you loved the style so much at the time but in hindsight dislike the aesthetic? however, of late these little thoughts have become less important and I've been thinking about tattoos. nothing serious, but they've certainly been on my brain. one of my best friends is really into them and has religious iconography planned for her arms. she's also just settled on some Hole lyrics to have inked onto her as she's just split from her long term boyfriend. here are some of the tattoos that tickle my fancy. all small and minimal as the armful of ink look isn't very me. a simple line drawing of a deer, maybe an initial behind the ear or the nape of the neck, perhaps three words across the inside of the arm.

i've been fantasising with the idea of getting something teeny tiny inked onto me when I go to america next year. something on the road to signify an important year maybe.

when it comes to tattoos, what are your views?


advent season: day sixteen: girl crushes of 2009


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

advent season: day fifteen: girl crushes of 2009

To me, 2009 was the year of the ordinary girl.

Call it what you will; a backlash against celebrity, a craving for humbler icons and a more back to basics approach, or simply the power of the internet turning the attention onto the everyday woman. The point is, this year was for me less about aspiring to look like an Olsen and more about wanting a simpler and more rewarding lifestyle. The rise of photo blogs has had us interested in interiors; organic portraits of the way people really live trumping over-styled editorials.

Candid photographs sprung up across the internet documenting groups of friends and their everyday style, able to remind us of the beauty of minimal make up and jeans and tees as well as a classic vintage party dress.

In an age where magazines are dictated by their advertisers, blogs (from personal style to street style) have posed a refreshing alternative, and with that individual style has stepped back into the spotlight. As a result, this year my list of 'style inspirers' has grown, with women who, without blogs would never have made it onto my radar. By no means are they all penniless creatives- some are OSCAR winners- but they are all stylish women who come from a range of backgrounds, financial situations and all in all build a realistic image of the different types of women of the world.

So these are the women that have inspired me this year, and in some way have influenced my style (be it sense of style or lifestyle) in their own varying ways.

stay tuned for more girl crushes of 2009..

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

advent season: day nine: christmas mixtape

lynsey de paul-sugar me
drugrug- for the rest of your life
jefferson airplane-today
darwin deez-deep sea divers
elton john-benny and the jets
the do-the bridge is broken
the dears- 22: the death of all romance
david bowie-kooks
jefferson airplane-white rabbit

Sometimes I dismiss mix CDs as cliched and pretentious.
But then I give in and embrace the connotations of music snobs, think of High Fidelity, and how much I enjoyed the scene with John Cusack explaining the art of the mixtape. I remember all of the bands and tracks I've come to love after an introduction through a mix. NWA, The Pixies, Elliot Smith, Sebastien Tellier, April March; what if you had never made it onto the playlists my friends so lovingly burnt and passed on? The carefully hand illustrated covers would still lay in a stack in my room but the tracks that turned out to be my favourites would have floated around a musical abyss, unknown until discovery.

I may break the dry spell and make a few mixes again this Christmas and these are some of the tracks I'll be popping on there.

Which tracks are your mixtape essentials?

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

advent season: day eight: wishlist morality

Working at Topshop, I am, quite naturally exposed to a fairshare of materialism. This is not to say this is something only encountered whilst working in retail, or even to try to pretend I am an anti-capitalism saint (I have a fashion blog afterall..) but at this time of year, with the christmas rush, the demanding nature of people's material needs is increasingly apparent and well, all a bit distasteful.

I've lost count of the amount of flustered mothers and boyfriends I have tended to over the past fortnight. They are armed with wishlists and flailing their shaky hands with a fear of giving gifts that have not been previously specified as wanted. I can identify with that sense of hopelessness during present shopping, the task swamped by cluelessness when facing the idea of buying for a tricky family member. However, hearing resigned Fathers sigh 'these days she just tells me what she wants.. at least then I know she'll be happy..' is all rather heartbreaking and quite frankly tiresome. I hate to come over all Scrooge, but what does this Father's statement (and I've heard numerous identical echoes) say about my generation? That hoards of little Princesses are being bred with a sense of entitlement to receive perfect christmas presents exactly as they wish, is the impression I'm under.

Of course, I know relatives like suggestions to ease the burden of shopping, but when did giving a gift to somebody you love have to be a burden? Any other time of the year it would be both a pleasure to give and receive a little token out of the blue. A little 'I thought this and thought of you, but hey, no worries If you don't like it' gift. This is an era clouded by environmental and financial issues; we're producing more than we need, creating hair-raising amounts of waste and being swept away by the 'instant gratification' ideology. It is with this in mind, combined with the daily sprinkling of the word 'recession' across our newspapers that this mindset seems particularly unsettling.
Can't we look back to bygone eras (I know, nostalgia in such situations can seem cliched and romanticised..but..) and adopt that spirit of quality over quantity? Perhaps a thick paperback and a modest slab of chocolate for christmas time reading and rustling over a stack of shiny new electronic goods (which come with financial heartburn come January..)

When my friends hear that myself and my parents will be exchanging just one book and one food/drink related piece this year, they indeed call me Scrooge in jest and I hate to think I sound self righteous, but why can't this be enough? Less can be more, the element of surprise is refreshing, and most of us live surrounded by enough accumulated clutter. The worse case scenario is that you get lumped with a couple of gifts that aren't your cup of tea. I really can't see that this is true hardship.

Now, this isn't meant to be a rant, though I suppose it is a bit of a vent. I am interested to know your attitudes. I used to write wishlists when I was younger, but since the age of 16 I've been encouraged to buy my own gifts and receive the same amount as the 'adults'. Perhaps you feel differently and can stand up for your traditions or I've overlooked something. Either way, do have a gabber in the comments box!

an apology..

A lump of coal.
A bit stonking lump of coal, heavy and bland with not even the faintest of pretty glittery sparkle to it's surface. That is all I shall be receiving this Christmas because of my appalling lack of posting over the past few days.

All that I really have to say to justify my actions is that, well, I've been busy.

This weekend I went with one of my best friends, Emily to the christmas party of a magazine which consisted of much merryment including a barbershop quartet that bellowed and sing song-ed their way through tunes with lots of witty rhyming and seasonal ineundos.

And halfway through the night just after commenting on a couple of girls across the room and a passing remark of 'ah, emily, they look like us in a parallel universe!' the said emily-lookalike came up to me and said she recognised me from the blog. Me and Emily sort of spluttered our wine in wonderment, the two lovelies joined us and well, by the end of the evening we were all jolly good friends.
I went back to their flat, and really, think I must go back and take photographs for you all. It was the real-life equivalent of scrolling through a particularly rewarding tumblr page filled with marvellous interiors pictures. Really, I cannot quite describe my reaction when I walked in and was greeted not only by a rail of furs but also a victorian beach changing tent and walls full of ornate framed portraits of anonymous women. These two ladies (Sophie and Sophie) shall surely have to be making an appearance on the blog sometime soon.

Now, after all the commotion I shall resume with the Advent blogging. I've run away to my lovely Granny's flat for a few days while she is away in Morocco as I'm really craving my own space (sorry parents, but I've well and truly arrived at that wanting to move out stage..) and her backdrop of quashy floral sofas, expansive book collection (a comprehensive journey through classic literature to dotty sciencey-new-age bibles..) and enough DVDs to make a film geek foam at the mouth. Throw in lots of teas, herbal remedies and the familiarity of a Grandparent's house and I'm beginning to think 'sod university' and consider staying here forever..

Friday, December 04, 2009

advent season: day three: christmas morning style

knitted shorts!? can it be so? since those chunky woolen versions at chloe made their way down the runway in february, I've been waiting for something similar to hit the high street. uniqlo is the answerer or prayers with these adorable little numbers. they come in fourteen different colours, though wine and dark grey are my personal favourites. come christmas morning I'll be mixing and matching with a little silky pyjama top ala this or this from topshop whilst I tucked into a full breakfast spread and a couple of presents. lovely..

ps, and you know the little shorts have elasticated waistbands. because we were all wondering..

Thursday, December 03, 2009

the dungaree quest


I've been in want of a pair of overalls for some time now. A little pair of short dungarees with french flavour. Khaki, demin, sky blue, red, off white, I'm not fussed.

This forest green overall dress is as close as I've gotten so far. It's cord and has a lovely big pocket, highly practical and a little unflattering in a sort of guilty pleasure way. A pouch in that area just below your belly button that is self consciously sucked in on other occasions, but when stuffed with old tissues and a couple of pens is sturdy and comforting.

However, the quest continues for the right pair of dungarees.

To be worn with a little cotton tee shirt, or a simple long tee, maybe printed with leopard spots or breton stripes. Gallic flair and carelessness, a non descript hairstyle, perhaps a ponytail or bun tied in a rush with paintflecked fingers. To be thrown on with tights and trusty brogues, riding around the city on the bike, running errands, collecting gifts for friends and ingredients for that bike salad you're already concocting in your head.

advent season: day three: gifts for the guys

present buying for boys will remain one of life's mysteries. just as we may never know what exactly martin margiela looks like or whether the big bang was behind the creation of the earth (okay, okay, it pretty much was..) I am of the opinion that boys shall never cease to be so carefree and so laidback and downright tricky when it comes to present buying. I gawp at the thought of how I can continue to come up with original gift ideas for my Father for the foreseeable future (especially when they're met with a shrug and 'thanks, though you really needn't have..') Alas, I have wracked my brain and these are the fruits of my labour, a hearty american chocolate bar, a graphic tee shirt, a book of poetry by bukowski and a prickly little cactus to match (in my experience) their prickly present receiving disposition.


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

advent season: day two: stocking fillers

It's easy to get yourself in a bit of a tizzy when it comes to present shopping. I say avoid panic buying novelty socks and bath salts and have a little fun with it, even if your budget it meager. How about japanese candy, a book of WH Auden poetry, a 'grow your own crystals' magic garden kit, some pretty stationary, a paris themed silk scarf?..

pink bra
from monki, magic garden kit from amazon, japanese candy (kasugai lychee gummy) from cybercandy, rhodia stationary from, faded flag print scarf from topshop, brooklyn tote bag from maptotes, wristwatch from amazon, bunny ears headband from topshop, wh auden book from amazon, stacked animal rings from asos

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

advent season: day one
image, tabitha gwyn osler

Ah, December is upon us. Let the festivities begin; watch as your diary fills with seasonal get togethers -friends frantically meeting up before the new decade is upon us, ladle up some mulled wine, root around for that Christmas hits CD and sigh at the familiarity of 'War is Over' and 'Fairytale in New York'. Also in keeping with tradition, I'll be posting those annual Discotheque Confusion Advent posts.

Some of you will know what to expect from the past few Christmases (remember the
'Paris Vogue Nativity Scene' from last year?..) but if this is your first blogging Christmas be sure to keep your eyes peeled each day for slices of seasonal posting (and of course usual posting shall also resume, so all in all it'll be quite a busy month!)

To kick of the festivities is a cover of Carol of The Bells by The Bird and The Bee..