Friday, March 30, 2012


1. Anastasia Barbieri's checked suit. 2. Teeth from the Time Magazine archive. (I particularly like the photos description- "Closeup of large, straight, white teeth in mouths of a teenage girl who is a twin.") Taken by Fritz Goro in 1944. 3. Caterina Ravaglia by Manuela Pavesi in Grey Magazine SS12. 4. Chloe Sevigny in the Lizzie Borden Guest House. 5. David Bowie reading in an airport. 6. Photograph from the 'At Home in Brooklyn' series by Dinanda H. Nooney who documented 200 families and their houses in Brooklyn in the 1970s. 7. Photograph of a YMCA bedroom in Washington D.C in 1933 from the Portraits of a City archive.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

thursday jukebox

I've been listening to these two songs, among others, on Spotify a lot recently. But these live performances are a million times better. From the flawlessly cool Gil Scott Heron singing Is That Jazz? to Joe Tex's strangely costumed back-up dancers. (Who may or may not have influenced Kylie..)

fresh catch

Some of the photographs I took while in Jamaica, I'm rather pleased with how they came out. Having said that, there's nothing like freshly caught King fish and clear blue seas to make a photograph instantly appealing. Hey scenery!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Today's outfit: Top, Uniqlo. Skirt, H&M x Versace. Trainers, Nike Dual Fusion st2. Coat, Berghaus. 

So much for the caribbean splendor, back in Amherst, the temperature is flirting around the freezing line. Out comes the puffa again. 

post-holiday mentality

Hullo thur. I'm back from a bloody lovely week in Jamaica. I felt I really needed a week away to sort my head out and shake my habit of leaving college deadlines to the last minute and then disproportionately stressing myself out as a result. It was very satisfying to get into a good routine of bedtimes before midnight and then getting up for an early morning swim followed by a breakfast of ackee and saltfish and a day either exploring the St Elizabeth parish in the white Toyota we rented, or otherwise staying on the beach with Red Stripe and a book. 

I crave for routine in my everyday life-a structure that is nicely disciplined but not consuming. But I always find it is something much easier said than done and difficult to stick to. It's probably why I'm always interested in other people's routines; at which time of the day do they find it easiest to work, what do they eat or breakfast and do coffee breaks feel quite so vital when you've had over 8 hours of sleep the previous night? Ah, there is nothing like a relaxing holiday to induce new-season healthy lifestyle assessments. But it's all about erring on the right side of realistic and not coming back from holiday with an unattainable romance. After all, there ain't no clear blue sea for swimming in Western Massachusetts.

Now I'm back in Amherst there are however a couple of resolutions that I've set myself. I'm sticking to the bed before midnight resolution (so far, so good) and also trying to limit my laptop usage. I'm even dabbling with implementing a laptop-free day, a suggestion my Mum made a while ago (do other blogger's Mothers dare voice such advice?) Still, as someone who is permanently within arms reach of my laptop I think it might be healthy to give it a go. All 3 of us away in Jamaica turned off our phones and stayed away from the internet for the week. Only a week, a week is nothing, but it felt significant. And that a week should feel significant doesn't seem quite right in the big scheme of things. 

All food for thought. Are any of you lot having Spring lifestyle reassessments? I say this also with Ally's recent post in mind. She has cut sugar out of her diet and started a fantastic food blog chronicling all of the new meals she has been cooking. Ally's blog Through A Glass Darkly really is one of my favourites, it has been for ages, and she's constantly inspiring me both aesthetically and in terms of lifestyle philosophies. I will also have a lot of respect for people who cut sugar from their diets, it's a bloody tough one. Onwards and upwards, I hope you've all had a lovely week and I'd love to know what you've been doing/eating/watching/listening to/thinking (from the deep and profound to the premiere of Season 5 of Mad Men..)

Thursday, March 22, 2012


The Queen of the suit; Anastasia Barbieri in i-D Magazine August 2008, Christopher Kane AW12, David Bowie via FuckYeahDavidBowie, pinstripe dudes at a wedding (unknown source), Christopher Kane AW12, the infamous Kate Moss photograph that never escapes my subconscious, Phoebe Philo.

Christopher Kane, he does have a knack for making you crave the things you didn't realise you wanted. After the glories of his school-pencilcase-reminiscent gel clutch bags from last season I'm now giving his pinstripe the eye.

I'm thinking about the black trousers that Phoebe Philo always wears so well and of that Kate Moss adidas suit look (because I probably mention is one every two months, it is one of my all time favourite looks and the time has come to replicate it) I'm thinking of these shapes and Kane's pinstripe combined. I'm thinking of running errands and kicking back and wearing these imaginary pinstripe trousers as their exact image still forms in my head. I'm also thinking of Anastasia Barbieri, editor-in-chief of Vogue Hommes and the Queen of the suit. I tire of magazine editorials always approaching suit trousers from the 'make like Annie Hall, dress like a man! yeah, androgyny!' angle. Why isn't dressing in a pair of suit trousers a womanly thing to do? But Anastasia really has it right and deserves to be mentioned alongside Annie Hall where relaxed smart trousers are concerned. I'm thinking about trainers and tied back hair and pinstripe trousers and all of the pictures above and the right hang and black vs grey. And so that is the start of my mind process.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Some things on my mind: This brilliant use of a college sweater-paired with a white roll neck and a shiny snakeskin skirt by American Vogue's Preetma Singh via Vanessa Jackman, amazing Cheap Monday heels, Jeff Wall's 'Picture For Women' which I saw at the Art, Love and Politics in the 80's exhibition at the Museum of Contemporarty Art in Chicago a couple of weeks ago, Ting Soda, Eleanore of Ytligheter, she who will always be one of my perpetual woman crushes and who has managed to find a gold hairband from H&M (I've been vigorously checking online for so long, does anyone know where to get hold of one?), Chalayan Hussein's incredible silver shoe and matchy trouser combo from the AW12 collection.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Back soon

Spring Break has arrived! I'm so excited to be spending a week in Jamaica and I've made the decision to (whisper it) leave the laptop at home. This is despite the fact I've downloaded series worth of Parks and Recreation after recommendations from friends for watching on the plane. No, instead I shall give myself a chance to properly indulge in holiday reading and disconnect from all things www. for a few days. I've left a few timed posts which will publish (and the cat food is in the cupboard below the sink and here's the spare key, the purple one opens the front door and the gold one is for the back.)
Back soon!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Shifting Funks with Running Trainers

The doom and gloom of the 'I never buy anything new anymore!' sentiment in my last post has been somewhat dispelled after I bought myself a new pair of running shoes. I had a couple of days of feeling really down this week, a combination of being overwhelmed by my workload and missing the security of my friends at home, people I can crawl to and make bad jokes or simply just sit in silence with if I'm not feeling up to conversation. It takes a while to get to that stage with new people and although I've met some really lovely people here there are of course times when you just want to crawl into friend and pull ugly faces with a girlfriend, safe in the knowledge that she'll 'get' you.

So in order to try to shift the funk, I took the money I'd put aside to buy some new trainers with which to 'run' and 'gym' and 'feel better.' I took a bus to 'Hampshire Mall', a shopping centre which amazes and depresses me in equal parts because it has a roller disco but also the strangest array of sports memorabilia shops and silent nail salons and lots and lots of mock marble!

I perused the selection in Dick's Sporting Goods (yes) and reached that stage I've often talked about with Theo from Hot and Cool, when you're faced with a display shelf of handsome Nikes and you start by picking out the ones immediately attractive until after a while they all start to look the same and you start to wonder if it even matters whether they're black and yellow or black and purple because they'd probably look equally as great. We've not-so-paraphrased it as 'The more I look at trainers, the less I understand myself as a person' syndrome. Is it the overall look of the trainer with a clean black trouser or a denim dress rather than the unique style of trainer itself? Does the variation between two similar Nike styles make enough of a difference? I know these questions will induce cries of 'sacrilege!' from hardcore trainer fans but they're questions that come to me as I ponder over the waffle soles and tongues in varying shades.

In the end I plumped for a pair of Nike Dual Fusion st2 which weren't too aggressive towards my wallet and a nice combination of shoes that will adequately protect my feet at the gym whilst doubling as some nice trainers to kick about in during the day (after an airing out, of course.)

When I returned home, I popped on my new kicks, trotted to the cinema for a solo viewing of The Artist and then went on a midnight run afterwards, listening to LCD Soundsystem and having a rather wonderful moment which involved running through the streets trying to work out where the train would be passing after hearing it's continued approaching horn. I ended up standing right at the side of the track after running up a grassy verge beside a bridge and watching the headlights grow bigger as the train approached and eventually passed, with the drivers head visible through the open window and the freight carriages clacking along afterwards. I stood there thinking 'well, this wouldn't happen at home' and feeling much better for it, the funk somewhat shifted.

So I suppose the moral of the story, depending on your stance, is when personal funks occur a) throw money at the problem and buy some new trainers. it feels good. b) go for a midnight run and experience a hair-blowing, train-passing, semi-erotic moment of Hollywood-esque nighttime reflection (the erotic part is an exaggeration, I just though the notion of Equus but with a train was funny) or you know, you could go for c) all of the above. Since yesterday afternoon my mood has improved and I've been walking around campus with a literal spring in my step, like Marcus from About A Boy after Hugh Grant has bought him some new trainers and a Mystikal album to listen to on his walkman. Just like that.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mother's Day

This Sunday is Mother's Day in the UK. As I'm not on home soil I've popped my own Mahsy a card in the post but here are some of the goodies I'd buy her if money were no object and if Texan bars were still in production. All in all they're the perfect ingredients for a Sunday. A soothing Eve Lom wake-up call, some coffee poured from a handsome glass Hario server, a wander outside in the sunshine followed by an afternoon with a thick woollen blanket to lay under whilst watching Borgen and eating stilton on toast. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Coat, Urban Outfitters, leopard print top, denim skirt and suede boots all second hand, sunglasses from Topshop, watch from American Apparel.

Oh look, more mid-week chilled out use of leopard print. I'm now starting to appreciate that whenever I moaned at home about having 'no clothes to wear', I was lying. When I packed for America, I managed to keep it pretty minimal in the clothes department and now my lack of variety is driving me slightly crazy. As much as I would love to throw money at clothes, it seems silly to when I could use that money for trips during my time here. Last weekend I went to Chicago to meet up with my friend Nanon (26 hours on a Greyhound from Massachusetts, rururu!) and after Spring Break I'll be visiting a couple of my other best friends who are studying out in California. So I'm hoping that between San Francisco and Santa Cruz I can find some dirt-cheap thrift to supplement what I have at the moment. 

I'd like to say it's liberating having a compact little wardrobe but I think because a lot of what I've been wearing has been on rotation for the past couple of years the novelty of 'clothes liberation' has passed. I wouldn't mind some new clunky black heels to replace the pair which broke last summer, or that awesome matching polka dot sweater and joggers combo from Asos just for the hell of it. Still, this is the quandary of my ever-frugal approach to clothes, I'd usually rather spend my money on traveling while I don't have an income and even though I often end up envying people who have treated themselves to some really nice new pieces, I'm ultimately happy taking this approach, and when summer comes back around and I'm working I can treat myself then. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012



Yes, Emmanuelle! Emmanuelle Alt wearing the very best sort of puffa. Big, squishy and shiny. 
Happy Weekend!

Thursday, March 08, 2012


Some items on my fantasy wishlist.. today I'm in a 'Carrie-Bradshaw-Loud-Summer' sort of mood, which may explain the shocking pink lipstick and amazing parrot patterned Altuzarra shirt. And the 'Do It Better' shirt from Acne which is totally 90's Bradshaw-esque and a little nod to INTERNATIONAL WOMAN'S DAY! 

On a side note,  yesterday in my Women & Politics class my Professor called one of my classmates out on using the word 'girls' instead of 'women.' It made me think about which word I would use to describe myself. I'm almost 21 and yet I realise that I've never called myself a 'woman'. This is partly because I find myself in that in-between stage of life, as a university student who is not yet financially independent, and therefore feel odd about using the word 'adult' to describe myself. And I suppose I aligned 'woman' and 'adult' as two words that don't yet 'apply' to me. But my Professor's comment made me think because 'girl' doesn't feel right either because there is no doubt that 21 constitutes an adult and using any word other than woman implies a certain subconscious lack of confidence in my own self.

There are debates amongst women about the reclamation of the C-word (and whether doing so is actually something that empowers) but it strikes me that Woman, a word that has so much more of an everyday relevance should be used by women in their early twenties without worrying about whether this somehow automatically categorises them as 'a fully capable adult'. God knows I don't feel like a fully capable adult, but that shouldn't diminish the fact that I am also a woman. I have to say, I can't stand my Professor but I'm glad she provided me with this food for though. 


Today I'm keeping it very simple in my trusty heat tech top from Uniqlo and a leopard print skirt I picked up in New York a couple of weeks ago. 'Topped off' with my old suede chelsea boots, denim jacket and transparent cat eye sunglasses. I'm also wearing a ring for which I harbour slight love/hate feelings. I made it completely from scratch at a ring workshop a few weeks ago, so the love mostly stems from feeling proud while the hate stems from the fact that I'm not used to wearing silver jewellery and it only appears to fit on my ring finger. "Silver ring thing!"

The sun has been blazing down for the past couple of days. My favourite part of yesterday was eating my lunch in the midday sunshine-there's a lovely little cafe on campus which serves up lots of delicious vegetarian food with big helpings of kale and tahini, so I like to demolish a pile of greenery and fool myself into thinking that by doing so I'm instantly improving my brain capacity. Kale is a superfood right? So if I eat a pile of kale then I get to work slightly less hard without effecting my output. I'm pretty sure it goes something like that. One of the things I love about Amherst is how sunny it can be. Even when its ferociously cold the sun has a habit of lighting up every corner across campus which makes walking around extra enjoyable, especially walking past the big pond with its hoards of canadian geese, squawking and flirting in the blaze.