Friday, 30 April 2010

The Human Zebra - Sass & Bide Stripe Trousers

When I was in Australia I was most taken with these Sass & Bide Vie trousers. They reminded me of dodgy 1980's graphic muscle man pants, the kind that you see on men of a certain age in places that time forgot. I've always had a perverse love of this style of trouser - comfy, eye catching and if not flattering then at least not harem poo pant bad (not all harem pants are bad, it's just the ones that have the crotch at knee height that make me thing there's a poo in there somewhere, childish, I know). 

Anyway, yesterday I came across a clashing black and white stripe tee and I immediately thought of these trousers. Together they are slouch heaven. 

Top - H&M 
Trousers - Sass & Bide Vie 
Shoes - Bloch 

Smoking Sucks

My brother is about to give up smoking!!!!! 

Tomorrow his wife will lock him in their apartment whilst she goes off to work at Fashion Week in Australia and he will have a week without fags to try and go cold turkey before being let out once again into the real world. 


P.S.  Please note the similarity to Trainspotting. I have seen the state of his toilet sometimes, it might not be that different...

Pet Fashion Hates

On the whole I love fashion. I like the process of dressing up, becoming a character, or at least imbuing yourself with new qualities thanks to a garment or accessories. It's fun. But there are elements that I really dislike...

1) The One-Up-Man-Ship - we've all experienced it, the way women will give one another the glance up and down, assessing outfits, competing to be 'better', whatever 'better' is (thinner, richer, chicer, grungier etc). I especially hate this at fashion events, I really don't know how people in the business deal with it.

2) The Cost - I can understand why some pieces cost the earth, they are literally works of art. But when jeans are priced at £250 I have a hard time swallowing it. I remember once standing in the changing rooms of Barney's trying on very expensive denims when I realised that the fit of my £10 Primark ones were better, and they felt nicer. Even when I subscribed to the glory days of expensive jeans I would still only buy them from T.K.Maxx six months down the line. Now I wear only Uniqlo and Topshop jeans.

3) One shouldered anythings - I don't know why, it makes me feel a bit queasy aesthetically.

4) The Exclusivity - you walk into a shop. The assistants glare at you. Or worse still, ignore you. You are not their kind of customer. When this happens (and boy does it happen, especially in Chanel in my younger days) I walk the f**k out and make a point of blowing my money somewhere else.

Phew. Grumpy today.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Fantasy Shoe Of The Week - Tabitha Simmons

As always, I have bought far too many shoes in the last 7 days (LA Gears & some dusky blue men's brogues from T.K. Maxx and crazy tasselled wedges from Zara). Still, this does not stop me wanting more. Tabitha Simmons' shoes are always gorgeous - but my, are they on the pricey end of town. I would totally buy them if I were married to Bill Gates or Oprah (basically someone rich enough to not notice that these snakeskin works of art cost £1,300!)

Still, if you are Stedman or Melinda and you want to buy these (for yourself or perhaps moi) then Net A Porter is the place to go.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Why Don't You...Customise Your Boots?

Walking along Gertrude Street in Fitzroy, Melbourne, last month I spied these shoes in the window of a vintage shop. 

I think it's a great idea - cutting and turning over old cowboy boots and wrapping mismatched belts around them...I will be taking this as inspiration for old boring boots (perhaps without the cutting - me + leather + craft knives = hospital, usually) very soon. 

Thursday, 22 April 2010

L.A. Gear - the 80's in trainer form

As a child of about 10 the coolest damn trainers IN THE WORLD were L.A. Gear. The late 80's saw the beginning of the trainer craze - when things like Reebok Pumps, Nike Airs and BK Knights were being designed to convince a youth market these items could make you instantly cooler. Basically the more detail you shoved on a trainer the better, and if you couldn't, heck put it on the tag. Mum's tutted that you couldn't buy them in Clarks, and the worst fate was to be sent to school in Dunlop Green Flash (or worse still, black elastic gym shoes from Woolies). 

I can remember memorising the different colourways of L.A. Gear trainers in my Grandma's catalogues where you could get payment plans to pay for them over months (only £1.99 for 48 months! etc). Then one miraculous day I think we found them on sale or perhaps on offer in a non descript sports shop just off the Strand in London. I got a pair (and my friend Simi did too) and we spent hours lacing them as was the fashion with a chequerboard-esque design. 

So, when I walked into Newcastle T.K. Maxx on Tuesday and saw a reissue in my size it was a done deal. Twenty quid to relive my childhood! When I put them on I immediately think of bourbon biscuits, Saved By The Bell, Salt N Pepa and Timmy Mallet. Oh the glory days. 

Saturday, 17 April 2010

The Summer Shoe - 2008 Manolo Blahnik...Heaven

I now own the Manolo Blahnik Marimekko print shoes from Spring / Summer 2008! 

Found today in a second hand designer shop for only £60. I am hobbling around the house in them, because ohmygod, they are high. 

Friday, 16 April 2010

Actual Shoe of the Week - House of Harlow 1960 Beauties

I must take this opportunity to say thank you to Nicole Richie. From unlikely beginnings in the world of fashion (yes, I'm thinking of her on the catwalk some years ago flashing everyone her boobies) she has become something of a credible style icon (if a bit too reliant on the old 70's boho gown) and now designer. 

These boots by House of Harlow 1960 are pretty much perfect. Soft, slouchy and beaded, these details put together add up to a feeling of authenticity without having to trawl vintage markets in the South West of the U.S.A (hard to do in London). They feel like the rightful heirs to my Minnetonka boots. I want to wear them every day, but if someone stands on them or knocks beads off them I may kill, and because of this they are only being worn inside my house at present. 

Koala Happiness

Face it. Koala's are the cutest animal ever. 

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Book of the Moment - The Group by Mary McCarthy

It's funny how sometimes things pass you by. 

The Group is a novel by Mary McCarthy that I recently stumbled upon in a bookshop and snapped up straight away. Just reading the cover, so many women whom I admire or am interested in were waxing lyrical about it (India Knight, Sarah Waters, Hilary Mantel, Candace Bushnell). Set in the 1930's, but published in the 1960's when feminism was really bubbling up in the US, it's one of the seminal feminist novels, apparently (there's a scene in series 3 of Mad Men in which Betty Draper is reading it in the bath). Isn't it funny how once you discover something it seems to be everywhere?

The Group is about a set of friends from Vassar who go out into the world (mostly New York) to marry, start families and build careers, all the while growing to realise just how tough it is to merge ones expectations, desires and dare we say it, 'rights' as a woman (and an educated, well off woman at that) within a society that has very different ideas about what a woman's identity and role should be. 

What is shocking is just how relevant this book feels to me, as a woman living and working almost 80 years after this book was set. Not only that, I'm amazed that no one ever told me about it (a brief chat to friends confirmed my suspicions - we were all ignorant as to it's existence). 

Alexa Chung's Miu Miu Shoes - Fantasy Shoe of the Week

Congrats Miu Miu, you've made the perfect shoe. :) on Twitpic

Because we all want this shoe, don't we? I mean, stuff things like eating, oyster card top up money and paying the massive gas bill from over the winter aside - these will keep your heart warm and your body running.

When Swimming Rocks - The Adelphi Hotel, Melbourne

Whenever I'm in Melbourne I just stay with my brother. But the next time I go, I'm going to HAVE to stay at The Adelphi, with it's glass bottomed roof top swimming pool that overhangs into the street. Awesome. 

Monday, 12 April 2010

The Perfect Summer Short...will soon be mine!

Ever since I saw a picture of Chloe Sevingy wearing a pair of scalloped Chloe shorts early ast year I have been lusting after them. On Net A Porter they cost something crazy like £800, which naturally I was not prepared to, and could not afford to pay. I thought perhaps Topshop might create a knock off, but all summer came and went and none were produced. I gave up. And then I visited The Cherry Blossom Girl just yesterday and lo and behold she was wearing THE shorts. But no! It seems even she cannot drop almost a grand for a pair of shorts...hers were from a company called The Queen's Wardrobe. Reader, I bought them. 

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Purikura Fun in Melbourne

Am I the only one in the world obsessed with Japanese photo booths or 'purikura' (picture club) as I think they're called there?

I just can't get enough of them.

I can't find any in London. There was once a short lived place on Endell Street, but where can you get these done in the UK? If you know please give me a heads up!

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Adventures in Australia - Maldon, Castlemaine and surrounds

On this trip to Australia I finally got to get out to 'The Goldfields' - the cities and towns that sprung up in the wake of the goldrush of the 1850's in the East of Victoria. Initially the only reason for me wanting to go was the prospect of prospecting (not in any seriousness, just for fun), but as I read about the area there seemed to be much more to it. 

We stayed in a lovely miner's cottage built in 1860 on the outskirts of Maldon, a small and spookily preserved mining town about 15 minutes from Castlemaine and an hour or so from Ballarat. It's like walking through a time warp, except the shops all stock high end foodie porn and patchworking material. 

It turned out that on top of all the gold business there were three great reasons to visit; 1) the history (mines, architectural gems, lovely old streetscapes), 2) the secondhand bookshops (especially Book Heaven in Campbells Creek just outside Castlemaine and The Known World in Ballarat) and 3) the charity / 'op' shops and second hand stores, which if I lived in Australia would have found themselves pretty much cleaned out (an honourable mention to the Restorers Barn in Castlemaine). 

Oh, and I did try my hand at gold panning. I found about 3 flecks of gold. Not even enough to decorate a high end cupcake. 

Friday, 9 April 2010

Melbourne Street Art


Melbourne is well known as a hub of street art. Across the road from the ACMI and the Ian Potter Centre is a street at serves as an outdoor art / statement arena - there are many other places to go, but there is something interesting about the opposition of the formal art on one side of the street and the 'underground' stuff on the other. On the day we took a shortcut down this alley there was even someone there in broad daylight with a step ladder working on a new piece. It's forever changing as visiting street artists from around the world come to put their mark down for a while. In London you tend to get the odd Banksy but to have entire streets just laced with different works brings a new scale to the proceedings. On the whole I can't say I'm mad about graffiti, for me it's filed in the same category as Manga or RPG's - why would you want to spend your time obsessing over these things when there are shoes, films and food? But the alleys in Melbourne's CBD and Fitzroy are always fun to explore when I'm over. I'm especially loving the pink kangaroo!

I went to Australia and all I got were...too many shoes

So, these are the shoes I managed to get in 5 weeks away. 

Bottom picture, clockwise from top left; Nude Christian Louboutin Demi Wedge, Vintage 80's shoes with heel detail (pic to follow), Suede Brogues, Bloch Ballet Pumps, Bloch Plain Black Pumps, Nude Stella knock offs, Dunlop Australia Volleys, Gorman yellow clogs.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Fantasy Shoe of the Week - Church's two tone brogues. Thunk.

There is something about brogues I have loved for years. I my first pair (white, plain) in a charity shop. I remember dancing around in a drunken haze in them a few days later paired with 40's wide legged trousers, white shirt and a cravat for an Agatha Christie party. Brogues are ace because they are dressy, smart and easy as hell to walk in. They get my vote. 

Over the years I have invested in many other pairs of brogues, most satisfyingly Paul Smith 'for men' ones (the label is, I assume, ironic). They have a great slim cut which is perfect for my narrow feet and they are probably my most complimented upon shoes, by boys as well as girls.

But...I've never owned a pair of Church's shoes. Which I should really. They are probably the ultimate if you're doing boy chic, and I've bullied several people into owning a pair (Stoy, my bro, my Dad) yet I've never taken the plunge and bought some for myself.

These babies on Net a Porter might have to become mine if I can sell some loot on ebay when I get back.

Friday, 2 April 2010

The Biggest Bag Ever? Chip Chop XXXXXL Bag

How utterly fab is this bag? It's by an Australian brand called Chip Chop in collaboration with a creative agency called Jane. I just love it. It's hilarious. The best part is that I can totally imagine someone lugging it around on Brick Lane whilst looking totally hipster. Imagine them trying to fish out their lip balm from the bottom!
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