Monday, 29 December 2008

Put a knot in it

Knowing the weather forecast is part of an informal curriculum taught to all British citizens alongside maths and English. And since this chill is not predicted to ease off until well after the New Year, Jack Frost will be nipping at more than just your fingers and your toes if you give him half the chance!

Make like a pig in a blanket (the tasty and 'wrapped up' sausage in bacon side order to your turkey dinner, not to be confused with the Sarah Palin look of 08, known as the pig in lipstick) and invest in some classic silk scarves. Not only do these square shaped handkerchiefs come in a variety of patterns but they can also be knotted to your neck or head, in a number of ways.

If you want to achieve the elegant scarf tied around your bonce, reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn in 'A Roman Holiday' rather then the less coveted washerwoman wench look, you will find its all in the choice of fabric, pattern and colour palette. Cotton fades whereas silk looks vintage and will keep your ears toasty warm and the paisley print is pretty but quirky designs of horse riding gear or nautical illustrations are more interesting.

Now there are a number of ways to tie a scarf round your neck, the most effective is folding the scarf in half to make a triangle then keeping this section at the front, wrap the other corners round your neck and then knot at a jaunty angle to the side. Or if the scarf is longer, try the droopy bow knot.

Although you can pick up these scarves new from places like or Topshop, the cheapest and most unusual ones you will find are hidden amongst mint imperials in your granny's handbag or in your local charity shop!

Scarves are also nice to decorate ones handbag with or to tie up boys to bedposts, (wink, wink, nudge-nudge) just get knotting!

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Paris is worth every (weakening) pound

I have recently got back from a mini break in Paris and I am seriously in love.

I confess that I am head over heels for the Parisian style of dressing and their general attitude to fashion! In the Beauborg quarter, which is situated on the right bank, people were sporting a number of looks; from the truly odd in red wigs and 50's style tea dresses to the truly fashion forward in over sized specs, Doc Martins and low drop crotch trousers.

In this quarter there was also a number of second hand and vintage shops secreted in the winding streets. These shops were stuffed, more than your dad after his Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, with absolute retro bargains and even though the Pound is being sat on by it's fatter sister the Euro right now, there was still some gems to be found.

My favourite finds were some 80's mohair jumpers embellished with patterns of sequins, diamonds and sparkly appliqued designs for an eclectic take on this season's woolly must haves. Though static hair and stray fluff in the eyes/nose did make it a challenging wear!

I also came across a fantastic Aladdin's cave of a shop on the hill of Monmatre; it was impossible to get round from all the piles of fur coats, puffed sleeves and random bowler hats, there was a definite smell of mothballs and your eyes were straining in the dim lighting to make out the labels. Perfect conditions for a valuable find! If only I hadn't needed to catch my plane home I would have snapped up more than a pair of silk scarves!

Thursday, 4 December 2008

More than just a close shave

Although all eyes have recently been on Lilly Cole, Daisy Lowe, Agness Deyn and model of the moment Jordan Dunn, I think the most refreshing face of 2008 has to be Alice Dellal. For those of you who aren't familiar with this live wire, she is the daughter of Brazilian model, Andrea Dellal, and granddaughter of the British real estate mogul, Jack Dellal. Oh and if that hasn't sealed her glamorous credentials enough, her Godfather's Mario Testino, the prestigious photographer for Paris Vogue!

Dellal has a punky/grunge style of dressing, often spotted in beaten up old leather jackets, vintage rock tshirts and of course her daring shaved hairstyle. It's the tough looking boots she puts together with lacey stockings and belly skimming tops that give Dellal an interesting edge, almost reminiscent of Madonna's 80's style from her Desperately Seeking Susan days- all that side swept wavy hair and tough attitude, though don't include the bows and glam rock styling!

In a recent Vice magazine shoot, a model named Zoe was photographed sporting the Dellal look. Although it looks very fetching on elfin faced, jutting cheekboned young things not sure it's going to be the 'Rachael' cut of the naughties.

Other than being Mario Testino's muse, Dellal has modelled for Burberry in 2006, appeared on Vivienne Westwood's A/W 08 catwalk, is the new face for Agent Provocateur and Alexander Wang loves her with a capital L. Talk about the cat who got the cream!

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Strictly come sparkle

Its the run up to Christmas, everything is covered in glitter and like a moth to the flame I cannot tear my eyes away from 'Strictly come Dancing'.

I'm not sure if it's the music, old brucey's corny jokes, the amazing dancing or perhaps the fact that everyone is as sparkly as a herd of excitable pre-pubescent girls covered in glitter outside a screening of High School Musical.

Whatever it is I want it! If like me, you are craving a bit of shimmer in your wardrobe but want to keep it classy like the strictly crew a brilliantly cheap idea is to visit Oxfam's website. On there you can find in the evening wear section outfits from vintage designer Frank Usher, with this blue top priced at £14.99, to this Karen Millen dress from £120.

Do a little dance, make a little love....

Does anyone else after they've bought new clothes and hurried back to the safety of their rooms, try on their new purchases (all at once), whap on a tune and just generally dance about like a five years old at a school disco?

I blame MGMT's album, my new charity shop finds and that massive pack of jelly beans.

Monday, 1 December 2008

First the worst, second the best, third the one who can't fit in their xmas dress

The first of December! You can finally crack into the advent calendar that's been sat on your desk for the past two weeks! Yet, is it just me or does it seem slightly unfair that the lead up to Christmas, which is usually celebrated with just a taster of chocolate each day, is also when magazines start yelling at us to shift those pesky pounds.

As my ever tactful father likes to remind his womenfolk 'a moment on the lips is a lifetime on the hips', as he scoffs yet another cream laden mince pie! huh! I would like to see Men's Health or Nuts informing their male readers that, no they can't indulge in the entire bag of Cadbury's fun size chocolate bars or verbally rapping their knuckles when they think a whole pack of bacon accounts for one meal!

The only light at the end of the Christmas diet tunnel is that; A) it ends on Christmas day itself when coincidentally the turkey feast arrives and you can eat your weight (also include weight lost while on faddy diet) in turkey, and B) Us girls are transformed by the time the Christmas parties swing round! Well, this is what I'll be reconciling myself with while on my first painful run of the month. ouch!

The British Fashion Awards

Fashion took centre stage at Westminster's Lewerence Hall on Novemeber the 26th. The crowning winner was undoubtedly Luella Bartley with her award of Designer of the Year, and quite rightly so.

Luella has been a hit in New York, Milan and has been a fashion favourite with the London Fashion Week crowds. Her S/S 08 collection was a psychadellic twist of refined English formal dress wear with tweed and lace mixed with oversized pearls, candy colours and childish make up. Her A/w 09 collection didn't lose her signature sense of fun with witches hats, orange tights and insanely crimped hair.

Other winners included miliner Stephen jones for the Outstanding Achievemnet award, Ruperst Sanderson for the Accessory Designer award, Christopher Bailey won Menswear Designer for his work with Burberry, Jouran Dunn (the face of Topshop) beat Agness Deyn to the Model of the Year award, Matthew Williamson picked up the Red Carpet Designer award over Giles Deacon and Stella McCartney.