Tuesday, May 30, 2006


I was supposed to be having a blogging break but then I saw this, fell in love and felt the need to share it with the internet at large.
I've narrowed it down to five choices. I think it might just have to be 'Little Helper'. The little creature reminds me of someone.

Help me choose...the other contenders are:
Windy day
Gaggle of Girls
Why so Blue
On Stage

Monday, May 29, 2006


All this Marie-Antoinette hoo ha has sent me off on a bit of a Sofia Coppola-thon. The rumoured secret flashes of pink Converse shod feet in 18th century costume. Could the film really have got booed that much at Cannes if even Sofia didn't notice? Is Sofia pregnant by that guy from Phoenix whose 'Everything' song I can't get out of my head? Was the Rochas gown Kirsten wore to the premiere really so unflattering? Maybe it was just her dodgy hairstyle?

Maybe there are more important things to be pondering? I hope the film will still be on at the cinema when I go to Paris in a couple of weeks.

For reasons I cannot recall I didn't buy the December 2004 French Vogue which Sofia Coppola guest edited. Since then I've searched high and low for a copy with no success. Until some kind soul posted all the relevant scans in large format here. Apart from the collagey pages there is a fashion editorial with Sofia shot by Inez and Vinoodh and styled by Emanuelle Alt.
Thank you sheepman89 whoever you are...

I had also never seen Sofia's first short film Lick the Star and now I have because it's here. (in two parts)

For those of us lucky
enough to be off to Paris soon
(I know there's at least
two of you out there)
I came accross
Sofia's guide to Paris from ElleGirl.(click the
link and scroll down to see it
big enough to read.)

Although I think she's witholding as that could be my or anyone's list of favourite places - Mariage Freres, Cafe de Flore, Laduree, The Pompidou Centre, The Luxembourg Gardens, The Musee D'Orsay, By Terry make up, A.P.C.

Well, no surprises anyway. Then again, would you really want to divulge all your top tips and have a load of Ellegirl readers turning up to stalk you?

I found the Vogue scans and the ElleGirl one through I heart Sofia.

*EDIT: I knew that Givenchy dress was hiding something.

Friday, May 26, 2006


I'm so relieved that the second issue of Leith Clark's Lula magazine is just as good as the first. It must be such a labour of love to put something like that together, I thought they might run out of steam.

cover photo: Damon Heath
Styling: Leith Clark

It's not just a fashion magazine though. There are heroes and icons - William Eggleston, Dolly Parton, Patricia Arquette talking about her role as Alabama in True Romance. Superstylist Arianne Phillips on recreating June Carter Cash's style in Walk the Line. Stills from Wendybird, the Erin Fetherston/Ellen von Unwerth/Kirsten Dunst collaboration.

Lula has all the girl crushes du jour you could wish for.
An interview with Jenny Lewis, (I like how they used the title of one of her songs 'You are what you love' as the title of an editorial) Valentine Fillol-Cordier on the cover and with 70's movie star hair inside.

It is packed full of juicy, gorgeous, dreamy fashion editorials, and hardly any adverts which is amazing for such a big glossy (hate to say the word but) directional magazine that only costs £4.99.

Photo: Danielle Atkins
Styling: Leith Clark

Photo: Viki Forshee
Styling: Kusum Lynn

Trapeze artist/cabaret ringleader Sarah Sophie Flicker of The Citizens Band is photographed by Stacey Mark. She might just be my new girl crush.

Photographer: Stacey Mark
Styling Aya T. Kanai


It mostly looked like this:

I amused myself by buying 'Plop' biscuits in Belgium and taking pictures of signs like this:

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Finally the second issue of Lula magazine is out.

I have been waiting, waiting, waiting for so long.

Lula is the perfect magazine.

The first issue featured Valentine Fillol-Cordier wearing
Erin Fetherston and credited Valentine as Junior Fashion Ed.

Need I say more?

I'll be back when I've finished devouring it.

*And they now have a proper website where you can find their stockists worldwide.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


I was just thinking how I only ever seem to go to Paris these days.

I am very lucky that I get to go to Paris so much and stay in the completely freakin' hippest neighbourhood in the most amazing building, looking after a very sweet geriatric cat.
But if I don't go somewhere new for a while I get itchy feet.

So then, The Gruppet calls.

'Do you want to go to Germany on Tuesday?'

I'll be honest, Germany is not even in my top 10, 20 or possibly 50 list of places I'd like to re visit. But I always said I'd give it another chance after last time.

Last time was a school trip circa 1990. England played against Germany in the World Cup final. We lost. A group of about thirty 14 year old school girls (us) were chased down a German street by about 20 big mullet haired men wearing German flags like capes, brandishing sticks (I'm not even exaggerating) and chanting 'ENGLAND GO HOME!'

That's all I'm going to say on that one. So, a second chance.

The Gruppet is probably the only person I would attempt a road trip with.
We will get up at about 4am, get in a pretty fast powerful car, drive to Dover, arse around on the ferry, speak in comedy voices for ooh, about 18 hours, be sure to stop and ask directions to 'Wankum'which is apparently on our route, get to Essen, pick up some wine for The Gruppet's cousin, then turn round and go back home again.

Refreshments will be provided by The Gruppet's cousin who just happens to be the proprietor of The Best Delicatessen In London, Possibly The World.

The Gruppet will be advised that, regarding soundtrack, this is not an opportunity to pay tribute to all those obscure German record labels he is obsessed with.
Although a little light Hasselhoff air guitar might be funny.

It's also a bit nostalgic for me, since I spent many a summer visiting the rellies in Brussels as a child. We would take the exact same route by car and ferry, only this time we will continue through Belgium into Germany.

The Gruppet claims it takes 4 hours to drive from Calais to Essen. I'm not so sure about that.
I remember interminable hours of driving from Calais to Brussels where our favourite game was to shout 'junction 8, junction 8,' until the next one. Then, 'junction 9, junction 9' etc etc.
How my aunt must have looked forward to those journeys.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


The Apartment Therapy 2nd annual smallest, coolest apartment contest is over.

Shauna's More Dash Than Cash didn't win. How could this be?

Personally I rate originality, wit and style on a shoestring above the hyper organised, super designed spaces that won. Pah!

image source


Out and about in Soho and after a few Camparis I felt sufficiently brave to attempt to train my lens on a few This week... victims, I mean subjects.

I thought this guy looked pretty dapper standing outside
The French House.

His response to my request to photograph him baffled me slightly.

"I don't much care either way."

Er, ok so does that mean yes or no?

He begrudgingly agreed.

It was only later that I thought - he looks kind of familiar.
It would explain why he wasn't surprised when I asked for his pic.
But unfortunately I have no idea who he is! I'm usually pretty good at recognising even the most obscure faces (years of magazine addiction).
The French House is a bit of a thespian hang out, but despite much brain wracking no one can tell me who he is. Actor? '80s popstar?

Any guesses?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


I love you. Where else could I go to escape the rain with the intention of possibly finding a cobalt blue t-shirt and instead stumble upon:

2 pairs of trousers (one pair khaki, one pair blue) that bear an uncanny resemblance to these lovely Hollywood pants (pictured) by Kristinit. (Though I'm sure with the requisite amount of details changed for legal purposes.) I don't mind that I had to try 5 pairs of the same style to find the right fit, or that a size 10 came up smaller than a size 8. It just makes me go 'tsk' as one would at the antics of a lovable yet errant child you don't have to see very often.

How could I not love you for making a perfect cardi in cream with a red trim that somehow reminds me of war issue blankets.
I almost discarded it when I looked at the £9.99 price tag.
I thought it must be acrylic but no you teaser, it's 45% linen, 55% cotton. How do you do that for £9.99?

Now I am unsuccessfully trying to erase the words 'Made in China' and dreadful visions of just how they keep those prices down from my consciousness.

This post seems to have done a 180 on me.

How to reconcile the feeling that you want to support small designers with the reality that you can buy 2 pairs of trousers for under £50 or the almost identical ones they were 'inspired' by for $210 plus postage?

Here's a link to Treehugger to help us on our way.
** And to this if you happen to be anywhere near Brooklyn this weekend.

Sunday, May 14, 2006


When I read on Style Bubble that William Klein's film Qui Etes-Vous Polly Magoo was being shown at the French Institute as part of the London Fashion in Film Festival I knew I had to see it.

I had seen a snippet of the film last year at the William Klein retrospective at the Pompidou Centre. The bit they showed then was the fashion show scene where the models are welded and bolted into outlandish creations made of sheet metal (with sharp edges!). The show is held in a strange brick beehive shaped building where the audience must perch on rickety wooden 'shelves'. The 'Dragon Lady' - the Diana Vreeland-esque fashion editor character sweeps in with her entourage and takes her place. When the show starts there is silence from the audience.

All eyes are on The Dragon Lady. Eventually she exclaims "Magnifique!" and the rest of the audience erupts into applause and cries of "Fabulous! Divine!"

I suspected that might be the funniest moment of the film but thankfully I was proved wrong.
I tootled over to the French Institute a bit early as I hadn't booked a ticket.
I was really thirsty so bought a little bottle of Evian water and went up to the Cine Lumiere entrance to wait. There were the usual suspects milling around - assorted hipster types.

But I found myself standing opposite an elderly gentleman who was flanked by two young women in heels. I absentmindedly regarded him. How nice of him to take his nieces(?) to the cinema. I carried on waiting. I took a sip of water. Then I became aware that said gentleman was loudly (though not unkindly) remarking that everyone is always drinking from little bottles of water these days.

My attention aroused it took me about one and a half seconds to twig from his laconic American/French tinged accent that he was in fact William Klein. I had no idea he was actually going to be there. It later transpired that the two young women with him were the organisers of the Fashion in Film festival.

There were so many little bits I enjoyed in Qui Etes-Vous Polly Magoo and I think I'm still processing it. So much going on visually, little references and jokes here and there, cameos, almost like flicking through a magazine and picking out the bits you like best. I don't have a fully formed opinion of the film as a whole except to say that as a document of the sixties - to quote WK,
'It stands up pretty well today.'

I think my favourite part is the scene/s in the magazine 'office' where the 'Dragon Lady' holds court in an opulent salon where all the editors lounge around smoking and getting pedicures. She is followed around by her lookey likey minions proclaiming things either horrendous or divine at whim. There is an editor who wafts in and out of the frame (wearing what looks like a nightgown) wondering aloud where her layouts have gone. That's all she does in the film.

This film is a deliciously sharp piss take of the fashion industry but is loved by the fashion industry. It's actually pretty sarcastic and WK did say that for him the fashion photography he did was just a means to an end to finance his other work.

The most interesting part of the afternoon was the Q & A at the end. I loved the way William Klein didn't particularly reply to any questions with an answer but what he said was so entertaining no one cared. It was charmingly shambolic - at one point he insisted that Paul Ryan who was (trying to) conduct the Q&A sing his rendition of 'I get a kick out of you'.

WK explained his relationship with Diana Vreeland by saying he didn't like her and she pissed him off! Apparently if she saw something she didn't like in a shoot he had done she would make him re-shoot the whole thing rather than re-touch it.
I love to hear about that era, where the models did their own make up and were nowhere near household names after their first Vogue cover. The way WK tells it he was asked by legendary art director Alexander Liberman who had seen an exhibition of his to shoot for Vogue and they would in turn finance his book project. Sounds so easy!

WK said that the film is full of little jokes such as the main male character's name being Gregoire Pecque (Gregory Peck - geddit) and is full of cameos from well known fashion and media faces of the 60's who this generation would be unlikely to recognise.

What I'd really like to do is have a private screening with WK where he'd talk me through the whole thing so I could get all the references. And we could sip little bottles of water.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Friday, May 12, 2006


After all the Prada rumours it's now been confirmed that the next designer collaboration with H & M will be Viktor & Rolf. Those lovable Dutch conceptualists. It's sure to be interesting - I hope their take on tailoring will translate using cheaper methods of production. They are clever boys, so I'll be there in November when it's launched. I know everyone will say it won't cause as much of a stir as Stella. But the Celia Birtwell for Topshop range sold out in about 5 minutes and I'm sure not that many people know that she was responsible for Ossie Clark's prints. So although the V&R for H&M collection is focusing on city stores I will be sneakily finding the least likely to be popular location to snag it from. Not that that worked last time. One things for sure: on launch day the Oxford Circus branch of H&M will be turned upside down.

Photo: Wendelien Daan / image source

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Cute notebook manufacturers were assured a hearty trade courtesy of my requirements...

Then one day I decided I could cover 'em just as well myself.

Paper: from Muji origami set
e.e cummings quote reproduced on Keri Smith's website. Colouring in of letters by me aged 30 and nearly 2 months.

Friday, May 05, 2006


Ah, the lure of the British seaside. Fish and chips on the pier, crazy golf, menacing seagulls, amusement arcades, asylum seekers, rain, sea you can't swim in and hardly any sandy beaches. That's what the south coast of Britain makes me think of. If we're talking Cornwall or Devon then it's cream teas, thermos flasks, sand in your sandwiches and picnics in the back of the Volvo estate because it's again, raining.

But there is one exception to all this British seaside depression. Brighton. Or London by sea. I've been to Brighton quite a bit lately. The reason why is another post entirely. It is also the same reason why my flat is full of flowers and I have an assortment of new dresses perfect for being taken out to dinner. So - Brighton. Ha!

A day in Brighton should include:

A walk along the beach, obviously.

A trip to The Wardrobe, (51 Upper North Street) a fantastic vintage store which is characterised by its lack of mustiness and the pristine condition of everything.
The owners specialise in bakelite and lucite jewellery and have an amazing assortment of 1950s dresses. They are very knowledgable about everything they sell and will tell you if something has been altered or repaired before selling it to you. It's not exactly cheap, but cheaper than say, a vintage store in London where you'd buy something then realise it had a stain or a hole in it.

I fell in love with this dress when I saw the print for about a second when rifling through the racks a couple of weeks ago. I couldn't get it out of my head so went back to claim it as my own.
I love this dress. It needs to be taken in, as it is made for a 1950s figure - helloo? 38" bust, 36" hips. Did anyone ever actually have those proportions? I love it for the crisp cotton, the colour, the gathers in the skirt, the buttons at the top, but most of all for the print. The dots are actually tiny squares. Love it.

Next I would head to I Gigi general store which is in Hove (31A Western Road) effectively only a 10 minute walk from the centre of Brighton. This shop has a great aesthetic, all creamy plaster walls and handblown glassware, ostrich feather dusters, (very tempting to go with my 50s sexy housewife look) and Cote Bastide bath products. It's really a beautiful space and there's a cafe upstairs which is gorgeous, light and airy.

So, It's about lunchtime by now and I would head towards the North Lanes. (Laines?) Along Bond Street another shop I like is Tribeca which has a good selection of clothes - Isabel Marant, Jas MB bags, Erotokritos, Bi La Li to name a few. The buying is spot on. You will want everything. Just opposite Tribeca is Lavender Room, which although it is a bit generically white painted floorboards/chandeliers/shabby chic - yawn, has a few nice bits and bobs.
And they sell Princesse Tam Tam underwear.

But because you have a hangover you need sustenance. This may not be everyone's cup of tea but at Infinity Foods Cafe (50 Gardner St) I found home. Everything is organic, gluten free and made fresh to order. I had an amazing falafel salad. Who knew falafel could be amazing? The salad was full of sprouty things, grated beetroot and...strawberries? It was delicious. I could almost hear my body saying 'thank you!' having been a bit off the wholefoods tip for a while and embracing the 'retox' philosophy.
So fully re-detoxed you can wander round the North Lanes, Snoopers Paradise, etc etc - you can't really get lost and there's too many little places to list.

There was another vintage store I was going to mention until they tried to sell me a painted wooden belt buckle for £20 by saying it was bakelite. I had just had a half hour discussion on bakelite with Mr. Wardrobe so the wool was not pulled over this day tripper's eyes.

After a day shopping (what else do I do?) you need a nice relaxing dinner and what better way to end the day than a restaurant actually on the beach? Due South is under the arches between the pier and the old falling into the sea pier. That's about as accurate an address as I can give you. Everything on the menu is sourced from within a 20 mile radius, and you sit looking over the beach and the sea. What more can you ask for? A perfectly cooked fillet steak - about the first steak I've ever asked for 'medium' that actually was. Oysters, chocolate fondant desserts, cheeses, wine, - all melding into a bit of a blur now.

But the BEST THING for a city girl is that after dinner you can clear your head with a walk along the beach.