Tuesday, July 31, 2007


You have copy editors, fact checkers and interns galore, yes? You are paid to produce a magazine which is apparently Britain's No.1 glossy and which retails at £1.80.

I have held my tongue all this time, not wanting to come across as a fact/spelling Nazi. I mean, I'm not so perfect - I don't even use spellcheck when I'm bashing out the ol' blog posts and my grammar is based upon what sounds right.

I do, however, know that the name of the fashion designer you're dropping in Grazia is Isabel Marant, not Isabella Marant.

I also know, as most people with even the vaguest interest in fashion would, that Anna Piaggi is not an Italian fashion designer but has worked for Italian Vogue for many years as creative consultant, creating the Doppie Pagine she is famous for.

Lastly, iconic photographer Herb Ritts did not spell his surname "Ritz" which is how you repeatedly spelled it in a double page spread about an exhibition devoted to him after his death.

All I want from you Grazia, is to be able to eat a Kitkat and drink a cup of tea whilst flicking through your pages - without wanting to circle all the mistakes in red pen and post the torn out pages to you.

That's all. Can you manage that?
Thanks, just needed to get that off my chest.

P.S. Laura Craik and Paul Flynn, this does not include you. You are both geniuses.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


EDIT* RE: the gorgeous shoes which were used in the A/W 07 show, which I and others loved; news from Phillip Lim is not hopeful. They say: "Our shoes were a collaboration with the UK shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood. Our specific shoes were runway only, and aren't for sale." Aah, Nicholas Kirkwood. That makes sense - all his shoes are like lil works of art/engineering. But still, can't have those exact ones. Poo.

Thank you Amy Larocca for this piece on Phillip Lim in New York Magazine.

As far as I'm concerned, Phillip Lim has completely usurped Marc Jacobs in the role of He Who Plugs Into The Psyche Of Women Who Love Fashion And Designs The Clothes They Were Just About To Dream Of.

In the article, the provenance of the 3.1 is explained as the age of both Lim and his business partner Wen Zhou when they started the label just two years ago. Auspicious. 31 also happens to be my age, so, really I should just buy the entire winter collection, or at least as much of it as I can get my hands on. (Yes, my thoughts have turned to winter - I give up on the hope of summer ever appearing.)

How is it that I want every single look, exactly the way it's styled in the lookbook? (Bloody flash player - click on "womens" at the bottom left, then fall p.1 and fall p.2)
Wouldn't change a thing to wear it myself. That has never happened to me before. I'm obsessed with the shoes and I can't.find.out.who.made.them. Anyone know?

My favourite quote from the article is when Phillip says: “I would direct my mother when she made my clothes,” he says. He liked khakis and denim work shirts, everything simple and clean. “I look at pictures of myself when I was 5 years old and I think that, yes, that is exactly what I like.”

A man with that kind of vision is a man you can trust to design Birkenstocks, (well Tatami/same thing) unlike someone whose name rhymes with Snidey Gloom.

And with a brand spanking new store in New York's Soho (and apparently scouting store locations in London) and another CFDA/Vogue nomination, I think we can safely say that auspicious 3.1 is doing its work.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


When I went to Cannes a couple of years ago I sat on the beach and watched paparazzi patrolling up and down (they didn't spot me as I was incognito - the old Posh Spice disguise always works). It cost something like 20 euros to have a plate of frites delivered to your sunlounger by a handsome waiter. I took the ubiquitous photo of the facade of the Carlton Hotel which actually includes other people taking a photo of the Carlton Hotel - and generally walked along La Croisette feeling a bit shortchanged. Not that I expected to see Gregory Peck emerging from the sea and jumping into a convertible with Grace Kelly or anything. I would have been just as disappointed if I'd seen Puffy or Diddy or whatever his name is today.

Born in the wrong era...sigh.

If only I'd just watched Riviera Cocktail. It's a funny little film, since it's full of stills photos, taken by Edward Quinn, who basically hung around on the Cote d'Azur subtly charming all the major stars of the silver screen of the '50s and '60s into being photographed by him. It all sounds so civilised: in the days when stars were able to function without an entourage of agents, PRs, stylists, make up artists and handlers, that he was able to pop up to Sofia Loren's room at the Carlton, tap on the door, introduce himself and ask her if she fancied doing a few pictures. And she said yes. Can you imagine anything like that happening today? His name actually didn't immediately ring a bell at first but his pictures are certainly iconic.

Love this one of Kim Novak.

It's testament to Edward "Ted" Quinn's subtle charm and integrity that he was able to have such unrestricted access to people and as a result, his pictures look almost like snapshots of friends, at dinner, laughing, dancing, being themselves. They are comfortable with him being around with a camera. He also took the only photos that exist of Grace Kelly meeting Prince Rainier for the first time. Quinn also became close to Pablo Picasso and took all those famous pictures of him at work in his studio and at home.

Grace Kelly - I've obviously got a thing about sunglasses indoors.

The film is a very personal one and at times, a little odd; mostly due to the jazz band that kind of jams along to the pictures as they're shown. Edward Quinn was a musician before he was a photographer so I don't know if they were guys he knew or what, but I didn't quite get that. The music was great, but to have the band actually discussing the photos? Odd.

Anyway, what was lovely was Gret Quinn, Edward's widow who had spent most of her life sorting and archiving his work. She talked about how he started photographing pin-ups on the beach, how he approached people and got to know them. When he first photographed Brigitte Bardot she was very young, an ingenue and more than happy that he wanted to shoot her. A young Audrey Hepburn was ecstatic as she was finding it hard to get press interest at the time.

It's these little bits of info that make Riviera Cocktail such a gem and makes me wonder why it seems to have quietly been released last year and I just chanced upon it, as with the name of Edward Quinn - I wonder why, judging by this amazing body of work, his name isn't instantly recognisable (maybe just to me)?

The film was made after he died, although there was some footage of an earlier interview with him, where he seemed quite lovely. The kind of honourable chap who sadly, like the era he captured is pretty much extinct.

Photos are all (c) Edward Quinn from the Edward Quinn archive.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Further to my previous post:

Oh, Mr. Touitou,
What would I do without you,

Just when I was contemplating,
A mad return to dating,

Just so that I could nick,
The trousers off some prick,

Your new catalogue dropped on my mat,
And saved me from all that,

I don't need to raid the bespoke,
Wardrobe of some bloke,

And really anyway,
If he dressed that well he'd be gay,

But you've come along and saved me,
From the need to flirt,
With the perfect alpaca trousers and pinstriped shirt,

So thanks to you A.P.C,
Once again I'm free,

From dirty socks and farting in bed,
I'll just stay home with my cat instead.

{The winter collection is online now for your clicky fingered enjoyment}

Saturday, July 14, 2007


At the moment, all I want to wear is a thin white cotton mens' shirt, sleeves rolled up, roughly tucked into mannish trousers, no jewellery, no make up except polished fingers and toes (back into rouge noir). I'd wear my old petrol blue Prada Oxfords on my feet but I somehow managed to separate the uppers from the soles (my shoe guy assures me they'll be fine) - Although the look I'm veering towards owes a lot to the photos of people during the Depression by Walker Evans, I don't actually want to look that much like a poverty stricken depression era farmer. By way of the strange osmosis that often happens, recent posts from both The Sartorialist and Jen at Simply Photo are on the influence of the FSA photo project that documented those years.

Maybe it's the lack of summer here, the way that a cheery dress just doesn't feel right when the sky is uniformly grey, the sun never shines, it drizzles intermittently and can't decide whether it's cold or unpleasantly humid. I just feel like wearing the very perfect stripped back basic of everything. So I've adopted this kind of androgynous uniform, not that I've really noticed anyone else doing a similar thing. It's a jumble of references, but I know what it isn't: It's not Annie Hall and it's not really as glamorous as Katharine Hepburn. I'm reliving the Helmut Lang years in a way, and god do I wish I'd bought more H.L. back in the day (as in actually designed by him) when I had the chance, but alas, not the bank balance.

Maybe it's not something that would appeal if you worked in an office where business dress is compulsory, (thank you, thank you, thank you, much gratitude, oh, thank you Universe that I don't work in an office) to then spend the weekend wearing what is basically what most men wear to work. I believe that without a good manicure, perfume and carrying a smallish bag (not the enormous Anna Corinna tote I usually lug around) this style could be almost indistinguishable from that of a male office worker. I was quite enjoying the slouchy crumpledness of it all, then looked around at about 5pm last Friday to see a load of blokes standing outside the pub holding pints (outside is the new inside since the smoking ban) dressed pretty much the same as me. My concept of slouchy crumpledness was hastily re-defined and refined.

So, since I'm not in much of a shopping mood - there may be a forthcoming post about the merits of different brands of mannish trousers - I've decided the only thing to do is get a boyfriend so I can nick his clothes. Only he'd have to have a lot of Comme des Garcons shirts/Raf Simons trousers for me to steal. And how is such a boy going to be interested in a girl wearing no make up, and deliberately asexual clothing on a Saturday night? I'll let you know.

*EDIT: Later that evening...Ahem, in the course of walking down the street from my flat to the off-licence dressed in this way I received an, "Allo....gorgeous." Then after exiting the offy with a bottle of wine - from across the street outside the pub I heard, "You shoulda come in 'ere, I woulda bought you a drink."

Walking back up the street a VW camper van passed by and emitted a huge wolf whistle which I swear was made by some kind of siren rigged up to it, which is really rather sad.

However, it is unlikely that either of these charming young mens' wardrobes would be of much use to me but, hey, the androgyny thing seems to be a hit with the fellas.

I'm just sayin'.

Or maybe it's the humidity making them crazed.

{Image 1 from old Italian Vogue, image 2 from old Paris Vogue.}

Thursday, July 05, 2007


I'm hanging out over at the stylish abode of Miss Lauren today. We're sitting in virtual deckchairs on her balcony, slurping frozen margaritas and painting our toenails hot pink.

In between talking about boys, I told her all about my recent trip to Madrid.

How often do you get a prize for going on holiday?


Wednesday, July 04, 2007


Oh, you were so right about the ennui. Even though I dozed off countless times during Les Amants Reguliers I still have a major hair crush on Clotilde Hesme and an unexplained hankering to wear a rumpled white shirt at all times. And that Louis Garrel is quite fit too.

I am, as noted the other week when I attended the opera, both shallow and entirely unrefined. At the opera my seat had been made for a Victorian child and was WAY, WAY, up in the balcony thingy whatever you call it, where I had my first experience of vertigo.

I did not know how I was going to make it through to the interval, whereupon I would be able to collect another exhorbitant (£6.75) glass of below average wine, drink it in the dullsville corporate carpeted surroundings of the ENO and retain the will to live. I thought opera was supposed to be glamorous. My not knowing how I was going to make it through had nothing to do with the seat or the wine, it was because the opera was so, so BORING and it was impossible to find a comfortable sleeping position in those tiny seats. I have been to the opera twice before - once in Italy - and fell asleep both times. There, I am a philistine. I can't say which opera I went to see this time because I know someone who was in it, hence my being there to see the tiny little speck that was apparently she flounce across the stage for 3.2 seconds going, "aaahhohoholalalalahahahahaaaaa". At the end the man next to us started clapping like a circus seal and bellowing "Bravo! Bravo!" at which point my companion and I could not take it any more, burst into giggles, bypassed the stage door luvvie fest and went to the pub.

(Of course all this "Oh, but the opera was simply hideous" business was before the bomb scare agogo game we like to play when attempting to travel anywhere in London at the moment. Get on any form of transportation and see if you ever arrive at your chosen destination. Saturday night we were feeling all hardcore. It was pissing with rain, freezing cold, there was a small chance of being blown up, but still we attempted to Carry On As Normal and Go Out. We were forced back by police with news of An Incident which of course was probably someone leaving their McDonalds wrapper on the tube platform or something. Seriously, thank you police, good job and all that, has to be done. A wild card yesterday was the addition of giant hailstones and freak flooding right in the middle of rush hour. So this is how I end up at home watching black and white modern French films that are a response to other modern European films that are both in homage to the atmosphere of the student demonstrations of 1968 Paris and have the same lead actor. And that I only wanted to watch in the first place because I liked Clotilde Hesme's hair on the cover of the DVD.)

I know I said I was taking a break but I'm bored and it's raining.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


I'm going to watch this tonight and stay away from the computer for a couple of days. Apologies for the last 3 lacklustre filler posts below, I think I need a little break in the real world. Oh - I just had one in a beautiful hot country. Back when fully recharged. X X X