Friday, February 27, 2009


EDIT* Did I say very soon? I did didn't I. Soon is so relative. Still not quite there yet...but look! Pictures! Oh, you've seen them already. almost over.

I took the first picture when it snowed at the beginning of the month; the last today. That first picture seems a very long time ago. February: 28 days but feels like the longest month (I typed moth - seriously, I just typed moth by mistake.)

THANK YOU so so much for your comments and emails. You don't know how much it helped. Really, thank you lovely kind readers and blogchums.

I'll be back very soon with a real post with like words and sentences and stuff (and I have a tag to attend to.)

Friday, February 20, 2009


I just re-read all your amazing How To Crawl Out of a Hole comments and they were really comforting. You are so good. (I'm not sure if I mentioned it before but the white SOS telephone in the sidebar is a permanent link to that post.)

I know a lot of people who are having a tough time at the moment and are dealing with it really well. I won't bore on about moth destruction or about all the other overwhelming shit that has piled up since then, but I am having a tough time and I am not coping with it well. I've always felt proud that I'm so independent and self sufficient but right now, having no support is not a good position to be in.

You know when you think, wow, this winter has been really long - and hard. (That sounded like I've been chipping at the frosty ground with a blunt pickaxe trying to unearth one potato on which to feed my seven children.) Then you remember that last autumn, summer and spring weren't so easy either. And the winter before that wasn't much fun. Then it dawns on you that the last few years things have got harder and harder to cope with until...

Everything seems so far away at the moment that it's hard to write the sort of thing I usually write about here. I'm shuffling around dishevelled in a daze and kind strangers keep striking up conversations with me. I'm not taking pictures or writing or reading or sleeping or eating properly. I did note that I liked Proenza Schouler and that Marc by Marc was back on form. But it was sort of like that information was connecting with some distant part of my brain that automatically records these things.

I'm sure I'll be back to being myself at some point. I've been writing here for 3 and a half years through all kinds of shit that I probably didn't even mention. But for the moment, please bear with me.

Monday, February 16, 2009


Belatedly adding my little voice to say I will be sad to see Domino, the one and only magazine this former magazine addict subscribed to, go. I also think Conde Nast are total idiots not to keep the Domino website up and running as a subscription site.

Before the MA (moth apocalypse) when I had time for such things, I was trawling through the website trying to save images before they take it down. But there was too much good stuff. I always really liked the little how-to videos - especially the gardening ones, which soothed me through many an insomnia fuelled night. I'm glad to see that lots of people have been posting their favourites - (here is a good place to start) so maybe eventually some of the goodness will be preserved. I found it too overwhelming to go through everything though and then MA happened. So here's my favourite of all - Amedeo Pace and Kazu Makino from Blonde Redhead's apartment shot by Coliena Rentmeester.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Ten days of doing nothing all day and night but focusing on the aforementioned Great Moth Apocalypse of Feb 2009: washing, washing, dry cleaners, charity shop, favourite stuff in the bin, worry, worry, spraying chemicals, worrying about the chemicals, getting dermatitis from the chemicals, not sleeping or eating properly, getting overwhelmed and getting professionals in to spray different chemicals and then worrying about their chemicals killing Lola will do that to you apparently. (That was a long sentence.)

So I went to The Providores in Marylebone last night and Lola was still alive when I got home. I was an hour and a half late, yes. I gabbled about moths for roughly the first half hour (maybe longer?). I drove the wrong way, wore the only outfit available to me, no make up and a crazed look. But after a couple of glasses of wine, some indescribably lovely tapas and some good company my blood pressure came down a bit and this morning I feel...almost human.

My home is still topsy turvy with half my stuff in bin liners but I'm getting there. I miss my normal life.

But Stephanie (who I am buying my first post moth piece of clothing from - whee!) inspired me with her post on perfume bottles; so here's one I love.

Vol de Nuit by Guerlain - maybe I've posted about it before? It's all about the bottle and the story behind it. I'd buy it except I don't like the smell. Oh well.

Jacques Guerlain created Vol de Nuit, “night flight”, in 1933 in homage to the brave aviators of the 1920s and Air France Company. The French company Aéropostale was one of the first operations to fly the mail from continent to continent. The chief pilot of Aéropostale's operations was Antoine de St. Exupéry. After serving as a French combat pilot during World War I, he wrote several books, among them Wind, Sand and Stars, Night Flight and The Little Prince. He disappeared during the World War II while flying a reconnaissance mission in 1944.

Vol de Nuit was named after a novel by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The bottle is emblazoned with the shape of French Air Force wings and is made in dark amber colour.
(Quote from here.)

p.s. It's Valentine's day - I forgot.

p.p.s. This is good news to soften the bad news. Makes me want to go to New York. (via Scout-Holiday)

Sunday, February 08, 2009


I've been a bit preoccupied the past week. When I try to sleep my dreams are full of giant insects chasing me. I haven't actually slept so apologies if I ramble a bit. My living room is full of bin liners containing different types of clothes with labels on them saying: washed, not washed, to freeze, charity, throw away. The dry cleaner loves me and this is my new favourite shop. Once the dry cleaning bill hit triple figures I started freezing things - (it kills the eggs if you wrap things in plastic and freeze for at least 72 hours so I'm told. I'm still on the first batch, so I have no idea yet if it also damages your clothes.) I wasn't even going to mention the plague that's been visited upon me because, first of all I felt silly for getting so upset when my clothes get attacked; secondly I felt like a bit of a brat - like boo hoo my cashmere casualties are all Marni. Poor me.

So moths. The moths. I had some vintage clothing (not mine) stored in my flat to sell and they brought some friends along who decided to move in. I caught it right at the beginning which is lucky I suppose, but actually more gross as I got to find the eggs and larvae - yum. And you have to either dry clean, wash above 50 degrees c or freeze to kill the eggs. And of course you can't wash cashmere ( or anything except manmade fibres which, obviously, no...) at 50 (where the fuck is the degree key?)

After the first week of spending every waking minute of every day dealing with the plague I started to look at my clothes in a new light. I mean, all this is incredibly time consuming. I had never had moths before because I spend an inordinate amount of my life sorting out my wardrobe, dry cleaning, moving things around. (By the way did I mention I'm just on wardrobe No.1 at the moment. The other wardrobe, where all the nice dresses are is probably being munched through as I type, but I don't have enough space in my flat to do them both at the same time - and the killing sprays etc haven't arrived yet.) I mean, it's not as if something like this hasn't happened before with stored clothes. (Ha - just noticed the title of that old post - my freezer really IS Narnia now.) I had been keeping things I never wore because I could sell them or pass them down or whatever. And I was extremely sentimental about them - they sort of told a story of all the years I worked in fashion and had access to these heavily discounted or free amazing clothes -(See? Poor me - you hate me don't you). And after last time I told myself I got the lesson, but I didn't.

Then yesterday I suddenly felt free as I shoved a vintage feather headpiece that I'd vaguely been promising to turn into some kind of thing, but would never have got around to, into a bin liner and threw it in the bin. I'm eyeing my antique silk kimono suspiciously and thinking - do I really get any pleasure out of it hanging on the back of a door, or is it just a disgusting moth party waiting to happen? And I think the goatskin rug has to go - it's vintage, it's fur, it's...hanging outside (in the rain) awaiting its fate at the moment.

So now I'm throwing things away with abandon. I have things I've been keeping for DECADES that I never wear, don't have the facilities to store properly and feel too guilty to throw away because they were expensive. And then I feel guilty buying new clothes because I have so many. Most of the things I had been saving for my future online vintage shop that I could never find the enthusiasm to get off the ground - gone! I realise I hate all the faff of selling things online; I should do something I actually enjoy with my time and ideas. (I'm sure my local charity shops are totally infested anyway but I don't want that karma, so anything beloved by moths like wool or cashmere goes in the bin.)

Also, having cleared out a total of five relatives houses after they died, seeing what they accumulated over the years that had to be dealt with somehow has quite a profound effect.

When I've finished I will be left with only the clothes I wear regularly and maybe a couple of special things. Shoes I'm keeping - that's the only collection I'll have. My latent O.C.D. was very happy going to Lakeland to buy clear plastic boxes for them. And each piece of saved cashmere gets a plastic bag to live in. (Oh, I might even go and live in an oxygen tent - am I scaring you?) I always thought you weren't supposed to store clothes in plastic; apparently I was wrong - and Rachel Zoe stores her vintage collection wrapped in plastic so it must be ok.

I'm excited to receive my package of chemical warfare (tomorrow hopefully) and I shall commence extermination.

The middle of a recession may not be the best time to lose half your clothes and need to shop, but I'm going with it. OK, if you saw me I would have a slightly crazed look and I may be rocking backwards and forwards but it's just because I'm cold (nothing warm to wear!)

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


As we know, Sofia Coppola has flawless, impeccable taste in - well, everything. This apparently includes...sofas, as she has not one, but two of my dream sofas. First there was the blue George Smith number in her New York place (below).

But in the Ultimate Paris Apartment of Wildest Dreams I kept getting tantalising glimpses of this white linen covered arrangement. First I got a peek at it in the Marc Jacobs LV documentary; then, this photo in Vanity Fair surfaced (below).

Then, there it is again with Maryna Linchuk reclining on it in the Dior ad (I'm starting to feel grubby - my furniture stalking secret is out) ...

...and we know it has a corner, as evidenced by this picture in Paris Vogue:

But now, thanks to the current steady flow of press generated by the (totally gorgeous, totally out of my price stratosphere) bags and shoes Sofia designed for Louis Vuitton and the Miss Dior Cherie ad she directed, we see more than a glimpse in Vogue Nippon.

Not that I could ever afford it - and even if I could it's bigger than my actual apartment. I guess I'll stick with the original budget plan of getting a Bemz cover for my cat scratched Ikea sofa.

*The title - I couldn't resist!

{Credits: House & Garden - ph: Paul Jasmin, Vanity Fair - ph: Melodie McDaniel, still from Dior Miss Cherie ad, Paris Vogue and Vogue Nippon - ph: Andrew Durham - scanned by me.}

Sunday, February 01, 2009

VERDE & CO...(AND P.S...)

On Friday I found myself in Spitalfields, not somewhere I go much these days. The market regeneration has led to some unforgivably cheesy shops opening up, which I do my best to ignore. But luckily one part of Brushfield Street still retains a bit of individuality, with Verde & Co the beacon of good hope. How what is basically a small grocery store and deli can give one such a feeling of contentment is hard to define. For a start, everything is pleasing to the eye in a way that the phrase higgledy piggledy could have been made for. The old shop sign, the shelves of produce, the macarons, cakes and tarts displayed on the table, the copper counter you can sit at to drink your coffee, the actual fire in the fireplace and the (oh yes) Pierre Marcolini chocolates.

I'm not sure how they fit it all - and the staff and customers - of which they have many, into such a tiny space, but they do. It somehow doesn't feel stressful to negotiate someone's brushy, hopeful dog sitting at your feet, the fireplace (which I'm sure a less imaginative grocer would have utilised as storage) and other assorted people waiting for their orders. I can honestly say it is the one and only time I have felt jealous of the city bank workers around Liverpool Street, as they can get their freshly made lunch here every day (you can see the menu here - simple but gorgeous sandwiches and salads.)

The thing I notice most is the helpfulness and knowledge of the staff - and here I must stop before you become suspicious that I'm writing an advert. On my most recent visit I discovered that Verde & Co is co-owned by author Jeanette Winterson; perhaps having a writer involved is a clue to how its been thought out. I can't think of anywhere in London I'd rather plonk myself down by the fire on an icy winter's day, hiding behind the cakes with a good cup of coffee and a book.

Monday morning P.S.
I'm such a witch. And to think I used up my snow excitement photo on a mere sprinkling.