Monday, February 28, 2011


If someone buys me A, then I can do B. See?

{Isabel Marant Miroy sweater, sold out in this colour on Net-A-Porter. Photo from Metier SF which evidently sells lovely things. Second photo I can't find the credit for - sorry. Hate doing that.}

Friday, February 25, 2011


There have been so many good films in the past year - it feels as if I go to the cinema every day. Here are some short and very subjective reviews of all the films nominated for Best Picture at this year's Academy Awards.

Black Swan
: Outlandish, ridiculous, slick, visually stylish, rollercoaster ride, reminded me of Rosemary's Baby. Natalie Portman will win best actress.

The Fighter: Christian Bale had better win best supporting actor, loved Melissa Leo, exhilarating, had everything, unexpectedly brilliant. Wish it would win best picture. CHRISTIAN BALE.

Inception: The Paris bit, effects, effects, clever effects, enjoyable but Marion Cotillard's character was disappointing. Will probably win for effects?

The Kids Are All Right: Mark Ruffalo is hot. The bit with the gardener was funny. Can't see it winning.

The King's Speech:
Lovely walls, Helena Bonham Carter wasn't annoying for once, Geoffrey / Colin, corgis!, ugh - too patriotically rousing at the end. I want The Fighter or Black Swan to win Best Film but this probably will. Would prefer Javier Bardem to win best actor for Biutiful, even though that film made me lapse into unfathomable despair. 

127 Hours: James Franco is good at everything *edit* except hosting the Oscars - we all know. (Shame...) Loud, bright, almost impossibly annoying before the fall, pulled all the usual Danny Boyle strings. Someone fainted in the cinema when I watched it and they stopped the film and carted her out. This, for me, added to the drama.

The Social Network: Moi - nonplussed. A perfectly accomplished film that felt flat, though I do feel totally justified in my hatred of Facebook now. Will probably win everything. Justin Timberlake deserves an award for Worst Hair In A Motion Picture.

Toy Story 3: Don't be ridiculous, I'm not watching it.

True Grit: The little girl was good. Horses. Guns. Not my type of film but more than bearable.

A Winter's Bone: Bleak, pick up trucks, rednecks, plaid, made me even more scared of that whole swathe of America. Someone said, "Like Roseanne except really depressing and not funny at all."

Agree? Disagree?

{Yeah, I cropped Anne Hathaway out of the pic for obvious reasons. What will James Franco do if he's both hosting the ceremony (with Anne) and wins Actor in a Leading Role? I'm sure he'd like to present it to himself. Or when he accepts it he'll have to keep holding it and immediately turn to do his next introduction. These are things I think about.}

Thursday, February 24, 2011


It was sweet Pompon who first gave me the idea for this series about bloggers and their cats. As soon as I saw his little face on Hello Neest I needed to know everything about him. He is just so, well, look at him! I felt a bit disloyal to Lola for a while - I only had eyes for Pompon. It was very kind of Sandrine to agree to do this for a complete stranger, asking to interview her about her cat! I love her answers, and I love that she sent me a diagram of Pompon sheet-swinging (as I'm going to call it) to explain when I didn't understand...

The basics: What breed is he, how old, how did you come to live with him, why did you call him Pompon?

He's a shaded golden British Shorthair. He is 11 months old and I called him Pompon because he's round like a pompon and everything sweet!

How would you describe Pompon's personality?

He is too cute, he's the most adorable kitten. He is gentle, kind, curious, cuddly and playful...everything perfect!

What is Pompon's favourite food?

The poor thing can only eat dry food! I buy it at the vet. My older cat Mouta is obese and suffers from urinary problems, I'm not allowed to give him anything else. Pompon eats the same otherwise Mouta attacks him to steal his food. It's a real problem. I'd like to give them the healthiest food, but with Mouta's health problems, I do not know what to do...

Where is Pompon's preferred lounging location? Does he have any signature poses? 

No, unlike other cats, Pompon has no preferred place for now, he sleeps anywhere and changes places all the time! Unless someone comes, he sits behind the door. His preferred position on a chair is in a ball. But when he lies down on the floor, he sleeps on his back and shows us his cute little belly!

What is a day in the life of Pompon like?

In the morning, as soon as I put a foot down it's meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, like a poor starving kitten. Pompon cannot go outside when we are in Paris. We've only taken him to the country once, but it was snowing so he could not go for a walk. In spring, when we return, he'll discover the joy of hunting mice, chasing birds and butterflies...For now, he follows me everywhere and watches me. He loves when I clean, when I make beds, or wash the crockery. He observes everything and plays with the water, or in the sheets!... In the afternoon, he often sleeps.

Do you have any amusing/weird/cute Pompon moments or stories you'd like to share?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


When I saw via Twitter that Burberry was going to be the first brand ever to live stream its AW11 show from the advertising screens at Piccadilly Circus I immediately thought, what a brilliant idea. I know I'm always a bit sarcastic, but I've been genuinely enthused, as mentioned in the previous post, by the embracing of digital media at London Fashion Week. Burberry has been leading the way with this in the past few years as everyone knows - balancing on the right side of the line between gimmickry and real innovation.

So it was that yesterday I, in another first, voluntarily went to Piccadilly Circus. I had imagined that all the screens would be taken over for the live stream, but obviously I'm not a financial genius and I soon realised the cost of doing this would bankrupt England, never mind Burberry. What they had were three screens at the top: one with the Burberry logo, advertising the event, the middle one with the live stream and one on the right devoted to the sponsor, Glaceau Vitamin Water. The show was due to start at 4pm. When I arrived at about 3.45pm there wasn't much of a crowd, just a small gathering of what looked like fashion students on the steps under the statue of Eros.

As 4pm neared, more people arrived, most of whom seemed to be press and photographers covering the event. The countdown had begun, then it got to zero, then it went back up again to 4.23, then back down, then the middle screen started showing arrivals at the show venue, which although it was just down the road in Kensington Gardens, seemed a million miles away. The screen switched to a view of inside the tent and the show began. A few more technical glitches - the screen freezing, going off and coming back on again and we were witnessing the fu - no, the fut..glitch glitch, buffer buffer, the futtt, THE FUTURE!

We watched as silently the models went up and down the catwalk in '60s mod coats - lots of coats - which was apt, as it was freezing. Another first for a fashion show was that the further you stood back, the better view you got. A tourist came up to me and asked what was going on, and seemed fairly impressed, before going on to ask for directions. The show was interrupted by Transport for London information flashing across the screens for a moment, then the show flashed back on again. It was a bit like watching a space shuttle launch on television, where you're waiting with baited breath, hoping that nothing will go too catastrophically wrong. More coats, orange, blue - you might as well watch the video here because it was hard to see detail and I was too busy taking in everything else to compose anything approaching a review. The sound was of traffic and camera shutters until the familiar tones of a group of Hare Krishnas approached. Their arrival coincided with the finale, in which the models had transparent plastic capes over their outfits and snow softly fell down onto the catwalk.

Everyone in the crowd went ahhhhh at the snow and the Hare Krishnas watched the screen as they chanted. And THAT was a perfect London moment even Christopher Bailey couldn't have engineered.


This past week I've been gingerly dipping my toes back in the waters of London Fashion Week. I've had a bit of a funny, ambivalent relationship with it over the past few years, preferring instead to go to a few shows in Paris when I could and hide my head under a duvet for the duration of L.F.W. I first rocked up at L.F.W. as a wee young thing seventeen years ago, when I interned for designers - yes you read that right - I can't believe it was that long ago. I stopped going at all a few years ago. But because of the blog I'd been getting invites and then this time around, without thinking too deeply about it, I went along. What was more interesting to me than most of the clothes if I'm honest, was how things have changed from the olden days of yore. On the organisation and digital technology side of things they are ON IT. The live-streaming of all the shows, the blog bar at Somerset House, the way information is relayed - I can't fault it. Everything has gone up about ten notches and Somerset House itself looks beautiful. I felt a small swelling of patriotic pride in the British Fashion Council.

Lara Bohinc

Felder Felder

I bumped into a friend who's a PhD candidate at the London School of Economics. His research has to do with measuring value and he was interviewing people at L.F.W. He wanted to speak to people who had been in the fashion industry for ten years or more, and who were involved in a measurable way. Needless to say, it was extremely difficult to find people who fulfilled those criteria hanging around at L.F.W.! And that is where London Fashion Week never changes. For me, the whole getting dressed like you're going to a Halloween party, to sit on the front row looking disdainful isn't a plus point. I really wanted my friend to interview some of those people, so I could find out what they actually do, if anything. The people he spoke to who on first glance looked like they might not have anything to do with fashion, turned out to be the ones with the most solid involvement in it.

It all became a bit Fellini-esque when my friend was trying to find someone, anyone, who wasn't already either filming someone with a phone, or being filmed, so that he could film an interview with them. Then I found myself standing outside the Mark Fast show, watching it on the big screen, holding a large camera. It crossed my mind that I might catch a glimpse of Emmanuelle Alt or someone on the way out. I immediately left.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


OK February, you can go now. Come on - out. I've had enough of you and your dank, dismal days. That's right, make sure you shut the door firmly on your way out. I keep reading about February flatness so I'm guessing I'm not the only one afflicted with it. Can we all be miserable together? We'll form a band.

As much as I'd like to swiftly dispatch February as I would a too persistent Jehovah's witness, it seems that it won't go away until it's good and ready. Fine. Until then I'll take my own advice (and yours) and try to cling on to the hope that's in the tiny buds of blossom I can see forming on the cherry trees in my street.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


I hope you've got your fur tuxedos* at the ready, because Lola is now ready to present the next in our series of Blogger + Cat interviews. And who better to feature than Pony and Oreo, the sweet furry companions to Anabela of the very brilliant Fieldguided. Anabela has more than proved her allegiance to cat freakery by being the co-curator of the sublime Dreamcats tumblr, where soft focus kitties reside. Thank you Anabela, Geoff, Pony and Oreo - and special thanks to Pony for the strange mixture of extreme sympathy, amusement, wonder and admiration I felt at seeing her in her post-op Pierrot cape. I'm so happy to be able to post this picture here on the blog:

Dignity prevails

The basics: What breed are they, how old, how did you come to live with them, why are they called Pony and Oreo?

Oreo and Pony are both domestics -- Oreo is a tuxedo or bi-colour, and Pony is calico. Oreo is about eight years old, and she came to live with us through a former roommate who adopted her from the local humane society when Oreo was two years old. Geoff & I were meant to look after Oreo for about a year while Annie got settled in New York City for graduate school, but we've had her since. Pony is eight months old and we found her in our yard along with her kitten siblings and feral cat mother. I looked out my kitchen window one day and saw a tiny calico leaping about, and I couldn't believe it! She had been living in the weeds with her three kitten siblings and feral mother (there is a big feral cat problem in Toronto). Pony was the only one who would approach us and let us pick her up, so we kept her, and eventually found a home for her siblings, who are apparently still quite wild! Oreo came with the name Oreo; Annie was going to change it but nothing else stuck. It's a funny name because it is a trademarked brand name, and in some cases a racial slur. Everyone thinks Oreo is a male cat because of it. Oh well. Pony is called Pony because that is one of my favourite words to say. It popped into my head while I was riding my bike and I've learned never to question that sort of thing. It suits her quite well, and most people smile when they hear it.


How would you describe their personalities? Are they friends?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


*OK Scott Sternberg from Band of Outsiders, I feel like such an underachiever. Not only are you really good at making clothes, but you've also got an amusing and well written blog about your obsession with cookies. 

*Films for a fiver on Tuesdays at the BFI. Do you have any idea how much I love BFI Southbank?  Yesterday I saw Truffaut's Silken Skin (La Peau Douce) and last week, Jules et Jim (run now finished) as part of the Truffaut retrospective. There's something about watching a packed to the rafters screening of these films made fifty years ago that makes me feel a twinge of hope for the world. I also think I might want to be a projectionist.

Pretty good excuse to post photos of Jeanne Moreau and Francoise Dorleac, eh?

*Going to a local poetry night, the second Monday of each month. I've been going for ages. A mix of open mike, regulars, established poets, upcoming musicians and the inimitable Jazzman John.

*I must have watched the trailer for this film about Bill Cunningham twenty times in the past month. I'm waiting to hear if and when it'll be screened in London and will let you know.

*Lastly, thank you for the positive response and all your tweets and mentions about the Bloggers + Cats feature. It will be back tomorrow with a double helping of gorgeous felines who I'm sure you'll recognise...

Monday, February 14, 2011


A page from my Paris scrapbook.
All weekend, I was treated to (or subjected to, depending on your perspective) snippets of other people's St. Valentine's Day celebrations. On Friday night, sitting at a bar waiting for a friend I became vaguely aware of the couple sitting next to me. She had a small pile of unwrapped gifts resting on the bar next to her - most of which seemed to involve fuchsia marabou feathers. She was saying, "Oh, you didn't have to, really, you shouldn't have..." Then he said, "We're going to have romance, we're going to have fine wine, good food... And we're going to shag a bit."
I'm so glad I won't be in Paris this week.

For some reason the tube is where I make many of the observations about London life that I end up sharing here. Apologies in advance if anyone I mention is actually reading this and recognises themselves. I mean no judgement, it's merely observation/mild stalking.

This past weekend I noticed so many couples on tube escalators, gazing adoringly at each other, one step below the other, the female clutching one of those single red roses in plastic people try to sell you in restaurants. On the tube a couple shared (red!) ipod headphones and held on to each other as if their lives depended on it, centimetres away from me. I could only see the girl, who was wearing a cute woolly hat with knitted cat ears, sparkly green eyeshadow and silver shoes. The Curzon cinema in Soho on Sunday afternoon was a hotbed of coupledom (and laptops) - and here was the only sign of non-heterosexual celebration of Valentine's Day I saw in public at all. Weird, no? The vast majority of loveurs displaying their allegiance to the whole Valentine's thing were young, heterosexual and visually identifying strongly with the mainstream. On Sunday night I saw a girl waiting for a train dressed to kill in see-through plexiglass platform heels, bare legs and a red swishy mini skirt. She must have been freezing.

I do honestly find it fascinating to see all the tables at every restaurant divided into tables for two, couples diligently taking their places and ordering the lamb special with raspberry jus. And generally looking pretty miserable while doing so. I also wholeheartedly support florists in their work and they need this day to survive.
It would be nice to have a day to celebrate love, just not perhaps this one/this way. I'd be interested to know if anyone has come up with a way of doing Valentine's Day that isn't well, you know, that's a bit more my kind of thing. I know I never have, though I do enjoy observing the participants in a somewhat detached anthropological manner. (And OK, taking the piss a bit.)

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


First up in the new series of cat interviews is the delectable Quincy. Jaja of July Stars has absolutely impeccable taste, so it naturally follows that this extends to felines.

Photo montage by Jaja
Just look at him! Without further ado, I give you, The Quincy Files:

What breed is he, how old, how did you come to live with him, why is he named after Quincy Jones?
Quincy is an Ocicat, a cross between Abyssinian and Siamese. I won’t discriminate against other cat breeds but he genuinely is a beautiful creature. His spots and elongated body give him a strong physical identity reminiscent of wild cats. He was born on the 8th of May 2009 at 2.30 am. We called him Quincy Jones in honour of the genius musician/producer we both adore.

How would you describe Quincy's personality?
He’s the opposite of subtle! He is loud, demanding, extremely confident, unshakeable if I’m at home (he will follow me everywhere), intelligent, observant, playful and a powerful hunter but he’s also the most loving animal in the world. He’s constantly clamouring for cuddles. He sleeps under the duvet with us at night and is particularly good at purring like a machine. Oh, and he can do very ambitious and ridiculously funny somersaults. He isn’t scared of anybody or anything and has a very close dog friend in the area with whom he plays a couple of times a week. No division of species or alienation for him, he truly believes we’re all equal and I suspect he thinks he’s human. A person trapped in a cat suit!

What is Quincy's favourite food?
There is nothing he won’t eat. Fish, meat, pizza, marmite on toast, Chinese food, bread, soups, lentils, salad, fruit, cheese, vegetables of all kinds. He’s particularly fond of spaghettis and olives. [Ed note: Lola also adores olives.] Well, you get the idea. In his opinion, if it’s good enough to be on our plate it’s good enough for his belly. He also spends an incredible amount of time trying to open the push click bin to search for remains of feasts. And he’s frequently successful! If you’re not careful while enjoying a meal you might suddenly find a paw in your plate desperately trying to grab something.

Where is Quincy's preferred lounging location? Does he have any signature poses?
He likes to sleep with his bum against my computer or on the keyboard. He also loves the bathroom floor as it has underfloor heating and he’s very much into lounging on piles of clothes or the top of the fridge, the perfect spot from which to survey cooking proceedings!

What is a day in the life of Quincy like?
He lives the life of a London aristocat. It’s all cocktails, socializing, farniente and pure enjoyment.

Do you have any amusing/weird/cute Quincy moments or stories you'd like to share?
About six months ago I received a phone call from a neighbour to tell me that he had just found Quincy devouring leftover pizza on his kitchen table. The pizza had been lovingly prepared by his wife with the finest ingredients and was supposed to be reheated that same evening. Unfortunately for them, nothing was left!

Quickfire round:

Birds or mice?

Both. He once brought back home a crow and mice are a common occurrence.

Sunlight or radiator?

Tap or bowl?
Bowl, always.

Lap or laptop?

Snuggling or stretching?


Cats or humans?
Definitely humans.

{Thank you so much Jaja, for joining in with my ridiculous harebrained scheme!}

Wednesday, February 09, 2011


Since the very beginnings of this blog, I've been conscious of (but perhaps not successful at) not coming across like a totally crazy cat freak. This blog may be Lola in name, but there is very little of her in these pages. It would be a very different blog if I filled it with stories of Lola and Georgie, Lola and Beans, Lola and Omar and Sophie, Lola and the squirrels; or her thoughts on the current sociopolitical climate. It was while I was watching the news with Lola beside me, increasingly falling into despair at the state of the world, that a thought occurred to me. My first thought was how I find felines preferable to humans in most cases. This blog actually used to have a tagline expressing that very sentiment back in the olden days. My second thought was that perhaps my self imposed restraint with cat related blog content was no longer necessary. And what is the spirit animal of the internet anyway? Exactly. In fact, couldn't a bit of lighthearted cat blogging be just what we all need right now to lighten the load. I think so.

It just so happens that many awesomely incredible bloggers are also crazy cat ladies the owners of some awesomely adorable felines. Yes, I used the word awesomely - twice. This is a lighthearted cat freakery post - I will talk about A.P.C. some other time. So, my lovelies, if you've always wanted to know more about those elusive felines you've seen lurking on windowsills behind your favourite bloggers, or whose paws/tails you've caught glimpses of on flickr, now is your chance. It's also possible that we've all meme'd each other out to the point where none of us can come up with seven new things that people don't already know about us. But no one ever asked Lola what her favourite colour is did they? (Fuchsia btw.) Cat interviews are clearly the next logical step and I am taking that step. The first interview will be up tomorrow - here's a preview:

Can you guess who it is yet?

Monday, February 07, 2011


Kiki D. getting botanical in the spring Boy. Band of Outsiders lookbook. What, pray are those strange and pretty things on stalks she's picking? Ah, yes. Flowers. I remember those...

Friday, February 04, 2011


Well, this didn't turn out the way I expected. I finally admit defeat, not in the matter of the vertiginous champagne holding Alaia boots, but in the matter of the See by Chloe boots I thought were sensible. I have to admit, these boots, beautiful as they are, are not just half a size too small for me, but a whole size too small. Therefore, they have been worn for a sum total of a couple of hours, spending most of that time in a car or under a restaurant table where no one can see them. Not a fate deserving such pretty boots. I have a bad habit of keeping shoes that don't fit me, just so I can look at them. But there's enough shoe sculpture lurking in my wardrobe already. I know a lot of you liked these boots when I bought them, so you get first choice. They are size (eur) 37 (UK) 4 and look exactly as new, including the heel which is not worn down at all. (Obviously the soles have been walked on outside.)

They are See by Chloe A/W10, black leather with brass stud detail, 3 and a half inch heels.
I'm selling them for £140 + postage: (£5 within UK, £7 Europe, £10 worldwide)
If you're interested just send me an email: lolaisbeauty[AT]hotmail[DOT]co[DOT]uk - don't forget to tell me where you're located, then I'll send you a Paypal invoice including the shipping.

First come, first served!