Wednesday, November 28, 2012


A satisfied customer! Gabriela is wearing the APC cardigan from my shop. This is fun! It fits her way better than it ever fitted me and I love that I have a picture of it in its new life! What I loved that she now loves... perfect.

There will be another shop update this week - until then the few things left in the shop from the first update will have free worldwide shipping.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


It's true, there is inspiration everywhere! This is the view from my favourite brutalist motorway service station 'somewhere in England.' While others dunk biscuits in their tea, text and read the paper at this nowhere land, I gaze out of the window and imagine various scenes of imaginary films being shot here.  It reminds me simultaneously of Twin Peaks and Let The Right One In (original Swedish version obviously) and I could imagine it standing in for some bleak Danish murder scene in The Killing. (Tangent: what do you think about Sarah Lund's new jumper in Series 3? I'm not sure about it.)

It has such a sinister romantic beauty to it, especially in the rain.

I always Instagram the view when I'm there and recently a friend found herself there by chance, sitting in exactly the same seat I'd been sitting in with the same view and recognised it from my photo. Strange things happen there...

Thursday, November 22, 2012


*The winners of the Archie Grand Secret Agents I Met and Liked notebooks are:

Leah Dunn

{Can you email me with your addresses please at lolaisbeauty(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk}

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


It's now been eight months since I cut all my hair off and I know you've probably been frantically beside yourselves waiting for an update on how that's going; despite my almost refusal to post photos of myself here so you can't even see what it looks like or how it looked before.

I had it cut in the spring - my long hair felt like it was literally weighing me down: it would snake round my neck at night and strangle me and get caught under my bag strap on my shoulder. I was on constant guard against split ends, probably missing many wonderful sights as I investigated my ends on trains, planes and anywhere there was good light.

When I had it cut, first into a shoulder length bob and then shorter, shorter to chin length where it now rests, it gave me a jolt of new energy. I had to keep getting it cut - I couldn't bear it getting long again. Split ends are not an issue - I don't even have to use conditioner. I kiiiiind of felt like a new person and spent the whole spring and summer happily rocking the short hair - in fact I think many positive things happened because of it. When you have long hair you can hide behind it - go short and your attitude changes to 'here I am'. Light, unfussy, modern. I really feel better with short hair. Usually.

Because oh. I have discovered an incontrovertible truth. Last night I opened Photobooth - something I hardly ever use - and stumbled on a series pictures of me taken on it over the past five or so years. I didn't even know they were there. Me and my long hair: glossy, thick, sometimes with a Jane Birkin-y fringe, sometimes not. It was plain to see: I look WAAAYYY prettier with long hair. And younger. Shit. Long hair - which is pretty much six years of growing and trimming out of my reach.

I expect this happens to everyone. You cut it, you love it, then you're over it and realise there's no quick route back to er, pretty? In the summer it was fine, but now the dark and damp has set in I realise I need something extra to look ok. And I prefer being natural. I don't want to have to wear make up to look ok. Short hair demands lipstick, or eyeliner, or something so you don't look like a bore.

I completely hate myself for writing this post and feel like a 'Shit Girls Say' cliche. There's no easy answer. I will have to get used to just looking professional, or modern, or peppy or some such.

Monday, November 19, 2012


At the William Klein exhibition at Tate Modern they showed the film Contacts and it has stayed with me ever since. William Klein narrates as he goes through his contact sheets:
A picture is taken at 125th of a second. What do you know of a photographer's work? 100 pictures, let's say 125. Well, it's a body of work. That comes to, all told, one second. Let's say more like 250 photographs. That would be a rather large body of work. And that would come out to 2 seconds. The life of a photographer, even of a great photographer they say: two seconds
Genius. {Here's a very old blog post about when I kind of 'met' William Klein.}\

On Sunday I went to see Henri Cartier-Bresson: A Question of Colour at Somerset House. It wasn't what I expected at all: 10 of the photographs were by Cartier-Bresson - the rest of the exhibition set out to disprove HCB's assertion in the 1950s that colour photography could never live up to black and white. I was particularly excited about the colour works by Saul Leiter and Joel Meyerowitz included in the exhibition.
Saul Leiter
Joel Meyerowitz

{Both exhibitions continue into January 2013. If you're in London, they're worth a visit.}

Saturday, November 17, 2012


After two years of procrastinating / sneakily squirrelling away souvenirs from all my travels, putting aside barely worn clothing loves and generally pondering how to do this, my shop is finally here!


In it you will find souvenirs from most of the places I've been lately: Venice, Paris, Lisbon etc etc... All bought on a one for me, one for you basis in the same way I'd bring back a souvenir for a friend that I think they'd like. Then there are the clothes - my wardrobe is insane and full of lovely things I've hardly, or in some cases never worn. I'm starting with small groupings of five items in each update, with new updates coming fast and often. But be assured there is MUCH more to come - both souvenirs and clothes.

Here's the first update all hanging out together:

I hope you love What I Loved.

{Merci to C for the header}

Monday, November 12, 2012


My friend Tommy first told me about the Little Bread Pedlar. Leila's, who never used to sell croissants for lack of decent ones in London, discovered and started selling theirs. With the Tommy/Leila stamp of approval and a bite of one of their croissants I was intrigued to know more.

They have a unit at the Spa Terminus part of Maltby Street and recently opened a shop/cafe in Abbey Street around the corner. It's not too far from where I live, has two resident cats and has the best croissants I've eaten in London, delivered by bicycle from their nearby bakery. (They make all their deliveries by bike - hence the name pedlar.) They also have various other handmade baked goods: brownies made with Valrhona chocolate, Parma roses, good bread. I always used to do the old St. John custard doughnut pilgrimage, but this has surpassed that lately as a Saturday morning habit, prior to the Maltby and Bermondsey Street mooch.

{Little Bread Pedlar, 105 Abbey Street, SE1. Tweet @LBPedlar for current opening times.}

Tuesday, November 06, 2012


I don't usually do giveaways or promotional stuff, but since the nice people at Archie Grand address me in emails as "Splendid LIB" I will make an exception. To coincide with the new Bond film Skyfall, which I still haven't seen, I've been given a few of these chic, neon coral coloured Secret Agents I Met and Liked notebooks to give away.

You probably haven't met that many secret agents lately, though if you did they probably couldn't divulge that information or they'd have to kill you in the name of national security. It's probably for the best that you don't know anything.

To win a notebook, all you have to do is tell me who my favourite ever 007 is - ha, no, that's much too easy. Of course it's Sean Connery, are you insane? Although Pierce Brosnan did smile at me once when I passed him in Sloane Street about ten years ago, so he'll always hold a special place in my heart.

OK - here's a better one. What is the best Bond Girl name you can come up with? I think Honey Ryder is my all time fave, but Pussy Galore and Xenia Onatopp are hilarious. If you can make up a really good one that either makes me crack up, or wish I'd thought of it, then you win. There will be more than one winner!

Monday, November 05, 2012


The drinks at the Connaught Bar are among the most expensive in London: more expensive than a martini at Duke's, as expensive as the Ritz and I can't really get my head around anywhere that serves more expensive drinks than Claridges. How could anyone want anything that is more expensive than, yet is not Claridges. (I ask myself.)

The jumpy, confused staff that kept reseating everyone like it was a game of musical chairs lent the place a stressed out jarring atmosphere, but the bar designed by the rightfully ubiquitous David Collins is of course, a lovely place to be. And the cocktails are beautiful, as are the glasses they're served in. If only I hadn't drunk so many of them, then I might not be on this enforced San Pellegrino detox.

(The first picture is of two Fleurissimas lined up at The Connaught, second picture is Dandys from the same night at Hawksmoor Air Street; where the cocktails seem to be just as expertly mixed and potent, if a third of the price. Maybe it's because the barmen wear flannel instead of tuxedos. By the third picture (back at the Connaught) I'd lost all mental reasoning capabilities. And you'd better be thankful there are no more than four photos.)

(p.s. It's been pointed out that I forgot to mention the bottles of Ruinart champagne. Ruin would be the correct word.)