Friday, August 31, 2007


Peyton & Byrne.

*Yes, I am recommending somewhere that happens to be in London, why are you lying on the floor looking all twisted and glazed like that? Look, I've been here thirty odd years, it's not very often somewhere grabs my attention enough to mention it. But when I spy a gorgeous, supercool pastel cubby hole of a bakery that also includes yummy cakes and has the best packaging; then I might mention it.

(Of course it had to be something to do with this Peyton.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


If I was in Paris right about now I would be drinking coffee but I am drinking tea.
If I was in Paris I would be going to this exhibition.
If I was in Paris I would be trying to make a reservation here.
If I was in Paris I would have bought Loic Prigent's Marc Jacobs & Louis Vuitton documentary DVD from Colette. If I had been in Paris I would have seen it on the telly for free.

But I am not. So I order, I wait for the postman. Sigh.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


I've been enjoying a self imposed magazine, television, well all mainstream media break for ooh, about the past three months. The only magazine I bought was A Magazine because it was curated by my risen again fashion rock and roll queen Martine Sitbon.

As someone who's been thoroughly obsessed with fashion magazines for most of their life it was a bit odd to realize that I found them all a bit boring. Oh, I still went through the motions for quite some time: Need a little escape from grim British reality? Grab a glossy. But it wasn't working anymore. I was reading so much stuff online anyway I felt like if there's anything really good, I'll see it because someone will post it somewhere and people will be talking about it.

I was really starting to think that magazines were perhaps not even relevant now; they take so long to produce an issue and you can just switch on your computer and see what's actually bubbling under and happening NOW this very second all over the world.

In the end I went out and bought UK Harper's Bazaar and French Vogue with Claudia Schiffer on the cover which - ughh worst.cover.ever - but anyway they had been out already for a few weeks and that was all that was left on the shelves.

I forgot to mention I had been avoiding central London as well, because well, I just find it really unpleasant at the moment. I think I need to go to an Ashram or something. So, my point being...that after months of "starvation" I went out and all the shops had all their winter stock in, all nice and merchandised, no dribby drabby sale rails...even Zara looked like paradise with this wonderful pewter/camel/coral/ colour palette display and then when I opened UK Harper's Bazaar it was like bam, bam, bam - just a big caffeine like shot of gorgeousness - that is how it was. I was completely cured of being jaded and I excused them for putting diamante on the cover as it was just the new art director trying to do something different in his first issue.

And oh my God THE FUNNIEST piece by Simon Doonan about ex-pat Brits living in New York. I can't find a link to it anywhere so I might even type it out and post it here because it's TOOO good. Or maybe it's only funny if you've lived abroad and experienced a sudden desperation for Cadbury's Creme eggs and bribed visitors to smuggle Marmite in their luggage even though you didn't like it before.

So the bloody point is that I highly recommend a little magazine/shopping holiday, if only because when you jump back in the effect is all the more potent, especially if you time it right just at the start of a new season. And I guess, though I now don't feel the need to buy every single magazine in existence, I do see the point of keeping an eye on it all. Blogs, zines, glossies, newspapers. It can all co-exist.

Friday, August 24, 2007


Lipstick Queen lippy in Rouge Sinner. Most of all I like the art nouveau packaging and that it's made by the lady who used to make Poppy lipsticks long ago...

I'm thinking of getting a Holga...

This dress by Lizette Snorgaard is supercute...

And I really, really love Lina's photos...

Yikes, I'm exhausted today. Have a happy weekend, I'll be back after a long rainy bank holiday nap...

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Details I do not quite understand...

*My re-designed blog looks lovely on my screen, but not so lovely when I've viewed it on others. The title looks HORRENDOUSLY ugly on a larger screen. I don't really understand why it looks different but I shall try and make it palatable for all. In the meantime, I advise viewing in Firefox...

*Swimming in the English sea (in August) is warmer than standing on the beach wearing full winter clothing and two extra jumpers...

*I have suddenly begun to covet a pair of boots I thought were ugly for ages, from a company whose products I don't like...but the need for the boots remains...

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Sometimes I mention things here that I like or I don't like, then completely change my mind. The exceptions to this are usually anything to do with APC (I swear I'm not on commission) or Lola (again, not on commission).

So, in the name of fairness for anyone who's been reading awhile, I shall re-visit a few of my former opinions. The first and most important for my conscience is the whole Bicycle! thing.

On trips to Paris I kept noticing all these chic young things cycling around wearing dresses and heels and looking all relaxed. It seemed like such a good idea. On my return to London I bought a bike. Really, I should have known when I wrote the words:

"So, my new bike is fine. It's fine. It's got two wheels and handlebars, it's not the love of my life..."

I know that I need things to be practical, function perfectly, but also look absolutely amazing; to the point where I have needed but not bought a new cafetiere for three years because I can't find one aesthetically pleasing enough. I need to love it in some way.

So then I got on my bike and quickly found that negotiating buses and lorries trying to mow you down in three merging lanes of traffic whilst avoiding opening car doors and pot holes, pedaling furiously and red faced, wearing a dorky helmet and seriously considering the need for a yellow reflective vest was er, not quite what I'd imagined. Also noticing other cyclists' aggressive kamikaze antics was enough to make me want to take to the pavement, which you can actually be arrested for. (Idea for TfL: Instead of fancy ads and expensive bike lanes that peter out after a few meters, why not paint a line down the middle of the pavement and have one half for cyclists, half for pedestrians in quiet areas where there's not much foot traffic?)

Then there was a news item about the agency responsible for those charming "You're better off by bike" adverts that were so obviously filmed at four o' clock in the morning, where cycle symbols painted on the road everywhere in London (oh, so that's where they all went!) peel themselves up off the road and cycle around 'cos it's all so lovely, lalala. Well the people who work at that agency were advised not to cycle to work because CYCLING IN LONDON IS TOO DANGEROUS.

Then, my friend saw a dead cyclist who'd met the bonnet of a car in Greenwich Great Park, which has only one road with a low speed limit running through it. Oh, and then I broke my foot so couldn't cycle anyway, so my ordinary, average bike just clutters up the hallway and gets knocked over every time someone walks past it. The moral of the story is: I'm selling it and no one who lives in London is allowed to buy it.


The YSL Tilbury lace up. Hello lover. Heels are on my mind as last night was the first time since I broke my foot (3 months ago) that I was able to successfully (bravely!) wear high heels.

(I know I keep posting wintery clothing type things, but if, like me you have woken up one day in mid August to discover it's autumn already, the one consolation (I assure you) is the pulling on of a brand new cashmere sweater and thoughts of winter wardrobe building blocks.)

So, the shoe. Named after (heel teetering make up artist) Charlotte Tilbury?

I felt a glimmer of recognition on seeing this shoe and thought it was that first flush of knowing it would be mine. Then I realised its similarity to this YSL shoe I own (who it was named after I couldn't tell you) from a few years ago...lets call it the spiky heel Mary Jane T-bar broguey shoe...

The heel is deceptive. That heel is at least two inches higher than it looks. I just measured it and it's four and a half inches high. The construction of the shoe is such that the heel meets the sole only an inch and a half before the top of the shoe. That'd be a good trick if you were shorter, which I'm not. So that means the Tilbury must be like walking on stilts. But from my experience with the SHMJT-BB shoes I would give them a try. I have been able to stand all day and night in those babies, albeit tottering slightly and holding onto tables, people and bannisters at wobbly moments.

I doubt very much that anything other than, "Are you on the waiting list?" would be the response to enqiries about the Tilbury in London, but I'm tentatively confident that I'll be able to find them in Italy - and YSL's a bit cheaper there too.

Ooh my mind is filling with images of what I'll wear them with...

Aaaaand I've got to have one of those cocktail rings (in turquoise preferably) maybe in the sale...woooohoooo.

Top image from

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


I still love Burfitt.

I love the continuation from season to season, the choice of the same models and Julia Hetta's photography. Burfitt has such a strong identity that makes me want to live in it.

Even though it's now stocked in (gasp) Urban Outfitters which I feel conflicted about. On the one hand it makes it far more likely that I'll actually be able to OWN a piece of elusive Burfitt clothing, instead of haunting the boutiques of Paris and TwoSee here in London to find it all sold out. Course, it's also good for Lovisa Burfitt financially and she'll be able to do more with that injection of cash Urban Outfitters. You know.

It's like when your favourite song gets used in a car commercial.

*Also, it's an oldie but since it's Lola's birthday today I thought I'd let her post a link to her favourite band who'll be playing at her party tonight...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


..that I dream of Italy. Mostly, rather unimaginatively (considering all the Italy related things I could be dreaming of) it's of not having to wear woolly socks, (I seem to be down on woolly socks this summer) or indeed, a hoodie with my bikini.

...that I wish my APC order, which includes many warm, snuggly winter type things was here and not at a Fedex depot where I have just discovered it has been languishing for three weeks.

...that I realised no, actually I do not have raging hayfever. I have a streaming cold.


I like the photographs by Sarah Maingot for the Toast late summer/early autumn catalogue.

*The correct equipment in unfavourable weather conditions is imperative.*

Friday, August 10, 2007


I must post this quickly, as we seem to be having something that resembles a summer. I hope I don't tempt fate and scupper it all. Fate's always reading my blog, never comments though. Remember what happened when I took my woolly socks and winter wardrobe to the coast last weekend? Brilliant hot sunshine. So I'm hoping this won't be the opposite of that. Anyway.

The Summer Lovin' List:

Wafting around in my white APC/Jessica Ogden Madras dress all the live long day and night

Cold pear cider with ice

Prawn summer rolls

Lemon infused Olive Oil on everything

Mismatched bikini bottoms with AA bandeau

New white cotton Muji bedlinen

Swapping some of my blueberry crop for my neighbour's home grown potatoes

Going to the beach!

Hooray, enjoy the weekend...


OK, I did it, I did it, like I promised. I stayed in London for the whole of July and will not be using my passport the whole of August. So I'm due some kind of compensation, obviously.

I just booked a ticket to go to Italy, my first love, for a few days next month. Paris, my second love and Spain (sneakily encroaching) have dominated for the past few years now, so I'm long due a return to the country I called home a decade ago. I'm very excited to visit this very talented friend in Venice, then a quick jaunt to my former home in Florence to see this very talented friend...

The reason for going back is simply to catch up with friends, drink wine, eat ravioli, watch the world go by, drink coffee, catch up with friends...

In fact, thinking about it, I met more interesting people during one year in Italy than I have in my entire life. It was a steady stream of artists and anthropologists, philosophers and philanthropists; writers, photographers, students, fashion royalty, poets, wine makers and art historians. I mostly remember those who were acquaintances like characters in a film: The taxi driver who'd come from an old Florentine family and had a part in Room with a View, the guy who was a jockey in the Palio, a friend of a friend who lived in Argentina and rolled up the rug in the living room at cocktail time to teach us how to tango. No idea who that was now, but just the thought that I once had a cocktail time rather tickles me.
Top Venice tip: Harry's Dolci. Oh, so, quiet and preferable to sharing Harry's Bar with all the other tourists writing postcards telling their friends that they're in Harry's Bar having a bellini. And hello, it's dessert.
Don't tell everyone!

Thursday, August 09, 2007


Oh, coincidence, luck, synchronicity, whatever. Love it.

In my unrelenting quest to read more books than I've had hot dinners, I kept being attracted to the cover of Throw Like a Girl glinting at me in Lauren's sidebar.
I admit, it was the hair at first. I didn't mention the book to her because I knew, the love, she'd probably send me a copy if I asked, but I didn't want to be a freeloading book ho.

So I was getting along fine with David Sedaris when I received my prize of the A Fine Frenzy C.D. that I won (I won! I won!) from Lauren's competition. But the package also contained.....the book! She psychic lady. And hello, if David Sedaris himself isn't right there on the cover, saying:
"If there are Jean Thompson characters, they're us, and never have we been so articulate and worthy of compassion."
I read it over the weekend at the beach - the perfectly formed short stories were the perfectly formed beach companion. I always get "stuck" in a good book, so if I can finish a story before having to interact with other humans at dinner, say, that's a good thing and avoids questions like, "Why are you moping around?" and "Jesus, I said pass the salt, why are you so spaced out?" when all I can think of is what's going to happen next in my book. The title story in Throw Like a Girl, which is the last one, almost broke my heart with its tale of a disjointed friendship. And I think what David (above) means - if I may be so presumptuous, is that the characters in her stories may live in suburbia, or have seemingly ordinary, even mundane lives; but their choices and actions are brave, sometimes misguided and fuelled by complex desires and needs they may not even be aware of. Amongst all this Jean Thompson manages to weave in major issues like the invasion of Iraq as she creates a vision of how life is in America.

In my competition entry I had gone on about the glasses they drink wine out of in Spain, really short half height tumblers - of course I couldn't find them anywhere here. Until I found them yesterday at Zara Home for 50p each. FIFTY PENCE.

All I needed then was a magazine to read when I got home. My eyes glazed over as I scanned the thousands of titles in Borders and nothing appealed. They've stopped stocking both Blueprint and Bust for some reason, so I left empty handed and it was too late to go to Franks. When I got home there was a package on my doorstep. The lovely Sheila had sent me a copy of Bust, with Chloe Sevigny on the cover and a review of, yes, Throw Like a Girl inside.

It's all connected, see...

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


An overhaul of this blog's design is long overdue...Today, with the added handicap of a hangover I shall attempt to move my old template into "new improved" layout mode (Blogger's new template thingy). I may lose some bits and bobs on the way and it might all look a bit odd for a while...


I re-read On the Road recently and - unlike the author of this (very good) article in yesterday's Observer, found it more thrilling than the first reading in my teens.

I hadn't even been anywhere much in my teens except suburban greater London, Belgium and family holidays to Greece, so it's not surprising I loved the book more the second time around. It's by no means perfect but I still felt the crackling, magnetic energy.

As I read it again I couldn't help wondering why a film hadn't been made of it. It could really be dangerous territory in the wrong hands, but with the right minds it could be amazing. Could no one do it justice? Almost instantly my prayers were answered:
Fifty years on, the book is being turned into a Hollywood film, scripted by Roman Coppola, son of Francis Ford, and directed by Walter Salles who made The Motorcyle Diaries, the story of Che Guevara's road trip across South America. Kirsten Dunst will star as Carolyn Cassady.
Speaking of whom: Women of the Beat Generation and Girls Who Wore Black.
Easy to forget with such strong male figures like Neal Cassady that the women were on the road too, not left at home in the kitchen.

Neal/Dean was clearly a bit nuts and not a man you'd ever want your daughter to get involved with; while Jack/Sal being the more sensitive type was a much better bet. And yet, and yet...I realised with a slight feeling of unease, that in the imaginary world where I inhabit the book, Neal/Dean would have been able to get me in 7581 kinds of trouble and Jack/Sal would have been the sweet platonic friend. So I guess it's a good thing I wasn't there but, sigh, you know, that's a disturbing revelation to have.


*EDIT* Francis Ford Coppola has owned the film rights to On the Road since 1968. He will executive produce and the book is being adapted by Jose Riviera and Walter Salles, not Roman who had written a previous screenplay of it. Billy Crudup will play either Sal or Dean and *shudder* the name Colin Farrell has been whispered. No, please, no!

Thursday, August 02, 2007


I'm off to the seaside for the weekend (to a place where woolly socks and a fleece are advisable and a bikini is wishful thinking. So don't feel jealous - it's only England.)

DO entertain yourselves with these links while I'm gone...

I don't know why but this song keeps popping into my head...

I prefer The Shins sound playing on the street in Montmartre on Blogotheque...

I love these by lilacmoon on flickr...

If you are feeling bored you should go to the cinema and watch this. If when you have peeled your whitened knuckles from the cinema seat and gone home you are still bored, I would advise reading this, (especially the first story) or this unless you have been recently bereaved. Well, that was supposed to be all happy and sparky, how did I end with bereaved?

Okay, one more. I like wiksten-made. She makes things that I would make if I wasn't so lazy.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Hello. Today is the second anniversary of Lola Is Beauty. I've never even had a job that lasted two years so this, I think, is a milestone worth mentioning.

It's funny, because for one, the title Lola Is Beauty makes no sense to anyone but Lola and I, is grammatically incorrect and really, anyone looking here would think this is a blog about my cat, Lola, or that I was called Lola and was interested in beauty products or something.

Well, Lola is beauty is just one of those phrases that came into usage around here due to the fact that Lola is not just A beauty, she is not just beautiful: She IS beauty. So there. And of course in the official language of Cat this statement makes perfect sense. I used to say it to her all the time, though now the phrase has entirely different connotations and I type it about twenty times a day. I now say different things to her in cat language and there is absolutely no way I am going to relay those phrases to you here.

And then there's the tagline. It should probably read, "This is not really a cat blog" or, "I like clothes and Paris". It's true though, she has not even mastered the simple act of paw to kettle switch, paw to kettle switch. I tell her and she just looks up at me and goes "Mi". And then I feed her. Today she has special anniversary Sheba which, in her excitement at not having to munch her usual diet food she has just gobbled down in one go and will possibly now be sick. I heard a burp.

Anyway most blogs have funny names and you've still managed to find it haven't you? Oh, I wasn't going to make it that easy by calling it something obviously to do with style or fashion or anything (hehe good one, if I can only make it sound like I did this on purpose instead of just randomly naming it when I first started and didn't have any idea that people might ever read it.)

The one thing that's changed in the last two years is Mademoiselle Lola herself. I don't think I've mentioned the whole rescue home trauma, get the violins out sob story of how I came to have her, but when I started this blog she was a borderline psychotic, completely neurotic cantankerous tyrant who could turn from cute to murderous in about quarter of a second. Now she has mellowed, she's just my little furry companion, following me round everywhere purring. No one believes me, her reputation precedes her but she hasn't scratched or bitten anyone for about a year.

So there, I wrote a cat post. Phew, breathe, don't be embarrassed. Hey - I'm allowed to, it's our birthday. (Disclaimer: our house does not smell of cat pee and I do speak to other people besides my cat.)

We are very happy to still be here in our little corner of blogland and hope you'll continue to enjoy reading - for as long as Lola can be bothered to dictate the posts.

If you'll excuse us now we have some butterflies to chase and some sunny patches in the grass to stretch out in.