July, 2009

Jul 09

Fashion Addictions… Ad-dress-ing the issue


Any woman that is serious about fashion usually has at least one item, be it shoes, handbags, the perfect pair of black trousers or blue jeans, that she collects incessantly. It’s an addiction that is itching to be fed on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis.


It can be deadlier than alcoholism as at least a bottle of booze is relatively cheap. In comparison to a £1900 Chanel number, that is. There is nothing cheap about an addiction to clothes and it can put you in the gutter faster than a bottle of Krug on a balmy London summer’s eve.


My fashion drug of choice is the dress. I don’t subscribe to one style. Give me empire, sheath, bias cut (well maybe a little less so here as I don’t find them as flattering), maxi, wrap, sun, evening or jumper- I’ll take them all. And in fact I have taken them all and it has cost me dearly. If I see a dress I adore I am incapable of leaving the shop without it, to hell with the cost or the consequences. I instantly picture the premiere, gallery opening, garden party or picnic that I will attend in said dress and am swept away into a zen like state of mind.

Some women are choosey about brands, seasons and trends.  None of these things have truly had an effect on my purchasing. I will shop anywhere, anytime from any period in fashion. You can find me at Selfridges browsing the dresses in price ranges equal to most young ladies’ monthly salaries and then directly after I will be fighting with the other bargain hunters at Primark to get the last floral sundress in my size.
The end result is this- I have an entire front room that I have transformed into every girl’s dream walk-in closet to house my collection.  I have never dared count how many dresses I actually own as I fear I may faint if I were to go through with such an exercise. I imagine it equates to a nice down payment on a two bedroom flat in Chelsea.  If forced to guess I would say 150 wouldn’t be too far off base. Please don’t judge! It’s an addiction, remember.  



Jul 09

The Fashion Foie Gras Weekend Spread


Even after a brief revival, as seen on Emma Watson at the Harry Potter Premiere, Ossie Clark is closing its doors. It has been only a year since the label was relaunched and business has not gone according to plan. You may remember that Avsh Alom Gut took on the role as Creative Director. We had high hopes and are sorry to say goodbye. It’s a sad year in fashion thus far. We have said farewell to some truly legendary names.



Net-a-porter have launched a new       I-phone application which allows you to shop the latest stock directly from your phone as well as keep up to date with all the latest and greatest in fashion news. I haven’t had a chance to try the application out myself (as I am a blackberry devotee) but I have heard supreme reviews from some fashion hounds already.



Hold on to your hats ladies! Balmain, the house on everyone’s lips, has just announced they are releasing a line of handbags. If they are anywhere near as outstanding as the trekky jackets we are in for some serious cat fights at a store near you! And if you are a serious fan of Balmain with no extra cash make sure and check out the

£16 dress being sold at ASDA here in the UK from the George line. Rumour has it that the Walmart owned outfit might have to hire extra security to keep the lady shoppers in line when stores open.



I’ve never been a huge fan of Scarlet Johannson, or perhaps I have never really understood why she is placed atop such a tall pedestal as a sex icon. Nonetheless, Mango, the Spanish retailer, have just released the photos for their upcoming store campaign and Scarlet is the feature.  She looks absolutely amazing and the stylist in charge here does a good job of convincing the viewer that the clothes on Scarlet’s back would suit any woman walking through Covent Garden.



Unless you live in a cave you will have seen that Beth Ditto has paired up with Evans to release a new line for the plus sized lady in England.  I love Beth Ditto’s music. I applaud her for being a woman that is comfortable in her own skin and for encouraging women everywhere to reevaluate the statement “you can never be too thin.” But I do not agree with encouraging curvy women to wear bad clothing. As a matter of fact even Kate Moss herself couldn’t pull off this clothing on her tiny frame (which is probably why she wasn’t wearing anything of the sort at the launch party). It will be interesting to see how often these styles are spotted out and about in London, if at all. PS – Beth, I really do adore you. Just say no to bad clothing! I was so excited when I heard there was finally a line coming out for the curvy lady that didn’t involve tents!
The end is near! The four horseman of the apocalypse have appeared….S, A, L & E on the window of CHANEL! That’s right…you read that correctly. For the first time in the history of the world Chanel has announced a sale in their boutiques. Even Coco can’t escape the recession. I suppose there are some good things that might come out of this financial downturn…like a gorgeous pair of Chanel ballet flats I have been eyeing.
How’s this for strange? Alanis Morrisette and Woody Harrelson have teamed up to develop a brand of jeans. Who on earth would have ever pictured these two together in anything let alone in fashion? Neither strike me as one we should look for as figures of great style. Reco Jeans, as it will be named, are releasing 300 limited edition pairs to start off the collection. Apparently they come nicely boxed with a numbered certificate of authenticity. No comment.
And finally….just a thought to start the week. Put away your bondage dresses. We’ve seen way too many of these. Every high street store has produced a copy of the Herve Leger legend and it’s time to move on to another trend. It was fun while it was lasted but the song has now been overplayed. 

Jul 09

The height of fashion


Last week JK Rowling was seen out tottering down the red carpet for the London Harry Potter premiere in six inch heels. But not just any old six inchers. These were the gold Difera Christian Louboutins that are currently on sale for the bargain ticket price of £800. The price hasn’t stopped the ladies in showbusiness from snapping up these shoes all over the world. They have been spotted on the pedicured pads of Charlize Theron, Heidi Klum and several other legendary fashionistas walking down red carpets lately.  


I can’t help but wonder how comfortable these shoes really are so of course I had to try a pair on for myself. Let’s keep in mind that I am 6’2 already in bare feet. When I put on the shoes I was taller than Peter Crouch! That is just insane and scary all wrapped into one. But I will say this – my legs looked amazing. I can understand why women suffer in these heels. Instantly regular old legs are turned into lengthy supermodelesque beauties! The shop attendants insisted that I wasn’t at all scary but a woman whose beauty was accentuated by such marvellous accessories (nice line) and in fact “needed” to own these shoes.  I’m going to need a few days to review and perhaps find a cheaper version to practice in first. Rowling was smart enough to wear her heels out to dinner before attending the world premiere of Harry Potter in these shoes so I am taking a page from her book.


A word of advice ladies – and I was given this fabulous little tidbit from a lady in the know – make sure when you wear these out on the town that you have a pair of  Butterfly Twists (www.butterflytwists.com) in your purse for the journey home. I used to carry around flipflops for the moments when I couldn’t dance anymore in four inch heels and they just didn’t seem to look right, you know? The great thing about these little guys is that they are still wicked looking so you don’t have to look like a total fashion victim on the long midmorning journey home.  And just to do a little name dropping….I’ve seen these twists in action around town on the feet of Alicia Dixon, Danielle Lloyd and many more.  I think I might arrange for a pair to be sent to Rowling for her next adventure in walking with the giants among us.

Jul 09

Happy Birthday Twiggy!

This Autumn The National Portrait Gallery is celebrating the 60th Birthday of the legendary fashion icon, Twiggy. From the 19th of September 2009 through March 2010 a selection of Twiggy’s finest moments over the past forty years will be on display for the general public.

Twiggy, born Lesley Hornby, had (or in fact has) the fairytale modelling story. At the age of 16 she was spotted working behind a Woolworths counter and, unlike Woolworths, Twiggy has stood the test of time. Today she is seen as one of the faces of Marks & Spencer and is easily recognized around the globe from time spent on “America’s Next Top Model.”
Be sure and drop into the Gallery to view the phenomenal portraits they will have on show. Not only will you focus in on some fantastic portraits by acclaimed photographs but you will also see a timeline of fashion unfold before your very eyes.Thumbnail image for NPGTwiggy_RonaldTraeger.jpg         Thumbnail image for NPGTwiggy_BryanAdams.jpg  
Twiggy, 1967 by Ronald Traeger, Cibachrome print from a transparency of a vintage print © Tessa Traeger
Twiggy, 2000 by Bryan Adams © Bryan Adams

Jul 09

The Mighty Westfield

IMG00020-20090713-1827.jpgI was about thirteen years old my mother and father let me go to the mall (shopping centre) in America for the first time alone with my girlfriends. It was a big event (try not to laugh all you city ladies who were running around the streets of London at ten years of age). I remember vividly walking into Gap and buying my very first pair of bootcut dark denim jeans that I had saved for with babysitting money for weeks. What a thrill it was to select an item all on my own for which I paid with five dollar bills from my velcro closure pink wallet. Of course more pleasure is now derived from a handsome man sliding his shiny plastic card across the counter to pay for my purchases but that is another blog entirely.  The point I am making here is that your first shopping experience, for girls at least, is one that you carry with you for the rest of your life no matter if it occurs at Topshop or Louis Vuitton.

So as I walked into what can only be described as a retail mecca this evening I couldn’t help but wonder for whom this place would hold a first and how it would mold the young minds of future shopaholics. Of course I am speaking of London’s newest shopping arena, Westfield. It is almost exactly like an American mall only five times the size. There are over 275 stores, 40 luxury brand outlets and 50 places to eat.


My first impression went something like this, and yes I did actually say this out loud, “someone watched Pinnochio way too much as a small child”. No kidding, Westfield is a shopper’s “pleasure island”. I was sure one of the shop assistants would offer me a special brew and I would go home with a few shopping bags, a full stomach and a donkey’s tale. Every single store was larger than life and screaming out for attention. I had an instant headache. I didn’t know whether to turn left or right or whether running might somehow be a better solution.

Let’s keep in mind that my visit occured on a Monday evening. I expected the place to be deserted and recovering from a weekend of visitors. But alas, it was teemimg and not just 


with single ladies off to the shops after a difficult day at work. There were entire families walking the airplane hanger sized halls, all with great big retail induced smiles on their faces, carrying not just one or two carrier bags but several in each hand. There is no recession here. But the same can be said on Oxford Street. People are shopping just as much and the giant beckoning for sale signs seem to pull us in even further promising to save us money. How can we not spend when John Lewis is offering 70 percent off? I am actually making money here right?

I had a facial at Malika scheduled so I got to Westfield at 6pm to poke around a bit beforeIMG00025-20090713-1834.jpgsettling into a quiet candlelit room to rejuvenate my mind, body and pollution filthy face (according to the facialist). One hour isn’t enough to cover one corridor so this isn’t an accurate review. I was in with the facialist for two hours of “me” time which left no time for more self indulgence afterwards. But I must mention that I love that all the stores at Westfield stay open until 9pm and the restaurants until midnight. Perfect for those horrible moments when you realize you have forgotten a birthday gift and every other shop in London closes at 7pm on a weeknight.

So what’s the verdict? I believe this says it all- I have typed a return visit for this weekend into my blackberry’s calendar. You might not hear from me next week as there is a good chance my bank manager will have me locked away for maxing out all credit cards in my name.

Jul 09

Supermodels and Cars

While talking about collaborations between fashion and other industries…

Is there a better way to make a car look sexier and more attractive to a young potential car buyer than putting a supermodel in the front seat?

Fiat’s PR office doesn’t miss a trick. Elle Macpherson received a brand spanking new FIAT 500c convertible in front of her Notting Hill home early this week sporting a fashionable black and white relaxed combo…

(photo thanks to autoblog.com)


Jul 09

Fashion’n’rock, a time honoured tradition

Fashion and Rock’n’roll have gone hand in hand since the two first came into being.

The rock star has to look good in the video, wearing the right clothes and accompanied by the most fashionable models and the model requires phenomenal music in creating an inspired walk down the catwalk in genius designs.

Such motivation has led to great collaborations over time for business and romance. Just mentioning it takes me back to great moments in rock such as…George Michael’s “Freedom” video…was there anyone that year that didn’t pretend they were a supermodel in that black and white heaven, while listening to the cassette tape on full blast from their sony walkman? In the same era of music we had “Uptown Girl” with Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley, Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” in which he is surrounded by amazonian supermodels and of course I have to mention Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” with Helena Christensen – was there ever a sexier or more risque display on television without carrying an X rating?

I could go on all day with this list but I think you get the point. It is tradition. It is like a right of passage for a musician to team up with a member of the fashion squad. And it is a tradition I love and support. However, today we see more collaboration between model and musician in the bedroom, rather than in front of the camera (well unless it’s a dodgy tape sellling on a seedy website but don’t get me started there).  While this might be a beautiful thing, seeing a scraggly musician with a statuesque beauty, I personally miss the “business” side of the relationship.

But there is hope! I was recently told to visit www.ma-dame.com to restore my faith in the union of fashion and music.  The great Jean-Paul Gaultier, who has worked with Madonna, Kylie Minogue and Marilyn Manson in the past, has recently collaborated with DJ Martin Solveig on creating a track of music, “Boys & Girls”. This song will blow your mind.  I was skeptical until I saw the results of such a fantasic merger of talent.  Apparently the single, and accompanying video, were inspired by the zesty Ma Dame Rose ‘n’ Roll fragrance to mark Ma Dame’s  1st anniversary – with which “Boys & Girls” was born.

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The video was shot on location in Gaultier’s “Maison De Couture” and it is truly a work of art. I love the stark contrast of black and white with hints of bright blushing pink thrown in. Check out the video and let me know what you think.




Jul 09

Virtual stylist Paris Couture 2009

I am constantly waiting to see which item of clothing will appear in the press and making bets with myself on who will be wearing what and when. Mostly I am like a child playing princess…only I am playing celebrity stylist in my mind. So here is a little peak into what was running through my mind last week in Paris…what items I would like to see on the talk of the town…
Marion Cotillard for Dior.
I’d like to see Jennifer Aniston taking some risks again with clothing. Who will ever forget her recent cover of GQ magazine? With a perfect body like that these couture dresses were made for her! Although I would wear a nude band across the chest as to remain somewhat modest!
Kate Beckinsale for Elie Saab. Note here to the stylist – I would choose different undergarments. The “granny pants” don’t really fly in Hollywood these days. That doesn’t mean a thong cut either! I would choose a nice nude bikini brief to be worn here.
Anne Hathaway for Armani Prive.
And here is a overview of some of my favourite designs of the week:

Jul 09

Harry Potter Haute Heroine


It is unnatural for anyone to look this amazing after surviving a torrential downpour in the middle of a premiere. Most Hollywood actresses I know would have just plain refused to walk on soggy red carpet. But our own Emma Watson not only walked the carpet, she survived and looked amazing to tell the tale. Just look at the two drenched costars flanking her.  She is the picture of perfection in a gorgeous Ossie Clark vintage gown. Even when her dress flew open with a sudden gust of wind she handled the incident with style and grace. And thank heavens she hasn’t followed the trend by so many other Hollywood harlots in going commando to events…she was wearing perfectly fitted and ladylike (as if she expected them to be on show) nude undergarments.

Emma Watson…another perfect ten in my book!   

Jul 09

Mizrahi, Williamson and Kors Score with Cruise Collections

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Isaac Mizrahi

One Shoulder dresses were seen on almost every catwalk for the Cruise Collections  so this won’t be the first montage of images sporting the look. Although Mizrahi has recently moved to help revamp the Liz Claiborne look, he found time to hit a home run with his latest Cruise collection. The styles showcased were ladylike and simplistic. The lines were clean and flattered the female form. Cinched waists were seen throughout – and once again we see the flower playing a part in fashion, this time on the waist (as opposed to the shoulder, hair or lapel). I didn’t think I would be a fan but after re-examining the look I am in love!

As a side note, it was an interesting idea to keep the makeup and hair as nude and simple as possible. The eye is instantly focused on the clothing and the model is definitely an after thought. DVF could stand to take a hint or two here. For her Cruise Collection I was too focused on the gigantic bows strapped to the models’ heads to take a second glance at what wrap dresses she would be releasing this time around. 


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Michael Kors

Kors has only just recently opened a store in London and from I can ascertain it has become quite the place to be seen flashing the cash. I have been wearing Michael Kors for years and more than once have been asked where I purchased a dress only to be met with a blank stare when I would mention his name at a London party. So I am very pleased to welcome him into the London fashion fold. He is an American classic and the closest thing to Ralph Lauren that I can find on the catwalk.  His cruise collection is yet another reason for me to make sure the American Express black card is in full working order. And what did I say about the one shoulder trend here? 


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Matthew Williamson

Bold colours, bold prints: it’s what we have come to expect from Matthew Williamson. After his successful sell out at H&M he has become more of a household name than ever. Again we see a great emphasis on the waist with cinched dresses and skirts or belt detailing. The gold jacket is to die for! Please God, don’t let there be a waiting list! 








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