The wonderings, ponderings and other 'ings' of me. Lifestyle, review, news and opinion posts. Chic with a hint of sarcasm... hopefully!

Saturday 19 March 2011

Its a Fashion Fiesta!

In stark contrast to last weeks blog, on Friday I got to go to the Grand Arcade Spring/Summer Fashion event where the high end high street names get to tell us what they think we should wear. I've always thought that fashion is subjective, if you like something, you like it, but its from you not because a magazine or a fashion house tells you this is what's going to be worn over the next few months.

That said I'm starting to gain much more interest in knowing what it is the powers that be at Bryant Park (or the Lincole Center from now on) throw out for us and how that filters down to what is stocked by Ted Baker, LK Bennett and Zara etc so here's my highlights:

This strapless gown in oceanic colours had me cursing the fact that I'd left my credit card at home, it flowed beautifully and the statement necklace really worked.
This cute floral print dress had three layers on the skirt and though it was a little short for me I'd still wear it to the pub or a picnic, however....
Feel free to tell me if am I having a a fashion fuck-up moment here, but I want to pair it with this jacket.

Nautical stripes are a trend I am only just starting to mesh with and this dress definately caught my attention as the flower design really made it look feminine and pretty, the bag was gorge as well.

This cutie pie prom dress from Coast was fabulous, not sure I could get away with it though - I have man calves, sad but true.

Not usually a fan of the one shoulder dress (a bit too Dynasty for me), this splatter paint look really appeals and the length of the skirt more than covers ya arse. Yay !

For the flip side, this look had me wondering what the heck is going on with the fashion world? Orange and Pink?! I'm just not that brave/desparate to be a trend setter.
So there you go, I love the fact that so many looks were worn with nude heels as I have just purchased a pair (LK Bennett are having a spring sale so these are £95 - quite a saving there!)

Doesn't it look like fun being a model?


Sunday 13 March 2011

Charity Quest

  1. Whilst certain other bloggers I know are swanning around New York darting in and out of Sax 5th Avenue in a shoppers dream (I am not jealous South Molten St Style I am not jealous) I decided an interesting experiment would be for me to explore the other side of shopping. Quite well known for my desire for High-End High Street (as well as having Net-a-porter flirtations) with the exception of buying Christmas cards, I have never ever willingly stepped into a charity shop.

    I figured if I was going to do this, I should do it properly so, armed with an expert in the field and £40 I ventured to a mystical place called Saffron Walden, which on a sunny Saturday is really beautiful. Especially when you get to my age and things like fields, Churches and market stalls full of flowers and cakes become strangely appealing.

I was informed there are rules to Charity shopping:
  1. Its not work purchasing if it's over £5.00.
  2. Its not worth purchasing if its not an established label (Jigsaw yes, George no)
  3. You have to rummage.
This last one was particularly difficult for me as I'm not a rummager, its just not in my DNA, the very act of moving one hanger over to look at a top properly has never really appealed. I'm much more the 'here's a glass of wine madam' while I glide through a large well lit concept store where the clothes are all separated for your viewing pleasure type. But I went into this with an open mind and was determined to wrap my head around the idea of buying something that somebody else had deemed not worth keeping. First off, we went to Wurrl, (half vintage/half new fair trade clothes and nic-knacks - my expert was breaking me in gently) and this wasn't that bad actually.
I almost found a scarf that I might have liked had it been in Accessorise, and it was at this point I realised it was a battle with my brain. It was wrapped around a wire casing (the scarf that is, not my brain) and I wasn't distracted enough from the 'charity shop smell'. Images of the crammed too close together clothes seeped in to my vision and took the edge off any shopping buzz that may have been building, I pondered a bit too long and moved on.

Next I was allowed a reprieve and we entered a beautiful kitchen shop called Steamer Trading Cookshop

This housed NEW kitchen appliances, including a strawberry slicer, for those of us too delicate to cut our own. I found this mixer in bright pink, but at £418.95 it would have severely blown my budget so we moved on empty handed.

Cancer research was next and this was as you'd expect but I was more prepared this time.
I found the rail with my size on and did my best impression of a real rummager, I don't think I was fooling anyone but the hot and cold flushes had gone and I wasn't feeling as dizzy which I took to be a step in the right direction. I was actually looking forward to the next part of our venture, the anticipation of what I may find building as we entered St Clare Hospice shop.

Now here was a charity shop I thought I could get on board with. There was the obligatory elderly ladies tea set (as well as the obligatory elderly ladies behind the counter) and an array of heart shaped trinket dishes, candles and other finds, I eagerly picked up 2 or 3 items and went to the counter.
And found the failure of charity shops as I see it. Had it been wrapped in coloured paper and put in a beautiful box with swirly writing on it, and had that box been placed in a hard shiny bag, I would have made a point of returning there again and again. What did I get? a screwed up Clinton cards bag, worse, when my chosen objects didn't fit that properly it was replaced with a Tesco's carrier!

Putting beautiful items in a supermarket bag is like putting a yellow canary in a rusty dark dank cage, its just wrong. I was still pleased with myself and showed the purchases to my expert, who kindly explained that it a bit of a cheat as the items I had bought were 'new' not 'second hand'. This I feel is the charity shop's fault I had no idea I was being lulled into buying first hand items, can I be blamed if I gravitate towards the shinny shinnies, I'm shallow like that, I like things to look pretty when I buy them otherwise why buy them at all?

We decided it was still a win and pressed on through the high street towards the British Heart Foundation. Where again I found my 'proper shops brain' played another trick on me. Stood on the pavement I looked for BHF and genuinely couldn't see it, which is bizarre to say the least as it looks like this...

Not particularly a shy and retiring colour eh? To me though, its like those weird pictures we had in the 90's that look all messy but when you relaxed your eyes you could see a ship or a car or something in them. This is how my brain attacks charity shops, it just sifts them out of my perception and I have a fondness for this particular charity as well as my dad had a quadruple heart bypass a couple of years ago so in we went. I didn't see any clothes I liked but I did pick up some lovely nail files with hearts all over them (new not second hand). It seemed I was on something of a role.

Next we came to the most well known charity shop for me. Well known because as a teenager, my mum would go in and I would refuse to. My fifteen year old brain though it would be 'like well bad' to be seen shopping with my mother but also to be in a 'gypo' shop, well that would be just too much to handle.

Oxfam has really come a long way since my youth. With its array of Fair Trade coffees, teas, chocolate and even Easter eggs, as well as the face lift it got a good few years back it really has upped its game, the clothes? not so much.

So am I a fully fledged charity convert? Well that's debatable. I had such a great time and as a new experience in shopping it was a really enjoyable day. In certain places like Saffron Walden and Hampstead Heath I will definitely go in, unabashed, ashamed and at least attempt to find a bargain, but now I have a few rules of my own:

1. No to trousers or jeans, its just too weird.
2. No to shoes. Until charity shop shoes look like my new footwear crush, Beatrix Ong, its just never gonna happen.

3. No to going in with a closed mind. Occasionally a Hobbs top or Jigsaw jacket will be there, its just, you know, y'have to rummage!
For Emma, thanks for popping my charity cherry.

Thursday 10 March 2011

Too Cool or a Fool?

I remember when Kate Moss was discovered in an airport all young and innocent. The shorter beings that were interested in fashion cheered, here was a model that was super successful and only 5ft 7inches. At last someone to look up to that you didn't have to... well look up to! 

Her image became decidedly iffy when rumours of the husband stealing from the 'Primrose Hill Set'/drug taking in front of her daughter surfaced and it went down further after she continued to date that twonk Pete D (how you find heroin addicts sexy is beyond me).

However it seems she's managed to pop the whole 'models aren't dumb' idea back about a decade by walking down the Louis Vuitton Paris catwalk, smoking a cigarette, I'd expect it of Taylor Momsen maybe, but she's 17 and obviously still finding her feet in the famous world. And yeah, I know it was a PR stunt which you may think has worked as I am blogging about it, but if it was meant to make us sit up and watch the clothes it was an abysmal failure. 

And what sort of wanker agrees to spark up on a catwalk anyway? Kate, it's not 1961, smoking as cool or rebellious is about as archaic a concept as making coloured people sit at the back of the bus or saying woman shouldn't be able to vote (though with this one in particular maybe that's not such a bad idea).

There are so many kids that look to models as images of what they want to be (as if the whole size '0' as a healthy image for the vast majority of the population wasn't bad enough).  The last thing they need is a professional moron lighting up on the catwalk. I just hope that they roll her out again in 10 years time when she's suffering from Emphysema, or better still throw her carcass down the runway when she's died, earlier than usual, from cancer. 

Oooh sexy!

Wednesday 2 March 2011

Lean Mean Delusional Mach-sheen!

Having a mental breakdown is not an amusing time for anyone, except if the mentalee is a member of Hollywood royalty or the leader of an Arab country then it seems it's bloody hilarious. And this got me thinking, since when did Charlie Sheen and Colonel Gaddafi (if that is indeed his real name!) have so much in common?

Its almost as if they are aware of each other and have got some sort of underhanded wager going on to see who can loose the plot the quickest and most publicly. Granted Charlie takes the cake with his 'Tiger Blood' comment but Gaddafi thinks 9/11 was a fairy story (I didn't see and gingerbread houses or spinning wheels in the twin towers) and compared himself to the Queen and who knows, maybe he does have a thing for corgis - I'm not one to judge.

I think Charlies winning here though (or bi-winning as he likes to call it). Telling your kids that locking yourself up with several hookers and Snowdon's worth of crack means 'your dad's a Rock Star' may sound like bad advise to us mere humans but that's probably because we have different hearts, blood and brain to the Sheen boy.

Unless that is, its all an elaborate hoax. I mean Joaquin Phoenix was fine one day and a bedraggled beardy struggling hip-hop artist the next and it seems that was all just a form of artistic expression. So who knows, maybe Mr Sheen hasn't really gone the way of the fruit loop, but until he either gets clean, dies or ascends to the astral plane I reckon there are many more soundbites heading our way.

Feel free to add you're favourite one below and remember, dying's for losers!
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