Thursday, 30 September 2010

Tony Curtis

I LOVED this programme, thank you for making my Sunday's so wonderful Mr Curtis.

Marni & Soojin Kang

Well if I could afford this I would be like a pig in clover, Consuelo Castiglioni is a genius of cut and colour, I always love her trousers yet few high street shops seem to pick up on them. Still a girl can dream and copy and paste into a scrap book.

These tops are lovely too.

Furniture by Soojin Kang, the colours of Marni really reminded me of this furniture which is beautifully conceived and executed

I love old school furniture

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Something for the weekend?

Most weekends are interminably dull.
  • Get up
  • Walk dog
  • Washing
  • Gym
  • Food shop
  • Cook
  • Vacuum
  • Tidy
  • Walk dog
  • Despair at the lack of anything to watch on TV
  • Bed
Sunday ditto but without the food shop.
Kitty who always packs considerably more into her weekend often asks about mine, what is to say dull, dull, dull.
This followed by quite frankly one of the worst training days I have endured for years, a whole Monday of my life I will not ever see again.

This weekend we did manage to see Town, sans Leyla as it was a 15, I loved it, very impressive cinematography, the best review of the film was in The Times:

"If you're going to make a serious bid to re-establish yourself as a winsome leading man in a film you've made yourself, the one thing you do not do is cast mad Men's John Hamm in the same picture. It's like trying to show off your five-a-side skills by picking Lionel Messi to be on your team"
He just drinks the screen up.
This coming weekend is a very different ball game staring on Thursday night with Hamlet at The National followed by a 50th birthday celebration of the wife of Emin's uncle we call 'money bags' so, great food and the ritual humiliation of me on the dance floor. I am trying to persuade Kitty to come just for moral support!
I have just printed my Frieze Art Fair ticket the excitement is palpable so plenty to look forward to, not least the absence of Emin and Leyla for a week at the end of October allowing me free reign to reorganise the house.

Finally if you need cheering up play scrabble with Kitty, she entertained us throughout a rather wet two week stint in Scotland playing this game, her rules are make a word with as many letters as you can and then and only then look to see if you can place the word on the board. If that fails make a word up and ask quizzically what it means! Yesterday she announced that if only she had a D an E and a R she could spell Udder! I pointed out that the premise of the game was to use the letters you had, not spend an age wishing for letters you don't have.
Like I say hours of entertainment in such a small package.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

My next bag

No silly not this one, (see below)this bag actually, love Marni though I do, represents all that is bad about handbag design. Why do designers insist on a capacious bag with a tiny handle that prevents you from opening the bag wider than an inch. Oh yes, you can remove the handle, but at a busy check out? It just does not function, yet the shops are full of these bags.
My sister is Queen of Handbags she has more bags than I have owned in a lifetime, they are lovely too, Lulu Guinness, Orla Kiely even a Vivienne Westwood, unlike the monsters on this post they are all very girly, proper handbags that swing sweetly from the crook of your arm.

I in stark contrast have never left school in more ways than one, I love a good satchel, my favourite was the one I had from Mulberry. In general I like a nice cross body bag currently very much in vogue at the moment. Only recently I caught myself using a battered old shopper along with my handbag which is silly really. Another problem is I tend not to swap bags during the week, because you can guarantee I will leave my train pass or phone or purse in the other bag, so one bag has to last day to day for one term at least.
Recently though I have noticed that once I have squeezed all I need for the day in my handbag my shoulder aches with the weight of everything, so I have found it more comfortable to carry a shopper. Answer? I decided I might as well forgo the cross body bag and buy a decent leather shopper instead. Which brings me to this slice of heaven below. Pheobe Philo certainly knows how to make a covetable handbag, all of her bags from Celine were divine.

This is a perfect example of what I want and was apparently the bag of fashion week.

I love this one too, but as I do not have a cool £1,500 knocking around, (well I do, but it is currently paying Daisy's Uni' fees) I had to search for something a bit cheaper. Plus can you imagine spilling a yogurt in this bag? I would weep...Where to find a nice bag? Well I have always favoured TKMaxx, you get a huge choice and room to wander around road testing it. I narrowed it down to 3 last week but something irritated me about all of them, either the lining was too much or it just had one handle when I like two, or with his one it had black lining which means you can't find anything without a torch. However after a whole week of deliberating I went back to buy it because it ticks so many boxes. I could not find it so left it. A week later I went to have another look and after 20min's of trying even more bags out I saw it on the sale rack. It was already reduced to £60 from £130, and now was a billy bargain £43! It is butter soft leather full of fabulous pockets with the prefect length handle. Two days in and paper work and packed lunches have successfully been transported.

Welcome to my next bag.
If you like bags you will love this website

other photos from

Saturday, 25 September 2010

I HATE cleaning

I once in the dark days of my misguided and somewhat cavalier youth went out with someone wholly incompatible to myself. The primary problem when leaving home is you invariable meet people out of context. Back in the safety of York it seemed easy to have fun with boys but relationships in London, well that was really not too easy. This boyfriend's parents lived in a fairly modest new build in an anonymous town in the Midlands, but what absolutely mesmerised me was his mothers ability to clean. I mean industrially clean, she would walk through the door don an apron put the dinner on (incl veg!) and set to with a vacuum cleaner and a can of polish. Once done dinner would be served, then tidied and finally washed up after before she sat down to sew or knit. She was so unassuming that despite being promoted at work from machinist to a supervisor she never told a sole, not even her husband.
So now I have lost Daisy and the au-pair I may have more space but I am back vacuuming and and dealing with the chaos of the kitchen. I am in awe of this woman who seemed to get stuck in with a tenacity I can only dream of. I hate cleaning, really I get no pleasure, I ooze resentment from every pore of my body when cleaning. A moment wiping is a moment lost from reading writing or painting. I guess it is genetic, my grandmother lived in complete chaos, piles of newspapers toppled over books and puzzles, shelves groaned under the weight of detritus and cupboards would spill their contents with a sigh of release on opening the door. She once opened the oven door and surprised herself by finding a cooked piece of beef...she seriously pondered as to whether it was worth the risk reheating it! When she died we found money in just about every packet of food in the cupboard, her whole life was chaotic.
My mother although considerably more houseproud would never clean unnecessarily, our houses while superficially tidy were always in need of a lick of paint of something fixing. I too have learnt to just keep on top of the cleaning and whilst it never quite looks sparkling, I hope it is good enough. I am aware that given the choice between chaos and clean I choose my grandmothers house every time bet even so I am in awe of this woman whose memory lingers on long after the relationship.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Take one pair of wool Toast trousers

Finally, finally he leaves the house and I get a couple of hours top play dress up. Only the light has gone and now I have a hideous yellow cast. Just use your imagination, I did try to stand beneath a spot light but with little success.
I realise this is not a pair of trousers but I just wanted you all to know that I can occasionally buy things other than from COS! Is this not a lovely tunic? Yes, not hugely flattering, but hey I love stripes plus even more I love grey, what's not to love?
The Toast trousers were from eBay*, when I bought them they were really cheap and only on arrival did I realise they were very high waisted and thus not very comfortable. They were worn once for my Turkish New Year debacle and that was it. Now they seem better, maybe I have trimmed some muffin top off who knows, but it is with tremendous trepidation that I try on trousers not worn for a couple of years. Can you imagine how depressing it would be if I could not do the zip up?
I should really try them with a shirt tucked in but time was short so I played around with proportion instead.

Left to right
  • How utterly lovely is this jumper? A billy bargain from Next, I bought it in a size 20 to get it really baggy, it is sooo soft I almost can't wait for the weather to cool a bit so I can wear it. I said almost...
  • Now this is a COS top again with wool, so very warm, I specifically bought it to wear with these trousers but guess what? The bloody blacks clash. I am gutted as it was my planned outfit for a housewarming party next week, le sigh
  • The stripy shroud..but I love it so who cares.
  • Ha, two in a row, have you ever loved something so much you buy it in two different colours? I have this cardie in a grey cotton, yes from COS, I love the structure and so when they did the same cardie in super soft black wool it was a must buy as it was in a lovely beige marle.

    I really laughed at Belgian Waffles perfect description of Japanese asymmetric shrouds with massive sleeves made of boiled wool. Oh the cap so fits me I know. Sadly I do not teach at Goldsmiths or work on Cork Street but my heart goes via there daily
* I have given up with eBay, which is a shame as I got some amazing quirky stuff from there including some gorgeous bags. Sadly it is swamped with fake stuff from China and I gave up, worse it is blocked from school so even browsing is a no no. I LOVE Toast clothes and even more the jewellery but the prices are very steep and the shop is miles away. If they would just open one in Covent garden I would officially be bankrupted but very very happily so

Thursday, 23 September 2010

The genius of Paul Smith

I loved the setting of his catwalk show, I love the juxtaposition of art with clothes. And what clothes, the colours were delicious and so was the fluidity of the silhouette.
It looks like wide leg trousers are back, not so good for the vertically challenged but hey why should I care you get to wear beautiful shoes I get to flounce around in these beauties!

These two images from

This amazing shot from The Sartorialist

How I love a button back cardie.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

What larks

God knows what my workplace has done to my Internet access now, but it took me all day yesterday to find a way around the new hoops that needed jumping through I now have 10 min's to write and post! . Don't they understand I need this for my well being? Miserable Fuckers.

We finally got our dog back last night. What did you not know we lost him? No nor did I until on Sunday I got a phone call to say he had been found and handed in to the council. They had taken him to a dog pound in the back of beyond and would not release him until I reported him lost! So I did. We could not work out how he had escaped but it transpires that having mown the handkerchief of lawn at the front of the house I had left the side gate open. We always leave the back door open...(Hello burglars!) and so he had obviously made a bid for freedom. So where did he go? The park? The woods? The streets? No our dog, the Muppet had gone to the station..did he think I would meet him there? So the kind people managed to entice him into their office and phoned the council. He does not wear a collar but he is chip and pinned so that is how they found me.

He was released last night and amazingly delivered back with no charge, which makes me think some free bed and board might be on the horizon..... only joking.

I have slowly, and I mean very slowly begun to clear Daisy's bedroom, harsh I know but hey I need a room. It is finally cleared of all her paperwork plus various sundries. Moving a chest of draws I find the wrapper of a maids outfit! Good to know my hard earned cash has been spent wisely
The room is now clear of all her detritus and I am now free to turn it into a studio. Most of my painting stuff is at school so I will now wait until half term to collect it which will give me time to plan what I need.

I have manged to waste two days scanning my paintings the file of which kept crashing my computer. It transpired that I had scanned them at a somewhat forensic 4,000KB! each, twice the size of a photograph. So today I will sit and do it all over again after perusing London fashion week of course, third time lucky.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Camille Miceli

Two excellent fashion supplements hit the deck this weekend. Whilst many of the magazines recycle the same 5 outfits over and over and over again the supplements can focus on less that's aspirational and more that's affordable. Of course they don't and the same bloody Prada dress is there again.

However although both the Observer's 'O' and the Telegraphs 'ST' featured Dior's accessories designer Camille Miceli I was able to compare their viewpoints. two very different images but featuring one gorgeous necklace. Le sigh!

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Slim Pickings from NY fashion week

It used to be that the high street followed fashion week, but I think you will agree that Michael Kors may have been shopping in COS! photo from cos
Can you believe the above and below outfits came from the Michael Kors show! I was stunned, I always had him pegged as one of those who ONLY did body con clothes for size zero and below. The Stella McCartney effect has permeated everywhere it seems. Oh and there is that COS top, I am not being facetious I really enjoyed his show but you must admit it lacks a certain originality.

The same of which cannot be said of Phillip Lim who's whole show is a slice of heaven.
I think wide legged trousers are on the increase, not that they ever went out of fashion but I have seen a lot during NY fashion week
Those colours are divine and do I detect padded shoulders creeping in?

A bit random I know but she does capture the zeitgeist

And on the theme of lusting after grey knitwear for which I surly have the biggest collection ever. I found a copy of the jumper above from Dries van Noten in Next of all places.

.Rest of the photos via

Friday, 17 September 2010

Take one Jil Sander for Uniqlo skirt

I am a serial purchaser of black skirts, I love skirts full stop, probably because they fit. It is so much less stressful to pull on a skirt than try and squeeze into trousers the sizing of which is less reliable than buying a lottery ticket. The down side of skirts is they are less comfortable since you have to decide to freeze without tights or cook with tights because where I live the temperature rarely stays the same all day.
In my good ol' eBay days buying a skirt was a sure fire way of getting something that fitted with the added bonus that skirts don't date like trousers do. A skirt is a good way to inject some pattern and colour into your wardrobe without looking like a circus act and so I have I confess a substantial catalogue of skirts, many of which I have had for years, this is my newest purchase bought at the end of spring yet....which I still until this week hadn't worn. It is more structured than normal and requires a shorter than usual cardie if I am layering. There is a big bow at the front which gets in the way, yet I like it there. perverse I know.
In the end knowing I was going to post some photographs of it I wore it this week, and do you know what? The bloody thing drove me insane! It rides up, and not knowing this meant I wore it without a slip, seriously NOT a good look. Lesson learned I will try again but as the weather is deteriorating rapidly tights are looming. Again apologies for the useless photographs.
From left to right:
Worn with a really floppy COS top belted, it works a treat,
Both the next two worn with a Massimo Dutti top (which is dark grey) elasticated so it sits on the bow. I like the acid yellow with the grey although you can't see it so well here.
Worn with yet another COS top, a silver grey this time and finally
I need therapy, I clearly spend way too much time and money in one place. I would argue it is a testament to how well they fit and how much I love their designs and colours. Oh and how lovely the fabrics are...Maybe I should try a whole post without wearing COS, now that would be a challenge!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

I think summer is most definitely over

This from the guardian

and this from here
I hope it is larger when clicked on, otherwise visit the website

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Some fabulous house porn

I have nearly completed my pyramid of paperwork, it has been relentless since I returned to work.
Daisy left on Saturday and amazingly has got a job interview today for a part time waitress in a very pleasant restaurant, so fingers and toes crossed she will be solvent this year. Before she left she quite literally bled me dry, to listen to her you would have thought she had not a stitch of clothing to her name. I did point out that she was taking a suitcase full of cocktail dresses of which she has more of than t-shirts! I was informed that they were essential to a successful freshers week! Her initial packing consisted of those, plus a blanket and 2 towels!! WTF, so I explained that in this miracle age of Internet shopping I could get such basics sent and maybe she should focus on bras, knickers and jeans. The case was the size of her and weighed in at twice her weight, this plus 3 extra bags was bundled on a train to York, I was so stressed I forgot to cry, but I had cried all week , the house feels very empty now we were once 6 now we are 4.
As a parting gift I gave her my beeeautiful Mandarina Duck red laptop bag sigh.
I have managed to keep the best tidy fairy in the world* though because last night I came home to a roast chicken dinner plus a clean kitchen and all the washing folded (we don't iron) I may have to nail her arse to the floor if she thinks she's ever leaving home.
* Kitty of course

Monday, 13 September 2010

The colour green

I love the colour green. blue I love to wear and live with but to look at the most wonderful colour is green. Scotland is full of green in a myriad of guises and I love mixing the colour green to paint with. Recently I have come across some wonderful fashion photography and this months cover of Vogue has to be the best ever. The dress maybe more acid yellow than green, but I love it mixed up with pinks and oranges.

This image is from this weeks Saturday Telegraph Fashion supplement, a fine production as is their new fashion website
Based on Mad Men the photographs are brilliant, and thanks to illegal down loaders we in blighty have Mad Men earlier than originally anticipated and having caught up with the first episode of series 4 I can say it is better than ever. Every frame is a slice of perfection and Roger Sterling is just so funny.
I think the Times has made a BIG mistake making their website available only to subscribers. The Telegraph site is really good and embraces what makes the web so wonderfully inclusive. Sadly my favourite fashion writer Lisa Armstrong writes for the Times, she is head and shoulders above the rest so I try to purloin the Saturday Supplement to read her instead.

This image was scanned from the excellent free publication Pigeons and Peacocks that you can order via the London College of Fashion website

This is an advert from Oska whose dresses I frequently covet not such a glamorous image but I did love the green mixed up with a steel grey a refreshing change from the black and camel combo that has permeated every fashion spread this autumn. I was really looking forward to buying some camel/caramel coloured pieces this year but it clashes hideously with my olive skin, in stark contrast green works beautifully only it is currently pretty scarce.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Lynn Yaeger

This amazing image from the wonderful Advanced Style Blog reminded me of one of my all time favourite style icons Lynn Yaeger here with another of my favourites

What I love is the way she layers everything with reference to textures of fabrics and those wonderfully muted colours. Believe it or not this way of dressing is not so dissimilar to woman I saw some years back in Bordeaux. They too would layer a dress over a longish fuller skirt.
From reading interviews with her I sense we like very similar designers, although I prefer a cleaner silhouette, but I still love her style.

That cardie trick is a good way to hide 'bingo wings'!
I once had a beautiful Fairisle cardie i bought from a shop on Beauchamp place. Oh how I WISH I still had it.

Oh those spotty brogues are brilliant

Memo to self, buy some red shoes

Photos from here here here here here here & here

Friday, 10 September 2010

Take one camel jumper

So having decided to inject just a little more colour into my wardrobe I have been keeping an eye out for something to pep up all that black.
I have worn to death a putty coloured cardie from COS so when I saw this jumper I knew it just had to be. It is by Label Lab. a kind of poor mans All Saints. (I love their clothes) I was not even shopping when I found it, I had taken the girls to Bluewater for some lunch and I always park next to the House of Frasier outlet, I really like House of Fraser, but since relinquishing the car I find it too difficult to get to Bluewater which is where I used to go and track down a range of bargains in their sale. I don't like the branch on Oxford Street and so had not been for years. This jumper was almost the first thing I saw and I did resist until we were walking back to the car and in the end I just had to have it.
I Love it, it is very loose, but hangs nicely

Some of these outfits will have to wait though as summer is most definitely over and these have a spring feel to them.
As you can see it works well with both COS skirts as well as the COS harem pants. I also like the almost Yaegeresque feel I get when layering it over that big parachute like skirt I have, but best of all it looks great with a 'problem' skirt on the far right.
How so?
Well I LOVE the pattern on that skirt I love the weight of it too, a heavy silk but after years of trying to get something that is not too matchy matchy to wear with it I gave up. Dark colours look horrible with it such as black and navy, It needed a nice turquoise jumper but I find most jumpers are cut very narrow and so only have turquoise in a cardie, which then means I have to fins a nice not clingy t shirt.... and so the dilemma continued until I gave up. Then this jumper arrived and ticked a box. That is what I love about new clothes the way that they can unlock the potential of something you have had for years but never quite nailed.
Label Lab I will be back..

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Snowed Under

my mornings are very different now, for the last 7 years I have got up at 6am made Daisy's packed lunch as well as her breakfast before getting myself ready. Emin is convinced she will phone me from Uni to ask where her breakfast is since she will often wait a whole day hoping someone will place food on the table!
She is however being broken in gently by staying at my mothers for 3 weeks with the intention of getting a job, the application of which I even filled in for her the other day. Seriously this is parenting at it's worst.
Annnnyway so now I go to work alone, seven years we travelled together, it is so very strange going without her. I also get the urge each and everyday to travel in the opposite direction to work, I am fine about work but I always get that desire to just go and walk around London instead.
As I commented on materfamilias blog the mountain of paperwork that I am wading through has meant a low blog profile for me, that and walking the dog, going to the gym, feeding the girls.....If there is one luxury I would like in life it would be a personal chef, I get so tired of thinking of what to eat, the limitations of their likes and dislikes are so great we seem to repeat the same food over and over like bloody groundhog day, i feel I have to tread that hideous tight rope of cop out ready meals V homemade food, I normally give in by Thursday and pray they visit their father for the weekend!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

They call it Hüzün

A wonderful word Orhan Pamuk uses in his book to describe melancholy, which is currently fairly apt. I have just finished his book Memories of a City which is one of the best books I have read for some time, so much so I have just ordered The Museum of Innocence.
Other reasons for my melancholic mood? Daisy is leaving on Saturday, I keep welling up at the thought of this. I know it is the best thing that could have happened but it is a very strange feeling knowing she will go so soon.
Finally, and so sad, but a student of mine died in the holiday. No one knows why, it seem she was in Iran at the time but having taught her for 3 years it feels strange to think she will not return, So although I feel sad it makes me realise how lucky I am.

Monday, 6 September 2010

"The Frelinghuysen Morris House & Studio in Lenox

OK have to confess I have no idea where Massachusetts's is, I think the Bee Gees may have sung a song about it though!
I wish I lived closer because I would LOVE to visit this house. Knowing my love of house porn check out some more images on this site.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Take one......pair of loose leggings

My idea for a regular Friday post to see me through until the new year is to show you how one garment works in so many ways across my wardrobe.
Sometimes like next week it will be how something new breathes new life into my spring clothes. I thought I would begin with something old.
My Zara leggings, the reason being if there was a fire I would probably save these. Why? They are innocuous enough but they seem irreplaceable. I have a habit of being a serial buyer of certain items of clothing. Grey cardies, black skirts, black dresses, you name it, if I buy one I then for some unknown reason get the burning desire to replicate it. So I know for a fact that these leggings are as rare as hens teeth. Why do I love them? Well they have NO Lycra in them which means even when its hot they are cool to wear, they neither cling or ride up. Instead they skim and create length in the body which I love along with the little row of buttons at the hem. The whole 'wearing trousers under dresses' thing came with the package that is Emin, before my dresses were on the whole short or very well fitted, but what attracts a man is also what a man wants to protect and so I at first begrudgingly wore cycle shorts because one of the cruel ironies of life is that I do have decent legs. Eventually I began to wear trousers too and I have now perfected the art of modest dressing.
This is a life choice, before feminist hackles rise, trust me I get to enjoy a glass of wine and given the choice I will trade that over revealing clothes any day. The photographs themselves are shocking because the camera decided to focus on the smeary glass rather than the clothes but having played dress up for a day I could not be bothered to retake them sorry!
Left to right
V.old silk Jigsaw skirt and cardie.
My lovely phase eight dress.
My even lovelier COS dress with my heavy gold Massimo Dutti cardie.
That purple silk skirt combo you saw last term.
New COS dress that Leyla chose with a Uniqlo black cardie.

It is funny having been the queen of separates for years my current obsession is with dresses. I am today wearing that wonderful draped Isabella Oliver one I got in the sale. It is wonderfully gallerina.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Picasso at the Gagosian

Sometimes even when you think you have seen all there is to see of a particular artist a piece of work will surface that just blows your socks off. I have seen innumerable Picasso exhibitions and I love his work, his lust for life and the way he creates something out of nothing.
Yes, as father, husband and lover he was flawed but as an artist he has been a constant source of inspiration. I loved this exhibition and was really disappointed that the catalogue despite the hefty price tag of £70 had sold out before it came to London.
I pray they reprint it because it is full of wonderful imagery including photographs of Picasso working in his studio. This painting was my favourite from the exhibition, I love the muted colours and the way they are almost washed on and layered.
I did laugh to see the frosty gallerina's had been demoted to hat check girls whilst a very gregarious intern was manning the desk!