Friday, 28 October 2011

Sartorial Frieze V

Again perfect dressing for that certain age, this was one of quite a few dresses/jumpers I saw with this sheer top, the only down side was she had left the washing instructions in the back!

I liked the way she had layered her sheer fabrics.

I loved this dress with the battered brown handbag, I tried to get a better shot but it was really far to crowded by then.

I will be back next week either sodden or replete with amazing photographs of Istanbul, hopefully!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Sartorial Frieze IV

I love it when dresses combine two textures like this, it hung beautifully. The photograph does not do this outfit justice it was a perfect combination of colours which I like.

I love grey knitwear with sequins, it is now cool enough to wear my one now.

I loved this jersey top with the stripey detail.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Sartorial Frieze III

I love the asymmetric buttoned grey with the loveliest of suede bags which you can only just see, my perfect combination with jeans. The shoes with these trousers looked great, I nearly wore my black version and having felt the heat inside the tent wished I had!

I love back detail, I saw this and a lovely stripy version, sadly she moved to quickly through the crowd to photograph it, I wish shops did more like this though.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Sartorial Frieze II

I just LOVE the grey with the amazing silver jewellery, I have tried to find a necklace like that for ages, it's gorgeous. What is not to love, the skirt has a wonderful retro feel the stripe top is great especially with brown accessories she looked perfect.

I could never do the puff sleeves, but I liked the detail on this dress and the well worn bag made the whole outfit look great.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Sartorial Frieze I

A perfectly dressed woman of a certain age, I loved the boots with this this pretty cotton tunic.

No, not the riotous pattern although it was good, what I loved was that necklace, I have a bit of a thing for large chain links.

I suspect this is Orla Kiely, I love her patterns but not the prices.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Something Stripy for the Weekend

This was an impulse buy some time ago, As I was paying for something in COS I spied 3 women carrying this top, I could not decide what side of 'convict' this fell, but in the end I loved the shape so much I thought 'what the hell' I've noticed I do not wear necklaces with stripes, the clash feels a bit much, so I have been wearing earrings more often instead.

Sadly it was the last batch of +J for Uniqlo today, the skirt I lusted after sold out in seconds which is good as that means I stick to my rules, even if they were enforced by the speed dial of others who were clearly prepared to stay up until 1am for them to go online. I guess that makes me a lacking somewhat in sartorial ambition!

I did as a consolation prize, (because I knew I would fail in my mission) buy a dress, YEAH I stuck to the rules, I cheated though as it's a skirt with a grown on top but the dress is grey and looks lovely, and more importantly very comfortable, perfect for layering a jumper over. I did weaken and buy a top too, but I impressively returned it because do I need it? NO.

I have been working with the oil bars again with mixed results, but it's good to push ideas around. I've assembled the bones of my Identity project too, last night I finally enrolled and I'm officially a student with an I.D card to prove it. Our library tour was cancelled so I went anyway, never one to conform I could not believe we were expected to sit and learn about bloody Photoshop, instead I gazed at some wonderful photography books and have already scanned half the pages of a book on Self Portrait it was so inspiring.

So Tutors 2/10, facilities 10/10!

Tonight I pack for Istanbul, luckily the temperature is in the high teens so I may get away with a light jacket rather than a full on wool coat. I have not a clue what we are doing but I am determined to spend some time at my favourite mosque in Enimonu.

Tomorrow I'm taking my newbies for a tour of Cork Street, self indulgent, you bet! I have left some Sartorial Frieze for you all to enjoy and will be back photography rich by November.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Maureen Gallace

I spied this beautiful little painting on the Maureen Paley stand, it was so different from the brash look at me art everywhere else, I have google the artist Maureen Gallace and found these.

Such a wonderfully light touch, with luminous colours that hold your attention like a good landscape should. . One of only a couple of pieces I would have willingly spent money on.

images from here

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Sartorial contemplation

So young and with such wonderful hair!, I love the symphony of cream knitwear too.

Quite apart from the stunning artwork I love the floral shirt, I do love a man in a floral shirt!

This outfit was so lovely, my favourite flowing tunic with the mast fantastic shoes, where did she get those shoes?

More lovely shoes, with classic dresses.

That jumper on the left was lovely, I really liked the contrast of sheer silk with the wool knit.

I ache to waft around in billowing white like this, never gonna happen, not with my shoulders or my propensity to spill & splash.

I just love the proximity of his head with the head in the image behind him.

I love how they frame this photographic diptych.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

The view from here

I did not really notice the furniture this time, primarily it has not changed much so did not catch my attention.
What did was eveyones hair, I don't know why since I don't really 'do' hair, but I wish I did in a way because it can really make the most amazing statement.
Maureen Paley has the most incredibly distinctive silhouette, it took me ages to capture this glimpse but I love the way she was profiled against the text of a piece of artwork on her stand. This wonderful salt 'n' pepper up do I envied, but my hair is just too floppy for this. I love the zip on her shirt too.

This hair was stunning a whipped cone with a short back and sides again a great silhouette

I hope I can be this elegant when I finally go grey.

Nearly missed this but again I love the height. I always want to ask them how they do it without a hair headache, I get them a lot as the weight of my hair rages against my scalp.

What was annoying was had I seen these photographs I could have returned and focused a lot more on the hair, I wish I had visited over two days like last year, the focus becomes clearer after the first day.Next year....

Monday, 17 October 2011

Sartorial Frieze

I did not want to go on a Saturday, but could not afford the time off work, I knew it would be a sartorial desert, which it was, but nothing prepared me for the crowds. After lunch it was heaving to the point of unpleasant. It was also ridiculously hot so despite staying for most of the day I have half what I achieved last year.
Many of my favourite Gallerina's had disappeared, I suspect the smarter ones do the business weekdays and the assistants do the weekend, hence the paucity of style. Of course I did get far more than this, but I will drip feed them to you whilst I am away next week.
I love the stripey cardie, you can just see a tiny bit of red that trims the neck line, I love it with the shoes too.
Second from right the colours are lovely, but she was clearly cooking, could those sleeves be rolled up any further? And most hilarious of all the Gallerina on the right is wearing the same dress as last year, that is some seriously good value cost per wear!

I did manage to get some work done too, for my identity project so it was not a complete disappointment.

I still ache all over from being on my feet for so long. Remember I did shoe shopping prior to this with Kitty. 4, count them, 4 pairs purchased.

  • Snowy weather booties

  • Work pumps

  • Scrummy brogue boots with kitted lining

  • Navy sparkly ballet pumps
She was over the moon, although a little shell shocked at the profligacy of it all. I think it's safe to say she is kitted out for the winter now.
She has just learned another of life's tough lessons, having paid for a book she checked her debit card receipt to discover that a £7.99 book had been charged at £45! luckily she checked and went back and thankfully they refunded her the money, but I have begged her to check before she taps her pin number in, not easy for a dyslexic though.

I am now tearing my hair out as to what to pack for Istanbul, it has rained non stop out there for weeks but looks to be a little brighter by Saturday, as we leave on the first flight out of Heathrow Saturday I need to pack now.

Oh, and the Tempest, on the bright side Ralph was very good as was the actor who played his daughter and Caliban was the best I've seen. Sadly the production was just horrible, crap set crap costumes and the music...Oh dear God it was TORTURE, really not good. All this would have been fine if the seats were cheap but they were not, which is why I prefer rep', no matter how pants the play I will never had paid too much and so resent it less.
I now realise that Sam Mendes is a genius with Shakespeare, his production was so much better, only let down by a poor Prospero.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Do we need Mary Portas?


I started to pick up, via some comments on a couple of blogs that those across the pond are receiving nothing but good vibrations from the hermetically sealed world of Mary Portas. This brilliant article is very good and pretty much sums up how I feel.

That said the hypocrisy of the Guardian is breathtaking since all the clothes they ever feature in their supplements are for a size 8.

I initially felt some level of empathy with Portas, during her first series Mary Queen of Shops, she appeared to have some good ideas, but as the programmes rolled on she became a grotesque caricature not helped by the ubiquitous repetitive editing by Chanel 4, a company past master at the art of stretching 20 minutes of good television into 60 minutes of repetitive drivel.

The hype around this venture is completely disproportionate to her talent, the article which I could have written myself (it's so spot on, seriously, how long have I been saying it's not age but size and poor cut that causes problems for older women.) Despite Portas's constant harping on about the lack of choice for women over 40 I have managed very successfully to dress myself from a whole range of shops. No, not just COS, but also Zara, Muji, Toast, Kew, The White Company, Banana Republic, +J Uniqlo even GAP to name a few.
I look for a good cut and even better fabrics that drape and fold and hide. Poor fabrics cling and need ironing and I'm not prepared to iron ever!
So what are my gripes?
-Portas appears to wear mostly high end designer clothes when did she last shop on a high street? Has she not heard of COS?
-In this country we produce some of the best designers in the world, why do we need someone untrained to design for 'us'? It's insulting.
-Why is Portas so hostile to the younger market? My girls wear my clothes, surely we should not teach them age discrimination at such an early age.
-And like everyone who commented on the Guardian article, why when Portas is so forceful at pushing her own philosophy onto others could she not accept some of the more negative comments from her Guinea Pigs?

One of my all time favourite soundbites came from one of her more eloquent guinea pigs 'Pen'

"My body is better than this dress"

YES, she was so right.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Now THAT is a wedding dress

This has to be the most amazing wedding dress ever, I love it, and the necklace too.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Something Stripy for the Weekend

I know what you are thinking, where are the stripes? Well maybe not in this picture, but they are on me, right now I am wearing pretty much this outfit, but with a stripy vest underneath.
I was flicking through some journals this week when I found the one I used to draw these in. Why did I stop? Because I became very ill, once I lose the thread I can't pick it up again, no matter how hard I try, it will be the same with these oil paintings, a prolonged break over half term and I will pack them away and move on. That makes my work sound quite disjointed but I don't think it is, it stops me from getting stale and repeating mistakes while allowing the successes to bask in glory.

A-n-y-w-a-y I was flicking and was amazed to see this picture, of what I wore over 2 years ago virtually to the day.
I am tonight meeting my little sister and so in honour of that I am wearing this outfit, all be it with some bigger jewellery. The pumps and top are the same but the trousers are now thicker jersey ones from COS.

Oh and the wine will be white!

I tripped over a great blog yesterday and a post that raised two very interesting issues.

First up, does writing a style blog make you spend too much money on clothes?

Clearly judging by the Anthropologie story it does, but as someone who achieved a whole year of posting outfits, for me it would be a resounding NO. I found I raided my back catalogue a lot more, I found I experimented more, but at no time did I go shopping for more. This maybe due to the fact that I have more clothes than is really decent or necessary and that I was not writing a style blog. But trying to work all be it very publicly how I could hone my style without constantly repeating mistakes and looking like a sartorial car crash all the time.
No, for me what makes me spend is proximity to shops, if I see it I want it. Luckily for me I work miles from anywhere I could spend and currently have not had time to spend more than 30 min's in COS this combined with the current Internet ban has kept me relatively on the straight and narrow.

I guess the whole posting to make money thing just gets out of control at the younger end of the blogging spectrum, too many see it as a cash cow rather than what it really is, a somewhat self indulgent diary. Oh is that just me then?r>
<strong>Second up, do I spend too much money on clothes?

Assembled Hazardly explains this so much more eloquently than I, but I was for the first time nodding in agreement with her. I too spend little on cosmetics or hair I do go out a lot, but not extravagantly always the cheap seats and voucher deals for me. That I spend any money at all on clothes is an anathema to Emin, he feel money should go on gadgets and holiday experience, I am from the "seriously who the hell needs and iPhone and an iPad camp?" but then who needs 40 black pairs of trousers? We all have our desires and needs and itches to scratch and I feel I just about cut my cloth. He has learnt to deal with it, just as I have learnt to clear up after him.
I do not yet really understand why clothes are so important to me, if I just schlepped around in my dog walking clothes for a week I really would get quite ratty, I do love to dress up, and I have not since the beginning of term had one sartorial car crash not even a bump, it's all good, and it was thanks the those weekly posts, so the money I have saved on therapy and buying cheap shit off the Internet is now invested wisely, to better end, so raise a glass and celebrate with me my sartorial success.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

The view from here

For those of you who are new to this somewhat sporadic blog I will elucidate as to the origins of what became a somewhat accidental A Room Of My Own.
I have for too long, laboured under the misapprehension that the room should be at home, as on a minor technicality, I should really be teaching when I am at work and if not teaching then planning or god forbid the most onerous task of all ..marking. I curiously love marking but not 60 effing sets of books at the same time, after book 25 I begin to lose the will to live, after book 50 I am numb with boredom and invariably reward myself with something tasty but mighty fattening.
A-n-y-w-a-y, back to the story, so when my new school was on the planning desk I was still primarily a darkroom practitioner and so insisted that I was given a darkroom in the new school, and lo they did build me one, but without the double door! Seriously what morons. Luckily the students embraced digital and never wanted to dabble in the experimental dark arts and so I have what is essentially a windowless cupboard.
I decided as I had lost my office in the move to use it as a library cum storage facility, but as we moved I began to see the potential as somewhere to paint. It may seem a tad perverse but actually a windowless room is a joy, no distractions.
Yes, the lack of natural light is a pain but the privacy more than makes up for it. So I styled it up took photographs and this is what you may have seen some years ago, clean and tidy with some watercolour paintings in progress.

Well look how time changes. Why have I photographed it again? Well at college someone asked about sketch books and I panicked a little as I do draw in books and I do have books full of shape and colour references, but none of them are what I would consider to be sketchbooks. You do not really get the flavour of my thought process from the books at all, they are purely functional resources for me.
I then realised that this room is one big sketchbook, I pin all my reference source material on the wall and then work on the surface.
I work very small, never ever bigger than A4, to work bigger I would have to give up work as the momentum it would take cannot be achieved in the short bursts I have to work in. I do not resent that in the least, it makes me very disciplined and focused, which is a good thing.

So right now I am working very hard to free up my painting, if you peer hard enough you will see pinned to the wall a very small painting comprised of a red plate with a green circle on top placed on a yellow background. That is what I was working on, however although I love them dearly I was conscious I was trapped in the 'tea towel design' hell, a habit I acquired at college.

So I switched to oil bars instead.

Very messy and very fluid, they have really made me free up my mark making which I knew I could from last year at the Slade, but the minute you stick a brush in my hand I revert to type like memory plastic in a dishwasher.
I will go back to them when I am ready as I really love them, tea towels or not but I wanted to explore these ideas first whilst they were fresh in my head. I had thought we would take this work to be discussed at college, but bizarrely we have been set a project, I got the impression last night I was in the minority when it came to painting, and so for many, the project was set to kick start their own practise again.

I rarely post my work, I hate putting it out there, but I thought it would be fun to see what it looked like. They are about A5, no one piece is the same size as the other because I work on recycled card.

They are landscapes painted from memory, mostly Scotland but pretty much any visual reference will feed into them at some point.

But I finally feel I a getting there.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Great icons of style

I just love these two women, they are both aging brilliantly, no fakery, just a love of colour shape and pattern. Fashion week ended with more of a whimper than a bang but there were some wonderful patterns which may hopefully filter down to the high street.

I had managed to persuade Kitty that flush with a salary at such a tender age she could do worse than invest in some classics that would last rather than fritter on the high street.Kitty has a very classic style and despite wealth beyond her comprehension has managed to not spend to much and will start a savings account next week.

She was very smitten with this bag...

but when we saw the price....she could not bring herself to splash the cash. Quite rightly she felt the stress of owning something so costly out weighed the pleasure it would bring, so the image is filed for another day.

Kitty is also very keen to buy some riding boots but would like me to help...with a heavy heart I will give her a couple of hours on Saturday before I skip over to Frieze Art Fair. Shoe shopping with Kitty is so not fun.

My camera is ready bloguettes for some super style snaps that I will take at the fair. Eat your heart out Paris, London will always be better! OK well at least equal to? No?

Talking of Paris that Woody Allen film is such good fun, I went with both Kitty and Leyla and they both loved it, Kitty so much I've had to give her the photographs I took of her on our brief visit a couple of years ago, at the time she was not keen, but the film made her love it. Leyla laughed out loud at the Dali scene, there is something quite sweet about a 10 year old laughing at Woody Allen.

The film is flawed of course, he is one of life's eternal romantics always searching for the fairytale ending, but suspend all of that disbelief and enjoy it for what it is, the perfect love letter to a wonderful city.. by an American!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Jeans for genes day

I love this outfit, I love it so much I saved the photograph, I am wearing it with faux zebra skin Birkenstocks though, I like the way it makes me look like I have a waist. So no stripes today because the school is raising money, so I get to wear jeans, YEAH.

We have a full inspection Monday and Tuesday so WTF am I doing writing this I don't know but sometimes a girl just has to write now and plan stupid boring lessons later. Before I knew they were coming I snuck off early for an hour on the pretext I had to do stuff and college! Suckers, I did in fact need some oil bars as I am really struggling with some colour mixing, but guess what? I found a shop selling them just around the corner from COS. I was starving though so went to Itsu, and stuffed a box of sushi down me, plus I'm seriously addicted to endami beans.
A-n-y-w-a-y, as I sat outside watching the world go by, (is there anything better?) I watched a girl come out of Vogue house, she looked so lovely, she was wearing some soft sage green fitted trousers almost like jeans, with a cream, heavy silk blouse over which she wore a cropped, textured, linen jacket with the faintest hint of an indigo snakeskin print and snakeskin ballet flats topped off with golden blonde hair. Oh to be that young, that beautiful and that well dressed.

So I lumbered over to COS, needless to say both items I gazed at longingly in my checkout basket were not there in my super size L, however I did try on some other stuff and yes, I did buy a cardie, and no, I put back the navy dress! I stuck to my rules....ish. The cardie is a bitter chocolate marle, it really reminded me of some linen sofas my parents had when I was young, they were very into contemporary Habitat furniture then. (Weird, I know.) Being marle it does not look so naffly brown and in fact may very well qualify for Frieze art fair next week.

College was OK, they are not the brightest sparks in the box, but hey, I did get to think over some ideas. The first unit appears to be thematic based, it took me 20 min's to come up with an idea, I will tell you about it later, but either this is way too easy or I am over simplifying it, watch this space!

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Lauren Manoogian

Jewellery and stripes, how lovely are these?

Found via Totokaelo

Images from her website here