Thursday, 30 September 2010

It's so exhausting being fabulous

There's been a sudden flood of articles in sympathetic womens' magazines about women who are hated by other women because they are really, really, ridiculously good-looking. Grazia led the way a few weeks ago with an article about one such sufferer from God's gifts (interestingly, read the sufferer's rebuttle here), and this weekend's Sunday Express Magazine has three women 'suffering' from their beauty.
The Grazia article was a very interesting one, not least because of the letters that poured in about it. Among the lucky ones to be printed was the story of beautiful Anette, who confidently blamed her bad luck with friends on the fact that women 'tend to be very insecure' and that she just liked to take care of herself.
Does anyone remember that Paris Hilton film The Hottie and the Nottie, where the bimbo heiress trotted round with a slightly less 'hot' girl to make herself look better? Yeah, that. Anette's friends are just that. Plus she's probably too busy staring in the mirror smiling and stroking her hair to have time for friends.
When we were little, it was the weird looking girls that got bullied. Now, in some beautiful kind of cosmic payback, the popular pretty girls are getting it in the neck from below-par females who have no other way of boosting our feeble self-esteem than to mercilessly abuse those more genetically gifted that us.
Oh please.
They are apparently more employable and get far more attention from the opposite sex without trying, but when it comes to a few envious glances from their 'friends', they just quit, because they've never had to work at anything before, right? I remember in one of the early vox pop episodes of Sex and the City where a model said 'being beautiful is such a power. You can get everything you want'. Read you can get everything you want without having to work for it. So have these few bad examples stopped working at making friends?
I have three very close friends, all of whom are tall, slim, blonde. So far, so sorted. I like to think of myself as their weird-looking little friend, but in reality, I know I'm not. Because aside from being stunners, these three ladies are as beautiful inside as out. Sure they have luck with men, and they will probably be quite employable. But they also have the good grace to know that you have to work just as much on your friendships as on your face. And I really hope that the ladies who are moaning in the magazines about how no-one likes them because they are beautiful figure that out. Because beauty fades. And it's in the eye of the beholder. And it's no accounting for personality, likeability and talent.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Grab my bags and go

Just wanted to show you the view....
This is the view from one end of my office's building. I love all the contrasting heights, levels and turrets. Proof that there's plenty of beauty in the urbs.
Such as these, which I took on the bus home.
Reminds me why I love this city - it's so full of life, and variety, and bustle, but even being forced to slow down a bit (as Londoners seem to find hard and I am becoming increasingly impatient with random tube stops!) can create something wonderful.
I had to run an errand to Mayfair earlier and boy did I feel out of place. Will have to do a post about that. London seems so much smaller now in many ways - turn the corner from work and I'm on Bond Street! Did have to walk past A&F, it smells like every odious 16-year-old who ever barged past me or was rude to me.
Tomorrow I have an interview, then it's Friday and I have another informal interview! Then it's the weekend, planning on visiting East London for only the second time ever. I'm pretty good with North and Central but the hip East End is still alien to me. Help me, friends! Where must I go? I wanna see me some celebs!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Suited and Booted

So, Day Two of The Internship Experience is over (for more, see my other blog). Continuing with my hardcore new London girl routine, I was up with the binmen, went for a run and was at work 15 minutes early, which gave me plenty of opportunity to strut past Vogue House and check out the outfits that the Conde Nast girls wear to work.
I love the difference crowds in London. You get them everywhere, it's true, but they are more commonplace here. From the painfully in girls with their messy topknots (brunette, of course), Celine colour palettes and minimal makeup, to the Japanese tourists with the eclectic style (I saw a velvet soldier-boy jacket on one), to the occasional hipster kid on their way to LCF. And the reams of handsome men in suits, of course.
I was waiting for a friend outside Bond Street tube station earlier and it was a smorgasbord of the varied world of fashion. I counted three Bayswaters, one Balenciaga mini satchel, more shearling jackets than I'd care to mention and, even at 7 o'clock, plenty of glittery partywear.
I also saw some truly amazing boots, even before I'd gone into the Selfridges Shoe Lounge (which has stopped stocking the amazing Alexander Wang chelsea-style boots that I'd dreamed of buying, boo)...red or black?
And as for me, I stuck with my usual – black, with some more black. And some grey.
But, true to form, I did make a nice new friend at the Illamasqua store on Beak Street. So expect some crazy makeup to come.....

Monday, 27 September 2010

I don't actually live by the river

....but I'm here! In London, on a quiet little street south of the river, in a nice cosy room with a day job as a PR minion and an evening job as socialista, girl about town and sufferer of mobile internet. So we'll see how this whole 'continuing with the daily posts' thing goes.
I'll be documenting the ins and outs of my intern work on my other blog, but here are a few little pics of my day.
Because I'm all soppy, here's the last sunset I saw in my hometown....
...before the new day in London, baby! The window of Aquascutum - love the long layered gathered dress, and how the rest of the bustle of Regents Street is reflected in it as the snooty manequins stare out.


I want to ride around in a cab looking brooding like Sherlock. I'd rather ride around in a cab with Sherlock.
I may not get to see many gorgeous sunsets from now on, so I may just have to gaze at this amazing cape. Marios Schwab for Topshop. Wayyyyy too expensive.


But slightly less expensive than the Schwab and the Liberty schwag, there's this hat. It made me look like Quentin Crisp. I may have to buy it.
Right, that's your lot for today! Just to let you know I'm still here....like Joaquin Phoenix. But for real.

Friday, 24 September 2010

I live by the river

Apologies that I haven't posted very much this week. As the ardent followers among you will know, I'm off to London soon to intern my way into the fabulous world of fashion. Most of this week has been spent sorting stuff - rent, banks, internet, etc - finishing off my jobs, and PACKING. This whole capsule wardrobe thing has not gone to plan.
So I'm probably not going to be great at the whole 'regular, scintilating updates' thing for a while. But by gosh I will try my hardest, and when I say that I stick to it. I'll most likely fit in a farewell post tomorrow, then return soon.
So wish me luck closing my suitcase!

Thursday, 23 September 2010

The wondrous jacket

And my mood swung rapidly back round when I saw yesterday's Times fashion supplement.
Having recently retweeted a comment that 'the aviator is over, start saving for the studded biker', I was curious to see the jacket that had caused the stir. Given Burberry's recent forte in turning fashion heads I guessed it was one of theirs from the flurry, the model, and the rest of the look. And then my eye settled upon the jacket, a myriad of studs. More studs than you could shake a stick at. Gok Wan must be going into convulsions.
And I remembered why I wanted to be where I wanted to be. In the big city where it all happens. There's probably been a punk in Camden with that many studs on their jacket for years. The whole city is a canvas for the creative.
Oh, and a bit more from LFW - I am constantly astounded by the beauty of Mary Katrantzou's collections.




(All images via Style.com)
NB - The Times' Fashion Matrix also put the students that dress up and hang around Somerset House trying to get spotted as 'going down'. Ha. What a good job that I will only go as a super successful freelancer in the Year That Is Yet To Happen....

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Curious feeling of falling

But having said all that and being frightfully, idiotically positive, I am going to miss a few select people (ok, one person in particular) a lot. Well done me. Nothing is ever that simple. But I guess I wouldn't be human if it was.
Ta da! I will distract you with pictures of my latest DIY project...why spend hours clicking 'refresh' on ASOS and hundreds of pounds on something that will apparently be 'over' in a few months when you can customise your own for about £11?

Thin White Duchess

Today's post will be in the format of esteemed blogger Delightfully Tacky, who has a wonderful habit of posting lovely, self-taken shots of her latest stylings in between portions of interesting narrative and musings on her life. Here's mine. You can just scroll through the pictures if you want, as some may do with Tacky's and as I used to do. Now, I read.
I'm counting down the final few days until I am moving to London. For those of you who don't know, I'll be interning for three months in the PR and fashion media industries - my dream industries - and, fingers and everything else crossed, will be able to find a related job while I'm there. I'll be living south of the river in a room in a flat full of strangers. I'm going there to find a job, make some new friends, and start on the path I've wanted to get onto for years.
But I mainly need to go to get out of this place. I've had the easiest year, but it's also been hard - I've been lonely, depressed and full of terror. I'm terrified now, because I'm leaving things and people that I love - friends, family, a job and a home - to jump, feet first, into a largely unfamiliar city. I do know people there, it's true. But a lot of what upsets me is that of the few I know, a lot of them are on the same path as me and are either fantastically successful very quickly or stuck in my boat.
There was something in the paper about how the most recent generation of graduates are giving up their dreams for the sake of security. That was me. I've had a great, secure year of working two jobs, one to keep me in shoes and one to keep my CV solid. Every time I read of a friend who has a job, has an interview, has another job, has been promoted, my standard response is to go straight to the nearest jobsite and apply. I binged on job applications.
But now, I read, I panic, then I smile, and remember that I've decided this, that this is no-one's life but mine. If it doesn't work out, I can come home to a strong and stable home, savings, friends, a city I know and love. Safety. Walking the tightrope. I have a net, but it's just there in case I need it, not because I'm actually going to fall.
I was speaking to a friend over a drink recently, and we were discussing points in our life when we were happiest. I said I was happiest in my first year of university, because I was young, free and single, with everything to play for. He looked at me for a second and then reminded me that that's exactly the situation I'm in now.
So here I am. Young, though not forever.
Free - no bad debts, no-one who needs my support, no obligations and all the time in the world. Single. And with nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

I got it from my Momma

You know how some supercool and hipster bloggers score wicked vintage finds?
You know how the coolest of them just filch stuff their mum bought when she was a twentysomething?
Check this out.
Oh yeeeeeaeh. My mother was pretty wicked in the 70s.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

I Maxed Out

For those of you who have recently discovered this blog, you must think that all I ever wear is maxi-dresses. And if you didn't think that before, you certainly will now.
Here is yesterday's outfit. I had real issues with it - I am yet to master the art of layering a jacket over a maxidress. As it gets colder and layering becomes the key, I'm going to have to learn fast. I'll be taking inspiration from Sandra of 5 Inch And Up, who is a master of layering and monochrome.
If it had been a lot colder, I'd have put a nice wooly jumper over this.
I think I pull off the high end templar lady knight thing nicely. Plus the boots I'm wearing are covered in buckles and the like so make a noise like chainmail when I walk.
I will be taking this split-side dress to London with me, and wearing it over trousers.
And this dress, today's outfit, will definitely be coming with me.
Much better layering, as it was warm enough to get away with just a little vest. This dress has the lowest back. It gave me the perfect opportunity to wear a checked strapless bra-top I bought last summer when the plan was to wear it with a low-cut loose vest. Will have to rethink that.
But yes, this was a good dress, especially as it was a sale buy.

Yes, very happy with this. I wore a few berry-coloured things last winter and I think this will do nicely.
I really should wear skirts, and especially maxiskirts more. It indulges my love of dressing up, playing a role, in a way that trousers don't do. You can have far more fun with a swishy skirt.
Well tomorrow is my last day interning at my current location. I'll miss it - the people are really nice and the work is fun. This week has been crazy-busy with deadlines, but I thrive on that kind of pressure. And I clearly did a good enough job as they asked me to stay longer. But as we all know I'm off to London to intern some more, so good to know I did something right.
Gotta plan my big send-off outfit!
Not really.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

A Visual Definition of Boredom

I know that I am going to alienate the vast majority of the fashion public here, but I genuinely cannot think of a more fitting person.
For the fortunate among you who've managed to avoid learning about this girl, this is Olivia Palermo, sometime socialte, reality TV star and regular at fashion parties and front rows.
And she's the most boring thing I've ever come across.
True, I'm sure she's not really as vapidly bitchy as she comes across in The City, and that's largely down to some canny producer thinking 'hey, beautiful girl who's a bitch, that never gets old does it?' And I'm sure she's not really as nauseatingly nice as her interviews with magazines like ASOS Magazine suggest.
Except, if she isn't, then she's doing a good job of convincing me that she's nauseatingly boring. Like a Barbie, she's fawned over by the industry because of her shiny hair and long legs (and Blake Lively looks to be going the same way) and all the journos marvel at how amazingly nice she is.
She's also a massive throwback to the times of decadence when all that mattered was shiny hair and a famous name. If that's something that the world needs to cling to like a comfort blanket then that's fine, while occasionally throwing in references to new trends.
But while we've got this Alpha-Barbie trotting around, there's only so far we can get from the Noughties Age of Decadence. She represents everything that it was acceptable to be - shiny, designer, and loaded.
Let's hope that, as Fashion Week rolls around once more, something or someone new arises from amid all the identikit glossy-haired, long-limbed beauties. This was supposed to be a New Era. If this is what New looks like, I'll take old.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

All filler, all killer

Sorry that I have neglected you blog fans, been having a mental few days at work (we're on deadline, it's very stressful and exciting). I will be back to renewed strength once it's all over and I'm able to read my fashion magazines again. Plus I have a very cool DIY project to show you.
In the meantime, here's a very cool picture from The Runaways film to tide you over. Or to tide me over - I want to look cool like in this picture. I'm thinking a black mullet for my next look.....
Or if you need an easy laugh...Sister Wolf recently challenged her followers to style themselves with the brief 'Clueless Goth'. I decided to do a tribute to this killer look by Jane at Sea of Shoes. Check out my tribute and the other awesome efforts here.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

The Doctor in the Details

Wondering about the crazy post title? Well, when I bought this dress from ASOS, it claimed that it was in the style of Daisy Lowe, currently on the arm of my premiere celebrity crush, Matt Smith, aka The Doctor. Shame they don't sell a man in the style of him on ASOS.
Anyhoo, the dress. Even my dad said he liked it, so it must be a good'un.
Had to do a close-up of (no, not my epically emphasised curves) my jewellery. I love my latest ring (far right) - been wanting a decently huge one for ages. Got one with a pink stone too. Probably rose quartz.
And here is a slightly comedy photo of my massive, erm, curve. Had no idea I could make it jut out like that.
Freaky.
In other news, I am now a bona fide blogging contributor over at The Handbag Fairy, woop woop!

Get me to a Clinic

Every blogger under the sun seems to own a pair of Jeffrey Campbells. And I've found a shop in Bristol selling them.
I'm in love with these.
Jeffrey Campbell Clinic Wedges. At least £30 more expensive in said shop than on their website. WTF?

Friday, 10 September 2010

Freedom from Want

I was catching up with that old tv show, you may have heard of it, Mad Men, and boy, a lot has changed since the days of Series 1. Betty has morphed from bored housewife into Cruella de Ville (but I never liked her) and Don has only got more sexy and Campbell more of a weasel.
But the biggest transformation is in my favourite character, shrewd operator Peggy. Gone are the dodgy days of ill-advised sex with married men and unfortunate weight gain. Here we have a snappily dressed little firecracker, with a smart hairdo and no need to prove herself.
And here I've just completely pre-empted a piece I was planning to write about a certain article in Elle that got a few bloggers I follow so riled. The piece, written by a Mr Craig McClean, is all about how women think they are liberated in the modern day - celebrating their equal stance to men by taking pole dancing classes and wearing provocative outfits solely to feel the powerful pull of a man's gaze. The writer argues that, in fact, this has made us even less free than we were before, because, where before everything was done to be on the same level as men, now everything is done to stay there. The writer cannot fathom why we must turn our quest for equality and liberation into a quest to better men. Women and men were not created equal - they were created with differences, with weaknesses and strengths, and by beating uselessly pitted against eachother, neither wins.
Some seem angry that he was allowed to say these things, and did not accept anything that was written in the piece because they happily construed it as sexist. 'Written by a man', they said, 'ergo sexist, derogatory and highly suspect. Devalue his opinions instantly.'
Now, I'm sure they will then brush this defence of his piece off as 'victim-blaming', something so popular nowadays. That I've been naively sucked in to thinking the way men want me to think about myself. That I shouldn't bother trying to achieve what they can, because I never can. And that's right. Because there are things women can do that men can't. And one thing that we've done that men haven't is developed the massive chip on our shoulder that has prohibited us from ever achieving anything and then not going 'haha, one for the sisterhood!' I think that McClean's piece, far from being sexist, is one of the most objective pieces written about the issue, and way ahead of the curve. The way I read it, he's seen the bright future that is possible if we all stop trying to better men, and just live with it, and them. And he's right. The modern woman, all man-eating, free-living and desperate to be taken seriously, is a far more terrifying creature than the 50s figure of oppression. I'm scared enough of what my parents think of my (under)achievements without having to worry about men. And then having to worry, often more, about women. We're never going to win this one if all we do is turn on each other. But as I said, it's not about winning.
I walked home the other night, after a frank discussion with a friend in which he mentioned that acursed phrase 'battle of the sexes', past a few bars, with the usual crop of office gents having a beer. I was wearing heels and I admit, I strutted. I got a few glances, which induced a very short sharp high. But once it had died, and it always dies, you feel crushed. Power to turn heads is not gratification, and being a bra-burning feminist isn't either.
In truth, I had dressed to get that reaction. Because as much as I argue against it, it is fun to dress up and get admiring looks. To have your friends say 'wow', or a man's eye linger a little longer. But is that freedom? Of course it isn't. You always dress to get a reaction. The same friend pointed out, upon my revelation that I once ran into town in my gym kit, that I was still interested in people's reaction to my makeup-free, sweaty and track-panted state. Of course, he's right. It's impossible to leave the house without giving the tiniest bit of thought to your appearance, the first impression you will make (cue 'blue sweater' speech from The Devil Wears Prada). Even the bra-burning feminists were all about appearance.
Truth is, I don't know the answer to this one. But I do know that the only way we will ever be truly free from this totally circular argument about equality, and what that even is any more, is when we finally jump off the merry-go-round. Caring what other people think really is not the way to solve things. The only time a woman, or a man, or anyone is free, is when they are no longer concerned with freedom, or want, or equality.
But I really do care what you think, so here's my outfit for today. Nice 70s-style maxidress, perfect for a breezy day.


Thursday, 9 September 2010

It's just a cruel, cruel world

Ah, another fantastically hilarious good day ruined in the last few moments. See these shorts below? I tried to iron them and the iron got too hot and melted the fibres. Well done me.
But until the melted shorts incident, I thought I looked pretty cool. Was channelling the Topshop campaign and my favourite anonymous model crush...

But y'know, in reverse, kind of Stella McCartney, but with shorts that needed a re-iron before this photo (I ironed them this morning and they were fine, it's just in the evening. Basically the moral of the story is that I should never leave work, because nothing bad happens at work) and less dark lipstick.
Just general levels of frustration. I am very glad to have this blog so that I can come home and vent very publically about bad days. It doesn't make sense, does it?
Here, I'll distract you with a video. A blogger I've just found called 5 Inch And Up (see her over there in my new revamped generic list of awesome blogs) introduced me to Fever Ray, whom I now love.

And then there's also this one, by Kimbra, which has been stuck in my head for days.

Enjoy those! I'm off to foil my rat in her plan to chew my bedframe to pieces, and then to go to bed.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Crimson and Clover

So in an awesome twist, Cherrybomb came up on my iPod as I was walking (read strutting) home. These shoes are great for the nonchalant loping walk I'm trying to perfect.
I tried to do hair inspired by Robyn's but the trouble with brightly coloured hair is it always looks dodgily murky and dirty when caked in product, and the amount of product it takes for my hair to be vertical is excessive. Sigh.
I'll miss the summer - it's made dressing a lot easier. When the weather gets cold I'll have to start wearing socks and tights and not just be able to throw on some shorts and a t-shirt. Another sigh.
That's about it for me really - inspiration is running pretty low ever since I saw that Vogue cover. With luck I'll have some inspiration tomorrow, probably still riding off the back of my random ramblings on anorexia in the media. Not sure how I got onto that. Maybe tomorrow I'll talk about BAGS! Or SHOES! Or DRESSES! Or something.