Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Duck draws

I was an early proponent of Cocosa - in fact, I bought my Pauric Sweeney 'Disco Bag' several years ago in one of their very first sales - but I've always thought of it as an exciting fashion sale site rather than somewhere to go for fashion news, style recommendations or general editorial content.  However, the editorial side of Cocosa has been reaching out more and more into the digital realm, getting bloggers to select their favourite pieces from a given sale or write little introductions, for example.  You can understand then that I was pleasantly surprised to be asked to come along last night to The Arch hotel in London to meet some of the editorial staff and have an exciting fashion illustration lesson just for us bloggers!  Quite a few of us hadn't picked up a pencil since we were kids so we were understandably nervous at having the highly successful Clym Evernden critique our work.  Of course there were a couple of bloggers who had happened to go to art college and their works were of a superior nature, but Clym was very positive about everyone and the two hours of drawing really flew by!

Our model for the evening, the über flexible Paul:

Clym taught us the fundamentals of producing a stylised illustration.  First, we practised sketching the basic lines of the body in block pastels, using simple bars or curves to exaggerate the shapes and proportions.  Then we moved onto isolating key regions of the form - bare skin, top, trousers - in our chosen colour scheme.  The details were then layered on top using a pencil (oh, sorry, apparently artists call these 'crayons'...they didn't look much like my Crayola set at home!), and eventually we progressed to including an outlined silhouette, drawn in one smooth line without looking down at the page.  I'm seriously considering practising this skill so I can sketch the models strutting by at fashion week.  I thought only Patsy Stone did this, but Simon told me he'd seen Hilary Alexander scribbling away at the shows too!  If only she had a beehive.

I'd never been to The Arch before (named after Marble Arch just around the corner) and it was suitably fancy.  We had our lesson in the library, which was mainly filled with photography and art books, a miniature bar (yippee - I did have one too many proseccos) and the comfiest leather seats.  I didn't get a chance to look at any of the bedrooms, but I'm guessing they were of a similarly high standard.  Another place to add to my little black book, then...

Many thanks to the people at Cocosa, Talk PR, The Arch and, of course, Clym for the fascinating evening!


Tuesday, 30 August 2011


Thank you to Disney Roller Girl who reminded me that J.W. Anderson's insane A/W collection has just launched at the LN-CC.  Those Paisley pattern silks are calling to me (especially in the trouser department), and the cigarette pants with back-zipped half-kilts (ooh, Chloe!) are exactly as I imagined them.  But the big question is: Will anyone be stocking the full length pleated kilts I adored from the show?  Actually, the bigger question is more realistically: Who can donate eight hundred or so quid to the Anastasia & Duck Cause that I'll need to buy one??

Yours depressively,


All present and correct

Continuing the theme of e-stores, although deviating slightly from my fashion focus, today I am also obsessing about Present & Correct, suggested to me by the most normal physicist I have met so far, Amro.  It turns out if Amro had changed his mind about where he did his DPhil a few years back he could have ended up my tutor at university!  Alas, he chose Cambridge.  Anyway, I digress...  

Almost certainly designed by an incurable OCD-sufferer, the Present & Correct store sells stationery and bits'n'bobs made of paper, wood, etc, plus the odd piece of frivolous fun.  Seriously, who can resist a shop with a section for 'ephemera'?  Having inherited a love of stationery from Mother - many a summer's afternoon was spent raiding the papeteries and Schreibwarengeschäfte of Western Europe - I now stockpile Clairefontaine notepads (I prefer to write on finely squared paper) and leather-backed German journals, along with the odd Diddl-Maus keyring.  So naturally, my favourite items from Present & Correct are the speckled German jotters and I may or may not be placing a significant order for the coming academic year.  I am also rather drawn to the miniature blackboard for Stasie to practise her scribbles on, the Cambridge Satchel Company schoolbags (YES I know *everyone* has one of these now but I still can't stop loving them) and - most amazing of all - the paper party eggs which burst open to reveal confetti and a birthday message.  My birthday's in April folks, if anybody's thinking of getting me one...  


Monday, 29 August 2011


We should all know by now how much I admire a chunky accessory, so I am very grateful to Park & Cube (I don't know if I've said it before, but she has one of the most visually stunning style blogs, in my opinion) for bringing Australian jewellery designer Jennifer Loiselle to my attention.  Apparently everyone's heard of her before but as usual I'm ten steps behind so I'm just going to pretend that you don't know what I'm talking about and tell you that these images are stolen from one of her current collections called Tissage (available on handcraft-Heaven Etsy), each piece being made out of interwoven folds of grosgrain ribbons.  There are quite a few different looks but the best ones for me are the simple U-shaped necklaces that remind me of high-school Geography lessons on glaciation, and her take on an inverted pillbox hat (so Bryanboy!).  Jennifer lets you mix and match the colours from a wide selection so you can create a piece to go with any outfit.  I hear my LFW costumes calling to me...  And wouldn't Stasie look so damn cute nesting in one of these hats?! 

Look! I made it through this entire post without mentioning colour-blocking.  Oh, damn...


Sunday, 28 August 2011

Dov'è il fashion-shower?

I've been getting a bit video-happy recently but I just couldn't stop myself from posting this one hot of the Twitter presses.  Anna Dello Russo, oh how we love you, but we haven't come to expect as low-budget a production as, well, something we might make ourselves...  Dov'è il fashion-shower?? :-(


Fum i Gebra

What says 'sunny Sunday morning' more than a cat and owl playing together to an upbeat Eastern European (Romanian?) soundtrack?

Happy Sunday!


Saturday, 27 August 2011

Day Tripper Diet Time

This video by Jeremy Fusco for Meadham Kirchhoff is really getting me in the mood for London Fashion Week next month.  Stasie's also reminding me I better get on my starvation diet right now to be ready for the paparazzi. 


Wednesday, 24 August 2011


I totally forgot to upload these pictures from the jewellery shoot on Saturday.  Meera and I (who were meant to be modelling...) decided to take matters into our own hands and mess around with my new 1.2f-stop Canon lens.  I'd be shocked if Anna doesn't want to put these into her next ad campaign...

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

George Costanza isn't the only handmodel

On Saturday Anna invited me over to handmodel for some promotional photos for her new Eva London website launching very very soon.  I got to dress up own outfits... and wear a selection of graduation rings as well as her latest fashion collaboration with hot-ticket jewellery designer Sophie Thomas (fresh out of CSM last year!).  Meera was the other model for the day, who totally out-outfitted me in her new pleated black leather Philip Lim skirt and semi-sheer cropped top from Opening Ceremony.  Gah.  

Wanna know the best thing about being a handmodel? You can hold a drink in your other hand all day long...

Monday, 22 August 2011

Elizabeth City

More photos from my trip to the USA, this time in and around Elizabeth City, an interesting if somewhat run-down town on the Outer Banks coast of North Virginia.  The humidity kept fogging my lens up every time I stepped out of the air-conditioned buildings which pissed me off beyond belief, but looking back now I quite like the spooky mist effect it produced... Also, how much does this house below look like Sabrina Spellman/Sawyer's place??

WANTED: Whyred

Having only recently discovered Whyred whilst I was in Sweden last month, I've already become a convert.  I just came across the photos from their S/S 2012 show held this week in Stockholm and I like what I see.  In particular, hitting my wishlist for the next trip to Scandinavia will be: slightly cropped, straight-leg trousers in poster-paint red; a knitted sweater slashed across the torso in black and white; a navy zip-up coat with an egg-shaped shoulder and just the perfect drape (how Dries?!).  More of those fantastic Swedish classics...

Friday, 19 August 2011

I spy with my little eye...

Today's blog post stems from a Twitter conversation I had yesterday with Sebulous which went something like:
Sebulous: OMG look at this JW Anderson collaboration with Topman on Fashion156 - WANT
Sebulous: OMG
and so on and so forth.  I traced the image on Fashion156 back to The Fashionisto (who informed me the purrty model is Yannick Abrath - mental note made!), and then the nice people at Arcadia emailed me over the full set of photographs for the new Topman Lens collab.

So here we are - I love it! As far as I can see, JW can do no wrong.  We all know what I thought of his A/W 11 collection, I'm slowly filling up my cupboards with what I can afford from the LN-CC sale of S/S 11, and this Topman line is different but nonetheless brilliant.  I will most certainly be trying on the tapestry-like sweater and the belted coat when they hit stores next month.  And, you know, coming from Topman there is the added benefit that these clothes may require slightly less TLC than the rest of my wardrobe (honestly, once I've carefully hand-washed, pressed, de-linted and rehung an item I can barely be bothered to put it on again lest I have to go through the wash, rinse and repeat cycle once more...).   

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Sign post

To my long list of perverse addictions (owls, Moomins, candles, foreign stock cubes, nuns, and science books I never get around to reading) I can now add taking photos of US road signs with a 1.2f-stop lens.  There's just something about them.


Tuesday, 16 August 2011


Yesterday I was convinced I had managed to ride out my jet-lag from the US.  Until about 4am, that is, when I found myself completely wide awake in bed with nothing to do.  I'm not sure if it was a combination of jet-lag, over exhaustion or stress about my up-coming publication/The Big Move To London but there was no way my body was going to let me go to back to sleep, so I slipped my iPad out of its case and found myself watching back to back episodes of Buffy.  I've just got up to Season Four now - in my mind the best, when Willow really comes into her own both as a mega Wicca and an even more mega lesbosayswhatnow.  And a funny thing happened: this morning I found myself yearning to dress like her.

It might be her old high-school uniform of loose cord trousers, cropped tops, fuzzy sweaters and backpacks, or the witchy student look with pseudo-occult prints, ethnic vibes, choker necklaces and lots of transparent layering but I WANT TO DRESS LIKE WILLOW ROSENBERG GODDAMNIT.  Thank goodness there's a Tumblr just for freaks like me (update: there's another!).  There's even a wiki on how to become her.  

Does anybody else see JW Anderson in Willow's style?  I can definitely wear my Anderson tie-die sweater, and I think one of the new season Acne ones would do well for this look too.  But I really need to get some old-school 90s chokers.  Help me.  Please. 

With my dip-dyed hair I'm kind of feeling Tara too, so maybe I'm morphing into an all-in-one lesbian power couple?  Who knows, maybe this is the next stage in my evolution...


Monday, 15 August 2011

Return of the prodigal son

I'm baaaaaack! Are you pleased to see me?  I'm not entirely convinced I'm glad to be back in the UK, although it is nice to escape from the humidity of my US adventure (my frizzed-out hair is definitely thanking me). I obviously have a multitude of holiday snaps to share with you, and I thought I'd get started with some from the Carriage House Condo in Beaufort, NC.  Not the most exciting of American cities, but Beaufort does feature a marina lined with restaurants (mainly seafood although I can recommend Aqua for its vegetarian selection), a house once lived in by infamous pirate Blackbeard and a winebar with all the free wifi an internet-junkie/alcoholic could wish for.  The owners of the condo are quite dog-obsessed, hence the décor.  Also note the use of my new grey linen shorts from J. Crew, my only fashion-related purchase in the past fortnight - it turns out the Bible Belt is not the best place for clothes shopping!  Now to get back to unpacking my case filled with Crest Whitestrips, bottles of melatonin, and copious amounts of Old Bay Seasoning...