Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Kitten heels for xoJane

Meow! How'd you like my badass new photoshop skillz?  As you can probably tell I'm rather chuffed with them!  Anyway, last week I wrote a feature for xoJane about my love of kitten heels.  In recent years I've become increasingly fed-up with the rising height of high heels (and with it my rising inability to go an entire night in a pair).  It got to the stage where I had to admit defeat and bow out gracefully, and so for the past couple of years I've been wearing lots of flats.  Sometimes you just need an extra little bit of lift and elegance though, and that my friends is where the kitten heel comes in.  Anyway, don't let me ruin the feature for you; to read my top 5 reasons for loving kitten heels and see my pick of this season's crop click through to xoJane here.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Jo Hayes Ward for Hunger TV

Jo Hayes Ward's pale citrine ring 
I've been at it again - interviewing another inspiring up-and-coming jewellery designer for Hunger TV.  I've been interested in Jo's work since I first saw it (and very briefly met her) in the Rock Vault tent at LFW a couple of seasons ago.  Her pieces are immediately striking, but in a subtle, gentle, take a closer look as opposed to an in-your-face visual assault kind of way.  Jo uses rapid prototying (a kind of 3D printing) to create her jewellery - a process I've been wanting to know more about ever since she mentioned it to me a year ago.  Above is a pic of Jo's pale citrine ring - my absolute favourite piece of hers. This picture doesn't even begin to do the ring justice, it really is the most incredibly beautiful, intriguing piece of jewellery I've ever seen.  The citrine is a pale yellow colour and has been cut so it gently domes and when you look into it you see hundreds of tiny squares.  It works in perfect harmony with the pixilated body of the ring, and the combination is utterly mesmerising.   Sadly at £3,500 it's slightly out of my price range at the moment (although if anyone happens to have a spare £3,500 lying round, please feel free to buy it for me)!  

Anyway, here's the Hunger TV interview - I hope you enjoy it, and as ever, would love to know what you think!

Jo's signature structural rings
Stacking rings (I think they make fantastic wedding bands!)

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Kyle Hopkins for Hunger TV

Ring from SS13 Material Girls collection
Last week I interviewed one of my favourite young jewellery designers, Kyle Hopkins, for Hunger TV (Hunger Magazine's website).  Kyle's jewellery is really bold, exciting, and sometimes challenging (gold cast ear pendant anyone?), and is about as far away from the traditional idea of jewellery simply as adornment as you can get.  Although I'm not sure I'd personally wear some of his pieces, he's so passionate and honest and thoughtful it's impossible not to believe in his work and his creative vision, and I'm sure there are great things ahead for him.  Anyway, so here's the interview - would love to know what you think of Kyle's work, which pieces you love and why.

Finger print ring from AW12
Kyle's signature Citizen ring

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Everyone needs a 1960s evening coat. Right?

Yes, I’ve been at it again, accidentally purchasing utterly impractical pieces of vintage clothing.  What can I say, I just can’t help myself. It’s an addiction…an illness…and I fear it’s terminal.  This time I found myself buying this rather fabulous 1960s pink and gold lame evening coat (I say coat, but really it’s more of a coatlet as it isn’t lined, only has ¾ length sleeves and the only fastening is a neck tie) in Portabello market.  I was only meant to be out for a stroll.  No, it’s not the most practical of pieces; however what it lacks in practicality it more than makes up for in flamboyance and style, and at £40 I just couldn’t say no.  So there                                    

Monday, 21 May 2012

The real stars of Cannes

As I sit here in my house clothes (oh the glamorous life of a freelance writer), just over the Channel the rich and famous are guzzling champagne on ostentatious yachts and generally living it up at the 65th Cannes film festival.  Not one to be bitter, I thought I’d get in on the action by writing about the real stars of the Cannes red carpet aka. the mind-blowingly extravagant jewellery (all courtesy of long-time Cannes sponsor Chopard).  Sante!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Hairy chest heaven!

Don't ask. There have been tree surgeons outside my house since the early hours, and just when I thought my head was about to explode I ended up listening to the ever-bopable sounds of the Bee Gees (via the Grease soundtrack) and stumbled (I promise I didn't actively seek it out) across this truly awesome image of the Bee Gees in their hay (or should that be hair *snigger*) day!  From a stylists point of view this is an utterly phenomenal image.  Can you imagine styling them and thinking, I know what will sell more records, if they get their ridiculously hairy, untamed, un-toned chests out – genius.  How times have changed.  Now it’s all shiny spray-tanned waxed torsos. Shame.  Also, the chest hair is so distracting I almost didn’t notice that they were wearing matching gold satin bombers and crouch-conscious trousers. So shiny. So inappropriate. So wonderfully of it's time. What a look.  What a tuuuuuune.  Happy Tuesday!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Made In Britain: The Mission

If you’d have said to your grandparents (or even your parents) that Made in Britain would one day be a niche selling point, they would have thought you were crazy.  My dad has been in the clothes/ retail business his whole working life (and was taught the trade by his dad), and was manufacturing his own small yet affordable line of clothes in the UK as recently as the early 1980’s –  something that wouldn’t be viable today, just 30 years later.  Then came the Primark years, and although many of us felt twinges of guilt at the facts behind the Made in China labels, we were all too easily seduced by the trend-conscious designs at cheaper-than-charity-shop prices.  Now though we’re in recession and all that cheap and cheerful schmutter hanging in our wardrobes doesn’t seem so cheerful anymore now the elastic is starting to droop and the trends they nodded to have long-since passed.  The Made anywhere-but-Britain labels are wearing a bit thin too, and more and more of us find ourselves longing to see Made in Britain sewn into the inside of our clothes…and thankfully we are.  Maybe it’s the 'Mary Portas effect', but over the last few months I’ve become increasingly aware of fashion brands bragging about their Made in Britain credentials, and good for them.  These brands are single-handedly and selflessly, with no support from Government, keeping our once brilliant and world-leading manufacturing industry alive, and I think the least we can do is support them.  So, with that in mind, this is my long-winded and slightly ranty introduction to a new series of blog posts on some of the wonderful brands who continue to manufacture in the UK, and deserve our support and respect.  I really hope you enjoy them, and are able to support these brands in your own way too.

Friday, 11 May 2012

United Colors of Mmmm...

When I hear the name Benetton the first things that pop into my mind are spotty French exchange students and the UN…neither of which particularly makes me want to buy their clothes, and I feel I’m not alone.  UCB don’t have a great profile here in the UK; when it comes to comfy basics most of us head straight to GAP or Uniqlo, and we have the likes of Topshop and Zara for our affordable on-trend pieces, so it’s hard to see where Benetton with their goodwill-to-all-men-cotton-crew-necks fit in.  Get ready to eat your colour-pop berets though, because UCB are under the new Creative Directorship of ex-Levi’s man You Nguyen, and their AW12 collection is about to challenge all your preconceptions.

Just take these rainbow sandals for instance; tonal colour-blocked, chunky heeled sandals, with a slight platform and a midi-heel – bright and fun, they’re true to the Benetton brand whilst also being utterly delicious and bang on-trend.  They’d look absolutely brilliant with a chino or pajama pant, and super-cute with a pair of socks.

Now, we all know times are tough, and with no sign of summer on the horizon it doesn’t exactly feel like the perfect time to treat yourself to a new pair of summer sandals (especially not ones involving suede), but here’s the thing: At £79.90 these babies are an absolute steal, and what’s more Benetton have a special promotion (called ‘use your head’) on from the 11th – 20th May, where they’re giving away a free pair of headphones (see below) with every UCB Adult purchase over £60.  So basically the hard decision is not whether or not to buy them, but which colour to choose….

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Life lessons: How to hand-wash cashmere

In preparation for LFW (which kicks off on Friday) as well trying to sleep as much as possible (will never understand why sleep can't be collected and stored till you need it like Nectar points), and eating as much as I can in some sort of self-destructive anti-fashion rebellion, I thought I might wash all my cashmere, you know, just in case I decide to do the whole low-key I'm-not-really-here outfit thing (which is looking like a distinct possibility). Anyway, as someone who avoids hand-washing at all costs, yet can't afford dry-cleaning, and is still traumatised from past cashmere shrinking episodes, I decided the best thing to do was to google 'how to wash cashmere'. After sceptically scouring the links I clicked on this one on a website called Real Simple (because that's what I look for in household chores/ lessons/ everyday life), and it was so good I thought I'd share it with you guys! Isn't Sam Saboura (style expert) just adorable/ how much do you want one of those snazzy mesh drying racks/ how much can I still not be arsed to hand-wash my cashmere...humph.

Friday, 10 February 2012


Ok it's not, it's actually 10th Feb, but there's snow on the ground and I've just scored a hat-trick of the most fan-tacky-tastic Christmas jumpers imaginable, so you can understand my confusion!
As regular readers will know I've been on the hunt for the perfect vintage Christmas jumper for a couple of years now - see. I've been looking for so long, that if I'm honest I was beginning to give up hope, and I certainly never thought I'd find them in a Jewish charity shop in February! I'd always imagined that my perfect Christmas jumper would be a traditional red and white Scandinavian affair, but then I imagined that anything as spectacular as jumper 1 and cardigan 2 existed! Jumper 3 is just in case I'm having an uncharacteristically low-key day. Let's be honest, it's unlikely, but miracles do happen!

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

It's a LONDON ting

Yes, as far as I'm concerned it is ALL ABOUT this hat right now. Anyone who knows me personally can testify that I've been inseparable from it since I brought it (on the spur of the moment out of freezing desperation on a particularly cold day) in November. It was truly love at first sight, and instantly became my absolute favourite item in my EVER! Not only is it fantastically warm, but as Londoner I'm really loving the opportunity to publicly declare my love for this fair/ gritty metropolis. Also it's pink. Splendidly sickly sweet pink. And when I wear it I feel epic. So there. Pow.