Monday, 9 May 2011

::resurrection

Highlight from the ''under 18k a year'' years: spending all my paycheck on pay day on Curtain Road - and only having an ill-fitting dress to show for it (see American Apparel, Strong Rooms, coffee shop, Vietnamese restaurant). Cue a bloated cider and tofu-filled gut that could no longer fit into said ill-fitting dress.

::I have a new job. After undertaking (or perpetuating) the most painfully drawn-out, red wine infested winter job search known to man (RIP, November 2010-May 2011), I have a job. A real job, with responsibilities, a telephone, swank offices, and a little bento box place across the street. And before you're getting too confused  - I can hear you saying ''It's just a job, ffs!'' - know that up until now I have suffered a string of pathetically disparate, very lowly paid roles that tended to sap me of all confidence. Unless you've worked for minimum wage, or have crazy debt, or both, you might not understand the very physical pangs of guilt experienced when spending money on anything other than essentials. A caramel latte has become imbued with a regal luxury. My savings account will no longer gape blankly back at me. But before you think I'm going to go all Caligula on the last Friday of every month, you couldn't have got it more wrong.

Where once the thought of a £300 High Street shopping spree would have me near delirious with joy, involving hours and hours wasted on planning outfits from Zara and Topshop, now the thought leaves me cold. If before you had asked me what kind of person buys fancy coffees and almond croissants every morning,  I would have jealously answered, ''A rich one with high cholesterol''. No, I don't want to make loads of money only to spend it on things and dining out. The real joy about making tons of cash every month is the power I have not to spend it.

So I'm not going to modify my lifestyle completely. I've learned to live off £100 a month, after all bills/rent/travel card/food is paid. When you've got that tiny amount to spend, you'd better make sure that dress fits perfectly, and that you really, really need that £5 glass of wine (the latter is a bad example, as I cannot think of a time I wouldn't actually need a glass of wine, apart from maybe between the hours of 6am-10am). While I don't have to lower myself to only spending a drop of cash on myself each paycheck, I can still live comfortably, albeit sparsely. The secret is that before it was an enforced tightness with cash; the fact that now it is a lifestyle choice makes it all the more satisfying because now, I have the choice.

So goodbye to panic attacks when viewing my online bank statement, goodbye to tears wept when spending £4 on nail polish (this actually happened, ask the Polish beauty counter chicks at Boots in Liverpool Street Station), and hello to a life that's a bit more comfortable. But not too comfortable. They can snicker all they want - at least my caramel latte tastes way, way better than theirs (not a euphemism).

Sunday, 13 March 2011

::rainbows


::I don't know how I've managed to only just discover Rei Shito's Style from Tokyo blog, but I have. It's got tons of amazing street style photography from Japan, plus snaps from all the major shows (see Paris above).  I had a weekend full of catching up on my favorite street style blogs, complete with way too much time spent looking at Scott + Garance's sites... In my head I would love to only step out of the house in outfits worthy of catching their eye, but it's not really a reality at the moment. Big day tomorrow with an interview at an amazing brand I've loved for ages, so fingers crossed for that!

Rei's blog features quite a lot of color blocking outfits, and I have say, not a fan of this trend. All this neon, or garish prints teamed with even more garish prints, makes me want to retreat into a wardrobe of blacks, greys and tobaccos. The latest issue of Vogue UK has an interview with Kate Winslet, wherein she says something to the effect of "I only wear black and white. Colors look shit on me." I, too, suffer from this problem, although we probably look great and it's all in our heads, Kate.

The only use of brights I enjoyed from the recent shows was at the always-perfect Jil Sander. The minimalist silhouettes look beautiful in the bright colors - shame little legs like mine can't rock the maxi skirt-t-shirt combo.



Wednesday, 2 March 2011

::dior

::Wow, Galliano has dressed as Anita Pallenberg in his hour of shame - he's pictured leaving a Paris police station, she's pictured entering a London court. Except John seems to have borrowed cher Kate's blazer.




Saturday, 26 February 2011

::i giapponesi

::I woke up at 8am today so I could get into Topshop on Oxford Street before it transforms into a tourist/teenaged girl-crammed nightmare. I already knew what I wanted, so I could get in and out as quickly as possible. I'm not a crowd person.

::I think I've discovered why my right cheek is periodically littered with acne - I have a habit of resting my dirty, Mars Bar (get it! Anita-Marianne-Mars Bar-cu...!!) fingers on it.
I'm also not a big fan of trends. Yeah, that's right - any trends. I follow them, I know what they are, but I'm wary of being the 10th girl on the bus wearing a Ponte shift dress and a camel-hue mac. Visiting Topshop, I was reminded of who they would tell us is the style icon of our generation: La Moss. Disagree. This is what pisses me off about Kate Moss the most - she (and Sienna, to a less successful degree) completely appropriated Anita Pallenberg's style. I hold my tongue when I hear people talking about how stylish Kate is - she isn't, she has ripped off Anita's style with such bold panache that she's managed to convince you (and the world) that her style is completely organic and effortless. Her dresses sell on eBay for exorbitant prices (£50 for a used floral playsuit that's poorly-cut and made?) And by the way, although you may never have heard of Anita Pallenberg, she's way more of a style influence on the high street than any Alexa or Kate. Every season, maybe it's just because I'm admittedly obsessed with Anita (I learned German/Italian/French for her, that's how far this love stretches), I see hints of her style. Look at all the sheer cropped stuff in the shop windows (which, at a size 10 and with a minor wine gut I am very hesitant to wear), look at the floppy hats, even OMBRE HAIR - it's all Anita.

I don't think there's a kimono trend per-se, I'm going to go ahead and group it in the whole 1970s thing going on. And it's the only s/s011 'trend' that I'm willing to partake in. I'm 5'2'' - I wore flared jeans in high school and looked ridiculous. I'm not repeating that debacle. I don't think, mes petites, that short ladies can rock the flared trouser look. They shorten your legs, making peg-type stumpy bow legs like mine look even shorter. I'm really not feeling the High Street this season - thank god, because it means I can spend a fortune making lavish calorie-bomb brownies with £5 organic pecans and Fairtrade chocolate. And then eat it ALL with a butter knife while watching Audrey Hepburn films and cursing that 20 inch waist (uhhh, not mine, hers, obviously).
A face simultaneously expressing both self-loathing and, shamefully and inexplicably, pride!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

::france wins

“I happen to know for a fact that she was an American version of me. She was signed by my label in America as, ‘We need to find something controversial and kooky like Lily Allen.’ And then they found her.” - Lily Allen on Katy Perry



::As part of my job, I read style and fashion magazines and analyze press coverage for big fashion companies. So invariably I'm up to date on all the latest celeb gossip (I know far too much about Jordan to admit) - not because I want to be, but because it's a by-product of reading about popular culture from 7am to 3pm. To counter this, in my spare time I read Dostoyevsky and Karl Popper and do Italian and French verb conjugation drills, but that's another story.

I am inundated with news about Katy Perry on a daily basis. Various vacuous quotes fill my head, thanks to Mrs Brand. I know that she has a cat called Kitty Purry. Do I want to know this? You can guess my answer. Don't even get me started on her Purr perfume. Invariably, I have developed a deep hostility towards Katy with her immaculately coiffured hair, double sets of false eyelashes (seriously Katy - false lower lashes too?), annoyingly horsey and overconfident voice, and general smugness. She's up there with Angelina in the smugness stakes.

Who I am not inundated with quotes and pictures of, is the divine Eva Green. Look at these two pictures! Look at the class and sophistication she possesses, the kooky-in-a-good way dress sense (take note, KP), the ability to hide her substantial bosom behind layers of chiffon rather than get them out at any chance in trashy sequined numbers. Note the absence of jowly laugh lines, which Katy can't hide with her primer/concealer/foundation/more concealer/highlighter combo. Note the lack of transvestite eyebrows and blush.

Katy looks like a discount, Barbie doll, Americanized version of the glowing, radiant and effortlessly beautiful Eva. If I have to read one more time about how happy she is with Russell, I will eschew my work forever and retreat to a monastery in Siberia with a rucksack full of Russian classics, posters of Isabelle Adjani and my pride. Good choice of a wife, Russell Brand - you're known for your crassness and being a purveyor of bad taste - thank the heavens you've found someone who shares those exact values. I can't wait till the pages of Hello and (probably) Grazia are filled with images of your brood and quotes from Katy about diet plans, collapsed sex organs and Jesus or Buddha or whatever. Only images of the celestial Eva Green provide me with some relief, allowing me to slip into reveries of chain smoking at a cafe on the Seine, whiffs of Dior Poison (possibly), and the most perfect blue eyes I've ever seen. Then I turn the page of Hello! at my desk at work, and my dream comes crashing down, when I see pictures like this -

You're not Lucille Ball, but you could pass for Kathy Griffin....?



Saturday, 19 February 2011

::designersz


::Although it doesn't help me much in my bid to acquire the poor girl's equivalent of Erin Wasson's wardrobe, I have to confess my love for Marni. And The Outnet. When I get a new job, I am buying a Marni dress. I don't care if it means I have to eat tomato soup and generic veg curry for 4 weeks - my wardrobe will have in its possession a dress so beautiful, it puts its Topshop and Zara neighbours to shame. Remember the scene from Pulp Fiction with the briefcase? That same celestial, radiant light, 200000kw light will engulf my faux-French chateau-style Ikea wardrobe, and I will be the proud owner of my first designer item.

Thus far, the High Street has been the sordid, sweat-shop-shame supplier of my outfits (is Marni made in sweat shops? Well, I can forgive them...). But more and more of late, as I painfully turn over the price tags of polyester camisoles in Urban Outfitters (£60?) and trendy camel-hue princess cut coats in Topshop (£130? Could I wear it next season when camel is out, and the snickering girls in Shoreditch wonder how someone can be so brazen as to wear one of last season's hero pieces?), more and more I am considering investing in designer items that don't have a seasonal life span, but cost a fortune.

This poses a few problems. Well, it poses one problem, the most obvious problem. I can't afford to buy £600 dresses every few weeks on my salary. I can barely afford to buy a half-price grey maxi dress from Miss Selfridge that no one wanted. So I gotta wait until I get a gig that permits such extravagances. In the meantime I can contemplate the closets of Alexa (the only thing I'm jealous of concerning good old overexposed AC is her wardrobe) Sasha Pivovarova, and Erin Wasson.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

::nina ballerina

::I saw Black Swan last week and really enjoyed it. I'm a big fan of Japanese anime and knew that Darren Aronofsky had purchased the rights to Perfect Blue (for the bathtub scene in Requiem for a Dream), so I was half expecting a lot of the twists and turns. For those that don't know, Perfect Blue tells the story of a young pop singer being stalked by a rabid fan - turns out the stalker is actually her manager, who has a desire to actually become the pop singer. Cue paranoia,  identity crises, mania - you can see where Aronofsky borrowed a lot from Perfect Blue.

The dancing shots were amazing, as were the multiple close-ups of Portman's exquisite face. I was actually far more impressed with Mila Kunis and her admirably casual approach to ruthless ambition. I know Portman was playing the role of diminutive, quiet little girl, but come on - she's been playing that role for about 15 years now and while her performance is amazing, it's not like she didn't have any practice. On Charlie Rose she even acknowledges that director Mike Nicholls sent her to a voice coach to get rid of her ''little girl voice''. (Is it also wrong to say that Portman was far more beautiful and sexy in Leon than in any subsequent film she's made?..... Can I say that?). The costumes were perfect, but I'm very put off by the big stink that Rodarte have caused (see this interview with Amy Westcott,
http://clothesonfilm.com/black-swan-amy-westcott-interview/18997/)

Throughout Black Swan, I was reminded of Nick Roeg's Performance. The mirror play, swapping of identities, except in Performance the crisis occurs between two men. It was the reason I learned how to use a camera, Performance. It's also Rachel Weisz's favorite film, and I wouldn't have minded seeing her in Winona Ryder's role in Black Swan...

The lead character in Perfect Blue is an unstable popstar called Mima slowly losing her mind. Aronofsky ain't gonna be winning for best original script.



Rachel Weisz in Vogue UK April 2006: Roeg-inspired, Bay Garnett-styled shoot (Garnett being chummy with Ms. Pallenberg)

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

::payday


::I bought some new shoes to cheer me up (half price, don't judge). I've been feeling a bit down lately, trying to ramp up my job search again after a festive break from trawling reed, retailchoice, monster, guardian, and a host of other sites on an hourly basis. The highlight of my day is getting home from work, eating a massive stirfry/rice concoction and cuddling on the couch to watch Japanese horror films. I cut my hair too short, in some misguided attempt at Natalie Portman's Leon style, and am now forced to scrape whatever of my precious hair is left into a high Asian-style bun.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

::fall down six times, get up seven

::Next fashion project: a sleek, polished web site charting Who’s Who in fashion. Think Style.com but with a big focus on a designer’s trademarks, continuity from one season to the next, self-referential elements, relationships with models (John Paul Gaultier + Erin O’Connor // Karl Lagerfeld + Raquel and Freja), celebrity followers, and a model section as well. Remit: Tim Blanks, Jeanne Beker, Hilary Alexander and (maybe) Andre Leon Talley sit down and design a web page – what does it look like? Good winter/early spring project before my little street style video baby gets on its feet. Also good to have a project to work on while my little Mastercard baba gets on its feet too (we’re almost there M. Card! I’m so sorry for what I did to you!)

Sunday, 16 January 2011

::sunday-sunday

::This summer I had an idea to make a street style video series, probably based initially in Shoreditch. It would involve my BBC friend Trev interviewing people with great style about ...err... their great style. I would be the camera-girl, editor and productrice. After seeing a short documentary on Scott Schuman, I wanted to do this project even more. I love street style photography, but you often don't get the movement or the personality of the clothes. You don't get to hear the people speak about the reasoning behind their outfits. This is definitely something I want to explore this spring, when the weather improves. I don't want it to be an Alexa Chung, sardonically sartorial type thing. I want it to be positive and inspiring. I desperately need a video/photography project to work on.

I also want to make/find an origami print dress. Designers have done it, but I'm not on an Anna Dello Russo budget. I'm going to buy this Ostwald Helgason dress from Asos on payday.
image via asos.com
Sailor Moon-style Tofu dress, image via asos.com

Amazing Basso & Brooke origami-print dress, images via dezeen.com

Friday, 14 January 2011

::les brunes

::Once upon a time, while on a trip to visit my grandparents in Hungary, I gave in to my grandmother's requests that she dye my hair blonde. I was bored, I was near the Ukraine, there was no internet, I had read the July 2008 issue of Vogue about 4 times back to front. I said yes.

When I looked in the mirror, I saw a vulgar, ruddy-faced girl. Then I started crying. Why was my complexion so ... pink? Why were my eyebrows suddenly like two black slugs? Wait... why is my hair falling out? Yes - half of my hair fell out. My grandmother's response? ''No loss, it didn't suit you anyway.'' The garish yellow and white tones were dyed brown the next day, which really didn't help with the hair loss issue. *That's* how much I could not tolerate it.

That traumatic (not really) incident gave me a renewed respect for les brunes, le marrone, the brunettes. I should have taken Rachel Weisz's horrible hair in 'Beautiful Creatures' as indicative of what crimes bleach can commit to the yellow-toned, black eyebrowed among us. I think Monica Bellucci has even been a disaster-blonde for a short time. The only exception to my preference for dark haired people is Anita Pallenberg - she started life, and her career, as a brunette so I will attribute her dalliances with blonde hair dye to heavy, heavy drug use. Maybe she liked inhaling the bleach-y fumes.




images via style.com & thefashionspot

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

::venice

::I went to Venice a few months ago, when it was surprisingly warm and traipsing around in the same unwashed Zara knit dress (hem shamefully sliced from maxi to jagged midi) was acceptable. It was beautiful and the back streets were romantic, but I struggled to fill 4 full days and on the last I eschewed sight seeing for a game of merlot-fueled Chinese poker in an Irish pub that spanned far, far too long (I think I won).

I went there with two prior impressions of Venice: 1) level 2 of Tomb Raider 2, and 2) Don't Look Now. And maybe some partially-formed views from stalking Natalie Portman or Monica Belllucci on thefashionspot whenever they grace the Venice Film Festival, in which case Venice was blurred into oblivion and really an inconsequential backdrop. I mean, Monica could be dressed in a Puma tracksuit, stocking up on Dolmio at Lidl and I'd still be entranced. Anyway, the reality of Venice was something rather different: I was met with a wave of sandals-with-socks clad American pensioners all fighting their way to the next gelateria or pizzeria or St Marks Square, or all three. 

I'm not judging, that's fine if you're 85 years old and 85 kilos and want to see the world when you're finally free from work and kids. There were dozens of little hidden alleys and squares to discover, further afield than the city's tourist centre. But wait, you said you're feeling hungry? This is Venice's biggest let-down: the dismal, shamefully bad food. How many times can you eat some variation on lasagna/spaghetti/god forbid, a lukewarm calzone? Yeah I was on a budget, but I still dared to venture up to the more posh places and check out their menus - but only when Mattias wasn't looking, playing with the filter settings on his camera phone and lamenting the loss of our Canon baby somewhere in Khao Sok. I still think about you, baby. But even the ridiculously-priced menus had the same kind of fodder - chicken, liver, squid dishes, all served with indifference. Gah - my Italian teachers never told me that if you go to Venice to practice your Italian, you'll only be met with proud, over-enunciated English answers. Ma, vorrei parlare ... oh fine. The only people willing to speak in Italian were people who could ONLY speak Italian, like bus drivers and the butch lady who gave me very compassionate directions to the ferry.

Highlights: the amazing architecture biennale that made me wish I too was an architecture school drop-out like Justine Frischmann and Brett Anderson. The weather. The little wine bars with no seats and the flirting teenagers outside them. NOT the food. The food at the airport. Taking M's gelato and rubbing it in his beard until it was all gone on the ferry (melon and lemon, ho ricordato!)





 

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Thursday, 6 January 2011

 RODARTE SS11 RTW

By far my favorite collection from the S/S shows, amazing blues and golds. I love the reference to Ming vases as well, and the styling. When I win the lottery and/or start a misguided Rodarte savings account, I will buy these four. Or maybe HSBC will increase my credit card limit by £20,000 if I tell them it's just for dresses?
photos via style.com

Sunday, 2 January 2011

::jewelsz

Lito Karakostanogiou - she uses real preserved scarabs to make these art nouveau, crazy colored pieces (image via trendland.net)

Imogen Belfield - sculptural, organic designs (image via imogenbelfield.com)

Low Luv x Erin Wasson - sure, she ripped off Bliss Lau's designs and used them for her work with Alexander Wang, but I think she's moved on from that 08 incident... (image via models.com)

Thursday, 30 December 2010

::che-bella

credit: the sartorialist

:: i only want to own clothes that this girl (or mizz wasson) would wear. perfect!! ooh and am i the only one *happy* that carine has left vogue? change is good, innit.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

::B/S



::I can't remember the last time I looked forward to seeing a film at the theatre (I think it was the Witches at the BFI, or Performance at the BFI - either way, it was something Roeg and very old). But I've been looking forward to seeing the Portman-Cassel-Aronofsky (and Rodarte) flick Black Swan for months and months now. From the trailer it seems to be some take on Perfect Blue (the anime I couldn't watch whilst eating due to the gross stalker man's skin condition). Anyway I'm looking forward to the Rodarte costumes just as much as I am the plot, and watching Natalie Portman for 2 hours.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

::modelsz

::I've got a thing for brunette models (and people in general). First model love was Marija Vujovic, who doesn't really do much these days after marrying some Serbian popstar. Then Monica Bellucci. Then Ksenia Khanovich, whose hair I've attempted some botched copy of. I also bleached the hell out of my hair 2 weeks ago: people, do not go to Bleach in Dalston and part with a stupid amount of money for a 45 min bleach job. It was so simple (although I can't remember which volume she used...) - come to me for Alexa hair.

la piu bella - Ksenia @ L'Wren Scott Spring 09 RWT- from style.com

It's my week off work and I've gone through nearly 100g of green sencha tea in a few days (even re-using it twice!). Some girlsz buy £50 beauty creams, me I'm gonna spend it all on a mammoth collection of green teas (and orchids).