Couple of days ago I went to buy buttons. As you do.
I walk up the counter, a beautiful cool girl is standing behind it.
“Wow” she says “I love your jumpsuit, where’s it from?”
I am, for the record wearing a denim, well, it’s a boiler suit honestly. I look slightly as if I should be rolling up my sleeves, kissing my own guns and shouting “We Can Do It!”
On a poster.
“It’s vintage” I reply “but I’m not thrilled with the buttons. I think these will be better”
(That’s why I’m buying buttons, y’see. Oh look it’s not just thrown together this you know.)
The girl appraises my existing buttons and the new choice.
“Mm hmm. Agreed.”
I love London. I love that you can have that little conversation and that it’s totally understood what you’re going for. That you can wear vintage and no one accuses you of being a car mechanic. That people are open to discussing their outfit choices and being involved with each others decisions without judgement.
I know it’s not just a London thing. It’s partly a fashion girl thing and it’s partly this, the whole democratic, we’re all stylists now, World Wide Web.
But it is a bit London you know. I know everyone wants to be a French girl, bah oui, so cooool, de rien, all that.
It is beautiful, it’s alluring and interesting and yes, I do like that too.
But I’ll take being a London girl, born and bred.
Buttons and all.
When I was about 14 my English teacher, who I adored, lent me her copy of Bonjour Tristesse to read. I’d basically finished everything in the school library and had taken to pilfering the bookshelves of anyone prepared to lend me something. (Ahem, I say lend. I actually pinched this book from her and never returned it. Sorry about that.) I kept it because I loved it. Teen angst! Wicked schemes! Frenchiness! Sunshine! Sigh.
I still love it actually and so when I saw the BFI were screening the 1958 Otto Preminger film version that I had never seen, I had to go and check it out. It stars a then teenage and entirely luminous Jean Seberg playing the lead, Cecile. Her relationship with her good time father (and, by the way, her constant access to champagne and parties), is put under threat by the appearance of a potential stepmother (Deborah Kerr).
I had wondered how it would measure up to my long held love of the book. Well, it went something like this.
1 minute in: I’m in love with the titles. This was totally worth coming to see for the titles alone.
3 minutes in: I want to cut of all my hair. No, really.
7 minutes in: I want to cut my hair and buy a red one piece swimsuit. (Shallow? Moi?)
29 minutes in: Don’t talk to me, I’m utterly seduced by the sun soaked colours. I can feel the warmth sinking into my bones.
32 minutes in: Can someone please cut my hair? Like now?
39 minutes in: That is the best outfit shown on screen, ever, bar none. (You’ll have to look for yourself but I will say, it’s not on Seberg and it involves a pedalo (paddle boat, whatever). It’s probably the definitive pedalo outfit, in fact. You’ll never need another.)
47 minutes in: That is actually the best hangover outfit/cure combo I’ve seen, ever, bar none. ( I’m excited by this point, can you tell?)
55 minutes in: I need to redo my bathroom with tiles like that. Swoon.
64 minutes in: The plethora of teeny tiny white shorts is becoming overwhelming.
72 minutes in: Is it a hat? Is it a jelly fish? Who cares. I love it and I want one.
So yes, it measured up. Ninety minutes, no sadness, pure joy and I was in need of some champagne, dammit.
We are having fun, aren’t we?
If you want to see the film it’s on again tonight at the BFI, London.
Or you can see a trailer here.
Apologies. I have entirely absented myself, in a Jeffrey Bernard is unwell type fashion, from this site for a whole week. I have, in the words of Withnail, gone on holiday by mistake.
I don’t mean I didn’t know I was going on holiday. I wasn’t kidnapped and bundled into a van with only a large tube of Ambre Solaire for company. I packed a bag, got on a plane, used coins that felt like not real money to pay for a car that felt like an Inception style reflection to get to a hotel, I knew I was coming. I know I’m here. What I wasn’t expecting was the drama of, are you ready? NO WIFI. Nothing doing. They said there was wifi, it’s not a retreat for over internetted types or anything like that (good lord, no) it’s just that it doesn’t work. So that’s no Twitter, no FB, no wiki, for goodness sake. Reception told me it was ‘my device’ but judging by the amount of guests disgruntledly wandering the corridors muttering about passwords, there’s a heck of a lot of people trying to use my device. Anyway, doesn’t matter does it? We’re here now.
So, there now follows a series of short posts, postcards, if you like, that I have written (entirely without fact checking) but not posted this week.
Well, it’s tricky trying to find the right stamp, isn’t it?
I’m declaring a Winona Ryder season.
No really, it’ll be very.
It started a couple of weeks ago when I watched Reality Bites. So grimy. So good.
Next up was Mermaids, (excuse me, how cute is Christina Ricci? And that fringe? So Spring ’13).
Ok, so now I’m watching Welcome Home Roxy Carmichael, a charmingly underrated film in my opinion and one that my sister and I always loved. I mean, Winona and pigs, what’s not to like? I’m lining up Beetlejuice, naturally, and Heathers (see above) plus Edward Scissorhands for blonde Winona (which feels a bit wrong but I’ll push on through).
Then Night on Earth, awesome grown up Winona driving a cab. Anything I’m missing?
Monday morning and the snow is back, hibernation is a tempting option.
I have my favourite seat in my favourite cafe, I have a pot of tea and and have enough visuals swirling round my head from the weekend to warrant a little review, a short post match analysis, before beginning the week proper. A lot of screen time, some actual doing and a whole load of inspiration. So grab a coffee, I’m nice, I’ll share.
Tatayana at the Barbican on Friday, the second half particularly blew my mind, must shoot a bride story oh! those veils and why, please, do I not know any classic Russian stories? Diana Vreeland film, finally, must learn to lower my voice an octave and speak with more authority. I bet she knows Pushkin, her Russian obsession was infectious. Live streaming the New York shows onto my iPad, joy. Immediate thoughts (as in relatable to my actual life) Rag & Bone, eyeliner! Alexander Wang, next Winter will be OK if I can dress like a boxer and be snug as a bug in those coats! A Prophet, better late than never, disturbing but stunning, can’t believe I didn’t see it earlier. Cara, everywhere. The Baftas: British pride is still hanging in there post Olympics and Helen Mirren has pink hair, as if I needed a reason to love her more. And in between the looking? dance dance dance. I am now officially proper addicted to my dance classes, I’m still utterly rubbish, thanks for asking, but no matter, I will press on.
And so, download complete and onward into the week, coffee time over, enjoy your day!
Ten thousand hours. That’s how long it takes to master a skill, apparently. That’s a lot of practice for sure, but it sounds about right.
Running through some upcoming stories this morning with lovely hairdresser Mark, we were marvelling at how long it takes to become really experienced at your craft. We agreed that we probably had our hours, and then some, on the clock in our respective professions, meaning we were fully entitled to spend an extra half hour working on the skill of having an extra cup of tea before actually doing any proper work.
Ah, procrastination, doncha just love it?
So, the ICA is hosting a new Jeurgen Teller exhibition and last night was the preview.
I figured I’d pop along and have a look as I am a huge JT geek and was interested in seeing his fine art work alongside his massively successful commercial work. I mean, how does he pull that off? Love it, but it’s a rare combination and one that intrigues me.
I’d had a busy day of running around and (in case I haven’t mentioned it enough recently) it’s freezing in London so there I am, scuffed up boots, Canadian tuxedo and my new favourite beanie, like a small boy in the sixth form, nipping in for a quick squiz at the exhibit at the first opportunity.
Inside the vibe has the social manners of a school prom that only lets the uber cool kids in. Everyone is checking everyone else out, but I mean aggressively checking and also, oh yes, everyone is there. I mean honestly, it looks like the pictures have come to life and are strolling round the place holding a drink. Which is all fine, apart from the fact that I’m completely intimidated and also, (key point) not in the right outfit.
(Thank God I was wearing lipstick, which my sister has given me strict instructions about and more of which later)
Kristen McMenamy is strolling around with the air of someone who constantly followed by a camera crew, which, basically, she is, and she pulls of that air very nicely, but frankly it’s all a bit much to deal with so I sneak out after a brief tour. I’m going back today for a proper look.
What I did like though, was the room ‘wallpapered’ with a sort of mini retrospective of his work, personal and public. You can see it in my marvellous iPhone pictures above. It reminded me of my bedroom at art college, actually.
And sort of made me feel like that was where I belonged.
Jeurgen Teller, Woo
at the ICA from today until 17th March
Mmmm so many things for next season here, the watch? Yes please, the brogues? Yup.
Ombre hair? Well I gotta work these roots somehow.
The flowing yet tomboyish silhouette? Love.
The purposeful stride?
Oh roll on Back To School, I’m ready for you.