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whitstable -1
Rifling through my back catalogue (well a cupboard full of stuff, that sounded like I had an actual archive lurking around here somewhere) looking for inspiration for a mood board.

Came across this one. I’m taking from it:
1. Sunshine, always.
2. Dungarees, always.
3. The fact that it’s terribly easy to get distracted from your work by opening up old cupboards. Always.

Isabel Marant 2013-11-14 (03.42.20-937 PM)

Fun times last night at the preview of Isabel Marant’s collaboration with H&M.
Having been offered a ticket, I thought I’d pop down and see what was on offer ahead of the crowds.

Right, well, now that I’ve picked myself up off the floor laughing at my own naivety, I can tell you that I was in no way ahead of nothing no siree.
I strolled into the Regent Street store, blithely unaware of the chaos inside to find…
nothing.
Empty shelves.
Lots and lots of beautiful and focussed women (and just a few beautiful and focussed men) but no stock on the shelves.
It had all been swiped up in seconds.
The crowds were out in force and they were not messing about.

I do love the way that British people are so polite though, even when they’re nearly in tears at the thought that they might not get a slubby linen T at a bargain price. They’ll still offer you the things they’ve already tried, or laugh with you at the absurdity of the situation in hand.

My friend commented that I wasn’t prepared enough for the fight, I take the attitude that if it’s meant to be it will be.
What about you? What’s your strategy in these kinds of events?
Do you go? Would you queue? Are you crazy for it or is it just bonkers?

I’ll just be in the corner with a glass of champagne if you need me.

Alice in Wonderland-1

What is it about Alice in Wonderland that perpetually sparks creative imaginations?

I can remember reading the books as a child and being singularly unimpressed. They actually need quite a grown up sensibility to be fun, I’m sure I was alarmed by the chaos.
Fashion photographers, in particular, have reinvented the tales for their own purposes for years. Girls like Alice are Tim Walker’s stock in trade, Annie Leibovitz directed Natalia Vodianova as Alice (and half of the stars of the industry as her cohorts) in American Vogue in 2003 and so on and on and on. We never get enough of beautiful Alice and her questionable decisions whilst wearing beautiful dresses.

Last night though, on a YouTube rabbit hole of my own, I came across Christopher Wheeldon rehearsing Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with members of the Royal Ballet. Intrigued, I ended up downloading the finished performance. It’s so beautiful, the drama and the humour and the costumes. Of course my favourite part is the Queen of Hearts with her over the top theatricality and maniacal thirst for blood. And tarts. She’d give Mrs Lovett a run for her money.

As a very sensible, very young woman said to me today “growing up can be scary”.
Alice makes it look fun.
And maybe that’s the centre of our fascination, we crave adventure and excitement but meeting those crazy characters and weird situations that life throws at us is, at times, pretty overwhelming.
So maybe we should all have a little more Alice about us. Just put on a good dress, and jump.

You can find the excellent Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland here

The photo above is from an extremely aged shoot by me, styled by Caren Westwell

End Of The Night 2013-10-04 (09.33.46-165 PM)
Good morning! Welcome Monday and, yeah, you’re just going to have to trust me that todays title is what all the kids are saying in reference to their, um, over exuberance the night before. Well, some of the kids, maybe. A small and elite bunch.
Nothing like starting the week with a bit of a head and you know what my motto is?
Always Worth It.

Print it out, stick it above your desk and pour the coffee, you’ll feel much better soon. Promise.

Ana Flippy Hair 2013-10-03 (11.30.19-478 AM)

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.
Aaaanyway
“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.

Mui Mui tights-3
In Paris last night, the Miu Miu show revealed colour, excellent messy hair and THAT cat print. All very lovely.
More than that though, they showed wrinkly tights, bunched up around the ankle.
Now the girls in the show may have looked like the coolest sixth formers on earth, but when I was at school we were really paranoid about having wrinkles. It was a massive faux pas among the cool kids.

So, school days, once again I say pah! As in so many ways, you were wrong. Mrs Prada says it’s all good and that does it for me.
Besides, I’ve secretly never really worked out how NOT to get that look, now I can rock it with pride.
Happiness is the small things.

See the whole Miu Miu shebang here

Maria-turns

Whatever it is, pictures, words, making a Gif, performing a pirouette turn, it all takes practice. A whole lotta practice. The trick is not to get frustrated along the way.
I say this not because I take my own advice, but to remind myself that I DO know the trick…

Have a lovely weekend.

With thanks to the beautiful Maria for being my model.

Mirror of Venus-1
I’m slightly concerned that this series has taken a turn down a road marked ‘books I have nicked’, but stick with me, try not to judge.
Right, we’ve gone a bit leftfield today, but I’m kind of feeling this one just at the moment, what with the whole Françoise Sagan girl crush I’m currently entertaining and the sixties mood that (eternally) pervades the fashion air.
It’s a strange little number it has to said, dated and odd and yet intriguing in its ernest mix of text and images. It’s a celebration of women really, yet it’s the ideal aloof unknowable sixties woman, not you or me or laughing until you’ve become inappropriate.
It’s not Girls, let’s say that. And I love Girls (love you Lena!) but this has a retro appeal all of its own and the storytelling somehow speaks to me in terms of my work. Sometimes you just don’t want to give away all the answers.

Mirror of Venus-4
Mirror of Venus-2

You can find a copy of Mirror of Venus here for 12/6, or thereabouts.

Stevie Nicks 2013-09-16 (01.06.57-208 PM)

As you know, I do love a uniform. Well, it turns out that Stevie Nicks does too (we’re so alike).
Describing how she put together her signature looks she explains that really, she wanted to create a look that she could stick to and not worry about. That way she could concentrate fully on her work. (Oh Stevie, I so agree, I just know we’d get on.)

“I decided on my outfit right in the beginning, because I said I want a uniform.
So I said I want black fringy and I want a black skirt and I want a good leotard and I want a little black riding jacket and I want black platform boots and I want a scarf and I want a hat. And then I want you to make three more sets of that and I’m off, because I would rather focus on my music than what I wear. So I came up with something that looked great on me, and looked thin and looked feminine and then I put really heavy boots with it so that would calm down the ballet skirt-ness of it all. And I said, I’m not going to worry about it.”

I love that she is on the one hand such a powerhouse and a legend and on the other she made these decisions from such a practical viewpoint, which is totally the way I see clothes. I love them, but I want to be in stuff that’s right for me, and that I can do my job well in. I thought it was so telling that she mentioned looking thin, and that the boots were deliberately designed to make her appear taller (she’s tiny) because those things gave her confidence. And isn’t confidence what we all look for in clothes? It’s not actually the clothes themselves, but the stories they allow us to tell ourselves about who we are and what we are capable of that is so seductive.

I love that. Thanks Stevie, keeping Dreaming.

In Your Dreams, a documentary that follows the making of Stevies Nicks’ new album, premiered here last night in London, followed by a Q&A.
You can download her new album in iTunes now.

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