Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Ugly clothes and a blogger night out...

Before Easter, Cynthia from The Perfect Life and her beautiful daughter and myself and my wayward teenager, made up a foursome for early drinks at the Blue Bar at the Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge.
Early drinks turned into quite a number of glasses of Champagne and we staggered home at 11pm, I had no idea of the time and thought it to be only 9.  
It is novel to meet a virtual stranger and yet to know so much about each other's lives, conversation came easily, even to my normally monosyllabic school boy who discovered a modicum of charm that evening (check out Cynthia's blog and the reason is apparent!)
I didn't take photos as Cynthia's blog is a private/ public endeavour and it didn't feel right to intrude on our laid back night.
I've never met up with anyone that I have 'met' through the blogworld, and would have thought the whole 'what to wear' thing would require much thought and agonising.  But a work meeting earlier the same day changed that preconception.

I was meeting with the fashion team of a fairly well-known magazine and we were talking about fashion week. One of them mentioned a collection from a designer who I know personally and have always liked (both him and his clothes).  She dismissed the collection saying that she would never feature his 'Ugly Clothes'.  This designer uses draping and beautiful silks in jewel colours, there are lots of words that could be used if you are a detractor, 'attention seeking, impractical, overly dramatic', but 'Ugly clothes' really surprised me.  And confirmed yet again how fickle and silly fashion is. It is truly just in the eyes of the beholder.  A particular aesthetic comes into 'fashion' simply because a few of the 'opinion forming' editors like the look (and the ad revenue) and tell us we should all adopt it.  Call me fickle I wrote a post about this very thing when I first started the new job and had been sucked into feeling utterly inadequate.

The whole exchange confirmed what I have been thinking for a while, I am just going to go back to wearing what I like, having fun with clothes and not thinking about them too much.  

All of my favourite blogs have a bit of fashion in them, but generally are more about the ideas or people behind the clothes than trying to 'sell' garments to the readers.  The ones that I read religiously are  Bourbon and Pearls, The Perfect Life,A woman a life blog, Style at every Age, there are more, but these spring to mind as they have been going for years and post regularly.  

I thought I was interested in the clothes, but I have realised, I'm not really, it is the life behind it all that grabs my interest (weird voyeuristic stalker that I am!)  

Sometimes I do like the mindless scrolling through people's high street picks and I love looking at their own real life outfits, I actively seek out those who have a completely different taste to mine.  But words like 'ugly clothes' wouldn't even cross my mind, I like to see how different we all are and wouldn't life be boring and predictable if it were any other way?

And so for my big night out, I dressed in a way that is just me.  Nothing to do with designers or fashion, I like this cocoa brown colour and the dress gives me some longed for shape rather than my usual Honey Monster bulk, luckily I have a matching brown fitted cardi, it's all easy and forgiving and my taste, and I am sure to fashion editors who are trying to flog the latest looks, the epitome of 'Ugly Clothes'.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Jumping jack flash...

Because I am old and rarely throw things away, I have more clothes than I could ever need.  Countless pairs of jeans, coats, jumpers, T shirts, a whole wardrobe of 'Holiday clothes' ie stuff I wouldn't be seen dead in in the UK, but suddenly become the height of sartorial elegance somewhere hot where no one knows my name.

From now on, I'm going to avoid anything that is simply a new version of what I own already and seek out the 'new', there will be lots of mistakes, but there have been a lifetime of fashion crimes so a last hurrah seems like a sensible way forward....
Introducing exhibit one, the jumpsuit.  This was a little 'out there', but I really love it, I tried a Tibi one that is now winging its way back to the online retailer.  But this lace and black number is a keeper, really comfortable and much more flattering, really nice touches like the detachable straps, deep pockets and arse slimming black reverse.  I can wear it for day with a jacket and rockstuds, or at night with high strappy gold heels and feel a bit Carrie from Sex and the City (rather than Dame Edna meets the incredible hulk which is the vibe I usually give off)

This one is not so successful, it is pure Andy Pandy and nicely shows my Easter excesses. Depressingly it is also an XL, there is however something strangely comforting about the fitted high pockets and how tight it feels across my middle, I think it is some latent memory from infant romper suits many decades ago.  I might just hang on to it for hanging out at home.
What are your fashion thoughts for Summer? Do you stick to a style that you love and buy less, but buy well? Or are you still experimenting?

Monday, 21 April 2014

Easter memories

It's been a crazy few days of long drives, family, more family and chocolate fest and we wouldn't have it any other way...

Can you spot the windows that are real and the ones that have been painted on?

The i-phone is the best entertainment.

Trying to embrace some colour in my spring wardrobe...

Thursday, 17 April 2014

A mermaid's tale...

Given the choice between being able to fly or live underwater, I've always fancied becoming a cold-blooded fish that can breath underwater and never feel the chill of Winter days.  I didn't want to be a Disney Princess and couldn't understand Mr Andersen's Little Mermaid's desire to walk on two legs when the freedom of all of this could be hers...

Do you ever dive as deep as you can on a really hot day and watch the rays of the sun through the water?
I've always been a bit obsessed by all things marine, my bathroom has turned into a mermaid grotto...
Complete with Louis style mirror

Giant clam and decorative coral...

A mermaid picture over the bath...

Wouldn't it be great if pictures moved like the ones in Harry Potter, this is the view that I have when I am washing my hair.  I love the idea of the baby mermaid catching the boy (it is a proper oil painting and was only about £30 from ebay)

This is a long-winded way of justifying my splurge on Sergio Rossi Mermaid shoes.  I have always loved them...
But those death-defying heels are an inch or so too high for me, they give me a gait as becoming as Dame Edna and bunions the size of cricket balls.

So joy of joys apparently there is a 7cm heel...

Which I might be able to manage.

All this silliness made me think about the role of fantasy in our lives, with my new job I spend a lot of time with a younger crowd. And there is a tendency towards nihilism and despair that I am not familiar with. Someone sent me a link to a new magazine website that wanted the company to advertise, I was struck by how bleak and depressing it was.  I've noticed amongst the younger bloggers how there is much black and white photography with grey skies, sad faces and androgynous clothes.

Am I alone is seeking my fantasy Zeitgeist? Are you a hard-edged realist or are you for suspending your disbelief and dreaming a little?

Friday, 4 April 2014

a couple of outfits this week....

I know it's shallow, but I love the clothes pics on everyone else's blogs, I like to see how they put things together, the rationale and where they are are wearing them to, and so trying to reciprocate here I am going to work....

The first 'look ' if you can call it that is for a fairly laid back office day, with lots of walking.  The bag is one I always assumed to be a fake, but I was thinking about it the other day and now I am wondering.  I was given it by a Chinese supplier with whom my company had spent about £3 million, they had given me fake Rolexes and bits and pieces in the past, so I just kind of assumed it was another knock off.  
The next meeting we had she looked a bit strangely at said bag on the floor and made some comment along the lines of 'Oh shame you scratched your bag'.
Then I was in a designer second hand bag shop in Paris and started chatting to the guy and he offered me 6000 euro for the bag, I laughed and told him if he looked closely he wouldn't want it.  He told me it was the best knock he had ever seen. Putting it all together, along with the big box it came in, I am beginning to wonder if I have been kicking this around for the last 8 years and it might be the real deal.  Isn't it strange the way we assign value, it's the same bag, but now when I am on the bus, I keep it on my lap and not the floor.

The blue trousers are a nod to the ice blue colour that is now apparently very 'in' they are Christian Dior from the 1990s and I really have to 'squeeze' to get into them.  Trainers are cheap and cheerful Everlasts from Sports Direct, who needs New Balance? (err that'll be me)

I know this coat doesn't suit me at all, but I so fell in love with the print on the dress of the Matches ad, and this is the nearest I could get without parting with £1300 (it was about 50 quid). Whatever I put it with, I can't make it 'work' any ideas gratefully received.  However I was determined to wear it so here it is with silk wideleg trousers from Temperley London and a very old thin Donna Karan pink knit.

What are your favourite blog posts, do you like to read in-depth or just the fluffy stuff?