Thursday, March 31, 2011


I can't wait to see Matt Wolf's 'Teenage', a film currently in production that looks at the teenager over history from the cultural creation to the subsequent youth subcultures that have since followed. Based on Jon Savage's Teenage: The Creation of Youth Culture 1875-1945 (a book I'm now really keen to get my hands on) the film uses archive footage, real life extracts from teenage diaries, and narration from actress Jena Malone to create a single teenage voice spanning and evolving across eras.

Though the film looks at teenagers across the globe I'm particularly looking forward to the archive footage from mid 20th-century America, an era I'm personally interested in. Fingers crossed for clips of Charleston dancing and handsome James Dean lookalikes nonchalantly leaning on Coca-Cola machines! There is a brilliant website to accompany the film which I thoroughly recommend- full of well sourced links to anything from teenage bedroom themed tumblr pages to tips about youth orientated books and exhibitions. The film isn't released until 2012 but I'll be counting down the days, each night in my journal. In loopy handwriting and highlighter hearts just after the entries documenting all of the boys that I love.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

two things

I wouldn't mind..
Preparing food in my own kitchen. The drudgery of sharing a dirty kitchen with 7 others is too much!
Lying across the backseat of a vintage Rolls Royce and eating stolen fish and chips with Jamie Hince/Alison Mosshart.

Monday, March 28, 2011

student dressing etiquette

When it comes to beauty I often end up feeling like a bit of a novice. With make up, I tend to stick with what is tried and tested, and when I get ready in the morning I'll apply moisturiser, (or suncream if it's summer) followed by a little foundation (just to even out my skin and smooth over any blemishes) then some lip balm and mascara. When I fancy something different I'll brush on some brown eyeshadow just under my lower eyelashes or wear lipstick. I like lipstick a lot but since coming to University haven't worn it nearly as much as I used to.

With University seems to come an etiquette, and that etiquette says that as a student making a bit of effort with how you look can easily translate as trying too hard or overdressing. Its a philosophy that rubs off easily onto Freshers, the idea that nonchalance is the holy grail of dressing-I find myself one of those people who might roll their eyes if somebody in a lecture is wearing heels, as much as I dislike myself for doing it. I think I've ended up placing lipstick in the same category and as somebody who has never viewed lipstick as exclusive to nighttime, this feels like a bit of a betrayal to myself! I found this old favourite in my cupboard yesterday, feeling sorry for itself due to lack of use. It's a lovely reddish orange in 'Hot Chilli' from the old faithful Boots 17 range. Re-embracing my old lipsticks made me think about University dressing and the effect its had on my own style, for better or for worse and the way I think living in Halls can increase your awareness of how others respond to what you wear.

The culture of student dressing is an interesting one because there are complete polar opposites-you get the students who slum it even when leaving Halls to venture to the supermarket, in pyjama bottoms and heads with nests of hair piled on top. But there are also those who put more thought into what they wear when they know they'll be at Uni-I find the library during peak exam season testament to this as it feels like everybody has scrubbed up for the occasion of such a high density of people under one roof!

I like to think that there's a happy medium- I enjoy wearing clothes that are fairly dressed down so that I can 'get the job done' (ie, cycle into lectures without getting too sweaty) but that reflect myself and my interest in style. I suppose deep down it may also be because I want to reflect that I'm not treating lecture theatres as a place to exhibit style which I think is the judgey notion that causes people to raise eyes over certain sartorial choices. So a typical go-to formula might be green skinny cords with my new balance and an old benetton jumper. That's not to say that wearing heels isn't an option-I may wear my chunky black heels but I'll be aware of wearing them with say, jeans instead of a dress to keep things feeling fuss-free. I've never been that glossy a person in my approach to personal style but it's interesting to realise that this underlying 'etiquette' has further increased my affection towards 'comfort-style'.

At the same time there is something quite unappealing about the idea of consciously recognising that there may be an etiquette as etiquette suggests something that should be conformed to and to me style should always be about individual choice and about reflecting on the outside all those thoughts and references ticking away on the inside and in your brain which are personal to you. Style and Fashion should be diplomatic and rolling eyes at somebody who chooses to wear heels to a lecture is ridiculous. If there is any good to come from dressing etiquettes (and I'm still unsure that there is), it should be a deeper emphasis on dressing for comfort, not necessarily practical comfort but the comfort that comes from understanding exactly what you love and what works for you on a personal level because that's when a natural nonchalance will show through.

pinned hair and beach thoughts

Though I'm not that big on the film itself (couldn't get past 1 minute without the intense drumming doing my head in) I really love Lykke Li's hair and long sleeved, high necked all-in-one number in Solarium, a short Super8 film by Moses Berkson with styling by Elizabeth Sulcer. I spent a good few minutes trying to work out how the hair was achieved. I've never been able to french plait and therefore feel I lack the logical starting point for understanding how to go about trying this out on myself. I'm sure it's not even that difficult, I'm just sort of clueless when it comes to 'hairstyles' so please do enlighten me if any of you have tips up your sleeves!

As for the all-in-one, it looks absolutely brilliant with her bronze legs and tattered leather sandals and has me craving an opportunity to replicate the look. Though where on earth could such an outfit be worn? I suppose for some digging and dancing with mirrors in the desert is the answer. But throwing some light knitwear on over highwaisted American Apparel bikini bottoms to trudge from the beach to the villa for lunch and an afternoon nap come summer is a pretty nice idea too. This is me projecting probably very unrealistic fantasties about how my week in the Croatian sun is going to go before I've even booked accommodation. Nothing like indulging in summer wardrobe daydreams before March has even ended!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

spring mood

Devon Aoki, i-d Magazine September 1998/ Sophie Lowe in Russh Magazine 2009/ Laetitia Casta gardening in her knickers/ reading in the sun/ Angela Lindvall, Zoo Magazine Spring 2011/ The McCartneys/ Tracey Emin at the Sea/ basket shoppers and lunchdates via This is Naive/ blossom in Angus, Scotland/ slitted skirts at Christopher Kane SS10/ old Fjallraven backpack.

It's here, it's here! I went for a run in Platts Fields park yesterday and there is was, that thick syrupy smell of blossom filling the air, interrupted occasionally by wafts of BBQs smoke from groups of picnicing people. And as somebody with an freakishly sensitive sense of smell one of my favourite spring/summer signifiers greeted me as I walked to the supermarket after dark last night, the smell of a summer night when the whiff of warm tarmac after a day of blazing sun is noticeable. Ahhh. I think the changing of seasons will always excite people. Or maybe it's a family thing- I got a letter from my Granny this week describing the pleasure she's been getting each morning after moving her little wicker armchair into a spot by the front door that gets hit every day by a stream of sunshine- sounds like a lovely way to start the day. Apologies for such overenthusiastic Spring appreciation, time to buckle down and stop grinning out of the window..

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

spring legs

Yesterday I was definitely that idiot who insists on wearing shorts just because the sun it out. But in my defense, I spent most of the day indoors at my desk baking thanks to the greenhouse effect of the sun shining through my bedroom window. And when I did venture outside to cycle to the post office to drop off a thick pile of letters for friends it was warm enough to warrant such sartorial behaviour. There is definitely a stigma in England about seasonal appropriate attire, hence why I'm trying to justify it to myself!

The shorts are a purchase I made last spring from Beyond Retro and I really love the crochet detailing around the hem on the legs even if the shorts do reveal a slightly unflattering 'tummy pouch' when I stand side on. They saw me through the heat when I spent a few days in Italy with my Dad and his family and I can't wait to wear them again this summer with a big brimmed hat and espadrilles. When I think of Summer and Espadrilles I always think of the cover of Tracey Emin's book. Bronzed skin, simple gold jewellry and espadrilles, a classic summer look I will never stop replicating.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Lauren Soloff's kitchen and all houses in general featured on Closet Visit which make me wish to run away and live in a cottage in LA/ ALL knitwear griddle short shorts/ Marloes Horsts sipping colour in the heat in US Glamour March 2011/ Topshop all in ones/ Portmeirion in North Wales-I really want to visit/ Annabelle Dextor-Jones' America jumper/ old hat I know but I still really want a fjallraven backpack to throw all my stuff into like this girl/ laidback style captured by Mr Newton/ Lauren Soloff making granola.

all knitwear

I've tried to shake it but this crush won't end. ALL Knitwear is too cute to lose my affection. Cute really feels like the most appropriate word as Annie Larson's knitwear comes in bright mish-mash patterns, the kinds favoured by Rupert Bear but also the cosy variety you were probably swaddled up in before trips to the park aged 3. Most likely to do with the unpretentious nonchalence of the models (who I'm guessing are Annie's friends) the pieces (with names like Confetti Split Cardigan and Cactus Box Top) look perfect for slinging on without thought at the start of the day. The Griddle short shorts (above) are perfect no-fuss bottoms to wear with an old white-pocked tee shirt for an afternoon in the kitchen making scones or even to wear on the beach over swimwear on those deceptively chilly summer days when the breeze is chillier than you'd expect. Basically they're the sort of clothes that provide the comfort of pyjamas while being legitimate enough to wear outside. Perfect.

styling seminary

Some recommended reading material for you on this fine, fine Tuesday morning. When the only reading that should be done would ideally be under a tree with an apple and a paperback, but if that's not doable, these are pretty good substitutes. This little article on styling is worth a look- from Sally Lyndley who does an ongoing series of 'Style Seminary' posts over at Fashionista. With lots of honest tips that you might not receive from others (you should look good on a job -but wear something you can work in which in her words translates as 'very uninspiring to see buttcracks') The article focuses on a stylist's 'packaging' and how important it is to dress in a way that will reflect your styling aesthetic to clients. Sounds obvious but is according to Lyndley something that is overlooked with surprising frequency. And when you've done reading that move onto the Katie Grand interview. Which isn't quite so deliciously detailed (but it makes sense that you'd get questions answered with replies like 'I just follow my intuition' when it's Katie Grand) though it does include her confessing that she was a crappy work experience girl and that she doesn't think it's the be all an end all for working your way up as a stylist if you're not the best intern. Hmm..

Monday, March 21, 2011


Spring is in the air. I've noticed it over the past couple of weeks, give or take a day of rain. Little buds of blossom are popping open on the trees and that tell-tale smell that hangs in the air can't be defined in any way other than the onset of Spring. Riding my bike to University has given me extra pleasure recently for all of these reasons and passing Platts Fields and then Whitworth Park filled with early morning sunshine has filled my head with lots of shallow daydreaming about once again having tanned legs. Woo, tanned legs!

All of this Spring-ish optimism is matched by this video from last year. A collaboration between Katie Grand and Alisdair Mclellen for Love Magazine called 'Boing'. Dree Hemingway bouncing her way through archive and Resort 2010 Miu Miu pieces with Margot Tenenbaum hair and background birdsong in Hampstead Heath. Her girlishness makes it feel like an old family homevideo, the sort showing aunties and parents running around in backgardens with platinum hair before age made it darker.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


 JL Womersley's Hulme Cresents in the 1970s/ small and simple hoop earrings/ socks and sandals- outfit styled by Nike Felldin/ homemade pizza from new favourite food blog Straw Hat/ Margaret Howell scarf/ Brookfarm General Store market backpack, store found via Through A Glass Darkly/ gold nails/ 'Camille aux Caraibes' Jalouse March 2011

I've enjoyed reading about JL Womersley and his infamous Hulme Cresents this week after hearing about him from a free copy of Article Magazine picked up at Lee Rosy's in Nottingham before the Topshop blogging event. The huge brutalist block cresents were built in the 1960s as a Post-War solution to the existing slums in Manchester's Hulme. A massive demolition project went underway to replace the 19th century terraces (two of which Morrissey lived in when he was growing up) with Womersley's cresents but within 20 years the severe poverty that had been a problem in the 'old hulme' was worse and aggravated by the new development. Though the Cresents had been designed very much from a social angle-the walkways for example were meant to create the community feeling of streets familiar of the terraced ones the buildings had replaced but in practice these ideas didn't work. There were faults with the design of the buildings and the high crime rates meant Hulme wasn't an area many people felt comfortable passing through at night. The Cresents were eventually pulled down in the mid-1990s and now a huge shopping complex (where I bought my turkeys at Christmas no less..) stands in it's place. Despite the problems that were caused by the intensely close living quarters of so many people (around 13,000) it's a real shame that the Cresents no longer stand as they are a big part of Manchester history. I read somewhere something along the lines of 'forget the Hacienda, in 1989 everyone in the know was going to The Kitchen' which was a club made up of 3 of the flats knocked into one. And as somebody who is fairly new to the city I was hoping to cycle down the road and gasp at the concrete giants before discovering they were no more. The tone of the piece in Article was very much in Womersley's favour-that he has been mostly forgotten and misunderstood. It is noted that gasp!, Womersley doesn't even have his own Wikipedia page. Even after the small bit of reading I've done, theres something very fascinating about the legacy of his Cresents. It's personally interesting to me because it's just around the corner from where I'm living and the energy of Manchester in the 1980s-1990s is something that I think interests a lot of people that move here as it explains so much of the city's heritage (think of Factory Records if nothing else). You can watch a short video about the Cresents here though it sadly gets cut off at the end.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

banana brooch

After writing about banana-y accessories and feeling saddened that even the cheap Prada alternative by Tatty Devine was out of my price range, I did what I always do and went running back to eBay instead..
Clearly with good reason because I managed to find this little brooch for 99p. It feels like the sort of brooch that mad old teachers would wear but maybe this is due to personal associations of 'Mrs Griffiths' from my primary school -one of those teachers who to a 7 year old seemed ancient and batty and magnificent. She had silver grey hair which she piled up on her head and would always wear bright jewellry in garish colours. Dangling parrot earrings which would dance everytime she moved her head or a bright red piano brooch she wore pinned to her shirts. She was very wise and affectionate which I think is an important quality in a Primary School teacher and equally fierce when she needed to be but the broochs and the dangly earrings were always a constant.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

a little bird told me

 Arizona Muse in Dazed and Confused, via Fashion Gone Rogue

"It’s a little English countryside schoolgirl, mixed with some Hillary Clinton circa-mid-’80s." Chloe Sevigny on her hair.

"She does like people to speak proper English. I’ve fallen into a terrible habit: when people ask me how I am, I say, “I’m good.” Vivienne will often correct me, and say, “You can’t say that. You have to say you’re ‘well’.” PA Tizer Bailey on working for Dame Vivienne, via Cos.

"I hope I don't let you down and disappear next season and no one ever books me again and you're like 'Oh no, we have this whole issue on this random girl no one knows about!'" Arizona Muse on being the star model in this month's Dazed and Confused.

topshop blogging events

This Wednesday and Thursday I'll be tearing myself away from the comfort-hovel that is my desk and joining blogger supreme Susie Bubble at a couple of in-store Topshop blogging events at the Nottingham and Liverpool stores. To coincide with the launch of the latest 214 magazine (produced in-house by the Topshop team and always good for a satisfying leaf through) we'll be talking about our own blogs as well as answering any questions you might have (eg, how do I get started with my own blog, why is Chloe Sevigny so rad, Anna Dello Russo..what's up with her?) I also hear through the grapevine there'll be baked goods available so you if you're anything like me and excited at the prospect of combining your favourite activities (gorging on cake, looking at clothes, leafing through magazines and thinking about blogging) it'll be a pretty nice way to spend an hour of your evening.

Also, truth be told I'm a little bit nervous so if you're in the area and fancy popping in and saying hi that would be very, very cool. It's always good to have some shallow natter with lovers of blogs and fellow bloggers.

Here are the details for each day:
Wednesday 16th-Topshop Victoria Centre, Nottingham 6-7pm
Thursday 17th-Topshop Church Street, Liverpool 6-7pm

Hope to see some of you there!

Monday, March 14, 2011

calvin klein

Oh I wouldn't mind spending my days with my feet in these AW11 Calvin Klein heels. The fabrics (is that a ponyhair I see?..) would probably make it quite hard to resist doing lots of bending over and stroking them as if they were little pets. Or walking into people as you gain pleasure from watching your own feet traverse the pavement. But both would be small sacrifices in the big scheme of things, for such a pleasing pair of shoes.

home movies

Really love these home videos from the late 1950s. Jeff Altman has transferred them from the films from the films his Grandfather shot and matched them to perfectly apt accompanying songs. The Disneyland video is probably my favourite. Though I was never one of those children that went, this video really captures the magic I imagine you would feel visiting there when you were small and it's all the more magnified by the washed out candy coloured footage and rides which seem so clunky and innocent in comparison to the sort of high-tech theme parks we have now. The plinky-plonky music makes the whole thing really touching, evoking childhood memories of bygone eras. (via an open letter)

Friday, March 11, 2011

coming home

Last weekend I spent a much needed couple of days back home in Bristol. Getting to indulge in the sort of creature comforts I don't have at University (double bed, a deep bath, a clean kitchen) is one of my favourite parts of returning home as well as having a catch up with my parents. It's a funny stage to be at now that I've left home and I'm doing my own thing. When you move away your relationship with your parents changes but in quite a nice way. As I get older I realise that there isn't really an 'okay, I'm an adult now' moment. I'm 20 this year and I'm learning that I don't think people ever feel properly grown up. I'm still waiting to wake up one morning Big style and realise it's happened. But moving away sortof initiates a change in relations with the parents in that you start to interact with them as a fellow 'adult'. I remember my Mum saying that one of the saddest things about her Dad dying when she was 23 was that she felt she was only just starting to get to know him as a fellow adult and that the new stage in their standing as Father and Daughter felt really special because she wasn't just 'his child' any more, she was an adult in her own right and this added new dimensions to the way in which they interacted.
It's odd not automatically knowing the details of my Parents lives and having to ask questions like 'how's work?' when before I would know from the conversations over the table at dinnertime but I think we're all enjoying the new benefits (my Mum and Stepdad seem to be able to afford weekend breaks in Berlin and all kinds of treats now that my laptop charger isn't sucking costly electricity bills from the sockets and I'm no longer around to empty the fridge) and it makes going home to visit extra special. 

As usual a large stack of mail was waiting for me, this time with a big parcel containing these workwear boots I'd ordered from eBay a couple of months ago. They're a perfect replacement for the pair that fell apart when I was traveling America and had to guiltily leave in Brooklyn. Getting to look through the shell of your wardrobe is also a novelty as you can remind yourself of the garments you'd forgotten about. I found this old Clinique lippie in 'Just Raisin' hanging out with the dusty tumbleweeds on my desk, which along with the boots I've been wearing lots this week. I was sent off at the end of the weekend with a quarter loaf of bread from our local bakery all tightly wrapped in foil and various jams to add to my store cupboard here and though I was sort of sad to leave, there was something bizarrely homely about returning to Manchester, towering stacks of dirty crockery and all.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

annie wilshaw

I don't go a bundle on the usual fare of 'fashion reality tv' mainly because I feel it's all a bit of a con (The City? The Hills? Quite clear to the everybody and their Uncle that the Teen Vogue sandwich boy probably played a bigger part in the production of the magazine than Lauren or Whitney..) and even when I can look past this often there is nothing likable about the characters to keep my interest. Channel 4's newbie The Model Agency however is different. I will gladly dedicate hours of my time to watch this show and rather than coming away feeling a little bit dirty and repulsed by how horrible some people in the world are (as with the others) I feel like I've gained genuine insight into life at Premier model agency. The close knit nature of the team is really touching, and though there are clear tensions between the editorial and commercial sides of the agency and occasional silliness, everybody seems likable and driven. Of course the show has been edited to follow a rough narrative but it never feels shamefully overdramatised. Premier founder Carole's dirty laugh and Senior booker Paul's naughty anecdotes provide constant entertainment without being malicious and are inducive of moments of realisation that you've been grinning at the screen and laughing along as if you're part of the team.

Despite a few blips in the first episode when she came across as a bit of an attention seeker within the team, Director of New Faces Annie Wilshaw has grown on me. And I can't stop thinking about the Giles dinosaur bag from a couple of seasons back after seeing her tote is around New York in episode 2, very casually worn with a black top, ankle grazing slacks and sandals. As far as lazy afternoons watching trashy TV and consuming copious bowls of cereal goes, The Model Agency is a delicious accompaniment and refreshingly guilt free.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


Betty Jackson's show is still one of my Fashion Week standouts. Dressing head to toe doesn't seem quite so terrifying a thought, in fact it starts to seem sort of a good idea once you've clicked through 40 something all beige/ all red/ all black combinations on I often have moments in the morning, just as I'm about to sprint out of the door when I realise that alas, two of my coats must be discounted as outerwear options as they exactly match the shade of my mossy green cord trousers. Dressing in head to toe green just does't seem practical when it involves disappearing everytime I walk past large patches of pavement side shrubbery. Still, Jackson is persuading me. With her focus on mixed textures (see fleecey belted coats, fuzzy skirts, ribbed rollneck dresses, silky slacks..) head to toe colour blocking emphasises the greatness of each item instead of detracting from the overall look. Also noteworthy is the hair and make up-while the latter is almost non-existent I like that the flowered manes achieve a fantastic look without being too overly girly.

I'm already plotting my Winter 2011 wishlist and fleecy and fuzzy are appealing bywords. Maybe it's just their cosy hot water bottle cover associations-a tempting prospect in the depths of winter.

fisherman's friend

I ordered this yellow Fisherman's coat from eBay last week. Upon opening the package this evening I guffawed to myself for a bit as it comes with a matching pair of trousers and the texture is best described as that of a rubber glove. Sort of resisting the urge to glue cotton wool to my chin and traipse through my halls dressed head to toe in this gear as a homage to Fishermans Friends..

Still I like the coat even if it is a little on the large side. And I'm sure the trousers will come to use for all of those water based activities I fill my weekends with. Wading and rowing and standing in downpours?

Thursday, March 03, 2011

some things

Peace of Mind's Topshop daisy trousers. which miraculously look longer than the slightly unflattering cropped flares on the website../ Susie Bick in that Bella Freud 'Je T'aime Jane..' knit from the 2009 collection/ Snakeskin heels from Weekday. When put together the pinks, disney references and naff fabrics, all come over a bit tacky overload. Wasn't at all the intention, separate appreciation recommended.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

bill cunningham

Really want to see this Bill Cunningham documentary. I highly trust anyone who sleeps on a little bed between filing cabinets in their studio. It's also good to know that Anna Wintour suffers from street style anxieties and that getting ignored by Bill Cunningham is 'death'.