Thursday, 12 December 2013
When it comes to scarf wearing, I have a best dressed list. Christine Lagarde, Channel 4's international news editor, Lindsey Hilsum and Borgen's fictional TV journalist Hanne Holme (Benedikte Hansen) are top of the pile.
Recently, I've been wearing the Blog Widower's scarf. A lot. It's navy woven cotton with a tiny star pattern, a birthday gift, and high-time I gave it back. Or found a replacement. The masculine, slightly dandy-ish vibe works well with the Midlife Crisis Jacket, boyfriend jacket and my navy overcoat.
'In search of the perfect scarf' became the theme for my latest blog post for the FT's How To Spend It. First stop on my research tour had to be Liberty: the home of beautiful scarves (who's been watching Liberty of London?), where Ruby Chadwick the accessories and jewellery buyer advised, 'To me, scarves look best when worn relaxed and easy. Best when adapted to your personal style and lifestyle, worn loosely over a jacket or shirt to step it up.' In the women's section of the new J.Crew store, I spotted a lovely men's scarf styled up on a mannequin with a women's khaki combat jacket. The American brand has cleverly included British merchandise from the likes of Penelope Chilvers, Private White VC and Drake's, in their edit. The scarf was from luxury accessories label Drake's, who have a shop just round the corner, off Savile Row:
Margaret Howell's fine cashmere scarf is another favourite. How good does it look with a trouser suit and brogues? Pure Tomboy Chic.
How are you wearing your scarf this winter? Read my full FT feature here.
Tuesday, 10 December 2013
This year is the 60th anniversary of the Gucci horsebit loafer and to celebrate here's a lovely line-up. Wouldn't it be brilliant if on the sixth day of Christmas my true love ditched the geese a-laying and sent me six gorgeous Gucci loafers instead? Which I'd wear with jeans, of course. The Italian luxury brand introduced the horsebit loafer in 1953, and in 1969 this happened:
The loafer made an appearance at Cannes with the effortlessly stylish Jane Birkin and should've won an award for best supporting accessory. Then, seven years later, young Jodie Foster opted for sports luxe on a skateboard:
So, when Gucci asked if I'd like to do a sponsored post, I jumped at the chance. Fashion has a handful of heroes, and the Gucci loafer is one of them. In the loadsamoney eighties, when it was all ostentatious labels and logos, I can remember seeing a brilliant shoot in Elle magazine where the models were wearing Gucci loafers and track pants. Sadly, I can't find any images and I chucked out all my old magazines long ago, but as Jane Birkin (from the waist down) and Jodie Foster prove, this timeless style always looks good. The women's cruise collection 2014 is available in a gorgeous array of shimmering metallics, Florence Welch has a pair:
Do you have any fashion heroes? And which colour loafer would you choose?
Friday, 6 December 2013
If That's Not My Age was a magazine, I'd want to be just like Kinfolk's The Aged Issue. Beautifully designed and curated, with a lovely shoot called The Grace of Grey. The intro to which sums up my feelings exactly: 'Ageing is happening and you can't stop it. You can however change your perspective toward it and like these silver-topped women in our portrait series, embrace it with all the energy, grace and style in the world.'
Portraits include some of my favourite fashion VIPs like Thelma Speirs and older model Pam Lucas:
I enjoyed the features, 'Turning Into My Mother' and 'Age Advice' for the young and old: eat good stuff, don't sweat the small stuff and my favourite tip, 'EMBRACE YOUR LOOKS - who needs outrageously expensive eye creams, plastic surgery and fake tan? Not us. Grooming is good, but there is nothing more attractive than someone who is comfortable in his or her own skin'.
Though I'd also add, be nice to people and always know where the nearest loo is. And here are some more graceful grey women:
And on the subject of The Grace of Grey, a very small tribute to a very great man:
|Photo: Matthew Willman.|
Thursday, 5 December 2013
|Photo: Daisy Fay|
That's my gorgeous friend (in the black dress, beside the mug tree) Michelle Mason, the super-talented interior and homeware designer. We go back a long way, about thirty years. Right back to student days - where we perfected that drink-clutching pose. Michelle creates beautiful products for various clients including Heals, House of Fraser and London Transport Museum - you'll probably recognise her distinctive typographic style and the 'Bus Blind' cushions and mugs:
And the good news is that she's finally set up shop: Mason & Painter on Columbia Road with her pal Tim Painter who collects and up-cycles vintage furniture and other stuff.
MM's retro-inspired designs sit beautifully alongside the old furniture, second-hand glassware and vintage nick-nackery. Everything, including the solid oak workbench currently being used as a counter, is for sale. If you can get up early on a Sunday morning/stand the crowds, Columbia Road flower market is always a treat - this weekend I'll be popping along with the Blog Widower to buy our festive flower arrangement - but the area is even better on Saturdays. It's quiet and there's no fear of being elbowed out of the way by someone desperate to get at the Christmas wreaths, or of wreaking havoc with a big bouquet of flowers in one of the lovely local shops. The Shoreditch Triangle is also open for late night shopping. And if you're lucky you might meet Scottie:
It's the perfect place to do a spot of Christmas shopping. Just mind where you stick that bunch of holly.
mason&painter, 136 Columbia Road, London E2 7RG (contact: email@example.com, or @MasonAndPainter on Twitter)
Tuesday, 3 December 2013
When discussing style inspiration, I usually focus on people around my own age and above. That's not inverted ageism or anything, I realise that with fashion as with crossing the road, it's important to look both ways. So, it was good to see Model of the Year, Edie Campbell opt for a spot of casual glamour at the British Fashion Awards last night. The beaded jacket, vest top and embellished jeans combination is a go-everywhere outfit, whatever your age. Though obviously, those of us who are not 23-year-old models would also wear a bra. And, I'm always impressed when someone turns up on the red carpet in flat shoes, even when it is a pair of scuffed up old lace-ups.
Edie Campbell is like a junior Stella Tennant, in sensible shoes. My favourite aristo-model was also looking pretty fabulous last night:
Delighted that i-D' magazine's Tricia and Terry Jones - together with the fabulous Suzy Menkes - all received outstanding achievement awards.
Thoughts on British Style Icon Harry Styles, anyone?