Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Style inspiration: Thelma Speirs

Milliners Bernstock and Speirs have relaunched their website. There's a lovely video to mark the event (you can see it on their home page), it's a schoolgirl story but my favourite bit is when 55-year-old when Thelma Speirs pops up in the hat shop wearing a vintage Chanel suit. And here she is again celebrating the occasion in her Bunny Boilersuit. Fabulous.

Who's inspiring you?

Friday, 18 July 2014

New website: The Beauty Plus

Charlotte Rampling: who will be the face of Nars autumn campaign

Good news, people. Jane Cunningham the author of British Beauty Blogger has launched a fantastic new website The Beauty Plus aimed at women 'who love their age.' On the subject of anti-ageing the south London, super-blogger says:

'You have to wonder why the beauty industry thinks that youth is so important. It’s simple. Brands create fear around ageing so that we will do anything and everything to avoid that hideous fate. Positioning youth as beauty drives home the message that unless you use their products, then a miserable, wrinkle ridden life awaits. It’s an insulting perception that any women in the Beauty+ category is unhappy with how they look.'

At last, someone talking common sense! I had a chat with Jane last week and she told me:

'I would like brands to change the phrase anti-ageing, there are enough of us - women over 45 account for £1.9bn worth of sales in toiletry and cosmetics - and we want to be positive not negative. It's just a different phase of our lives. I'm calling it Beauty+.'

The website features beauty tips, news - I learned that the gorgeous French record producer Caroline de Maigret, 39, is collaborating with Lancome on a new make up range - and a regular feature called 'Things your mum says'. It's early days yet but given Jane's brilliant beauty knowledge this is definitely one to watch.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Style Inspiration: Tonne Goodman

The latest issue of Industrie magazine has a lovely interview with American Vogue's fashion director Tonne Goodman. I've long been a fan of of her simple, elegant style; a reliable uniform of white jeans or pants, a roll neck sweater or a simple mannish shirt. Anna Sui is doing the interviewing and the pair discuss Goodman's career and the early days when she was Diana Vreeland's right-hand woman at the Met Museum, Sui asks what she wore back then:

 'I was dressing like I dress now. I was dressing in pants and a shirt.'

And goes on to ask the 62-year-old if she's ever tempted to go for a more attention-grabbing, Anna Dello Russo-style outfit, at the shows:

'To be honest, any time I travel, my outft doesn't change; it's always a few pairs of white jeans and black turtlenecks. That's about it. It's always been the same. I've always packed a carry-on case. If you have a uniform, it's very easy and you don't have to think about it.' 

Photo: jeanstories

Even better: the shirt and sparkly skirt combo. Photo: the Guardian

Shame the photos by Inez & Vinoodh are so airbrushed...

What's your uniform?

Friday, 11 July 2014

Ageless Beauty

Beauty: The New "Age" from The Future Laboratory on Vimeo.

This fantastic video was filmed by The Future Laboratory and includes interviews with inspirational women, such as Linda Rodin, Caryn Franklin and Anna-Marie Solowij. 'Beauty: The New Age' is a discussion that we've all been having for quite some time: the blurring of boundaries when it comes to age and gradually changing attitudes within the beauty and fashion industries. Coincidentally, I was invited to sit on the Handpicked Future panel at the EsteƩ Lauder Media Forum 2014 this week discussing Ageless Beauty too. It would seem that brands are finally addressing the grown-up demographic.

That's me in the middle.

Let's say I got into a mini-debate when a much younger male panelist insisted that, 'Botox and fillers, all of this stuff is just new technology. It's like buying the latest iPhone and you'd do that, so why dismiss this?' Obviously, I disagreed. What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

My guest edit for Pure Collection

Yeah that's me doing a spot of shoulder robing - fashion speak for not putting my arms in my sleeves. Having scorned this type of behaviour in the past, I quite enjoyed my jacket-as-cape moment in the studio. But then I didn't have to move, carry a bag or catch a bus or anything. Anyhow. Those lovely people at Pure Collection invited me to choose an edit of my favourite new season pieces. Which wasn't as easy as I'd expected because there was so much good stuff to choose from, like this gorgeous silk-front sweatshirt and the relaxed boyfriend jeans.

And did you know that Pure partners with a family business that supplies some of the most prestigious cashmere brands in the world? Me neither. The British company's aim is to dispel the myth that the best cashmere has to be really expensive. Good, eh?

Have a look at the rest of the lovely new collection here.

PS This is what unretouched and 50 looks like. Gulp.