This morning I woke up to the most terrible news, my friend Ruth Staiman, aka @fashionoffice passed away. She was battling cancer.
The world has lost an angel and there is no solace for that.
Ruth was a wonderful person. I never met her in real life, we tried to meet several times but life often got in the way of plans, still, we tweeted each other almost everyday. We; Myself, Meredy, Shirley,…
Harvey Nichols is one of my favourite shops in London. I love its contemporary-luxe niche and the fact that it shows great support for young british talent- it sells relatively unknown brands like Michael Van Der Ham along side Lanvin, has five different ladies footwear departments, a dungeon of suaveness for menswear that sells brands like J.Lindberg and Pal Zileri, and its outdoor fifth floor cafe is a joy in the spring summer months.
The Fifth Floor in Harvey Nichols in particular is one of my favourite places to shop on occasion, not only because of its food market that sells my niece and nephew’s favourite Lucky Charms and Oreo cake mix but also because of its Wineshop. The cellar style space with wooden floors and vast selection of wines, spirits, champagne, port, exclusive collectors bottle vodka etc. The price range is as varied as the selection- very, very. One of the best red wines in the world, Viña Zorzal, retails at around £9, Harvey Nichols own Rosé champagne comes in quarter, half and whole bottle and is possibly one of the more delicious tasting champagnes but don’t take my word, try it. Or better still seek a second opinion. José.
More than its widely varied stock, its the service that keeps me coming back to the Harvey Nichols wine shop. More specifically, Jose the wineshop manager. Every member of staff I’ve encountered here has been exemplary but Jose is the secret weapon. A fountain of knowledge, he can talk you through anything- white, red, prosecco, port, champagne, all kinds of champagne, decades old scottish whiskey… you name it, Jose knows it.
At the end of the day, its not enough to like working in a place, its the enjoyment and the satisfaction derived from providing such exemplary service and its immediately evident that this is a guy who not only enjoys his work and takes pride in it, but also gets great satisfaction in delivering the service, something we don’t see enough of in the retail industry. Cheers to that.The Wineshop @HarveyNichols Harvey Nichols is one of my favourite shops in London. I love its contemporary-luxe niche and the fact that it shows great support for young british talent- it sells relatively unknown brands like Michael Van Der Ham along side Lanvin, has five different ladies footwear departments, a dungeon of suaveness for menswear that sells brands like J.Lindberg and Pal Zileri, and its outdoor fifth floor cafe is a joy in the spring summer months.
Another Fashion Week has come and gone we can breathe a sigh of relief for a few months, enjoy the spring and summer before the onslaught in September. This month, quiet as it was, was not without its fair share of kerfuffle so here goes.
1. New York is just too loooooooong!!!
Listen I love NYFW its the most entertaining of the lot but man it is just too long, too many shows and too much confusion by the time we reach Paris its all too exhausting to keep up with.
2. New York was good
Yes it was long and labouring and the time difference made it a bit of a thing to keep up with even on live stream, but this round of New York was good, was fun, was commercially strong and there was a strong POV from the designers, there wasn’t one overarching theme there were several and the most astounding were the evening wear… Naeem Khan, Bibhu Mohapatra, did this more than enough justice and Ralph Lauren was the pleasant surprise.
3. The Boys Done Good
Jason Wu for Hugo Boss and Nicholas Ghesquiére for Louis Vuitton, two strong debuts, two exciting creatives to watch as they hold up the heritage of their respective houses.
4.Ugly Shoes are Not Cool.
Dior wants to put is in FUGLY shoes and I am no on board with this mess. Not here for it Raf.
5. The Celebrity Issue
The only things celebrities bring to fashion shows are just unnecessary chaos, they run late, see Katy Perry at Moschino, the photographers go crazy for them and they take away attention from the host, the designer. I don’t know that they bring anything more to the show. The only people who have business attending shows are, stylist, buyers, editors and bloggers who actually know their Louboutin from Louis Vuitton, anyone else is up for debate. But that’s just me…
6. Call Maintenance. Call Oscar. Call EVERYONE!
Editors are not like us or are they? The lifts malfunctioned in Oscar De La Renta and André Leon Talley nearly lost his mind… see the tales here.
7. ANNA WINTOUR IS HUMAN-
At the Valentino show in Paris, Anna Wintour, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue and the Pope of Fashion for life, sat in the second row. According to various reports on social media, the front row of Maison Valentino was so packed, there wasn’t enough space for her and her team so she gave up her permanent space to one of her editors and opted to watch the show from second row. Nuff respect
8. Kendall Jenner
Celebrity or Model? Whatever it is you want to call her, Kendall Jenner is earning her stripes. She looks the part, walks the part and I like the fact that there wasn’t any noise made about her walking the runway or sitting in the front row. Even if her name and connections got her in the door, seems Jenner has the chops to stick around. The more runways she walked, the biggest of which was Chanel, the easier it was ignore the fact that she is a celebrity from a reality TV show.
Anya Hindmarch and Chanel shows acknowledged consumerism. At the end of the day, silhouettes and trends aside, no industry thrives if the customer does not shop- life is one big supermarket catering to wants and needs. The Anya Hindmarch catwalk was set on a barcode with some models gliding down with their trolleys on a conveyor belt. The designer used images everyday domestic brands on her accessories, a little reminiscent of Olympia Le Tan who makes her purses out of story books, but quite possibly brilliant. All of Chanel was set in a super market complete with grocery aisles, household stuff and a Cara Delevingne class in hole-y sweatpants, looking all chav walking the aisle. Umm remember when The Kaiser declared sweatpants an attire for the hopeless, “sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life so you bought some sweatpants” he said. This show is homage of the sort to real life scenarios; sometimes sweatpants and trainers will do just fine. Lets all go shopping at the Chanel Shopping Centre. At the other end of the consumer spectrum was Jeremy Scott for Moschino.The McDonald’s inspired uniform, the spongebob squarepants outfit, the Chanel-esque gold chains piled on like Mr T, the sheer tackiness of everything, it was just too much. ConsumerismThings About Fashion Week- AW’14 Another Fashion Week has come and gone we can breathe a sigh of relief for a few months, enjoy the spring and summer before the onslaught in September.
Cuz all you wanna do is ride around Sally… causing trouble and sinning against the good Lord. Oh Sally “Lord’s disciple” Langston. I like her. She is a perfect feather ruffler and just the kind of character you want in this type of political drama, beating on the celestial drums with one hand and knifing the life out of her husband with the other hand. Perfect.
Scandal has returned!! SCANDAL HAS…
FINALLY! Some gumption from the most BORING magazine to roam the earth. Finally some show of backbone and smarts. Its been a long time coming. Its no secret, I don’t much care for Vogue, especially Vogue UK, I think its the most lacklustre magazine, its boring, patronising and shamefully un-diverse. You just have to look at its track record for putting women of colour, or any other ethnicity on…
Stylist is one of my favourite magazine, not because its free but because despite being free it manages to give such rich and exceptional content, most times. It covers a variety of topics, is a feminist champion, encourages reading, has some badass women writing for them, gives you handbags, sass and brains and everyone’s favourite stye list. It is also now available free on the iPAD and iPhone.
One of my biggest fears about moving out of London was never being able to get a copy of Stylist on Tuesday, as per usual, again…no really, it was. And as if they felt my sadness at this fact they decided to do something about it and for this I couldn’t be happier. If you have never read a copy of Stylist, you are missing out big time because this is just one of those rare magazines out there, it doesn’t give you run of the mill drivel, doesn’t seek to patronise and is vastly diverse…
Get downloading and get to reading.Stylist Magazine Stylist is one of my favourite magazine, not because its free but because despite being free it manages to give such rich and exceptional content, most times.
I didn’t catch much of the fashion month after New York because of life interruptions, I didn’t see any shows in London, *hangs head* and Milan, and I just about managed to catch one show in Paris. Of course I’ll make time for Nicholas Ghesquiere’s debut for Louis Vuitton, following the exit of Marc Jacobs. Ghesquiere is one of the most, if not the most, important designer of our time…I am loathe to put anyone above Marc Jacobs, who is, in my opinion, the most important designer of our time but Ghesquiere comes close.
First up, Boss, Wu and The Gentlewoman
Jason Wu is earning his spot as one of the great American designers, his place in fashion history has been cemented by FLOTUS Michelle Obama, who wore his gowns to the two inaugural ceremonies and now reside in the Smithsonian. That’s cred of all creds right there because when it comes to fashion, it doesn’t come bigger than the First Lady of the United States. Besides the deep show of support by the celebrities sat in the front row, the more significant part was the collection.
Hugo Boss is a brand known more for their Menswear- sharp tailoring, bold and very masculine and Wu used all of that to his advantage turning out a solid collection. At times it came off as too masculine with the buttoned up, high collar, sturdy feel, but the feminine slant gave it discreet sex appeal. The Gentlewoman. This was a principally refined collection, with neutral colours- blacks, grey, creams, camel, embellishment- these pieces didn’t work as well for me surrounded by all that rigidity, impeccable, stuffy, tailoring which could do with some softening, but on the whole there was a very sophisticated coolness at play. The shoes were sturdy and the sandals simple, nothing fancy going on there but the doctor bags are going to be money makers; astute, severe and rigorously discerning, this is the wardrobe for a women with a particular kind of style, she likes clean, she likes prestige, she likes a simple, she likes minimal but by no means will she skimp on quality. I just wish she would down a few shots let her hair down every once a while.
Ghesquiére; A Genius.
As I’ve stated, Nicholas Ghesquiere is a man after my own heart, an important designer, essential. For his debut at Louis Vuitton, he presented a collection that will appeal to the contemporary luxe client who wouldn’t mind paying a little extra for high fashion luxury. The A-line silhouette was predominant through out the show; the Boss woman is having fun with fashion. It was sexy and tasteful and utterly fashion. Tweeds, the high slit tank leather dresses, the coats, the chunky knit skirts and leather bodysuit…it was all just chic on chic on chic. It had a young-ish feel to it but Ghesquiére is not forcing women to dress like little girls. Fresh and grown, a mix of everyday dressing but in high fashion and what made this even more wonderful was the styling- pin on point perfection.
There was an abundance of texture- suede, leathers, thick knits, prints…the blazers were a smash; so casual and cool and a show of superiority that is Ghesquiere’s calling card. The cut out, orchard print, I’ll call it orchard print, dresses with the flared angel sleeves and leather detail was celestial, in a manner of speaking, the jumpers with the Kilim type print and pretty little A-line skirts that came in suede, leather, subtle patch work, even the belting was nothing but suave. But nothing, absolutely nothing that I saw during this round of fashion month was cooler than the A-Line, high collar dress, with the metallic thread detail. Absofreakinglutely nothing. Super!Fashion Week- Here Come The Boys. I didn’t catch much of the fashion month after New York because of life interruptions, I didn’t see any shows in London, *hangs head* and Milan, and I just about managed to catch one show in Paris.
Sundays were made for long lie ins, hangovers, breakfast in bed, brunch with friends. Curling up with a good book, pottering around the kitchen making a sweet mess…Sunday is truly, utterly blissful. It even feels like it.
After my long lie in today, sans hangover, I woke up desperately and surprisingly, hungry for pancakes. The thing is, pancakes and I have our moments, I am not a huge fan as most are, considering its the customary brunch order, and I have a thing for brunch, this is almost sacrilegious, no? But today was not one of those days, thankfully. Since I wasn’t going into town to meet up with friends for brunch and my mom, the only person whose pancakes I’ve ever loved, was not at home, I decided to potter around and make a mess in hopes of coming out with pancakes at the end of it… and a relatively clean kitchen. You know how messy making pancakes can be.
Checking in the cupboards however, there was no Nutella. No Maple Syrup. No Hazlenut. No Vanilla! WTF?!! I was about to give in when I saw three soft bananas in the fruit baskets and packets of walnuts; glass three quarters full.
I mashed together the bananas and a packet of walnuts to make an ugly mess, sifted 500g of flower in a bowl and tosses in four cups of caster sugar, two teaspoons of baking powder and a pinch of salt. I melted three tablespoons of Lurpak, the best butter ever, in a skillet over low heat, dug a hole in the flower mixture, broke in the eggs, poured in some milk, tablespoon of ground nutmeg, tossed in the banana hazelnut mash and melted butter, now slightly cooled. No, I didn’t measure anything, I have no patience for that, I am more the taste to see if its sweet enough type of cook… my bad. Mix. Mix. Mix. with a wooden ladle as a whisk just won’t do the trick. I mixed the batter until it was relatively smooth and thickly runny…if that makes sense.
Skillet over medium heat, table spoon of butter melting and sizzling, scoop of batter carefully in sizzling butter… one minute and a bit on either side, and BAM! Pancakes.
This is the first time in my life that I have made pancakes from start to finish. I am the flakey pancake maker; the one who walks in halfway through and will finish up or I start only to be distracted by something else and someone else, mom, has to finish it up for me. But this time I saw it all the way through. Butter fried some pork sausages and bacon… so much butter!! There was enough ingredients in there to give me a sugar high and cholesterol scare so I was happy to go without the maple syrup, vanilla and nutella in the end.
After all that effort I was only able to eat two pancakes because I was already full on the sweet smells. Typical. Still, a lovely way to spend the Sunday.
Happy Sunday to you and yours. And now, The Oscars!!Sunday- Pancaking Sundays were made for long lie ins, hangovers, breakfast in bed, brunch with friends. Curling up with a good book, pottering around the kitchen making a sweet mess…Sunday is truly, utterly blissful.
I can’t tell you how much this moved me. For our daughters, sisters, friends and every woman who has, rejected her beautiful, been told her beauty has a shade, been relegated to a particular category, had her beauty re-defined to fit a certain mould, been excluded because her beauty wasn’t the norm…whatever it is the “gatekeepers and beholders” say about beauty, remember, “there is no shade in beauty”, and what is truly beautiful comes from deep within. You are BEAUTIFUL.
Check out Lupita’s spread in the March Issue of Essence Magazine…
Oh Lupita!!Lupita Nyong’o on Beauty and Beautiful I can’t tell you how much this moved me. For our daughters, sisters, friends and every woman who has, rejected her beautiful, been told her beauty has a shade, been relegated to a particular category, had her beauty re-defined to fit a certain mould, been excluded because her beauty wasn’t the norm…whatever it is the “gatekeepers and beholders” say about beauty, remember, “there is no shade in beauty”, and what is truly beautiful comes from deep within.
Ever since I read this article by one of my favourite style reporters and tweeters, Elizabeth Holmes of the Wall Street Journal, I have been flirting with the idea of swapping my daily holdall for something more compact. Not only because I needed to actually conquer my fear of carrying a small bag that would mean leaving half my life behind, but also because she makes a big case for the small stuff, in a manner of speaking. But, as an addict of holdalls, this challenge was no mean feat.
I am the woman with EVERYTHING in her handbag- iPad, iPhone, chargers, book, a pouch that doubles as a wallet and sort of make up bag for the five or six lip glosses that I can never seem to let go of, flats for when I can’t take another step in my heels, a wool scarf because the weather here is a real piss take, a sturdy brolly, again- weather, sunglasses because…well because. A can of diet coke, a bottle of water which I never get round to drinking but have every good intention to, my calendar diary, a notebook, at least three chapters of my book which I always hope to edit between tube journeys but never seem to be able to, extra lip pots because you just never know, or simply because I’m nuts…its that mentality of needing to have stuff with me because I fear I’d be lost without them, but half the stuff that goes in my bag never get used.
One evening, getting ready for a day of meetings, I decided to give this challenge a whirl.
I was strategically ruthless in downsizing my handbag, I bought this shoulder bag in the Zara sale with the sole purpose of testing out this theory. I dumped the iPad, took my iPhone and charger, I made use of the notes function on my iPhone so I didn’t need my Cath Kidston notebook, instead of my Mulberry pouch/wallet I opted for a small coin purse for my cards and for the first time ever I made proper use of the pockets in a handbag for my cash, just one tube of lipgloss and a small tub of hand cream- I scooped a little from a big pot into one of the empty lip pots I have. My copy of Game of Thrones was left on my bedside table and I picked up Daisy’s Back In Town- a very good read. Knowing I wouldn’t get round to actually editing whilst I was hoofing it from one meeting to another, I left my chapters at home. I didn’t need sunglasses because of the rain, and I was happy to carry my brolly in my hand. There, perfectly compact and all the things I actually needed. I have never felt so free and the best part, I wasn’t getting caught up in a cross hairs of wires and my braids.
I’ll admit it felt strange at first, and I kept panicking because I thought I’d forgotten something but all I needed was with me, everything else was just extra… so much extra weight phew!
Whilst I haven’t let go of my larger bags, being able to mix things up is something I find very appealing. Even when I carry a holdall I only take what I absolutely need and leave the rest behind. Besides that pleasant feeling of lightness this brings, it helps with my posture and I am quicker getting from place to place.
In the words of Baloo and Mowgli “…the bare necessities, the simple bare necessities.” Because less really is more.Biggie-Smalls Thanks @EholmesWSJ Ever since I read this article by one of my favourite style reporters and tweeters, Elizabeth Holmes of the Wall Street Journal, I have been flirting with the idea of swapping my daily holdall for something more compact.