Scandal S.3 Ep- 17: Flesh And Blood

Scandal S.3 Ep- 17: Flesh And Blood

KERRY WASHINGTON

Papa Pope

So all of Olivia’s bravado’s last week came back to bite her behind this week and it brought all the boys to her yard pointing fingers at her screw up, literally, that has put them to this situation. Jake, Cyrus and Fitz. Men. Just bloody typical. Forget that half the time she is stuck fixing their messes.

Flesh and Blood was an episode for the most part about getting battle ready in a war…

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There is something about lemon wash that feels clean and I love the smell. I have been using Crabtree & Evelyn Citron range for a good few years now and have never been more pleased. Especially with the body scrub and hand remedy that works a treat on my dry hands.

The hand remedy is a shea butter rich moisturiser infused with myrrh known to condition nails and the body scrub has ingredients like sunflower and jojoba wax seeds which softly scrubs away dead skin leaving a clean and moisturised skin behind thanks to the oils in the ingredients- pumpkin and peach.

Crabtree & Evelyn is a brand that after so many years, still reminds me of my grandmother, especially Rosewater range, there’s just something stuck in the past about them. They also have way too many ranges of products, some it would do well to do without. Hopefully, not the Citron range because with particular key ingredients of lemon, pure honey and peppery coriander, there’s a freshness infused in the brand’s DNA.

Crabtree & Evelyn Citron- Body Scrub and Hand Remedy There is something about lemon wash that feels clean and I love the smell. I have been using Crabtree & Evelyn Citron range for a good few years now and have never been more pleased.

On The Run- New Terrain

On The Run- New Terrain

run

run

So with the move out of London comes new training terrain and this one is no joke. I have moved to a town of hills, everywhere is up on some hill, walking it alone is trying much less running. I’ve had to readdress my training programme that sees me walking more than jogging for now. I am hopeful to get back into the groove of things pretty soon. Packing, unpacking and settling into the new…

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Spring! Spring!! Its here! Its here!! And I have summer holidays on my mind. I don’t even think I’m going away as such because Summer is meant to be a scorcher this year in the UK, as it was last year, but there may be a trip or two in and around the country- The Lake District, Cumbria, Bibury, Penzance… here’s hoping that I find the time or can make the time to go to one or two of these places.

I have my eye on these Globe-Trotter cases, suitcases and carry ons, exclusive to Mr Porter. They remind me of the cases my dad used to have. Globe-Trotter, makers of luggage since 1897, is not only a superiorly reputable brand but also a dab hand in their craft. A favourite of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Sir Winston Churchill, to name a few, you know they are doing something right. Plenty.

Its pricey but the investment justifies the cost: each case is handcrafted over ten days, with a century’s old process, in Hertfordshire. In the details the cases are deep, (the suitcases come extra deep), made with vulcanised fire board, sand leather trims, wooden extendible handle, top and side handles, wheels, fabric lining stamped with the Globe Trotter brass logo and internal straps. Everything about each is painstakingly particular with an absolute pride in craftsmanship.

This collection is exclusive to Mr Porter

Globe Trotter On Mr Porter Spring! Spring!! Its here! Its here!! And I have summer holidays on my mind. I don’t even think I’m going away as such because Summer is meant to be a scorcher this year in the UK, as it was last year, but there may be a trip or two in and around the country- The Lake District, Cumbria, Bibury, Penzance… here’s hoping that I find the time or can make the time to go to one or two of these places.

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I remember when the first Kate Moss for Topshop collection dropped, you literally could not move on Oxford Street that day as the model herself posed in the store window at its grand opening, ensuring that one of the busiest, if not the busiest, streets in London was commuter hell.

I also remember seeing the collection and feeling very lukewarm about it, reason being, it was great but not Kate great. Kate Moss is a gypsy at heart, a free spirit with one of the coolest, most effortless fashion sensibilities of any woman in this world. She can wear ANYTHING and make it look good, very few people can do that, even the people of whom its often said will have limitations, but not Kate Moss. I mean, she single handedly made the skinny jean relevant again. So her first and subsequent collections just never really hit the mark for me. Too commercial, too trendy.

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After four years Kate has returned to Topshop with a more seasoned, more, in her own words, sophisticated collection, and I couldn’t agree more. THIS is the collection that embodies everything she is to style and fashion- edgy, bohemian, vintage rock and roll. Based on her wardrobe each piece is authentically Kate- in her own vision.

Tailoring Noir- explores evening wear with a slick edge- fringe, of course there’s fringe, its Kate, but used here its both slinky and cool, as seen on the flapper style, fringe, metallic dress, its mate a cropped fringe jacket, which she wears on the cover of Vogue UK May 2014 issue, a maxi dress fringed from mid thigh to hemline, a mini dress layered in long fringe etc.

Balearic Dressing- is the more luxurious boho aesthetic: embellished smocks, suede shorts and aztec print kaftans influenced by her favourite summer holiday spot, the Balearic Islands, a Spanish archipelago.

Pyjama Dressing- more trend led but with an air of chicness. The wide leg print pants, especially, will serve the dual function as both evening and lounge wear something so typically Kate in the sense that she never, ever tries hard.

Cocktail Hour- as the name suggests, is a collection of more evening wear- star spangled and slinky pieces, cute little safe dresses like the one shoulder chiffon cocktail dresses that still have a touch of Kate and will definitely fly off the racks. But the crown jewel has got to be the satin evening gown, reminiscent of Elvira Hancock one of Moss’s inspiration for this collection; such simple sophistication, such effortless glamour. Such endless sexiness.

There are day pieces too, rompers, fifties style cute dresses and those will be best sellers.

The paisley print stuff, part of the pyjama dressing, I could do without, along with the scarf hemmed blouses, that were less fashion forward and more trendy hot messes that reminded one of something from Surprise, Surprise. Topshop may be a high street retailer but Kate Moss is still very much high fashion, even if she designs for a high street brand we do not want that obvious association. There is just something different, when its Kate Moss, that we have come to expect.

This is a more superior collection to previous collections, more intricate, more evolved, hence the mark up in price. Some items, like the satin evening gown, will be produced in limited quantities, other items, the most expensive of the collection, will be available on Net-a-Porter. The rest will be produced in bulk and available in 38 countries across the globe, in-store and online at Topshop and Nordstrom.

All in all, this collection is quintessentially Kate, everything about it revolves around her and speaks to her style statement.

Kate on Kate by Kate The Great.

The Kate Moss for Topshop collection drops on the 30th of April.

Kate Moss For Topshop I remember when the first Kate Moss for Topshop collection dropped, you literally could not move on Oxford Street that day as the model herself posed in the store window at its grand opening, ensuring that one of the busiest, if not the busiest, streets in London was commuter hell.

The Beat- @aloeblacc He Is The Man- Worth your time and worth your dime.

I don’t watch MTV anymore and hardly list to the radio, which would explain why I am almost always last to things musically speaking, but Aloe Blacc is one of those artists you just can’t help but be curious about. 

It took my friend, Teri, coming all the way from America to show me what was right under my nose. We wandered down Kensington in search of something to eat and we stumbled across this hole in the wall, literally, if you blink you’ll miss it. But for the sign above that indicates that, down a set steep stairs and one funny step is heaven on the taste buds.

Papaya Tree is a lovely little place on Kensington High Street, in the basement of a building, it makes a good case for being one of the best Thai places in London, trust me, I’ve tried a lot. Its small and clean, simple white decor set against wooden flaws and a mirrored wall to create a spacious illusion. All in all, uncomplicated and cosy.

Don’t judge Papaya Tree on its wait staff who are not dressed in the bug standard black and white garb with bow tie, don’t judge it on the lack of fanciful decor and gimmicks found in other high end establishments, don’t judge it on the sometimes lacklustre service, the staff are not rude but they could be a bit more pleasant, but absolutely judge it on the food. The splendid food. Authentic taste, well cooked, well seasoned, well spiced and simply delicious. I am currently obsessed with the Pad Krapow, spicy stir fried dish with basil, chilli and garlic, which I have with duck or seafood. But I am also a sucker for the Geang Kheaw Wan- green curry with the seafood option. My friend also reports that the vegetarian dishes are just as delicious.

Lunch is between the hours of 12-3.30, price range from £5- £7 and dinner is from 6-11pm, price range from £6-£22. Its the only place I eat lunch on the weekends I’m in London now. But don’t just take my word for it, word has it that Jimmy Page, of Led Zeppelin, yes that Jimmy Page, likes it there too…oh well, there you go.

Papaya Tree- 209 Kensington High Street London W8 6BD. 0207 937 2260

Eats- Papaya Tree, Kensington - (FYI- Jimmy Page, leader Led Zeppelin likes it here too)…http://wp.me/p2l3Kx-2Nd It took my friend, Teri, coming all the way from America to show me what was right under my nose.

Fashion designers, they are just like us in a lot of ways- they have opinions and are not afraid to air them. Even those that should be left for kitchen table talk, in the wise words of Wendy Williams.

Dolce and Gabbana are the latest designers to let their lips loose and the recipient of their snipe is none other than Victoria Beckham, their one time bosom buddy and brand ambassador. Speaking at the opening of The Glamour of Italian Fashion exhibition at the V&A, Stefano Gabbana was loathe to attribute the term “designer” to Beckham,

“She’s a friend. She make good job but…for us, she don’t make the same way like a fashion designer. She became after many, many, many different things. She’s a designer but it’s different. John Galliano is a designer, Alexander McQueen…”

They went on to categorise her with high street contemporary brands like Zara, calling her a “professional designer”. Whatever that is.

This is a comment that, in a round about way, applies to the fashion industry as a whole.

I read the piece with an eye roll at the elitism and fashion bitchery, you know, just your typical back chat after frontal kiss, kiss rubbish. Although I wasn’t surprised that these remarks came from a duo not typically known for their subtlety, even in their design aesthetic, it still left one with some distaste not least because these two are friends of Victoria Beckham and she was a lucrative ambassador for their brand before setting up shop on her own.

Still, the context of their statement did get me thinking about; who is a fashion designer? Setting all sentiment aside, I understand where Dolce & Gabbana are coming from. They are of a different era of design; they live in a city with a different attitude towards fashion and design. You could argue, a more superior attitude because Europe is where the masters are when it comes to the vision and artistry of fashion and they have gone on to parlay these skills into commercial success without losing that essence. The Europeans are chiefs in their craft, with decades of history to back that up and Dolce & Gabbana have grown their business learning from that school of thought.

Victoria Beckham has not.

Her trajectory is of a different era and culture. Passion notwithstanding. Even after several critically acclaimed seasons some still won’t take her seriously. Her fame did nothing to endear her critics; one half of a famous celebrity couple, former pop star, chief WAG, hot pants wearing, weave piling, perma tanned, fake breasts, French white tip manicure…the works. She epitomised chav culture, blingtastic and gauche and the industry heavy weights were having none of that. This is Posh Spice after all; she should be nothing more than a former Spice Girl not a designer. A serious high fashion one at that. It is a hard pill for the doubters to swallow.

For all its globalisation, the fashion industry remains very closed and the guardians do not take disruption to that status quo, lightly. Today’s industry is rife with flash in the pan types, celebrity designers who do nothing but put their names on products, every reality TV starlet calling themselves designer, being a complete nuisance and unsettling the equilibrium of an industry that has its identity enmeshed in history, particular to craft and talent. Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, Dior, Vivienne Westwood, Donna Karan, Giorgio Armani, to name a few, are design houses built from an era that characterises success as a direct result of talent. Designers that have earned a place in fashion history by creating signatures and silhouettes that have become cornerstones of the industry – Le Smoking tuxedo from YSL, the Bar jacket from Dior, the Essentials from Donna Karan, the Chanel boucle jacket etc. Not through fame and fortune but the old fashion way- either by gaining an education in their craft or learning at the hands of masters, or both. And then there is the staying power they posses; these brands have decades of history in their DNA.

Mrs Beckham is still trying to pin point her point of view, she is too easily comparable to the likes of Céline and Mouret, as is often done with regards her collection. She is yet to ascend that level where her garments are immediately recognisable, as lovely and well crafted as they are, there is that identity yet to be identified. She is so close.

Basically, its old money-new money snobbery all over again.

However, history is written over time. Fashion houses are being revived by new talents with new points of view, whilst still respecting the brand’s heritage-Tom Ford and the Gucci years, Ghesquiére at Balenciaga, now being spearheaded by Alexander Wang, Labelux’s acquisition and rejuvenation of Belstaff…what’s old is new again. All this goes to prove the indisputable fact; the ultimate determiner of relevance is, and always will be, talent and I have a feeling Mrs B will be sticking around for a long while yet. Her journey has not been without its hurdles, regardless of capital, but there is a certain grace she possesses and more important, self awareness of what she is up against and you gotta respect a woman who is, above all else, absolutely certain of where she wants to be; earning her stripes and place in the books. Fashion designer.

Who Is a Fashion Designer? Fashion designers, they are just like us in a lot of ways- they have opinions and are not afraid to air them.

My House- IKEA

House and home

I love IKEA, it is my happy place. I love, getting lost in the bedroom department, buying more bookshelves than I need, the cheesy commercial pictures, the candles, boxes, baskets…even the £1 hotdogs and cinnamon rolls. Don’t get me started on the elderflower juice. The best!

I prefer going into the IKEA store than shopping online because the online service is a hideous experience, they never…

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Madam Reads: Daisy’s Back In Town by Rachel Gibson

Madam Reads: Daisy’s Back In Town by Rachel Gibson

Daisy home

Daisy

I read this book a little while back and whilst unpacking I found it in my pile of books and settled down to read it again. In a little under twenty-four hours, needless to say no unpacking was done that day and I still love this book much as I did the first time round.

Daisy Monroe is back in the town of Lovett Texas, after fifteen years of staying away, because she has some things to settle.…

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