Friday, 28 August 2009

BLOG BLESS AMERICA: Juergen + Cathy =T A L K I N G !

Oh, how I wish I was in New York on September the 12th! The one-and-only, ban-me-from-your-show-who-cares Cathy Horyn of The New York Times will be hosting a talk with Juergen the-man-in-the-silk-shorts Teller! For more info on the event click here. Yes, I'm sulking right now.
(Forgive me Ms Horyn!)
Images by Juergen Teller for Marc Jacobs and The New York Times.


With all that Chanel in mind, my attention started shifting to one of Mademoiselle's contemporaries (not rival, as if the world could not handle two powerful women at once and they had to pull each other's hair off!), Elsa Sciaparelli. But away from Shocking Pink and the Lobster Dress, what really grabbed my attention were these two knitted sweaters and the story behind them.

According to the notes of the 2003 'Shocking!' exhibition by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, in the spring of 1927, Elsa noticed a woman in Paris wearing a sweater that unlike most others of the time, had a "steady look", as Schiap later described it, and didn't seem to stretch. Sciap discovered that the sweater had been knitted by an Armenian woman using a special double layered stitch and recruited her to knit several prototypes for her. She drew a white bow to look like a scarf tied around the neck of one and wore the sweater to a luncheon that included several leaders of the fashion world where a buyer from Lord & Taylor ordered 40 copies on the spot. For many, it was the bow-knot sweater that secured her fame!

Is it just me...

...or has London been taken over by Chanel?!


The bike obsession is getting hotter! I have now figured out London routes that I could take in my still-non-existent bike and despite the fact that none of said routes involves a main road, other than crossing one, in fear that I will find my end sandwiched between a London double-decker and a nifty bendy one (why are they sooo hated?) trying to outmaneuver ye olde one (non-Londoners I apologise) I still want one. These pics really aren't helping Mr. Schuman. Match my shoes to my bike? Match my dress to it? Sure! Have to start building up on yellows or blues or pinks in my wardrobe then...
Images by The Sartorialist.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Give me Grace!

I want this so badly! Ms Coddington has been getting a lot of attention lately as it seems she's captured the world's attention with her presence in "The September Issue". This book was published by Karl "The Real Kaiser" Lagerfeld's publishing house 7L back in 2002 and quelle surprise, it's sold out but can be found on Amazon for £375 and up! Perhaps, with all the recent ooohs and aaahs over Ms Coddington's red hair and creative skills 7L should consider another run? In the meantime, the upcoming Vogue Paris September issue (now that's another documentary someone should make!) with its 4-page Grace-fest should be one to treasure!

Image by 7L

I HEART: Jersey Boy

So, I went, I saw, I liked. Coco Avant Chanel is rather good. Admittedly, I walked into Odeon Camden's tiny screen 5 with a lot of trepidation (incidentally, a cute screen to see small, cute movies, with a declining floor that's perilous for open bags but adds to the overall Alice in Wonderland feel, or that might just be me) and very low expectations. Fear not, I'm no Mark Kermode so there's no review following but I must say two things:
- Towards the end of the movie Audrey Tautou literally transforms into Mademoiselle Chanel with a great scene where she's leaning against a doorway that screams Cecil Beaton.

- But the greatest moment in the film has to be Boy Capel asking for his blue polo top back from Coco (she always 'borrows' his clothes) as he can only get those in England. She asks what the fabric is and he responds, in the smoothest, most hear-it-and-melt voice: "Jersey". That was it for me. Merci Boy!

Image by Sony Pictures Classics.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

BLOG BLESS AMERICA: Ms Horyn says...

"A friend of mine who saw “The September Issue” used the word joyless to describe the mood captured by Mr. Cutler. Where’s the fun and the passion for fashion that one reasonably expects? Ms. Wintour certainly knows what she wants in her magazine, and you can’t disagree with her decisions about some of the layouts and clothing choices for the September book. But for reasons unexplored, her editors seemed to lack the confidence not so much to stand up to her as to surprise her with new ideas."

The one and only Cathy Horyn on On The Runway.


I want Charles Anastase's jumper! That's all.

Image by PigMag

I HEART: BOY's Girl Marisa

I've placed a bet with myself (I'm not entirely sure what the logistics of such move are but I'm choosing to ignore said issue, until I win that is). I bet that Scott Sternberg and his Band of Outsiders brand and Boy brand-within-a-brand (with me?) will one day take over the world Ralph Lauren stylee! Only his people will opt for shrunken blazers and Speedy's deck shoes, like His Majesty Lauren's people regularly do but with a heavy dose of irony. 

He had me at Hello when he went and shot his AW08 collection with Michelle Williams at Paul Fortune's LA house. His SS09 collection featuring my fellow Kiki Kirsten Dunst was so great I'm still dreaming of that strap suspender skirt (how is that even possible?) and then he went and shot Sarah Silverman at Canter's Deli in LA and the deal was beyond sealed. These shots of his play date with the evermore irresistible Marisa Tomei (girl crush, that hair!) around Chateau Marmont are too perfect for words. The King is Dead. Long Live the King. And I'll have all my bet winnings in product please.

Images by Boy.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

I HEART: WREN's girls

I absolutely adore Wren, the LA-based label from Melissa Coker (named after Jenny Wren, an intriguing Dickens character from the last novel he ever completed, "Our Mutual Friend"). I love the small, quirky details that she adds on a to-wear-forever trench coat like shorter sleeves, the fabrics for her short, round skirts or a big bow on an otherwise simple white tee. I first came across Wren almost a year ago now and wrote about Melissa and the SS09 collection for InStyle (UK) back in April, and I am so happy to see that she's getting more and more attention and deservedly so. The AW09 collection is fantastic (I am already in love with the white lace dress, the silver sequin skirt, the big, loose black coat...) and with an advertiser's-dream roster of cool girls appearing in her look-books and short films (see Alexa and Ten in the Holiday '09 collection) she's created a real, tangible character for the label. Vintage details yes, but with an utterly modern fit; romantic and even whimsical inspiration but with a strong, urban sensibility. And you know that when the cool girls can't wait to actually wear the clothes themselves, you're onto something pretty special! 

I caught up with Melissa on email last night to find out her inspirations and what to look forward to next. Enjoy!

First of all, congrats on another amazing collection (I LOVE that sequin skirt)!  What were your thoughts behind this collection and how do you usually start the creative process each season?
This collection started out with "To Sir with Love" as the main inspiration. The whole creative process usually starts out with me watching various films and thinking about different girls I meet in the day to day. Tennessee Thomas was a big one for fall.
You've worked in the editorial departments of Vogue, W and Details for enough years, I imagine, to have the word EDIT permanently imprinted in your brain. How did you move into design and is it something that you always knew you wanted to do? 
I was getting into styling when I took the leap as it were to designing. In a way it's almost just a natural step in the progression. Creating worlds and dressing characters etc etc.
Why Dickens' Jenny Wren and if you could dress another literary heroine who would that be?
Jenny Wren because she was a darkly winsome little creature. A little girl but not precious in the least. If I could dress another literary heroine, maybe Daisy Buchanan or Franny Glass.
While at Vogue, you worked with the simply irreplaceable ALT. As we still can't get over his "famine of beauty" cry please do share a favourite ALT moment!
He was really lovely. I would answer his phone and invariably the person on the other end would want to share a heartwarming or charming story about him.  
Wren seems to be a girl's girl kinda label. After Sarah Sophie Flicker, Karen Elson, Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, Margherita Missoni, Alexa Chung and Tennessee Thomas, do you have your eye on someone else?
I'd love to work with Zooey Deschanel, she seems to fit the prototype to a t!
Your holiday collection with Alexa and Ten has some great party dresses but you're also becoming known for great basic, must-have-in-your-wardrobe-at-all-times pieces. What's been the best party dress you've ever worn and is there one basic item you just can't stop wearing?
In the holiday collection there is a sequin and unfinished silk dress with a great big bow around the waist. I actually wore that on New Year's Eve and felt like I'd stepped right out of the 20s. I have some wren burnout tees and tanks from fall that I wear everyday. It is embarrassing. I am wearing one now even.
We'll let you enjoy the LA sunshine now but before we go, what are your future plans for Wren and what should we look forward to next?
I am participating in a Vogue alumni event for Fashions Night Out in New York in September. A great cause and should be quite fun. Other than that, wrapping up spring samples and working on casting the next look book . Alexa + Tennessee are quite a team to have to follow up!

Wren is available in the UK at Joseph Westbourne Grove and KJ's Laundry.

BLOG BLESS: Just like waiting for a bus...

You're waiting and waiting and then two come at once! I've been so keen to do a story on Tavi for ages but the right story or magazine or editor would just not come along. And now, not only was she on one of the mock LOVE covers for the much-awaited second issue, she is on the proper cover of the first under-new-management-POP issue. Was that what Tavi's recent London trip was all about? And isn't the double-crossing by the two mags a little bit odd? But, to return to the wholly unnecessary aforementioned London bus analogy, who cares, just jump on one and enjoy it!

Images by Fashionologie and Love

Monday, 17 August 2009

Francophilia: Turn up the volume and go for it!

Let's face it, this is how you dance to this song!

Friday, 14 August 2009

BLOG BLESS: Cheers Grazia!

If anyone ever doubted Grazia's raison d'être this alone would justify it for me (as it happens a lot of other things do too). You know these boots. You've seen these boots and probably read on countless blogs about them. They're the new hit for AW from the ongoing Gap / Pierre Hardy collaboration. I saw them at Gap's press day aeons ago. I wanted them then and I still want them now. But when will they hit store I hear you cry? Let's ask Grazia on twitter, just as one very clever person did (really, it should be like googling for info, a new idea there Grazia?) And they, of course, had the answer: "16 sept. can. not. wait." Me neither. Thanks ladies!

I HEART: Jenna's Picks

In the same way I would live in London only to walk around Topshop and eat at Leon (sad, I know but being aware of it must at least count for something), I would live in The Wonderfully Nuts States of AmeRiKa (think West Side Story for that final lift or just don't) just to eat at diners (Mel's vs Canter's in LA, discuss or don't) and walk around J. Crew. But since I do live in London, I can waste hours of my life I will never get back checking out Jenna's Picks on the brand's website. Again, acutely aware of one's sad state here. I want everything she picks. Am I the only one to think that the J in that name is suspicious? Jemma's Crew. Magic!

Images by J.Crew

Thursday, 13 August 2009

BLOG BLESS AMERICA: The girls from Vena Cava

I have a girl-crush on Lisa Mayock and Sophie Buhai, the girls behind Vena Cava. And I really think Lisa has the-best-haircut-EVER! Their NY label is just getting better and better every season with their relaxed, slightly abstractly referenced style gathering more attention and deservedly so. Their recent GAP collaboration and last year's CFDA / Vogue Fashion Fund runners-up award certainly contributed to that but I think the clothes can talk for themselves (imagine that!). Individually, they are pieces you just have to have in your wardrobe, like an easy dress with cut-outs you can just put on for a party without thinking about a 'whole outfit', and all together in a collection they represent the great way New York girls can just throw a few items together and look...well, good! 

Images by and Vena Cava.

Now, all the above would be just enough to qualify for a label-to-follow in my book. But when I saw the pics from Refinery29 on Lisa's Williamsburg appartment and stumbled upon their blog, VIVA VENA CAVA I knew. I love these girls!

Images by Refinery29

Monday, 10 August 2009

Francophilia: Tout le monde est un théâtre...

Dior Couture, Paris

Image by Jak & Jil

Friday, 7 August 2009


Obsessed with bikes this summer! The stats do show that more and more Londoners have taken up cycling for various reasons and it must be true, so often now I'll walk my usual route downtown through my beloved Regent's Park (so beloved in fact that I recently stopped and gushed about it to a girl taking a survey on public opinion about cycling through the park for far too long!) and see, usually, pairs of cool girls on their pretty bikes, dressed in anything but cycling gear (although, am I alone in thinking that cycling shorts can look great under dainty dresses? Perhaps). Having just cycled the width and length of Ile de Ré (admittedly, it is a tiny island) on Francoise (the name I gave her, original, I know!), a black rented Cycland bike (another subject: are the cool dudes working at all Cycland stores in Ré the equivalent of all those cool, surfer dudes manning surf stations in California, Australia, Bali...?) I can safely say that my obsession has been satisfied. With bikes that is. For now.

Thursday, 6 August 2009


Tom Ford Eyewear

Image by Tom Ford