Sunday, 24 January 2010

Snowy Days and Sailor Outfits

Thanks to Lucy for this amazing photo. I love it.

I miss the snow, it seems to make everything better - despite the 'travel chaos' the local news insists that it brings. Dear oh dear.

On a far different note - and further on from the post below - the coat in the picture above is my recent(ish) acquisition to my ever-expanding wardrobe of nautical pieces and I love it more than life itself. Well, not quite, but it is the current sartorial love of my life...

There is something so simple and yet so effective with nautical clothing - the look is so classic but is never dull; It always seems to be in fashion but never seems to go out of style, which is certainly rare these days, in the constantly changing stream of new, ever-emerging fashions.

I seem to live my life wearing navy blue and white clothing and absolutely live in breton stripes, as well as anything with a sailor-esque collar (like the one on my coat of dreams) sends me into fashion rapture. I have genuinely thought about joining the navy just so I can wear there amazing uniforms - I'm not sure I'd fancy spending months of my life incessantly on the high seas however - I'd look constantly stylish, though. I also dream of wearing a proper 'sailor suit' as typically seen on (male) babies but I'm not sure anyone has actually been brave (or mad) enough to make an adult sized one yet... Perhaps I will have to crack out my 'notable' sewing 'skills' - I made a shirt with a lobster on it once, does that count? - in order to live my sartorial dreams.

When I actually 'studied' fashion at school in the Lower Sixth, the first thing I made (the lobster shirt was the second and a definite mistake) was, qu'elle surprise a nautical-themed skirt, made with a 'client' in mind who was off to St. Tropez. Genius. The skirt is actually pretty good (for someone of my very limited practicalities) although I haven't deigned to wear it as yet - that might be a nautical fashion step too far.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

In the Navy

I have an actual, literal obsession with any thing sailory - well, not so much the sailors themselves, moreso the amazing nautical look. I will write more on the subject when I'm not so unbelievably exhausted but, for the time being, here is the latest seafaring piece of sartorial wonderment on my wish list of fashion dreams.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Christmas with Sting & Trudie Styler

As I live my life like Eddie and Patsy anyway, I see no reason why I shouldn't add more of their genius plans to my life. In one of my very favourite Absolutely Fabulous episodes 'Parralox', Eddie talks about her 'life aims' - yoga and to have Christmas with Sting and Trudie Styler and also of her 'daily aims'. Eddie's daily aim for that particular day is to write a pop song - the ah-mazing 'just walking down the road, looking at the people' etc etc. Whilst I have no desire to have Christmas with anyone other than my family (!) and I could never achieve such a level of musical genius, I feel that it's an exceptionally good idea to have daily aims, as new year's resolutions are wasted on me. It's not that I won't keep them up, rather that I just forget what they are after ten minutes, so daily aims it is - thank you Eddie for your constant inspiration!

Daily Aim, then, for the 18th January is - to make my University house room Holland Park worthy (ie. put clothes away, put everything back onto the walls that had fallen off over the holidays and peg photographs onto my amazing bunting). Starting simply, but hopefully achievably.

Neighbours from Hell Part 298

Whilst at University, I reside in a semi-detached house and my bedroom is, unbelievably unfortunately, on the attached side of the row. Even more unfortunately, the neighbours are - probably literally - from hell.

They scream at each other all day long, hit each other with frying pans, play awful music (they played a karaoke version of 'Don't Leave Me This Way' which I'm not opposed to when the Communards do it but, otherwise, just no) at 3am and even once threatened to kill us for leaving our bin on the very edge of the pavement for about 20 minutes longer than it should have been there. Oh and that occurred at one o'clock in the morning. What utterly charming people. I'm not much good at suburban living and these bobby dazzlers just make it a hundred times worse.

I've taken to wearing ear plugs at all hours of the day. That seems to me to be a very sensible solution - although mine are hardly as glamorous as Holly Golightly's.

On a happier note, the article attached to the above picture was absolutely fascinating and certainly took my mind off the Jeremy Kyle contestants from the hovel next door.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Peace and Quiet and Countryside

There is nothing more I love in the world than peace, quiet and the countryside. I am, however, completely deprived of all of these things while I'm at University so I literally can't be entirely happy. I absolutely crave being able to go for a walk near my actual home (not my 'uni' 'house') in the middle of nowhere.

I'd love to be like Marie Antoinette / Kirsten Dunst in these pictures, just to experience that feeling of peaceful contentment thanks to the sound of splashing water and of nature. They - and the film - are so unbelievably beautiful, but I suppose I don't really fancy meeting Madame Guillotine afterwards...

I think I'm turning into an outdoor person after years of being happiest in front of an open, indooor fire. I certainly have cabin fever.

Friday, 15 January 2010

I've Just Realised...

... What an utterly weird blog this is turning out to be. My last four posts have been about tea, a (tremendous) fashion designer, the Tory party and Jean Paul Sartre. That is totally bizarre in anyone's book but bizareness can be good, and long may it continue in my strange, convoluted mind!

L'enfer C'est Les Autres

Or 'hell is other people'. Quite.

I Hate David Cameron

I know that I should have thought of a more imaginative title for this 'post', but I literally couldn't bring myself to say anything other than my total and utter feelings towards the fellow (and, let's face it, the rest of the 'Tory' 'party'). I did wonder about entitling it 'David Cameron made me crash my car' but I thought for legal reasons it was safer not to. However, that is the truth. Whilst driving merrily along in my golden 'chavmobile' (ironic, always) Wilhelmina, I came across a MASSIVE billboard of Cameron (as above) and was so horrified by his enormous, airbrushed, traumatic face that I quite literally almost drove into a ditch, such was the effect on my concentration levels.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not entirely against conservative (with a small 'c') values; I am, after all, perhaps the greatest prude known to man and I often long for a time when we lived in a less obviously depraved society. I did also once wear an all blue outfit to school long before I was able to vote in order to support the Tories. Oh dear. I assume this was during my long forgotten wannabe-Sloane phase and, regardless, I wear all blue outfits almost every day anyway. I would wear red (for Labour) but it simply isn't my colour).

The 'modern' Conservatives, however, are little short of heinous and I, quite frankly, can't stand them. It all seems to be one massive publicity stunt to make Cameron the David Beckham (or whoever is considered to be the most famous man in the world these days, I'm not very down with the kids) of politics, rather than to actually offer help to anybody. His campaign seems to be - appear on This Morning. Be smug. Get photographed for a billboard. Get airbrushed. Ramble on about bringing back fox hunting (probably the worst idea known to man, how about Tory hunting instead?). Ramble some more about getting rid of inheritance tax. Anything, basically, that the plebs won't benefit from. What a lovely, lovely political party. At least Labour do their very best to help the poorer members of our society - they might not always succeed but at least that's where their political beliefs lie, rather than aiming solely to save the country estate that's been in the family for seven decades.

Also, I know the Houses of Parliament are traditionally bear baiting ground but these days, in my 'close' watching of Prime Minister's questions (I went to see it once in real life (!) with Tony B; It was thrilling), it seems to be little more than a full on attack on the Labour party. And this brings me to another point - I love Gordon Brown. He may not be perfect, but he's hardly on the level of Hitler now, is he?

That 'scandal' with that 'grieving mother' in the autumn was my absolute political lowpoint of 2009. I think it says more about her going to the Sun 'newspaper' as opposed to a quality title with her story than it does about Gordon. He can't help having bad handwriting - he clearly has eye issues. People are so mad and just looking for someone to force the blame on to.

If David Cameron does (God forbid) get elected this May, I only hope that the smile will be wiped off his face when the tables are turned and people get sick of the Tories and want Labour - and some level of social inclusion - back on top.

I will say, though (and I am aware that this utterly undermines my argument), if Boris Johnson was going for the top job, it might very well be a different matter. Comedy value - not self-satisfiedness - sells, in my book.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

I Love Luella

I cried when I heard Luella was closing down. I am rarely bowled over by every single collection a designer churns out (even with Chanel; Karl Lagerfeld sends some absolute shockers down the catwalk on occassion) but Luella was the exception. I had planned to live my young life in those fabulous designs and hoped to wear this dress for my 'special' birthday in June...

Tragically, that doesn't seem very likely now.

I have no idea why Luella closed, evidently there was some withdrawal of financial backing but I am utterly shocked that no one has offered (thus far) to offer support. Luella is such a lively, irreverent 'London' brand - and one that, in my opinion, showed the better side of London fashion that it seems utterly sensible to back it financially. I heard from a girl who was interning there during the crisis period that, apparently, the Spring/Summer 2010 pieces were being cut up with scissors to protect from copyright or similar - that, to my mind, is absolute fashion sacrilege and, of course, utterly tragic.

The designs were everything I aim for in my wardrobe - a mix of looks such as 'old lady on a cruise ship' (according to my Mother, this is my definining look!), schoolboy, tea drinker, bicycle rider... I'm rambling but there is quite literally something with Luella that you can't quite put your finger on; It is, quite simply, perfect. And whilst the only Luella item I own is the Autumn/Winter 2009/10 look book I stole from The Guardian, it doesn't stop me doing a blogging tribute to my very favourite designer of all time - hopefully (hopefully!) soon to be brought back to life in all its fabulous, technicolour glory.

Here are my Top Eleven (I just couldn't quite narrow it down to ten) Luella looks (with the exception of that glorious black heart dress)...












Tea Time

"The mere chink of cups and saucers tunes the mind to happy repose"

George Gissing, The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft

My thoughts on life (and tea) exactly.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Killing the Obituary Editor and other tales of my time at the Guardian

Without a shadow of a doubt (out come the clichés!), The Guardian is my absolute favourite newspaper of all time, bar none. I'm not some mad, raving lefty but I think it is - and I am - fairly modern and open minded these days and, even if it (and I) wasn't, I really wouldn't care. Look at the above photograph; There is only one word for it - A-mazing; Any newspaper supplement which can dedicate its front page to my very favourite activity is certainly all right by me!

In actual fact, I love the G2 more than the paper - let's face it, a lot more. Whilst I aim to be a 'serious' news journalist (perhaps crime correspondant?) I aim to be a 'serious' news journalist wearing Chanel. All I really care about outside of 'work' is fashion, clothing and style. Since the age of about 11, I have devoted my every waking moment to planning outfits and dreaming of Paris Fashion Week...

To me, the G2 section of The Guardian combine hard(ish) news with the 'frivilous' (not my word, ever) world of fashion perfectly. And so I was absolutely thrilled to be able to intern at the Fashion Desk for the University Christmas holidays.

The experience was varied, tiring, stylish (ha) but mostly it completely and utterly backed up my thoughts for the last decade - that I was, quite simply, born to be a reporter. I might not be God's gift to journalism but the absolute rush of excitement that comes from seeing your name in print / face on the 'news' (as, clearly, I know so well (or not) thanks to my many and varied 'journalistic' activities at University) simply cannot be beaten. My Mother, who was a journalist for 40 years tells me that it is 'the very best job in the world' and I am inclined to believe her.

It is, in my opinion, an absolute tragedy that newspapers are dying out... One of the happiest activities in my life is sitting down with the G2 and a cup of Earl Grey (the ultimate tea) and just being peaceful and content. You certainly can't feel like that whilst reading articles on a laptop.

The Guardian is so lively and vibrant and I hope it continues for as long as it possibly can - long enough, anyway, for me to get a column for it. I doubt that would happen but life aims are important!

During my time there, I went on a fashion shoot, hairdryed a model (so embarrassing but rather hilarious for all concerned, I'm sure!), sorted out an entire cupboard of lookbooks (sorting out is something that I would never, ever do in my own daily life so I feel that that definitely shows commitment to my career!), opened quite literally 2,000 pieces of post - including a number of fan letters to Hadley Freeman (I think she is fabulous, but I'm officially jealous), made various embarrassing phone calls, sent back hundreds of beautiful pieces of clothing etc etc etc. But, my top three Guardian highlights are as follows...

1) Seeing hundreds of hardened hacks 'oohing' and 'aahing' at the falling snow on foggy London town

2) Dropping 20 very heavy metal clothes rails on top of each other, causing an unbelievable racket and seeing said hundreds of hardened hacks staring at my idiocy in disbelief. Oops.

3) My absolute favourite aspect of my time there, however, was my impressive feat of dropping (there is clearly a theme here...) a LOT of look books right on to the Obituary Editor's head... How ironic it would have been had I killed the Obituary Editor! The whole Obits department moved floor the next day; I, apparently, 'put the final nail in the coffin'.

Oh dear.

Friday, 1 January 2010

New Year, New Blog - How horrifically clichéd.

Well, I have decided to start a blog because I am a very thrilling person, lead an extroadinarily thrilling life and clearly everyone will one day want to know of my wonderment. Actually not.

Anyway - whatever trevor. Let us begin. I feel that having a blog is the right thing to do - I'm a bit of a keen bean when it comes to writing (although not at the appropriate time - e.g. in essays. Oops.) I could make it a fashion blog as all I really actually care about is clothing but I am also thrilled by les autre activités and my daily life is SO exciting that, you know, it must be about that too...

As today is New Years' Day, you would expect a (relatively) young person such as myself to be 'recovering' from last night's 'high jinks'. However, I was stuck at home last night being a sickly Pete as I have been - as my Mother keeps reminding me - 'Three times since October'. Exciting times indeed.

So rather than going to Brighton with my two bestest school friends Emily and Julia - I sat at home and played Trivial Pursuit, drinking Chablis and (paraphrasing Absolutely Fabulous - my absolute favourite thing ever. I am Patsy) was taken into the sitting room by my Mother to watch the New Year in on 'telly'. Oh dear. Never mind, perhaps I will be as healthy as a horse for 2010, let's bally well hope so. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired!

And I have a lot to look forward to before heading - with a heavy heart - back to the horrific north and to University (on the plus side, in 5 weeks time, I will be half way through my degree and will never have to go north of Watford ever, ever again. Thank God)... I went to the Guardian (my favourite ever paper) for work experience before Christmas (and before I got snowed in / sickly) and am going again next week which should be thrilling. Clearly, there is a huge dilemna (just for the record, I can spell 'dilemma', I just feel it should have an 'n' in it for some reason. That's just how I feel) over what to wear - but perhaps outfit plans will come to me in a dream that would be a first... I really must concentrate on the work rather than the outfits though - that's always my downfall. Oops. And après that, I am going to Disneyland in Gay Paree with my most spethial fwend Hattie (and her sister Lucy and her best friend Bea) for Hattie's (aka Eddie - she is Eddie, I am Patsy - genius!) 21st birthday and I am soooooo excited. We went in the summer too, but we're staying in the nautical hotel this time so I'm sure lots of high jinks-esque sailor-y posing will be done... I so wish I was a sailor.

Righteho, Happy New Year and I wonder how long I'll keep this blog up... It's nice to have a record of what happened (and I've never managed to keep a remotely understandable diary ever, ever) but, on the other hand, I'm useless. We'll see!

P.S. (Can you do 'P.s.' when it's not a letter?) I know the blog looks rubbish and I want to get tea cups for the background but have no idea how to do it - I'm surprised I even managed to start a blog, to be perfectly honest! But I will work to get it looking fantastic (maybe) and also I know the title is rubbish but my sickness-addled brain may have stopped working - I can't even tell which is left and which is right at the moment. Oh dear.

P.P.S. (Now I'm certainly sure that you can't do a 'P.P.S' but I'm doing it anyway). The picture at the top is of a field near my house (contrary to popular belief, I don't actually live in a mobile home...) taken a few days ago when it was snowing (I didn't, heartbreakingly get to go sledging as I was so sickly) but I went for a walk to get apples or something mad with my Mother and a good 'journalist' always has a camera and this was the result. Ah-mazing.