Monday, 29 August 2011

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Beginning at the Beginning

Spent last weekend at the movies - the Nomad in Holland Park in the tented opera house on Friday and Sunday to see Some Like it Hot, on the former, and the wonderful Cinema Paradiso on the latter.  Both played to cinema loving full houses.  Comfortable and fun and pretty unexpectedly luxurious!  Then on to my favourite cinema club, the Lexi in Kensal Rise on the Saturday to see the well reviewed Beginners.  Best ever performance from Ewan who plays a guy mixed up emotionally by his father's decision to 'come out' following his mother's death shortly followed by his own.  But the film is a little 'cutsey' spending too much time on the blonde romantic aspects and less on the decision of the father which has long term consequences on those he leaves behind.  Despite these reservations, this is a film worth getting the DVD for (when it comes out!) whatever your leanings ....
Check out the Nomad's outdoor schedule - Queens Park in North London for Napoleon Dynamite next.

Friday, 26 August 2011

The Prada Foundation

Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli’s collection of modern and contemporary art was built with the same passionate independence that informs their fashion empire.  Part of the Biennale de Venice festival that continues until December the palazzo in which the Prada Foundations is housed is a gem.  Replete with ornamental details and rich materials, including red marble benches from Verona, yellow Lessinia stone, limestone steps from Istria, walnut doors, Venetian terrazzo floors, terra-cotta tiles, and wood-beamed ceilings. It is currently undergoing an exacting restoration, under the auspices of a Venetian bureau that protects architectural heritage and funded by the rent Prada is paying. (In exchange, the Foundation gets to occupy the palazzo for the next 6 to 12 years.) Catch it while you can!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

The Lyon roars at J.Crew

For those of you who have not yet heard about J. Crew and Jenna Lyons (pictured) - you soon will!  Shortly to arrive on these shores J.Crew is about to embrace British fashion lovers in a very big way and Jenna is the quirky young creative force behind the name.  Learn more from the interview below which first appeared in the National Post, Canada:

When the venerable American retailer J.Crew was born as a catalogue business in 1983, it was an ultra-preppy brand. Who could have imagined their signature look would evolve to include both madras stripe and saucy leopard print? Jenna Lyons started as an assistant designer in 1990, and as she ascended to become the company’s president and executive creative director, J.Crew’s glamour quotient grew accordingly. The opening of the retailer’s first Canadian store in Toronto on Thursday (with more stores to come in key cities across Canada) coincides with the launch of a new Canadian catalogue and website. Lyons and her much-admired personal style were in attendance, bringing with her the clinking of bracelets and an arresting Astroturf-green sequined pencil skirt paired with gauzy Breton-stripe sweater. Nathalie Atkinson sat down with Lyons to talk value, colour and feathers. Click images below to enlarge.

Q Styling plays an important role in the brand, both in merchandising the store and in the catalogue.

A And there’s a lot of personalization here [in Canada], which I love. That works really well for us because so much of what we do is about that, making things your own. We try to show a similar item in many different ways. One of the nice things about having a catalogue is that every month we’re able to show maybe the same sweater but completely differently. One month it might be with little shorts and ballet flats and really casual, the next a pencil skirt, more jewellery and more tailored, and the next might be with a slouchy men’s trouser. We also might be giving you a way to wear it that you hadn’t thought of, that moment of ‘I already own that sweater, maybe I’ll buy those pants.’ Or, oh gosh, you’d forgotten about a piece and pull it out and wear it a different way. That’s so important — that people feel that they’re getting value and quality out of something and not just style. I think everyone works really hard — we know what it means to part with your cash and want you to feel good about what you’ve bought. And also that there’s a quality of timelessness so that you’re not shelving it three months later and feeling just, ugh.

Q Since 2008, there’s been a monthly feature called Jenna’s Picks, singling out non-J.Crew products that you love. This seems to be a time, not just at J.Crew, but places like Net-a-Porter, when retailers are edging more and more into creating editorial for their customers.

A I think there is a need to make things feel a little more intimate and exciting and people are looking for a level of integrity, and a different level of interest, in something. For instance, we’ve been selling branded products that we buy like Sperry, Alden Shoes and Lulu Frost jewellery. One of the things of having that curated element and things feeling a bit more, to your point, editorialized is that it’s not all about us. It’s about our point of view on all kinds of things. I think people want that — most people don’t have the time to really shop and find things on their own, so being able to have something curated for someone well, nine times out of 10 you’re interested in the same things your friends are interested in. That’s how it works, right? So if you like the group of people who are making the clothes, chances are very good that you’re going to like some of the other things we’re looking at, whether it’s the best lipstick we think is out there or the right nail polish, the book, the sunscreen, the perfume or the record.

Q The approach to women’s collaborations seems a bit different from the mens heritage brands like Red Wing or Thomas Mason.

A There’s also for us, I think, a generosity of spirit to talk about somebody who’s maybe a young and unknown designer and give them some exposure that maybe they didn’t have. That is important to us, the idea of being generous, supporting those who don’t have the same voice, audience and exposure that we do. We mail three million catalogues a month so there’s a lot of people who get to see your name if you’re on a page! And that’s a nice thing to be able to do.

Q On the runways and in designer fashion, colour is the new neutral. J.Crew went heavy on colour this fall, too. How do you know when the core customer is ready for that trend, to make fuchsia pants the new basic?

A When we think about it too much, I think we stumble. We do what we think is right and there is a pulse that we feel inside the office. Do I think that [customers] were as ready for the fuchsia pant and the blue or red pant as we thought? They were actually so ready for it that we don’t have any more stock in it, which is kind of a bummer! I think we can under-estimate in some cases what the customer is ready for.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011


Here is an exciting opportunity to win the beautifully constructed book –‘Talk About Fashion’ by Parisian jounalist Catherine Schwaab.

‘Talk about Fashion’ is an exploration of defining moments in fashion history and discussions of sub-culture: from Mary Quant’s miniskirts of the 1960s to Alexander McQueen’s builders’ bums jeans in the 1990s and many more iconic brands, plus a great selection of men’s fashion. This is a must-have book for every true fashion lovers.

Published by Flammarion, Talk About Fashion was launched in April this year and retails at just under £17 with a host of full colour illustrations.

All you need to do is to ‘LIKE’ the Fashion Bloggers on Facebook and you’ll be put on our lucky draw to win our only copy! (But hurry! it will be ended in the end of August)

And of course you’re very welcome to check out the FashionBloggers and ‘Follow’ us on ‘Blog Lovin’.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Jude Law Flexes his Muscle!

Lucky enough to be invited along to view Jude Law and Ruth Wilson in powerful performances at the Donmar, I mistakenly turned up at the Almeida!  A heart stopping 18 minutes later I dismounted from an expensive taxi ride at the correct theatre to be informed by several men that they too had made this mistake in the past.
It is not until the second scene that Law hauls himself over the barge's edge from near death in treacherous waters to explode on stage, literally, heaving well-toned bare and oiled chest to take physical command of the performance with a faltering Irish accent.  He does not steal the show from Ruth Wilson whose performance is outstanding but is her equal. The intimacy of the Donmar makes the performances even more powerful.  However, the story itself is disappointing.  Our ending (as there isn't one):  both father and lover die at seat en route to Cape Town and Ruth goes back on the street.  What's yours?

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Miu My Prada

Prada's left-field reference points in the Resort collection 2012 embodied Miucci's wilfull decade hopping approach: from a prim floral dress with a doubled Peter Pan collar, shirred waist, and pleated skirt to a sexily demure (is that possible?) sheer black lace piece. From Mad Men  to Hitchcock blondes, cardigans demurely buttoned,  this collection  threatens to infiltrate our lives with offbeat seductiveness.
Check out the collars and neckerchiefs on these Ascot style ladies and be the first to lead the trend!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Hermes & Pucci check out these Vans!

If only print genius's Hermes and/or Pucci would put their prints on sneakers there would be a riot!

Saturday, 6 August 2011


The cast of Betrayal at the Comedy theatre is outstanding:  one of our favourite actresses, Kristin Scott Thomas superb as the "thinking mans fantasy" Joan Bakewell, the definitely not good-looking Douglas Henshall as the incredibly sexy Harold Pinter, and handsome Ben Miles as the cuckolded (but also cuckolding) husband.  True to life how the men seem  so reasonable and rational about their infidelities whilst the unfaithful wife appears irrational and emotional about her affair whilst in fact is equally justified (or unjustified as the case may be) in her unfaithfullness.  Loved the fact that the play has not aged but is REAL theatre - real life re-enacted.  The genius of Pinter!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

McQueen's Show Stopper

At the Met, McQueen’s Final Showstopper (IHT)

“… While he was revered in fashion, and his runway shows were among the most closely watched, almost no one could have imagined that, as the subject of a museum exhibition, Mr. McQueen would prove to be almost as popular as Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh.”

“Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty’’ at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a “celebration of the designer’s wild, unfettered and dark imagination: gothic Victoriana, dresses tufted with blood-red feathers, decorated with dying flowers or rattling with clamshells,’’ Suzy Menkes writes. Mr. McQueen died last year.

Here a digitally enhanced image by the photographer Solve Sundsbo transforms living models into museum mannequins in a photo from a book that accompanies the exhibition.

"The exhibition is exciting, stimulating and thought-provoking — and a raw vision of the wild McQueen imagination,” Ms. Menkes concludes.

Images and copy taken from the New York Times, Business of Fashion and IHT.