A little bit of culture

Whilst cooking a roast this afternoon (chicken - I made the yorkshire puddings from scratch) my mum had left Radio 4 on in the background. I have no idea what programme it was, but all of a sudden I was listening to a poem I haven't heard in years. It took me back to a time when my dad would read me his favorite poetry and then being the precocious 12 year old that I was, I would read them out in English class, much to the amusement of my peers (yet another nail in my social coffin).

I remember this one in particular, remember thinking how beautiful it was, how it flowed. I didn't get it at the time, never having dared even talk to a boy, not really knowing or even comprehending how age or love or regret affect a person, maybe I still don't, but I still think its one of the most evocative poems I've ever read.

Edna St. Vincent Millay - Sonnet XLIII

"What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply,
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone,
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.

And on a lighter note, here are those puddings... There's a homemaker in me yet...

Emma Watson for People Tree

Fairtrade fashion pioneers People Tree have teamed up with girl-of-the-moment Emma Watson to create a capsule collection for a younger audience. A combination of preppy separates and girly embellishment, makes this a fantastic way to invest in clothes that make a difference.

There is nothing particularly groundbreaking in the designs, but it is the fact that they are so wonderfully everyday and simple that is their greatest charm, people won't buy them simply because they're fairtrade but because they actually like the clothes. With a lower price point than their usual collections, I can see all these pieces flying off their virtual shelves as soon as they become available - it says Feb 8th on the email, so only a week to go.

I've got my eye on that cricket jumper, £90 - I've wanted one for so long and this one is perfect! Fabulous fashion that feels good.


My pink bag and me

She might not look like much to you, but this pretty, squishy, quilted pink tote and I have been through a few adventures. A fiver from the Marc by Marc store, it has served me well but sadly I think that it might be near retiring age. Battered, bruised and losing all of the faux leather edges, I want to quit before it falls to pieces. I'm sentimental like that I suppose, so here is a little blog entry dedicated entirely to it, so that everyone can see that this was the best designer purchase I have ever made. (Sniff).


Little purple bow

I bought this Luella-alike bow quite a while ago, cleverly taking advantage of a free shipping offer from Miss Selfridge. Considering the bow was reduced to £2, I thought it was quite a triumph.

I thought that It had fallen into the usual black hole until this weekend it turned up in a drawer in the hallway.

Thought I'd wear it out on Saturday now that my fringe is no longer Galaxy Quest length and record the 'before' shots. Also love the way my new Victoriana-inspired boots seem to make all my outfits that little bit cooler. Not the most inspired of outfits but then again not awful enough to hide it away from the world... plus that bow really is rather lovely.

(Jumper, shirt - Zara, Skirt - American Apparel, Tights - Tabio, Boots - Office, Hairband - Miss Selfridge.)


Double Take

Above - Stella McCartney working bold stripes and and pretty florals in one wonderfully Parisian-meets-grandmothers-tapestry-bag package.

Below - Asos getting in on the action.

(Stella McCartney @ Net-a-porter £545, Asos (a more reasonable) £38)


Hello boys

This wonderfully coquettish T-shirt is sure to turn a few heads out and about... not exactly a wonder bra, but then again I'm not exactly a buxom Czech model so perhaps this is the more sensible option. Don't want to be causing crashes on roundabouts now do I?

£22 - Topshop


A rainy day moment

Having recently come across this super little number I thought I'd share it with the world. At £75 its a little steep for a brolly, but with Alber Elbaz' smiling face all over it you might just end up hoping it will rain.


Saturday adventures

So what do you do on the first Saturday of the year where leaving your house isn't akin to braving the arctic? Go shopping, obviously. It wasn't my original plan to spend as much money as I did, in fact I was looking for a few plastic pieces for a fancy dress party in the evening, but as my friend and I splashed through the puddles on a virtually deserted Brick Lane, a little man popped his head out of a doorway and pointed to a sign saying 'HUGE vintage fashion fair'. Now when men try and lure you into buildings in the East End, sometimes its better to keep going, but our interest having been peaked we wondered into what turned out to be a little warehouse of wonders.

Nacho Libre?

I bought the top in the middle for £10 from a woman looked rather like a young Diana Ross, big hair and everything. This was when I thought that I was going to have a bargain hunting day... Turns out this lovely top has a few bead strands missing, also that wonderful Gok-like flower was covering a rather large tear that has been repaired by someone with a my first sewing kit, still love it though, will look awesome with jeans.

If you're in need of a wedding dress... or some hi-tops...

And so we come to my little extravagance, having coveted many a beautiful fur of my very stylish co workers, I wasn't ever really expecting to find one as lovely as this. So when I saw it and tried it on, I felt much like Cinderella must have with the glass slipper, that this was my perfect fit. So most probably swindled by a true London gentleman I handed over the princely sum of £140, for an immaculate blue fox fur jacket from the 1980s, he kindly gave me two plastic carrier bags on account of the rain. Lovely.

That no spending money resolution has definitely gone to merde... Oh well!


Love love love

These amazing sets of nail polishes from American Apparel. Being sold in beautifully complimentary or clashing sets of three, they're currently only £12 (reduced from £15). The only problem I foresee is which color to use first or whether to go a bit playschool and use them all at once because they just look so darn pretty together!

Just a small town girl...

Who loves Glee right now? After two episodes I'm absolutely hooked with this teen comedy/musical hybrid - that really lets face it is meant for us adults (or those of us in our twenteens) . All I wanted to do was join in and sing and dance in front of the TV (I was alone so technically would have been ok....) but still it gives you an idea of the uplifting effect this clever little series.What struck me second, after the sheer joy at the singing and dancing, was that a fashion star has been born in Rachel Berry's Type-A personality preppy dressing. With strong echoes of Clueless, mixed in with a little of Reese Witherspoon in Election, it seems that this current 90s revival isn't all about body-con dresses and big eyebrows.

Argyle knee-high socks, sleeveless vests, pleated skirts, cable knit jumpers and shirts done up to the chin... Rachel works geek chic like the rest of us only wish we could. She isn't self-aware like the Shoreditch set we're so used to with their oversized T-shirts, geek glasses and brogues - Alexa Chung with her personalised Mulberry bag... ahem... She is sleek, polished and as calculated in her selections as London kids are in their claiming that they've 'just thrown it together'. Preppy is minimal, no jewellery, no bows, no embellishments and almost completely put together from separates.

So here is a little attempt at putting together the look from whats available at the moment. A little bit of Uniqlo, American Apparel, Topshop as well as a few designers thrown in for your perusal...Perhaps we could start a whole movement of 'gleeks' around London....


Now this is what I call a cardigan...

Slouchy, oversized and wonderful Topshop have just become my favorite highstreet shop once again because of this number. Perfect for layering over floral dresses, or just about anything, its all I can do not to order it only. Pity i'm not buyin anything until I lose half a stone... only 7lbs to go then! Haha.

£50 Topshop.


Voila le highstreet!

(Images from Asos, Topshop and Urban Outfitters)

So I always love it when things start to come across a little French, cliche or not, there's something inspiring about the way our Gallic counterparts throw things together. As readers of this blog well know, one day it is my aim (when skinny and pouty enough) to always throw this together in this irreverent way. Now the highstreet is determined to make this wish a reality - if somewhat a stereotypical cookie-cutter one.

Not sure how many Parisennes would actually be caught dead wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the Eiffel Tower, or in fact wear polka dots, stripes or even a beret, but a pasty English girl can dream.

With Asos, Urban Outfitters and Topshop as front runners of soon-to-be popular trend, I thought I'd create this little collage of my favorite looks available right now.

It seems that being French requires the following wardrobe requirements:
Breton stripes, plenty of them
Bow embellished, shoes, hair, knitwear, bags
Spots and stripes
Lace and Lanvin-style lady-like jewellery
A mostly black, white and navy pallet with the exception of...
A classic camel trench and..
The odd splash of pale pink.

C'est simple!
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