Friday, 4 February 2011

Hook Art

Walls, when empty, are essentially one great big canvas and the choice of adornments are limitless but for some reason we always reach for a picture. Being married to a film man, we are never short of photos that can be blown up and framed as great prints but I don't believe walls should be solely covered in 2D images. For me, a bit of shaking it up adds interest and personality to a space and now our new hallway is shaping up to be my new favourite room (see dark days post), I'm going to act it out in full effect!      
 The first things to bite the dust are our old hooks and quite frankly good riddance to them. Ugly old things that I happily suffocated in overflowing bags and coats, they didn't love me and I certainly never loved them. The thing is, in this Victorian terrace, that we have come to love, there ain't no room for hiding your 'dumping stuff.' So if we're going to see it, then I want to smile at it. And so, in anticipation of a new hallway, I have collated my hook collection over the last twelve months and it's looking good. 
 The only problem is, small infants have been seen trying to hang coats on them. God forbid!

Don't touch!

Just look!

To be hung please, Boss man?!

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Dress Me Up.

Even Marlene loved a bit of dress.
(-when she was getting her smoking suits washed.)

For  someone who spends 364 days of the year in trousers I have an awful lot of dresses. I can't quite explain why, maybe it is the 'just add underwear and you are done' appeal of them or maybe it is the 'I'm going to go out and party ... one day' promise they give me but as it stands, I have plenty more than I need. However, on every occasion I have worn one of them, I have had an amazing time, simply because I still get that little-girl-going-to-a-party rush and I couldn't care if I was really just having tea round at Tina'. 
You see, the dresses I am drawn to are almost always second-hand finds and I'm not talking hundreds of pounds vintage styley. It might seem easier to just totter into a normal clothes shop but you won't leave with the same smug expression then if you had just scooped a brilliant one-off bargain. Throw caution to the wind. Stand out. Embrace the moth-balley hum, the  tear down the seam and the suspicious brown stain, all of that is fixable and you know that no-one else is going to be swanning around in it' twin. Vintage takes you far enough back in time to let yourself behave like an old party-loving socialite lush. 
So next time you are trying to find yourself a bit of something different, don't head for the High street, the boutique or god-forbid, net-a-porter (who buys those £££££££ dresses ONLINE!). Go for a proper rummage around those aladdin' cave type of shops and bag yourself a proper little gem.

That'll be £40 for a BAFTA dress...
(yes, even Angie' looked me up and down in this!)
£35 for a birthday party dress...
£42 for a friend' posh dinner dress...
£15 for a tea at Tina' dress...
£28 for a Hardy Amies I used to work dress!
... and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

A Bush Woman Makeover

Lovely hair.  Lovely pots. 

Hair has never been my strong point. I have lots of it and it simply co-exists with everything south of my head in a very independent, I'm doing my own thing kind of fashion. And that's fine. I've grown used to that, some might even say 'nurtured' that because when it comes to my hair, I simply haven't got the inclination to give it the time it probably needs. 
It isn't that it is in poor condition (although I do remember some grimaces from various different hairdressers over the years) or lifeless (if I wanted a quick laugh from the kids, a nifty brush of the locks and you are looking at a human mushroom head). No, it's more that gorgeous hair, you know the stuff that swings, shines and looks like glass is ONE MASSIVE EFFORT. And life is too short for that. So, having been christened 'bush woman' by my caring older siblings since the age of about seven (when I nonchalantly went from long to short with a couple of sharp hacks), I have carried my cross and I think bore it pretty well until...I met Willow!
Here is a woman/girl (too pretty and with it to be called 'woman')who has that innate ability to always look great AND be really , well, nice. That is fine, I can handle that. The world is a better place for it but then I forgot to mention that she also has...amazing hair! Now, the reason this always throws me is because she doesn't look or behave like an 'I've got great hair because I love washing/straightening/fussing' sort of girl. I thought I had an excuse up until now - to look good, don't fuss, and then Willow came along and blew all of that out of the water. Bummer. So what's her secret?
-Any oil?
-NO! You don't want to smell of a chip shop. She uses a mixture of herbs and oils passed on to her by Bedouin arabs when she lived in the Middle East. You massage it into your mop once or twice a week, leave it for 30 minutes or overnight before washing it out and revealing a whole new wig of hair.
-Lovely. Lovely but I told you that I'm into low maintenance.
-Don't worry! She has started hand making individual bottles of the oil from home, which you can now buy at diverse, in North London...
-You mean even I could have hair like Willow'?!
-Miracles have been known to happen.
-I'll take the lot.

Bush Woman and her loyal companion, Bowl Head.

Organic Hair Food by Willow - £29 at Diverse.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

She's Good

Yes, I'm cool and no you can't talk to me.

It isn't often that I've said this, in fact, only two or three (not dead) designers have been given my all important thumbs up but Phoebe Philo is pretty good. As the relatively new creative director of Celine, an old French fashion house that has needed some updating for a while, Philo has managed to pull the label back, slap bang into the epicentre of the fashion spotlight. This designer is having her moment and as her last pre-collection recently shows, she is right on the money.
Since capsizing my own fashion boat some time ago now, I've enjoyed the freedom to buy some more questionable items, flirt with some more girly styles and mostly not think twice or even once about what I'm going to pull on. There is something very liberating about getting out of the fashion business. It had reached a point where I could only be critical of others collections and buying from another label was almost cheating on my own. (Not that I could anyway, I was constantly broke!) I had a total love hate of the world it encompassed. 
And now? Well, from my bright green doored - yes, I did it!(? - see Knock Knock post)- Stokey distance, it doesn't look so bad and now Ms Philo is doing something that I totally agree with, I often think, maybe. Maybe we could be friends. Maybe I could throw ideas around the studios of Celine for a few hours a day, in between kiddy duties and be a part of that old world for a second time. Maybe I could talk clothes, sleep clothes, eat (well, okey, too far) ... maybe I could BE FASHION all over again. Then I remember why I'm writing this post. Fashion doesn't need me. Phoebe is going to rescue your dilemmas. So go and buy mod style trousers, narrow shouldered jackets and break out and embrace a bit of leopard print. (- sounds scary but if worn in the right way...) Couple all that with a very cool persona and you've got a really expensive look. Actually there is my problem. Cool, aloof, distant. No. Not genetically possible. I'm leaving it too Phoebe and I think you'll be in good hands.

  8(!) yr old collection of mine
.... and one more.

Monday, 31 January 2011

'Oh, waiter woman...!'

they need to be moooi'd!

Big family, big table. 
We had a brilliant table which we have loved and smeared for the last fourteen years but it stopped working for us when the Moo came along. Suddenly, if anyone came round to join us for any meals they might find themselves perched on the sofa or sharing their seat with a wriggly bottomed child. Space around our social hub was becoming an issue.
Of course, being the slightly odd character that I am, I immediately knew where to find our solution. Moooi. It has been about six years that I have been yacking on about this particular table although I hadn't seen it in the 'flesh' until it was ceremoniously carried into the house on Friday. (The ceremony involved two normal delivery men and one over-excited ceremony creating mad woman.) The reason I hadn't seen it is because most of these tables are ordered in black or brown or white but I had another plan. So after much longing for, putting money aside and then ordering, it is here and in my opinion IT'S FLIPPIN' GREAT!

The Moo man from Stoke Newington says....Yes!

(Reasons it works: 1.)square room = round table   2.)technical material on base balances with thick oak top   3.)bright colour adds a bit of personality to a normally boring colored item of furniture that TAKES UP SOOOOO MUCH ROOM so don't be boring about it!   4.) Asa Moo says Yes! and he is super cool, now eats with a silver knife and fork, always clears up AND he leaves a tip.)


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Who is this Lady?

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went to st.martins,graduated as a fashion designer, worked in italy, set up my own womenswear label, married a lovely man and then stopped everything (well, almost) to pop out four little boys. have plans. will do.