Sunday, 8 April 2012

Three Ways To Get Minted

Straight up, I am not a pastels person. They make me look kind of washed out. Ice cream colours on the other hand, I can deal with and this season, I selected my favourite colour of the palette, embodied in one pair of jeans from Falmers and mixed it up for different occasions. 

Here in the UK we have been told spring has arrived, but so far it has happened pretty much only on the catwalk so I'm brining it to the streets in jeans that will keep me warm in the changeable climate while having a ball with the over-the-waist options.

In this first look all you need to do is add your favourite band sweater and some biker boots and you are good to rock. My chosen gig? Kings of Leon of course! A couple of years ago they released this pastel yellow tour t and I had to get me some.

Here I am sexing up the jeans with a crop top (Matalan) and ribbon-laced heels (Office). The headtie keeps it sweet and the lace overlay jersey jacket (River Island) keeps me cosy.

Even we of the grey skies and broken promises of sunshine need to feel the beach vibe every now and then. Pairing my jeans with this Matthew Williamson for H&M scarf gives that flyaway feeling when the sun peeps out - even if the breeze is cool! (Yellow wedges Miss Sixty).

 The possiblities Just go on and on. Now that I'm writing I have a mind to wear the jeans with my lilac pinstripe Lucy Adams Bespoke shirt. 

How would you wear it? 

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Feeling Blue

Having arrived in Worcestershire via Chinnor yesterday I am feeling blue in a big way.

This is not depression, but nostalgia...

I purchased a powder blue knitted jumper for the bargain price of 1.00GBP at the recent Gear Change Fashion Event. I turned up at the family get-together in Chinnor to find my maternal grandmother, Myrtle dressed in at least two items of a similar shade. The Hammond matriarchal palette seems to be anything from grey blue through powder blue to cornflower and french navy. Not surprisingly I find myself craving vintage boys dressing gowns and my childhood sky blue bedroom walls. Thankfully my parents' ridiculously spacious bathroom is painted a similar colour and my mother somewhat intuitively has given me the use of a baby blue bath sheet for the duration of our stay here. Perhaps these associations explain my adoration of the Swiss Blue Topaz ring I bought myself in 2008 as an independence gift.

I have a similar relationship with the colours ranging from pale turquoise to jade and teal. My paternal grandmother, Helen Constance was deeply enamoured of these shades. In my own home decor Helen is most poignantly reflected in a beautiful vintage teal bedspread given to me by my dear friend Lena Dunkin, of The Lady Magazine on a visit to her country home.

When Helen Constance died in 2007 I was sad that I hadn't spent more time near her especially in the last couple of years of her life. She was a really wonderful woman. She attended finishing school and was a shining example of the perfect woman and wife of her generation. She made the concept seem romantic rather than outmoded and her occasional naughty streak, (I put this down to growing up in the 20s and 30s lucky thing!), strengthened rather than weakened my admiration of the feminine ideal she represented. Her independence came to the fore when my Grandfather died at a rather young age. I was only 4 at the time and she lived at least 30 years without him, never looking at another man again. Helen was undeniably matriarchal and an inspiring example both for the men and women of our family.

Flights of family fancy aside, however, these shades of blue will always be held as dear as the women who wear/wore them. xxx

Friday, 23 March 2012

Lucid Logic - free music download comp!

You may recall that last September I was part of an exciting songwriting week with a collective called Lucid Logic. Well the fruits of these considerable creative labours is finally available for you to hear.

The tracks are a surprising blend of blues, garage and funk and after the hours spent mixing them with producer Ozz LP I am confident that they will get you on your feet! I wrote the more low-key 'Siren Blues' which is due to be played (all going well) on the Monkey Tennis Lab show on RadioLab. Podcasts are available after the shows here.

Look us up on iTunes here or, if you are feeling lucky, email me at and the first 7 emails will receive a link to a free download!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Boldy Locks & The 3 Hairs

 We all love a natural beauty, although we all know that these days, achieving that takes a great deal of effort! But what about unnatural beauty? If there is a place for unnatural beauty in this world of ours surely this is it, in the hub of creative fashionistas and fashionistos. I have a theory that people these days, due to the tendency of many to colour their hair, wouldn't know the difference between natural hair and dyed hair if their life depended on it. For some time my hair was raven black and it never failed to surprise me when people said “But you're naturally dark.” Quite the opposite was true. More recently I have taken the plunge into a hair colour that can in no way be mistaken for being natural. And suddenly I find myself in a fashion-dilemma. What to wear? Fashion always offers two great possibilities when it comes to colour, what I have dubbed The Blend and The Clash. I confess that with the existing reds and pinks in my wardrobe I am struggling with the Blend. Why? Because my hair colour at present loosely resembles Candy Canes, or (for the British amongst us) Rhubarb and Custard sweets. So I look to the fashion-focused of Chictopia for inspiration...
Beautiful_Loser here is a good example of the blend. The teal urban outfitters top strengthens the blue theme without becoming too overpowering and the blue jeans just cool the whole look down to the tips of her studded toes.

Beneaththeglass is an inspiration as far as unnatural haircolour is concerned, and the way she has blended her unintentional mixed colour hair with this skirt is nothing short of talented. Having admired the blending, she employs the Clash masterfully here against the black leather jacket.

Here Cammila uses The Clash to gorgeous effect in one of my favourite colour combination, cobalt blue with hot pink. The look is at the same time daring and restrained. The cappuccino shoes come from a totally different natural/nude palette but still work as they are tonal with the more naturally coloured part of her hair. The silver glow ties it all together. 

Notwithoutincident evidently shares my opinion that blue goes with... well, everything and her back-catalogue of looks is well worth a peep as they are both daring and magnetic. Rather than the blue hair being an obstacle to overcome, she uses it as an excuse for an anything-could-happen attitude that brings joy to a fashionista's eyes!

My conclusion? Why be conservative if you have taken the bold step of making your locks such a statement element of your daily looks? As we have seen so beautifully showcased by our fellow Chictopians, as always, anything is possible...

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Life's Bright with Nine West

Life's Bright with Nine West

Sass Bide silk top
$666 -

Mara Hoffman bikini swimwear
$220 -

Nine West platform high heels
$89 -

Nine West envelope clutch
$69 -

Linda Farrow yellow sunglasses
$165 -

Beach Herm├Ęs Beach Pareos
$320 -

A look I have created for a Nine West Competition. 
I actually really want all these items! 
(of course I do... duh!)

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Vodafone London Fashion Weekend

What a glorious finale to London Fashion Week this event has been!

Eager fashionistas have been flooding into Somerset House all weekend in the hope of fresh inspiration and a designer bargain. It promised to be the shopping event of the year and it certainly didn't disappoint. Loaded with labels from Victor & Rolf to Vivienne Westwood, Jacey Withers to Missoma (Jewellery) and Junky Styling to Henrietta Ludgate (eco) it was a veritable smorgasboard for the fashion-inducted. And just as with that overwhelming feast there was the sense that there was just too much to squeeze into the 4 hour slot that our tickets allowed us. We in fact ended up browsing for much longer but fortunately, our continued curiosity was welcomed by vendors.

The catwalk show was a gorgeous highlight. Designers Holly Fulton (SS12 Collection), Prim Rose, Antipodium (AW12 Collection), Game on, and Jasper Conran (SS12 Collection) brought their best to the catwalk, lapped up by the enthusiastic audience.

Holly Fulton was not untouched by the tribal with her embellished peices, a fantastic white jacket over a swimsuit being one of my favourites and magnetic prints coming  a hot second.

Prim Rose was a fusion of cute and preppy both for men and women, sorbet-fresh and light as a feather after the bold colour blocking of last year. 

Antipodium showcased peices that are the creative children of Geoffrey J Finch. Inspired by the creatives have gathered around him in his London studio, Finch, together with Ashe Peacock, the boutique's creator have designed a collection with edginess and not a little humour. Finch himself describes the collection as 'tongue-in-chic'. Sadly my photography skills were shoved aside so I could enjoy the moment, but check out full details here

Game On have embraced what is probably my favourite current trend, sports luxe. What collection claiming to be sports-anything could avoid an 80s Fame reference here and there. Never was there a better excuse to indulge that dormant I'm-a-dancer attitude with crops, clashing prints and neon brights to light the way. My favourite? The pink dress of course!

Jasper Conran of course couldn't fail to impress. With his lengthy experience in the fashion industry, his collection was mature, chic and gorgeous enough for me to drop the multitasking and once again embrace the moment. 
Lena Dunkin of The Lady magazine keeps me in line

What? I can't buy anymore shoes??

 Of course we had the inevitable dissection at the Chambord bar afterwards! My feet had given up anyway... I can only say THANK YOU Muu Baa...