Passage to India part 2

Day seven and I feel like I’ve been here for weeks. Funny how magazine offices seem to be the same the world over. Whatever country you’re in, the internet’s iffy, the assistants spend all day on Facebook and no-one wants to load the paper in the printer. However, working on a launch is totally different to working on a regular magazine. For starters, you hit the ground running from day one. I have already organised a location shoot – something that in an ideal world takes at least three weeks – in the space of three days.

One of my blogger pals (you know who you are) gave me a heads-up on a couple of Indian photographers. As luck would have it, one of them is available for my shoot next Friday and is a real non-control-freak sweetie. Result! He gets what we are doing and is happy to collaborate on our vision. After a recce to the location on Tuesday, I went yesterday morning to pay the deposit for the location fee. (All transactions here are paid in cash.) Of-course, Indians work on their own slow-time so arriving at what I thought was a reasonable time – 10am – I found that the organisers’ office was closed as they don’t pitch up til 10.30am. No worries, I whiled away the half hour watching the filming of an Indian soap. (Without giving too much away, my location is at the equvalent of Elstree Studios where they film Eastenders.) I also had a chance to check out the toilets as instructed by my English editor. As my photographer had pointed out, the hole-in-the-ground toilets aren’t quite up to scratch so we will need to employ the services of a ‘vanity van’, complete with flushable loo. Note to self: Do.Not.Forget.This. Something tells me that when we shoot at the Saltwater Grill restaurant (yup, the exact same place where Madonna ate two nights ago) in a few weeks, we won’t have to worry about this.

What’s new?

Is it just me or does the cycle of so-called trends get more and more predictable every season?

On seeing a page of ’50s frocks in December’s Harpers Bazaar, my boyfriend D asked me if we were about to experience a ’50s revival. I replied that I thought that was impossible, as the last fifties revival hadn’t finished running its course yet. We still have ballet pumps, wide belts and prom dresses although agreed, there is some mileage left in Winehouse-inspired beehive hair-dos and check shirts. What could be next, kitten heels?

Looking at the January Harpers Bazaar, the trend round-up left me cold. Florals, Safari, Transparency, Brights, Prints, …um sorry, but weren’t these the ‘new’ trends last summer? As a fashion editor, it pains me to have to write about these trends as if we’ve never seen them before – our readers aren’t blind or stupid! One trend I have noticed is the fashion-hybrid trend. Susie Bubble mentions this here* in her post about the new acid-hued Dr Marten boots which she would love to see paired with neon-bright floral frocks. Genius! Let’s call it acid-grunge. Like everything else, hybrid trends aren’t that new of course, I’ve been adding ‘Luxe’ to many a trend to give them a new spin. ‘Sport-Luxe’ was a big one for Spring 07 (silk tracksuits and satin parkas a la Marni) while ‘Pop-luxe’ was a micro-trend for Autumn-Winter 07 but didn’t make it big so can probably be strung out for another season. This spring will be the turn of ‘Utility-Luxe’ – translation: boiler suits and silk cargo pants zhuzhed up with heels.

Aside from these, precious few trends are stirring my creativity. The ones that are: Paint splatter/brush stroke prints at Chloe and Dolce & Gabbana, Stars at Chanel and YSL, Pyjama dressing at Prada and Chloe, and Grey Gardens/Topsy-turvy styling at Marc Jacobs.

Pics: Dolce & Gabbana from, Dr Martens

RIP Ettore

Italian designer Ettore Sottsass has died at the age of 90. I always wanted one of the iconic red Valentine typewriters he designed for Olivetti. Maybe now is the time to get one…

Keira beats Audrey?

This just in from WGSN:

The bias-cut emerald green dress sported by Keira Knightley in hit 2007 film Atonement, has been voted the best film costume of all time in a survey run by Sky Movies and InStyle magazine.

Worn by Knightley’s character, Cecilia Tallis, in the period drama written by Ian McEwan, the backless silk gown beats Marilyn Monroe’s infamous white dress from The Seven Year Itch, which took second place, and Audrey Hepburn’s little black Givenchy dress from Breakfast At Tiffany’s, which was third.

Also included in the top 10 are Olivia Newton-John’s skintight trousers in Grease, Kate Winslet’s blue gown in Titanic, Diane Keaton’s tie and waistcoat in Annie Hall, Nicole Kidman’s corset in Moulin Rouge, Liza Minnelli’s stockings and bowler hat in Cabaret, Cate Blanchett’s regal gown in Elizabeth: The Golden Age and Vivien Leigh’s billowing dress in Gone with the Wind.

Art and commerce

Is it just me or is there really a Keith Haring trend bubbling under? These menswear outfits from the McQ by Alexander McQueen SS08 collection remind me of my interview at St Martins for the art foundation course many years (or even decades) ago. Asked who my favourite artist was I stumbled “Um, Keith Haring… for his use of colour” before tailing off unconvincingly. I didn’t get in.

Five new fashiony things I learnt this week

1) Balenciaga opens its first London store at 12 Mount Street, W1 in Feb 2008.

2) The new online-zine-slash-blog is now live. The result of a collaboration between bloggers Madelene Lindqvist ( and Asta Hiippala (, it promises to update with new articles several times a week. I enjoyed reading Out of Season, a commentary on how almost every week is a ‘fashion week’ of some kind or other.

3) Who’s keeping up with news on the Mulberry-go-round? Stuart Vevers has departed Mulberry for Loewe. Katie Grand (super-scruffy stylist who consults for Prada and edits Pop magazine) was due to take over as creative director but resigned before she’d even started. (Anyone know the goss?) Newly appointed as creative director is Emma Hill, the wonderkid who zhuzhed up Gap the first time it ‘got good’ a few years ago (I’m still rocking my washed-cotton barrel bag from the summer of 03) and has spent the last couple of seasons heading up accessories at Chloe. I have high hopes for Ms Hill so let’s see what she comes up with.

4) New hot book alert! Modern Menswear is written by journalist Hywel Davies and profiles 36 menswear designers including such modern visionaries as Raf Simons, Hedi Slimane and Kim Jones. Menswear is interesting me more than womenswear at the mo, so I’m looking forward to this one. Published Feb 2008 by Laurence King.

5) Gossip Girl is coming to ITV2 this month! Nuff said.