Quote of the day

“There’s that feeling ‘Oh, night time’s coming again, thank goodness. It’s like a comfort. The whole feeling changes. The sun’s going away, you can go out. It just feels more comforting to me. And it is like velvet.”
Kate Moss goes into PR-speak overdrive at the launch of her new fragrance, Velvet Hour

Pic: popsugar.com

Tagged: Seven songs for spring

Madame from Shop at Maison B has tagged me to list my ‘seven songs I’m into right now’. Oh where to start? I must be the only person in London who never listens to her ipod. I mean I have one, but I never listen to it, which means that when I do decide to give it a whirl, it’s run out of charge. And also *whispers*… I don’t know how to upload it. I know, I’m a techno-moron, really I am.

To be honest, I’m quite happy playing my crackly old tapes (only £2 from the record & tape exchange!) so the winner of most-played song so far this spring/summer is The Jackson Five, Girl You’re So Together. In fact, I highly recommend any greatest hits Jackson Five album, every song’s a winner!

When I’m not listening to tapes, I listen to my treasured 45s. This week it’s The Mighty Wah, The Story Of The Blues. Talk about an uplifting anthem, Phil Spector eat your heart out mate! Another uplifting sing-a-long-a-belter from many moons ago (sorry I don’t do ‘modern’ music apart from cute-looking French bands) is The Flirtations, I’m Gonna Be There. Pure feel-good music to lift you out of the biggest doldrum. I don’t know a jot about them but D brought this home last month and I make him play it on a daily basis – gotta love those heartwarming harmonies.

The song I’ve had in my head all week is Phoenix, Too Young from the Lost in Translation soundtrack. In fact, the entire album is amazing, not a duff song throughout. And the intro to Jesus & Mary Chain’s Just Like Honey at the end always stop me dead in my tracks (which reminds me, must see that film again).

When I’m not listening to tapes and vinyl, I listen to music on YouTube. Joe Strummer’s version of Redemption Song is really touching not least because of the intro to this video (spot the Jim Jarmusch cameo). I’m so going to visit that mural when I go to New York in September.

Another blast from the past that’s come back to haunt me is Orange Juice, Falling & Laughing. I went to see Edwyn Collins play at Shepherds Bush Empire a few weeks ago and it was beyond fabulous. Silly me, I only realised recently that Falling & Laughing is about 20 years old and not the fairly new track that I thought it was. Finally, the Beach Boys is the soundtrack to my summer every summer. Their song Disney Girls helped inspire my blog so it’s gotta be my number 7.

The rules of the game as set by Simon Reynolds: “List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they’re not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now, shaping your spring. Post these instructions in your blog along with your 7 songs. Then tag 7 other people to see what they’re listening to.”
I’m tagging:

(WARNING: Do not attempt this exercise in a hurry. Once you get on Youtube, you’ll get hopelessly sidetracked by videos like this, this and this.)

On Helmut, Jil, Joseph, Juergen, Corrine, Kirsten and Stella

As Jen at Mahalo fashion bemoans, every drop of interest has been squeezed out of the ’70s so what’s next on the retro rehash front? I hate to say it but the fact cannot be ignored, it’s time for the nineties revival proper. It’s had a couple of false starts, the latest being nu-rave, but I think we can start looking at the 90s revival from a grown-up point of view. As Fashionista reports that 1990s finest alterna-models Kirsten Owen and Stella Tennant are rumoured to be the faces of Marc Jacobs’ fall campaign, I’m thinking the following will start looking fresh now:

Skinny black suit trousers and pointy black ankle boots -very Helmut Lang/Jil Sander, very Alison Mosshart

Spiky kitten heels – Remember when Dolce & Gabbana did these? I can totally see Vicky Beckham working a kitten heel and sheath dress combo

Non-trashy silver: Who can forget Jean Colonna’s silver jeans, silver leather jackets, silver-sprayed Cons?

McQueen’s ‘ugly’ aesthetic – think edgy tailoring, angry walks, intricate details, elaborate shows

Tom Ford for Gucci’s smoky eye and liquid jersey dresses with punky patent boots (wow, was that really 10 years ago?)

Isaac Mizrahi’s AW04 ballskirt and tee combo – legendary!

Joseph – when did it all go wrong with Joseph? I used to lust after those big black slouchy knits like a junior fashionista possessed, not to mention the boyish trouser suits, luxe hoodies and flat-front trousers with trademark stripe up the side

Patrick Cox loafers – I’m still regretting that I could never afford the gold ones. With news that Patrick Cox has been bought by Eddie Davenport, may I suggest they revive these pretty sharpish?

Camel: AW 94/95 = Camel suits at Calvin Klein (complete with chignons and 60s eyeliner), camel Crombie-style coats at Helmut Lang, camel dresses at MaxMara and Ann Demeulemeester (with aforementioned black ankleboots)

1990s models – Supermodels aside, who doesn’t miss the golden greats: Emma Balfour, Bridget Hall, Lorraine Pascale, Kiara, Veronica Webb, Kirsty Hume, Cecelia Chancellor …

1990s photographers: Ellen von Unwerth, David Sims, Juergen Teller, Corinne Day

CK Jeans: That iconic ad is imprinted on my brain!

Agnes B garconne look – admittedly I never stopped rocking this look but I reckon it’s time for it to resurface. Agnes B has been under-the-radar for most of this decade so let’s hear it for the stripy tee, Black picot-edge cardi and beatnik sunnies. PS, old Agnes is opening up shop in Spitalfields Market soon too.

CK One
CK One
Emma Balfour in iD
Juergen Teller for Katharine Hamnett Denim
iD cover with Lorraine Pascale
Milla Jovovich wears Alberto Biani in iD photographed by Bob Richardson

Teddy Boys of The Edwardian Drape Society

I’m so glad I went to see Bruce Weber Shorts yesterday, a lovely hour of cinematic gorgeousness and perfect for a Saturday afternoon. Alas, I had to dash off moments before the end to catch a train to Leeds for a last minute BBC debate on the evils of teen magazines (I had to defend them). Before I left, tripping over my wheelie Globetrotter in a rather non-elegant fashion, I managed to catch the gem that was Teddy Boys of The Edwardian Drape Society, a three-minute movie showing a selection of old timer teddy boys (and girls) still dressing up, quiffing up and generally tearing up the dancefloor. These characters are passionate about their scene as can be witnessed in this old interview with Ritchie Gee who runs the Edwardian Drape Society. What a character!

[Images: Teds Corner]

Ten things I remember about my dad

He called himself Joe

He smelled of cigars

Watching him dress up to go to the races

Flying kites

Knowing the answer to everything

Feeding the ducks in Hyde Park

His love of Gloria Gaynor, Kenny Rogers and the blonde one from Abba

Growing roses and tomatoes in our window box

Holding my hand in Holland Park

Happy Father’s Day!

Royal Ascot: Knickers are in, fake tans are out

Royal Ascot starts this Tuesday and if you thought you were sorted with your natty strapless Karen Millen dress and gladiator heels you might need to have a re-think. The bods-in-charge at Ascot have sent out sartorial guidelines to all race-goers reminding them of the dress code and laid back it ain’t. In the royal enclosure, skirts must not be more than two inches above the knee and straps must not be less than an inch wide. Is anyone else envisaging a bevvy of fashion police tooled up with measuring tapes, sternly ticking off those who flout the rules like an army of particularly strict headmistresses?

Alongside the ‘no short skirts and no thin straps’ rule are other no-nos such as strapless, halterneck and off-the-shoulder necklines. Even bare legs are frowned upon which effectively means no open-toe sandals unless you particularly favour the sight of a nylon toe-gusset on show. This is only in the VIP enclosure though. However in the riff-raff area there are other stipulations. Women must wear knickers, “but not on show, please ladies!” quip the guidelines, while streaky fake tans are “a total faux pas, and there’s no excuse.” Of course, the papers are having a field day with their ‘Ascot chucks out the chavs‘ headlines (Daily Mail) but really, aren’t these matters of common decency? These directives are no more severe than wedding-guest guidelines and quite frankly, I’m not arguing with the no naff fake-tan streaks rule. In fact, I suggest they go even further. I would also add ‘no flammable fabrics’ (purely for safety reasons you understand), ‘no chiffon skirts with pointy court shoes’ (pet hate) and ‘no novelty hats’ (no explanation required) to the list.

Pic: Daily Mail

Dos and Don’ts for festival dressing

It’s June! Which means not only festivals of every description and in every hemisphere but features on what to wear to a festival in every publication from Vogue to Heat. At this point I hold my hand up and say I don’t actually do festivals (I’m too obsessed with washing my hair) but I reckon I know what looks good in a water-logged field.

Go denim-heavy.
You can practically get anything in denim these days from 80s-style cocktail mini-dresses to capes to rompers. Blue denim is easy to colour co-ordinate and of-course, any grass stains will wash out with just a dab of Vanish and a squirt of shower gel.

Layer on the stripes.
Two-tone jersey stripes are forever youthful and outdoorsy so pack a couple of fitted long sleeve stripe Henleys for layering under floral tea dresses against the morning and evening chills and when the temperature hots up, you can whip them off and drape them over your shoulders or tie them round your waist.

Find an alternative to gladiator sandals.
I know they’re lovely but everyone will be wearing them! The next best thing? A simple demi-wedge sandal and a pedicure.

Think outside the box.
Go to your nearest camping shop and snaffle a foil blanket or two. Lovely as a scarf, obi-style wrap or to sit on. Its reflectiveness will help you tan too (but don’t forget the Factor 30).

Invest in a bum bag (fanny pack).
American Apparel and Le Sportsac have the snazziest but don’t wear it round your waist tourist-style, sling it over your shoulder.

Go down the printed wellies route.
Wellies are sensible but you’re better off in comfy classics by Hunter, Aigle and Tretorn. Pack some legwarmers to go underneath them in case the weather gets really bad (translation: sub-zero temperatures).

Think practical equals boring.
Load up on some cheap army surplus and style with sexy shorts and skimpy tops for all-weather eventualities.

Forget your accessories.
A pair of rock star aviators, a vintage diamante necklace and a sassy silk scarf will make sure you look hot for the inevitable Facebook photo-shoot.

Be misguided by maxi dresses.
Yes, they’re a big trend this season but they just have a whiff of WAG-does-festivals to them. Much better to opt for an obscure vintagy print tea dress, just above the knee.

Pic: Vogue

Quote of the day

“Agyness was really sweet and we used to hang out all the time. But when she became big she dropped me. I tried being her friend and texted her repeatedly for six months but she never replied so I just gave up. So good luck to her.”
New Burberry girl, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley vents about former model mate Agynes Deyn