Bubbling under…Cocktail coats

Ok, I made this up simply because I like the way it sounds but a cocktail coat if it existed, would be a dramatic evening coat to wear over your cocktail dress. Because I don’t know about you but it really bugs me when people get all zhuzhed up for a night out, putting hours of thought into their spectacular outfit, shoes and make-up and then, uh oh, out comes the old bog standard jacket. I mean, why? Surely it makes more sense to invest in a show-stopping cocktail coat that will turn heads the minute you make your entrance than yet another pair of patent party plat-heels and tacky clutch?

My own cocktail coat is a black fifties-style brocade one with bracelet sleeves from Portobello Arcade a good twelve years ago. It was sold to me by a young designer friend for £60 with the words ‘I only made two and someone from Chritian Lacroix has the other one.’ (A bit like my favourite quote from Deserately Seeking Susan where Madonna buys the green jacket with the pyramid which according to the salesman ‘used to belong to Jimi Hendrix’ – probably not true but sounds good all the same.) Cocktail coats are plentiful at Burberry, Bill Blass and Lacroix (!) but thin on the ground on the high street, however come October I’m sure they’ll be everywhere so start thinking about yours now.

UPDATE: Pfft, the new Elle has a whole two-pager on cocktail coats and I was so sure I’d made that up!

Pic: 3.1 Phillip Lim coat, Style.com

The Jeano™

No, it’s not a Grazia-ism like ‘treggings’ (aka leggings) or ‘shoot’ (aka shoe-boot), but a bonafide term coined by Dockers for their new chino-jeans. According to the Selfridges website, the Jeano™ is “a new pant that gives the attitude of jeans and the sophistication of chinos.” Don’t know if it merits its own name but the Jeano™ has a nice ring to it and as someone who loves both jeans and chinos, I say they’ll do rather well. Now if they can just produce some in girly sizes and lady-colours I’ll be very happy.

Saving the scraps

A quick flick through the new Lula reveals a wee article on scrapbooking including a sneak peak at Alison Mosshart’s cuttings and pastings. It reminded me of my own three whopping great scrapbooks that I fill in fits and starts. My passion started at art college when I studied fashion illustration and collage was the medium du jour. I loved the work of Ivan Chermayeff as it had that ‘I can do that’ quality that always appeals to me. Ditto Robert Rauschenburg and Peter Blake.

These days, what tends to happen is I’m good at finding the scraps – torn typography, discarded labels, a deflated balloon – but they mount up in a pile and then get upgraded into an envelope or paper bag of some sort. The next stage, several weeks later, is coralling said envelopes and paper bags into a bigger bag or box file and then on that rare day when the mood strikes and the thought, ‘I know, I’ll do my scrapbook’ enters my head, having a mega sort-out. In fact, the sorting out seems to be the most fun bit where I remind myself of these fabulous treasures I’ve amassed over the years (‘ooh, look at these Fiorucci stickers!’ ‘Hang, on, where did this postcard come from?’ etc etc). Yet by the time the sorting’s done, all my energy’s spent! Hence I now have two groaning box files of scraps but my poor scrapbooks are no fuller than they were two years ago. Hmm, maybe I’ll start again this weekend….

[Double click pics to enlarge]

Nothing to worry about

Dear Disneyrollergirl,
In our drive to fleece you even further, provide excellent customer service, we are reviewing all our customer accounts for accurate gas meter readings. In doing so, we have noticed that there has not been a reading obtained from the gas meter at your property for some time. So it would be greatly appreciated if you could read your meter and complete and return the enclosed card to us.
London Energy

Little did I realise in doing so that I would find a newly revised bill plonked on my desk four days later. These people want their money and fast, and what’s this – EEK! – £247! £70 more than the last quarter and this is for the gas used during the summer when we didn’t even have the heating on (apart from the last week – yep, autumn’s here already in the DRG house). I’m not one of those people who dreads the arrival of their bills as money is one of the areas where I’m generally quite anal and organised, so I have a (usually accurate) budget all worked out and the funds sit patiently in their allocated ‘pots’ in my bank account awaiting their turn to be duly paid.

In fact, when I worked on a magazine, I actually secretly enjoyed processing the invoices and updating the spreadsheets. It gave me a quiet ten minutes to don my ‘Do Not Disturb’ hat*, get stuck into the figures and make sure everything tallied up, and I always got that satisfied feeling of everything being up to date and nicely balanced. The arrival of the Bill From Hell did throw me temporarily but as usual, I did some juggling and worked out that if I delayed the payment of another bill and borrowed some money from that ‘pot’, then things could easily right themselves. Looking out of the window and seeing D getting the breakfast ready in our sunny courtyard, I decided anyway that this bill brouhaha wasn’t going to spoil my day. As my mantra banner says so succinctly…Worry About It Later. So I’m doing exactly that.

*What’s a ‘Do Not Disturb’ hat? It’s a paper hat with Do Not Disturb scrawled on it with magic marker so people know not to bother me while I’m in concentration mode. Alas, my colleagues did not take it very seriously. Can’t think why.