Design

Levi’s: One for the What Took Them So Long file…



I’ve never understood how Levi’s 501s came in different cuts and fits – surely 501 is the style so shouldn’t have variations went my logic. Well, now Levi’s have decided to do a standard cut worldwide which makes perfect sense. The reason cited, according to Levi Strauss CEO John Anderson is that they believe straight-leg jeans are a global fashion trend and now is the right time to establish the 501 as an obvious choice for global consumers. I say, duh, isn’t that a bit obvious? But never mind, at least they’re doing it now. Let’s hope the fit is the same across mens and womens 501s. Please understand Mr Levi’s that some of us girls want what the boys have – a nice lazy-Sunday loose-but-not-falling-down fit.

UPDATE:
To answer my ‘why are there different fits’ question, D has kindly weighed in with the following:
Okay, so the 501 is the model of the brand. The model was then adapted as trends changed, hence the different varieties of 501 over the years, with slight changes in cut: the 1947, ’55, ’63, ’67 etc. It’s similar to the way that Ford have the Fiesta model and give it facelifts to make it more appealing to changing tastes as time passes. The ’47s are quite slim, the ’55s a wider cut, the ’63s have a higher waist and the cut is somewhere between a ’47 and ’55 and the ’67s are very slim, and have a zip fly.

That told me then.



Much ado about M&S



Being something of an outsider, I have a tendency to defend the underdog in most situations and when it comes to fashion, M&S is the underdog du jour. While recent figures show they have suffered their worst sales for three years with shares dropping by almost 25%, I say, give them another chance. (more…)



Swayed by suede, a cautionary tale





Thinking of buying a suede bag? Perhaps YSL‘s mock-croc print number or 3.1 Phillip Lim‘s reversible tote? Well take my advice, don’t do it. Unless you have a full-time driver or live somewhere with extremely agreeable weather. I lusted after Baleciaga’s cherry-red suede slouch bag for, oh months, before I finally came face to face with it in a boutique and did the classic ‘if I don’t buy it now it won’t be here next time’ panic splurge. It first gave me come-hither glances from the back page of US Vogue which I subsequently tore out and carried around with me. I fantasised about what I’d wear it with – a bit Frankie Rayder I fancied, in gently faded Levis and a just-fitted-enough white tee – and what it would smell like (I have an unhealthy obsession with sniffing leather and suede). When you see something like that in the flesh after investing so much time and energy in the fantasy, your real-life logic doesn’t stand a chance. I gave it a cursory try-on in the shop before the adrenalin got the better of me and seconds later it was in the carrier bag and in my hand.

A few years down the line and I can count the number of times I’ve used it on three fingers. The simple fact is a suede bag and unpredictable London weather do not a good combination make. Time after time I’ve rediscovered it, tenderly unpacked it from its dustbag, given it a gentle stroke and a sniff and vowed to use it the very next day. Come the next morning, sensing a hint of darkness in the sky and the threat of a downpour it’s back to the PVC Marc shopper and boring reliability.

We all know that the fashion industry is based on fantasy and this example goes to prove it. Every time I see the poor bag it’s an expensive reminder of that seductive back-page-of-Vogue photo and the promise that it would change my life. Sucker! So what now? The bag has been unpacked for the very last time and tomorrow it makes its way to Rellik, the queen bee of vintage stores. It’s not an It bag and it’s not strictly vintage but it’s Balenciaga so Stephen Rellik has hinted he might be up for a swapsies consultation. We can but wait and see.



Coffee and cones



fortnum & Mason coffee and mini ice cream cone

When I first happened upon the revamped Fortnum & Mason store in Piccadilly, I practically recoiled in shock. What had they done? In their effort to modernise, all the character had been sapped out of the poor shop. A few months on and I decided to give it a second chance. To my surprise I discovered a gem. Parlour Restaurant on the first floor is a darling little ice-cream parlour, designed by David Collins (Madonna’s decorator no less) and decked out American diner style with a 50s Italian twist.

The pistachio-green chairs work beautifully with the fondant-coloured china and floor-tiles, while neopolitan-hued lampshades coordinate very nicely indeed. But it’s not just about the decor. There’s a choice of fabulous ice-cream sundaes including a few alcoholic ones and great attention is paid to presentation. My favourite touch? The mini-sized ice-cream cones served with the capuccinos in their own little holder! Absolutely adorable.