Vive La Difference!

“Personally, I think they look hideous. When you’ve got blond hair the number one rule is not to have black eyebrows. I think they’re a lovely shape but just on the wrong person.” So says eyebrow-artist Vaishaly Patel on the subject of Sienna Miller’s bushy brows. Colour notwithstanding, I am totally feeling the strong brow right now. In fact, my mantra is No One Perfect Is Interesting so I’m all for non-standard ideas of beauty in all areas. The French have a phrase, ‘jolie laide’ (ugly pretty) which sums it up. A bushy brow is all well and good but it needs to be intentional. It should be thick but groomed. The stragglers betwixt the brows should be tweezed and the short stubby regrowth needs to be kept in check. The queen of the bushy brow is Brooke Shields of course but model Anouck Lepere comes a close second.

Another jolie laide favourite of mine is a strong nose. My big issue with the current craze for plastic surgery is that if everyone strives for today’s homogenized idea of ‘beauty’ then the character features will become rarer and rarer, thus making those born with big noses or small boobs feel even less ‘normal’. What would Amy Winehouse look like without her statement nose? Or Linda Evangelista? Or Paris Hilton (she may be dumb as hell but she’s sure got a gorgeous nose!)?

Interesting teeth are a third dying breed. Kirsten Dunst and Kate Moss would be oh so boring without their cute snaggly teeth, and as for Lou Doillon’s supersized gnashers? Forget it. No teeth, no model contracts as far as I’m concerned.

Pic: Anouck Lepere

Closing the age Gap

Apparently Gap is going back to basics… again. According to the NY Post, Gap is narrowing its focus to 24-to-34-year old shoppers, reversing earlier attempts to appeal to anyone and everyone.

I am forever reading about Gap’s rising/falling sales. What I want from Gap is the ULTIMATE basics. The timeless boy-cut chino – not the comedy-wide one they’ve done this season but a regular boy-cut, but scaled down for a 5’2″ woman. The perfect blazer cut to today’s proportions – slim on the shoulders and through the body, very plain that I can happily wear for the next 3 years. The wear-with-everything grey marl T-shirt without Lycra that won’t cling to the body but sits just so (see American Apparel Summer T-shirt for reference). The plainest white cotton shirt to wear with skirts or trousers that’s long enough to tuck in and thick enough not to show my underwear. Etc etc etc. And then they can throw in some great colours and accessories to zhuzh things up and keep the impulse buyers happy. It’s not about focussing on age, it’s about reliable design that you can depend on Gap for. What’s so difficult about that?

Battle of the ballet pump

It’s the trend that won’t die. The ubiquitous ballet pump continues to reign. French Sole is launching a new range of pumps for the size 8+ brigade (of which there are many. Why won’t the high street address this?) and Pretty Ballerinas recently opened a shop in Brook Street (but you’re advised NOT to visit on a Saturday, it’s smaller than a shoe box!). Finally, ballet pump connoiseurs’ favourite, Repetto has hooked up with Comme des Garcons to create the ultimate pretty-punk hybrid – silver-studded ballet pumps. Whatever next?


Oops I did it again

Doh, I bought another bag! I don’t know how it happened…OK I lie, I know exactly how it happened. I saw this bag in The Shop At Bluebird a few weeks ago. Alas it was in the region of £200 so back on the shelf it went. Until Saturday. There was I, browsing in the sale and there was my bag, reduced to £60! I stroked it, I sniffed it (leather, yum), I tried it on. All good. I ummed and aahed. I have so many bags, why this one? Well, I have found with the supersize bags that another smaller shoulder bag is needed to accommodate the easy access stuff. Phone, pen, purse, etc. And yet I have two of those already. In tan and camel. This one is black, I told myself, that makes it different. What convinced me in the end was that it was slightly bigger than the other two so will also carry my umbrella. Sold! The bag is by Avril Gau ( who I’ve never heard of but I like discovering new labels. I was the first to say the It Bag trend has had it’s day but hey, I can change my mind, right? Two other new bag labels to love:
*Boyybag ( – fabulous squashy outsize numbers, big in Hollywood
*Tila March ( expandable utility totes in an array of understated colours

PIC: Avril Gau