Last week I stumbled upon my New Favourite Shop. No, it’s not Shop at Maison Bertaux (although that also is just marvellous, with its Eley Kishimoto tees, Sonia by Sonia Rykiel stripy socks and APC everything, all with a side serving of pastries and coffee), but good old Waterstones in Piccadilly. This amazing building used to be the old Simpsons store (think quaint old-school department store that no one ever went to) but was revamped to become a five floor bookshop extravaganza.
On the top floor is the Fifth Floor Café which is café heaven, and happens to be adjacent to the fashion and photography book department. I bought Andy Warhol, The Day The Factory Died, a wee photo book of all his friends and associates arriving at his funeral – a veritable 80s-fest of Chanel bags and black Rayban Wayfarers. But I had to self-restrain from buying David Bailey’s NY JS DB 62 (a visual feast of photos of Jean Shrimpton in 1960s New York) and Richard Avedon’s portrait book In The American West as well.
There was also a nicely genteel bar adorned with framed posters taken from the book Cult Rock Posters by Roger Crimlis and Alwyn W Turner. The icing on the cake? A huge selection of Moleskine notebooks, diaries and travel guides (yes, I’m a stationery junkie) on the ground floor. What with all that and the magazine section I could practically spend an entire day there. Actually, I think I did.
Oh! Oh! I’ve been tagged by Overpriced Designer Man Bag (http://www.carryingcontraption.com/)! But it’s OK, it’s not one of those reeeaaaally looooong questionnaires so I’m gonna go for it.
Three Things That Everyone Thinks Are Gross, But I Think Are Cool 1) KFC. I know it’s not ‘real’ chicken, I know it’s pumped full of chemicals (or something) but I so don’t care. All I know is I constantly crave that secret ingredient and that tasty, crispy-crunchy skin.
2) Paying bills. I like the ritual of it all. I like things to balance and add up so when I pay bills it means everything’s tallied and harmonious and I can rest easy.
3) Ok not a thing but a person. I love Barbara Cartland, she of the pink chiffon frocks and too-blue eye shadow. In years to come, people will realise she was waaay ahead of her time.
Three Things That Everyone Thinks Are Normal, But I Think Are Gross 1) TV. There is so much crap on TV it really gets me down. I would much rather be on here finding stuff out and reading endless blogs about intelligent things like handbags, frocks and shoes.
2) Dinner parties. Or any large formal gathering where I don’t know people. I have ‘face-blindness’ (well I haven’t *actually* been diagnosed but I read an article about it once) so I’m constantly meeting people I’ve met before but can’t remember who they are or where I know them from. I also have a fear of striking up conversations with strangers so this tends to make matters worse.
3) Pubs. I don’t drink alcohol (much) and I don’t get thirsty. And I don’t like drunk people. And I don’t like SHOUTING ABOVE THE MUSIC.
I tag Mrs-Fashion (http://mrs-fashion.blogspot.com/), Pin Up Girl (http://styleaholic.blogspot.com/), Muze1990 (http://smellslikelonpardonis.blogspot.com/) and Lipstick Lady (http://smellslikelonpardonis.blogspot.com/).
You know how annoying it is when a trend goes mainstream and someone says, oh yeah, I’ve been wearing that for years’? Well, guess what? I’m one of those people. So I thought I’d do a post where I get it all out of my system.
Number one, the Chanel 2.55 bag I invested in my candy pink one years ago before the OC was even a blink in the producer’s eye. I wear mine with sweatshirts and second hand tees for a deliberate scruffy-posh effect and then what happens? That Mischa Barton comes along and steals my look right before my eyes. Grrr. Result? I look like a Mischa clone.
Number two, Converse These have been my wardrobe staple since about 1993 (uh oh, maybe I do need a change…) so how galling is it when every emo, chav and tory party leader decides to muscle in on it as well? Thankfully the move is going towards old skool £4.99-from-Woolies plimsolls now so I can reclaim Converse as my own.
Number three, aviators I’ve had my mirrored Cutler & Grosses for at least ten years and now, NOW, everyone’s wearing them –how DARE they! Luckily, they’re also wearing comedy oversized shades and coloured wayfarers so the aviators may be on the wane. Please let it be so.
Number four, pink jeans I bought my fuchsia Silas jeans three years ago to wear Matthew Williamson-style with turquoise and yellow. Now every nu-rave wannabe is on my patch so mine are staying firmly underwraps until the 90s all-black revival kicks in.
Number five, Edie Sedgewick/Andy Warhol Edie was my secret muse for years and like the snob I am I liked the fact others hadn’t heard of her. Now she’s everywhere. Stripy long sleeve tees and short hair are my thing ok, so back off people!
Er… do you think I’m being a bit childish? OK maybe I’m being a tad territorial but it does grate when you spend a lifetime nurturing your look and thinking you’ve nailed it and along comes a wave of Converse, pink jeans and stripy tops and suddenly the look that was “so you” has become mainstream and ugh…common! But hey ho, on with the show, I guess that’s the name of the fashion game, no? But before I go I just want to trademark the following three looks:
Chinos Chinos, khakis, utility pants, whatever you want to call them I’m on a quest to find some slim-but-slouchy ones as an alternative to jeans. Can I find any, even in Gap? Hell no. But when I do I’m making sure I snap up every last pair.
Sweater-over-the-shoulders There’s something a bit geeky about this euro-styling which is what I like about it. So I’m going to be hopping mad if I see even one under-30 Shoreditch hipster rocking this in the Hoxton hood this summer.
Judith Leiber/Kathrine Baumann minaudiere Oh my god, I have wanted one of these for absolutely years. They are so OTT and blingy that they’re just begging to disco-fy a scruffy jeans-and-tee outfit. Is it so wrong to want a Mickey Mouse minaudiere so badly?
Next to Zhuzh, Fabulosity is my favourite word. I mean really, do I have to explain? One day I Googled Fabulosity and Kimora Lee Simmons’ book came up. Readers, I bought it. Call me cheesy but this is one feel-good book. But I think I really dicovered that word in Anthony Haden-Guest’s book The Last Party. In it Haden-Guest documents the goings-on of ‘nightworld’, the New York clubbing scene in the 70s and 80s. I never actually finished that book because it’s so confusing. So many clubs, this person fell out with that person, this club got busted, that guy went to jail. Whatever! Just tell me what Lauren Hutton was wearing dammit! Actually, the pictures are what really tells the story in this book. Forget Lindsay, Paris and all those wannabes, these guys really knew how to get trashed in style.
Another great book if you’re interested in the disco era is Ron Galella’s Disco Years. It’s a photo book and all I need to tell you is it has Grace Jones on the cover. Pure glamourama.
Photos: Top to bottom: Grace Jones, Diane Von Furstenberg, Bianca Jagger by Ron Galella