What is it about list-making that’s so therapeutic? I mean, to-do lists and shopping lists I can understand, they make order out of chaos so they serve a purpose, but listing what’s in your handbag? How useful can that be? However, Susie Bubble and www.buttonsand-stars.blogspot.com tagged me to play the ‘What’s in your bag’ game so I had to comply. I did a ‘What’s In My Bag’ post a while ago but things were different then. This month (and next) I’m in Mumbai helping to launch a new magazine so the contents of my Marc by Marc Jacobs PVC tote are somewhat different to what they’d be in London. Actually, it’s not one bag but two that I’m toting on a day-to-day basis. Luckily, I have a driver. I know! Insane, no? But don’t hate me, my company guesthouse is a 90 minute drive away from the office. And I need a driver because Indian cab drivers don’t do The Knowledge, so quite often they need to be directed and I don’t speak the lingo. Anyway…

Laptop and notebooks
In the big bag is my laptop which is kind of like humping a four-drawer filing cabinet from pillar to post. It has every email, picture and piece of research I could ever want or need. Then there are a number of notebooks and files. Somehow I’ve convinced myself that having more notebooks and files makes me more organised when in fact, my memory is so dire I can never recall what I wrote where. Duh. Maybe it’s that first-day-of-school feeling of writing in a new book that’s the appeal? Whatever, I can’t go anywhere without my Liberty notebook – a farewell gift from S, my old beauty editor when we all got made redundant – and my red Moleskine diary.

Bottle of water
I’m not one of those annoyingly virtuous people who religiously swigs their eight glasses of water a day. In fact, I rarely drink anything, ever. But in the office there are these guys who come round every morning handing out free bottled water so I take one anyway. I’m stockpiling them at the guesthouse to drink with dinner as we can’t drink the tap water.

Eley Kishimoto clutch
Um, I’m not quite sure what my satin star-print clutch is doing in this bag. I usually use it as a make-up-bag-slash-pen-case but there’s actually nothing in it bar about a million Muji pens.

Indian Vogue
In London I cannot venture out without a magazine. I have some sort of boredom phobia and need to consume information at all times – hence the Indian Vogue. If it’s not Vogue it’s Grazia, Harpers Bazaar, Teen Vogue or Allure. And I must say I do love those miniature versions of Elle and Red.

The camera was one of my best freebies ever from Olympus and even has my name engraved on it (even though it’s a bit wonky). Much as I adore my digital camera, I still like an old-fashioned camera with film so you can get all excited about getting your photos back months after the event. Having said that, I’ve been here a week and have taken precisely no pictures. Is that bad?

London mobile phone
I’ve had this phone for years. I’ve been using it to keep in radio contact with my boyfriend D and various friends in London because there doesn’t seem to be free Wi-Fi anywhere in Mumbai. Keeping it on a lanyard with various knick-knacks hanging off it means I can grab it from the depths of my bag just before its fourth and final ring.

Vintage Celine bag
My smaller bag is my Celine bourgeois bag which has served me well in the short time we’ve been together. This has the quick-access stuff that I need at short notice like my Miu Miu glitter wallet. (Never buy a glitter wallet unless you want to be dusted in a shower of metallic shards every time you have to pay for something.)

Indian mobile phone
It also has my Indian mobile phone which the company gave me for work. Except I’m crap with technology and have no idea how to save numbers or read the texts my boss keeps sending me.

I never get girls who carry their entire make-up kit around with them. If I’m not going out after work all I want is my Carmex and Stila lipgloss. I do not need a professional-size powder pot, six-colour eyeshadow palette or eyebrow-grooming set thank-you-very-much.

Digital camera
My Casio Exilim is a bit shabby and old-school (only 2.0 megapixels – the shame!) but it’s so small and cute. It’s fab for sneaking into places as it fits in my hip pocket with room to spare. I have been using it on this trip to take candid 60-second videos. As I said, I’m so not a techno whizz but even I can handle this.

I tag Mrs Fashion (http://mrs-fashion.blogspot.com/), Blushing Apples (http://thecolorofblushingapples.blogspot.com/) and Coco’s Tea Party (http://www.cocosteaparty.blogspot.com/).

Open up ladies!

Passage to India part 2

Day seven and I feel like I’ve been here for weeks. Funny how magazine offices seem to be the same the world over. Whatever country you’re in, the internet’s iffy, the assistants spend all day on Facebook and no-one wants to load the paper in the printer. However, working on a launch is totally different to working on a regular magazine. For starters, you hit the ground running from day one. I have already organised a location shoot – something that in an ideal world takes at least three weeks – in the space of three days.

One of my blogger pals (you know who you are) gave me a heads-up on a couple of Indian photographers. As luck would have it, one of them is available for my shoot next Friday and is a real non-control-freak sweetie. Result! He gets what we are doing and is happy to collaborate on our vision. After a recce to the location on Tuesday, I went yesterday morning to pay the deposit for the location fee. (All transactions here are paid in cash.) Of-course, Indians work on their own slow-time so arriving at what I thought was a reasonable time – 10am – I found that the organisers’ office was closed as they don’t pitch up til 10.30am. No worries, I whiled away the half hour watching the filming of an Indian soap. (Without giving too much away, my location is at the equvalent of Elstree Studios where they film Eastenders.) I also had a chance to check out the toilets as instructed by my English editor. As my photographer had pointed out, the hole-in-the-ground toilets aren’t quite up to scratch so we will need to employ the services of a ‘vanity van’, complete with flushable loo. Note to self: Do.Not.Forget.This. Something tells me that when we shoot at the Saltwater Grill restaurant (yup, the exact same place where Madonna ate two nights ago) in a few weeks, we won’t have to worry about this.

What’s new?

Is it just me or does the cycle of so-called trends get more and more predictable every season?

On seeing a page of ’50s frocks in December’s Harpers Bazaar, my boyfriend D asked me if we were about to experience a ’50s revival. I replied that I thought that was impossible, as the last fifties revival hadn’t finished running its course yet. We still have ballet pumps, wide belts and prom dresses although agreed, there is some mileage left in Winehouse-inspired beehive hair-dos and check shirts. What could be next, kitten heels?

Looking at the January Harpers Bazaar, the trend round-up left me cold. Florals, Safari, Transparency, Brights, Prints, …um sorry, but weren’t these the ‘new’ trends last summer? As a fashion editor, it pains me to have to write about these trends as if we’ve never seen them before – our readers aren’t blind or stupid! One trend I have noticed is the fashion-hybrid trend. Susie Bubble mentions this here* in her post about the new acid-hued Dr Marten boots which she would love to see paired with neon-bright floral frocks. Genius! Let’s call it acid-grunge. Like everything else, hybrid trends aren’t that new of course, I’ve been adding ‘Luxe’ to many a trend to give them a new spin. ‘Sport-Luxe’ was a big one for Spring 07 (silk tracksuits and satin parkas a la Marni) while ‘Pop-luxe’ was a micro-trend for Autumn-Winter 07 but didn’t make it big so can probably be strung out for another season. This spring will be the turn of ‘Utility-Luxe’ – translation: boiler suits and silk cargo pants zhuzhed up with heels.

Aside from these, precious few trends are stirring my creativity. The ones that are: Paint splatter/brush stroke prints at Chloe and Dolce & Gabbana, Stars at Chanel and YSL, Pyjama dressing at Prada and Chloe, and Grey Gardens/Topsy-turvy styling at Marc Jacobs.

Pics: Dolce & Gabbana from Style.com, Dr Martens