Wednesday, 24 November 2010


So I'm back from Edinburgh and London is dull and soooo cold and I have a horrible red eye (due to a weird condition I have that flares up about every 6 months or so AND on top of all this, I am Lanvin-less.  Apparently people started queuing at around 8am the previous evening for store access, so I thought I'd outsmart them, set my alarm super early and do it from my bed.  The collection was available to buy from 7am so I was up at 6.30, fingers hovering over the keyboard in anticipation.  The two specific pieces I was after were these...

Do I have them? No! The collection went live at 0701, I managed to get both the dress and the skirt in the size I wanted. Amazing! Then I clicked through to the checkout, debit card all laid out in front of me, ready to type in the magic digits and have the two pieces I had lusted after for so long delivered to my door. 
Except that after clicking 'Pay by Debt/ Credit Card', the page remained the same but with 'Error Unknown' in the bottom corner. I literally tried to pay by every other means necessary and then (in a separate page) hunted for the online Customer Services number which (of course) didn't open until 8. I kept trying until 8 am then continued to try while I was in the massive queue to speak to someone at customer services.

At 0835 ( I had now been up for 2 hours trying to do this!) I managed to speak to a friendly Scottish lady who assured me that all was not lost.  Apparently the site had crashed due to huge demand (doh! Why don't they make provision for this??) BUT as I had my items out of my basket and was at the second stage of checkout (paying) I would be fine.  I should keep the page open and keep trying in about an hour when things had calmed down.  I asked (in an increasingly manic tone) whether she was 100% positive that the items would not vanish/ the site would time out etc and was repeatedly assured that this would not happen.

I followed her instructions to the absolute letter and checked the site again in an hour.  I did not refresh the page, I simply clicked, 'Pay by Debt/ Credit Card' as I had been instructed. What happened, the page VANISHED and this appeared in its place.

Oh yes..and my basket was now empty. Not even a sorry. Just a smug little note.  By this time I had been trying to buy a dress and a skirt for over three hours, straining my already bad eye over a website that had no compassion.  I had followed the instructions issued by H&M Customer Services who had either lied to keep customers happy or didn't know what they were doing. I decided to give up and start my little saving fund for some actual Lanvin one day, it'll probably make me happier in the long run.  (The Boy already has a beautiful scarf that is one of the highlights of his accidentally wanders into mine sometimes..)

By the way if any of you, my beautiful readers managed to obtain so Lanvin at H&M, please let me know how you did it!xxx

P.S. Good explanation/ rant here of how the situation should have been handled.

Just to be clear, I'm not mad with this chap. I still love him. H&M on the other hand...

Sunday, 14 November 2010

A wee jaunt to the North

Linda Evangelista, an Arthur Elgort shoot, 1991.

I am heading up to the frozen wastes for a few days for work come Sunday so may fall off the fashion radar ever so slightly. I am journeying to Edinburgh, the Scottish capital and it is a city I have an immense fondness for having lived in Scotland for five years during my university days.

As well as the general bother of packing for a week away, having to factor in the cold (apparently it's snowing up there!), damp and having to attend some rather smart dinners of an evening, it also gave me pause for thought on a bit of fashion inspiration. TARTAN.
Particularly loving Aggy for House of Holland in the antlers!
 Now the kilt has been popular this season, I got a beautiful grey pleated number from Zara with black leather buckles that I have been wearing with black Yarra wedge desert boots from Clarks and a simple black v-neck cashmere sweater, topped off with my cape for when the days get chilly but I also LOVE the drama of a proper full on tartan number that has been favoured by that fashion Grand Dame Vivienne Westwood. Slightly more high maintenance to pull off maybe, but what an impact! And let us not forget the wonderful Alexander McQueen.  A man who could pull off a kilt himself and raised temperatures in the industry with the infamous1995 Highland Rape show that featured torn bodices and tampon strings hanging from the skirts. At the time, McQueen said that he had been misunderstood; he was trying, he said, to make a point about how 18th century Scotland has been romanticised, and it wasn't all about "beautiful women drifting across the moors in unmanageable chiffon".  Well, whatever you imagine when you think of Bonny Scotland, here is some of my tartan inspiration, let me know your thoughts!x
Marc Jacobs, NYC Fashion Week 2009

selection from McQueen's Highland Rape collection
And finally, a selection of images from British Vogue 2008...

And relax....what I shall look like in my off duty moments!x

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Mind the Gap!

Riley Keough with Thakoon at the Met Ball
Now I know we are all starting toget hot under the collar about Lanvin's collaboration with H&M arriving in a mere matter of weeks, (I'm almost tempted to start queuing now actually) but there's something else to get a bit hot under the collar about. Gap announced its collaboration with Valentino creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli in September and I think I read about it then promptly got swept up in Alber fever and forgot!

Kerry Washington in Thakoon for Gap
To coincide with the opening of Italy’s first Gap store in Milan, the capsule womenswear collection will launch in late November and will also be available at Colette Paris, Dover Street Market in London and Gap’s Flagship London store on Oxford Street.

For the US 14.2 billion dollars company the idea of having their items interpreted by famous designers is not something new. In the past Roland Mouret (womenswear), Pierre Hardy (shoes) and Stella McCartney (kidswear) have collaborated on collections, and this year the casual wear group saw some Hollywood stars wearing limited edition dresses at the Met Gala in New York, designed by Takoon, Rodarte, Alexander Wang and Sophie Theallet.  I've illustrated this post with the dresses that appeared that night and I'd love to know which are your favourites.  I'm leaning towards the one on Riley at the top...

M.I.A in gold mesh Alexander Wang with the designer

              Anyway, back to the business in hand...
They say… “We are very pleased that Gap thought of us as a partner for this important project, as it brings together the iconic world of Valentino and Gap's fashion essentials. In this way, Valentino and Gap synthesize the current trend of combining luxury with basics”.

What I'm saying… Form an orderly queue. Classic, sleek basics combined with Valentino’s modern-luxe femininity will be a hit with the fashion crowd and buying public alike. Watch this space!

I imagine a sea of red (not Product Red- Bono has yet to jump on this bandwagon) feminine gowns awaits us
..perfect for the holidays!x
 P.S.  As I mentioned, Sophie Theallet also collaborated with Gap and here are the two dresses on two lovely actresses that night...I remember seeing them at the time and could not believe they were from the same designer...
I'm not sure I would hug the person who made me look like an upmarket German beer wench...


Monday, 1 November 2010

Classics - Leopard Print or Call of the Wild

"I don't want to be cool, I want to be Fashion" Anna Dello Russo
 I am of the belief that not all animal prints are created equal, that one stands shoulders above the rest in the fashion jungle.  Leopard.  A smattering of it can add glamour to the most normal day to day combination.  Looking stunning when worn with simple black, jeans and a t-shirt; as little as a scarf or going all out with a wild coat (or truly going for Ms Dello Russo above!), leopard is one of the classics.  

Rosamund Pike and Carey Mulligan in An Education
There were two triggers for this post, firstly that it is now cold enough in London to dig out my beautiful fur (faux obviously!) leopard coat from Topshop last season (seen on Alexa below).  I teamed it with a black silk over sized shirt from Silence and Noise, black leggings with leather panels (ASOS), red quilted ballet flats (French Sole) and my black Chanel 2.55.

Secondly, all the beautiful 3.1 Phillip Lim pieces from Autumn/ Winter 10/11..which it must be said are in a variety of animal prints.  I'm particularly obsessed with the leopard print Derby Oxford and the Atomique mixed media trainer, oh and the stunning giraffe and leather biker jacket, but unfortunately do not have a spare £1085 at the moment so I'll be sticking with my vintage style Topshop coat for now.
3.1 Phillip Lim items from La Garconne, Browns Fashion, Neiman Marcus, Aloha Rag and Net a Porter.  With thanks to Susie Bubble for the collage.
I can even pinpoint when my love affair with leopard started, it was seeing Audrey in her perfect leopard pillar box hat in Charade, watching on a Sunday afternoon with my mother and I thought it was the most glamorous outfit I had ever seen....