Thursday, 21 November 2013

Queen Viv To Tell Her Story!

Something I have been trying to keep out of the blog recently is the fact that the Boy and I are buying our first place together. It's wonderful but also incredibly stressful. Right now - it's so horrid that I'm treating the blog a an escape. When it's all sorted, I will update but for now, all I will say is that we're moving to Vivienne Westwood's neighbourhood.  I have seen the flame haired one on her bike rattling along in Clapham Old Town and am harbouring a fantasy that when we move, we will bump into reguarly at the library, local deli and such like. 

Next year, Queen Viv will launch her first ever memoir in October. The fashion veteran is working alongside her friend and renowned biographer, Ian Kelly, to pen her life story in candid detail."The living deserve respect. The dead deserve the truth; Ian and I are working together on this and I am excited that this will be my story, the story nobody ever did before," said Westwood.

The book, published by Picador, will include contributions from Westwood's family and high-profile friends - although names have not been confirmed yet. The memoir will span her career, from primary school teacher to becoming one of the industry's most famous and rebellious designers. As you will be awaree, Westwood is known as much for her passionate eco-campaigning, as she is for being one of punk's key influencers - having helped catapult punk style into the mainstream, with her use of tartan, saftey pins and bondage gear.

"Vivienne is much more than what you first see," said Kelly. "She is passionately committed to human rights and to eco-politics, but as well as that I am keen to tell the truth about a huge-hearted, warm and witty individual, whose face and clothes are known the world over - but who is also recognisably the Derbyshire primary school teacher who met and fell in love with Malcolm McLaren and changed the world."  I cannot wait.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Italiano Style

Valentino posing among his models nearby Trevi Fountain. Rome, July 1967

Whilst Winter creeps upon us, it's good to look forward to the Spring.  In April next year, the glamour and style synonymous with Italy is being celebrated at the V&A and it's going to be a show-stopper of an exhibition.

‘Made in Italy’ has become a global codeword for a representation of style and quality, conveying Italy’s position at the forefront of international trends.  It’s not just Italy’s synonymic designers such as Versace, Gucci and Armani influencing the designers of tomorrow.  Thanks to the online exposure that now surrounds fashion week, fashion editors Anna Dello Russo and Giovanna Battaglia have become today’s style icons and two of Italy’s best fashion exports, likened to a contemporary Anna Piaggi.  By the way, if you're not following Anna on Instagram, I suggest you do so NOW.  Her outfits are inspirational!

In honour of this fashion movement, the V&A will host the first major exhibition, The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014, to examine the country’s contribution to fashion from the end of the Second World War to the present.  More than 100 ensembles by leading fashion houses including Armani, Gucci, Missoni, Prada, Pucci, Valentino and Versace, from the early catwalk shows held in Florence through to the next generation of talent including couture by Giambattista Valli and Valentino’s new designer duo Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli, will be showcased in the museum.

When it comes to sartorial self expression, nobody does it better or more naturally than the Italians, but the exhibition also highlights the influence of Italian cinema - War and Peace, La Dolce Vita and Roman Holiday among others once earned Rome the nickname of “Hollywood on the Tiber”.  Audrey Hepburn, who won the 1953 Best Actress Oscar for her role in Roman Holiday, became not just a major Hollywood star but also a living icon for the Eternal City. Her love affair with the Italian capital is captured in the exhibition, alongside the influence of the many Hollywood films shot on location during the 1950s and 1960s.

If the V&A’s run of previous exhibitions is anything to go by, I’d recommend booking a ticket early at

The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014, sponsored by Bulgari, runs from 5 April - 27 July 2014 at the V&A. 

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Katniss Couture

OK pre the craze of it being "acceptable" to read children's and teenage fiction, I'm sure people would have laughed at me for reading The Hunger Games books but as someone who has always had a great love of literature in all its forms, I would have refused to have been cowed by their prejudice. I can happily say that I enjoy fiction across the spectrum - from Tolstoy to Tolkein, Meyer to Nietzsche, Dickens and Rowling to name but a few. However, I did raise my eyebrows when I heard that Net-a-Porter will not only stock the official Lucas Hugh training gear from Catching Fire (the second part of the trilogy - keep up!)but will also host costume designer Trish Summerville's exclusive Hunger Games inspired collection, too.

Comprising of 19 ready-to-wear pieces, Capitol Couture by Trish Summerville features a metallic laser-cut dress, leather bomber jacket, silk and leather jumpsuit, slogan tees and jewellery with arrow detailing.  Launching on November 21, in time for the film's worldwide release on November 22, Hunger Games fans can snap up Katniss inspired couture (see what I did there?!) from a mere £60
Select pieces from Net-A-Porter's Capitol Couture by Trish Summerville collection

Fashion director of Net-A-Porter, Holli Rogers, recalls that the team "jumped at the chance" to work with Lionsgate and Summerville: "Our customers take their style cues from myriad sources, from the latest runway shows and street trends to TV and film.
"Fashion plays an important role in The Hunger Games series and is especially prevalent in Catching Fire, and fans of the franchise will see the film reference in the collection."

Crowned Costume Designer of the Year at the 10th annual Style Awards, Summerville is no stranger to a high street collaboration. Swedish retailer H&M teamed up with her in the winter of 2011 to create a capsule collection inspired by the fantastic Lisbeth Salander, she of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Summerville also bagged herself the Costumer Designer's Guild Award for her work on director David Fincher's 2011 film so thoughts dear readers..Will you be embracing this trend or do you save your embraces for the lovely Liam Hemsworth who has a much more pivotal role in the story this time round....

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Vogue Covers - Jessica Chastain

'Jessica Chastain burns up Hollywood' the December 2013 US Vogue cover line reads. The American actress couldn't have received a more fitting introduction to the style bible with all that flaming hair and a red hot career to boot.  Since winning over our hearts, and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress, for her role in The Help, Chastain's star has been on the rise...I personally like to think that I first spotted her in Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express and everyone took their lead from me.....

The 37-year-old landed a gig as the face of Yves Saint Laurent's Manifesto fragrance in 2012 and is considered a regular on fashion show front rows around the globe. She also recently probed Karl Lagerfeld in one of his most revealing interviews to date. This certainly begs the question as to why Anna Wintour hasn't snared the flame-haired starlet for Vogue's covers before now, however what do we mere mortals know?

Shot by Annie Leibovitz, Chastain is pictured reclining in a yellow Theory by Theyskens' gown by the sea; a pose which has been coined as a likeness to Frederic Leighton's Flaming June painting. Vogue readers will also see Chastain recreate other pieces of classic artwork in the monthly fashion tome, the Huffington Post reveals but for now..what do you think of the cover?

Monday, 11 November 2013


We are ALL absolutely glued to our phones. Glued to them. You might even be reading this on your phone. But, I often forget my iPhone charger especially if I'm running around like a headless chicken for work (99% of the time). If I've got a long train journey, by the time I've read Buzzfeed, the Vogue website and all the blogs I follow and finished playing around on Pinterest I've run out of battery and probably not responded to the oh so important work emails.

I want a Mighty Purse so much. As well as looking rather splendid, it'll charge my mobile phone. It would even charge my iPad (other tablet models are available) if I had one. Basically, it's a snazzy clutchbag!

It works with a USB adapter, so you just need to charge your purse before you use it. It's compatible with smartphones and tablets and you'll get two phone charges per Mighty Purse charge. I'm guessing that will equate to one tablet charge. And it only weighs 200 grams. Basically: it's a lifesaver on a train to Edinburgh when you realise you've left your iPad charger at home and want to watch the rest of Party of Five season 1.

Given the apparent witchcraft and wizardry involved this gem, I thought they'd have a higher price tag than £84.99. Now that's a lot for a purse (even a real leather one not horrid plastic), but portable chargers are bigger, clunkier, less useful and not actually that much cheaper. And they certainly don't come in lovely yellow and pink leather.

The Mighty Purse is sold out on their website (there's a waiting list and I'm on it), and Amazon have run out as well. BUT! All is not lost! Firebox have some in. Not for long, though. These are going to sell out pretty quickly and then everyone can carry on watching Party of Five/ West Wing. Downton on long train journeys and be very happy indeed. You might even do some work.