Monthly Archives: April 2011

Merhaba love

In all the glorious tumult and madness that lead up to my London/Istanbul escapade I entirely ran out of time to say farewell.

Having completed my first long-haul flight from Cape Town to London and haviıng spent four fast-paced, shoppiıng-fılled days there, I now find myself in the heart of Istanbul, an entirely different (or foreign) affair.

So far it has been a journey of many firsts: first long flight, first grappliıng with the London underground, first Starbucks/Tesco/H&M/Zara/Topshop, first Oyster card, first Turkish language crash course, ferry trip, and certainly the first time I have been called a ‘tired angel’ by a fetching young Turk and approached like a real live tourist. ‘Teşekkürler,’ thank you, I say, and then move swiftly along, but not without some brief appreciation of the fine and distinguished profile possessed by so many of the men here.

Tomorrow we are going to the so-called Tuesday market or bazaar, in search of more hidden gems – jewellery, spices, scarves – and then on to Beyöglu, the hip cultural quarter in old Istanbul that is home to many up and coming designers as well as high street favourites like Mango and H&M. I will post pictures of my finds when I get a chance. It also seems that I may have the opportunity to interview quite a big local designer, so updates on that soon.

London was a shopping eye-opener for me. Spending the day at the Oxford Circus Topshop on a hangover was indeed a humbliıng experience. When I entered the gleaming doorways and was confronted by the four floors of undulating colour and texture I actually felt a little sick. And it wasn’t the prevıous night’s gin. It was sheer intimidation – how would I take it all in and actually make some decisions? Especially with an insatiable craving for orange juice and feet that already ached from the previous day’s wander round Spitalfields? Somehow, I emerged victorious. The highlight was definitely the Celine knock-off clogs I shimmied away with – super high, extra clunky, genuinely dangerous. A trip to Brick Lane later that night confirmed this, as I nearly snapped my right ankle a couple of times, although always with a smile on my face. ‘Worth it,’ I mused.

Pictures up soon, but in the meantime, a few little snapshots of things encountered along the way – Katy and I posiıng like Mods, achingly beautiful and ancient pumps at Spitalfields, Selfridge’s seductions, and a tiny sprinkle of Ottoman spice.

Junkie

Okay. You may be thinking I am obsessed, but at least I’ll admit it. I thought I’d go watch this video just one last time, and then I thought, what if there are other people that still haven’t watched it?

If you missed my Steed Lord lust the first (or second or third) time round, here it is again.

Epic style. And this morning’s Susie Bubble Reykjavik inspiration, plus this video have got me researching Iceland in a big way.

SuperKronic

Susie Bubble remains my favourite fashion blogger, for the simple fact that she actually writes.

True fashion journalism, in my opinion, is an endangered art. Sure, many more fashion lovers are taking to the web with opinions, pictures and observations, but there are few that hold true to copy-driven posts. Although I am still a real magazine devotee, and find nothing more relaxing and indulgent than spending a few hours poring over a Vogue whilst lying on my bed, feet up, it is merely the truth that more and more writers are turning to blogs as their medium.

I really believe in maintaining a journalistic standard, though, and to me, Susie achieves this daily. Couple this with her innate impishness and hedonistic style, and you get an uber-productive, creative and inspiring writer who writes like old, but lives and thinks like new. I love it. I love that she travels to far-flung places and researches designers, methods of production, fabrics and stitching. And that her approach to clothing and fashion is at once reverent and irreverent.

Her recent trip to Iceland is a great example of her hands-on immersion in the worlds and minds of designers. Whilst in Reykjavik, she spent some time at a colourful little store called Kron, run by two equally bright personalities, Hugrun and Magni.

Featuring an epic selection of playful, outlandish shoes from Sonia Rykiel, to Tsumori Chisato, to Marc by Marc Jacobs, the store is a candy-hued playground of things to look at. Their own label, Kron by KronKron, is the highlight. Shoes like you’ve never seen before – a delightful hybrid of Dr Seuss shapes meets Marie Antoinette ruffles and harmoniously incongruous colour. And with hosiery to match – legs seamed in candy-coloured strata and cross stitch cool.

With an overwhelming selection of colours and styles, it would be hard to choose a pair of Krons to call my own, but this is what Susie went with.

She also gave a sneak peek at their range of Victorian-inspired velvet dresses. And you know how I feel about velvet.

Inspiring stuff, huh? Check out the full story here.

Dressage

I’ve been noticing a little penchant for equestriana alighting on catwalks and streets alike lately.

Riding helmets with kitty ears at Givenchy, skinny leather belts knotted on hips and waists, buckle-up satchels and tassel prints galore… A sure continuation of last year’s jockey-like silhouette – riding boots, jodhpur-style trousers and elbow patches – the trend is perfectly geared for the Winter months.

Coupled with equestrian-inspired prints, buckle detailing and lots of leather, the look has a certain Sloaney luxeness that I find really appealing.

My take on the look would be to pair a prim, collared blouse with rock ‘n roll leather skirt and stacked, tasselled loafers. Schoolgirl socks add extra edge.



Stranger in a Strange Land

This exquisite shoot, fittingly entitled ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’, was featured in Vogue Nippon in 2008. I stumbled upon it this weekend, and with my imminent trip to London and Turkey (one week today!), I feel that it’s quite apt.

Featuring the eerily beautiful Carmen Kass, photographed by Yelena Yemchuk and styled by Anastasia Barbieri, the spread is a visually delightful culture clash. Alongside couture gowns and headgear, the traditional geisha kimonos actually look at home. They are as ornate, if not more beautifully constructed. The Western couture pieces attain an Oriental dimension with the inclusion of unusual head pieces and origami-like folds.
I am beyond excited for my own adventure to a foreign land. In all honesty, though, London is as foreign to me Istanbul. Even though friends have been telling me how at home I will feel there for years, the very mention of escalators criss-crossing endlessly down towards the underground is enough to raise my eyebrows.
And Istanbul?
I have decided to go completely unmoderated by influence – no research, no Lonely Planet guides, just pure, plain exploration. Indeed a stranger in a strange land. The idea of trundling unknown avenues, tasting new things and absorbing different textures is a dream, filtered through Travel Channel snippets, half-remembered pieces of music and glassy blue evil-eyes.

No-No. No.

I think it’s time for leggings to go away now.

I am tired of seeing them incorrectly worn, as they so often are. Unarguably not fit for all shapes and sizes, they seem to give many girls reason to show off things that other trousers artfully conceal (crotches, thongs, cellulite, ahem).

My main gripe, despite the fact that they really only look good on Sienna Miller-types, is the fact that they are most often worn to within an inch of their lives. And then worn again. When I say this, I’m referring to the phenomenon whereby the cotton lycra thins to the point that it produces a dappled effect across the thighs. Meaning: the world can see your legs through your pants. Meaning: throw them away! It’s not just a case of your lycra catching the light. It genuinely is a case of your pants perishing on your person.

And the other thing is that people try to get creative with them. Zips, laceups, rhinestones and more. Cut off at the calf, tucked into Uggs (Lord help us) or paired with heels for a night on the town. All this, and the trend has still long overstayed its welcome!

It also spawned a set of nightmarish sub-trends, jeggings and treggings, that are as much a visual abomination as they are a literary one. Their very names are a scar on the English language. Lindsay Lohan also launched a line dedicated specifically to leggings of all kinds… I rest my case.

The next time you don your leggings, think twice. Ask an honest friend if they can see your panties through your pants. Ensure that you have not paired calf-length leggings with shoes that stray beyond the ankle, producing a strange effect that can only (sadly) be described as squattening.

Or better yet, burn the buggers. Their tenure is up.

Anjelica

Yesterday I had the longest, most languid Sunday lunch with my great friend Olivia and her equally great mom, Lindy. Between rounds of camembert, slivers of Daim and lashings of homegrown garlic, we talked about men and women, friends and foes. And Anjelica Huston.

There are surely many other Anjelica fans out there, particularly after she reminded the world of her unusual beauty and characteristic wryness in Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic in 2004 (featuring the unofficial love of my life, Jeff Goldblum, who, despite persistent references by others to The Fly, remains my majestic-nosed male benchmark).

It’s certainly something to do with the fact that she was a perfectly gothic and sensual Morticia Addams, a perfectly ghastly queen witch in The Witches, and of course, a perfect muse for Zissou and Hennessey to tussle over. She does offbeat so naturally and seems to bring so much of her real self to each role.

These images of Anjelica in her younger years really demonstrate her strong-nosed, exotic-eyed beauty. Her signature fringe, regal carriage and otherworldly glamour have long been her trademarks. And let us not forget that she was once Jack Nicholson’s lover.

Anjelica is also known for her penchant for well-tailored trousers and blouses – a slightly androgynous look highlighted by her striking features and commanding posture.

Silk blouses are pretty much my favourite thing to wear – my go-to staple that I see as an alternative to T-shirts and other basics. Lately I’ve been pairing them with high-waisted trousers and belts for a real vintage silhouette. I love the combination of a light, floaty blouse with a pair of structured, masculine trousers. Anjelica-esque!