oh, roland

know i'm a bit slow on the uptake with this one, but i couldn't let a travesty such as this go without saying something.

WHAT was roland mouret thinking when he unveiled these potato sacks posing as dresses the other week? the belted one is at least slightly wearable - if not made from a scratchy material that really does not justify the 80GBP price tag - but the smocks! oh, the smocks! the girls in the above photos look like they should be wearing rubber gloves and armed with a bottle of window cleaner - housekeeper chic, perhaps?

i think if it were any other designer, i wouldn't have been as disappointed - but when i first heard roland mouret was going to be designing a line for gap, i was hoping that his impeccible tailoring and knack for making the most out of the female figure would come into play in some way - these shapeless bags seem like such a waste of his talents.

how to wear: schoolgirl chic

stuck in germany for a few hours after a work meeting last week, i decided to take a browse round H&M before heading to the airport. i'm not normally a big H&M shopper, but i find that the quality of the clothes is better on the continent than in the UK for some reason, so i try and make a point to stop in whenever i'm travelling there.

i found myself strangely drawn to the hoseiry aisle, particularly a few pairs of thick, woolly, cable-knit knee socks in school uniform shades of navy, grey and ivory. i was a bit short on time & inspiration at that point, so i didn't buy them, but i haven't been able to think about them since, especially after seeing this girl sporting an adorable bright green pair on the sartorialist.

as the temperature drops and leggings start to become impractical, thick, high socks seem like a good alternative for knee-down accessorising. i'm thinking of layering them over dark, opaque tights , peeking out of the top of chunky, flat riding boots, or even just on their own with a pinafore dress and heeled brogues. with the return to 90's in full force with black skinny trousers and grungy parkas filling the shops, it's only natural that other icons of the decade, like cher horowitz and britney, should be referenced as well, no?


red carpet daydreams: emmy's

like many people, the only reason i ever watch award shows is to check out what everyone is wearing. what can i say, is the fashion police officer in me. i've actually been away from the US for too long to really remember what to expect from each show (the emmy's are like the oscars for tv, no?), but even so, i have to say i was really disappointed with this selection - everyone looked like they'd been dressed by a soap opera stylist.

the best:

katherine heigl, obviously - you really can't go wrong with vintage escada. however, she was the best of a bad bunch of sequin & lace prom dresses, and i don't think i'd normally be getting too excited over this. not incredibly creative and won't be remembered tomorrow.

the worst

oh, eva. normally you do so well...and the thing is, i really like this dress, but it's just far too overpowering for her tiny frame. it looks like she's playing dress-up in her mother's closet. and the shoes are much too clunky and awkward for such a statement dress. no, no, no.

if the red carpet were lucky enough to be graced with my presence, am thinking this would be my look of choice - i quite like the idea of going short and minimalist when you know you'll be amidst a sea of long jewel-toned silk gowns. would dress up with a statement ring of some sort and black patent louboutins:

Preen A/W 06 (Marcio Madiera for Style.com)


Inspired by: Krystle Grant Jennings Carrington

some kids played barbie and ken, some played doctor - however, always the aspirational one, i played dynasty. i wanted to be krystle carrington (scary, i know) - the voluminous frosted hair, the glamourous gold lame, the swimming pool in the backyard.
and this season, i kind of want to be her again. last weekend i visited fowey, which is, in my opinion, the best-edited vintage boutique in london, and stocked up on enough plunging v-necklines, bloused sleeves, gold appliques and obscene hemlines to rival the collection of any texan trophy wife. even shoulder pads are not totally off limits. think i'm going to pass on the feathered bangs, however.


have to admit that when i first saw that tartan was going to be big this season, i wasn't hugely enthusiastic. i find tartan to be really difficult to pull off if you aren't in a band / don't have a country house and hunting dogs / aren't keen on hearing people sing 'hit me baby, one more time!' when you walk by. it reminds me of being an awkward 14-year old, wearing a plaid mini-kilt, argyle sweater vest and collared shirt and knee socks in a misguided attempt to look like cher from clueless.

however, my tune has quite possibly changed after spotting this sara berman wrap dress (photo courtesy of anthropologie.com)

everything about it is so modern: the navy / white print, the full skirt and puff sleeves, the crisp silk fabric. it's molly ringwald meets braveheart. opaque tights & platform peep-toes would complete the look
'so,' said Important Admissions Man between drags of his marlboro light, 'why do you want to take this course?'

i knew it was coming, and i'd carefully crafted an answer in the shower that morning, trying to best articulate all the reasons why i've decided to sack in my successful media career and try to start all over again as a writer - 'try' being the key word.

long story short, i've always loved to write, but somehow got sidetracked along the way, around the age of 13 when spending weekends hand-writing stories in a mickey mouse binder is no longer the done thing. i've also always loved fashion, something that has never been sidetracked (despite my best intentions, at times). put the two together and what have you got?

i've started telling select people about this new direction, and the reaction is usually the same - big fake smiles and glazed expressions that say 'fashion writing - not REALLY writing, is it?' it's to be expected, really - after all, no matter how intelligent or witty they are, fashion journalists are never taken as seriously as other writers. and, a lot of the time, this is justified. it's a profession that attracts the shallow, the superficial, the daddy's girls who have the money and connections to spend six months working for free at vogue, and for very little after that.

so yes, i do agree that some fashion writing is a bit of a joke, which is a shame, as i can't think of many other disciplines that offer as much room for comment, critique and debate. i mean, as inconsequential as it seems, fashion is important. it fulfills a basic need in which each & every member of society must participate on some level. it's the ultimate example of an interactive art form, one that requires ridiculous level of precision, talent and ingenuity on the part of the creator, and then goes on to require yet another level of creativity when interpreted by the consumer. it brings forth extremes in emotion, from the rush of giddiness that comes with finding that perfect little black dress to the anguish that is felt when those ass-boosting jeans that worked magic at uni parties can no longer be pulled up past the knees. it brings people together and keeps people apart. it can be intellectualised to no end, but at its core is completely frivolous. it drives economies, it reflects the deepest psyche of our society, and yet is still given second-rate treatment by 'serious' cultural commentators.

and yes, there are some fantastic fashion writers out there, but i believe that until fashion is taken more seriously, there's always room for more. which, in short, is why i'd like to give it a go - i feel like i can contribute something.

of course, i didn't say this in my interview - was far too nervous and Important Admissions Man cut me off after the first couple of lines to ask me where i got my boots. i'm not sure why i felt the need to record it - i guess because i know that no matter what happens, it's not going to be easy and it's all too likely i'm going to fail and be forced to slink sheepishly back to my old life, so i just want some kind of reminder of why i've taken this risk in the first place...