Reading List

So, given that I have nothing else to post about (other than that I wore double denim - blue shirt with grey trousers - today and the exact same outfit was in the Telegraph's Clost Thinker column, which yes I know came out yesterday but I only saw it today), I thought it might be a cause of amusement for y'all to learn a little bit about the very limited selection of magazines that I read.
I warn you, it's not extensive. And it's very pedestrian. But I like what I like.
So....some magazines that I no longer read.
At times, I have really enjoyed these. But I think some of them have become samey, or just tacky. They shouldn't even be on this blog, as they hardly qualify as fashion mags.
Bit of a shock? I think, to be honest, it's too sophisticated for my tastes. Plus they love Kate too much. It took them far too long to give Freja a cover.
Ok, and some magazines that I love and will always buy.
Ok, so I know that you don't actually have to buy this one, and that it's just a glorified catalogue, but for a magazine for an online shop, it's pretty inspired. A proper cover star and interview, plus photo shoot, beauty, articles, styling and the only 'catwalk to store' feature where you can guarentee every item's location? It's pretty impressive for the side project of one of the world's biggest online shops.
I read this every week, partly because my brother bought me a subscription and partly because I'm a bit addicted to trying to get my name in it (I think they twigged this and stopped printing my letters....) It's often hit and miss, like most weeklies, but when they're good, they're great, bringing fabulous fashion and well-written human interest stories. They lose points for often taking stories straight from Perez and having Cheryl, Jen and Angie on cover rotation.
And finally, no surprises here....
It's inspired. The layout is clean, minimal yet not pretentious and inaccessable, the shoots are similarly simple yet standout, and they have done the rare thing of being able to edge out even the most vapid of cover girls (cringe, Cheryl, cringe) and feature a celebrity while still making them look like a model. Their writing is informative yet with real hooks, and I cannot get enough of the fashion. Unlike Vogue, I think that this one's aimed at me and my age bracket, or probably more correctly style contemporaries - it's edgier, darker, a bit grungier, timelessly hip, style rather than trend-led. It's got integrity, and it's got staying power. Sure it has its hiccups, but that's always a matter of taste. All that I've said here is a matter of taste.
And I love Elle so much partly because of this incredible cover from last summer, of Lindsay, pre-meltdown. I could stare at it all day.
(And for those of you disappointed by my lack of pretentious artsy mags which are filled with skinny nudes, ads for brands I've never heard of and hardly any writing....recommend me some?)


Learning and Cold Stone

I am still around, never fear. Just had a busy few days of the delivering the magazine (first day in the rain, eugh) and yesterday I went on a little daytrip to Oxford.
Coincides nicely with putting up the photos I took when I went to Cambridge...
Some street-style shots (I don't quite have the guts to actually approach someone and ask to take a picture, hence how dodgy these are....)
And Oxford...
And some street style...ok, just what I wore.
By the end of the day, I was wearing 4 layers. Started with 3, but it was a lot colder in Oxford than I had anticipated. So a hasty stop at Primark nicely coincided with the cold snap. And I fell a bit in love with this tie-dye cardigan that I found loitering on a rail in the wrong section. That's the wonder of Primark. It also reminded me of a long shirt that Hal (coholic) wears in one of my favourite ever outfit posts. Congrats to Hal on the arrival of her baby, as well!
So, I was wearing 4 layers. Lots of floating and swirling in the wind. With my nice new Chelsea boots which are a bit clown-shoe-like but very comfortable and some lovely makeup as done by a lovely lady at the MAC counter. She put some smokey eyeshadow with a green tint on and some bright pale pink lipstick (in fact the limited edition Lady Gaga shade) on me. I am rubbish at doing eyeshadow but every time I go to MAC they inspire me to try again.
Went to see Scott Pilgrim last night and rather enjoyed it (of course). Unsure whether I'd be able to cope with seeing it again as it was really zippy, but the female characters are very endearing. And awesome. Plus they've strengthened my belief that this season is going to be the season of the shaggy bob. Time to start growing my hair...


Who's Guilty?

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd we're back with another segment in the ongoing series entitled 'The WTF World of Beauty Double Standards'.
I actually saw this one a while ago, over at Grazia Daily, famed for being at the cutting edge of fashion news as it happens and pulling no punches about upsetting a few tender-hearted readers. In this case, they got me and a fellow commentator a little riled. But it wasn't so much them that upset us.
Ok, cast your mind back to a post entitled 'Red, like Blood', where I posted a lovely picture of the gorgeous and alluring Evan Rachel-Wood, fully True Blood-ed up as the Queen of Louisiana.
Just thought you might need reminding what she looks like most of the time after having seen her as the face of Gucci's latest fragrance, aptly titled 'Guilty'.
Brace yourselves.
Oh man......
But was I really surprised? As much as we might like to think that they are doing things differently now, the big, well-established names haven't changed their one-dimensional image since, well, ever. More fool me to think that Gucci would try and do something radically different in this new era of 'change'. What's even sadder is that I'm sure a tonne of fashion journos and PR peeps will argue that this is a new perspective - the desire for a wide spread of models and looks has come full circle, there are just too many alternative examples of beauty out there that they just had to remind us what we all used to aspire to. We should all be wearing nice, sensible A-line skirts and wide-leg trousers and kitten heels and carrying neat handbags, because this is what the new era of women want us to wear. Clearly, they've all been watching Mad Men a bit too closely. They've liberated us right back to oppression.
It's clearly worked. Grazia has decided that this look suits her.
I am so close to giving up.



So as I said, I tried out the third look from yesterday's 'girly girl' lookbook selection post.
It was too warm for the leather jacket that I might have worn over the top, and these tracksuit trousers are (squeeeeee) too big for me now. But I quite liked how it worked. Next time I'll pin the trousers, find a longer black garden to wear under a leather jacket....But for a nasty rainy day with nothing to do but sit in the office and think of better times, it was ideal.
Tomorrow I might be delivering the magazine if the weather is ok, so outfit will most likely be dull. But I'm sure I'll be able to get something up. I've been neglecting this blog a bit, ie. not populating it was quality, portfolio-suited illuminating posts about fashion and style, and stuff. So I'll have to try harder.

Seasons of Love

I've become one of those annoying bloggers that I profess to intensely disliking who only posts weepy crap about how hard their life is.
Oh noooooooooooooooooo.
But seriously, it's transition era, and I'm kind of not a fan of sitting around and thinking about it. I'm practically broke (ok not literally, but I am a paradox with money - borderline incapable of saving it without someone to lock it away yet fucking terrified every time I come home with a shopping bag, breathing deeply and looking at my bag warily thinking 'what have I done??'), almost in possession of a nice place to stay in London where I have several nice friendly friends but no security of any kind, a small pet that I am convinced I'm the worst pet-mother of ever (thanks to a lovely friend who told me so, and the fact that I have been spending too much time with real humans to play with her all the time), a desperation to escape and a desire to stay more than anything.
Blind panic sets in.
And then, while doing research for a piece on wedding venues for the magazine, I see this image.
And it warms my tiny frantic heart.


A girly girl wears make-up to the gym

My mum does her hair before she goes to the gym. (My mum has a bob and she curls the ends under so it looks neater before she goes and messes it all up by working out super-hard.) I've never understood why. Maybe one day I will. When I go to the gym I just put a headband on to keep my fringe out of my face. I once ran into town to go to the bank. Yes, town. In my gym gear. In a headband. I am weird. Sometimes I think I'd be so much happier going out in public and not caring about my appearance. But I'm too shallow now.
But I will never be a girly girl. Sure, I'll be cute and irritating and needy, the most unattractive female qualities. I'll wear a pink pouffy press with a pout and a black biker jacket. I've actually been called pretty by some nutter I know, which is not a word I've ever use to describe myself. But I'm just not a girly girl.
Take this lovely collection that I found via someone's blog (temporarily forgotten who is it. Darn.) Epitome of the hip 20-something look for Autumn/Winter.
It ticks all the boxes. Socks'n'sandals, track pants, oversized shirts, A-line skirts and ponchos, snoods...it's a tiny capsule representing a way of dressing this season.
Because my eye is trained to trends right now I was drawn to this....
Poncho. Knee socks. Knotted belt. Oversized clutch purse. Mannish buttoned shirt. Aviators. Unsurprisingly trendy. But could I work this? Hell no. Aside from the fact that I'm not a model, I'm just not girly enough. The key to doing mannish tailoring while still wearing a skirt is to be, well, a bit feminine. Pretty, angelic face. Long hair, preferably blonde. Be cute first, then add the attitude on top.
Ok, so that's out (my legs aren't that good either). So how about this?
Conjures up a Lolita-like, lover-like image of a woman in a man's shirt the morning after, couples with a lovely soft draping jacket. But the model is also soft and feminine with a hard edge, something I don't think I can master.
This is much more like me, though still on dangerous group with the skinny trousers and the vulnerability that softens the hard look of the outfit. I think this is the tricky thing with statement dressing - a person with a statement look can make a simple dress look amazing, but a person with a statement look is difficult to use as a canvas for a strong, trend-heavy look, which these are. All the best models are blank canvases to be made up.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that there are disadvantages to giving oneself a strong look, such as my distinctive hair. You like to think of it as armour, but sometimes I wish I could be the sweet girly girl with the cute, simple look, that can walk barefoot in a field in a long flowing dress like something out of The Virgin Suicides. I wish I could be, a girl, someone's girl, sometimes.
I still think I'm going to attempt the last look tomorrow, weather permitting. Sorry for the lack of posts, and outfit posts. I've spent most of the weekend either entertaining my pet, proof-reading or lounging on a wonderful person's sofa.


Wistful Face

Sometimes I wish I was cute and feminine so I could do wistful well. It just looks stupid and emo on me. I've had a simultaneously awesome and exhausting few days. And though I'm rather emotionally battered as well as a bit tired, I am already sad about the people, new and old friends, that I'm going to be leaving behind when I finally escape the city. Over the years, people have been good enough to trust me with a lot, and it breaks my heart to see anyone suffer - even though I'm not good with emotions, I am good with the feeling of utter helplessness when someone you know and care for needs something you cannot give.
Am all set to accept a place to live in London, and while a small part of me will be counting the days til I can come home, a larger, currently mostly dormant but the biggest part of me will be counting the ways I can stay. It's the dream, really, and you have to chase the dream. I've always wanted to believe I could do anything to do that.


Black on White

So yesterday (and the early hours of this morning) was an interesting day. And today is getting simultaneously more and less interesting. Off to see Inception again tonight with the reason I was up so late last, after I've spent the last few hours hunting for lodging in London.
My parents are giving me grief (for the millionth time) about how I've had it so easy this year living at home. Yeah, I have. I've been ready to leave for months. But upping sticks and leaping with both feet, no job, no income and no friends around me is a lot harder than it looks. I'd love to be fun and free. And I need to gtfo of my hometown. Once I go, I'll have to make it. But right now, given the cosy life, I don't have much incentive.
Boo f*cking hoo. Poor little rich girl
Anyway, long of the short of it is I need somewhere to live in London for three months. If any of you lovely readers are Londoners with a room, have a friend with a room, or have a friend of a friend who needs a roomie, please let me know! I will name you as Supreme Awesome-O 3000 if you can help.
Ok, so what you all come here for....I saw good ol' Jane from Sea of Shoes looking a-mazing with white skin, red hair and black lipstick.
I wasn't hugely into this one. It was comfy and fun, but not flattering. But I was in too much of a hurry to care. And having too much fun in black lipstick. Which my mum doesn't approve of. Of course :).


The Daily Tuneage

I'm thinking of making it a regular feature. Here's the song I've been Youtubing to the max today.

You may recognise it as being butchered by a bunch of stacked women in leotards.


And I feel like taking off...

Sorry I didn't do the obligatory outfit post yesterday gang; was out celebrating my brother's birthday, then came home to entertain my one remaining rat, and after the horrid guilt trip I got from a 'friend' telling me I was being cruel to said rat if I didn't immediately buy another one so she didn't get lonely, I didn't fancy turning my laptop on.
So, outfit. I have developed a bit of an obsession with the shoes you saw me post two days ago. Miu Miu-esque, black suede wedge sandals? Yep. I've worn them on Wednesday and today. I am a bit obsessed. They are leg-lengthening, hardcore and yet feminine and actually really comfortable.
So, here's Wednesday's outfit....(serious hooker chic.)
So yeah, hooker chic. Initially I was going to wear a black vest underneath but at the last moment I brightened myself up. Possibly a bad move. But I nailed the baby Julia Roberts look.
And this is today's. I was running late so threw on the easiest thing to wear in the world.
This denim shirt-dress is wonderfully easy to wear, and I like to think it does a sterling job of balancing out my wider bottom half with a voluminous top half. So just a pair of killer heels and some vampyric pins and I'm good to go!
So maybe tomorrow I won't wear those shoes. It's chucking it down with rain outside (it was raining when I took today's pictures, so maybe suede isn't the best idea. Oh well...



Big piles of it!
The first is the trailer for Black Swan, which has been all over the internet like a virus and looks pretty awesome. I have loved Natalie Portman forever, even more so when she was in Closer, and I'm coming round to Mila Kunis ever since I stopped watching Family Guy and really enjoyed Forgetting Sarah Marshall (so much that I actually bought it, odd).

And the other pile is just a large collection of awesome stuff via other bloggers.
Tavi's final pick of the Resort collections - loving Christopher Kane. Take back all the bad stuff.
This picture of Karla from Karla's Closet - I'm in love with the berry lips and I desperately want those sunglasses.
And this picture of Queen Michelle from Kingdom of Style. She's a hard-rocking ethereal nymph here. I just think she rocks. All the time.

Yesterday Should Have Been Better

I meant to post these outfit pics yesterday as I normally do but I wanted to give the blog a good few hours' silence in dedication to Peaches, recently deceased ratty. So now it's just me and Beans (used to be a string bean, now is a decidedly broad bean) who will just have to tolerate a lot more hugs and occasional random outbursts of crying.
Oh, the outfit. I was quite proud of it. Had actually intended to just wear a repeat of one I wore about a month ago (jeans, ASOS black t-shirt with woodland scene on it and denim shirt) but I couldn't find the t-shirt, so I had to wear a different one, which I think worked better.
Plus I have been watching a discourse about a certain pair of Forever 21 Miu-Miu-a-like shoes (largely promoted by Karen of WhereDidUGetThat) and I think I can beat those ones hands down with my Office pair.
(I'm going to itemise this one, because I feel like it - Topshop aviators and t-shirt, Zara shirt, Current/Elliott jeans, Office wedges, Thomas Sabo pendants and cuff.)
So yes, I am happy with yesterday's outfit. These Current/Elliott jeans are worth every penny (and despite the fact I bought them in the sale, it's still a lot of pennies) and the Office Miu-Miu-a-like suede wedge sandals are a lot more comfortable than they look. Glad I snapped them up. Also glad that I'm actually wearing them! Three times and counting!
Now I have to get back to work. I'd rather just go home and play with my rat and eat cupcakes (it's my brother's birthday today so I made him cupcakes), but duty calls.


An Obituary

Those of you who have been following me for a while will know I keep rats.
Well, as of an hour or so ago I kept rats. Now I keep a rat.
Peaches, who has been ill for a good two-thirds of her life, has passed away. Sadly, I don't know how or why and I was convinced she was getting better. One minute she was running around my room, happy as Larry, and the next I was shouting for my mum as she coughed weakly in my arms. But I'm just glad I was there to pick her up, try to help her, then just give up and stroke and hold her until she was cold. I didn't want to let go of her. I've been holding her and trying to keep her safe and make her healthy for so long. The vet has stopped charging me, I was in there so often. I have tried everything; medicines, diets, seperation. She has been the most expensive rat I've ever owned, but I loved her more than most people agree that it's healthy to love a pet and I'm devastated that I couldn't save her. But I like to think I worked as hard as I could to give her the best, most enjoyable and fulfilling little life a rat could have. And I'm also glad that I was there, not away in London or somewhere else. I'm going to London next month and would have had to leave her, and was terrified of coming home to find her sicker, or worse. Now I can relax a bit, I suppose, and know that while I didn't want her to die, I'm glad she did in this way.
So RIP Peaches. You were the most adorable, friendly little rat, and I wish I could have made you better, and had more time with you.

Irrational Happiness

I have a good hour of work left and I'm fast running out of Dairy Milk Buttons, but I have Paul Simon.
And I have a fantastic blog that I've just discovered, Hyperbole and a Half, a hilarious (I know it's technically 'an hilarious' but I think that looks retarded) account of one person's interesting cerebral and real life adventures told through the medium of cartoons. Brilliant. Check it.


Good Girls Go Bad

My boxset of Gossip Girl has arrived in the post! Yay! Am catching up with all the stupid plot twists and pathetic dramas of the third season, and sincerely enjoying the fashion. While Blair is a bit tired, Serena is just Sluttyiena (though with a fabulous tan) and Vanessa's hair extensions make me want to weep, it's all about Little J. Sure, she may have become a bit of a tearaway in real life, but her Kirsten Dunst-pale skin and stunning blonde hair, along with a black on black wardrobe and legs that go for miles, she's definitely leader of the pack in my book.
Work those pins, girlfriend. This is one of the first looks we see Jenny in (the second, in fact) and it combines the best of all series - cutesy girly braces from Series 1, grungy striped shirt and colour palette from Series 2, and legs legs legs (and designer shoes, no doubt) from Series 3.
A grunge masterclass from 'the new Courtney Love' - making tie-dye look anything but hippy with almost dirty-looking colours and a slick of red lippy.
Dressed up to the nines for a smart evening out with her 'friend' Damien. The less said about him the better, but I LOVED the cobweb detail neckline of this dress.
And with Damien off-duty - a look straight off Wang and Rick Owens runways.
And ready to ruuuuuuule the school, Rizzo-style, in the most creative interpretation of uniform ever. It's gotta be a lenient school!
Anyway, I am no way near that adventurous. I did declare this Rocker Week (in homage to the lovely Hal) and plan to wear printed t-shirts and shorts, along with maybe some heels, losta jewels and layers. Yeah.
I am still working on this 'less is more' thing, as you can see.
This girl (on my vest) is pretty cool. She has Debbie Harry hair (heck, she could be her. I have no idea) and many many tattoos. In my rebellious moments (I rebel in the way that Claire from The Breakfast Club does - in my mind/badly) I dream of what I'd get. Not what this girl has.
I'm not Jenny Humphrey yet, but I need more layers and bling tomorrow.