Wednesday, 22 May 2013
Sod the weather, let's talk about sandals. This summer for the first time ever, I'd like a pair in white. With a mid-heel. I know. A proper Mum Shoe. A Queen Mum Shoe. A Mother-of-the-Bride Shoe. I'm not quite sure what's behind this urge - possibly the all-white extravaganza on the Louis Vuitton spring/summer catwalk, or the fact that last week, I had a wedding in Essex to go to. And people, that is not a derogatory comment. Blackpool and Romford are practically twin towns. Essex is a fine British county that reminds me of home, and I love it. Anyhow. As always with a fashion fad, I believe it's best to spend less on something that doesn't fit into the hardy perennial category. For me, it's a toss-up between the sandals from Clarks (above) and Boden (below). Avoid looking too Queen Mum by ditching the matching handbag and pearls and making sure the rest of the outfit is sharp and modern. I'll be wearing mine with my new fancy pants (coming soon), chandelier earrings and navy boyfriend jacket. And should the sun come out, I'm sure we'll see the mid-heeled sandal blossoming at Chelsea Flower Show.
Which pair do you like best?
Monday, 20 May 2013
It's model turned community gardener Mak Gilchrist. And her mum. Celebrating the grand opening of The Edible Bus Stop (EBS) project in Stockwell, London. Remember I told you about multi-talented Mak before? We worked together when I was a fashion editor, in a former, more glamorous life - and met again, a couple of years ago, when I read about The EBS project in the newspaper. What started as a spot of guerilla gardening amongst the 47-year-old and some friends and neighbours, has turned into a full-time occupation. Plans are now underway to create a network of gardens.
It was a proper street party. With a steel band. And local residents gathered to help bed plants, eat, drink and celebrate. When the man with the walking stick (below, below) started dancing, I very nearly blubbed. As Mak points out, 'This isn't a garden to be modest about, it's absolutely awesome! We should rightly be very proud of ourselves. A dedicated group worked very hard to make this happen. Essentially we used gardening as a tool to galvanize the community.'
There was even a guest guerilla gardener, ahem:
This inspirational project shows the power of the people, and how a strong vision and determination can pull a local community together - and change the whole face of a neighborhood. Isn't that how New York's High Line came about?
Forget Chelsea Flower Show, I'm staying in Stockwell. Mak Gilchrist for Mayor!
Friday, 17 May 2013
The fabulous Bill Murray karaoke scene in Lost in Translation is reason enough to love Sofia Coppola. Who didn't want to swap places with Scarlett Johansson for a go on the mike? And, I know it's a bit of a cliché to bang on about how chic this scion of Hollywood royalty is, but for grown-up style inspiration, her low-key look on La Croisette has been second to none. Largely Louis Vuitton - she is mates with Marc Jacobs after all - the 42-year-old's look is very modern, very pared-down Parisian. Or a bit like Alexa Chung without the quirk.
|Down with frou-frou...|
Thursday, 16 May 2013
|Harriet Harman photo: Getty|
Let's have a big round of applause for my local MP (and Labour's deputy leader and shadow culture secretary) Harriet Harman. On the day when UK broadcasters and the Older Women's Commission were meeting to discuss discrimination against female TV presenters over the age of 50, Harman remarked:
'Broadcasters behave as though the viewing public have to be protected from the sight of an older woman and that's just rude. There is nothing wrong with being an older woman. We've got to fight back against this sense that older women are less valuable, whereas men accumulate wisdom authority and experience as they age.'
Hear, hear. Now, you've probably seen this already but I think the front page of today's Guardian - highlighting the statistics from a new study - is worth another look:
And now for my two pennies worth... I'm so bored with the media's unhealthy obsession with youth. And the fact that to remain in the limelight, talented women are expected not to show any signs of ageing, to dye their hair and pump their faces full of Botox and fillers and what have you. Whilst male counterparts are left to go grey and wrinkly, in peace. It's just not on. And it's really shocking that such blatant ageism and sexism is allowed within these big corporations. Julie Walters, 63, was spot on. Where is Anna Ford? Why can't she be on the news? Why can't fantastic women like Joan Bakewell, 79, be on TV more often? She was brilliant on Have I Got News For You.
|Anna Ford, aged 69.|
|Joan Bakewell wearing the thinking woman's earrings.|
As fashion broadcaster and co-founder of All Walks Beyond The Catwalk Caryn Franklin, 54, said on Woman's Hour today (there was a brilliant feature on older models with Franklin and the fabulous, 84-year-old model Daphne Selfe), 'It's not just about older women seeing older models, it's about younger women seeing older women too.'
|Caryn Franklin. Photo: Getty.|
Wednesday, 15 May 2013
Isn't this the epitome of Casual Glamour? That's my signature look, in case anyone needs reminding. You'll often find me in jeans and a t-shirt and a big pair of chandelier earrings. I have a big head and a long neck so this works for me - and I like to liven up a low-key outfit with a sprinkling of glitz. It's the Blackpool in me. This photograph is from Toast, where you can buy the lovely striped Breton top but unfortunately not the earrings - they're vintage and have sold out. I know, tragic. Should you be wanting to create a similar effect, here are a couple of eye-catching alternatives.
|Tom Binns painted Swarovski Crystal.|
|Tom Binns chandelier earrings.|
|Miguel Ases blue quartz earrings for Astley Clarke.|
If, like me, you have prefer your jewellery on the trashy side - how about this pair from ASOS for a tenner?
How do you like to dress up a simple outfit?