Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Femmes d'un certain age and feminism at Paris Fashion Week

JPG photos: Show Studio

It was all parties and protests at Paris Fashion Week. A faux feminist march stormed the Chanel catwalk, with models carrying banners declaring 'make fashion not war' and 'boys should get pregnant too,' and so on. Nil points for sloganeering Karl, but any activity that promotes feminism and equality is a good thing in my book. Which is why I was pleased to see a gathering of gorgeous grown-up models at Jean Paul Gaultier's theatrical swansong; in what looked like a fabulous runway retrospective of the designer's career (the ready-to-wear collection is closing and so this was the last show). While Lanvin celebrated its 125th birthday by using older models including; Amber Valletta, Kirsten Owen and Violetta Sanchez.

Photo: Susie Bubble
Lanvin photos: Dazed Digital

The fabulous Tanya Drouginska at Jean Paul Gaultier:

Photo: Dazed Digital

Pass the Chanel megaphone, will you: Down with ageism! Three cheers for for grown-up style!

Monday, 29 September 2014

Sandra and The World According to Gogglebox

So I met Sandra one of the stars of Channel 4's award-winning series Gogglebox (very randomly in Brixton yesterday). For viewers who don't live in the UK, Gogglebox is a post-post-modern reality TV programme showing people in their own homes watching TV. Sounds rubbish, but it's hilarious. And incredibly popular. Sandra told me that over 5m viewers tuned in for the new series on Friday night. There's a cast of families and friends around the country - and the 52-year-old south Londoner is filmed at home in Brixton, discussing the week's news and views with her friend of 40-years Sandy. Each episode, takes two to three nights filming and so I asked her if it was hard work and she said, 'Nah, it's dead easy. I just sit on my arse watching telly and eating.'

As Sandra talked me through the new book of the show: The World According to Gogglebox, I couldn't help admiring her fine collection of rings, and she revealed that she' ll be launching a jewellery website soon. You heard it here first.

Sandra and Sandy will be at Foyles bookshop on Wednesday evening signing copies of The World According to Gogglebox. Further details here.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Linda Rodin for

Shirt, Alexander McQueen, available HERE. Skirt, Peter Pilotto, available HERE. Shoes, Oscar de la Renta, available HERE.

There's a fabulous Linda Rodin shoot in the latest issue of magazine. Ruth Chapman (the co-founder of told me about it when I interviewed her recently. We'd never met before but got on like a house on fire, talking non-stop about fashion, life and style, and how inspiring we find women like Linda Rodin. As well as being a successful stylist and businesswoman, Rodin has a fantastic attitude to age, ‘I don't think 66 is old; it's just that - in our culture - 26 is old. I have so many friends who are older than me who feel young, too. In the fashion and beauty bubble I am a strange bird, but in the wider context of the world, I'm not.’

Coat, Emilia Wickstead, available HERE

Shirt, similar HERE. Shoes, Tabitha Simmons, available HERE

Shirt, Band of Outsiders, available HERE
Coat, similar HERE. Shoes Tabitha Simmons, as above.

HINT: there are tons of inspirational women in my book - talking of which, I need to get back to writing my intro!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Classic autumn shoes: Cheaney for Toast

I think I've forgotten how to wear shoes. It's been such a lovely, long summer and - if you can brave the morning chill - is still just about warm enough for Birkenstocks. So this year's autumn transition feels particularly tricky. I've noticed that Toast has a small range of women's styles handcrafted in England by master shoemakers Joseph Cheaney & Sons. The British brand has been manufacturing traditional footwear since 1886 and is now owned by cousins Jonathan and William Church, of the Church's shoe family - which is now owned by Prada. Talk about Trad Shoe Shuffle. Obviously, being made in Northamptonshire from the finest leathers means these gorgeous shoes aren't cheap, but with footwear I honestly believe that you get what you pay for. My favourites are the dark navy Emily monkstrap shoe, £265, available HERE - I'd wear them everyday with black trousers or dark denim jeans - and the Maisie Oxford brogue, £265, available HERE.

Who doesn't love a new pair of autumn shoes?

Monday, 22 September 2014

Two Good Films

Driving Miss Kylie

In the last week I've seen two brilliant films. The feelgood movie Pride, (based on a true story about a lesbian and gay support group raising funds during the 1984 miner's strike), had me sobbing, and longing for those pre-me-me-me-society days. Spoiler alert: the Dominic West dance scene is fantastic but for me one of the funniest moments was Imelda Staunton telling local doubters that she was, 'Off to Swansea a massive les-off.' And there was more reminiscing during 20,000 Days on Earth, the highly stylised Nick Cave documentary. Purporting to be a day in the life of the antipodean rock god, this beautifully shot film includes interviews with a therapist, as well as Ray Winstone, and Kylie Minogue, all offset by a wonderful soundtrack and a deadpan sense of humour. Having been a huge fan since I saw the Birthday Party in Manchester in the early eighties, I might be a bit biased - but whether you're a Nick Cave fan or not, this is a bloody good film.

The title refers to the number of days the artist has spent on earth. Work out how many days you've been alive here.