Thursday, 26 August 2010

We love Lauren

Which cover of Love magazine did you buy?

I chose the Lauren Hutton cover. The man in the newsagent asked why I didn’t buy the Kelly Brook one ... I told him I could see why he liked it but that I was more of a seventies girl.

The gap-toothed model and actress – she starred in American Gigolo and The Gambler – is one of 8 covers from editor Katy Grand.

Gisele, Sienna, Rosie HW, Agyness and a host of others also star.

Aged 66 (she’ll be 67 later this year), Hutton is a lesson in how to look good at any age. She once told an interviewer, “Our wrinkles are our medals of the passage of life. They are what we have been through and who we want to be.”

Here are some other great pictures that celebrate her individuality and spirit.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

My minimalist icon

I’ve been thinking a lot over the last couple of days, as we approach September, about the feeling of the new season and the new minimalism mood. As much as it pains me to wave a sad farewell to summer, it’s nice to see the light at the end of the tunnel of sale rails.

The question is how to work the look without looking like a frump. Mid-calf length skirts, pointy-toed kitten heels and ladylike bags are all well and good on a supermodel strutting down Marc Jacobs’ catwalk but in real life, not so sexy.

What I need is a role model, someone who works the look and shows us all how to do it. Minimalism has been away so long that these people are in short supply.

Looking through photographs for an unrelated project, I stumbled across some pictures of Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, who was briefly married to JFK Jr before they were both killed (along with Carolyn’s older sister, Lauren) in a plane crash off Martha’s Vineyard in 1999.

CBK was the ultimate ‘90s girl – she worked in a Calvin Klein shop in Boston before moving to New York and becoming a publicist.

She met Kennedy running In Central Park and they married in 1996.

Frequent subjects of the paparrazzi, the pair were photographed both on the street walking their dog and attending black tie events.

CBK was the epitome of minimal style. Simple, pared back, chic – she could have stepped off a number of A/W ‘10 runways – Celine, Chloe, Marc Jacobs, and, of course, Calvin Klein.

So how did she manage to make a simple black jumper or shift dress look sexy? Her trademarks were her red lips, her blonde hair (worn either loose or in an easy, low bun or ponytail), a white shirt and great accessories. Just check out her Hermes Birkin bag.

It’s undeniable that she had the ultimate in ‘accessories’ in the shape of her handsome, iconic husband. How could she fail to look amazing perched on his knee or arm in arm? But her smile and poise are things we can all attempt.

Friday, 13 August 2010

It's all in the details

Now, you may not put much store into how a woman carries her handbag. But I am paid to consider such things as "to clutch or not to clutch" (I know, lucky me) and as such have noticed a quiet revolution in the air.

For a long time the "Wag Crook" has ruled in the handbag carrying stakes. This has meant large, cumbersome totes (sometimes several sizes larger than the carrier themselves) hooked into the crook of the arm, in the manner originally of The Queen and latterly of Victoria Beckham. And it’s all become a little contrived.

So, in the way that everything that becomes popular must be changed (copyright: the fashion industry), designers have put a stop to it.

Just look at the catwalks (Exhibit A if you will).
Never mind the style of the bag, from tote to satchel, shopper to clutch, it was carried any way but in the crook (either by the handle against the side of the body, across the body, on the shoulder or tucked snugly under the arm, like a newspaper).

Whether this was part of the ladylike trend (Prada and Louis Vuitton) or the slouchy, grown-up grunge look (Dries Van Noten and Sonia Rykiel), it doesn’t matter. The devil is in the details.

And style insiders have been quick to catch on (Exhibit B).
Of course, the resurgence of the bag with a strap (surely “a strag”) as seen at Celine and Mulberry hasn’t harmed this mini revolution.

It looks so much sweeter and more practical – one’s hands are free and uncluttered. Carrying a bag in the crook now looks as dated as having a bag covered in padlocks, whistles and chains.

Of course, there is an anomaly to every trend. And in the case of one so stylish and pretty, you could of course, follow Giovanna’s lead and just do what you like. 
Catwalk images from [Louis Vuitton, Dries Van Noten x2, Prada x2, Sonia Rykiel]; street style photos [Jak&Jil].

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Weekend dreaming

After a late finish at work last night, today I feel like staying in bed and eating cakes, like Kirsten Dunst in Marie Antoinette. A girl can dream.

Instead I'm planning my weekend (a quiet one in the country with a little trip to the spa) ...
If only I looked so elegant on my horse. Poor Storm would rather be stuffing her little barrel belly with grass than carting me around wearing a feathered head dress.

I might even give in to the fear and start a little light shopping for my fashion week wardrobe. It can't hurt to see what's out there. Can it?

After all, New York kicks off in four weeks and I am minus a coat, blouses, shoes, skinny belts ... (the fear is dreadful)
and with ASOS Tee-V taking centre stage we have to be camera ready (dear God).
I like to think I could look this chic when I check in. Maybe after a facial, a mani-pedi and a massage I will. The reality is oh-so-different.

Image of horse from Scout Holiday.
Still from Marie Antoinette directed by Sofia Coppola.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Paris je t'aime

Oh Paris. City of my dreams ... I had the most wonderful birthday in in the city of light. We stayed in the 8eme, near Rue Faubourg St Honore (fatal) and a stone's throw from all the major sights. The red geraniums on our balcony were particularly picturesque ...
I don't think I saw one single bad piece of architecture. It doesn't exist here.

We did enough to fill 1,000 blogs so I will keep it short and sweet, like a Laduree macaroon ...
How beautiful are their windows? Vive les vacances indeed! We had birthday afternoon tea in the tearoom on rue Bonaparte - you should visit just to see the beautiful, whimsical wall paintings. I chose the rose petal desert to accompany my Earl Grey ...
As tasty as it was beautiful. Even the china these treats are served up on is covetable ...
If I lived in Paris I would eat there every day. And be poverty stricken. And very overweight. Still a girl can dream. I also got a raspberry tart as a takeaway that I ate for breakfast the following morning (sadly it didn't last long enough for me to take a photo of it). Oops.

Aside from all the eating (mmm steak frites) we also did a LOT of walking, clocking up seven (yes, really) hours on our first day. We stumbled across the Paris Plage, which I'd been hoping to see ...
If you can't get to the beach, the beach comes to you. Genius. Can London please adopt this idea?

We also found a really sweet market in the Marais called Marche des Enfants Rouges, which literally translates as the market of the red children, named for the uniform of the children who lived in the former orphanage here. Aside from the food there were boxes and boxes of old black and white photos. I could have spent hours happily browsing ...
And what's a trip to rue Faubourg St Honore without a pit-stop at Prada?