Saturday, February 25, 2006


Lesson one: What not to do

A couple of weeks ago I styled a shoot in a really amazing location. I loved it and wanted to tell you all about it but I didn’t have time to take any photo’s myself.
But, hurrah, I was there again today assisting La Doppelganger so I had the chance.

An old four storey warehouse renovated by the owners of furniture store Castle Gibson which specialises in distinctive 20th century furniture, the best thing about it is that all the furniture is for sale. What a nifty idea, eh? Instead of having a dusty old warehouse in which to store your shop stock, you have this amazing space to rent out, conveniently filled with furniture to be used in the shoots, thus you benefit from the location fee and the free promotion of your goods. The place must more than pay for itself. Kerrching!

So in between gorging oneself on the enormous breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea provided; in idle moments between digesting and the occasional flurry of activity (pinning, ironing, hanging up, helping a fully grown adult dress himself, tweaking a collar) you can dream about which pieces you are going to buy. A Victorian plan chest? A wall of 1920’s ex safety deposit boxes from the Ritz? A vintage filing cabinet stripped to the metal and polished? School chairs? An old library bookcase eight feet high with the word ‘silence’ painted on the top shelf? A zinc topped oak dining table? Yes, there are many hours to while away on a shoot especially when the A list photographer seems distinctly under whelmed by your presence from the start.

It’s safer to keep a low profile grazing at the catering table and taking a few snaps of the location to show your readers. Or just text your friends, read e mails on your blackberry, read the paper. Like a NORMAL person.

How not to keep a low profile:

Aim your camera at the same point as the photographer and click at the same time, having somehow overridden the setting that switches the flash OFF.

Let out a gasp and freeze, mortified as the entire room turns towards you as if to say ‘what the fuck?’ Then why not lower your head and wring your hands whilst whispering ‘sorry, sorry I thought the flash was off,’ which no one can hear as you are WHISPERING in a high ceilinged warehouse, making it look like you are simply muttering to yourself whilst rocking back and forth on the walnut and leather art deco daybed.

Monday, February 20, 2006


I was going to write about how I allowed myself to spend a day planning, yes me, planning for my thirtieth birthday celebration. About how I went to The Wolseley, with its vaulted lofty ceilings that made all the people look like little ants rattling around having their afternoon teas. It's mix of Viennoiserie and Chinoiserie that was so grand, that seemed as if it had always been there on the corner of Piccadilly despite having been a car showroom and a bank in previous incarnations. And how it was lovely but it's impersonal vibe didn't feel like the right place to go on my birthday.

So I entered the hallowed foyer of Claridges where the staff were all of indeterminate European origin and a tad snooty and unaccommodating. But the upholstery on the chairs was beautiful and the art deco surroundings were gorgeous. If only the staff, tourists and businessmen could have been transported elsewhere.

I carried on my search for the right birthday venue and ended up at Cecconi's where it was kind of old school cosy sophistication but with friendly staff. Then I was going to tell you about how I wrote and re wrote my guest list and realised that I do want my family and my friends, all of them with me when I turn 30. Even if that might be tricky and I might get let down or disappointed.

But then I found out that a good friend is going to finally be a father and spoke to another who is going through a really difficult time. Then another who is falling in love and another who is struggling with all the shit that life and being human contains.

Change is happening all around, good and bad, and seems able to turn into its opposite at any point. All there seems to be to do is carry on, feed Lola, make the reservation, spend the weekend finally going through my mother's belongings, tidy the garden, complete my foundation course tomorrow evening, turn 30, somehow be there for everyone and for myself.

Thursday, February 16, 2006


Look, Gareth, I know it might seem like this is turning into a bit of a vendetta. And you seem like a nice boy, really. You certainly are flavour of the month and I don't want to spoil it for you but.........


Wednesday, February 15, 2006


DAMN those Sainsbury's Taste the Difference white chocolate raspberry cookies that look gorgeous in the packet photo but taste like chemicals and raspberry jam. And dammit that I've just eaten five of them as a bedtime snack. I kept eating the cookies to decide whether I should just throw them away because they were SO icky, or keep them for the morning to dunk in my tea. Just to have something to dunk in my tea.At least they're GM free! Phew, I wouldn't want to ingest any GM Acid Sodium Pyrophosphate now, would I? But non GM should be fine.

And then I ate a Cadbury's Creme Egg. (If you don't know what this is because you are not English, do try one and you will instantly understand the entire concept of English cuisine. Actually I think they're banned outside the U.K for not being proper chocolate.)

Now I feel sick and the packet is right next to me.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


My cold and I went on our first outing today. We'd spent the weekend huddled up together under a mountain of soggy tissues drinking hot toddies with Lola by our side. Cosy as this was I felt we had got to a place where we could be seen in polite society and be accepted, you know, not make a scene.
Besides I was craving a bit of human company, and since NO ONE BROUGHT ME ANY CAKE (see part 1) I decided we would go to Royal Teas where it's cosy and they make cake just like mamma used to make.

I attempted to normalise my appearance before going out.

Stripy flannel pyjamas and bedsocks swapped for low key day time apparel: check
Blusher on cheek apples to give impression of glowing health: check
Elizabeth Arden eight hour cream dabbed around flaky red nostrils: check
Furry scarf wrapped around throat: check
Carmex lip balm on flaky chapped lips: check

Everything was fine until...

Packet of emergency tissues for when explosive sneezing attack occurs spraying anyone in a 2 metre radius with mucus: oops, I knew I forgot something.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


6 months ago I was aware of the term 'blog' but didn't know what it meant until, as always curious I typed in 'fashion, blog, Paris' to Google and up popped La Coquette. With a good dose of eyestrain from discovering this and so many other great blogs - of course I had to read all the archives, I was officially an addict and absolutely needed to have one of my own.

About a month later I found myself having a coffee with the lovely Mademoiselle La Coquette herself in Paris during fashion week and discussing Bloglines, Sitemeter and blogrolls. Funny how things take hold of you and before you know it you, (the one that thinks computers are boring) are a blogger!
Now I can't imagine not reading my favourite blogs, and feel quite worried of one of my regulars in Brooklyn or Paris or some other far flung destination doesn't post for a few days.

All this to say that this burgeoning community has added another dimension to my life. It's growing, expanding, transforming and becoming ever more creative.

Today I realised that the reason I am resisting swapping my dial up for wi-fi is because then the transformation in me will be complete. No longer will I only be able to log on in the evenings, careful not to spend too much time online.

I will take up residence at my computer: blanket, snacks, liquid refreshment and eyedrops to hand. Days and weeks will pass while I live in Blogdom, my skin will become sallow from lack of light - perhaps I'll install a sunlamp to counteract this. Lola's feeding tray will be moved within arms reach and I'm sure I could install a commode nearby.

I find new blogs I love all the time but the one that started it all for me was La Coquette. So vote for her today at the Bloggies!