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115 posts categorized "Fashion"

01 April 2011

Giveaway! Beautiful Shabby Apple Dress

 

It’s Spring and this not-so-young woman’s fancies are lightly turning to getting the heck out of rainy, cold and miserable Seattle and going somewhere warm and sunny in Europe instead.

 

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Fortunately for all of us dreaming of summer, the lovely peeps at Shabby Apple have very generously offered to give away one of their delightful summer dresses to mirrormirror blog readers.  After much humming and haaahing (sp?) I have chosen this cute ‘Trevi Fountain’ dress worth $78 a) because the pics make me want to go back and live in Rome and b) because I think the cut and colour will be flattering on lots of people.

 

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There are four different ways to enter the competition and everyone can enter up to four times.  Just make sure you tell me how you’ve entered in a comment below. The competition closes at midnight Pacific Standard Time and I’ll use a random number generator to draw the winning entry as soon as I wake up on Thursday 7th April.

If you win you’ll be able to choose your size and the dress will be shipped directly to you from Shabby Apple if you live in the US. If you live elsewhere, I’ll have it delivered here and then ship it out for FREE, so everyone in the UK and beyond can enter too. And if you aren’t lucky enough to win, Shabby Apple has provided the coupon code mirrormirror10off, so we can all get 10% off at the store.

Below are the different ways to enter. Remember you can enter all four ways as long as you leave a comment telling me how you’ve entered below.

1) Leave a comment below saying if and where you’re thinking of heading on vacation/holiday this summer

2) ’Like’ mirrormirror on Facebook  (leave a comment below saying you’ve done this)

3) ‘Like’ Shabby Apple on Facebook (leave a comment below saying you’ve done this)

4) Tweet the following:  I’ve just entered to win a beautiful Shabby Apple summer dress. You can too!https://is.gd/lkSbhM  (And leave a comment below saying you’ve Tweeted).

Buona fortuna!

Update: If you’ve already ‘liked’ mirrormirror or Shabby Apple on Facebook just let me know in the comments and that can count as an entry too. Oh and make sure you mention each entry in a separate comment.

07 March 2011

Cumming – the Fragrance

 

So we interrupt normal blog programming (insofar as anything is ‘normal’ on this blog), to talk about fragrance.

 

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This Sunday afternoon, following a delicious brunch at Spring Hill restaurant in West Seattle with my dear friends eM and Uncle Beefy, we stopped by the delightful Knows Perfume fragrance boutique on California Avenue to sniff a few scents.

Twenty minutes later our senses were reeling as owner Christen Cottam talked us through our scent preferences and sprayed paper strips with gay abandon.  Knows Perfume specialises in small niche perfume ranges such as L’Artisan Parfumeur, Penhaligons and Juliette Has a Gun, rather than the big brands, and Christen has an encyclopedic knowledge of every one.

We were in between sniffs, when I spied a bottle of Cumming –  the celebrity fragrance from sexy, funny, androgynous Scottish actor Alan Cumming.  I’d vaguely heard that he’d produced one, but had thought it was entirely a joke, what was it doing in such serious perfume company?

Christen explained that it was actually fabulous  - with notes of pine, peat, rubber, whisky, leather, dirt and moss. Uncle Beefy tried it at once, and out of the bottle it was horrible – like rolling on an old beer-stained, smoke-imbued leather sofa in a sweaty club which has been cursorily wiped down with a cheap pine-scented cleaner.

So we continued chatting and sniffing and experimenting until Uncle B suddenly said ‘you know, this is actually smelling rather wonderful’. And it was. Sexy and earthy and natural and woodsy. 

So of course  I had to try it. Same nasty whiff of stinky jockstrap to start, but then on me it dried down to a most deliciously complex mix of vanilla, earth, pepper and orange peel – not like some of those overwhelming vanilla scents which smell like you’ve been smearing yourself with custard -  but more as if I’d been eating orange-scented sugar cookies and exuding them through my skin, with underlying sexy, sweaty undertones. Honestly my dears I was sniffing myself for the rest of the afternoon.

 

It smells EXACTLY like this video

The original commercially-produced Cumming has apparently been discontinued – the fact that it smells DISGUSTING out of the bottle probably doesn’t help -  but has been reformulated for extra longevity by the original perfumer Christopher Brosius and is now included within his range.  I know perfume is a highly subjective subject, but if it doesn’t work for you – and on eM’s skin chemistry it stayed resolutely ‘smelly wet sock’ – then chances are it will do wonders for your man, I couldn’t stop sniffing Uncle B either, though on him it smelled less vanilla-y and more earthy.

All proceeds from the perfume go to charity, so it really wouldn’t hurt to buy a little sample. I  am utterly obsessed.

01 March 2011

Accessories They Should Have Worn – Georgina Chapman

 

Georgina Chapman

 

Georgina Chapman, the designer behind Marchesa and wife of Harvey Weinstein, knows her fashion onions, so I can’t understand why (SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT) she wasn’t beating down the doors of mirrormirror to get her hands on one of our Rose Trimmed Shower Caps.

 

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Separated At Birth – Anne Hathaway Oscars 2011

 

 

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                            Look at ME                                                                                              No, look at ME

 

I suspect this divides almost entirely along country lines. The Americans I was watching with and those on the forums and blogs I read seem to be saying, “Oh, but she’s ADORABLE, and she tried SO hard’.  While all the Brits were going ‘pass the sick bag’.

This is why I will never be American.  Also if the entirely best thing about your act are the costume changes then you' know you’re in trouble.

Separated At Birth – Reese Witherspoon Oscars 2011

 

Reese Witherspoon misreads the invitation that said bring your favourite beer.

 

GuinnessBeer reesewitherspoon

28 February 2011

How to Create an Oscars Dress

 

Take one of these (do sandwich boards exist in the US?)

 

Sandwich board

 

Combine with one of these

 

toilet seat

 

Get out your glue gun and stick on lots of these, and these

 

pinkgumballs yellowbarnacles

 

And lo and behold, Cate Blanchett will wear it.

 

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It’s been nearly 24 hours and I’m still trying to work out if I like this dress or not. What do you guys think? At the very least kudos to her for wearing one of the very few interesting dresses on display last night.

   

Accessories They Should Have Worn – Joan Collins Oscars 2011

 

Joan Collins

 

Oh Joanie, how did you miss the opportunity to wear this?

 

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Separated at Birth – Gayle King Oscars 2011

 

lettuce Gayle King
                                          Gayle King                                                                                                               A head of lettuce

Separated At Birth – Mandy Moore 2011

 

Every year one lucky actress wins the Come As Your Favourite Muppet competition and this year Mandy Moore drew the short straw. 

 

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                                  Mandy Moore                                                                                          Grover

Separated At Birth – Melissa Leo Oscars 2011

 

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                        Melissa                                                                                                     Elvis

Her speech didn’t offend me, but her peculiar broderie anglaise and tinfoil dress really did.

Separated At Birth – Gwyneth Paltrow Oscars 2011

 

Gwyneth Paltrow donatella-versace-superheroes-fashion-and-fantasy-costume-institute-gala-at-the-metropolitan-museum-of-art-departures-1fPwDL
                 Donatella                                                                                                      Gwynnie

Ever so slowly our dear peroxide-addicted Gwynnie is morphing into Donatella Versace. But at least Donatella doesn’t try to sing. (Why, Oscars producers, why?)

 

   

Separated At Birth – Annette Bening Oscars 2011

 

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Annette Bening                                                                                                     A Skeleton

 

She was my pick for Best Actress (though a lot because I can’t BEAR Natalie Portman) and she generally makes good red carpet choices, but there was something rather too anatomical about this rhinestone-encrusted dress. Though a 50 year old who can wear something that draws all eyes straight to her midsection is a brave woman indeed.

   

Separated At Birth – Anne Hathaway Oscars 2011

 

In a night where the King’s Speech swept the major awards before it, Anne Hathaway paid her own small tribute to things old-fashioned and British.

 

Royal Mail red pillar box Ha

             Anne Hathaway                                                            Royal Mail pillar box

 

She’s uber talented (didn’t know she could sing like that) but goodness that was just too much irritating perkiness, girlish giggling and squeeing for one evening.

15 February 2011

Separated at Birth

 

Haven’t done one of these for ages, but I saw a picture of the amazingly fabulous Grace Coddington at New York Fashion Week yesterday and it suddenly struck me who she reminds me of.

Casting directors start sharpening your pencils.

 

Elizabeth I of England Grace Coddington
Grace Coddington dressed up for the shows                                   Elizabeth I of England dresses down

   

08 December 2010

Adventures in Knitting – French Press Slippers

 

I’ve been knitting away at other things apart from sock monkeys, trying to get everything off my books by the end of the year, so I can start the New Year with some lovely new knitting projects. So I’ve got a couple of finished items to show you.

 

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These babies are one of the best projects I’ve ever completed.  Because they’re made of thick wool felt, the slippers are toasty warm and because they’re shrunk to fit your feet precisely, they’re INCREDIBLY comfortable. Seriously they’re going to have to be surgically removed from my feet I’ve been wearing them so much.

Firstly you knit and seam together a large ‘shoe’ from chunky wool.  I used Araucania Nature Wool Chunky, which felts delightfully and, because it is hand-dyed, has a pleasingly mottled depth of colour. I have to admit that the project doesn’t look entirely prepossessing at this stage.

 

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Then I threw them into my ‘Wonder Washer’ washing bucket, together with an old tennis shoe.   If you’re ever going to do any felting ever in your life, then I can’t recommend this highly enough. It gives you such control over the process (and is great for washing handknits etc. too).

The slippers took about 20 minutes to felt down to an acceptable size. I then felted them for three minutes at a time and kept trying them on wet until they were perfectly sized for my feet.

After drying and a haircut (for the slippers not me), I sewed on the straps, which are felted separately. I finished the slippers off with beautiful handmade wooden buttons from OruAka on Etsy.

 

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I think I’m probably the last knitter on Earth to make these slippers which have been all over Ravelry in the last year or so.  If you’re the other knitter on Earth who hasn’t made them yet, then the pattern is available on the French Press Knits blog here, which is also worth checking out for all sorts of cool craft and knitting projects. My project page on Ravelry is here, which shows the mods I made to make these from chunky wool instead of the worsted/dk weight recommended.

   

21 September 2010

Things I Am Loving – Mary Katrantzou Spring 2011

People often say that what’s seen on the catwalk will show up pretty soon in interiors, but it’s not so often that interiors inspiration shows up on the catwalk.

Greek designer Mary Katrantzou gave her first stand-alone collection at London Fashion Week, taking as her inspiration old pictures from The World of Interiors and Architectural Digest.

 

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Katrantzou heightened the colour and symmetry of the images in creating her digital prints, ending up with surreal but stunning patterns, colour combinations and abstractions.

She then went a step further by embellishing her prints with interiors-inspired accessories – chandelier necklaces, pelmet shoulders and curtain-like drapery, though it does start getting a bit silly when she goes into lampshades-as-skirts.

I adore these to pieces and would wear one of those little suits in a heartbeat if I were much taller, younger and skinnier and had been invited to a swanky gallery opening or some such. I’d also love to be able to buy the prints themselves to hang on the wall, or maybe made into separates or bags. And I bet Katy Perry is wetting her knickers just looking at these pics.

Magical stuff.

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The whole collection is worth looking at here. I first found it on my beloved TLo. {All images by Yannis Vlamos / GoRunway.com via Style.com}

Oh and it’s lovely to see from all the London Fashion Week reports, that the old Eurostar terminal at Waterloo is being put to good use. I loved that architecture.

17 August 2010

Adventures in Knitting – Summery Things

 

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It’s that time of year, when I don’t get much else done – the Minx is in camp and it’s a struggle to fit everything in – but I do manage a ton of knitting.

Knitting is the perfect accompaniment to sitting by the playground or wading pool or beach while the Minx grubs about with her friends. Honestly I have no idea how other knittingless mothers cope the boredom. And it’s really interesting to see how fascinated kids are by knitting – they’re always coming up to see how it’s done and what I’m making.

First up is my ever project in a true laceweight yarn – an Abrazo wrap using SweetGeorgia Silk Merino with copper glass beads. This was my holiday knitting project, and after the first few rows, which were a complete nightmare (you start knitting from the bottom up and shape the top with short rows) it was extremely plain sailing and a very enjoyable knit. There’s more here (Ravelry link)

I love the finished product, which has been getting a lot of summer party action.

 

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Here it is pinned out and ‘blocking’ on a towel.

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This is what it looked like when it came off the needles

 

I also managed to complete a little somethin’ somethin’ for the Minx. I actually started this little cotton top last year and practically finished it except for the straps, but then it spent nearly a year languishing in my knitting basket. Yet another quick and enjoyable knit. Ravelry link here. If you’re on Ravelry, I’m mirrormirror, do come and be my friend.

 

And no, I have no idea when the Minx turned into Hannah Montana.

 

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16 June 2010

Go Fug Your Room - Carrie and Big’s Apartment

 

Well, we all know the movie’s crap – two of the best reviews here and here –  but what did we think of the set design?  Most specifically what about Carrie and Big’s new grown-up married folks apartment?

Carrie confesses in the film that over the past year or two she’s been ‘cheating on fashion for furniture’ and she’s been working with same designer, Lydia Marks, who also revamped her apartment in the first movie.

So let’s take a tour.

One of my main bugbears with this new apartment is the colour scheme, which is basically blue and brown. I know Carrie is trying to create an environment that Big will also feel at home in, but it just makes everything seem rather dark and depressing and yet again very not Carrie. I know she’s grown up now, but where’s the fun, the liveliness, the inventiveness, the eccentricity and the bohemia?

 

entryway-

 

The entrance way sets the tone for the whole, some great pieces – love the wallpaper and green glass bottle -  but just a little too fussy and cluttered and somehow old fashioned. Would Carrie really have a glass case of dead butterflies on display?

Entering the living room, I like this view of it. The Rug Company rug is beautiful, as is the coffee table, though, as in her old apartment, the sofa and chairs still seem rather more for 'perching’ than truly relaxing, though much is made in the movie of Big turning into a couch potato.  I think I like the gold painting though I can’t help thinking that Big and Carrie would have a more striking piece of modern art. 

 

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Sex and the City 2

 

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Paul Smith got an excellent bit of product placement in here with his ‘Birdie Blossom’ cushion, which Carrie is seen cuddling like a new lover.  It’s lovely, though I’m not sure the pattern really works here, but it does seem more authentically ‘Carrie’ than much of the rest of the stuff.  It’s also great to see all the books everywhere. One of the things we all complained about last time was the lack of books in bookworm Carrie’s apartment.

 

Sex and the City 2

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From here though things go downhill faster than an Olympic skiier. This view of the sitting room is a cluttered and fussy as a pair of Queen Victoria’s bloomers.  There are just too many little pieces of furniture, too many patterns and too many little splashes of colour against horribly dark and serious walls.

 

sitting area 2

 

This little seating area seems especially ridiculous. Are Carrie and Big really going to sit here as if they were in doctor’s waiting room taking afternoon tea? Isn’t this the perfect spot for a huge comfortable reading chair facing out towards the view?

 

Sex and the City 2

 Sex and the City 2

 

I like the lighter fresher feel in the formal dining area. The Lee Jofa fabric works well and the light fitting is wonderful, though shelves could do with a bit of editing. It goes through to what I think must be the kitchen, though it seems rather impractical to cook in, and I would never, ever, EVER put a rug, however pretty, in space for cooking.  But maybe that’s just me.

 

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Looking to the left from the entrance hall we catch a glimpse of the bedroom, with another fabulous light fitting in the small library and beautiful Cole & Son wallpaper on the bedroom walls, which echoes the paper in the hall.

 

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Carrie makes a huge amount of fuss in this movie about Big’s purchase of a big TV for their bedroom, thus confirming a) that we were right that the big TV in Carrie’s old apartment was incongruous and out of character and b) the TV product placement people have a lot of money.

 

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The bedroom feels a bit ‘hotelly’, but I do like the way they’ve echoed the pattern on the wallpaper with the headboard.  And below we’ve got another lovely rug/useless seating area/boring artwork situation happening.

 

Picture 12

 

The piece de resistance is naturally the closet, with ridiculously twee ‘his and hers’ sides.  I know people have been charmed by this conceit, but to me it looks as ludicrous as having two different his and hers sinks, one ‘feminine’ and one ‘masculine’ side by side in a bathroom. 

 

Sex and the City 2

 

Not bad shoe storage though. 

 

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(By the way Habitually Chic has put together a great post on where to source many of these pieces, including identifying the books that Carrie and Big are currently reading.)

 

So what do you think?  Additional comments hugely encouraged.

 

11 March 2010

Today I Am Mostly…

 

…admiring my new shoes.

 

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Very happy with my new pink Birkies.  I have recently been shopping until I drop at RueLaLa, a invitation-only website featuring 2-day designer boutiques at private sale prices.

I haven’t been given anything to shill for these guys (unfortunately as they’re backrupting me) but they do have some great names on here – homewares and menswear as well as womenswear and accessories -  and the prices are amazing (I picked up a DwellStudio duvet set yesterday for $90).  The good news is that I’m inviting you lovely blog friends. 

Just click HERE, sign up and start shopping. The bad news is that you too will soon be bankrupt. The other bad news is that this appears to be US only for the time being.

08 March 2010

Some Random Oscar Thoughts

 

Since I spent five hours sitting on my couch yesterday until my backside was literally numb, I might as well get a blog post out of it, so here are some random Oscar thoughts.

Best bits of the night were Kathryn Bigelow’s win for Best Director  - yet another big crack in the glass ceiling – and Meryl Streep proudly announcing that she was wearing Chris March. Yes, cuddly Chris March, my all-time favourite Project Runway alum. 

 

Mery Streep Oscars 3

 

She looked radiant and much better than she often does on the red carpet – the dress looked comfortable, age appropriate (take note James Cameron’s wife) and she looked like she was having a blast wearing it. And unlike many fair people she can really carry off white – it makes her flawless skin look like alabaster.

I thought it might be by him as it was reminiscent of the dress he designed for her for the Golden Globes, so I hope this is the beginning of a long and fruitful collaboration for both of them.

Last night the over-40s really schooled the ingenue crowd in how to take the red carpet by storm.

helen-mirren-002Capture

 

Sparkly, glowy Helen Mirren once again made me proud to be British and was once again one of the best dressed of the night.   Demi Moore proved that Rachel Zoe really does know what she’s talking about, though I think that dress would have been nicer in a colour that didn’t so exactly match her own skintone.

Unfortunately SJP, having heard my comment last year that she was too old to dress like an ingenue, went completely the other way and decided to channel Nancy Reagan circa 1976 wth Barbra Streisand hair. 

I was conflicted about the dress as I wanted so much to like it – it was unusual and different and pretty from the back – but in the end it was just too shapeless for her and it wasn’t really helped by the bits of tin foil stuck randomly all over it, nor by the enormous char sui bun made from mismatched hair pieces that she stuck on her head.

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J Lo’s dress has been getting a lot of inexplicable praise this morning.  Personally I thought it looked as if it had been put together in a Project Runway-esque challenge out of miles and miles of bubble wrap and staples, in order to hide the unfortunate stunted conjoined twin she has joined to her hip (I kept expecting to see a little face peeking out from under that side bustle). And isn’t it the convention that you go a little more understated if you’re only presenting?

She is, however, the only woman on the planet who can almost pull something like this off.  And she has the sparkliest eyes I’ve ever seen, as if they’ve been embedded with diamonds or something. If anyone knows the makeup trick she uses to achieve that then I’m all ears.

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Sandra Bullock (who gave a charming and touching speech and who this weekend also went in person to pick up her Razzie for worst actress – giving her thousands of kudos points in my eyes) decided to come dressed as an Oscar and looked better on the red carpet than she usually does.

Sandra Bullock 4     Sandra Bullock 3

Her hair is spectacularly glossy and shiny too, but if you’ve got big ears then the last thing you want to do is tuck your hair behind them and really show them off (take note also Kara DioGuardi and Ellen DeGeneres on American Idol, who have turned that show into a mesmerising big ear fest).  So I shall cross my fingers and pretend that Sandra pulled her hair into a simple updo and wiped that eyeball-searing gunk off her lips at the same time.

Speaking of unfortunate hair, I did tweet last night that it was a shame Mo’Nique was wearing a cauliflower on her head.

MoNique-2010-Oscars(1)I take that all back this morning as I learn that her electric blue dress and GARDENIA in her hair was her personal tribute to Hattie McDaniel, who also wore blue and gardenias as the first ever African-American winner of an Oscar back in 1939.  (She was apparently forced to sit alone at a table next to the kitchen during that Oscar awards ceremony. SO glad things have moved on a bit since then.)

Frankly I do think Hattie McDaniel (see her acceptance speech here) wore it better and Mo’Nique would have looked a lot less severe with looser hair.

 

   

 

 

 

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Speaking of larger black ladies in blue. I adored Gabby Sidibe’s infectious exuberance and excitement at being a part of the whole shebang, but her dress was utterly ruined by sticking that cheap-looking applique right over her stomach. Proving once again that designers don’t have a clue how to dress anyone over a size 0. Her upper arms could have done with a tad more draping as well.

Oprah gave us all a lesson in how to be a ‘larger black lady in blue’ but I can’t find a decent picture of her anywhere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As for real howlers, disappointingly there were no really bad dresses aside from Charlize.

Miley Cyrus – would someone get her off my screen PLEASE? – had me screaming at my television all night in an effort to get her to stop slouching. I think she was afraid that her boobs would just pop out if she pulled her shoulders back.  And visible tan lines is not a particularly classy look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vera Farmiga’s dress looked it was single-handedly doing one of those fan dances that strippers do and I kept on expecting a nude woman to jump out from behind it. The colour was absolutely glorious though.

Vera Farmiga 1 Vera Farmiga 3

Diane Kruger looked like she’d been through a shredder and was on the verge of being throttled by a boa constrictor. A traumatic evening.

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Zoe Saldana looked like she was emerging from one of those retro three-dimensional fold out Christmas decoration thingies. I liked the top of the dress but all the can-can flounces were far too much.  This dress was one of the Minx’s favourites, and if you’re one of the Minx’s favourites then you know you’re indeed on shakey ground tastewise.

82nd Annual Academy Awards Arrivals pPCj3lP_BWUl 82nd Annual Academy Awards Arrivals QAqTv4ItZGLl

 

And finally dear old Kate Winslet. Why do you always have to dress like a dowager duchess?  I know you’re on a quest to be Britain’s next national treasure, but you’re still young.  Would it really kill you to have a little fun with your clothes? Another dress that looks like armour, another bad case of helmet hair. And this time it looked like you’ve been visiting Madonna’s colourist, and we all know that’s not a good thing.

 

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One final note for the Oscar producers. The show itself was as lame as centipede that’s had all its legs cut off. Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin were utterly AWFUL. And I speak as someone who’s just started watching 30 Rock on DVD and has turned into a raving Alec Baldwin fan.

However, a star double-act was born before our very eyes. Tina Fey and Robert Downey Jr. were hilarious while dishing out the award for Best Original Screenplay and should have been hired on the spot to present next year. I’d pay to watch that one.

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Oh and one very last aside. Whatever happened to these two? Grizzly Adams and his partially melted blow-up doll.

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A Right Charlize

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Off to bed.  Where I shall be wondering why Charlize Theron thought it would be a good idea to wear giant unfurled violet condoms on her bosoms.

Maybe more Oscar thoughts tomorrow if the world and his wife hasn’t already said all there is to say (the perils of being based on the West Coast).  I’m @mirrormirrorxx on Twitter if you want to check out my prime time tweeting.

06 November 2009

Wrist Worms

Aren’t these great?  I so need a pair as I get cold sitting at my glass desk (who on earth thought a glass desk would be a good idea?) in winter.  And yes, I should be able to crochet some myself but can’t find a pattern this cute anywhere.

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Wrist Worms by Sandra Juto are available here

15 October 2009

Psst! Guess Who?

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Yep, it’s our very favourite diabolical domestic goddess Martha Stewart – looking pretty good we have to admit - in her Mad Men era modelling days. From Tory Burch {via the Bubb Report}.

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07 October 2009

Go Love Your Room? – Lulu Guinness

I’m a little bit on the fence about this one, as it’s a little too romantically girly for my taste, but there’s still a lot to love in Lulu Guinness’ Notting Hill house.

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Love the refreshing colours, but there’s too much spindly furniture – which never looks comfortable and wallow-y

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My least favourite room in the house.  I love her bags, but I’m not a fan of LG’s bedding (it’s from her homewares range) and the mural commissioned from an art student doesn’t redeem things much. And I do wonder who dusts that collection of powder compacts.

First up the bones of the house are superb – the Victorian houses built in Notting Hill are larger and grander than in other parts of London, so the proportions are generally, as in this case, more splendid.

And there’s something about the quality of the light there, I lived in Notting Hill for twelve years and even on gloomy days it always seemed brighter and lighter than the rest of London – something to do with the white coloured houses and the sunset views to the west.  But maybe it was just because I loved living there so much.

But I digress.

I love the eclecticism of the decor, the bold use of colour, the collections of objects which are clearly much loved and personal and the way the whole thing reflects LG’s own quirky feminine but slightly kitsch style. (Is she well known in the US? I haven’t come across her here.  In the UK she is renowned as a handbag designer, but she also designs homewares.)

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I ADORE the pearly queen wallhanging and her tchotchkes (one of my favourite American words) are mostly fab though wonder how practical it is to have everything lined up behind the banquette like that.

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The other interesting aspect is how the house has evolved since it was last photographed in 2001 (seen here on Hidden in France) – LG has kept many of the same pieces but the style is a little more pared down and the colour palette more restrained, with much more use of white.  It’s so refreshing to see a wealthy person who doesn’t throw everything out and start again every few years, but who keeps their house full of familiar, much-loved  treasures.

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Kitchen 2009

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Kitchen 2001

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Just loving all the perspex and the black and white

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I’ve always loved her trademark perfume bottles

What do you think? {All images, by the way, from Living etc}

05 October 2009

Viktor & Rolf – Spring 2010

This post is for all Project Runway contestants (and judges) past and present, who have struggled with the concept of ‘avant garde’.  Viktor & Rolf took saws to densely packed layers of tulle to create walking sculpture and the result is both strangely gorgeous and absolutely riveting.

Wouldn’t you just love to see some super brave starlet walking down the red carpet in one of these? (And she could always sweep the carpet at the same time.)

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{via Project Rungay – run there to see more pictures, the runway videos are worth watching}

30 September 2009

Versace Spring 2010

I don’t often indulge in fashion here, mostly because I just don’t have the figure for it  - no one out there is designing for short, big-boobed women of a certain age. And thanks to foot problems, it’s also years, despite a congenital passion for shoes, since I indulged in sky high heels.

However, I was blown away by these – my dears, aren’t they gorgeously, divinely, ridiculously fantastic? (Not sure about the peep toe boots though).

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  Versace Spring 2010 Collection Shoes 2

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Versace Spring 2010 Collection 20Would someone like to buy me the pink booties at top right?  I couldn’t walk more than an inch in them, but all the cotton candy colours and graphic prints mixed with steel and plastic would fit right in here (after we’ve painted the walls) and I could display them on the mantelpiece as a piece of conceptual art or something and pat them lovingly from time to time.

And while you’re buying the shoes, the bag on the left wouldn’t go amiss either. (Oh and by the way, your eyes are not deceiving you, the soles of the shoes are indeed floating away from the heels).

Images via Project Rungay (the best blog in the world) and Obsessed With Shoes.

24 September 2009

3-D Glasses Dress

So, if I were 20 years younger, 20cms taller and er, a heck of a lot thinner, I would SO be buying this dress (and not just for Halloween either)

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Made to order by Nicole Lindner. Available here.

05 September 2009

Separated at Birth?

Or, calling a Spade a Spade

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Incredibly fashionable Kate Spade Fall 2009 bag 


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Fantastically terrifying decoy owl

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{via Making It Lovely and Whorange}  

So, let’s start as we mean to go on shall we?

This bag has been doing the rounds of the blogs in the last day or so. Much as we like an owl motif or two round these parts, and much as I hate to contradict two of my favourite design bloggers, I frankly find this bag both extremely ugly and utterly, bone-chillingly, terrifying.

It reminds me of the ferocious looking plastic decoy owl which you, dear readers, encouraged us to buy, and which was perched on our roof deck for the best part of the summer in an attempt to scare the birds from our cherry tree. I think it worked with the birds – there definitely seemed to be fewer around this year, and it certainly gave me the screaming heebie-jeebies every time I glanced it out of the corner of my eye.

Oh, and if you must buy this bag (and we would encourage you not to) the bag is available here.

We’re off to visit our friends’ cabin in the mountains this Labor Day weekend (oh how painful it is to write ‘Labour’ without a ‘u’ ) so I’ll be back on Tuesday.  Next week we’ll be talking about my new knitted cardigan and the new sofa.  How can you stand the excitement?

13 August 2009

Little Bo Peep

Funnily enough one of the things I miss most about England is sheep.  There is something so very quintessentially English and homey and comforting about a windswept hillside dotted with fluffy white blobs – a sight I don’t think I’ve ever seen in America, the land of the cow.

Lamb here is an exotic meat - tucked into a corner of the supermarket at the end of the huge counters displaying every possible cut of beef, chicken and pork, and viewed with some suspicion.  It’s rarely on the menu in restaurants, I’ve never had it served by American friends in their homes, and a waiter once told me that I may not like a lamb dish because the lamb taste might be ‘too strong’.

Anyway, I like this story, because it is so very English, so very charming and so very sheepy.  Vegetarians may be aghast to note that not only did sheepbreeder Louise Fairburn make her wedding dress from the fleece of her Lincoln Longwool sheep, but she served lamb from her flock to her guests.

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Full article here, {via Rose-Kim Knits}

07 August 2009

Alexander McQueen’s (Ex) East London Home

As you know around here we’re rather partial to a peek at fashion designers’ houses (we’re looking at you Matthew Williamson, Betsey Johnson and Vanessa Bruno), so here for your delectation and delight are pictures of Alexander McQueen’s East London townhouse. {From the Real Estalker via the HolyMoly mailout – yes I do read it}

I don’t think it’s fair to make this a ‘Go Fug Your Room’ candidate as these photos are only estate agent’s photos and don’t fully reflect McQueen’s personal style, but it’s still interesting to snoop.

Personally I’m finding this rather boring.  As you may have guessed I’m not hugely into minimalism at the best of times, but this strikes me as rather boring minimalism. My main gripe is with all the square and boxy built-ins – I prefer a few elegant curves in my rooms.  And that house looks as if it dates from the 1850s? so it probably had quite a few nice original features – ceiling mouldings, fireplaces etc -  which have all been summarily destroyed.

I also have to say that this house could benefit hugely from a bit of American-style home staging – some pictures, maybe a rug and a funky chair here and there would make all the difference.

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I am loving the roof deck (though for me the glass skylight directly above the bed is not exactly a selling point), the pond thingy (pool?) and what we can see of the outside spaces though. Here the minimalist lines are softened by the plants, though a few flowers wouldn’t go amiss.

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Anyway, if this house is for you it will only set you back 1.7 million pounds (I’ve just got a new computer and now have no idea how to find a pound sign) or around $2.8 million.  Please bear in mind though, that this house is in Hackney, one of the, shall we say, edgiest areas of inner London.

05 August 2009

Paris Hilton’s Doghouse

Fun whimsy or a little bit sick?

Apparently Paris Hilton has been Tweeting about the house she’s had built for her enormous collection of chihuahuas.

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The house is 300 sq. ft and two storeys, and features a clay-tile roof with copper gutters, intricate ceiling mouldings and a black crystal chandelier hanging in the bedroom complete with a closet and central air conditioning. It was designed by Paris’s interior designer Faye Resnick and is apparently furnished with faux designer doggie products from such design world luminaries as Jimmy Chew, Pawda, Sniffany & Co. and Chewy Vuitton. Oh and it has a price tag of $350,000.

Am I alone in thinking that in this day and age, this is just a tad inappropriate?  I just hope those dogs like candyfloss pink.

15 July 2009

Adventures in Knitting – Designing?

Just saving these pics of a metallic Alexander Wang cardigan (available here from Shopbop) as inspiration.

I love it, and its top down raglan construction is not dissimilar to a cardigan I’m currently working on.  I’m wondering if I could adapt my current pattern to become something like this, maybe knit with this silk and stainless steel yarn.  Of course I could knit it out of spun gold and it still wouldn’t reach the $495 price tag for the original.

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11 June 2009

Hey cute chick!

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Remember Abigail? Well, this jewellery designer extraordinaire happens to have bagged herself a boyfriend who, not only designs handbags, but also, after some instruction from Abigail, is designing jewellery as well. Ladies, would that we all had such a man about the house.

Check out all Ryan's bags and jewellery here. It's all great but I have absolutely fallen in love with these tiny chick ear studs. Something about the expression on their faces I think.

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08 May 2009

Adventures in Knitting - the Blue Period

I'm still on my massive knitting jag, though I was amazed to find that for a couple of days after the accident my head was so all over the place that I found even that difficult.

Here's what I've been working on recently.

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IMG_0905Firstly I managed to turn the yarn barf into this. You can't see very well, but I beaded the ends instead of adding a fringe. I'm absolutely delighted with it, and have been wearing it often

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Secondly, I knitted these on the way to and from Portland. It was a revelation to me that I could knit in the car, as reading anything usually makes me very nauseous. I'm really pleased with these as well, though the Husband does start singing 'Gotta pick a pocket or two' every time I wear them. Ha ha. NOT.

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Finally I'm working on a wrap/shawl thingy since I'm now very addicted to both Sea Silk and lace knitting after the Yarn Barf Scarf and Megan's Garter.  It's the first time I've knitted anything this lacy but I'm really enjoying it.  It's knitting up quite slowly as it's pretty dense, but my aim is to get it finished for wearing on the deck on a summer's evening while sipping margaritas.  Apparently lace looks awful until it's pressed out and 'blocked' at the end of the process. The little white threads you see running through are 'lifelines' made of dental floss.  If I make a horrible mistake I just have to rip back to the closest lifeline and not right back to the beginning of the work (and let me tell you, if you drop a stitch with Sea Silk all hell breaks lose pretty quickly.)

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More details, including patterns etc., are, as usual on my Ravelry page.

23 February 2009

Some Random Oscar Observations

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I love them

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He loves her

- Thrilled that Slumdog won.  Such an amazing film.

- When they brought the little kids on at the end I cried. Sorry.

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- Thrilled also that AR Rahman won Best Score and Best Song.  Seriously the soundtrack is absolutely awesome and has been playing on a loop here at mirrormirror's intergalactic headquarters (aka my bedroom office)

- Also very glad about Sean Penn as I can't quite manage to look at Mickey Rourke's face.

- What am I not getting about Hugh Jackman?  He leaves me stone cold.

- RDJ on the other hand was looking HAWT. Excessive drug taking is obviously good for the complexion.

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Cutie pie

- Speaking of acronym people, when is SJP going to realise that she is no longer an ingenue and that people with long faces shouldn't wear centre partings and hippie hair?

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- Lots of lovely British accents on the podium tonight.  How come Brits always looks so scruffy? Wouldn't you at least get a haircut if there was a chance you were going to win an Oscar?

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Scruffy Brits.  You can spot them a mile off. 

- Except for Kate Winslet.  I swear her hair was carved out of marble. And her dress looked like armour. Scary stuff.

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- Kate Winslet's Dad should have won the 'Best Dad' and 'Best Hat' Oscars.

- 'Best Dressed' and 'Funniest Person' was Tina Fey.  I adore her.

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Another candidate for 'Best Dressed'

- Hated all the frothy fishtail pouffery.  And Miley Cyrus. (Why was she even there?)

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Worst dressed (and Whoopi Goldberg, but she's allowed).

- Halle Berry is just insanely beautiful.

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THE END

04 February 2009

Hermes Smart Car

One day, when I no longer have to ferry a child and all her attendant stuff around, and when I have a housekeeper to do all the shopping (I realise this may be quite some time in the future), I shall tie a Hermes scarf around my head, put on some huge sunglasses, sling my Birkin bag (gently) on the passenger seat and pootle off into the sunset in one of these.

The Hermes Smart Car, full of little Hermes accessories and available in a variety of colours to match all your Birkin bags.

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{More images here.  Found via the ever fabulous designers block.}

29 January 2009

Hat-Tastic

Feeling a teensy bit bored? Then why not pull out the photocopier paper and make yourself a hat.  Which is exactly what Japanese hairstylist Katsaya Kamo did for Chanel's Spring 2009 collection. I think this should be a Project Runway challenge. (Speaking of which, WHEN is it coming back?)

{More here} 

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26 January 2009

Tees Made

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il_430xN_44586933If your daughter is as obsessed with bright colour as mine is then I suggest taking a look at Little Overcoat on Etsy.

Made by a woman living on an island in Puget Sound, just a short boat trip from Seattle, these tees and dresses are patched together from vintage and recycled materials, with some new European prints added to the mix.

There are also some boys' designs and some women's tees and skirts which I am VERY tempted by.

 

 

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Here's How To Do It

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Susan Sarandon is 62 years old.  I think I need to do some exercise.

24 January 2009

Photography, Fashion or Art?

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Patrizio di Renzo is an International fashion photographer from Switzerland. {via Kanye's very cool blog}

12 January 2009

Golden Globes

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I know the Golden Globes are a famously drunken affair, but that's still no excuse for Drew Barrymore and Renee Zellwegger to turn up looking like a couple of crazy alcoholic bagladies.

You know times are tough when even Hollywood legends can't afford hairbrushes.

17 November 2008

Felt Happy

Aren't these just utterly amazing? {All images from felt artist Hisano Takei}

 

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Having said which I'm not entirely convinced by this stackable set, though it would be warm.

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Miz Tula from Whorange also recently put together a fantastic felt round up full of fabulous felty ideas.

20 October 2008

Kelly Wearstler - WTF? Part II

So I've given up watching Top Design as my Tivo had a hissy fit.  Have re-recorded the missed episodes and may get round to watching them some day, though it was hardly lighting my fire.

But I digress. I understand from Becky, who blogs about TD over on Decor8, that our beloved Ms Wearstler dared to turn up on TV the other night looking like this.

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Please tell me that you think she looks ridiculous and that you can't understand either why the other judges aren't pissing themselves laughing (though Jonathan Adler is permitting himself a smirk).  I really don't know where to begin with this outfit and its carefully studied eccentricity.

14 October 2008

Dirty Sexy Money

This post is by way of a plea.  Please, please watch this show; tell your friends about it; blog about it and somehow get the word out about it.  I love it to pieces but apparently the ratings aren't good and it probably won't see out a second season.

What's not to love?  This everyday story of America's favourite dysfunctional billionaires features tons of soapy over-the-top melodrama; a fabulously witty script; great acting performances from the likes of Donald Sutherland, Peter Krause and Jill Clayburgh; a vast array of male eye-candy; drop-dead gorgeous fashions; sex, murder and big business aplenty; a huge cast of deliciously amoral characters; the incredibly wonderful Natalie Zea; a banging soundtrack and the sort of interiors that only multi-billions (or a very happy set designer) can buy.

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If you can imagine Dynasty meets  Sex and the City with good acting then that's DSM.  Episodes 1 and 2 are currently available to view online here. You don't need to have watched season 1 to follow season 2. Season 1 DVD is available to buy here (season 1 got a bit stymied by the writers' strike but was still aces).  Please watch it for my sake, because I'll be DISTRAUGHT if it goes off air.

29 September 2008

Gwyneth Obnoxiously Opinionated Paltrow?

So Gwyneth Paltrow is apparently starting up her own 'lifestyle' website, entitled, somewhat peculiarly, GOOP.

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At the moment, it's a strange little two-paged affair - click on any one of the icons above and you get a vacuous and somewhat patronising little essay about how Gwyneth has created her own very lovely life - the very loveliness of which I'm sure has NOTHING to do with the many millions of pounds she and her husband earn. The site is currently as content-free as its owner, though it does promise that in due course it will be full of fabulous hints and tips so that we too can lead lives as fabulous as hers.

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I'm sure Gwynnie is hoping to become the next Martha Stewart and I don't fundamentally have a problem with that.  After all, isn't that what all of us 'lifestyle' bloggers are secretly hoping might happen to us?  And it's not just that I find her profoundly irritating as a person - as you know I'm not overly keen on Martha or Nigella as people, but blimey, do they have some great ideas.

And that, I'm afraid is my problem with GOOP.  I just don't believe that Gwynnie will have anything to say that will interest me.

GwynethPaltrowPA_468x845After all, would you take fashion advice from someone who, with all the money and stylists in the world, manages to look like she forgot her trousers on the red carpet?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or take interiors advice from someone who, with all the money and interior designers in the world, has a house that looks like a somewhat soulless collaboration with the Sugar Plum Fairy?

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As part of the festivities in the run-up to this year’s Oscar telecast, Laura Ziskin, 79th Annual Academy Awards® producer, has announced “A Celebration of Oscar Fashion” – a live event in the Academy's Grand Lobby presenting a unique retrospective of Oscar fashion. Pictured here in one of the dresses displayed: Gwyneth Paltrow in Ralph Lauren at the 71st Academy Awards® on March 21, 1999.
Or indeed, take foodie advice from someone with a concave chest?

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And anyway how can we trust her taste when she is married to HIM?

Will you be taking lifestyle advice from Gwynnie?  Or are there any other celebs who you wish would put together a lifestyle website? (Personally I can't wait for Sarah Palin's).

22 September 2008

Make It Work

IMG_8194My life is now complete.  Look who's just appeared on my desk.  My very own Tim Gunn talking bobblehead!

The Minx thinks my 'funny man' is quite hilarious and keeps sneaking up behind me and making him say 'carry on' or 'FAB-U-LOUS' or, of course, 'make it work'.

His benign and smiling presence  and inspirational catch phrases are actually strangely motivating. I think old age is getting to me.

17 September 2008

Cappuccio

Although the temperature is set to rise to the high 70s today, my mind is starting to turn to snuggly things, in particular these gorgeous knitted pieces in 100% merino wool from Italian online store Sartoria Vico (found via Not Martha). 

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They have created a range of simple but interesting and often multifunctional knitted pieces, each available in a range of colours. I love the way the website is a arranged, with clear photos and simple illustrations.

 

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Incidentally 'cappuccio' - pronounced 'ka-pu-cho - simply means hood and 'sciarpone' - pronounced 'sharponay' - means big scarf. I'm wondering whether these will be knitty overkill with last year's knitted Uggs which had to be surgically removed from my feet come the end of winter.

05 August 2008

Separated At Birth

I was amused to note from the recent Elle Deco feature that Englishman Simon Doonan, who is the Creative Director of Barneys New York and Jonathan Adler's partner (and therefore, we must suppose, an International Design Guru of Some Standing) exhibits a very similar taste in clothes to the Minx.

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Creative Director Barneys New York                                                   My daughter

14 July 2008

Hello petal!

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I want these VERY badly.  Unfortunately I don't have suitably skinny legs and it isn't Mother's Day.

12 June 2008

Hat-tastic!

Someone invite me to a wedding quick, so I can get one of these scrumptious hats.

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From British milliner Georgie Carss.