Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Freaks & geeks

Happy Halloween fellow pagan revellers. Now that I am in America, land of the free, I am embracing pumpkin worship. And, if I didn't have a hideous cold, I'd be frolicking out there with the other costumed hos, sorry Halloween masqueraders.

And to those of you in London, enjoy the Gareth Pugh & Browns Focus /Butler & Wilson Masquerade/Cuckoo Club party, or whichever party you end up at. Actually the invitation for the last looks pretty avoidable, seeing as how the party committee includes Francesca Versace, Stephen Webster & Julien Macdonald.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Winter boots

boden boots

I'm on deadline for XXXXXXX so, of course, I am looking for new boots on-line. I would prefer to get my boots from Belstaff but I'm waiting to be paid, as usual and, here's the thing - if you have long sticky legs like mine, then trad motorcycle type boots often end up with the hideous wellie effect as they bag arond your calves. I've discovered that if you buy from a fashion retailer they cut closer to the leg, which is far more flattering. The problem then is finding something hard-wearing in good enough leather and in brown. (It has to be brown as brown is for weekends and black is for the working week.)

In fact my last pair of brown sturdy clomping around boots came from L K Bennett's Outlet store at Bicester Village near Oxford, of all places. I do not like LK Bennett one little bit - way too prissy for my liking, and not particularly well made either. But, I was doing a mag in Austria (long, long story) and needed warm boots at a day's notice. My wonderful father drove me to Bicester on a whim and insisted on buying them for me. This was maybe four years ago and they are still going strong. Only problem is that the toes have faded from the snow in New York last year and no amount of parental shoe buffing & TLC (hey, he's the expert!) has got the colour back.

These babies up top are from Boden. I'm not a big fan of Boden (their blocks can be very odd, and the colours off), altho I occasionally buy their well made cotton T shirts, & I admit to shooting chirpy commercial work a la their catalogues from time to time - clients LOVE it. Well-priced - £165/$248, I can actually get them for nearer £100, if I buy them from Boden USA and apply my press discount which, joyously, seems to work over here. I'm thinking yes?

oh poor little me

I've had the most glorious day, riding in Central Park, popping into The Met for a quick, uplifting peek at the Vermeers and then stuffing my face with delicious Mexican food. But Christ I feel staggeringly, overwhelmingly, homesick.

Autumn, not bloody Fall, is absolutely my favourite time of year. In London I would be spending my weekends cooking up a storm in my designed-by-me-for-me, perfect-to-cook-food-for-twelve-hungry-people kitchen, then hosting a silly, Bloody Mary & red wine filled Sunday lunch which would go on for hours, possibly rounded off by pulling on our wellies and wobbling off to the Heath with the hound to work it all off, before devouring plates of buttery crumpets & pots of Earl Grey and heading to the pub for a digestive.

I miss the easy camaraderie of being surrounded by people who have known me for years, in many cases people I went to both school & university with - we are a tight knit crowd. I have made some good, good friends here, people I hope I will take with me when I leave New York but, being separated from my sister & my parents, my dog, two recently bereaved friends, a couple of pregnant ones, some new babies and, especially, Miss P's divine Edward who I haven't even met yet makes me very, very miserable indeed.

In London I live in a beautiful flat, which I own. I had a car & a fancy bicycle and lots of lovely stuff. Here I live with a (charming) stranger in what is essentially a box, furnished with Seventies furniture and a bath in which I daren't bathe. I can't bake more than cupcakes as I have only a toaster oven (there are mice in the oven proper), and there is no work surface. All my possessions are stuffed into the room I sleep. I have regressed to the life I led in my early twenties, even down to the relentless socialising.

But, here's the thing. I love it here. I don't want to go back to London. I like the scale of Manhattan, the toytown feel, the ease of living, my ridiculous social life, my growing address book, the inexpensive restaurants and the shiny novelty of it all. I was stale, bored of London, my social life tramelled by other people's children & marriages, lacking in inspiration, stuck in an industry often seemingly populated by rude, bad-mannered, vile idiots. Not that those people don't exist here, it's just that they specialise less in tortuous back-stabbing and more in doing it to your face which is so much simpler to deal with - & counter.

So, I'm here, & everyone else is over there. And that's just the way it's going to have to be. Unless I magically get a 'plane ticket in my pocket tomorrow to go home for the weekend. Maybe then I could hang out with my adored male friends, because making any of those is another thing that's never going to happen here either...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Lost in translation

Some things just don't translate to us ex-pats. We all thought the guy who pitched up in this on Saturday night had a great costume. We failed miserably to see the inherent joke.

Halloween One Night Stand costume

No. He is not just an amusing chest of drawers.

He is a One Night Stand.

Boom boom.

Picture from: Zoogster Costumes

Clarks clutches. Not bad at all.

clarks clutch

I'm not sure about the jade one, but I'm rather liking the purple satin number. Basically I'm a sucker for bows and, as I think satin pieces should only be worn by stick people, I tend to gravitate towards satin accessories as I like the textural contrast.

Best of all it's only £14.99 (about $30). AND it's from Clarks. Will wonders never cease? (Although apparently Clarks is the non plus ultra in Paris right now. Most bizarre.) Mind you, their Christmas shoe offer is truly revolting.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Nicholas K

Nicholas K beige trenchcoat

This Benoit Trench in heavyweight cotton by Nicholas K is the second piece I picked up from Lucky Shops (another bargain - $80 from $350). I've always liked their collections: there's meticulous attention to detail, clean sillhouettes, and great fabrics. It has a very European look, with a more sophisticated feel than many other American lines at this price point. The Fall 07 collection is particularly strong, with especially desirable knits and coats.

Nicholas K doesn't yet have distribution in the UK, but is stocked at Caravan, Saks & Big Drop amongst other in Manhattan.These images are from online boutique

Nicholas K dress

Nicholas K cardigan 2

Nicholas K cardigan
Benoit trench picture from I Heart Luxe

Geren Ford

 Geren Ford silk dress

The lovely girl behind The Glam Guide gave me a pair of tickets to Lucky Shops on Saturday. It's a huge sample sale/end of season clearance in Chelsea branded by Lucky magazine.

I picked up this navy blue washed silk, inverted pleat dress from Geren Ford for $100 - which was especially pleasing, considering it's currently selling for $304 on

I haven't really paid much attention to Geren Ford before, but it's an all American, easy breezy line of clothes in relaxed shapes, mainly in washed silk. Geren Lockhart worked in advertising for twelve years before giving it all up to pursue her dream of designing her own fashion line, which launched in 2002.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Halloween challenge

Ok lovely blog people, I need some help!

BA & I are going to the fancy dress Hallow'een party at Soho House on Saturday. The theme is the Seven Deadly Sins

1 Lust (Latin, luxuria)
2 Gluttony (Latin, gula)
3 Greed (Latin, avaritia)
4 Sloth (Latin, acedia)
5 Wrath (Latin, ira)
6 Envy (Latin, invidia)
7 Pride (Latin, superbia)

What on earth are we going to go wear?! L is going as Pride - dressed as a peacock, & M is Avarice, spray painted gold in gold lamé American Apparel hotpants & bandeau. I don't really want to wear body paint, and I can't do skin tight, altho I've got great legs. BA looks great in everything!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Lizzie Disney appointed at Mahirishi

Lizzie Disney is designing the new womenswear collection at Maharishi - when I received the release her name jumped out at me. It's a good few years since she was one of London's hot new designers, with a slot in the third season of Fashion East for SS03 (alongside Richard Kinloch & House of Jazz), although she was unable to show as her samples were stuck in New York in the aftermath of 9/11 and, shortly afterwards, an appointment as chief designer at the newly revived Parisian House of Jacques Fath (which she left in 2004). In fact I had completely forgotten that I had written about her at the time, until I did a Google search.

A venerable Parisian house to Mahirishi's laid back casual wear: Just goes to show how much of a fickle master the fashion industry can be.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Party week

Ooh hoo, it's party week here in Manhattan. Last night I was calm, merely popping out with my house guest, Osman Yousefzada (in town to see Vogue et al), for lots of delicious Korean at Dok Sune in the East Village before he & I strolled up to Strand to buy armfuls of books. (Book stores in this city close at 10.30pm - my definition of civilised.)

London socialite Tamsin Lonsdale launches her Supper Club venture here in New York tonight. I'm a member in London, but the last cocktail party there I went to was full of the kind of people I'd pay to avoid.(City boys, secretary types dressed in Sharon Millen).

The Manhattan Supper Club is quite another proposition, with the emphasis strictly on socialising rather than dating, as in London. She seems to have the city in her pocket with everyone clamouring for membership. BA & I are checking out the launch party tonight: it had better be good, I turned down a big dinner, and a designer's cocktail & trunk show for it.

Tomorrow Iman throws a dinner for Alber Ebaz and Howard Sogol of Barneys at Gemma, which promises Grub, Dancing & Shenanigans. I look forward to this very much. Only prob is that I have to scarper off half way through to another big dinner. This city is TOO busy.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Chanel bicycle: designed for women by men...

Chanel bicycle

This is Chanel's new eight speed bicycle with, um, quilting details, costing a neat £6,200, & available in store from December. But my question is: It's a bicycle designed for women. Why then does it have a cross bar?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Julien Macdonald signs with H Samuel

Well, just as I wrote that British high street jewellery chain H Samuel needed a shot in the arm, WGSN reports today that Welsh bling-tastic eveningwear designer Julien Macdonald is to move into jewellery with an exclusive deal to design a collection for them. Although I do wonder just how attractive it will be, given that the price point of the limited collection of 13 pieces will be priced between £35-£95, and that Julien and good taste often seem many, many miles apart.

A little bit of fervent patriotism

jonny rugby Trafalgar Square

I've never pretended to be a huge rugby fan, but being 3741 miles from home is making me come over all patriotic.

So rah for England and all that

Pic: PA

Thursday, October 18, 2007

My new party dress

Topshop taupe silk dress

Topshop 100% silk £70/$140 AND they deliver to the US. (See it's only the Topshop press office I dislike.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

things magazine

Hey thank you to the very good things magazine for including me in their, "sift through a collection of style, design, whatever weblogs, all of which pump a relentless stream of eye-catching imagery into your browser, day in, day out." Apparently I have, "a nice take on the Atlantic divide".

things magazine was originally founded in 1994 by a group of writers and historians based at the Victoria & Albert Museum/Royal College of Art in the belief that objects can open up new ways of understanding the world.

Now an independent magazine, things has built a reputation as a home for new writing – essays, reviews, short stories and poems – about objects and their meanings. The website contains a weblog, photography galleries, special projects, searchable archives and the occasional on-line only article.


Gutted! I love living here, but I love it less when fun invitations arrive in my mailbox for events back in London.

BROWNS FOCUS celebrate GARETH PUGH with a Halloween Party 9 - 12pm

How much fun will this be?! Okay - granted, fashion parties can be terminal, but this sounds worthwhile even if only for people-watching.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Knock me down with a feather: Ernest Jones launches perfectly pretty jewellery range

Ernest Jones Art Deco diamond ring

British High Street jewellery chains aren't exactly known for their ravishing designs. Sure if you want a bog standard diamond engagement ring, a natty gold sovereign ring, some 18ct gold bangles or an Anniversary clock then you are laughing, but pieces you'd actually consider stylish? I don't think so.

Ernest Jones semi-precious rings

The three major players in the UK are H Samuel, Ernest Jones & Goldsmiths and, whilst Goldsmiths have raised their game over the past couple of years by collaborating with the likes of Matthew Williamson (altho I'd be hard put to name a company with which Williamson hasn't collaborated), the other two still have more than a whiff of mass-market about them.

But, I'm always happy to be proved wrong and, when I opened a press release from Ernest Jones' PR preparing to file it in the trash as usual, I was impressed to find images of these six rings, with their pretty art deco feel and clever pricing. (Especially given my habit of losing rings). Perhaps Father Christmas could take note?

Clockwise from the top: 18ct white gold 1carat cluster ring £1200, 9ct White Gold Diamond & Brazilian Garnet £285, 9ct White Gold Diamond & London Blue Topaz £100, 9ct Gold Brown Diamond & Amthyst £130, 9carat White Gold Diamond & London Blue Topaz £265, 9carat white gold diamond and Brazilian Garnet £235

Things you didn't know about fashion, part one

The super sexy 1986 Levi's Shrink to Fit 501s ad hammered the idea into the Brtish psyche that some clothes need immersion in water to make them fit. But until today I had no idea that you needed to do the same to cowboy boots. My very soignée friend BA has been informed by her colleagues at a (very) famous American fashion house that she needs to get in the shower in her boots in order to get the perfect fit...

Jewellery sample sale - Thursday in NYC

This is an NY friend's jewellery sale this Thursday in the Meatpacking District. She makes beautiful gold & silver necklaces, bracelets & more, often spelling out rather naughty words, which have attracted an A list celeb following. If you fancy wearing your feelings, then check it out.






ENQUIRIES: 917 547 6783


Monday, October 15, 2007

CMJ circus hits town

I don't just spend my time eating in fabulous restaurants, going to fashion industry parties, lolling on the sofas at Soho House and drinking my body weight in raspberry martinis. Occasionally I engage with the music industry too. This week sees the annual CMJ Music Marathon & the arrival of industry reps from around the world - plus hundreds of musicians looking for that big break at the multiple industry showcases happening each night.

Having a New York apartment makes you VERY popular with out of towners, and so I am hosting my very favourite, super-stylish, supremely talented, very sexy, black clad rocker in my apartment for the week. Shah has flown in from Los Angeles to play at two Lower East Side venues this week: solo at The Delancey this evening (8.30pm) and at the Viper Room in NYC showcase at Fontanas on Friday with hotly tipped new band Le Rev, fronted by the ravishing C C.

Back to normal blogging activity

Firstly I must make a confession: I have been unfaithful. A month or so ago I was approached to start writing a second, paid, anony-blog for another website, off the back of writing this blog. It doesn't deal with fashion directly, but it does mean that I have been writing less on here about what I've been getting up to, as I didn't want there to be a crossover in content. Anyway I realised that this meant that I was getting away from the original point of this blog, which was as much to keep my friends & family up to date with what i was getting up to in NYC as it was for me to sound off about the fashion industry.

Anyway, I have worked out how to balance my two blogs now, so all is well, & I'm back to blogging about my life on here!

LLG xxx

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Ok - social catch up (otherwise known as look how much I can eat in one week)

Last week was so rabidly social that by the time the weekend rocked up all I wanted to do was stick my head back in my teapot.

I started off on Monday at The Spotted Pig, Manhattan’s only gastro-pub, for Fergus Henderson’s book launch. Beyond Nose & Tail is elegantly written, and the perfect size for slipping in a handbag and reading in-between times. Ken Friedman the owner was working the room, and April Bloomfield, the chef/partner cooked up a Minnesota suckling pig cooked whole with a tarragon sauce and goose fat roasted potatoes and beets.

Tuesday was The Waverly Inn, a restaurant so stealth that even though it’s been open for nigh on a year, the menus still say ‘Preview’, and there is no telephone number. Unless you are a friend of owner & Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter or an A list celeb that is, in which case you get the private number. The nearest London equivalent is The Ivy – except of course anyone can get a table there. CA & I troughed our way through the menu, flirted with the admirably gorgeous waiters who were charm personified and decided we must return – if we can magic up another table, that is.

Wednesday was back to The Pig for supper as this time Fergus himself was cooking, watching platters of roasted halved pig’s heads and duck hearts wend their way through the room.

Thursday was a dull store launch of no moment on the Upper East Side, followed by a dash through the vertical rain to Fredericks on Madison, an upscale dodgy Euro haven, for cocktails and supper (cauliflower soup with roasted mushrooms & fries) with BA & N, who were so wet when they arrived that they had to mop the floor after her.

Friday was blissfully quiet, bar a breakfast with Tamsin Lonsdale of The Supper Club at Gemma, and I rounded off the week on Saturday watching the rugby in the Meatpacking (which personally I loathe, but my friends all wanted to watch and, frankly, a room full of sexy, well-spoken Englishmen never goes astray). The evening was spent drinking frozen margaritas and stuffing as much freshy made guacamole & chips as poss at Dos Caminos in Soho with BA & lovely H, in NYC fleetingly to see his girlfriend.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

In honour of the Rugby on Saturday

Rugby ball bag

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

British Fashion Award nominee list fails to set the world on fire - again

JesusChristonabike. The BFC announces the nominees for the British Fashion Awards today (Well, actually the nominee list is embargoed until Wednesday 10, but according to my London clock, as opposed to my New York one, it's 0433am on Weds in London, so I reckon it's Wednesday where it matters.) And what a dismal reflection of British fashion they are today. Reproduced in full are the categories & the nominees for each.

DESIGNER OF THE YEAR - A leading British designer of couture, ready-to-wear, knitwear or accessories who has directed the shape of fashion in the past year both in the UK and internationally.

Nominees - Anya Hindmarch , Luella Bartley, Stella McCartney

Is this really the best they could come up with? No one with a fashion bone in their body could possible argue that any of these three labels 'shape' fashion.

Anya Hindmarch may be a commercial success and make perfectly nice handbags, pretty shoes & cashmere sweaters but 'directed the shape of fashion in the past year both in the UK and internationally'? Are the BFC on drugs?
I am presuming that along with the massive bribe that the BFC paid Luella to return to the UK for London Fashion Week, that this nomination is part of the same package deal because she's hardly influential.
Stella McCartney: Great clothes. I'm a huge fan, always something I want to wear in her (or her team's) collections, but again who exactly is she influencing? (Apart from a legion of Chinese rip-off merchants)

NEW DESIGNER - An innovative and directional designer who, in the past year, has emerged as an influential force in British fashion.

Nominees - Christopher Kane, Gareth Pugh, Marios Schwab

No problems with this, and obviously it should go to Christopher Kane who is influential AND commercial - in a good way.

BEST NEW RETAIL CONCEPT - A new or established retailer offering a new concept to the UK in the past year.

Nominees - The Shop at Bluebird, Dover Street Market, Marc Jacobs

Hmm - tenuous at best. They are shops. Big wow.

MODEL - A British model who has contributed most to the international fashion scene in the past year.

Nominees - Agyness Deyn, Lily Cole, Irina

Well, they can't give it to Kate, Erin's a personality now, and these three are the only other girls of whom the public has heard. Agyness will win, obviously

ISABELLA BLOW AWARD FOR FASHION CREATOR - A British stylist, make-up artist, photographer, art director or producer whose creativity has been a major inspiration and influence in the past year.

Nominees - Mert and Marcus, Michael Howells, Terry Jones

Bit long in the tooth, aren't they?

RED CARPET DESIGNER - A leading British designer of couture or ready-to-wear cocktail or eveningwear that has gained exposure at ‘red carpet’ events worldwide in the past year.

Nominees - Giles Deacon, Marchesa, Stella McCartney

Like 'em or loathe them, but it's obviously Marchesa as they dress most of Harvey Weinstein's favourites. (Hmm, why's that then? Oh yes, he's sleeping with Georgina Chapman.) I can recall Thandie Newton wearing Giles - and that's about it. Stella - huh?

MENSWEAR DESIGNER - A leading British designer of ready-to-wear and bespoke tailoring who has been instrumental in enhancing men's fashion in the past year.

Nominees - Christopher Bailey for Burberry, Alexander McQueen, Cassette Playa

Yawn. Until we get to Cassette Playa. Er - does she actually sell anything? Doesn't 'leading' imply a strong commercial business? And what about Kim Jones?

ACCESSORY DESIGNER - The leading British designer of shoes, jewellery, millinery or accessories within the past year.

Nominees -Anya Hindmarch, Rupert Sanderson, Tom Binns

Well, Tom's been based in LA for a while now, and hardly anyone outside the industry knows his work in the UK, or that he's even British, so not exactly a cracking choice, beautiful, amazing and wonderful though his work may be. Anya - oh god. All praise the queen of anodyne. Although at least it wasn't Lulu Guinness nominated instead. Rupert Sanderson: Wonderful shoes, love 'em, even covet 'em but he doesn't exactly push the envelope, does he? But: based in London, new shop, making money, good press, truly lovely man. I say this is Rupert's year.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Temperley for Target's GO International project

Target billboard Times Square 2007

There’s a huge Target billboard in Times Square but it’s not aimed at Manhattan-ites. It’s a branding exercise directed at the thousands of tourists who throng Midtown every day. If you live on this island, then you have to head off to Queens or Jersey on a dedicated Target shopping mission.

Although, mostly, there’s bugger all reason why you’d want to – it’s basically like heading to a Tesco Extra in the suburbs – unless of course you want to check out their GO International regular collaborations with young design houses. Luella was first off eighteen months ago, followed most notably by Paul & Joe last year, Proenza Schouler this spring and now, the eighth, from the quintessentially English design house, Temperley.

After spending the afternoon checking out the Emperor’s new clothes at PS1, MoMA’s Queens outpost, we jumped back on the Subway to Queens Boulevard and Target. And, after an hour scrabbling through the rails, my haul? Two pairs of Hanes knickers, a copy of US Weekly, and an excellent cooking spoon.

I wasn’t exactly enthusiastic about the prospect of Alice Temperley designing for Target, but was interested enough to check it out, hoping it might be a distilled version of her pretty dresses and intricate knits. What we got instead was a really crappy version of Marc by Marc Jacobs. What was she thinking? I couldn’t perceive any connection between her design ethos and this collection for Target, bar the black crepe dress that is selling well on eBay.

But, whether or not it looked like Temperley, I love me a bargain, so I picked up the long sleeved striped T shirt, a couple of the polka dot chiffon blouses and a black velveteen puff sleeve jacket to try on, as well as the black dress, even though I was getting static shocks from all the artificial fibres. The ribbed T shirt had no Lycra in it, so it felt cheap, the cut of the dress was just bizarre, and the blouses were over-designed. I nearly succumbed to the jacket, but the buttons would have had to be replaced for at least half the initial cost of the piece ($40), and the fabric was so thin that the nap was irretrievably marked from being folded.

In the end, I couldn’t decide whether it was the cut, the flammable fabrics or the iredeemably cheap & nasty buttons on all the blouses, jackets & dresses that stopped me buying anything. And I still want to know which of Target’s regular customers will be investing in the blue crepe plus fours, and elbow length striped nylon fingerless gloves which felt so scratchy once on, I couldn’t pull them off fast enough.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Mini Mozart

Mini Mozart logo

Completely unrelated to fashion or New York post. One of my dearest friends runs Mini Mozart for toddlers & for babies at Lauderdale House in Highgate, North London. These fun & fabulous music-orientated sessions, with live piano, clarinet & violin, are based around fairy tales, singing, play & bubbles(!)

She is just about to start Mini Mozart up in Crouch End, N8. So spread the word if anyone you know wants their child to learn to how to listen to music, not just hear it, from an early age.

Mini Mozart is the brainchild of Clare-Louise Stuart. Not only is she staggeringly talented: She notched up a music scholarship at Uppingham School, a music degree from Newcastle University and a scholarship to jazz legend Berklee College of Music, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, but she has two adorable cherubs under five AND presented for BBC Music at The Proms and Young Musician of the Year AND has an amazing empathy with children.

She's beautiful, intelligent, charming and an all-round good egg, & I can't recommend her or her Mini Mozart sessions highly enough.

Friday, October 05, 2007

It's not like Sex in the City

Carrie et al may have spent their time trotting along the pavements of New York, bosoms heaving in plunging frocks, teetering on vertiginous heels, & toting bags that contained little more than a packet of fags, a lipstick and $20 for a cab ride home, but I can assure you that this is not an option for your average Manhattan girl. If I step out of my apartment building in the East Village in one of my cocktail outfits there is no way I can walk to my date dressed like that without being prey to every leering wierdo in the vicinity. It's costing me a fortune in cabs.And, as for those teeny-tiny bags, where am I supposed to put my phone, keys, hairbrush and emergency book (for when my date is late)?

Thursday, October 04, 2007

We're in a city for chrissakes

We have killer mosquitos in Manhattan. Although I wake every morning with penny sized raised weals all over my body, until last night I resisted lighting one of those old schol green coil things. Then I was woken at six by a mosquito buzzing literally in front of my nose. So, I caved in, lit it & now my room smells like burning damp shit. Even the combined candle efforts of Jo Malone, Diptique AND Space NK have failed to mask the putrid smell. Somehow it seems part of the scenery in a damp, sandy $4 a night beach shack on Koh Phangan. In my (usually) fragrant bedroom it is almost unbearable.

French Connection sample sale

So I was remarkably surprised by the French Connection sample sale. Firstly it was empty, with incredibly helpful, funny staff. Secondly, it was HUGE. I spoke to the Outlet Manager from Orlando, who told me they had 40 000 units to shift over the next four days, so new stock would be arriving every day.

But the biggest surprise was that, after I had written the sale off (I shoot loads of FC every season for a catalogue & recognised not a single piece) & was about to go home, I clocked a rail of random pieces hidden between the rails of identical crappy thin jersey tops, hideous shoes, badly tailored jackets and other sample sale stalwarts. I picked up two dresses for $50 each. But, most pleasing of all is that the black sparkly dress is still full price (£90) in London, and on sale for $139 reduced from $178 here in NY. The black and white embroidered dress is currently $99 from $158 online.

I have so many parties to go to here in Manhattan that I need loads of cocktail type frocks, so if I find something that fits me I'm happy. (I have an impossible figure to dress - long, thin legs, no waist, tiny 32" back and HUGE bosom. I also only wear dresses & tops with cap sleeves or longer as strappy tops emphasise my bust. And strapless: forget it.)

I wear quite a lot of French Connection as it's practically the only High Street brand that fits me properly. I cannot describe the frustration of working in fashion and having to wear what fits you, rather than what you would choose to wear. The only irritating thing is that, given the exchange rate, French Connection should be half price here - but it's not. They've pitched it way higher in the market in America, with a swishy store slap bang in the middle of Soho)

Anyway, back to the dresses. I'm not fussy and I think this will be useful. It's a simple shape that works with my figure - I'd love to belt it, but you can't belt a non-existent waist. However I'm going to get my local tailor to cut a V neck as a crew neck is mighty unflattering/shelf-like.

French Connection black dress

My dress (below) is actually black with white embroidery - but no pic of this colorway. It is a bit jeune fille, but I think with a long woolly scarf & hat, heavy ribbed woollen Falke tights and Chloe boots or Dr Martens it will be fine for stomping around Central Park & kicking leaves in the Fall. (I never, ever wear trousers, bar jeans, so dresses are my winter staple.)

French Connection white dress

The menswear is a much better offer than the womenswear BTW, with leather jackets down from $599 to $90, and quite nice mens shoes.

French Connection (FCUK) Sale
(Outerwear, shoes, knitwear, accessories)
Oct 3-7; Wed (2–7), Th & Fr (9–7), Sat (10–6), Sun (10–5)
Metropolitan Pavilion
110 W 19th St (near Sixth Ave)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I'm in heaven

posh and becks

Planet Hiltron may be the best blog ever.


A blog reader asked me at a party at the weekend if the products, designers and pieces that I mention on this blog are plugs for brands or if I am wholly independent. So, I thought I should make it clear that everything I mention on here is my personal opinion. I am not paid to mention anything on the blog, nor do PRs ( to the best of my knowledge) know who I am. My friends & family in England do, as this blog replaces regular emails home, but I do not publicise my authorship of this blog within the industry in which I have worked for a Very Long Time. This means I can be frank in my opinions and say what I really think. As you may have noticed.

Right, now that that is clear, I am off to the French Connection sample sale as flagged by The Glam Guide. I shall report back later.

I love Cate Blanchett

Cate Blanchett Missoni toga

I have to thank the heavenly Fug girls for alerting me to this ravishing photograph of Cate Blanchett at the premiere of Elizabeth: The Golden Age in Los Angeles on Monday. I know this sari/toga hybrid would look utterly ludicrous on anyone else, but Christ she works it with panache. The simplicity. The clear colour. Perfection. But no one has identified it anywhere on-line: I'm presuming it is Dior - remarkably similar to a mustard dress in Resort 07/08, and the yellow dress Kate Hudson wore to Dior Couture in July - and she has a long-standing relationship with the house. But: Valentino did a red carpet sari-esque dress for J-Lo, Cavalli has been known to do them to, and Cate pretty much wears Armani to everything at the moment. Anyone?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Heartbreak Kid

LW & I went to an advance screening last night at Soho House of the Ben Stiller vehicle The Heartbreak Kid, out here & in London on October 5. A remake of the same-titled 1973 Neil Simon Oscar nom-ed pic, it's truly dreadful: overlong with clunky pacing, and more ham than my local deli counter.

The Farralley brothers do love their frat boy humour and gross out gags (Dumb & Dumber, There's Something About Mary) but the misogyny and racism in this movie are jaw-dropping. Set mainly in Mexico, the film never misses a chance for an offensive Mexican gag, whilst women are vapid, vain, neurotic, one-dimensional, ultimately disposable sex objects.

The movie starts out well, with a neat set-up and an accurate evocation of singledom hell at a wedding. It all goes rapidly downhill from there, and whilst there are a couple of laugh out loud moments, but they didn't make up for the rest of the deathly unfunny movie.

Ben Stiller's mendacious, slimy bottom-feeder takes any trace of hero out of the concept of the anti-hero.

There were several (female) walkouts, although I stayed to the bitter end (never say die). I noticed a distinct cultural divide: the Americans in the audience were creased up, the English were playing with their crackberries and twitching. Variety gave it a rave, so maybe I'll be proved wrong at the box office.