The only shoes I wear apart from boots and heels are Converse. They just work. So I'm pretty excited by the news that the godfather of Harajuku culture, Hiroshi Fujiwara, has teamed up with Converse to produce these extremely limited edition and very fabulous sneakers, exclusively available in the UK at Dover Street Market from Saturday 5th April. They look like boy's shoes to me, but I don't care, I'm in love.
Monday, March 31, 2008
So, in a not altogether surprising move, the British Fashion Council have announced that Lucy Yeomans, editor of Harper's Bazaar has been appointed chairman of the BFC press committee, replacing Alex Shulman of British Vogue. So I guess that means it'll be Lorraine Candy of British Elle next and so on until in ten years time it'll be headed up by the editor of Cosmpolitan.
The press committee comprises leading fashion directors, fashion editors and creative directors from British broadsheet newspapers and leading fashion magazines. who offer collective advice to the BFC on the organisation of London Fashion Week, lend expertise to advisory panels for the selection of designers to show at LFW and in the exhibition. The press committee also plays a key role in proposing and voting for the long and short list of nominees for the annual British Fashion Awards.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Yuca Bar on Avenue A on the border of the East Village & Alphabet City does the best huevos rancheros I have ever eaten. It’s a posher version than is usual round my way, where the plate is typically an unedifying slump of beans, rice, eggs, tortilla and salsa which tastes delicious but looks like a car crash.
Yuca’s version starts with an exceptional chargrilled refried bean quesadilla topped with two crispy fried eggs, then with salsa, guacamole, sour cream and grated queso fresco, with a light bean purée spiked with lime and coriander (cilantro) in a puddle around the plate. It’s a harmonious whole, satisfying and not too heavy.
I often eat there alone, with my huge pile of Sunday papers for company, but I like it also because it’s the first place that JD & I went for brunch when we first arrived in Manhattan last year to start our NYC adventure. I’m still here and very grateful for that, so brunching there today, almost exactly a year on, was a kind of toast to me and to JD.
After brunch I took myself across the road into Tompkins Square Park in the bright glorious sunshine. Spring has certainly sprung here, although there’s a pretty strong nip under the heat of the sun. After buying some Northern Spy apples (an indigenous American apple) from the Farmer's Market, I watched the dachshunds shooting around like sausage shaped missiles in the Park dog run (& wept a little tear for the babydog, at home in London with my sister), called my father in England who made me hoot with laughter*, (scaring the squirrels foraging in the bins), and then found a bench in the sun and spent a couple of hours with the papers.
I looked up at one point to see a fifty-something guy rollerblading past. But that wasn’t what I noticed: it was the small furry animal curled up in the crook of his arm. I caught his eye and asked him if it was a chinchilla, so he whizzed over – and handed it to me, where it nestled in my arms, whiskers quivering, wide eyes staring at me, with its long tail wrapped around my forearm. Bliss.
And then the piece de resistance: he reaches inside his leather bomber jacket and brings out another small cute furry thing, this time a baby chinchilla, just a few months old, and the size of his hand. I am in paroxysms of furry joy by this point, and there is quite a crowd surrounding me and my new friends. After I while I give Philly the chilly back and watch as he burrows back into the safety of the jacket, and he & his dad scoot off through the park together.
To quote Cindy Adams, only in New York, guys, only in New York.*(He had bought a how to speak Spanish in a day book at Heathrow and, whilst in Madrid on business, & attempting to buy some turron for my mama, was a bit insulted that the confectioner’s assistant replied to his Spanish in English. On returning home he asked my fluent sister how she had known he wasn’t fluent when he thought he had done so well. Apparently he had said in his best Spanish:” I love you. And may I buy some turron?”)
I spend my evenings in ways diverse in this city, but watching bare breasted women singing Superstition & shaking their booties hasn’t, until, now, been one of the usual ones.
The evening started in a calm, grown up fashion, as I drank a glass of Burgundy, did my hair (nearly asphyxiating myself with hairspray) & picked out a microscopically short black tunic dress with dull black pailettes, which I paired with Wolford satin opaques and my burgundy patent Mary Janes.
I cabbed it to the West Village to pick up glamorous CA (perched on her new Prada floral wedges) and head to a private view at Plane Space on Charles. It was rammed, with some rather attractive men throwing us some extremely gratifying glances, but they were serving beer in plastic cups from a keg, an economy I understand when your event has attracted maybe 200 people, & we were aiming for a slightly more sophisticated vibe so we hopped it to a party at the Alex Beard Gallery in Soho thrown by a friend of a friend in London.
I found E & introduced myself, (she’s English & charming, which is always a relief when you have to report back) and then milled around, eating delicious canapés (white bean, & artichoke bruschettas and tiny Vietnamese summer rolls).
We decided to end the evening, or so I thought, at Employees Only, a fabulous speakeasy style bar in the West Village drinking Champagne, and blackberry and lemon vodka cocktails (I like to suck down some vitamins with my alcohol). After walking CA home to Perry, I was going to jump in a cab home when S rang me with the lure of a table at The Box. Irresistible.
It’s a tiny jewel box of a club, which always reminds of 19th century vaudeveile theatres & saloon bars, all velvet, flock wallpapers, mirrors & chandeliers. Pocket sized, with a stage, several big curved banquette booths down the side, and maybe five huge velvet sofas in the middle of the room, it's always rammed with beautiful people (& people who think they are beautiful). Upstairs is a pretty curved gallery with six velvet-curtained booths (we were in one of them), and another bar with more sofas. There’s also another recessed salon with a pole for private performances.
It’s extremely exclusive (although there are a few too many louche Eurotrash kicking around for my taste) & fiendishly expensive – a table upstairs costs at least $1500 and I reckon a night out can top at least $3000, although there are a few standing people let in each night. (But, given the ferocious door, I don't recommend trying). Fortunately the irrepressible S is a banker, with clients in tow, so it was all on them.
The USP is the twice nightly revue, which is where the bare breasts came in. Nudity, circus performers, singers, tap dancers, skits: they don't discriminate. Last night’s was a second rate mixed bag (altho the aerialists were exceptional) but highly amusing all the same, and fitted in with the general atmosphere of controlled debauchery throughout the club (there’s a topless girl gyrating in a ring above the bar).
I had lots of amusement. It definitely involved Champagne, strawberries, a bottle of tequila, dancing and talking to funny boys.
And now I need to feed my hangover. (I arrived home somewhere around 4.30am, although the club was still going strong). I am off to eat huevos rancheros with the papers at my favourite Nuevo Latino restaurant on Avenue A.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
The British & French papers are full of the state visit to England by the diminutive (5'5") French President Sarkozy and his tall (5'9") wife of seven weeks, Carla Bruni.
The model/pop star's Christian Dior by John Galliano wardrobe has been analysed with the same breathless excitement formerly reserved for Diana, Princess of Wales, so I'm contenting myself with the happy couple's shoes. Says it all really.
I have a good figure, but it’s not normal for the industry in which I have chosen to work. I am a woman and I love my not particularly generous curves. I am 5’6”, weigh 10,5 (145lbs), have great legs and wear a UK12 (US8) on a good day. I also have very, very large breasts (I’m not exaggerating –they’re a 32 Double G) and they are pretty damn fine: high, round and just how they should be. The poster model for big breasts. Until I clothe them. Or maybe that should read attempt to clothe them.
I dress for my figure, not for my taste. I do not, by any stretch of the imagination, wear the clothes I would choose if I could fit my breasts into them. I can’t wear, in no particular order: shirts, polo or turtle necks, tight T shirts, any light coloured tops, crew necks, batwing or dolman sleeves, strapless numbers, bikinis, halter necks, vest tops, waistcoats (vests), suit jackets, trench coats, sleeveless, braces (suspenders) shoestring straps, busy prints, corsets, tight or high waists, anything tucked in, anything cropped, sequinned embellished or with writing on it, striped tops, maxi dresses, elasticated tops, dungarees (overalls), pinafores (jumpers), bias cut, wrap or slip dresses, unboned bras, anything with seaming on the bodice or 99% of most designer collections.
I do have friends with large chests who can wear some of the above, but I was blessed with high breasts that practically start under my collarbone. This means I look like a German barmaid, brimming with good cheer in the most demure of outfits. I have nothing against a bit of cleavage but I prefer men to talk to my face not my chest. And you try being taken seriously if your chest resembles two puppies wriggling in a sack. Most of all I wish someone would produce tops I could wear. I really only ever wear sweaters or done up cardigans as nothing, and I mean nothing, else fits.
On the other hand shopping is paradoxically easy for me. I know, if I am lucky, that there may be one, possible two pieces in an entire store that might work on me. I am not faced with a cornucopia of choice or complicated fiscal decisions. There just isn’t anything out there on which I can spend my money,
Most of all, I wish fashion designers & editors would stop trying to pretend that the female figure is mutable. Lucinda Chambers (fashion director of British Vague) deserves to be pilloried for telling big breasted women to buy an M&S minimiser bra this season if they want to be fashionable. What is she going to suggest next? Foot binding because small feet are suddenly fashionable?
It is a fucking stupid pose to tell women that their particular figure is fashionable one season, only to recant the next. Male designers should accept that women come in sizes other than clones of homo-erotic boys. And editors should stop colluding with them.
I’m not arguing that high fashion editorials shouldn’t exist: they are there to inspire, to provide escapism, but in the real world we need fashion for everyday, fashion we can actually wear. I am fed up with being unable to dress myself.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
So Dating Option no 2. I left you with me getting tipsy at the Versace party. Only problem was that at 8pm I was due to meet D02. He had suggested PDT, but it's one of my locals, so plumped for Midtown as he worked there and I wld be at Barney’s.
His pick was the bar at Quality Meats. Controversial choice of venue to take a vegetarian (it's listed on my dating profile). For all he knew I cld have been a militant vegan - had he bothered to check. Turns out it's below his office. Nice of you to make a real effort there mate.
Still, I'm always interested to see inside restaurants, and this one is designed by AvroKo, New York's restaurant design mavens. Cool.
I called from Barney’s as arranged, giving myself five minutes to get to the bar. I didn't cover myself in glory by turning up a good ten minutes later: I was wearing four inch black patent heels, and a tight black leather pencil skirt so I wasn't moving fast, plus I took a few minutes to sit on a bench in the square outside The Plaza, surrounded by the lit up skyscrapers to have an, ‘Oh my God, I’m in New York’ moment. Yup. I was definitely quite tipsy. Late & tipsy. My bad.
First impressions: Propped against a pillar, suit, open shirt, nursing a straight shot of whisky, he actually looked like his photo, which is always a good start.
The date wasn’t exactly bad (like this one), & he was reasonably interesting but there no spark whatsoever. However, I’d sum it up as a long series of textbook how not to impress a girl moments. But then maybe he wasn’t trying to.
Took him five minutes to offer me a drink. I asked for water. He called me a cheap date. He spent the next ten minutes eyeballing my body. Must have scanned every inch, with particular, loving attention paid to my breasts.
My feet were killing me, so I suggested we sit. He ineffectually gazed around, so eventually I went off to find us a banquette. When he called the waitress over to order another a drink, he didn’t ask or offer me anything. I had to call her back.
We talked easily, but he was a bit shouty so I found it difficult to concentrate and my attention was wandering. I was suddenly sober, starving, & wondering when it would be polite to leave. As I was thinking greedily of a burrito on the way home, he suddenly said he was extremely hungry, & suggested supper. I had thought maybe he was uninterested/wanted to go home too, (the stunningly ineffectual behaviour), but obviously not. So, I think what the hell, might as well have some food here as anywhere. He calls for menus at the low bar table where we are sitting and, after staring at the carte he says, so expensive, but hey. And I’m thinking: you know the venue well, love. It can’t be a surprise to you.
Surprisingly, the menu is great for vegetarians. I mull over corn crème brûlé, cheese gnocchi and cipollini onions. He orders a $40 hunk of filet and I go for the mushroom pot pie from the $10 New Classics list, with a side of very good sautéed spinach. The mushroom filling is delicious, heavily enriched with cream, but the puff pastry lid is obviously pre-made and just attached for warming through. He hasn’t bothered to order any sides so eats half my food too.
When the check comes, I do the intention reach – the one where I lean for my handbag but don’t really expect him to take me up on it, (he chose a very expensive restaurant to meet in, suggested we eat there, and his share of the check was at least four times my own) when he comes up with a real winning statement, “Of course I’ll get this: unless you have an expense account too?”
Needless to say, there will be no second date.
There are many things which and many people who are considered to be quintessential parts of the New York experience. I’ve done pretty well at ticking off a lot of them in the past year, but some have eluded me – until last week. I firmly place Woody Allen on the list, so his under-stated entrance at the Versace party last week made the evening for me.
I’m no starf**ker,(you just can’t be in my job), but he is so synonymous with Manhattan that I was completely over-excited to see him, standing rather awkwardly as the tweedy filling in a photo sandwich between the resolutely un-fashion Soon–Yi and Donatella.
However, to my eternal shame I have to report that B and I were even more excited to see Leighton Meester (aka Blair) from Gossip Girl working it in blue Versace over by the Champagne bar. I know thirty-somethings shouldn’t be into Gossip Girl, but we are, so suck it. She’s incredibly pretty, looks relatively normal and is as tiny as all screen stars are in real life.
Donatella, on the other hand, whilst tiny, looks relatively abnormal in the flesh. She is such a construct, that I can’t begin to imagine what she must look like sans bleach, tan and maquillage. There is absolutely no sense of what her real self actually looks like. I do have to give her props tho for being able to walk in the highest pair of stripper heels I’ve ever seen in action outside of a lapdancing bar.
Fashion PR parties such as this one (to mark the launch of Versace menswear at Barney’s) are odd affairs. Firstly you have to disabuse yourself of the idea that they are parties. What they are are photo ops for all concerned. Very few people are there to kick back and have fun. (The worst ever was the Kate Moss for ToSho launch also at Barney’s).
I normally loathe them (my thoughts here - scroll down to fashion parties), but this one was actually rather enjoyable. Lots of eye candy (all those sexy gay boys), rivers of fizz, delicious canapés (altho I do wish Barney’s wld ring the changes as they serve the exact same caviar/truffle fest at every party), and great music from an extremely hot female DJ. It wasn’t over-crowded (except in the area by the lifts where the snappers where practically orgasming over Woody, a fur-clad Patti LaBelle and Busta Rhymes) and we (well, I) proceeded to get tipsy on three glasses of Laurent-Perrier. Oops.
Party pics are over at Style.com
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Let this be a warning to be vigilant: I had my handbag stolen from a cinema in Leicester Square whilst watching The Painted Veil last year. Granted I was curled up in a ball, sobbing my heart out by the end, but the last thing I expected was that some sticky fingered cretin would hook my huge Anya Hindmarch handbag out from under my seat during the film.
Spending the next two hours in the nick, hanging around for an officer to report the crime, I started making a list of what had gone. I nearly had heart failure at the total. I do not buy a lot of designer accessories and fashion editors on magazines, contrary to popular belief, aren't especially well paid, but the replacement value of all the Christmas presents, press gifts & freebies soon mounted up. And, as you may have noted from the picture of my bag here, I sure carry around a lot of stuff.
Once I added up the replacement cost of the bag itself, my Smythson Fashion Diary, a pair of Prada sunspecs & pair of Oliver People's Vanadis, & the Prada wallet which was my leaving present from a job, I was already thanking God for household insurance. In addition I lost my precious digital camera, prescription spectacles & my gold family signet ring, which I had been carrying in my make-up bag prior to getting it re-sized. And then I added up the replacement value of all the cosmetics in my make-up bag. Eek.
It took me months to get all the receipts together, and find the authentication cards for the Prada pieces, in between pinging across the Atlantic like an elastic band. Still, the insurance company have been great and, whilst they are directly replacing the camera & my ring, they've sent me a cheque for the rest. It's mighty tempting to blow the lot on high living or even my tax bill, but I do feel I should replace my nice things, rather than just buying cheap shit.
I did think about calling the PRs for replacement sunglasses, but it feels super cheeky, so I'm buying the replacements. For the rest, some stuff is difficult to get hold of in America, but eBay is proving most helpful.
My new Vanadis (pictured above) arrived this morning via DHL, and I have my Mason & Pearson hairbrush arriving soon. Very excited to have all my accoutrements again: aomehow I feel more together when I have all my accessories in a row. They may not all be expensive or designer but everything I choose is the best thing for the job, and I take great pleasure in that.
I styled an AW08 look book the week before last for a new young ethical designer whose work I really rate. All her pieces are fair trade, and the fabrics are all organic. Better still, the designs stand on their own merits, regardless of their worthiness.
She had chosen to use the factory in the Garment District where her samples are made up, and shoot the model in situ, as though she was a designer working there herself.
Her creative vision is so strong, and so spot-on, that I was less a stylist and more a sounding board. It's perfect when you just get each other, and we really do work brilliantly together, with a total respect for each other's opinions. This meant I had time to scoot about the factory floor, which has to be one of the most fascinating places in which I've hung out in Manhattan. R, the charming & super helpful owner has worked with anyone who's anyone in the young American designer world, and there were bolts of fabric and trim stashed away on shelves with labels with boldface designer names scribbled on them, sketches and cuttings pinned to the walls, and half made up garments lying on benches.
It was a fantastic insight into the side of the industry we journalists rarely get to see, and I have a whole lot more respect for young designers now that I appreciate just how much back room work goes into a small capsule collection like F's.
Scenario: Good Friday and I am pootling around the apartment, alternately mulling over copy & swearing at the mystery bike thieves. The door buzzer rings, and Mr Fedex hands me a really heavy big box.
Inside are sixteen Marks & Spencer Hot Cross buns. Squishy, curranty, spicy, sugar glazed and wholly delicious. They've had a serious journey: from London to San Francisco in the case of one of my oldest fashion friends, and then back to New York via Fedex
When I put out my plea for Hot Cross buns on-line, I was just looking for info. I certainly didn't expect anyone to actually send me any. Lovely Susie at Style Bubble suggested she send some, but I thought Customs might take a dim view. Tales From The Runway went one step further by actually bringing them with her on her holidays.
I ate four on Friday: one immediately, stuffed in my mouth like a chimp at a tea party, one cold with an inch of butter sandwiched between, and two toasted, split & buttered (but I didn't eat anything else - my diet rule, if I eat bad things, I can't have any other food!) The rest are in the freezer, and I am rationing them.
Monday, March 24, 2008
It takes a lot to stop me in my tracks, but this did it. BASTARDS. Evil bike thieves had tried to use the weight of the bike as leverage to bust the D lock. Props to K Mart for my $12.99 lock which didn't snap. However, not only did they leave my bike hanging off a signpost, they jammed the lock, in addition to bending the wheel out of shape, and screwing up the gearing.
Fortunately John from Great Used Bikes was on his weekly mission into the city with a van full of bikes on Sunday, so stopped by St Mark's and literally melted the lock off the signpost with a flame torch thing. Most impressive. Sadly my wheel is beyond repair, so he's done a bodge job for me to ride around on this week, and is bringing me a new wheel next Sunday. Now that's what I call good customer service. I am thrilled: not least because I don't have to rely on the charlatans at the bike shop around the corner who charged me $5 to put air in my tyres last month.
Is it just me or does she look (relatively) normal, pretty and together in this picture? And how much better does she look when she's not trussed up in body-con outfits?
I've never really got the Posh phenomenon, but any editor would be a fool to underestimate her effect on the general (British) public. Every time I've done a radio 'phone in for the BBC as a studio guest, the callers have, to a man & woman, thought that she was the epitome of aspirational style. She's one of the very few celebs to have this polarising effect: where the fashion world continually derides her, but the real world thinks she can do no wrong, style-wise.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
For a fashion editor, I am remarakably restrained about my shopping splurges. I buy a lot of High Street (carefully seeking out the pieces that could be designer), & vintage and wear a lot of my mother's pieces from the Sixties. I rely on sample sales, discount cards and gifts from designers too. Full retail price for designer stuff is not a concept with which I (or any other editor) am enormously familiar. But, once in a while, the blood rushes to my head and I see something I REALLY, REALLY want. Like these Nanette Lepore shoes.
I am a half size, & have incredibly narrow feet & heels, so I generally wear Mary Janes or shoes with ankle straps so that my shoes actually stay on. It's also the secret to wearing very high heels as you get more stability. I heart these babies as they will lok fab with opaques for the next month, and then work brilliantly with all my summer dresses. (I think it's difficult to find a high heeled shoe that doesn't look tarty with flippy summer clothes.)
$360 from Shopbop.
I was hooting with laughter when I read a lovely review of my blog on Coffeecrazed's microsite on Stumble Upon. It included the line: "You can just tell from the picture that she's one of those impossibly well-manicured, well turned-out blondes with smooth hair. *sigh* ".
I do feel I have to disabuse her: Blonde straight hair (by genes not bottle,) okay - true, but the rest unfortunately not. Sure, I scrub up fine, & I cannot deny that I have a pretty amazing wardrobe, but the scrubbing up & donning of the amazing wardrobe is a very conscious exercise which only happens when I have an event or meeting, as I work from home. I also f**king hate having to blow dry my hair or get my paws painted. My thoughts on the subject here.
This is probably a good place to point out that 85% of fashion editors have no personal taste and often look truly horrific. (The English often favour the 'my wardrobe exploded this morning & I'm just wearing whatever landed on me approach', and the Americans adore wearing a mishmash of expensive labels with no thought whatsoever to creating a personal look.) The other 15% look bloody brilliant, & I envy them wholeheartedly.
There is no greater truism than the one which reads 'Fashion editors can only style other people, not themselves.' And I include myself SQUARELY in this camp.
ADDENDUM: Anouk asked in the comments why, then, do the85% not style each other? My answer: Because a lot of 'fashionable' people in the industry would rather wear the latest trends or cult label to signify how on it they are, rather than consider if said trend or look actually suits them. LLG xx
I don’t get homesick for my life in England: I’d pretty much reached the end of my tether there, but I do miss the comforts of familiar rituals. When I called home this morning everyone was in the middle of a huge Easter lunch at my parents’ country farmhouse, and I could hear the laughing & joking as chairs scraped across the flagstones, Champagne corks popped and the whippets, Jack Russell & dachshund leapt around looking for snacks.
We always go to church at Easter, walking up the hill to the tiny village church with sheep grazing in the graveyard and my mother’s glorious vases of lilies in the chancel and in the choir. My faith is an undecided thing, but I take great comfort in the familiarity of the liturgy, and enjoy feeling part of a community, even if I only go twice a year now.
Moving country necessarily involves building new rituals. I looked up churches on the net, and fixed on St Thomas’s at 53rd & Fifth Avenue, as it’s reputed to have the best choral music in America. It’s Episcopalian, part of the Anglican Community, and joined with the Church of England, so the liturgy is the same.
I’ve never worshipped in an urban church, and certainly not in a society one, before and it was an extraordinary experience. Fifth Avenue was closed for the Easter bonnet parade, with onlookers watching as we queued to get in, so popular was the service, and I was seated by the skin of my teeth in the chantry.
I was all dressed up in a black fitted coat, black fur wrap and heels but looked positively restrained compared to the elderly women in cartwheel hats & full length furs, and the ushers in full morning suits, with floral buttonholes. There was a sprinkling of denim clad tourists in pac-a-macs, several immaculate, Prada-clad African American families from infants to grandparents, and a lot of preppy couples in the congregation.
To move from the commercial bustle of Midtown to the calm of a grey stone, cantilevered interior, with carved altarpiece, tall Paschal candles burning through out the nave & chantry and lilies everywhere was like changing centuries. The choir had a full orchestral accompaniment and sang Taverner, and then various motets during communion which set me off crying again.
In fact I had started crying the moment I sat in my pew. I cried throughout the service. I thought of my grandparent's funerals in quiet country churches, of daily chapel services at my boarding school, of constructing a Garden of Gethsemene at primary school, of country house Easter weekends at the R-B's and of point-to-point racing in the mud on Easter Saturdays, of reading the lesson and taking the collection plate around when I was a child, of my sister & parents & I sitting like ducks in a row in our family pew at church, of all the things I’ve left behind in England.
Happy Easter my little bunny rabbits. Firstly apologies for the paucity for postings this week. I’ve been tied up with a big work project, which then got postponed until July after I had turned down other work in order to do it. Grr. And grr again.
It’s been the most glorious Easter Sunday: crisp and sunny, and warm enough to wear my pretty Cacharel olive cotton, zip front collarless jacket, which is lined in a red floral Liberty print, with wide-legged jeans, a grey cashmere knotted scarf and cream Converse hi-tops.
I’ve been barrelling around town like a maniac on my bicycle in an attempt to burn off the delicious food I ate at the Easter brunch J threw at her gorgeous Soho apartment.
I had promised to bring a contribution, so made chocolate cornflake nests with mini eggs last night, (yes, I really am 10 years old), but ran out of time to make my Hot Cross buns as the dough needs an hour to rise, & I needed to sleep.
Waking at 8 to make the dough, I tried hard not wake my roommate as I crashed about, spraying currants & spices around the kitchen and getting wet dough stuck in my hair, under my fingernails and seemingly permanently glued to the kitchen counter.
I’ve also had some bike problems, so John, the amazing bike man rocked up from Pennsylvania at 9am to sort things out, and then I punched down my dough and made a dozen extremely oddly shaped buns, scoring the tops, brushing them with egg wash and making a simple flour & water dough to roll into strips to press into the scores to make the traditional white crosses.
They only take fifteen minutes to bake, so I made a simple sugar syrup whilst they were baking, which I poured all over the buns when they came out of the oven: Hot Cross buns are traditionally super sticky. I have to say they looked pretty odd, and were pretty heavy. I need to get the balance of yeast sorted out. (God I hate baking using cup measures: so imprecise for what is essentially a scientfic process.)
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Well, the healthy eating plan has been slightly derailed by my attendance at the Versace party at Barney's last night. Truffled pastry & cheesy truffle fingerling potato canapés, and lots of Champagne has resulted in a savage hangover. Off to the diner for eggs, home fries & ketchup. Check back later for Versace party report.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
God I'm getting porky. Too many pizzas, fries, burritos and Creme Eggs have been shovelled in my gob of late. Whilst I am the first to decry the fashion industry's obsession with weight, there is a difference between being skeletal and being heathily in shape.
I am neither, & am tipping dangerously towards the wrong end of my BMI scale. Plus, as any fule kno, apple-shaped women need to be extremely careful not to store too much fat around their abdomens. (It massively inreases the risk of heart disease & other nasties.) With my skinny legs, I am looking more and more like a barrel perched on two golf clubs as each day passes.
I'm determined to turn over a new leaf as of yesterday.
I started by combining health & nutrition on a super fast bike ride to the lower reaches of Chinatown in search of suen sum, pak choi and properly fresh garlic. I intend to live on pounds of steamed greens, shitake mushrooms and braised tofu. Delicious and healthy.
The Chinatown expedition also worked quite well at killing my appetite when I walked past an elderly Chinese lady on the Mott Street sidewalk who was casually picking over a deep plastic tub of fat, very very perkily alive & slimy looking frogs.
Monday, March 17, 2008
I am meeting Dating Option number two, a property business bloke, tomorrow. (I realised that the fact that I let DO One's enthusiastic follow up call go to voicemail, and then took six hrs to text him back meant I wasn't enormously enagaged with the idea of a return match. Great company but I don't think I fancy him. Not that he's followed through on asking me out again yet.)
I'm off to Barney's in the evening to meet the bling-tastic Donatella at a cocktail Howard Sogol is throwing to launch Versace Menswear in the store. BA is my date so that we can view the eye candy together (although we fully accept that most of it will be gay).
DO Two is meeting me for a cocktail afterwards. For, as my (male) friend L so memorably put it tonight, "You don't bring your own food to an open buffet".
So on-line dating does kind of resemble a smorgasbord of men. I lack the energy to trawl through the site I'm on, so my MO is simply to post a profile, and then sit back and see who comes to visit. I've been inundated with winks & emails this week, and now I'm weeding out the nutters, vertically challenged, perverted, geriatric, tantrically inclined and hippy from the possibly eligibles.
After all on-line dating is about dating by specifics, not about giving people you wldn't normally date a chance. Plus at my advanced age, I know that I find a very specific type of man sexually attractive in the real world, and I doubt my taste is going to change any time soon.
My personal preferences are for height - 5'8" & above only, (I'm 5'10" in heels, & looking down at the top of someone's head is not a personal turn on), build - preferably skinny (I grew up with a picture of Morrissey on my wall), no students, slackers or indigents (I've subbed one too many boyfriends in my time), no Paulo Coelho readers (get a life), no pictures in a car or on a motorcycle (so you have a tiny penis then), and an ability to construct a sentence (so you're not illiterate then).
And any man who writes an email which says, "Look at my profile. If you like what you see, write back", gets null points for effort.
I went to New York's SoHo store today to look at the collection. Huge disappointment: only one dress (this one) in stock, and it is still out the back, as they are waiting for deliveries of the rest of the collection. The manager had no idea when the rest were arriving, hence her holding back the one dress delivered so far.
Get your act together Mango.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Further to my post below, these are the US stockists for Osman Yousefzada - 10 Little Black Dresses at Mango - to be launched on March 17th worldwide.
(Selfridges, London pop up shop from the 10th March for 2 weeks.)
U.S.A. BELLEVUE - BELLEVUE SQUARE, WA
U.S.A. SAN JUAN-PLAZA LAS AMERICAS,PR
U.S.A. MCLEAN-TYSONS CORNER CENTER,VA
U.S.A. L.A. CENTURY CITY CENTER,CA
U.S.A. CHICAGO-WATER TOWER PLACE,IL
U.S.A. BOSTON-PRUDENTIAL CENTER, MA
U.S.A. NEW YORK - QUEEN'S CROSSING,NY
U.S.A. BROADWAY SOHO
U.S.A. SAN FRANCISCO-S.F. CENTRE, CA
U.S.A. COSTA MESA-SOUTHCOAST PLAZA,CA
U.S.A. LAS VEGAS-FASHION SHOW, NV
U.S.A. STA MONICA-3RD ST PROMENADE,CA
U.S.A. SAN FRANCISCO-POST STREET, CA
U.S.A. MIAMI BEACH-COLLINS AVENUE, FL
ADDENDUM: I went to New York's SoHo store today (Monday 17th) to look at the collection. Huge disappointment: only one dress (this one) in stock, and it is still out the back, as they are waiting for deliveries of the rest of the collection. The manager had no idea when the rest were arriving, hence her holding back the one dress delivered so far.
Get your act together Mango.
I am so very excited to see Osman Yousefzada's little black dress collection for Mango. The dresses may all be riffs on the LBD, but Yousefzada has drawn on his own multi-cultural roots to add clever detailing, and flashes of colour which all explain why American Vogue dedicated a whole page to his him & his dresses last year.
I've been a dedicated believer in Osman's enormous talent since his very first collection, and we became friends when I met him on the stands at the Exhibition that accompanies the runway shows in London. I ordered this dress, and picked it up last year in late spring from his studio in the West End. I also bought a pretty black stretch cotton scoop neck T with a ravishing black stretch tulle fall from the back shoulders. And I have the most to-die-for butter soft cashmere sweater in a blue that matches my eyes that he gave me when he stayed with me in the autumn. I garner outrageous compliments when I wear his pieces, a result, I believe, of his inherent grasp of what works for women's bodies.
Fellow fashion blogger Susie B has already bought her Mango dress from the advance launch at Selfridges (& looks wonderful in it), and I cannot wait to get my sticky paws on one (ahem, some) when the line launches in the US on Monday.
Osman has just emailed me to tell me which dresses he thinks will work for me, ("think the Grecian peplum number will look good on you, and also the little afghan tunic...as well as the swing gold bar, and possibly the baby doll..."), so I can foresee biking home from Soho with a very large bag swinging from my handlebars.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
The date was completed with minimal embarrassment (apart from the bit where I got lost looking for the sodding bar - when you come out of subways here it is often impossible to work out which way is north and I always feel emminently muggable if I ask random strangers. After all, my accent is very English and I'm generally dressed up, rather than blending in.) Anyway, he came to find me on the Greenpoint street corner on which I was trying not to solicit business. Was so pleased to see that the leather jacket with zips and tassels he had told me to look for had been a joke, that I didn't really take in much bar the fact that he passed the not-looking-like-an-axe-murderer test.
Since I was ill at Christmas I seem to have lost my previous meagre immunity to alcohol. One round can get me giggly, and I always get a hangover. Very tedious. Still, I managed not to make a complete prat of myself over two glasses of merlot, and we wandered off (me trying to avoid tripping over the cracked pavements in my platformed heels) to eat at Paloma . (I had to agree to supper. I was going to fall asleep on the subway home otherwise).
Greenpoint isn't exactly the most bustling part of Brooklyn, and the restaurant is on a desolate, post-industrial street. It looks shut - until you push open a huge wooden door, to find a concrete floored, high ceilinged space with splashy artworks, skinny jeaned youth, DJ decks and The Smiths on the sound system.
The menu is an interesting read, with lots of seasonal, market driven dishes, mixed with standard bistro grub (skirt steak, fries, roast chicken, pork chops), poncily billing itself as 'American Nouveau' but which is, frankly, standard simple modern English/American - delete as applicable.
I had a distinctly under-whelming three vegetable plate ($14). A heap of unseasoned crescents of roasted squash and one (one!) very infant beet just weren't good enough, but the plate was redeemed by the only edible treatment of Brussels sprouts on record; shredded and mixed with roasted garlic cloves, they avoided the more traditional budgie head appearance and sulphorous reek. The acompanying dish of crispy white beans was exceptional, with canellini beans braised with lettuce and then fried, notable as much for the combination of wet & dry textures as the taste. My main gripe: I do wish self consciously cool restaurants would stop trying to be clever for the sake of it and just serve normal fries or even home made chunky ones, rather than ones with the skin on, which just makes them chewy & flabby and not at all moreish. Although I still ate most of the bowl. I blame the alcohol.
We walked companionably arm in arm in the freezing rain to the subway round 2330hrs. Four hours without annoying the beejesus out of each other is as much as one can hope from a blind date, and we certainly had plenty to talk about. He's called today to suggest round two. Maybe.
Okay: my next plea. I am CRAVING hot cross buns. Can one buy them in America?
From Wikipedia: A hot cross bun is a type of sweet spiced bun made with currants and leavened with yeast. It has a cross on the top which might be made in a variety of ways: it could be pastry, made from a simple flour and water mixture, cut from rice paper and glazed onto the bun, iced, or simply cut into the bun itself.
They are traditionally eaten on Good Friday, but in the LLG household we eat them from Lent onwards... I adore them, esp with half an inch of butter. Yum. I guess I'll have to make them, but I suspect that like, houmous, Marks & Spencer's version is just better in every way.
Friday, March 14, 2008
For a fashion editor, or maybe because I am one, I am mighty indecisive about what to wear. I need to feel comfortable and together before I leave the house, otherwise I twitch all evening, regarding other women who've got it right with envy tinged with a little venom. If I get it right I never think about my outfit again.
I also have a terrible habit of only wearing one or two looks for a month or so, convinced that nothing else in my wardrobe works. Then I get bored and start putting together the next great go anywhere outfit.
At the moment I'm wedded to very, very short, cuffed hem flannel shorts from Gap of all places, in charcoal grey & in black. I wear the grey ones with patent platform Mary Janes in burgundy with paler grey wool Levante tights and an oversized grey/blue cashmere V neck cardi, or purple tights and the same shoes in French Navy, with a poloka dot chiffon blouse underneath the cardi. The black ones go with opaque black Wolfords, black suede & patent ankle boots and an oversized tux.
I have a date tonight, so I'm thinking the grey shorts - lots & lots of leg, but minimal cleavage (I have a lot going on up there, so even a peek is an eyeful). Only thing is that I have a plan B lined up for tonight if I get to the point where I wld rather stick pins in my eyes from boredom/horror/disgust than stay a moment longer on the date: the Whitney Biennial and a drink after at The Carlyle with my girlfriends. This outing requires less sassy and more sexy, ideally a cocktail frock & stilettos. I suppose I cld shove the frock & heels in a bag just in case, but it's a right pain to have to lug a spare outfit around with me.
Goodness, dating is complicated.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
I have a ravishing stone coloured Janet Collin bag that I've had for a couple of years now. As it's pale, it could do with a good scrub and certainly the wide grab handle is so filthy that I can't really use it at the moment. As I loathe throwing things away, and the bag is in perfect nick otherwise, can someone please tell me where to buy saddle soap in Manhattan? (I have looked on-line, but I want to buy it in person, as I am fed up with trekking to the PO to pick up parcels).
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
My wonderful friend F has started a blog, Definitely Stopping At Two documenting her life as a stay at home mother to her two (from my view) adorable & beautiful children in the English countryside. An Oxford English literature graduate and talented writer, she's embracing blogging with glee as she vents wickedly about the constructs & myths surrounding raising small children. Her life is so far removed from my own that I read it, fascinated, like a bunny in headlights.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
My Friday date emailed to ask if I wanted him to meet me at Bedford Avenue so he could walk me to the bar, to avoid making a change on the subway. I pointed out that I am from London, where ANY journey takes a minimum of 50 minutes and will doubtless employ a 15 minute walk, a bus, three tubes and a rainstorm to get anywhere.
I think I can probably cope with a journey consisting of a mere four stops and one change. (Although charming & thoughtful of him to consider it a trek.) Although as I am leaving Manhattan, & crossing the East River to get to Greenpoint, I shall be packing a compass, iron rations and spare flat shoes just in case.
New York may be the dating capital of America, but it tends to pass me by as I am truly useless at flirting with random men and making eye contact is not an art I've ever mastered. Generally I just look scary and unapproachable when I'm out & about, or so I've been told one too many times for my liking, (actually I'm just shy & embarrassed), so at the weekend I signed up for an on-line dating site here in New York. I figure that at the worst I'll get good copy, at best - well, watch this space...
The drawback: I'm paranoid about being recognised. This is not a faint possibility. Through looking at male profiles I have already discovered why my mate X always seem to be going on dates ("I met this smashing bird on the subway". Yeah right. That'll be the on-line subway then), and been emailed today by a man I last saw wearing lederhosen & trying to proposition my girlfriend in a legendarily slimy manner at the Soho House Hallowe'en party. I can't work out if I am offended or relieved that he didn't recognise me.
I have my first date on Friday with a TV news journalist who seems relatively normal. He's suggested a bar with fireplaces & board games in Greenpoint (Brooklyn). Sounds promising: I like this game idea - if he's a 'mare I can just concentrate on thrashing him at Scrabble, & that should ensure I never hear from him again. (Such an optimist, me.)
There’s nothing more English than a proper roast meat & two veg Sunday lunch. And, unsurprisingly, they are thin on the ground in New York. Sure, ex-pat Village hangout Tea & Sympathy serves a roast for the outrageous price of $28, but it’s seriously sub-Wetherspoons*, and pretty much everywhere else does brunch on Sundays. Even the couscous joint, Café Mogador, across the road from me serves up plate upon plate of congealed looking eggs Benedict come the weekend. (Why, why do grown-ups insist on queuing to eat $12 plates of brunch eggs in restaurants that have nothing to with breakfast cookery?)
I’m not a big fan of people who move countries and then spend their time yearning for the comforts of home, but I do miss the companionable ritual of Sunday lunch. So I cycled over to a Greenwich Village apartment for my first ever Manhattan Sunday lunch, unsurprisingly hosted by an English friend, but happily furnished with Americans.
I did not cover myself in glory by rocking up an hour late, as I had failed to realise that the clocks went forward three weeks earlier than in London. Fellow guests were an interesting mix: a pretty ex-Teen Voguette, an education specialist & a handsome actor with a definite twinkle in his eye.
Pink roast lamb and a scrumptious berry cobbler had the Americans needing a gastronomic translation, but I was in seventh heaven as I poured double (heavy) cream over my pud, and chased it with a Creme Egg.
I promise I’ll eat bagels, burritos and brunch this week to make up for my shocking lapse from American eating habits.
*Crappy chain of English pubs, renowned for serving cheapo, mass Sunday lunches
It's not exactly a massive surprise to discover that Bauer have announced the closure of NW (formerly New Woman) and First, after a month's consultation following on from their purchase from Emap. The womens' market in the UK seems to shrink by the month. And people wonder why I moved to New York?
Monday, March 10, 2008
Utterly bloody hell. I missed my first blogday. I knew it was somewhere in March, but have been so busy & wrapped up in work that I simply forgot to check. Anyway it was 08 March that I made my first New York entry here.
Intended just as a record of my time in New York, (I also had a plan to log what I wore every day, in addition to my activities here in Manhattan, but I only kept this up for a few weeks, before I got bored with my wardrobe), it's led to so much more, and I have had a fabulous year discovering the blogosphere. For several months I just wrote away, gaining a modest amount of traffic, generated mostly by my friends back in London. And then I started to click through comments, a few people tagged me, JSL introduced me to Statcounter in May so I could track who was reading me and, almost overnight, it felt like I had joined the fashion blog community.
I've made some fabulous virtual friends, with whom I correspond regularly. As one of my oldest friends lives in Sydney, I love the fact that I have a huge, totally unexpected readership in Australia. I've been given a couple of awards, and even the New York Times picked me up last week. When I post about a big decision or an event, I am overwhelmed with witty, supportive comments. It's no surprise to me that researchers have recently discovered that blogging helps people who are depressed.
And it's been surprising what people like to read. One of my most popular ever entries wasthis story about my eccentric grandmother's handbag. Lots of people enjoyed my birthday celebrations and, whilst every single food post I write seems to strike a chord, a lot of people liked this review of Allen & Delancey.
Which brings me on to my next generation plan. As regular readers know, there is likely to come a point soon-ish where this blog is going to cause a conflict of interest. The solution? I am going to launch a new, linked, sister blog, which will hover on the fine line between food and fashion, with restaurant reviews, recipes and lots & lots of my food photography. That way I'll be able to continue amusing and annoying you all without stepping on the toes of my prospective employers. The two blogs will run concurrently for a while, and I'll let you all know when the new one goes live.
Above all, I want to thank everyone who bothers to click through to me occasionally: it's been a privilege.
Image: Cakes & photo by me
Friday, March 07, 2008
I love my bicycle with a deep and desperate passion, and am rarely happier than when I am bowling along the streets of Manhattan on a fresh spring day. As I work from home, a bike meshes perfectly with my lifestyle, & it's only occasionally that there is a sartorial problem. (I'm pretty good at cycling in heels now, but have to admit that not only do I fear helmet hair, I hate my boy-racer helmet too.)
Yesterday morning I was doing errands on Free Spirit (I didn't choose the name, it's emblazoned on the crossbar). First to Union Square for a spot of brand consultancy, and then down to Soho to pull some shoes for a lookbook I was styling in the afternoon.
As I was departing the shoe store with two big bags of shoes, I mentioned that I was on my bike. The store manager raised a metaphorical eyebrow, and in a voice tinged with patronage said, "A bicycle? How...cute."
I am starting to realise that, unlike London, where it is seen as positively cool to rock up on a bike, here it's seen as extremely eccentric and kind of cash-strapped for a fashion editor to be nipping around town on one.
Certainly I chuckled when the paparazzi who always hang outside the Waverly Inn waiting for celebs to exit told me I was the only diner they'd ever seen arrive on two wheels instead of in a blacked out town car. And I'm certain mine is the only member's bike chained up outside Soho House. And do I care? Absolutely not.
And now I've discovered the answer to carrying a hideous (but life-saving) helmet is to buy one by Sawako Furuno, who is based in London. A mere £60 (consider that your bog-standard helmet costs around £30) this is on my must-have list. They can be ordered in a variety of colourways and patterns:Although I fear it is a trifle self-indulgent to have a wardrobe of cycling helmets.
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Four or five years ago I was browsing in blissful Daunt Books in Belsize Park when a wonderfully designed plain grey book cover caught my eye. It was a copy of Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson. This was the beginning of my love affair with Persephone Books, a privately owned imprint based in London’s Bloomsbury. They specialise in re-discovering out of print and forgotten classics by (mostly) women authors from the twentieth century, ranging from novels to cook books, memoirs to travel.
Published in 1938, and set a few years earlier, Miss Pettigrew fits into the genre of gorgeously romantic, often bittersweet, beautifully written period literature that includes Nancy Mitford & Georgette Heyer’s entire oeuvre and The Making of a Marchioness by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
The movie of the book opens here this week, and I attended a preview screening this evening. The casting is excellent,(Amy Adams is perfection as the ditzy co-lead, nightclub singer Delysia Lafosse) the set design ravishing, the costumes fabulous, but the cinematography is gloomy and the simplicity and charming heart of the book has been replaced by rather too much moralising and some shocking liberties with the plot that don’t really stand up to much scrutiny.
Still, it’s enjoyable and lovely to look at, even if the trailer cherry picked all the good moments.
So Christian Siriano won Project Runway, He is the exemplar of everything that I dislike about the fashion industry: a toxic, cruel, sniping bitch, hiding his insecurities and youth under a veneer of obnoxious over-confidence. The fashion industry as a whole tolerates, encourages and nurtures this behaviour which is endemic and I am just so thoroughly fed up with it.
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
I'm all of a wibble right now. I had a job interview this week that came rather unexpectedly springing out of nowhere. (I thought I was pitching for some freelance work, but got called in for a proper job meeting.)
If it happens, the job would upend my life in a difficult to comprehend fashion. Obviously I can't say where or what, but enough to say that the words 'director' & 'style' may be involved.
I'm not a natural freelancer, being one of those people who operate brilliantly (!)under pressure and within boundaries. Having to continually sell myself and forage for work can be extremely wearing, but this is, of course, balanced by the extraordinary freedom I have to, say, I don't know, move to New York at two week's notice, or decide to go to Portland, Oregon on Thursday for the weekend, or just work from bed all day tomorrow.
And, of course, in the way that these things always happen, my freelance career is more successful right now than it ever has been. I have new editors wanting my work and interesting opportunities popping up all over the shop. There is also the question of my beloved blog. Way too many people know who the woman beind the construct is for me to continue writing it in this way if I took on a fill time job. The conflict of interest would be too great, and the job too senior for me to wish to give people the handle on my private life which doesn't matter when my employer is me.
I'd also have to commit to living on one side of the Atlantic (I'm not saying which one!), and giving up some hopes & dreams.
But this is balanced by the feeling that I've done my own thing for quite some time now and I do find myself longing for a work environment, a timetable, a complete immersion in a new, all-encompassing project. And a salary would be nice instead of the continual chasing after unpaid invoices and lurching from credit to debit to credit every month.
The team is fantastic, the project director a personal hero, the product believable, & the location interesting. And the role is so perfectly matched to my skills set and experience that it might have been created with me in mind.
Ah well, if nothing comes of it, I'll still have been immensely flattered to have even been considered to have been in the running for the position.
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Manhattan never ceases to amaze me: just when I think it couldn't get more corporate, they go plonk a huge fairground inspired, LED sprinkled, 35 ft high installation in the middle of Rockefeller Plaza.
What it is is an Electric Fountain, mimicing the tradition of fountains in public spaces, and one of the few major public art installations by the British artists Tim Noble and Sue Webster. My inner geek was particularly pleased to discover that it uses 3,390 LED bulbs and 527 meters of neon tubing.
We trotted dutifully up to Midtown for the private view: somewhat of a contradiction in terms, as it's a piece of public art, easily viewed by anyone.
Still, we appreciated the warming hot apple cider which perked us up enough for a late night shopping session in the Lord & Taylor sale, conveniently located a mere ten blocks from the Rockefeller.
Oh and the on dit doing the party rounds was that it's up for sale for a mere £1 million/US$2 million.
The Electric Fountain is in Rockefeller Plaza from February 27 through April 05.
This is the back view of the pretty black lace overlaid silk party dress by Anna Sui which I wore last night. It was reduced to $88 from $249 in the Lord & Taylor sale on Fifth Avenue. Even more pleasing to discover that it is currently for sale unreduced here at Netaporter for $249/£165.
Sales over here are nothing like they are in London. Lord & Taylor has not just marked down a load of stuff by 30%, they've got another 50% off the already reduced stock, and the lovely assistant gave me a further 20% off the total. Remarkable. (I didn't mean to buy anything, honest guv.)
But, somehow I ended up with a bronze shutter pleat, Hervé Leger-ish, body con cocktail dress by the pageant dress king, Tadashi, for $80 from $348, a dark cream Tara Jarmon coat for $120 from $510 and, bizarrely, a brown jersey princess line dress from a diffusion line called OC by Oleg Cassini. (A bargain $30). I had no idea one could still buy Oleg Cassini, much less that a (to be honest, gobsmackingly tacky) diffusion line existed.
Monday, March 03, 2008
Am feeling an excessive amount of New York love right now, but unfort am way too tipsy to actually articulate it properly. Suffice to say that (straight) boys stopping one at a fash party to say how gorgeous one looks is suitably spirit uplifting. This, combined with a new & splendid haircut, wonderful girlfriend company, a delicious supper and a new party frock, makes all seems right with the world.
WGSN reports that Gucci remains the world's most coveted luxury brand, according to a recent market survey by research firm The Nielsen Group.
In an online poll of 25,000 consumers in 48 countries said they would choose to buy Gucci over any other luxury brand if money were no object. Chanel and Calvin Klein tied for second place, followed by Louis Vuitton, Giorgio Armani, Christian Dior and Versace. Although Gucci came out first overall, regional results were fascinating: The Chinese picked Chanel, the Russians Christian Dior, whilst Giorgio Armani, Calvin Klein and Yves Saint Laurent were picked by Latin American consumers, and Hermès by the Japanese.
Perfect Sunday. Rang my mother to wish her a good Mothering Sunday, to tell her how much I love her, and to apologise (hmm) for failing to produce a husband, grandchildren or any semblance of a stable life in my thirties.
I followed this good daughterliness by hopping on Free Spirit to pedal like crazy down to brunch in Nolita at Bread with BA, F & J where we took two hours to work our way through the menu from fries to profiteroles, Prosecco to espresso. (Something I wouldn't be able to do with a husband & children. Blessings everywhere.)
Sunday, March 02, 2008
To Soho House for a low key performance by Jonathan Rice, organised by Artists’ Den, who specialise in tiny, secret gigs in unlikely locations by upcoming artists.
There’s something very indulgent about watching a brilliant acoustic set from a genius singer songwriter, whilst ensconced in a deep velvet armchair, with a glass of Merlot on a Sunday evening.
I’m not quite sure what scruffy, plaid shirt-wearing, baby-faced twenty-four year old Jonathan Rice thought of doing a showcase at Soho House. He opened with, “I’ve never done a gig in a place with moisturiser in the bathrooms”, before going on to ask the audience to rattle their jewellery if they enjoyed the set.
Still, whether he was laughing at or with the audience, he sang an extraordinary set, packed with great deadpan lines, including “An investment banker started something so I broke his neck,” from his single, "We’re All Stuck Out in the Desert", which seemed particularly apt for the audience.
He may look about eighteen, but he's already supprted REM, played the part of Roy Orbison in Walk The Line, and dates Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley. He supports Matt Costa at the Bowery Ballroom tomorrow (Monday).