Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I’ve been out of the internet loop for a while. There was Christmas of course and before that, an epic journey from London that involved a cancelled flight, staying overnight in Stansted airport and Christmas shopping in Holyhead before getting the ferry home. Now it’s that lazy time before New Year and my days involve nothing more taxing than eating Selection boxes for breakfast and laughing at Fair City. Before my life became this uneventful, I had the chance to interview Olivier Theyskens for Glass magazine. It was a lovely early Christmas present for me as anyone who reads this blog will know that I am a massive OT fan so I was beyond excited and thrilled about this. I was a little bit apprehensive as he is known for being ultra private and mysterious but he was surprisingly friendly and open, recommending books and music and using one of my most overused words - “cosy” - to describe his adopted city of Paris. The interview coincides with the release of The Other Side of the Picture, a beautiful retrospective of his career with photographs by Julien Claessens to be published by Assouline in the new year. A decade of OT’s heavenly designs in a beautiful coffee table book – I can’t think of anything better. Read all about it here. NOK

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The News

According to last week's Guardian Fashion Statement, David Lynch is to direct the new installment of the Lady Dior ad campaign. I've already spoken of how I was slightly underwhelmed by the last Lady Dior short - starring Marion Cotillard and directed by Olivier Dahan - so I'm not sure how this new Lynch project is going to pan out. Because - and don't all kill me - I'm not a big fan of David Lynch. OK sorry, sorry, I know that's sacrilege but I just can't forgive him for making me sit through Inland Empire, aka the most boringly confusing 3 hours of my life. Don't get me wrong - I like good confusing as much as the next person but when the director and actors seem as perplexed as you are mid-movie, I think there's something wrong. I can't even watch Laura Dern anymore and I used to like her but 180 minutes of low-quality, grainy footage put paid to that. The only good thing about that movie were the scenes with the rabbits. So yes I'm apprehensive. I have a feeling though that Dior wouldn't be too pleased if Lynch shot the ads for their high-end bags on digital video so I'm guessing that we'll be returning to his Obsession ads aesthetic, where I must admit he truly captured Heather Graham and Benicio del Toro's beauty, even if the concept of using lines by famous authors was a bit like something I would have come up with in Transition Year.

On Monday Grazia reported that some people were saying mean things about Tavi. Well actually it was mainly just one person: US Elle's fashion director Anne Slowey, who compared Tavi with JT LeRoy and seemed to imply that Tavi is not blogging alone. "You look at her video, and the writing [in her blog] doesn’t sync up with the way she talks about fashion. When I watched that video it smacked of this ethereal vagueness — this vacant-like quality where it was like everyone was on Vicodin. Like everyone was uncomfortably dumb except for me. I’m not trying to take anything away from her — her love of fashion, her love of style. She’s either a tween savant or she’s got a Tavi team." Hmm I'm not really sure. I mean there's something about having a camera in your face that can make even the most articulate come over a little tongue-tied. And surely we can't doubt a person's intelligence - or validity - just because they happen to be a teenager. There are lots of child geniuses out there.

Just look at little Johnjoe of Late Late Toy Show fame.

In other news, I joined Twitter. If you are on Twitter, please follow me and help me to navigate the etiquette of this new (for me) medium. Like can I just respond to somebody's tweets even if they are not following me? Because at the moment I feel like an eavesdropping stalker. LE

Friday, December 11, 2009

High Hair, High Fashion

We’ve been feeling completely bereft since John & Edward left the X-Factor – Olly, Stacey, Joe, whatevs. We’re had to make do with a mediocre appearance on the Late Late Toy Show (totally overshadowed by Johnjoe) and find something else to do with our Saturday and Sunday nights. But now the fashion world is sitting up and taking notice, we are getting excited again and remembering why we fell in love with them in the first place. Jedward might be saying goodbye to personal appearances at Basildon nightclubs and hello (and “this is soooo cool”) to the front row. The first sign that the fash pack were taking them seriously was their Grazia photoshoot.

Now they have taken it to another level by sitting for Nick Knight as part of his 100 Portraits project for i-D. All we can say is, wow. The suits, the quiffs, more than a hint of homoeroticism – it could be an ad campaign for Prada or Dior Homme. Louis, or whoever is advising these boys, is doing a great job. Fellow sitters for Knight include Phoebe Philo, Philip Treacy, Marios Schwab and Gareth Pugh so our boys are in excellent company. NOK

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Break-Up

Girl gets dumped by her lover via email. He signs off: "Take care of yourself". She then invites over 100 other women, from a ballerina to a lawyer, to interpret the message. Sounds like the premise of a lame Jennifer Aniston romantic comedy. One that I would probably go to see in the cinema because one of my favourite pastimes is torturing myself by watching terrible movies “for the laugh” and then being given out to by the lady in front of me for talking all the way through and saying how terrible it is. Fun!

Disappointingly, that’s not the plotline for the next Poor Jen turkey but the idea behind Sophie Calle’s installation Take Care of Yourself, currently on show at the Whitechapel Gallery as part of a retrospective of the French artist’s work. Each woman, an expert in her field, interprets the email from their professional point of view: a translator examines its grammar, a composer turns it into music, Miranda Richardson sits on a sofa next to her cat and reads it aloud. There are performances by famous faces Feist, Peaches and Jeanne Moreau but Calle also calls on an accountant, an opera singer, a criminologist and other unknowns for their take on the email. The exhibition continues with earlier works including The Bronx where Calle asked residents of the south Bronx in New York to take her to a place of their choice, and her collaboration with novelist Paul Auster, where she becomes one of his fictional characters. I loved this show – it’s clever and involving, filled with words and feels like you’re reading the artist’s diary. NOK

Monday, November 30, 2009

I'll be home for Christmas too....

I’ve been at home in Ireland for a couple of weeks – most of which was spent listening to RTE radio and hanging out with my dog – but today I got on a bus to the big smoke (well tiny smoke where you can’t go anywhere without bumping into somebody you know) to hear Christopher Bailey talk at the Phil in Trinity. Bloggers, students and fashion journos turned out to hear what the creative director of Burberry had to say on sustainability, the rise of internet shopping, celebrity ad campaigns and much more (check out January’s The Gloss for more on that).

After the talk I had a couple of hours to spare so I wandered up to Brown Thomas to check out the Christmas window display. Crammed full of luxury items like Jimmy Choo shoes and Ladurée macaroons, the windows are not really in keeping with recession-stung Ireland, but hey the BT Christmas window is all about escapism. I especially liked the ‘I’ll be Home for Christmas’ line that was scrawled across each window. It reminded me of how excited I am that I’ll be back for Christmas, although I think that I may have tarnished the expat-arrives-by-boat-for festive-season novelty by spending half of November here.

I also found time to buy a Twist and Tango (bad name, nice clothes) dress in Potrero Hill and eat a sandwich in Simon’s Place. Sometimes Dublin is the best. LE

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Luella Does Liberty

Let's try and forget about the Bah Humbug news that Luella has ceased trading and instead take a trip to Liberty where Luella and her team have dressed the Christmas windows. Bypass the grotto which, although filled with lovely Liberty stocking fillers chosen by the designer, doesn't feel particularly Luella. The windows are the best I've seen this festive season (once I begin blaring Mariah's Crimbo classics and the Facebook event for the annual Holland Park Mansion bash has been created, I can officially say the festive season has begun). The first window has a Royal theme and is crammed with amazing kitsch memorabilia crap. The second recreates a typical seventies Christmas in incredible detail complete with the Queen's speech on the telly, half-eaten Brussels sprouts and Blue Nun on the table and one of those hairdresser heads that I always wanted as a child. Finally, we have Mr. and Mrs. Fox looking fine in their Alexander McQueen hunting threads. NOK

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Present Time

I had been ignoring the fact that Christmas is fast approaching – turning down the radio when I heard a sleigh bell-type intro, skipping past festive ads in the newspaper – but hey it’s less than a month away so I may as well as embrace it and turn up the Shakin’ Stevens, prepare the pudding and make my Christmas present list. These are presents that I want; I couldn’t really be bothered making out a boring list of gifts that other people might want. I am, as yet, unsure as to who is going to supply these little pressies. Santa, perhaps.

Luxury PJs
OK first off I need some cashmere pyjamas. I know this seems really ridiculously extravagant but I seriously can’t sleep in anything but cashmere. I have never been a fan of normal pyjamas – why would I want to wear uncomfortable, ill-fitting trousers to bed? Not to mention the silly buttons that dig into you every time you turn over. I can only sleep in a grey cashmere jumper that I got in TK Maxx but it has started to look a little worn so I think that some new, more attractive nighttime attire is called for. Thanks.

Hermes Leica Camera
Since my camera broke I’ve been taking photos on my iPhone, which is very good when there is enough light, but it is not satisfactory in other conditions so I’ve decided that I’m going to need a proper camera. I don’t want just any old thing plucked from the pages of the Argos catalogue; I want a Hermes Leica camera. Behold its beauty.

Erdem for Smythson Notebook
I always judge people by their notebooks. Yes I realise that’s silly but I’m not really mean about it. Like I don’t write off a person just because they’re doodling in a battered old copybook and I’m not immediately drawn to those taking notes in a leather-bound journal. The Erdem for Smythson notebooks scream ‘spoiled brat’ but I still want one because they’re very, very pretty.

Micro Pig
Emine Saner’s piece in the Guardian totally confirmed that I have to get my hands on one or two (they need company) of these. Apparently they smell like digestive biscuits and sleep curled up under your arm. Come on, how could you not want one? My other The Portmanteau half though is totally against the idea of getting a couple of pigs for the flat, claiming that we don’t have a garden (this is actually true but whatevs) and that she doesn’t like animals. Hmm.

A Private Concert from John and Edward
I’m pretty much devastated that Jedward are no longer in the X Factor. Our next phone bill is going to be so depressing – about 50 quid’s worth of late night calls to Jedward. Ugh. But at least there is a silver lining: the boys are now available for personal appearances and I’m hoping some Father Christmas-type figure will send them round to the Holland Park mansion to serenade me. They must “perform” Ghostbusters, Oops and Under Pressure/Ice Ice Baby and I'd really like it if they could recreate the hilarious introduction that preceded all their X Factor performances.

Merci Beaucoup.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Playing Games

One of my favourite things to do on a Sunday is play the Up and Down game while munching on a Paul pain au chocolat. The rules are as follows:

Player 1 adopts the role of the tester/quizmaster-type person while player 2 (or player 3/4/etc – you can really play with as many people as you like!) is the guesser. The tester clutches a copy of The Sunday Times Style and calls out an item from the Going Up/Going Down list that appears alongside Shane Watson’s column in the magazine. The guesser must then decide if the issue is ‘Up’ or ‘Down’. One point is awarded for a correct answer. An additional bonus point is given if player 2 can guess the exact reason for the item going up or down. It must be noted that sometimes it is necessary to re-phrase the item as it may be too obvious whether it’s up or down. For example yesterday ‘Fattening Cocktails’ appeared on the list and if player 1 had called it out like that, the game would be too easy. Down, duh. Instead Player 1 should disguise it as ‘Creamy Cocktails’ or ‘Indulgent Cocktails’.

Anyway, the reason that I’m granting you this fascinating insight into how I spend my Sundays is that ‘Lazy Bloggers’ appeared on the list yesterday. And I’d wager that you can guess that they were going down. The explanation given was: ‘If you’re not updating daily, we’re blogging off.’ Eek. I’m afraid that we've been quite lazy bloggers in recent months but we do have important things to do, you know, like working, socialising and, eh, watching John and Edward’s video diaries on ITV.com (devastated btw).

But basically because we’d hate to be caught languishing at the wrong end of the Style list, we will be making an effort to blog more often from now on, perhaps not daily but certainly 4 times a week.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Rabbiting On

Lady rabbits are considered sexy. One need only look at the Playboy Bunnies, Jessica Rabbit (not really a rabbit but she is married to one) or the husky-voiced Cadbury Caramel Bunny for confirmation. It’s difficult to see where this notion comes from when faced with the little rabbits of Watership Down but I suppose we can look to their easy reputation (at it like rabbits!) and seriously stylish credentials (Jessica in that dress) for clues.

Giles Deacon is obviously a man who thinks that rabbits are worth dressing, because he has created a capsule wardrobe for the Cadbury Caramel Bunny to celebrate the launch of the new Cadbury Caramel Nibbles and we have two of his limited edition scarves to give away. The man himself said of the scarves: “Scarves are a wardrobe must this season and the fact that her [the Cadbury Caramel Bunny’s] new Nibbles Collection replicates polka dots shows how stylish and trendy the Bunny is!”

There you have it. So if you want to win of these little beauties just drop us an email (portmanteaudaily@gmail.com) with your name and address and we’ll post out the prize to the winners we pick at random. LE

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It's a Twin Thing

Continuing our obsession with Jedward and therefore all things twin related, it's the perfect time to welcome new fash mag Twin- they are sooo on the wavelength with that name. Becky Smith, formerly creative director of Lula, is behind this along with Voguette Aimee Farrell. It's quite far from Lula style -wise - sharper layout, cleaner font, larger format. Less Au Revoir Simone and airy fairy editorial which I love in Lula but it's also nice to have an alternative. Closer to a book than a mag, Twin comes in hardback with articles laid out in chapters and no face on the cover, just the logo, again something more in line with books than mags. I'm always happy to see a feature on usual suspects Ryan McGinley and Garance Doré , no matter how overdone they are. Also loved seeing Freja, a bit of poetry in a fashion mag, NY street style captured in a different way by photographer Tom Allen and the page documenting artist Fiona Banner's favourite things. There is a refreshing lack of celebs and more importantly, celeb offspring, something that reached overkill with the last issue of Love. Not one for your next trip to Borders, Twin seems to be mainly stocked in boutiques including Rellik and Dover Street Market but I picked up mine at John Rocha, just another excuse to call into this beautiful store in Mayfair. NOK

Pics: Boo George, Garance Doré, Tom Allen, Neil Bridge

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The News

Lara Stone is on the cover of this month’s Vogue and in the accompanying interview she talks about her battle with alcoholism and how she spent 4 weeks in Rehab this year. When we saw her at the Mulberry party at LFW, we did remark that she looked rather serious and sober, but this revelation would seem to explain her abstemious attitude. Also at that party was David Walliams – no surprises there as Walliams loves a good fashion bash – but here’s the surprise: according to the Daily Mail website, the pair have been "have been spending nights together watching TV and going out for secret dinners around London” and are “head-over-heels in love”. WTF? Okay I could deal with David Walliams sleazing on Abi Titmuss and Patsy Kensit, but Lara Stone aka the prettiest girl in the world?! This is the weirdest couple ever. I know that pretty girls often go for funny guys but why didn’t she choose Noel Fielding or my other The Portmanteau half’s crush, David Mitchell. Okay yeah I guess that would be pushing it. That would be the weirdest couple ever.

In other news, Suri Cruise has totally lost it. This time last year, we were so into her. I was obsessed with her little dresses and even cut my hair into a Suri-esque bob. But yeah we’re over it. Sorry Surs, but leggings under dresses are so 2 years ago and the freaking out in the ice-cream parlour incident was so not cool. In fact we have coined a new phrase – Pulling A Suri – which basically means that you go nuts/start crying uncontrollably for no particular reason. I’ll put that into a sentence for you: I was walking down Holland Park Avenue and a bus splashed me and then a cyclist shouted at me and I totally lost it and started bawling; basically I pulled a Suri. LE

Lara Stone in December's Vogue

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Oh Pur-lease Peugeot

I never check out ads for cars. I have no interest in cars. I have such a poor understanding of cars and how they work that I managed to write off my mum’s one on a rare driving lesson. But the new Peugeot ads that have been appearing in all my favourite newspaper supplements recently have attracted my attention, mainly because they don’t feature boring details of a car but instead cleverly trick you into thinking that you have happened upon the diary of Marina wife-of-Ben Fogle and are being treated to a rare insider’s glimpse of a typical Tuesday for the mum-to-be about town.

She’s an early riser and is up at 7am to walk the dogs. Then she’s off to the office for a meeting but she leaves boring work two hours later to pick up Ben from the airport. Ben, who has trekked to the South Pole, is seemingly unable to make the Heathrow to Notting Hill journey alone. And it’s all go from there on out. There’s pregnancy yoga to go to, a “creative meeting about the website” to attend and an important phone call re: needing a bigger marquee to make. Luckily, the multi-tasking Marina has set aside a whole half hour to make that call. She ends the day by feeding the dogs (an hour and a half is allocated for that particular task) and having dinner with Ben.

Come on, Peugeot. Marina's schedule makes my lazy June days look hectic and jam-packed. And if she wants to save herself even more time, she should probably get the tube. It'd be way quicker. LE

Friday, October 30, 2009

Boys We Fancy

Going to the dentist isn't top of my fun-things-to-do list but it is made easier by the fact that I totally fancy dentists. Not all dentists, but, eh, most of them. Maybe because they’re strict or maybe because when I was twelve, I had an operation to remove a supernumerary (that’s fancy for extra) tooth and the dental surgeon was really handsome and – perhaps because of the general anaesthetic, perhaps because of the onset of puberty – became a kind of paradigm of male attractiveness. Most dentists are probably really boring, but when you’re lying back in the chair they seem smart and actually hot, albeit in a Jeremy Paxman way. L
(There are no Google images that successfully illustrate the concept of a hot dentist. Just imagine it.)

David Mitchell
I’m about five years behind the rest of the world when it comes to Peep Show having watched an ep for the first time last week. It was a revelation and since then I’ve been going around saying “You must check out this Peep Show” like I’ve just uncovered some obscure, underground arthouse oddity. I don’t know why it took me so long because I majorly fancy David Mitchell. The love affair began with his Observer columns and then only increased with his appearances on Who Do You Think You Are? and infinite panel shows. There are lots of drawbacks – he enjoys watching snooker, has a bad back and lives in an ex-council flat in Kilburn that he himself describes as “shit” and “a dump”. Hilarious and socially awkward, he’s my perfect man even though he does seem to be in competition with Stephen Fry to be crowned ultimate media whore. N

James Franco
James Franco’s films – Spiderman, Tristan and Isolde, The Holiday – meant that he remained under my radar for a really long time. It wasn’t until Pineapple Express that he caught my attention and then I made up for lost time by researching/Wikipedia-ing like crazy. Yeah, so he’s perfect. He holds a degree in English from UCLA and goes to graduate school at Columbia (creative writing) and NYU (film studies). It did occur to me that his Gucci campaign was kind of selling out but if Frida Giannini offered me a gig like that I would obv take it. Plus MFAs at Columbia and NYU aren’t going to pay for themselves, you know. Anyway he totally makes up for it by gently making fun of the ads. (See video.) L

Michael Fassbender
I have nothing really to say about Michael Fassbender except that he’s incredibly hot and probably the first person I’ve nominated for a Boys We Fancy post who is conventionally attractive and not some variety of social misfit. I have to admit that I even kind of fancied his character in Fish Tank even though it felt so wrong. He’s the archetypal charming, rugged Irish man, the type who only seems to exist in Guinness ads, a man who can swim from Ireland to New York via our hometown of Naas and its beloved motorway ball. N

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ready for the Floor

After years in the fashion wilderness, now is the time for the longer length. Shorter hemlines have dominated for seasons so now a longer silhouette catches the eye and looks genuinely fresh and different. And we’re not talking hippy-dippy, printed skirts or evening wear but proper, sweeping skirts for day that go well past the knee. Haider Ackermann is the man for a look that’s a little bit Olsen mixed with a nice buttoned-up Edwardian vibe.

Long skirts have always been part of my wardrobe but usually just second-hand ones that I never get around to shortening so they hover at some hideously frumpy and unflattering mid-calf length. Wearing longer skirts is just another example of the "lengths"- I’m hilarious- I’ll go to to avoid leg maintenance and exposure. My ultimate pin-up for the longer length is Bay Garnett who seems to wear nothing else but her floor-length Nicole Farhi skirt. I loved that article in Vogue years ago that documented her daily style for a week and showed that she basically lived in the skirt. She’s kinda lazy and a bit scruffy and she’s still allowed inside Vogue House! Loves it. NOK

Pics: The Sartorialist, Tommy Ton, Vogue US, Vogue UK

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I'm John and I'm Edward

I have loved John and Edward since their very first X Factor audition. Back then I was pretty much alone but in the last few days, they have acquired a dedicated following. Jackie Collins has leapt to their defence saying, “I think the twins - that choice of doing that Britney Spears song was genius, absolute genius. I mean they are so cute and they really give the show that pizzazz." They have been featured on Dlisted and Stuart Heritage wrote a brilliantly supportive article on the Guardian TV blog.

There’s a simple reason for my love of J & E – they cheer me up. One minute, I’m half-heartedly watching boring mediocrities such as Lloyd or Rikki, the next I’m frantically dancing round the living room, singing along to their excellent song choices. They induce happiness. They're like a natural Prozac. Well actually I've never been on Prozac but I'd wager that it's not as good as J & E. They're more like a natural laughing gas. A major factor in their charm is that they say the funniest things in their weird Southpark-esque voices. It’s like they’re not from Lucan at all, but another planet entirely. My top five Jedwardisms are:

When asked where they see themselves in 15 years
“Well I see myself being older.”

Discussing their influence on hairstyles
"Britney Spears, she wore a belly top and now everyone wears belly tops. John and Edward have big hair. Everybody is going to have big hair."

Talking about their influences
“I remember the very first day 5ive came on the telly and I was like ‘woah, imagine if we had that status and had that much fun and were able to come out with such a hit'.”

After a particularly bad performance
“I was practically laughing at myself, imagining I was looking at TV and going ‘woah, these guys are a joke’.”

On why they want to be pop stars
“We came to see all the ladies. Who wouldn’t want girls shouting your name, going ‘John’ or ‘Edward’ or whatever”


P.s. If you have yet to be introduced to John and Edward you should check this out. LE

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Under The Westway

London's so nice back in your seamless rhymes
But we're lost on the Westway
So we hold each other tightly
And hold on for tomorrow

Ok so I know that East is where it’s at, that Walthamstow is the new Dalston which was the new Shoreditch or whatever but since I moved to London I have lived in the deeply unfashionable West. The last time West London was remotely cool was probably sometime in the mid-nineties when Damon and Justine were living on Kensington Park Road.

The lyrics of Blur’s For Tomorrow evoke my favourite view over London - in a cab, driving along the Westway at night from Marylebone towards home, looking through the window at Golborne Road leading to Trellik Tower, Portobello Market and Ladbroke Grove tube, the skyline a mix of nineteenth century rooftops and stark, high rise flats. This urban landscape was lovingly documented in the latest issue of Pop with words by JG Ballard and pictures by Juergen Teller and Jon Savage. I first came across Savage’s portraits of neglected London at the ICA exhibition The Secret Public which explored the underground art scene that emerged against the background of Thatcher’s Britain. This feature was yet another highlight of Dasha’s first Pop. Overall, it more than surpassed my expectations, which were extremely low admittedly, and banished all thoughts of my initial WTF?? reaction to her appointment as editor-in- chief. NOK

Pics: flickr, Jon Savage, me & Fi.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Spring Awakening

As the collections draw to a close in Paris, it’s a good time to reassess and confront the challenges ahead for Spring 2010. Regular peeps must come to terms with ice cream shades and underwear as outerwear. The fashion pack need to learn that just because someone is young and falls out of nightclubs does not make them a designer or a cool, model muse.

First to Lindsay whose debut as artistic advisor at Emanuel Ungaro, working alongside head designer Estrella Archs, was universally panned. My issue isn’t that the clothes were hideous – which they were. My problem is that a once venerable fashion house like Ungaro could just use a desperate quick fix trick of the celeb designer appointment to bring some publicity to the brand. And rather than just putting her face to the name, it turns out she might have had some actual involvement in the design process. The results were an ugly and endless heart motif, nipple pasties that also reappeared on the heads of models and damning reviews. A fashion house of Ungaro’s stature is not a line of leggings. They could have used LiLo in advertising or as a brand ambassador, not have her in some faux artistic role that includes having to take an awkward catwalk bow complete with tears (Lindsay’s) and a face like thunder (Estrella’s).

Meanwhile over in Milan, it seems the Italian fash pack still hasn’t gotten over its fascination with the boring BrIT girls. Front row at Dolce & Gabbana was the ubiquitous Peaches, alongside Alice Dellal, Daisy Lowe and fellow Class of 2008 alum, Portia Freeman. Already this year we have seen Pixie (looking a lot like Shakira) on the cover of Italian Vogue with the cover line "So young, so cool.” Peaches also turned up in March at the opening of the Extreme Beauty exhibition hosted by Vogue and D&G. It’s bad enough having to deal with them looking grumpy and getting thrown evil looks by Anna W at LFW. But taking it international is just more than I can handle. Ok so I may have been one of only 3 people who actually watched Class of 2008 but even I don’t need to see this lot front row or on the cover of Vogue. Poor Dolce thinks this new generation is "interesting" – hmm, I think I'll point him in the direction of Class of 2008 and the London Lite and see how quickly he changes his mind. The Italians need to find some new muses and let the clothes do the talking – the epic finale at Dolce & Gabbana with an army of models in corsets and lippy was powerful enough to hog the headlines on its own. NOK

Friday, October 2, 2009

Martine's Mistress

This week Marina Hyde broke the news that the first chapter of Martine McCutcheon’s book, The Mistress, is available to read online. Instead of trying to explain it myself I will direct you to her wonderful Lost in Showbiz column. Oh and here are some extracts from the book:

She grabbed her slightly sodden copy of Grazia again and headed out of her heavy black door, pulling it shut by its knocker. She fumbled with her umbrella: ‘Oh bloody hell, it never works, why do I bother?’ She ran and jumped into the taxi.

‘Ready, darlin’?’ said the cabby with a twinkle in his eye – he clearly found Mandy attractive.


The lovely Irish doorman, Callum, helped her to the main doors of the restaurant. Mandy swept through the doors of the Wolseley, shook the raindrops off her umbrella, and gasped at the beauty and opulence that filled the room. Everyone looked so beautiful, polished and stylish. This wasn’t just a restaurant, this was like the perfect scene in a film.

And a video from Martine:

So this has thrown up two worrying problems for me. I sometimes buy Grazia (this week was amazing – so much reading and all for a £1) and sometimes I like to drink cocktails in fancy hotel bars (I love the peanuts and the attentive waiters, okay) so now I am worried that I resemble Mandy, the mistress of the title. I fear I am going to have to eschew silly drinks like the cocktails Mandy favours and give up Grazia because I just have to distance myself from this twenty-something London girl that Martine has created. The product placement has backfired big time.

The second troubling development was that when I mentioned the book to my other The Portmanteau half, she casually said, “Oh I think I have her autobiography." Em, excuse me. “Yeah I got it in a charity shop. It’s really funny.” So now when I go to bed each night and settle down to my proper respectable book (Rabbit, Run by John Updike) all I can think of is how Martine’s amazing biography is just begging to be read. It’s taunting me from the cupboard that is reserved especially for the embarrassing books we own. And yes, that includes all the Piers Morgan ones. I’m not going to be able to concentrate on Rabbit’s depressing crisis until I have devoured Martine’s triumph-over-tragedy tale. LE

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fashi Week Faves

London Fashion Week’s 25th birthday was celebrated in style – some amazing collections, top drawer celebrity attendees and Anna Wintour in the front row. Yup, they did good and it seems like there’s going to be plenty to look forward to in Spring/Summer 2010 (2010 – scary, eh? And what are we going to call that decade? The tennies? The tens? The teens? The tweens?). But before we look at the double denim, sheer blouses and candy colours that we’re all going to be sporting next year, let’s take a moment to remember our fave moments from LFW SS10.

Favourite Accessory – The Claddagh Crown at John Rocha

We’ve never been fans of Claddagh rings and we just don’t get that heart facing outwards if you're single thing, but Claddagh crowns are something that we can get behind. Crowns are always flattering and the Irish connection just makes them extra special.

Favourite Freebie – The Charles Anastase Bag

The Matches pop up shop at Somerset House was selling canvas totes and lovely, soft t-shirts with designs from some of London’s best-loved designers printed on them. At the Charles Anastase show, all the attendees were gifted with his Matches tote, which features a beautiful swan print. Such a chic addition to the stuffed cupboard full of bags-that-you’re-supposed-to-bring-to-Tesco-but-always-forget.

Favourite Party Guest – Sanjay at Mulberry

The Mulberry party at Claridge’s was jam-packed with celebs: Tinsley Mortimer, Lara Stone, Pixie G, David Walliams, Sarah Harding, etc, etc. But Sanjay from Eastenders was our fave. We’ve spied him at fashion bashes before but this time we plucked up the courage to talk to him. We wondered why he comes to these things, especially as he seems to always be alone. The answer’s simple. “I just can’t turn invitations down!” he told us. And what’s he doing these days, we asked. Film, theatre or TV? “Both,” he said emphatically. Okay.

Best Front Row Guest – Anna Wintour/Henry Conway
Sorry, it’s impossible to choose between these two. Obviously it was a thrill to see Ms. Wintour in the flesh (bones?) at Peter Pilotto but spotting the almost-as-skinny-these-days Henry Conway was equally exciting. He’s toned it down style-wise (gone are the huge hats and ruffled cravats) but we like his new spiffing look just as much.

Favourite Model – The dog at the Mulberry Presentation

The all-black casting at the PPQ show was a much-needed nod to diversity and we were also very fond of the beautiful big-browed Maja at Charles Anastase, but top dog for us was the, eh, dog at Mulberry. So so pretty and adorably unsure of her moves. Plus she’s the only one that you know for sure doesn’t have an eating disorder.

Favourite Canapés – Pret a Manger sandwiches and Sprites

Okay so they’re not strictly a canapé but the regular ingestion of crayfish and rocket sandwiches from Pret was essential for our mental and physical well-being. They must, of course, be washed down with a refreshing Sprite. As regards actual canapés, we loved the candy floss and mini-burgers at the Mulberry party. LE

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Peter Pilotto RTW SS10

Peter Pilotto was the show I was most looking forward to and it was also where I had my one and only Anna sighting this season. I arrived very unfashionably early but not far behind me was the Wintour herself, because that’s just the way she rolls. She was quickly ushered backstage like the queen for her meet and greet with designers Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos.

The venue filled up painfully slowly so A-Dubs was left pretty much on her own on the front row while we waited for everyone to take their seats – awkward. She looked so tiny and alone that I was tempted to sit next to her and engage in some fashi week small talk, maybe get to the bottom of her inexplicable and slightly creepy obsession with Roger Federer. Luckily, Sarah Mower took pity and sat beside her. Peeps were also having palpitations at the sight of every blogger's favourite, Kate Lanphear, who I just can’t get excited about. Give me Vogue’s Kate Phelan over La Lanphear any day

So did the clothes get the Wintour seal of approval? – fitted dresses with capped sleeves are definitely her thing but I guess we’ll have to wait 6 months to see if they appear on a jumping Caroline Trentini shot by David Sims against a blank background in American Vogue. For SS10, the duo created softly structured silhouettes by twisting and draping the material around the body. The stunning watercolour prints were inspired by dawn, dusk, fireworks, the ocean and the night sky. My favourite print looked like a colourful yet fading, woven tweed and the perspex belts were another standout. Without doubt, the most polished and assured collection I have seen all week. NOK