Monday, 23 February 2009

How to do zips by Miss Selfridge

Zips are big this season.
The mags are crazy about them, they were all over the catwalks, Top Shop has fallen madly in love. But aside from wearing them as crazy details on cool shoes (see previous blog post for my love of Emma Cooks zip shoes) how to wear them on the body without looking like a dangerous puffball (as is so occuring when zips are attached to any ruffles on skirts and sleeves, making them stiff and, quite simply, huge) or a trashy eighties whorebag? (As occurs when zips are worn too close to the body.)
Miss Selfridge has the answer in its usual wonderful afforable fashion. At £45 this black strapless dress uses the zip detail in a subtle but still kick arse way. It flatters the figure (i.e. doesn't make you look massive) and because the detail is displayed on the edge of panels rather than directly on the body you still look totally fashionista, rather than trashbag. Team with some big gladiator style strappy sandals or shoeboots and you're in business.
Just avoid the denim version. Yuk. So don't get the whole stonewashed thing.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

The Shopaholic left me cold.

After weeks of counting down last night was the night! I got to see Confessions of a Shopaholic in full technicolour! 
Isla Fisher was beautiful, stylish, hilarious and adorable (with tumbling locks I could but dream of). Hugh Dancy was hot stuff. There was a big snog at the end and lots of fabulous clothes. But I was left... cold. More than cold. I was left... depressed. 
The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic, so masterfully written by Sophie Kinsella, was something I one hundred per cent related to. In the book Becky Bloomwood told herself that every purchase was an 'investment', just as I do. She got stuck against shop windows on Oxford Street, physically unable to leave until she owned that pair of shoes, just as I do. She got herself into silly scrapes over her pitiful financial situation, just as I do. 
Becky Bloomwood from the book is my frivolous, silly, outrageous, irresponsible, magpie side personified. She is everything I would be if my sensible and conscientious side didn't step in at the right moment. 
Basically she is me, when I'm drunk. (Never set me on shops when I've had a few, I'd have no money left.)  
However, despite her frivolity, Becky is still one feisty lady. Someone with talent, someone who stood up for herself, someone who deserves respect.
Becky Bloomwood in the film however was so childlike, so wide-eyed, so namby bamby. There was no fight in her. Nothing that commanded me to like her (apart from the hair). And the scrapes she got into were so farcical and unrealistic they were almost cartoon-like. I appreciate with a film like Shopaholic you must suspend your disbelief, but there is only so far you can go before it becomes plain ridiculous and you can no longer relate to the character. The entire film was over edited too. There was no build up to the major scenes, no suspense to the final kiss or the fight with the best friend or any of the major turning points of the film. This, coupled with the depth-less archetypal characters, meant you just didn't care.  
Then there is the whole anti-consumerism message. In the current economic climate a film like this can be taken as a sensible warning against mass consumption (due to the mess Becky gets into over her ridiculous debt). However, this leaves a rather nasty taste in the mouth when there is SO much product placement in the film, it's a veritable feast of designer goodies. The bright colours and beautiful things are certainly a joy of the film as well as a downfall. I very much want most of Miss Bloomwood's wardrobe, not to mention Hugh Dancy on my arm. 
However, I just don't feel the film really captured the true compulsion of what it is to be shopping-obsessed like the book did. It was portrayed as some kind of out-of-control frenzy, that women in shoe shops were like sharks at bleeding meat. This is not the case, my shopping obsession is very controlled, it's something I linger over, organise and re-organise, obsess over constantly.  I don't just walk into a shop or see a Sale sign and lose all rationale... ok, perhaps that can be debated but I certainly don't lose it to the extremity displayed in the film. Usually I, having scoured many fashion magazines, have decided on my purchase way before I even step into the shop. It's a way of constructing my identity, where was Becky's construction of identity through shopping? 
And she gave up that shopping habit way too easily. Just because she found a nice boyfriend and good job suddenly nice dresses no longer mattered to her? And the suggestion that shopping was the root of all her evils? Pah!   
I'm sorry to say it, but I found Confessions of a Shopaholic over-indulgent, contrived, contradictory and simplistic.  
However on the way in I did get a free bright pink nails inc nail varnish. Worth a tenner that. Nice. 

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Kick flares - the skirt obsession continues

I have always loved pencil skirts. They are so flattering and versatile. So perfect for work, so perfect for a night out.
However, they can become dated very quickly. Pinstriped pencil skirts for example, once so Dolce & Gabbana, now so credit crunch ruined bank manager.
So any new way to update the pencil skirt excites me muchly. And when I saw the new kick-flared pencil skirt I did do a little jump of joy. The cutest new detail, which is not only more flattering on the figure but also makes your pencil skirt easier to walk in! The first time fashion has actually made an item of clothing more comfortable. Love it.
There are two versions of the kick-flared pencil skirt I have already snapped up. First up is a more subtle version, just a plain black pencil-skirted dress with a subtle little kick flare detail at the back. Only £30 from Dotty P.
However, River Island has given the look a whole new lease of exciting creativity. They are obviously really feeling Luella's newest creations. You only have to look at the grey skirt I have purchased and already worn, twice, to see how on the money they are trend wise. With the cute ruffles, the bow, the pink belt, the pink polka-dotted lining, the black piping! Retro in feel but with some amazing modern touches. This skirt makes you feel like Marilyn Monroe as she bustles down the train station in Some Like it Hot. And that feeling only cost £29.99. Fucking fabulous.

Monday, 16 February 2009

My latest crush... a floral mini

 To cure my 'single on Valentines' depression at the weekend, I went shopping. 
(See I told you it's how I deal with everything... except maybe debt management.) 
I may not have received any flowers or cards this V day but I did acquire a new sartorial obsession: The floral bubble mini. 
I keep daydreaming about it. How good it would look with shoeboots, stripy tights, an elbow sleeved tuxedo jacket and loads of gold necklaces. It's the perfect between season item, updating your woolies with a shot of spring hopefulness but when the weather does (finally) warm up you can wear it with bare legs and a vest top. 
There is one at New Look right now for just twenty quid. Annoyingly they didn't have my size at the weekend but I WILL find my size. I will, I will, I will, even if I have to scour every single New Look in the land. 
I have to be that girl on the tube in her floral bubble mini skirt and shoeboots, I HAVE to be! 

Friday, 13 February 2009

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Look magazine is copying me!!

I can't believe it. I flick through my style bible that is Look magazine and come to a torrid realisation: Look magazine is copying me! I am more trend savvy than my own bloody style bible!
Here is my proof:
In this weeks Look there is a three page feature on tassled bags and clutches, three weeks after I wrote about the trend.
A pair of platform lace up shoe boots are featured on the celeb style page - I bought virtually the same pair THREE YEARS AGO, pulled them for the recesses of my shoe shelves and started wearing them again about a month ago.
To top it off, two pairs of the shoes I have featured on Shoe Pervert weeks ago from the new Top Shop collection are in this weeks Look! Also, forgive this aside but loving Emma Cook's zip shoes for Top Shop. Unique, tough and girlie ruffley all at the same time. Fabulous. Shame about the £95 price tag.
Well, at least you know this is truly the place to come for the fashion forward.
If that isn't proof enough I did a fashion quiz in this months Glamour. I fared as 'So Obsessed, you worship at the alter of all things fashion.' Well yes, I do agree with that.

Shoe Pervert died and went to heaven.

Last night I went round a mates for a fish supper (He cooked me fish and chips, no rude thoughts now people). As he slaved away in the kitchen, making chips from scratch and battering the fish I nestled next to his very lovely girl housemate Charlie with a big glass of wine and we started to natter about my favourite subject (No prizes for guessing what that is).
It seems Charlie has a similar shoe obsession. In fact, she took me upstairs to show my her splendid collection, which included a fabulous pair of glittery heeled Kurt Geigers her boyfriend bought for her as a present (I hope she marries that guy) and a beautiful pair of Jimmy Choo style silver sandals with a snake running down the foot. Swooooooon!
Then she pulled out these INCREDIBLE platforms. Five inch heel, soft teal suede, patent piping, round toes and laces. 'They were from Faith on sale' she tells me, 'only cost me forty quid, down from eighty.'
Good girl, what a bargain.
But then she tells me a horror story of the pain they caused her feet. Apparently the poor soul is a half size, with narrow feet and finds it very difficult to find shoes that will fit.
'You're a five aren't you?' she says, 'fancy wearing them this evening? Stretching them out for me?'
Well I ain't saying no to that.
As soon as I slip them on the altitude feels bloody amazing. And I can't stop staring at them, the arch of the soul, the beauty of that skinny but outrageously high heel.
When it comes to the end of the night, I go to take them off and give them back to her.
'Why don't you keep them?' she says, ' you can't have stretched them out enough yet, wear them out. You're doing me a favour.'
I stare at her, open mouthed. She is just lending me these shoes?! This is to good to be true. I would NEVER lend my shoes to anyone. Once, I lent an old pair to my sister for a night out and stared at her feet like a hawk all night, getting irritated every time she walked anywhere, even the five meters from her seat to the bar.
I protest to Charlie, tell her I will ruin them, tell her she won't get them back.
She smiles at me, tells me not to worry. 'Shoes need love' she says, extremely wisely, 'I can't wear them at the moment so someone should enjoy them, and hopefully, you will stretch them enough for me to enjoy them in the future.'
Then I realise, Charlie is a female rugby player and far tougher than my scrawny self. If I do anything to hurt her shoes, she may kill me... or at least beat me until I pay her back. And thus, I know she can trust me with them. That and I always give fabulous shoes the TLC they deserve.
So very happily I skip away with these beautiful shoes, assuring her I will look after them and that if anything does go wrong I will pay her back. (I will, I like my limbs intact)
I just can't get past it though, I get to put them on my shoe shelf, wear them out, stroke them and I am doing her a favour?!
Maybe I should set up a shoe stretching business. Due to my asbestos feet, I can wear in girls painfully high new heels and they pay me to do it! This could be rather lucrative. I might even get people asking me to wear in designer ones!
I'm off to have a daydream about that now.

Friday, 6 February 2009

More fashion film love for me

It's official, there is going to be a sequel to Sex and the City! And it's due to be released in 2010, so only a year to wait until more naff plots but more fantastic shoes and fabulous dresses. Hip Hip Hurrah! My clothing bible for 2011 is already in creation. This has made my Friday.
Patricia Field, don't you let me down.  
Oh and the countdown continues, only 14 days until Confessions of a Shopaholic!  

Can Alice in Wonderland mend my broken heart?

I have recently split up with somebody. It's not something I am going to go into here (that's a whole other blog I got into a lot of trouble for), but suffice to say my poor romantic soul has been very bruised.
How shall I heal myself from this heartbreak? I shall deal with it as I deal with everything. I shall go shopping. 
But I shall shop for a very specific, very cheerful look. A look that will take me back to my crazy childhood days in an ironic (i.e. not eighties) way. It's all about the outlandish Alice in Wonderland. Loads of red, blue and white, stripes, cinched in waists, pinafores, headbands, circus-style tulle mini skirts, theatrical Vivienne Westwood-esque platform shoes and even top hats. It's like combining the circus with a victorian school girl then adding a dash of LSD.
It's something Sienna & Savannah of twenty8twelve/Jude Law nannygate fame have styled in this months Glamour, something Britney channelled in her Circus video and Christina in her Back to Basics album. A look Top Shop is so into, it has even painted playing card motifs onto store walls. It's the perfect girlish look to soothe my love battered soul.
But rather than Sienna & Savannah's English rose gypsy version, I'm going for a more retro feel with garish but still rather sexy tights, sharp lines (no linen for me!) and perfect red lips. At the end of the day, I still need to show the reason for my sore heart exactly what he is missing.  


Monday, 2 February 2009

Appropriate Snowwear

Just to warn all you girlies venturing out in a blanketed snowy London town today in their uggs. Don't do it! Wear trainers, wellies (especially uber-trendy Hunters, Kate Moss and Lily Allen wear them), hiking boots. Anything other than Uggs. After an hour or two of playing in the snow you will be soaked through. They are trendy, fashionable, useless boots made to look like snowboots. Anything made to be durable, waterproof and actually protect you can't possibly be that pretty, cute and fluffy. And no, the snow bunnyesque pom poms make no difference whatsoever!
And scarfs, scarfs are a very useless thing in the snow. Because they get wet, damp and drip down your neck. Not pleasent and they make you look like some arty gimp.
This is the one area of life where practicality is the order of the day and pretty, woollen things just get wet. Wear tights under your waterproof trousers. Befriend some nice man with lots of ski gear, nick his thermals, ski socks and gloves. Otherwise you will be COLD. And that just takes the fun out of snowball fights. And how can you flirt with nice men if you can't hack a good snowball fight? Oh and don't bother with too much make up, it will run.