Another Frock

March 3, 2011

Kids, I’ve started another blog!  It’s called Another Frock and it’s about fashion, interiors, accessories and all that stuff.  It’s a style blog for normal people who don’t change their entire wardrobe every time that a new copy of Vogue hits the news stands.

I know that you guys tend to like it when I talk about clothes and all that, so I hope that you enjoy it!


My new handbag

February 20, 2011

This is the lovely handbag that Tristan bought me for my birthday:

I love it!

Purple shoes

February 3, 2011

These little beauties were an impulse buy from the sale rack at Jones Bootmaker this morning.  They’re nubuck and not actually shiny, despite what the photo might suggest.

Ordinarily I haven’t been a big fan of this style of shoe, largely because they tend to hurt the back of my heels.  But these ones are so soft that I don’t think that it will be a problem.  Hurrah!

Antipodean style

January 1, 2011

I used to visit The Sartorialist nearly every day, but I’ve got to be honest with you: I’ve gone off it a bit.  I tend to find that, when a blog writer becomes very well known and mainstream, the self-publicising gets a bit much – if I feel like I’m seeing too many ‘- oh, and I’ll be in Paris, taking photos at Fashion Week in a fortnight’s time’ posts I start to get bored.  Often, the tipping point is when a blogger publishes a book (which is why I no longer visit Cake Wrecks) – it seems to stop being about the subject of the blog and, instead, about the blogger and the ‘community’ that they feel like they’ve built.  Every second post starts to be about their book tour.  One very notable exception is Go Fug Yourself, which has managed to become wildly successful and remain hilarious and totally focused on making fun of celebrities’ wardrobe choices.  This is also why I like Nicola’s Ministry of Aesthetic Development, and the Wellington Daily Photo blog, and the Crafty Minx blog.   I like it when somebody comes up with a good idea and then sticks to it.

Anyway, I was pleased to find two Antipodean street style blogs during the week:

  •  We The People is based in Sydney and run by an ex-Wellingtonian.  I really like a lot of the shots – the fashion is far more edgy than I would have expected and, unlike The Sartorialist, the people in the photos look like real people with their own, individual style, and not like fashion world escapees.  Is it just me, or do most people featured in The Sartorialist look like models?
  • As the name suggests, Auckland Street Style is based in New Zealand’s largest city.  Like We The People, it shows the locals to be quirky and fashionable, but still normal people.  I like it a lot.

I think that I like style blogs showing real people because it’s the next best thing to going to strangers’ houses and rummaging through their wardrobes.  And it amazes me to see that people are far more creative and stylish than those I see around me (but I do work at an ultra-conservative law firm, so I’m probably forgetting that there is life beyond the grey suit…)

‘Feminists’ and eyebrows

December 13, 2010

According to the Telegraph, ‘feminists’ are refusing to tame their eyebrows during the month of December: a facial hair fundraising movement to rival Movember.  They’ve renamed the month ‘Decembrow’.

Decembrow, inspired by the huge popularity of the unibrow in Tajikistan, is the female counterpart to Movember – a moustache-growing charity event held during November to raise money and awareness for men’s health issues, including prostate cancer.

Unsurprisingly, there have already been disparaging comments from anti-feminist groups, such as the religious group Concerned Women for America, whose CEO thinks it is “curious that feminists would choose to embrace facial hair”, before quipping: “How is that different than any other month of the year?” Well, considering how often the words “hairy” and “feminist” appear in the same sentence, we may as well live up to the stereotypes for a good cause.

I have disparaging comments to make about this, for two reasons:

  1. I really hate ungroomed eyebrows.  Seriously; a person’s eyebrows are one of the first things I notice about their face.  Tristan things that it’s hilarious, the degree to which I notice eyebrows.  He has perfect eyebrows, by the way – so perfect that I have long suspected him of indulging in illicit male grooming sessions.
  2. I hate this kind of use of the word ‘feminist’ with the burning power of one hundred suns.  I am a feminist.  You are a feminist.  Anybody who believes that women are entitled to the same rights and considerations as men is a feminist.  This means that most men I know are also feminists.  I get hugely frustrated by women who reject the term ‘feminist’ because of the political connotations of the word.  We should sort this out and de-politicise it as a word.  I’m firmly with Sars when it comes to the whole ‘feminist’ issue.  If you really want to learn more about my views on this kind of thing, visit the old version of this blog and look under the ‘stuff I believe’ tag: you’ll find a few rants (and rants about all sorts of things, now I look at it – I’m quite ranty when the mood takes me).

Movember is fantastic.  I have a couple of friends who take part nearly every year and delight me with their facial hair exploits.  When I’m Queen of the world, Movember participation will be complusory for all men.  I think that it works so well because it’s fun: men like growing silly moustaches and the rest of us like looking at them.  However, Decembrow sounds far too unfocused to be of any great value.  It’s so humourless.  And it’s assuming that all women are constantly battling a unibrow.  I don’t have a unibrow.  I’m such a bad feminist!

I do, however, like the idea of Frocktober, where women commit to wearing a different frock every day during October and raise money to fight ovarian cancer.  That’s the kind of fundraising that I could get behind.

Needing a stylist

December 9, 2010

No, not me (although I wouldn’t say no to one): Kate Middleton.  According to Joanna Lumley, apparently, and reported in the Telegraph:

On a visit to the US Marie Claire offices last week, she told editor-in-chief Joanna Coles that Middleton should get “a fleet of stylists so she’s not attacked by the ‘fashion assassins’ that will be critiquing her every look.”

Let’s not forget the height of these particular stakes:

She’s right of course, being the future Queen of England is a huge sartorial responsibility, and for every foot she puts out of place (stylishly speaking), she can expect the vitriol of the fashion blogosphere to rain down upon her. Of course, the greater proportion of them are never satisfied with anything anyone wears, so Kate should take solace in the old adage that you can’t please all of the people all of the time.

Totally lacking any sense of irony, the Telegraph writer goes on to critique Kate Middleton’s look:

If she wants to stick to the path well travelled (wrap dresses, knee-high boots, zzzz….), Middleton should look no further than Samantha Cameron’s stylist Isabel Spearman for help. Her particular line in ‘safety dressing’ is guaranteed not to offend, but is highly unlikely to win Middleton any serious fashion cred anywhere on earth (save the Home Counties).

Of course, the option of just continuing to wear whatever she likes is not discussed.  What is discussed, however, is her hair (just to keep the ‘let’s criticise everything about this very attractive woman’s appearance’ theme going:

Kate should be mindful though that Laakkonen [some random fashion designer who would apparently provide a ‘fashion forward’ option] would be likely to share Valentino’s feelings about her boring blow-dry “She has to do something with this long hair because that is very important,” the retired designer opined. “To be a future queen, she can’t keep her hair this long.”

Bear in mind, Valentino looks like this.  He’s an oompa-loompa with a facelift; just the guy from whom any right-thinking woman should take advice. 

Anyway, Kate Middleton needn’t worry: after considering several options, the Telegraph writer has determined the best course of action:

Top of Kate’s list of people to call though should probably be Austrian born, London-based stylist Caroline Sieber. Sieber’s polished elegance has earned her a place in Karl Lagerfeld’s cheerleading squad as one of his five Chanel ‘ambassadors’. The perfect balance of beauty and brains, (she originally came to London to be an accountant and looks like she’s descended from European royalty) Sieber’s style potential was quickly spotted by Anna Wintour, and she has gone on to style the omnipresent Emma Watson. Watson manages to look young, fresh, polished and fashionable at all times and her graduation from a mousey square into a chic and respected fashion icon is a blueprint Middleton could do well from studying.

*breathes a sigh of relief*

God, what a tedious load of nonsense.  Happily, my opinion seems to be shared by some of the comment-writers at the bottom of that Telegraph article.  I particularly liked this one:

She’s gorgeous. She’s a babe. Leave the woman alone, you whining shrews.

Well said.  And interestingly, another Telegraph article has pointed out that Kate Middleton looks fine.  Could it be that fashion journalists don’t know what to do with themselves, so they look for problems that normal people (and normal journalists) don’t recognise at all?  Or that Joanna Lumley will say anything to get her name in the papers?  Surely not.

Lanvin and H&M

November 29, 2010

This is an interesting take on the most recent ‘big name fashion design raises own profile and makes cheap tat imitations designer clobber accessible to the masses’ initiative.

More importantly, at least some discerning consumers out there must be wondering: is it even remotely chic – or even strictly seemly – to behave in this way? And, yes, that is a rhetorical question. It almost goes without saying that times have changed since Virginia Woolf deemed shopping one of the only ways for the modern woman to establish order – and indeed control – in her life, but there is still at least a certain sense of sisterhood in a day’s leisurely retail therapy, or even just window-shopping with friends. Spend, spend, spending might not be on the agenda, but that doesn’t stop us wondering.

My query is more about why women continue to be so bonkers when it comes to clothes.  Let’s face it: Lanvin’s involvement in this project began and ended with the submission of a few drawings.  The clothes are still pure H&M; cheap and cheerful (in other words: likely to fall apart after a few trips through the washing machine).  But not so cheap, actually: a standard H&M dress costs as little as £24.99, whereas a Lanvin H&M dress costs at least £99.99.  And they’re all fairly fugly dresses, it must be said.

Lanvin’s involvement doesn’t make trashy fashion any less trashy.  It just makes it a great money-spinner for cynical retailers who have tuned in to the desperation that many women have when it comes to being fashionable.

People are mental.