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 (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 ( 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