Showing posts with label The Internet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Internet. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Retail Therapy

I don't have time to write a lengthy post, concerned as I am with chasing up leads and attending council meetings - it's all part of being a student reporter on a news website, don't you know. But I have two blogs I would like to share with you.

Both are concerned with one of my favourite aspects of London life - the independent shop. Coming from Ireland, with its countless Spars and Centras, it was a joy to come across the little independent stores that make up London's retail landscape. I remember being agog at the sight of fruit in bowls and night shops that sell alcohol all night long (in Ireland it is illegal for shops to sell alcohol after 10pm!) when I first moved here 18 months ago. My Portmanteau other half and I would spend hours in our local grocers when we lived in Holland Park, intrigued by the dusty ornaments and delighted by the out-of-date Immac depilatory cream.
does what it says on the tin - photograph London shop fronts, duh - but the results are often beautiful, and always representative of the vast array of shops that populate the city.

Photographs: Emily Webber for London Shop Fronts

is a blog that accompanies an exhibition currently on at Chats Palace, the Hackney-based art centre. Photographer Colin O'Brien and travel writer Jane Egginton have captured Clapton shopkeepers in their natural habitat - the shops, cafes, mechanics suppliers and launderettes that operate on Chatsworth Road in Hackney. The street's landscape is changing and gentrification may be afoot (read an article I wrote on the subject here) but this exhibition manages - through arresting images and engaging text - to capture the various businesspeople that make a living on this diverse street in 2010.

Photographs: Colin O'Brien for ChatsE5/Last of the Real High Streets

Lynn Enright

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The News

So calling this post The News is entirely inaccurate. Nothing about this post is newsworthy or even current and up-to-date, rather it is a little collection of stuff from the internet that I have enjoyed recently.

First up is the Jezebel video that features Rachael Zoe saying “literally” about 500 times. Literally. Well not actually literally, but you know what I mean. Yeah, I sympathise. I say “literally” all the time too. When I hear it pop out of my mouth I acknowledge it and say, “Oh I just said literally – sorry,” thus adding about 6 extra words to my sentence and ensuring that people stop listening. But it’s a word I find hard to eradicate. Like “like”. And “whatevs”. There is hope though: when I was in school my friends and I got into the habit of saying “physically” out of context. “I am physically freezing.” “I physically really don’t want to go.” “I think I’ll just like physically ignore him until he actually gets the message.” Yeah, we were really annoying. Anyway, I never say “physically” anymore. Not even when it would be appropriate. So there you have it: it is possible to rid yourself of an annoying verbal tic. Behold the Zoe on Jezebel.

Fashion blogs tend to be sexless. Often bloggers post images of themselves enjoying their perfect day, which usually includes a cup of tea, a wander around some vintage shops and a perusal of a particularly nice coffee table book. It’s all very pleasant, which is fine, but you do sort of wonder if that really is anybody’s actual, like physical, idea of a perfect day. Like literally. Surely these people’s lives are more interesting than that. I mean I think they are; they just aren’t willing to blog about it. Understandably. But now – thanks to Miss V from Men I Wish I Hadn’t Slept With – we have a fashion insider who is willing to share all. I was alerted to this blog a couple of months ago by Harriet Walker from The Independent and in the intervening time, Miss V has begun to get some nice media attention. She’s been featured in the Indy and in Time Out. Miss V doesn’t really focus on fashion at all but she does raise important points that must be considered by those working in the fashion industry, the pros and cons of having sex with a male model, for example. As an overall read, it’s entertaining in the same way Bridget Jones was funny before she became the ultimate loser thanks to the movie: embarrassingly honest and easy to identify with whilst providing a little peek into the London media/fashion scene.

My favourite Mad Men-related story comes from No Good For Me, who played Fuck, Marry, Murder with the Sterling Cooper office. Laura Jane got to the heart of the matter when she said she would fuck, marry and murder Don Draper. Which makes sense. But then I also wouldn’t mind a bit of Roger Sterling or Ken Cosgrove. Hmm. Anyway, it’s a good game. LE

Friday, January 22, 2010

The News

So way back in November, we were stunned by the news that Lara Stone and David Walliams were dating. Well now they’re getting married! Yeah he proposed to her by hiding the vintage Tiffany engagement ring in a burger. Obviously this isn’t going to last but I wonder if they’ll actually go through with the wedding. I love that these two seem to be so open. We didn’t get so much as a glimpse of a dress when Sophie Dahl married Jamie Cullum recently, but we’ve already seen Lara and David cavorting around Mexico so they’re bound to show us some wedding pics, no? Who’s going to be best man? Matt Lucas. And what about bridesmaids? Oh this could be brilliant.

Tanya Gold has a vicious piece on fashion in today’s G2. She doesn’t like it and somehow links it to a tragic accident in an attempt to put us all off it too. Stylebubble has already responded, saying: "Gold's hatred of fashion is based on high heels, mal-treated models and gross consumption, when fashion and style (I'm lumping the two together because I'm thinking Gold hasn't made a distinction between the two...) is SO much more than that... "

If you happen to be in London and have cash and time to spare, call into the Connaught where they are selling galette des rois throughout January with proceeds going to the Great Ormond Street Hospital. I was lucky enough to get to try a slice when I wrote about it for Spectator Scoff and can’t recommend it highly enough.

I am now blogging for The Gloss. Check out my first post, and the posts of Caroline Scott and Natasha Sherling, on The Daily Gloss. LE

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

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.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

There really is a new girl in town....

It’s a great month for mags. We get the big fat September issues of all our faves plus issue two of Love and the first issue of Pop under Dasha Zhukova. A-may-zing. Issue two of Love is basically full of teenagers and as Katie Grand says in her editor’s letter “if you’re over the age of 21, the fact that everybody who appears on [these] pages is younger than you might make you feel a little bit old”. And yes, after almost 300 pages of pouting posing teenagers I did feel pretty ancient, but weirdly I didn’t feel jealous. I wasn’t even jealous of Tavi, the 13-year-old blogger whose site ( gets a reported half a million hits a month and who is now garnering mainstream media attention. My Portmanteau other half and I always joke that we were actually way more clued in about our careers when we were 10. After school on a Monday we would scour the Guardian media supplement for jobs. (We were really weird.) But looking back at our incredibly boring diaries - highlights of which include descriptions of the tuna sandwiches we ate - I’m not sure that we would have been the media sensation that Tavi is. But yeah - like I said - I’m not jealous. She has all the painful teenage years ahead of her, not to mention the anxiety-filled early twenties. Good luck, Tavs.

I am really jealous of Dasha Zhukova though. She’s closer to my age, she’s really pretty and an excellent dresser, she’s going out with a billionaire and although we were sceptical when we first heard she had been appointed as editor, I've got to admit that Pop is actually really good. The front cover boasts “Where else do you get Ed Ruscha, the president of Liberia, Spinnerette, J.G. Ballard and Jeurgen Teller? Plus a Naomi 25-year tribute, and a stem-cell research celebration by Rodarte” Seriously, where else could you get all that? It’s also filled with beautiful editorials and the paper size and texture varies throughout, making each new story an individual little treat. Tavi (her again) is cover girl and appears in cute and playful editorial that was styled by Tamara Rothstein and shot by Jamie Morgan. LE

Photos from Pop (but taken on my phone so excuse picture quality)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The News

The news this week has been dominated by stories surrounding Michael Jackson’s death. I don’t have much to add to this sorry mess except to say that I really love Ben and have been listening to it over and over and I really hate Joe Jackson and have been watching the video where he tries to promote Blu Ray technology with his friend Marshall over and over.

In other news this week, Karen Mulder has been arrested in Paris for threatening a plastic surgeon. Apparently Mulder is dissatisfied with the surgeon’s work and has been making threatening phone calls demanding that she reverse the operation. I do sort of know how Karen feels. When we got our Debs photos and I looked really awful in mine, I phoned the photographer several times demanding to know why he took such a bad picture of me. My tone could even have been described as threatening but luckily the photographer explained in as gentle a way as possible that that is just what happens to my face when I smile too widely and he refrained from calling the police. I didn’t resort to plastic surgery but have never really smiled in a photo again.

Christa D’Souza went into a lot of detail regarding her own plastic surgery in yesterday’s Daily Mail. There was lots of talk about how she had implants, then had them removed, then got some different ones and was now getting them removed again. It all sounded very painful and pointless so the moral of the story this week is that plastic surgery is bad and doesn’t make anybody any happier. Unless you believe those reports that suggest if your botoxed forehead can’t frown then you will never feel depressed or something. LE

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Cropping Up

Crop Tops

My BFF has deserted me. No, not my other The Portmanteau half, although she has jetted off to New York and left me home alone. But far more importantly, I have been abandoned by the Internet. Countless calls to Talk Talk and highfalutin tests like plugging the modem out and then back in again have led to the conclusion that the router is broken. It will be 5 days before a replacement is dispatched. What am I supposed to in the interim? Go to the corner shop and actually buy newspapers? Watch TV, mindlessly switching from one station to another in the hope that something good comes on? Call people on the telephone? I have discovered that if I crouch under the dressing table in my bedroom I can pick up somebody else’s wireless. It’s frustratingly temperamental and tends to drop out at the most crucial moments (for example, just as I enter my credit card details on Ryanair’s site) but it’s a far better solution than the alternatives listed above.

All of this crouching has rendered me cranky and so today I have decided to throw light on the most ridiculous trend of ’09 – the crop top. The crop top has been threatening a little comeback since the start of the year but I had decided to pay no attention to the issue because I thought it would go away if we all just ignored it. Six months later and I can’t step foot in Westfield (yes, I know I hate shopping centres but it’s really near my house and it has an excellent Waitrose) without a gaggle of crop topped teenagers getting in my way. I’m not sure what annoys me more about this trend – the fact that it looks pretty stupid or the fact that I’m too fat to pull it off. Last time crop tops were in, I had a flat tummy to rival Cheryl Cole but then everybody decided that showing your midriff was totally vulgar and I stopped skipping meals as only a fifteen-year-old can do. It’s really easy to go hungry when the hardest thing you have to do is watch MTV, but when you have to do adult things like deal with Talk Talk, it’s important to eat three square meals a day.

My biggest worry about the crop top revival isn’t that I will be forced into a bra top like that seen on Alexa in June’s Jalouse. Don’t fret, I’m not going to inflict that on anybody, but rather, I am concerned about what this means for tops in general, not just those specifically labelled crop. Cast your minds back to the year 2000 and remember where your average t-shirt ended. Yup, just right at your waistband. In recent years the hemlines of t-shirts and pretty much all tops have been lowered, meaning that you didn’t have to think about rolls of fat or greying knickers escaping from your jeans. It didn’t really matter if you put on a few pounds because your handy smock just covered everything up. But now with the rise of crop tops and shorter t-shirts in general, we are going to have to start paying attention to that area all over again. Hideous terms like muffin top and whale tail will re-enter our vocabulary and I'll have to try manage a few sit-ups. Great. LE

Friday, May 22, 2009

Chelsea Hotel #3

One of The Portmanteau's very first posts featured 5 women whose lives we coveted, including US Vogue staffer, Sally Singer. We were, and still are, envious of Singer because she manages to retain a bohemian style whilst working at the über-glossy American Vogue. And because she lives at the Chelsea Hotel in New York. And because her husband, writer Joseph O'Neill, is very handsome and talented.

This week, The Selby photographed Singer in her apartment at the Chelsea Hotel. The results - colourful, modern and slightly messy shots - have made me more eager to walk a day in Singer's Tabitha Simmons shoes than ever.

Images from The Selby

Friday, May 1, 2009

The News

Yes, we realise that swine flu is a big deal but there were a few other interesting, although admittedly not as important, stories in the news this week. First off SJP announced she is having twins. By a surrogate. Despite the fact that Matthew Broderick had an affair quite recently. Then it was reported that one of our favourite couples ever are splitting up. We’ve long been fans of Jarvis and one might think that we’d be glad to hear of his impending divorce from French stylist, Camille Bidault-Waddington, but even we are not that mean-spirited. And we almost liked C B-W as much as Jarv anyway – I mean, who can forget the girlish envy endured at seeing her hen party weekend pictures in Elle. That’s exactly what I want my hen to be like when I’m a French stylist and I’m marrying Jarvis Cocker, my eighteen-year-old self thought pathetically.

Alexa’s move to NY was explained by the announcement that she is to have her own MTV show which will be a replacement for the now defunct TRL. Again, that is something that my eighteen-year-old self would be incredibly jealous about. Over at the Guardian, Ed Westwick was interviewed by Hannah Pool, which actually upsets me as I prefer to imagine Chuck Bass as being a real person, who I might meet and possibly go on a date with some time, rather than a character played by a polite English boy. The Guardian also had an excellent article on punctuation and the over-use of exclamation marks that appealed to the TEFL-trained side of me, its paragraph on semi-colons being of particular interest. Semi-colons make me nervous (I am not 100% sure of the rules) so I was heartened to hear that Orwell deemed them unnecessary and omitted them entirely from The Clergyman’s Daughter.

Our top news story of the week though came from the Irish Times and was entitled Naas to See You. We’re from Naas, you see, so this article was of particular interest. The piece appeared in last Saturday’s Irish Times and focused on the Punchestown National Hunt Festival, which yet again is something that my teenage self was very into. Not because I had any particular interest in horse racing but because you got the week off school and the town came alive at night with fun activities such as pig racing and the carnival (that’s carnival in the Irish sense of the word as in bumper cars and candy floss). The carnival, however, wasn’t mentioned in the article. Instead it focused on classier joints such as Butt Mullins, the restaurant where my other The Portmanteau half and I celebrated our confirmation, and Emporium Kalu, the shop responsible for thousands of middle-aged Kildare women adopting the layered boho-chic look.

I am using swine flu as an excuse to post this picture of really cute pigs.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Other Side of the Coin

When people tell me that they’re taking a year off and decamping to Australia, I don’t feel envious. In fact, I usually feel sorry for them – they’re going to have to deal with the heat and the sand and the weight gain that is an inevitable result of the beer and barbies and then they’re going to have to wear a bikini, despite the weight gain, because of the heat and the sand. I think to myself how happy I am to reside in Ireland where it’s never too hot and I don’t have to worry about revealing all in a bikini. I also smugly presume that they don’t have much by way of culture or fashion over there in Oz and congratulate myself on my northern hemisphere superiority.

But in the last few weeks, I have begun to realise that maybe there is a side to Australia that I have hitherto ignored and perhaps there is more to the Antipodes than Alf Stewart and Irish expats. I have come across a few nice Aussie blogs, such as Capture the Castle, and I’ve noticed that I actually wear a lot of Australia-based or Australian designers. One of my favourite dresses is by Virginie Castaway, a French woman who liked Australia so much when she went there on a year out that she decided to set up shop there. And barely a week goes by when I don’t wear my Antipodium floral blouse. Granted Antipodium designer, Geoffrey J. Finch, lives and works in Shoreditch, but he cites his Queensland childhood as major influence on his work. Top that off with the beautiful photos that street style snapper couple, Garance Dore and The Sartorialist, have been taking on their trip to Australian Fashion Week, and you’ve got yourself a convert. Maybe I’m not quite ready for an entire year Down Under, but perhaps a little trip would be a nice place to start.

Images from The Sartorialist and Garance Dore

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Try This On For Size

The Portmanteau has been thoroughly neglected over the past week. Sorry about that. My excuse is that my other The Portmanteau half was home from London for the Easter break, which one may think would lead to heightened blog activity but actually only results in silly conversations on such topics as: “What do you think really motivates Joely Richardson?” or “Do you think we would be friends with Billie Piper if we knew her?” It also leads to alcohol poisoning. Or Easter Egg poisoning. I’m not sure. Either way, I’m only recovering now.

Anyway, if you’ve been on the internet at all today, you’ll have noticed that The Outnet, the cheaper, last season version of Net-A-Porter, launched to much fanfare this morning. I'm not really a bargain hunter – wasting money is a hobby of mine – and internet shopping is usually something I only do when looking for books or a very specific item, but I did stop by to check out the site. I’m not the biggest fan of the site design and layout; the clothes look a little flat and boring against the stark white backgrounds and I just can't imagine what they'd look like on me. I know that’s my problem and I should really get with the programme, but I find it difficult to fall in love with something that I haven’t tried on or even held up to my body in an ineffectual trying-something-on-without-having-to-queue way. There is also the slight problem of everything I like being sold out. I did spot a cute Alexander Wang playsuit (I was imagining it on the tanned Erin Wasson me, not the actual me) but it’s gone in my size. Ditto a See by Chloe dress I had my eye on. So obviously most people are way ahead of me and have gotten over the fact that you can’t try stuff on if you buy it on the internet.

See by Chloe dress

Alexander Wang playsuit

Monday, April 6, 2009

Q & A

OK so when Cillian of Male-Mode tagged us, we worried that perhaps nobody would want to read our dumb answers to inane questions and that maybe it was too self-indulgent. Then we remembered that we love rambling self-indulgently on inane subjects and so we duly filled out this questionnaire thingy.

What’s the last thing you read or are currently reading?
Niamh: Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld.
Lynn: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

Do you nap a lot?
N: Not so much napping, although I’m obsessed with sleeping and am really good at it.
L: No, never. I am way too highly strung to just fall asleep willy nilly.

Who was the last person you hugged?
N: The latest occupier of the raft - Laura Golden.
L: A colleague who gave me a bottle of Veuve Clicquot as a Thank You.

What’s your current obsession/addiction?

N: Red velvet cupcakes from the Hummingbird Bakery; Simon Schama; Iris Palmer; Nastassja Kinski in Paris, Texas; Rufus Humphrey in Gossip Girl.
L: Chuck Bass; Hadley Freeman; Patricia Arquette in True Romance; Wikipedia-ing everything and everyone; those packets of sweets that have fruit gums, fruit pastilles and tooty fruities.

What are you wearing right now?

N: Woolly tights, a dress the exact wine colour of our school uniform (although slightly longer than our obscenely short school skirts, obvs), Sloaney scarf, broken shoes.
L: Grey Metalicus t-shirt, purple Topshop smock, grey M&S cardi, brown vintage belt, black tights, grey ankle boots from a cheapo Parisian shoe shop .

What was for dinner?
N: Cereal. Always cereal.
L: Pizza and Mild Curry Flavour Super Noodles.

What have you been listening to lately?

N: The Bangles, Paul Simon, Francoise Hardy, Elastica, Pet Shop Boys. As we’re being honest here, I have to add Hanson to the list.
L: The Darjeeling Limited soundtrack. Over and over again.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

N: Hmm – not sure about this one…mind-reading, perhaps.
L: Teleportation. I cannot stand travelling. I get car sick, boat sick, train sick, plane sick, etc.

What is your favorite weather, and why?

N: Grey, dull, chilly- the sun hates me.
L: Cold days with sunny skies.

What was the last thing you bought?
N: Cakes, French Vogue and the Sunday Independent. Apparently, an Irish Camelot has been created by the merging of some people called Superman and Huberman - good to know.
Quote "the future Mrs O'Driscoll embodies the ineffable glamour of the other two great Mrs Os, Jackie Onassis and Michelle Obama" - is Barry Egan for real?
L: My breakfast/lunch from Spar – Americano, Cully & Sully vegetable soup, carrot cake and a bottle of water. Blah.

Say something about the person who tagged you:
N&L: Incredibly dapper!

If you could have a house- totally paid for, fully furnished- anywhere in the world, where would you want it to be?

N: Townhouse in the West Village, NY/Georgian manor in the Kildare countryside/An actual mansion in Holland Park. Thanks.
L: Paris.

Favorite vacation spot?

N: NY/Paris/Berlin/Moscow or some uninhabited island off Ireland.
L: Paris/LA/London.

Favorite pair of shoes you keep going back to over and over, even though your closet is overflowing with a zillion others?

N: All my shoes are broken. After one wear, they fall apart.
L: Grey Topshop ankle boots.

Name one thing you cannot live without.

N: Loved ones. And magazines
L: Sugar. The doctor put me on a sugar-free diet once. It was a disaster. I was so sad.

If you could wake up anywhere tomorrow, where would it be?
N: The Holland Park Mansion is fine for the moment.
L: In a fancy hotel. With a king size bed. And a huge TV. And a mini-bar.

P.s. The collage is courtesy of Fi because we are incapable of using Photoshop.
P.p.s. We tag Cat and Lil of Offshoot.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tweet Tweet

Henry Holland not only shares our taste in music, but also our unrealistic fashion aspiration of appearing on The Sartorialist. According to a recent Twitter update he “wants to have his picture taken by scott schuman and i don't care if i sound like a twat.” I discovered this on Grazia, not Twitter. Despite the proliferation of articles about Twitter recently, I have yet to set up a Twitter account. In fact I am embarrassingly ignorant about the phenomenon. Is “Twitter update” even a phrase? Although I have a blog, I am something of a Luddite when it comes to the internet – I find it easier to negotiate Hotmail than Gmail and I have never uploaded a photo to Flickr – but with Henry Holland, Stephen Fry and Marc Jacobs all twittering away, I think it’s about time I acquainted myself with it.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Best Blogs

Today’s Sunday Times Culture has a feature on the top 100 blogs in the world, chosen from the 200 million that are currently in existence. There are six listings in the Style category, including one of my favourite blogs out there, The Sartorialist. Go Fug Yourself also makes the cut. I can never make up my mind about Go Fug Yourself because whilst their observations are very funny, I think that it’s blogs like these with their insistent criticism that are responsible for the boring and safe dress code our modern celebrities have adopted. Two of the six Style blogs deal with men’s tailoring, reiterating the suspicion that men are turning to the internet for fashion advice/commentary because it is a subject neglected in the mainstream media. is written by a Savile Row tailor and documents (a little too seriously for my liking) the process of creating bespoke suits, whilst ponders important matters like should your socks match your trousers. Notably absent from the list is Susie Bubble, who is surely one of the most successful fashion bloggers out there, both in terms of the number of visitors she gets and the press attention she receives.

Gwyneth’s Goop gets a mention in the Cult section, alongside Paul Daniels and Jeffrey Archer’s blogs. I think Cult must be some sort of code word for crap blog by a celebrity. Meanwhile, the Irish blog community is looking forward to the Blog Awards, which take place in Cork next weekend. We’re on the longlist for the Best Fashion Blog, alongside many other lovely offerings.

Update: Congratulations to all those who were shortlisted and to the winners on the night.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Dressing Appropriately

I'm off to the Ireland v France game in Croke Park later and am desperately trying to find a suitable outfit. It's going to be cold so that means thermal vests and long johns (yes, I actually own a pair of thermal long johns) but I must bear in mind that there is a slim chance I'll bump into Sebastian Chabal aka The Caveman, with whom I am in love, and so I don't want to look too frumpy. I'm thinking furry snow boots are in order but I have an invitation to an after-game soiree and the invite says smart casual dress is required. I know I should wear a hat to keep warm but the only one I can find is a red beret and maybe that would be unpatriotic. Aagh, it's a sartorial minefield.

Dressing for this morning's Fashion Bloggers' Brunch posed its own problems because I was turning up to a room full of people in the fashion know, but at least the luxurious surroundings of The Clarence ensured that I didn't have to worry about the elements. All the wooden steps do mean that very high heels should be avoided - I came to that conclusion after the second stumble. I'm also coming to learn that smock dresses are a good idea at the FBB given the amount of food one consumes - pastries, eggs, salmon, roast beef, fancy cheeses and champagne all featured in today's spread. One thing I don't have to worry about is buying any make-up for the forseeable future. Clarins very kindly provided a generous goody bag stuffed full of fancy products like a lipgloss that "magically creates instant colour on application" and a blusher that assures "your face instantly lights up with a flawless, natural, healthy-looking glow". If I do bump into Chabal, he's sure to fall for my magical lips and flawless complexion.

Fancy Clarins Loot

Friday, January 30, 2009

Love Me Do

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and our shops are soon going to be full of nauseatingly pink balloons and cards. I claim to not really care about Valentine’s Day but always act like a spoilt brat unless I receive a bouquet of flowers at the very least (carnations bought in Tesco do not count). It probably stems from the fact that I didn’t receive a Valentine’s card until I was 20. Other girls in my primary school spent the 14th counting their messages of adoration, whilst I comforted myself with the fact that I lived on a road that had very few boys and therefore the lack of male interest was not entirely my fault. If I had more access to boys, I reasoned, I would surely receive more cards. I still act a little competitive on the day, comparing my boyfriend’s gestures to the romantic gifts delivered to my colleagues.

Le Love - a blog that collates images of beautiful couples from online and print media - is destined to make anybody who’s feeling insecure about the lack of romance in their life feel about 10 times worse. If you’re single, you imagine that your life would look like that if only you could get somebody to go out with you. If you’re part of a couple, you know that your photos could never look that hot. Whenever the boyfriend and I are pictured, he’s squinting and I look mildly angry. It’s still a guilty pleasure though – perusing images of Irish stylist Celestine Cooney and her handsome beau, as featured on The Selby, or gazing at the adorably colourful Agyness and Albert shoot from February’s US Vogue.

Images from Le Love

Monday, January 19, 2009

Making BFFs at the FBB

A portmanteau word is a new word formed by joining two others and combining their meanings, for example, 'frenemy' is a blend of 'friend' and 'enemy' and 'chortle' is a portmanteau word made by combining 'chuckle' and 'snort'. But The Portmanteau’s favourite portmanteau word of all is brunch and so it was with much giddiness that we skipped off to the Dylan hotel yesterday for the Fashion Bloggers’ Brunch. This was the 6th brunch organised by Annmarie O’Connor and attended by bloggers such as, Dublin Streets,, This is an Offshoot, Bluebirds are so Natural and many more but it was the very first for The Portmanteau. Over croque madames (surely the most cholesterol-laden sandwich in all the world) and bread and butter pudding, we swapped gossip, blogging tips and insider knowledge on various European cities. It was late afternoon by the time we rolled out of the Dylan, address books and waistlines bulging.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Say Cheese

One of our favourite bloggers and street fashion chroniclers, Scott Schuman aka The Sartorialist, this week announced that he is to publish a book. He has just signed a contract with Penguin for the book which will be “around 500 pages of images with a little writing”. There are to be two versions – an affordable paperback and a fancy schmancy limited edition one. He promises to take in London, Dublin and Paris on his September 09 book tour. We are so there – being photographed by The Sartorialist is up there with other unrealistic fashion ambitions like receiving a compliment from Kate Moss or being talked about it in Vogue’s Miss V column! Now all we have to do is figure out what to wear.....

Scott Schuman in Fantastic Man

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Gobbledygoop from Gwyneth

Gwyneth Paltrow has joined us in cyberspace but I think we can safely say that The Portmanteau won't face much competition from her new lifestyle website Goop - - where the actress instructs us on how to achieve the perfect Paltrow existence. She is clearly under the impression that we all want to be bland and macrobiotic like herself but even if we did, the site is so underdeveloped that it leaves us with no clue about how to achieve this utopia. Click on the icon for Make and you get Gwynnie's mission statement - "Make your life good. Invest in what's real...Clean out your space...I love being in spaces that are clean and feel nice" . Um, okay - whatever you say, Gwyneth. Then click on the other icons for Go/Get/Do/Be/See and you get the same mantra. And what's with the disturbing name - did little Moses Martin come up with that one? I also signed up to the newsletter and next week, Gwyneth will be enticing me to make "some utterly delicious vegan pancakes" - can't wait. I think if Gwyneth wants Goop to be a success, she needs to stop appearing at premieres in thigh skimming hemlines and sky-high heels and get home to Belsize Park to update her site.