Monthly Archives: March 2012

I wrote about products that make working out easier in my WSJ column and I mentioned that I’d ‘Bikramed‘ (yes it is a verb in my vocabulary) in my Zaggora Hotpants . Several people were moved to suggest that was simply not possible… stay tuned because next time I’ll photograph them as soon as I take them off after  class – think microwaved cellophane wrapper…complete with fetid pools of moisture.  Now I come to think about it , it is rather like giving your bottom half a steam not to hold onto that image…

Clever Gap: their DVF for kids line doesn’t fit adults. I know because I tried.  ‘You can’t take pictures’ grumbled an unhelpful sales assistant in their Hampstead branch. OK then, but I might just be a style blogger about to write something nice about you… .

A close friend of mine threw a 50th birthday party for her husband. True to her regular inimitable form, it included a troupe of Bollywood dancers (some of whom see to have arrived by way of Norway, but  no matter) it was fun and chic and great people watching….

namaste and happy Saturdayxx

I loved Kinder Aggugini’s costumes for the Rite of Spring, part of the ENB’s Beyond Ballet Russes season. Great dancing too, in that particular piece. Why don’t the ENB give up on trying to be a ‘me too’ Royal Ballet and lay claim to the contemporary dance space instead? They would be much better placed if they did that. An awkward moment pre the beautifully danced- L’Après-midi d’un faune when the ‘faune’ appeared bearing an erect tail and an unfortunate costume which had the audience wondering if they were privy to a French and Saunders comedy sketch rehearsal.  Here’s a snap of Kinder’s costumes – punk meets Chanel I think, very ‘on Kinder’ message.

on another more sugary note… the best place for Haribo in North West London is the news stand outside St John’s Wood Tube Station – note the options – all hanging… It helps of course that they are selling my own ‘organ’ The Wall St Journal….

namaste and happy saturdayxxx

i forgot to mention that last week I wrote about great dresses in my column. Its a fantastic season for them and there are countless options to choose from:


this week however, I wrote about naughty lingerie and… after some severe editing from NYC it made it into the paper. At one point we had a crystal whip and some nipple tassles on the page, but those got edited out. Shame, but quite right too. It is a family paper after all…….check the piece out here: sexy pants.

shooting Anna Valentine’s lookbook and website. Here’s a snapshot of how it all fits together:

making shapes with photographer Yuval Hen behind the camera


makeup  touch up….



not all models are this good humoured…


so we take this shot and Yuval the photographer and his assistant insert it digitally into the run so we can see how it looks



Here’s another for the look book


and here’s how it all runs together (see below).  Nice job teamxxx



Two of the women I most admire, separately told me over the years me that they view nail polish as essential to their daily lives. Since one is a war reporter and the other a human rights campaigner I had to take them at their word. Both claim that painting their toes keeps them sane and optimistic in the worst of circumstances.  So, on this Mothers Day here in the UK…lets reflect on that and whilst we are at it, take a look at some of the latest colours from Chanel and Nars.

i just road/run tested these on Hampstead Heath for an hour. Was definitely sweaty when I finished. Not as convincing as Bikram, but for those of us who don’t want to sweat heavily in a tiny room with twenty others, but want to run and  heat the parts that the run can’t and a diet won’t shift- these might be the answer….Zaggora. Lots of testimonials on the site, see for yourself.. Basically feels like running in a wetsuit. I’m going to test the shorts at my next Bikram session. Euw..


Prepping a show is always fun. Couturier Anna Valentine’s show more than most because it’s tiny, everything is beautifully made and…Anna’s workroom (and fantastic team) are upstairs, so if you suddenly say ‘we need a pair of shorts’ they appear, immaculately made and pressed within a few hours. Here’s a quick blow by blow..

Anna trying on the designs and making notes the day before…

Anna’s office

we decided not to use this hat, but it’s gorgeous isn’t it?

We used these….

we try and photograph all the looks on Anna before her show and decide how they will work and what accessories we will use…

show time…..

models always look cool even when they have just climbed out of bed early in the morning…

makeup artist fixes feet dyed by shoes in a previous show…

the best makeup artists are always soooo neat, even under pressure…

lots of Chanel and Bobbi Brown

touching up the makeup pre-show

the art of quick-change….two girls, one flight of steps and 20 outfits

in full flow…

up the stairs and into the salon….

coming back down for a quick change….

walking out of the salon after ‘the twirl’…

in the salon itself during the show…

‘the girls’ before the last show. No matter how much self-confidence one has working with models like these is a challenge….

I made a quick visit to Spring Studios between shows for a meeting. They are doing some really cool stuff in web design and print…. not least because they sell SWEETS and great CAKES… in their cafe/bar…




i love Pippa Small’s designs. She’s an anthropologist who works with indigenous tribes to create sustainable resources for her jewellery. Her store in Notting Hill is evocative of her entire approach…

everything is really well showcased..those are my earrings in the left hand corner or they would be if I had the odd spare 4k lying around..

love that charm bracelet at the top..

gorgeous pendants/amulets

meanwhile… at Granger & Co, the Aussie Cafe in Notting Hill, what feels like a small slice of Sydney..

Good Jasmine tea… 7/10

great flowers….

and on the topic great of jewellery,  here’s my friend Helena’s ‘push present’ – a gift from her husband Tom on the birth of one of her children….it’s from Tiffany, though it looks vintage -no?