Maybe it’s just me, but there’s a certain sort of Uber Euro Male I find deeply irritating. I wrote about ‘him’ today in my WSJ column………

uber euro maleEarlier in the week I went to the opening of the Ballgown exhibit at the V&A. If you want to know what I really thought about that you’ll need to read my column next Friday. But in the meantime, the very good bits were the projections onto the domed ceiling of the newly refurbished wing…

ImageImageImagemeanwhile… I don’t approve of Fakes but sometimes… they are ingenious. Here’s my friend Frances’s brilliant Chanel…. well actually its her daughter Eliza’s. Eliza found it at a vintage store in NYC apparently


and finally. Isn’t it time the term ‘trainer shame’ was introduced? By which I mean if you need to pay money to someone to put your through your paces over some sort of preposterous assault course in a public park in view of the whole world; you might need to think about getting a new life, or a new trainer or alternatively, just find some place private for your ritual humiliation….


A friend’s son reminds me about Want Les Essentials de la Vie (thanks Seb) you can view it at Mr Porter; but in the search for a new bag – backpack or otherwise, it becomes obvious that no one (other hand Hermes and we know about those prices) is creating chic, understated women’s bags, without logos, gold ‘badging’ and a mass of heavy buckles. Men’s kit on the other hand is wonderfully simple and understated. We are of course to blame – in our frenzied perpetual search for the ‘it’ bag, we have managed to persuade designers and manufacturers alike that the more obvious and tricksy a bag, the better it will sell. So here are my top three bags – all created for men of course….

the first two are courtesy of Mr Porter…

Les Essentials

Bottega Veneta


The most economically savvy and talented people often become their own brand (Steve Jobs being the ultimate) and last week I went to see a preview of the Sky Arts 1 documentary about the life and work of photographer Richard Young at the wonderfully discrete Soho Hotel 

Young was a Papparazi long before the word became sullied. His candid shots of celebrities and social events have made him the chronicler of an age – particularly the seventies onwards – in the same way that American Slim Aarons was a chronicler of pre and post war society. The key to both men was that their subjects liked them and felt comfortable having him take their picture. Another brand – Peter York – heavily featured in the documentary-interrogated Young post documentary. Young has some great anecdotes about the great and not so good…Surely a book is only moments away?

Above: Richard Young (left) and Peter York – behind is  one of Young’s famous shots of the Studio 54 gang…

I’ve been away for a while so here’s a recap of what i’ve been up to in the last week or so… How to dress like The Queen: last Friday’s column in The Wall St Journal – I’m a republican (of the French variety) but still, you have to hand it to a woman who has created her own style and stuck to it for 60 years…. read it here

other stuff I’ve come across in the course of my working week….

Linda Evangelista look-alike currently working as a waitress at Granger &Co Notting Hill

very cool shades courtesy of Christian Dior and cupcake Lisa

dog in store …..Notting Hill again..

what all the best dressed ‘kids on the street’ are wearing – this time in Primrose Hill

UPS man’s Brazilian bracelet (purchased on a Rio beach)

Parliament Hill before a rainstorm (plenty of those around at the moment)…

Anya Hindmarch’s Maud – in celebration of Lizzie II complete with paper tiara and instructions for royal wave……


Made the very excellent Business of Fashion newsletter today with my piece from yesterdays WSJ on Uniqlo….

Great company. I love their approach of listening to both the customer and their on floor sales teams, so that they can really supply what the customer wants. They own their supply chain too which is also something Frida Giannini of Gucci said was essential to a great fashion business when I interviewed her. Three best Uniqlo pieces this season:


women’s engineer boatneck t £14.90


women’s skinny fit cargo pants £19.90 on the website


and my favourite which I’m considering buying for myself – the men’s biker jacket £59.90

in my WSJ column I discussed a MAWD (middle aged woman’s dilemma) – many more to follow. This one was about wearing shorts.Oh yes we can. But maybe not like these at Balenciaga…..?

or these at Jil Sander…?

Jil Sander courtesy of

thinking more along the lines of these……?

or even more realistically….from

Diane von Furstenburg shorts £270

Why don’t the worlds of fashion, dance and music collide more often? They should. They are natural bedfellows. Mark Ronson‘s collaboration with choreographer Wayne McGregor and The Royal Ballet:Carbon Life, included performances by Boy George, Alison Mosshart, Wale and Black Cobain amongst others. Three of the pieces were orchestrated by Rufus Wainwright, costumes by Gareth Pugh and dancing by the ever sublime Royal Ballet. It would be remiss not to mention the other two stunning works: Christopher Wheeldon‘s Polyphonia and Liam Scarlett’s Sweet Violets. Bravo. Amazing.

taking a bow at the end of Carbon Life

The artists take a bow, if you can see them…

Boy George, far left…

dancers and artists together.. Gareth Pugh centre in black…

lighting and costumes amazing for the other pieces too…..Sweet Violets cast below..

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

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?