Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Peaches and Erol Alkan at Durrr

I was intending to wait until New Years Eve to party but guess what? I, along with what seemed like the youth population of London, decided that Monday night was party night and headed to Durrr at the End. 'But Peaches is dj-ing' was all it took to persuade a (similarly good-intentioned) friend to come along.

With the exception of Disneyland, I have never embarked on a queue as long as the one last night. It was really something to behold, spilling and curving its way through and around West Central Street and beyond. Guest-list, non guest-list, the Obligatory Hopeful, we all queued together for something that, fortunately turned out to be well worth it.

It was refreshing to see the non-Geldof Peaches back with a vengeance. She was the (massively) non-conformist Belle of the Ball dressed Boadicea-style in an outfit fashioned from little else but hair. She ended her set by belting out a classic eighties love dance ballad balanced atop the dj booth.

What else in the teaches of peaches?

Peaches shows me some hair

Jodie, friendly and fabulous as ever. This is how we show each other affection. No, really!

Is Jodie holding this empty wine bottle? I can't tell. Worrying.

My mate Victor looking seductive (sort of!)

Queue faces

This riot of colour was much lauded - for good reason.

Friday, 26 December 2008

Happy Christmas and a Stylish New Year

It's that time of year again: the turkey has been devoured, some presents ridiculed and all of the booze in the house consumed. Forgive me for not updating as regularly recently - in the new year I intend to maintain a little better! February fashion week is fast approaching and with it an expected plethora of parties and fashion...

In the meantime, enjoy your break, however you are enjoying it and I'll see you for a fresh start in the new year. I will mostly be working on: buying as much as (humanly) possible in the January sales (expect updates!), getting thinner, quitting smoking, being nicer, falling in love and just generally self-improving - always 'styling it up' to the maximum.

Enjoy the rest of 2008,



Sunday, 7 December 2008


In the middle of a crowded sample sale, I remembered a question I was asked for a fashion course interview:
“If we gave you £500, would you buy many pieces on the high street or pick a single designer must-have?”
I remember claiming that I would buy a few pieces on the high street and one really great pair of shoes. In reality my shopping sensibility is far more complicated.

A fully fledged bargain hunter, I thrive in warm, busy environments like TK Maxx and (I know it’s bad but I can’t help it) Primark. I find comfort nestled between rails and with my nose in boxes. Those places suck me in like you wouldn’t believe, spitting me (and my war-torn credit card) back out. Flabbergasted friends and relatives cannot fathom how I entertain myself for literally hours in places like this. I’m simply addicted to variety and spend a great deal of time and wonga on things I know I don’t need (this is why my bedroom resembles a shop). I do love shopping though and vague promises of stopping are all lies. I cannot stop. I am not ‘sick of excess’ (a mighty claim I remember making just the other day-again, all lies) I suppose the answer I should have given to that loaded question would have been: “couldn’t you just give me £1000 so I could buy more?”

Don’t get me wrong, I fully appreciate the superior craftsmanship and fabrics of high-end pieces (they let me on to that course after the interview and I studied fashion design) and I know how painstaking the design process can be. I own some designer things but these are invariably bargains, trophies of spending days trawling through unlikely places. My quilted Chanel handbag was salvaged from a car boot sale in deepest Belgium. A cornflower blue Roland Mouret top was saved after a happy hour in Browns sale shop on South Molton Street. As far as shoes go, the most designer it gets is KG-all the others are either vintage or from Dorothy Perkins (which I love), New Look (which I adore for party shoes) and Primark (words cannot describe). I watch people in wonder as they happily spend triple-digits on things. How do they handle the guilt?! I should probably get off my high horse because, in reality, my bi-monthly high street pilgrimages/splurges probably mean that I spend a great deal more than them in the long run.

The idea of spending a lot of cash on one thing fills me with worry and pre-empted guilt. This horror is what I experienced last Friday at the Burberry sample sale. The last trench coat I owned was a Primark original (I told you, hopelessly addicted) and it served me well. It had all the necessary components: belt, epaulettes etc. but something was missing, something I couldn’t quite put my finger on at the time. As I stood in the middle of that showroom, wearing the real thing, I realised how simple the problem was: the Primark trench was not a Burberry trench. Not only did the Burberry one fit me, it fitted me perfectly and made me look thin to boot. It has real leather fixtures in place of Primark’s plastic ones. This trench was just plain superior in every way so what was stopping me from beating people out the way to the make-shift cashier desk? This trench cost £150. Triple figures. The guilt had firmly set in. Concerned people tentatively approached as I stood in front of various mirrors. A very sweet (and stylish) lady made some very helpful points as I stood shaking:

1. The trench would last ten years (at least).
2. It was a classic piece.
3. It would never go out of style.
4. She said I looked nice in it.
5. She agreed that it made me look thinner.
6. She said I was thin anyway though.

Three phone calls (made in front of the mirror) to three sensible friends and another couple of pubic consultations later and the trench was mine. I was damp with sweat and brimming with self-deprecation but it was mine. I am glad I got the trench-it used to cost around £500. Bargain. Next up, Christian Louboutin stilettos in the January sales: unstoppable.

Club Tropicana Party

When the weather is this arctic, the idea of going out on the town is not only undesirable, it is just plain unnecessary. Festive parties are off to a good start and I sparked off my weekend by attending a Club Tropicana party in Bethnal Green-oh yes, as you can probably tell from the pictures, the drinks were free.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Prada Fondazione's Double Club

A new bar / restaurant / art installation / club with a revolving dance floor which is ten minutes away from my house, charges no admission fee and is owned by one of the most famous fashion brands around? Count me in. The Double Club launched last week. It’s located in a Victorian warehouse just behind Angel station and will stay as it is for six months only.

The idea for the club was conceived by artist Carsten Höller (who was responsible for the slides in the Tate Modern) and was supported by Fondazione Prada, Miuccia’s company’s art foundation.

Venturing inside this multi-purpose haven, I was pleased but slightly surprised to find the club to be rather small-worryingly, the bar (let’s face it a key concern of the night, art or otherwise!) ostensibly a set of mini-fridge’s manned by a lone barman. Thankfully, we decided to go exploring and discovered a large bar area in the very next room. And the western and Congolese restaurant. And lots of art. AND the best Mojito I have ever sampled (and I am someone who has sampled quite a few over the years!). This club is something of an anomaly in London-it feels exclusive, a mixed and (mostly!) pleasant crowd enjoy it and it makes you feel cultured no matter how many mojitos you glug.

Failings? It’s temporary and far too close to home-I need my wages for rent, not mojitos!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Amazing Baby Play The Lexington

Common sense equation: When half of the journalists at the NME say that a band is good, it usually is. When you turn up for a gig and they're all there on a Monday night in support, you know that something is probably very good. Amazing Baby lived up to the hype-a fantastic band with an exciting, genuine vibe. Think of a rockier MGMT and you're on the way there.

The band's support act, Stricken City appealed to my current favour of female vocalists like Regina Spector. I actually style-stalked their lead singer in the loos long before the gig began! Enjoy the pictures below.

They were amazing, oh baby.

Stricken City's lead vocalist, Rebekah Raa and her great shoes!

Some men's fashion for a change! This cool T-shirt is from San Francisco. Loving that layering too.

Prada Launch

I've had a Prada LG phone for about a year now. Our relationship began badly: my general cack-handedness was no match for his sleek buttons and sensitive nature. Just as we have begun to accept each other's differences, a new, sexier model had caught my eye: and he had a querty. So dirty.

The Prada launch party last night seemed like the perfect opportunity to see what this new boy was all about. As far as I could see, it looks good-the addition of the keyboard with change the lives of unfortunate chubby-fingered girls like myself. There's a camera too and it is 5m AF. I think this means it is a good one. The thing that really caught my eye was the matching watch-I love a good accessory. As well as looking fairly cool, the watch is connected to the mobile so that if someone texts your mobile, you can read on your wrist. I don't actually understand what the point of this is though-do some people sometimes detach themselves from their handset? I certainly do not.

I might be flighty but as I have only (barely) got to grips with touch-screen texting I may just stick with the familiar. For now...

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Hot Chip at Brixton Academy

The last time I saw Hot Chip perform was in Mulberry's New Bond Street store during London Fashion Week. Last night I witnessed their magic at the slightly more conventional venue of Brixton Academy. As expected, recent hits 'Over and Over' and 'Ready for the Floor' (from albums 'The Warning' and 'Made in the Dark') were met with uproar. The band also performed some calmer new tracks and a gorgeous version of Sinead O'Connor's 'Nothing Compares 2u'.

Before ending the set, the electro-pop band released massive balloons into the audience and encouraged them to stay and play until 3pm. After a brief nightcap (or three!) at the afterparty, I had some hot chips (it was funny last night).

Catching up with Alexis Taylor
Release the balls!

A giant hand seeks to squash the band

Alexis Taylor as King of Electro