Friday, 27 November 2009

Xmas Wishlist: PRINTS!

I recently posted about The Print Club London's forthcoming Pop-up shop where you'll be able to buy prints by the likes of Joe Wilson who created these Brown and Obama pieces. I thought I'd create a wishlist to for anyone thinking about buying someone a print for Christmas. Good luck narrowing it down to just one!

Everyone remembers that the best part about school trips to museums or art galleries was being allowed to spend your pocket money in the gift shop. Culture Label has translated this childhood joy into an online store featuring all the best merchandise from the gift shops of all the industry ginats; Tate, the Royal Academy of Arts, Saatchi gallery, the V&A as well as smaller players like the LAB; Little Art Book. They have some great online gift guides, as well as a very cool blog- voted in the top 25 art blogs by the Creative Tourist. They stock everything from t-shirts to sculpture, as well as more traditional arty gifts like prints- my favourite are this dark mermaid number, 'Pearls' by Natalie Shau, £145 and the Amy Winehouse portrait by 'Oh Death'
One of the artists I work with regularly also has an Amy portrait in her repertoire- check out Twinkle Troughton's prints here.

I was thrilled to find prints by another of my favourite artists, Kate Marshall- on ebay of all places.There aren't many and they need shipping from the States but they're very reasonable, about $15 for 'I could gobble you up'.

RockettstGeorge is a great site for finding presents, mostly interiorsy sort of stuff, but some art too, like this gorgeous limited edition Butterfly print by Ros Shiers, for £70

Etsy is another fantastic place for prints- I could write a whole post, heck, probably a whole blog just about the prints on the site, but instead I'll just give you a taster, a couple of romantic pieces from The Love Shop

And finally, yet another pop-up shop, this time from the trendy RUDE illustration collective, who'll be gracing Stoke Newington with their pop-up Christmas venue throughout December- for opening times check here. You can buy prints like this London one below ready framed; perfect gift material.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Love is the Law

You might have seen a wee shout out for the new Think section of Run-Riot in the Guardian last week-huzzah!All the crazy work putting the new listings together seems worth it now we are getting lots of lovely feedback. One of the first Thinky events I was emailed about was a meeting of The Conversational; described on their site as
'a roaming salon for ideas based in London, where curious, sociable, informed, but slightly jaded people could meet, each time in a different venue around the city, to spark off a more considered, and ultimately more interesting, approach to life in the 21st century.'
They met this week in the gorgeous lingerie shop, 'Bordello', to discuss Love and Lust, with readings from editors of the new magazine Love is the Law. How I've missed this new webzine I don't know, as it has all my favourite stuff; gorgeous photography, illustrations, poetry, articles and all a bit dirty in a classy kind of way, hang on, how do they put it...:
'a lifestyle magazine celebrating sensuality in photography, literature, art & culture. '
Yep. Classy filth.
Everything from fairly tame but sensual advertising campaign photo shoots like Lavazza's, to more risque photographs by up and coming artists, as well as cool contributors like Anne Pigalle, Ladies of Noir and artists The Girls.


The Girls

Above: Atsuko Kudo Latex wear

Right-Yuko Shimizu illustration

Other illustrations from top of the post, by Roxanne Warder, and Lucy Hanks, black and white photograph by LadiesofNoir.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Christmas Wishlist: FOOD!

I have started my annual pre Christmas diet, through which I usually aim to lose enough weight to be able to eat myself completely silly over the actual festive period,and still end up only slightly heavier than usual. So it is on day 4 of this no carb, no sugar diet that I write this, with a good deal of longing in my stomach.

Laduree are famous for their fabulous Signature Ranges, and this season they've outdone themselves with boxes of Macaroons designed by Christian Louboutin, Swarovski, and even a luxury, gold, Marni set.Wowzers.
(If you want an entirely fat free macaroon option, click here!)

For something a little less ostentatious, opt for Cup Adorning Cookie Cutters, possibly the best dunking related invention since the dunk mug. NotontheHighStreet is one of my favourite shopping sites- stocking stuff from small, artsy, independent companies. This 'Cake is for Life not just for Christmas'mug is another of my faves.

For some seriously cool fake food, invest in some foody jewellery from PetitPlat on Etsy. I want
these Christmas biscuit earrings.

Back to the real stuff though. Cereal is one of my biggest weaknesses, the crunchier the better. Cereal connoisseurs everywhere spend years searching for the perfect granola- but now all searches are over- create your own granola mix on this genius site.

And finally for a cookery book to keep you inspired in the coming year, go for Spooning with Rosie by Brixton's very own domestic goddess Rosie Lovell. Check out my interview with her about her pop-up shop and restaurant here. The shop will be selling her book, but you can also get it on Amazon.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Pop-Ups- Its a Love/ Hate thing.

Personally, I am a huge fan of the pop-up shop/restaurant/cafe/gallery or whatever. Read all about the best at the moment, popping up somewhere near you.

Sunday, 22 November 2009


As an epilogue to my last post, I thought I'd post some of my favourite PJs, as they are the perfect Christmas present- in my family we always get new pyjamas in our stockings on Christmas Day, so that when evening comes we can get all cosy in them and snuggle up on the sofa to watch Christmas telly and eat ourselves silly.Elastic waistbands essential.

Hush do the loveliest PJs ever-in fact their whole range is perfect for slobbing around- traditional brushed cotton pjs in floral and star prints, silk nighties, hand knitted bed socks, beautiful blankets-I wish I could have a whole wardrobe dedicated to these sort of clothes, for feeling a little more stylish on lazy days.

also have a whole section dedicated to Loungewear. They did, after all, invent the stylish 'pull-ons' , in prints so snazzy you can happily answer the door in them, or even pop to the corner shop.

Monsoon have just launched a lovely new range of lingerie, including some very tempting nightwear like the Paradise set with their hooded top.

Far too summery to be practical, but fine if you have a good dressing gown is this floaty number from Zara. Good gowns at Toast.

This nightshirt is very festive, plus unlike most nightshirts that can make you look the size of a house, this one has a belted waist, so you can maintain some sort of illusion of figure.

Narcoleptics Anonymous

As some of you may know, I have narcolepsy, and can seldom make it through an all night party without a quick nap. As we get older, I'm finding an increasing number of my non-narcoleptic friends are also prone to indulging in some shut eye at unconventional times, so faced with the prospect of London Decompression which generally wraps up around 6am, my friend Meg and I decided to run a Sleep theme camp for those who want to grab 40 winks. Decompression is a sort of after-party for everyone who went to Burning Man, and for those who couldn't make it, as well as being a taster for anyone thinking about going to the Burn next year. You can get tickets here- I think there are still some but they sell out very very fast and aren't really publicised other than by word of mouth- so if you do consider coming, please check that all this stuff sounds like you and you're not going to rock up from your city job preaching the benefits of capitalism or anything, cos you might get hurt. Decompression parties are some of the best I have ever been to- people spend weeks planning themed areas, from costume camps to cabaret bars, and its always in an alternative party space thats been decorated to the max.There's music, performances, art installations, fashion shows- you name it. Anyway..enough of the background info.. what this post was originally about is Narcoleptics Anonymous- the Sleep theme camp Meg and I will be running. Feeding our penchant for innuendo, our motto is, of course, 'Come sleep with us!' We'll be creating some sort of mattressy bedroom space, and will provide people who need a nap with a warm, soft space to relax- eye-masks and ear plugs will be provided and if you let us know what time you want waking up we'll rouse you with some coffee and a hug. Here's where we need your help-if anyone has any spare mattresses/pillows/blankets/duvets/any sort of sleep equipment that they would be willing to loan or donate to our cause, we would be eternally grateful and shower you with love and naps.Email me at if you can help. Thanks guys!!!!xxx

Friday, 20 November 2009

White Wedding

Yesterday I styled a photoshoot for The Palpitations' lead singer, Danielle Webb. With the wonderfully talented photographer Holly Falconer and make-up artist to the stars Bella Cruikshank, I took some of the best vintage pieces from both my personal collection and the Vintage Secret wardrobe, with the aim of mixing up the eras; some 50s glam with a touch of 80s rough.

The star of the show- other than the gorgeous Danielle of course!- was an amazing 1950s wedding dress I found in a charity shop.It is for sale if anyone's interested...sadly even if I could convince my man to marry me, I could barely get one thigh into this frock- though its not as ridiculously tiny as some vintage pieces, its a modern size 8.

We'll be running a Vintage Secret stall at the Pushing Pussy Christmas Exravaganza, at the swanky new Blues Kitchen venue in Camden. There'll be live music from Billy Vincent as well the Moon Music Orchestra, and records will be spun by the lovely Miss Chazmatazz, plus a mini Christmas shopping fair, where you will be able to browse and buy clothes and accessories from Vintage Secret, Frangipane Honey bespoke jewellery and Jasmine Teacup handmade fascinators as well as Pushing Pussy merchandise and other goodies.

The next night, on the 3rd, Danielle and The Palpitations will be running their new night with Andrew Weatherall at The Rest is Noise in Brixton.You can check out the new single and video here. are some 'behind the scenes' pics I took yesterday, just to give you a taster. Final snaps from Holly still to come. FYI, Holly is one of the brains behind 'The most cake', whose launch party will be at The Book Club tomorrow night. Bella also did the make-up at our first TART event last weekend- see the photos from it here.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Christmas Wishlist: BIG KIDS!

Are you just a big kid at heart?Or looking for a 2in1 present that can be for both your friends and their offspring/siblings/cousins?These are perfect for putting the fun back into Christmas.

Bow and arrow by BerryRed at
Self explanatory really.

My wonderful world of Fashion- a colouring-in book for the stylishly precocious.

Who could resist this flashback to childhood party food- Iced Party ring biscuit necklace from Of Cabbages and Kings.

Real feather Angel wings from Pedlars.

Bunny Ears Headband a la Louis Vuitton.


Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Wallpaper me

One fetish I am happy to admit to is my affection for wallpaper. I love it. Printed, textured, patterned or plain, I have a huge weakness for wall fashion. Now that its back in Vogue, even Vivienne Westwood has jumped on the bandwagon designing a range for Cole and Son. So I was thrilled to hear that the V&A were hosting a talk on Wallpaper- Fashion and design journalist, Charlotte Abrahams, takes an in-depth look at the exciting contemporary wallpaper scene, exploring architectural trompe l'oeil, modern florals, textures and statement walls. See details here, in the new 'Think' category of Run-Riot; a listings section devoted to lectures, workshops, talks, debates and son forth, all set to exercise our brains a bit. My good friend and excellent artist Twinkle Troughton has designed a lovely press release for us too- have a look and do forward to anyone who might be interested.And I'll leave you with some more of my favourite wallpapers:circus themed, birdy and DIY.
Download it here so you can read all the lovely things people have said about us!

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Spooning with Rosie Pop-Up restaurant and shop!

Brixton domestic Goddess Rosie Lovell is setting up a fantastic pop-up shop and restaurant running up to Christmas- read my interview with her here. I'm a massive fan of the whole pop-up scene- my favourite being Tony Hornecker's Behind the Pale Blue Door which I reviewed earlier this year- spectacular new Christmassy pop-up coming from Tony, add your email here to receive all the news.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Christmas Wishlist - LITERARY!

Here we go folks, time for me to indulge my borderline obsessive window-shopping, which has evolved into web- browsing and generally avoiding all sorts of work/washing up etc by looking at pretty stuff I usually can't afford. Christmas makes it worse as if there's one thing I enjoy more than buying stuff for myself, its buying stuff for other people. In no way is this as selfless as it sounds- it is in fact entirely selfish. I totally get off on finding presents that are perfect for people, then basking in the glory of their utter gratitude and surprise at my brilliance.So anyway; stuff to by for people who like BOOKS:

Penguin Classics Hardback copies designed by Coralie Bickford Smith- not only an excuse to go to the lovely Anthropologie on Regent Street , but a truly wise investment in books that double as artwork.Only problem is you really have to buy them all for the full effect. Same applies to the Faber and Faber poetry classics by Auden, Eliot, Hughes, Plath, Betjeman and Yeats - this time gorgeous black and white covers.

The follow up to the unexpectedly popular 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' is 'Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters' from Quirk Classics.This has to be one of the few books you could get away with buying for a teenage boy without being subjected to the standard glazing over of eyes at the prospect of literature.

The Shop floor project is one of my favourite websites- its stock is always inspiring even if its often out of my price range. Sometimes you can get a real bargain though, snapping up jewellery designers or artists' work before they make it big. Thimble of Hope goes on my wishlist- a book/piece of artwork by Lucy May Schofield- see her other work which includes DIY rabbits as made in the 1940s, and birdie folding notelets. Lots of her work on this site is limited edition- there are only 10 copies of Thimble of Hope.

I am always loaning books to people which , as Adama says in Battlestar Galactica, is a big mistake. His philosophy is that you should always give books as gifts and not expect them back, but I am far too fond of my library for that, so instead I'd invest in a personal library kit. I have to admit, a lot of the appeal does lie in the getting to stamp the date on stuff.

Bookshelves are usually so mundane that I was thrilled to come across these baroque styles from Graham and Green; don't they look amazing? However, once again, I fear you'd have to buy a whole bunch of them for it to look quite so impressive.

For those of you after some serious literary recommendation, I'm going to have to opt for Vladimir Nabokov's 'The original of Laura'- the unfinished work he asked his heirs to destroy,but,well, they didn't. After a lifetime spent wrestling with the decision, Nabokov's son is finally publishing the narrative- a must read for all us 'Lolita' fans.

Finally something totally frivolous- Olympia le Tan has embroidered handbags to look like famous books- there'll be 21 different book covers in total, each a limited edition of 16. I have no doubt at all that they'll be ludicrously expensive, as they're going to be stocked on Colette and at Browns- triple figures for sure. Lolita is apparently included in the range, as well as those pictured below.

I was partly inspired to kick off my Christmas list series with this bookish theme because I'm going on a 'reading weekend' on Friday. Basically this involves going to a lush country house, eating and drinking quite a bit, reading a lot and taking part in bibliotherapy sessions, bedtime stories and bohemian country walks-bliss.The invite even encourages us to lounge around in our pyjamas- as a narcoleptic there is little that makes me happier.Trying to get together all the books I've been meaning to read for ages but haven't had time for- dedicating two whole days to reading feels like such an indulgence, I'm determined not to take any other work with me; though the holiday is technically work itself as I'm writing it up for the big G. Something very odd always about writing travel pieces- you're on holiday, but its actually work.Everyone else is with their mates or family, whilst you stand out like a sore thumb as a big fat loner. Whilst you get involved and try to enjoy everything, you can't get too tipsy and risk not remembering anything and having to explain this to your editor, and everyone does tend to treat you with a certain amount of that special love/loathing reserved for journalists who are going to write about you, but you're not sure what they're going to say. Meanwhile you spent the whole time desperately trying to think of ways in which to transform real events into wittu yet relevant writing. Wish me luck..
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