Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Style Icons

We often think of shocking outfits and infamous party antics as a modern phenomenon, pioneered by the likes of Lady Gaga, but the fact is that women were raising eyebrows long before copies of Heat hit the shelves. Here are a couple of my favourites, starting with the Marchesa Luisa Casati; Europe's most scandalous celebrity and muse. She would wear live snakes as jewelery and regularly walk her pet cheetahs wearing nothing but a massive fur coat. She famously said' I want to be a living work of art ' and posed for the likes of Man Ray and Cecil Beaton. You can read more about her amazing life here.

Another eccentric icon is Leonor Fini who was a world famous surrealist artist, as well as an unmissable part of the Paris fashion scene, becoming one of the most photographed women of her era.

Her art was unconventional; she was the first woman to paint an erotic male nude in 1942. A neighbour's description of her home reads:
''At the top of an old staircase, a red door opened....confronted with ships' figureheads, old mirrors, velvet curtains, an alcove painted purple, some violet-coloured armchairs, glass hands, a large bronze foot, birds' skeletons, dolls' wigs, a large baroque pair of scales, oriental clothes and carpets, turn-of-the-century underclothes, theatre costumes, sequinned stockings…''
How amazing?!Sounds like my dream home.She also went on to acquire 17 Persian cats; the feline featuring strongly in her artwork.Apparently she used to let them wander up and down the dining table eating whatever they liked. Anyone concerned they may end up a crazy cat lady, I think this sort of thing is definitely what you should aspire to.Do it in style.

You can read more about Leonor here or buy this beautiful book. Classic coffee table fodder about the Marchesa is also available here.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Votes and Pledges

The Recession means its tough for all of us at the moment, especially those in the creative industries. Musicians are still working out how they're meant to create new work, let alone earn a living in the download generation.Increasingly we're being asked to become part of interactive schemes to help fund music we want to hear. Gabby Young and Other Animals have an awesome scheme whereby you can become an animal, which they were interviewed about for SKY news last year.Tallulah Rendall is one of my favourite British singer/songwriters, and she is currently raising funds to produce a follow up to her fantastic first album, Libellus. You can read my interview with her about that project here. You can pledge anything from £8 for the album to £1000 for a luxury private gig. Tallulah is pictured above at 40 Winks photographed by Richard Ecclestone and below by Dylan Walker for the A-Z of London Singer Songwriters gigshibition for ActionAid. There are only 6 days left to Pledge- have a listen to Tallulah's work; Black Seagull is my personal favourite; and if you like what you hear make a pledge and she'll make some more!

I've recently been working with Nicola Woods of Beautiful Soul, who has now been nominated to be in The Hospital Club/Independent newspaper top 100 most influential creative figures, please, please take a moment to vote for her; today is your LAST CHANCE!!! You can also vote for some other real stars like India Knight, have your say here.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Glasto Widow

So most of you have heard me moping about not going to Glasto on twitter, so I won't go on about it; I'm simply going to highlight the acts I WOULD be crazy excited about seeing IF I were going.Totally, totally recommend seeing as many of these as possible, but at the same time, I think the key to enjoying a festival as big as Glasto is not to stress too much about being in certain places at certain times, cos it never happens. So if there's someone you really, really want to see, make sure you're there yonks in advance, otherwise just pootle around, and who knows, you could stumble across your new favourite band. The first year I went to Glasto I came across LAMB completely by accident, but they became my absolute favourite act and stayed in my top 5 bands for years.(I even saw them INSTEAD of Radiohead the year they were both playing at the same time- blasphemy to some, I know.) It was a beautiful sunny day and Lou Rhodes was wearing a massive red tulle ballgown and there was a bubble machine nearby- it was all very fairytale.I'd finished my last A level that Thursday, then headed down to Somerset for my first music festival, where I ended up meeting the man I've spent the last 8 years with.So I have pretty good Glastonbury memories!

Anyway, here goes; Friday I would definitely catch Lou Rhodes on the Avalon stage, as well as Gabby Young and Other Animals, who'll also be performing in The Rabbit Hole on Saturday and a couple of other locations too I think, check their page for details. If you've only seen Gabby doing small acoustic sets, then definitely try and catch her with the whole band as its a completely different experience.She has some amazing outfits, accessories and even wigs for the weekend from Ad Hoc, I will be waiting for pics to be tweeted!Nouvelle Vague will be performing with guests on the West Holts stage; I love their quirky covers of old classics.In the evening go and see The Flaming Lips on the Other Stage as they put on a great show- lots of costumes and props. I'd be most excited, however, about seeing relative newcomer Jesca Hoop on the BBC Introducing stage; Gabby Young actually alerted me to her amazing music video for 'My Kingdom', I absolutely adore it. Check out her video 'Money' too.

On Saturday I'd go for Imogen Heap on the Other stage and Imelda May on the Acoustic Stage.Both have fantastic sounds and style. On the Park Stage is another incredibly talented singer/songwriter; Laura Marling. Sunday there are the obvious contenders; Paloma Faith and Stevie Wonder are must sees, but I'd also be queuing up for Broken Social Scene whose Anthems for a Seventeen Year Old Girl is still one of my favourite tracks, even if I'm far too old for it.

Alessi's Ark are another gorgeous act playing at the Queen's Head. Other attractions I'd try and fit in would definitely be a trip to Tony Hornecker's pop-up restaurant, Live Swaparama at the Pussy Parlure, the Broken Hearts DJs and The Correspondents, Amelia's magazine founder Amelia's stage in the Climate Camp, Baba Brinkman in Spoken Word/poetry and of course, my boyfriend's band, Filthy Kicks, 1.45 Friday night/Saturday morning at the Tadpole/Green Futures stage.You can see the full line up times here. Enjoy! (but please tell me it was rubbish and I didn't miss anything)

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Juno Says Hello

Need an outfit for a summer wedding?for Ascot?or Wimbledon?(see I do get involved in SOME national pastimes, just don't expect my blog to feature the world cup or Big Brother anytime soon) One of my favourite luxury vintage sites, 'Juno Says Hello' is opening up their studio for a summer shopping event this Thursday 17th June.
Founded by the lovely Rebecca Rose, JSH stocks a wide range of beautiful designer pieces by the likes of Balmain, Pucci and Oscar de la Renta, as well as some amazing couture pieces; check out this stunning ballgown- its available to hire too which I think is a great service to provide; sometimes you want to splash out a bit on something really special to wear, but if you're not sure you'll have many opportunities to wear it again, parting with a lot of cash can seem silly.Which is why hiring is such a great compromise.I am totally converted to the 'hiring a designer bag' trend which Kennedy Purple introduced me to when they kindly lent me a Balenciaga bag for a week; a little bit of luxury is lovely for those of us who can't afford it full time!

I went along to the last JSH sale at Home House where I met the team (see photo below);except for Juno, Rebecca's gorgeous dog who I was only introduced to at a later date- I think you should get to meet her on the 17th though!My favourite piece at the last sale was this caped cocktail ensemble- whatever happened to capes?I LOVE a good cape! Whilst they might be a no-no for the cast of 'The Incredibles', I am constantly trying to find an excuse to add capes to my dresses; this one is just stunning, as is the matching coat.

They also have a great Poolside Glamour section of the site, perfect if, like me, you'd rather leave as much to the imagination as possible. Hope to see you there on Thursday!

Friday, 11 June 2010

Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair

Hello!Here are some pics from the fabulous Art Car Boot Fair I took part in last weekend. Here I am sandwiched between the lovely Rosa Bloom and Gabby Young!Rosa designs gorgeous clothes; from nautical playsuits to burlesque style bustles. Some of her pieces were modelled in the fabulous fashion show Gabby curated with the help of Amelia Mullins, the designer responsible for Gabby's stunning dress. You can see more of my pics here

Gabby and I had a whole car to fill with Gabberdashery goodies; plenty of Rosa's garments, animal hoods from Merrimaking Hoods, Bobble jars and jewelery from Gabby's sister Nicky, customised goodies from Vicki Sennet at HungaMunga and artwork from Tinsel Edwards and Twinkle Troughton. Twink also designed our gorgeous logo. If you make something creative and original; be it artwork, fashion, homeware or accessories; and would like us to stock your work at the Gabberdashery stalls (and soon our online store) just send an email to

Other attractions at the event included real life wrestling, hula-hooping, fashion memorabilia from Pam Hogg and of course art from the likes of Sir Peter Blake and Bob and Roberta Smith.We spent the whole day with everything crossed for good weather, and it worked!well, until 5.30 anyway.Actually it was pretty sunny, I ended up getting bizarre tanlines from a big, statement necklace I wore.Not quite the statement I was going for. After we wrapped up at Brick Lane, Gabby Young and Other Animals headed off to play the BAFTAs afterparty at the Natural History Museum-wowzers!!!
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