The good news? Target is now chock a block full of fabulously chic shoes. You have never seen anything like it. It’s Cheap but Chic Heaven. You’ll find all sorts of groovy gladiators. From wedges to flats, in black and brown they are all here for the astonishing price of $29. You pay more for Italian Vogue. Also check out the sensational patent flat beaded sandals, the cool T bar flats and funky towering platforms. The bad news? You will spend a fortune spraying Chanel 19 on the tip of your nose to get past the overwhelming smell of the er, um, plastic. But don’t worry.
When you throw on your new shoes your feet are a long way from your nose.
From $29 at Target www.target.com.au
The one item seen the most often on the fashion pack at the recent spring 2009 shows? The Balenciaga black leather motorcycle jacket. Style.com reports “From the chic Americans to the Euro-class girls to the fashion Editors (Emmanuelle Alt), not a day went by without at least at least one vision of M Ghesquière’s zipper-trim blouson noir. At the end of fashion week party one girl said she would rather sweat than run the risk of losing her goes-with-anything coat. “Look at that booth: There’s a whole pile of leather jackets,” she explained. “I don’t want to put mine there. What happens if a drunken lady gets ready to go and just grabs the one on the top, taking my Balenciaga and leaving me her Topshop? Can you imagine?” Shudder the thought, but the clever girl ended up working out a plan: She ran her scarf through the sleeve of the jacket and actually tied the thing to the leg of her table. “When it comes to Balenciaga, I don’t F. around,” she explained”‘—reports Derek Blasberg.
www.Balenciaga.com and www.Style.com
I have white lips. It’s natural. Without lipstick I look very Goth. This could be good news because everything Goth, dark and black is very this season. The problem is I don’t look very fashion. I look like Morticia Adams. Or Uncle Fester. So I need lip stain. I don’t want thick red lipstick but I don’t want sheer transparent gloss either. Which is why I love the Nars red lip lacquer in (an appropriately named colour) Diabolo. I smear it on so it looks a strong, bright red. Then I blot it right back so it’s a sheer red pigment almost stained on my lips. It looks natural. I look healthy. Cheaper than a blood transfusion.
$50.00 Nars Lip Lacquer - Last chance shades from Mecca Cosmetica.
Kate Moss speaks! Check out this fabulous video and behind-the-scenes footage of Kate Moss and Sir Philip Green at the Topshop offices a week after her debut collection hit stores…
www.Filth and Wisdom
Check out the trailer of Madonna’s first movie as director. ‘"Filth and Wisdom" is cinematic tale of everyday life about people who are obliged to take on jobs just to earn a living. Whether we take the path of wisdom or the path of filth, we will eventually arrive at the same enlightened place.’
The White Tiger: A Novel by Aravind Adiga
Just announced winner of the Man Booker prize! ‘In this darkly comic début novel set in India, Balram, a chauffeur, murders his employer, justifying his crime as the act of a “social entrepreneur.” In a series of letters to the Premier of China, in anticipation of the leader’s upcoming visit to Balram’s homeland, the chauffeur recounts his transformation from an honest, hardworking boy growing up in “the Darkness”—those areas of rural India where education and electricity are equally scarce, and where villagers banter about local elections “like eunuchs discussing the Kama Sutra”—to a determined killer. He places the blame for his rage squarely on the avarice of the Indian élite, among whom bribes are commonplace, and who perpetuate a system in which many are sacrificed to the whims of a few. Adiga’s message isn’t subtle or novel, but Balram’s appealingly sardonic voice and acute observations of the social order are both winning and unsettling’.
$11 Publisher: Free Press (October 14, 2008) www.amazon.com
The Christmas List:
Bill Gibb: Fashion and Fantasy (Hardcover) by Iain R Webb (Author), Twiggy (Foreword)
In 1970, barely out of college for two years, Bill Gibb (1943–1988) was crowned “Designer of the Year” by British Vogue. Though Gibb’s prolific career was sadly short-lived, the legacy of his visionary work continues to influence designers from Giles Deacon to John Galliano. This lavishly illustrated volume features many previously unpublished photographs that showcase Gibb’s hallmarks: a love of romance, soaring flights of fancy, and a devil-may-care dynamic that resulted in wildly eccentric combinations of checks, tartans, stripes, floral prints, and Fair Isle knits that had never been seen before. A stunning exploration of the themes and historical imagery that inspired Gibb’s designs, this book traces an astonishing career from Gibb’s breakout debut to his final catwalk show. Iain R Webb is a fashion journalist and photographer whose work appears in many media, including regular contributions to The Independent and Guardian.
$29 Publisher: Victoria & Albert Museum (October 1, 2008) www.amazon.com
Best picks of the week include:
- Love the chic de la chic caramel Leather sleeveless biker style vest. Or maybe it’s a waistcoat $499. It has a silver zip and is very cool. Wear it with skinny pants, Dhoti pants (or are they nappies?!) or over a pretty floral skirt. Remember when you pay a bit more for pieces you want them to go from season to season. You want mileage. It’s not a year to be wasting those hard earned $$ and shares on frivolous things. This jacket/vest will look great layered over knits and skinny black pants in winter too.
- You want the cotton grey marle pleated V-neck dress. Very Grecian it has its very own wide, Wonder Woman belt in a gold and silver stripe. For another look whip that belt off and throw on a brown wide chunky belt or go for the classic black patent. Wear with Gladiators for the full on Grecian look that Aristotle would be proud of. Or just climb into your favourite wedges.
- Want something to wear to work when it’s warm? Then I insist you buy the short cap sleeve tailored jacket that is fitted on the waist and has with two front pockets. I spy it in hot pink. I am allergic to hot pink. Buy it in black. $129. This jacket will be great for work over a long Tee and with a flirty skirt. But don’t stop there. Wear it with jeans and sexy heels.
- Also cute is the creamy/silver loose swing waistcoat in linen silk mix. No buttons. It’s just the thing to toss over a Tee. Or a pretty chiffon blouse with shorts. Make it feminine. And pretty. You don’t want to look like a waiter. Or Ellen De Generes. (Well, you might but I don’t . Bless Ellen) $129.
- The pretty pink/red/cream floral loose poets blouse with a drawstring neckline is for you if you are still addicted to the floral Boho look and rehab hasn’t worked. Don’t worry you will be back into hardcore black in no time. In fact you could start by slowly adding some black basics by wearing this top with your black harem pants. So Talitha Getty. Add colour with shoes and a stack of bangles. $139.
- In accessories I love the pretty paisley scarf $39, the chic Brown thin belt dotted with brass studs $39 and of course the clutch bags and the shoes. Always shoes. $149
My picks this week:
- I must mention harem pants again. In fact you will be very pleased to know the black ones I have spied here are not exactly Dhoti pants with a low crutch. In fact they do not possess a low slung crutch all. They are simply black cropped to the knees pants that balloon out a little. This means they are not related to shorts at all but a cousin of the Harem. They sit on the hips, have a little drawstring belt. And look fabulous with a your black fitted blazer. I want to wear these. Especially with a serious platform shoe. (Make that two. Limping is not a good look). Also available in khaki $89.
- Now let me get you dressed. You are wearing the above black crop pants. And your sexy patent platform heels (from Betts $89) . Now grab a grey marle Tank Top but turn it around and wear it back wards. That way you get rid of the scoop neck. You also create a blank canvas so you can throw on a chunky bead necklace I told you buy months ago from Mango or Burberry. I hope you were paying attention. $19.95. Now all you need is the very Bottega Veneta Black woven Clutch $49 and some silver trim aviators $24 and you have a hot look.
- My other favorite item is the long, drawstring, very hippy Paisley Print maxi skirt. Unless you are off to grow herbs in Bryon Bay (lucky you) you should wear this skirt as a dress. Why not? Sienna and Kate have done it. Pull it up over the boobs and then cinch it in with a seriously wide belt. That way you won’t look like you are wearing a tent. (But if you are heading to Byron this could be handy) $89
My best buys here this week are:
- I will say it once and I will say it again. Invest in a sleeveless jacket for summer. Love the black cotton jacket/vest I spy here. It has its own black patent belt as well. What a bargain. You get a belt and a jacket. $89. Layer it over one of the best white Tees (without the horrid scoop) $19
- You want the Black Sequin cotton rib Tank. It has a smattering of black sequins over it but it’s not over the top. Remember next season it’s all about sequins/glitter/shine to lighten up all the black. It’s also about wearing evening fabrics in the day. Make life a bit more interesting. Your wardrobe more unexpected. That’s called personal style. And if you don’t have any style - ne panickez pas keep reading and you can steal mine. Wear this tank with jeans and chic simple ballet flats, or layer over a white Tee. Throw it under a fitted shrunken blazer with stone chinos. And heels. Did I mention heels? Did I mention harem pants? This sequin Tee will look fabulous with those cropped black pants from Sportsgirl. $39
- Love the soft light denim shirtdress. It’s not the same as many of the denim shirt dresses around. It’s a lot sexier. It’s button through to the waist then flares out into a full skirt and even has its own little denim belt. It’s sleeveless and it’s a cut away at the shoulders which makes it very flattering. It maybe a little short for those of you with muffin knees but you could cover the lumpy bits with short leggings that stop just over the knees. Or try liposuction. I think the leggings are cheaper.
- For the races or for a night out you should check out the chic Black chiffon 50’s style sleeveless dress with some serious black jet bead trim around the neckline $149.
- Or buy the black jersey dress with full skirt and a plunging neckline with a big fat diamante brooch sitting right on the cleavage. It’s a bargain. $129. You know you can wear these dresses with platform strappy heels and black opaques. This is called groovy. This is called covering up white hairy cellulite. This is called genius.
So many great shoes, so many great bags, not enough time…..
- Love the cream patent shoulder bag with ridges across the flap front. $425. A cream bag will lighten up your look and go with all colours but you knew that. Also the shoulder bag is coming back,. But you knew that too. Because I told you.
- Buy the black, very 70’s, shoulder bag with thin leather piping trim in different colours. This is a bag that will go straight from summer into winter. It will not turn up its nose at being cold. And it won’t complain abut being hot either. We love that. $450
- If you want a bag that is more classic, go anywhere, every day-chuck-everything-into-it kind of bag then invest in the black ‘Day Tripper’ bag. It has dark gunmetal hardware (so you don’t have to swap your silver and gold jewellery all the time) and two handles with a long strap for a more relaxed –sling- it-across-you for the weekend look. $450
- In shoes buy the After 5 Warrior heels that lace up that front with a peep toe. $450. The heel is a little finer than a lot few have been seeing so you get a more softened Warrior look. No need to for the Spear. ( but keep the Fur jacket).
- Or if you want flats then check out the black patent Nolita flats with an ankle strap $299. I like a flat shoe with a flirty full skirt . So much nicer on the leg. Otherwise wear with jeans or your favourite black wide leg pants.
- In Jewellery I would go for the cuffs as well as the divine necklaces. You will remember that I have been going on and on about statement necklaces for months now. So shut up and just buy one. Like this fabulous Jurassic Facet Pendant with wood and a faceted mirror. (Don’t forget FiFi Rule #1: ditch all other jewels or you will be a mess. Just because your life is a mess doesn’t mean you have to look like one.)
Always great pieces here. I love the red, white and blue. The dresses. Love the dresses. Best buys include:
- Buy the asymmetrical silky pleated grey dress $279. So, so chic. It has two straps that meet at the middle of the front of the dress asymetrically. We are seeing a lot of pleats, origami shapes and sculptural looks for next season. It makes simple old black and grey look fabulous. It also means you can ditch the jewels; the dramatic shape of the dress is strong enough. You can wear black opaques with this. This is not really a day-to-evening dress. This is a dressy dress. I think it would be hard to pull this off picking the kids up from school.
- Check out the twist drape front dress in a silk with a cream sheer net insert across the shoulder front …Perfect for the races. $279
- Love the wide pleat black silk dress. I did report on it weeks ago but I love it. And I bought it. It is gorgeous. It is sleeveless with a little ruffle trim along the edge of the shoulder and has its own little black grosgrain belt. Very Lanvin inspired. This is a dress to wear during the day or to take out for dinner at night. I am sure with those pleats it will love a steak with Béarnaise sauce. $279.
- Love the black cotton crop pants roll-up $129 black navy and stone. Wear with heels. And your blazer. You are not allowed to wear with flats. Unless you are going to the beach. Or your name is Kate Moss.
- For those who think Harem pants are scary please buy the long shorts (or the short longs). In cotton with a narrow cut leg they stop at knee and will look fabulous with heels. Wearing these with flats will be scary for me. You need to edge them up and get them looking funky or you will look like a Mosman mum. Even Mosman mums don’t want to look like a Mosman mum. Bless. Go for the navy and wear with black . Add a a cool belt.
- In accessories buy the chunky multi colour resin /wooden beads a la Marni $49, stripe cotton belts, the stretchy black elastic wide belt, the straw Trilby and the red cream canvas clutch for $39.
You must, must head to this gorgeous store for fabulous clothes (as I often say) on a par with Scanlan and Theodore… You want:
- The divine ruffle front chiffon sleeveless blouse $198. It has a high neckline and more YSL than hippy poets. Ruffles are a big story for next winter. This is an easy piece to wear and comes in a lot of colours. The great thing with a ruffle is that it will add a little feminine edge to black. A ruffle adds interest so you don’t have to try too hard to be stylish. Who has time in the morning to think through what to wear in great detail? (Answer; Me). The clothes do the hard work for you. All you have to do is put it on. So throw on a ruffle blouse, toss on the black pants/skirt/shorts/, your killer heels and grab your bag. You are out the door. (oops, Run back inside and put on undies).
- Also buy the divine very Proenza Schouler inspired satin ruffle pleat front dress $498. I must say it is a very good version. I love it. Buy it in black, purple and a few other colours. It’s knee length here so put a paper bag over your face and stop hyperventilating at the thought of showing your legs.
- Love the very YSL black halter neck dress with plaited ribbon halter and a flared skirt. Divine
- Black T-shirt dress with sheer short puff sleeves $298
- For a day dress you should buy the through grey and black pinstripe/check shirt dress with very wide shoulders $398. They look almost like shoulder pads. This is a good thing. It’s button through with a belt. Not so sexy on the hanger but sexy when you wear it a little undone. You could change the belt and add your own wide patent YSL/Burberry/ Bally one.
- For the races or for a party you want the divine floral brown/orange print empire flowing dress with a halter neck and a ruffle hem dress $698. You could eat a big lunch in the dress and no one will notice.
- Adore the stunning shiny grey patent double breasted trench. Wear over all your sad old daggy clothes and no one will notice them $698.
Love love love Bally ….Drool over the following shoes and bags…
- The fabulous dark grey multi strap, 20’s style spectator heels with a peep toe $670. Also in stone. Perfect for summer, Autumn, winter , Spring
- Adore the Black patent Multi pleat bag with gold hardware and tow handles. About $1600. All you ever need. Patent is still hanging in there for next season. Watch it add a bit of va va vooom to basic black. Or add a fashionista edge to a boring old bright dress.
- You must have the grey ‘Man bag’. Who cares if it’s in the men’s section? I want it. It’s a messenger style bag in gorgeous vintage style grey leather with a brass chain strap. The across the body look is the new groove. A grey bag will break up black and looks a little fresher than the tan bag this season
- You want the black patent slouch bag with 2 exposed gold zips across the front . The soft, casual shape makes it less formal and stops it from becoming too dressed up. Wear with jeans or take to the office. Or to the Opera. I am sure it will love Puccini.
- Buy my favourite black ballet flats EVER with elastic sides and a ribbon tie front about $600. Never take them off. Wear to bed. They love a bed time story.
- And there are gorgeous black or python pumps, so chic, so simple, so right and not a platform or wedge in sight. …
Prawns with Chickpeas and Chermoula
I made some Chermoula and the next night I discovered this recipe.
You need for 4 hungry Fashionistas , 2 men and 1 big fat banker…
6 tabs extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 small red capsicum,
1 small green capsicum,
20 large green (raw) king prawns
1 small red chilli, finely chopped
2 teasp chermoula
2 x 400g cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 tabs coriander, coarsely chopped
2 tabs flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
1/4 preserved lemon rind, chopped
Salt and cracked black pepper
- Open a big fat bottle of wine
- Slip into a Pucci Kaftan
- Gulp down wine
- Find Chermoula
- Chop up the capsicum as small as your share portfolio. Not so big
- Chop up and sqish the preserved lemon
- Chop up garlic as the size of your old diamond ring
- Chop chillli as small as Jessica Simpson’s brain
- Chop parsley and coriander into the size of Balenicaga stiletto
- Drink more wine. There are no calories in wine.
- Get George Clooney to devein the Prawns
- Heat up the 2 tabs of daggy old olive oil in a large frying pan
- Toss in garlic and capsicum for about 2-3 minutes.
- Add prawns, chilli and the chermoula and cook until prawns just change colour into a gorgeous creamy white.
- Open the cans of chickpeas. Boy they do look sad.
- Throw in chickpeas and cook it all for a couple minutes to heat them through
- Now turn off the heat and throw in the accessories: the pretty green coriander, parsley and preserved lemon.
- drizzle with your snazzy designer olive oil and serve with crusty bread.