A Tribute to Mr Blackwell! The fashion critic whose annual best and worst dressed lists have been a fixture on the fashion scene since 1960 has died, aged 86. Bless.
We love his hilarious comments on celebrities…
- Madonna: "The Bare-Bottomed Bore of Babylon."
- Barbra Streisand: "She looks like a masculine Bride of Frankenstein."
- Christina Aguilera: "A dazzling singer who puts good taste through the wardrobe wringer."
- Meryl Streep: "She looks like a gypsy abandoned by a caravan."
- Lindsay Lohan: "From adorable to deplorable."
- Camilla Parker-Bowles: "The Duchess of Dowdy."
- Bjork: "She dances in the dark - and dresses there, too."
- Spears: "Her bra-topped collection of Madonna rejects are pure fashion overkill."
- Jessica Simpson: “Forget the Cowboys. In prom queen screams, can it get any worse? She’s a global fashion curse!”
- Amy Winehouse: “Exploding beehives above…tacky polka-dots below…she’s part 50’s car-hop horror.”
- Tori Spelling: “All chills and no thrills – guess Tori’s ‘down and out in Beverly Hills!’”
- Fergie: “Another style-free ‘Fergie’ in fashion’s hall of shame? Yes, when it comes to couture chaos, guess its all in a name!”
- Mary-Kate Olson: “She resembles a tattered toothpick trapped in a hurricane.”
There is new word to replace cheap but chic. It’s a clever mix of Fashionista and Recession.
You are now officially a Recessionista.
Where to start with your new thrifty regime?
Cut back on food. The kids are too fat anyway.
Tell your husband to stop buying tickets to sporting events.
Wean your feet off Botox. Your toes will be numb anyway stomping around in gladiator heels.
Then go shopping!
Rush/stumble into Cotton On for the fabulous double-buckle black belt. Wide with very sexy Alaia style cut-outs it has two brass buckles and is the very definition of Tough Chic (a la Burberry). Wear over a simple black dress, a pretty floral dress or use it to cinch in a blazer over skinny pants. Love it. Especially for $19. Now congratulate yourself on being such a good little Recessionista. (And head to Prada to treat yourself).
What: Really short shorts. Or are they undies?
Which: They are very short shorts and they were all over the runways at last week’s spring 09 shows. They could be plain, print or wrap. They could be a bit longer.
Why: Because you need to to know they exist. But you don’t have to wear them. Because it’s about being informed about what’s happening in fashion. Because when both Louis Vuitton (style.com) and Prada (style.com) do the same thing it is called a Trend. Because I like to keep you on your Louboutin toes. And short shorts are a nice alternative to harem pants which you also snarled at.
Wear: With a tailored jacket or a chic blouse. You need something polished and covered up or you will look like you are ready for the pool. Wear with seriously high, statement shoes. Of course. With long, skinny, tanned, toned and waxed legs. (Anyone know where to buy them?).
Where: Short shorts are everywhere this summer from Prada to Scanlan & Theodore to Target.
Things to make you blush:
- When your undies are stuck in your skirt walking out of the Loo.
- When you can’t tell the difference between the real and the fake Balenciaga on Ebay.
- When the lovely lady in Prada cuts up your credit card. In the Shop.
- When your new boyfriend asks why you are dressed as Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
- When you apply the fabulous new Emanuel Ungaro for M.A.C. cream colour base blusher. You will look healthy. You will look glowing. You will look dewy. You will be thrilled when it stays on for hours. This is the best blush. I am addicted. And I am not embarrassed to say it…
$35.00 Emanuel Ungaro Cream Colour Base Blusher in Bougainvillea from M.A.C.
It’s Tina Brown’s new magazine. Except it’s a website. You know Tina Brown. She’s former Editor of Vanity Fair and Talk magazine. The Daily Beast is “a speedy, smart edit of the web from the merciless point of view of what interests the editors. The Daily Beast is the omnivorous friend who hears about the best stuff and forwards it to you with a twist. It allows you to lead the conversation, rather than simply follow it.” Read Cheat Sheet then start reading The lost Madonna Tapes ….LOVE it.
Sea of Poppies: A Novel by Amitav Ghosh
“India in the 1830s is wonderfully evoked—the smells, rituals and squalor . . . Coarseness and violence, cruelty and fatalism, are relieved with flashes of emotion and kindness. [Sea of Poppies] is no anti-colonial rant or didactic tableau but the story of men and women of all races and castes, cooped up on a voyage across the ‘Black Water’ that strips them of dignity and ends in storm . . . It is profoundly moving.” —Michael Binyon, The Times
“[A] terrific novel . . . In bringing his troupe of characters to Calcutta . . . Ghosh provides the reader with all manner of stories, and equips himself with the personnel to man and navigate an old-fashioned literary three-decker . . . Yet for all its research, Sea of Poppies is full of the open air. It never, as the eighteenth century used to say, ‘smells of the lamp.’ ” —James Buchan, The Guardian.
“Hugely entertaining . . . Glorious babel of a novel . . . Carried along by the sheer energy of the narrative, most readers will soon tune in to this marvelously inventive lingo . . . [Sea of Poppies] is utterly involving and piles on the tension until the very last page . . . The next volume cannot come too soon.” —Peter Parker, The Sunday Times (London).
“Bedazzling . . . Amitav Ghosh’s Sea of Poppies, the first volume in his ‘Ibis trilogy,’ revisits in new, breathtakingly detailed and compelling ways some of the concerns of his earlier novels . . . We [await] with eagerness the second volume of the trilogy.” —Shirley Chew, The Independent.
$17.16 www.amazon.com Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (October 14, 2008)
The Christmas List
Horse ….. by Kelly Klein , Michael Matz (Foreword)
‘Powerful, beautiful, wild, fragile, and elegant, horses are as diverse and as enigmatic as people. This over sized luxuriously illustrated book, designed by Sam Shahid, is a celebration of the physical beauty of the animal. Kelly Klein is a highly respected horsewoman, as well as a renowned fashion stylist. Mingling high fashion images with vintage shots of races and rodeos, fine art with amateur photography, this anthology is as provocative as it is beautiful. With photographs by Helmut Newton, Annie Leibowitz, Bruce Weber, Robert Mapplethorpe,Bob Richardson, and Ellen von Unwerth, among many others, Horse is a definitive reflection of an indefinable love and a passionate tribute to a uniquely beautiful animal. Horse is also available in a deluxe slipcased edition limited to 500 copies, each signed by Kelly Klein.
www.amazon.com Publisher: Rizzoli (November 11, 2008)
Always great bags and shoes here at great prices. Best picks include:
- Love the very Balenciaga style black patent platform heels with silver inserts. $189
- Buy the chic multi-colour strappy choc-brown heels with a subtle pink platform and heel, and beige straps. $149
- Check out the choc-brown elastic and suede platforms. $169
- Buy the simple brown platform ankle strap sandals with a wedge heel with a cut-out. This is on purpose. Very Fendi. $169
- Need a simple clutch with no hardware or any detail on the front? Buy the soft grey patent clutch. $59
I see lots of great buys. My picks are:
- You want the double buckle black leather belt with silver hardware $129. Cinch it in. Don’t breathe. It will transform everything you own.
- Invest in the chic white pea coat with black buttons, $275. So you say white is tricky to wear? Just don’t eat in it. Don’t play with puppies in it. Don’t make beetroot dip in it.
- Love the full 50’s skirt in a yellow and black floral with a black net over skirt. It’s been in store for a while now but it’s a fabulous buy. Wear with gladiators and a sleeveless jacket. For day. $189
- The dark navy- almost taffeta silk - long single breasted vest is a great buy. It’s very tailored and it will work over a full skirt or skinny pants. $259
- You want the black chiffon halter top; it’s a very handy piece for summer. Wear with wide pants or with jeans. $125. It is cut high so don’t worry about flashing too much cleavage
- Slip into the purple chiffon tunic dress with puff sleeves. It has a very straight cut but it’s loose so it skims over the donuts you had for breakfast. This is the perfect day to evening dress. Wear with silver gladiator flats from Betts and a serious chunky necklace from Mimco. $222
Looking better and better here…very Marni inspired…
- Love the pink/brown/black cotton Tulip print kaftan. It’s short but just wear it over – dare I say leggings - and it has a very flattering V-neck and a drawstring empire shape. $59
- You want the high waist faded wide leg jean. So 70’s, they have a flat front and are really flattering. A high waist makes your legs look longer and sucks in the muffin top. $79
- Buy the light blue and white thin stripe, almost seersucker, cotton blazer. Wear it over black harem pants with a tank. Wear with sexy short shorts. It’s all about the blazer this season (and next). You need one. $99.
- Check out the cute chiffon oranges/pinks/reds/ floral flutter sleeve blouse; it’s soft and pretty and you can wear it to work or take it out for dinner. It would love sushi. $79.
- Love, love, love the French navy and white stripe tank. It will freshen up your wardrobe and add print without opting for florals. If you are scared of florals, stripes are for you. $24
- How about the big hot pink slouch bag for $59? That will brighten up everything. It’s the only hot pink you are allowed to wear. Make sure you wear it with brown. Or you will look tacky. We don’t want any FiFi Report subscribers looking tacky.
I spy quite a few fabulous dresses for the races or just for day. You want:
- The black chiffon dress with bra-safe straps and a grey insert, it’s gorgeous! About $299
- The black multi-pleat sleeveless dress with grosgrain ribbon…replace the ribbon belt with your own black patent belt. Wear with opaques and heels. $279
- The black or red silky, sleeveless, ruffle front, loose dress is very flattering on those who have a muffin stomach. Ruffles are big news next season too. A little black dress loves a ruffle or 2. $199
- Buy the red silky ruffle sleeveless tank: This is the same version as the dress but you can buy it as top. Wear with jeans, wear with pink and orange and shorts. And heels. Always heels. $89
- Not into the harem pants? Then go for the black roll-up cotton pants. Heels are a must with these pants unless you are a hippy. Peace man. $129
- Love the faded high waist jean with pockets…very Kate Moss. $129
- In accessories: buy the grey and black two tone disk necklace on a leather strap a la Marni. It will renovate your wardrobe (not your house) $39. The black patent waist belt $59; we all need a waist belt to cinch in all those empire tops from last summer. No more looking like Angelina Jolie having twins. Love the red and cream canvas striped belt $29, and the cute red patent and cream canvas clutch. $39
A lot of great pieces here. SABA pants and dresses seem to fit everyone with a bit of a figure. Stick insects need not apply. You want:
- The navy classic pants. Navy and black? Yes please. So chic. $199
- As reported we love the sequin cape in Gunmetal. It’s so heavy it sits on your shoulders and doesn’t slip off. It doesn’t have armholes so it just hangs there looking fabulous. Wear it over a white tank, with chinos or grey pants. With a serious big, long, silver dingle necklace, $199. It’s a cape but it won’t keep you warm. It’s really a piece of jewellery.
- The black satin one-shoulder narrow dress is so, so Lanvin. Love it. It fits like a glove and looks fabulous. $299
- Buy the cream, cotton, single-breasted blazer…$299. You want a blazer, you need a blazer. Repeat after me: I love shoulder pads. I love shoulder pads. This will look fab over floral dresses cinched in a with brown belt or just with skinny black pants and a black tank a la Emmanuelle Alt.
- The dark denim straight skirt has been sexed up. Or it’s taking Viagra. Wear with some monster gladiators it will look fab. $149
- Head here for little back dress heaven…
Some great pieces here. Some don’t have hanger appeal but get them on and Voila! You will be very happy. Check out:
- The dark grey cotton zip through crop jacket $149. Wear over a pencil skirt …sporty luxe still looks cool.
- The simple full silver grey skirt $225…throw on with a lot of bright colours and wear it as a neutral.
- Love the purple chiffon top; purple is a huge trend for next winter and it’s calling out for some attention. $129
- Buy the orange short sleeve top. This will add a little va-va-voom and colour to your wardrobe without sending it into therapy (eeek..from all the bright colours). $129
- We all want the navy sleeveless pleat dress. It has tiny little pintucks all through the dress but is very fitted so you get a shape and silhouette without clinging. Wear with a wooden chunky necklace or with black jet beads. This dress will take you out from day to evening. But it won’t ask to sleep with you. $219
- The black and white spot/graphic print top is an instant updater. It has ¾ sleeves and is on the loose side so you need to cinch in the waist with a belt or someone will stand up to give you a seat on the bus. And ask when it’s due. $139
On sale! It looks like alot of the bags have left the building (unless you want hot pink Miu Miu) but there are shoes galore…some up to 50% off. My picks are:
- The Celine burgundy patent strappy sandals with a thin heel and a small platform.. now $700. Add a shot of colour to your life.
- The Marc Jacobs Mouse shoes in black with a sling back and a small kitten heel. Buy these now and wear them in 2 years when the kitten heel is back. Remember FiFi told you first. Now on sale $300. If you can’t do monster shoes then I will permit you to wear these now.
- The Miu Miu brown tan ankle strap sandals with a huge wedge that is covered with a black and white print now $400. They are so right now even though they are last season. (But we will keep that a secret).
- The Jimmy Choo gold thongs. Now $300. (Is that a waste of Jimmy?)
- The Marc Jacobs seriously bejewelled cross over sandals with a moderately high chunky heel. The jewels are as big as the Ritz. Now $400.
- The Marc Jacobs black pump with the crooked kooky heel in the wrong spot…a Museum piece! Now $450.
Caper Pesto…adulterated from Donna Hay
This is a different, new, delicious pesto to keep stashed in the fridge. I stir fried chicken with it but you can throw it on linguine, lamb or fish….
You need for 20 Models, 10 Beauty Editors or 4 Hockey Mums on a diet:
1 cup rocket
1 cup of parsley leaves
2 tabs rinsed capers
2 or 3 garlic gloves (more or less)
2 tabs lemon zest
¼ cup snazzy designer Olive oil
- Slip out of Jil Sander white trouser suit.
- Climb off Dior heels.
- Change into black trackie daks.
- Put on trainers.
- Listen to your toes thanking you.
- Run into kitchen.
- Pour a glass of wine.
- Smash the garlics. Think of ex boyfriend. Then peel.
- Zest the lemon. Watch the manicure.
- Find a food processor. Somewhere.
- Throw in the pretty green rocket, parsely, the garlic, capers and lovely yellow lemon zest.
- Whizz till it’s all combined.
- Slowly pour in the olive oil with your motor going.
- Taste and add extra lemon or more oil.
- Season with any salt or pepper.
- Gulp down another wine. Another glass won’t hurt you. Hic.
- Serve the pesto dolloped on grilled fish or lamb. Or toss it through warm linguini topped with parmesan.
- Keep in the fridge with a little moisturising olive oil on the top.
- Search for Caper Pesto on nights when you don’t know what to cook. When George Clooney has suddenly turned up.