Monday, April 20, 2015

cinematic style - Saffron Burrows in The Bank Job

How funny, how fickle is fashion? If you had asked me six months ago the era I was most likely to be channeling at the moment, my answer would have been: 90s baby. But seasons come and go, a couple of issues of Porter magazine cross your mantle, you see a pretty Chloe bag, and, lo and behold, you're dreaming of a white Corvette, bronzer for days and big gold hoop earrings. In my defence, it's not totally out of character for me. I've always had a soft spot for jeans and tee-shirts. Joan Didion is my icon (style and otherwise). Supposedly we live in a post-trend universe, so maybe I'm not so fashion-fickle after all? Maybe I'm just choosing something new to love. Or maybe I just really wanna wear flares and a whole lot of turtlenecks. 

The Bank Job is such an underrated piece of cinema. It's one of those true stories that defy belief: a group of thugs-for-hire from East London (where else?) crack into a bank vault only to discover that the riches they were expecting also included compromising pictures of Princess Margaret cavorting naked in the Caribbean, a set of diaries detailing secret bribery payments to the police, the entire safety net stash of a sleazy brothel owner's covert taping of his most high-profile customers and, somewhat bizarrely, an activist who goes by the name of Michael X (ahem). How much of it is true is unknown. But yes, a bank vault was hit in the '70s by a gang who tunneled underneath from a nearby shop, and yes, the contents of that vault (and the men who stole them) were never discovered. To top it all off, the whole thing was masterminded (in the film) by the British government. Talk about a Macguffin of the highest order. 

Martine Love (what a name) is played by Saffron Burrows, who my mum hates for some reason (whenever we watch Circle of Friends and Nan comes on the screen my mum says "I hate Saffron Burrows, I really do!"). But she's actually great at this: a statuesque beauty who uses her good looks to manipulate the men in her life. She wears a wardrobe of perfect '70s gear - camel turtlenecks, kaftans and golden sandals, a-line linen skirts with a double breasted jacket, heavy gold chains at her neck - and rocks the smokey eye and the tousled hair like no other. She looks great. This films looks great. It's sort of sepia-toned like an old photograph  It's slick and sharp, built like a racecar: this baby corners like it's on rails. And it's sexy. How could it not be, with Jason Statham - oozing charisma, giving a bit of heart (as well as brawn) as a family man trying to do right by his kids - at the head of an ensemble cast that also includes Hercule Poirot (!!!!!) and Stephen Campbell Moore, who I have always loved. He plays a sort of David Bailey character, a non-bank robber caught up in a bank robbery. I could talk about this film for hours, so watch it and we can, and then lets chat about how damn good Saffron Burrows looks in liberty print shirts and palazzo trousers.


Sunday, April 12, 2015

train journey

Florist and Instagram star Amy Merrick went on a train journey across America last week. She saw mountains and forests, had slow breakfasts for one in the dining cart, read books and reclined in her sleeper cabin. I love trains. Always have. I love the romance of a solitary train journey, that old-school notion of rambling, rumbling travel. I still harbour dreams of catching the Orient Express (my parents did it last year, and came back with tales of dressing for dinner and leather wet packs filled with mini mason pearson hairbrushes). But I have to say the Wes Anderson 1970s Americana of the Amtrak train journey also has me thinking. There's no better way to see the world than through the fast-moving window of a train.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

house porn 2.0

Emilia Clarke in The Observer

I couldn't work out why I liked these pictures so much. I was just going to chalk it up to cute little Khaleesi and her sunny two piece then I realised, hey, it looks a lot like the house they shot Dakota Johnson in for US Vogue. In fact, it might just be THE house. No wonder I like it.


Sunday, March 15, 2015


Sophie Bille Brahe

I'm a jewellery girl. There: I've said it. Some people like shoes, some people can't stop buying dresses. I don't care about those things (much). For me, it's all about the bling. It always has been really. I've mused on it on many occasions here before, with sometimes unsatisfactory results. I think the answer I finally nutted out - after much hemming and hawing - was that I'm a magpie and that I like shiny gold things and that, because I dress so simply a little hint of something blingy here and there was a way to liven up an outfit. There might be more to it though but I don't want to delve even further into my psyche just this minute. Rather, let's just look at these pretty pictures of some pretty bling. Marvel at how modern and fresh pearls can be, strung on a fine gold chain or pierced through the ear on a curved bar. Regard how delicious those earring shapes are, curving along the line of the ear. Think how great they would look with a midi dress and your hair pulled back, or with your hair wet from a swim, or just normal. Pretty.

Sophie Bille Brahe is available at My Chameleon



Hark! Rejoice! Sweater weather is here. Unroll your scarves, dry clean your cashmere. Wash your hair and leave it wet. Make yourself a cup of tea. Slip into something a little more comfortable. Relax.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

breakfast with chanel


The past few seasons fashion month has left me kind of cold. I used to spend hours refreshing, waiting for the latest shows to drop in. I would write paragraphs (and paragraphs, and paragraphs, you know what I'm like) of show reviews. I would dissect every detail shot. I would check a hundred street style websites. These days I just don't want to. Maybe I'm getting older or and busier, maybe the magic has lost just a touch of its sheen, but I just don't want to. Until yesterday. When I caught my first glimpse of the Chanel brasserie de Coco set - those gleaming brass finishes, that mosaic floor, those red banquette seats - I had one of those involuntary, sharp intake of breath, 'oh my god' moments (and yes, they do happen in real life, just ask me). I spent the next hour or so sprawled across my couch, tea going cold, scrolling through Instagram, trawling through the #brasseriedeChanel hashtag, checking the profiles of people who I thought might have attended, watching ever jerky, blurry video, double-tapping every single damn picture. I felt like I was 14 again, the same feeling I had when I bought my first copy of Teen Vogue, the same feeling I had when I first saw Lily Cole on the Christian Lacroix runway: enthrallment.

It's not just the clothes, although I will say this, for the first time in years I've actually wanted to buy something straight off a Chanel runway (those slingbacks are so darn delicious. I don't just want them I goddamn need them). And yes, there was something particularly HRY about the whole show: from the midi skirts and the cosy sweaters and the boxy cardigans right down to Julia Nobis enjoying the newspaper toute seule and the cafe cremes and the cups of orange juices. No it was the show itself. It was the show for the sake of a show. It was theatrics just because they can. It was that particular thrill of enjoying, revelling in fashion at its most frivolous, for no other reason than because you want to. And why not? I saw a little bit of that old magic, that innocent, wide-eyed wonder, yesterday. It was nice.


Saturday, February 28, 2015

this is not an ad

I swear this is not an ad for Dior. Well, THIS is an ad for Dior, but this post isn't. And this post isn't either. I'm just feeling it at the moment. I'm feeling Marion in the white, I'm feeling JLaw's tribal earrings (why oh why do you cost $500!!!! WHY), I'm feeling how fresh and modern and yeah, young and cool JLaw looks in this campaign. This is how to move stock. Imagine being a young professional with cash to burn (serious cash, I mean this is Dior we're talking about here), maybe you're a high-flying, jet-setting exec in Hong Kong or London, you're all business all woman, you're ambitious, that's you. Where would you go if you were looking for a SRS BZNZ outfit? Maybe you'd think Calvin Klein was the place for you, maybe you're a Celine sheath kind of girl. After seeing these ads, you'd be straight for Dior, no questions. A pair of those pumps, tribal earrings (why not), that sexy little Tuxedo dress. Seriously. Just open up a tab because you're gonna need it.



A few things first, just some little tidbits of information: 36% of Best Actress winners at the Oscars wear white when they win their golden statue (which has prompted many women to wear white as a talisman of sorts). Marion Cotillard doesn't have a stylist. Raf Simons' policy at Christian Dior is different to other fashion brands when it come to the red carpet. They focus on ambassadors over rampant, awards season placement. They have a few done deals: Marion, Jennifer, Natalie. The rest they leave up to fate. But they choose their ambassadors well. And their ambassadors wear Dior well.

When Marion Cotillard stepped onto the red carpet at the Oscars in this incredible Dior haute couture dress last week I had a moment of genuine fist-pumping fashion joy. I was sitting at my desk at work, reporting on the red carpet and I was adrift in a bedazzled, crystal-embellished hell of my own making. The awards season red carpet is staid. The same characters can be counted on to front up in an array of pouffy, shimmering, glamorous glitzy gowns by the same roster of designers (Versace, Elie Saab) in the same roster of colours (champagne, gunmetal). Which is why '#fashion' moments on the red carpet really do stand out. Felicity Jones at the Golden Globes, in a teal-hued satin gown of Victorian proportions, Emma Stone in a tuxedo dress with a sheer hem, Marion's white sheath dress with elaborate bustle train... All by Dior haute couture.

The red carpet needs Dior the way that fashion needs Raf Simons: because it's aesthetic DNA has modernity right at its very centre. There's something innovative about the way that Simons designs, and the way that these designs trickle down onto the celebrities who sport them on the red carpet and, quite literally stand out. Marion in her white dress at the Oscars was a vision because she was in, from some angles, a shapeless sack. A sack made of an incredible honeycomb latticework material, beaded all over, yes, but a sack nonetheless. That's remarkable because so much of celebrity red carpet dressing is just about pouring yourself into some too-tight fishtail hem dress and hobbling down the red carpet. Why shouldn't awards dressing be like this: glamour in a way that comes from confidence, style in way that comes from comfort. She was glorious in a way that movie stars in 2015 need to be. Not a drop of old school Hollywood to be found: a star for today and tomorrow. I feel like when, in 20 years time, starlets are dressing up for their first Oscars, their stylists will be saying things like "We want a retro look, you know, Dior haute couture, Marion with the bustle". Or at least, let's hope they are. Won't that make for a fun red carpet.


ps. yes, I'm fucking devastated Boyhood lost. Again, in 20 years time we're going to look back and be so embarassed that we rewarded showiness and pretension over modesty and patience. If nice guys finish last, the same can be said for nice geniuses, too. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

orange is the warmest colour

I really just thought that headline was clever...


Saturday, February 14, 2015


The particular friend that I go on road trips with has a lot of rules. Since we - my friends and I - always went in her car (it was air-conditioned and new and could fit an alarming amount of luggage in it, like one of those clown cars except with Country Road weekenders), we, not begrudgingly, went along with the bulk of them, mostly because we wanted the lift. No shrieking or wolf whistling. No questioning the route. No stop-offs at McDonalds ("I hate the smell of hot chips"). No Sandstorm

But once we got to our destination - a smoky, grass-smelling cabin in a valley beneath the Blue Mountains or a bright, light, clean-as-a-whistle beach house down the South Coast - all bets were off. We cranked the music up real loud (living in complete isolation has its benefits), we whooped at the top of our lungs, we danced dirty, we ate terrible food (one memorable weekend we seemed to survive on Starbursts and Red Rock Deli Honey Soy  Chicken Chips alone) and we didn't follow any kind of plan at all. The long weekends that we spent away were blissfully free of anything other than friendship. We stretched out on couches and read books. We painted our nails. We gossiped about people who annoyed us. We played card games. We drank lots of very bad mojitos. We took posed pictures using self-timers. We played wine-soaked games of Twister. We never set alarms. We didn't look in mirrors. We had silences as lovely and as comforting as the afternoon sun.

Female friendship is a funny thing. It can be toxic and messy, it can be unrewarding and frustrating. It can be dangerous. But sometimes - through no talent of your own, mostly by sheer good luck and maybe a little perseverance - you can find women with whom friendship is not only effortless but endless. Your relationship stretches out behind and ahead of you like the horizon, only further, much further. It doesn't matter if you've known her for a day, a month, a year, 10 years, 20 years. How long is a friendship bracelet? How long is a piece of string? Female friendship has it's own romance. Maybe romance isn't the right kind of word, but you know what I mean. Female friendship is so important, so damn special, that everything that it is is also somehow more than it is. It's power lies in its simplicity, the fact that it's romance is something you do without even thinking, the way you drop an I Love You without any pretense or game-playing, the way you feel when you're sitting with your best friend at a cafe, drinking great coffee and eating great eggs and you know, you just know, that you're going to spend the rest of your life with this girl.  It's the romance of whipping your hair back and forth on a dance floor. Eating too much, drinking too fast, feeling sick. The way you communicate in in-jokes and snarky asides. It's having someone to share with. It's Taylor Swift and Karlie Kloss. It's the best, isn't it?