Lust-List Monday

  • My summer holidays are nearing an end, which means I’m moving back to London this week (*sigh of relief*). Every year, I start afresh with my wall decorations and this year I’m coveting these type maps by Bold & Noble, a design collective founded by Jane Tobitt and David Wardle. Much more sophisticated than the posters that usually adorn students’ bedroom walls, I can see myself being distracted from assignments reading all the road names (I’m easily amused). The designs are printed on 100% recycled card, so your eco-warrior conscience can breathe easy. Type map of London, £43 (inc. postage), Bold & Noble.
  • My physiotherapist has prescribed sensible shoes. Are these Giambattista Valli loafers (£505 at Net-A-Porter) sensible enough? Probably, but the price tag isn’t. I shall have to make do with inferior models like these ASOS loafers until my funds are in a healthier (wealthier) state.
  • As you’ve probably already heard, J. Crew now ships to the U. K (with free postage until 31st October). This wool/alpaca/acrylic fisherman sweater (£85.55) is perfect for the increasingly more frequent chilly Autumn days.
  • I’ve accepted that the beautiful Mulberry Polly Push Lock from last week’s Lust-List isn’t going to happen in the near future. It’s time to move on. Sigh. This pewter satchel by Zatchels (prices starting at £99) is much more purse-friendly, and the 14.5″ version (£109) is just right for all my university essentials. Polly Push Lock, our time will come ♥
  • Boring old jumper + sparkly collar = less boring old jumper. Sequin collar, £25 at ASOS.
Apparently, metallics are my friends. Go forth and sparkle, my friends!
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A Scone for a Walk

Today, as I sat at my desk at work gazing out of the window at the cloudless blue sky (my Summer job isn’t very mentally stimulating), my mind wandered back in time to the holiday I took with my family to Devon three weeks ago. And by holiday, I mean walking bootcamp.

I’m notoriously grumpy when it comes to walking. I don’t mean stroll-in-the-park or amble-down-Brompton-Road walking. I mean proper walking; the type where you need walking boots, waterproofs, backpacks, CamelBaks, packed lunches, spare socks, blister plasters, torches…oh and foil insulation blankets ‘just in case’.

My mum and stepdad, on the other hand, are hardened walkers. They walk and walk, stopping only to exclaim how wonderful it is to be walking. Cody, the new canine addition to our family, agrees: he always ‘needs’ a walk.

Clearly there’s a conflict of interests when we go on holiday, one which, in Devon, was resolved with the promise of cream tea on each walk.

This was my first experience of proper cream tea. Rather embarrassingly, until not so long ago, I thought that a cream tea was, well, tea – with cream.

Conveniently, my favourite food blogger, Emma of Poires au Chocolat, wrote an enlightening post which cleared up any misunderstandings. She baked six (SIX!) batches of scones to perfect her recipe. True dedication. I even whipped out my phone before I started spreading to check her words of wisdom regarding what goes first – cream or jam (it’s scone-cream-jam, just so you know). I dread to think what would have happened had I not brought my phone with me, and spread jam first!

One of these days I’ll try my hand at Emma’s recipe. For now, the thought of cream tea still has the Pavlovian effect of evoking memories of pain and sweat, so perhaps I should wait a while!

Thinking about the walk/cream tea compromise made me wonder whether the walk was really just a means to an end (the end being a yummy reward). The truth is I don’t really mind walking, but only because it makes me feel good for being active, and the views really can be rewarding. But it’s not like jogging, which makes me profoundly happy in itself; not just because it’s burning calories or taking me on a speedy tour of central London, but because it makes me feel strong, powerful and in control of my body. Pain during a jog is welcome confirmation that I’m pushing my body to its limits; pain during a walk is just confirmation that I should have stayed at home.

I decided that walking, for me, is a means to an end, but the end in question isn’t a sweet treat: it’s the promise that I won’t feel guilty for not going on a walk. Oh the twisted thought processes of women! Or is it just me?

Cody’s thoughts revolve around food, walks and sleep. I know because he told me.

Lust-List Monday

Everybody and their cat seems to be doing a Wishlist Wednesday, so, to avoid any potential copycat-related catfights (ha), I’ve decided to think outside the box. I’ve come up with Lust-List Monday. I know, ingenious, right? It took me hours, don’t burst my bubble.

The name is different, but the idea is the same – ever Monday I’m going to post the things I’ll be lusting after that week. As for the word ‘lust’, I’m learning to deal with it.

Happy shopping, happy dreaming!

On This Day Ten Years Ago…

My mum picked me up after school. At home, I switched on the TV to get my daily hit of smiley-smiley kids’ programmes. My most vivid memory from that day is finding that all the channels except for BBC Two were showing the horrific events that were unfolding on 9/11. BBC Two was showing the Tweenies. What a juxtaposition.

I spent the rest of the afternoon in front of the TV, absorbing information, my mind bewildered and empty of thoughts. Aged ten, I didn’t understand the politics: the motives and the reasons that would drive human beings – people like me – to such extreme actions (to say the least). Aged twenty, I still don’t understand.

After dinner on that day, I went to see my friends. We sat outside on the pavement talking about what had happened. Our innocent, naive minds didn’t stretch far on the analysis, but, even though we weren’t directly affected by the day’s events, we felt like we had come together in a time of need. Of course, although I didn’t realise it then, I know now that we have all been affected by 9/11 to varying degrees.

Today we have remembered that fateful day that shaped the world, and the unfathomably tragic loss of lives in the attacks, the rescue mission, and in the ‘war on terror’ that ensued. We will never forget those who died, and those who lived without their loved ones. We will never forget the courage, bravery and compassion; the kindness, empathy and selflessness that we have had the honour to witness in the wake of the attacks.

Back to School

What’s your favourite time of the year? For me, it’s got to be cold. Maybe it’s because I spent the first eight years of my life in a country where a Snow Day means that it’s -25°C outside (not that there’s been a light sprinkling of sleety slush), but the arrival of Autumn and Winter fills me with utter delight.

Summer isn’t for me – I can’t deal with the heat, unless it’s heat on a sun lounger by a pool or beach. At home, I’ll strip down to my underwear to stay cool. I can’t think about fashion in the Summer. I love the idea of it, really, I do. Acid brights, little floaty dresses and denim short shorts seem great in theory. Perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad if I had model legs. Alas, the shortest I can go is a conservative just-above-the-knee, and I find that skirt/short length has a positive correlation with perspiration rate.

So there I am sweating through July, when – joy of joys – August brings with it a glimmer of hope: The September Issue. And that’s when it all starts. Suddenly my gym sessions fly by because I’m preoccupied with thoughts of wool skirts, opaque tights and leather boots. I daydream about all the layers I’m going to wear: crisp white shirts under thick knitted cardigans and heavy wool coats.

Going back to school in September used to signify the turn of season – leaving the house a couple of hours earlier than my usual holiday wake-up time used to make it seem like the climate had ceremoniously changed overnight. My mum would stop me at the door and send me back upstairs to put some tights on (“But Muuummy, I wore a dress yesterday, and I was fine!”).

More than the turn of season, going back to school also signified new starts. A new diary and pencil case, new exercise books and new teachers; another chance to neaten up your handwriting, join more clubs and do your homework as soon as you get home. Sure, the novelty soon wore off, but I approached each new academic year with the same enthusiasm as the year before.

These days I don’t go ‘back to school’, but September will always be associated with changes and transformations. It also announces a return to structure, routine, lists and timetables, and this is reflected in my tendency to drift towards sharper, more structured tailoring. In my search for new additions to my A/W wardrobe, I discovered a skirt that was wonderfully reminiscent of my old school uniform, but with a very welcome twist…

Jersey T-shirt, £89; asymmetric skirt, £55; leather clutch, £89 (all COS)

The asymmetric detail turns a dull, businessy, formal skirt into an incredibly versatile piece that I can see forming the cornerstone of my winter wardrobe. What to pair it with? The possibilities are endless. Here are my picks:

BLOUSES

[wear blouses and shirts tucked in]

Blouses (left-to-right): Whistles Colour Block Blouse, £125; Reiss Sugar Blouse, £120; Marc by Marc Jacobs Disco Silk-Satin Blouse, £250 at Net-a-Porter 

This one deserves a line of its own:

Stella McCartney white silk charmeuse satin Angela blouse, £435

Those cuffs…*sigh*…

SHIRTS

Shirts (left-to-right): ASOS Blouse With Broderie Trim And Pleats, £30; Zara poplin shirt, £29.99; Christopher Kane PVC gel-collared cotton shirt, £585 at Net-a-Porter 

SWEATERS

Sweaters (left-to-right): Hobbs Chandler Sweater, £79 (wear with a white shirt underneath); Reiss sheer insert roll neck, £89Missoni ribbed wool-blend turtleneck sweater, £260 at Net-a-Porter 

CARDIGANS

(on top of shirts and blouses)

Cardigans (left-to-right): Brora cashmere Aran cardigan, £339; Jaeger camel hair short rib cardigan, £199; Tory Burch Simone fine-knit wool cardigan, £185 at Net-a-Porter

or the student budget versions:

Openwork Cardigan, £25.99; Cable stitch cardigan, £25.99 (both Zara)

CASUAL CLUB

Mango button T-shirt, £22.90Sophie Hulme for ASOS Matte Sequin T-Shirt, £85; COS striped top, £45

METALLICS

Metallics (left-to-right): Topshop speckle leather trim top, £28; Acne moma metallic leather patchwork top, £770 at Net-a-Porter; Lanvin Chinese lamé T-shirt, £785 at Net-a-Porter

ACCESSORISE

Shoes: whatever takes your fancy. Brogues will look just as good as heels, depending on the occasion and your pain tolerance. Wear your look with conviction. If you’re going for librarian chic, do it all the way and do it with confidence!

Jewellery: I’m a huge fan of huge necklaces. I’d wear one of the white shirts (buttoned up to the top) with something like this…

Necklaces (left-to-right): Marni acetate and vinyl floral necklace, £175 at Net-a-Porter; Marni crocheted wool and chain bib necklace, £195 at Net-a-Porter; Mango braided necklace, £49.90Mango wood necklace, £29.90

…one day I’ll go all minimalist ‘less is more’ Jil Sander (maybe).

Belts: Cinch in thick knitwear. Exercise some restraint if you share my passion for necklaces. Otherwise, a grey sweater/cardigan + this beauty from COS (only £10!) = sartorial heaven.

Et voilà! Fix up, look sharp.

The Mid-Degree Crisis

Credit: o5

So you’re trudging along through life, everything is going fairly swimmingly. You’ve been getting good grades throughout your academic career. You have a lovely group of friends, and you crystallise that friendship by going out every now and then and drunkenly saying things you will regret. You spend more money that you should, but it’s okay because the things you’re buying are every day essentials. You know: shoes, clothes, facials.

Then, one day, you realise that actually you aren’t that passionate about your degree. You sort of only did it because it was the best choice after your A Levels. And when I say ‘best’, I mean the most academic, least time-wasting choice.

On the same day, you find out that an acquaintance has received a job offer following an internship at a bank. You meant to apply for an internship, but you never got around to it because you could never quite figure out what it was that you were passionate about. Oscar Wilde said,

“Anybody can sympathise with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathise with a friend’s success.” 

You have neither a fine nature, nor is she a friend. Facebook friends that you haven’t actually spoken to can’t really be considered friends, can they? Needless to say, you are jealous. How dare she work hard and get a job, whilst you laze about and get nothing?!

Cue tears, sleepless nights and ‘I don’t know what I’m doing with my life’ conversations with The Parents. “It will all be fine,” they say, “we just want you to be happy.” If only you knew what would make you happy. Money or passion? Decisions, decisions.

To be continued…maybe…

Oh and, obviously, none of this is about me.

Book: My Favourite Dress

I realised fairly recently that what I love about magazines is the visual side. That may sound obvious, but it’s more than just the photoshoots and pretty clothes. I love the layouts and the fonts. I love the way that the same content – photographs, text and illustrations – can be infinitely rearranged and reconstructed to portray and evoke different themes and emotions. I love the thought and imagination that goes into every single page to make it look new and enticing and inspiring.

Since coming to this understanding, I’ve been constantly searching for magazines and books to feed my hungry eyes. One of my most resent purchases is a book called My Favourite Dress by Gity Monsef, Samantha Erin Safer and Robert de Niet.

I was sucked in by promises of ‘lavishly illustrated’ pages; ‘a must have for any fashionista’. The book wasn’t quite what I’d hoped for, though. Perhaps my expectations are too high (after all, there aren’t many ways in which you can present a photograph of a dress along with a blurb from its designer explaining why it’s their favourite), but, after reading some beautifully-curated blogs and magazines, it just seemed a bit bland and lacking creativity.

Above: the inside cover of My Favourite Dress: notes from designers explaining their choices.

If you read my post about my visit to the V&A, then you might remember that I fell in love with the silhouette of Giles Deacon’s Pacman dress. As I mentioned then, I love the cinched-in waist and A-line skirt – I think this shape is flattering on pretty much anyone, and I was glad to see the shape again in Deacon’s favourite dress. Deacon’s blurb also exemplifies the fact that you really can find inspiration absolutely anywhere: the aptly named Car Wash gown below was (obviously) inspired by car wash brushes! Always keep your eyes and your mind open.

I also liked Alber Elbaz’s blurb (below). I like that he sees all women as equals and designs accordingly. Fashion shouldn’t be reserved for those with money, fame or influence. Fashion and, more importantly, style, has nothing to do with those things. It’s about how you convey your personal taste and express yourself with your clothing (and you don’t need to be shopping on Sloane Street for that).

Now, more than ever, we are being encouraged to experiment with the season’s trends, to mix them up with our favourite vintage and high street pieces (or to wear head-to-toe runway if you’re Anna Della Russo, and it makes you happy!). In this month’s ELLE, Susie Lau of Style Bubble says that “bending to the way people expect you to dress is not half as fun as pleasing yourself with your own style”. She couldn’t be more right. Enjoy dressing up, and turn to Vogue and Elle for inspiration – they aren’t rule books.

Snooping Around, Part 6: Beauty Products

Here it is: the last installment of the Snooping Around series. I’ve shared with you some of my favourite Interweb windows into homes, desks, treasured possesions, wardrobes and handbags. But, I’ve saved my absolute favourite for last: beauty products.

Created by the beautiful Emily Weiss in 2010, Into The Gloss takes us into the beauty cabinets of fashion insiders. You’ll find editors, stylists, makeup artists, models, assistants etc. all divulging details of the beauty products routines that they can’t live without. The site itself is as glossy as the women it documents – it’s uncluttered, easy to navigate, and full of photographs. It’s also nice to read about full beauty routines for a change – so often we see reviews of just one product, and you never know how it will work with your other lotions and potions.

Above, the beauty cabinet of Eva Chen, Beauty Director at Teen Vogue. How wonderful would it be to be at the receiving end of parcel after parcel of goodies to test?! Photo Credit: Into The Gloss

I love these perspex dividers, which organise your products but still keep the drawer light, so you don’t have to rummage around too much. From designer Tory Burch’s cabinet. Photo Credit: Into The Gloss

If you downloaded the Tod’s D-Bag iPad app that I talked about here, you can get another glimpse into the life of Lauren Remington Platt by reading about her beauty routine here.

When I first discovered this blog, I spent hours reading through the archives. There’s a pattern: everyone has a favourite lipstick/lipgloss/lipbalm, favourite moisturiser, ‘best I’ve tried’ eyeliner etc. It goes without saying (but I’ll say it) that very rarely is one person’s star-product the same as another’s. We all have our favourite products. Even if, like me, you’re not brand-loyal, you’ll find that you know what works for you and what doesn’t because of your skin type, the climate you live in, and so on. Having said that, I’ve noticed some products cropping up more than others (on Into the Gloss as well as in magazines, and other beauty blogs):

  • Bioderma Créaline H20 Cleansing Solution – comes up a lot as the staple cleanser used by makeup artists, models, and even mere mortals. Hard to find outside of France, but available on eBay and here at LeGuideSante for a bargainous £8.74…shipping is about £7 though!
  • La Roche-Posay Anthelios – really good, reasonably priced sun protection. They even have a version for oily skin called Anthelios AC, which doesn’t leave your face competing with your patent Louboutins for the Shiniest Accessory prize (if only my face was an accessory). Readily available in pretty much all French pharmacies. In England, larger Boots stores and many pharmacies (I get mine at my local Lloyd’s Pharmacy) stock it. You can also get it online at Boots.
  • French brands in general get a lot of well-deserved hype. Pharmacy brands like Avène, La Roche-Posay, Lierac and Vichy are brilliant value for the quality of product that you get. I read here that the French government even subsidises some treatments at the Avène and La Roche-Posay clinics. The French know how to do good skincare!
  • Other than that, almost everybody repeats the importance of thoroughly cleansing and hydrating your skin – don’t expect your makeup to do all the hard work!

For me, beauty products are so much more accessible than clothes or furnishings. I love new things, and the cheapest but most satisfying way of alleviating that craving is a visit to the beauty counters at Selfridges, Harvey Nichols or Peter Jones. Is there a purchase that gives a more instant sense of smile-inducing gratification than a luxurious new lipstick? Or one that offers more hope than a new wrinkle-reducing blemish-erasing moisturiser? As Philosophy so rightly put it, it’s Hope in a Jar, and it’s much more affordable than those boots from Alaïa. That was my attempt at rhyme, by the way (Alaï-AR).

Whereas the other Snooping Around blogs that I’ve talked about might provide inspiration and ideas, that’s often all that they provide: Givenchy couture and Eames chairs aren’t within everybody’s reach. On the other hand, cosmetics and skincare products are attainable. And that is why I like to know about other people’s favourite beauty products and routines – you hear about what works for other people, and you can try the same tip or buy the same product, and hope that it will work miracles for your complexion. Unsurprisingly, most of the time, what works wonders for somebody else isn’t as effective for me, but I still go back for more beauty revelations. Indulgent, yes, but it’s far cheaper than treating yourself with Jimmy Choos, and much kinder to your waistline than consoling yourself with half a a whole bar of Lindt.

So that’s it: we’ve FINALLY reached the end of the Snooping Around series. Even I – the one who thought it would be such a fabulous idea – was beginning to tire of poking around other people’s lives. I better go and think of some other things to write about…

Snooping Around, Part 5: Bags

What do women (and some men) carry in their handbags? I didn’t give this question much thought until my last trip through Gatwick departures: the contents of a non-bulging Mulberry tote going into the security scanner ahead of my over-stuffed monstrosity sparked my curiosity just as much as the details of Gwyneth Paltrow’s exercise routine. If I had been the security officer, I would have been tempted to fabricate a suspicious object that had to be inspected in said bag, just to have a poke around. Would that be frowned upon…?

In the spirit of the Snooping Around series, I’ve decided to a) share with you the contents of my own handbag, and b) tell you about a few of my bag-snooping interweb finds.

First off: my handbag. I generally switch between handbags a few times a week, but this one is my current favourite because it goes with everything, and fits in all my ‘essentials’. My mother bought the handbag for herself about four years ago and then last year decided that it was time to throw it away because it was starting to look scruffy. Fortunately, I saved it. ‘Scruffy’ is a relative term: I actually like the look of the worn leather…it looks a bit vintagey and loved.

Photo: My Handbag

And here’s what’s inside (doesn’t the bag look sad when empty??):

Photo: Bag Contents

These are my essentials if I’m going for a full day out (if I have 9-5 lectures, for example), but most of the time I manage with less. I don’t bother with the water or iPad if I’m only out for an hour or two. If I’m going out in the evening, I’ll just squeeze my true essentials (phone, keys, purse, Oyster card, lipgloss, blotting paper, comb, and, occasionally, camera) into a clutch.

  • Phone
  • Keys
  • iPad – in navy Calabrese case
  • Oyster card
  • Coach purse before my summer holidays started, I decided to downsize my purse. Since I don’t use my store cards as much when at home during the holidays, I waved (a temporary) bye-bye to everything but my ID, debit card and some change. It felt oddly liberating, but I’m searching for a slightly larger purse for when I’m back in London (don’t want to miss out on those Boots Advantage and Nectar points…)
  • Camera – since I started this blog, I’ve noticed that there are things to photograph absolutely EVERYWHERE
  • Moleskine monthly diary – more for jotting down ideas and things that I want to look up at home, than for organisation purposes
  • Waitrose bag for life – I’m always making unexpected supermarket trips…though not always to Waitrose, as the bag may suggest
  • Umbrella
  • Bobble water bottle
  • Cath Kidston pouch:
      • YSL lipstick (Rouge Volupté in shade 14), Kiehl’s SPF 15 tinted lip balm, Lancome SPF 15 lipgloss.
      • Clinique sun cream – I rarely use this as I prefer La Roche Posay’s Anthelios AC SPF 30 Extreme Fluid for its matte anti-greasy quality. I use the Clinique to moisturise my hands and when I forget to put suncream on in the morning.
      • Dior mascara
      • Space NK teeny bottle of perfume
      • Comb, hairbands and hair grips
      • Small pot of Bare Escentuals foundation and brush for on-the-go touch-ups, blotting paper
      • Girly bits (*whispers* T-A-M-P-O-N-S)
Photo: Make-up Pouch

In term-time, I’d also carry a notepad, memory stick and always ALWAYS a scientific calculator.

[Not pictured: receipts, post-its, chewing gum, crumbs, change that has found its way out of my purse/that I’ve been too lazy to put into my purse.]

And all of that weighs 4.2kg!!

For more bag-snooping, have a look at these:

– Tod’s D-Bag iPad app: I was pleasantly surprised to find that the app wasn’t as much of an advertising ploy as it could’ve been. With the tagline “My life is in this Bag”, it takes us into the polished lives and (D-)bags of six women. It has lots of nice touches: for example, there’s a video from each woman and a handwritten diary entry about their occupation and favourite things/places. But it goes further than that – some objects in the handbag have special features: on Lauren Remington Platt’s profile, you can click a lighter, which then brings up one of her playlists…which you can then email (with a link to the iTunes page for the playlist). Similarly, if you click on the apple in Christina Villegas-Boujnah’s profile, you find the recipe for her mother’s apple compote.

The whole thing is beautifully presented and, of course, there’s a store locator, in case you feel compelled to make a purchase. If you have an iPad, I urge you to download this free app…just for the childhood pleasure of clicking on things and being surprised by the result.

I have two favourites. Firstly, Victoria Tang’s handbag for the sheer hilarity that it’s implied that she carries a dumbbell around in her bag (kudos to her if she does):

Photo: Victoria Tang's Handbag

And secondly, Lauren Remington Platt’s bag for the elegance of its contents:

Photo: Lauren Remington Platt's Handbag

[Both images are screenshots of the Tod’s D-Bag app from my iPad. Credit: Tod’s]

Persona Series by Jason Travis: A series of photographs of Atlantans and the things that they carry around with them. This is a brilliant collection of photographs – Travis’ portraits really capture the essence of each subject’s personality, so the accompanying photo of the contents of the subject’s bag/pockets doesn’t seem to require an explanation (apparently, this combination of two photos is called a diptych). He’s also published a book with the photographs, and his work has been covered by the likes of CNN, Gizmodo and Marie Claire.

F*** YEAH What’s in Your Bag: Not really getting the need for expletives in the title here, but it’s a nice Tumblr blog, with lots of photos. However, with no descriptions, it lacks the ‘window into a life’ aspect of the Tod’s app (sorry to those that don’t have iPads!).

The contents of Anya Hindmarch’s bag

–  Independent Fashion Bloggers Project #9: Scroll down on this page to see a list of 104 posts featuring the contents of various fashion bloggers’ bags.

– Inside My Bag: This one was set up by Bryan of Bryanboy fame. However, it lacks the sleekness of Bryanboy…in fact, it’s rubbish to look at, and the last post is from 2007…so perhaps resort to this only if you’re in *serious* need of bag porn.

Snooping Around, Part 4: Wardrobes

For those of you who are starting to find this whole snooping around thing a tad monotonous, look away for the next couple of days – there are just a couple more posts in the series. It should be safe to take a peek on Wednesday or Thursday.

For those of you who, like me, can never have too many windows into a person’s life, I’ll be telling you about one of my favourite insights into wardrobes tres tres chic.

One of the key things about these Snooping Around blogs is that new posts are added frequently – much more frequently than we can get our hands on our favourite monthly magazines. There is a constant supply of new ideas and, crucially, it’s a lot easier to identify with these ideas than with a model in a Vogue shoot. The photoshopped spreads in monthly glossies speak of a beautiful way of life; a life where you can wear stilettos in fields and on sand dunes, and where dog paws aren’t magnetically attracted to anything white. And, although I yearn for this escapism and extravagance once in a while (on a monthly basis, as it happens!), day-to-day I need something less staged, more pared down, and more achievable. A ‘real’ girl’s wardrobe.

Enough chatter…

The Coveteur

I LOVE this blog. The idea of looking into the wardrobes of some very stylish people was conceived and realised by designer Erin Kleinberg and stylist Stephanie Mark. Along with photographer Jake Rosenberg, the team have built up a stunning catalogue of wardrobes full of outfit ideas and inspiration for interiors and colour combinations.

The photographs are beautifully curated and composed and feature a ‘Shop This Look’ option, in case you’re feeling inspired enough to replicate the photograph yourself (convenient, but painful for my bank balance). The photographs also include a commentary from the “talent”, as Kleinberg and Mark refer to the owner of the wardrobe, explaining the significance and influence of their favourite possessions on their style.

Photo: Screenshot (sorry about the quality) from a feature on George Kotsiopoulos (celebrity stylist, co-host, “Fashion Police), living in Los Angeles. Credit: Jake Rosenberg, The Coveteur 

Whilst many of the women that grace the photos of The Coveteur can afford significantly more Blahniks and Chanel 2.55s than I can, they are still essentially working women who taylor their wardrobes for a variety of occasions; meetings, seminars, business lunches, SATC gossip-with-friends lunches, first dates, anniversary dinners.

The details vary – a Fashion Director and a Market Analyst will have different ideas about what is appropriate to wear to a meeting – but the underlying principles are the same. We all want to look like strong, sexy, competent women. Some women achieve this with a monochrome wardrobe. Others feel confident only in Missoni stripes and Pucci prints. But each can find inspiration in the other’s style: perhaps the Jil Sander minimalist will bring some colour into her look with a bright lip, and the Missoni girl will incorporate the minimalist trend into her wardrobe with some sharper silhouettes. And you can recreate either look at the price-point relevant to you – for students like myself, stores like Zara, COS, Massimo Dutti, Whistles and Reiss offer up-to-date good quality pieces at reasonable prices. There are also some great finds on ASOS (though it’s harder to tell as you can’t feel the material), and, if you’re feeling flush, a trip to Bicester Village is fabulous for those ‘investment pieces’.

Photo: The Coveteur ScreenshotPhoto: A screenshot from a feature on Annabel Tollman, a fashion stylist and journalist living in New York. Credit: Jake Rosenberg, The Coveteur

There’s also Diary of the Coveteur; a behind-the-scenes look at the photoshoots for The Coveteur, which shows just how much fun they have…

Doesn’t it make you want to be there?! (click photo and scroll down to find the story) Photo credit: Jake Rosenberg, Diary of The Coveteur

Show Me Your Wardrobe

Show Me Your Wardrobe has a slightly more casual approach than The Coveteur; more what I would call a ‘traditional blog’, with the most recent posts at the top, and the oldest many clicks of “Older Posts –>” away.

The blog was created by Jackie Dixon, a stylist who has worked with numerous publications. If you missed any of her Show Me Your Wardrobe features for ELLE, they’re all up on her blog. She has shot for several publications, including British Vogue, and has collaborated on projects with Benetton, Matches and Selfridges (to name but a few), so she’s one ‘Fashion Insider’ that really deserves the title.

Like The Coveteur, this blog gives us “a sneaky peek into the wardrobes of today’s creative talent” (Dixon’s words). However, Dixon tends to photograph the clothes as we would see them: worn as an outfit on a person.

The Bottom Line: Although both The Coveteur and Show Me Your Wardrobe aim to do the same thing – to give us a window into how other people dress – they do it in very different ways. I go to The Coveteur for inspiration and to look at beautiful photography. Show Me Your Wardrobe (understandably) feels like more of a diary for Dixon and her projects and I go there to be a fly on the wall in in the life of a stylist.