Saturday, 27 December 2008


Christmas and all that comes with it (parties, shopping and more parties) seems to have zapped my time to blog lately. I am now back at home with the parentals enjoying family time and food. Santa was very good to me this year, bringing me amongst other things the House of Viktor & Rolf book, Nylon and not one but two copies of January i-D (Santa and my Sister obviously didn't confer). I bought my Sister Lula (not just so I could borrow it) and my copy of Influence arrived just in time for the holidays, so I have a lazy day of reading ahead of me.


Saturday, 13 December 2008


Can a pair of leggings change your life? I'm going to venture a yes with these. I bought the ubiquitous 'Black Rats' a week ago and I haven't stopped wearing them or wanting to wear them since. You don't get the 'baggy knee' thing which is so often annoying with leggings because the whole leg is ruched, baggy knee just adds to the effect. I tried on the Topshop version but they were plain jersey and just didn't quite do the same job. There is a lot of fabric in them, which is a treat for my 34" legs and goes some way to justifying the £100 price tag (£97.88 after VAT which makes all the difference). Plus they are somewhat waterproof as I learnt when I tipped half a pint of cider over myself on Thursday night. I tried the PVC version on in Urban Outfitters. Conclusion: they are amazing. For an S&M party, but maybe a little too much for real life. I set off their new alarm system in the process. The things I do for this blog.

I thought I need heels but the look equally as good with flats which just gives me more excuses to wear them

Monday, 8 December 2008


When I first saw these, I thought there was something I sort of liked about them that I couldn't quite put my finger on. Something so wrong they were almost right. While queuing at the Angels Sale on Saturday morning (in the freezing cold for 3 hrs, yes I am going to keep going on about that) I noticed a couple of people wearing them. They actually look surprisingly good on! I sadly have man feet and even with a 3 inch heel Dr Martens are never going to look good on me. I learnt this the first time round (mid 90s, cherry red). I'll have to leave this trend to those blessed with ballerina feet - but before that I might just go and try them on just to confirm.

Image from

Saturday, 6 December 2008


You know that feeling when the alarm goes off at 7.30am and you think "I wish it were Saturday"? I had that feeling yesterday morning, except it was Saturday, but I was still getting up for some insane reason, at the same time I usually get up for work. The reason was the much blogged about Angels Big Vintage Sale. I arrived at North Wembley just after 9am when the doors opened and I anticipated a queue but nothing prepared me for what I found.

This was the view I was confronted with when I arrived, but this was only the beginning. It took a good ten minutes walking to get to the back. After one hour in the cold I considered giving up, but I like several others around me decided to give it till 11. By 11.15am we were on the home straight, the sun had come out and people were exiting the sale and we were getting a glimpse of what we would be missing if we left, so we soldiered on figuring it would have been a wasted morning if we didn't at least have a look inside.

Views from the 'home straight'. It took a good 45 minutes still from here.

A taunting glimpse of people already rummaging inside

By the time I was at the door, I'd been in the queue nearly 3 hours. I bought a £10 and £20 bag which I now realise was more than slightly optimistic. I headed straight to the 30s, 40s, 50s room and found it was seriously depleted. I had better luck in the 80s and 90s section and the uniform section was still overflowing with military coats (though none in my size). I rummaged on while my toes thawed out and came across a couple of oversized shirts and bagged them. I continued bagging anything I vaguely liked to begin with and then found a corner to filter my choices. After my first filter, I was left with about 3 things. I found a Nicole Farhi denim dress but it was far too big for me and frankly ugly. By the time I ran out of steam and patience I had a total of 5 items and managed to stuff them all in the £10 bag and get a refund for my £20 bag. Not bad when you work it out as price per item however some may be destined for eBay/the bin. I did quite want a military coat or some kind of blazer which as many others have noted, were in abundance however they were mostly HUGE sizes. At lot of the male attendees seemed happy.

Like many others I was disappointed in the general condition of most of the items - moth eaten, ripped, stained. Though I heard someone nearby saying they found a military coat with an actor's name still written inside it. In hindsight I should have got there earlier but the dilemma was get there at 8 and wait an hour in the cold in a queue that's not moving plus however long it takes once the doors are open or get there later and risk getting inside later and potentially missing out on the good stuff. A couple of girls were selling on their emptied £50 bags for £10 a piece as we were waiting, they'd bagged 40 dresses each and that was about 11.30am and rumour has it the first person in the queue camped from 3pm yesterday, so the vast majority of us were probably fighting a losing battle!

One of the best things about the day was people watching as London's fashion crowd, turned out to nab a bargain or piece of fashion history. Also rather amusing were those who were clearly just there for the costumes! I spotted several members of the blogging contingent, but was either too numb or too shy to say hello! Maybe at a more sociable/warm event!

Last but not least, here is what I bought. Definitely not worth 3 hours in the cold, mostly only picked up to fill the bag which I was stuck with anyway as you could only get a refund on empty bags once you'd filled one bag.

What I stuffed in my £10 bag - 1. Ugly 90s top which I just took home for the LOLs. I don't know what I would ever do with this 2. American Apparel esque shorts. Very 118 118. I sort of love this, I just need a roller disco/80s party 3. Amazing 80s dress which doesn't fit me/isn't my style but I'm sure someone will love 4. Oversized mans shirt 5. Oversized sleeveless shirt which might need alteration/disposal, I haven't decided yet 6. The £10 bag which all of this fit into

Monday, 1 December 2008


So who is going? I for one, cannot wait.

Angels Vintage Sale, Saturday 6th December 2008

photos from Getty via

Sunday, 30 November 2008


I fell in love with the dress that Diana wore on X Factor on Saturday night. I've managed to track it down to The sole stockist is a boutique called Leila and lucky for me, one of the three branches is just round the corner from me. I might have to take a trip there tomorrow afternoon, though it's currently sold out on the website so I don't hold out much hope. Unlike Diana I would plan to wear it with shoes (what is with the barefoot thing??).

I have a magpie-like obsession with appliquéd sequins and pearls at the moment. The Heaven and Earth dress arrived on Friday and then a friend told me she could have got me one for free! It pays to have friends in high places. So I'm sending my one back and saving myself £60!

Photos from

Thursday, 27 November 2008


I have to admit to being sick of the 'credit crunch' talk but to be honest it is mostly doing me favours at the moment. It's like the high street is throwing at us, discounts, promotions and other incentives to buy (free breakfast on Oxford St tomorrow morning if you go 'early bird' shopping at 7.30am. I must admit it is tempting, not least to avoid the Christmas crowds). And for those of us without such worries as mortgage rates or rising petrol prices, this means we can buy what we were going to buy anyway, for less. Christmas shopping has never been this easy or this cheap.
I must look at these Heaven & Earth dresses on at least once a day and today they are magically down to £95 from £140. I bought the second one. The belt in that image is also tormenting me, it's used in so many shoots but never appears on the site to buy!

The only downside to all this mark down is spotting clothes you own, 30% cheaper than you paid for them. Bah humbug to that.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008


It's that time of year again, time to think about the Christmas party. This year's theme is Masquerade, we are only required to wear a mask and dress as we please - the more decadent and elegant the better!
I am feeling decidedly uninspired by the Christmas dress offer this year, probably because I was working on evening dresses several months ago and therefore nothing on the high street looks new to me now. I am craving muted florals, denim all in ones, coral and new neutrals inspired by the SS09 shows (in particular Preen, Alexander Wang and Charles Anastase). And seeing S/S press days in the last week has not helped one bit.

But back to the task at hand, I have decided to delve into the back of my wardrobe this year for my party outfit and will resurrect a tutu skirt first and last seen on New Years Eve nearly 3 years ago. I have almost decided that I'm going to stick with 'festive' black, perhaps some gold accessories and let the mask do the talking.

I wanted to make my mask, but time is running out. I have my eye on jewel coloured feathers in in Angels, but if I had the time Nick Knight's Moet Tribute would be my inspiration:

This final one is one of my favourites for its simplicity. Sadly given that I will be getting ready for the party with about 150 other ladies, sharing two bathrooms and roughly two full length mirrors between us, I can't be too ambitious. I'm probably going to be doing my make up in a hand mirror and simultaneously answering my last few emails, drinking champagne as well as trying to be an active member of the social committee and ensuring all for the night goes to plan. I am however, entering the foray of fancy dress this Saturday night. I am entertaining the idea of Zorro (theme: heroes and villains) though my costume has yet to come to fruition, but some kind of mask and eyelashes combo could definitely be on the cards. Photos to follow I should think.

photos from getty images and

Sunday, 16 November 2008


Style icons?

I love Cheryl Cole as much as the next person, I love her feisty attitude on a Saturday night when she answers back to Simon Cowell and defends her acts to no end. But when I read that she could be set for a Vogue cover, I had to ask myself is this the best that we can do for a British style icon? Of course sitting next to Danni -I can only move my eyeballs I've had so much botox- Minogue, she would appear to be a natural beauty but having seen her transformation over the years, it is obvious that hers is a beauty elevated by fake hair, eyelash extensions, nail tips and fake tan aided by hairstylists, beauticians and stylists alike. And as for her sartorial choices, she is not exactly pushing the boundaries of creativity. Yes after ditching the tracksuits followed by a few months on the heartbreak diet and having made a few high fashion friends, it's undeniable that she looks great in virtually everything she steps out in, but for me there is nothing aspirational about being a clothes horse.

I hate to come across as one of those people who bangs on about 'real women' because honestly I think there is room for everyone and I am not actually anti-Cheryl at all, I just think this latest move is a (bad) sign of where British fashion is going. There is room for the Cheryls (and the Colleens) somewhere but before all creativity is stamped out in favour of the 'look what my stylist picked out for me' look, I think it's about time we got back to grassroots. Just take a look around the blogosphere, or Chictopia for the countless individuals who are putting together creative looks everyday and creating trends rather than following them.


The credit crunch really must be affecting footfall this Christmas because Topshop are giving away all manner of freebies and discounts on their website. The retail giant isn't usually one to give away discount codes and they've really gone to town with the presentation. All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning (and everyone is guaranteed a prize apparently) is to play their enchanting winter fairytale game at I won a 10% voucher which puts me one step closer to that Markus Lupfer Jumper that I have been obsessing about.

Monday, 10 November 2008


If I hadn't just bought a coat (and presuming I had a spare £695 just lying around waiting to be spent) this would be the coat I would buy.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008


It was only a week or so ago that I was blogging about Steph’s mention in Elle Magazine and now the fabulous Jackie has been featured in this December’s Vogue. I think it’s great that the big fashion magazines are picking up on independent fashion sites (even though I secretly want to keep some of these places to myself). Independent designers have such an important place in fashion and it is refereshing to see alternatives to the monotony of the high street.

The great thing about This Charming Girl is that it doesn’t rest on its laurels. Jackie's gorgeous limited edition creations fashionned from vintage charms mixed with new, are always one step ahead of the game. Topshop et al might have caught on to the vintage charm trend, but you're likely to see the person sitting next to you on the tube wearing the same thing.

I am currently obsessing about this watering can necklace, which is the perfect mix of kitsch and cool:

Photo from

Saturday, 1 November 2008


I think I was lucky today my local shop had the December issue of Vogue, on 1st November! Unheard of. I have recently found my attention to British Vogue wavering, but with the Fantastic Fashion Fantasy issue I am a firm fan once again (now say that 3 times quickly!).

Reason to buy the December issue:

1. A truly enchanting shoot by Tim Walker featuring Tim Burton and Helena Bonham-Carter amongst others, which captures the world of storybook imagination amazingly. The shots of Karen Elson are especially beautiful (in bed with a crocodile and on stilts as The BFG) but I think my favourite is of Georgia May Jagger inspired by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

2. Beautiful beautiful artwork by Su Blackwell, who creates sculptures from the pages of old books (and is exhibiting in London at the end of the month).

3. Jourdan Dunn and Lily Donaldson photographed by Nick Knight in some of fashion's most extravagant and avant-garde creations, including Chalayan's wooden table skirt (which reminds me, I am very much looking forward to the exhibition next year!).

4. "Dream Walls" of likes, loves and doodles created by a selection of designers especially for Vogue. I adore Luella's. "I like Wednesday Adams' plaits". I want to make my own.

5. The pull out cover features Kate Moss looking beautiful in Dior Couture. (I am going to ignore the "Fashion is my passion" quote ie the most overused phrase in the fashion industry and one you are told to avoid like the plague in personal statements, interviews etc. Especially now it has been coined by the Bratz dolls. Vogue you could have done better than that).
The real draw of the cover for me is the beautiful typefaces designed by Jo Ratcliffe which feature throughout the issue.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Mixing Metals?

I bought this lovely bow ring last week, I sort of wanted it in silver but there it was in gold and I couldn't say no.

The thing is I wear a silver ring and two bracelets on my right hand which I never take off and up until about a year ago, I thought mixing metals was ~bad luck~ or something. But now I just can't resist gold, it just looks better in some cases? So I will continue to wear my gold ring on my left, my gold Alex Monroe Hummingbird around my neck and my silver jewellery on my right hand.

And just hope I don't get 7 years bad luck.

Daily Jewels


If you've been on facebook in the last half an hour you probably realise that it's snowing in London! In October. This is far from ordinary. Above is the scene from my bedroom window.
My current facebook status reads:

Natalie figures she's not wearing her new suede boots tomorrow after all.4 minutes ago

Suede boots are probably not snow day attire. Suede boots with 3.5 inch heels, definitely not. Incidently when my flatmate ran into my room and told me to look out of my window, I was trying to get on BBC Weather to see if I would be able to wear said boots tomorrow. It is not abnormal for me to check the weather the day/week before an occasion, I am definitely an outfit planner and lay out-er. Is this what everyone does or is it just me?!

Luckily the 'crisis' has been averted, I have found a replacement outfit to wear tomorrow as I turn 20 something again and it goes with sensible boots suitable for snow. BUT having just checked BBC Weather again, there is a big sunshine next to 9am tomorrow. There is hope for the suede boots yet. I blame global warming.

Friday, 24 October 2008


Steph told me this was going to happen long before I saw it however when I saw it in print in black and white, I still could not stop the smile from spreading across my face. It was all I could do to stop myself from tapping the person next to me in Borders saying "Hey look at this, that's my best mate's website mentionned by The Ting Tings! In Elle Magazine!"

If you haven't logged on to NEET Magazine yet, then seriously, where have you been? NEET is all about grassroots creativity, it's full of stylish people, great photography and links to some brilliant independent designers. All stylishly pulled together by the fabulous Stephanie J. In fact it's thanks to the September issue that I found this fab etsy seller of vinyl wall art. I have saved a space for the the cuckoo clock on my bedroom wall.

Click now!


I reorganised my lookbooks yesterday (this is what being off work does to a person) and came across this image from Chanel S/S 2007! I love this 'casual glam' look, the opulent sequins juxtaposed with the casual plaid top half. (Not to mention the legs! Oh Carmen Kass how I would love your legs).
I am now obsessed with getting my hands on some sequin shorts to wear with my new boots and check shirt. I do not need to remind you of my sequin obsession (sequin bow, sequin trainers anyone?)

I've since come across these from Topshop which are exactly what I had in mind, but it appears they're out of stock. Help! I'm now convinced that this is what I need for the perfect day-to-night outfit for next Friday (work related drinks party straight from the office).

With tights, opaque tights, obviously.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008


I love that these days you can shop so easily without even leaving the house. Sometimes I wonder if I didn't have to go to the shops for work would I ever go? I love the anticipation of receiving a package and the ceremonious unwrapping and trying on.
ASOS kindly refunded me full postage my next day delivery which did not arrive on time and thankfully turned up yesterday.

When I first started wearing my bow headband it felt a little OTT, but after a couple of wears I started hankering for a bigger bow. Just as well I ordered this sequin bow because my headband was an unlucky casualty of my trip home to my parents. It is likely to become my new favourite accessory, I can't resist sequins during the day. Maybe in a month or so I will be ready to super size my bows á la Johnny Loves Rosie?

Even more exciting than the ASOS package, I ordered the moccasin-meets-ankle-boot from Topshop on Monday, choosing Royal Mail over next day delivery and saving that all important pound (credit crunch, every penny counts etc). It arrived this morning! I didn't open the package for a full 30 minutes because I was worried they might be ugly. They aren't. In fact they are far more beautiful then I could have hoped for and the heels measure in at a not too alarming 3.5".
They're the kind of boots that you leave alone in a room and you return to find people trying them on (true story). I can't wait to try them with my lace leggings, more pics to follow I'm sure.

Monday, 20 October 2008


I'm an obessive list maker. Current lists in work:
1. What to buy people for Christmas
2. Present ideas for my Sister's 18th (next March, I'm trying to be prepared)
3. The ever present "things to do"
4. The Shopping List also known as The Wish List because it usually contains more things than I can afford

I have a love/hate relationship with Polyvore, mostly hate, but it has its uses.

Last week I was obsessing about moccasins and ankle boots and this week the two have combined to make the perfect boots, which are currently on their way to me from Topshop via royal mail. I hope they're not too high. After ditching two short boyfriends in succession, I love a heel but much more than 3 inches and I feel like I'm towering over everyone.

Also coveting this month anything in the current Heaven & Earth collection, a boyfriend blazer of some description, a winter coat, A.P.C checks, Black Rats (which I am obsessively checking ASOS for twice a day) and that Peter Jensen hat.


Is it me or has Nylon been disappearing from our (British) shelves lately? Yesterday I wandered into my parents local Whsmith looking for the fashion section and throwing a glance over to the Arts and Crafts section, I was surprised to spot two copies of Nylon sandwiched between Wallpaper* and Popular Patchwork Magazine! True story. Maybe that's why I haven't been able to find it?

It's true that Nylon isn't what it was, but I can't complain about this issue which includes some of my favourite ladies Zooey, Daisy and Alexa! (I could definitely have done without the pages of Cory and Peaches though. I watched Peaches' show on MTV last night, then I watched the repeat 3 hours later. It was like a car crash, I couldn't tear myself away from the sheer awfulness).

Speaking of Alexa, the Life in a Day article in The Times left me completely confused. She is taking the piss right?

Sunday, 19 October 2008


A year ago my parents moved house and it was time for my Mum to finally face the suitcases of clothes she had been storing in the loft for a "rainy day". My sister got a cream cable knit jumper dress, but I only had eyes for this oversized checked flannel shirt. Rumour has it my Mum wore this while she was pregnant. A suspect paint splatter on the left sleeve also suggests that before relegation to the suitcase in the loft, this particular garment belonged with other old clothes only suitable for doing the decorating in.
My Mum came to visit me in my flat not so long ago and when I opened the door to her wearing the shirt, she burst out laughing. However, with a softness that can only be created by dozens of wears and washes and a traceable history that only comes with hand-me-downs, it still remains one of my favourites.

Saturday, 18 October 2008


Since becoming a blog obsessive I've discovered these great sites where you can follow all your favourite blogs in one place. Now you can follow my blog with bloglovin'.


Working in fashion I have seemingly unlimited access to sample sales, discounts and freebies and as a result my bulging wardrobe had been getting out of control. It wasn’t so much a space issue – you know that quote about feeling loneliest in a room full of people – that’s how I was feeling about clothes or perhaps how my clothes were feeling about each other?! I’d pull out one thing and amongst the vast array of choices in my wardrobe, I couldn’t find anything else to build an outfit with. It was then that I decided I needed to consolidate. I self imposed a shopping ban to last a month or longer, as long as I could handle. Today, whilst browsing I stumbled on this post recommending the very same, inspiring me to share my experience.
Ok I buckled within the month (I blame the sample sale), however the final tally of my purchases and acquisitions across 5 weeks, came to £19. Two dresses, two tops, one skirt and a brooch. Pretty good for someone who probably spends in excess of £30 at least per week when you average it out. And I felt better for it, I rediscovered items in my wardrobe I’d forgotten about, I found a way of wearing things I’d gotten bored of that made me excited about them again. And most importantly I saved loads of money with which I booked a trip to Paris. A trip which my pre-shopping ban self would have turned down, saying “I can’t afford it”.

Friday, 17 October 2008


The sun might be shining and the sky may be blue, but there is a distinct chill in the the air. The gloves are out, it is officially Autumn. And in Autumn my thoughts turn to hosiery. I was once spotted at 50 paces on a grey day by a friend whose vision was almost completely obscured by her umbrella - unable to see much more than my calves, she identified me by my pillar box red tights.

This morning this site dropped into my inbox recommended to me by a friend (who knows me too well?) - Love Colour - Love is easy to use, you can filter by colour, pattern and style (full length, footless, stirrup, stockings..) to find the hosiery you are looking for, from literally hundreds of choices.

I'm still mourning the loss of my ribbed hot pink pair (above) from Topshop last year (ladders which no amount of nail varnish could prevent from stretching from my knees to my ankles).

Thursday, 16 October 2008


When I saw that Patricia Field was designing a range for M&S I silently hoped it would be more inspiring than her last high street collaboration. I love what she did for Sex and the City, Devil Wears Prada et al and browsing the collection online today, it is clear where the inspiration from this line has come from. A studded belt, a white dress with a corsage? Yet another version of those Dior sandals? It is all a bit too familiar, but I suppose it makes commerical sense.

The real surprise of the range is
this - M&S selling an allover sequin catsuit? Now that is something to get excited about!


A couple of weeks ago, our amiable post room guy dropped a copy of this book on my desk without a word of explanation. I put it in my bag and forgot about it until later that evening when I came across it looking for my keys.

By Hand written by People Tree founder Safia Minney (which you can
buy here for just £5) states the case for supporting ethical fashion and organic handwoven cotton. With beautiful photography and interviews with garment workers, farmers and jewellery makers in Africa and Asia, it is truly an inspiring read. I can’t honestly say that I am going to abandon the high street completely for Fairtrade products but it certainly made me stop and think (as well as leaving me with an unhealthy obsession with the beautiful jewellery by Sam Ubhi).

Read it, the book explains itself better than I ever could and it may just change the way you think about fashion.