Is it just me or did Edinburgh just become fashionable? Chanel take over is fine by me.

December 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

Ok, so true to form I haven’t blogged in a while.  I’ll go with the usual excuse a la ‘nae time’ but quite often it’s difficult to source fashionable inspiration in Edinburgh.  I regularly look for local fashion events and more often than not, all that’s available is a mere retail launch or degree show.  The last fashion show I went to in Glasgow was embarrassing to say the least.  A wee lassie from Troon introduced each section as 80’s bridesmaid dresses made their way down the ‘runway’. The Sunday Herald were there to take photos and left very disappointed halfway through… We are a world away from the yearly events in Paris, London and New York but this year something something special happened.  Karl chose Scotland.  Not Karl Kennedy but Karl LARGERFELD.  First he saved Hawick cashmere mill in the scottish borders, then he saved every fashionista in Edinburgh and little old me.  Linlithgow Palace was deemed fit for the king and his annual Metiers d’Art show will be held there on Tuesday 4th Dec.  Over 1000 guests are making there way to Edinburgh and placing us on the mode map. Edinburgh is cool, literally at -1 degrees.  As if we needed more fresh air Chanel has breathed new life into the capital.  I have friends tweeting from all over Edinburgh about the streams of fashionable faces gracing our cobbled streets.  One friend tweets from a meeting at The Cale – where most invitees are staying – to say most are dressed in black and very chic.  Shock.  It’s inspiring and makes me want to kick off my hunter wellies and throw my tweed coat to the floor.  Thank you Chanel!  Follow @CC_Linlithgow on twitter to get involved in the action.  

Introducing the Paleolithic skin diet…

June 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

Never did my face sprout a blemish or spot of any relevance until the day I turned 25.  I was lucky enough in high school to avoid the morning battle between the white-headed beast and the mirror, which so many of my friends had to routinely endure.  I didn’t partake in the premature layering of foundation from the jaw upwards, but in the last two weeks I haven’t left the house without makeup.  I’ve been having serious skin trouble of late so I thought I’d share with you my first port of call in battling adult acne.  My friends and family would say I’m overreacting but underneath carefully applied concealer lies the secret I’m confessing to you now.  I’ve decided firstly change my diet.  I’m learning a lot about the steps to beautiful skin, and as it turns out people suffering from acne have trouble metabolising sugar properly.  My affair with sugar is over.  No more caramel lattes, sneaky muffins, baked beans, biscuits dipped in tea or chocolate fixes… for two weeks anyway.  My skin diet of choice is the paleolithic kind which you can find more about here.  It’s effectively a caveman’s diet but given the year we’re in no hunting is required.  I’m not a big fan of diets in general but this one has a purpose.  Join the club!  Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

Spring-cleaning your clothes part 2: Hosiery help (tights, socks & stockings)

April 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

I hope you enjoyed the first part of my current ‘Spring-cleaning’ your wardrobe series; a light-hearted insight into caring for your clothes from shoes upwards.  If you haven’t yet read the first part, check it our here.  We’ve covered boot, shoes and other now the spotlight’s on hosiery.  We’re talking all garments worn on your feet and legs encompassing leggings, socks, stockings and tights!

The easiest way to avoid hosiery depreciation – according to various tight manufacturers – is to handle with care.  Some suggest washing bags and protective gloves as a precautionary measure!  Realistically, who has time to handle hoisery gently, I know I don’t.  Usually my mornings are spent desperately seeking out a pair of tights that A. Don’t have any holes in the crotch  B. Don’t have ladders which are far beyond the realms of a coat of clear nail varnish and C. Oh, so I now have NO tights.  Great.  I decided to sort out my tight/sock drawer to avoid these morning issues and use the extra time to tend to my blooming flowers.  Yep, Im growing flowers in my room which will eventually (if they continue to grow) be replanted into bigger vessels and displayed beautifully on my window sill just in time for Summer.  If anyone knows where I might find rustic terracotta, possibly chipped, round plant pots please let me know!  So that’s what i’ll be doing instead of searching for a pair of matching socks.  What will you do with the extra time in the morning??

I began by sorting through a mountain of colours & an array of patterns and discovered that a serious scale-down was in order.  Im getting rid of any garishly printed socks as they have no use for me now.  I don’t need to consult my socks to determine the day of the week, whether or not I’ve ‘popped my cherry’ or for anyone else to discover who my favourite cartoon character is.  Leave those numbers for nearby Dads!!

I’ve kept 3 pairs of trainer socks for exercise, which I have been partaking in a lot of late since joining Edinburgh City Bootcamps which I can highly recommend to anyone keen on fast fitness and renewed motivation!  I also kept 3 pairs of short socks (ranging from grey t0 black in shade), 4 pairs of knee high socks (grey, navy, black, orange), 3 quirky pairs (black lace, black fishnet, white with lace trim) and 5 pairs of 100 denier tights.  I’ve figured that if I don’t do any washing for 2 weeks, I’m covered.  What will I do with the socks which didn’t qualify I hear you say?  I’ll be keeping a few odd socks for dusting purposes – they are brilliant because you can simply pop them over your hand and clean an array of surfaces – fits like a glove!  The rest I’ll pop into my local clothing bank as well as keeping 1 pair of inadequate tights for daylight robbery AKA driving lessons, train journeys, petrol etc…

I did come across one useful tip to take into consideration when caring for your tights, “do not dry on or near direct heat” ie the radiator, something which I have always done because I love the feeling of putting on warm tights in the morning, this is a habit I’m willing t kick if it means one less pair of tights to replace!  With socks, the key is to put them into their pairs as soon as they’re dry so you don’t end up with mismatched pairs, if this is something you can’t favthom you might want to consider purchasing THROX, the foolish idea from Edwin Heaven, “if tyres come with a spare, why not socks?”  Hmmmm.  Moving away from pratticalities and back to practicalities – socks and tights are supposed to be folded as opposed to tied in a knot, the elasticity becomes weaker when using this method so it’s not advisable!!  There you have it.

If you have nothing left to wear on your feet it might just be time to invest in some beautiful new leg-wear.  With tights you definitely get what you pay for, I find they hold their elasticity for longer, remain opaque and snag-free and don’t end up around your ankles.  I would recommend John Lewis’s own brand of 80-100 denier* tights but having recently splashed out on Wolford’s 80 denier matt opaque tights there’s no going back.  I have washed and washed those bad boys and they truly remain perfect – walk away from the £2 multi pack, you’ll not regret it!  On the web, my personal favourites are Henry Holland’s new fringed hold-ups, Asos’s mildly unwearable yet confusingly satisfying tabaco tights and Jonathan Aston’s sweet rose anklets.

Happy folding!

*Denier:  Technically denier relates to the weight or thickness of the yarn from which the tights are woven.  The lower the denier the sheerer the appearance and the more likely the material will snag.  Denier ranges from ultra sheer (10 denier) to mega thick opaque (don’t think that’s the exact technical term) which is 100 denier and my personal denier of choice!.  Tights are functional as well as asethically pleasing.  Nope, not only do they serve the purpose of hiding hairy, white or bruised legs but they keep you cool, warm and can even make you slim!  Wayhey!  Look out for Scala Bio-Fir leggings and tights which claim to slim hips and thighs by as much as an inch and are available in John Lewis.

A Rough Guide To Vintage Shopping

March 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

This morning I caught up with Lily Allen’s quest for anonymity under a pile of (rather expensive) clothes.  She and her party animal sister, Sarah Owen, are setting up shop together with the help of my favourite fashion consultant, Mary Portas.  The unique concept is that while couture pieces from the likes of YSL, Ossie Clark and Dior are for sale at sky-high prices, shoppers with more flash than cash will be able to hire items at a subsidised rate.

I love vintage clothing for it’s one of a kind appeal and the feeling of being transported back to the decade you’re wearing.  My personal favourite vintage is 20’s, I love the glamour surrounding each piece and imagine myself in a smoky jazz club dancing the Charleston.  But back to 2011,  it’s not always easy if you don’t know what you’re looking for.  I have decided to compile a very quick guide to vintage shopping, by each decade, in the hope that you might find something beautiful.

If you are looking for a glamorous 1920’s ensemble, look for beaded dresses, feathers and fur.  This look is best kept for evening when you can go all out and have fun accessorising with layers and layers of pearls, pretty headbands, beaded clutch bags and a decadent fur stole.  Wear with round toe Mary Jane’s and shimmy the night away like Mr Bojangles.  30’s pieces are glamorous again but longer in length and made with sumptuous fabrics.  Look for cute hats and tailored riding jackets to wear with jeans for daytime. If you enjoy ladylike trends seek out 1940’s tea dresses and wear with pearls.  1950’s vintage dressing is all about creating womanly curves with figure hugging items such as pencil skirts and ¾ length fitted cropped jackets.  Accessorie with pretty neck-scarves and clutch bags.  Vintage prints are absolutely beautiful especially 60’s retro prints which are bold, bright and colourful.  Offset these prints with mini shapes (skirts and dresses) or pretty blouses.  Accessorise with plain, narrow, patent belts, classic knee-high boots or a statement chunky bracelet.   70’s hippie styles have unstructured and draped silhouettes, while the colours are often soft and muted which makes them great for your summer wardrobe.  This decade has been a major source of inspiration for designers this season and the high street has gone mad for hippie chic, so as well as hunting down original pieces why not seek a peep of what Phillip Green’s team have to offer.  Again, with 70’s dressing KEEP IT SIMPLE; think middle eastern touches with tan bag/shoe combos.  80’s dressing can be difficult, if you lived through the 80’s as a teenager it is more than likely that this is a decade you’d wish to completely forget about, fashion wise.  If you love the style look for shoulder pads and glitzy fabrics adorned with sequins and shimmer.  And that’s as far as vintage goes, I don’t think the 90’s qualify just yet!  So you’ll just have to wait a few years before scousers, Adidas poppers and lycra become vintage…

1920s1930s1940s1950s1960s1970s1980s

When shopping for vintage goods there are a few things to keep in mind.  More often than not a size 10 back in the day is more like a size 6 these days.  The average woman in Britain is more like a curvy size 14 now.  So when you’re looking at the finest vintage piece, YOU MUST TRY ON.  Vintage shops don’t have favourable returns policies so you may find yourself stuck with something you won’t ever wear.  When considering how much a garment costs think about the quality and condition.  LOOK AT THE LABEL, You may be surprised to find most vintage clothes are made closer to home or are even home-made.  Think of the time and care which may have gone into making one of those garments and remember anything made from wool, silk or cashmere is definitely worthy of a higher price tag.      Most importantly HAVE FUN!  Make a day of it with a friend or even better your mum, who will act as a walking encyclopaedia for vintage dressing in the 80’s, 70’s, 60’s and maybe even as far back as the 50’s!  Plan a vintage shopping route map before you leave and schedule time for afternoon tea of course.  Happy shopping!

If you haven’t seen it already, catch up with Lily and Sarah here.

John Galliano – The Show Must Go On

March 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

Everybody’s talking about it so,  I googled ‘Galliano’ and stumbled upon the video in question.  The Sun had what I was after – shock – and I swiftly hit play

Well, well, well – what a naughty boy huh?  My feelings on the matter are as follows:

The slurring of his – almost inaudible – speech and his defensive stance as he uttered the words “I love Hitler…” (eek), indicate intoxication that much is certain!  He is as flamboyant in his mannerisms as he is in clothing design and dress sense.  The words are shocking and there is never an excuse for anti-Semitic behaviour.  However, in this instance I am not supportive of the couple being targeted.  Controversial or what.  Well, they do say a lil’ controversy ups the visit count to a blogger’s site!  That isn’t my motivation however…

In this situation, I can’t help but feel sorry for Galliano himself.  The couple involved are quite clearly taking great pleasure in capturing what is being said on their home video camera, most likely with the intention of selling the material for a hefty sum.  And that they did!  The pair giggle at points and utter blasphemous slurs.  Yes, they’re suffering a wave of abuse but if you use the Lord’s name as just another expletive, you are breaking the 3rd commandment right!!  I’m trying to demonstrate the point that these arguments aren’t always black and white.  The words coming out of Galliano’s mouth are quite frankly ridiculous, absurd even.  I don’t believe for a second it’s his religious stance.  I personally think this was an aggregated attack, which has led to the downfall of an extremely talented individual.  The incident obviously left Dior with no choice but to part ways with Galliano.  Since the 50 year old’s sacking last week, it was not clear whether his Spring/Summer 2012 collection would be shown to the press at all.  However, after negotiations, Galliano’s people settled on holding a low-key presentation instead of a big-budget runway show.  This is not the first time that a celebrities bad behaviour has been ousted, and i’m not sticking up for them!  I especially don’t rate celebrities as trend-setters as you well know!!  But this incident does demonstrates the extreme pressure celebrities are under to keep their guard up at all times, whilst remembering that someone out there with a camera might just be filming their atrocities.  Fame?  No thank you.

John Galliano is rumoured to be in a rehabilitation centre in Arizona on the advice of his close friends in the fashion business.  I wish I could just jet off to rehab each time life got a little tough, wouldn’t that be nice!  I’m sure after a couple of months, all will be forgotten and John Galliano will be snapped up by another fashion label.

What’s your opinion?  I’d love to know…

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