Tag Archives: Fashion

International Women’s Day

Morning!

Happy International Women’s Day, today is dedicated to women and just how bloody amazing we are!

I’m surrounded by strong women in my family and friends. Some are stay at home mums, company execs, some consistently blow me away with their natural talent and flair in floristry, baking and cake decorating, medicine and nutrition, fitness and well being……not to mention my friends in the armed forces. They all deserve the utmost of respect and beneath what they do for a living, all of these women are the most amazing friends and mentors a girl could ask for. They all love to have lazy days in their pjays, dress up in their heels, read, shop, work out, act daft with their kids and unite in their mutual love of wine consumption. Since moving back to the city and facing the challenges that 2014 brought, I’ve never felt more grateful for having them in my life.

Women Rock

We women are just awesome. Life’s multi-taskers! I regularly manage to bath my kids while simultaneously having a pee, restocking the toilet roll, cleaning the dried toothpaste off the sink and soaking up the tidal wave of bathwater with the bath mat! Are you nodding? You do it too right?

On the world stage there has been much talk of pay equality, the press went wild at the Oscars where Patricia Arquette made a resounding speech, supported by cheering and whooping from fellow A-listers Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez. There are varying reports on what percentage women are paid less than men, and it varies by industry too. Whatever the percentage, anything less for the doing the same job as a man, is just plain wrong. I live in hope that the more publicity and high profile backing this issue gets, the more likely a positive outcome will be…..and soon. I’m not going to go on a feminist rant (that’s a blog post in itself) but I will be writing a post about how mothers are treated differently in the world of work. Watch this space.

So back to us amazing women……I want to highlight a trend on Twitter #womencrushwednesday and encourage more women to support each other by posting a pic or brief description of a woman you admire and tagging it #wcw. It started out as just a daft celebrity thing, but hey, why not spread the love and bring it to the masses!

Women, keep doing what you’re doing because you rock!

I would like to dedicate today’s blog to Judith Arnett and Rebecca Gould, in loving memory

GG

X

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Woman Vs Machine

Okay deep breath……My name is GG and I am scared of heavy machinery, in particular JCB’s and wrecking balls. (Not an euphemism) I can’t even go to Alton Towers without getting a bit jittery driving past the humongous JCB plant en route. You’d think I’d be more frightened of rollercoasters?!

I’m going to treat today’s blog as a sort of scaredy cats anonymous session and get it all off my chest while the nightmare I had last night is still annoyingly fresh in my mind.

I wondered into a dream where I was happily playing with my kids and nieces and nephew in some left-over builders sand, you know the type just left on the road side when someone has had a drive block paved? Anyway, we were knee-deep in builders sand when my youngest niece shouts ‘Look a BIG DIGGER’ at this point they all run off and start climbing all over the big bright yellow machine and I immediately start backing away shouting at them all to get down. Now conveniently at this point one of the kids remind me that the other adults are at a party so if I want them to get down I’d have to go and get them. Nice subconscious….nice!

La Princesse (Credit)

La Princesse (Credit)

I’m a bit hazy about the next bit but sure enough I end up sweating profusely while climbing up the impossibly big JCB (more like the assault course from The Krypton Factor) as my eldest daughter begins to pull levers to move the gigantic claw, laughing maniacally (I wonder if Stephen King might be interested in a synopsis?) . I’m wildly chucking kids down to the ground as the claw swings frighteningly close to my head (I’m getting a bit shaky reliving this) and shouting like a docker at my daughter to get ‘the hell’ down when she leans on the control panel and the claw doubles back to wrap closely around me, pinning me into the machine. This is where I really start panicking, trying to control my breathing because the thought of being trapped in a giant piece of machinery and unable to move, is to me, terrifying.

La Princesse (Credit)

La Princesse (Credit)

I woke up at this point yanking the bed covers away and taking in huge gulping breaths. It’s the type of scenario only a nightmare can manifest and luckily for me I have a mum voice that strikes the fear of God into my kids, so the likely hood of this actually happening is slim to none. I’m also scared of spiders and unfortunately they don’t give a rats ass about me shouting at them in my scary voice. It appears that shouting ‘Don’t you disobey me’ at them is pointless and they crawl lazily into the corner of the room when they feel like. Only my Vogue back catalogue can deal with such insubordination. Eat high fashion suckers.

This irrational fear may well have sprung from my old home town of Liverpool hosting Capital of Culture a couple of years ago. The city was visited by a gigantic robotic spider (see photo…… it had to be yellow didn’t it?) La Princesse was lowered sneakily in the night into position on an old tower block and proceeded to spend a couple of days wandering around the city streets terrifying the masses. It was actually pretty awesome at the time but spiders and JCB’s……oh my!

Wonder what damage a rolled up magazine would do to a rogue JCB?

I’m not hopeful.

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17

I found these photo's on my Mum's PC a little while ago, they've obviously been scanned in from a hard copy at some point as back when I was 17 there were no camera phones, how crazy is that, it was only 13 years ago! So today's blog is all about the year that was, 17. Please forgive my horrendous hair do, in my infinite wisdom I decided to have my locks lopped off while sunning myself in Australia earlier in the year and well..... it does get hot there you know!

17

I was having the time of my life when I was 17. When I look back on my life so far I think that 17 through to 18 was my year, the one where I had so much fun and adventures and life was a big barrel of laughs. I was a very lucky teenager and never had a problem with my weight, my athletic frame dared me to wear some shocking outfits that my parents most definitely did not approve of. Lots of getting ready at my friends houses went on. I started going out and having a social life at this age and loved nothing more than donning well.....next to nothing, a huge pair of heels and hitting the town, usually with my best friend Leanne. I also travelled back to my birthplace, Australia at this time and spent three months working and generally getting under my aunts feet. I met some wonderful people who I still keep in touch with now, and wont ever forget their kindness. Being 12,000 miles away from my family at this age really helped me to mature.....but only for a little while!17 Again

I look back with such affection to a time so filled with fun, it was all about chasing boys, getting attention, free drinks, little black dresses, high heels, lifts home, hangovers, the big breakfast, sun beds, being in bed by 3am with ears ringing. Around this time I dated a lot, there were house parties, kick arounds in the park with us cheer-leading like idiots or trying to do keepy-ups to impress the boys, we'd regularly go to the local Whetherspoons to order desert and a few drinks to while away the hours. I remember my friend Becky coming out with a classic one night while we were checking our outfits and hair in a club toilet and I think it sums up our audacious attitudes to a tee 'I mean lets face it, with my boobs and your legs who can resist us?' Thankfully my inhibitions have settled down somewhat since then, and just the thought of approaching the hottest guy in a bar and introducing myself now feels me with dread. I've grown up!

I can't help but smile at all of these memories, along with some I can't type that my Mum doesn't know about and I'm not about to open up Pandora's box here! Just a little reminiscing to keep me young. If you need a reason to lift a glass this weekend make your toast 'To 17'

What an amazing year!

 

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Legs 11

To update you from yesterdays blog, I am now drinking a Kopparberg and eating what’s left of my kids party bags, an awesome Saturday night in.

So on to matters of the weekend variety. My eldest was invited to a 7th birthday party today and as she is growing out of clothes at a rate of knots we ended up heading into the city this morning to buy her a new party outfit. My first choice for children’s clothes is H&M, their kids range is trendy, great quality and very reasonable on price. All of these factors are important when you are raising the next Katy Perry. The first item she picked up when entering the store was a Rolling Stonest-shirt complete with sequinned tongue and union jack lips. She’s 7!!

Wow. Kids these days shop at Nordstrom?

(Photo credit: Malingering)

It took just ten minutes to blow £74 on a party outfit and a new coat for school, although I guess in the current climate that’s probably fairly cheap? It does amaze me how young our children are when they start to develop their own taste and sense of style. I know one little girl how won’t allow her Mum to dress her, even for school. She chooses the various parts of her uniform as well as matching hair accessories and just a tiny hint of lip balm in the Winter months, the weekends must be a nightmare. I consider myself fairly lucky in that my daughter will, 9 times out of 10 wear whatever clothes I have set out for her without too much griping. The only downside is that she is literally shooting up, suffering growing pains to prove it and is now wearing age 10 jeans with a very tight belt to cover her spindly long legs.

Zara is a good retailer for tall girls too. Their leg length is generous and the clothes are good quality yet for the amount of wear and tear I feel a tad overpriced. This hasn’t stopped me buying blazers, jump suits and long sleeve tee’s from there in abundance. Geordie often rolls his eyes at just how many impulse buys we can cram into a few hours shopping.

I wonder what it would be like to be a parent with no fashion sense, to select clothes for your kids that simply keep them warm or cool regardless of colour or co=ordination. Nope can’t do it,,,,,could barely finish typing that sentence. My Mum could always tell from 100 yard when my Dad had dressed us, resembling a box of Smarties most times. Although my Dad used to make us rice, square sausage and gravy for tea when my Mum worked late shirts, I don’t think the bar was ever set too high.

So back to beautifully coordinated, fashionable, immaculately turned out children. My Daughter chose sequined dress, tights, ballet flats and bolero, however just twenty minutes into the disco the dress had come a cropper thanks to the chocolate fountain. I wont pretend I’m not absolutely delighted that I have a future fashionista in training, I just wish she could stay clean a little longer!

NaBloPoMo

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Uniform Fashion

It’s the start of a new school year and girls around the country are donning their crisp white shirts, pleated skirts and shiny new shoes for the first day of term. I was thinking how easy it was to put on the clothes that were dictated to me day after day for 11 long school years before flying the nest for nonconformist college where, for the first time I faced the dilemma of what to wear? If I’d have known this drama would raise its ugly head on a daily basis I would have opted for sixth form and the safety of the monochrome clothing rule.

I decided to study a HND in Fashion & Textiles at college, I thought that by taking this creative route I would be allowed the freedom to portray my artistic flair in my clothing without prejudice and I was thanks to my fellow wannabe designers. I was so lucky to share my workspace with some seriously talented people who were so self-confident their enthusiasm to shock rubbed off on me instantly. My friend Andrew would wear chaps fashioned from old curtains over Calvin Klein boxers and saunter down to the cafeteria for a bacon butty among the open-mouthed non-fashion students (sadly I don’t have picture evidence) We would make skirts from bubble wrap, wear towering heels with grubby overalls from the workshops and screen print as many foul swear words as you can name onto t-shirts to wear when we went charity shop browsing. I absolutely loved that time at college and I learned that while we were ridiculed for our random/daring/silly fashion choices, thanks to safety in numbers I felt it was okay to be different.

Image: Twoflatwhites.com

Clothing rules have relaxed so much in the last decade, my daughters infant teacher wears Converse and A&F for school, she always looks smart but its such a long way from the full pleat floral skirt and blouse combo that my primary teacher wore. When I was at high school (not that long ago) there was a teacher who wore Mango tops, Topshop jeans and knee length boots for work and was the envy of a lot of girls in my year. She certainly stood out from the sea of brown skirt suits and black patent kitten heels favoured by the languages department. I wonder if the women who wear a uniform everyday yearn for the freedom to make their own clothing choice in the mornings or are they happier to not have to check the weather, think about feet hurting in heels or remember to put extra tights in their handbag in case of a ladder emergency? Plus if the guys are in uniform too they don’t have to contend with Disney ties, days of the week socks or patterned waistcoats. Guys in uniform equals a win…every time.

To all the teenagers who are already manipulating their boring school uniform into something more fashionable, enjoy the monotony of looking like everyone else because it wont be long before you’re up at 6am dragging everything you own out of your wardrobe trying to find a suitably chic outfit for yet another day at work.

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High Street Peek

I’m becoming a bit obsessed with people watching, it’s my favourite pastime at the moment although its more about what people are wearing so I’m going to rename is fashion watching. The thing is I have two young kids so it’s not like I can while away the hours sitting outside Starbucks with a coffee and Vogue on my lap, so I have found the next best thing. Street Chic!

Notting Hill Carnival 2006 (London, UK)

Notting Hill Carnival (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Vogue.co.uk has a section dedicated to what we’re wearing on the streets of the UK. The site covers lots of events too from V to Notting Hill carnival and of course all the action pre and post London fashion shows. I wanted to see how others put an outfit together and accessorize it to make it their own. The photo’s from V are interesting because the majority of women are rocking Hunter wellies due to the mud so I’m always keen to see what outfit is teamed up with the giant of festival chic. Luckily this year the conditions were less treacherous compared to Download and Creamfields so there were also lots of tribal sandals and summer dresses. My sister came back from Download with gaffa tape all over her wellies which had split from the deluge of muddy water and debris that slid towards her tent. Think I’ll give that one a miss.

I’m sure I have now viewed and passed commented on every gallery on Street Chic so in my quest for knowledge on what the trendy people are wearing I stumbled across On The Streets of Sydney. Sydney is my home town and although I left young and haven’t been back in over ten years, I’m even more intrigued to see what the fashion trends are like there. The site is an excellent source of information from street style to beauty trends and all the images and info from Melbourne Fashion Week as it happens. Aside from my fascination with people and their clothes, the features section of the site gives you a leg up on newcomers and their offerings with exclusive interviews. (Gabriel Lee I love your peachy hues and soft tailoring!)

There are a gazillion blogs that I look forward to reading from tailors, buyers, illustrators and fashion journalists to the ordinary girl with an interesting take on the current trends. Luckily for me some blogs have led to forging friendships with people in the fashion industry and often product freebies which was never more appreciated than when I was pregnant and struggling to find clothes to fit my tall yet round frame! I think the fashion world has been a major beneficiary from the Internet enabling everyone to have a constructive public opinion. Well….I would say that wouldn’t I?

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The Dread of Ed

Once again……it’s been a very difficult couple of weeks with my back injury and I’ve found it hard to write in an upbeat kind of way. After being poked, prodded and x-rayed to within an inch of my life I have resigned myself to the fact that I’m going to be in pain for about six months. Enough of the pity! In an attempt to divert the thoughts of  ‘Oh my god that bloody hurts’ I’ve decided to focus on the blog, and in particular about people who get on my nerves. I did say that I would never use my blog as  platform to hate but come on……I know you hate politicians, and Kim Kardashian as much as I do right?

Ed Miliband, British politician and Secretary ...

Ed Miliband, British politician(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have a real problem with Ed Miliband. (For those outside of the UK I suggest a quick whirl around this link to familiarise yourself if you’re to join in with the sentiment of this article). I am definitely not going to force my political views on you but I do like to have a moan about Ed. I’m just so bored by the grey suits, broken promises of a better Britain and constant bitching. I  want to hear about more office affairs, political wives in high-end fashion and preferably Barack Obama as PM. I really couldn’t think of a more dithering, cringe-worthy leader for a political party and possibly the country, the man just oozes discomfort and supply teacher awkwardness. You can tell I’ve been forced to stay in traction for the majority of the last fortnight as I’ve come across some hilarious images and websites dedicated to the personification of ‘arrgghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh’ that is Ed.

You’d think we could rely on Ed having a stunner of a wife who is a London Fashion Week, front row regular and rocks the tabloid gossip columns with her fabulous outfits, sadly not. Ed’s missus Justine Thornton (too embarrassed to use his surname?) is a big fan of understated dresses and masculine trousers suits, she also has a hairstyle not dissimilar to Paul Weller‘s mod crop, only difference is he makes it look good. I must give a little credit to Justine, when she married Ed in May 2011 she wore a beautiful Grecian type gown that really suited her small frame and lack of flowing mane, Ed wore a suit.

Ed has definitely missed the boat in the fashion stakes whereas Justine offers a slight glimmer of hope once in a while, fair enough his job dictates that a smart suit is a must, but he could jazz it up a little with a funky shirt and tie combo, maybe get a thing going wearing interesting/designer cuff links? Knowing Ed he’d take it too far and end up further denting his reputation with a series of musical, spinning bow ties….just leave it Ed.

I feel a bit guilty writing this, I don’t like dissing people because at the end of the day who gets dressed in the morning, looks in the mirror and says ‘Wow I look a total mess, yeeeahhh’ ?? I feel like I should try to do something to help Ed to climb a little higher in the cool stakes and maybe even secure a few votes when it matters, but the more I Google search and my insides curdle with cringe-worthy images and news clippings I just don’t think it’s possible.

Maybe I’ll write him a note, or send Gok Wan around? On the off-chance that you see this Ed and Justine, please stop being so awkward, please on behalf of the people.

 

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The Missing Link?

When I was growing up my Mum and Dad always said that the things people remember about you is your teeth and your nails. A bit random really, I’m sat here thinking about all the people I met today on my 100 miles journey home and I can remember most of what they were wearing and their accents, but not a thing about their teeth or nails. Maybe it was just a bit of scaremongering to make sure I had a beautiful smile and manicured nails when I reached my twenties and they could successfully marry me off? I tend to notice a lot about people, I passed the observation test to join the police force with flying colours, although didn’t pursue it. People watching is a fabulous past time and one that the Official Olympic Committee have seriously overlooked.

I’m sure you’ll be sick to your shiny back teeth hearing about my sister’s wedding, but you may be pleased to hear that it was last Saturday and so I can stop milking the event for blog material. It was a great opportunity to people watch as well as catch up with family and take in all the little details of the congregation and their attire.

A the wedding breakfast my eldest daughter was seated next to a lovely young man called Jack, and although he is 8 years older than my little one, he spent the majority of the meal playing noughts and crosses and generally entertaining the younger ones much to my relief. I got talking to Jack’s mum and she was telling me about his personality and that he has the potential to be the next Alan Sugar when it comes to spotting a profitable business opportunity at the school gates. During the speeches I looked over to chastise my daughter for chatting when I noticed Jack was wearing cuff links with his very dapper suit and shirt ensemble, in keeping with his entrepreneurial spirit, his accessory of choice was Only Fools and Horses yellow van cuff links. I was super impressed and wondered if he had chosen them himself but felt it was totally uncool to ask!

It’s funny how little decisions in life make an impact on how others see us. We will always live in an opinionated and judgemental society, it’s just human nature and it takes a lot of courage to stand out from the crowds these days. It has been known in recent years that people have suffered horrific attacks simply for the way they look, yet some still have the courage to resist the urge to conform.

Accessories are the perfect way to make a statement about who you are and what you believe in, and for men in particular ties and cuff links are the perfect accompaniment to a traditional suit. Women don’t have it so easy. We are almost expected to make every single outfit we wear visibly customised by carefully choosing from a vast array of jewellery, hats and bags etc on the market. Ever turned up at a party and someone else is wearing the same dress as you? Then you’ll understand the importance of accessories.

I helped my Dad get ready on the morning of the wedding and when he asked me to fasten his cuff links I was a little shocked by his choice……. Hologram Pole Dancers…..really Dad? The wedding was lovely, and I will of course type up a full report on the proceedings when my sister and her new husband return from honeymoon and I’ve vetted all the photographs that I appear in.

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Country File

Country File

Is there such a thing as Country Chic? I just moved to a rural village after 19 years in the big bag fashionable city and rocking the Cath Kidston look has been at the forefront of my mind since I started packing boxes. Practicality is a factor that doesn’t seem to affect daily style choices in the city, but strolling through the village in my fave Kurt Geiger heels might look a bit odd here, especially because it rains, a lot! What do you think?

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One Store, One Life

If you were only allowed to shop in one store for the rest of your life how difficult would it be to choose? Selecting a store that not only fits your current style and taste but one that also grow’s with you and adapts to changes in your lifestyle would for me, be top of the list right above paltry decisions such as what to name my child and ‘Do you take this man…..? I’ve pondered this question since around 6am and its taken me until now (18.41) to make a final decision. My choice would be Zara because I’m a stickler for tailoring and I love that year on year they produce quality on-trend,  seasonal fashion as well as the classics with a twist. Lets face it, according to today’s budget from a sheepish looking George Osbourne, I’m going to have to work til I die, so I may as well look good doing it, right?

I’m lucky enough I am working for Pixie Dust Merchandising next week and as I’ve been off work for 12 months I desperately need to head into the city tomorrow to buy new luggage and a capsule wardrobe for my foray back into the world of business, naturally my first port of call will be Zara. This transition has come at a bit of an awkward time, apparently it’s Spring yet the temperature here hasn’t reached bare leg status, neither can I seem to let go of my pashmina’s so I suspect I’m going to find it difficult to match my attire to the change of season. But fear not, I have just received a style email from the über chic bods at Zara who tell me that new season twill Capri pants and crochet hem shell tops are now available in store. A perfect combination teamed with a tailored blazer, pashmina and heels (emergency ballet flats in my bag ) Hallelujah!

Now all I need to do is find some stylish luggage from the high street. Hmmm not such as easy task. My options are fairly limited due to time frame and location, so House of Fraser and Debenhams are looking like my best bet. To my delight there is a stunning little silver beauty on offer from Samsonite, however the price tag is one I can ill afford until my work is complete, I will settle for the less glamorous Tripp at Debenhams version until my riches are received.

I shall report back on my shopping trip and see if my purchases match that of my virtual fancy. With a bit of luck no one will get hurt, tally Ho!

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