Pink Words

I have a secret to share. I don’t often tell people this but… I detest the colour pink. Unless we’re talking make-up, I don’t want to see it or hear about it. It’s too girly for me to consider wearing or perhaps I’m just too old! Give me a little black dress any day and I’m good to go. So, imagine my surprise when the June issue of British Harper’s Bazaar landed on my doormat. A black and white image of the starlet of the moment – British actress Carey Mulligan – with a smile and a pastel pink header had me giddy with anticipation. A friend recently called Harper’s Bazaar “the thinking woman’s magazine” and I couldn’t agree more. Of course there is fashion, beauty and even a little blah celebrity coverage but the magazine, particularly the ‘Talking Points’ section,  gets the brain ticking. I want my Prada with a little history, my Céline with a little culture and most of all, I want to open a magazine which stimulates both my mind and eyes. I used to collect Vogue Paris but now, particularly with the unique subscribers covers, I think I have a new collectable.

I wish Leo left me notes...

Summer without Kate Moss on the cover of British Vogue simply isn’t summer. Isn’t this gorgeous? I decided after seeing some images on that very naughty Pinterest to buy a copy. The cover is quite busy which is a shame but the pink works, Kate captivates me and suddenly all I want to do is cavort around town, or at least my living room given that it’s been raining here in London, in a summer dress. Kate has so many critics but I won’t hear a word against this Patrick Demarchelier editorial. Not a word. British Vogue has me wanting a yacht in the Caribbean sea and I suddenly have an urge to spend £2457 on a swimsuit! I love the way they write ‘Model = Kate Moss’ in the credits section like she needs an introduction. It makes me giggle every time. This issue is very ‘now’ but that’s what Vogue is about. There’s an article about Jemima Kirke from ‘Girls’, photographs of what the so-called “IT girls” are wearing, the Richard Branson & Vivenne Westwood collaboration and some beautiful pieces in the Vogue Spy section. If you’re a fashion lover, this has everything you need.

Kate and Julianne

Oh Julianne Moore. Could the woman be more divine? Well, Madame Figaro sets about finding out. Though it kills me to pay £3.30 for a magazine which costs 1.50€, my French professor constantly tells me to read more French literature so voilà ! It’s an easy read: a lot of French goings-on, never-ending (and utterly wonderful) beauty features and Julianne frolicking around in Lanvin. Good times!

These days I spend so much time reading academic literature that my magazine moments tend to involve flicking through the pages whilst enjoying a cup of tea and then storing the magazine for years to come. I never realised just how different these magazines are and, more importantly, what my literature choices say about me.  Alas, no more time to reflect – back to reading about the Tokugawa shogunate for me.

Escale au Pérou: Vogue Paris Avril 2013

I don’t know why I continue to do this to myself. I stopped off at my trusty newsagent this morning and on a whim, decided to buy a copy of Vogue Paris as I’d seen a few of the images from the Kate Moss/Mario Testino/Sarajane Hoare editorial online, but more on that later. Needless to say, I am not happy.

In trying to be different, Vogue Paris has quite simply lost everything it was known for. Gone are the chic French styles, the exquisitely photographed ‘Bijoux’ section is less than noteworthy and that sophisticated sexiness that every woman born outside of Paris’ 75 postcode spends her life searching for is nowhere to be found. I mean, the entire issue is dedicated to Peru. Now I have nothing against Peru. In fact I’m sure it’s a lovely place but if I were as interested as Vogue Paris seems to think their readers are, I would have bought Vogue Lima (if such a  magazine exists)! Instead, I’m getting tips, from what used to be the hottest magazine in the land, on how to dress in a beeping poncho! Is this really happening!? Oui, très à la mode !

When a bonafide Kate Moss aficionado isn’t impressed, you know something is wrong. Seriously wrong.  Kate Moss and Mario Testino are usually a flawless combination. May this date be written in stone. This is the first Kate Moss editorial I’ve seen and disliked. In 22 pages, there is one image (in a Ralph Lauren ensemble) which is mediocre. The rest are just wrong. She’s styled horribly – the woman is wearing Hermès, Lanvin, Gucci – but she could have been wearing hand-me-downs from 1902. The main reason why Kate is a phenomenally successful model is her ability to captivate. However, that is not seen here. The clothes wear her and trust me, they are not pretty clothes! Her skin is too pale, the lipstick isn’t working at all and the list goes on. I do not understand this.  I am not even going to bother searching the internet for the images.

I have never been more disappointed with Vogue Paris than today, but at least my Earl Grey tea tastes good.

Kate Moss for Love Magazine Spring 2013

I used to keep up with who the latest models were, who featured in which campaign and covered what magazine.  These days, I don’t know any of the younger models. They’re pretty and successful but nobody quite captivates like Kate.   I’ve bought issues of magazines in languages I cannot understand simply because her editorials took my breath away.  Today, the word ‘supermodel’ is thrown around far too often for my liking.  Perhaps I’m showing my age but when I hear “supermodel”, I think of Linda Evangelista,  Helena Christensen, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford, Eva Herzigova and London’s finest: Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Kate Moss/Love Magazine issue where the woman isn’t cavorting around naked.  Some of the images, whilst artistic and beautiful, are a little too risqué for this arena so pick up a copy of the issue to see the full editorial.  Perfection.


Autumnal Change

Despite going to bed at midnight, I woke up at 6:30 this morning.  I’m in a reflective mood – thinking about the last year and just how different my life is now.  This time last year, I was living a double life – pretending to be happy for fear that the reality would consume me.  Today, I feel like myself again, and that feels great.   This morning I decided to change up the breakfast routine with toasted seeded bread with home-made lemon curd (so easy and much nicer than shop-bought) and home-made hot chocolate (a Danish friend’s recipe) with my favourite magazine – The Economist.  I always start reading magazines from the back.  I wonder if this means anything… Any psychologists out there?

October marks an important moment in my life, a new chapter so to speak, for so many reasons. Today is my first day back at school.  It’s a part-time degree which I’ve been thinking about for the last two years.  It is a major life change and an investment mentally, financially and socially. To be honest, despite being offered a place on the course, I wasn’t going to enrol.  I don’t know why, I suppose I was afraid of change, fear that I’d be the oldest person in the class, that I wouldn’t be able to keep up or be as good as the other students after so many years out of education and the list goes on and on.  I shared all of this with a friend – Lasca – over afternoon tea at The Savoy (review to follow shortly) recently and let’s just say that she gave me the proverbial kick up the backside I needed! Enrolment done, fees paid and student ID card received.  School starts today! Excitement overload. I still have some fears but my life motto has always been “no regrets” and that’s not about to change.

Speaking of change, I’m so happy with my newly-designed website. What do you think? I wanted a change – something more professional and gorgeous – and instead of getting drastic and cutting my hair short (never a good idea when you have crazy curly hair), I have a new blog design. I had so many ideas and inspirations and was so excited to start my search for a web developer. If you follow me on Twitter you’ll know all about the tears of frustration, faux-developers and those four minutes when I thought I would not only teach myself CSS, but would also design my own website. Craziness in London! Like I said, four minutes. I feel no shame in admitting that I have sat staring at my laptop, hands in my hair, wailing “I don’t understand why you’re doing this to me!”. Okay, maybe a little shame but hey, we’re not all perfect.

Enter Jenny Beaumont. I met Jenny when I lived in Paris for all of a few minutes at one of these fun expat evenings and subsequently found her on Twitter and since then, she’s been my WordPress, Linux and well, anything geeky guru.   To this day, I don’t know how she knows all of this stuff.  What I really like about Jenny’s approach is that she is about do the technical yet explain in an idiot-proof way.  Before any work commenced, Jenny had me look at designs I like, narrow it down to two and then I sent her a list of likes, dislikes and changes.  Simple yet effective.  Probably the most important question she asked was “is this design your ultimate site?”, which allowed me to think about all the features and styles I’d incorporate into the site without any time or financial constraints.  Adding a Japanese section is something I’ve wanted to do for years but I simply didn’t know how to do it.  I spoke to so many so-called developers who told me it couldn’t be done or that would have to be done with different programmes which aren’t available on WordPress etc.  Two long conversations later, without any technical misunderstandings, Jenny began working on my little ole blog.  I think it’s fair to say that I have never exchanged so many emails with one person in such a short period of time.   Over 3-4 days, Jenny designed and developed my blog.  It would have taken me months, maybe even years.  I’m not going to lie, I’m hard to please but other than the use of Serif font, which I’ve never liked, there wasn’t anything to change. Somehow Jenny was able to understand the site that I wanted before I even knew!   I’m so crazy in love with the blog – if it were a person, I’d break British tradition and hug it!  The best part about working with Jenny is that she wanted me to be happy with the site.  It wasn’t a case of just get it done and more on to another project.  For me, working with someone who cares about what they’re doing is a rare and wonderful treat. As if the design and development weren’t enough, she emailed detailed guides on how to use the translation plug-in, image functions and notes about how to change little things so I can be in control of my own site.  The problem with the internet is that there is so much conflicting information available. Having Jenny as my trusty source is an absolute bonus.  I highly recommend Jenny so if you have a blog or website and need some help, check out her site and/or Twitter.

Sometimes change really is a good thing.

A Touch of Britain

With Her Majesty’s Jubilee just days away, the UK is in full celebration mode.  The streets of London look amazing, filled with bunting and flags galore.  Expect nothing but pure, unadulterated Britishness on the blog over the Jubilee weekend.  I may even have a pot of Earl Grey with milk served with scones, of course!  Living on the edge!  The British edge.

Who better to start the weekend with than Kate Moss?  Mario Testino photographed her for an editorial in British Vogue’s October 2009 issue, and the result is amazing.