Sunday, 11 October 2015


Fashion is constantly recycling looks from the past. There is no shame in celebrating the great things in our history, things we have loved, this blog is full of that. But I think it is only inevitable that trend-setters are always looking for something that is truly fresh. With that in mind Pristine is my new thing.

So the way in which I am interpreting this is part Scandi-style with a slight whiff of 90s revival but ultimately it's about being pristine whatever the execution.

Staples of the look are perfect, deep blacks, greys, brand new Supergas, slick, leather bags, 3/4 length wool skirts, ribbed knits, interesting jewellery and a lint brush. No loose threads, no frayed hems,  no stretching, no bobbles and definitely no fading, hair or lint. This is about being sharp and organised, even when casual. Cleanliness is not enough, when it looks knackered, so is the look, that item's out. Here's the look and where you can find it.

From the hight street Whistles, Toast and Topshop will not let you down.

Above from Toast 

Above from Topshop via Instagrammer @olivia_wh

I Gigi Womenswear in Brighton is a one-stop shop to build the look. The shop is an emporium of clothes that fits into this genre. I instantly fell in love with a mandarin-collared, knitted pea coat in virgin wool by the Italian label Transit Par Such. It's long, it's fitted and it will be perfect for my impending weekend in Scandinavia. It will, I am reliably advised, be the beginning of life-long loyalty to the brand. Coco Blue in Taunton is also a supplier of the label and both were very kind in sourcing me the piece I had set my heart on.

Above: Transit Par Such available in-store at I Gigi (in Brighton, Suusex) and Coco Blue (in Taunton, Somerset) 

Above from Whistles

Above from Whistles

Above from Superga

Build the look with interesting brass jewellery. Here's my Barcelona haul modelled by yours truly. Manicure by Lisa Nails in Berkhamsted - get matt black if you can. 

Monday, 24 March 2014

Focus on Melbourne: Shoes

As some of you may know, last month I travelled to Melbourne. It is my spiritual and style home. I long to get back there like Marion Cotillard's character Mal longs to get back to 'reality' in Inception. And, in the same way as I always feel like I have left a part of me there, I always try and take something of it with me. 

This time, it's two footwear trends that can be observed on any of the girls stalking the fashionable areas of town. Of course, for Australians, it was mid-summer in February so consider them a season ahead and consider this your heads up for our summertime. 

Up first is the wood sole. Forget clogs (I will). These shoes are a perfect marriage between vintage and contemporary styles - the wooden sole sits nicely alongside vintage attire and the leather straps compliment more modern style. And I like them because they hold your foot in place - it's not flapping around. That's a big one for me. 

The below are from Mollini (£64) an Australian company but watch this space for something similar in the UK. 

Second up is the trickier to pull off Jello Gladiator Sandal. I used to wear these to the beach when I was little (but those were pink...and sparkly...ahem). Moving on... don't glaze over just yet. I do understand that a flat shoe like this is only for the willow-limbed. I am desperate for a pair and tried some on today. These come in all heel heights so there is no excuse. I daresay that this last trend is doused in man-repellent but hey, I'm married now! And anyway, just tell the boys that they're all wearing them in Melbourne. 

These are from Windsor Smith, £49 (Australia) but a similar style is available in Topshop here in the UK. And pretty comfy too. 

Final word: If you are concerned with avoiding wearing leather you might be comforted to know that Topshop have options in PVC. 

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Ted Baker does 'Black and Rainbow'

I am wearing a lot of black at the moment.  Is it because the nights are drawing in? I think I just feel like I want to be a bit more discreet.  Although I am thrilled with a recent haul of subtle yet interesting black tops from & Other Stories I do tend to worry that it's all a bit funereal. But Ted Baker has the answer. 

Any frequent readers of HungDrawn will be familiar with my obsession with 'Black and Rainbow' colour combinations and it was in advance of my visit to Ted Baker's Headquarters in London last week that I happened upon these beauties which fell right on theme.

 How good would they look with just simple black skinny jeans? A pair of floral gold earrings?  As I continued to browse I started to feel more upbeat. I began to think of warm summers and festivals and thought that this bag would be a great festival day bag. It's PVC so you wouldn't even need to worry about it getting wet...

They even do wellies in this print so if you are concerned about muddying your hi-tops, they are the perfect festival footwear and no mistake. There's no excuse. 

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Isabella Blow at Somerset House

Isabella Blow is, and always will be, one of fashion's biggest characters. She came up through the ranks of fashion journalists to become universally respected for her vision and as one of the most recognisable figures in the industry. Red lipstick, extraordinary headwear and impractical clothes marked her out on the front row.  

The shoot that she styled for Vanity Fair was a real fashion moment for me. It was the perfect fusion of the most-noted names of the time - photographer David LaChapelle, designer Alexander McQueen and the most recognisable models of the moment. And it just went on and on. It was luxurious. Each image conjured a narrative. 

Sadly, Isabellla comitted suicide in 2007. The stream of unexpected and outrageous outfits was at it's end. But from today, her friend Daphne Guiness at last gives us access to 100 pieces from Blow's private collection at Somerset House.  What a treat. The exhibition opened today and will run until March so get down there and feast your eyes.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Checks Please

Derek Lam's new Spring/Summer 2014 collection is a dedicated investigation into checks. Colour clashing, maximised gingham are cut into boxy, simplistic silhouettes with subtle oriental flavour. There is something functional and futuristic about the collection that appeals to my fascination with sci-fi. 

As checks permeate into the high street this season though, the slant is more grunge than futuristic. Below, an Marks and Spencer effort at just £29.50 worn by Tracey Emin as part of their Leading Ladies campaign. I love the idea of this with a simple black leather jacket and skinny jeans and a charm necklace. It's a great everyday piece.  

And no outfit is complete without the right shoes - would I leave that out?  How about these Talo court shoes by Chie Mihara, £215.60

Or, more puddle-practical, these gorgeous Dean ankle boots by Atalanta Weeler. These are a wardrobe essential, non? 

Everything begins here

Things you need to know about Everything Begins...
- they sell lots of nice things
-  they sell nice bags
- they have reduced their nice bags...
I can't do everything for you so go and have a look for yourself. These are on my wishlist, which are your favourites? 

Mimi Leather Shoulder bag - Faye £207.38 from Everything Begins

Mimi Peggy Leather satchel £165.90, also from Everything Begins

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Pop culture was an art, now art's a pop culture in me

There are always going to be people in life who inspire us. The fashion world is perpetuated by the cult of celebrity. ASOS has made a million pound business out of folk eager to imitate the wardrobes of those they idolise; Topshop and H&M specialise in sellout celebrity collaborations.  

But there are also a rare and fascinating breed of characters who are equally inspiring that we do not wish to imitate.  They have style which we can admire for its deep creativity and slavishness to excess without us wanting to copy it. They are real artists playing with style with a serious frivolity.  Their outfits are assemblages, creations, extrapolations. Though they often divide opinion with their costumes, I refer to Lady Gaga in particular here, you would not sooner expect to see them in the same outfit twice than in a pair of tracksuit bottoms in public. So credit where credit is due; for your delectation, a few of my favourite fashion artists. 

Italian fashion writer Anna Piaggi

Icelandic woodland sprite Bjork 

Australian performance artist Leigh Bowery

Singer and Lisa Minnelli impersonator, Lady Gaga

Monday, 26 August 2013

Shoes and Other Stories

If you don't live in London you might not have heard of & Other Stories. The brand was launched to be a more fashion-forward label than its sister H&M.  If you enjoy picking up the odd COS item, or wish you could afford a Jil Sander outfit, then this might be right up your street, I think all  three labels have some exciting similarities. 

Like COS I rarely walk out with anything when I visit but I always enjoy the experience of going. The clothes, shoes and accessories are rather simple yet lovely pieces. And best of all they are all... they are all at very affordable prices. I am looking for a good pair of black shoes to go with an outfit I wear at the office and shortlisted these. 

Lace-up pumps, £89.  Worn with some coloured tights underneath the pinked edges would create really striking negative spaces on your foot. Potentially very flattering and a nice take on an otherwise quite formal shoe. 

 Velvet and leather-toed wedge, £55. Again, speaking of silhouettes, the waves on the sides could add an interesting dimension to a simple black outfit...

Flat leather sandals, £29. Also available in 2 other colours. The leather laces create a flattering triangle shape to the foot. Nice nail varnish is not a must but an advantage. 

Leather and Suede slippers, £45. In general I am not partial to a slipper, I think that there is something too Hugh Hefner about them. Is it that they just look comfy in a sinister way (you might be familiar with my views on tracksuit bottoms)? I have no idea. Neither do I know how I can feel that way and yet like these shoes. Maybe it is because they remind me of a pair of Dries van Noten shoes I was contemplating selling a kidney for...sigh.

Have a look on the website and know that if you order before August 28th you'll get free delivery. Just saying. 

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Liberté, égalité.

Liberty is the byword for luxury shopping experience. It is a joy to spend hours wandering through each room enjoying unusual trinkets and their curation. When I am there I become lost in an aspirational wonderland. Occasionally, when budget allows, and have been very, very good,  I dabble in a treat that will last but I always dream. 

One of the best-loved staples of the brand are their timeless printed fabrics so imagine my excitement at finding these William Morris inspired jeans in Zara to remind me of the down-the-rabbit-hole reverie of my favourite London emporium. They're skinny style and ankle-grazing so I will be wearing them with a ridiculous heel and a plain white top to offset the intense print. 

Saturday, 21 July 2012

The sun shines brightly in my window today...

Can we finally celebrate the arrival of summer? Please? 

The weather this weekend promises long-awaited sunshine but after a dismal summer of rain it is hard to believe that it might be here. In the absence of any real, warm sunlight (and faith that it really ever exists) I think my subconscious is directing me towards other injections of warmth. 

Chanel's buttercup yellow shades are definitely on the Sunny Disposition wishlist...

...and Thakoon's latest collaboration with make-up brand Nars has produced this warm shade called Amchoor. Available at Liberty for £14.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Admin: The Spring Clean

The bliss of moving into a house with a Sex-and-the-City-style walk-in wardrobe has motivated me to have a sort through all my clothes, shoes and accessories. My main aim is to give myself a bit of breathing space, and to end up with a wardrobe where I can find things easily and be inspired to mix and match more. I think that the philosophy behind any good spring clean is economy. Making what you have work harder and challenging why we spend.

Here are my top tips for storing and caring for your beloved pieces and generally having a healthy and inspiring wardrobe.

1) Have a clear out. Rifle through what you have. You'll probably discover old favourites and horrific skeletons in equal measure. Getting reaquatinted with what you have will ultimately help you optimise what you are left with. Try everything on, jewelry, tights, everything. There should be no escape. Weigh up how much you wear something against the value you might place on having more space to think. Sort the horrors into two piles.

1a) One for charity...

... consisting of low value items and knackered shoes. As long as it's clean, it doesn't matter what the condition the pieces are. Unwanted clothes can be given away by charities, recycled and sold for rags or resold in-branch. Above, my efforts for this Easter weekend.

1b) and one for re-selling. Have an honest think about whether you will get round to re-selling. If you know you'll struggle to get round to it then throw them out! Lesson learnt, don't spend so much on clothes you like but will never have occasion to wear. Below are a box of clothes and another of 10 pairs of shoes that will be going to Luminous and Vogue on Berkhamsted's Lower Kings Road. It's good to have a good dress agency on hand to resell clothes. That way you can recoup some of the money you have spent.

2) Aftercare. Once you have honed your wardrobe, you'll need to protect and store what you have decided to keep. As a vintage enthusiast I am no stranger to moths but they are a common evil in many a wardrobe. They can live in the carpets and love warm temperatures. If you find something with moths, chuck it in the freezer in a plastic bag. Leave it there for a week. To prevent moths I cannot recommend products like 'Gotcha' or 'Zero' highly enough (see below). The pheromone in these beauties attracts the males onto glue paper. This interrupts the mating cycle and over time the moths will cease to be a problem. Purchase one for around £4.50 in your local hardware store. They last for 3 months so they are worth it. If you can't bring yourself to kill things that are happy to kill your wardrobe (no bias from me) try cedar wood balls or lavender pouches but don't expect dramatic results.

3) Hang your clothes on wooden, padded or plastic hangers. You don't have to go out and get matching or fancy ones but wire ones can be damaging to clothes.

4) Invest in a debobbler and use it regularly. Concentrate on the parts of wool garments that rub - under the arms of to the side seams. The above is a cheap hand-held one from the ever-resourceful JML. You can buy smaller ones from dry cleaners or from John Lewis. The John Lewis version is £7. They don't last forever but they can give a new lease of life to knitwear and are definitely worth having.

5) If you can (and I realise that this is a luxury) try and display your clothes in a way that you will find enticing and inspiring. A friend of mine has all her jewelry hanging from nails around the room. All her shoes are on shelves. You couldn't help but walk in and get excited about putting an outfit together with all those treasures around. If you are the kind of person for whom, for example, accessories are always an afterthought then displaying them foremost might make you build the outfit around them first. Little things like that can rejuvenate your interest in your look and can kickstart an existing wardrobe. You don't have to spend anything on new pieces.

6) Enjoy!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Lace in Favour

Lace, broderie anglaise, applique - all looks du jour on high streets and catwalks alike at the moment. Louis Vuitton's Spring/Summer collection is all over the fashion magazines (10 major covers worldwide). Prada's at it too, Lana del Ray was recently decked out in the look in Mario Testino's cover shoot for British Vogue this month. It's a look that has become part of internet sensation's signature style. Her look is Veronica Lake-Lolita and her style slams vintage up against ghetto glamour. Lana del Ray is always feminine, always coquettish (she is not averse to a see through buttoned-up). I think that it is the secret to keeping the look away from fusty.

The great thing about the look is that it's affordable for anyone to recreate. Regulars will know that I always favour vintage - it's a much more rewarding shopping experience - and for this style I would head to a mainstream vintage store like Beyond Retro where 50s and 60s clothes are easy on the wallet. The Shop on Cheshire Street (Brick Lane) is a great, if small vintage emporium. Holloway Road's 21st Century Retro might also be worth a visit - I love this woven, jewelled raffia bag - it's just the thing.

Above: Vintage Enid Collins bag is £65 available at 21st Century Retro

If vintage feels just too much like hassle, or if you cannot divorce it from old lady style, then the high street doesn't disappoint either. I have recently bought a Next lace top with unlined back and peplum waist (two trends in one piece). It comes in navy, fuschia or jade and is a rather reasonable £24. Topshop are in on the act too. Below, their effort is at a less friendly £175 and harks from their Limited Edition collection.

Going Up (in price): are these Philips glasses by a-morir (Kerin Rose). $250 is a lot to spend on such style specific glasses but I just had to include them because they ooze Lana del Rey. You can buy these from the website direct or from Liberty. Perfect pastels and gorgeously garlanded.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Bring out the gimp

I am so enjoying wearing this Amma Gyan leather jewellery - a gift from a friend who is very in tune with my lust for quirky handwear. Loyal readers and friends will know that I am a massive fan of Mor Jewellery (in Ganton Street, London). I love Mor for its uniqueness, for fusing textiles and metalwork and it's general spot-on-ness and Amma Gyan, with her use of moulded leather and metal, fits nicely into the same oeuvre.

I very much doubt that it was in Amma's mind when she designed it but I see in these Dot Rings a knowing wink to the ball gag (as modelled by Betty Page below and made infamous in Pulp Fiction). Maybe it's that it was chosen by a dear friend, or the fact that it feels just a little on the naughty side, but it makes me smile when I see it and I look forward to wearing it for years to come.


Saturday, 10 December 2011

Baby it's cold outside

I have been leaving you to your own devices recently. In the cooler months I suffer and shiver and maybe, to tell you the truth, I just find it hard to get excited about clothes that are beautiful but fail to deliver on the warmth function.

Another reason is that I think when you are recommending items for people to buy, it is imperative that you have properly test-driven the product. Last month, with some excitement, I thought I had found a replacement for my trusty black cashmere Uniqlo jumper which has done years as a loyal wardrobe staple. Having found itself scooped up accidently into the washing basket one too many times, the Uniqlo piece is now child-sized and beyond service. The replacement pieces, I bought two Benetton Pin-Up jumpers at a tantalising £35 each, promised everything. And, even without images from their website to push the products I felt I wanted to shout it to the rooftops that everyone should rush out to get one...or two. But just weeks later they are covered in bobbles. Not a good look and typical of cheaply made knitwear. So I didn't trouble you with that.

One thing I can recommend for the long suffering cold of you are these Topshop leggings. They are thick and warm. They remind me of having my vest tucked into my pants as a child. They are high wasted - which means that if you are wearing a tight-fitting skirt or dress over the top you don't have that muffin top effect. They are affordable (at £18). And they survived the wash without falling apart, losing colour or shrinking to Barbie-size. If you wear leggings and get cold, get these!

Click the link and find them at Topshop for £18.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Baby you can drive my car

The character Penelope Pitstop is all about leather, the matching car, clothes and luggage and 60s glamour. And what better muse could you find to inspire the A/W11 collection from Louis Vuitton - a label with all these values at its core?

Also drawing heavily on the quality and palette typical in vintage car upholstery, my new best friend, Burak Uyan also uses strong shaping and beautiful stitching in the boots below.

There is something very mechanic fantasy about the thought of a brutish vintage car enthusiast having to manipulate and persuade thick leather around corners and stitching it authoritatively over the structures of a car to such elegant ends. Despite the strength required to craft these pretties, you can feel the sensitivity required to do so. As such you can see that these boots have probably had the same treatment in production.

Imagine Dita von Teese stepping out of a chauffeur driven, vintage Rolls Royce in a pair. Sheer vintage-lover heaven. Pure purrr.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Josephine de la Baume... sheer poetry

I have to confess that I am a bit fascinated with Josephine de la Baume at the moment.

She is a vixen... Agent Provocateur.

Her pre-Raphaelite tresses and taste for vintage can easily transport her look into a by-gone era... Kate Moss and Jamie Hince's wedding with husband Mark Ronson.

And yet she looks equally gorgeous in contemporary pieces too... this summer's Mango ad campaign.

This is one seriously cool girl.