A visit to Selfridges for a clothing launch and a private view at the new Somerset House exhibition made for a rather fashionable few days for me last week. Stay tuned for more about the exhibition later this week.
Last Monday I took an extended lunch break (my boss is super nice like that) to pop over to Selfridges on Oxford Street and, in my capacity as London correspondent for Melbourne-based Fashionising.com, interview Australian model Jess Hart about her fashion range Neon Hart. With a five minute photocall and a fifteen minute interview scheduled I thought it would be over in a flash but, as usual with all things fashion, they were running late and I ended having to leg it back to the office way later than intended. I had a go at being a fashion photographer with a borrowed SLR too, the results of which you can see here. What do you mean I shouldn’t give up my day job?
Jess was discovered at the age of 15 in a model search competition run by Australian teen magazine Dolly. Now 24, she hit the big time a few years ago when she appeared in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition and modeled for Victoria’s Secret – that’s right, she has an amazing body. She also has great style, in that tomboyish, resident New Yorker kind of way, and put her eye to good use by collaborating with an Australian retailer to create Neon Hart. Jess was in London to launch the range here, available exclusively at Selfridges.
Click here to read my full interview with Jess Hart on Fashionising.com
I kid you not, that’s what this shoe is called – ‘Hello!’
I’ve been after a pair of black ankle strap platforms for a while now. I think it’s partly because they’re used so often on the catwalks and in look books – the platform and high heel add the requisite extra 5 inches to those already tall enough models, but the simple ankle strap design means they don’t detract from the clothes on show. I found a pair of ridiculously beautiful black suede Alaia heels, but with a equally ridiculous price of more than £700 they were way out of my league. The Miss KG ‘Hello!’, on the other hand, is well within reach at just £39 (reduced from £85). Get it in the Kurt Geiger online shop.
Death, decay, incest and cross-dressing children – The Cement Garden is as dark as it is gripping, and I highly recommend it.
Before he won the Booker Prize for Amsterdam, before Atonement was turned into a big screen adaptation (I still haven’t been able to bring myself to read the book since the ending was thoroughly spoiled – thanks for that, Keira Knightley), Ian McEwan wrote his debut novel, The Cement Garden. Almost a novella at not much more than 100 pages long, it tells the story of teenager Jack and his three siblings, as they struggle through a long, hot summer following the death of their father. I don’t want to give anything more away, because the plot is pretty gripping, but if you like your books filled with very dark humour, keenly observed family relationships and a fair few scenes that will make you gasp in shock, you’ll love The Cement Garden as much as I did. It easily cemented (sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun) McEwan’s place – not far below Bret Easton Ellis and a few places ahead of Donna Tart – in the list of my top ten favourite authors.
Also, here’s a bit of literary trivia for you: Do you remember Madonna’s ‘What it feels like for a girl’, which featured a snippet of spoken word at the beginning and made everyone say ‘doesn’t Madge do a good English accent?’ Those words are actually spoken by Charlotte Gainsbourg and were sampled from the film adaptation of The Cement Garden. Check it out in the video below.
Boots have answered my prayers with a new moisturiser that features essential SPF15 sun protection but is a total bargain at just £2.79 a bottle – Boots Simply Sensitive Day Moisturiser SPF15.
A doctor friend of mine once told me that if you wear sun screen that’s anything lower than SPF15 then it’s basically useless. Ever since then I couldn’t help but feel a slight sense of resentment every time I put on my regular moisturiser which offered a paltry SPF12. And yet I carried on using it. The problem was that while I knew sun protection is the essential ingredient in face cream for preventing signs of ageing, I wasn’t willing to upgrade to the likes of Olay Total Effects which, at £14 for 50ml, is just too much for a self-confessed frugal girl like me.
So imagine my delight when I discovered a new product at Boots this week which solved my conundrum. Boots Simply Sensitive Protecting Day Moisturiser SPF15 contains the requisite sun screen but is a total bargain at just £2.79 for 125ml. Having tried it I’m a definite convert. It’s got a reassuringly thick consistency (that’ll be the sun screen) and it spreads well so you don’t need too much for each application. Even better, it’s on 3 for 2 offer right now. I might go back soon so I can stockpile some more.
One of my favourite collections at Graduate Fashion Week last Sunday was from the University of Salford. It was Anh Hoang’s bright, fun and frothy tasselled dresses and sequin-covered sequins. You can read my pick of ones to watch over here, but I thought I’d share a few other pictures I snapped with my iPhone at the Salford show.
I thought that models wearing gorilla masks was a bit gimmcky, but one of the lecturers told me after the show that James Pilcher is one of the best students in the year, and has been accepted onto the Royal College of Art’s MA menswear course. Who am I to argue?
I’d never seen children on the catwalk at Graduate Fashion Week until Leanne Haggerty sent out these little sweeties.
Q: Can you guess which Lord of the Ring’s character Kerri McGill’s all white collection was inspired by? Scroll down for the answer.
A: It’s Gandalf the White Wizard.