|I think I may have discovered the most un-pc...bizarre...least appealing chocolate-y treat ever created...pygmy hippopotamus, mountain gorilla, and a koala bear mounted heads. Yep...chocolate taxidermy.|
"And why was this created?", you ask. The answer is...for the World Society for the Protection of Animals. Why some misguided chocolatier decided the portrayal of stuffed, dead animal heads in candy would prompt people to go save an endangered species is too much for my small brain to fathom. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Well, another Black Friday has been and gone...but did I fall prey to the insidious come-hither glances that I received (via email) from APC, Satine, and a host of others telling me about their massive price reductions...did I? No, I did not. Idiot that I am I fell prey to not one, but two, items that were full price.
I'm really rather ashamed of myself...I've been attempting (a version of) frugal living...and have a watch list of items that I would be interested in if their prices fall beyond a certain point...and yet...I was completely unable to restrain myself and perform any kind of rational thinking. Which is odd (in addition to being demoralizing) as when Susie Bubble wrote about Central Saint Martins graduate, Simone Shailes' collection for Topshop I thought it was lovely but it didn't ignite a fire of longing. Yet when I was trolling their site and spotted her looped, navy blue turtleneck it seemed so perfect...twistedly classic and classically twisted...like a man's fisherman's sweater run gloriously amok...that I was unable to resist.
And, if that was bad enough, I then decided to take a stroll through their "Premium" section before checking out...do not pass go, do not collect $200, do not play this game without a chaperone...and found a cheerful star scarf which proved equally irresistible.
Now I know why it's called Black Friday...
This seems to be bird week...from those cast in bronze...to those served on a plate...so I couldn't resist rounding out the triumvirate with "those that sit around your need and look luxuriously gothic"...as if Poe's raven had metamorphosed into fashionable form.
What you do:
Take a slice of bread and roll it with a rolling pin until it is as thin as possible. Using a cookie cutter, cut two rounds from the slice (each round will be about 1.5" in diameter). Keep going until all that remains of the loaf is a pile of circular cut-outs and a smaller pile of bread cast-offs.
Take a 24 hole muffin tray and place a bread round in each hole...press each one into the tray so it becomes cup shaped. Place the tray into a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 7-8 minutes (until the cups are brown and crisp).
Meanwhile...fry the bacon. Chop the bacon, lettuce, and tomatoes into the smallest pieces possible...I have to warn you that by the time you have done this with two of the three main ingredients you will be ready to kill yourself...ignore this feeling, it fades as soon as you start eating.
Combine the B...the L...and the T in a bowl, along with a tablespoon or so of mayonnaise. Add some freshly ground salt and pepper and mix together.
Remove your bread cups from the oven and let cool slightly then place on a serving plate...fill each cup with the BLT mixture.
That's it...you could, of course, miniaturize any sandwich in this manner...mini-clubs, mini-egg mayonnaise, mini-prawn cocktail...even mini-PBJB (peanut butter/jelly/bacon) for those who like a sweet and savory mix.
A few days ago a friend sent me an email containing the following...
"Ho, ho, ho", said I. "Isn't that amusing?" And Mr. Heb and I joked that I obviously needed to add more girlish references in my writing in order to remove my new gender neutral moniker. Then I decided to write this post and tried the GenderAnalyzer for myself.
In the space of a few days I have gone from 51% (gender neutral) to 53% (blog written by a man). What the hell...at this rate my blog persona will be 100% masculine before the Thanksgiving gravy has congealed on the plate.
|Having leapt into the abyss and bought a leopard print scarf I am now fixated by other animal-print options. So much so that I have to wonder...is this how it begins? Start with a scarf and the next minute you're "that crazy lady who wears 16 different animalistic patterns at one time"...|
Perhaps if I just stick with scarves I'll be okay. After all, you can only wear one (maybe two) scarves at a time...moderation will be maintained by a sheer inability to wrap myself up beyond a certain point. Thereby making it safe to ogle this cashmere python-print scarf...taste-wise, if not financially.
Yesterday marked the end of the first ever Style...a work in progress competition (or SAWIPCO for short). Thanks to everyone who entered...I had a horrible vision of having no entries and this being the first, and last, SAWIPCO...but no, my mailbox received quite a few quotations.
And the winner is...Victoria...who came up with not one, but two, quotes that I loved...
If you aren’t enjoying your clothes, then you really are missing the point. ~ Betty Halbreich
People will stare. Make it worth their while. ~ Harry Winston
Victoria...if you'd like to send me an email with your name and address (and choice of oily, normal, or sensitive skin kit) I'll make sure your prize gets sent out to you.
|"The traditional gamsbart, which is what this pin is based on, is typically worn on the hat of hunters in the Alpine region of Europe. In theory, the size of the gamsbart reflects one's manliness."|
These pins actually remind me of the folks who used to "come North"...ie to Scotland...for the huntin', shootin', and fishin'...and felt that they would look inconspicuous and like one of the locals if they stuck some feathered pins on their new tweeds. At the time I was so busy ridiculing the idea...and the overall effect that they achieved...that I never realized how beautiful the pins were. Thankfully I was given a second chance when I stumbled across this example.
Normally at this time of year a girl's thoughts turn to Christmas Wish Lists (well, mine do at least) but this year that's not happening. Partially because Mr. Heb and I had already decided on a $50 limit this holiday season...and partially because I currently have a Sales Wish List loitering around waiting to spring into action once the percentages are right. I should say at this point that I realize that it is a little bird-of-prey-ish to be sitting around waiting for prices to hit rock bottom thanks to the current economy but...alright, I can't think of a justification...let's just say that I know I currently resemble a vulture and I can live with that (providing I manage to snag a few things off my list).
|Actually I can already scratch one thing off. Regular readers may recall that a few months ago I was lusting over Burfitt's high-waisted, dip-dyed, plaid skirt...in fact the only thing that I was recoiling from was the price...$455 for those who like detail in their narrative. So I maintained a strong grip on my credit card and added the skirt to my "when the price is lowered by a ridiculous amount, or hell freezes over, whichever comes sooner" list.|
Then I received an email from Creatures of Comfort announcing their 30% off private sale (through November 27th using the code PFW2008, after that it's 25% off for everyone). I have to say that, mercenary that I am, 30% wasn't going to illicit a response on regularly priced items but...at one point...the plaid skirt had been demoted to their sale section. Wonder of wonders, not only was the skirt available...and in my size...but the discount works on sale goods too! The cumulative discount brings it down to less than a quarter of the original price...for that the vulture flies down off its branch (the skirt should be with me next week).
Sometimes a DIY project will take a very convoluted journey to get from Point A (inspiration) to Point Z (completion)...often visiting Point L (depression) and Point R (insanity) along the way. Case in point, after ogling the necklaces from Prada's holiday jewelry collection...and realizing that I wasn't going to be handing over the $800 that was necessary to procure one...I decided to make my own...or, to take the elements that I liked, add a few things of my own, and hope the end result was wearable.
The "likes" were easy...I'll always have a soft spot for jewels...especially those in any kind of close proximity to a fabric backing. Luckily I had a vintage paste brooch that I never wore and a scrap of tweed. Unfortunately when I combined the two they looked like just that...a brooch stuck onto a piece of fabric. So the project was laid to rest for a week or so...until I either came up with a better idea or unhitched tweed from brooch and pretended the whole incident had never happened.
Then a few days ago, while cleaning out my closet, I came across a hat which, quite frankly, I should have thrown out years ago. But it was one of those sentimental things. The hat was pure Little Bo Beep...a massive straw picture hat with long black silk ties. I bought it years ago at Joseph...wore it several times, most memorably at a riverside picnic where I probably looked insane but felt very floaty and feminine. That, however, was quite a while ago and a hat of that size is virtually impossible to pack or store...well, to do so and retain any of its form. Yes, my hat was squashed and deformed to the point of no return...but the black silk ties were still in good shape. So I cut off the silk...resigned the hat to the garbage...and used the silk as both an embellishment and a chain for my aborted necklace.
The end result is a combination of grandma, widow, and the English countryside...almost unrecognizable when compared to the piece which originally inspired it...but an interesting addition to my jewelry collection.
|"Don't assume you're always going to be understood. I wrote in a column that one should put a cup of liquid in the cavity of a turkey when roasting it. Someone wrote me that 'the turkey tasted great, but the plastic cup melted.'" - Heloise|
Thanksgiving is almost upon us and, much as I love a drumstick and a spoonful of stuffing, I have to ask...does no one spare a thought for the poor little turkey? Plucked so that its pale flesh is on show...wrapped in tin foil...and then presented to a group of people so that they can pull it to pieces.
All in all, pretty much the same experience you'd have wearing this Vivienne Westwood dress...
|Many Christmas' ago...when I was twelve-ish...my mother surprised me with a bicycle...it was gloriously bright and shiny...in a snazzy silver and red color combo. Perfect...except for the fact that it was a BMX bicycle...and I was a tall-for-my-age-not-very-athletic-klutz. Not exactly a match made in heaven. Still, I (wo)manfully stuck with it and cycled around the Scottish countryside which surrounded my village...despite the fact that my knees were alarmingly close to my ears and completely blocked my ability to use the brake levers.|
Thus began and on-again/off-again affair with bicycles that has led me to secondhand clunkers...retro rides...mountain bikes...and now, The Gap. Because, for some strange reason, The Gap has added something new to its inevitable Christmas selection of brightly striped sweaters and hat/scarf/glove combos...an argyle bicycle. I'm not entirely sure what the rationale was but I, for one, love it.
Another day...another email from Neiman Marcus that makes me wonder two things...who puts together their advertising...and who their target audience is. In this instance, to announce the "Premier Handbag Event", I'm told that I get a free gift with purchase. Yes, that's right...if I make my credit card tingle and wince by buying a $2,000 Yves Saint Laurent Besace or a $2,400 zebra stripe woven hobo from Bottega Veneta I get...a handbag hook.
That's it? A handbag hook? Possibly the most useless invention ever to burst into existence (and I'm saying this from the standpoint of a very paranoid handbag user)...I understand not wanting to put your bag on the floor...or on the back of your chair...but I don't see how hanging it from the table is any better (as that particular location has an increased risk of drips and spills as the waiter delivers your order). And the real kicker with all of this? The obligatory caution that there's only "one gift per order, per customer"...so if you were going to buy both bags in the vague hope of being given two handbag hooks in return for your $4,000 put that thought right out of your mind.
|While I'm waiting to get my hands on my talon cuff...insert a long and not terribly interesting story about the designer not taking credit cards and the first check I sent being lost in the mail (damn you, US Postal Service!)...I have plenty of free time to browse through her other pieces for future wish list items.|
Like this delightfully macabre crow's skull necklace which mixes decadence and mortality in a very alluring way.
The words "plastic"...or "fashion victim"...or "glazed expression"...aren't usually complimentary. Unless, that is, you happen to be a 2" tall f.v. doll...in which case they're probably the highest praise you could receive...
|It must be hideously difficult for those with insane amounts of money...especially when it comes to decorating their home(s). After all, you can't just pop into Ikea...you need to have something hand-crafted...something unique...something that says "look at me, I spent an incredible sum on this in an attempt to out do the other millionaires that I know".|
Which brings me to...the custom chandeliers of Rock and Royal...because, for a truly ostentatious show of wealth, nothing beats a giant, light-up, penis chandelier.
|I've mentioned my on-going battle against the demon moth before...every time I think I'm winning I come across one looking gorged and bloated and realize that he's probably just been nibbling on one of my cashmere sweaters. And such is my paranoia over this issue that I am constantly on the look out for new ways to wage war...some of which are purely functional, some useless, and some so beautifully packaged that I can ignore the fact that I'd be lucky if they'd claim one victim...like this incredibly cute cashmere care kit from J Crew. The gingham bag is so quaint...the comb, useful (though, personally, I prefer to remove any pilling by hand)...but the cedar ball (aesthetically pleasing though it may be) is so small that I doubt it would do much in the way of moth prevention...unless, that is, I started swinging it around and bludgeoning them with it.|
|The words above were taken from the video accompanying photographer/film director Mika Ninagawa's holiday collection for Shu Uemura...a collection that I am tempted to buy solely for the packaging featuring her work...until, that is, my inner voice reminds me that I am a) not Rockerfeller and b) pretty much the lowest maintenance/most make-up free person in existence and therefore not the ideal candidate for mass purchases of this sort.|
|Dear Santa Claus,|
Firstly, apologies for the lack of belief in your existence since the age of seven...and the whole "pretending to believe for a few extra years because it meant more gifts" ploy...and also the "eating some of the mince pies that were left out for Santa because I was feeling peckish" incident. All truly regrettable but, really, do they need to taint our relationship going forward? Can't we kiss and make up...preferably with a nice, lavish gift to make up for all that lost time? Something, say, like this incredible combination of Victorian Etruscan revival book chain and bird of prey pendant by Philip Crangi?
It's only November so take some time to think it over...
|The lovely folks over at Lulu's are offering readers of this blog 15% off any purchases made until December 1st...like, say, this classical skull wallet...just enter "styleawip" at checkout.|
Another twist on eighties mania...the return of the "frump sweater"...ie an over-sized and rather shapeless pieces of knitwear that gives absolutely no indication as to the underlying shape of the wearer. As I type this I realize that it may be coming across that I dislike the frump sweater..."au contraire, as the man said on the Bay of Biscay when they'd asked him if he'd dined" (sorry, that's one of my favorite lines from one of my vintage mystery novels...I'm sure it was riotously funny in 1930 but is probably lacking a certain something now)...I'm actually a huge fan of the f.s. (and have a cupboard full of vintage f.s.' to prove it)...I'm just happily surprised by the re-emergence of cozy, cocooned comfort over sex appeal.
Now that the cold weather has arrived I've already started pulling out my frumps from their summer resting place...how about you, will you be frumpin' this Fall?
|It's been a while since I've come across a street style photograph that made me what to track the person down...persuade them to follow me down a dark alley...and then run off with a item of their clothing...but the photograph of this Parisian girl did the trick. To be honest, I'd take any of the pieces from this particular look but the one that has initiated a new "quest" is her plaid shirt...which looks particularly pleasing and adds an element of "the country mouse visiting the city mouse" to the entire ensemble. Additionally (unless my eyes deceive me or I'm indulging in a case of wishful thinking) her shirt has a straight hem...a big plus as it makes it appear to be a little bit more jacket...a little less shirt.|
Now all I have to do is find something similar...and Googling Carhartt is no help...all that yields is acres of men's shirts and overalls. Ah well, a good quest keeps me out of mischief...as the Knights of the Round Table used to say...
It's time for my first ever giveaway contest...and I'm actually rather jealous of the prize because...
And so, to the good stuff...
The prize...is an at home spa kit (for either oily, normal, or sensitive skin) valued at $140.
To win...well, as you all know, I love quotes. So I'm asking that you leave a quote related to beauty...or skin...or even gloop for that matter...and I'll pick my favorite.
The rules...you can enter multiple times (because nothing is more annoying than entering a contest and then coming up with a better answer)...the contest is open to US and Canadian residents only (apologies to everyone else)...and you have two weeks to get your entries in (i.e. the competition closes on November 22nd).
"Bonne chance!", as they say on the rue du F S-H.
La Garconne's "The Ensembles" No.3 hit my Inbox...and once again I am lusting over just about every item in the darned thing. Do these people not realize that I am trying to ignore temptation and be good?
The surprising thing (because, to be honest, my lusting over everything wasn't a massive shock) was that they managed to style Alexander Wang's ripped denim shorts in a way that I hadn't come across before. They looked luxe, but laidback...polished, yet still a little grungy...and, well, to cut a long story short...I now desperately want a pair. Thankfully a small portion of my sanity is in tact and is arguing (and pretty well I might add) that $285 is too much for denim shorts.
So now I have a quandary. Sitting in my closet...and gathering dust as I haven't actually worn them in a few years...are a pair of APC dark denim jeans that I believe I could get to resemble Wang's distressed shorts...with the help of a pair of scissors and some sand paper. However, I don't know if I can bring myself to cut up anything from APC...weak and pathetic I know...but I usually treat my APC purchases with kid gloves...the thought of attacking one with a blade makes me feel ill.
Hence this post, the big question...what should I do? Do I...
a) stop being a baby and just pick up the scissors?
b) see if I can snatch a pair of Mr. Heb's jeans without him noticing?
|In my new...and hopefully improved...frugal mood I shudder to think how much I have spent on scarves over the years. My only justification (and it's a good one...even if I say it myself and shouldn't) is that a scarf is one of the multi-tasking little workhorses of accessories. It can be insouciant or uptight (depending on how it's tied)...add just the right amount of warmth on those Fall/Spring days when the temperature changes every 10 minutes...protect your hair from the elements when you've forgotten your umbrella...save you from having to spend "quality time" with airplane blankets...transform into a bag (with a few knots and a healthy dose of optimism that nothing will fall out)...and generally perform all sorts of good deeds in the outfit line.|
Which is why part of me is casting covetous glances at this lace-edged scarf...part Italian widow...part boudoir...totally over-priced at $395...but an interesting idea for a little DIY.
|Oh, fashion Gods...you can be a bit of a tease sometimes. Case in point, I stumbled across a pair of shoes from (whisper it...Juicy) that I actually liked...the knitted ruffles...the suede trim...cozy, yet girly and definitely something to cheer up the feet during the winter. Visions of all kinds of knitwear-laden outfits were filling my head...then I read the description again and realized they were...slippers.|
|I couldn't really let the day go by without wishing a happy birthday to my vintage Katherine Hamnett "Vote" t-shirt...could I?|
I keep coming across articles that use the word "effortless" as a style description and it's beginning to irk me...possibly because of the dichotomy that, while I love it when things appear "effortless", I realize that a whole lot of "effort" was required to get to that state. I'm sure there are some people (possibly ones who have unicorns for pets or who have found a street that actually is paved with gold) who can fall out of bed, grab a few articles of clothing, and sally forth into the outside world looking absolutely amazing...I just haven't met any of them (of course, I never met Santa Claus either and I believed in him for quite a few years).
'Tis (quickly becoming) the season for...fashion food. At least, that appears to be the direction that things are moving in...because a browse through Parisian lifestyle store Colette's latest offerings garnered not one, not two, but three designer/food collaborations.
The selection ranges from Sonia Rykiel's marshmallow bears (one with a snazzy little polka dot bow tie) to Lolita Lempicka's cookies and Catherine Malandrino's Cointreau...somehow that last option takes us out of "this is marginally cute territory" and fully into "gratuitous marketing land".
As you may have noticed by now, I have a slight fascination with words...and, according to an online dictionary that I frequent, "Wode" can mean...
- A strange combination of the two as found in Chaucer..."Our hoste gan to swear as (if) he were wood"...(on a side note this probably explains my lack of enthusiasm for The Canterbury Tales)
- A seer, a poet
- Insane, possessed, rabid, furious, frantic
|It is also the name of Boudicca's "art fragrance"...though in this instance Wode is taken from Woad...a "deep blue plant extract"...which I can't help feeling is a little less exciting than a frantic, poetic, possession but I find the overall concept interesting so if I was to wear it I'd make sure that I provided the necessary element of insanity.|
The idea, in a nutshell, is that when the fragrance first makes its appearance on the skin it is as a vibrant cobalt blue mist...which fades and disappears leaving only the scent behind. The combination of pressurized spray can and intense color mean that, if only for a few brief minutes, you can be your own canvas...walking graffiti...the very picture of scent and art combined...
|I believe (depressing as the thought may be) that I have come across a footwear option so heinously ugly that it may give Uggs a run for their money. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...the winter FitFlop...an unholy union of sheepskin slipper and wobbleboard sole.|
The good news is that only a limited number of these will be hitting the streets due to a "shearling shortage"...