Thursday, 30 July 2009


This week cult style blogger Susie Bubble (also my editor at Dazed Digital) has picked out some of the best products from London museum and gallery giftshops- including Louise Bourgeois embroidered pillowcases from the Tate.(modelled above by Giselle). They are £24.47. Now in the spirit of all the current crafty trends, I have been making these pillows myself for friends and family- modelled below by my sister Phi.(who's currently in London work- shadowing me: we spent yesterday morning rifling through the stock at Vintage Secret for pieces Dazed and Confused had asked to borrow for their November issue shoot!)Like?Times are tough, so I would happily take a tenner/meal/ couple of drinks as payment....

If you're feeling creative, head to the Aloysius social centre for Craftwerk's indie art fair this Saturday, 1-5pm- expect an ice cream van of treats from Tatty Devine (though I'm still bitter about not winning anything on their fishing stall at the V&A village fete),a fully stocked bar, raffles, cakes, affordable handmade goodies from knitted cushions, an excellent array of jewellery, screenprinted shirts and bags, knitted toys, fantastic stationary items and swag bags for the first 50 attendees.
Let me also direct you to 100 wishes- one of new favourite craftsy sites- check out the cup cake cuffs;(fashion for cakes- wht next?!) top of my list of truly unnecessary things that would make me stupidly happy.Will try and make my own and let you know how it goes...

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Storytime at 40 Winks

In a week where I was made to sit through all three hours of the new Harry 'the dullest hero ever written' Potter movie, I was badly in need of something to reaffirm my faith in storytelling. Luckily Spoken Ink were on hand to do just that. Run by a group of shiny, new Drama school graduates, the company are out to provide the world with an affordable way of downloading audiobooks- the best stories by the likes of Angela Carter, read by future stars of the acting world.
The event was hosted by the charming David Carter in his equally charming home/boutique hotel, 40 Winks, where on arrival I was shown to the girl's changing room, where I donned the vintage nightie and dressing gown I'd loaned from my boss at Vintage Secret. Outside in the oasis that is 40 Winks' little garden, I met some of the cast of Spoken Ink- Helen Bradbury was conspicuous in that she was wearing hiking boots and shorts rather than the obligatory bedwear. When I first spotted her, she was also crouching in the soil, rubbing dirt on her face- a little confusing until I found out she was first to read to us that night, in the character of a lost backpacker.The experience of being read to, for pleasure, is such a rare one for adults, that we forget how truly transporting it can be when done well. We are the first generation who find books turned into movies almost before they're off the shelves, and too often its easier to dedicate a couple of hours at the cinema than however long it takes to actually read the book. Envisioning characters in the mind's eye without the help of illustrators, animators or film-makers is a dying art, but one I got to exercise on Wednesday night with a group of strangers in a decadently decorated living room. Because I was in someone's home, the whole affair had the feeling of a house party, allbeit one where you've never met the other guests. But the pyjama dress code and alternative setting proved fantastic ice-breakers, and soon everyone was chatting to people they'd only just met, in a way I've also experienced recently in someone else's home- Tony Hornecker's pop up restaurant Behind the Pale Blue Door at his pad in Dalston. You instantly feel that you are amongst friends- none of you really know exactly what to expect, but you feel safely removed from the judging eyes of others in the privacy of someone's abode.Sushi and sausage rolls were served in the kitchen, and the champagne flowed all night. A brief set change and cigarette break followed the first story, before the second was read by Micheal Marlarkey- the evocative 'The Veiled Woman' by Anais Nin; not the sort of bedtime story you'd find in the nursery... Finally we were treated to an acoustic set from Amy Studt, free from the cruel clutches of teenage fame, and back with a wonderful new sound. In her one piece, pink knitted playsuit, Amy barely looks old enough to be a 'come back', but both her lyrics and voice have a dark, fragile and poignant element that speaks of her past experiences.
The evening was being covered by the Wall Street Journal, so hopefully I'll be able to post a link to their site soon. In the meantime, have a look at these snaps of me and David, as well as Amy with her brilliant guitarist Connor.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Styling Gabby Young for Vintage Secret

Just a quick link to my blog entry for Vintage Secret- we spent yesterday styling Gabby Young (from Gabby Young and other animals) for the music video she's shooting this weekend- she is just such a sweetheart and looked amazing in everything.You can follow her style adventures on her new blog too.You can see even more pics on our facebook page.Will be back with some meatier posts next week when everythings calmed down a bit...

Tuesday, 14 July 2009


Head down to the East village club for some serious head candy tomorrow night- fascinators, jewellery and accessories from Odette. Somewhere between a hat and a hairband, the fascinator is fast becoming the must have accessory of the season- Afternoon Tea's fascinator workshop on 1st August is already sold out- email to book your place in the next one.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Hep Cats Holiday

Just been away for the weekend reviewing the vintage Hep Cats' holiday for The Guardian- for a sneaky preview have a look at my pics on the other blog I write for Vintage Secret.

Friday, 3 July 2009

London Literary Showcases and Festivals

I'm off to ride First Class on a train for the first time ever, which I'm probably disproportionately excited about, but it means I'll be missing some top bookish events in London this weekend.Cafe Oto will be hosting a showcase of the talent from this year's boutique festival Standon Calling.Its a fiver to get in for the Saturday night
to enjoy The Book Club Boutique, London’s newest literary salon and Soho’s only free weekly spoken-word book club, created by the notorious poet Salena Godden. Heritage Arts will be using the cafe/performance space for interactive, experimental theatre, as they have done before with art projects in spaces like Shunt.Craig Taylor will be performing selections from his new book 'One Million Tiny Plays about Britain' (as seen in his weekly column in the Guardian Weekend Magazine).

Meanwhile at the Southbank centre, the London Literature Festival will be running until the 16th July, featuring some really great authors, big names include Arundhati Roy, Sarah Waters, and Vikram Seth. Other highlights include Harrison Birtwistle and David Harsent discussing music, narrative and myth through their artistic collaboration on The Corridor, a new piece of music theatre commissioned by Southbank Centre. The Corridor freeze-frames the moment when Orpheus turns to look back at Eurydice as they leave the underworld and he loses her forever. The event will be chaired by writer and critic Marina Warner, author of Fantastic Metamorphoses, Other Worlds and Managing Monsters: Six Myths of Our Time. She also wrote From the Beast to the Blonde- which she'll be talking about to launch the Last Tuesday Society Faiytale masked ball Saturday night-SO gutted am missing this!

Also on Saturday afternoon, the first installment of Mashing the Classics will see Inua Elams performing Knightwatch, based on the death of Mercutio from Romeo & Juliet. Re-set in a stylised South London estate, the story deals with gun violence, friendship and betrayal against a backdrop urban dystopia. Described as the love child of John Keats and Mos Def, and influenced by classic literature and hip hop, Elams’ work crosses 18th century Romanticism and the West African tradition of story telling. Poet, author and film-maker Nikesh Shukla brings up to date the classic Indian tale of the Ramayan, whilst storyteller Rachel Rose Reid’s work consists of mashing and reworking classics so that people hear them afresh- tomorrow expect the story of Persephone, queen of the underworld.
Luckily one of the sassiest outfits around, The School of Life, will be holding their 'You are what you read' workshops both this weekend and next, so hopefully I'll pop along on the 12th.On 14th July, 4 authors of Oxfam's 'Ox-Tales' will be reading from their stories, Eart, Water, Fire and Air. You may remember me mentioning the amazing names involved in this charity project after my trip to Hay Literary Festival- Jeanette Winterson, Hanif Kureishi, DBC Pierre and Kamila Shamsie will be reading from their work.
Meanwhile I'm off to exotic Weston Super Mare to write my first travel piece for The Guardian.Enjoy the weekend.x

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Comics o'clock

If you're into the whole fanzine movement, then this is going to be your summer.Starting tonight with the Comic Book party at the gorgeous independent book store Persephone Books, 109 Kensington Church street, from 6.30-8.30pm. Expect home made comics by the likes of Steph von Reiswitz - one of my favourite illustrators ever.Central Saint Martins students are currently exhibiting and selling their fanzine creations at Selfridges-head to the Wonder room before July 12th.And get ready for the Alternative Press Fair including the launch of their anthology, spoken word events,and zine friendly fairs. No excuse not to get busy buying or making your own.
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