Forgotten favourites.





Behold, some recent favourites from Twitter that aren’t cat videos:

1. Behind the scenes of Maggie Gyllenhaal’s wardrobe in The Honourable Woman (Grazia)

2. ‘The Paying Guests’ by Sarah Waters. (The Guardian) The review doesn’t quite shower Waters’ sixth novel in glory, but it is set in 1920s London which you might have guessed is my thing.

3.  The Cut describes the late Lauren Bacall as ‘a casualwear enthusiast’. Hello, new Twitter bio!

4. Off-duty essentials from Net-a-Porter (see no.3). Those boots look particularly good, especially teamed with some grey cashmere and a leather jacket. Also, free shipping this week so maybe the right time to finally get my hands on some KORA Rosehip Body Oil…?


6. Fashion books you should know about. (Fashion Historia) Not my words, but those of bonafide fashion historian. I’ve added them to my Amazon wish list, if you fancy a peruse…


[Images via Grazia, Net a Porter and The Cut]

Diary dates for Autumn.


Edward Steichen, Marion Morehouse wearing fashion by Tappé ; masks by the Polish illustrator W. T. Benda, 1926 © 1926 Condé Nast


iPhones/Moleskines/Smythsons at the ready, it’s time to pencil in some very special events taking place over the next few months. Inevitably, I will be haunched in the corner making frenzied notes at all of the below. Apart from the SHOWstudio web interview, of course. That is most certainly a pyjamas, pot of tea and entire packet of bourbons in bed kinda deal:


Penny Martin in conversation with Lou Stoppard at SHOWstudio, 12.00 BST, 

The lady at the helm of the best magazine on the planet talking about her career up to, and including, The Gentlewoman for a whole hour. Oh, to know what goes on at 1 Tavistock Chambers! Before landing one of the world’s best jobs, Penny researched a PhD thesis on 1980s fashion magazines and spent seven years at SHOWstudio. Fellow Martinite Holly from Luxe Pauvre has already told me she might transcribe the whole thing. I AM SO EXCITED.


Lunchtime lecture: Virginia Woolf: A Woman of Fashion?, National Portrait Gallery, London. 1.15pm, 4th September 2014.

The Bloomsbury group is having a moment this Autumn, from those hand painted Burberry totes to this new exhibition at the NPG. This free lunchtime talk is accompanying Virginia Woolf: Art, Life and Vision that runs until 26th October and looks at Woolf’s ‘ambivalent relationship with clothes and fashion’. It sounds really excellent, actually, especially when you read that she once resorted to pinning together her underwear with a brooch. Haven’t we all been there, ladies? Keeping with the Bloomsbury theme I also hope to visit Charleston some time before November, likely on my own unless I can convince R that the cafe is worth the two-hour drive.


Inventing Elegance – Fashion Photography 1910-1945, V&A Museum, London, 12th December 2014

If a lunchtime talk just isn’t enough, you can book now for this day-long conference on Horst P. Horst, George Hoyningen-Huene, Man Ray and other contemporaries at the V&A in December. It is one of the events supporting ‘Horst: Photographer of Style’, and, I think, ‘Edward Steichen: In High Fashion, The Conde Nast Years 1923-1937′, which will open at the Photographer’s Gallery on 31st October.  I originally read about that here, but it’s not on the Photographer’s Gallery website yet, oddly. Is this the definition of being a bit too keen? That ringing noise you can hear is my 1920s nerd-out points hitting a gazillion.


[Image via FEP photo]

At the door.

Notting_Hill_316 Notting_Hill_317 Notting_Hill_318


Even back in 1999, when my taste in clothes was decidedly more colourful (awful) than it is now, I loved this scene in Notting Hill where Hugh was trying oh-so-hard to get over Julia with Emily Mortimer’s elegantly dressed ‘perfect girl’. That dress! That bob! Those earrings! It all looks incredibly Calvin and so right for now. Seeing as I am newly equipped with a brand new haircut it seems only right to wear something similar in the near-future. A little black dress edit coming right up…


[Images via Leave Me the White]

A dreaded sunny day.

no thanks


This genius top from Whistles pretty much summing up my attitude to Summer. AMAZING. In fairness, I’d probably be feeling a bit more pumped for the next few months if any of the following were in the pipeline:


a) A Margaret Dabbs medical pedicure 

b) Full ownership of this ensemble from Whistles (ironically)

c) A stay at the Georges hotel in Istanbul.


Not to mention my favourite Zara sunglasses accidentally ended up in the oven. HOW DOES THAT EVEN HAPPEN?


[Image via Whistles]

Taking care of Haute Couture: Part II



Readers of last year’s post, ‘Taking Care of Haute Couture: Part 1‘ might have noticed my infatuated with haute couture and its conservation. The post back then was inspired by a vintage clothing sale at Christie’s in London; the standout piece being a rare black silk blouse from Dior’s very first collection, ‘La Carolle’ (1947).

Here we are again, then. And again, it’s all about Dior. A visit to the Bond Street store a month or so ago proved to be a fitting precursor to this season’s show at the Musée Rodin. A wonderful sense of history permeates every fibre of the store, and connections between Simons’ designs and those of Monsieur Dior are evident in almost every piece – from the flat, wide round buttons on the newly-interpreted Bar jackets, to the flashes of colour visible under dresses and blouses. But as Tim Blanks rightly says in his review to S/S ’14 collection, ‘the future won’t wait’, and a future it seems, is what Raf Simons has secured for the codified house, with graphic cut outs and vivid-coloured slices of lace fusing seamlessly with the trademark Dior silhouette.




The navy wool bustier jumpsuit Stephanie tried on from the 2014 RTW cruise collection (I cried in the street outside after this happened – smooooooth), was just one example of the synthesis between Mr Simons’, and Mr Dior’s craft. It was only after our visit, when I started looking at those founding collections of the late 1940s that I discovered this ‘Eventail’ gown from Autumn/Winter ’48, also made from wool. Excitement for next season is already sky-high.



[Images via Tumblr and the Metroplitan Museum of Art]


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 45 other followers