Show & Tell - Scandinavian Fashion

31.3.10

I can't believe it was already a week ago I was looking at beautiful Scandinavian designs in a pretty showroom near Covent Garden. 

I suppose I wasn't joking when I said I was busy at the moment... The "on the go lifestyle" and actually writing about what I do strangely don't really work together. Someone might want to rethink the concept of "on the go" especially for me. I like "at my desk" lifestyle way better.

Right now, I am going to leave the rambling about time behind for fear of starting to sound like the White Rabbit and start today's show and tell: "Why I love Scandinavian Fashion".

The shoes below, Finsk by Julia Lundsten. They are just for shoots, but they are by far the coolest crazy shoes I have ever seen. I especially loved the hand-painted soles.


Finsk

There were of course some more practical styles on offer. The AW2010 collection is called "Photosynthesis" and is inspired by the eponymous process. The contrast between the extremely angular wedge heels and the softness of the upper make these shoes totally irresistible to me... Apparently they are also surprisingly comfortable. 

Finsk

Speaking of comfortable shoes, please look at the rainbow coloured selection Swedish Hasbeens are giving us for the Fall. I know a little someone who is going to hate me for it, but I might have to get my hands on some more for the Winter. Hasbeens are handmade in the old factories in Sweden, so it's all for a good cause too!

Swedish Hasbeens AW10

Staying in Sweden, let's complete this outfit with a bit of knitwear by Dagmar. The brand started off as a knitwear range in 2005 with classic styles such as the one below.

Dagmar

Now they have a full range of garments, including embellished knits and the most beautiful velvet dresses. The AW10 collection is described as "Russian excess meets calculated art deco patterns" (and I sign straight away, with my blood).

Dagmar

Needless to say this showroom visit was followed by a deserved cinnamon bun at the Nordic Bakery where I let out a lot of sighs as I was daydreaming about my stay in Stockholm last Summer.







Mademoiselle Robot + KIND = exclusive collaboration

29.3.10

It would appear that I am always full of exciting news at the moment... Maybe it is because I love you all and maybe it is because I am a workaholic. This is one of the mysteries of the Universe and will remain so until the day Shiba Inus rule the Earth.


KIND


In the meantime, I am pleased to tell you everything about my exclusive collaboration with KIND, one of my absolute favourite designers. If you don't know who I am talking about, please read my interview with Mister Kind and then have a look at their Fall Winter 2009 collection... then weep softly as you don't yet own anything by them.

KIND Cape
KIND cape
Massive flashback - Long brown hair!

BUT THEN, REALLY QUICKLY CONSOLE YOURSELF as Mademoiselle Robot is flying to your rescue in her KIND cape, like a fashion superhero. Very shortly, I will start selling some KIND classics in my shop for less than half of the usual retail price. The prices will range from £80 to £100 for beautifully crafted cashmere knits and I just know you will love them.

vestido-pajaro KIND
Photo courtesy of KIND

We will first have three pieces on offer (with various sizes and colourways available) and these pieces will change regularly, giving you the opportunity to explore the KIND classic collection.

I will let you know when the items hit the shop. I am super excited about this, I hope you are too (you better be, otherwise I might have to come to your house and MAKE YOU).

MRtv - Behind the scenes with Loulou Loves You

28.3.10

Last week I went over to Loulou Loves You's London studio to have a little peek behind the scenes while she was shooting her new lookbook. The collection is coming on her website very soon and I can tell you right now that it is super cute. 

Loulou says she is inspired by "what Disney princesses wear under their clothes" and I couldn't think of a better way to describe the pieces coming up. 

Snow White

Everything is entirely made by hand by Loulou Androlia and it is all 100% silk. Expect Peter Pan collars, playsuits, feathers, flowers, hearts, ruffles and of course bows!

This video is a little taste of delicious things to come, so stay tuned for more!


Video credits (please add these in full if you want to re-use the video)
Filmed, directed and edited by Mademoiselle Robot
Designer & Stylist - Loulou Androlia
Model - Astrid Traung (FM Models)
Photographer - Katie Coleslaw
Make-up - Gina Blondell
Set Design - Georgina Bacchus
Light - Ferry Gouw

All clothes & accessories by Loulou

I dare you not to fall in love with every single piece of her collection! 


(may I add Loulou is THUPER THEXTHY and available for THENTHOOAL MATHAGETH anytime, thanks)

Some Little Internet Bites

26.3.10



Dang, this week has been busy... and next week isn't looking much quieter. But that's a good thing, right? Yesterday, I went to Loulou Loves You studio to film a little behind the scenes video while she was shooting her new lookbook, so stay tuned as I will post the film next week! In the meantime, here are some fun little tidbits for you to peruse and this week it's a special cute girls edition!




Jaja demonstrates how bloggers collaborating with brands can be a thing of beauty and doesn't have to be contrived or dishonest. 

Rhiannon shares her Spring Wish List, including my dream swimsuit and a lot of other cute pieces. 

Elin has a new hairdo and she looks cute as a button (but doesn't she always?)

Rebecca shows off her "Split Personality" dress by Nennee. A brilliant idea, perfectly executed by Nenee.

Lauren trying on a sweet prairie look. Cuteness overload.


Keeping it simple

25.3.10

One of the questions I was asked on Formspring was about building a simple outfit. I promised on there I would do a whole post on the subject so here it is! Chose promise, chose due.

I used to have a fairly cluttered style, not necessarily noticeable by outsiders, but I knew it. I would always wear a lot of accessories and a lot of printed clothes (well mostly polka dots and stripes to be fair). I moved away from this half-consciously out of laziness and in the name of practicality (child + lots of dangly stuff = a few bodyparts missing at the end of the day).

What prompted me to write this post today was my participation in Style Wars for New Look TV earlier this week. I had tried to come up with a formula on how to keep an outfit simple, based on my everyday habits, but it was too difficult to pinpoint, possibly because I am so used to my wardrobe I don't actually put that much thought into what I wear anymore. I reach for things that suit my mood and put them on. 

For Style Wars it was different, we were given a theme and only five minutes to pick a whole outfit. The theme was so far removed from my usual style (it was Festival Chic) that I felt like I somehow had to inject my own touch to it or else I would feel even more uncomfortable having to catwalk in front of the judges at the end.



While I was running around the store in a panic, arms full of maxi dresses and beaded shoes I suddenly had an epiphany: "you have to keep it simple". And so I did. The final outfit consisted of... a khaki tee-shirt dress. And I won... 

On my way home I realised the way I had worked on the shoot was the way I normally operate at home: pick a basic piece (or basic separates), interesting shoes and socks/tights combination and tie the whole thing together with a few carefully selected accessories. I pretty much wear the same accessories all the time these days, but I have a humongous collection of necklaces, brooches and bracelets ready to jump out of my dressing table when summoned.





A key to make this process easier in the morning is to have regular wardrobe culls. I do, which is why I regularly update my shop. The reason why I do it regularly is not to get rid of things that are falling apart (because I do it as I go) but mostly to keep things relevant. My style has pretty much been following the same path for a long time now, but I am evolving, I am growing older, my tastes are changing ever so slightly (and so is my body!) so my wardrobe has to match.


Hopefully that was helpful enough! I don't actually think about getting dressed that much so having to analyse my dressing up process can be a bit tedious! 

Secret Diary of a Blog Girl - Part 3

24.3.10


I think this might well be the last installment of my Secret Diary of a Blog Girl as I have posted all the relevant questions from my Formspring. If you there are more things you'd like to know, you are welcome to leave a comment or email me. 


What time do you start and finish work

I wake up at 8 everyday, start working pretty much straight away and I stop around 6.30, although I don't really stop because I am still checking emails etc. That's what happens when you work for yourself from home and you like what you do: work never stops.

Are you a vegetarian or could you ever be one?

I am not a vegetarian and I don't intend to be one. I didn't eat meat for a month after Christmas as a stupid bet with my fiancé (and I won). I like meat.

Do you like 50s diners and if so which is your favourite one to go to?

Yes, sometimes. There aren't that many brilliant ones in London, but The Diner on Ganton street does the trick. I am addicted to their strawberry/peanut butter shakes!

Do you smoke?

I used to and I stopped when I got pregnant. Now I only smoke very occasionally (like one cigarette every 2 months!).

What did you wear when you were pregnant?

Pretty much the same stuff I normally wear, but in a size 16 so I could fit my GINORMOUS belly (and pregnant butt) in my dresses. Luckily I was heavily pregnant mainly in the Spring and Summer so it made things easier, I just had to slip on on smock dress or some sort of jersey dress and i was good to go.

Who's your favourite celeb chef?

Without a doubt Nigel Slater, although I am not sure he qualifies as a celebrity chef. 
Runner up: Gordon Ramsey. I can't resist a man who likes simple cooking and has a potty mouth.


What is your favourite fragrance?

I wear Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolf and am completely in love with it.
I also like Costume National perfume.







Do you have a polyvore if so what is it?

http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/profile?id=192610

I don't use it very often though so it's going to be a let down.

The trouble about fast fashion..

23.3.10

I have a growing collection of peg-leg trousers. The latest addition are these khaki ones from Zara. Apart from one old Isabel Marant military jacket, I don't really own anything in that colour. As a brunette, I didn't really like the look of the colour on me but now I do. Call me fickle, you'd be right.

trousers2

These trousers also come with a funny story. A little inconvenient, but still pretty funny. I bought them last week to fill a gap in my wardrobe. I wore them for the first and only time on Sunday and was really pleased with them till I went to sit in the car and heard a terrible ripping sound... only to realise my bum seam had come undone. Following the initial lollercoaster, I had a "gosh my bum is lethal" moment before remembering where I had bought the trousers from: Zara. You see, I never shop in Zara normally, and there is a reason. Their clothes are extremely badly made and tend to fall apart even quicker than normal high street stuff (when they are not faulty). 

After I mentioned having to return the trousers on Twitter, a lot of people came up with their own Zara mishaps. Buttons falling off in the changing rooms, seams coming undone, tee-shirts shrinking and silk ripping... All things you don't really expect to happen in the first 2 months, let alone in the first week of wear.

This is my problem with the high street: the prices keep going up but the quality isn't. This is not me being a snob, this is just an observation. I wear vintage a lot because I like well made clothes that last. Same goes with designer pieces. I can't see my style changing much so when I buy something I expect it to grow old with me and I like to develop a relationship with my clothes. I don't want to discard them after 5 wears because they are falling apart and are beyond repair. 

To cut a (now) very long story short, I exchanged the trousers because I really like them and decided to give Zara a second chance. 

trousers
Blouse - ASOS
Trousers - Zara

To give you an idea about the high street, this outfit is almost entirely composed of high street pieces: the jacket had to be returned after one week of wearing it because the studs were falling off (that was last year), the trousers had to be returned because the seam came undone. In my closet, I also have a bag with a broken handle after 3 weeks of usage (not even a cheap one), shoes with an unglued sole after 3 wears etc. Pretty glamourous, non?

I wrote about Fast Fashion before on this blog, so if you would like to read some more on this, just click the link.

Tell me about your high street troubles!


ASOS - Access All Areas

22.3.10

LAETITIA - MADEMOISELLE ROBOT (1)
Jenny & me - Photo courtesy of ASOS


Bunny ears - ASOS

A couple of months ago, I received a "Save the Date" email. Normally I file them promptly and forget about them... but this one was special as it came from one of my favourite online retailers, ASOS. I had been to their Beauty and the Bloggers event and to their press day so I knew the Access All Areas event would be a thing of beauty (or at least would include a wind machine). 
My wished were granted and the wind machine was present as well as some blogging buddies (Disney Roller Girl, Random Fashion Coolness, What Katie Wore, The Clothes Whisperer to name a few). I also met Natalie from Canned Fashion for the first time, which was lovely.
As usual, the ASOS girls were as nice as can be (Jenny I ♥ you), and were there to tell us everything about the items on display during the event (most of them available to buy on the site already).

IMG_6356
During the photoshoot

I was feeling a little lazy that day so I didn't really launch into a trying on frenzy, but I did try on a lovely top (that I chose to wear as a dress).

ASOS Access All Areas
The top (you can find it on ASOS here) - Photo courtesy of ASOS

And now for something slightly different, some of my favourite items from the night, as modeled or showcased by The Very Simon G (that was possibly the highlight of the evening).

IMG_6351
IMG_6350
IMG_6347




Some Little Internet Bites

19.3.10

The ASOS event last night was great fun, the only sad point being that my partner in crime had to miss it. She is the only other person I know who can truly understand the importance of a wind machine. Expect a full debrief once I uploaded my pictures.

Image taken from July Stars Tumblr

My Little Internet Bites are happening at the same time as Twitter's infamous Follow Friday, so that should give you a nice little stack of link to check out at the weekend!

♥ Sandrine Pigeon is a Parisian illustrator with an eye for all things beautiful. On her blog Les Petites Choses de Piou, she shares wonderful interiors shots... and she has the most amazing house, so it really is a treat. I can't stop staring at her photos. She is opening an online shop at the end of March, so keep your eyes peeled.

♥ You may have noticed by now I am obsessed with Los Angeles. So when my favourite city pops up on one of my favourite blogs, it's just like internet Heaven. Check out The Snail & The Cyclops photos of her trip to the city of Angels.

♥ If you like beautiful images, go and lose yourself in July Stars tumblr. Just like her blog, it is a beautiful collection of fashion poetry. Jaja also sends the funniest text messages.

♥ Since I am pimping out my friends, you should check out Bitchbuzz review of Tart. And in case you missed it, here is my video of the event

♥ Still with the friend pimpin' (I can't help it if all my friends are amazing): Loulou Loves You is preparing her new collection, I have seen it and it is even cuter than the previous ones. You better start saving up. In the meantime, you can read an interview I did with Loulou yonks ago (expect a follow up soon).

♥ Last but not least, a few blogs you should check out: Canned Fashion, Calivintage, Vagabondiana and The Clothes Horse.

That's it from me, have a great weekend everyone!

MRtv - Natural make-up tutorial

18.3.10

First, I'd like  you to have a look at the little portrait of me in the header, drawn by the lovely and talented Audrey Malo. I have been in love with her drawings for such a long time, I couldn't have thought of anyone better to illustrate my header.

Back to make-up... Today I want to show you a make-up style that's super natural and light for the Spring. It is a very easy look to reproduce but the key is to prepare your skin carefully before applying your make-up. The idea is to get a polished but natural look and that's only possible if you have a good skin care routine. I normally clean my face with Amie Petal Perfect before applying Laura Mercier Rich Perfecting Water followed by Nuxe Sérum Crême Fraiche de beauté.


I must admit it is a pretty stupid little video, even to my standards, but at least you get to see parts of my special Spring dance.

If you like what you see, please subscribe to my YouTube channel for more!


Secret Diary of a Blog Girl - Part 2

17.3.10

I was planning on posting this later, but since I received so many emails saying you liked it, I am just going to post it now. These are a few more questions and answers from my soon to be gone FormSpring. Today's selection is mostly blog related.

If you would like to know more about my music tastes, you should head over to My Life is Acid where I've done a mixtape (really Springy).



I have been thinking a lot about blogs recently as I am starting my own. Most blogs, like yours, include photos of the blogger. Was that daunting for the first time? Did you worry about 'internet trolls'?

It took me about 6 months before I started posting photos of myself on the blog, mainly because I wasn't sure I actually wanted to give into the more narcissistic side of it. I finally decided to do it because it makes sense to showcase my own style to support what I say about my likes and dislikes, inspiration etc. It helps people who read me know me better too, which is nice.
I know I talk about the internet trolls a lot, but I actually don't care what they say at all, so they weren't my worry.
As I said my primary worry was to feel stupid and vain by posting photos of myself... and I sometimes do, but I can live with it I suppose :)

What do you like to see/read about most in other people's blogs?

I like bloggers who show both extreme intelligence and understanding of the fashion world and a keen eye for beauty.
I like people who can write and take photographs, I like reading posts and feel like I've learned something. I like leaving a blog feeling inspired.
I also like blogs that have personality and that are really unique.

Having been invited to Fashion Week, do you feel underpressure to have lengthy reviews of each show or to say you liked shows when you didn't, just to please the right people?

Not at all. If I am covering fashion week only for my blog, I tend to only request invitations for shows from designers I like, If I don't like the collection, I will say it, but I don't like being negative for the sake of it. It is not by fear of not being invited again, as if it happens, it happens, nothing I can do about it. Blogging is about freedom of expression and personal taste.

It is a different story if I am commissioned to write for someone else. Then it means I have to go to all sorts of shows, even some I don't like. But then I will review them in my commissioned article and ignore them on my blog.

Basically, I want my site to be a positive space, where people come to read happy stuff. No point in slagging off and nagging.

How often do labels give you freebies?

Generally, labels give me freebies only if it is relevant - like products to review etc. I occasionally get gifts to thank me for especially good articles.
I write about stuff I like on my blog, so if a brand finds out and is happy about it, sometimes they thank me by giving me a gift.

I like it when people contact me first to ask me if they can send me a product to review as when things are sent and are totally irrelevant, it is more a hassle than anything. I don't live in a castle so I don't have much space for things to pile up, and often those things are not even good enough for giveaways.

When I used to work as a magazine editor, I received so many things daily, it was unbelievable. But that's the way things work: for some products, you can't write about it if you haven't got it in your hands.

I think more labels should have a loan programme rather than giving away stuff all the time.


Could you explain what you would do on an average working day?

Yes, sure. When I get up, I check my emails, catch up with my rss subscriptions and tumblr/twitter. Then I get in the shower.
After that I have breakfast while writing my post for the day. If I need to edit photos or a video, it takes me a little bit longer.
Basically the mornings are dedicated to my blog and/or commissioned writing .
In the afternoon, I reply to all my emails if I haven't had time in the morning and I often go to meetings with brands, or do consultancy missions.
It varies a lot though as I work for myself, but that's like an average day for me.

Have you ever though about having a cookery section on your blog and what is your favourite food?

I have considered it as it would tie in nicely with the "lifestyle" part of it. If I do it, I want to do it well though and at the moment I don't have the time (or skills) to do it well so I'd rather not do it at all.
I can cook fairly well and I know a few recipes, but I will definitely focus on style and interiors for now.
I love all sorts of food so I have a very hard time replying to this. Something I could eat absolutely all the time is sushi. I really like pot au feu (mainly the one my mum makes) and also I enjoy a good Tunisian couscous.




Fully embracing my inner little girl

16.3.10

The past couple of days have been brilliantly springy here in London and I am taking it all in for fear it might go away again. All the windows are open and a light breeze is blowing on my neck. I can hear the distant humming of cars and people talking in the street. Happy times are back! I must be part hibernating mammal as I really do come back to life with Spring. All I want to do is lie in the park with a book. This Winter has been so darn long, I got to the stage when I was properly gagging for Spring. And  finally here it is (or may be). It still isn't warm enough to stop wearing tights, but I am embracing my inner little girl and wearing my sandals with cotton tights! I cannot wait any longer to wear them, my feet want freedom! FREEDOM FOR THE FOOTS, FREEDOM FOR THE FOOTS!

If I appear to be going a bit bonkers about the weather it is because I AM. And the award of the most vacuous style post ever goes to meeeeeeeeeee. Thank you thank you, please you're too kind, no really thank you *bows gracefully* (*falls over*)

lace
Dress - thrifted

Oh yes! I also went to the hairdressers to sort out my mane and you can vaguely see the result above. I wanted something a little less like a stripper wig and more natural. Basically I didn't want to have to straighten my hair everytime I wash it and wanted to let my curls come back little by little. I spend way too long looking at dreamy hair photos on tumblr and I am trying to grow my hair all the way down my back... Long long long, ginger and tousled. Maybe by the time I am 40 I will get to that stage.

shoes
Shoes - Swedish Hasbeens (tip of the day: they are way cheaper on Yoox)

I think in the coming weeks I am going to try and show you my Spring capsule wardrobe (the actual one, not the one I made on Polyvore).
Do you have outfits you can't wait to wear this Spring?

Oh GOSH!!! I was so excited to post about Spring that I forgot to tell you that I was hanging out on the beautiful Marian Kihogo's blog today, go check it out I dare you.

Secret Diary of a Blog Girl

15.3.10

About a month ago, I created a Formspring to use as a FAQ for this blog. I am now going to start posting the answers here little by little and delete my Formspring. I think in the future, it might be easier to just leave comments below this post or email me if you have questions!


Anyway, here is part 1... 


How old are you?

I am 31.

Do you have children?

Yes, I have a little girl. She is 2 and a half years old.

Is sharing the time for working and taking care of your child difficult for you?

Not too difficult, no. It's nice to be able to hang out with her and work at the same time. It really is a privilege and I appreciate how lucky I am.

When and why did you become a redhead?

In August 2009, because I like to change!

What dress size are you?

I am a size UK12 (that's US8 and EU40).




When did you move to London?

In January 2005. Before that I spent a few months in Bristol.

How do you make a living?

I am self-employed. I earn a little through ads on my blog, but I mainly make money through freelance writing, styling and social media consulting.


When you were a little girl, what did you want to be?

First I wanted to be a vet (age 5) then around 8 I wanted to be a writer, it evolved slowly till 12 when I decided I would be a journalist.


What are your blogger pet peeves?

No hesitation: bad PR.

How many hits do you have on your blog a day? And how long have you been doing your blog?

I have had my blog since November 2007. I get about 200.000 pageviews per month. 

What the story behind your blog's title?

There isn't really a story, it was a name I used when I occasionally played records while still in Paris. Just because I was a Mademoiselle and I like robots.




What is your favourite colour to wear?

I like pale/pastel colours, although they don't all suit me (beige and cream are big no-nos for me). 
I don't wear them very often for the sake of practicality (I am clumsy).


What is your biggest flaw?

Being blunt / telling it like it is. I don't really see it as a flaw but let's say most people don't really know how to deal with it.

Do you have a tumblr?


Do you have any tattoos? Or want any?

I had a heart tattooed on the tip of my ring finger, but as my tattooist predicted, it disappeared because tattoos on the inside of the fingers don't last. So weird.
I am thinking of having it redone and also I want to get another tattoo on my wrist.


Who is your favourite artist?

I have a few: Francis Bacon, David Hamilton, Jeff Koons, Botticelli.

What do you like to do on a saturday night

Stay at home, get in my jammies nice and early and snuggle up in bed with my boyfriend to watch a film or 2.

What's your favorite music at the moment, whether it be recent or older? 

I listen to a lot of old stuff! Blossom Dearie is a firm favourite, but I also love The Fleetwoods and The Sonics. Of course the 60's girl groups get my vote as well, and the Beach Boys and quite a lot of 60's folky stuff actually.
For newer things, I like The XX a lot and I like Weezer, Dinosaur Jr, Folded Light, Sufjan Stevens, there is a long list!








Do you feel confident most days?

Yes, I do. I am very aware of my strengths and try to make most of them. I think to "live your life" online, confidence is the first thing to have. 


You will always be faced with all sorts of nastiness and bitter remarks, so believing in yourself is always a good idea.