Sponsor Mademoiselle Robot - February

31.1.11

Just a quick one to let you know that I decided that the button ads would remain at £10/week if booked in February... but only for indie designers, vintage sellers or etsy shops. I really want to help spread the word about small businesses, so if you are interested, get in touch!

There are other sizes available at slightly higher prices, contact me for more information.

You can book as many weeks as you like as long as you book before the end of February.



Giveaway - Win a dress from Mina!

Happy Monday guys!

Today I have two super cute dresses for you to win, all you have to do is pick your favourite. They are both from Mina and fit wonderfully.

The shirt dress is One Size fits all and the lace dress (in brown) is a size ML and will fit roughly from a 10 to a small 14.




To enter, just follow these simple steps:

- leave a comment telling me which dress you would like.
- become a fan of Mademoiselle Robot on Facebook.
- tweet about the giveaway using the hashtag #mademoisellerobot

For extra points:

- follow @mellerobot and/or @minaukclothing on Twitter
- become a fan of Mina UK on Facebook.




You have until February 13th to enter!

Good luck!

Monsieur Robot loves Casey Spooner

28.1.11


Men don’t come anymore stylish than Casey Spooner. The first time I saw him I took all my ideas about fashion and threw them away, I knew I had to start again. Casey embodies both sartorial elegance and avant-garde fashion while maintaining a never-ending succession of unique and inspiring looks. Taking a break from his groundbreaking work with Fischerspooner he’s just released a solo album and true to form it’s brilliant; and completely different to anything he’s done in the past. A classic, modern sound with all the ingenuity and innovation you’ve come to expect, it’s called Adult Contemporary and is available now on www.caseyspooner.com and iTunes. I spoke to Casey about making the new record and of course his own personal style.



How was the experience of recording your new solo record?

The thing that’s kind of unusual is that I didn’t plan on making a solo album. I was writing material for Jeff Saltzman who had produced the last Fischerspooner record with us. So I went in just writing stuff for him because he wanted to make his own album and in the process I got to just writing so much stuff he decided to take the material and make it an album for me. So it was kinda cool for me because I wasn’t planning on it and when I was writing I was, you know, I wasn’t even recording the vocals thinking that they were gonna be the final take so I was doing demos that I imagined other people would re-sing later. I was very relaxed I wasn’t super self-conscious. We were working quickly so I ended up writing stuff that in a way is more natural, more personal.



Did you consciously want to change musical styles? It’s very different to what you do with Fischerspooner, is that something you wanted to do?

No! I wasn’t thinking about it, it wasn’t a choice. I was just writing stuff for him and his album so I wasn’t really thinking about making any of those choices, I was thinking, is this my next persona? Is this good for my career? Is this bad for my career? Is this what I want to say? It was more like I was just very un-selfconsciously writing material for his album.

So it just happened organically?

Yeah, so a couple of weeks into recording he basically started saying that he felt like it was mine, and I was like “woah, wait a minute! I don’t know” and then I thought, you know what? Why not. It's true there’s like a natural thing happening so why don’t we just go with it.

Cinnamon toast is a stand out track on the album…do you have a good cinnamon toast recipe?

God it’s so crazy, everybody loves that song. It was the first song that I recorded and I made it really, really fast. I recorded and wrote the entire song in maybe two hours. It’s the story of my third birthday party.

Does the change in your image correlate with the change in musical styles? Do you think the two things are symbiotic?

I knew that because the sound was a bit more classic, I wanted to create a more classic image. I’m just coming off of wearing a giant neon lampshade on my head. So I thought I wanted to go the opposite direction. It’s more exciting in a way for me to do something classic and handsome.



So are Fischerspooner still together? Can we expect another Fischerspooner album in the future?

Oh yeah, absolutely.

In the video for “Spanish Teenager’, the single from the album, you’re not really wearing any clothes…does that mean you’ve run out of looks?

I know! I’m post-clothing…I’ve worn everything.



So what music do you listen to?

I was just listening to the new Beth Ditto Simian Mobile Disco EP.

What are you wearing right now?

It’s fucking freezing here; I’m wearing a giant coat I look like an Eskimo basically.

How do you dress on your ‘off’ days, if you’re just sitting round the house, or you’ve got to pop to the shop to buy some milk, do you dress up or do you wear normal stuff like everyone else?

When I’m off, I’m OFF. My favourite things are really good underwear and really good socks and so basically I’m probably just in socks and underwear.

Who are your favourite designers at the minute?

Gosh, let me think. I feel like I’m off the circuit at the minute. I always love Rick Owens, I always love Gareth Pugh. I’m doing a lot of work with Timothy Everest, who does bespoke suits for me. I was just looking at some vintage Mugler. Italo Zucchelli does great stuff for Calvin Klein. I always love Margiela…you know all the basics. Oh you know who I’m really into a new designer I just discovered from Korea called Juun J.




You’ve worked with designers like Stefano Pilati and Jeremy Scott in the past, what’s that process like? Did you collaborate in the designs or act more like a muse?

I love Stefano and Jeremy. It’s been a long time since I worked with Jeremy. Typically early on I have a core concept or an idea I’m trying to execute so I tell people where I’m headed and then I just let them run with that idea. Stefano made a whole bunch of clothes for me that I didn’t anticipate at all. I was into toreadors and he turned round and gave me this kinda crazy chinese sci-fi collection. That was a complete surprise, I was just trying to borrow some clothes off the rack and that’s what he gave me.

Do you have a favorite outfit that you've worn in the past, perhaps on stage? 

Oh man, there are so many! I love to change. I love to change my look and go to extremes. My first Fischerspooner look is still one of the best. I made a suit out of human hair. I was like a big glamorous monster. It was so lush and silky. Not like a dirty ugly monster. More like a shampoo commercial. The hair moved so beautifully. That's a CLASSIC look. I love the neon hat I made for the last show. That thing is so insane. I just want to make another one that is even bigger and better. I love how it looks technical and religious. A showbiz halo.





Are there any fashion faux pas you've made? 

NEVER. I don't believe in mistakes. Well, at least not on stage. I put a great deal of thought and effort into the show looks. Even if they seem "off" it is intentional.

Sometimes I really fuck up in real life. But I don't really care about real life. 

How long does it take before you get bored of a look?
I'll get a concept for a look and keep refining and redesigning it for years. It takes me about a year to figure out a look and I can keep developing it for another year. 2 years is kinda the perfect amount of time. But I am about to redesign the current FS look AGAIN. I have been developing the ENTERTAINMENT image for about (off and on) 4 years.




Now I am busier with the Casey Spooner image which is the anti-thesis. Clean, adult, classic, sophisticated. I like to swing between the extremes of avant-garde fashion and very traditional elegance. Sometimes I am able to pull both off at the same time. And that is what I like most. Something that is now and very fresh but still elegant and refined. Strange Elegance is my thing.

How many wardrobes do you own? 

I have a storage space full! and my closet is a nightmare. If I am not on tour I am just wearing jeans or whatever is on top of the pile. 

Do you keep all of your old clothes or throw them away? 

I keep all the good stuff!!!

What are your wardrobe staples? Is there an item of clothing you can’t live without? 

I know this is gonna sound crazy but I am most obsessive about socks and underwear. I love Hanro and Falke for underwear. I love Wolford, Falke, Fogal, Brioni, Panterella for socks. Panterella socks are the best. If I have great socks and underwear and T shirts. I can make ANYTHING look good. Just add shorts and a great pair of boots and a hat and scarf and sunglasses.

I need that Givenchy leopard suit from last season. I know it is going to be everywhere but I just NEEEED it. Mens? Leopard? Suit? YES!

Is there anyone out there that you think is better dressed than you? 

Daphne Guiness!!! is the best dressed HUMAN BEING.  But other men??? I can't think of many men or at least you don't see them in the press. I am always inspired by very traditional and folkloric costumes. I love the Macedonian costumes in Greece and the kids in Tokyo and gaucho looks in Argentina, etc etc....I am crazy for these kinds of indigenous looks.

Is a sense of style important in a potential partner? For example would you consider dating someone that you considered to be badly dressed?

Yes. I love a hot slob. 

You sing about London on Adult Contemporary... Do you think Londoners or New Yorkers are more stylish?

Very different. I think that England is always dealing with intense class issues. It manifests itself in the way people look and act. There are these extremes of people trying to be proper and very improper. I love both. The super super trashy club looks and the very up tight traditional looks.

New Yorkers are bit more "street". We have to dress for an almost athletic existence so it is about functionality and looking chic.

Who is your style icon?

Cary Grant, Lon Chaney, Buster Keaton, Marlene Dietrich, Louis XIV, King Ludwig of Bavaria, Napoleon, Beth Ditto, Seth Bogart and Cody Critcheloe

Can you sum up your personal style in one word?

CONTRADICTORY 

Do you have any style advice or fashion tips for my readers?


Real style is about ideas. I find a concept or a philosophy and pick things around that. It may be something like ATHLETIC COUTURE or OUTER SPACE JAPANESE VAUDEVILLE. It is fun to choose things that are seemingly unrelated and find a way to pull them together. Visually and find connections conceptually too. This always yields something interesting. 

Otherwise just wear one color and you will look good.



Fantasy Closet

27.1.11

If money wasn't an issue here is what I would be wearing to transition from Winter to Spring... or vacation in Miami next week.


This is a very short post as I had my first proper exercise session in years and I am about to fall asleep on the keyboard while both my arms fall off.

Bag - Yves Saint Laurent, Jacket - Christopher Kane, Shorts - Acne, Top - Alaia, Shoes - Lanvin
(all from Matches)


Jacket, shorts and shoes - Miu Miu, Top - Acne, Sunglasses - Yves Saint Laurent, Bag - Halston
(all from MyTheresa)

Trousers - Jil Sander, Bag - Proenza Schouler, Shoes - Miu Miu, Vest - J.Crew, Cardigan - A.P.C.
(all from Net à Porter)

Marni Winter Edition 2011

26.1.11

I keep jumping from Spring to Winter and back to Spring. I would like to pretend it is just a test to see if you are reading or just looking at the pretty pictures, but the truth is I am a massive fashion magpie. Anything that catches my eye gets written about, regardless of the season. 

Marni Winter Edition 2011 definitely did catch my eye and I may even have shed a little tear while looking at the contact sheets and realising I wanted to own the whole collection. Once in a while, it occurs and makes me burst into song (the Fanilows here will promptly pick up on my little clin d'oeil). 

Morning, just another day 
Happy people pass my way 
Looking in their eyes 
I see a memory 
I never realized 
You made me so happy, oh Marni 


Well you came and you gave without taking 
but I sent you away, oh Marni 
Well you kissed me and stopped me from shaking 
I need you today, oh Marni 



More seriously, this is a collection that ticks all my special boxes: ladylike yet masculine, pattern mismatches, textures and an infinite potential for layering. The shoes themselves were enough to send me to Fashion Nirvana. I am partial to a pair of chunky Marni heels, but I think this time they really outdid themselves... Seeing this makes me wish I was going to Milan Fashion Week. There aren't that many shows I am desperate to see, but this is definitely one of them.


My favourite silhouette is probably one of the most "accessible" - the negative heart print blouse and midi skirt are pretty much my perfect dream outfit.


I think what I love the most about Marni is the functionality of the designs. This is a label you can wear everyday (and kick some serious a** in the process) but the concept of the collections is avant-garde, creating the perfect style equilibrium and reconciling extreme wearability with high fashion. 


True love.


Marni

Marni

Marni

Marni

Mini Robot - Baby Basics, the OshKosh dungarees

25.1.11

When you have your first child, buying clothes can be quite a daunting business. Sure, everything is super small and super cute, but you will soon find that this is all just smoke and mirrors. The reality is that there are many other factors to take into account that have nothing to do with cuteness: the poo factor, the puke factor, the crawl factor, the itch factor and many more. You also want to avoid buying clothes all the time because your baby grows as fast as a genetically modified sea monkey. 


No, what you want to do is sit down and have a think about basics. Baby basics are way more fun than grown-up basics but they are just as durable. Today, let me introduce you to the OshKosh dungarees and their many wonders:

- they are virtually indestructible.
- buy them in a few sizes too big and roll them up. Little by little, you will roll them down and down and down. That way you can easily keep them for 6 months or more!
- they go with everything.
- they make layering easy.
- easy access to the nappy area.
- easy to wash.
- unisex (they even do different colours and stuff if you are adamant you want your girl to wear pink).


The cherry on the cake is that these mythical dungarees are very easily found in Charity Shops for approximately £2.50 which makes them the ultimate bargain.

Mini Robot used to swear by them and was very disappointed when she found out she couldn't wear them any more.




1978

24.1.11

This is possibly something I would have worn in 1978, if I hadn't been busy wearing all-in-ones and bibs. This is also as close as I can get to a seventies look without feeling like I am betraying my usual style. I hear you, this is so subtly 70s that it almost isn't. In my head, it is and that's what matters.

Do you like my new bookcase? It is my pride and joy, I had been looking for decent shelves for my office corner for so long!

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I am wearing a Topshop skirt, Shirt c/o The Kooples, Swedish Hasbeens shoes, vintage beret and cardigan. Accessories: brooch from Buddug and Ring c/o Me & Zena

Monsieur Robot - Formichetti at Mugler

21.1.11

Nicola Formichetti is at the very top of his game right now, superstar stylists are hard to come by but they’re important people in the world of fashion and rarely get the recognition they deserve. He is of course the brains behind Lady Gaga and you can't get much more high profile than that. As well as working with some of my favourite designers like Westwood and some of the world's leading fashion magazines he's also now the Creative Director for Thierry Mugler. Love or hate Gaga she's got everyone talking, not about her music but about her clothes and that's all down to Formichetti. In an era when celebrities have taken over fashion brands and failed we all waited eagerly to see what Formichetti would do with the almost defunct Mugler label. We weren't disappointed.

All success stories start somewhere and Formichetti's started in a shop called The Pineal Eye that used to reside on London’s Broadwick street halfway between Carnaby street and Soho. It had no shop sign and was on the basement level, so like all things 'cool' you had to be in the know to know where and what it was. It was an amazing shop, a haven of avant garde fashion and esoteric styles which are hard to come by in even the major fashion cities. I remember Formichetti selling me a Xavier Delcour top, which took a hefty chunk of my student finances up but served me well as a wardrobe staple for many years. I won't go into too much detail about the top, suffice to say two words lycra and diamanté (honestly, I did look great in it). I also remember a gold leather jacket that I coveted in the store which I eventually saw Roisin Murphy wearing, which was of course years before Lady Gaga was around.

So having paid his dues and clawed his way to the top, what has Formichetti brought to Thierry Mugler? Mugler has a distinctive style, I remember as a child watching George Michael videos with supermodels parading around in Mugler's motorcycle dress, a look so avant-garde it's remained practically timeless, in fact Beyonce resurrected it recently. So what were the clothes like? Well they were infinitely wearable in one sense whilst being extreme and edgy at the same time. The styling was obviously sublime, but there are jeans and jackets I can see fitting into my everyday wardrobe too.  It's a perfect modern take on the Mugler aesthetic and although it borrows from all over the place what it borrows is impeccable in taste.

There's a hefty dose of Leigh Bowery in the painted faces and military hats, there's Westwood in the ripped denim and there's some of Karin Dreijer Andersson’s Fever Ray persona in the skull faces and death mask make-up. There’s also plenty of metallic work, a nod to both Paco Rabanne’s metal disc dresses and Mugler’s own  work with the material. Basically it was a triumph and I loved it. Tattooed faces? Well they're not for everyone and I won't rush into it myself but to see that on the runway is a joy. I can’t wait to get my hands on these clothes, and if I can’t get hold of them, hell I’ll just paint my face black and pretend.





H&M x Swedish Hasbeens

20.1.11

Well I'll be damned! H&M has announced a collaboration with Swedish Hasbeens, brand close to my heart... This is quite funny as I popped my head in H&M only yesterday to see they had made some Swedish clogs type shoes but using plastic and pleather rather than the usual wood and leather. I was just about to start whining about it when I received a press release announcing the upcoming collaboration. 

Clogs for all, people! There are three styles in the collection - high heel sandal, ankle strap wedge and mule wedge. They are available in three colours and... wait for it... the prices range from £34.99 to £39.99. YES!  I know a lot of you love the Hasbeens but couldn't part with £100+ for a pair of shoes that may go out of fashion but there you have it - no excuse now!

As for me... Well. I may treat myself to a pair of the red sandals, but it won't keep me from raiding the Spring Summer 11 Hasbeens collection that's totally epic.

I don't know about you, but to me this is waaaaay more exciting than the Lanvin x H&M malarky, and it actually makes sense. 

The shoes will be available from April 20th. On your marks, set... clog!

SHHM




Creams & Stuff

19.1.11

Today is the return of MRtv - well hopefully it is. Not sure I will be doing a video a week, but aiming for one or two a month seems reasonable enough...

In this video, I am talking you through my current beauty products (creams & stuff). Below the video you will find a list of all the products and if possible links as well.






Spring in February

In a couple of weeks, I will be hanging out with Mickey Mouse and walking on the beach in Miami (if everything goes according to the prophecy) - which means I have been agonising over what to pack for a "Spring in the Winter" holiday for about 3 months. What? yes, I know it is called "Winter Sun". 

It seems strange to rummage through my Spring/Summer boxes when it is dark outside at 4 in the afternoon, but it feels good to know that I will be stealing a week of sunshine in the middle of the Wintery gloom. TAKE THAT, WINTER.

As I plan my outfits - please don't laugh at me - I thought I may as well document them here for a little Spring wardrobe preview. Everyone is loving the 70s (so do I), but it doesn't really suit me, so I will just pretend I am some Betty Draper type character who is having trouble parting with her early 60s wardrobe and ends up being a massive hasbeen a decade later. Yes? You get me? I will celebrate the 70s trend by being a 2011 late 50s revivalist who has trouble moving on. It makes no sense to you perhaps but it makes complete sense to me.

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I am wearing an ASOS dress, YMC Cardigan, Swedish Hasbeens shoes and vintage sunglasses.

Filippa K and Pringle SS11 videos

18.1.11

Clearly this is the "new" thing to do: pretty and atmospheric videos to showcase a collection - or in Pringle's case to capitalize on the starlet du jour and show what happens behind the scenes. 

I had already showed you Filippa K's video for Fall, this is the Spring one and its haziness didn't fail to seduce me. I am easily seduced, aren't I?

Pringle is another story. I like the brand but I am not so sure about the video, something about it just seems a little off - maybe it is the obligatory "fashion lounge music" or maybe it is the slightly contrived voice-over at the very beginning. That's a shame because the actual ad campaign looks good and I was more than willing to be transported by it like I did by Filippa K's.





Mini Robot - Stella McCartney Kids

17.1.11

I don't generally look at designer clothes for kids because... well I probably don't need to explain this one: they grow out of their clothes fast so there's no need to spend a lot of money on them. Mini Robot has a couple of Stella McCartney for GAP pieces that were kindly given to her by her auntie Jaja from July Stars. She wears them all the time, they have just the right amount of style, playfulness and durability... So much so that it makes me consider investing in some pieces for Mini Robot for next Winter. Especially as after taking a look at the website, it isn't actually that expensive (especially if I wait for the Sales).

I may just be a big fashion dummy here, but I am a total sucker for well thought Universes and Stella for kids is perfect. There are games for the children, lookbooks for the parents, cute clothes - the works. 

Mini Robot really enjoyed playing around with the iPad app and I can just imagine her jumping in puddles in those bright yellow wellies!
 

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Picture 7

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Monsieur Robot presents - Groom it!

14.1.11

I've read a couple of articles this week that fell somewhere between interesting and annoying. One was a list of things Tom Ford believes every man should own and while I appreciate his opinion I don’t own a Tuxedo and can't imagine why I'd ever need to. One of the other things he said was that all men should own a pair of tweezers. I also came across a report about the rise of the metrosexual and about how men are spending more than ever on grooming products, accompanying this article was a picture of a man tweezing his own eyebrows. Have men’s tweezers become some hot new accessory that I didn’t know about? A quick dash to the bathroom and soon enough I had my own pair of tweezers in my hand, just like Tom Ford!


Now I don't remember where I got my tweezers or how much they cost, and while i do use them it’s not very often. They're for emergencies really. But what I find distressing about articles that coo over the sophisticated metrosexual man who spends £200 on moisturizer and takes his rugby team mates for a pedicure is the fact these stories are driven by a socio-political agenda, or at worst are a crass bid at commercialisation. Issues of whether or not a man buys moisturizer are as much about gender politics as they are about fashion or grooming. Sexuality also plays a massive part as these kinds of 'feminine' products are seen as emasculating. Now regardless of my lifestyle, social standing or education I’m not leaving the house in the morning without some SPF moisturizer on my face, I can’t imagine how anyone else could either. On the other hand when I use tweezers I'm literally terrified my hand will slip and I'll go from 'man' to 'startled drag queen' in one fell swoop. Basically I use them to minimize the chance that in poor lighting I’ll be mistaken for Bert from Sesame Street.




Someone once told me that a certain cosmetics giant sell exactly the same moisturizer to men as they do to women, but the men’s version is cheaper, and comes in more manly packaging. Obviously men benefit from this scenario more than women do but I think it’s interesting that somewhere there’s a person or a whole team of people deciding what looks manly and what doesn’t. The fact that the benefits of using moisturizer are so evident that you'd be stupid not to use it seems to have passed everyone by. Jean-Paul Gaultier's range of men’s cosmetics featured everything from foundation to lipstick and while I applaud his bravery those products can only appeal to a niche market. Men should use cosmetics that were made for men, not cosmetics that were made for women, and then repackaged to be sold to men. And while there are plenty of products available is there still some stigma attached to using them?


Beards and moustaches are of course for men only and while the grooming needed to maintain one is minimal in comparison to something like a girl having her legs waxed, there is still work to be done for us guys. That’s why Mr Natty's range of products are so special... Beard elixir and old fashioned hair pomades are the kind of cosmetics that men need and want. Recent trends for rockabilly and teddyboy styles require way more primping and preening than most men are used to, all we need are products that do the job without making us feel like we’re playing around with stuff that doesn’t belong to us.


So let’s talk, leave a comment below or email me and let me know what products you use or what products the man in your life uses… This grooming story isn’t over yet!


Simple

13.1.11

I am quite into simple dressing at the moment. Possibly because I spend a lot of time just working from home and I want to look nice without having to make too much effort. I enjoy soft fabrics, floaty cuts paired with skinny jeans and the occasional chunky cardigan.

Pretty basic, uh? I bet you are all really glad to come to a Fashion blog to see a girl in jeans and tee-shirt? But you know, it reflects the true reality of my life. It's not all fancy outfits in fancy hotels (sadly).

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I am wearing a top c/o The Kooples, Jeans from Urban Outfitters, Shoes from ASOS, ring c/o Me & Zena, Coat from Pins & Needles, bag c/o MCM