Yesterday was my first full day in LA. We met Caitlin from Quiksilver US and John Moore, creative genius behind Quiksilver's redesign (more on this coming up!). We spent the day walking on Santa Monica beach before going back to our hotel in Venice for a little rest.
Full diary of my trip to follow!
I am wearing a Zara skirt, Urban Outfitters top, See by Chloe bag and Swedish Hasbeens x H&M sandals.
I'd like to tell you that I was into Grenson shoes before anyone else but that would be a lie, also it would make me well over 150 years old and despite how I look I'm actually not that old. Grenson are traditional English shoemakers, established in 1866 by William Green, but despite the heritage this shoe company happens to be on the cutting edge of fashionable shoes. You're probably painfully aware of my shoe addiction, and no-one can have escaped the recent turn toward smart shoes for men. Brogues are the ultimate mens shoe. You can wear them with a bespoke Saville Row suit or with skinny jeans and a vintage t-shirt. They always work, it's just a fact. Grenson brogues are by far the best brogues around, and I should know I've tried on every pair in London. Their new collection is perfect for Spring/Summer. Bright colours create that perfect juxtaposition between formal and casual, old fashioned and modern.
The fact that they all come with mens names will be particularly useful, "Where's Stanley?" I could shout to my poor bemused boyfriend. Plus us guys get in on that Marc Jacobs trend where all the handbags have girls names. I might have looked stupid with my 'Stam' bag, but I look good out on the town with 'Stanley'.
Brogues are one of those things you cant scrimp on. The process of making these shoes is complex and requires genuine expertise. Therefore it isn't cheap and while Grensons prices aren't as high as what designers will ask for canvas trainers, these shoes are well made. You get what you pay for. High street just won't do for brogues, cheap shoes look cheap and lets be honest, that's never sexy.
If you're in the market for a pair (and why wouldn't you be? Have you seen them?) then you might want to pop to Selfridges and visit the Grenson Brogue Bar. Kind of like a pop up shop the Grenson Brogue Bar will only be open until the 12th of May so you don't have much time. They're even doing a 'Happy Hour' where you get a free Grenson shoe tree with each purchase.
The Grenson Brogue Bar
If you can't decide which pair you want most you might want to consider the Dylan. They're based on a pair of shoes Robert Redford wore in The Great Gatsby that were made by Grenson and have been re-released to celebrate the remake of the film. I reckon Robert Redford was the first person to be into Grenson shoes...he's gotta be at least 150 right?
Words by Warren Beckett
This week's episode of Monki TV is about my work as a personal stylist. I don't do much styling at the moment by lack of time, but I kept a couple of clients in Paris. Sarah is one of them.
I am off to Los Angeles for a few days. I am staying in a hotel in Venice Beach as a guest of Quiksilver Women. My mission is to discover the Quiksilver lifestyle, meet the designers and have a great time.
In the meantime, I thought I'd give you a little peek inside my suitcase. I am only going for 5 days so I don't need that many things, but what I am bringing sums up my Spring/Summer look quite well I think. You will see all these in action very soon, with the added bonus of the beautiful LA backdrop. See you on the other side!
left to right - dorothy perkins belt, vintage m&s silk blouse, vintage sunglasses, h&m earrings, urban outfitters flares.
left to right - kimichi blue silk tee, asos collars, louche shirt, urban outfitters flares, vintage belt, loulou loves you headband, monki tee-shirt, zara skirt, asos sunglasses and dorothy perkins wideleg jeans.
I did promise myself I wouldn't write too much about AW11-12 before the Summer started, but some collections are just too nice. By this I mean they make it straight onto my utopian wish list. This girl's hair also does, by the way.
Day Birger et Mikkelsen and its soon to be born little sister 2nd Day (launch in the Fall) push all the right buttons. Deliciously grown-up and seventies shapes, luxurious fabrics and a touch of fun. Perfect.
Is this Miu Miu? Nope, it is Day Birger et Mikkelsen. Not bad, uh? I'll have one in each colour. As for the little paisley number below, I can assure you it will be mine before you have the time to say "floppy hat". I just wish they were already available. I can see myself galavanting in pretty dresses right now.
2nd Day will launch in the Fall and is the rock&roll sister. Aimed at a slightly younger, less classic audience I predict great things for this line. The dip dye dress looks particularly attractive in its chiffon-y glory and the sequin trousers are pretty awesome (if not a little tough to wear).
... and this is Bob the heartthrob.
Since most of you are probably having a nice lie-in today, having booked off the few days in between two long weekends (that's if you are in the UK), I thought I'd share my culinary experiments. I like cooking, I don't cook often. This tasted really nice and looked like a Bloomsbury Sunset so I wanted to share the recipe with you.
It is an extremely simple dish to make and it is lovely and fresh - perfect for Spring. You will need (for 2)
- 2 salmon fillets (the pink sky)
- 100g of feta cheese (the fluffy Spring clouds)
- 50g of fresh mint (the leafy Bloomsbury trees)
- 1 lemon (the sun)
Place the salmon fillets in a dish, crumble the feta on the salmon, add some fresh mint. Squeeze the lemon over the top, making sure the salmon is soaked in juice.
Pop the whole thing in the oven for 15mn.
I like to serve mine with a side salad & a simple balsamic vinegar / olive oil dressing.
There is nothing quite like an evening stroll through Hyde Park in the Spring with your lover...
I am wearing a dress c/o Monki, See by Chloe bag, Swedish Hasbeens x H&M shoes, ASOS Collar + sunglasses, vintage belt and H&M ring.
Let’s take a week off from talking about the things that we do like, and talk about what we don't like. People who claim to not care about fashion, well perhaps they don’t, but without a doubt they make very conscious decisions about what they will and won’t wear. I'd wager the mental list of things that they wouldn't be caught dead in is a lot longer than the list of stuff they'd be happy to wear.
First things first I wish to speak about a plague upon the high street. Something called carrot fit. Yeah you read that right. Men’s trousers, whilst being a relatively simple item are constantly being redesigned and rarely to good effect. Banana fit I can just about cope with, drop crotch, well that's ok on some people, but who brought carrots into it? Like harem pants for guys they're as unflattering as they are uncomfortable. I'm going to make this really clear for everyone, so listen up, there is no way I'm wearing an item of clothing that was designed upon the aesthetic merits of a root vegetable. Is that simple enough?
"No-one knows I'm wearing a nappy"
Combats, cargo pants call them what you will they just won't go away. I’m not entirely innocent, and in the drunken haze that was university I, like pretty much everyone else, sported pockets up and down my leg with gay abandon. But you live and learn. Even high end designers are doing them this season. I won’t name names but I will say this, Are you in the army? No? Well then don't wear combats. Who needs that many pockets anyway? Haven’t these people heard of bags?
Espadrilles...I know they're summery and that's swell but really it’s a very ugly shoe design. How unglamorous, how functional and the ones with, what is it wicker on them? Shoes partially made from straw? Does that sound attractive? No and neither does it look attractive. Case closed. Also giving espadrilles a run for their money were Crocs, MBTs and Uggs. I don’t mind MBTs because the sight of someone teetering back and forth on them while trying to hide their own profound lack of self-respect always makes me laugh. “They're good for your back!” People cry. I have a chronic back condition; you know what’s good for it? Painkillers and some really nice shoes. My doctor said so.
"Do you like my shoes? I made them myself!"
Leather trousers. 'Classic rock' sounds more like a bad radio station your Dad might listen to rather than a genuine sartorial statement and I don’t believe they feature in any specific current trend but they’re high on everyone’s list of fashion dont’s. I might have tried a pair on once, but it was a long time ago and everyone involved is now mysteriously and tragically dead. But there is one exception to this rule, Buffy. She can wear leather trousers whenever she likes, and if you have something to say about it, go right ahead, she’ll answer you with a roundhouse kick to the face.
This one isn’t over. I know you'll have some additions to this ever growing list so email me or tweet at me and we'll come back to right the fashion wrongs of the world, laugh at our own mistakes.
Things I DO like this week -
Topman AAA scarves
Penhaligons 'Sartorial' fragrance
Words by Warren Beckett
This episode of Monki TV is quite a sentimental one as I talk about my grandmother who was my biggest inspiration/style icon/life mentor. It was quite a difficult one to film as I had to remember a lot about what I used to do with her when I was a little girl and well... it was sad to think about all that.
I wish she was here today to see this, I hope I did her proud!
When I am not blogging about my clothes, or what I had for dinner, I am actually quite a busy beaver. As you may know, I write the MCM Blog on a daily basis and I also consult for various fashion brands. The project I am showing you today is something I've been working on for the past few months.
I collaborated with Electrum, a jewellery gallery on South Molton Street in London to put together their 40th Anniversary retrospective exhibition - Past, Present & Future. I essentially acted as the Art Director for the gallery, which means I advised them on what the place should look like while the exhibition is taking place.
I commissioned the wonderful Bunny Bissoux to design some illustrations for the window and the feature wall of the gallery and I am still working on a playlist that will help create a complete sensory experience for gallery visitors.
If you fancy having a look, the Private View is on Thursday this week from 6-8pm and the exhibition will be on till June 4th.
21 South Molton Street
London, W1K 5QZ
This is another holiday outfit... I wanted to try "pyjama dressing" and I figured my vacation was the best place to hang around in faux-jammies. Please note how the new Hasbeens are already very ubiquitous.
The trousers are my first online purchase from Zara and so far I am as unimpressed by their online service as I am by the in-store one. It took about 10 days for the trousers to get to me. Not so good.
Back in London after a week of rest, I feel more human already... On the last day of our holiday, we celebrated our first wedding anniversary, also known in France as "Noces de Coton". After a bit of research, I found out that it was a tradition to receive cotton based gifts for the first wedding anniversary. I wouldn't mind a nice Acne tee-shirt!
Since we were on holidays, I only had a limited amount of clothes with me but I had packed this pretty Mina dress in case we decided to go out and celebrate.
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