Wednesday, 31 December 2014



‘Fashion is an expression of the times. Elegance is something else again.’ Horst, 1984

The V&A's current exhibition on Horst: Photographer of Style encapsulates a life's work behind the lens, from that corset for Mainbocher to a Persepolis bull, and brings together unforgettable portraits and images of high style and glamour. Horst created more than 90 front covers for Vogue from the '30s to '60s. Notably that 1939 photograph for Vogue of the Detolle corset for Mainbocher informed Madonna's music video, Vogue, in the '90s. Horst P. Horst established himself as one of Vogue's photographers of choice in the '40s, so what better way to be inspired by the German-born virtuoso than wear my own impeccable dress from that era - an original Fashion Preferred, Styled by Jack Liebman. Who he? For my trip to the V&A, my classic black taffeta dress with velvet cuffs and collar stood the test of time on the steps in south Kensington, passing by the Christmas Tree 'Ceremony' by Gareth Pugh in the main entrance hall as well as a stroll through the classic sculpture gallery, keeping company with Diana the Huntress and Helen of Troy. My 'Feather in my Cap' hat was jaunty enough and my cane-handled velvet bag too. The Russell & Bromley grosgrain platforms from the '70s are a failsafe: glamorous and funky. And the tights, by Jonathan Aston, add a bit of jazz! The homage to Horst ends this weekend so pile on the glamour and take a stroll through these timeless images.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Croftmas 2014

That was Croftmas: a celebration of local businesses in Brockley, south London, including the show-stopping wares of Paraphernalia. We wore a fabulous range of clothes from a sophisticated pairing of a '40s mole cape with a contemporary pair of Chloé pants, with beaded embellishment; to '80s razzle-dazzle 'em jackets and a V-backed dress with jewel detail; and high-street finds, such as blazers from a Karen Millen brocade to a Topshop beaded number. Also in store is the recent 'Freestyle' range, together with local designers such as Mrs.Blak with her sartorial catchphrase 'Blak is always the new black', and Lira Leirner, where traditional materials are transformed into funky one-off pieces - check out those tweeds and tartans!

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Tate Modern

Tate Modern is always good for a stroll through its magnificent Turbine Hall: Richard Tuttle's 'I Don't Know'. The Weave of Textile Language is the largest installation by this renowned American sculptor, and the newly commissioned piece thoroughly suits the space. Its arrival coincides with a retrospective of the artist's work at the Whitechapel Gallery. I couldn't resist the chrome yellow walls on the second floor - a sharp contrast to all the black and white I'm wearing - top by Jesiré with sequinned collar and cuffs; Italian trousers by Massimo Rebecchi, with more sequins; and silk sling-backs by Dolce & Gabbana. The vintage fur is from the '70s and the velvet bag, with cane handle, is even older. Up on the second floor at Tate Modern, a retrospective, Alibis: Sigmar Polke 1963-2010 highlights the work of one of the most radical and original artists of the past 50 years, who used an unlikely array of materials and media to work with - from soot and bubble wrap, to potatoes and python, as well as ground dust from a Chilean meteor! This true astronaut of the experimental was also given to wearing his own art - note the image at the entrance to the show - of Polke draped in a litany of archaic German insults called: 'The Large Cloth of Abuse'.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Allen Jones RA

Cutting a dash in Mayfair lately is this distinctive orange sculpture by Allen Jones, and arresting poster girl, Kate Moss, wearing one of the Royal Academician's 'bodies'. The ever-controversial, often-debatable Mr Jones, a pioneer of Pop Art, is enjoying a major retrospective at the RA's Burlington Gardens, the grand mid-19th building by Sir James Pennethorne. Allen Jones' show has provoked further discussion as well as mixed reviews. Either way, you can't ignore him even when you set those cut-out figures against the august statues of 17th century philosophers, Sir Francis Bacon and John Locke. The latter wrote 'An Essay Concerning Human Understanding'. Indeed! 
To see the exhibition I wrapped up in Joseph knits, with a Tait & Style scarf. The bag is DKNY and the boots, by Ras, are firm favourites.