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Posts Tagged ‘fashion’

Shark Attack

What is it about sharks at the moment? First there was that mad film Sharks in a Tornado or something. Then there was one found on the subway. Then the Rocket Scientist had a dream where one was biting his fist and he had to scrap its gums to get it to let go (dentist anxiety or was he sleeping on his hand?).

So well done TopShop for predicting the selachimorphamania and producing this:

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Oh crikey, Brit designer Emma Cook is in on it too:

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Both Givenchy and Philip Lim have shark tooth designs in the current collections:

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We’re going to need a bigger wardrobe…

 

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This week I’ve been hit with a bunch of work interviews in the city. Which is great – as it means I’m steps closer to finding solid work – but also involves a wardrobe meltdown.

Firstly, the only summer clothes I have that are suitable for NYC are maternity clothes. UK, and even Australian, summer threads just can’t hack it in the living rice steamer that is July and August in this city.

And then my body shape has changed since having a baby – bras too big, waistbands too small… you get the unglamorous picture. So most of my smart pre-pregnancy clothes don’t quite fit right either.

I’m fine with the creative industry interview. You know, cool printed trousers and a T-shirt, but the corporate-ish ones get me every time, and I end up wearing a weird white shirt that I bought once with a vague idea that I had to up-smart myself in order to get a promotion (I didn’t), and my black fat skirt. I felt like a nun on her first day of service before the bulk habit order has come through.

Shudder. It goes against every fashion-loving instinct in my body. I mean, to nail an interview, you have to be happy with what you look like, right?

To do NYC summer well you need loose clothing, made of light material. Trust me, when you are waiting on the subway platform in the devil’s sauna of 34th Street, UK-grade cotton is going to feel like a goat-hair vest. This is probably the only time you’ll be glad you’ve bought man-made fabric – no sweat patches (it’s too busy trickling into your knickers).

Normally I’d suggest Atterley Road as a go-to but in this weather, I’d stay well away from anything that isn’t NYC-made (or at least designed here). Tory Burch or Kate Spade would be obvious choices but who exactly wears a dress and heels to go to work in New York City, apart from Carrie Bradshaw? Plus, dresses are for garden parties, not interviews.

Although it isn’t NYC-based, ASOS is a more affordable bet, given their newfound fans of Jessica Alba and Michelle Obama – both who have to turn out fancy when the temp soars. I’m a fan of the skirt and top (apart from the novice nun ensemble, of course), and a massive, massive fan of culottes.

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clothes from ASOS

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Swimsuit Time

This week the UK is going to experience a heatwave.

Not a heatwave by New York standards, indeed the 17 degree temperature (about 62 in fahrenheit) probably wouldn’t even register on a New Yorker’s idea of hot weather.

Nonetheless, in the UK (a country, which in the five early-summer weeks I’ve been back has experienced snow, hail, high winds and torrential rain), you have to take what you can get.

Since my parents own a (little used but heated) swimming pool and my photographer friend Chloe is not away on some exotic location for once and wants to come around for a dip, I’ve ordered a new swimsuit.

Buying a swimsuit is not most people’s idea of a good time so buying your first one after the birth of a child you’d think would take the trauma one step further.

However, my new body-shape needs make the selection quite simple: just find me something that covers up the area between my shoulders and upper thigh. No more  trying to figure out what cut of bikini makes me look thin; agonizing over halternecks or bandeau in the cold light of the changing room mirror.

I just want something that is vaguely pretty, vaguely cool and shows off my best bits (carrying around a 20lb baby makes for toned arms, and my legs have always been pretty good), and covers up the rest. Not black, not ugly, has padded cups but doesn’t make me look like an atomic Jessica Rabbit.

I’ve bought this one from The White Company. Pretty, non?

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Mail Order Fashion

My quick, two-week visit back to the UK has turned into an entire month. Never trust a lawyer who says, yes go go go, your visa will be in next week and you can kill two birds with one stone by going to your home US Consulate.

Almost five weeks later and my visa will be FINALLY in my hot, sweaty (from stress and pulling out of hair) palms by Tuesday and I will – with any luck – be on a plane on Wednesday back to my home and husband.

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The H1B’s patience is running out – but hardly surprising as this has been the longest we’ve been apart since we met, plus he hasn’t seen his 10-month-old daughter for a 10th of her life (that’s a long time in pre-toddler days).

Anyway, on the upside, all this being stuck in the depths of the Surrey woods has given me ample time to indulge in some decent UK shopping. And I don’t even have to worry about the rising cost of parking (my mother’s relentless gripe).

While everyone knows there has been a boom in internet shopping, what has quietly and successfully taken off in the UK is the mail order catalogue. I’m not talking about the 1990s JJ Bean variety, or those ones that sell post-menopausal women fleecy nighties.

ImageMy mum’s kitchen table is littered with catalogues from super-stylish companies (and generally v. expensive – as if ordering from a book somehow makes you forget the value of the pound… like when you went to France pre-Euro days and thought you were a millionaire).

Some of the good ones are The White Company, Wrap, Plumo, Pure and Baukjen. Of course, Boden has been doing this for years and has recently itself had a bit of an style upgrade. (Boden has made it over to the US quite successfully and I know they are looking at a rebrand so they can appeal to the US yummy mummies even more.)

Although, not to forget the web for one moment, another new discovery is Atterley Road, who I’m  more than a bit obsessed with. They have perfectly captured the market gap between ASOS (young, low-ish quality, very fashion driven) and Net-a-Porter ($$$, dresses that wouldn’t fare well with baby chuck-up). It’s full of curated pieces from Hobbs, Jigsaw, Whistles (basically, the best of the British high street if you are over 25), and a few less well-known brands like Danish Ilse Jacobsen and Peach Pink, who do nice, not-bonkers-expensive handbags.

And, ta-dah, they currently do free shipping to the US.

So I can feel doubly good about heading back to Brooklyn asap.

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Gisele Goes Make-Up Free!

Johan Lindeberg, Hayley Phelan, Gisele Bundchen

pic from FashionistaGisele Goes Make-Up Free!

A make-up free state is OK for Gisele but the rest of us should take caution. I should be grateful that my husband maintains that I’m the best-looking gal he’s ever seen. Charming, but outside the comfortable boundaries of domestic bliss, this false sense of security can have grave consequences. In our early days of romance, I would, for instance, happily bound into work in at a hip television company in North London, my face free of under-eye cover-up and pale eyelashes untainted by mascara – carefree in the thought that love provides a more powerful glow than Nars Orgasm blusher. Only to head to the bathroom mid-morning and catch a glance of myself in the mirror under the fluorescent bulb, and run silently screaming to the beauty cupboard.

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Yesterday, the H1B and I caught the subway up to the Museum of New York City on East 103 street. Much of the place is under renovation but it does have a very good film, narrated by Stanley Tucci, about the history of New York from the first Dutch settlers to present day.

A visit to the museum is also worth the visit for a walk down through Central Park, where we haven’t returned to since our first stint here in the summer. (We lived on 66th and 1st in a oven-hot studio with an industrial scale air-con unit that froze one small strata of air and nothing else – I actually woke up one night with boiling hot legs and an ice cream headache because the slim icy jet was aimed at the pillows. The park became something of a front lounge and dining room for us as the apartment was too horrible to spend the evening in.)

After a brief stop for a drink at the always charming if not touristy Boathouse, we headed south and via the skating rink at Central Park

… ended up on a very Christmassy 5th Avenue and at the window displays of Bergdorf Goodman.

Now these are what I call a Christmas window display… magical.

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