Friday, September 30, 2011

For the Love of Lysts

I love lists. Love 'em. Can't get enough. I like to make To Do lists, To Read lists, To Cook lists, To Buy lists, To See lists. I like shopping lists and Top 5 Songs To Dance in My Pants To lists and when things get busy I like to make a priority list of my lists. Unsurprisingly then, Lyst appealed to me. Now I can have a nice, interactive fashion lyst to add to my list of lists. You can search by designer or item and then you can hoard them all! All the pretty things shall be mine... As discussed in a previous post on Polyvore I have some vaguely obsessive compulsive tendencies when it comes to scrapbooking and Lyst is fuel to the fire. Many many spare moments spent browsing all the fashion loveliness (procrastinating). All my favourite things in one, graphically clear place - look at my lovely lyst! Isn't it beautiful? Don't I have excellent taste??

Such good taste, I know right? If you are unconvinced by my personal taste (loser) then you can admire Navaz/Disneyrollergirl's list or Claire/Young Shield's too. Lyst also sends you emails when your items go on sale which is probably never going to be useful for all the Givenchy/Miu Miu/Nicholas Kirkwood I've got on there but should be handy for my favourite Topshop/Asos/Zara pieces.

Mostly though, I have awesome taste and I really love jumpers. I also have a little widget down there on the left so you can be constantly updated on my great taste even here. I should totally get a business card printed with 'CM, Tastemaker'. That would be mega sensible...

Chuck x

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sabina Kasper

I want jewellery please. Lots of it! Actually, that's not true. I would like a couple of beautiful pieces to wear regularly. My everyday jewellery 'wardrobe', as it were, is quite limited. All the gold colour has rubbed off the chain of my go to necklace and it looks all grotty. That will teach me to buy cheap metals. Tricky to get hold of a simple, thin, short-ish real gold chain to replace it with though. Any suggestions?

Aside from that small, practical purchase I would also like more or less everything Sabina Kasper has ever made. Or just one or two pieces. Even that would perk up my jewellery box immeasurably! She just makes beautiful, interesting jewellery - velour coated chunky chains, paint splashed tourmalines, grey diamonds, sprinklings of fine chains, delicately decorated Tahitian pearls, amethyst with doves... One statement piece and one slim line, delicate piece? Done. Apparently she is stocked by Liberty and Dover Street Market in the UK but I can't find any online stockists so I have no gage on prices. Will just have to pop to Liberty in person and have a look/try them all on and run away wearing them and cackling loudly.

Aren't they shockingly lovely?

Chuck x

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Some Clothes that I've Worn 'n' Stuff

Catchy title, right? Yet another sign that I'm not really destined to be a personal style blogger. That and my lack of internet USP, my inconsistencies of taste and the fact that I haven't done one of these in something like six months. What can I say, life has got in the way.

Also, my photo quality... I know, they are rubbish but they get the basic point across (I hope). I thought that back when I bought my new and very lovely camera there would be a massive leap in the quality of these photos but it turns out that my crap old camera was the least of my problems. The real issue is that I hate being the focus of a photo which means I have very little patience with my picture taking. I feel instantly uncomfortable and awkward and I want to get the whole process over with as soon as possible and so I rush through it clumsily. It is a good day when I manage to take three pictures before I get too twitchy which doesn't give me much to work with. I don't have the time, literally or emotionally, to be faffing around with trying to position my camera and rushing around for auto-timers. The longer I have to pose the more uncomfortable the photo looks. A poseur I may be but a poser I am not! Similarly, editing means spending excess time looking at myself looking awkward so I like to skip that too. Anyway, hence the lo-fi pictures. I'm consistently interested in other people's daily style choices though so I thought I would share these nonetheless. No judgement here?

Other things to be noted from these pictures, i) I need to Windolene that mirror pretty badly, ii) I really need to finish unpacking and tidy the hell up! Such a scruffpot. My poor mother.

Chuck x

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Ice Cream Dream

Blackberry + White Peach and Lavender / Gianduia + Pistachio 
Bellini + Raspberry & Sage + Chocolate Truffle / Whiskey + Basil Liqueur
Caramel + Valrhona Chocolate / White Chocolate and Basil + Yellow Plum + Chocolate
Mango + Peach and Pine Nuts

Oh yes. We know how to enjoy ourselves. Perfect weather, copious amounts of pizza, obscene amounts of ice cream. I always find city breaks a bit stressful (particularly when your pre-booked and part paid for accommodation falls through and certain butt heads leave you high and dry and homeless - grrr...) but this was a joy. My head is buzzing with ice cream ideas - so many wonderful flavours, such interesting combinations, oh the smooth and cold and creamy deliciousness of it all! I'm dying to go home home and abuse my Madre's cruddy old ice cream maker and try to recreate one of these. I couldn't possibly pick favourites but top of my to make list are bellini, Valrhona chocolate and peach and pine nuts. Jaw-droppingly good.

If you are going to Rome please bookmark these places:
  • Gelateria del Teatro - for brilliant, inspired and slightly dotty flavour combinations.
  • Ciampini - for impeccably smooth, creamy textures and heavenly fruit ice creams (not sorbets).
  • Il Gelato di San Crispino - for small but perfectly formed ice creams and impeccable quality of ingredients.
Also, check this out...

Pizzarium - not to be missed. My mouth is watering just remembering it.

I mourn the loss of Italian fast food already. 

Chuck x

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Away with You

I'm off to Rome for a couple of days tomorrow. I was going to be hyper organised and write some scheduled posts but I got sucked into reading food and travel blogs and adding pizzerias and gelaterias to my list of places to visit. I'm going to have to eat 3 pizzas and 4 ice creams a day to get through it! If you are heading to Rome anytime soon I would suggest Parla Food. I can't verify the deliciousness of her recommendations but they look amazing. I'm so excited - they are going to have to roll me onto the plane home!

To reconcile yourself to my absence (hard I know) may I direct you towards Kris Atomic's LFW photo site. It is totally utterly gorgeous. Wonderful pictures, possibly the best fashion week pictures I've ever seen? That seems like a big claim. They definitely have to be in the top five though.

Enjoy the rest of the week.

Chuck x

Monday, September 19, 2011

Show Highlight

One of my favourite photos from the runways so far. Suzanne Clements just looks wonderful. All over, matchy prints in a casual, comfortable, nonchalant way. Super cute.

Chuck x

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Sunday Book: The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas - Gertrude Stein

This is an odd little book. Odd and lovely. It made up part of my holiday reading and it suited the scorching sun. The title, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, might lead you to suppose that is is an autobiography. It isn't. Well, it kind of is. It is Alice's autobiography in that it is her story in her supposed voice but it is written by Gertrude Stein and focuses predominantly on Alice and Stein's life together and Stein's life prior to their meeting. This sounds rather narcissistic on Stein's part but it doesn't come off like that, it feels sweet and loving and teasing. Stein thought that Alice should write an autobiography but Alice kept putting it off and putting it off and being busy so eventually Stein just wrote it for her. Alice B. Toklas, btw, was Gertrude Stein's more or less lifetime companion; they met in 1907, Alice moved into Stein's Paris flat in 1910 and the pair lived and traveled together until Stein's death in 1946. I'm assuming, and yes, I know I know, this can be dangerous and anachronistic, that they were lovers but the gentle loveliness of the book didn't encourage me to pry into the matter. This isn't a loud-mouthed, attention seeking, bare-all ghostwritten celebrity autobiography in the style of today (Debo's memoirs and others obviously excepted), it doesn't really discuss Stein and Toklas's personal life but rather focuses on their social life and their friends and the birth of modern art that they were at the heart of. 

If you are interested in art, literature or history I would suggest you pick up this book. That seems like a pretty wide sweep of people but Stein and Toklas lived in Europe through two world wars, driving French hospital supplies through WW1. They nurtured young unknown artists, buying the early works of Picasso, Matisse, Cezanne, Renoir, Braque, Rousseau, Bonnard, Juan Gris... Picasso was a particularly close friend and painted Stein in 1906. They held friendly, open salons and exhibitions and dinners where the best and brightest gathered to debate the burning issues of the day. They lived in and loved early twentieth century Paris but they also traveled extensively around the French countryside, Italy, Spain and Majorca. They were friends with Ford Maddox Ford, Edith Sitwell and Hemingway and Stein's work had a huge impact on modernist literature. Embarrassingly I have never read any of her other work but she comes up again and again as an influence, a critic and a thinker.

Stein's reputation as an intellectual may feel off putting and I've heard that most of her other work is fairly heavy going but Alice B. Toklas is lovely to read. It takes a little while to get used to the author-imitating-lover-talking-about-author thing and the voice and manner of speaking is quite distinctive but you really get the sense that this is how Alice talks and communicates. After so many years together Stein must have known her verbal idiosyncrasies backwards and it comes through beautifully and Alice is someone you want in your life. Because this is life the book isn't plot heavy but the writing is a pleasure and it is ridiculously rich in characters and atmosphere. Delightful and delicious.

Chuck x

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Five Favourite Friday Fings

1. Cary Grant and George Clooney... Are there two better looking men? *Daydream* George Chamoun's celebrity collages, Iconatomy, examine the continuity of social perceptions of beauty while offering up some serious eye candy. Modern and Golden Age movie stars are morphed into enormous piles of double deliciousness - Angelina/Liz Taylor, Natalie Portman/Audrey, R-Pattz/James Dean, Scarlett/Marilyn. Beautiful and interesting, seen at Annika Bakkstrom's blog.

2. This Stella McCartney seems to be like Marmite - you either love it or you hate it. Like Marmite I love it. I also love this fab illustration by Vic Riches, aka The Scribbler. It is always exciting to discover new fashion illustrators and Vic's loose lines and generous use of colour are fun and infectious. As seen at Scientist Chic.

3. Ulyana Sergeenko's first collection has been all over the internet but I think it is so great that I just have to put it up in my little virtual corner too. 1950s glamour, dark and twisted fairy tales, Russian heritage. It isn't revolutionary but it is very very lovely and I want to wear pretty much all of it all the time. First seen at Absolute Sunday.

4. I would really like some good quality Chelsea boots for this winter and I'm thinking that short jodhpur boots like these from Regent Equestrian might be the answer? They come in a very fetching oxblood colour although they also do black. They are £80 which is pretty much the same/less than most high street boots and I feel the quality has to be better. Might see if I can try some on.

5. I can't remember where I saw this 'Loved' ring but I just think it is touchingly adorable and I want it. It would make a sweet engagement ring too. Or a birthday present. Or just an any time present. Anyone want to buy me a present?

Chuck x

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Recent Eats

The mejadra and the aubergine and lemon risotto are both Yotam Ottolenghi for the Guardian. Mejadra is a spicy, fragranced rice and lentil dish piled high with delicate, crispy fried onions. It was mega delicious with lots of yoghurt, pitta and salad. Lemon and aubergine are another perfect combination. I have been trying to eat more vegetarian food recently for various reasons and Ottolenghi's New Vegetarian column is a great resource for exciting recipes where you don't notice the lack of meat. So many interesting and complex flavours. I'm not a quorn/tofu gal so I'm going to be keeping my eyes open for gripping non-meat alternatives. 

Vegetarians out there, what are your favourite meals?

Chuck x

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Unfortunate Hat Maths

I really want a hat (a good, solid, wide-brimmed fedora) + Accessorize has two very smart, wide-brimmed fedoras in fetching purple and teal + I have an Accessorize voucher that I have been struggling to spend = Happy times all round?

No! Because One Size fits none. M/L is generally insufficient as a hat sizing option for me, One Size was never going to happen. Nonetheless, I spent twenty minutes wandering around an Accessorize trying to persuade myself that hats didn't actually need to fit on your head and they totally still look good perched unsteadily atop it. Not true.

So, here you are, my small headed sisters. Enjoy these smart and reasonably priced hats. I will continue on in my quest to find a suitably giant hat and to spend my voucher... Woe is hatless me.

Chuck x

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Sunday Book: Mr Chartwell - Rebecca Hunt

This is more like it. It feels like it has been a while since I've read something that has really inspired me or tickled my imagination. I've read things that I have enjoyed and things that have been good and beautiful but nothing that has excited me. The spark has been missing, if you know what I mean. But don't panic, it is back and it is oh so sparkly. Mr Chartwell is quite a short book (216 pages) but it crams a lot of interesting stuff in there and it is glittery sparkly all the way through. Apparently the original proposal/manuscript by artist and first time writer Rebecca Hunt sparked a bidding war between publishers and I'm not surprised.

How to explain... Mr Chartwell is a big, black dog. An enormous, bigger than a man, walks on his hind legs and talks, big, black dog. He is funny and persuasive and strangely seductive but also rough and domineering and slightly dangerous. He is Esther Hammerhans' new lodger, staying with her while 'work' takes him to Chartwell, the (Kent - woop!) home of Winston Churchill. It is the summer of 1964, Churchill is retiring from the Cabinet and Esther is recently widowed, both are vulnerable and Mr Chartwell, or Black Pat as he sometimes goes by, is drawing them together.

Churchill suffered throughout his life from recurrent depression which he termed his 'black dog'. That would be Mr Chartwell. Hunt has written a fascinating, sensitive, original, captivating, comic, tragic book about depression. Black Pat is everything he should be. You are drawn to him while you fear for Esther. Churchill is stubborn in the face of his disease; brave and admirable. The story takes place over only about a week but it is gripping and you become involved with all the characters. It is a bit bite-sized but it makes me excited about Hunt's future books and about contemporary fiction in general.

Try and grab a copy - it really is a great new book.

Chuck x

Saturday, September 10, 2011


I'm not traditionally a slogan t-shirt kind of a gal but these 2k t-shirts are so cheerful and graphically pleasing. I'm picturing them buried under many layers of shirts and cardigans and jackets and scarfs for winter. You know, just cheekily peaking out and not being brash or obnoxious. 2k by Gingham just seem to have a t-shirt for all my moods and desires; a t-shirt for when I'm feeling optimistic, sentimental, nihilistic, French; a t-shirt for when I'm feeling 80s dance-tastic or for when I'm craving toast and soul music (which is pretty much all the time). The phrase 'hot buttered soul' actually makes my mouth water. Such an effective turn of phrase. Obviously the danger of that particular t-shirt is that every time I caught a glimpse of myself I would crave toast. Them's the risks.

These t-shirts are all $35 which is about £22 and pretty reasonable in my book and I would be on them like a rash (or at least on one of them) if it wasn't for the $33 international shipping charge! Why?? I hate it when companies do that. Spoiling my fun with their ridiculous charges... I guess it saves me from making a choice though. I'm not very good at choices.

What do you think? Can the general toe curling awfulness of slogan t-shirts ever be redeemed? On special occasions? Where there are references to toast?

Chuck x

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Link Luvvin'

So I've finally got around to updating some of my favourite links. This is hardly an exhaustive list but it is a start. I've also got a (mildly) jazzy new header. I am planning on playing around a bit with general formatting over the next few weeks. I have zero compute skillz so if I break anything please let me know!

And do check out my links list - there are some real crackers.

Chuck x

Hannah Zakari, Edinburgh

Back in the day (maybe two weeks ago) when I was in Edinburgh I wandered into a lovely little shop. Hannah Zakari is on Candlemaker Row and has a well stocked online store and is super cute. It also stocks loads of artists whose work I have loved from afar for years - Gemma Correll, Kate Wilson, Gill McCollZara Carpenter... It was a great reminder of people I had, if not forgotten, neglected recently. I need to commit to  them now that I am no longer living in a dutty student flat. Support small/awesome artists and all that. Just need to find some mahoney - cue digging around down the back of the sofa. Also, because the internet is a small place, I was admiring Ashley G's amazing 'I'd Rather Be Sleeping' print just as Queen Michelle was posting about it. Never a truer word was spoken. Sleep is the best of all things.

I could have bought almost everything in the shop (you know, in the magic fantasy land in my head) but if I absolutely had to narrow it down to the bare minimum of things I 'need' then below would be my perfect list. I would like all of these please. Fairy godmother?

I mean, just look at that bear! So handsome. Bears are definitely in my top three animals.

Chuck x

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ski Chic

I have a major craving for a weird, chunky ski jumper. Damn you, Raf Simons! I mean, you think you have got away scot free - after the instant love of SS/11 you think that you feel neutral about AW/11. You don't though. It sneaks up on you and one day you realise that it is exactly what you want to wear and that it is jaw-droppingly awesome. The perfect, sharp trousers, the elegant volume of the cocoon dresses and coats, the matching print shirt and trousers. I've even embraced the strange cling film hair. The high street doesn't really excel at any of the above though (cunning Raf, I see what you've done there...) so they shall tragically remain out of my reach. Beautiful, bulky, bright knits are achievable though. Clear, 80s colours and odd woven patterns and textures? Check. I'm actually quite impressed with current offerings. The River Island demi-turtlenecks are particularly delectable and not bad at £35. The only problem is which colour?? The green is closer to the original but the red is very jolly... Both? We probably need them in this weather - England is not as hospitable as the Balearic Islands. Sad truth.

Chuck x

Monday, September 5, 2011


Hola chicas! I'm back! I can tell that you are thrilled. I am rested and sunned and well read and very full of saucisson and cheap wine. Holidays are blissful things. Since I am still in the holiday spirit here are some light-hearted videos... Alber Elbaz is just the most adorable thing. I want to cuddle him until he bursts! Love Karen and Raquel and the bad bad dancing too. Bad dancing ranks high in my list of favourite things to do, it is a close second to bad singing (at which I excel).

This is cute. 100 years of fashion, period outfits, snazzy dancing. Nice idea, yes?

Just because this is one of my favourite things ever. "If we can make them brush their tongues, we can make them do anything!"

Mmm... Bedtime now. I hope you've had a great fortnight.

Chuck x