Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education
Posted by the Fashion Editor at Large

The "Armadillo" shoes at the SS10 McQueen show were jaw-droppingly amazingly weird and wonderful. Not even a brave experimental fashionista could wear them for a night out without fear of breaking a bone, you could see that in a blink as extremely focussed on not falling over models made their way along the catwalk. So I knew that if I didn't go to the McQueen press day I would never see those shoes again. Apart from maybe in an art gallery or museum. The PR confirmed the fact that these shoes were NOT going into production. So here they are one more time. I photographed them next to my latest footwear obsession - my winklepickers from Underground. And I tried them on, and walked in them. It was a fun moment. The shoes were created by designer Georgina Goodman at the behest of McQueen. Everything sensible in me says I should dismiss these shoes as a publicity stunt - but I can't help it - I think they are amazing, and I'm stupidly happy that I tried a pair on and had a giggle in them. Basta!

London in the Autumn

Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education I had to go to Mayfair yesterday morning to do something for work and so I walked there through Green Park. It was a lovely autumnal day yesterday, rather mild but misty in the morning with the full scale of autumn colours showing in the trees. Hopefully these pictures capture some of what it's like here right now, although we're forecast for a rainy weekend. So welly boots and puddles here I come!


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education Posted by the Fashion Editor at Large

This is the very first in a new series of interviews I'm doing with those major players in global fashion who operate in the open, but keep themselves below the radar. Who better to kick-off with than revered fashion critic and A-list journalist Sarah Mower? I am lucky enough to count Sarah as a friend, and when your blog is in "pilot mode" you need your friends. Anyway. Mindful of the fact Sarah only talks to strangers when she has a pen in her hand, and aware that while she knows a lot of things about a lot of people, we know very little about her, she let me turn the tables and all it cost me was a bottle of red wine!
(for career and personal bio, plus further reading on/by Sarah, scroll to the end of this posting)
Sarah interviewing John Galliano after his own label show in Paris on 6 October 2009.

FASHION INSIDER: #1 SARAH MOWERWith her uniform of peak-shouldered Margiela tailoring, extremely high heels, dark shades and a penchant for not smiling or making small talk, Mower cuts something of a mysterious dash around the fashion capitals. Most people are intimidated by her. Which stands to reason as she attends several major-league shows a day, and while most fashion people are sleeping or partying she writes several critiques in razor sharp prose, puts them online, and STILL gets to the 9am show on time. In real-life though, she is simply, by her own admission “something of an introvert.” What she’s really saying is that she’s shy. Behind the uptight veneer is a very endearing character for whom the mantra “with great power comes great responsibility” could have been written.

AND THEN SARAH INVITED US INTO HER HEAD…I thank god every day for Google. Because when designers start quoting their influences to me, at least these days I know what obscure artists, photographer or blah blah they are on about because I can go back and check it.

My job...to me it’s being alive. I don’t know; feeling your synapses jump, and the electricity of ideas cross-fertilizing and connecting. That’s what I like. Really that’s why this role of Ambassador for Emerging Talent has come out of it. You know quite a lot of things about a lot of things, and about a lot of people and you can see who needs what, and you can right wrongs and knowing how the whole system works, you can enable people.

I know I have a very grumpy face, but that isn’t what I’m like inside.

I’ve learned not to be riled at fashion shows. There isn’t any point. You can get anxious about getting into the thing. You can get anxious and annoyed about waiting. You can get annoyed with PR’s who don’t know who you are. What I’ve learnt is that it’s just not worth it. Because in the end all that stays with you are the good things. You just have to let the rest go.

I never had the patience to be an artist. My mother was an art teacher. As soon as I was old enough to hold a pen she encouraged me to just draw all the time. All I could do, ever, was draw. Get an idea down quickly. There couldn’t be any palaver between me thinking of an idea and expressing it.

When I started out, I was really scared of designers. And very intimidated. They were older than me. Gradually they got younger and younger, and I learned more and more. I now see what it takes for a designer to actually be able to do it.

Embarrasingly, I have cried at a show. Oh god! I used to sob at Helmut Lang shows and I don’t know why.

Being a fashion critic is very complex. You have to judge or assess what a designer is doing in relation to everything else: the trends that are coming up, or the feeling or mood that is rising from the season. You also have to connect how it relates back to their body of work. So you are judging them against their own track record. I know all this inside of me when I sit down to a show.
I have googled myself. I’m happy to say I have only ever found two spiteful things about me. One was hilarious: it said “Who is Sarah Mower? Has she ever done a day’s work in her life?” And that did make me laugh. Those who know me will know I work every single hour I could possibly work.

I’m big in Japan. I have an illustrated column in Japanese Vogue. They like me in China too. when I was in Shanghai, a girl came up and said “ Oh, Sarah Mower! You’re like a Manga hero!”

At the start of LFW [in the eighties] designers really couldn’t do it. They were designing things on their kitchen table and just thinking fashion was all about the catwalk show. They didn’t know anyone who could manufacture, they would send their clothes off to Italy and they would come back rubbish. And that would be the end of the latest wave of enthusiasm for London designers.

Back in the 1990’s Alexander McQueen and Hussein Chalayan were putting on the most incredible shows we will ever see. It was beyond fashion. It was Barnum and Bailey. It was absolutely mind blowingly theatrical, visceral, moving and terrifying. They were rivals. It was like the Blur and Oasis stand-off.

I don’t get my legs out much because I’ve got terrible legs. And you can write that.

Know who you are. If it’s a frilly moment, and you are not a frilly person you can’t give into frills. When I was a kid you had to wear a mini-skirt or bellbottoms. Now fashion is so diverse. And Thank God.

A lot of people ask me what makes a good designer. When they're able to articulate who they are while capturing something about the times-while making clothes that can be worn, that’s the key. A designer is bad when they're derivative, run after every trend and don't have the skills to make things properly.

After 9/11, London fashion was so dead. Everything was so hopeless. The rest of fashion became so polite. Then suddenly all those kids Christopher Kane, and Marios Schwab and Gareth Pugh suddenly came up with this sense of confidence. But it wasn’t an aggressive sense of confidence. They weren’t snotty. They wanted to learn. I didn’t know if I could help them, but I was going to try.

For me, the less identifiable clothes are, the better. I wouldn’t wear the obvious thing by a designer. Dressing for me is a process of many things; trying to dress your own body, accept your own body. And whatever age you are – know it and celebrate it.

I’ve met Martin Margiela. [the famously private designer, who hasn’t been photographed for over a decade] He is the best mentor and teacher there could ever be. He talked to me about how he does things. I can’t tell you what I learned from him, because I swore to him that I would never, ever break that confidence. And I never will.

What keeps me going is the idea that I'll witness something that's never been seen before. After 20 years of watching shows, that can still happen.

Sarah has been at the forefront of fashion journalism for twenty years working for titles including Honey, The Observer and Vogue UK. From 1992-1999 she was the fashion features director of American Harpers Bazaar. After that, back in London, she edited her own short-lived magazine The Fashion before signing up to US Vogue where she remains. When in 2000 she was asked to start writing catwalk show reviews for American Vogue’s new website Style.com she says “It was a very, very lowly thing. The challenge was to conquer designers’ fear of the web. Many designers weren’t keen on letting style.com into shows; they thought it would mean more copying.” A decade later Sarah is a commanding presence at the global fashion weeks; designers read Mower's reviews of their shows the morning after. Journalists and stylists read style.com to see what she is thinking, because her thoughts are often the barometer of where fashion might be going. Then there are the few million fashion fans who read style.com too. In 2009 Sarah was appointed as the British Fashion Council’s Ambassador for Emerging Talent, which puts her in charge of discovering, nurturing, and promoting the next wave of British fashion talent to the world. No pressure, then!

Sarah lives in Shepherds Bush with her husband Steve, and three children Tom, Maisie and Phoebe. She is currently in mourning at the departure of Martin Margiela from his Maison.

FURTHER READING: Stylist: The Interpreters of Fashion ; Gucci by Gucci: 85 Years of Gucci; New Role at BFC; Style.com Martin Margiela SS10 review
A version of this interview was published during London Fashion Week in The Daily. Link coming soon!


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education I have no ideas for a Halloween costume for Saturday night. Any suggestions for easy costumes which I can transform myself into much appreciated. I also have no time... Except for maybe a dash out this evening. Ahhhhhhhh!

Wedding Photos and the Ivy

Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education We have some friends through church who we don't see too regularly. They got married the week before us this January just gone and were a great support during our wedding planning. Others to share our thoughts and woes with! And so this weekend we finally caught up with them and shared our photos. After church we headed off to their flat, they have an amazing photo album produced which is also very heavy so we had to go to them to see it!

Their photos were beautiful, they both looked stunning, her dress especially was amazing. She had it made for her and the details were amazing. Plus it was so lovely to see their wedding at long last. We of course shared our photos too, taking over our Photobox photobook.

And then we headed off to The Ivy for lunch. They've been going there a long time and know the staff well, so of course service was superb. Although if I'm honest I'm not sure that the food quality isn't going down. The first time I ate there it was fabulous and each time since it's not been quite so good. Maybe the sheen of going there has worn off which is part of it, or perhaps its just that they don't need to be so good now as they have enough business. Plus as J and I both noticed their prices are slowly creeping up... But it did give J an opportunity to try the burger as part of his quest, check out his blog for a review soon.

And I guess I should be more grateful that we are able to spend a lovely weekend and top it off with Sunday lunch at the Ivy. And it really was a great weekend. Nice to take my mind off work!

Clothes Swap 2

Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education On Saturday my sister held another clothes swap. This time there were five of us and we were a little more selective on the clothes we bought. Plus my sister made us a proper tea party beforehand. So below we have, homemade carrot cake (yummy, yummy, yummy) chocolate brownies, ham sandwiches and cucumber sandwiches, tea and pink bubbles. It was lovely and a great way to start the afternoon's fun.

And then on to the clothes swap. Lovely piles of pretty things which were all like new. We tried, some worked, some not so well. And then we did a sales session, who wanted what. Again we were somehow very good at not arguing over who got what, one coin toss solved that all.

I got two news scarves and two new tops. Really nice, handy for winter and of course I got rid of some bits and bobs as well. Which is always good in a tiny house in London!

So sister is planning another one in Spring, twice a year for the seasons. And more 'new' clothes every now and then with no guilt. Any questions about how we did it let me know.

Pole Dancing I

Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education I had my first pole dancing class on Wednesday night and it was much fun! There were 9 of us in the class, 3 per pole and the rest of the girls were lovely. I felt very self-conscious in my little shorts (purchased that lunch hour) but everyone else was also wearing shorts so I swallowed my embarrassment and got stuck in. We warmed up with lots of stretching, which hurt, I have no flexibility anymore, but felt good to be stretching again. And then we were at the poles. It started easy and I thought okay, maybe this isn't so hard. Until we had to do our first spin. The firemans spin.

Our teacher makes it look so easy, so smooth. Until we started going. Clumsy but trying hard. It took a few goes to get the idea and then we were all spinning round nicely and landing without thumps and looking kind of elegant.

By the end of the class we had done a little routine, a few spins and then some pole conditioning. This sounds simple but jeez, it's tough. Especially when like me you have no upper body strength. I can't even do a push up... So to basically do a chin up on the pole using only my strength and no jumping was an impossibility for me. Maybe at the end of the six weeks I'll get there...

I now have sore muscles, not too bad but I can feel it. They've been worked. Plus a nice bruise on my calf, a war wound as it were. And I felt good at the end of the class. The challenge of learning something new. Doing things with confidence and holding your head up when dancing and meeting a lovely group of girls.

I also have an even greater respect for the Un-Bride, she must be strong... No wonder also she has an amazing figure, check her wedding pictures for proof. And I would recommend this. I've gone through the pole dancing school and my teacher is lovely, plus they've been really helpful. More to follow next week I'm sure :)


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education Work, work, work. Eat, Sleep. Right now it kind of feels like this. Busy, busy, busy, my mind isn't on top of things. But it's good. It's challenging and rewarding at times so not all is to complain about. I also have my first pole dancing class tonight, more on that tomorrow I'm sure!

Until then, I've found a new Simon's cat short film. I love these films, they always make me smile. However due to my lack of skills I can't embed video on my blog. Maybe someone can tell me how? Instead I shall offer a link to The Official Simon's Cat website. Check it out if you have time :)


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education
Posted by the Fashion Editor at Large

So, what do we fashion pro's do after the shows? Its a question I'm always asked. If you are someone like the superfabulous-blogger (but fashion newbie) BryanBoy, you go to America to see you sick Aunty (hope she is OK, Bryan). If you are a proper fashionista with a proper job and everything, you come home from the shows and ....

1) On the first couple of days back I tend to regress to being 14 on the sofa while watching re-runs of CSI (Miami or Las Vegas) and eating microwave Spaghetti Hoops. Meanwhile my family shouts at me for absolutely anything/nothing because they are annoyed with me for being away and being back. Every fashion editor I know experiences a version of this.

2) Then we have to GO BACK TO WORK, where colleagues think we've been off having a long and glamorous party, and try not to sound ungrateful. Avoid croissants.

3) In my case after Paris I sat in front of my laptop for five days straight and anyalysed the shows, the trends, the pieces then created a 200 page master document that will be my bible for the next six months. Not only for work, but for what I want to buy next season. That's why my blog has been quiet. But I feel like a walking encyclopaedia. I will share it all with you over time!

4) This is the bit that we are all doing now, people! Ten days after getting back the work starts kicking in again.

a) If you are the TOP EDITORIAL STYLIST I met in the park this morning while walking my little black shaggy dog, W, then you are being booked for global ad campiagns and pitching to your magazine/s for shoot ideas. Apparently budgets are down for even the A-List stylists this season, and everyone has to fly economy. Well, Conde Nast have just made ten people on American Vogue redundant. Times are still tough.

b) If you are a FASHION JOURNALIST like me, its time to pitch feature stories, profiles, general ideas at your various editors, and attend some of the decent press days to see what is going on at street level.

c) If you are a FASHION BUYER you are only just getting back from buying collections in Paris, and are still at the CSI/Spaghetti Hoops stage, but at least you have decided what is going to be in your shop next season...

d) If you are a FASHION DESIGNER, you are looking at your books and working out if you have had a good or bad season, (us Brits are doing well becasue of good collections, and moreover a favourable Sterling exchange rate). And designers will be designing their collections for AW10/11 too.

So you see, it ain't over when the shows are over.

Autumnal London

Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education London has turned decidedly autumnal recently, I'm seeing my breath in the morning and have started to wear my gloves in the morning. It's also that time of year when you get some fabulous light in the mornings and early evenings, the low light which gently washes over everything bringing it to life, especially when you get a moody dark sky threatening rain.

So here's to a quiet hungover Saturday. I released some stress last night by getting really very pissed on a team dinner. But it felt good at the time and it was a really very enjoyable evening.

Only another 9 weeks to go of work, work, work and then it's Christmas followed by Argentina. So I shall think of that to get me through the next few weeks. We've got lots of planning to do and will soon be receiving our packing and information pack. More on that soon I'm sure.

Enjoy your weekends. M x

A few of my favourite things...

Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education
Here is hopefully the first of a series all about my favourite things. Items or activities which I just love and want to tell everyone about. So here goes...

I've been working longer than normal hours recently and not sleeping so well because I'm worrying about everything I have to do. So I've been very much in need of this item:

MAC Studio Finish SPF35 concealer

This bad boy covers even the darkest circles which loom under my eyes, perks them up, makes me look human and if I wear no other make up I wear this.

I've never tried Touche Eclat, I probably should (opinions on this would be welcomed) but for now this little pot does me just fine.

Monday Madness

Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education If you're in need of something to make you smile this Monday check out this link... One of those lovely stories one can't help but smile about on the BBC news website.


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education

The pouty house model for Erdem in the most expensive (and intricate) dress the designer has ever created.

Posted by Fashion Editor at Large
I have known Erdem Moralioglu ever since he came onto the London fashion scene. And I can safely say he is one of the loveliest men alive. He is charming, with a dry humour, a good business head and above all he is a super-talented designer with a laser sharp couturiers eye for detail. His intricately detailed and very beautiful clothes are timeless and modern all at once. So
I'm not at all surprised that his fame is spreading at a pace. Sarah Brown (wife of British PM, Gordon) and Michelle Obama are fans of his clothes; but its not just first ladies who like him. Racy ladies do too. Thandie Newton is a confirmed fan, as am I (and my style is the polar opposite Mrs Brown and Obama); Keira Knightley and Halle Berry are partial too.
I dropped in to see Erdem during Paris at the London Showrooms, the one-stop address for up-and-coming British designers in the city, and he told me he was having his best season ever for sales. He also told me his inspiration for the season were the Modan Gaaru - this is Japanese for Modern Girl - who were the Japanese equivalent of flapper girls.
"They were self sufficent, they smoked, had sex. They took their kimono's and cut them up," he told me. I like the sound of the Modan Gaaru.

In the process of designing the collection Erdem found he had created his most expensive dress ever. "Do you want to see the most expensive dress I have ever created," he teased. "Look here," he said inviting me to eye-ball one of the 3,000 hand-embroidered flowers that make up the multi-coloured floral shift dress. "Each one of those took an hour at least. So that's 3,000 hours before you get to constructing it as a dress." Woah. Wonder who will buy one?

My pictures look good, but I have to say they don't do the detail in the individual flowers justice. Next time I'm at his studio I will do a close-up and update the blog.
Fonally couldn't resist a shot of Erdem with his dress, especailly as we was wearing his signature look of stripey top, jeans and his adorably geeky specs.


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education
Above: The new lower heels at Roger Vivier

Posted by Fashion Editor at Large

Very high heeled shoes have always struck me as illogical and incompatible with daily life. The wearer of a 95mm heel, or 110mm with platform will look amazing standing still in them, and feel on a par height-wise with others, and indeed the shoe itself may be a work of art (and I'm all for that, beauty is what keeps me going). But once in movement, the wearers of very high heels hobble, pigeon-step, hold onto walls, railings or the nearest person for any sort of relief from the agony of wearing them. These multitudes of women look disabled and in pain. And for what?? Fashion. That's what. Dur. And fashion can be cruel.

So TFG then for Paris fashion week where designers decided en masse to bring heel heights down dramatically. After years of seeing beautiful yet ridiculously high, impossible to walk in shoes on the runways it was a refreshing not to have to worry that a model might take a tumble/break an ankle/burst out crying as she traversed a catwalk in super-high heels. (Though this worry was resurrected at Alexander McQueen: those shoes were insane.)

At Roger Vivier the PR's made a huge point of telling journalists about their new lower heels (see the lovely photos I took at their divine showroom, I want to live there), and how they resurrected the mid-height stiletto that all women wore in the 1950's early 1960's. Indeed HM The Queen wore said heel height by Roger Vivier for her coronation Also at Vuitton and Giles it was almost weird to see the girls walking close to their own heights. At Giles the shoes actually hadKitten heels, which was scary until I realised it wasn't the heel I disliked it was the name. Myself and Ben and Lily (the girls from label LP.BG) had a go at renaming them, but only got as far as "Cat Heel" and "Talon Heel" before I had to rush off to the Givenchy show.

This all adds up to good news. I have always advocated a lower heel. At our magazine we christened it the "inbetween heel", which says it. However, last week in Paris French Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld called this new workable, walkable heel the "Petit Stiletto" which I think is just right, and why I gave it the capital letters!

This fashion changeover to a lower-heels is catching on as I write. My friends who are still in Paris buying SS10 collections for their shops are getting into the trend. It's about time we had a reality check.

Below: The 1.5 inch heels on Vuittons shoes looked like squat brass pillars (last season they were almost a foot high!)

Woo hoo it's Friday!

Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education
Image from Cute Overload

And because it's raining again here are some cute piggies for you :) It's been a long week, work has been busy, I feel exhausted. Thanks for all your support earlier in the week, I really appreciated it and have been thinking long and hard about everything you said. Off for dinner tonight, should be nice, then to sleep for a long time.

Enjoy your weekend's! M xx

J is famous... Almost

Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education Can you spot him last night on the BBC news at 6 and at 10? He's currently at the Conservative Party conference with work and managed to be caught on TV. Very exciting!


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education PARIS TRENDING TOPIC: FASHION’S BIG CHANGE OVER TO WEB

The McQueen show Live Streaming consent form for tonights show. Do you like my hotel bedspread?

- Posted by the Fashion Editor at Large in Paris

This Paris fashion week will be remembered more for the Internet revolution (part II), than the clothes. In a digital era defining week, we have seen more journalists wielding Blackberry’s as note-taking devices than ever. Many of them filing straight to blogs, or twitpic and twitter instead of putting their notes down using old fashioned pen and paper. Next season we’ll probably all have Kindles, or something,

In New York, Marc Jacobs put bloggers, including Tavi and Bryan Boy, on the front row. In Milan, not to be outdone Dolce Gabbana put bloggers on the front row with laptops so they could cover the show live. (It was at this point, btw, that I decided to become a moonlighting blogger.)

In London Burberry put laptops on tap for bloggers who wished to report live from the party. (Didn’t see many takers, we were too busy rubber-necking Dav Patel, Frieda Pinto and Victoria Beckham.)

Anyways, now we are in Paris, and tonight Alexander McQueen is live-streaming his show to the Internet via ShowStudio.com. My invite says “if you attend this show, you will be deemed to grant your consent to being filmed”. Well the show is in three hours, and I’m getting my glad rags on now, and ringing my mum to tell her “I’m going to be on the Internet!”

All this Web hullabaloo is the cause of great debate amongst fashion’s power critics, who are wondering to themselves whether their services will be required next season. Or indeed if we need fashion shows anymore at all. “What is the point of a fashion show critic if you can see the show on the Internet?” "What is the point of a show, if you can put it straight on the Web?"seem to be the big questions. Well I guess in time, the point will be that the general public can read their critical review before deciding they want to watch the show or not. And fashion shows will become the popular entertainment everyone seems to want them to be. Not a trade show anymore, Toto!

One more thing, just been with Roland Mouret who is also filming his show to go out online. His won’t be live-streamed, but he is working with his parent company 19 – who are doing an excellent job at letting him get on with it – to create the first web fashion show you can see in hundreds of thousands of combinations. Even from the point of view of a model, or Anna Wintour (that is, if she hadn’t left Paris already.) He is using 28 camera's each with 360 scope.

This is my McQueen ticket, it's a hologram, and the girl's face becomes all pretty when you wobble it around.


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education FROM THE FASHION EDITOR AT LARGE IN PARIS....

First, a gratuitous picture of the gorgeous Natalia Vodianova that I took from my perch at Stella McCartney this morning. I’ve been thinking about doing this blog properly for too long. Time to do get on with it! And what better way to start as I mean to go on, than by kicking off with the most straight-talking women in fashion, Professor Louise Wilson, OBE, head of the MA course at St Martin’s. A significant majority of the best young designers working in the world of fashion design today are her former students, and she is held in high esteem by all (that is, if they're not scared of her). These include Alexander McQueen, Christopher Kane, Sophia Kokosalaki and many others. This weekend Louise Wilson was invited to Paris fashion week by Alber Elbaz of Lanvin, her first trip to the Paris shows since 1986. (“Because I’m always in my f***** office.”) I caught up with her at the ‘Guy Bourdin: His Movies’ launch at Le Bon Marche, met Alber Elbaz (jeeezus!) popped a glass of Champagne into her hand, and asked for her personal reviews of the catwalk shows she has seen so far. I was laughing so much while she recounted her views on Margiela that I could barely decipher my notes afterwards. Over to you, Louise!

Louise Wilson and Alber Elbaz last night at 'Guy Bourdin: His Movies' launch at Le Bon Marche in Paris.
“It was horrific on many levels. Having been a long term fan of Martin Margiela you wanted to weep at how a parent company cannot enable their designer. How anyone with a modicum of understanding of the house of Margiela could produce things as bad as that, (Style.com), I don’t know. How anyone could clap for a skirt as long as a runway I cannot imagine, unless they were the people who made the damn thing. The giggling models, and streamers that burst from the lighting rig at the end of the show also ruined it for me.”

“Martin Margiela has left his house because they could not enable him in his work. His work had integrity. I never knew he used Italian mixed jersey. [What she means is, he didn't use the fabric, ever. So further proof he is not actually working there]. The company [Staff International, owned by Diesel founder Renzo Rosso] doesn’t know the brand, and should know better. The show I saw wasn’t trying to appeal the the faithful fans of Martin Margiela, of to lure in new fans, or attract the young to the brand. I don’t know who they were trying to appeal to, maybe a motorbike rider in Rimini?”

Maison Martin Margiela photos by Chris Moore/Catwalking.com

BACKSTORY: (It was confirmed at the weekend that press-shy Belgian Martin Margiela has departed the label he founded in 1988 after it was bought by Diesel owner Renzo Rosso and both clashed on the direction of the company. Rosso told WGSN that Margiela had "left a long time ago". Meanwhile my source says he finally left the building early this year, and had little to do with his Autumn/Winter 2009 collection, and nothing whatsoever to do with the one just presented in Paris. His die-hard fans are in mourning. Though on an up-note for those still pining for genuine Margiela designs, I hear that store-buyers are finding plenty at the showroom. Small consolation, but a consolation nontheless.)


“ What I thought of Lanvin was it restored my faith in fashion. It rocked, and it felt young. A lot of fashion is not young enough. And this also felt like an event from cocktail to final dress. What I liked was the angriness; the sexuality; the colour; the crassness of the beading. I think every young designer looking at it should endeavour to put that much work into a collection.” Lanvin SS10 photos by Chris Moore/Catwalking.com

BACKSTORY: (This was mine, and everyone else’s for that matter, show of the week (so far, anyway). Alber recieved a standing ovation at the end, and while watching it, you felt instinctively that this was the best a fashion show could get.)


“Loved the pieces. Loved the silhouettes, but it didn’t feel new. I am someone who is constantly searching for new, and feeling 99.9% of the time that I don’t see it. When I look at the way Comme present their shows I think it’s old fashioned. They are only talking to a certain kind of person. [She means conceptual] The clothes could be relevant for totally different people. I could see some of these as event dresses, for an audience entirely unlike the one they currently have. I am about applauding people trying to do new. If they can’t take that forward themselves what hope is there? It’s like not changing your hairstyle for years. You can get trapped in a look."
CDG SS10 photos by Chris Moore/Catwalking.com

Thank-you Louise. Now all we have to do is find that biker from Rimini you were talking about.

On being asked about your weight and what follows...

Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education
Image from Cute Overload

I have just been asked if I have put on weight. To which I had to be honest and say yes. But I was surprised I was asked, it is not something one normally does! However the person asking is a Middle Eastern lady who is part of the group I am currently managing a programme for. I met her first in May and she hasn't seen me since then. Does this then make it okay for her to ask if I am getting fatter?
And is it okay for me to feel hurt that I was asked even if I know it to be true?
Mine is a creeping weight gain, a little here and there which as it is adding up is becoming a lot. I know I need to do something about it. I have known this for a while. Big sister has been great and encouraging, I have been useless.
But I have done one thing... Give up my gym membership which I was wasting money on each month and not using. And instead signed up for a six week pole dancing course. My course starts in two and a half weeks. I hope that by doing this I will regain some interest in exercise and begin the slow journey down the weight loss road. Any suggestions/support/ideas much appreciated.
M x

Automat - Review

Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education Last night J and I went to Automat for dinner. We had to go in fairly early because it was so busy! But we think it was worth it. We kicked the night off with Moscow Mules, the perfect way to take the edge off a long week. For starter I had a roasted tomato, avocado and mozzarella salad. It was nice, full of flavour with a yummy dressing. J had a chopped salad with mozzarella, classic diner starter as he put it. Both were good.

And then we were on to the main item, the burger! We both had the Automat cheese burger with fries. As seen above. Sorry for the blur we were trying to take photos without flash! The burger was yummy, meaty, simple and with a toasted sesame bun. Plus the bottle of Argentinan Sangiovese/Malbec we chose to go with it was lovely.

We finished up with a shared apple pie and a glass of Tokai 5 puts. Fabulous! I would recommend this place for an expensive American Diner experience which is worth the money. Plus if you like Burgers this is a good one!

And on that note, check out this link, J has started a blog to document his missions to try and find the best burger in London. So if you're intersested in that kind of thing head on over :)