Monthly Archives: August 2010

Floral

I’m in a floral state of mind. Try as I might, I can’t shake the petals off my clothes.

Do florals have their own gravitational pull? In a shop I seem to gravitate towards 50’s flower adorned dresses, bursts of flowers in bloom, leggings budding with roses and giant tulip skirts.

50s Tea-Dress; Strut, Stoke Newington

Vintage Dress; Casino, Stoke Newington

Vintage Dress; Casino, Stoke Newington

It’s becoming a problem. I even seem to be attracted to changing rooms with flora printed walls and bedspreads with pretty printed paterns.

changing room wall hanging; Casino, Stoke Newington

Changing Room Wall Hanging; Casino, Stoke Newington

I’ve been scaring The Boy by wearing head to toe flowers in clashing patterns, or throwing a breton stripe over a flowery trouser, like a sunny swapshop child. I’d like to say the onset of wetter weather will drown the addiction, but I know this not to be true. My wardrobe is set to bursting with floral prints and I don’t plan on stopping.

Vintage Tea Dress Bought at Beach Break Live Festival

Vintage Maxi Skirt Beyond Retro

Silk Shorts; Frost French

Jump-suit; Asos

Cotton Blouse; H&M

Vintage Calf Length Dress; Spitalfields Market

my mums gorgeous old shirt from the 60s

Pearl Lowe for Peacocks S/S 10

Topshop circa 2002

Silk Knee-length Dress; Appletree

Ruffly Skirt; Zara S/S 09

Oxfam Islington, circa A/W 09

I shall be taking my flowers into autumn with a woollen caramel trench. I refuse to let autumn be all about shearling, grey and black. And even the classic allure of camel is going to get tiresome, so I suggest belting a structured jacket over a flimsy floral, or chucking a beige cape on over petal-covered shorts and tights. I will lead the winter roses revolution, taking inspiration from the A/W 10 Catwalks.

Christopher Kane A/W 10

Cacharel A/W 10

Kenzo A/W 10

Flower Power.

NB. All backstage images by Morgan O’Donavon, as borrowed from the rather fabulous Dazed Digital site.

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This Weeks Hot List

Things that have warmed my cockles this week:

The shiny new Kurt Geiger shop in Covent Garden – complete with a wall of very cute flats, and a ‘shoe chandelier’ stocked with the most elegant heels. If only I could afford to buy everything in there. Or just one thing would do.

shoe heaven

Seeing a man walking his ginger flop-eared bunny rabbit along the canal. Sadly no pic.

This Henry Holland for Debenhams tartan cape £55. Although I know it’ll be sold out by the time I get round to stepping inside a store.

highland fling

Watching police pull over cyclists running red lights at the head of Millennium Bridge. Mostly middle-aged men on new Barclays Bikes, probably not the most likely of candidates.

The view from The Thames path looking back towards Canary Wharf on Tuesday nights run at Run Dem Crew. The tableaux of city lights, full moon and the crystal clear sky all felt very filmic.

blurry blurry running people

Blogger LLG posted a piece on her Angel Jackson snake skin clutch and I’ve been in love ever since. My next invoice may go some way in securing myself one. It’s a classic investment piece, no?

as you can see – out of stock. sad face.

if i had my clutches on that clutch, I'd look happier

I’m a sucker for quilting. This chair rocks. Quilt Chair by Bouroullec at The Conran Shop.

sexy and snuggly in equal measure

If anyone should want to send me any free samples of the above, flop-earred rabbits, capes, heels, you know where to find me :0)

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Krizia Robustella at London Fashion Week

Just doing some London Fashion Week pre-planning. Read – fretting about how to fit in shows, work, a wedding and a birthday without self-combusting or sacrificing being a good reporter/friend/guest in the process.

Aside from that, I’m loving researching the On/Off Shows and Vauxhall Fashion Scout schedule. The well-known designers in the BFC tent hold an obvious allure, but there are also some real gems (and the occasional horror) to be found off schedule. Last year I was getting proper excited about David Koma and Katie Eary among others, and this year Krizia Robustella from Spain has caught my eye.

Krizia Robustella S/S 10

Describing her style as ‘Sports Deluxe’ her collections are an exercise in utility chic, without a hint of Gap beige in sight. The S/S 10 collection is awash with tropical pinks, yellows and blues offset with stoney grey. Comfort and luxury go hand in hand, paper-thin tshirts in sunset hues are cut racily low under the arms:

Krizia Robustella S/S 10

Excess parachute fabric makes a pink zip-up jacket look glamorous and casual in equal measure and I love the piled-high plaited bun that is at once practical and sexy (a look that every active girl worth her style salt wishes she could achieve).

Krizia Robustella S/S 10

The vibrant make-up suggests this line is for women who have fun and won’t go quietly into the night – but without the brash, neon excess of the Boombox generation. The sorbet colour palette suggests something softer and more focused than Nu Rave offered – the look is fresh and healthy rather than dramatic and dangerous.

The overall louche-luxe effect of the cuts, colour and styling suggest the range is equally about comfort as it is easy glamour . Krizia Robustella could be my new sports meets style heroine. Let’s hope her VFS show on Friday 17 September at 3pm doesn’t disappoint.

Pictures from Krizia Robustella website.

Credits: Photography  Dizy Dias • Styling Gabriel Torres • Hair and Make-up  Laia Rubiano • Model Inga Volskosh

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A Half Marathon

Accidentally ran 14 miles at the weekend. I say accidentally in the context of running for a very long time, getting home and plotting the route on mapmyrun and discovering you’ve run 14 miles. POW! Rather than the sort of accidentally where you’re like oops, I accidentally slept with your husband.

Anyway. Back to running.

stokey - springfield - bow - limehouse basin - thames - and return

This was our route. I say our as I was not alone. The Boy agreed to come and support me, planning to stop if he needed to  (he’s not training for the Nike Women’s Sanfransisco Marathon after all). But stop we bloody well didn’t. It took us two hours and we both really enjoyed it.

Taking in parts of london we’d never seen before. The canal path that weaves from Lea valley to Bow then down to Limehouse basin and The Thames is just beautiful. A gorgeous sunny day helps, sure. But playing nosey parker at people’s back gardens, literally dripping into the edge of the canal was like a real life episode of Location Location Location. I think I ‘imaginary bought’ at least 5 houses.

At the point just past Limehouse Basin when The Thames suddenly smacks you in the face and you’re no longer running but hanging over the edge of a railing having thrown yourself against it on impact and London stretches out in front of you, I experienced the sort of elation you read about in books – when explorers are trekking for days to reach the coast and suddenly it spreads out before them. And then, just like the fictional intrepids, you catch your breath, realise there’s nothing much to be seen and race back the way you’ve just come. Far less disappointing than it sounds.

This is the furthest I’ve EVER run. And I totally shocked myself by not only enjoying it, but finishing with energy to spare. My knees were in agony and felt like jelly for a good half and hour after stopping. I think that knee pain is going to be as much of an issue as sheer exhaustion by the time the marathon comes round. Going to follow advice and start dunking in an ice-cold bath after runs as of next Saturday. I’ll try to post a picture, just for a laugh. No white t-shirts allowed.

14 Miles

2 hours

Calories burnt? Who knows. But I ate a whole tub of Ben and Jerry’s when I got in, just incase. Equilibrium restored.

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Nike Lunar Glide 2+

So, I’ve got some fancy new kicks (another pair) huzzah! This time I designed them myself courtesy of Nike id so if you’re not keen on the colours you have me to answer to.

Daisy Does Lunar Glide 2+

These are like an upgrade from the Lunar Glide’s that I usually run in. The Lunar Glide 2+ is the new improved model. They are lighter again than the original Lunar Glide’s, offer enhanced support and flexibility and they look pretty fly too.

Now that I’m running lots the toenails are starting to blacken. Thankfully the Lunar’s do all they can to prevent this; room around the toe, flywire technology to lock the bridge of your foot in tight and built –in ‘fit soles’ which contour around your foot and encourage it to sit as firm as possible. Extra soft bits around the edge cushion against impact. At the end of the day though, keeping toenails short and just putting up with the inevitable is sadly obligatory. There’s always nail varnish.

I love that even the inside is super-comfortable. I tend to have my gym kit with me now that I’m training most days, and often swap my heels for kicks on the walk/cycle in (yes I’m one of those girls with the, er, great outfit and sports trainers). While I wouldn’t recommend training barefoot, for a quick speed-walk to see you from door to desk nuddy skin is fine ­ the soles are velvety soft.

I have to confess though, I’ve become quite attached to my first pair of Lunar Glides, they’ve come on a pretty emotional running journey with me so far, so occasionally I pop them on for a quick jog, just for old times sake. I don’t want them to think I’ve left them for some young blonde blue. Geek. I know.

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Running In Stoke Newington – (aka Bill Oddie’s excellent adventure)

Last weekend I did two great runs, neither of which Ive done before and both in spitting distance of my house in N16.

Saturday’s run started reluctantly. A hangover from a friends leaving do would have left me groggily curled up in bed, had The Boy not coerced me out with a banana smoothie. Plus, we’d agreed to meet a friend in Springfield Park – I’m learning that arranging to meet someone is a sure fire way of making sure you don’t back out.

We met by the café in Springfield Park and headed around the green and down onto the canal bearing left at the first juncture towards Tottenham. Having rained in the night the air was fresh and the damp – moist grass, grit and glassy canal scents clung to the air. Heading North the Saturday sunshine grew stronger at each pace.

The route stretched all the way up towards Tottenham, at which point we pivoted and pounded back. Usually I hate not running a loop – there’s something disheartening about covering ground you’ve already just run, but the length of water seemed to keep on giving: locks, swans flanking dusty coloured signets, rowers taking an early morning punt, well groomed barges, a café (where they kindly let me check out the facilities), sweeping willow trees, mossy jettys and remarkably in some sections – crystal clear water.

On the return leg we diverted past Springfield Park, hopping over the bridge and running adjacent to Hackney Marshes, finally finishing off with a sprint across Millfields Park. I felt like I could have run on – so I really should have, but at the moment I’m still at that stage where stopping is far too enticing a prospect.

Miles Run: 8.64

1008 calories burnt.

Run ≠2

Run two was a 3 mile recovery run – perfectly tailored for a Sunday. Setting off from Manor Road, we quickly left the grot of Woodberry Down, turning right around the East Reservoir. The run was really more of a mid-morning plod, peppered with pauses for photo ops and blackberry picking.

Skirting the East reservoir we saw two proud swans flanking their baby:

Teeny tiny birds standing on clogged green reeds. (Ignore the coke cans).

We picked fallen plums from a tree on the disused canal (on the far side of the reservoir):

We wanted to stay on our nature train, so resisted popping up the far side of the canal and coming down the road into Finsbury Park, rather we did an about turn and returned the way we came, crossing over Manor Park and onto the West Reservoir.

Leafy trees made welcome spots for shade as we darted along the path. I occasionally jogged on the spot with one hand in a bramble bush, one eye on the activities of the lake:

More swans, this time with seven signets skated past:

And a cheeky heron:

Mid run I was struck by how lucky this London postcode is to be in the heart of city action, have (literal) pools of tranquility – fully equipped for canoeing and sailing –on the doorstep and London’s skyline rising up behind. Got to be a rarity in London.

Inspired by people splashing about in the water we scooted into the West Reservoir Water Centre for a poke around. Even if you don’t have waterwings, the building itself is worth a visit. A post-industrial building that was once the powercentre for the reservoir. 20 ft windows look out over the water, original features have been restored and preserved and wooden decking provides outdoor seating for the café. If you do fancy yourself as a water baby, rowing, sailing and canoeing are just a few things on the agenda.

More runs in Stoke Newington (and beyond, fear not) to come…

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Running in the rain

Chronologically speaking I’ve got two posts lined up from the weekend that should go up before this one. But I’m experiencing a rather euphoric high right now and want to write in the moment, so balls to timelines.

Tonight I had a bit of a running breakthrough. At Run Dem Crew I promoted myself to ‘greyhounds’, the running group a step up from my usual ‘hares’. I was nervous about being the slowest, but determined to up my game I set off with the faster group. Our run took us from 1948 space in Shoreditch, up to the canal on Witmore Road, along to Victoria Park, around the green expanse and back again.

this is approx – I may have over/underestimated the section in the park

Rain poured down from start to finish, heavy monsoon-like drops that mingled with sweat and stung my eyes. The canal was near deserted and the sheets of water dashing down surrounded me in a way that encouraged a feeling made me feel of running totally alone, although in reality beyond the watery bubble I knew the safety of the group was there.

Trying to see through the water, the normally chatty crew was near silent allowing the sounds of the rain to provide a heavy rhythm that my feet and heart naturally tuned into. The dense droplets falling on the canal sounded surprisingly delicate – like tinsel rustling in the wind.

The last time I’ve run in weather like this was my first 10k run a year and a half ago. I struggled through it then, heavy and cumbersome – the run felt exhausting, awkward and unnatural to me. This time it was exhilarating. I pounded through the rain at the head of my group, feeling empowered and at ease. Trying to avoid slipping on the muddy water underfoot, I kept my gait longer, lower and more in touch with the floor than usual. The result was a feeling of my feet and the floor working together, rather than against each other. With a rocking motion my heels connected, rolling through the balls and pushing off with my toes. My whole body stayed lower to the ground and I could feel my entire trunk driving through the rain, the power starting from my core, rather than from flailing limbs.

I finished the run feeling energised  and elated. None of the usual hamstring/knee aches and gripes I usually suffer from and none of the utter defeat that comes from completing a run but feeling tired, wiped out and in pain.

I think tonight boys and girls I had a running epiphany. Corny I know, but I feel like my love affair with running could be turning into something quite beautiful.

Miles run: (approx) 7.34

Sadly I don’t know how long it took. Nike Plus still kaput.

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