Monthly Archives: March 2011

To Cool

I love Cool Hunter; the stories, the images – I would give my eye-face-cheek to work with them. This week their newsletter featured this brilliant ad campaign for Nike by the way of Access – Cool Hunters ace ad/design/creative agency.

In their own words… ‘Here at Access, we are creating Nike Extreme experiences around the globe. Here are a few of our concepts in which we use the Nike singular swoosh power to create serious buzz. The kind of buzz that goes viral because people love it. Because they are having fun doing it.’








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Colour Blocking In The Gym

You’d have to be colour blind to have missed this season’s most optimistic trend – colour blocking. The stacking of tropical blocks of colour, is set to bring a vivid flash of fun to the summer. Should you want to take this look into the gym, and hell why not – then this is what I suggest you pop in your kit bag. I KNOW it’s not ‘performance’ wear, but I’m a fan of smashing up the performance and personal wear thing when exercising, which is why it gets a spot on my multi-coloured wish-list.

From the adidas Originals Blue Collection

Block Stripe Top, £31; Jersey Pant, £42, both adidas Originals Blue

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Adidas All In

So this the new Adidas video ad, set to Justice Civilisation and directed by Romain Gavras.

I like that it pitches Adidas as far more than ‘just’ a sports brand. I want to make it clear that I see nothing wrong with being a pure sports brand. However, in addition to the cool high fashion stuff (Stella McCartney) and pop collaborations (Katy Pezza), they are ALSO a sports brand, so I’m sad that there are no female athletes in this ad.

I do however, like its rough-around-the-edges appeal and its documentary style that prevents it from feeling tired even after numerous watches. US agency Sid Lee are the folks responsible for the ad; it’s their second video for the brand. Watch it here.

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World’s Gone Dotty

Spots are set to make the stripe redundant come Fall. But some clever chickens are wearing them already. See Kate Winslet below, wearing Stella McCartney at the premier of Mildred Pierce last night. As The Telegraph’s Hilary Alexander asks, is she wearing knick-knacks? Cheeky. Literally.

The dress comes direct from McCartney’s A/W 11 collection. But she wasn’t the only one who was at it. Topshop Unique sent wet-nosed models down the runway inspired by Disney Classic 101 Dalmations.


David Koma’s anatomical contouring sexed-up the playful dotty motif.

Hot Spot

Jasper Conran’s spots nodded to a particular long-necked safari animal, making them appear elegant and grown-up.

Dot to Dot

If like Miss Winslet, you can’t wait for next winter to start wearing SPOTS, then try these (three very different ways of wearing them) out for size…

Wheels and Doll Baby at Asos

Marni at Net-a-porter

Yellow Spot Blouse from Topshop

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Toni&Guy Magazine

Two of the mags I contribute to – Toni&Guy  and Office Magazine – are back from the printers and looking rather wonderful. Pick up a copy in your nearest Toni&Guy salon or Office shoe store.

And a huge thank you to the lovely Siu from SoCute accessories for delivering a parcel from Primrose Bakery to say thank you for featuring them in the magazine. Nom nom nom.

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Acne Sample Sale

The boy has been clocking up Brownie Points. Most notably, when he scooped up these two beauties for a mere £40 squids at the Acne sample sale on Curtain Road last week. What lucky legs I have to wear such fabulous pink denim. The lining on the waist band is a rich royal blue to match the button, which makes even fastening my trousers a joyous occasion.

think pink

As a fan of sports-luxe, this hooded dress tickles all the right bits for me. Plus the hedgerow green is kind to pasty winter skin, and the hood is perfect for skulking out for an early morning coffee and paper sans make-up.

hug a hoody

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Violet – The Perfect Sunday

As far as general rules go, I’m a bit OVER cupcakes. Ostentatious little things – all look-at-me frosting and fat-bottomed milky sponge dressed-up in novelty casing. No thank you, I’m not a child. Give me a scone buckling under the weight of clotted jam and unctuous cream, a slab of vegetable-heavy carrot cake or a rich and decadent chocolate slice any day.

But if there was ever an argument in favour of the sugary mounds, then Violet in Hackney is leading the charge, and after yesterday’s jaunt, I’m almost prepared to eat my cake words.

Violet is the love child of Claire Ptak, a lady whose sugar-coated CV includes work under Alice Walters as pastry chef at Chez Panisse in Berkley. She’s had a little stall at Broadway Market since 2005.

I once bought ten of her mini violet and rose cupcakes for a cupcake-loving friend, then strapped the box to my bike and cycled across London. When I arrived at my destination, they were unsurprisingly squashed all over the box, but so good did they taste that said friend proceeded to lick the cake goo out of the corners.

Yesterday I took a visit to the recently opened Violet cafe with a friend who’d just run a half marathon and was in need of a celebratory sugar rush. The cafe itself comes by the way of a relatively innocuous white building, on a quiet residential street.

Inside, this pared down elegance reigns supreme. Pale turquoise crockery, a single peony on each table, reclaimed school desks and formica tables, stripped wood and bare open spaces. Calming and airy, there’s a hint of Scandinavia in the curation – where interior silences by the way of a vast white walls are considered a valuable decorating tool. Refreshing to see something other than walls filled with ‘quirky’ found objects, a tiresome trend among independent coffee shops.

An espresso machine has just been fitted, so Jack’s coffee is now available. I took a cappuccino which was perfectly silky and rich, but could have been a touch hotter. On the cake front, there were racks of American-inspired, candy-coloured cupcakes alongside sticky blood orange upside-down cakes, chocolate, prune and armangac cakes, a vast tray of cherry cobbler with rocks of upper crust bobbing on a sea of ox-blood coloured fruit, chewy cookies, and bite-size passion and bergamot cakes.

We went for the cobbler with clotted cream, the passion and bergamot nibbles and completely maverickly for me a chocolate and raisen whoopie pie. I could use a whole host of over the top adjectives to describe our coffee and cake experience, but I won’t. Suffice to say that each one had layers of subtle flavour, its own well-crafted texture and a technical excellence when it came to composition that was testament to Ptak’s previous career in pastry.

Refreshing and simple, Violet doesn’t wallow in over-indulgence. The cakes don’t go down the Innocent Smoothie route and try to be your friend with labels crammed with witty commentary. Uncomplicated, chic and lo-fi, Violet is a space that serves the most delicious confectionary without being sickly sweet. You leave having balanced  your post-run calorie intake, but the whole experience has you leaving feeling lighter and reinvigorated. Cupcakes may be for kids, but Violet is very much for grown-ups.

Violet, 47 Wilton Way, London, E8 3ED

Images are from the Violet website


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