Friday, 2 December 2011

Let there be light (and lots of nice colours)

A few days ago I criticised Topshop.

This is not something I do often, or something I take lightly. But I couldn’t understand why they were making Christmas sweaters, but only in the colour black. Personally, I like to live in a technicolour dreamworld all year round - especially during December. Come on, Topshop. It gets dark at 4pm at the moment, why add to the bleak mid winter? I had to speak my mind.

And I haven't changed my mind on this matter.

But perhaps I was wrong to single out Topshop.

I’ve just had a quick look at River Island online and they too want us to buy magical Christmas sweaters in boring black. 

Check out this polar bear. Isn’t he fancy with all his sequins? And, to be fair, he doesn’t look quite as unhappy as the penguin in Topshop. But why why why not a rich jewelly colour like emerald or sapphire?

Polar bear ain’t alone. There’s also a badger (because I guess they celebrate Christmas too). Badger appears in blaaaand beige. But the less said about him the better. He strikes me as a deeply unhappy individual.

You know, I guess this year there just aren’t any colourful sweaters that incorporate Christmas and animals. Unless, of course, you’re a dog. Then you're spoilt for choice.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

When Google spiders attack

I occasionally sneak a peek to see who’s reading my blog. Not that I can see, “Oooh, Lisa Dennison’s reading in San Francisco!” (but, thanks for reading, Lisa). What I can see is where people are reading (surprisingly, often Russia). And how people have ended up finding the blog.

With this knowledge, I’d like to apologise now to all the unsuspecting souls who were furiously Google searching for important information and ended up on The Lion, the Kitsch and the Wardrobe. I hope that some of them have found it a good read. Perhaps the person who searched for “Topshop pony cardigan” enjoyed my critique of other pony fashions too. And probably all the people who searched for “I love pandas” and “Foxes” at least found that we had a few things in common.

But I’m terribly worried about one reader. The person who searched for “My bladder is about to explode”. Apparently Google’s magical spider workers went off into the web and pulled up my posting about a weekend in Sweden during which a toilet attendant made me pay to use the bathroom. Which was surely of no assistance to the person searching for answers on this extremely urgent matter. Who has time to read musings about animal homeware in Scandinavia at a time like that?

I’m left with all kinds of questions. Above all, did they get to the bathroom in time?

So, Mystery Googler, if by any chance you ended up a regular reader, drop me a line and let me know you’re OK. And here's a pomeranian in a sailor outfit to bring good health and happiness to you and your bladder.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

November's round up

For reasons that include going on holiday, changing job, and generally being a bit stressed out, it has been some time since my last blog. But the jet lag is fading and I’m almost ready to tell you about my exciting adventures in the land of Florida (you want to hear this stuff – I had a psychic connection with none other than Ernest Hemingway, and I met a really, really awesome dog called Charlie).

To get back into the swing of things, having been back in the UK a week I’ve visited all my favourite places (i.e. shops) and am ready to report back on what they’ve been up to in my absence.

For the month of November’s fashions I will be awarding Paw Prints (this is my own ranking system which you will not generally find elsewhere, and certainly not at events like the Olympics).
3 Paw Prints to Urban Outfitters. Urban Outfitters’ buyers really know what they’re doing when it comes to intarsia items. They’ve often tried to make me buy cardigans with foxes, cats, and even hedgehogs. True story. The latest offering. A reindeer-themed skirt. I’m delighted.

2 Paw Prints to H&M. Well done, indeed. Having apparently exhausted themselves in the animal department this autumn, they’ve turned all Disney. Unexpected. Minnie Mouse was huge last year, but they’ve diversified with a range that includes Bambi, Snow White and Chip ‘n’ Dale (not the strippers).

1 Paw Print to Topshop. I’m being kind. Topshop are doing the retro Christmas jumper thing. How very ’ditch of them. The problem is that they’re not doing it terribly well. This penguin is probably the best of the bunch. He doesn't look happy, though, does he? In fact, I have my suspicions that he's flapping his wings as some sort of cry for help. And you'd be crying for help too if you lived in the world of darkness that is the black of this sweater. Why black? Bah humbug, Topshop. 

And now to the loser who is getting absolutely no Paw Prints.

Sorry, River Island. You were doing so well before I went away. But this dog sweater. Ugh. Why is he looking at me? What is he thinking? I’m not a fan. 

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Meow and purrrrrrrr

Just look at this. Released yesterday – the Vivetta cat coat. I must not, must not, must not buy one. But, gosh, I want to. I just can’t justify the purchase right now. And I’ve collected quite a lot of cat-related fashions recently. 

But there’s good news. I think I know someone who’s been saving her monies for this very purpose. And when she comes to London in all her cat coat splendour I will get to paw the magical dreamcoat and perhaps even try it on. Miss Niki Rooney, you know who you are.

Niki and I met on our first day working together at Demijohn (amazing olive oil/alcohol shop on Edinburgh’s deliciously quirky Victoria Street). She was standing outside the shop having a conversation with a tramp. These things happen to Niki. We quickly bonded (me and Niki, not me and the tramp, he’d wandered off) over a shared love of ponies and shoes. And vanilla cream vodka. We bought matching pony jumpers and wore them every day, adopting our own strict employee dress code. We occasionally tied tails to the back of our aprons just to see if customers commented. We sat in front of the tiny fan heater in the biting cold of an Edinburgh winter, and got a little bit tipsy on ginger wine samples. Good times.

These days Niki is a superstar TV writer, working on the likes of Hollyoaks. Check out her blog – Time for Twee – under my blog crushes. She has very excellent clothes and likes to wear animal ears. And I have her to thank for alerting me to many of the great things that are happening in the world. Like my new unicorn shorts (they haven’t arrived yet, but Topshop promise they are on their way).

Lucky old Liverpool gets to be home to Miss Niki at the moment, and I wish I saw her more. But, you know, when you can’t justify the purchase of a cat coat, but you feel genuine joy that your buddy’s getting one. Well, that’s real friendship, isn’t it?

Monday, 24 October 2011

Hats off to River Island

A few blogs back I complained about River Island’s panda beanies.

Not about the beanies themselves, but that they’ve been producing the very same ones for the past three years. Yawwwn. Ears on beanies are such old news. I wanted to see something new and exciting (but possibly still involving ears).

I’ve never really been a fan of River Island. The clothes seem designed to look much cheaper than they actually are. Inverse of the ideal fashion situation. Too shiny. Too metallic. Far too much going on in terms of metal studs. But yesterday I was walking past anyway (had been in Topshop visiting the unicorn shorts that will be mine very shortly), and I decided to check up on that hat situation.

Well, OMG. It’s like they read my mind and put together an autumn/winter collection specifically designed to take all my money from me.

Hat wise, there’s a lot going on. I fell a little bit head-over-Uggs for this furry number. Trying it on, it felt more like a fox disguise than a mere winter accessory. 

I still kind of want it, but I made the very grown-up decision to diversify my wardrobe with this hat which allows you to pretend you are a strawberry. A fun healthy message all at once. 

So, strawberry beanie in hand, I moved to the bags and could not resist this little pup. He’s a great size for that ‘key, money, phone, oyster card’ combo. He has a delicate gold chain, perfect for the festive party season. And – most importantly – he’s a dog. 

Clothing wise, every animal enthusiast’s desires are catered for with prints incorporating raccoons, foxes, cats (I did predict that trio being on-trend), rabbits and ponies. To show my appreciation I got a vest featuring a rabbit.

But I’m so sad that my finances could stretch no further, because before leaving the shop I caught sight of an absolute wonder. What's cooler than a retro, over-the-shoulder mini suitcase? A retro, over-the-shoulder mini suitcase covered in an entire troupe of squirrels. The bad news is that River Island want me to pay them £50 for it, and I don’t think that I can do that right now. But, Santa, if you happen to read my blog (and you really should encourage the elves to subscribe for present-making inspiration), I’d like to point you in the direction of River Island Oxford Street, straight through the sale racks, past the hats, turn slightly left at the purses. Animal sophistication awaits.