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.  

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

In flamingoes I trust

I’ve always had a bit of a thing for flamingoes. Unexpected. Because, on the whole, birds worry me. There’s no way of telling what they’re thinking. And a pigeon crapped on my head when I was ten. I’d be a fool to trust so easily after that.

But, flamingoes.

There’s something kind of enchanting about them.

Maybe it’s that one-legged standing thing they do. Nobody’s really sure why they do this. Some scientists think that half of their body might go into a deep sleep. Personally, I like to think it’s birdy yoga. But, I have to stress, I’m not an expert.

They’re sociable characters, hanging out in big groups. You’d never catch a crow doing that. At least not without hassling the other crows and generally being an arsehole.

And, of course, flamingoes are pink.

Terribly good of them to fit in with the colour scheme in my flat, and indeed my life.

I’ve been in my flat for a year now. So, I did an animal stock take the other day. A bit like Noah’s pre-flood check, although I’d never be as OCD as Noah was about numbers. I’m all about inclusion, the more the merrier (note to spiders: this does not include you).

Well, it turns out there’s quite a few flamingoes who call my flat home. There’s my flamingo cocktail glasses (thank you, Sweden). My ornamental flamingo who pretty much just hangs out by the window (thank you, Paperchase). A very attractive cup (thank you, Sarah). A cushion (thank you, John Lewis). I’m not including clothes or we’d be here all day (flamingo trainers, dress, shorts, pants, socks…). Amazing, really, how many flamingoes are living under your roof when you stop and count them.

The thing is, I might be adding a whole lot more.

I’m on the precipice of a major decision.

A decision about wallpaper.

And flamingoes.

Years ago I lived in a big, ugly, modern development in South London. To get to my flat I had to walk through a maze of hideous buildings, and used to like having a good nosey in the windows of all the groundfloor flats. Most of them were Ikead up to the ceilings. But there was one wonderfully kitsch little studio with the most magical wallpaper. Pink and white flamingoes on an earthy grey background. The first time I set eyes on it I promised myself that, when I got my own flat, I too would get that wallpaper. You can see why, yes? Just look at it. 

So I tracked the wallpaper down. Problem. The whole grey thing is just not going to work for me. No problem. They now make the wallpaper in other colours (clearly it’s a popular choice), including a straight-up, bubblegum pink.

I ordered a sample. I waited with such fizzy anticipation. And it arrived. 

I never thought I’d say this, but, I’m afraid it’s too pink. What on earth am I supposed to do now?

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

When I grow up I want to be Fifi Lapin

When I was a kid I wanted to be an Olsen twin. Kind of ludicrous since they are five years younger than me. Aren’t you supposed to long to turn into someone older and more sophisticated? But as they grew up and their clothing changed from Osh Kosh to Oscar de la Renta, I think it become clear that my ambition was more than justified.

But now that I’m grown up and everything, such silliness is a thing of the past.


Oh oh spaghetti ohs. I think things have got worse. Because now, I want to be Fifi Lapin.

And she’s a rabbit.

Not just any rabbit mind you. I mean, just take a moment to bask in the splendour of this bunny’s fashion-forward style. Below she's head-to-toe Carolina Herrera.

Elle has declared her "the world’s most stylish bunny", and Vogue pronounced her "an unlikely – but powerful – fashion force". Since 2007 she’s been blogging (she’s in my blog crushes – take a look) about her fashion finds from the likes of Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney and Anna Sui (that’s just three examples, the list is infinite). She’s had her own lines in Topshop, Forever21 and Pimkie in Europe. She’s been featured in countless magazines. She’s big in Japan. And she has a puppy called Stella.

All that and her best friend is a fricking cat called Ruby Gatta. Does life get any sweeter?

Yeah, she may be a rabbit. But, my gosh, when I grow up I want to be Fifi Lapin.


I guess this is much like my ambition of being Japanese. It’s probably never going to happen. But I can do the next best thing. I can wear her. Because Sarah Scott (my very own Ruby Gatta) has been to Pimkie and picked me out a Fifi Lapin sweater.

Check. It. Out.

Fifi pulls off those round-rimmed frames in a way I never could. I guess that’s why she’s the world’s most stylish bunny.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Raccoons and cats and foxes. Oh my!

If you’ve had your paws on a copy of Vogue lately, then you’re probably well-briefed on all the autumn/winter trends for 2011. Tunics over trousers. Forties glam. Heeled loafers. But wait! I may read fashion magazines in the bath, but there’s no substitute for in-store research. And one trip to H&M has revealed some very, very exciting trends for this autumn.


And cats.

And foxes.

Oh my.

So let us begin with the humble raccoon. Truth be told, I’d already picked this guy up in Sweden. He’s not ideal for carrying money (funny shape), but I do trust him to keep a pair of spare contact lenses safe. And he’s just fun to have around.

Now to the cats. In my opinion, an animal that we don’t see enough of on adult attire. Which is why I’m so delighted that H&M are bravely pushing that boundary. Not only have they sold me a dress with cats on it (and tried to sell me woolen hot pants with cats on them, but the changing room results were too hideous for words), but they sold me these little beauties. It’s very hard to do them justice in a photo, but – trust me – they are earmuffs. The warmest, most glamorous earmuffs that my ears have ever had the pleasure of wearing. 

But I’ve saved the best ‘til last. I don’t know why nobody has thought to do this before. A simple handbag. A simple fur attachment. Put them together and you get a fox who’s tail flows freely as you go about your day with this trusty companion by your side. It makes me feel really happy about the world.