Vogue.com has upgraded

As a fashion fanatic and Vogue magazine worshipper, I subscribe to Vogue's daily emails.  I read these emails everyday.  Each email delivers at least three (usually seven) stories of the latest and greatest happenings in the world of fashion. Click on the story that takes your fancy and it takes you to their website; the story neighbours related stories, an advert for Chloe's new Eau de Parfume and an advert for French Connection 'I Am' campaign.  I spend (not wasted) many hours on Vogue.com.  I usually find my way to the catwalk archives or Livia Firths Eco-fashion Blog posts.

As I click on the latest news story of model Natalia Vodionova's role in the paralympics, I am taken to an unfamiliar page.

It is new! It is modern!  It is wonderful! Although the web functions more like an App and its navigation system subverts the norm,  I have a feeling this website it going to really pay off!  Although I liked vogue.com's previous layout,  it did lack organisation in terms of navigation.  This site has been minimised to the max.  I think it will take no time to find my way around. 


The grey column on the left is how one changes the navigation options on the site.  It is similar to the design of the Facebook iphone app when comparing the menu symbol. The first image is the screenshot of the chief navigation and the second is a screenshot if you click on news.  This then offers a chronological order to the latest. Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezey!

If I click on that again it comes up on the main body of the website.  My geeky New Media degree graduate self is asking, 'I wonder what back- end they are using here!'  This certainly does not look or feel like a word-press site.  I have a feeling some serious investment in time, effort, and money has gone into creating this mothership of websites. So;

Dear Vogue,

Thank you.  I approve of the new website. 

I look forward to using it daily. Best wishes,



Martha A La Mode

My younger brother of 17 (Harry) decided to spend some time at home recently.  But doesn't he live at home you ask? Well not this 17 year old.  My brother is one of those boys who takes great pride and pleasure in his extremely busy social life.  For example,  the past two days Harry has been pretty much house hopping in London catching the festivities that are The Notting Hill Carnival Festival.  It is fair to say this young chappie lives the life. 

Harry decided to come home last weekend. I suspect it was because a) there were no major social occasions that he was missing out on and/ or b) because he has no money left.  During these few days at home, Harry invited his girlfriend Martha over.  

Martha got style.

Martha is one of those young girls who makes fashion look easy.  I think her exceptional figure has something to do with it but I can safely say Martha has cracked the code to casual cool.  

On this day Martha wore a slouchie bucket bag which her sister bought her on her travels.  For me, it is this bag that makes the outfit stand out.  It is different.  It tells a story.  It brings some thing exotic to the casual attire.  -Not to mention it looks pretty damn practical.  These slouch bucket bags hold an awful lot in them!  If you are not going on holiday to the East anytime soon where these bags derive from, either head down to Camden Market where they will be selling something similar, or tap onto Ebay. 

Martha wore white Converse.  You just can't really go wrong with Converse.  They are like the ugg of our (now) time.  Comfy and look good with nearly everything. Like Ugg boots,  Converse are definitely a look. 

Martha's hands. If only her light turquoise nail polish wasn't chipped! Let's ignore that and ogle her rings!!

Martha's cheeky, hidden and totally tasteful tattoo. 

So all in all, Martha dresses well.  But it has to be said, I wouldn't really care what she was wearing. Martha is a very cool cat.  Even if she was wearing a matching Playboy tracksuit, it wouldn't detract from the fact that she is extremely easy to chat to and have a giggle with.  Harry, I approve! X

Tofu Oat Cakes

My lovely foodie friend from Kent, Lis (right) , came to stay with me at the beginning of this week.  Both with a love of food, Lis being a vegetarian and myself being a health freak we got talking about different recipes and what we want to try and make. 

Both of us are never fond of following a recipe, we followed Lis's foodie instinct and chucked all of the ingredients in the Magi Mix (a wonderful blender) in the hope to create something what of a Tofu Oat Cake.  Here is a rough guide of what we did chuck into that Magi Mixer of mine... (/my mothers). 

Tofu Oat Cakes

Tbs Ginger
Tbs All Spice
2Tbs Cinnamon
50g Oat bran
400g Tofu
20g Almond Meal
2 Eggs
3 Tbs Flaxseed
1Tbs Baking Powder
2Tbs Maple Syrup
2Tbs Algarve
20g Large Rolled Oats
50g Sunflower Seeds

1) Whizz all ingredients together
2) Add Rolled Oats and Sunflower Seeds and ix in
3) Dollop mixture onto Baking Sheet
4) Place in Oven at 180 degrees for 15 minutes. 
5) Take out after golden brown and set and leave to cool.
6) Serve with Natural Fat Free Yogurt, Honey and Blueberries... Or whatever you fancy really.

Below is a picture of our mixture dolloped onto the parchment before cooking.

Below is a picture of them cooked.

And here is the end result!! 

The Tofu cakes were scrum-didily-umtious for the foodie who does not have a big sweet tooth.  I suggest eating you tofu cake (if you dare try the recipe) with honey or something sweet like a banana just to give you that extra sweetness. The picture above is served with bluebs, honey and Total Greek 0% Yoghurt. 


Whistles Limited Edition

Here is a sneak preview of Whistles limited edition. The collection is due to arrive online on the 28th of August and in the selected South Molton Street London Shop floor on the 6th of September for Vogue's notorious Fashion Night Out.  

So what are my thoughts on the latest collection?  Well I like it, but I don't L.O.V.E.-oh-my-god-I've-got-to-get-my-hands-on-that-skirt- love it. Sure, the pieces are designed and cut simply making them easy to wear and quite apt for most occasions:- Like the grey tracksuit top seen in picture 2 and 3- its versatile and can be dressed up or down.  I just feel the collection is falling short in the colour scheme: it's dull, depressing and boring.  We all know that winter is fast approaching and that darker colours are inevitably worn in these colder months, but Whistles has stuck with the traditional and uninspiring.   For me the only two sneak-preview pieces which point to this a/w 2012 season specifically are the metallic peplem-skirt dress (picture six), and the green printed pencil skirt (picture five); they fit brief for the in-control-Whistles-woman.  This said, I still can't help but wonder why such dull hues?  This a/w has embraced winter florals from Dior and psychedelic prints from Prada for goodness sake! Where is the dare?

I guess I am trying to say that Whistles has played it safe for their limited edition collection. Fingers crossed the rest of the collection can top this sneak preview. To twist the saying: 'lets not judge a book by its first few pages.'


Stylish Shmaity

Yesterday I went for Coffee with my fashion- au - fait friend Cait- who is known by me as shmaity.  Caitie- Shmaity you can get the connection right?  Cait and I both lived together in our last year of uni.  Throughout this year we gave each other style advice,  dribbled over expenses clothes in Elle and Vogue and discussed what looks we love and hate.  Even though we both love fashion, we have different styles- what we like to wear and what suits us.  Every time I see Cait I admire her style.

Dungeree's have been on the top of Cait's clothes wish list for quite some time now.  We have ogled over pictures of Alexa Chung and quirky wearing them.  Being quite the alternative choice of clothing, finding a pair of dungeree's that fit the bill has been quite a challenge... until now.  On her recent trip to London to a vintage shop called Rocket, Cait struck gold.

Paired with a circular peter-pan cotton-reel printed blouse- rolled up at the sleeves, a leather black scrunchy, navy Longchamp bag, and black platform brogues, I think you can agree the girl knows how to dress.  Watch this space- Shmaity's ambition is headed for the fashion world.

P.S. Apologies for the unappealing backdrop of bins and stacks of rubbish.  Let's just pretend it's arty and alternative.


My Stylish Friend...

Today I went for Lunch and coffee with my friend Geneva. Geneva is one of my friends who I always get fashion envy from every time we meet up.  She knows how to dress.  Moreover, G is always wearing the latest.  Not to mention, she has long legs that could (dare I say) rival Elle McPherson- always helps.  On this 21 degree slightly windy day in the South of England, I met Geneva outside our lunch destination- Yo Sushi.

Black leggings with silver and gold triangle studs down the outside leg; a grey simple tank layered over an equally simple white one; a floaty purple and green floral chiffon jacket. The whole ensemble was beautiful, but what always gets me even more flustered with sartorial envy with Geneva is her attention to detail.

Being a graphic design student from Leeds University who has recently completed a year in industry working with some of London's coolest PR, design and production firms, Geneva has had the chance of checking out the latest trends and wearing them too!  Last time it was WAH nails.  This time it was the subtle but oh-so-modish thin feather and colour strip hair pieces. Attached to her already dip-dyed hair, Geneva was sporting two of these hair pieces.  The feather being a similar colour to her head of hair, clashed suitably to the turquoise/ pink strips of hair that lay next to it.  I can hear you think 'sounds ghastly!', but just check out the photo- G was rocking this hair.

In addition, my attention landed on her long nails: painted gold with black hearts on top.  Thinking these were transfers I immediately asked her where she got them from or where to get them done; oh yes she did them herself. See! I told you she was cool! Apparently it is easy with one of these nail pens.

To check out Geneva's blog click here.  Her taste in design and her work really is on the money.


Cheeks Away Please

I blame Rihanna for starting the trend.  I blame Topshop for making them too small.  I blame the lack of parenting in the UK. I also blame society (if I can) for the diminishing standard of what it means to be a lady.

I am talking about the trend of the short short denim shorts.  

I am not certain whether other countries are too suffering from this problem, but it seems like us Brits have no shame in walking around with our cheeks hanging out.  What's more of a worry is the average age of these escaping bottoms.  These are young bottoms; young girls.  At my unworldly age of twenty-one, I even feel like going up to these teens and warning them of what message they are giving off. Regardless of the size you are, these shorts never say lady.  They never say 'hello world, I respect myself and my body.' They certainly do not say 'hello good-looking young man, I am the kind of girl who you can take me on a nice date and to meet the parents.' 

After talking to my male friends, it seems that they agree.  My male friends also brought up the gruelling factor of the size of the girls that are generally choosing to wear this "trend".  One unnamed man even suggested that Topshop should not have made the shorts past a size 8. Harsh, I know!  

Yes, Rih-Rih does look great in her latest short shorts shoot with Terry Richardson (above).  She does have a lovely (albeit airbrushed) toned bottom. It has to be said a cracking figure always helps the way clothes look.  Regardless, I stand by my view that even Rihanna is sending out the wrong message.  Here she is selling S.E.X. That is fine- but she is a pop-star!  So to any young girls out there trying to pull off this dirty denim look, I think that for the rest of society can you answer this;

Are your cheeks hanging out of your shorts? 

If the answer is yes; beware! not only may you get creepy men leering at you, but you may subconsciously (and perhaps unfairly) get the label 'slut' attached to you. 


Jamie's Charity Chairs

The food industry has yet again collaborated with the fashion- and this time it is for charity! What better a combination you ask? Designers, cooks and do-gooder's! There isn't really.

The world renowned Brit 'Naked Chef' Jamie Oliver has asked some of the most notorious British Designers to design a chair in order to raise money for his charity 'The Better Food Foundation'.  Sarah Burton (head designer at Alexander McQueen), Paul Smith, Christopher Bailey (head designer at Burberry), Julien MacDonald and other such star studded cloth cutters are amongst the talents that have been asked to take part in this initiative.  It has been said that six of the chairs are to be won in a lottery, whilst the others will be auctioned off.

The charity initiative coincidentally falls on the tenth birthday of Jamie's Italien restaurant chain and the fifteenth anniversary of Jamie's apprenticeship programme which helps young underprivileged aspiring chefs to get stuck into the world of food.

I'm starting to look at my own office chair and realise its inadequacy against these stylish bottom resters.  Perhaps I will bid!  I would definitely choose Sarah Burton's design over Julien McDonald's. Who wants a fork poking your derrière?  These chairs are like clothes; there is no point in buying if you cannot use it or it is uncomfortable. One lilac McQueen one please then!?

Hat's off to you Jamie! You've got my support!

Jamie's own chair!

Cath Kidston

Christopher Bailey for Burberry

Julien McDonald

Mathew Williamson

Paul Smith

Quentin Blake (illustrator)

Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen


Zara arrives in Cape Town

Although I am an English girl through and through, I do spend a lot of time in Cape Town, South Africa.  As shallow as it seems, one of the things I miss when I am over in South Africa is the British high street. 

South Africa does not fulfil my sartorial needs.  Yes it does have that beautiful shop Country Road, but although their clothes are gorgeous, fashionable and well-made, they are not student friendly prices. Moving on from Country Road there are the cute boutiques on Long Street, and the random 'vintage' shop lurking around the Biscuit Mill and Woodstock, but again these shops too carry the hefty price tag, and often lack in quality.  What is a fashion obsessed student meant to do?

Although writing this blog post from Sunny England now, I could not be more excited to visit Cape Town again as ZARA has made its way over from Europe.  As one of my favourite high-street shops, I cannot wait to forage my way through the rails of well- cut blazers, cute blouses and studded shirts.  I wonder if they have the same stock as us Brits?  I have done the naughty thing and 'borrowed' these images from the gorgeous South African Blog "I Want That". The only thing I fear is that due to the ridiculous import duties in South Africa (and probably the demand for the latest gear), the student friendly prices over here may not have made it over the seas. I'll keep my fingers crossed on that one.


Style Mint- The Classic Boyfriend Style

StyleMint just got (more) style.  They have shown us their way to do the simple, classic, modern and chic way to out-wear your boyfriend. In design collaboration with the notoriously voguish Olsen twins, it is no wonder that this t-shirt line is all about the simple, done right.  Style Mint has always placed an emphasise on the way clothing is cut.  Just by looking at the Olsen's style and their own collections The Row and Elizabeth and James, we can see why.
NB It goes for all "looks"- ALWAYS spend money on the accessories. For this particular outfit, the main piece you should upgrade is the jacket! From the type of fabric used changing the way a jacket sits on the body, to the cut of a jacket, to the quality of the lining used inside (cheap synthetic fibres will make you a sweaty betty) a decent jacket is the best accessory. One can always tell "The Kooples" from a "Primarni" jobby.- Trust me.


Bonnie Wright goes to Senegal, Africa

Actress Bonnie Wright (our very own Ginny Wesley) has recently gone to Senegal, Africa, with the well-known charity Oxfam, in the hope to raise awareness for poverty.  While on her trip, Bonnie got to visit four different villages in this area. In each village she spoke to some of the members of the villages about the extreme and devastating poverty these people live in.  The message of the trip?- Well perhaps you can take the word from Bonnie herself on her travel blog, but ultimately it speaks of the wonderful help that Oxfam do for these people and that poverty must end. I think we can all agree on that one.  Here are some of the pictures from her travels. 

See all of the images on her travel blog published by Vogue.com.