I love the changing seasons and the new fashions that they bring.
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Wednesday 24 October 2012


I'm sure that I don't need to extol the benefits of having at least one little black jacket in the wardrobe.  I bought this little black jacket last autumn from H&M's Divided range.  A little androgynous in style but not cut too long, it's ideal for a petite person.

Long ago in 1966, Yves St Laurent designed his now legendary "Le Smoking" jacket, a tuxedo for women.  Since last autumn, "Le Smoking" seems to have become an important look again.  It has been featured in this autumn's issues of French Vogue - they even included a humorous article about it in their September edition entitled, "Le smoking mode d'emploi".  Now Christian Dior has shown "Le Smoking" in their Spring/Summer 2013 collection.  Here the tuxedo was worn with very slim trousers or a skirt and often with a lavaliere tied at the neck.

I wear my jacket in the "Le Smoking" manner.  Last autumn I wore it with black skinny trousers, a jet collar from Topshop and tiny jet stud earrings.  When it was cold, I slipped a black slim polo neck jumper under the jacket and added little diamond earrings (like Charlotte Casiraghi in September 2011 French Vogue).  Spring came and I teamed the jacket with a little black silk dress, a black flower on the lapel and black rose earrings.

Winter:  Jet Collar, Spring: Black Flower and Rose Earrings

Now, inspired by August 2012 French Vogue, I plan to give it a sophisticated glamour with red lipstick, red nails and diamond earrings and of course high heeled shoes.

YSL La Laque Couture Nail Lacquer in Rouge Expressionniste,
Chanel Rouge Allure Red Lipstick Samples 

The important thing is that I always wear this look with feminine hair, shoes and jewellery.  If a petite woman does androgyny, she needs to avoid a "toy man" effect!

Monday 22 October 2012


Today I went to the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea to see CHANEL's photographic exhibition.  This is being presented in major cities of the world in conjunction with the release of Karl Lagerfeld's new book, "The Little Black Jacket: CHANEL'S classic revisited by Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld".

Over 100 famous people, male and female, from the world of cinema, music and fashion have been photographed by Karl Lagerfeld in the iconic Chanel jacket, each wearing it in their own individual style.  

I was amused to see Carine Roitfeld looking very much like Coco Chanel in a hat, ropes of pearls and holding a little scissors on her fingers.  I smiled too at a rear view of Anna Wintour in the little black jacket with her famous neatly bobbed hair.  Then there was an exuberant Sarah Jessica Parker with the jacket pulled up over her head with a crown on top and a bare midriff.  Legendary supermodel Linda Evangelista looked cool smoking a cigarette and wearing her jacket with black trousers.  Alice Dellal, model and drummer (the face of CHANEL's "boy" bag campaign) was studded and punked up in a black leather jacket over her little black jacket.  Jane Birkin and her daughter, Charlotte Gainsbourg, both wore the jacket very casually with jeans. Charlotte Casiraghi of Monaco looked beautiful - like a modern day take on Marie Antoinette - with her hair piled high on the crown in a half-up, half-down style and a garland of white flowers around her neck.  

The list could go on and on but there are two more I must mention that really impressed me.  I was so very struck by Tuki Brando, the model and grandson of Marlon Brando.  He wore his little black jacket above a black studded belt at his hips, his long hair side-parted and I did see a definite resemblance to his magnificent grandfather.  Finally, there was Vanessa Paradis, the French actress and singer, her long hair tumbling over her shoulders, wearing the black jacket so prettily and demurely over a flimsy white lacy dress and holding a mini white lace parasol. Then came the twist, her hand with it's dark painted finger nails was lifting her dress up at one side just enough for the viewer to see her stocking top and suspender.

I really recommend this exhibition.

After this I must write about my own little black jacket.  I'll be doing just that in my next post.   

Monday 15 October 2012


With so much knitwear in the shops made from synthetic materials, wool is becoming a rare luxury.  This week is Wool Week and today I went to see the Wool installation that Harvey Nichols have displayed on their shop front in Knightsbridge.  It's a giant ball of wool with knitting needles.

There's a slight autumnal chill in the air now and seeing the ball of wool reminded me of how soft and warm wool feels in the winter.  I bought these black wool and angora mix gloves in the nearby Benetton, a firm that still offers a good selection of woollen knitwear and accessories at reasonable prices.  They are warm but neat and not bulky.

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Friday 12 October 2012


Every season I get excited about designers' new collections.  Although I will be inspired by fashion, when I actually go out to buy clothes, I tend to buy updated versions of the same kind of pieces.  These are often those basic, black pieces that I think of as my "easy pieces", the pieces that I will reach for most in my wardrobe.  Here are my new ones for this autumn.

I'll start with this perfectly plain, black, round-necked, short-sleeved jumper from Benetton in a soft wool and angora mix.

In the summer, Louis Vuitton opened their jewellery boutique in the Place Vendôme in Paris.  They have produced a video about their jewellery, "Voyage dans le Temps", which can be viewed on bit.ly/NrLexL.  I love their "Dentelle de Monogram"  diamond necklace, which resembles a lace collar.  I admit that it inspired me to buy this crystal and pearl necklace from Accessorize.

Here it is worn with the black jumper, reflecting the season's jewelled collar trend.

Next, my Black, Knitted Textured Grunge Jumper from Topshop.  This is great over leggings, skinny jeans or even dropped over a short, slim little silk dress.  It can be worn just as it is, or over a shirt with the collar out, or with the unexpected twist of an opulent piece of jewellery.

With the autumn chill, bare, brown feet are out.  These Black Lace Trim Ankle Socks were from Topshop.  They look lovely with the lace trim peeping out of the top of ankle boots.

Finally, I would mention my black leather-look biker jacket, bought last autumn at Topshop but every bit as good this autumn.  Photographs from Paris Fashion Week showing front row guests and chic street style featured many black leather jackets.  FASHION NOTE:  the way to wear a jacket in Paris right now is draped casually round the shoulders.  Now that's "easy" !

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Saturday 6 October 2012


Still with the blues and in Western mood, I was back in Topshop to buy their Petite Dark Wash Denim Shirt.  It's a fitted shirt in a dark vintage wash and being from their Petite range, it's the right length for me and even the sleeves are not too long!  I like the buttoned cuffs and pockets.

This shirt could be worn in different ways - for example, tucked into jeans, like a jacket or perhaps boyishly under one of the season's chunky knit jumpers with the collar out.  Accessories could be Navajo silver and turquoise jewellery for a Santa Fe look, spiked and studded punk or the quirky embellishment of an opulent piece of jewellery (very "now").  This is going to be a well-worn piece in my wardrobe.

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