Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Regular readers will know I love a good pairing. And I think this one tops them all.

I featured these Tatty Devine earrings over Xmas for being the perfect accessory to wear to one's AA meeting.

And now these pop up on BoingBoing for one's NA meetings.

Hmm, I think my Tylenol PM tablets will make a stunning anklet.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sir mix-a-lot

The current flash-in-the-pan doing the rounds on Grazia and The Guardian is Make A Mixa. The website offers a customisable cassette which acts as a USB case. Purchasers can then upload music onto the USB creating a 21st century retro mix tape.

My heart still goes out to Retropod who were closed down by Sony for steampunking a Walkman into an ipod carrier. We say: bombastic, say me fantastic. Sony said: Infringement of copyright laws.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Spring has sprung, the grass is riz. I wonder where dem birdies is. The little bird is on the wing. No! The little wing is on the bird.

I think it is most fortuitous that just as the flowers start blooming, and the days start getting longer and milder, and the birds start singing their little hearts out, and Spring really starts Springing, my parents decided to spawn a child - me! Yes, as I am faced with turning a full quarter of a century my plans for the festivities are formulating.

First up, no birthday should go unmarked without a truly hearty breakfast to set one up for all the revelries. So a booking has been made at the bastion of English dining, The Wolseley, where I intend to work my way through no less that a pot of tea, a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, a rack of toast, a bowl of porridge, a grilled kipper or four, several rounds of poached eggs and various assorted patisseries.

Next on the agenda, naturally, is the party to which I have turned to La Clique - a burlesque-style cabaret show. La Clique promises contortionists, fire eaters, magic turns and, I suspect, the odd nipple tassel. Other possible party venues included Fabric as the go-to place for 'larging it' or even an home-spun house party themed on 'The Last Hurrah' - the former celebrating the fact that we're still young, the latter saying 'bon voyage' to our mis-spent youths. I think La Clique will feel far less terminal all round.

And what birthday is complete without a little treat to oneself? Accordingly, I will be jetting off for a weekend in Milan and where I will be scoffing risotto, gazing at art, snaffling up designer handbags, and generally having a rather 'bravissimo' time of it.

Who doesn't love Spring?

(Last photo from

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Ladies and gents, we have a new guest contributor! Paper Tiger will be casting his gimlet eye over the latest film releases. In this, his first post, he's wondering whether Ben Button is curious or just plain dull...

A review:

It is customary and polite before reviewing a film to give an indication when 'Spoilers' will be included in the text. No such warning is necessary however when commenting on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett as hardly anything noteworthy happens during the near 3 hour running time of the movie and so there is little danger of 'spoiling' anyone's watching of the film by revealing any crucial moments in the story.

The film is based supposedly upon a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I have not read this short story, but I fail to see how closely the plot of the film could follow that of any short story given the film's great length. This is its main flaw. Aside from this, the film is actually quite good. Both leads give convincing and sensitive performances and are ably supported by a marvelous turn from Tilda Swinton (who deserves to be more justly billed for her role in the film). The make up and special effects are remarkable, particularly the former in its fantastic transformation of Brad Pitt into a younger version of himself near the end of the film.

Yet the film falls down in taking so long to tell a story in which nothing very much happens, leaving one with much the same feeling as putting on a pair of warm socks straight from the tumble dryer; it's nice, but there's no particular point to it. Benjamin's curious case is merely a curiousity, to the point that none of the other characters in the film seem particularly amazed by his condition or indeed moved by it. Indeed his reverse aging seems almost incidental to what is in the end a simple love story - well told and beautiful to watch - but a simple story nonetheless.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a good but rather long film. It is not a great film, but its recipe contains just the right ingredients of big stars, an all-American romance, ironclad production values and careful marketing in the pre-awards ceremony season to make just the kind of movie-cookie the American public loves to snack on at this time of the year.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It's a modern take on the story of the eager young man who found a way for a match factory to halve its costs by simply only having the ignition strip on one side of the box, instead of both. Ecofont has lots of tiny holes incorporated within it, allowing it to require up to 20% less ink to print. Genius.

I am very rarely negative on this blog. Cynical and snide, yes. But, negative? No. Until this...

Daisy De Villeneuve's special commission for Transport For London and Fashion Week. Londoners are cool, sexy beings, not stereotyped tourist-trap fodder. TFL has a good thing going what with its ultra-mod typeface, its much-imitated schematic non-geographical underground map and even an iphone app. Bring back the good old days!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Web 3.0 has arrived and it makes no sense at all.

It goes by the name of Twine and, according to its homepage and the smatterings of press I noticed around the place, it allows you to collate online content, store it all in one place and share with friends. Where it trumps its predecessors, and what makes it 3.0, is its 'semantic' understanding, which means it 'learns'. And the more you use it, the more connections and recommendations it can make, tailored to you.

Given that I am the proud owner of a hotmail account, a facebook account, a twitter account, a google account for blogs and docs, a account, an ebay account, a paypal account, and who knows how many other countless log-ins and memberships all over the net, the thought of one go-to place for all, or even some, of it seems pretty tempting.

And so, in the name of research, I signed up to Twine. But unlike its predecessors, there was no moment of 'ahah! THIS is what my life has been missing!'. I remember first signing up to Hotmail - my email inbox wherever there was an internet connection. First signing up to Facebook - all my friends, all my events, all my photos, all under one roof. And that has what made these websites successful - a simple idea that takes 5 seconds to 'get'.

On Twine, however, I felt lost and confused. I felt left behind and insecure. Where do I go? what do I do? The two questions a visitor to a website - no matter their age, location or experience - should never ask. I logged off.

I have no doubt that more persistent friends of mine will soon be telling me what I'm missing and I will nod patronisingly and tell them I'd been signed up for yonks, but right now I'm just not ready for 3.0

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Forget Harvey Nic's, forget Bond Street, forget Net-a-Porter, forget even ebay. Because the new go-to site for ardent kvelling has got to be Kerry Taylor Auctions. An overwhelmingly stylish friend of the mothership introduced her to it and she has now, like ancestral jewellery, passed it on down to me.

If it weren't for the cramped conditions on the tube in the mornings, I would definitely be sporting this Moschino confection to work!

Friday, February 13, 2009


Awesome shoe shop, Terra Plana, have posted a job vacancy on the Dezeen website looking for architects and designers with "creative ideas and approaches, centered around sustainable, mobile, short-term, shop design" in preparation for a series of international pop-up shops. Seems Mummy and Daddy Clarks are encouraging their little one to go for the big time.

Speaking of shoes... oh the stereotypically London-based irony of being unwilling to wear one's new Snowjoggers actually in the snow in case they get dirty.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Because this is how they roll...

Monday, February 09, 2009

Terminology of 'experiential' retail.

According to one of the weekly marketing magazines, the term 'consumer' has been dropped in favour of 'guest'. We 'guests' are now 'invited' into the 'homes' of our retailers where we are tempted not with crustless sandwiches and a lovely cup of tea, but endless purchasing opportunities. I like their style - I can imagine impressionable teenagers across the land batting their eyelids at their unsuspecting parents while insisting that they are not mindless spend-freaks, rather the invited guests of Topshop, Hollister and Accessorise. Pull the other one!

Speaking of industry speak, one of my colleagues jokingly suggested we "off-line interface" today. Translation: have a chat.

Love you, love your work.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

WWDDD? (What Would Don Draper Do?)
Twitter, apparently!

Click HERE for a brilliant Guardian article on the Mad Men fanatics who are Twittering in full character.

Not sure what this means. Is Twittering the ultimate self-involved method of time-wasting yet proffered up by our navel-gazing generation? Or is it a gleaming insight into the informed, connected global village of our future? Discuss.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Do you want the good news or the bad news first?

Ok, the good news is the spring Jack Wills catalogue arrived yesterday. Judging it as a catalogue alone it gets top marks - keeping true to brand while stepping forward from its previous one in terms of look and style. And how flippin' Sloane-tastic great is it that you can now buy JW tv blankets!?

The bad news is that they appear to be taking suspiciously sticky leaves out of the American Apparel book of 'barely legal' advertising. The opening page of the catalogue features the reproduction of a 'concerned' letter from a parent "aghast and disgusted' by the "blatant sexualisation" of JW's young female models.

Firstly, if they chose to go down this route they should go down it with bullish confidence, rather than poking fun at their nay-sayers like a reprimanded child who knows they have done wrong. Secondly, unlike the slutty American Apparel ads which feature proper models, Jack Wills have open casting calls at their shops and sponsored events. Without evidence to the contrary, I can only assume, therefore, that these scantily clad teens aren't professional models, capable of drawing a line, but willing wannabe's grateful to be part of the JW dream.

Careful Jack - we all love a bad boy but they always break our hearts in the end.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

After all the flurry of disorganisation caused by the snow, it feels good to have finally got one’s ducks back in order and walking tall. And there’s nothing like a good dose of O.C.D to prompt a bit of spending in the name of organisation.

I’m lusting after this retro timetable...

and this sweet little school desk to go with it...

In the meantime, I’m off to alphabetise my cleaning products.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Brights for spring...

Geometics from Betty Jackson. Black at Debenhams.

Bakery kitchen signage from Re-Found Objects

Timex watch from Asos
Geek me up: Part 2

Making the most of the 'snow day' (snow, rain, falling leaves, wind, hail, heat, sunshine - you name it, Britain grinds to a halt), I've been doing R&D for my new role, where I'm hoping to bring credibility, strategy and commercial application to the massively undervalued and under-used art of blogging and web-based research. It only seemed right, then, for me to finally bite the bullet and join Twitter. Not quite sure of its purpose or meaning just yet, but ask me again in a few weeks and I'll no doubt be able to give you a persuasive answer in no more than 140 characters. You can follow my 'Tweets' by clicking the link to the right.