Black and white and rad all over

I’m not sure when I stopped liking colour quite so much and decided that black and white was all I wanted to wear. Perhaps when I realised how old I’m getting? Black, white and Hawaiian print. And nothing else.

Taking care of the monochrome side of things this week is Stampd, who I discovered when I saw this Champagne cap somewhere. It’s going to be the latest addition to my ‘you wish you were Eva Chen’ collection.

Other black and white items from Stampd which I’d quite enjoy ownin

Stampd LA

Swimsuit; mug; beanie; shorts; jersey; badge

Isn’t everything just better in black and white?

Thank Furcoat it’s Friday

HIYA!

1. David Byrne doing a cover of Biz Markie’s Just a Friend. It’s amazing. Watch it, sing along, feel happy all Friday.
2. “Be wary of blue shoes.” Shockingly bad advice from Seventeen.
3. I want to hang each of these on my wall. Of my fantasy study.
4. Tabitha Denholm’s film about the Creole Cowboys is brill. “They’re like mods with their scooters,” she says. ” These dudes are so proud of their horses. They customize them, paint their hooves, plait their hair.”
5. Five decades of amazing Cher outfits.

Moving house

home

One of the main reasons things have been so quiet of late is because we’re moving house this month. After six years in sunny New Cross, we’re upping sticks and moving just down the road to Brockley.

Much as I’ve loved our little top floor roost over the years, I’m thoroughly looking forward to a fresh start in somewhere new. While the living room discos, kitchen views of St Pauls and general nest-like vibes of an attic conversion have all been brilliant, the lack of garden, noise and rotting sash windows are not such a blast. There’s also the colour scheme; lime green, yellow, sky blue, brown and jade might be some people’s palette of choice, I guess it’s safe to say it’s not ours.

Needless to say, we’re still renting. This is London, after all. But the place we’re moving to is wall-to-wall white, wood floors and massive windows and high ceilings. The only colours used anywhere are grey and black. Oh and green, IN OUR GARDEN. Much more like it. There’s not too much that can be done in a rented property, but that’s not stopped me planning the decorative doodads that I am planning on bringing to the new place.

All the design pics above are from my Pinterest and the other pieces are as follows:

1. UP Tray, Fine Little Day

2. Cactus Shower Curtain, H&M Home

3. Pia Wallen Crux Blanket, Haus

4. Stockholm Cushion, Ikea

5. Tom Dixon Copper Pendant, Heals (well, maybe one day)

6. Tom Eckersley poster – maybe a print of it exists at the current LCC exhibition?

PS We know Brockley pretty well, but any pro tips always welcome!

Thank Furcoat it’s Friday

(For the other old bastards who stay in on a Friday night. More on which to come, along with some other explanations, tomorrow.)

Emoji Irl

1. Emoji IRL. Eagerly anticipating the emoji poo reenactment.

2. Sheffield is number 22 on the NY Times list of places to go in 2014. Because of its pubs. This had better not make the rents go up, eh?

3. The Montague Arms is being reinvented. This is big news for SE London dwellers, lovers of taxidermy and beer fans. Although maybe not so much of the middle one anymore. RIP.

4. The Muppets take on internet commenters.

5. People reenacting viral gifs. Please can you find more of these for me?

6. WITCH (We In This Club are Hellcats), SWAMI (Subtle Women Are Most Intriguing), JERKS (Junior Elite Receive Kind Servicemen), ZANY (Zealous, Adorable, Nice and Yummy), JILTS (Jump In Line To Smooch). More about these brilliantly-named oldey-timey girl gangs can be found here!

 

Kay Kwok’s intergalactic menswear magic

alien
kaykwok
kaykwok2


My contribution to London Collections: Men was all of two shows – although both of them (JW Anderson and YMC) were pretty awesome. I got 90s Sebastian Flyte vibes at JW Anderson and ‘I want to wear all of these clothes myself’ vibes at YMC.

Our men’s editor was doing all the real work, but one show that we both missed was Kay Kwok. When I saw the hair pics feeding through on Twitter, my curiosity was so piqued that I had to look up the entire show – and what a Jazz Man delight it is.

I know that the entire ensemble is really required to get the full effect, but I’d take any of those tunics and wear them as a dress. Black tights, spaceman boots and boom, you’re all set to play Alien Trilogy on your Sega Saturn (thanks Tumblr for the top pic, and Sega knowledge).

Jeremy Scott for Moschino is every bit as great as I hoped

jeremy scott for moschino

Pictures of Jeremy Scott’s first collection for Moschino appeared on Racked this morning and I’m thrilled to see that they’re every bit as logo-tastic and kitsch as I hoped they might be.

Over Christmas I found some amazing Moschino heels in a vintage shop in Sheffield – they were 80s pointy kitten heels, with the iconic Moschino gold letters placed around the ankle strap. Imagine! They were spectacular (and cheap), but there’s no way I’ll ever have the legs to pull off an ankle strap on a kitten heel so I just admired them for a while then left them for some lucky-legged student to pick up.

Anyway – just when you thought the Moschino logo letters couldn’t snake their way around anything else, here we get a rucksack, a snapback cap and a trompe l’oeil necklace on a sweater. Shout out too for that handbag made out of a mini leather jacket – better pic here on the Beckerman blog.

I’ve just highlighted my favourite bits but the collection has more variety than you might suspect. There are oversized varsity jackets in the form of dresses, tricksy lace slips and some chintzy floral dress coats which are almost a bit Luella, to my mind.

God bless Jeremy and Moschino for constantly flying the flag for fun fashion. See the lot here!

HairPomades: bringing stylish barbering to the masses

HairPomades.comhurr

I was really excited to be contacted by HairPomades.com at work this week – their marketing material is such a breath of fresh air! Cute little box of matches (which is part of a bigger social campaign that you can see here) and a nice reworking of classic barber pole colours for something entirely modern.

That was exciting enough (it was the first Monday back after Christmas, give me a break), but then I actually clicked through to the website and was equally impressed at the stock on offer. Much like the feeling I get when venturing into a fancy French pharmacy or going wild in the aisles at Walgreens when I’m on a work trip to the States, I just wanted to look at EVERYTHING. Sure, it’s all for barbers (and professionals at that), but all of the products look so appealing that I just want to stock up on the lot. And then display them proudly in my bathroom.

All of the brands that HairPomades stock are super-desirable – and hard to track down in the UK, in my experience. Murray’s is Andy’s favourite pomade from the States and I can never find it in England, while Blue Magic, Layrite (teehee) and Royal Crown are all new to me, but tick that same kitsch Americana box. Lucky 13 offers something different with its flash-inspired artwork, but again it has real shelf-appeal.

On a more contemporary design tip, Oak and Dr K are also new to me – but equally interesting and stylish. How much more impressive would that be on a bathroom shelf than a sad tin of Gillette? The best a man can get, indeed.

Finally, and most excitingly, is Suavecito, which has skipped its way merrily to the top of my men’s haircare product charts (yeah, I have ‘em). As well as a host of haircare products – more on which in a second – there is an absolutely incredible Black Flag inspired comb shirt, which I now decree as uniform for every barber I know. It’s brilliant.

HairPomades is the exclusive European distributor for Suavecito, which is an interesting American brand. Like many of the best products, it was created by a barber and his friend (J-Bird, no less) and caught on through barbershop word-of-mouth – again, like so many of the best products. Investment came courtesy of the founder’s severance pay and now look at it! A cult phenomenon with a way-cool skeleton logo. You can find out more about them here.

Like a Space NK for barbers, HairPomades gets the double thumbs-up from me for great products and even greater curation and design. If you’re a barber – or even a retailer, I imagine – you can find out more about being a reseller here.

2014 goal: dress like a grown-up

apc-avenue32

I’m pretty sure I made a blog post with the same objective last year and, apart from a few sneaky lol purchases, I’ve pretty much stuck to my word.

I’ve never been a subscriber to the belief that you have to dress a certain way at a certain age, but personally I’ve found that as I’ve got older and found myself in increasingly responsible roles, it’s felt better to dress a bit more sensibly. At least at work, anyway – the Rude Dog tshirt might just have to wait for the weekends. Or at least Fridays.

With that in mind, here’s a dream outfit from Avenue 32 that hopefully straddles looking like a professional that you can trust with your advertising budget and representing my inner overgrown goth.

Clockwise from top left

1. APC Red Basique Sweatshirt, £81 – I’m glad that statement sweaters are a thing now. It’s like the grown-up skater teenager equivalent of a tasteful cardigan; i.e. really useful for work and easily switched up with collars or jewellery. Viva la sweater!

2. 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli Backpack, £740 – well, a girl can dream. I have a few ‘good’ bags and if and when I invest in another, I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a backpack because after three weeks of physio, I’m not letting this dream new back go. Wait, does that make me sound old?

3. APC Bordeaux Ribbed Socks, £25 – until last year, I only had one pair of socks and they were for the gym and occasional hiking excursions. The downside of wearing predominantly skirts and dresses is that you don’t really need socks (unless you are 16 and can carry off socks and sandals). Then I got a pair of sturdy leather ankle boots and realised that a bunched-up sock poking out the top could be a strong look. I duly bought a pair of socks and lost one somewhere between the front door and my bedroom after one day – well, it was Christmas. And no, I’ve never found them. And yes, I live in a small flat. These would be a good replacement and I’m all for matching my outfit to my accessories.

4. APC Black Leather Boots, £248 – see above. I have worn my equivalent boots pretty much daily since I bought them last year, leading me to understand just why buying staple wardrobe pieces is such a good idea. Black leather boots = not such instant gratification but daily wear. Gold glitter boots = instant thrill, worn twice in four years. I get it!

5. Pamela Love Gold Plated Eagle Claw Necklace, £230Estelle Dévé Gold Plated Aurora Bracelet, £105 and Tiaa Ring Set, £125 – all for expressing personality through accessory choice and I reckon gold lets you get away with a lot more.

6. Frends Gold and Black Taylor Headphones, £180 – because if you’re going to be sitting with your headphones on being antisocial, it might as well be with something stylish. Headband-style headphones have the added bonus of being completely unsubtle too, unlike my paltry, and easily-disguised by long hair, in-ear ones.

7. JW Anderson Black Leather Mini Skirt, £330 – we live in truly enlightened times that we (well, many of us) can get away with wearing leather mini skirts to the office and not have people mentally view us like this – although really, who would complain?

[Collaborated post]

Christmas almanac: 2013

Art Deco Christmas print - detail from a 1939 Dow Chemicals magazine ad

The first rule in buying Christmas presents is to select something shiny. If the chosen object is of leather, the leather must look as if it has been well greased; if of silver, it must gleam with the light that never was on sea or land. This is because the wariest person will often mistake shininess for expensiveness.

PG Wodehouse (who else?)

So, here we are at Christmas once again. After one of the best years of my life (if not the best year of my lfie) I’ve not done a splendid job of picking up blogging, but I like a Christmas roundup so here it is. Hopefully there should be plenty to keep you entertained in the quiet bits that don’t involve eating and drinking over the next few days.

1. I posted this link to a stream of the audiobook of PG Wodehouse’s Jeeves and the Yuletide Spirit last year, but it’s a Christmas tradition for me to listen to it and, frankly, I won’t rest until the world is listening to Jeeves & Wooster audiobooks to send them off to sleep every night.

2. The Bee’s Knees is a cocktail that came to fame in the Prohibition era – allegedly to make bathtub gin taste better. Whether your gin is made at home or is just cheap stuff that comes from a shop, it’s a tasty-sounding way of making it more delicious.

2 shots of gin
3 spoonfuls of runny honey
1 shot of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 shot of freshly squeezed orange juice

Stir the honey together with gin until the honey dissolves. Add the lemon and orange juice, shake together with ice and strain into a chilled glass. I mean, if you’re doing at home you could probably skip the shaking and just serve over ice – I’m sure it would be delicious all the same.

3. My BFF Harriet had her first book published this year and I am embarrassingly proud. If you want a Christmas-themed novel (with rude bits), you can and should download it here!

4. I finally watched In Bed With Chris Needham on my first day off this Christmas. I don’t really want to tell you any more about it other than that it’s joining Anvil in my favourite documentaries of all time list. After watching it all, read this amazing catch-up interview with Chris.

5. This is One Direction’s Best Song Ever, as performed by dogs.

6. I made another Christmas playlist, because I figured that you can never have enough.

7. Crisis at Christmas do an incredible job in their centres and they have a slight work angle for me because loads of brilliant, wonderful, dedicated hairdressers give up their time to take care of the guests at Crisis centres. My industry is occasionally a source of humour for people, I know, but the physical and emotional benefits that an hour or two of TLC can give to those who are often on their own are fairly brilliant. For that reason, Crisis is my charity for the festive season and you can donate to them here. (You can also watch a video of what goes on at the centres here!)

8. The Spicy Bird tacos in the Wahaca cookbook are completely brilliant and, handily for everyone, also work darned well with turkey. I have been promised that Andy’s mum will make these with leftovers and, if that doesn’t happen, I might cry. The recipe is here.

9. If you haven’t seen it yet, Ja’Mie: Private School Girl is all online. Summer Heights High under a microscope. A microscope crafted of lols.

10. This whole website.

[Top pic: Vintage ads]

My kingdom for mermaid hair

mermaid-hair

Mermaid hair is all I have ever wanted in life – at least in terms of hair. I’m talking past the boobs, effortlessly wavy, red (natch), all-round-glorious. I have the wavy bit down… the length is kinda shorter than it should be at the moment ‘cos I had a lot of split ends, but it’s not far off… and the colour is perfect because my colourist is perfect. She calls my shade Ariel, so you know… mermaid-tastic.

Today I discovered Mermaid Hair shampoo and conditioner and so now, needless to say, it is my mission to get my hands on some. It gets the thumbs up from Into The Gloss, so it must be good – and even if it isn’t, the coconut and orange-flower fragrance sounds preeeetty awesome.

What else do you need to be a bathtub mermaid? These ASOS pearl pins would be good for creating a Chanel-approved, pearl-bedazzled wet-look updo (because if Cher taught us anything as a mermaid, it’s that accessories are important) and Fig & Yarrow Pink Love Salts seem like a suitably romantic and decadent way to splash around (they also do smelling salts!!).

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess is my favourite summer fragrance, although it is worryingly absent from their website at the moment. Maybe you can only buy it in summer? Regardless, just a whiff makes me feel like I’m lying on a beach. Or rock. Whatever it is that mermaids lounge on.

Finally this Topshop sequinned bralet is probably what a modern-day mermaid would wear, rather than those frankly impractical scallop shell bras. Cher would approve.

[Top picture: CherWorld]