Friday, 28 January 2011

victoriano valentino

I'm noticing a distinctly historical theme running through this season's couture collections. First there was Chanel's Grecian gals, then came Givenchy's damsel in distress-meets-knight in shining armour Viking styles, followed by Jean Paul Gaultier's foray into Moulin Rouge-style can-can couture, and finishing with Valentino's Victorian blouses and Elizabethan ruffs. Phew.

All the ruffs and frills and frothiness and floatiness, as well as the butterflies, makes me think of a world of clouds, where fairies sit and eat marshmallows and candyfloss all day. Beautiful.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

elie saab's flower power

Elie Saab's Spring/Summer 2011 couture collection reminds me of flower beds, country gardens and train journeys through meadows. Spring has sprung.


Makes me hark back to Thomas Hardy's Wessex countryside in all its BBC period drama glory (from 2:40 or so in):

Excuse the Italian subtitles; couldn't find the original version. I'm sure Petrarch would have approved of all the flattery and flowers and courting at work though.

is the BBC failing the country?

Another shameless post of a Varsity review, folks. Enjoy.

On the day I was due to attend a lavish black tie dinner with the speakers of this week’s Union debate, I received an email from Varsity asking whether I felt that my Union membership fees were being squandered on unnecessary extravagances. Although I was paying for the privilege, the number of invited guests and the liberal dispensation of wine certainly gave me pause for thought. Nevertheless, the new Union committee were quick to assure me that copious alcohol would engender a much livelier debate with more forthright speakers, and swiftly refilled my glass.

Having finished our handmade petit fours, we were whisked into the chamber and treated to an utterly engaging and at times outrageously witty debate. Outgoing Union president James Counsell opened the proposition’s argument that the BBC is failing the nation by citing several recent news articles guilty of ideological bias, and Theology student Sophie Lloyd responded with a solid defence of the BBC’s creativity and diversity. Roger Alton, executive editor of The Times, admitted that the BBC’s blithe complacency probably should be brought to check, although relying on stalwart favourites such as Bargain Hunt and copying ITV’s hit reality shows has admittedly been a successful formula thus far.

A rather disgruntled Jon Sopel, who felt his evening could have been better spent reporting on Alan Johnson’s resignation rather than speaking to a room of non-licence fee-paying students, undermined the proposition’s criticisms by quoting Alton’s hypocritically glorious praise of BBC news coverage whilst editor of The Observer. Despite Alton’s embarrassment, perhaps the biggest loser of the evening was the unfortunate timekeeper, whose desk-tapping efforts to halt the lengthy speeches of History of Art student Tom Davenport and Peter Bazalgette were met with amusing hand caresses and the gentle assurance, “Don’t be frightened, just relax and we’ll get through this together.”

By the end of the evening both sides had done exactly that – it was the witty exchanges between the opponents, rather than their convincing arguments, that were the highlight of the debate. And as I no doubt joined several other students in catching up on iPlayer’s latest offerings back in college, I realised that the BBC can’t be doing that bad a job after all.

givenchy's striking vikings

Taking a break from this term's reading of Chaucerian literature, I turned to Vogue's round-up of the Paris couture shows and was dazzled by the chivalric, Arthurian legend vibe of the Givenchy collection:

Long, rapuzel-like chair? Check.
Grand palatial setting? Check.
Layered, flowing gowns? Check.
Knight in shining armour's helmet? Check.
Medieval modesty? Um, perhaps not.

Think damsel in distress donning helmet of heroic knight, asserting female strength through warrior-inspired clothing and flashes of bare flesh. A radical revival of medieval myth? Not so, brave knight. Saucy Chaucer's women weren't afraid to bare all either:
I wol persevere, I nam nat precious.
In wyfhode I wol use myn instrument
As frely as my maker hath it sent.
If I be daungerous, God yeve me sorwe!
Myn housbond shal it have bothe eve and morwe...
Admittedly, Tisci's collection isn't exactly aimed at modern-day Wives of Bath, but I've no doubt that she would have approved of his defiant styles back in the day.

Monday, 24 January 2011


Perhaps it's a hangover from the seemingly limitless Roses being handed out at the nightclub I went to last night (forget alcohol, THAT is the way to lure me into the party, thank you very much), but the Armani Prive couture collection struck me as bearing a curious resemblance to my favourite jewel-like confections:

 Look #1: 'The Purple One'

 Look #2: 'The Green Triangle'

 Look #3: 'Strawberry Delight'

Look #4: 'Out of the blue'

All this talk of chocolate has reminded me that CREME EGG SEASON HAS ARRIVED!!! Sainsbury's watch out - you won't know what's hit you tomorrow morning.

P.S. My lovely friend Claire beat me to it in spotting the chic-n-mix trend this season. Clearly chocolate is big news for Spring. I'm certainly not complaining.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

frozen bananas

Few snaps from my college ski trip last week, which was, you might say, TOP BANANA.

Monday, 17 January 2011

couture cakes

I love cake. And I love fashion. So when the two are combined, I am liable to squeal.

Cakes created by The Caketress. Golly gosh aren't they incroyable?

Wedding cakes from a class held by The Caketress, courtesy of Sweetapolita

Although I will never be able to rival these fantastical creations, I was rather proud of the cake I made for my stepdad's birthday and the cake I shared with my friends at my birthday party - the former was a dark chocolate and raspberry truffle cake and the latter a heart-shaped vanilla cake with white chocolate ganache and passion fruit curd. Bliss.

Pah, so much for the New Year detox.