Discovered: The Grubbag Cook book

IMG-20150102-00841

This cook book was given to me by a dear old friend. Held together by string and tacks, The Grub bag by Ita Jones is a political, feminist manifesto all wrapped up in the guise of an “underground cookbook”. Developed from its original incarnation as a column in the Liberation News Service, Jones interweaves practical tips intermixed with silent revolution and the desire to “break the chains that oppress”. Set aside some of the more barmy ideals i.e. “eating an apple is cannibalistic”,
There are some great timeless recipes to be found such as “Blackgap Stew” – a hearty beef, beans and pork one-pot wonder. The “winter salad” section is also a great addition to any weekly menu repertoire. One of my favourite recipes would have to be the “Javanese Omelette” a type of slow cook Spanish style omelette. I’d be interested to know of any other books by Jones. Do get in touch if you can recommend one. Happy New Year! x

IMG-20150102-00842

Rest In Peace: Oscar De La Renta

The Inimitable Monsieur  De La Renta

The Inimitable Monsieur De La Renta – Image Courtesy Freshnet.com

Mostly Lovin’: Vintage British Vogue

Buy Vintage Magazines, Vintage Magazines

September 1990

I simply adore this image of the lovely Jade Jagger featured on the cover of British Vogue September 1990. It brings back such wonderful memories of a year where anything and everything became possible! x

Mostly Lovin’: Gustave Caillebotte

IMG-20140104-00289

This weekend I will be devouring my new book “Gustave Caillebotte, An Impressionist & Photography”. Time to get back to the numerous galleries of London me thinks…

Mostly Lovin’: Vintage Kate

Image Calvin Klein

Image Calvin Klein

I came across this image over the weekend and I was struck with all manner of memories but also just how influential this campaign actually was. Klein truly captured the 90’s zeitgeist. Notice the narrow leg shape of the jeans, an early nod to the now ubiquitous “skinny” jean. I can recall I was somewhat obsessed with the healed sandals and socks look championed here and tried on many occasions to introduce the look into my “social excursions”. Sadly, after attempting to hit the dance floor in said look I realised some things are best left to the ad campaigns…

Chinua Achebe, RIP

ThingsFallApart

Mostly Lovin’: Rika Magazine

Jessica Stam for Rika Magazine

Jessica Stam for Rika Magazine

Truly I am in love with Rika Magazine. I was looking for something to “jump-start” my senses and I believe I’ve found it. Created by Swedish born designer Ulrika Lundgren, the bi-annual publication is a near perfect expression of creativity. The magazines focus is “the multiple expressions of women’s creativity, through contemporary art, music and writing”. Ulrika Lundgren wishes to explore what propels women around the world and this aim its self sets the magazine worlds apart from its contemporaries. If you are looking for some form of visual, creative, cultural stimulation then look no further…

Michael Carson Figures

Michael Carson Figures

Images Courtesy of Rika Magazine

Images Courtesy of Rika Magazine

Mostly Lovin’: Lou Doillon – “Places”

Image Courtesy of Loudoillon.com

Image Courtesy of Loudoillon.com

Loving this album by Lou Doillon, also known as “she who can do no wrong”…

The Sartorialist: A Closer Look

The Sartorialist, Garance Dore

I first became aware of The Sartorialist back in 2008. I was in the South of France away from the bulk of friends and family whilst navigating my way though one of the most challenging times of my life. In a quest for an “emotional relief”, I think this was one of the first times I really saw the web for what it is…a seemingly infinite looking glass. I spent much of my evenings surfing the net and yes (tut tut) reading the gossip sites quite honestly because the content was so deliciously ludicrous and as far removed from my situation as seemed possible.

A frequent visitor to Style.com, I looked forward to viewing the new images from The Sartorialist (AKA Scott Schuman), who at the time was a regular contributor. If designers can have a signature look so too can a photographer I feel. In the case of Schuman, it is the ability to truly capture life as it is being lived, providing a platform for a great outfit is a poor second.

So finalement, the second installment from The Sartorialist has finally arrived. As with the previous book, I only peruse three to four pages at a time. Like a child savouring their favourite treat…I know how to make this book last. Sometimes I casually skip pages safe in the knowledge that I will at some point stumble upon them and the beauty encased therein will have made the wait worth while. 

For me, the appeal of The Sartorialist is far greater than merely a study of trends and the fashion friendly. It is an open / ongoing discourse on how different lifestyles produce different styles but ultimately, it is the study of people and that is what keeps me coming back for more. I love the androgynous qualities of the above photo, the fact that she is looking away from the camera suggest a real authenticity between The Sartorialist and his subject. He is permitted to capture the subject living their life…

Vintage Azzedine Alaia

I can still remember the first time I saw this vintage Azzedine Alaia image in Vogue, (American Vogue I think?) and the feelings it provoked. Imagine the scene, a sixteen / seventeen year old black girl from deepest Kent flipping through her older sister’s copy of American Vogue. In our house we had an unspoken rule…namely, you never riffled through a magazine until the purchaser of said magazine had done so, but I simply had to see what was within those crisp silken pages.
In those days you had to travel into central London to obtain a copy of American, French or Italian Vogue. You had to really want the fashion. Nowadays it is expected that the budding fashion beast will pop along to their local “Smithies” and bag a copy without a second thought.
Looking at that image I think it provided an insight into the power of beautiful woman. Here we had a group of women in various “body-con” dresses but with limited degrees of flesh on show, an arm or leg at best. It was all about the form, the stance, the attitude and I loved that! This to me was genius; Alaia was one of the first designers to not only use but favour black models. His mutual admiration of Naomi Campbell is well documented.

I used to deliberate over which dress I preferred…I’m still uncertain to this day! For me these images represented a learning curve. I think I realised that all of the vicissitudes that made me feel awkward about my body namely, the hips, lumps and bumps would one day afford me just such a womanly stance and I think I’m finally OK with that.