Brooks, they of super-comfy saddles that saved my bum on last year’s 120-mile Dunwich Dynamo, invited me a few weeks ago to join the Tweed Run. If you’ve never been, it’s a lot of people in tweed riding around London. I’ve never been on it but I’ve seen the great outfits, so I knew that the bar was set high. The warm sun dictated a simple wool skirt, white shirt and Grenson brogues, tweed-lite if you will.
The general uniform seems to be plus fours and brightly coloured socks, but there was a huge array of other brilliant outfits, from full 50s dresses to the best take on vintage sported by the lovely Kelly, pictured smiling on the back of a bike as she took pics for BikePretty. I also ran into Lady Velo, aka Jools who was another serious cycle chic contender.
As a cyclist there is something exciting about joining fellow two wheelers and pedalling through London’s streets. The day also coincided with the Big Ride, as we passed them on Westminster Bridge it swelled my heart to stop along with the rest of the tweeders to give them a round of applause.
The best bit of the ride was sailing through London, waving at pedestrians. For some reason cycle reception is coolest in the UK, but wearing our tweed cloaks of respectability we earnt nothing more ominous than a friendly wave and the occasional shout out. The Big Ride was definitely hugely important but fun events like the Tweed Run are an important reminder that most people cycle because it’s a really fun and pleasurable thing to do.
Many thanks to Brooks who took great care of me on the ride!
A month! Wow. Moving on swiftly, the image above (we’ve all been there) is part of a set by Billy Monk, a bouncer and photographer who documented the underground nightlife in Apartheid-era South Africa. What they got up to! [Camara Democratica]
Watch Michelle Obama speaking at Maya Angelou’s funeral service. Mobes is just the best. [Gawker]
Too Long, Didn’t Read. For everything. Imagine if Wikipedia had a TLDR section. Warning, you can lose hours scrolling through this. [TLDR Wikipedia]
Let your ovaries do a little dance to this photoset of Andre 3000 and his kid over the years. [Nizzerd]
Charlie Porter’s site deserves linking to on most days, but his breakdown of the clothing choices of men on Tinder is brilliant. [Charlie Porter]
Totally heartwarming and tear-inducing picture story about one dad’s journey learning to love his child. [The Reluctant Father]
I love Carrie Brownstein, so much. This interview is called ‘The Carrie Brownstein Guide to Kicking Ass’ so how can you not? [Refinery 29]
And this is just weird [Homeless Dad]
The only good thing about lugging bags around is your abs. There’s nothing like dragging a suitcase behind you to strengthen your core, try it! When I was doing lots more styling projects I was always lugging big suitcases around, admittedly you do get abs of steel, but the lug is part of the reason I stopped.
Even in my full-on charity shop obsessed hoarder days I still had a full aversion to lugging stuff around. I pack really light, because airports are bone dry enough without the added schlep of a ton of bags. I’ve gotten even more minimal nowadays, especially as nearly every holiday my bag comes pre-filled with a selection of chargers, cameras and my laptop. Maybe one day I can go on a fully off the grid holiday and fill my bag with dresses and shoes for each day? To have as many outfit changes as Jennifer Lawrence on Oscars night would be luxurious, but also feels like a headache.
If you like your clothes then you should feel comfortable wearing them everyday, right? I would never pack the skirt that is gorgeous but feels a bit tight after dinner, or the jeans that look awesome but bag out after three wears. I’m slowly getting rid of these kind of clothing gremlins from my day-to-day wardrobe, so forget about treating these ungrateful things to a holiday.
When I went to Hyeres recently I packed a pair of jeans, a grey tee, a black spaghetti vest (which drew some remarks from nosy locals) and a silky navy number into a tiny Victorinox suitcase. Oh and my cute Agent Provocateur bikini to get a bit of sun. It wasn’t crazy eclectic, but I had a pair of sandals to mix things up a bit.
On a more ~emotional~ level, it’s also a confidence thing. I used to want to dress for every mood, for every eventuality but that’s changing. I don’t feel like I missed out on showcasing all the other sides of my personality to these strangers, because I was happy with showing a united front. Sorry Whitney, I’m not every woman, I’m just me.
I’ve still got a few tour diary gems to put up, one such sparkler was our day in Helsinki. I’ve never been to Finland before but growing up with my half Finnish schoolfriend Saara more than prepped me for this lovely country. Waking up at about 6am to a suddenly snowy Stockholm was a major surprise after the sunny day we’d had. It was like making a journey back in time to winter. We got the ferry through incredibly beautiful Finnish islands to Turkuu and then motorway-ed up to Helsinki. Did you know that Finnish motorway service stations are wonderfully civilised and inviting places? Not even a whiff of a Ginsters. I had a great meatballs and mash on our way that I am still drooling about now.
Helsinki itself is a really lovely place, after catching up on some work I left the venue without much of a plan. The idea was to maybe walk down to the sea, which ended up being Kaivopuisto, a snow-covered park by the sea. Helsinki itself is a grand old town, packed with cool cafes and design shops as well as the legendary UFF, the Finnish charity shop. I had a bit of a try-on sesh but with my vintage-mania being slightly behind me I bypassed the leather jackets, poly shirts and crispy denim and went for a wonderful blanket instead.
Kaivopuisto was a wonderful thing to visit, I nearly broke my neck clambering up the hills in my slippy boots but it was worth it for the view out to sea, where sheets of ice jostled against each other with the movement of the waves.
If you’ve seen my Instagram you’ll have noticed that a) I set it once again to insufferable again with smug sunshine updates but also b) that’s because I’ve been in Hyeres for their photography and fashion festival which was a total blast. A kind of a work blast, but there was lots of little gaps for major funtimes. Check out my street style shots from the festival on Never Underdressed. Snapping the head of PR for Chanel has to be up there in one of my top moments. She was lovely btw.
Amy Schumer’s video is very funny to anyone who isn’t into gaming, but also it shows how far we’ve come in articulating female voices in comedy and popular culture. I can still remember being a kid not that long ago and knowing that feminism seemed logical but being too scared to voice that thought out loud. Things like this normalise feminism and give women a proper voice. (via Coquette)
I love flowers, really. Having spent a few days in the most fertile, floral place ever I think ‘flowers man, they’re just trying to send out booty calls to insects’. Yeah and the last time I smoked weed the Spice Girls were in the charts, in case you were wondering! Noel Badges Pugh, above, illustrates simple floral displays that are pure perfection.
What are periods all about? No really. Did you ever think it’s because foetuses are bloodsucking parasites and your body has to expel the less than perfect ones? (I’m obviously paraphrasing) Suzanne Sadedin busts out an eye-opening answer on Quora.
As beauty treatments go, flaky scalp treatments are not exactly the sexiest thing in the world. But a healthy scalp is necessary for beautiful hair, so the state of your head is actually pretty important. I do sometimes suffer from a bit of fluff, not full-on Peter Dandré, but my scalp is sensitive and will feel itchy and dry if I don’t use the right products.
Yarok’s Feed Your Youth serum landed in my bathroom drawer -literally, I think my flatmate must have put it there for me, if not, oops!- and I’ve been using it ever since. It’s a gentle, simple blend of oils with an easy dropper to get right to the scalp. The mix of avocado, apricot kernel, ylang ylang, yarrow, orange blossom and bitter orange is meant to have an anti-aging effect on the hair. I’ve not used it as a hair treatment, but it’s definitely had a calming effect on my head and I’ve noticed less of an itch.
You might have noticed my Instagram turned insufferable again, yes I was away. This time it was a mix of work and pleasure, attending the lovely Hyeres International Festival of Fashion and Photography. It was a dream of a fashion event, I’ve got updates galore but for now read all about the winners in my interview with Carol and Humberto for The Debrief.
Even though we didn’t make BFFs and end up hanging out forever and ever, it was pretty sweet to chat to them and they both looked uber cool. Chloe Sevigny was also awesome, I spotted her a few times just chilling at the festival, total teen dream girlcrush.
Being in sunny fashion paradise does have its drawbacks, I missed the launch last night for Sophia Webster‘s collaboration with J Crew. A designer who cut her teeth at Nicholas Kirkwood before quickly making a name for herself with fun, colourful but very chic heels that have the same joyful spirit as J Crew. The collection launches soon, early May online and in selected stores.
For a while she’s been bubbling under the radar as a bit of a fashion secret, this new collaboration is therefore perfectly timed and positioned to introduce Sophia to a new audience. Her designs, filtered through J Crew’s preppy lens look sublime as ultra sharp, neat court and summer sandals. With a new standalone store in the pipeline for 2015 it looks like fashion is embracing Sophia’s bright and lively world.
Stockholm seems a million miles away as I type this in my sunny room in Hyeres. I can barely believe paying five pounds for a half of ESB in a Sodermalm pub (I did, it was delicious) and the cold, northern blue light seems like a camera fault rather than a simple locational fact.
After an emotional jazz brunch with mac n cheese and pulled pork sliders -emotional because it was amazing- at Sodra Teatern, the venue for that evening I wandered out with a few of the band lads into the Sodermalm sunshine to cross the water and explore Gamla Stan, the old town, oh and also to pull some great tourist moves.
Stockholm if you don’t know, is a series of islands, I regret not having the time to see them by boat as apparently that’s one of the nicest ways to see the city. It definitely has a different vibe to Gothenburg, which is isn’t without its charms but lacks the streamlined cool and buzz of a capital city like Stockholm. I took off on my own to wander the ins and outs of Gamla Stan, the little cobbled streets and palace views. Through the tourist trap area and then onto another island, the smaller Riddarholmen, which is quiet and fairly empty, bar the amazing church.
Back in Sodermalm, where I had my £5 half, I had a look round some really lovely streets as everything was shutting up for the evening. I’d love to revisit with a few days to take it all in, I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the place. I was also filled with anticipation as the next morning we were going to take the ferry to Helsinki, which I’d been told was a magical journey. Oh and how did I forget to include this lolsome picture? All yours.
This post was all ready to go yesterday and I plain forgot! Oops, well it is a bank holiday… British Pathé recently uploaded a ton of videos from their archive to their You Tube channel. There’s loads of stuff to see, including this amusing ’60s demo of a haircut based on the Twist and the frankly weird compilation of rough cuts from an 1998 Evening Standard advert. Perfect for whiling away a lazy bank holiday afternoon!
The media attention on Britain and more particularly London’s housing crisis has only recently reached a tipping point, but James Meek in London Review of Books a few months ago was on the money with this article which explores the reasons behind the shortage in housing.
On a slightly less serious note, I’m loving Miss Moss’ feature on Gift Shop Brooklyn’s totes and accessories, the dreamy pastel colour palette is perfect for spring and early summer. Just need it to heat up now dammit!
The lovely Fiona who I hung with in Gothenburg has penned (keyed?) a brilliant letter to her 17-year old self. Got me thinking what I would say to Past Times me.