Over the years I’ve gone all out for Hallowe’en, dressing as Lara Croft Womb Raider, Dot Cotton (twice), Columbo, a mustard packet, a cosplay fan and Piggy from Lord of the Flies, but this year I don’t think I’ll be dressing up. I still love the idea of going all-out with a ridiculous Hallowe’en costume, but I just feel a bit past all those shenanigans. If a Tracy Jordan werewolf bar mitzvah is out of the question, here’s some of my ways to enjoy Hallowe’en as a grown-up.
Having a Mexican night is an easy way to say ‘hey, I’m still down with the kids, but I’ll just be over here, in my slippers’. Celebrate Dia de los Muertos with my super-speedy fish tacos, an amazingly healthy and delicious dish. Team it with a Modelo or a totally authentic michelada if you’re feeling brave.
Londoners can get in the spirit of things on the 1st and 2nd with Jose Cuervo’s Day Of The Dead Workshops at Wahaca, hosted by mosaic artist Lauren Baker, known for her highly decorative skulls. Decorate a skull with Lauren’s expert help and try some tequila cocktails, just drop them an email to sign up. I attended a preview this week and made this crazy-looking thing that is currently taking pride of place on my mantelpeice.
Be super grown up and go see some exhibitions, step into Yayoi Kusama’s spooky world with her White Infinity Nets exhibition at the Victoria Miro gallery. The underrated Museum of London’s Ritual and Magic tour lets you discover the superstitious side of life and investigate the weird things in their archive.
Chances are, if you’re too old for fancy dress, you probably remember Eerie Indiana, so get yourself the boxset and be spooked from the comfort of your own home. It’s one of the few children’s programmes that is still good – Maid Marian I’m looking at YOU.
Alternatively, if you do fancy getting dressed up, why have a teen theme party? Get all your friends to dress as their fifteen-year old selves. I’d be wearing flared cords, skate trainers, charity shop tee, centre-parted hair and bad brows. Now that is scary.
A week or so ago I was clearing out my hoard of beauty products, which I actually don’t think is that bad but got me a few shocked comments on Instagram! I keep most of my beauty booty in a big chest of drawers but it was starting to multiply and overflow into random boxes and toiletry bags all around my room. I binned a load of stuff and gave away some bits but it made me realise I need to make an effort to use it too. How many of you have loads of half-used tubes lurking at the bottom of drawers? I have loads of creams, make-up and serums that I forget to use, so now it’s all orderly and organised, I’m trying to work my way through it all!
At the moment I’m really loving Seascape’s unwind body lotion, it’s super natural and has loads of good stuff like shea butter and a really lovely lavender essential oil, so I put it on before bed to make the most of the Jersey lavender’s sleep-enhancing properties. Sweet stuff usually makes me feel a bit nauseous but I’m happy to take Philosophy’s Frosted Cookie shower gel into the bath. I’d totally forgotten about it, but I get a hit of sugar without any of the sick-feeling after-effects. I don’t even know if you can buy Too Faced’s absolutely flawless concealer legit anymore, I discovered it after spending fa-ar too long looking at beauty tutorials on You Tube. It’s a great all-rounder, offering coverage and not going cakey or flakey. I don’t think it’s my no1 favourite concealer of all time -that is some sort of holy grail that hasn’t even been invented yet- but the soft paste texture makes it perfect for a quick morning sweep and it’s definitely in my top 5.
At the moment I’m trying out a load of exfoliants and resurfacers, La Roche-Posay’s Toleriane Ultra cream is the perfect moisturiser when you want to minimise redness. If you’re doing any kind of scrub or peel, I highly recommend this to protect against any skin sensitivity. Try as I might, I have made peace with the fact I just can’t do lipstick. Maybe it’s the fact that my mouth is my food-hole and food comes first, before belts, pencil skirts or anything. Revlon’s lip stain in Rendezvous is a pleasingly committed shade of coral and offers moisture and long-lasting colour, plus the crayon shape makes it super easy to apply. I often find if you’re too shy for a full red, a bit of coral is a nice way to add some brightness to the face. Equally long-lasting is Clinique’s quickliner for eyes, the Peacock shade is a subtle dark green, great for giving a change to your look without much effort and it la-aaaasts, through rainy bike rides, emotionally manipulative Richard Curtis films, kitten videos on You Tube… Or so I hear. Ahem.
Au revoir: I’m pretty sad that I’m getting to the end of Etat Pur’s hyaluronic acid serum. It’s a real wonder, you only need a few drops before your normal moisturiser and you will definitely see the plumping results, plus all their stuff is really reasonably priced.
This week I’ve been making the most of freelance life with some Wednesday afternoon cakes from Borough Market, got a 90s flashback to Gwynnie’s slick crops and polonecks era watching Sliding Doors and had Sunday brunch at South London Gallery with Alyson.
RIP Lou Reed, whether you’re a superfan or only just learning about his musical legacy now, take a look at the documentary above, it’s a good ‘un.
I love a new scientific discovery almost as much as I love sleeping, so this bit of news made me very excited. Scientists have never fully understood the purpose of sleep, but a recently made discovery posits that when we sleep, the brain clears toxins accumulated during a day’s thinking. This explanation of the physical need for sleep is so beautiful and will no doubt have implications in studies on depression, sleep disorders and Alzheimers.
Serial email checker? Yeah, me too. This handy ‘Should I Check Email?’ chart helps break it down for you.
I’m not a massive theatre-goer, but sometimes it’s just fun to spend a few solid hours away from the internet and focusing on something else. It’s kind of the luxury of concentration. On Friday I headed to the Southbank Edward II at the National Theatre, great performances all-round and a treat for costume enthusiasts. This NYT article on the power of concentration extols the virtues of mindfulness and meditation to help with your day-to-day work and strengthening your mind.
Ultimate Sunday cosy times: Never Underdressed compile their favourite book + scented candle combo. Frivolous? Yes, but I will be doing this very thing tonight.
Say Lavenham and anyone vaguely into clothes will say ‘oh yeah the jackets’, when I was there for a wedding recently Instagramming village scenes, everyone vaguely fashiony was asking me if I was getting a jacket. The village of Lavenham is in Suffolk and just a short trip from where they still make their famous jackets.
Starting off as horse quilt company, they have expanded out over 30+ years and are now headed up by a really enthusiastic and lovely team including the inspirational Nicky Santomauro, who is disarmingly friendly and radiates positive energy. With her at the helm, you can see how Lavenham have gone from a slightly fusty horse-supply brand to an international cult label, stocked in Japan and loved by festival-goers and with a recent buyout by Fred Perry you can predict even bigger things for the brand.
First up we saw the giant quilting machines with row upon row of needles. They can stitch any kind of pattern from the classic diamond to bespoke shapes for their designer collaborations which have included Eley Kishimoto, Kenzo and Joe Casely-Hayford as well as an upcoming collab for next season with YMC.
As a bit of a sewing geek I was in total heaven, marvelling at these terrifying machines. They also have incredible multi-layer vac pack laser cutters that can do about 10 layers at a time, sewing geek heaven! Upstairs is the sewing floor where we got to see a jacket being made, step by step from start to finish. They’re all made by hand by an army of super-skilled sewers. Cool fashion tip: loads of the sewing army clip their hair back with sparkly butterfly clips. Total trendwatch.
You know when you’re all over a season’s trends as you see it on the catwalk, then by the time the season actually comes round you’re actually OVER those trends? Well compiling Living South and the Guide’s AW trend feature -which came out last month- I tried to pick some pieces you wouldn’t be sick of. Pieces that you’ll carry on loving all winter, like the new shape Cambridge Satchel clutch, a lovely Maison Scotch coat and a serious furry skirt from M&S.
Best of all, two of my dear buds, Laura and Rachael agreed to let me bully them into appearing in their finest, thanks ladies! The remaining stylish locals are stylist Sally Smy, Designer Valerie Goode and image consultant Denise Estcourt. Click on the images to see the detail.
This fortnight (oops) I’ve been working my bum off, from social media presentations in Leeds to lookbooks in Muswell Hill and hardcore copywriting in Shoreditch, it’s been busy but brilliant. I’ve also had a bit of home-sorting session with a trip to Ikea. Of course I had the meatballs.
The lovely pics above are from an Alex Wessley shoot for Dash magazine, bit of lookbook inspiration.
Jeremy Deller does it yet again with a film about the Industrial Revolution for a touring exhibition that kicks off at Manchester Art Gallery, with reading by Jarvis Cocker, Maxine Peake, Noddy Holder and some very sweet schoolchildren.
Friends Without Benefits, an engrossing and balanced Vanity Fair piece by Nancy Jo Sales on how mobile phones, the internet and social media are changing the way that teens express their sexuality. Makes me really glad I am an old lady.
When two become one: two of my favourite blogs collide as Into the Gloss interview Cupcakes and Cashmere‘s Emily Schuman (isn’t their beauty-snooping Top Shelf feature the best thing ever?)
The other side of bike commuting, it’s not all about specialised bikes, lycra and spds (the clip-in shoes). Sarah Goodyear looks at the everyday people who are joining the cycling ranks.
Last week I headed over to deepest darkest north west London to pore over hundreds and hundreds of coats with the lovely Never Underdressed team who you may remember I shot for in Copenhagen. The aim? To try to whittle down our favourites from the selection which mixed up high and low: Kenzo, M&S, Joseph, Antipodium, J Crew and MaxMara. We tried on every single coat between us, quickly getting an eye for what appealed and becoming more and more ruthless.
My favourite turned out to be the lovely All Saints’ Klein Contrast coat in the main pic. I’m not a huge All Saints shopper normally, but I fell in love with the versatile shape and interesting colourway. It’s the kind of simple but hardworking piece that immediately gets me and it makes a change from my usual favesie, grey mannish tailoring. Look out for the winter coat edit on Never Underdressed, should be cropping up this week!
MIA has always elicited mixed feelings from me, but you can’t deny the badass provocateur is clever. Currently being sued by the NFL for flipping the bird during halftime at the Superbowl she recorded a video to set the record straight, saying:
“They want me on my knees, to say sorry so they can slap me on my wrist, and basically say it’s okay for me to promote being sexually exploited as a female, but then to display female empowerment through being punk rock.”
In a slightly less controversial bit of news, you’ll have probably heard that MIA is collaborating with Versus on a collection, which, in a stroke of genius, is inspired by the market stall knockoffs of the Versace label. This neatly dovetails MIA’s London teen years into the mix. It’s a clever idea which translates into, from what you can see below, a nicely energetic and pleasingly -well, to me anyway- 90s look.
This week has been mostly WERK and yawnsome illness, trying out Sichuan Folk’s amazing mapo tofu (I’m obsessed) made it better. I also watched my boyfriend make and eat a whole tub of fudge, man’s an animal. Above is an accidental picture I took with my improv sock-lens cap, which shows you what a racy time I’ve been having recently. Pretty though, huh?
Feels kinda wrong to be perving on felons, but that’s exactly what Hot and Busted is.
This is so old, but if you haven’t seen Casey Neistat putting his best stuntman skills to the test by cycling down New York’s troublesome bike lanes then it’s a thoroughly entertaining watch.
Hands up who thought the Rick Owens show was great? Here’s an exclusive interview with one of the steppers Shantell Richardson.
Planning a full Venice post, but here’s a gif of some of my favourite moments. The Biennale was great, the two highlights that nearly made me cry were S.S. Hangover by Ragnar Kjartansson, a beautiful piece featuring a brass band on a boat and Jeremy Deller’s British Pavillion which included the English Magic video.
This week I also got a new haircut, worked with the Never Underdressed team on a winter coats shoot (I’m a huge fan of the site btw) and had some super-seasonal figs and cobnuts. Love a cobnut.
Jon Snow singing Parklife at a recent Amy Winehouse foundation fundraiser. Brilliant.
It’s the age-old debate of being in the buzzy centre of culture vs the beauty and calm of the country. Ann Friedman on why she left New York at 24.
Things you do before your significant other comes over. We’re all guilty of doing a circuit check for dirty underwear but these made me laugh.