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The 10 Worst First-Date Looks…

Last night I was struck by a strange realisation. It occurred to me that when choosing that perfect date outfit, my choices become more and more eccentric, experimental and… repulsive, if that dreaded feeling of first date cold feet sets in. Does anyone else get that, or is it just me?

I am known for being the most fickle person in the world, as far as my love life is concerned. It has to be said, it’s entirely true. I can wholeheartedly accept a man’s offer of a date one day, and within twenty-four hours, frantically spend a sleepless night trying to think of a genuine reason to cancel. Genuine, so that I’m not suddenly that bitch who lied to get away. It doesn’t matter how much I fancy the pants off of him, I get nervous about dates in the same way that I get nervous about job interviews, business meetings, dentist appointments and basically anything that requires me to behave like a grown up.

Somewhere along the lines, this ‘fear’ of first dates commitment has manifested into a strange inner Iris Apfel who pulls together the craziest outfits my usually conventional wardrobe can muster; a combination of stripes and spots, neon and print, over-sized and extravagant, all in a strange hope that it will send him running. It’s extreme, but it works like a charm. No man wants to date a glittering, glimmering, animal-adorning traffic cone who jingles with every step due to the sheer amount of jewellery stacked from fingertips to armpits.

I’ve spent my evening giggling as I ponder over which of the latest runway pieces would send any man running to the hills fastest…

1. Excessive amounts of fur/wool/feathers/general fluffiness.

If you walk into a restaurant wearing this scarlet Prada fur dress, for example:

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Prada

You could probably chase him out of the building so fast, you wouldn’t even have chance to ask about the specials. It’s no secret that men do not like fussy fashion, and while a fur coat can definitely be sexy, there’s fur… and there’s Muppet. Equally, while shearling lined jackets reappear every autumn, this fluffy blue item would have the same effect… wear the two together, and you’ll definitely not have to worry about stammering over his offer of a second date!

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Gucci

fur

1. Dolce & Gabbana. 2. Chloé. 3. Vladimiro Gioia. 4. Givenchy. 5. Chloé.

2. Sparkles

If he can see you from miles away, the two million hand-sewn sequins of your evening dress sending millions of tiny beams of light into the sky like Tinkerbell on LSD, it only means that he’ll have plenty of warning to make a run for it before you even arrive. If you actually like your date, a sequin skirt or a sequin-encrusted lapel on a silk blazer would look amazing (but not together – that would be too much), or equally, a crystal bracelet or necklace (again, just one) can really complete an outfit, but something like this…

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Marco de Vincenzo

…will probably a) blind him, and b) repel him.

sequin

1. Dolce & Gabbana. 2. Yves Saint Laurent. 3. Manish Arora. 4. Tim Ryan.

3. Glitter Boots

In the same strand as the sparkly, sequin coated garments of above, but these deserve a point all to themselves… they’re just so… disco.

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Saint Laurent

shoes

1. Saint Laurent. 2. Saint Laurent. 3. Saint Laurent. 4. Saint Laurent. 5. Saint Laurent.

4. Strange geometric patterns

The mysterious creature that is the human male is easily startled, confused and extremely judgmental. If you’re walking around looking like a walking set of traffic lights, a human puzzle set for children, or generally just like someone who is overly fond of your basic shapes, they will get spooked. Maybe it’s a lasting trauma of all of those hours that they spent stuck on a ‘peg-and-hole’ game at nursery (sorry.. kindergarten?)

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Chanel

print

1. Peter Pilotto. 2. Stella Jean. 3. Chloé. 4. Just Cavalli

5. Orange or Purple lips

Neon eye makeup (3)

I tend to stick to the two signature shades of nude-pink or bold red, and while I’m yet to meet a guy who doesn’t like red lipstick, I can still see that wary glance at my lips if every they have been coated in lashings of MAC’s Ruby Woo before they lean in for a kiss. Nevertheless, those glances only last a moment, but as soon as I step into experimenting with more daring shades; hot pinks, oranges, purples… no more kisses for me. It suddenly just isn’t worth the lipstick marks, and the strange explanations that would have to take place if anyone were to noticed that bright purple stain on his neck.

lipstick

1. Mac Pure Heroine. 2. Bobbi Brown. 3. Dior. 4. Illamasqua. 5. Barry M.

6.  1980s

While I’m a 90s kid, I have always strongly believed that what happened in the 80s, stays in the 80s. They can keep their big hair, big shoulders, big, noisy, flashy clothes. They can keep bright leg warmers (but blacks and neutrals, however, are acceptable) and parachute pants and disco-gym gear, and they can definitely keep Madonna. We don’t need such nonsense here, regardless of what the trends tell me. It will only end if tears if we allow the 80s trends back into our lives, I can tell you. Are we so incapable of learning from our mistakes? Walk into a bar dressed as Bananarama, and he’ll be sure to make his excuses. Especially if you go for a matching haircut, but let’s not go that far…

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Chanel

80s

1. Fay. 2. Tsumori Chisato. 3. Topshop. 4. Mango.  5. Vivienne Westwood.

8. Monsters Inc.

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Schiaparelli

Do you suspect that he’ll prove to be particularly difficult to get rid of? Go couture, in the fluffiest sense of the word, and take a very large leaf from the Monsters Inc book for your evening’s inspiration. Seriously, what man would want to be seen walking down the street with a character of a Pixar movie?

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Schiaparelli

monster

1. Just Cavalli. 2. P.A.R.O.S.H. 3. Yes London. 4. ASOS. 5. Cédric Charlier.

8. Bag Lady/Homeless Chic

The clue is in the name with these two…

Most often known as the signature style of the Olsen twins, very few people can pull off homeless chic like they can. For one thing, drop the sunglasses – they are a vital part of making the look work, and you’re going for a look that is one step too close to actual homeless person.

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Vivienne Westwood

bag

1. Junya Watanabe. 2 Barbara Bui. 3. Brunello Cucinelli. 4. The Row. 5. ASOS.

9. The Walking Laundry Bag

While tartan is in, I had no idea that tailoring a plastic laundry bag into a dress or coat was acceptable? If you add a well-told tale about how this is your only outfit, because you had to give your clothes to a [insert ridiculously eccentric character here] on your way to the laundrette, he’ll disappear quickly enough. It brings a whole new meaning to the term ‘crazy bag lady’.

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Celine

tartan

1. Comme Des Garcons Vintage. 2. Comme Des Garcon Vault. 3. Vivienne Westwood. 4. Lavinia. 5. Comme Des Garcons Vintage.

Wear these five items together in a crazy mis-mash of tartan, and you’ll be somewhere close to the Celine laundry bag outfit.

10. Runway Beauty…

Runway makeup is all about art and extravagance, and therefore, as we all know that the average man’s understanding of makeup is limited to a more natural look, 80% of the looks that emerge on catwalks will chase any guy away…

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Alexander McQueen

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Yohji Yamamoto

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Vivienne Westwood.

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May Wish List

This month’s wish list clearly reflects just how many old black and white movies I’ve been watching lately… Hitchcock, Curtiz, Wilder and Huston, I’ve been locked well and truly in a film noir binge for several weeks now. That of course means that I’ve been spending far too much time day dreaming about my dream boudoir bedroom, complete with a glamorous peignoir to sweep about the room in, a la Gilda.

wishlist-may

1. Latte Design. Dream Big Art Print. £9.16. Available here. If I’m dreaming of hollywood glam boudoirs with luxury wardrobes, then I’m clearly dreaming big. I would have this centre stage in the middle of a wall of art, as the ultimate motivation.

2. Steve Madden. Cori Cut-Out Oxfords. £60. Available here. I always have a pair of brogues or oxfords in my wardrobe, wearing them until they’re tatty and torn. Never before have I seen cut-out oxfords, however… they’re beautiful! Not great for rainy English days, however. Great for my favourite summer past time of reading books in quiet Parisian cafes, quietly people watching over the page. Library chic.

3. Yang Li. Full Length Cotton & Silk Skirt. £1375. Available here. This dress is expensive, dramatic, and oh so glamorous. I’d style it with a cream silk camisole with the thinnest straps and a low cut back for Paris, a low backed fitted top for Milan, a plaid shirt tied at the waist into a crop top for New York, and with an oversized, fashionably torn slogan t-shirt for London. So versatile but daring.

(Update* See how I have styled this skirt for NYC, Milan, Paris and London here.)

4. Laura Mercier. Creme Brulee Honey Bath. $45. Available here. Everyone has their signature scents, and mine have for a long time now been honey and vanilla, from my hair potions, skin lotions and perfumes (but for the occasional spritz of Chanel Coco Mademoiselle thrown in there in all its floral glory on special occasions).  If it contains either of my beloved favourite two ingredients, I want it. I don’t know why, but I especially love the little honey dipper that comes with it. I’m a sucker for good packaging, I guess.

5. Stella McCartney Balcony Bra. £96 £67. Available here.

6. Stella McCartney Underwear. £52 £36. Available here.

I make it no secret that I adore beautiful lingerie, and cobalt blue is my ‘colour of the month’. Stella McCartney has never let me down, and so I of course adore this beautiful lace and silk blue lingerie set.  So pretty, so sexy.

7. Very Home. Wood Frame Etolies a Marrakech Diffuser. £53. Available here. Living on the very edge of a city, surrounded by fields and farms, it’s fair to say that things smell strange here, and so I’ve developed a bit of an obsession with covering those ‘country smells’ of pigs, cows and horses with a range of candles and diffusers. I can’t believe I went years before finally buying a diffuser set for myself – they are amazing! Their scent is stronger than a candle, you don’t have to worry about your house burning down if you fall asleep in front of the Eastenders omnibus (I caught a few minutes of it just last week, and I can tell you that it’s a very real threat!) and they don’t make that irritating little hissing puff sound that plug-in or battery powered air fresheners do either periodically or – worse – whenever you dare to move! Definitely my new favourite way to stop those wandering farm smells from invading my house.

8. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner. £18. Available here. I’ve never actually tried gel eyeliner, but I have always heard good things about it, and I think that when I do finally get around to that make up bag purchase,  Bobbi Brown would be a good place to start. Has anyone tried it? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

9. Fornasetti. Silenzio Candles. £109 each. Available here. Nevertheless, there will always be a place for candles in my heart home, and this (rather expensive) Fornasetti candle set would look amazing, side by side on a white coffee table.

10. Lush. Vanillary Gorilla Fragrance. Prices from £28. Available here. Some vanilla to go with my honey bath… stuff (what do I call it exactly? Bath cream? Bath gel? Bubble bath? We speak a language that for each word in the English dictionary, has 100+ alternate words that share the same meaning, and yet we refer to anything that we add to our bathwater as either bubble bath, or, if you’re a grown adult, ‘bath’? Where’s the sense?) I’ve long trusted Lush and their products, and I’ve often used their solid perfumes while travelling, especially Vanillary, a tried-and-trusted favourite that everyone always compliments.

11. Montegrappa. The Brain Gold Fountain Pen. £29,580. Available here. I had to include this one just for the ridiculous extravagance of it. Almost £30K for a fountain pen? I may be one of the only members of the Y generation who still puts pen to paper, but is it really such a spectacular design that it would be worth the kidneys, eggs, pints of blood and miles of hair that I would have to sell to be able to afford it? Doubtful.

12. #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso. £. Available here from 8th May. I’ve been looking forward to this ever since it was first announced, and I will be sure to snap it up from the nearest bookshop next week. I have long enjoyed reading the biographies and business advice books of various entrepreneurs, picking their brains, trying to understand how their businesses boomed as they have. Sophia Amoruso is yet another idol of mine, the founder of Nasty Gal, which began as a humble Ebay shop. I can’t wait to see what she has to say.

13. Eicholtz. Royal Master Sealight Lamp. £1539. Available here. Again, I’d blame my love of old Hollywood movies and, of course, photography, but if ever I spot an extravagant, industrial-style lamp such as this one, it stops me in my tracks. Yes, the price is a little steep (how many donated eggs would that cost? Two? Three?) but I love it.

14. Ted Baker Opulent Bloom Black Cabin Luggage. £199. Available here. My choice of luggage matters just as much to me as what I pack inside it, and I’ve lately seen a range of beautiful, floral Ted Baker suitcases lining shop windows, tempting me. One day I’ll succumb and replace the ultra light, red IT suitcase with something albeit chunkier and heavier, but so, so much more beautiful.

15. Heaven Tanudiredja. Baven for Death Princess Necklace. £869. Available here. I rarely wear jewellery, but when I do, I go big. I’m all about statement necklaces to bring together, and how great would this necklace look teamed with the Yang Li skirt and a white silk camisole? Or for a more casual day look, a simple yellow tea dress…

16. Kikkerland. Sharp Image Pencil Sharpener. $19.99. Available here. Of course, as a photographer, my eye will be drawn to a camera-shaped pencil sharpener, even though it has been done a thousand times before. Cute, quirky and so typical, I’m amazed that I haven’t found one in a Secret Santa stocking before!

17. Too Faced. Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Melted Peony-Dusty Rose. £21. Available here. Last but now least, we have a liquified lipstick (or a thicker, gooier lipgloss, if you prefer). I’ve always been quite traditional about my lipsticks, but dried out, chapped lips caked in flakey clumps of colour have always been a problem for me, while lipgloss simply gets on my nerves, with its need for reapplication every five minutes, so perhaps it’s about time that I experiment with this go-between solution.

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