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Well, its like tumbleweeds a’ rolling round these parts.

Talk about ghost-writing!

Yes its been a while for sure. A lot has happened in the last few months since I last clickety-clacked my trusty keyboard. Most of it good. Pretty much all of it good. Moving home, new projects and lots of amazing personal developments. But that hasn’t been the only reason I stopped blogging. To be honest, it had become boring. There’s an information overload out there and it can make your head hurt. I’ll hold my hand up as being a cyber-vulture with the best of them, preying on the “deadflesh” of informed/uninformed writing, the speculations, the egoistical self-portraits of sweet-nothings fawning at their own self-fabulousness, stylists who seem to be more interested in self-styling than styling anything else. I could go on. But  that’s a narrow-minded stance to take. There is a lot of good out there: good-bloggers, great design, great people. Sometimes you have to take a step back.

Anyway, I hope my mojo comes back. And my preposition foibles. And my typos.

TTFN

LFN

Kiss all the pretty ones goodbye
Give everyone a penny that cry
You can throw all my tranquil’ pills away
Let my blood pressure go on its way

For my autumn’s done come

My autumn’s done come. Done come

Lee Hazlewood, 1966

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1. Le Tango, Rue Maire

75003

Edith Piaf used to sing there. Now a Tea Dance/ Cabaret/ Trash Pop Night is held there every Saturday.

Out with the guys last weekend. Lots of odd couples going for it like their lives depended on it.

Good to see. They shoot horses, don’t they?

“G” could hardly contain himself when the Mariah Carey-esque tranny came out, nose shaded in like Beyonce to slim it down, help it stand out. Great fun!


2. Jeu de Paume, Place Concorde

Met up with “B” to go see the Kertesz retrospective. Beautifully sunny day. This city’s so incredibly beautiful.You find yourself catching your breath sometimes.

Looking over the square, with the Jeu de Paume behind me, I loved how the Luxor Obelisk echoed the Tour Eiffel in the distance. There is a precision to the vista of trees outside the museum, a bit like the ones at the Palais Royal. Really like the J de P as a space. It feels a little informal, approachable. The exhibition is HUGE. Definitely going to see it again. Too much to take in one go.

 

3. On the way to Prada

Stood on the platform at Bonne Nouvelle, waiting for train to Alma – Marceau. The grid lighting overhead reminds me a bit of a movie set. I like the contrast between the industrial design against the white tiles and ornate frames on the posters.

A few smokes at a cafe off Avenue Montaigne overlooking the Tour Eiffel with “N”.

Prada is heaving. A woman that looks like/ might be Shala Monroque is trying on shoes too along with “N”. The winter collection looks great. They know their customer well here at Prada… Clothes that work for monied professionals that want a play on classics without being dull.

Loads of Americans with loads o’ CASHOLA in their pockets swing great big white carrier bags out the shop into the rain.

 

4. On the Terrace at

PRINTEMPS

Sat with “N” on the rooftop terrace. Its gorgeous up here. The whole of Paris spread out in front of you. The shoes didn’t quite fit at Prada.

We have Ceaser salads out of plastic tubs. Tres chic. Its cold and overcast. But at least its stopped raining.

Later we head off to Uniqlo to check out the new +J Jil Sander collection. There’s a massive queue outside. Maybe not. Maybe I’ll wait till London. Not that desperate.



Soft_

A few posts back I mentioned that I had been to Cyprus. About 15 years ago I promised a friend that I would design her wedding dress. Earlier this year I got The Call.


1. Pen to Paper

It was an open brief. I had total freedom. The thing with wedding dresses, especially if you know the bride quite well, an image immediately forms in your mind. You intuitively know what sort of dress she’ll want.

6th sense, maybe.

I knew this bride quite well. Knew her enough to know that she wanted something sexy but simple.

She didn’t want the usual Turkish bride get up – all pouffy satin meringue, evening gloves (even in 36∘+ weather!), and a bit too much sparkle. She wanted to stand out in her simplicity.

She wanted to show the locals how its done. She’s a high-flying exec for BMW after all.

At our first meeting I teased her that I’d done Sweet F A. That “I had a vision”. She looked quite worried and wondered if this was a good idea after all…

I then pulled out a series of sketches, inspirational images and swatches all lovingly bound and tied together with a vintage grosgrain ribbon.

This was going to be fun.

I explained that this was only a departure. The actual dress wouldn’t really start to take form until after the first fitting. I warned her not to get her hopes up just yet. The first toile was going to leave a lot to be desired. It would be a way to start playing with silhouette and working on the corset.

She wanted to exaggerate her waist. And wanted to look as slim as possible. Fair enough. If you’re going to drop a few grand you most definitely want more than a few inches dropped.

I felt quietly confident.


2. The Process.

I think we had about 6 fittings all together. She kept losing weight and we kept on cinching the corset in further.

At the first fitting I basically threw out all the previous ideas. Initially I’d been feeling for drape. It seemed more appropriate to do a modern take on a vintage-y dress.

STRUCTURE.

Inside out corset in silk faille with organza and chiffon finishings that had been left raw. And a layered skirt in washed silk chiffon – to take away some of the preciousness and give the fabric a softer handle – with an insert of sun ray pleats at the front and a train made entirely out of pleated chiffon panels. Or maybe washed organza.

The dress was a technical nightmare. My cutter/machinist – who’s an incredible craftsman that works with labels like Alexander McQueen and Roland Mouret – was put through the paces! Four layers of chiffon. No, two of chiffon, two of satin, shiny sides facing each other. No, two chiffon, two tulle, one satin… It went on.

She wanted the dress “to sway”.

And that sodding train! The pleats kept collapsing inward. She wanted it super long but the pleaters couldn’t pleat panels that big.

In the end I had a Eureka!! moment, one of many, and decided that we do concentric layers of pleats that would allow us to get the desired length of train.


3. The Last Stand.

I didn’t get to see the final dress in the flesh. I was in Italy for work.

We did the final fitting via Skype.

I was a bit fresh from knocking back the contents of the minibar. She seemed happy with it. It fitted well – as well as I could tell from the fuzzy screen. The train worked.

I took the dress with me to Cyprus along with those of the four bridesmaids. If anything happened to me or my luggage en route…



4. The Dress

Doesn’t Fit.

I arrive in Cyprus. Fine. I unpack the dress. Miraculously uncreased. Fine. We try on the dress. Not fine. It will only close up halfway up the back.

Shit. F*ck! Definitely not fine.

My friend’s practically in tears. The bridesmaids want to drag me through hot coals and then slowly peel off my skin.

“Its your job to make it fit!!!!”

I feel like the most useless designer in the world. There is nothing we can do. I need a moment. I need three cans of beer, a couple of G&Ts and a pack or two of Marlboro Lights to think this one through.

We can’t alter the dress. Too complicated. No fabric. And without my trusty cutter I wont let anyone touch it. There has to be a way. What the f*ck went wrong?


EUREKA!!!!

God bless her. She came

to my rescue yet again….

The spare buttons!

This could work. Surely it must. The button flap on the outer corset to protect it from the zip of the inner corset. If I could stitch the extra buttons along the edge of the flap it might just give me enough to close the dress. Just about….

I have the exact amount of spare buttons that I need. 15.

We try the dress on again. My idea might work. Might…. I feel sick.

The following day I get sewing. This better work. The wedding’s the next day.

I hate sewing.


Cluck, cluck. The Night of The Hens. We bump into 90s house and garage supremo The Artful Dodger.

Re re-wind, when the crowd say,

Bo, selecta!


5. The Long Walk.

The day of the wedding. It’s boiling. Everyone seems calm but I know that we’re all on edge. Will the dress fit?

It does!!! F*ck, it DOES!

Instead of tracing her spine the buttons now form an elongated “Y”. Almost like tuning fork. Cute.

A Design Detail, darlings!

I am shaking, verging on being emotional.

And I never cry.

This has quite possibly been one of the most stressful things I have ever done.

We are one hour late for the wedding although I think that was pre-planned.

That girl wanted to walk up that aisle, outdoors, the sea to the right, the mountains to the left and the sun just setting.

She knew what she was doing…

My hands were still shaking. I’ll post better pics of the dress when I get the professional pics.

My hands are still shaking.

P.S.

She looked bloody GORGEOUS!!!

Job well done?  ✔

HELL, yeah!

1 Chateau Gay

required.

Must have sizeable inheritance. And an apartment in the 8th or 3rd. With a private lift. Top floor. All of it.

Must have parents close to kicking that bucket in.

Must have a Chateau, mais oui, in the country. Somewhere in the Loire Valley or Bordeaux. Good access to wine.

Must wine and dine me constantly.

Must have a busy job so that I can occupy my leisurely days lunching and shopping and hanging out with the gals that déjuner at Le Bon Marsh.

Must be reasonably attractive but not a must if aforementioned inheritance is quite a big package.

Must yacht in the summer.

Must let me do exactly as I please.

Don’t ask for much, do I? LOL.

1. Mickeyland Exhibition.

Organised by the A4 Collectif. Raucous mix of the clever, sublime and downright nonsensical. Kitschy fun and very timely. Quite naughty in parts. Witness Corine Borgnet’s Mickey dildo meets Pinocchio.

Unfortunately the expo closed last week.


2. Andre Kertész Retrospective.

One to definitely see next week. Loves a bit of photographic distortion, me does.


3. Frolic and Frappe

“B” getting up to no good in the Powder Room, chez Little Italy on rue Rambuteau. Head waitress Samantha really needs to smile. I go there for a plate of parpadelle and not her angst.

You’d have better luck charming a smile out of a constipated sow.


4. Le Bon Marche

Lady Boston’s Louboutin contribution to the Numero magazine and Le Bon Marche collaboration during fashion week. A who’s who of fashion had a window each to decorate.

“B” worked out who the man with grey hair and floor length worsted kilt-aloons that we saw at the party was.

Faisal Hassan, owner of Plein Sud. Go Miss Marple!


5. Place des Vosges

Hanging out with “C”. Unexpectedly gorgeous day. She’s collapsed on the grass taking a nap. Post-show fatigue. I mentioned that we should have gone to the Alaïa sample shop in the Marais. I’ve never seen anyone jump up so fast. It was like she suddenly realised that someone had stuck a rocket up her jacksy!

“Let’s GO!!”

Forget the flight she had to catch, girlfiend needs herself some Alaïa.

And she hit it hard, she did. All investment pieces, babes. Its all about looking professional, looking expensive. The Business.

I think I should consider a career in personal shopping. Helping people personally buy things for me…

♯1.

When I started this blog last year it was out of boredom. I was bored. I was also bored with the slew of “fashion” blogs out there that tried to mimic blogs like The Sartorialist. I’ve always liked writing but hadn’t done much of it over the last decade since I started working as a designer. If I were to write a blog what would it be about? I asked myself. I tend to stay away from the fashion scene so I would probably be the last person to know what or who was in or out. I realised that I didn’t have to categorise myself. I would write about anything that interested me as a designer and as a person, share my thoughts, images, silly things that made me laugh, things that pissed me off. I honestly didn’t know if there was anyone out there that would find it of interest. It seemed like everyone and anyone had a blog. Would I be just another yapper in a Digital Cacophony? Regardless I joined the ranks…

When Kristine from The Circus Project, a German blog, contacted me it came as a bit of a surprise. She was part of a team putting together a “bookazine” with the publisher Herznote that would unite bloggers from around the world in hard copy. I found the concept intriguing but I also wondered if it didn’t go against the very spirit of blogging – total freedom of expression not confined to word counts. They were totally open to ideas and I could write about whatever subject I chose. This was some six or seven months ago.

The Circus Bookazine was launched this month and I feel absolutely honoured to have been part of it. It was quite possibly the most challenging thing that I’ve ever done. Writing within the limits of a word count takes quite a lot of self -control. You have to be so economical with words and  I had to grit my teeth during the edit and kill paragraphs I loved for the better of the whole. I have a new found respect for journalists! The two mediums are entirely different and I don’t think that one cancels the other. Circus just made things just that bit more interesting_

Thank you, guys!

LFN

PS My piece is about food and fashion.

GO GET IT NOW!!!

www.herznote.com

www.circus-bookazine.com

Time flies, doesn’t it?

Been a busy bee this end, even though the photo above might suggest otherwise. Yes the words beach, pool and scorching heat ring true but so do chiffon, button-sewing, panic and nervous sweat. Will explain later. Been busy alright.  I’ll leave you with this image taken at Larnaca Airport in Southern Cyprus – I never knew they did airports as well…

This one’s for “B”

Just touched down in Paris. Well, rolled in actually. Managed to use up those free Eurostar tickets I got after the Christmas Channel Tunnel Fiasco. Like a true Brit abroad I’m now ensconced in a Brit-owned bistro with free WiFi, drinking German Bier. In Paris. Ah, well, as they say, when in Rome...

Ok, I’ve been doing this for nearly 8 months now. 8 months! I started this blog on a whim – bored one rainy day in August. I have a very short attention span and I guess it was sort of a challenge to see if I could keep it up for more than a month. I’m talking about blogging here. I am also prone to being puerile from time to time! I didn’t realise how much hard work blogging is. Hours of editing photographs, writing, checking the layout… I guess I was tired of all the “fashion” blogs out there. Mostly girls taking pictures of themselves wearing apparently cool things. How original, how stylish, darlings. You like but do you understand? You could swap one for the other. This has never been a blog purely about fashion. It’s a diary of sorts. And I’m not just interested in NEWNESS.com. Good design is good design, old or new. I’ve always liked writing but never finished a short story – that attention span thing rears its head up again! Valerie, from Christmas will return. I’ve been sporadically working on her trials and tribulations. My father still has all the stories I tried to write when I was a teenager stored in box somewhere. I’m dreading the day I look through them. Some of them had a few “erotic” scenes in them. I dread even more that he might have, probably has read through them! Blame it on the hormones.

The hardest thing about blogging is being disciplined. I try to do a blog every day. Try to… There are moments of absolute panic when I get Blogger’s Block ©. No ideas, nothing to say. I’m gripped with fear [insert melodramatic gasp here]. Its similar to designing. Doesn’t matter how many collections you’ve got under your belt its like starting all over again. You try, you hate, you scrunch, you smoke another cigarette, you try, you scrunch, you reach for the Merlot, you try, you almost cry and then… Aha! You find your way in. I know I’ll be done with designing and blogging when that feeling of pure anguish goes away. It means that I’m not challenging myself, that its too easy. The reward is breaking through that pain barrier and riding that big ole wave of creative euphoria. Knowing that you’ve still got “it”.

A big thank you to all who have read, commented, emailed and criticised over the last 8 months. I’ve learnt a lot about myself in the process. Blogging has also sharpened my eye and allowed me to make sense of things. It helps de-clutter one’s thoughts. Let’s see if I can make it to year one. I’ll give it a go.

PS Apologies for the numerous typos. I have the annoying habit of proofreading after I’ve posted. I also hate the look of large text and have slight short-sightedness. You get where I’m going with this. TTFN. LFN

Le Fist has been a trifle busy as of late.

No, I haven’t been busy doing that… but Mes Wrists have been working hard, let’s just say. Got a few posts in the pipeline, so to speak. Wink wink. This doesn’t make sense at all, does it?

LFN

TTFN