Sorry for the lack of posts, I'm currently eating my weight in pastrami in the big apple. Follow me on twitter at @FavouriteThing for live updates, showy tweets and/ or quite a lot of twitpics of French toast.
Below: the bar on the 18th floor of The Standard Hotel.
That Marilyn Monroe spoke a lot of sense. She told us diamonds were a girl’s best friend, that Chanel No 5 was the only acceptable thing to wear in bed, and that the right pair of shoes could help us conquer the world. Of all these, however, it’s the latter that womenfolk have really run with. Well, hobbled and then jumped into the nearest cab with. We all know the intrinsic power those cantilevered inches hold, but just incase we’d forgotten, the humble heel is staging a serious comeback.
After having well and truly usurped the It-bag as the accessory of choice, the statement heel is currently enjoying being celebrated in multimedia form. Coffee table tome High Heels: Fashion, Femininity & Seduction is due for release in October, new documentary God Save My Shoes isto be screened imminently at Paris Fashion Week, even street style snappers have turned their lenses downward of late, perhaps realising that fabulous footwear gets our collective heart racing more than anything else. Just look to editrixes Carine Roitfeld and Emmanuelle Alt – each know it’s a killer shoe that maketh the outfit, often forgoing a bag entirely to create that achingly hip Parisian nonchalance that we all yearn for.
Shoes are pivotal to this Autumn’s trends, too. In fact, never have there been so many must-have heels shoehorned into one season before. Are you a lady? Try Celine’s pointy heeled loafer. A vamp? Choose YSL’s risqué lace-up boots. Individualist? Miu Miu’s glitter peep-toes. Carnaby Queen? Prada’s snakeskin knee-highs. They’re the fastest shortcut to new-season cool you can get. A one-step solution, if you like. And each with the sex appeal, the allure and the drama that a Mulberry Alexa could never have.
From top: Christina Aguilera, Kourtney Kardashian and Fergie's shoe closets.
It's just a happy (or spooky, depending on your predilection) coincidence that there are thirteen iconic characters I look to for style inspiration come Halloween. From Lydia Deetz's Viktor & Rolf-esque blood-red wedding dress to Wednesday Addams' ironic Puritan collar and knit (seriously...how AW 11?), I always relish the chance to pour over their looks and plan my costume accordingly. It's basically also a great excuse to watch my favourite movies (buy them by clicking the links and enrich your life immediately). I think I'll start today with Hocus Pocus!
Quote: "We're going to play a game. It's called 'Is there a God?'"
Morticia's vampish, femme fatale style was so obvious. I always felt that Wednesday rocked the look noir far better than her mother. Plus, any girl who can make-over her other half so successfully gets snaps from me.
Quote: "I think... no, I am positive... that you are the most unattractive man I have ever met in my entire life. You know, in the short time we've been together, you have demonstrated EVERY loathsome characteristic of the male personality and even discovered a few new ones. You are physically repulsive, intellectually retarded, you're morally reprehensible, vulgar, insensitive, selfish, stupid, you have no taste, a lousy sense of humor and you smell. You're not even interesting enough to make me sick."
This was one of the movies I used to steal from my Dad's VHS collection and watch in secret when I was ill off school. It was rated 15, had a few naughty words in it and one extremely graphic cherry-pip vomiting scene which came completely out of left field and scarred me for life.
Fay Wray should be every girl's style icon, really. Ripped négligée, artfully dishevelled hair, inexplicably non-smeared red lipstick... She's got a touch of Courtney Love/ Meadham Kirchoff SS12 about her, no?
What movies do you watch to get you in the Halloween spirit?
My-wardrobe.comget fashionistas. Dell, evidently, do as well. Hence why I was so over the moon to be given one of their brand spanking new 15R Inspiron laptops with switchable lids at My-wardrobe's recent AW11 preview. It means I can match my laptop to my bag/ nail varnish/ bedroom/ delete-as-appropriate should the mood strike. And being a complete diva, the mood does strike. A lot.
A vintage weekend by the Great British seaside? I was always going to be all over that. Last Friday, with a too-large suitcase and Lucy Luxe Life in tow, I jumped aboard a First Great Western (first class, darling - is there any other way to travel?), and zoomed down to the Cornish coast to partake in the retro stylings of The Bedruthan Steps Hotel. A weekend of hoola hooping, jive moves and fish 'n' chips awaited...
The vibe was wholesome but luxurious - the kind of place you'd take your kids to learn about the simple joys of sandcastle building, but still be able to indulge in a champagne bellini and a seaweed wrap if the mood took you.
Our room looked over the breathtaking scene of Mawgan Porth Beach; a quaint, golden cove peppered with whitewashed cottages. It served as a stunning reminder of how beautiful pockets of England can be - always worth remembering when I'm yearning for somewhere more exotic than Platform 13 at Clapham Junction!
The Vintage Pleasures weekend, an initiative set up by the sisters who own the hotel, tied in beautifully with the retro feel of the property itself. The family wanted to create an event which would involve the whole community - an ethos which really came across as we were strolling along the beach. Packed with locals and holidaymakers alike, everyone was getting stuck in - from the old ladies who put the young 'uns to shame on their wooden belly boards, to the whole families who turned up to play volleyball and skittles. You couldn't escape the strong sense of community spirit - add that to the impossibly glorious weather and I could've sat on the rocks soaking up the atmosphere for hours! However, a slap-up fish 'n' chip lunch and cupcake decorating called, so we tore ourselves away from the fantastic cookery demo on the beach and walked back up to the main hotel.
I was really impressed that my lunch consisted of 3 different types of fish, as well as proper hand-cut chips and the requisite mushy peas/ tartare sauce. The serving staff couldn't have been sweeter and didn't even judge us when we mentioned that after our strawberry and meringue dessert that we'd be moving straight on to cupcake decorating.
An adorable vintage pop-up shop selling homeware as well as clothing was overflowing with retro goodies, while The Vintage Cream, a Cornish company that organises vintage styling among other things, had set up a dream-like tea party at the next stall.
Make do and mend was a prominent theme with the philosophy of the hotel being sustainable and ethical, as well as a workshop teaching you how to sew accessories from scraps of pretty vintage fabric. Who needs to buy a new iPhone case when you can make one instead?
Retro hair and make-up makeovers finished the activities in the hotel so Lucy and I decided to chill out with a cup of tea in one of the cocoon beds on the terrace that overlooked the beach. Before we knew it, it was dinner time and we had the pleasure of another 3 course meal before the live band and jiving lessons in the ballroom. The hotel focuses on organic, locally sourced produce that's in season and - aside from a mean fish 'n' chips - serves dishes like smoked mackerel paté with tarragon, horseradish and wholemeal toast, and pan-fried duck breast with braised cabbage, pancetta, baked apples and cranberry jus. In a word; yum.
Being the princesses we are, Lucy and I decided hot chocolate in bed would be the perfect nightcap. Even though it wasn't on the room service menu, the lovely girl who took my order said she "was sure they could track some down somewhere". Lo and behold, they did - complete with mini marshmallows sprinkled on the top. We sipped them in bed wrapped in fluffy Cadbury-purple robes (how apt). The perfect end to a perfect weekend!
Book here for future themed weekends including Cath Kidston (29th-31st Jan & 9th-11th Mar), Alice In Wonderland (25th-27th May & 12th-14th Oct) and Yoga & Pilates (16th-18th Mar, 6th-8th July & 9th-11th Nov). Full list here.
With thanks to the lovely folk at Bedruthan Steps.