Today, I sneakily went out during my lunch hour to the Antoni & Alison sample sale having been enticed by the line ‘Everything £20 and under!’ in the Time Out ad (clothing £20 and under are few and far between in a place like London…..).  For those that aren’t familiar with Antoni & Alison, they’re primarily artists/photographers, Antoni Burakowski and Alison Roberts, who incorporate their work into their clothing, injecting a lot of British humour and wit into their design.  The clothes are like a less refined,more rough-edged version of Bernhard Willhelm or Peter Jensen.  I think you get the idea with the montage of their collections here – it’s loud and bright with a purpose, with lots of cheeky slogans and photographic imagery.  Frankly, it’s not my cup of tea and I had to REALLY rifle through the racks to find something wearable.  I’m not really into clothes that are just there to make a statement and nothing else – all snap, crackle and pop but no substance.  I appreciate humour in clothes but only up to the point where I can laugh about it AND wear it simultaenously.  Visionaries they may be, but functional designers they are not.  I suppose this is their draw but unfortunately, it hasn’t reeled me in.  The one thing I bought was so plain looking with no A&A stamp on it, that it only confirmed my non-conversion to A&A.  Is anyone here a fan?          

It has never occurred to me to spend a great deal of money on vintage handbags or purses unless it’s something like vintage Chanel.  Most of my vintage handbags were cheap eBay, flea market finds or freebies handed down to me from my mother and grandmother.  When I found the site La Pochette, I was amazed at how expensive everything was.  But on closer inspection, none of the vintage bags I own are exceptional in quality nor are they particularly unique – not so with the bags at La Pochette.  The prices you are paying reflect the quality of materials, the obscurity of items and the authenticity in period.  Too often, you think you’re buying a 1920’s chainmail clutch only to find it’s actually circa 1985.  It’s odd how I’m either attracted to bags for its minimal functionalist qualities or because they’re wonderfully quirky.  These handbags are about as quirky as they come!   

60’s Leather Watch Bag – USD175 // 40’S Striped Purse USD135

1950’s Lewis Floral Print Purse USD135 // 70’s Red Telephone Bag USD295

70’s Tooled Leather Motorcycle Bag USD225 // 60’s Margaret Smith "Bird" Bag USD145

60’s Tano "Girl on the Swing" Purse USD225 // 40’s Bakelite-framed Black Suede Purse USD395

Call me odd but I find the red telephone bag strangely amusing.  It would be like the handbag equivalent of the pink elephant in the room.  I’d be carrying it, and people would be staring at it but not talking about it…..! 

A lot of people say the biggest fashion NO-NO is mixing your denims.  I’m not saying we should make it a yes-yes but I think we can give the mixed-denim look a chance for survival.  I say experiment with different washes, textures and shades of denims.  I’m loving light stonewash at the moment and dark grey denim.  Brown is also an interesting alternative.  Mixing different shades of blue denim I think is really hard to pull off but not impossible.  All in all, there’s no harm in having a day or two of crazy denim.

Vintage NY Mets t-shirt, Miss Selfridge velvet denim pale blue skirt, spray-on dark denim jeans from HK, Office navy suede pumps // Uniqlo blue stripy t-shirt, Moschino Cheap & Chic grey cotton corset top, Miss Selfridge black stonewash denim ruffle skirt, Pepe skinny jeans, vintage mocs

Uniqlo office shirt, vintage dark denim skress with puffball hem, H&M white belt, vintage Levi’s cut-offs, Fiorucci white flats // Uniqlo brown stripy top, Topshop brown denim wraparound mini worn as top, deconstructed black denim skirt, Gap left weave straight legged jeans, blue leather ballet flats

Vintage grey bomber jacket, Topshop light brushed denim skirt w/ pockets, Topshop Baxter dark grey skinny jeans, Azona grey suede platform shoes // Zara black denim blazer, American Apparel dark blue ribbed t-shirt, H&M black denim skirt w/ lace ruffle hem, vintage blue stonewash frayed skirt, vintage suede flat mary-janes

Grey and white chiffon hanky top, Zara blue/grey denim pencil skirt w/ side zip, Miss Sixty skinny jeans, white leather ballet pumps w/ black sequins // Vintage Levi’s oversized denim jacket, American Apparel navy tank, Preen white top, vintage denim skress, black leggings, H&M white belt around knees, white pumps w/ ankle ties

(Background pics from "Forever in Blue Jeans" in Dazed & Confused May 2006)

As I was flipping through Jalouse (a cheap but ever so good, French fix magazine), something caught my eye.  This spread has an assortment of temptingly cute things in all the right colours.  But it was these shorts that jumped out at me calling ‘Susie, Susie, look at me with my big wooden buttons and cute cream lace piping.  I’m exactly the right fit of shorts, not hotpant-tight, not draggy-baggy.  And look – I’m only 100 euros!  Hop on a Eurostar train to the Paris Manoush store and snap me up pronto!’  Goddamnit, I think I’m going to have to do just that!  And whilst, I’m there, I’ll be picking up these cute glitter flat shoes too…. 

Lesson of the day?  It’s quite dangerous flicking through Jalouse when there’s all this cuteness to be found.