The title is a reference to how Steve terms "Girl Talk" (which was incidentally a really naff pre-teen magazine that did also involve periods, stickers and boys).  The phrase might be mildly mysogynistic sounding if read in the wrong context but trust that he means it in pure jest.  Plus there was indeed a time when periods, stickers and boys occupied my thoughts in varying measure.  I'm sad to say that the trio has now been replaced by Ottolenghi recipes, cleaning and invoices – not even a TENTH as fun as sorting out my felties, gellies and shinies into their proper order in my sticker album (as the gals at Rookie can also attest ).

However with the arrival of what are my D-REAM shoes courtesy of Six by 6 Bloggers shoe project, which are now available to buy on Far Fetch, I felt a sticker attack needed to be purged here.  I have to say, I am well and truly sorry they have turned out to be the most expensive pair out of the lot.  The nature of the peculiar heel and platform, that I very selfishly wanted, meant a custom heel mould needed to be created, and admittedly, there is a whole lotta shoe going on here.  Still, like I said, if my one pair of feet alone will be decked out in lilac ponyskin (NOT made out of purple ponies by the by – it's shaved calf hair), neon yellow patent and tan leather platform, it might not be such a bad thing.

What with my limbs sore from all the Tweed Running and stuffing ourselves silly at Ducksoup and Spuntino, I didn't get too much time to play around with the shoes but with a night flash and seven packs of stickers from Paperchase (they have a lot of gellies but no felties…), I harked back to those "Periods, stickers and boys" days.  The shoes along with sticker albums, replays of T'Pau and Those2Girls and sandwiches with nutella, jam and peanut butter are all guilty pleasures to be indulged in every now and again.  That said, the shoes are fitting in with more things in my wardrobe than I previously expected so they could be stomping their way around the world more often than the wider public needs to see them.  


Tsumori Chisato cardigan, Tim Ryan knit dress, Christopher Kane x J Brand cycling shorts

Christopher Kane x J Brand denim jacket, vintage jumpsuit from Thrifted and Modern

Rochas shirt, Kaelen 'Winona' dress

KTZ scribble sweater, Versace for H&M heart fringe skirt

Ellery jacket, Giles dress, Issey Miyake pleats please skirt

If you watch the video above, you'll have a rough idea of what this year's Ralph Lauren Rugby Tweed Run was all about – 2 parts tweed (where Ralph Lauren Rugby partially figures in), 2 parts cycling, 1 part nostalgia, 1 part silliness and a half a part tea break.  Seeing the video might answer a few questions as to why I took part in this year's Tweed Run, which is in its third year of encouraging the capital to cycle around the capital in jaunty tweeds, bathed in old time nostalgia and bellowing "Tally Ho!" or "Good Day" or doffing their caps to passers by.  The idea of me RUNNING in anything that isn't the privacy of my quiet block is ludicrous.  The idea of me CYCLING for all of public to see is even more far fetched, given that I haven't actually been on an actual bicycle since I was thirteen and fell down a mini-ravine whilst mountain biking.  It isn't really out of trauma that I've not been on a bike.  In reality, I never justified the cost of buying a decent one to handle the traffic of London and even now with the introduction of Boris bikes, I just haven't bothered to get on one.  

Therefore, the opportunity to combine a half-decent outfit with cycling around London was something I couldn't resist…


I would have been content with people watching alone as Tweed Runners gathered at the beautiful Ralph Lauren Rugby store (I've said it once and I'll say it again – Ralph Lauren's store interiors make me want to try my hand at visual merchandising…) for breakfast and registration.  I wasn't the only avid photographer as a swarm of London-based streetstyle photographers also turned up to capture the abundance of tweed-infused and vintage looks.  London is not short on retrogazers who really live the lifestyle of decades gone by with enthusiasm and gusto.  Yesterday, somebody remarked "It takes all sorts to put on an event like this and London has em'."  It's not something that I personally partake in, but it's evident that events such as Tweed Run gives people the opportunity to visually express their nostalgic preferences.  There's a "peacock" element to Tweed Run, that meant swarms of men (I have to say that the men's outfits did trump the women's on the day…) and women dressed in their tweedy finest, fully accessorised with hats, caps, hankerchiefs and all the historically-right apparatus felt like a congretation of a secret society that you rarely encounter on a day to day basis in London.     



The three ladies here from The Vintage Mafia aren't so secretive and bill themselves as a group of impeccably dressed women who can host your event, give talks, tours and make-overs.  There was almost a photograph frenzy whenever they posed together as tourists and Londoners looked at them with curiosity.   


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The thing that I loved about Tweed Run (and I can't compare to previous editions seeing as this was my first one) was the effort that people put in to dress up.  It's a similar sentiment to what I expressed about Vintage at Goodwood.  There's no need to poo poo people's efforts for not being 100% authentic but the fact that they gave tweed their own spin (many went down the charity shop or vintage route when picking out their tweedy ensemble) and incorporated their own style was what was interesting.  For the women, tweed often didn't figure into it at all and instead, it was a chance to dress up in their vintage finest and have a rollocking day out… 





Like I said though, it was the men that were superbly turned out given the number of tailoring options available to them… 

Steve was snapping away like a crazy person and I also got into the mindset of noticing a particular cuff, bowtie or hankerchief detail on their outfits…






The amount of Ralph Lauren Rugby tweed gear wasn't rampant despite being the primary sponsor and of course there were a special list of guests who were completely kitted out in Rugby gear which blended in seamlessly with the vintage stuff.  I gather there were many of the Made in Chelsea cast there but my knowledge of the show is pretty scant so I was a doofus when it came to recognising them… 



After a MAHUSSIVE group shot in front of the store where 500 or so Tweed Runners posed for a photograph and shouted "TWEED", we all set off.  It isn't a race as such but more like a leisurely group bike ride with traffic marshalls and St John Ambulance people to guide you around the city.  This was the sort of hand holding, which reassured me that getting on a bike after over a decade wasn't a total mistake. 


Wayne Tippets caught me setting off in Covent Garden and struggling slightly to get used to the Pashley bike that was kindly lent to me.  I've been told that whilst Pashley bikes are immensely lovely to look at (no, I didn't specifically request this pretty pale blue shade…), they're not the easiest ride in the world.  I put the fact that I kept on losing balance, down to my lack of riding experience, rather than the bike itself.  My only complaint about the bike was that mine didn't come with a bell so I couldn't indicate when I was coming through.  Sorry to the group of French students at Hyde Park Corner, who I nearly crashed into.  I totally heard you muttering "Poutain…" by the way…


Imran of Business of Fashion was going to cab it along the route (some of the photographers took this "cheaters" method to capture people at different stages of Tweed Run) but found a bike and joined in on the fun.  I vaguely remember chit-chatting with him about err…. new e-commerce start-ups in total BoF fashion… along the way.  FASHION BUSINESS doesn't stop even if you're trussed up in tweed and jaunting about town on Pashley bikes.    


The ride itself was everything I thought it would be – an attention grabbing occurence that whizzed its way through central London with lots of cyclists ringing their bells, doffing their caps and shouting "Tally Ho!" to passers-by.  Most drivers (save for one very angry taxi driver) and people traffic were quite happy to let us pass by thanks to the ceremoniously polite traffic marshalls, who rode along with us ensuring the route would be ready for 500 Tweeded up cyclists.  I wasn't quite ready to partake in the gentile etiquette of Tweed Running as I was personally trying to grapple with my wheels but by the end of it, I did start shouting "Why HellOOOOOOOOO there!" to random children on the street.  I hope they're not too traumatised by that.  


Steve was in his riding element.  He hasn't been on a bike for ages either but he has had the experience of doing a paper round as a kid which meant he was constantly waiting for me to catch up… 


I might look somewhat calm here but actually I had just had my mini scare of being led down Pall Mall by mistake, instead of following the main group down Whitehall, and then having to turn back and go down Whitehall and round Big Ben on my own, riding alongside scary big red buses.  The rest of the group at Hyde Park Corner had to wait for a few of us amateurs to catch up.  I could have just taken a shortcut but for some reason, I was obsessed with sticking to the planned route.  Year 9 orienteering clearly had a huge effect on me. 



Let's talk OUTFIT given that sartorial excellence is supposedly the main component of this event and in my case, my cycling was never going to really be the star of the show.  See that on the tyres?  Horse manure…. a sign that graceful cycling is never going to be in my DNA.  I'll leave the cycling in heels, 70s YSL and jangly earrings and head scarves to Catherine Baba.  My bit of tweed comes courtesy of Ralph Lauren Rugby but the rest is a mish mash of what is a comfy riding outfit for me with the Harris Tweed Nikes completing the tweed equation.  I knew I was going to be up against literally stiff competition on the hair front with finger waves, Victory rolls and Gibson's rolls eluding my poker tong straight hair.  Thankfully Lucy Jay, a scarf designer I featured previously, sent me her long scarf made especially for Amnesty International.  I literally ripped open the package, saw the scarf and tied it up in my hair as I was rushing to leave the flat yesterday morning… 

(Ralph Lauren Rugby tweed jacket, vintage cardigan, Opening Ceremony x Where the Wild Things Are skirt, Heikki Salonen trousers, J. Lindeberg scarf, Harris Tweed x Nike trainers, Lucy Jay scarf in hair, Miu Miu bag)

Tea break came as a welcome respite after seven miles of huffing and puffing through Hyde Park, through Knigtsbridge and down to Kings Road.  



I couldn't stop snapping even during tea break and thankfully in totally UN-London fashion, people had their guard down and were perfectly relaxed with having people snapping away at them… 


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I also bent down a lot to take pictures of men's socks…. which sounds strange on paper until you see the socks in question.  With breeches and knee-length trousers come interesting socks… 





It's still strictly speaking Movember so Murdock London were on hand to judge the array of moustaches on show.  My lame effort was of course not applauded… 


A few of the ladies had knitted beards to make up for their inability to take part in Movember… 


After tea break, we chugged our way down to Pimlico, over to Vauxhall and then back up over to Victoria/Belgravia where the ride ended and drinks and a tea dance was to take place at the very posh Caledonia Club (by that time I was ravenous and couldn't contemplate gin and tonic without huffing at least 1,000 calories first so we ducked out to Ducksoup – PLEASE GO if you haven't been yet…).  We had clocked in thirteen miles to which I guffawed.  Thirteen miles on a bike when I hadn't actually ridden a bike since I was thirteen was an achievement that I'll harp on about boorishly to friends for a while yet.  I am ocfouse paying for this exertion of physical activity today with some seriously sore limbs but I vaguely remember experiencing that sort of thing when I did take my bike out for hours and hours on end as a kid – a sign of chaste and unadulterated fun that I wouldn't mind enjoying more often.


A light came into my life during the summer when I discovered Pelicans & Parrots and they've now ventured even further up the Stoke Newington stretch to open up Pelicans & Parrots Black store.  I don't want to sound like a grumpy grandpa but in this climate it does seem slightly unwise to branch out so soon after their first store.  We can thank vintage behemoth Beyond Retro opening up their Dalston branch in the art deco beaut of a building Simpson House and Pelicans & Parrots owners Ochuko and Juliet sniffing the prospect of a decent flow of people traffic up round these Stoke Newington Road parts.

Pelicans & Parrots Black is exactly what it says and is black inside, lending a far more dramatic appearance to the wonderful array of objects and furniture inside it.  There is a smaller selection of clothing in this store compared to the other one but every piece still feels carefully selected and I think this is the one shop where I do feel like picking up an armchair, a jumper and a coat hook all in one go.  A rack of men's workwear already makes the store feel more specialist and less about pleasing the "average" vintage crowd.  On the womenswear front, there are some beautiful knitwear pieces, which is down to Juliet's eye in her sourcing pieces from Italy and France, which is supposed to be the main focus of their vintage in this store.  I know my pictures are heavy on the objects but by having those African masks sitting next to the Phyllis Galambo Maske book, an African printed top that's hanging up suddenly looks a whole lot more enticing.  This clever contextualising makes the store a joy to browse through and gaze at.  You might not come away with bulging yellow bags of vintage but a piece or two from here will give you broad smiles 



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A quick look through the rails back at Pelicans & Parrots, the original store and again Juliet's eye for textiles and colour has not waned at all.  Here is just a smattering of the prints that she has in the store at the moment…





>> Why did I have so much beauty fodder to give away last week?  A quarter of it is revealed today on Because Magazine as I'm the latest person to be made up by the legendary make-up artist Kay Montano in a four part series that's vaguely inspired by beauty looks from the S/S 12 shows.  Now long time Style Bubble readers will know how DUSTY the Beauty School Dropout category is on this blog and I have repeatedly reiterated that I am totally clueless in the beauty department.  I literally jumped at the chance to be taught by a professional with the wonderful team at Because filming it and editing it all into a neat 30 second video.  Hurrah!  

To ask who Montano HASN'T done make-up for is probably a better way of finding out about her client list.  From high fashion to celebrity clients, she's pretty much done em' all.  I should have spent my time with her more wisely probing all the things I ever wanted to find out about the mysterious world of make-up.  Except we ended up having too much fun slapping a lot of product on and talking about vloggers and beauty blogs that do erm… the "hairy arm swatch".  I'll leave you to decipher that one.  

Montano has done a host of beauty tutorials for Because including ones for channelling Tina Chow and Diana Ross.  I've long been a fan of their 30 second video flick that is probably a more successful way of getting people's attention and so it's quite odd to see myself ACTUALLY be in one.  We kick off with Gucci's S/S 12 panda eyes.  They're not meant to be EXACTLY a like for like replica of the catwalk look but for me, this amount of black make-up around my eye is most definitely a revelation.  You can find out all the details about what exactly went on my face on Because.  By the by, I am supposed to be looking like a loon in these vids and doing all kinds of strange gestures.  This isn't my natural state of being although it would be a pretty breezy world if I could have my hair blowing in the wind permanently and constantly waving my fingers like I just don't care .  



P.S.  These are the people that won the beauy tombola – will be contacting you guys Charu (16 November 2011 at 22:48), Grace B. (17 November 2011 at 23:27), Raquel (17 November 2011 at 11:15), Eleanor (18 November 2011 at 19:46), Alex (21 November 2011 at 02:04)

P.P.S. Oh, and thanks to hairdresser Jack Merrick-Thirlway for teaching me that with a straightening iron, my fringe can do something other than hang straight.  I'll be burning my forehead trying this out for myself.