Sunday, 27 February 2011

Party On: it's the Oscars

That's Not My Age may not have been invited to the Oscars but back in the olden days when I worked on women's magazines, I organised and styled this photo shoot at one of the location houses used in the King's Speech. Lionel Logue's office is number 33 Portland Place, an old eighteenth century London townhouse hired out for films, events and fashion shoots. And as anyone who's seen the film knows it's quite dark and distressed inside...

We didn't have a huge amount of lighting and had to shoot in the doorways and by the windows in order to see the model's face.

Anyway, that's more than enough trumpet-blowing for one day, That's Not My Age is excited to see what the fabulous Tilda Swinton wears this evening. She looked brilliant in Jil Sander at the Golden Globes and Haider Ackermann at the Baftas:

The director of one of Mr TNMA's favourite films, Debra Granik/Winter's Bone has not been nominated for an Academy Award which is a disgrace, but I'm not going to bang on about sexism in the film industry right now. When asked what she'd be wearing, Granik replied, ' I was hoping to get some non-designer, one-size, burka-style outfit that I could climb inside. Then I could watch the whole thing through the peepholes.'

What would you wear to the Oscars?

Tilda Swinton: Harper's Bazaar and Grazia
Debra Granik: Quote from The Sunday Telegraph

Friday, 25 February 2011

The Right Trousers

OK, so I'd like to say that I returned from New York with a pair of fabulous black cigarette pants tucked away inside the soap dish on wheels but sadly I did not. My attempts at a Stateside shopping frenzy were pretty lame, half-assed at the best of times - though we have added a battered antique globe and a 1940s subway map to our collection of random nick-nackery. My overall impression is that this season trousers are either super-skinny or super-flared. If you're looking for something in-between either accept it´s going to be a long-haul ride or as they say on t´other side of the Atlantic, fuhgetaboutit. The trousers in the picture are from Jaeger, they´re slightly longer than my ideal pair but add a matching tailored jacket and the black and nude combination is a wearable, trans-seasonal look. As for the right trousers, people, the search continues...

Any ideas?

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Handbags and jet-lag

Mr & Mrs That's Not My Age are jet-lagged. I am writing this after an evil red-eye-cramped-leg-brain-addling flight from New York, so apologies if it's a load of old random nonsense. In order to try and stay awake today, we've been regaling ourselves with competitive tales of extreme exhaustion. The Blog Widower says the most tired he's ever felt was after a three-day, sleepless bus journey from Cairns to Sydney, Australia. By the end of the trip he was hallucinating. Floating cows and sheep drifted passed the window as the coach rolled into town. Keith Richard's record is nine days (did I tell you I've finally started reading Life?) My story of a drunken evening at Manchester University's all-night film club is not quite in the same league.

So, this is the High Line which runs through the Meatpacking District and Chelsea and is my favourite new New York thing. Forget Alexander Wang's just-opened SoHo store (though the faux fur hammock was a nice touch), give me a landscaped, old industrial railway line, any day. It's been a harsh winter on the East Coast and so the plants in the elevated park have taken a bit of a battering but I still managed to find a spot of greenery...

And this is The River that Flows Both Ways, artist, Spencer Finch spent almost 12 hours photographing the Hudson River once every minute to capture all the different colours and reflections of the water's surface.

I like this bridge with the seating area and glass panels which provide an excellent view of a classic New York street:

It feels like I've been away for ages, what have you been doing?

PS Sorry, no handbags - we spent all our money on food, drink and flights!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

In New York

When my brother first moved to New York 12 years ago he nervously asked if I'd like to come and visit him. Er, has seasoned professional, Charlie Sheen blown all his money on cocaine and prostitutes? Does power-crazy septuagenarian, Silvio Berlusconi have a penchant for teenage friends? Anyhow, in the name of family duty, That's Not My Age is Stateside. It's my first trip in nearly two years and I can't wait to visit the farmers' market in Union Square, the galleries, museums and flea markets in Chelsea and Brooklyn (I might even add to my globe collection) but most of all I'm looking forward to walking around Manhattan and discovering new stuff.

Oh and you'll be pleased to hear that on the journey over I didn't have to worry about looking out of the plane window to find all my old knickers strewn across the runway. The nylon-suitcase-with-a-hole-in-the-bottom ended it's days in a local skip. People we have new luggage! It's the colour of indigo denim and looks a bit like a giant soap dish...

So, whilst I'm away, you can read about some of my favourite NY shops here - though to me this city isn't about shopping, it's about people, places and popular culture. It's where, in 1979, Keith Richards met Patti Hansen and said, 'Incredibly, I've found a woman. A miracle! She is the most beautiful specimen in the world... but that ain't it... it's her mind, her joy of life and she thinks this battered junkie is the guy she loves. I'm kicking 40 and besotted.'

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Easy Pieces

For me, good quality basics with the Martini factor (remember this?) and a smattering of eye-catching accessories are where it's at. I don't work in a corporate environment, rarely wear head-to-toe tailoring and find casual glamour is my default setting. Effortlessly stylish separates, like a reliable work colleague, are easy to get along with during the day and good enough to take you over the road to the pub for a refreshing evening drink. So here are some of my favourite pieces for spring:

1. The tuxedo jacket - the one above is from la maison de chic separates, Comptoir des Cotonniers.

2. A jaunty blouse or shirt. Helps livens up a plain bottom half.

3. Liz Taylor earrings. Theses are classy not brassy and the quickest way to glam-up a pared-down outfit.

4. The luxury tee. That's Not My Age is a sucker for slinky jersey.

4. The maxi skirt - love this one from the Theyskens' Theory collection.

5. A pair of plimsolls. OK, after living in them for ooh, ever, I haven't worn Converse for years. Two reasons. I hit forty and found they were too flat and didn't provide enough support for my middle-aged feet. And then, David Cameron started wearing them. But the latest collaboration with Marimekko might be worth the physical/political pain.

6. The denim dress. This is from the new Spanish website, Medwinds which is worth checking out if, like That's Not My Age, you're a fan of quality basics. Though personally, I would ditch the platforms.

In fact, yesterday I wore my denim dress with navy cotton-knit tights and a pair of tan leather lace-ups...

7. The essential black trouser. My old Gap Capri pants have been working hard of late but I'm looking to upgrade to a longer length Cigarette-style. Here are a couple of hot favourites:

From DVF and Sportsmax. And hoorah! We're off to New York on Wednesday so I'm hoping a Brit-friendly-exchange-rate will lead me to the DVF pants, unless of course I happen upon a pair of fabulous leg-lengthening Theyskens first.

How do you do casual glamour? And wasn't Easy Pieces a Lloyd Cole album?

Tuxedo jacket, gingham blouse and leather lace-ups: Comptoir des Cotonniers
Earrings: Mikey
T-shirt: Eternitee
Theyskens' Theory: Net-a-Porter
Marimekko Converse: from Offspring and Converse (coming soon!)
Denim dres: Medwinds
DVF and Sportsmax trousers: Matches

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Quote for fashion week

Like Carine Roitfeld, That's Not My Age is not doing Fashion Week this year. The Blog Widower and I are taking off for a few days (more of which later). And one thing I won't miss is the crowd of wannabe-Sartorialists hanging round the entrance to Somerset House like a pack of camera-wielding wolves snapping at anything that moves across the cobbles. Don't get me wrong, I love the democratic nature of blogging and the fact that anyone can be a star. I don't have a problem with a 13-year-old geek getting a front row seat at the shows. Good on you, Tavi... though I did prefer you with grey hair. And now, even Carine Roitfeld is considering her online presence:

'I’m not an internet [girl]. I’m not writing on blogs. I’m not a Facebook girl. Even though there is a fake Facebook with my name, it’s not me. I’m not on Twitter, it’s not me. But I think if I’m not going on the internet, I’m going to totally disappear, because the future is the internet. It’s very difficult for me to work on the internet, but maybe I will find a way. I think this is very, very important.'

We all know that the blogosphere has turned magazine editors into the new style icons. Living dolls dressed-up in designer clothes straight off the pages of their glossy magazines. So it's interesting to hear Roitfeld's thoughts on the phenomenon:

'I’m not an icon, because my family, my kids, my husband keep me down-to-earth. But it’s true that, when you go to a show now, the photographers are more interested sometimes in the dress or the jacket you’re wearing than to photograph the show, and I think this is totally wrong. It’s an honor and you smile to the people. But is it normal? I think there is something a bit weird, that more people want to see these looks than want to see what John Galliano or Dolce & Gabbana did for the show.'

Quotes and photo:

Friday, 11 February 2011

Long Live The Smart Suit

OK, I'm not going all UBS on you, I don't see the need for strict dress codes at work but I am a bit upset to learn that smart casual is 'in' and classic business suits are on their way out. Some may say this is a good thing, after all, who trusts a city banker or politician these days? I've never been a fan of dress-down Fridays, mainly because I would never go to work wearing the stuff I shuffle round the house in. That's Not My Age loves casual glamour, but as far as I'm concerned smart casual = scruffy. Checked shirts and chinos look fine on a 1960s university campus but don't have a place in a grown-up office environment. And anyway, surely it's better to dress up? Isn't that why everyone loves Mad Men? This may be easy to say if, like myself, you don't have to wear a suit to work every day, but there's no denying that a spot of elegant tailoring looks professional, sexy and smart. Think Savile Row, Yves Saint Laurent's Le Smoking and Lauren Hutton in Tom Ford...

Smart casual or smart suit? Which do you prefer?


Cary Grant: BFI
Patrick Grant:
Lauren Hutton: Harper's Bazaar
YSL tuxedo: Helmut Newton

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Life is the Occasion

That's Not My Age thinks it's commendable that fashion retailer, LK Bennett is using real women/customers over forty in their latest Life is the Occasion campaign. Chandrima, 42, is an indie rock-loving, consultant obstetrician who has an office full of babies...

Helen, 51, is a busy mother of eight who runs a boutique hotel in Yorkshire and says, 'I have no time to spend on wondering what to wear,' which is probably why she's up a stepladder in a pair of high-heeled slingbacks.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Fashion Bin: The Sleeveless Jacket

There are some things I don't see the point of like Top Gear, goji berries and Cheryl Cole. They don't inspire me or make me laugh, and a superfood, rich in vitamins and antioxidants that tastes like bits of old carpet has just got to be wrong. When it comes to pointless fashion, the sleeveless jacket is hard to beat. Layering is a wonderful thing but I'm talking luxury fine knits not blazers-without-sleeves. That's Not My Age has never seen a stylish person in a sleeveless jacket, ever. And that's because they are try-hard and fussy and not at all easy-to-wear. I want fashion to simplify my life not constrict my armpits on a hot summer's day. Whether it's vintage Gaultier, the latest Stella McCartney or good old M&S, the sleeveless jacket has no place in a grown-up woman's wardrobe. But fortunately, there's plenty of room for it in the fashion bin....

Would you wear one?


Saturday, 5 February 2011

Blue and Brown

Typically the colours of military uniforms and boilersuits, of bad seventies tailoring and nylon socks. Written off by Joe Strummer as what you wear when you've sold out, the combination of blue and brown has never been seen as a perfect partnership. Until now, that is. The two hues are as hot as Colin and Livia Firth this spring and That's Not My Age loves the pairing. Especially the rust-coloured blouse and cornflower pants at Diane von Furstenburg and the more relaxed reefer jacket and camel skinny jeans at Comptoir des Cotonniers, but most of all I love the pair of Sylvac bunnies that live on the windowsill in our spare room and keep me company when I'm sitting at my desk...

Cezanne wrote that, 'Blue gives other colours their vibration,' and he had a point.

Do you have a favourite colour combination?

DVF photo:

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Notes from a sick bed

That's not my bedroom. It's Anna Wintour's summer home in Long Island (she has two) and since norovirus came round to play I've been deliriously flicking through old copies of The World Of Interiors dreaming of the most salubrious place to convalesce. Much better than being confined to That's Not My Age Mansions with a sick bucket and a bottle of lemonade, don't you think?

And to overcome the bouts of vomiting and self-pity, I've been channelling Donald Sutherland's upbeat approach to life and death. The 75-year-old actor has been doing the rounds promoting his latest movie, a remake of the 1970s film The Mechanic, and even though he's now reduced to bit parts in crappy films, this man can still laugh at himself:

'I'm at the time in my life that when I pass a cemetery I don't just pass, I turn in. I turn in and look. I look at mausolems and crypts and stones and cenotaphs. And I realise that I am, in fact, window shopping.'

Going on to discuss how he wants to die quietly in his sleep, ' It's a good way to die, just not for the other four people in the car!'

The NHS says there's no specific treatment for winter vomiting disease, but I know different.

Donald Sutherland quote: The Times