Thursday, 31 March 2011

Britain's Got Talent

Yesterday, me and Thandie Newton did our bit for British fashion. This was on a trip to Bicester Village to see the latest pop-up shop for the British Designers Collective (a collaboration between the British Fashion Council and Value Retail). Thandie officially opened the boutique saying, 'Wow, it's my first time at Bicester Village, it's like Disney for grown-up Cinderellas - I'll shut up now because I'm sure you all want to shop.' And I drank the free champagne.

The chairman of the British Fashion Council, Harold Tillman, probably the smartest man in British fashion, was in attendance...

Lovely Scottish designer Holly Fulton was there in one of her very own Art Deco print outfits. Check out the fabulous upside-down Chrysler Building skirt:

Top journalist, Avril Groom liked the Jean-Pierre Braganza collection and homed-in on a gorgeous beaded Markus Lupfer top:

Fashion historian, Colin McDowell - a vision in plum corduroy - discusses the perfect trouser width for spring:

This was my first time at Bicester too, and though I'm not generally a fan of retail outlets, this is a superior* shopping experience with plenty of grown-up fashion on sale at very attractive prices:

Thandie then went off to Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck restaurant, so That's Not My Age gave British fashion a little extra support by buying this lovely Markus Lupfer knitted top:

The British Designers Collective runs for six weeks from the 31 March.

*TM Faux Fuchsia

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Cycling, coffee and Scandinavian crockery

That's me on a Boris Bike, and to the left, the shadow of the enigmatic Mr That's Not My Age. We've had the cycle scheme in central London since the end of last summer, but due to crap weather, the official TNMA road-test only took place last weekend. The bikes are not has heavy as I'd expected - definitely lighter than their Spanish counterparts - and once you've managed to get the damn things out of the dock, they're very easy to manoeuvre. Proper cyclists, drink lots of caffeine. So we had to stop off at one of my favourite cafés, the Nordic Bakery, for a quick shot.

The Nordic Bakery serves excellent coffee and cakes (and pickled herring sandwiches, if you like that sort of thing) and uses top-notch crockery from Finnish design company, Iittala.

We have a small selection of Iittala items at That's Not My Age Mansions, including four of these gorgeous glass bowls in varying shades of blue and green:

After our caffeine-fix, we hopped on the bikes and whizzed up to Regent's Park. Do you remember this garden from The King's Speech? It's where King Colin and Lionel Logue had a bit of a tiff.

The herons in the park were out in full force, That's Not My Age has lived in London for over 20 years and I've never noticed so many before. See how they stand so still, do you think they're trying to look inconspicuous?

I couldn't help noticing the size of this little duck's feet, all the better for paddling with:

And no, that's not TNMA Mansions. It's a stunning Regency House on the edge of the park.

One of the things I love about London is that it's full of beautiful parks. What makes your hometown so special?

Oh and you can buy Iittala at Skandium, The Lollipop Shoppe and Cloudberry Living

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Down By Law - and down with this sort of thing!

Look everyone, it's Jim Jarmusch. I can't believe he's 58 years-old. Anyway, tomorrow Uniqlo launch a collection of men's t-shirts in honour of three of the director's best 1980s films. OK, you know what I think about mid-lifers in slogan tees but much better than a Wills and Kate commemorative mug, no?

And talking of slogans, here are some of my favourite placards from the march in London yesterday. Oh yes, Mr & Mrs That's Not My Age were there to oppose the Government cuts, and our experience was that of a peaceful protest. The coalition even managed to cut the sunshine too, but everyone was good-humoured and well-behaved. Apart from a random bunch of posh boys playing at anarchists. Though it was more of a shuffle than a march, three hours to get from Victoria Embankment to Trafalgar Square.

Watch out for Boy George Osborne:

That's Not My Age loved the War Horse, here it is saying hello to some four-legged friends at Horse Guards Parade

And then later, trotting off down Whitehall:

What have you been up to this weekend?

Jim Jarmusch photo: Vinoodh Matadin and Inez van Lamsweerde

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Austerity Chic

Just a quick post-budget post today... whether Gideon, oops sorry, George Osborne admits it or not, things are going to get tougher, but That's Not My Age will avoid getting trapped in the squeezed middle by adopting the Margaret Howell approach to fashion:

'I'm probably a product of growing up in England after the war and holidaying in England because you couldn't afford to go abroad. I was brought up with that austerity attitude - with a love of tradition, to respect things, not to have lots, but one good one.'

And here are some lovely timeless pieces from Howell's spring/summer 2011 collection - not that long to go till the sales!

Margaret Howell portrait: Clare Shilland
Catwalk: Elle

Quote: The Observer

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

New boots and other stuff

As a young whippersnapper (That Was My Age?), I never liked having to wear new shoes. Gleaming white trainers were scraped along the tarmac as I circled the tennis courts on my bike, determined to take the sheen off before home-time. So, aside from the serious Keith Richards-meets-Kate-Moss-backstage-at-a-festival vibe, the lived-in feel of these navy suede boots appeals to my inner teenager. That's Not My Age loves a bloke-ish boot - the perfect accompaniment to my signature, dressed down, jeans and t-shirt-look, who knows I may even let rock chickery rear its messy head and add a leopard print scarf:

The slinky top adds a grown-up spin but my teenage self quite likes this old school t-shirt too:

What would Keef/Kate wear?

Boots: Hudson
Lily & Lionel scarf, MaxMara t-shirts and Current Elliott jeans: Matches

Monday, 21 March 2011

Super Mamika

When I reach my nineties, I want to be like Frederika Goldberger. The grandmother (known to her family as Mamika) and retired style consultant turned cult figure who likes to dress as a super-hero for grandson, Sacha Goldberger's wonderful photographs.

'For me, taking the photographs is a way of making her live forever,' says Sacha Goldberger, ' Because then everyone can see her and know a bit about her. And then, when she is no longer here, I won't feel too alone. All this is about making her eternal. It is a tribute to her.'

The book, Mamika: Grande Petite Grand-Mére is out now.

Photos: Sacha Goldberger
Quote: The Times

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Red hot, or not?

The first time I went round to Mr That's Not My Age's house - this is before the Blog Widower moved into TNMA Mansions - he was doing the gardening in a pair of red jeans and an old Rolling Stones t-shirt. Mmm..I thought, this is a man who cares little for the vagaries of fashion. Anyhow, before the big move, after appointing myself Official Wardrobe Editor, I managed to chuck out a sizeable pile of unwanted clothes, including old tour t-shirts, the aforementioned jeans and er, a frock coat. But clearly the Blog Widower was years ahead of the fashion pack, now every editor on earth is banging on about coloured denim and I can finally see the attraction. Though much as I like the idea of pairing them with a stripey Breton-style top, there's something a bit London Dungeon about the combination of red and black, so I'd ditch the patent stilettos for a pair of classic ballet pumps:

And whilst we're on the subject of red hot fashion, That's Not My Age also likes the Dolce & Gabbana animal print sunglasses that Naomi Campbell is wearing in the Mert & Marcus ad:

What do you think, hot jeans or hot flush? Is this the start of a mid-life crisis?


Red jeans: Net-a-Porter
Ballet pumps: Swedish Hasbeens

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Older Models

New magazine, old cover girl. That's what I like to see - and I'm not talking about Twiggy does Saga. The first issue of Ponystep is out with a selection of different cover stars, my favourite is Jerry Hall looking absolutely stunning in a YSL tuxedo against the bubblegum backdrop (though Christina over at Fashion's Most Wanted prefers Kylie!)

Inside there are some fabulous early photos from Jerry Hall: My Life in Pictures.

Hall talks about moving to Paris, aged 16, with her sister, how she shared a flat with Grace Jones, met Helmut Newton in a club and was working for him the next day, ' We did some pictures for Photo magazine. It was all leather clothes and I was cracking a bullwhip and I then said to him, "Is this a bit porno?" and he said, 'No darling, this is art!'

Sixties-model-turned-Vogue-legend, Grace Coddington also worked with Newton and she's on the cover of Intelligent Life. OK, this is volume number four, but to me that's relatively new-ish. Inside there's a feature written by Julie Kavanagh (Coddington's assistant in the seventies) which you can read here, photos are by David Sims.

Here's fashion editor, Coddington in the water, on a 1973 Helmut Newton shoot for Vogue.

And Jerry Hall on the beach in Cannes in 1975, with Lisa Taylor in Rudi Gernreich swimwear (shot by Helmut Newton):

Helmut Newton and Jerry Hall in 1983:

And I can't sign off without mentioning the hilarious interview with Janice Dickinson in Ponystep, during which ace journalist and That's Not My Age's menswear expert, Paul Tierney is mounted by a nearly-naked JD who at one point admits, 'I once stole an entire rack of Kenzo clothes. Jerry Hall took the boots, and I said "Watch this," and I just wheeled out the fucking rack.'