Saturday, 31 December 2011

Forty and fabulous: the new recruits

Apart from the London Olympics and the David Hockney exhibition at the Royal Academy, in 2012, I'm looking forward to welcoming some fabulous new members to the Style Begins at Forty Brigade.  I know, I know, all that tedious stuff about yoga, diet and well-being, it's like she's middle-aged already, but Hollywood Princess/Queen of the Kitchen, Gwyneth Paltrow will be joining our ranks -  and boring us silly with anti-ageing advice - come September.

He's already figured out the perfect way to deal with a receding hairline and under-eye bags, Jude Law is approaching mid-life sartorially prepared.

Doesn't seem like five-minutes since we hailed 15-year-old Vanessa Paradis singing Joe le Taxi. My advice for mid-life? Keep wearing the Chanel.

Excellent as Stringer Bell in The Wire and bonkers-tastic as Luther,  drug dealer-turned-cop, Idris Elba hits the big 4-0 in September.

I don't believe it! Marshall Mathers III joins the Mid-lifers Club in October. Gotta feeling Eminem is going to get a whole lot angrier in his middle years.

Forever 39, Patsy Stone, needs to take a reality check and tune into That's Not My Age. Growing older is Absolutely Fabulous. Honest. Sweetie, darling.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Grown-up style: 2011

Not a good year for dictators - or Dior designers - but for grown-up women everywhere, 2011 meant business as usual.  Here are some of my highlights.

Parisian Chic became the style du jour and muse-turned-author Ines de la Fressange, 54, showed us that flat shoes rule the red carpet.

Michelle Obama, 47,  answered critics by saying she wears what she loves - and we should too.

Research proved that women of a certain age relate to older models, and 41-year-old Stella Tennant picked up a gong at the British Fashion Awards.

Iris Apfel, 90,  confirmed our suspicions, 'Most of the young people today look dreadful. And celebrities look even worse.'

Sofie Grabol, 43, star of The Killing, inspired a trend for Scandinavian knitwear, saying,  ' I have affection for that jumper. It speaks of a woman who doesn't have to signal she's competing with men.'

And last but certainly not least, Christine Lagarde, 55, looking fabulously French in Chanel and Hérmes, came along to save the Euro. Not an easy task, but she's the best-dressed person for the job.

What are your 2011 highlights? Happy New Year! 

Michelle Obama, Christine Lagarde,  Ines de la Fressange: Getty
Sofie Grabol:The Gentlewoman
Stella Tennant: Grazia and Juergen Teller Celine ad
Iris Apfel: Architectural Digest

Sunday, 25 December 2011

It's Christmas!

Apparently, millions of people will be shopping online on Christmas Day. Silly buggers. Though, maybe a couple could drop by/follow me on Facebook. When you read this, I'll be lying on a friend's settee scoffing Quality Street and waiting for Downton.  We're off to the countryside for a few days, to stay with pals, and do as little as possible. Thank you all for your kind comments this year, they're the fuel to my persistent ramblings  - and are much appreciated.

Wishing you a very merry Christmas.

Back in a bit.


Friday, 23 December 2011

Red: not just for Christmas

As Diana Vreeland said, ' I can't Imagine becoming bored with red - it would be like becoming bored with the person you love.' So, hold that thought as we undertake a study in scarlet style. Here's Karen Elson looking fabulous in the latest Banana Republic ads.  A fairytale Christmas in New York. Without Shane McGowan. Or come to think of it, Jack White:

How beautiful is Deborah Turbeville's photography for the spring/summer 2012 Valentino campaign? Read more about it here.

Forget Daphne Guinness, the MAC collection I'm looking forward to is by ninety-year old Iris Apfel. Available January 2012.

Love this combination of Chelsea boots and sequins. Pure Casual Glamour. Thank you Penelope Chilvers.


I'm dreaming of a red Jaime Haydon sofa....

Tilda Swinton is the boss of singular style. Here she is picking up a Marie Claire Prix de la Mode Award in a claret Haider Ackermann tuxedo jacket.

Check out Jim Shi's feature on red and symbolism in the FT. And don't forget you can follow me on Facebook now. Happy Christmas!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Silver shoes for grown-ups

Time for some festive sparkle. Now, being a classy, grown-up site and a tat-free zone, this means a subtle display of elegant silver footwear.  Back in September when London Fashion Week was well underway,  I met Fiona Orde (the lovely lady in the first picture). She looked fabulous in her classic trilby hat, winter white layering and kick-ass silver boots.  I even managed to overlook the fur stole. Being a child of the sixties, I'm a huge fan of futuristic footwear.  So, for a friend's cocktail party last week, embracing Casual Glamour to the max - and trying hard not to feel too resentful about missing The Killing II -  I teamed a grey marl t-shirt with my new M&S sequin skirt and an old pair of shiny slingbacks. These shoes nearly ended up in the charity shop bag during my last wardrobe workout - they're actually quite battered when you see them up-close, but now I'm glad they were spared.

And here's some more metallic footwear:

Which all goes to show that shiny shoes are incredibly chic and it is possible to wear them without looking like a five-year-old at a children's teaparty. To prove that we're talking perennial style, just take a look at the Chanel spring/summer 2012 catwalk:

The Guiseppe Zanotti silver boot, Pierre Hardy hi-top and Miu Miu glitter pump are all from Net-a-Porter and even though it's sale time there are some sizes still available.
Glitter Chelsea boot, Topshop.
Ballet pump, Beyond Skin.

Fiona Orde: Fashionistable
Catwalk: Elle

Monday, 19 December 2011

Helen Mirren's gloves

OK, so initially I wasn't overly keen on Helen Mirren accessorizing her gorgeous Dolce & Gabbana dress with leather gloves, but three days is a long time in fashion. Since I discovered they were made by Irish designer, Paula Rowan (an expert in, ahem, 'glovemaking'),  I've spent an awful lot of time cruising the website and have come to the conclusion that if I owned a pair, I wouldn't want to take them off either.

Here are some of my favourites:

Gotta love the animal print, though I can imagine Ines de la Fressange in chic navy leather.

And, I'd quite like to find this elbow-length sheepskin pair in my Christmas stocking. Cosy.

Paula Rowan has a pair of black studded leather men's gloves (I know, I'll say no more) called Ronnie Wood, so I think it's about time Helen Mirren had a style named after her. Don't you?

PS I'm on Facebook now and would love you to follow me.  Check out the big ugly widget in the sidebar.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Dresses with sleeves: Helen Mirren

It wasn't going to be long before my new regular 'Dresses with Sleeves' feature got round to Dame Helen Mirren. Back in 2008, DHM complained about the dearth of dresses with built-in arm coverage:

'There are no dresses with sleeves and we need to bring back the sleeve: fine, see-through ones, long or short,' she said, ' There are so many wonderful things you can do with sleeves that people used to do, and then they stopped.'

Three years later, at the Channel 4 British Comedy Awards last night, here's the Dame looking fabulous in Dolce & Gabbana. With sleeves. Which leaves me to conclude that the combination of the grey pound and a new demure sensibility - courtesy of the Duchess of Cambridge - is having an impact on fashion. Anyway. Forget about Kate Middleton, let's talk about Helen Mirren. This isn't the first time we've seen her in Italian designer fashion - and, even though her latest dalliance with D&G involves lace detailing, gloves and a hair style that yells Desperately Seeking Susan, I think the overall effect is very fine. Sassy not muttonous.

Whilst I was watching the TV show, my phone pinged, it was a text message from a friend, ' Doesn't Helen Mirren look fab? Do you think she's finally succumbed to the knife?' But, that's a conversation we'll leave till another day.

What do you think of Dame Helen in Dolce & Gabbana?

Photo: The Huffington Post

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Alexander Shulman's Office

Look, it's Alexandra Shulman in her Vogue office. This photograph, taken by the lovely, talented and very entertaining (OK, I know him) Mark Harrison, has just been acquired by the National Portrait Gallery for its Photographic Collection. Office envy can get the better of a woman, so rather than let this ill feeling fester, I'm wondering if Alexandra Shulman could just send the latest cohort of Condé Nast interns round to That's Not My Age Mansions to help me tidy up.

For a while now, I've been thinking that that things are getting out of control. Having a portfolio career basically means having three jobs, and no spare time. And a very messy home. Mr TNMA recently asked if I could actually see the magazine skyscrapers that are gradually turning the place into a David Mach-style installation. Or could they possibly only be visible to him? I think he's worried that all my compulsive hoarding will lead to us both being buried alive beneath a mountain of old newspapers. To be discovered in three-years time when the rancid stench gets the better of one of our neighbours. So I've promised that on my next day off, there will be a major de-cluttering session.

Once I've sorted out the Christmas presents:

What does your office look like? And do you think the National Portrait Gallery might be interested in my photos?

Mark Harrison is with Lucid Representation

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Happiness and Amanda Harlech

People, this is a double first. Neither Amanda Harlech nor an image of male genitalia has ever appeared before on That's Not My Age. Don't worry, I'm not going to make a habit of posting pictures of men's privates, it's not that kind of blog. But this is art. In fact it's an oil painting by Lady Harlech herself, curator of the 'Happiness Exhibition' at the Haunch of Venison. This is a lovely idea. Lady Harlech's posh friends, sorry, fellow 'celebrity patrons of the arts' have all donated their interpretation of happiness in order to raise funds for the Royal Academy Schools. Amanda Harlech is very nice by the way, and doesn't look half as scary in real life.

A very swanky do, sponsored by Krug, my friend and I sampled their wares and declared it, 'The taste we were born to drink.' This was our version of happiness.

Gorgeous Virginia Bates was there, I'm going to do a whole post about her soon:

Manolo Blahnik contributed a pair of beautiful shoes:

My favourite items were Bella Freud's photograph of her parents, and Neil Tennant's David Bowie album sleeve.

'I look at it and it reminds me of such a happy, wonderful and exciting time,' says Erdem about this dress from his 2009 collection.

Dame Viv has donated one of her t-shirts.

Doesn't he look young? I'm talking about Tony, not Leo Blair.

And here's a full-length picture of Lady Harlech embracing Casual Glamour in Chanel jacket, skinny pants and tan riding boots:

Alex James made an appearance. He carries his cheeses in a battered old suitcase, when I asked how much Good Queen Maud cost he said, 'It's quite expensive.' Didn't see any up for auction, though. Tight git.

If I were to create my own version of happiness it would probably involve food, and something from my globe collection:

How would you interpret happiness?

Happiness runs from 13-20th December 2011. All pieces will be sold via silent auction throughout the week. For all enquiries call 020 7845 7800