Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Craving camouflage print

Christopher Kane:

I've told you about my newfound fondness for camouflage print before. What started as a lifelong addiction to khaki, turned into a craving for animal print before I gradually moved onto Class A Camo. And I'm not alone. This popular military print is fast becoming a grown-up staple - it was all over the autumn 2013 catwalks: 

Christopher Kane photo:

Whistles photo:

Now that I know it's a keeper, I've added these Gap 1969 skinny jeans to the faux military repertoire. (I'll be bringing boot-cut back soon enough, promise). Seen below with an old Mary Portas  scarf, Eileen Fisher organic cotton sweater and battered khaki kitten heels from LK Bennett:

How's that for Double Camo Action?  As I'm practically mainlining military print, I'm hankering after this gorgeous  Equipment cashmere sweater too.

To be worn with regular indigo jeans or slim black pants - I've no desire to look like Prince Harry in Afghanistan.

Are you craving camo?

Monday, 25 February 2013

Grown-up style: The Oscars 2013

If I ruled The Academy, Emmanuelle Riva would've picked up an award last night. At 86, Riva is the oldest woman to be nominated for Best Actress - and much as I liked Argo, Amour was easily my favourite film. The Parisian veteran was superb, as was her co-star Jean-Louis Tritignant. I'm surprised he wasn't even nominated, wouldn't have happened on my watch. I was however pleased to see the fabulous Jennifer Lawrence picking up a gong, though if I was Queen of the Oscars she'd have been recognised in 2010 for Winter's Bone. Anyhow, now for the important stuff... didn't Riva look stunning in her navy blue Lanvin gown? Trés, trés chic. Did you notice who else was wearing navy blue?

Yep. The best actor, ever, Daniel Day Lewis. And let's have a round of applause for Rebecca Miller who was doing her bit for dresses with sleeves.

Who were your Academy Award winners?

Sunday, 24 February 2013

My Eighties Exhibition

Malcolm McLaren on the fiddle.

That's Not My Eighties, it's the decade as seen through the lens of my photographer friend Neil Mackenzie Matthews. My eighties was similar but with a northern slant, most of it was spent propping up the bar at the Hacienda. Anyhow. NMM has a small exhibition of his portraits entitled 'My Eighties' on show at The Great British, a traditional London caff in the heart of Mayfair. So double whammy. Great photos and Great British food at affordable prices. I'll definitely be going back.

Hayzi Fantayzee.

Robert Smith.

Edwyn Collins.

The Jam.

Which reminds me, somewhere in the TNMA archives there's a snapshot of a much younger me with Robert Smith after a Cure gig in Manchester. Ah the olden days...

My Eighties runs at The Great British, 14 North Audley Street, London until summer 2013.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Baukjen launches the eStylist

Most big fashion websites offer a styling service where you can phone or email their advisor for tips on what to wear and so on. Of course, being a seasoned fashion expert, I've never had to use one. But Baukjen (pronounced Bow-ken, as in take a bow), the site founded by dutch-born Baukjen de Swaan Arons and her husband Joff, has just launched the interactive style appointment and they asked if I'd like to try the service out. Not being a huge fan of Skype, it's bad enough seeing a tiny image of myself interacting with family members - last week to my horror Manhattan Brother projected me onto his extra-large screen TV, good job his 29th floor apartment isn't overlooked, or it might've scared the neighbours - I wasn't overly keen on a two-way video conference with a stranger. Anyhow, I had a go with the lovely eStylist Rachel and it was quite good fun. Warm, friendly and self-deprecating, Rachel is my new friend. I might even call her up for a chat, next time I'm at a loose end.

Model wears Jodie cropped blazer.

Having filled out a very brief questionnaire on my lifestyle before our online appointment, I was impressed that Rachel selected a few key pieces that I would've actually chosen for myself. This casual tuxedo jacket, a striped oversized shirt, and Rachel even had colour-shy old me considering the yellow zip jacket that she's wearing in the video. Though I had to draw the line at a cobalt blue biker jacket.

Have you every used an online stylist? How do you feel about a two-way video conference with a stranger?

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Bringing Boot-Cut Back

Céline photo:

Back in more glamorous times, when you could find me running the fashion desk on a glossy women's magazine, boot-cut pants were le dernier cri. Oh yes they were. Magic figure-flattering properties (the impression of longer legs and ability to balance out hips) made this style a firm favourite amongst both magazine staff and readers alike. Unable to afford a pair of Tom Ford Gucci velvet disco pants, I improvised with some fine black needlecords and a slinky Agnés b shirt. I was quite partial to the Gap's boot-cut stretch jeans too. Anyhow. After a decade of muffin tops and skinny jeans, it really does feel like it's time to move on. The kickier (is that even a proper word?) leg shape appeared on the spring catwalk at Céline, and also at McQueen resort - though I think these are more of a bell-bottom myself, but Sarah Mower says boot-cut, and she knows best:

Alexander McQueen resort collection:

As I still have all my old boot-cut pants stuffed in the back of the wardrobe, including a pair of Marc Jacobs seldom-worn khakis, there's really no need to splurge. If, like me, you still can't stretch to high-end designer prices say hello to Boden's slim boot-cut trousers. They look good with slingbacks, and the good news is, I've got some of those too.

Will you be Bringing Boot-Cut Back?

Monday, 18 February 2013

Style at any age: Gudrun Rogvadottir

Over at London Fashion Week today, I bumped into gorgeous Gudrun Rogvadottir. She's one half of Faroese knitwear label Gudrun & Gudrun, the business brains behind the brand. I know that I probably should be telling you about Great British style, but this season there's a special Scandinavian section at Somerset House and I'm a sucker for Nordic design. Proving that Casual Glamour is a global phenomenon, Gudrun R was wearing a chunky hand knit sweater and the metallic shoes her grandma wore for her golden wedding anniversary. Fabulous.

And we all know what Gudrun & Gudrun is famous for...

Far right: as worn by Sarah Lund, the jumper of truth & justice.

The company director very kindly talked me through some of her favourite pieces from the latest collection. The 'landscape' sweater is inspired by the colours of the Faroese sky at dawn - if Sarah Lund ever makes a comeback, I bet she'll be wearing one of these:

And this cardigan is made using a traditional Nordic knitting technique.

When I asked Gudrun how she felt about the end of Lund she told me, ' The Killing might be over but the jumper lives on.' And she's right. The Danish detective may have disappeared from our screens but I now have a new Scandi style icon to fill the vacuum. Moving on, people. Moving on.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

The view from The Shard

By far my favourite Christmas present from Mr That's Not My Age, was yesterday's trip to the top of The Shard. Designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, London's newest skyscraper is also the tallest building in Europe (1,017ft). Being a complete scaredy cat when it comes to heights, I was more than a little nervous standing at the foot of this 72-storey, pointy skyscraper. But once inside, the spirit of London 2012 was alive and kicking as the über-friendly staff welcomed us in and collected our £25 pre-booked tickets. Much has been said about The Shard's sky-high pricing system, pay-as-you-go visitors (predominantly tourists) will have to pay £100, and the fact that it was funded by foreign investment hasn't gone down well in some quarters. But I think it's a marvellous addition to the city's skyline and when I'm feeling flush I'll be going up again, to view the city at night.

I'm hoping that in the meantime, the lovely, friendly staff will have a lesson in 'what to say in the event of an emergency' because when the computerised lift got stuck on 33-floor and the doors had to be prised open, their comments on the frequency of lift malfunctions and inane banter about London's landmarks did nothing to calm my nerves.

Ooh look, you can see That's Not My Age Mansions from up here.

And when we were finally on our way down, we spotted some very brave men...

Hope you're enjoying the weekend.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Effortless Style

One of my favourite trends for spring is the slouchy, relaxed look that popped up on the catwalks at Céline and Stella McCartney. As I'm a poor journalist with a purse full of receipts, not cash, I'll be buying my version from Winser London. This new luxury website launches today and founder Kim Winser has cut out the middle man, to bring quality clothes at reasonable prices. These things matter as you get older. Yasmin Le Bon sums things up nicely in an interview on the site:

'It's really important to enjoy the different phases you're going through.  I think the older you get the more you start looking at detail, you just can’t help it, it is about the cut and fit.The way something makes you feel starts to become more and more important, the quality of beautiful fabrics makes a real difference. These things become very important and they make me feel different, they make me hold my body in a different way.'

I've written a piece on this new British brand for the FT's How To Spend It blog, check it out here.

 Winser London launches today.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Casual Glamour: Michelle Obama

Photo: Huffington Post

By shaking up the stuffy style rules and wearing what she loves – bold colours, a fit-and-flare dress, flat shoes – Michelle Obama has shown us a more modern, more relaxed way of dressing. She’s brought Casual Glamour to the masses. So, when the lovely people at Boden asked me to write about my favourite grown-up style icons, I didn’t hesitate. MObama was top of the list: My First Lady.

Photo: Pete Souza

I like the Jason Wu two tone frock Mrs O wore at the State of the Union Address (top), do you?

Read the full post here.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Fashion Bin: sleeveless jackets

Giambattista Valli. Photo:

What is it with sleeveless jackets? The trend that seems to make an unwelcome appearance every year, a bit like Norovirus. Don't think I haven't noticed this half-baked concept is back for spring 2013, and if I'm not mistaken, it'll still be with us next winter. Thank you, Victoria Beckham...

Photo: Elle

I very rarely rehash old posts, but this really does need reiterating. So. Here's something I prepared earlier:

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 isn't that super, if you ask me. 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. In fact, I don't think I've seen anyone in a sleeveless jacket since the 1980s, no matter how hard designers try to foist them upon us. And that's because they are unnecessary 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. Or turn my biceps numb in winter. Whether it's vintage Gaultier, 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:

Is there anything you'd like to fling into the Fashion Bin?

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Age: a state of mind

Kim Gordon: Tumblr

Let's hear it for Sonic Youth bass player/artist/producer Kim Gordon, who according to Opening Ceremony's Facebook page was 'killing it' at Chloe Sevigny's New York Fashion Week presentation, yesterday.

Kim Killing It.

Perhaps that sign should say 'The agony of hot pants'. Here's another closer-up photo of Gordon (60 this April) in action. She rocks.

One of the main aims of That's Not My Age is to feature inspirational people over the age of 40 and beyond. To look forward not back. Young hipsters get enough attention, anyway. So. It's been a good week for older women. Did you see Ari Seth Cohen's Advanced Style ladies in the latest ad campaign for Karen Walker sunglasses? Fantastic. My favourite images are of 64-year-old stylist and Pinterest pin-up, Linda Rodin.

And the other day, the New York Times featured Vicki Topaz's beautiful photographs of grey-haired women, currently on display at the Buck Institute, Marin County. And on her blog Silver: a State of Mind. Read all about the project here.

Meet 63-year-old artist and writer Grace Lehman, ' I never dyed my gray hair. I never associated it with age. I always associated it with the art of being.'

Old is the new young, people.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Style Confidence

I've been thinking a lot about Style Confidence this week. What it is that makes us feel self-assured about our look, and so on. For me, confidence comes from having a uniform of tried-and-trusted basics - usually a pair of slim-not-skinny jeans, a tailored jacket and mannish shoes. Yes, mannish shoes, not five-inch stiletto heels, does anyone actually wear shoes like this in real life? And I think this approach applies to most grown-up women (which is why the Winser London post below received such positive comments). I want to look modern and chic and to stand-out for the right reasons. So part of the outfit should be cutting edge, but not ridiculous. Which brings me onto this Markus Lupfer Lips Jumper (MLLJ) from Fenwick's fantastic new spring collection. It's a brilliant stand-out piece, I know because I've been in-store to view it more times than is absolutely healthy. Though being designer merch, the MLLJ is a bit pricey, so Mr That's Not My Age has suggested I wear one of his old Rolling Stones t-shirts instead. But you know how I feel about tour t-shirts beyond a certain age. Maybe I'll opt for a fresh new shirt and boyfriend jeans instead. Anyone made the transition to slouchier denim yet?

Shirt by Dagmar from Fenwick.

How Style Confident are you?

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Ageless Style: Winser London

Kim Winser only had to utter the words 'crease-free' and I was sold (when Mr TNMA moved in, he couldn't believe I didn't own an ironing board, but that's another story). Well, that and the beautiful fabrics, simple design and excellent cut of her chic basics. Recognizing that grown-ups want easy elegance, the 53-year-old has created a new online luxury brand, Winser London. With an OBE for her contribution to British fashion and an impressive track record: stints as CEO of Pringle of Scotland and Global President and CEO of Aquascutum, Winser has a good business head on her shoulders. She's the real deal. And she's got Yasmin Le Bon modelling her first collection.

At our meeting, Winser, who as well as being a top fashion executive, is friendly and down-to-earth,  was wearing the slinky wide leg trousers (double layered to give a more streamlined silhouette) and a slouchy cashmere sweater. Her colleague had on a gorgeous silk shirt and stretch pants. Two completely different body shapes, both looked effortlessly stylish. And surely that's what grown-up women want?

Winser London launches of February 15. Prices start at £35 and go up to £350. The Winser trench is £250.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

The 2013 Oscars, in short.

Emmanuelle Riva in Amour.

I do like this pre-Oscars time of year, when all the big films are out. Me and Mr That's Not My Age have been to the cinema quite a lot over the past few weeks, and last night, finally got round to seeing Michael Haneke's Amour. Which is superb. I seriously hope it wins an award or two. Rather than giving you a wordy report, here are my Twitter-inspired, 140-character film reviews:

Amour: poignant look at ageing & death. Wonderful acting. Set in gorgeous Parisian apt. Could be a play. Cried. Couldn't speak afterwards.

Life of Pi: loved this. Beautifully done. Better than the book. Had to watch in 2-D so I didn't get seasick.

Argo: brilliant film, still can't believe it's a true story. Ben Affleck is a very fine director, he looks better with shaggy hair & beard.

Zero Dark Thirty: remembered half way through that I don't like war films. And am not interested in who murdered Bin Laden. Sorry Kathryn.

Silver Linings Playbook: both Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper are fab. Very watchable. Uplifting film - though the ending's a bit corny.

Not sure we'll get round to Les Mis and Django Unchained - why all of a sudden is it de riguer for films to be two and a half hours long? Though having said that, Lincoln is next on our list. And I'm a big Daniel Day Lewis fan.

Top scarf action.

And your nomination for Best Picture is....

Friday, 1 February 2013

Comfy shoes for men: FitFlops

I've told you about Mr That's Not My Age's love of a comfy shoe before. But even though he likes comfortable footwear, the Blog Widower is not a trainer man. In fact, most men I know - and to be honest that's not very many - wear proper footwear and not sports shoes, off-duty. As part of my in-depth investigative research for this post, I asked the Blog Widower why this is, 'I made a conscious decision to stop wearing trainers when I stopped going to football and started going out to pubs and clubs,' he said, 'That's what teenagers wore. And anyway I like to to keep trainers for running, and shoes for everything else.'

Compartmentalizing footwear (and other things) seems to be quite a common phenomenon amongst men of a certain age. Manhattan Brother is the same. In fact, for the owner of some very smart business footwear, he is seriously lacking in the casual shoe department. 'I hate buying shoes,' MB declared on our recent visit, when he spent an entire weekend wandering around the city in a pair of knackered old black leather boots with the sole hanging off and no intention of replacing them. The problem appears to be a combination of fear of the new and being stuck in a bit of a style rut. Manhattan Brother won't thank me for this but... the old sole-flappers are very similar to the kind of thing he was wearing as a student, and, apart from the fact that suede winkle-pickers are now off the menu, Mr That's Not My Age tends to stick to a particular style too.

So. There's definitely room for a low-key comfy shoe that looks like a shoe and not like a big fat sneaker. Bring on FitFlop for men. They have the same ergonomic design as the women's collection: the Microwobbleboard sole absorbs shock and works certain leg muscles. But you know all about that already - and anyone who's had a sports injury knows the importance of a wobble board - so I won't go on. Perfect for the middle-aged man who likes pounding the streets and can no longer last 90-minutes. Don't you think?

This post is sponsored by FitFlop - but I have to say that both the IKE boot chocolate and FF SUPERTONE slate grey shoe are reduced in the sale and I'm thinking of persuading Mr TNMA to order them. Telling him that they're ergonomically engineered should do the trick.

There is a Free Shipping Code: FFBLOG3 especially for you! Valid until midnight on Saturday 2 February.