This Blood Sweat Sequins sweatshirt from Bow & Drape is one of my favourite new pieces. I ordered it as an experiment, because I’ve been thinking about creating a line of customisable shirts and sweaters myself. I wanted to see how Bow and Drape dealt with the engineering issue of attaching letters to fabric (short answer: glue, rather than stitching). Mixing words and fashion combines two of my favourite things, but I find most slogan tops so boring. ‘J’adore.’ ‘La Vie en Rose.’ ‘Love.’ Where’s the humour? Where’s the creativity? Where is the statement? You’ve got prime real estate and that’s all you have to say to the world? I don’t think so! Not long ago I ran across Lingua Franca on Instagram and said, “WAIT! That’s my idea, I wanted to do that!” The slogans are good, but the homespun embroidery and font doesn’t appeal to me at all (neither does the $380 price tag). Bow & Drape has a small range of colours, and I can choose my OWN slogan rather than something that sells to the masses. They mostly do slogans around tacos, pizza, guacamole, and doughnuts. Fine, but I don’t feel so strongly about any of those things that I need to broadcast it. I think I could do something even better (more colour options and in cashmere for starters), I’m just not sure I have the time in my day to devote to making it work. Still, the irony of getting something off your chest by putting it ON your chest appeals to me.
Anyway, here is my custom sweatshirt. I’d do a sleeved one next time; I thought this one might work under a blazer. It doesn’t. From the description on their website, I expected it to be more fitted. I’m wearing it with a beloved and old sequin striped skirt which you’ve seen before, ridiculously comfortable Lotus shoes which you’ve also seen before, Hermes accessories which you’ve seen before, and my favourite Miu Miu sunglasses (which I’m thrilled to say I’ve just tracked down second-hand in red glitter after years of online stalking!). We photographed this near All Saints Road, one of my favourite areas of London. It was horrible when I first lived in London in 2001 (full of crack, hookers, and crime) but is now awash in amazing designer stores and coffee shops. The fact that this house matches my skirt so well is entirely coincidental; like many of my backgrounds, they just seem to happen.
The rest of today’s post is a bit of a mash up. None of the issues are big enough for a separate blog post, but they’re all things I want to tell you about. Here’s what’s happening lately:
Sesame Street neighbourhood vibes
Last week I found out that I didn’t make it to the next round of the short story contest I entered earlier this year (I mentioned it here). I didn’t expect to win it by any means, but I thought I’d at least make it past the first cut… definitely not the second. I entered it as an exercise, the same way I’d enter a marathon– never coming close to winning, but getting a lot of benefit from the training. And I did benefit; I learned a lot, mostly about myself. It was interesting to be so focused and sequestered in my ‘writing cave’ for a week. I didn’t enjoy my writing brief at all though. I had to write a romance (complete with ’emotionally satisfying ending’), one of the central characters had to be a locksmith, and there had to be an invitation worked into the storyline. I enjoyed the mental gymnastics– the wrestling and occasionally the dancing with words on a page. I might enter the contest again next year and cross my fingers for a better assignment. Or maybe at some point I will stop faffing about with writing contests and just write a damn book (which will definitely not include a locksmith)!
Speaking of contests, as I type this I’m waiting to hear the results of the UK Blog Awards contest. I was short-listed in the fashion category back in December; April 12 is the announcement evening. I’m thrilled to have been short-listed because that makes me eligible for some expert advice on the technical side of blogging, which I could definitely use.
My son has three weeks out of school for Easter, so my posting schedule is umm, erratic. The next few posts may not be outfits (as I picture him running around me in circles on London streets while we try to take photos). I do have other topics I want to cover on the blog. One is going to be The Sequinist’s Guide to London; my favourite places (food, jewellery, hats, clothes, etc) that you’d never find out about unless you live here. You can imagine how many times I get asked for recommendations, so I’m going to put it all into one post and update it every few months, just like my Paris one.
Also, I am going to get back to some makeup posts and my ‘Five Favourite Things’ videos soon. My makeup and skincare routine is by far the most requested topic from readers, and I apologise for taking so long to address it. The house next door to us has been undergoing a total renovation for over a year. The noise makes videos impossible, and makeup is one thing where you really need to see a video rather than have me describe it. I dearly hope the builders soon progress to quieter work like painting and wallpapering!
Yesterday, I went to the press viewing for the Winser London Autumn/Winter collection for 2019, which will be online in August. Just when I think I can’t possibly love that brand more, they surprise me, and I fall a little harder. In my opinion, this collection is the best they’ve ever done. The colour range has broadened (their warm cinnamon brown knits are first on my wish list– a colour that works surprisingly well on me as I learned from Red Leopard). Also, they are doing a winter version of those very long side-split coats that sold out for spring (I wore a yellow one here), but in fine-gauge merino wool and in a rainbow of colours; I want every. single. one. The Gillian Anderson collection has funky new cashmere jumpers and the dreamiest pink alpaca wool coat. There is a cowl-necked, side-split, ankle-length, sleeveless poncho column (I can’t think of any other way to describe it) made of recycled cashmere. It is pure genius. I’ve never seen anything like it, and I want it. There is a brown Harris tweed herringbone coat which I looked for all last winter (with a fine blue stripe in it, perfect with denim) that is so chic it is almost painful. There are lots of new additions to their workwear range (a long pencil skirt and elegant flowing trousers with a matching tailored jacket in olive green almost makes me want to work in a bank again). There are face flattering funnel-neck jumpers in bright colours. There is the perfect chunky knit cream sweater for weekends. I’m going to stop now, but let’s just say I can’t wait to fast forward through summer clothes (my least favourite season) and dive into the sea of Winser London’s AW2019.