Festive ideas full of colour

As I sit here, nine months pregnant, covered in chicken pox and nursing an accompanying cold, my thoughts have wandered into the realms of Christmas gifts. I’m yet to begin shopping for others and my own “needs” pale into insignificance against our priorities for the approaching little one…but many people have asked for ideas for their loved ones. I’ve tried to compile a list, with the brief of, “most females I know” in mind. I would love you to add your own ideas in the comments section as this would be most helpful for the readers that are searching for that often elusive special gift.

The List:
In my collage, right to left:
The Stephen Sprouse Book by Roger Padilha – The spine alone would look great on any bookshelf
i-D The Covers 1980-2010 by Terry Jones – See all the iconic cover stars in one place
Nick Knight by Nick Knight – A collection of his intoxicating photography
Olympus Pen Camera in white – A functional, yet beautiful piece of photographic equipment
Kiehl’s Crème de Corps by Jeff Koons – If you’re a fan of this luxuriant body lotion, treat yourself to this limited edition bottle
American Apparel’s Chiffon Skirt – I’m personally a fan of the cobalt blue and the port
Topshop leather stud fringe bag – I thought I was over the stud trend but this sucked me right back in
Richard Nicoll’s Linder Sterling face print dress – Spare £410? A perfect “investment” piece
Stella McCartney Paris tourist brief – A luxury piece of underwear gains many browny points

Not pictured:
Henry Holland Paris tights – Do you notice a recurring city theme?
Topshop shirt and shorts combo (must be worn together)
Uniqlo Merino Cashmere Crew Neck Sweater – The perfect warming layer
t.b.a. Pom-Pom dress – Anything by t.b.a. will actually do
ASOS floral leaf playsuit – cute and functional
Zara floorlength marl dress – Perfect for layering (see Uniqlo sweater above)
Topshop skeleton leaf maxi skirt with their antique embellished collar
Louise Gray silk dress – Spare change after splurging £410 on the Richard Nicoll? Then this is a must have.

There are so many more coffee table books I could add and I’m aware my list is severely lacking jewels, art, shoes and perfumes, which always seem a little more personal. PLEASE add any of your suggestions in the comments box; think of it as charitable Christmas advice for others. I hope these little personal glimpses may offer some inspiration. I treated my iPhone to a little gift today from Liberty of London, a little red sleeve in its eponymous print (see the whole gorgeous range here)

Lips, Linder and Nicoll

Linder Sterling is a true hero of mine. Her montage work is inspirational and of course influences my little collages (I’m too much in awe to ever use her famously bold red lips as comparisons would be a little too obvious.) The artist herself best describes her beginnings on this video for the TATE.

Miss. Sterling’s work came to my attention in the seminal 303rd edition of i-D Magazine. Her collaborative work with photographer extraordinaire, Tim Walker, showed a side of her work that blew me away and put Linder in the spotlight as a model. This week, a Vice Style video featuring Alexander Fury of SHOWstudio, highlighted a covetous print from Linder’s association with Richard Nicoll.  After some probing on Twitter, Mr. Fury tells me that it’s a framed show ticket from Richard Nicoll’s Autumn/Winter ’10 collection, which unfortunately I didn’t get an invite to (if anyone would like to donate their ticket, please get in touch!)

Owning an actual piece of Linder’s still eludes me. I’d adore any of her designs with Nicoll (see my Net-a-Porter Chrimbo list!) but would obviously covet more a piece of her art. Linder continues to push the boundaries, again with Richard Nicoll, in their recent work for the House of Voltaire. Look closely here, yet with caution, at how boundaries are still being pushed 4 decades on. So here endeth a post filled with utter adoration and appreciation. The day a piece of Linder Sterling’s work enters my humble abode, expect an even more gushing rant of excitement!


Things I have realised over the last few months:

1. Pregnancy changes everything; from general perspectives to challenges, right down to mundane tasks. Priorities inevitably change as life’s already not just about you anymore.
2. Women-folk treat you COMPLETELY differently*. A bump seemingly means you are no longer a potential threat. You are a nurturer, a life giver and a reassuring presence. (*based on current treatment from previously contemptuous shop-assistants)
3. I suddenly want to be a Margot.

Let me explain number 3. Fashion during pregnancy can unavoidably become about functionality. The desire to feel comfortable is a practical one, allowing little bump to grow freely. The swaths of high-waisted, sumptuous (and fitted) camel pieces are removed from your radar. Beautifully neat buttoned-up blouses and loose shorts offer only a Pinky and Perky appeal (see here) This is not a rant or a moan, just a sheer matter of fact. I have been blessed with a comfortable, very happy, healthy pregnancy in which my stylistic approach had to change. So, back to Margot! As I enter my 9th month, I suddenly feel a huge urge to dress opulently and extravagantly, a desire I have never before felt. I usually shun the over dramatic formalities of fashion but as I sit here blogging in PJs all of the styles above, demonstrated by the various Margots, spark off a flicker of envy. I want perfect hair, heavy make-up and a 70’s nonchalance that only a Margot (albeit at times a character) can achieve.

Featured Margots:

1. Mrs. Leadbetter: Champion of the British sitcom The Good Life, Margot seemingly effortlessly dressed in dramatic fashion on a daily basis. My usual go-to look is more akin to that of Margot’s earthy neighbour Barbara but these final stages of pregnancy seem to have changed that. Margot Leadbetter wore kaftans and turbans, headscarves, playsuits and corsages as part of her functional wardrobe; opulently delicious.

2. Miss. Tenenbaum: Do not fear, I haven’t been drawn to real furs but the uncompromising way in which Margot wears her lavish fur, coupled with charcoal stained eyes, offers a look extraordinaire. In my mind I want to expand it further, adding a slather of deep red lipstick.

3. Miss. Fonteyn: I have no aspirations to take up ballet but the inane elegance of prima ballerina Margot Fonteyn is quite infatuating. Her grace, coupled with the intricate costumes her roles required, fill the current void of refinement in my style.

So, Margot is my inspiration. Giving birth within the next few weeks will no doubt change my style muses once again as the practicalities of parenthood take full hold. But it is nice to aspire to something unobtainable, to envy ostensible perfection from afar. By next summer, who knows stylistically where my heart will be and what actual look I’ll gravitate towards as a Mum. For now, this winter, it’s firmly with Margot…if only in my head!

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