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Her Outdoors: Time to plant a fruit tree, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Time to plant a fruit tree

Every allotment needs fruit  bushes and trees. Compared to vegetables, fruit is fairly low maintenance – once you sort out the pruning, nourishing with well-rotted manure and netting your harvest to keep the birds off.
I got my first allotment nearly four years ago – actually, about a week before I gave birth to my daughter. [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Tuesday, 18 February 2014 at 10:38 pm

Riff versus rip-off: Tom Ford, Christopher Kane and Mary Katrantzou shine in London, Fashion

Riff versus rip-off: Tom Ford, Christopher Kane and Mary Katrantzou shine in London

Referencing is an odd thing in fashion. After all, there’s virtually nothing that hasn’t been done before when it comes to clothes. It shows: in London, we saw heavy homage paid – read: rip-offs made – to Yohji Yamamoto, Jean Paul Gaultier, John Galliano, and even Valentino. The latter is a sure-fire commercial hit. The former are the latest mood to seize designers, and the all-important stylists who help them pull their collections together. They pull together quite a few collections. Which is perhaps why the results often end up looking old hat. It’s difficult not to start playing fashion train-spotter, trying to pin the collections and editorials down that designers have been referencing. It’s difficult not to the point the finger, to shout it out.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Tuesday, 18 February 2014 at 10:18 am

A cow’s life doesn’t have to end on a dinner plate, Opinion

A cow’s life doesn’t have to end on a dinner plate

DEFRA figures state that in October 158,000 cows were slaughtered in Britain. Let’s not pretend their end was anything but grizzly, terrifying and miserable – but things don’t need to be this way.

By | Opinion | Monday, 17 February 2014 at 6:07 pm

Her Outdoors: High on horseradish, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: High on horseradish

The other day, while covering the Wythenshawe by-election, I went to visit my friend Kate, who lives in Manchester with her husband Mike and their two sons. I took the traditional bottle of wine as a gift, but also, stuffed in my overnight bag, was a knobbly root of horseradish, freshly yanked out of my [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Saturday, 15 February 2014 at 7:37 pm

Ibet: Looming Champions League Games Could Influence FA Cup Ties, Notebook

Ibet: Looming Champions League Games Could Influence FA Cup Ties

There are a couple of mouthwatering FA Cup clashes over the weekend, both with interesting sub-plots.

By | Notebook | Saturday, 15 February 2014 at 12:00 am

Her Outdoors: Divide and rule, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Divide and rule

During winter, I have a habit of staring at the blank canvas of soil on many of my allotment beds, peering closely to see if anything is growing.

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Thursday, 13 February 2014 at 8:57 pm

New York fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2014: Marc by Marc Jacobs, by Katie Hillier and Luella Bartley, Fashion

New York fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2014: Marc by Marc Jacobs, by Katie Hillier and Luella Bartley

This season it’s all change at Marc by Marc Jacobs – a name that, incidentally, may be being jettisoned, according to a recent interview with Jacobs himself. Maybe that’s because Marc by Marc Jacobs isn’t by Marc Jacobs anymore. It’s by a British twosome, Katie Hillier and Luella Bartley, creative director and head designer respectively, who were brought on to grab MBMJ by the scruff of its honestly-rather-dull neck and give it a bit of a shake-up.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Tuesday, 11 February 2014 at 11:21 pm

The Scott Expedition: The final steps, Notebook

The Scott Expedition: The final steps

Ben and Tarka officially made the first completion of Scott’s iconic 1,795 mile Terra Nova route from the very coast of Antarctica to the South Pole and back.

By | Notebook | Tuesday, 11 February 2014 at 4:07 pm

Diverse diversions, from Hood by Air and DKNY, Fashion

Diverse diversions, from Hood by Air and DKNY

Lack of diversity and unrealistic portrayals of women (and men) in fashion are the go-to criticisms levied on the industry. The highest echelons of fashion, sadly, don’t care to respond and when they do, it’s often mere tokenism or poor taste (the “Vogue Black” section of the Vogue Italia website, whilst doubtless well-meaning, is one high-profile example).

New York, with its rich history of welcoming immigrants from the world over, might seem like the perfect setting to bring diversity in fashion to the forefront. Trouble is, the industry here is ruled by status quo – going too far off-piste might jeopardise the all-important bottom line. And we don’t need Martin Scorsese’s Wolf of Wall Street to tell us that this is a city that is almost defined by its bottom line.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Tuesday, 11 February 2014 at 2:15 pm

Her Outdoors: Planting peas, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Planting peas

In October I sowed some peas (for podding this time, not shoots) in root-trainers – which are great because each root-trainer set contains 32 cells, a lot in a small space, and they encourage longer roots. They are perfect for peas, broad beans and sweet peas which love the length to stretch their legs. I [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Tuesday, 11 February 2014 at 10:54 am

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