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Her Outdoors: Wasabi and chips, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Wasabi and chips

Even though they take up a lot of space on the allotment, I wouldn’t stop growing potatoes each year for two reasons – first, because the taste is so much better than shop-bought, and second, because they are prolific. Potatoes do need a lot of compost for earthing up, but this just takes some planning [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Tuesday, 24 March 2015 at 8:45 pm

Dior and I: an artful argument for a new couture, Fashion

Dior and I: an artful argument for a new couture

It’s really difficult to get fashion on film right – because it means so much to the people who love it, and is worthless to those who loathe it. Nothing will change those points of view – not extolling the hours of work poured into intricate clothes, not bandying about awe-inspiring figures about fashion house turnovers, not filming seamstresses weeping with emotion as their work is showcased, or possibly ripped to pieces. I personally fall into the former camp, so no matter how much you question the worth versus the cost or roll your eyes with puritan disgust at the vanity of it all, I won’t be swayed.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Monday, 23 March 2015 at 7:22 pm

Her Outdoors: Sowing outdoors, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Sowing outdoors

Yes, spring is stalling and all that warmth we had earlier this month has been replaced by chilly air. But nevertheless, when I put my soil thermometer into my beds this week it read 9.5 C – warm enough to start sowing seeds direct. Woohoo!
I spent four hours at Plot 35a on Monday, and it [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Tuesday, 17 March 2015 at 10:35 pm

In Paris, food for thought at Miu Miu, Alexander McQueen and – maybe – Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane, Fashion

In Paris, food for thought at Miu Miu, Alexander McQueen and – maybe – Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane

Prada’s Miu Miu label have commissioned an ongoing series of film shorts, titled “Women’s Tales”, by leading female filmmakers. The latest is by Alice Rohrwacher. It’s number 9. The intention, Miu Miu say, in the lavish literature that’s issued out with each, is to answer a few timeless questions. “How do women appear to themselves? How do they appear to each other? Isn’t appearance also a political and intellectual issue? How should a woman be today?”

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Thursday, 12 March 2015 at 7:21 pm

Her Outdoors: Planting onions and sowing tender veg, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Planting onions and sowing tender veg

Temperatures were as high as 17C last Saturday, and – even though I was at work writing about the election TV debates – I thought of how the spring sunshine would be warming the soil on Plot 35a. When I got down there yesterday, there were signs that the warmth has, like a thermostat, clicked [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Tuesday, 10 March 2015 at 11:13 pm

Perceiving the new, in Paris, at Comme des Garçons, Nina Ricci, Chloe and Givenchy, Fashion

Perceiving the new, in Paris, at Comme des Garçons, Nina Ricci, Chloe and Givenchy

I thought of “The Dress” when I was watching Comme Des Garçons. Please don’t kill me, especially for the sort of viral, meme-y, pop culture moment reference I myself detest. But the social media furore over The Dress was around the viewer’s perception of the garment, and that’s always the case with Rei Kawakubo’s clothes. Her garments are often like Rorschach’s blots, both in their ambiguous, amorphous physicality, and in the fact they rely on the viewer to decipher their meaning.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Monday, 9 March 2015 at 2:42 pm

Cross-dressing and climate change, Game of Thrones and seventeenth-century underwear – an audience (sort of) with Dame Vivienne Westwood, Fashion

Cross-dressing and climate change, Game of Thrones and seventeenth-century underwear – an audience (sort of) with Dame Vivienne Westwood

At 73, Dame Vivienne Westwood is one of the most important fashion designers in the world. Born in Tintwistle and moving to London as a teenager, her work in the seventies with Malcolm McLaren influenced both the punk and New Romantic movements, shifting fashion and popular culture. Her designs under her own label, from 1984 onwards, proved equally influential across the sphere of fashion. Since the late 1980s, she has designed collections in partnership with Andreas Kronthaler, 48, who is creative director of the four labels currently produced by the Westwood company. Westwood and Kronthaler married in 1993. Her most recent work reflects her passion for ecological issues, fusing them with historical references.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Saturday, 7 March 2015 at 10:22 pm

Junya Watanabe and Balenciaga round it out, in Paris, Fashion

Junya Watanabe and Balenciaga round it out, in Paris

Context does a lot for fashion. I’m not just talking about the world outside the tent, or salon, or wherever designers have positioned their gilt chairs for this season, but about what other designers are showing in their salon/garage/specially-erected plexiglass cube (depends on budget). Of course, part of the dance of fashion is solipsism. Or maybe megalomania. It’s rare you see designers at each others’ shows: Tim Blanks and the team of style.com were trying to interview Joseph Altuzarra, attending the Balenciaga show designed by his friend Alexander Wang, but were constantly interrupted by well-wishers. Most said something along the lines of “I didn’t expect to see you here!”

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Saturday, 7 March 2015 at 12:57 pm

Her Outdoors: Winter into spring, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Winter into spring

My daughter reckons March is called as such because “you spend the whole month marching” and when it comes to the allotment I think she’s right: after the steady pace of winter, suddenly spring is upon us and it gets really busy. Once soil temperatures rise to the magic 7 degrees C you can sow [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Wednesday, 4 March 2015 at 7:28 pm

Zac Posen reviving Charles James: too close a fit, perhaps leaves little room for growth, Fashion

Zac Posen reviving Charles James: too close a fit, perhaps leaves little room for growth

So Zac Posen – largely known as purveyor of expansive, expensive ballgowns – is reputed to be helming Harvey Weinstein’s revival of the Charles James label – largely known for its expansive, expensive ball gowns. The perfect fit, right? Well, certainly a close fit. There’s a synchronicity between Posen’s output and that of James that has frequently been highlighted. He was the obvious choice to discuss the designer around the Metropolitan Museum show “Beyond Fashion.” He did so at the Met itself, with exhibition co-curator Jan Glier Reeder, as well as in an avalanche of articles (including one for me). He’s also the obvious choice to revive the label. Doesn’t mean he’s the best choice, though.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Tuesday, 3 March 2015 at 2:43 pm

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