Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Wherefore Art Thou, NES?!

I know, I know! I've been very quiet lately but that's because Actual Work has crept in to steal my time away from you and the shoes. Rest assured though that I have been researching for future posts and for some other projects that I'll tell you about as and when they happen.

In the meantime why not check out some of my favourite blogs listed to your right (if it helps, you can imagine the flight attendant arm motion) to help keep you entertained.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Britain's Next Top Model: Walking Is Still An Issue And It Is Proven That Luxury Sports Cars Are Only For Men In A Mid Life Crisis

Ah BNTM. You're boring me. I'm sorry, but it's true. So far it has been one long stream of meh and bad posture. So much so that when my mum phoned in the middle I didn't really mind that I was paying more attention to her than you even though I'd normally tell her I'd phone her back. Apologies then if this is a bit all over the place.

Episode 4 and they finally had to do some close ups in a shoot for Jai Kudo glasses. Their brief was to unleash their inner Fierce! which some took to with aplomb, going for the full on "argh!" scream at the photographer. Some internalised it and predictably fell flat.

For some reason, there were three shoots this week and the next (which may have been the first) was for ASOS.com and a bit of a walking and styling exercise at the same time. The girls were given a rail of clothes and told to pick something that represented their style. Then of course, stand up straight and pose.

Miracle of miracles!! Aaron finally realised that her posture sucks monkey ass. At least she recognised it. Still didn't stop her from slouching into hunchback mode though. The most "ASOS-y" of the shots were from Charlotte, Rachael, Lauren and Stephanie. Then came some more walking and they all sucked. Someone won something I think. I'm not sure. Nor do I care.

I didn't catch who the final shoot was for but it involved sports cars that only men in the throes of a mid-life crisis and penis anxiety buy. Turns out the client was Max Mara for their SportMax diffusion line. No, I don't associate SportMax with fast cars either.

Obviously the twist, as Gerry delightfully informed them, was to get out of the car in a pretty dress while avoiding the Britney/Paris/LiLo/random Young Hollywood actress wannabe upskirt no pants shot. Given that this bunch are as co-ordinated as.... something that's not very co-ordinated, this proved to be an issue.

Gerry seemed to want to curl up and die while the delightfully suave Giorgio Guidotti from Max Mara seemed perplexed that he'd been given a such a motley crew to cast from. Rachael impressed him and got kisses. Poor Aaron got a flat out "Thank you but NO! I would NEVER book this girl!" (that's pretty much verbatim).

At judging, it was revealed that Charlotte had impressed the glasses people so much, they were actually going to book her to do actual proper work. Lisa was delighted and probably squeed a bit. Gerry and Huggy looked astounded.

The judging was on the SportMax shoot though and the photos were universally awful. Lisa was so surprised she questioned hair and makeup, the lighting and even the photographer. Sweets, could it just be that they really are that bad? None of them seem to have any awareness about their face or body. That's possibly an important thing to be aware of if you're a model n'est-ce pas?

The best out of a bad bunch was Charlotte again. Gerry wanted to send everyone home again and Huggy said some nasty things in Icelandic. Huggy got her wish though and Lauren was sent home even though she'd been practising at not being cross eyed. To be fair she wasn't cross eyed, just cross.

And thus it ended. Apparently next week, everyone agrees with me and dislikes Aaron and some other stuff happens.

To end on a positive, I LOVE Gerry. He's like a perfect mix of Nigel Barker sexiness and Janice bitchiness with Miz Jay casual scorn. There needs to be more of him.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Shoe Of The Day

Yesterday I mentioned that Topshop are good at doing casual trainer type shoes that can also be a bit glam. Typically when I looked online to find such an example, there were none apart from these!

But very lovely they are! Polka dot spots are always a good thing in my book - there's just something about them that's inherently retro. These satin pumps would look best with a full circle skirt and, considering how pricey the clothes have become, are a very reasonable £15. They also come in canvas if you want a less girly option.

Tempo spot lace up pump, £15 at Topshop

Monday, 12 May 2008

Shoe Of The Day

Continuing the trainer theme, today's offering straddles the trainer/shoe divide and proves that you can have springy comfort and a casually dressy shoe all rolled into one. Faith do these very well indeed, as do Topshop (more on that tomorrow).

I love the very pale gold of this - it would work fantastically with a tan, skirt, dress, cropped trousers, everything. I'm not so keen on the silver - I think that it's a little bit harsh for what is essentially a summer shoe.

£15 is a pretty price too. Online and instore.

Pssst! I Have That Secret Too!

I'm completely addicted to PostSecret.

That's not the secret. The secret is that I too think "Would The Sartorialist photograph me wearing this?" when I get dressed in the morning. When I saw that I was glad that it wasn't just me!

I am completely addicted to The Sartorialist too. That's not a secret.

Friday, 9 May 2008

Shoe Of The Day

Still on the trainer theme, you can't go wrong with a pair of DCs. Skate trainers work best under low slung boyfriend jeans and are so damn comfy you may regret going back to heels.

There's a seemingly endless combination of colours and patterns so it's a case of trawling through until you find one that suits you best. Or two. Or three...

These ones are $60 at Zappos. If your local skate shop doesn't have them, ask sweetly if they'll get a pair in for you.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

How To Get Round The "Sorry We Currently Do Not Ship Outside America" Nonsense

Ah America. Home to many good things, many bad things and some damn frustrating things. Namely the FAQ "Do you ship internationally?" and the FA "Sorry but we currently do not ship outside the United States and Territories."

There's nothing more frustrating than seeing that when you're itching to take advantage of the cheap dollar and have finally found the perfect dress/shoes/whatever. There are ways around it though.

I've decided to write this as I'm aware that I feature a lot of shoes on US sites and it can be very frustrating to learn that in the age of a global economy, The Rest Of The World doesn't seem to matter or exist.

Option 1 - eBay.com
The US eBay site should be your first stop when looking for stuff you just can't get here. Not only is it likely you'll save on the retail price anyway, the current dollar position means that's even more favourable. Most sellers will ship internationally if you ask them should they not already state they do. As a rule, should be between $11 to $30 depending on the item and the method of shipping. That's still only around £5 to £15 which is pretty good going. For example, I recently won a BCBG Max Azria dress which cost £26 including shipping. RRP? $380 or around £195.

Option 2 - get a US postal address
This is fairly straightforward yet remains something that people just don't seem to know about. I have my US address with Access USA. Most places offer a month by month subscription or a yearly subscription. If you can team up with some people, share the cost of a yearly subscription and shop en masse. They also offer personal shopper services for sites which don't accept international credit cards. Obviously there is a charge for this but even so still works out cheaper than buying here. I use it to raid Sephora and save around a third on all products - great given that I love Benefit and Clinique!

Most sites will accept international cards if you can provide them with ID. Yes, it's a bit of a hassle but worth it in the end.

Option 3 - There are US sites that ship internationally!
You just have to find them! Threadless, Delia's and Pin Up Girl are my personal favourites but the number is growing. Bookmark all your favourite sites and keep checking to see if they've changed their shipping policy. I've found that many that I've emailed have replied saying that they will be doing international shipping "soon" - whenever that may be!

Legal time - be aware that anything that gets shipped to you from anywhere abroad is subject to Customs charges which can be a complete headache to understand. It's always worth factoring this element in to any shopping you do. For proper info on this, head to the HMRC site which gives a good explanation once you've got your head round it!

Shoe Of The Day

For saying that I spend a good proportion of my time in trainers, I thought it was about time to have a few as Shoe Of The Day. So for one week, trainers it is!

To start us off, classics with a twist. Converse Chuck Taylor Hi-tops are essential. Preferably in every colour known to man but especially red, pink and green. These are perfect for summer with a butterfly pattern (huzzah! more stuff with butterflies on for me to covet!) - they'd look suitably cool with shorts or a dress. Yep, I wear my Cons with dresses and I was doing it way before Lily Allen even thought of it!

$47 from Zappos or around £40 in store at Office.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Britain's Next Top Model: Where The Ability To Walk In Heels Is Actually Quite Important And Getting Your Hair Cut Is Literally Traumatic...

I had to wait for the third repeat of Episode 2 of BNTM last week and while I kinda wish I hadn't, I'm kinda glad I did. If the opening salvo had me shouting in frustration, lord knows what happened to my blood pressure during this one.

As any fule kno, being able to walk is A Big Deal when it comes to being a model. Sure, everyone can walk - the regular one foot in front of the other schtick - but model walking? That's different. You can't go too fast or too slow. You have to do a weird kinda pony trot but not actually trot or look like your legs are moving in an unnatural way. You Have To Stand Up STRAIGHT! Then there's the pose'n'turn and a whole heap of other things to think about. The other thing you have to do is be able to walk in heels.

You'd think that aspiring wannabes would realise this wouldn't you? Apparently not. Leanne (who's actually my favourite) admitted that she didn't really wear heels and couldn't walk in them. Being given disco shoes by the genius Terry deHavilland wouldn't really do her any favours then.

It didn't do any of them any favours. But then they couldn't walk in their own shoes so quite frankly I was surprised there wasn't any injuries. I know I shouted A Lot at the screen thanks to the sheer awfulness of it all. There followed some guff and nonsense then on to the photoshoot.

For some reason to tenuous to remember the theme was The End Of The Night At A Club. It was all so bad that I began to wonder if they'd even been in a club. The strongest picture by far was Rachael's with the weakest being Martha and Aaron (honestly, I don't have it in for them but they really do suck). For some reason though, they were saved and Musayeroh was eliminated. Possibly for having a ridiculous name that they struggled to spell or pronounce, more likely for being a bit meh.

So onto Episode 3 - The Makeover! In ANTM this guarantees Major Dramz! but then they do tend to go out on a limb and radically alter people's looks. Here we just get a few inches lopped off, a fringe cut in and some pixie cuts.

Still, at least the girls had learnt this lesson - when it's Makeover Time, you have to cry and weep for the scraggy mess atop your head because you simply don't believe that the professionals know what would make you look better. Taking a leaf out of HHPOF! Miz Tyra's book, Lisa was on hand to soothe any tears and tell them to get a grip. Apparently the added twist of covering up all the mirrors until they'd been done heightened the paranoia and tears.

Aaron (Ok so I really don't like her) was worried that her cheapass extensions would leave her bald once they'd managed to detach them but fear not! She got actual proper ones instead! Why is there always one that has really bad extensions? The only dramatic change was for Alex to get her locks lopped for a pixie cut (when will people get over that? It's more rabid than The Rachel) and she did look much better for it.

The task this week was to sit on a bucking bronco and try to sell hairspray. It was as ridiculous as it sounds. Leanne won for not totally sucking and got an 8 hand massage. Lovely.

The photoshoot this week was for a doggy clothing company shot by Nicky Johnston. I love it when they use him because he really says what he thinks and his pictures are great. Most of the girls were overjoyed at having cute little bundles of fluff to pose with. Gerry wisely warned them to not be upstaged by the cuteness and generally they listened.

And whaddya know?! Martha turned out a pretty decent picture! Lisa and Leanne were pretty well matched for best picture with the rest being quite poor. Huggy really doesn't like Lauren and pointed out that yet again she was cross eyed and looked like a bitch (I don't know if she intended the pun or not... I may have done!). Now I thought being cross eyed was one of those things you either are or aren't. Is there some kind of treatment she can get for that? Eye exercise? Surely there must be something the Wii Fit can do?!

Louise felt supremely confident that she'd nailed it this week so it was no surprise that she was the one eliminated though there were worse pictures - yes, that included Aaron who looked like some kind of tranny Amy Winehouse Barbie. Gerry felt exasperated enough to want to send at least four of them home.

I feel your pain Gerry, I feel your pain.

(I was intrigued though by the teaser for next week where one girl is so impressive on a shoot she gets an actual job! Who could it be?!)

Shoe Of The Day

I've been busy today gazing longingly out of the window at the sunshine, mentally putting together summery outfits for the week. When it came to picking today's Shoe I focused on finding a suitably summery style to fit with the mood.

And fell in love with these.

At £90, they are pretty pricey for a canvas trainer. But they are by Jonathan Saunders and Heavens to Betsy are they chic and versatile! And smart enough that you could get away with wearing them to the office should you so wish. I wish.

Gola by Jonathan Saunders canvas trainers, £90 at Asos.com