culture, Fashion, Lifestyle, London, Longchamp

An afternoon at Kew

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Last weekend my lovely friend Fareed cooked me lunch and showed me around his neighbourhood, which just so happens to encompass Kew Gardens. I’d been before, years ago as a young pensions reporter on a freebie press do at a summer concert, but I’d never had the chance to explore it. Fareed has a season ticket so we strolled through the gates with an ice-cream without having to pay and headed straight to the palm house.

I wore my petticoat especially for him that Sunday because he once dared me to wear it to work…

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Top – Topshop

Petticoat – American Apparel

Ballet shoes – Topshop

Bag – Longchamp

Army jacket – Gone Retro, Milton Keynes

Ring – Thor & Whistle

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culture, Lifestyle, music, Retro, Vintage

Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien

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Last night my friends Auriol, Ayesha (pictured) and I spent an evening in a Parisian/tiki haven – Ollie Vee’s in Leighton Buzzard. Vintage shop Ollie Vee’s, which recently transformed its basement into a tiki speakeasy, complete with a water feature and a four-foot statue, hosted a night with Edith Piaf.

Singer Susan Black performed some of Piaf’s best-known songs and between pieces told us the story of Piaf’s life – from her childhood in a brothel, her discovery as a performer, her contribution to the Résistance and to her poor health and drug addiction. All downstairs in tiki paradise.

The perfect first outing for my Family Affairs Cafe Zoe dress…

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Fashion, Lifestyle, Retro, Style, Vintage

L-O-V-E

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Most of my favourite clothes are autumn/winter outfits so I’m so happy I can finally dress properly again. I got this great little 1960s shift from Camden Thrift Store on Chalk Farm Road in August and now that it’s cool enough outside and I’ve had it shortened to a mini, I’ve worn it loads. If you have never been to Camden Thrift Store I highly recommend a trip – it’s got a pretty big variety of women’s and men’s clothing and the prices are great (I think this dress was only £15). And the owner’s lovely!

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Dress – vintage, Camden Thrift Store, 51 Chalk Farm Road

Coat – Rose-tinted Vintage

Bag – Deena & Ozzy, Urban Outfitters

Boots – Asos Marketplace

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Fashion, Retro, Shoes, style, Vintage

Dream cowboy boots

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Someone who shops vintage as much as I do ought to have a decent collection of old cowboy boots. But I’ve got big feet – size sevens, despite being just 5’3” – and can never squeeze into them. When I wandered into a great little vintage shop in Kettering last weekend, I spotted a suitcase full of them and by some of the best vintage shopping luck I’ve had in years, they fit. And they were really comfy! And £20!

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I’m wearing:

Dress – American Apparel

Boots – Lollyrocket, Kettering

Bag – Longchamp

Ring – Biba

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Fashion, Lifestyle, Longchamp, Style

The Longchamp veau foulonné

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I’ve had enough treats really – I’ve bought myself more well-done-for-working-so-hard presents than I can count and while I love them all they do take up a lot of space. Did I need another treat? Probably not. Did I need another handbag? Absolutely not. But I really wanted a Longchamp and when I secured the most amazing corporate client in May I thought I really deserved one.

I’m not going to pretend I didn’t half copy my friend who’s had this exact bag for years. She nabbed hers – in lovely condition – for a bargain at a vintage shop and wore it and wore it and wore it. I knew it was a good bag, I knew it was a very practical bag and I knew, just like her, I’d take it to dinner, cocktails, the pub and Tesco. But I also knew I was never going to find it for £50 at a vintage shop so I just forked out. And I’m so happy I did!

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I’ve already had one pain in the arse who shall not be named tell me that my bag of joy is not worth the £175 I parted with a few weeks ago. To that I say that first, it was the cheapest leather handbag in the shop; second, it’s very practical, versatile and surprisingly roomy; third, it’s incredibly chic and French, and fourth, I think £175 is all right for a designer handbag. I’m really pleased with it, I think it’ll wear really well over the years and it’s far better value than a lot of the other designer handbags out there which use very similar materials and much less of it.

Now I just need to take it to Paris…

I’m wearing:

Handbag – Longchamp

Skirt – charity shop

T-shirt – New Look

Shoes – New Look

Sunglasses – Asos

1960s ladybird ring – Ollie Vee’s, Leighton Buzzard

Belt – Primark

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