Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Small changes

This blog is just over two weeks old. It was born after some period of thought and with more than a little help from my friends Normblog, Manolo the Shoeblogger and the Bag Snobs. It was my intention from the start to have a blog focussed on intelligent thinking about fashion and style with some of my other interests added, chiefly literature and very occasionally politics. Anyone who knows my writing should have an idea of where I stand politically, but everyone is welcome here. We all have to wear something.

My great webman Camelmeister, who designed my original website back in 2002, set this blog up for me. I have made a small change today, from now on there will be five days worth of posts available on the front page, and the rest searchable.

As you'll have seen there will always be a thought for the day, which I hope will build up to be an archive of ideas about fashion. I should have said before now that these are mainly taken from Tobi Tobias' Obsessed with Dress, published by Beacon Press and dedicated to the memory of her mother, Esther Meshel Bernstein. It's my bible.

There will be a poll each Tuesday, and reports from the shows as they happen - I am going to three tomorrow. And there will be competitions with actual prizes. My latest novel, The Clothes On Their Backs, will be published in February, and I will be on a book tour in Australia (at the Adelaide Festival) and New Zealand, with a possible stop-over in Singapore from late February. More news closer to the time. It remains my intention to restrict the blog roll at the side only to those I read every day and which inform my own thinking.

There have been nearly 8000 visits to the site since launch day and I'm delighted to see that some you you are regulars. I hope you'll enjoy what is come.

Gentlemen's corner

writes Dave Hill

Alas, the breast pocket is under threat. I read that 90% of shirts sold ten years ago had one, but now only 25% do. It's a sin: a vanity thing, apparently. They say it "spoils the line" of the garment. Absolute rubbish, of course. I've been a breast pocket man since the heyday of Ben Sherman and nothing is going to change me now. I'm also a manbag man.

Do something

From time to time I have taken part in fax/email campaigns to try to prevent the forced deportation of women asylum seekers and their children, and these actions, always at the last minute, have had a good success rate.

The latest appeal which arrived this morning is on behalf of Meltem Avcil and her mother Cennet, who have been held in Yarls Wood detention centre for almost three months, and are facing removal to Germany on 07.30 Hrs, Thursday 15 November. Meltem is just 14, and has been living in this country for six years.

Juliet Stevenson, the actress, who met Meltem last week while visiting Yarls Wood detention centre with Women for Refugee Women, said, "I am shocked that this young girl is being put through such an ordeal."

Meltem's mother and father were persecuted in Turkey for being Kurds, and she and her mother are in a terrible state at the prospect of being deported to Germany from where they fear they will be sent on to Turkey.

Meltem and her mum are asking you to ask the German authorities not to receive them into Germany and they are asking you to ask British Airways not to fly them to Dusseldorf this Thursday.

You can do something from very quickly your own computer, the details of what to do and more information on this case are in the comment box below. Please go and look to see if you can help.


'There is growing speculation that Meltem Avcil and her mother Cennet were NOT put on the BA flight to Dusseldorf this morning – apparently the British Airport police informed the German airport authorities Meltem would not be on the flight. We are awaiting confirmation from the family themselves and will update you as we get news.'


'13 YEAR OLD Meltem Avcil and her mother Cennet were so distraught they had to be removed from the British Airways flight to Dusseldorf this morning. They are now on their way back to Yarl's Wood detention centre. Their lawyer will now resume the legal battle to keep them in the UK.'


I have just discovered that the Celtic Sheepskin Company, which makes things out of sheep, and does an Ugg rip-off,* also sells sheepskin insoles, so you can have all the comfort of Uggs without the social embarrassment. You can even cut them to fit exactly the shape of your shoes, were you to have say, pointy toe boots. They cost £5 each (around $10), ship internationally, but note the sizes are UK and you'll have to convert. I'm not putting up a picture of what they look like because it's not terribly attractive but here they are

I have placed my order.

*Correction. The Celtic Sheepskin Company are the original Uggs. They sold the name to a US company who market them under the brand name Uggs Australia.

The Botox poll

Everyone I know seems to have had, or is thinking about botox. Personally, I use the less invasive method of a fringe, which my hairdresser tells me was the pre-botox solution. I haven't had botox because I am a hypochondriac and don't like injecting myself with foreign substances, particularly toxins, and cannot help recollecting that in the Twenties there was a fad for monkey gland injections which were supposed to keep you youthful; it turned out that many of the monkeys were syphilitic, as did become the injectees. Besides, when I look in the mirror, the line between my eyebrows isn't particularly what I see that depresses me, it's the dark circles and bags under my eyes.

But don't let me influence your vote. Cast your own, over there, on the right.

Thought for the day

The Cranford ladies' . . . dress is very independent of fashion: as they observe, 'What does it signify how we dress here at Cranford, where everybody knows us?' And if they go from home, their reason is equally cogent. 'What does it signify how we dress here, where nobody knows us?' Elizabeth Gaskell. 1810-1865