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

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Classic dressing

Words of wisdom from Guardian fashion editor Jess Cartner-Morley on classic dressing:

Simple clothes will make frizzy hair and shiny skin all the more noticeable; the time you save dithering in front of your wardrobe will be needed for an extra bit of spit and polish in the form of hairspray and powder - and, quite possibly, an extra hit of mascara or lipstick. And then, is the look a bit bland? If it's all too vanilla, observers might not realise you are illustrating this season's vogue for simple dressing, and mistake you for a non-fashionista.

Quelle horreur! Season to taste with an ankle boot, or a patent belt, or an It bag, and you'll be dish of the day once again.

Olay or Creme de la Mer?

Is a drug store beauty product really just as good as one that costs four times the price? Are we being sold impossible dreams and packaging by cynical corporations? L'Oreal owns Lancome, maybe the products are identical. This very interesting site examines the 'scientific' claims of of beauty products and on the whole finds them wanting. But is she right? Vote in the Thoughtful Dresser poll, on the sidebar, on the right.

I have my own views on the matter, but I'll stay shtum until the poll closes.


I returned last night from a scintillating long weekend in Istanbul where I learned a large amount about buying kilims, without actually buying one, purchased apple tea in the Grand Bazaar and witnessed the most important buy of the trip, a pair of turquoise and gold Aladdin's shoes with turned-up toes and pompoms, for 17-month-old Lia who was inducted into the art of wearing Difficult Shoes and spent all weekend practising.

Yesterday morning was spent at the spa at the Hotel Les Ottomans (not, alas, where I was staying, though I had a magnificent view of the Bosphorus, the Blue Mosque the Topkapi Palace and the sound of the competing muezzins woke me every morning at 5 am.)

If you ever find yourself with time to kill in this city, the hotel's spa is one of the most beautiful I've ever visited, and the only one where, as soon as I began to dry my hair the attendant came over with a variety of brushes and proceeded to do a salon-quality blow dry for me.

Botox, not.

Readers, you surprise me. Only two votes for botox, an overwhelming defeat. Perhaps I erred by telling you my own views on the matter, and influenced the vote, but given how many people I know do botox, I'm amazed at the decisive rejection. I've seen successful botox, but it's been used around the eyes to get rid of crows' feet. Nonetheless, I'm too much of a hypochondriac to subject myself willingly to unnecessary medical procedures. I rely on good genetic inheritance, and sunscreen.

Thought for the day

My husband gave up everything for me. I'm not a beautiful woman. I'm nothing to look at, so the only thing I can do is dress better than anyone else. If everyone looks at me when I enter a room my husband can feel proud of me. That's my chief responsibility. Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor.

*Not one of my heroines, but still, an interesting remark