Bye bye Kat Slater cleavage, hello pert elegance at my post baby bra fitting on Kings Road.
[dropcap]O[/dropcap]n my way to my first bra fitting at Rigby & Peller I anxiously envisaged an army of Trinny’s, Susannahs & Gok Wans ensconcing me in a cubicle and prodding my postpartum body. Fortunately Imogen, my fitter, was far less intimidating and managed to make bending me over into a bra almost as comfortable as sharing a Kit Kat. Like magic she sized me up by sight; after 6 months training she can tell you to the inch and cup just by looking at you and having a little shuffle of your bra, no tape measure required. I’d heard the rumours that you don’t know your real bra size till you’ve had a fitting with the Queens corsetières. In fact Rigby and Peller have worked out that about 80% of the customers who walk through their doors for the first time are wearing the wrong size bra, but I still audibly gasped when Imogen told me my dimensions (smaller back, larger cup, hurrah). Expecting Imogen to be perhaps a little bit off, I whipped off my uninspiring nursing bra and tried on a seamless PrimaDonna cream lace wonder which, low and behold, fit my globes like a glove, scooping them out & up. I admired my new silhouette in the provided silk dressing gown; bye bye Kat Slater cleavage, hello pert elegance. My accompanying baby boy was becoming less than impressed with the bra fitting experience so Imogen whisked him off to be entertained amongst the super friendly staff; yes they provided refreshments, tactfully delivered feedback AND childcare. I had a misconception that Rigby and Peller offered lingerie in uniform pastel and neutral shades, but I was spoilt for choice with colours ranging from electric blue to magenta pink. They also stock swimwear in sizes 30 C to 36 H, with a new Miami inspired Spring/Summer collection launching in May, see sculpted purple bikini below. After delving into the bikini ranges, I tried on a flattering berry coloured halter neck number by British brand Olga Olsson, which Imogen advised would adjust with my variable post pregnancy bosoms. I was smitten and for a brief ecstatic moment thought I resembled J Lo. Imogen no doubt thought my derriere was more Olive Oyl than Latino booty shaker but she approved of the fit and kindly humoured my Jennifer Lopez delusions. The little one and I were soon heading back into the bustle of Kings Road; the Olga bikini folded into a luxuriously discreet black box under my arm with a vow to go back for the lace PrimaDonna number as soon as the variable bosoms allow.
Bra fitting tips:
Variable size – Your bra size will fluctuate throughout your life so Rigby and Peller recommend that you buy a bra with some stretch in it and get fitted every 6 months to cater for changes.
Underwire – The underwire should sit on your ribcage, encasing your breasts and not digging into the breast tissue, with the centre piece between the wire sitting flat against the breastbone.
Back fit – This should be a snug fit, you should just be able to fit two fingers under the band. If it rides up in the middle of your back, it’s too big and won’t give you enough support.
Cup fit – The majority of women are wearing too small a cup size. If you have ‘double boob’ spillages over your cups or the middle piece between the cups is pulling away from your skin, then your cups are too small. Most think they are a B-cup, yet the average woman is now a D-cup.
A touching documentary about the New York Times street style photographer.
Bill Cunningham New York, a fashion documentary about the New York Times street style photographer who has obsessively chronicled fashion trends for decades. From your every day uptown eccentrics to New York fixtures such as Brooke Astor and David Rockefeller. The preview screening was at Mother London’s epic HQ in Shoreditch; Liz Muirhead reviews.
Bill Cunningham has an infectious smile and a passion for photography and fashion that is hard to match, given the number of decades he has been working in and around the industry. The film begins in a light hearted vein with frequent clips of Bill cycling around New York animating him as a ‘one of a kind’. Accolades from household names such as Anna Wintour in the first part of the film, did make me wonder quite how deep it would delve into his life behind the image and reputation that has developed over the course of his career. But then, just as I was in doubt, a high-profile fashion figure says she knows nothing of Bill’s personal life. In fact, a former colleague and close friend who has known Bill for many years seems relatively unfamiliar with his past as well. With this, a more personal line of questioning emerges with the precursor “you don’t have to answer any of these questions if you don’t want to…” and some incredibly moving footage follows. It was gripping. The interviewer had obviously built a good rapport with Bill – a vital ingredient for a documentary such as this. Of course, it’s wasn’t long at all before Bill’s smile returned and he was back to his playful self, and yet I felt I’d seen a side to him that very few had ever witnessed. An interesting sub-plot, if you will, focuses on Bill’s home in Carnegie Hall and his subsequent uprooting, which allows us to explore some of his friendships of many years with his amusing neighbours. The film establishes itself as a touching insight into Bill’s life rather than a surface scratching montage of “real” people Bill has photographed, which it so easily could have been. Even the somewhat comical bike scenes reinforce the idea that Bill is hugely dedicated to his job – though he would never call it a job. He was known to refuse pay cheques, preferring to keep his artistic freedom and integrity. With a delicate soundtrack including Velvet Underground, the film captures Bill wonderfully – it’s inspiring stuff.Bill Cunningham New York opens in the UK on March 16, 2012
Highlights of LFW. James Long’s generously embellished sequin jackets and Sister by Sibling’s delicious Pat Butcher-esque knitwear, to Buba’s tribal beaded clutch bags and Mawi’s ‘Punk Rajah’ necklace’s.
From James Long’s generously embellished sequin jackets and Sister by Sibling’s delicious Pat Butcher-esque knitwear, to Buba’s tribal beaded clutch bags and Mawi’s ‘Punk Rajah’ necklace’s; here’s some of the highlights from London Fashion Week. Check out our London Fashion Week street style.
Knitwear designer Derek Lawlor & Milliner Hannah Morgan’s London Fashion Week show in Paper Dress Vintage, Shoreditch.
Knitwear designer Derek Lawlor collaborated with milliner Hannah Gordon for a fun London Fashion Week A/W show in nice ‘n’ easy Shoreditch. We watched green and red silhouettes dancing behind an opaque screen from the sides of transformed Paper Dress Vintage shop, as the suspense built with the help of some heavy electro beats, champagne and homemade brownies. The silhouettes came to life and walked the floor, ending up in the shop windows displaying the often risque creations to lucky passers by. The collection ranged from cutaway body suits and laddered loose knit gowns to power shoulder all-in-ones and over sized chunky shawls with Lawlor’s trademark cord worked knit, finished off with Hannah Morgans abstract wooden and metal sculptured head wear. That’s Ascot sorted then.
Shopping in Montmartre, Paris and partying at La Machine in the Moulin Rouge.
[dropcap]A[/dropcap] stay in the ‘last village of Paris’ provided a nostalgic whirl of shopping, dancing and eating. I’ve only ever been to Paris for the purposes of sight seeing with family friends who delight in communicating with me in French even though I know little beyond, ‘je voudrais le petit chou-fleur’, so we eased ourselves in by way of Montmartre. Fantasy and reality blurred in the vintage clothes shops and cafes that are the backdrop for Joanne Harris’s novel Lollipop Shoes, the follow-up to Chocolat; a time-warp perfectly fitting for the story of Vianne Rocher, running away from her past lovers and witch craft. Le Boudoir De Marie on Rue D’Orsel offered retro pin-up and frou-frou inspired lingerie, designed by Marie Cazenave (below), and just a stones throw from the steep climb to Basilique De Sacre-Coeur. Dipping in countless thrift and fabric shops bursting with sari’s and Willow prints along Rue De Condorcet and Rue Des 3 Frere’s, I came away with floral print vintage dresses, a tonne of fabric and far too many macaroons. The nights events were a meal at La Famille followed by an out of this world party at La Machine nightclub, in the birthplace of the can-can, the Moulin Rouge. I soon found out that Parisians know how to do fancy dress and they know how to party. With five rooms pounding out eclectic noise from gypsy jazz to dubstep, I surrendered myself to the menagerie.
Marie Cazenave in her boutique Le Boudoir De Marie.
Street art, Montmartre.
Entertainers being body painted in La Machine nightclub at the Moulin Rouge.
Good news is, my beloved Peruvian crochet dress can be brought out to play again next summer. Mark Fast’s ready-to-wear collection offered knitwear for all occasions from swimwear to full length gowns. Inspired by ‘desert mirages and tropical eroticism’, the show started with neutral tones, gradually heating up into a storm of oranges and pinks before descending into black, all to a haunting soundtrack including Pati Yang’s ‘Red Hot Black’. The goody bag included a raunchy pair of indigo slashed Mark Fast leggings, Maybelline make-up and Tigi hair products, but more importantly, Mouse & De Lotz chocolate! Notable guests included Liberty Ross and Eliza Doolittle. See all London Fashion Week street style.