To Gush or Not to Gush…

Angelica Huston

I always feel slightly uncomfortable about my personal Oscar excitement. Part of me squeaks ‘oooh the dresses! What will everyone wear?’ Then another side of my mindbox kicks in and quite rightly bellows, ‘these are women doing great work and being honoured in their field, you shouldn’t give a flying cluck about what they are wearing and the fact that you do is yet one more beacon along the shoreline of standardised female objectification’. As Ice Cube didn’t say, ‘yo gotta check yourself before you wreck all sense of perspective about these things. Sooooooo, I have veered away from doing a roughly planned and dare I say it rather predictable summary of beautiful dresses from this year’s awards and instead wanted to share this fabulous interview with Angelica Huston about her night at the 1975 Oscars: A Moment in Time

It is fascinating, knowing what we do know of the three-ring-stylist-circus that is Oscar outfit preparation that Angelica just went to, wait for it, a shop to buy her dress for the evening. She did her hair and make-up herself and basically just had a bloody good and time with Jack and Lauren Hutton. Going to prove once more, as if we needed anymore evidence of the fact, you simply can’t buy style.



Wardrobe Reports: The White Blouse of Dreams


Families, you can’t pick ‘em. You also can’t pick your partner’s family and so it is by miraculous good fortune that T brings with him some of the sweetest and most welcoming people I’ve ever met. They do really nice things, like buying me a 1930’s satin blouse of dreams. It is the sort of thing that despite working perfectly with 90% of my wardrobe I would never actually buy for myself because it would seem too luxurious. I am afflicted by a terrible case of the talk-myself-out-of-itsies and I always let beautiful things like this pass me by in lieu of that entirely needed but significantly less pretty new car headlight/5 pack of thermal pants/other practical purchase (delete as appropriate). Therefore, it’s useful that I have a fabulously stylish sort of mother-in-law to do the hard part for me.

I know it is a cliché but I cannot help but think of the woman or women who wore this before me; what they felt, who they kissed, how they laughed. It is the sort of piece that looks best by candlelight as the shadows skim and shimmer over the quilting and buttons.


I am wearing it here with a skirt I have had for many years. Funny story- back in 2008 I was in work and a few hours away from catching a flight to Marrakesh. I realised that I didn’t own a single long skirt and really fancied one for the hot weather. I didn’t think there was much chance of finding anything in the short window of time I had before my flight but nevertheless nipped out of work and into the charity shop and few doors down. Literally, the first thing I saw when I walked in was this skirt. It might not have been the most practical article of clothing for the searing heat of Morocco because it has three layers of fairly heavily ruched crepe and linen, not to mention the beaded waistband that weighs a ton. However, I loved it, bought it and wore it non-stop during my stay. It still remains one of the most dependable items in my wardrobe. I don’t think I believe in fate, but you know…FATE!

So here, we have two different items of clothing, from different times and different people, both of which came in to my life via a happy occurrence. They are the perfect odd couple together.


Love and Other Junk



I’m not very good at romantical things. Faced with hearts and flowers I tend to go red, look at an imaginary mark on my shoe and mumble ‘fanks’. If Princess castles in the sky are your thing then good for you, enjoy it because I’m sure it’s magical (that sounded terribly sarky, but I really mean it). Waltz the night away to a string quartet, eat so many heart shaped chocolates you get sugar-high and build a fort from Tiffany boxes. Me personally, I prefer a pizza on the sofa watching a Harry Palmer film. Hey, find what makes you happy and do it I always say.

However, Valentine’s Day is an unavoidable pink bellisa beacon in the road of our lives these days and despite not much desiring a shaggy teddy bear woefully clutching a heart shaped pillow, I’m not going to be a mean old curmudgeon about the whole thing. I think you have to take what you want from an event and disregard the rest; if you hate Christmas – see it not just as a time for jolly-polly holiday singsongs but an opportunity to see your friends and get legitimately drunk at 10am. If you can’t stand summer weather because you have nothing to wear and dark lipstick looks rubbish (what? Why are you all looking at me guys?) Remember that you can always stay indoors, catch up on your filing and watch Wimbledon.

So, as much as the competitive, showy-off-ness of Valentine’s Day is all a bit too much for me, I still see it as a nice time to show people that you are thinking of them. I can be pretty bad at slipping off the radar with my loved ones. Not to bring the mood down too much but I learnt to my sorrow at New Year that the people you care about really might just unexpectedly not be there one day, poof! Like a match in water. You may never have had the chance to tell them how much you owe to them and their love. Or perhaps more accurately, you had hundreds of chances to but never took them because you thought you would always have another. I know this isn’t a ground-breaking revelation by any means. People say this sort of stuff all the time – ‘tell people you love them while you can’. Well now more than ever I am making this one of my mottos in life (I have many mottos, I think I have used about three just in this post, obviously my main motto is WWDD – What Would Dolly Do?).

 I am certainly spending this Valentine’s Day with the people I love. I am going wedding dress shopping with my sister who is getting married later this year. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate all things love-related, and not just because of the free champagne.

So today, wherever you are, whomever you are with, and especially if you are spending the day by yourself, I hope you tell that person that they are frickin’ awesome.