For never was a story of more woe

There's probably not a person in the English speaking world who didn't either read Romeo and Juliet in school, or see a film version of it (Franco Zeffirelli or Baz Luhrmann), or is, at the very least, familiar with the basic story line. That being the case, it's probably one of the best stories to introduce a beginner like me to attending the ballet. You know the story, so you can just sit back and watch the dancing, the beautiful costumes, and the interesting sets, listen to the music, and not worry about trying to understand what's going on.

I went to the preview of Scottish Ballet's very moving rendition of Romeo and Juliet at the Theatre Royal on Saturday night. The story in this version is transported to 20th century Italy, where the Capulet's militaristic costumes and synchronised dance scenes strongly suggest the increasing force of fascism against the Montague's more bohemian, decadent wealth. Overall, the effect of the fighting and the loss was almost more effective in this format than in a traditional theatrical production. At times in the original, particularly during Romeo and Juliet's death scenes, words get in the way a bit, distancing the viewer from their pain and desperation. With the ballet, there is only music and the physical expression of their pain through dance and movement, showing emotion in a much purer form. The death scene even mirrors an earlier scene between the lovers, in bed, when the audience first sees real intimacy between them.

And the costumes! The costumes were gorgeous, and suggestive of some Spring/Summer 2010 looks. There were 2 girls in particular, school friends of Juliet, which only needed some white cats on their black tops to look like something from Miu Miu. And the pastels of the street scenes beautifully contrasted with the Capulet's strict monochromes.

Romeo and Juliet will be running at venues around Scotland, beginning with Glasgow's Theatre Royal until Saturday this week. They will tour to Edinburgh (28 April – 2 May), Aberdeen (5-8 May), Inverness (12-15 May) and Belfast (19-22 May). Visit Scottish Ballet's website for more information, and cast your vote - are you Team Capulet or Team Montague?


I must be dreaming of turquoise water

If I close my eyes, I can see it, and the flash of light that rippling pools reflect onto my eyelids, and I can smell chlorine. Does that mean I'm having a stroke, or am I just really jonesing for summer?

Anyway, the following statement may be a sign that I've been reading too many fashion blogs, but here it is: Wouldn't this swimsuit make a great top?Okay, maybe I have. But, regardless, it's a cool suit. Available at Sweaty Betty.

Grace Kelly

The Grace Kelly: Style Icon exhibit, which opens tomorrow at the V&A, is inspiring much of talk about her online, on blogs and in newspapers. It got me thinking of my favourite GK looks. Her Mogambo costumes were said to have inspired Yves Saint Laurent's safari look. And there's the floaty dresses she wears for her perpetual garden party life in High Society. Personally, I love the way she dresses as Lisa Fremont in Rear Window. Partly because that is one of my all time favourite films, and partly because she just looks darn fabulous in the film.

I get distracted by details like the shiny black overnight case she uses to sneak her voluminous, chiffon nightie and satin slippers into James Stewart's flat, or the gorgeous pearl bracelet featuring many gold charms hanging from it:And the penny loafers and turned up jeans she wears at the end, when she's pretending she's been de-glamorised. As if:And then there's the fact that they're not afraid to talk about the price of a designer dress ("a steal at $1100" says Lisa):What's your favourite Grace Kelly look?



I spend way too much time aimlessly surfing the web, but this bad habit does have it's uses at times. Particularly when I make discoveries like Ankora, a jewellery line by designer Anilu Rios, (which apparently will be expanded to include handbags and shoes). The jewellery strikes me as a simplified, updated version of something you would have seen on Dynasty. Which is a good thing. A very good thing. The signature circle link bracelet would make me feel oh so sophisticated, as would the textured hoops and chunky rings. They live up to the designer's choice of adjectives: simple, versatile and timeless.

So here are the pics I borrowed from www.ankorajewelry.com:She's also got some new pieces that haven't gone up on the site yet, but you can see from the images below, she's going in a slightly more tribal direction. In fact, I think I like these even more:


eBay bonanza

I'm really digging eBay at the moment. I go through these phases where I forget about it and I never buy anything off the site, but then, if I'm looking for something specific, I'll start searching, then browsing, then it all starts up again. Obsession time.

It all got cranked up a notch when I discovered that you can save your searches. Once you do that, you start getting email updates. So, for example, I got it in my head that I wanted one of those Garrard wing pendants. I did a search, didn't find what I wanted, but saved the search so for weeks after that, I got notified whenever a new one appeared. When the right pendant at the right price appeared, from a seller who looked reputable, I was right there, hunched over my keyboard, calculating how high I was prepared to go.
I find that the safest way to bid is to decide in advance how much I want to spend, and bid that. Then I hide from my computer until the auction is over. If I hang around on the page watching the minutes tick by, I get gripped by auction fever; bidding and bidding until I win, and I ask myself - "what have a I done? Did I REALLY need that pair of men's Dries Van Noten trainers with a hefty £10 shipping charge?" (I still haven't received these, so the answer to the question is, I don't know. We'll see.)

Some things do get passed on to the very nice people at Banardos. But, overall, I think I do pretty well. Fab finds include the above mentioned wing pendant, as well as a few pairs of perfect jeans, a great vintage houndstooth overcoat by Aquascutum (not pictured because it's at the dry cleaners - in Glasgow I whole heartedly recommend Aqua on Great Western Road), a jewelled DKNY coat, some Kurt Geiger chelsea boots, some Stuart Weitzman for Russell & Bromley clogs (yes, I fully intend to wear clogs this summer. I loved them when I was six, and I love them now.), a suede shirt from Jaeger, and this Escada Sport sweater. Tennis anyone?And now, just when I'm trying to cut back on my spending, they've started up a loyalty scheme, with points earned for every pound spent, which can then be used to make purchases in the future. Great. At some point I think I'm going to have to start selling stuff on eBay as well. It's all part of the circle of life. Or, rather, the circle of consumerism!


So much to do, so little time...

I would be at the Gin Palace preview right now, but illness has kept me home, so I thought I would do something useful and right a blog entry.

Where to begin? There's so much going on in Glasgow right now, in addition to the aforementioned Gin Palace pop-up shop/installation/design exhibit thingy (which will be at 12 South Frederick Street until Sunday). I managed to miss the Comedy Festival, and Hinterland, but Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art is starting on 16 April, so I'll be sure to catch some exhibits. The Joseph Beuys exhibit is at the Hunterian Art Gallery, which is across the street from my day-job, so I really have no excuse to miss that. I'd also like to see the exhibition of 'radical feminist, artist and musician' Linder's work at Sorcha Dallas. I don't really know much about contemporary art, however, so overall it might be a case of closing my eyes and sticking a pin in the programme.

Then there's June and July, which see the West End Festival, the Jazz Festival, the Glasgow School of Art degree shows, the River Festival, and Glasgow Mela.

The Glasgow City Marketing Bureau's See Glasgow website now has a 'what's on' searchable database, and an online diary, which allows you to get email updates. Between that, the List, and S1Play, I really shouldn't have to miss anything during the incredibly festival heavy summer months.


Hey Sailor!

Yes, breton tops are ubiquitous the minute Spring arrives. But they're just so darn cute. And who doesn't want to look a bit more like A bout de souffle era Jean Seberg?The problem is trying to decide on which one to get, as the stores are flooded with various styles. Here are some of my favourites:

This one from Pure, of course, cashmere. And I like that the white stripes are super thin. Horizontal stripes are tricky to pull off if you're even remotely wide anywhere, but stripes of varying widths and that wide band at the bottom of the top can be quite flattering.I love the cowl neck feature on this version by Moschino Cheap and Chic at Net-a-Porter.Boden has a great, long sleeve t-shirt version - I love the wee buttons on the neck. I also like the knitted one Boden does with 3/4 length sleeves. (edit: 6 years after this was posted, Boden has contacted me to ask me to remove this link. I have also removed the image to avoid possible future unpleasantness.)

This one by Sessun is described as a cape. I love the kangaroo pocket.I like my tops long, so this simple version by ASOS fits the bill.This one by Sibling (as seen on Style Bubble Susie) is probably my favourite. I love the interstarsia skull.Eco chic brand Ascension has one with a great shape and front pockets.This Maje at Net-a-Porter top is another favourite of mine. It's great because it's bretony and lacy: two trends for the price of one.For something a bit different, there are many different cardigan's with navy stripes. The one that stands out most to me is this Pringle version at My Wardrobe, with its adorable pointel texture.If you like structure, but not too much structure, Steven Alan does a linen one, which is being sold at Net-a-Porter.This one by Calvin Klein at the Outnet really stretches the breton designation, but I love the sheerness of it, so I thought I'd throw it in. If you like it too, be quick, because things sell out quickly at the Outnet. Blink and it will be gone.


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