St Andrews getaway

Amazon Local, the book behemoth's version of Groupon or Itison, is offering a 50% off deal at the Fairmont Hotel St Andrews. I stayed at the Fairmont with my husband a couple years ago and we loved it. It's huge - with a spa and no less than six dining options. The rooms are tastefully and comfortably decorated, and it's basically everything you would expect from a 5* hotel. It's located on a 520 acre estate on the coast with its own golf course. Nearby St Andrews is a lovely town, and pretty cosmopolitan for how small it is. A royal prince did used to live there after all.

The deal is for one night, but you can buy up to 5 vouchers to use consecutively if you want a longer stay. If I wasn't already on holiday now, I would have booked it myself!

The deal: local.amazon.co.uk/Glasgow/B00ET0ABEW
The hotel's website: fairmont.com/st-andrews-scotland/

Dressing Satan's baby mama

One of my all time favourite films is Rosemary's Baby. Even going through a pregnancy of my own has not put me off this chilling, smart, and at times uncomfortably hilarious film. I find it mostly terrifying because of the extrovert neighbours, who burrow into Rosemary and Guy's lives the minute they move in. But the sense of dread and the lack of control Rosemary has over her own life and her own body are as effective today as they must have been back in 1968 when the film was first released. Mia Farrow is the perfect child wife, vulnerable, scared, and embodying an idea of middle America where people still did as they were told and yearned to be nice, polite, and accommodating.

The costumes re-enforce this image with peter pan collars, baby doll dresses, white tights and eventually, Farrow's pixie cut. These costumes are contrasted in places by Farrow's partially nudity and with the outfit that she wears the night she and her husband are meant to try for a baby. She wears a monochromatic red ensemble with a v-neck, moderately suggestive of the body hidden inside, and strikingly at odds with the prim outfits she normally wears (though the outfit is paired with some mary janes, lest she appear too sexually mature).

Now, I'm not trying to be a film critic, I'm sure many people have written far more insightfully about this film than I. I am just giving a rather long winded introduction to an illustrator I just discovered - Julia Bereciartu. My favourite of her prints is a drawing from a well known still from the film - when Rosemary has received a mysterious necklace filled with tannis root from her neighbours, once they discover she is pregnant. The root smells, the necklace isn't to her taste, and initially she shoves it into a drawer. But gradually, as the old couple's influence grows over Rosemary, she does begin to wear the necklace every day. The print focuses on Rosemary's beauty and sweetness, and you could almost forget the fact that its a horror film that's being depicted.

Bereciartu has other film drawings including Belle de Jour and Cleopatra, as well as what appear to be little fashion case studies - a bookish girl, a pile of bretton tops, and a hilarious examination of the top knot. Her art can be purchased as prints or on various items such as t-shirts, iphone cases and pillows.

Her work can be purchased from Society6. She also does commissions through her own website.


Animal print

If you read fashion magazines for enough years, you start to get a sense of deja vu with trends. There are certain trends that keep coming back, September issue after September issue. 'Dark Romance', 'Ladylike', and 'Suited and Booted' are all terms you read year in and year out. It could be lazy journalism, or it could just be that we all like what we like, and it changes very little. One trend that keeps coming back, that I'm always happy to support, is animal print. Snake, leopard, zebra, it doesn't matter - I'm pretty much down with it. My favourite has to be leopard, but it can so easily look cheap or over done. Some nice options include:

Suede almond toe animal print slippers, Marks & Spencer
Roland printed silk and wool jumper, Equipment at Harvey Nichols
Grey leopard print shirt, Dorothy Perkins
Frances leopard court shoes, Sam Edelman at ASOS
Leopard print jeans, Mango
Cassandra leopard print elaphe pumps, Brian Atwood at ASOS
Popoche calf hair clutch, Jerome Dreyfuss at Matches


It's the weekend!

Another 'sunny' weekend in Glasgow. So much to do! And even though I will be out of town this weekend, I have done the research and found some delightful activities for you, dear reader.

The Hidden Gallery on Argyle Street is having a Lithuanian Season of Photography - the current exhibit is Domicele Tarabildiene - A Challenge to Time. The exhibit will be focusing on Tarabildien's surrealistic photos from the 1930s, which she created using photomontage. 

It's music music music in Glasgow. You can't swing a cat without hitting a festival or a special music event (no, don't swing a cat!). Like Positive Education, which will allow you to get some warm fuzzies from your clubbing because all the proceeds will go to Sense Scotland, a charity that provides support to people with disabilities. JG Wilkes (Optimo), Thunder Disco Club, Ben Butler & Mousepad and Lovers' Rights will all be appearing on the night, at Make Do on Hope Street on Friday, 30 August.

Or No Mean City 'a very special festival celebrating Americana music in Glasgow' starting 31 August, finishing on 28 September with a performance by Kris Kristofferson. Other performers include Eels, Kat Men, Heartless Bastards, Caitlin Rose and the Be Good Tanyas. The event kicks off with a mini-festival on 31 August - For the Sake of the Song at the O2 ABC. 

On Sunday, go to Rumours on Bath Street for some Malaysian food, capped off with one of their delicious frozen pearl drinks? I lived on those drinks when I was pregnant. One of my very few cravings!

After lunch, why not take a Glasgow Style walking tour? Award winning guides from the Glasgow School of Art will take you around the city to explore 'Glasgow Style' of architecture that makes our city so visually fascinating. The tour covers architectural gems from Victorian to Art Nouveau.


The Crumpet outlet is open

Girl-e favourite, Crumpet Cashmere, is opening its outlet to offer up to 80% off stock. The sale lasts only this weekend, so be quick. Here are some items to tempt you.

Cashmere pink leopard cardigan - was £285, now £50
Cream lace t-shirt - was £160, now £45
Silk knit Evie jumper - was £230, now £65
Merino dress - was £300, now £60
Cashmere crew neck - was £160, now £70


Hotel Chelsea

The Hotel Chelsea is being renovated and turned into a luxury hotel. Host to famous artists, writers and musicians all the way back to Mark Twain, and too many more to mention here, the Hotel Chelsea is a New York institution, and the change to a luxury hotel seems somewhat scandalous. In memory of the seedy art haven of the past, I put together some outfits befitting some of the more notorious residents.

Nancy Spungen - troubled teen, sufferer of mental health issues, punk scene fixture and (often demonised) girl-friend of Sid Vicious.
  1. Striped sweater, Marks & Spencer
  2. Leather shorts, Iro at Net-a-Porter
  3. Jose pyramid bracelet, Philippe Audibert at Farfetch
  4. Flame calf stiletto sandals, Camilla Skovgaard at Cocosa
Janis Joplin - needs no introduction, really. I'm curious about the upcoming biopic in part due to the surprise casting of Amy Adams as Joplin, but mostly because of the costumes.
  1. Glitter dress, Maje at Vestiaire Collective
  2. Rosarietto gold-dipped agate necklace, Rosantica at Net-a-Porter
  3. Stacking rings, Astley Clarke
  4. Prasiolite ring, Federica Rettore at Farfetch
Patti Smith - the musician's androgynous style perfectly suits this season's masculine tailoring.
  1. Black jacket, Stella McCartney at Net-a-Porter
  2. Black trousers, Stella McCartney at Net-a-Porter
  3. White shirt, Thomas Pink
  4. Suede mary janes, Miu Miu at My Theresa
  5. Tie, Reiss
Viva (Janet Susan Mary Hoffmann) - socialite, Warhol Factory actress, and mother of Gaby Hoffmann.
  1. Silk blouse, Closed at Stylebop
  2. Velvet mid rise skinny trousers, J Brand at Flannels
  3. Boots, Lodi at Zalando
  4. And, because she's a socialite, I've included a fab, way expensive necklace by Ippolita at Net-a-Porter


Sportswear luxe

Apparently, baseball hats are back in fashion. Okay. I'm not prepared to plum the depth of retro 90s fashion quite that far. Yes, I'll wear tartan shirts. No, I won't wear cropped tops or baseball hats. Perhaps I'm too old and too embarrassed of my midriff. Or perhaps I never liked those fashions when they were here the last time the trend merry go round brought them to our attention.

But, being a lover of comfort, I will embrace luxe sweatshirts, track pants and trainers. Like these:

Colour block track pants, Splendid at ASOS
Printed cotton jersey sweatshirt, JW Anderson at Harvey Nichols
Stretch-crepe tapered pants, Stella McCartney at Net-a-Porter
Cotton/leather pullover, DKNY at Stylebop
Grey quilted zip jacket, Dorothy Perkins
Scuba sweater, & Other Stories
Zip-trimmed neoprene sweatshirt, 3.1 Phillip Lim at Net-a-Porter
Printed cotton-jersey sweatshirt, Marni at Net-a-Porter
Tailored jogger, Carmakoma at ASOS
Two-tone zip cardigan, J Crew


Monochromatic magic

Monochrome doesn't seem to be going anywhere in a hurry, a development that makes me very happy. It's hard though, to incorporate black and white, without looking like a waitron. It's all in the accessories, I think. Like this adorable Marni bag. Houndstooth has never been so cute!
The white soles take these shoes to another level. I never get tired of Miu Miu.
And these shoes make me wish I could wear heels.
With clothing, monochrome offers an ideal opportunity to experiment with texture, like with this embossed stripe jacket at Cos.
And an opportunity to explore print as well. I love the sweet little birds on this pair of trousers from Jaeger.
And speaking of birds, I love the ghostly swallow print on this chiffon McQ scarf.
This Acne top is so clean, elegant and sharp, it might as well be a shard of glass.
I'm not much of a skirt person, but this leather and wool number could change my mind.
This line of team t-shirts by LPD New York are brilliant. 


Why do birds suddenly appear...

every time you are near?
Snake colour block split jumper, Markus Lupfer at My Wardrobe

Bucket list

Have you ever written a bucket list? Last summer some friends at work and I started writing them and I just found mine while cleaning out my documents folder. The ladies I was doing this with wanted me to come up with 50 things. I couldn't. I don't know if it's because I'm older than they (these girls were in their 20s, I was not!) or my own lack of imagination, but I only came up with 35.

Now I'm going to share my list with you. There are some dicy things here to share (well one - the illegal one!). But what is a blog without any genuine sharing?

Okay, here's the list:

  1. Have a baby. Yay! I've done this. Off to a good start - now the rest of them I haven't done, so I'll not celebrate too loudly.
  2. Have a novel published. I've written 2, but have thus far been too cowardly to do anything with them.
  3. Own my own home
  4. Own a Chanel 2.55
  5. Get a cat
  6. Visit South East Asia (Vietnam, Cambodia)
  7. Do an MFA in creative writing
  8. Start a jewellery line
  9. Get a tattoo
  10. Get a UK passport and get over my fear of being a royal subject
  11. Learn a martial art
  12. Get down to my ideal weight. I was just about there but then I had a baby. Not a good diet plan!
  13. Do a walking tour in Italy
  14. Do a course in interior design
  15. Change my hair colour. Once I start getting grey hairs, I'll have strong motivation for this one
  16. Finish my stupid CIM qualification. Embarrassingly, I failed the Marketing Research exam. I've never failed anything before in my life! Well, it turns out I was taking the course when I was going through a depression, so not great timing.
  17. Live in a city I’ve never lived before. Lots to choose from, as so far I've only lived in (counting suburbs of cities): Dayton, Ohio; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Washington, DC; New York City, New York; Glasgow, Scotland
  18. Do mushrooms again. Okay, this is the dicey, illegal one. And some day my daughter may read this. I'm not a big druggy, but I did mushrooms once many years ago when I was having a very difficult time. My mother was battling a terminal brain tumour and someone gave me mushrooms for my 30th birthday. It was just something I felt I needed to do. It was an interesting experience, and, among other things, it gave me an even better appreciation for the film version of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
  19. Be given an engagement ring. When we got married we were too poor to buy one. 
  20. Master tarot cards (not have to look up meanings). I enjoy giving tarot readings but I'm too insecure to just trust myself and get rid of the book.
  21. Have a garden, roof terrace or large balcony
  22. Pet a tiger cub
  23. Illustrate a book I’ve written
  24. Win something
  25. Write a graphic novel
  26. Celebrate our 50 year wedding anniversary
  27. Get a made to measure suit
  28. Start a business with my sisters. I miss you Diana and Caren!
  29. Go yard saling again. My mother used to take us to yard sales on a Saturday morning. She'd get the paper and meticulously plan our route the night before. It was fun and I got some of my best jewellery and vinyl records on those trips.
  30. Share an expensive and exquisite vintage bottle of wine with Bobby. I had some of a 1982 Margaux once - something along those lines.
  31. Get everyone of my friends and family together in one place for a giant party
  32. Have a room of my own. A place I can write, think, or just stare at the walls.
  33. Travel on the Orient Express
  34. Go to Bali
  35. Quit my job and work for myself
Okay - that's my list. What about you? What's on your bucket list?


In Glasgow this weekend?

Why don't you:

Visit the Hard Rock Cafe exhibition of rock memorabilia in the Island Bar of the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Friday? The exhibit includes Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” red leather jacket, Madonna’s iconic gold corset created by fashion guru Jean Paul Gaultier, Lady Gaga’s Oscar Lima black dress and a black and white spandex catsuit worn by Freddie Mercury on Queen’s 1978 Jazz tour. Plus items from The Killers, Elvis Presley, The Who, KISS, and Katy Perry.

Swedish film Call Girl is playing at the GFT Friday night. Inspired by actual events, Call Girl tells the story of a 1970s prostitution scandal that involved the Swedish Government at the time. According to the GFT website:

"Call Girl paints a scathing portrait of a nation drunk on conspicuous consumption, and of a political class so convinced of its right to power that it can no longer even recognise the difference between governance and self interest." An important message for our times, I think.

On Saturday, get a spa treatment at 15 Royal Terrace. Located next to Kelvingrove Park, the location could not be prettier, and there are plenty of options for grabbing lunch afterward. Why not try the Finneston on Argyle Street? It's a seafood restaurant but they do offer vegetarian options as well - and it's a gin cocktail bar.

And if a big night for you doesn't entail takeaway and old episodes of Sopranos, as it does for me at the moment, check out the new Electric Frog & Pressure Riverside Festival.

On Sunday visit House for an Art Lover to check out the farmers market and artisan fayre. The market starts at 10am, and in addition to shopping for locally produced foods, you can try your hand at natural dying fabrics using plants from Bellahouston park. Artist Kathy Beckett will be on hand to discuss her eco-textile design Colour-Ecology project.

Finish up the weekend with a Mexican feast at home. You can find all the ingredients you'll need - including super scrummy hominy (a rare find in the UK) at Lupe Pintos on Great Western Road. They even have recipes for you to try in case you don't know where to begin. Or pick up Dona Tomas: Discovering Authentic Mexican Cooking by Dona Savitsky, Mike Wille and Thomas Schnetz.



Blame my abiding love for all things 70s, but I kind of love these crazy trousers. Is it wrong?
Missoni metallic knitted drawstring trousers at Net-a-Porter.

Flat feet

I've long been a lover of flat shoes, so imagine my delight when they became so fashionable. Now I can find great looking flat shoes everywhere in pretty much every size at every price point. I have large, awkward feet so investing in the right shoes is something that can preoccupy me at times. I do a lot of web searching and soul searching before I choose a pair, and half the time they still end up giving me blisters! Never the less, I keep a running wish list of flats.  Here are some of the ones I'm looking at now:

Bow trim slipper flat, Russell & Bromley
 Studded leather lace-ups, Saint Laurent at Net-a-Porter
Captoe metallic ballerina, Lanvin
Varina ballerinas, Salvatore Ferragamo
Darby cap toe loafers, J Crew
Embellished metallic cracked-leather loafers, Miu Miu at Net-a-Porter
Champagne pink shimmer dancing shoes, French Sole
Lace-ups, Frankie Morello at Yoox.


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