In Defence of the Leopard Print Coat

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Going on Twitter is not normally the most distressing of activities, but this was no ordinary Tweet.

“ASOS can send me as many mailers as it likes” it read, “but I won’t be buying a leopard print coat. It is not the 80s and I am not off Eastenders.” 

Before outrage gets the better of us, let us pause to take stock of the situation. This person is:

  1. aware of the decade,
  2. clear on the (often blurry) boundary between fact and fiction, and
  3. a sensible subscriber to the ASOS newsletter.

A prime example of an astute and safe member of society, you might think. Except that this person is apparently oblivious to the sassy necessity that leopard print coats have become to modern civilisation.

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Breton and Pointy Toes

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABreton Stripe Top – ASOS  •  *Faux Fur Stole – Dorothy Perkins* •  Wet-Look Leggings – Topshop  •  Boots – ASOS

This is one of my favourite outfits like, ever. It was my birthday outfit! The breton stripe top and the wet-look leggings I find to be the most versatile of pieces, lending a perfect canvas for the rest of the look. If you don’t own either, I would buy both!

These shoes are my gorgeous birthday presents from my house mates and I chose them for their absolute perfection. I bought them because they look very expensive when they’re actually not (this is how I do most of my shopping.) The suede-look, croc-style, chelsea boot and pointed toe are all reasons to make these shoes stand out. The toes are so pointy that I look a bit impish but we all know that fashion is about dressing up!

I received this burgundy stole in a goodie bag at the Fashion Chick party and I’m obsessed with it because of that sumptuous colour. Also, it’s all fluffy and warm. mmmmm.

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Gaucho Grill, Manchester

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWarning: this post contains many chandeliers.

Welcome to my favourite restaurant: this is Gaucho Grill.

Gaucho Grill knows that eating incredible steak underneath all of these amazing chandeliers is pretty damn glamorous.

I was 21 yesterday and I got to choose somewhere to eat with my mum. There are several reasons why I chose Gaucho Grill and the first has a lot to do with the chandeliers.

As you might have seen in my review of Jamie’s Italian, I’m the biggest fan of interiors. Where Jamie’s was a bank (which I recently found out my grandparents used to work in!), Gaucho was either a church or a theatre. With two mezzanine levels, a towering ceiling, and a great big white organ, this was clearly somewhere of grandeur. And let me tell you, it still is. The cow hide walls and the plush carpets are absolutely exciting. Plus, the kitchen is open and part of the floor which I really like.

As for the main event, the steak really is on a par with other places I have had amazing cuts (Shula’s in America and James Martin himself). Mum and I opted for a fillet chateau-briande, and though this place is not exactly cheap (£57.50 for that steak) we get two sides included with that. We obviously obviously went for chips. The crispy/soft chips alongside the Argentinean steak in all it’s medium-rare glory made for one of the nicest and most indulgent meals I’ve had in a very long time. As a student at university, I am after all, used to daily jacket potatoes with baked beans and cheese.

Meanwhile, we were knocking back the day’s special cocktails which happened to be one of the nicest tipples ever: apple and raspberry martinis.

Thank you Gaucho for being unfalteringly exceptional, and thank you mum for taking me for such a great meal!

Find Gaucho Grill Manchester 2a St Mary’s Street, near Rackham’s.

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Nude Glamour…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPlaysuit – Topshop  •  Boots – Zara (old)  • Faux Fur Coat – Vintage  •  Necklaces – H&M and ASOS

This playsuit is an example of why the Great British high street is an absolute asset. It’s from Topshop and I homed in on it because of that belt and back detailing. Plus it’s such a gorgeous nudey colour.

I wore this outfit to the Fashion Chick bloggers’ party last week and I felt pretty special wearing it at the train station on my commute. My massive, sweeping faux fur coat makes me feel like some sort of black and white movie star. It’s definitely not subtle and it’s definitely conspicuous as hell. Not for everyone, but I’m not ashamed to admit I love being the centre of attention with what I wear!

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Plastic Surgery vs. Education

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If you were given the choice, would you rather be extremely beautiful or very intelligent?

There is a new significance to this debate that has dominated many an existential sleepover chat. Because for women of our generation, this is becoming more of an ultimatum than a fantasy.

What with university fees averaging at £9000 yearly, the strange truth is that three years of university education is monetarily equivalent to an entirely new body.

If we assume that you are on a three year course and paying £9,000 annually, you will be forking out £27,000 on tuition fees alone.

So what will £27,000 get you?

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It Was Acceptable in the Sixties

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Skirt  -  Urban Outfitters  (old but similar) •  Sweater – Uniqlo  •  Boots – H&M (old but similar)  • Bag – River Island (old but similar)

I am so obsessed with the sixties right now. I mean, the curiosity began when I was around sixteen. All I would listen to was The Beatles. Like, literally. I had VW camper van-themed everything and asked for a vintage phone for my birthday! Now, the interest as turned into something more intellectual and obviously glam!

I’m currently studying the avant garde and literally staying up until 3am reading Patti Smith’s Just Kids, Andy Warhol’s autobiography and the Beats poets. That also means that I’m wearing high neck lines, short skirts, long-ass boots and heavy liner whilst listening to The Velvet Underground. Hope you enjoy this look. x

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New In Klaxon

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While Simon is working his butt off at Carluccio’s in Hale, I’m here at uni trying to say intelligent things about Frank O’Hara and Jackson Pollock. This is no mean feat.

Essays on Percy Shelley’s poetry and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein were a gigantic amount easier, and yet I still obviously needed to buy some things. The Patti Smith autobiography is currently breaking my heart, and making me feel how very very very sheltered my life is. Seriously, this woman has seen and done it all – utter, unadulterated, filthy glamour.

In fashion-land, meanwhile, I’m super pleased with this South Beach bobble hat that I was sent because it makes me feel a bit like Cara Delevingne but with far less impressive eyebrows.

The two sweaters and the check pants are from Uniqlo, a shop that I was stupid enough to forgo for like, my entire life. Amazing quality, simple pieces.

The burgundy faux fur stole might actually be the best thing I’ve received in a goodie bag so far; it’s Dorothy Perkins (in the sale!) and I received it at the Fashion Chick party. Said party was at Epernay champagne bar in Manchester and was made super by the finger food that was served there…We had mini croque monsieur’s, mini sausages adorned with mash and roast spuds that tasted more like the wedges from Domino’s. Aaaaand, now I’m starving.

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Fairytale Dressing

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Lace dress (sale)  ASOS  •  Biker boots (old) –  River Island  •  Biker jacket (old) – Barney’s Manchester  •  Shark Ring – Luv AJ

 

Dolce and Gabbana know the fairytale. They make clothes for the dreamers, for the princesses and the fairies. This dress is obviously not from Dolce and Gabbana. It’s actually ASOS. But whatever, point still stands.

We shot this look outside the John Rylands Library in Manchester. It’s a masterpiece in Victorian Gothic architecture and I feel the tiniest bit Goth in my biker boots. I’m resurrecting them after last year’s dalliance with punk.

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Jamie’s Italian, Manchester

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Jamie Oliver will forever be the man who took turkey twizzlers away from the British primary school experience. The child in me turns my nose up at him.

However, having grown older, wiser and thankful for the banishment of what was essentially twisted globules of fat and turkey bone, I am now able to see Jamie Oliver for what he really is; an absolutely fantastic restaurant entrepreneur.

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Having previously visited one of Jamie’s establishments in Covent Garden of a certain London town, I was ready for the warm, homespun cuddliness of rustic food served exactly as you like it. And of course, we got it.

Unlike the Covent Garden branch, this restaurant is absolutely breathtaking. The lofty, gold-leaf ceilings and perfect black and white tiled floors were once overseers of the grand Midland bank, and there is still something quite sublime about a building that has seen so much wealth.

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For me, the decor of this particular restaurant was so exquisite that I could have been served quite average food and still left a very happy lady.

Having reviewed a fair few restaurants and other eateries over the last couple of years, I am depressingly used to establishments that think what we really want is complicated and inevitably slimy dishes bedecked in eight different sauces and drizzled with essence of fairy shit. Jamie Oliver knows that what we really want is unadulterated carb.

So it was, that in this intensely beautiful restaurant in which post-dinner cigars would have not looked out of place, that we messily chowed down on burgers, chips, tagliatelle bolognese and more chips.

Delicious, hearty, massive portions made by chefs who I suspect may be an army of countryside grandmas, like pizza served on bone china, this is comfort food framed by glamour. And did I mention that the prices match up to any half-rate (Pizza Express, I’m looking at you) Italian chain?

Jamie’s Italian is at 100 King Street opposite Agent Provocateur. Find out more here.

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Art and Culture #1

KIRSTIN LILJEGREN FOR INTERVIEW MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2014

KIRSTIN LILJEGREN FOR INTERVIEW MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2014

So loves, it’s getting into that wintery wonderfulness; when there are approximately two daylight hours to source your Vitamin D from, and the idea of an inside fire no longer induces pyromania but sheer tears of thankfulness. I personally enjoy the hell out of the cold months because they’re so snuggly when you’re inside, and so damn fashionable when you’re outside.

Confined to the turbulent white sheets of my bed for the last week (God, am I dying for a night at Leadmill), I’ve been researching into things that I’m really interested in but probably don’t study enough. Porter magazine actually inspired me to go out and look for some of the succulent culture I’d been craving (go and buy it.)

Here are the photos, paintings, albums and poems I’ve been l-l-l-loving.

I’m particularly moved by that incredible pink colour in John Tierney’s paintings of LA’s Paul Smith store, and the more I read Howl, the more it makes me want to cry/revolt/fuck bureaucracy.

More of this if my extraordinary scholasticism continues.

ps. I got a tattoo this week.

p.p.s Kill Your Darlings is a must-see. Beats poets x bad boys… *drools*

The Flute Player, Nigel van Wieck

The Flute Player by Nigel van Wieck

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KIRSTIN LILJEGREN FOR INTERVIEW MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2014

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Lydia Cheng by Robert Mapplethorpe

shades of blue john tierney

Shades of Blue by John Tierney

Howl by Allen Ginsberg

Howl by Allen Ginsberg

paul smith melrose Ave LA, John Tierney

Paul Smith Melrose Ave LA by John Tierney

Kill Your Darlingsby John Krokidas

Kill Your Darlingsby John Krokidas

Jenny Lee Parry by For Love and Lemons

Jenny Lee Parry by For Love and Lemons

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Nude in a Theatre Doorway by Helmut Newton

Horses by Patti Smith

Horses by Patti Smith

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Mate by Nigel van Wieck

Mate by Nigel van Wieck

 

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