Archive for 2010|Yearly archive page

In 2010, I Probably Shouldn’t Have…

In I tried... on December 28, 2010 at 8:28 pm

201o’s Most Memorable ‘Oopsies’

Probably Shouldn’t Have DONE That…

Why Did She Do it? Heidi's People Magazine feature

Cosmetic Surgery

One of the biggest shockers in celebville of 2010 was when reality television sweetheart, MTV’s The Hills star, Heidi Montag voluntarily butchered her natural looks after undergoing no less than ten surgical procedures.

  • Mini brow lift
  • Botox in forehead and frown area
  • Nose job revision
  • Fat injections in cheeks, nasolabial folds and lips
  • Chin reduction
  • Neck liposuction
  • Ears pinned back
  • Breast augmentation revision
  • Liposuction on waist, hips, outer and inner thighs
  • Buttock augmentation

Unfortunately the only word we could think of when the 24 year old revealed her new look in January 2010 was scary.

Yacht Sailing While my Company Spills 200 Million Gallons of Oil into the Ocean

When BP chief Tony Hayward was spotted by photographers on his $270,000 racing yacht at the height of the oil spill disaster, his spokesmen told critics, “He’s spending a few hours with his family at the weekend…I’m sure that everyone would understand that.”

Err, no!

Having a jolly old-time sailing through clear waters while your oil spill causes the death of thousands of marine wildlife and cripples local fishing and tourism industries in the Gulf of Mexico? NOT okay!

You couldn’t have picked a more appropriate activity for your day off Tony?

The White House said the move was one of a “long line of PR gaffes and mistakes” by Mr Hayward.

Greenpeace described the boating trip as “insulting… rubbing salt into the wounds” of those who had been affected by the spill”.

A local fisherman effected by the spill said,  “None of us can even go out fishing, and he’s at the yacht races.”

Quit My Job as Editor of French VOGUE

“When everything is good, maybe I think it’s the time to do something else.”

Carine Roitfeld, Former Editor of French VOGUE

NO! When you have a job like ‘editor of Paris VOGUE’, the very coolest of all the VOGUE editions, the kind of job most women would sell their souls for, ya don’t just decide to ‘do something else’! Jobs are hard to come by these days honey!

Reports are circulating that Roitfeld was actually fired from VOGUE because of her alleged rocky relationships with LVMH and Balenciaga. Rumour has it that Roitfeld refused to dedicate an entire issue of advertisements to LVMH brands and had been banned from using Balenciaga in the magazine for allegedly helping MaxMara to copy their designs.

While we’re never one to trust rumours, it does seem like a more plausible explanation for leaving behind one of the most coveted jobs on earth next to being CEO of Facebook.

Not surprisingly Carine says, “she has no plans at all”.

Big oops.

Probably Shouldn’t Have BOUGHT That…


Latest ‘It’ Bag

So you bought that CHANEL bag resembling a bin-liner this year? Or the iconic chain bag? Great! You and every other oil-pumping heiress with a sense of style inspired by the one and only Paris Hilton.

The truly chic invested in no-name, no-brand lipstick carriers this year, swearing by vintage leather shoulder bags and nostalgic one-of-a-kinds….

Should have been taking note from these ladies…

Anti-It Bag Iconic and Modern-Day Pioneers: Left, Jessica Hart and right, Jane Birkin

3D Technology

A technology that nobody really asked for.


If you fell for the 3D hype this year, my condolences. If you bought that 3D television, you will have quickly come to the realization that there’s very little 3D TV content available and you grossly overpaid for a premature product.

P.S. You look rediculous in those glasses.


Ed Hardy Clothing

On behalf of the female race, we would like to thank both Ed Hardy and the cast members of Jersey Shore for helping us to be able to identify douchebags at any given time…

Probably Shouldn’t Have SAID That…

Mel’s Meltdown on Tape

“I’ll put you in a f**king rose garden you c**t. You understand that? Because I’m capable of it”.

“You need a f**king bat to the side of the head, alright?”

“You look like a f**king b*tch on heat. And if you get raped by a pack of n****** it’ll be your fault, alright?”

The filthy mouth of Mel Gibson, ladies and gentlemen.

I really tried not to dislike this guy throughout his numerous public scandals because I have been always been a fan of his films. In the end, his inexcusable language used towards the mother of his child, Oksana GrigorievaI led me to realize that I would never be able to look at him on screen in the same way again. I hope for all our benefit, including his, that he just disappears from public life.

‘Bring it On, Snow!’ – Heathrow Airport

Pre-snowgate, this is what Heathrow Airport said in November in a press release, still available on the airport’s website

TITLE: “Heathrow’s Army of Snow Ploughs Stretch their Wings as Snow Bites”
DATE: 29 November 2010

….We won’t rest on our laurels and promise that we’ll be ready, waiting and doing everything we can to make every journey better for our passengers… With an extra half a million pounds invested in equipment this year, Heathrow’s airside department run constant checks of runway and taxiway areas, applying de-icing and of course clearing any snow and debris away…. Heathrow’s snow team has been working for months to ensure the UK’s hub airport will once again be prepared for the onset of winter…. While London may have run out of grit last winter, Heathrow is determined that it doesn’t run out of the highly concentrated de-icing fluid it uses on the runways…Heathrow’s airside operations teams have spent the summer refreshing their training with plans being discussed with airlines, baggage handlers and air traffic control to ensure a coordinated response.

So Heathrow, how did that work out for ya? (Maybe it’s time to take that press release down from the website).

Calling Angelina Jolie a

‘C .U.Next.Tuesday’

Chelsea Handler went off on Angelina Jolie during a standup performance in November, calling the actress a f**king homewrecker and worse.

“She can rescue as many babies from as many countries as she wants to. I don’t f**king believe you … she gives interviews, ‘I don’t have a lot of female friends.’ Cause you’re a f**king c**t … you’re a f**king b***h.”

Hmmm, we might all be thinking it, but nobody likes that word. Foul language, foul play Chelsea Handler.

Probably Should Have Tried Harder…


Oh Blackberry, is that the best you can do? Next to the iPhone 4G with its wonderful world of applications and video calling, your second-rate internet browser and dwindling technology made it very difficult for customers to remain loyal. Your Pièce de résistance, Blackberry messenger (BBM) won’t save you forever.

Better try harder next year. And we don’t mean ripping off Apple’s ideas (yes I’m referring to this Blackberry ‘Playbook Tablet‘ – a prime example of ‘too little, too late’).

Sex and the City 2

How do you screw up the cinematic sequel to one of most successful and celebrated shows in television history? Here’s how…

With shockingly BAD fashion…

A plot line where nothing actually happens…

Wierdly futuristic and overly photoshopped promotional campaigns…

An unexpected, underlying theme of Middle Eastern culture-bashing…

Lindsay Lohan

Numerous failed rehab stints, drunken relapses and court-ordered appearances– just as we think Lindsay’s about to make a sensational Britney-style comeback, she fails a drug test again.

Then again, we never now what can happen in Hollywood. Maybe she’ll one day become the respected actress she set out to be. Maybe not.

This is Messy Nessy signing off until 2011.

Happy New Year!!!



Ten of the Best Things about 2010

In I tried... on December 23, 2010 at 8:21 am


1. Making Fun of Hipsters

(Even though we all have something in common with that Youtube video)

‘Hipster’ became mainstream in 2010… whether you liked it or not.

And then one day… someone wrote a song about it..

And suddenly, the fear of looking too hipster when getting dressed in the morning became very real...

In case you’ve been living on planet Mars for the last six months, behold the infamous Youtube tribute to hipster fashion.

2. Blake Lively vs. Leighton Meester

(The Year of the Gossip Girls)

Who’s better looking? That might just be one of the trickiest questions of 2010. But without a doubt, these two breakout Gossip Girl actresses transgressed into bonafied Hollywood starlets this year.

Having made more red carpet appearances and magazine covers in 2010 than we had square meals, both will reportedly front major fashion campaigns next year (Blake as the new face of Chanel and Leighton to model for Missoni).

Meester was a very busy lady, landing a heavy-duty supporting role in the anticipated drama, Country Strong, alongside Gwyneth Paltrow and also tried her hand at a singing career earlier this year.

Having appeared on the cover of VOGUE twice at only 23 years of age, Blake Lively is being given a fast-track ticket to superstardom by a her very own fairy godmother, powerhouse editor Anna Wintour.

3. Androgynous Style

Androgynous Trendsetters of 2010: Coco Sumner, left, Alexa Chung, right

Brogues, aviator jackets, military boots and schoolboy chic; we couldn’t stop dressing like the boys in 2010..

Meanwhile the fashion industry experimented with androgynous and transgender supermodels

4. The Hipstamatic iPhone App

This wonderful little application which essentially makes a picture of dog poop look edgy and retro, made it difficult to take photographs in any other way this year…

The hipstamatic app spread like wild fire and soon appeared on Facebook albums and yup, you guessed it, on MessyNessyChic (I confess to being a bit of a dickhead hipster at times).


5. Lady Gaga’s Sunglasses

It really has been a pleasure eyeing up Gaga’s eyewear of 2010. The woman already gets enough attention for her meat dresses and record breaking music sales but one thing MessyNessy thinks has been overlooked is Lady Gaga’s incredible sunglasses collection. Gaga is a total genius when it comes to finding extraordinary eyewear that she manages to pull off every time.

6. Geeky Boys

Clockwise from top left: Glee's Matthew Morrison, Napster's inventor Sean Parker, Social Network actor Andrew Garfield and Mark Zuckerberg

Zuckerberg is TIME’s man of the year, The Social Network was the movie of our generation, Glee‘s “gleeks” are a television phenomenon; suddenly being Mr. Popular, the iron-bodied jock, that rebellious heartbreaker, is not what qualifies for sexy in 2010.

The objects of our affections are noticeably shifting towards the misfits, the brainiacs, the boys who own the future; the geeks!

So guys… less time in the gym and more time learning html code.


7. Street Style

2010 was the year that street style surpassed the catwalk as our go-t0 for fashion influence.

Celebrating individuality, focusing on style rather than designer labels, and saluting the fashion savoir-faire of the unknown passer-by, a new breed of fashion photographer has diverted attention from celebrity style and fashion week runways, which have monopolised fashion coverage for the best part of this decade.

Blogs such as The Sartorialist and Face Hunter are now mandatory reads for magazine editors and designers alike.

Street style is about how real girls put themselves together – as opposed to male designers deciding what women should look like.

MessyNessyChic Street Style Blogs (click to view)


The Good, the Bad and the Funny of Paris Fashion Week Street Style

London Fashion Week: The Good, the Bad and the Downright Silly

CHANEL Models Off-Duty Street Style

Grannies with Style

Paris Street Chic at FIAC Art Fair

Style Spy at Notting Hill Carnival

Style Spy: Festival Chic



8. The Rise of the Indie Female Rockers

From left: Ellie Goulding (one of the most googled names of 2010), Florence Welch, Marina & the Diamonds


Girls next door; talented songwriters with quirky voices took over our iPods one rocker at a time. Move over pop tarts.

9. Photoshop and Plastic Surgery Backlash

With increasing exposure on the extensive use of photoshop in media and more celebrities emerging with unnatural, stretched and cartoon-like features this year, we’re wising up to the fact that all those impossibly beautiful women we see in our magazines and on television, are just that– impossibly beautiful… without plastic surgery or extensive photoshopping that is.

See more about this:

The Reality of Celebrity Photoshop

What Happens When You Play With Natural Beauty


10. Pre-pubescent Trendsetters

Child-blogger and newly appointed fashion editor, Tavi Gevinson. CLICK TO READ HER STORY

Celebrity Off-Spring turned fashionistas to be reckoned with: Madonna's daughter Lourdes, left and Will Smith's daughter, singer Willow Smith, right

Age ain’t nothing but a number.

And you thought we couldn’t get through a review of 2010 without mentioning Justin Bieber.

Damn it.


How to Look Cool Skiing

In I tried... on December 20, 2010 at 7:22 am

The DOs and DON’Ts of Achieving the Seasoned Skier’s Confident Swagger

DO act like you’re excited to go skiing. Even if you’re a total amateur and likely to break a leg before the end of the trip, try to look perky and enthusiastic at the top of the slopes before you possibly plunge to your death.

DON’T fall victim to the cowboy-meets-astronaut ‘ski boot stride’. Walk like a normal human being.

DO pretend that you didn’t just take that embarrassing dive down the slope and violently fill your mouth with snow. If no one saw you fall– it never happened. Casually look up the mountain as if to say “I’m waiting for someone”. Slyly recuperate.

DON’T eat the yellow snow.

DO this:

DON’T do this:

Keep your form (and dignity) in check:

DO have a decent-looking passport photo on your ski pass. It’s visible for all to see; have some self-respect.

DON’T tuck your bulky ski trousers into your boots. My own mother embarrassed me for years doing this, just be considerate of the people that have to ski with you.

DO be prepared to hear endless talk about skiing or snowboarding before, after and during skiing or snowboarding. Red wine helps to drown out the noise.

DON’T go to rent your ski equipment in the morning or else prepare to endure the sort of queues where children will be crushed and ski poles are used as weapons. Get it done the evening prior and you won’t have to endure your entire group cursing at you all morning for the late start.

DO expect your hunky ski guide to hit on you. It’s part of his job description.  Even if you’re both guys.

DON’T do any of the following:

Ungodly one-piece ski suits

His and hers ski-wear wasn’t okay then…

And it’s still not okay now…

DO take influence from any of these:

(maybe add a shirt)

Mix and match..

Start a style comeback

If Brigitte Bardot wore skinny jeans in the 70s while skiing (above), MessyNessy might just have to try it…(minus the red socks)

Jeans might be a fashion faux-pas in skiwear, but who would have thought alpine christmas sweaters would be cool again ?

Speaking of….

Dolce & Gabbana AW 2010

(please bear in mind the outfit on the right is best reserved for après-ski)

Grungy snow-boarders’ style is out… Remnants of old school elegance is in.

And finally….

DON’T get off the chairlift like this:

Enjoy the ski season and just be thankful you don’t have to do it like these cheerful looking ski enthusiasts…

The Photograph that Would Launch a Career

In I spied... on December 16, 2010 at 7:31 am

Charlie Gilmour: The Controversial Photograph that Would Launch a Career... (And Get Him Arrested)

What’s the easiest way to become a Celebrity It-Boy?

You didn’t really think Charlie Gilmour, notorious student protester and son of Pink Floyd guitarist, David Gilmour, was swinging off of this cenotaph honoring fallen war heroes because he was actually concerned about the rising price of British university fees, did you?

Since being exposed in this widely publicized photograph as the off-spring of rock royalty, the British press has launched a sensational campaign, closely documenting Charlie’s very naughty activities during a week of intense student protesting. Major newspapers printed his picture on their front pages, condemning the 21 year-old Cambridge student who’s university tuition fees are paid for by his musician father, reportedly worth £78 million.

Being crowned public enemy number one? Perhaps the perfect formula for becoming London’s next celebrity “it” boy and the kind of exposure that publicists could only drool over…

Step One: Do Something Highly Controversial

Protest street-chic...?

(and look fashionable doing it…)


 which was quickly quashed by nearby police
Charlie’s attempt at lighting a fire outside the Supreme Court: He was photographed continuously and spotted in all the media hot spots… An amusing and brilliant execution of a flawed and unfocused rebellion?

Step Two: Get a Modelling Career

MessyNessy did a bit of digging on the nation’s notorious ‘rebel without a cause’ and found Charlie is in fact signed to Select models and has a convenient selection of smouldering photographs, just waiting to be leaked by the press, or better yet, showcased in next month’s high society magazines.

Charlie modeling the same coat that he was photographed in swinging on the British flag


A friend wrote on Gilmour’s Facebook page: “That is you climbing the flag, yes?” Gilmour replied: “No. Not me. Someone else. Whoever it was obviously on acid and didn’t know what the f*** he was doing and how much of a massive f***ing backlash there would be…” The pal wrote, “My mistake” – to which Gilmour replied: “My big f***ing mistake.”


Step Three: Issue a Public Apology

Queue the PR Damage Control : Gilmour’s Public Apology

“I would like to express my deepest apologies for the terrible insult to the thousands of people who died bravely for our country that my actions represented. I feel nothing but shame. My intention was not to attack or defile the Cenotaph. Running along with a crowd of people who had just been violently repelled by the police, I got caught up in the spirit of the moment. I feel additionally mortified that my moment of idiocy has distracted so much from the message yesterday’s protest was trying to send out. I did not realise that it was the Cenotaph and, if I had, I certainly would not have done what I did. Those who are commemorated by the Cenotaph died to protect the very freedoms that allow the people of Britain the right to protest and I feel deeply ashamed to have, although unintentionally and unknowingly, insulted the memory of them. Ignorance is the poorest of excuses, but I am sincerely sorry”.

Step Four: Have a Great Background Story

Charlie's Father's band, Pink Floyd famously sung the lyrics, "We Don't Need No Educatiion" in their 1979 hit, Another Brick in the Wall

The age of innocence: Charlie (far right) pictured with his family at the CBE ceremony honoring his father.

Step Five (still to do):
Get a Famous Girlfriend

Think Pete Doherty and Calum Best

Here’s to a fruitful new career of contributing absolutely nothing to society!

We should expect great things from young Charlie who has made his mark without the assistance of his parents, a sex tape or reality television. You may not appreciate the pictures of him swinging off a monument honouring the country’s fallen, (which was especially stupid since his own grandfather was a First World War hero) yet it has to be said, there was certainly some PR genius and a hint of brilliance in it all. Here I am blogging about him and now here you are reading about him…


Good Guys vs. Bad Boys: The Gift Guide

In I heard..., I saw... on December 14, 2010 at 7:55 am

Christmas Gift Ideas for Under 100 Bucks

I‘m basing my men’s gift guide on that age old dilemma that girls face when it comes to boys; good guys vs. bad boys. While the ideal guy is probably a bit of both, these two stereotypes make deciding on his Christmas gift just that little bit easier!

What kind of man are you buying for…?

He likes to wear his trousers around his waist, not around his ass…

American Apparel Belts from £27 ( a staple in any preppy’s closet)

He reads The Economist while sipping on espresso

Stainless steel, mirror polished and heat resistant glass Mocha Cups by Alessi, £65

His dinner jacket is simply incomplete without one…

Paisley Pocket Square by Ralph Lauren, available instore from £70

He sticks to the classics…

Colonia Eau de Cologne, Shower Gel, Shaving Cream Gift Set by Acqua di Parma, £72 from Space NK

He takes after his father…

Paul Smith Shoe Tree, £60

Quality is top priority

Hand-crafted Slim Card Holder, £85 by Bill Amberg

He doesn’t sit down for breakfast in his underwear…

Cotton Terry Kimono Robe, £75 by Ralph Lauren

He has an inner-geek…

Seletti Office Golf Set, £39 from the Conran Shop


His kicks are just about the only truly clean things in his closet…

Paul Smith Leather Trainers, £100

He’s just a bit rock’n’roll…

Vintage Vinyl Coasters – LEARN HOW TO MAKE THEM HERE

He can be a bit of a moody boy…

Seletti Leather Punchbag, £80 from the Conran Shop

He can’t sit still for very long…

Renewal Metal Frame Military Rucksack, £17.99 Urban Outfitters

Born to be wild…

Nannini Italian Goggles, 87 Euros

He’s a sucker for vintage automobiles..

Car Doormat, £16 from Urban Outfitters

For acting like he’s too cool for Christmas… Sometimes, he needs to be taught a lesson…

Suprising Mug, £8 from Urban Outfitters

He needs hang-over food… NOW

2 in 1 Toaster & Egg Cooker around £50


Photostory: Nothing New Here…

In I saw... on December 13, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Browsing ‘Authentic-As-It-Gets’ Vintage at the Marché aux Puces in Paris, MessyNessy Gets Trigger Happy with the Hipstamatic Lens

How to get there:

Take the metro line 4 to the last station, Porte de Clignancourt. Don’t be alarmed by the neighbourhood when you emerge from the station, you’re in the right place. As a general rule with vintage markets around the world, you have to pass through a rough neighbourhood to get to the good stuff. Following the direction of the signs to the Marché aux Puces from the metro, a five minute walk on the left is Rue des Rosiers. Turn into that road and you’ll be where I was. Don’t be afraid to get lost in the old arcades and little backstreets inhabited by vintage and antique merchants.

Always open on Saturdays and Sundays, now starting to be open on Wednesday, Thursday and Fridays.

Where Does All Our ‘Vintage’ Clothing Come From

In I spied... on December 12, 2010 at 4:51 am

Sifting through rails of retro basics; Levis 501’s, shearling jackets,, leather belts, paisley prints; ever stopped and wondered, “Hang on, where does all this stuff come from?”

Vintage shops are acquiring mainstream status in fashion retail. MessyNessy is asking where the clothes are coming from and is it all really vintage?

Finding out the answer wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. What became apparent quite quickly is that retailers and suppliers work very hard at concealing the truth about where ‘vintage’ really comes from.

There are two possibilities….

If you’re hoping it might come from secret vintage heavens overflowing with clothes, passed on from wardrobes of previous generations, waiting to come back into fashion– you’d be wrong.

The truth, for which I was utterly unprepared, is that a substantial majority of vintage retail is rejuvenated product from clothing recycling bins. That’s right, those big plastic bins which you often see outside of supermarkets or on street corners. The ones you wouldn’t dare give such a cruel fate to your own wardrobe rejects. Those ones.

I kid you not, our vintage is simply rubbish.

With a public relations disaster like that, it’s no wonder retailers and suppliers work so very hard at hush-hushing the details of the origins of their stock. Indeed, sources squealing on this backdoor practice prefer to remain anonymous.

Smells rather sinister.

The second possibility, less disturbing but equally disappointing, is the reality that a significant portion of vintage stock derives from what is called deadstock.

Deadstock; Never-before-used fashion produce, predominantly with all its original packaging and labeling in tact, never sold in-store and hoarded in a warehouse somewhere for over 40 years, four years or maybe… a mere four seasons.

Essentially unwanted stock, the vintage trade likes to market this as “Re-found stock”, “New-old stock”, ‘an item that simply didn’t get snapped up and we should be so lucky to have it as a result’. They might even have you believing you’ve come across a genuine retro, no-longer-available, ‘re-found’ item. It’s possible, but more often not.

Vintage is a magic fashion buzzword. It gives new life and breathes value into excess, faulty or unsuccessful stock.

Most of us would hope to be rooting out timeless collectors pieces when we shop vintage, but as the industry appears to be approaching a peak in demand, it calls for a small dose of expertise and for being very, very picky.

The problem is, vintage is becoming too mainstream for its own good and the fashion buyers are becoming much less selective, relying more on mass wholesalers to meet the increasing demand.

Wholesale companies, often buildings over 20,000 meters squared in rural areas are supplying to both independent vintage shops and retail giants such as ASOS (the online shopping mega-store expanded its range to vintage and ethical clothing in 2008 along with a 95% increase in profits).

What’s interesting is that vintage retailers who order from wholesale companies actually have little choice in the stock that they are provided with, upon their agreed price. Fast-fading is a notion of individually sourced, hand-picked clothing from another decade. That is a vintage industry of yesteryear.

Pictured above is France

Standard industry practice with ?vintage? product is to buy in bulk– and to take whatever you’re given. If a buyer was to order 100 cotton, floral-print dresses at the discounted bulk price, they would receive a ‘mix’ of dresses, typically delivered in big black or brown paper bags, all cotton (or a blend of) and all with various floral prints.

Many suppliers even sell clothing by the pound (lb). Prices depend on the ‘grade’ of the clothing.

Grade 1 means ‘very good condition’– no holes, no marks, no tears (steam and put on the rack).

Grade 2 means ‘good condition’- maybe a small washable mark, small seam tear, or missing plastic buttons.

There is no way for buyers to exercise their own quality control and the ability to choose special pieces at a vintage wholesaler is very rare.

Some shop owners try to develop a relationship with their wholesalers and pay a little extra to have trained vintage ‘graders’ put together special mixes, perhaps specifying a decade, but generally, this is a highly impersonal experience for buyers who find that wholesale representatives are generally disconnected and disinterested in fashion themselves (and often in the quality of the clothes too).

The truth of it all is that genuine, high quality, original vintage finds are getting harder to locate. Most have been snapped up by fashion designers, dealers, boutiques, stylists or heads of fashion houses, looking to find things for movies/ television or as a source of inspiration.

Vintage Savoir-Faire

If you’re serious about vintage, think like the eagle-eyed members of the fashion trade and get to the treasures before they do.

Vintage markets in the big cities, if you go early enough, are still potential gold mines with independent traders who have trawled up and down the country sourcing their clothes from other obscure vintage or antique markets.

Charity shops really are worth visiting for unexpected designer pieces, passed on from the wardrobes of local residents who would never dream of disposing of an Escada jacket circa 1980 into a recycling bin.

Vintage Chanel couture at Didier Ludot in Paris

If what you’re searching for is designer and designer only, you’ll have to pay the price. London’s finest designer vintage store in my opinion is Relik at the North end of Portobello Road, which stocks show-stopping vintage pieces by anyone from Yves Saint Laurent to Ossie Clark to Vivienne Westwood– for a pretty penny.

The backstreets of affluent Knightsbridge are also home to several ‘dress agencies’, operating on a buy-sell-trade principle, building treasure troves of second-hand designer labels from the closets of wealthy neighbourhood residents.

[Knightsbridge Dress Agencies: Pandora’s Box, Salou, The Dress Box]

1960s Chanel bag at Didier Ludot, Paris

In Paris, I found Didier Ludot on the Jardin du Palais-Royal hosting an extraordinarily large collection of vintage Chanel and other haute couture fashion houses from as early as the 30s.

Chanel Espadrilles, Didier Ludot

[More Designer Vintage Shops in Paris]

If you prefer to stick to the high street prices in vintage stores, which ideally, I’d like to as well, bear in mind a few tricks of the trade in recognising the real deal. While I would only ever buy things I like, once you get it home sometimes it’s nice to get a more specific idea of a garments provenance.

It’s in the Detailing:

– Pay close attention to how the garment has been constructed; the detail and the quality (and by the way this rule applies on all shopping sprees). Older garments are more likely to be the handmade ones, constructed with detail and care. Mass produced product may have been around since Victorian times, but it wasn’t until  post-war 1950s that women stopped being loyal to their dressmakers and started shopping in department stores. Little details to look out for that would show your vintage item is older than 60 years could be small clips in the lining to attach to bra straps or ‘poppers’ to stop the garment from gaping.

What the Labels Tell You:

– According to the Vintage Fashion Guild Label Resource, the first garments to ever feature sewn-in labels were produced in the mid 1800s. Labels are a pretty interesting way of finding out approximately how old your vintage item is by taking a closer look at the actual lettering and logo. Take the Frank Usher label pictured below; the font and design reflects classic 50s elegance and glamour.  In the 1970s however, the label changed to something slightly more representative of it’s time– let’s say a little more of a  ‘hippie and trippy’ vibe! 

– Care labels on clothes have only been a legal requirement in the last few decades and so an item lacking one may indicate a pre 1970s garment. You could also bear in mind that symbols used on the care labels in the UK are a trademark of a company that opened in 1963 called Ginetex. If you spot this trademark, you’ll know your item was definitely not made before 1963! – If you know your fashion history, don’t forget the most obvious thing; the prints and colours. A graphic “scribbled” print and colours like grey and hot pink might date an item to The 80s saw a lot of graphics pop up on clothing (we all know an 80s design when we see one) and 1970s used a lot of orange, browns and purples.


Don’t forget that buying vintage means being green, helping the environment by recycling garments. This article was not intended to deter you from buying vintage. Absolutely not.

I, myself am more intrigued than ever to take my newly acquired industry-insider knowledge and apply it on my next vintage shopping expedition…I hope you are too. Just remember to dry clean.

Race you there.


Images via Eurika Fripe website, Google image search and Retro chick

What to Buy a Girl For Christmas

In I want... on December 9, 2010 at 6:52 am

The Messy Nessy Chic Alternative Gift Guide Part 1: Ideas for Her All Under 100 Bucks

You may not know exactly what to buy a girl, but you should certainly know what makes her laugh…

Indeed, if someone bought MessyNessy this Mr.Messy apron, it would put a smile on my face. A good gift for Mummy if you can find one that says what a fabulous cook she is!

Mr. Messy Apron, £15 from Urban Outfitters

An ideal stocking-style gift for office pals…

Puffy the Eyebag slayer, £3.60 from Coco Ribbon

The Quirky Accessory…

Because no one would ever not comment on it!

Bath tub ring, £10 by Topshop


You just need to give us an incentive to be creative…

Because using the hipstamatic iPhone app is SO last year (even though I’ll probably SO continue to use mine).

It’s time to get authentic on these retro snaps!

Lomography Diana F+ dreamer, £50 from Urban Outfitters

Us girls are suckers for coffee table books, especially ones about fashion.

With street style being the new fashion runway, The Sartorialist and Facehunter (two of the internet’s most visited street style bloggers) have compiled the best images to show their unerring sensibility for street style.

Style Diaries presents insightful profiles on almost 50 of our favourite and most influential online bloggers alongside a colourful spread of photographs showcasing the personal style of each contributor.

All under £20 (click in titles to shop)

There’s a Tomboy inside Every Girl…

These are just too much fun, especially since I actually had one when I was eleven years old.

Cambridge Satchel Company bags from £80-£100


Gotta have one of these to remind ourselves exactly how sexy we can be in men’s clothing!

Chiffon Oversized Button-up Plaid Shirt, £52 by American Apparel

Because We’re Girls After All…

Uggs are out but Ugg-style ballerina slippers? Hmmm… don’t mind if I do.

Microsuede Ballerina Slippers, £8 from Topshop

For the girl that likes her eccentric statement jewellery…

Kenneth Jay Lane Butterfly Pendant, £89 from Coco Ribbon

For the more dainty jewellery lover

Disney Couture Perfume Bottle Necklace, £55 from ASOS or Disney Stores

Perhaps Something that Might Help us to be a Little Less Messy in Life

Girls need protective iPhone cases like babies need arm-bands. But we would also like it if those protective cases had some girly appeal…

Jewellery designer Danijjo gets on the tech train iPhone/ iPod covers from $68 at

It’s something we’d never get around to buying for ourselves but with the tangled state of our jewellery collection, this is something we really need…

Spinning Bird Jewellery Stand, £30 from Urban Outfitters

A ring that’s hipster enough that it’s not too cheesy…

Laura Lee Gold Treasure Forever Ring, £95

If you’ve got that kind of relationship, why not go for lingerie?! If you don’t know her bra size (most men don’t) stick to the bralette (a bra without a cup) and figure out whether she’s a small, medium or large (come on, it can’t be that hard).

Blue Lingerie Set by Coco Ribbon, £95

If You Find Designer Vintage, She’ll Eat it Up…

Vintage Escada. Full Stop. I usually have a rule about buying clothes as gifts for girls (sizing & we’re just too damn picky), but if you come across a vintage designer piece like this– bag it! She’ll eat it up. Stick to clothing like cardigans, loose jackets where sizing isn’t a huge issue.

Vintage Escada Blazer, £60 from Pret A Portobello (F.Y.I this is Portobello market online)

Click to go to post


Boy Crush du Jour: Guillaume Canet

In I spied... on December 8, 2010 at 6:30 am

Before Hollywood Steals Him

Okay, so I don’t normally do this… If I have a crush on a boy, he’s always the last to know. My semi-coy, semi-‘not-even-that-interested’ act works pretty well for me most of the time, thus if Guillaume ever happened to read this article, it would be all over for us, the humiliation would be too much to bear and I would have to pick up the pieces of a tragic love lost. But here I go…

He really has that 'Mignon? Moi?' look nailed.

Meet Guillaume. Pretty cute hey? If you aren’t French, the only time you may have ever seen his face would have been in that 2006 Leonardo DiCaprio flick, The Beach, where he played the rediculously good-looking French guy, after which, he pretty much disappeared from English-language cinema. So why should you care? Well, MessyNessy has a hunch– that he’s about to become Hollywood’s newest heartthrob-with-an -accent.

Guillaume, far right in The Beach

You see I forgot to mention that while he pretty much disappeared from rest of the world’s radar, at just thirty-seven, Canet has been making a name for himself as one of the most celebrated directors in French cinema today. He has starred in over twenty French films since his supporting role in the Hollywood blockbuster, The Beach and now he’s back for more– a lot more. Guillaume is about to appear in cinemas world-wide as the leading heart-throb male alongside Kiera Knightely and Eva Mendes in Last Night.

“It’s a very cool film about adultere – faithlessness,’ Guillaume says. ‘You see parallels between the two couples. It’s beautiful.’ When asked if it compares to 2004’s Closer, starring Jude Law and Julia Roberts, he says with a wonderfully-French lack of modesty, ‘It’s better.’

Is he single? Unfortunately not. In fact he’s one half of a serious French power couple with Oscar-winning French (Hollywood adopted) actress, Marion Cotillard. They look blissfully happy together so there’s no chance, don’t even think about it. They even work together. Guillaume recently directed Cotillard in a film that’s been reigning top in the French box office this fall, Les Petits Mouchoirs (Little White Lies- if a cinema near you is playing foreign language films, get yourself in to see this one, I absolutely loved it).

Doesn't she look annoyingly engrossed in what he is saying? Canet directing Cotillard in Petits Mouchoirs

Other interesting facts about my latest crush:

  • He was once married to actress Diane Kruger. Meeting in Paris as drama students in 1999, they wed in 2001 and worked together on a film he directed, Mon Idole (a reality TV satire), before splitting amicably, citing work pressures, in 2006.
  • He never meant to be an actor but a showjumper. Born in the suburbs of Paris, he is the only son in a family of horse-breeders and was a member of the Junior French National Equestrian team. ‘I was on my way to be a professional horse rider until the accident,’ he says. ‘I was broken all down my right side. I realised I had spent all my youth being in horse competitions, seeing the same people all the time. I was 18, I wanted some new things.’

  • On Hollywood: “Interesting, sometimes nice, not somewhere I want to be all the time”.
  • On himself: “I don’t know if it’s shyness or what but I like to be on my own. I’m… kind of like a bear.’
  • He loves to play guitar and has a mix of electric and acoustic instruments, as well as a vintage collection, because ‘they’re even better when they’re old, like good wine’.
  • He loves English humour, especially Monty Python.

Next time you’re in the mood for a foreign film, see Canet’s most critically acclaimed directorial effort, Tell No One.

Or just sit and wait for Hollywood to get their grubby hands on him…

What Models Really Get Paid

In I spied... on December 7, 2010 at 6:56 am

In the midst of my semi-hypnotic state of web surfing last week, I noticed several of my online news portals featuring an article about some fashion models suing their agency for stealing earnings. ‘Who gives a toss?’ I thought. Those girls make too much money doing nothing anyway. However, now that the case has been opened in court, along with payment documents and confidential contracts, some very interesting industry revelations are up for public viewing. Ever dreamt of being discovered by a modeling agency scout? Thought models made thousands by gracing pages of Vogue? You might think differently after reading this article…

Polish ‘supermodel’ (this term is used so easily nowadays, but I’ll use it anyway) Anna Jagodzinska, pioneer of the $3.75 million lawsuit against  her former modelling agency in question, Next, has submitted the following statement to the Manhattan Supreme Court. Dated April 23, 2010, the document lists payments that the model has yet to receive for her work. And it’s pretty revealing.

Vogue, it turns out, doesn’t pay. Literally. According to this document, Paris Vogue has owed payment to Jagoszinska since just under a year ago in May 2009. American Vogue has also not paid up for two jobs the model did in October and December of 2009. You might also note that the pending payments aren’t exactly the kind of amounts you would expect from the global fashion giant, with a day rate of $125 from French Vogue and $250 from American Vogue. According to sources, landing a job for a magazine editorial, whether it be a Condé Naste publication or not, is basically volunteer work for models.

So where does the big money come from? Advertising campaigns– if you can get one. Catalog work also pays well, offering day rates in the low thousands. Fortunately for our model Anna, she landed several advertising campaigns with H&M ($60,000), Laird & Partners ($35,000 from the creative agency which produced her Bottega Venetta and Donna Karan campaigns), J. Crew ($15,000) and Grey Paris ($172,500 – another creative agency). Not too shabby. Oh, but wait! None of them have paid her yet. Hence, Next having marked final balance of $89,684.50 as ‘unavailable’.

Now let’s get to the really scandalous stuff and find out exactly why the models would be suing one of the top agencies in the business. Take a look at some examples of Next’s agency fees deducted from her account:

  • $650 for including Anna in its “show package,” or the packet of head shots that agencies mail to casting agents to promote their models just before the start of the runway season.
  • $75 for “IMAGING/WEB-DEC., JAN., FEB.,” presumably a cost related to having her portfolio on Next’s website.
  • $100 for the purchase of magazines. (Agencies buy magazines to rip out editorial photos or “tears” that feature their models.)
Okay, maybe these seem like reasonable management costs. Would they still seem reasonable if I told you these are costs billed separately, against what remains of the model’s earnings after Next has already taken its 20% commission?
According to the Next management contract which has also been made public, the agency authorizes itself to make any deductions from its models’ accounts for any reason whatsoever, without informing the model, seeking her permission or needing to provide a receipt. That’s pretty worrying! So worrying in fact that you wouldn’t be half-wrong in suspecting that some of the deductions from your balance could be untrustworthy, fraudulent even. $100 is an unusually round number for buying a bunch of magazines wouldn’t you say? For mailing out pictures to various casting agents, how does one come up with the sum of $650 exactly? From the inside of a hat perhaps?
  • Don’t forget the whopping tax bill at the bottom of the statement. Because she is not a U.S citizen, Next deducted $85,012.50 in taxes even though Anna is an independent contractor and not an employee.
If Anna wanted any of the money from the companies taking their sweet time to pay up, according to her contract, she would have the option of getting a loan or an ‘advance’ from Next. How nice of them! Too bad they’ll be charging a 5% upfront interest charge of the sum from which a 20% commission and Next’s other costs have already been deducted.
The contract also states that Next, at its sole discretion, may choose not offer ‘advances’ during the interval between when a job is completed and when a client actually pays the agency for the model’s work. A list of jobs that don’t qualify for advances include runway work, jobs for any client based outside the U.S. and any job with “clients or customers who have filed for bankruptcy, [or] have credit deemed questionable by Next.”
Elephant in the room? Why on earth would Next want to book its models to work for bankrupt or ‘questionable’ companies that it suspects will never pay them? Well for one, the potential cost of one model getting fed up and leaving the agency is guaranteed to be lower than the potential cost of displeasing that production house or brand (or so they thought). There is allegedly an entire list of companies that Next will not advance monies for, which according to the contract, is available to its models upon request. While this infamous list was not submitted to the court for this lawsuit, a former Next model revealed to that prestigious fashion house, BCBG Max Azria was one of the companies listed on it. I wonder if Vogue, who have yet to pay Anna is also on that list. In fact, I’d put my money on it. Who wants to harass Anna Wintour about an unpaid invoice?
It would appear as if clients not coughing up the cash is quite a common occurrence in the modelling industry, for which Next is well prepared. The model? Not so much. While the agency has a strong incentive to chase up clients on payments which they have advanced to their models, what about the clients that don’t qualify for those all-important advances? I suspect the incentive is considerably less– hence  an account statement that looks like Anna’s. Next won’t make that 20% commission but it can still deduct its ‘miscellaneous charges’ from the models other earnings. In the contract, Next promises to make “diligent efforts” to recover all payments  clients, but adds that in the event that a client refuses to pay the amount, all legal representation and/or debt collection will be charged to– you guessed it, the model.
As if this wouldn’t be enough to send any model running for the hills had she known the true extent of Next’s breach of money management, the agency also permits itself in the contract to keep up to $5,000 of a model’s earnings, just in case they incur any expenses additional  expenses on the model’s behalf at any point in time.
One wonders at this point why anyone in their right mind would ever sign such a contract. Bare in mind that most models aren’t yet 16 years old when they sign with their first agency. Most models are in and out of debt with their agencies throughout their careers. A common story: model racks up thousands in debt in aggressive markets like New York or Paris, agency sends model to work it off in less mainstream but more but cost-effective markets such as Germany and Australia. ‘Rinse and repeat’. 

No matter what industry, no matter how much you’re earning, none of this sounds right does it? The three models  filing the suit are so convinced that Next’s breach of money management is so extensive and so serious that they’re not just after the compensation. They want the court to enforce Next to open its books to reveal exactly what they’ve been up to. If the allegations are true and there are other models who have had considerable earnings withheld, this could be the beginning of the end for the industry giant. Call in the auditors!

Q: Guess who just bought FORD models (Anna Jagoszinska’s new agency since she left Next)?

A: Russian billionaire Vladimir Potanin, whose business partner was arrested several years ago in the French Alps for suspected involvement in human sex trafficking.

Wow, that’s a disturbing thought.