Absolutely Nothing To Watch, Wear and Buy : Damaris, Packing Heat

I’ve been a fan of Damaris and Mimi Holliday underwear for a long long time. It’s beautifully made, cheekily sexy and just very lovely indeed. This short film, Packing Heat starring Liberty Ross was screened by Damaris at LFW and can now be seen in it’s full brilliant glory courtesy of Vogue TV.

Click on the image to watch the film

Absolutely Nothing To Wear : The Designer Jumble Sale

There’s nothing I like more than fashionable bargains and I love them even more when they’re all in one place and on the same day. This Wednesday (21st September) sees the return of the fabulous Designer Jumble Sale which has become an annual charity event and a firm favourite on the London Fashion Week schedule.

With over 1000 items of serious designer labels, all donated by members of the very well dressed and well healed fashion fraternity, there are more bargains than I have room or breath to mention and prices range from just £5.

Abigail Chisman, former Editor-In-Chief of VOGUE.COM and the woman behind the Designer Jumble Sale spoke to ANTW and chose her favourite pieces from this years sale :

1. Jean-Pierre Braganza trained at Central St Martins, worked with Roland Mouret, and now his own line typically retails from £500. So bag a major bargain with this woolly, sculptural piece – to be worn as a mini dress or top – for just £69. Here, worn with Lulu Guinness faux pearl and chain necklace with pave diamante lips, was £85, now £35.

2. Lulu Guinness oversized raffia flamingo bag, £150

Lulu Guinness bag, £150


3. We miss Luella Bartley! This unused and still tagged PVC biscuit tin bag, with lips and skeleton bag charms, comes from her last collection before recession hit her suppliers and forced her to close her label. So it’s a rare treat – RRP £295 but also impossible to find, so £150 is a real steal!

Luella Bartley bag, £150


4. Motorbike jacket made from baby camel hair, as seen on the catwalk of Michael Kors’ last collection for Celine in 2004, size 10, £175

Celine jacket, £175


5. Tracey Boyd elegant black wool coat, with stunning raised floral embroidery, silk lined, black bead buttons, round-necked and raw-edges at hems, size 12-14, just £45; worn with Mawi’s brand new and boxed red ruby Montana necklace, with skulls, RRP approx £240, now £100

Tracey Boyd coat, £45 and Mawi necklace, £100


Mawi necklace, £100


7. Perfect colour for autumn/winter 2011, good 60s shape, too – Maxmara cashmere mix trapeze mini dress, £59, would fit 8-10

Maxmara dress, £59


8. For the girl who has always dreamed of owning Alaia and never thought she would afford it: Alaia gold snakeskin shoes, size 5.5, lightly worn, cost £500 originally; now £160

Alaia snakeskin shoes, £160


The DJS will be held on Wednesday 21st September at The Church of the Annunciation, Bryanston Street, London W1H 7AH

11am – 3pm and entry is FREE

All proceeds from the sale will go to charity. For more information click here.

And hands off the Maxmara red cashmere dress, that WILL be MINE!


Another wonderful week doing Absolutely Nothing

There’s not much I enjoy more than doing Absolutely Nothing and last week was particularly brilliant.

In Appreciation of the Humble Pomegranate by David Loftus

In Appreciation of the Simple Things in Life by David Loftus

Absolutely Nothing To Drink : La Tisaniere, a very grown up cuppa by Mel Moss

Absolutely Nothing To Wear : Slipper Socks by Zebedee Helm

Absolutely Nothing To Talk About : Minnie Driver by Mel Moss

London Fashion Week Bloomers : Tennis Bottom by Zebedee Helm

Fashion Dilemmas : Ankle Socks


Fashion Dilemmas : Ankle Socks

I used to suffer from daily fashion related dilemmas. Now they’re more of a monthly occurrence and all the more torturous. My most recent is quite a simple one really and it involves, dresses, socks, and high heels.

I very much like the idea of ankle socks. I’d quite happily wear them all the time with everything. They are the perfect boot accessory as well as being the ideal brogue accessory. They work best under jeans as it means your trouser leg doesn’t get stuck on your socks – nothing more annoying when your skinny jean leg rides up because it’s stuck on a knee-high –  they look fabulous with a dress when worn with brogues and I think they also look pretty fabulous when worn with a dress and high heels…

Or could this be one of those trends which is best left to bright (very) young things featured in magazines and blogs and doesn’t translate well at all, when worn by the common (wo)man. ie. me.

I bought the most brilliant dress a couple of weeks ago from COS. It’s a navy knit with a neat little collar, 3/4 length sleeves, a perfectly wide waistband and flippy, heavy knit skirt. It  is exactly the right side of prim and I wore it recently with ankle socks and my brogues and although I felt a little self-conscious, I also felt deep down that it did actually work. So now, feeling bold, I want to go a step further and team it with navy ankle socks and my Louis Vuitton burgundy very high heels. In my head it appears to be the best look in my wardrobe. It’s preppy and modern and a few years ago I would have happily trialled it on my daily commute but suddenly, some years and a couple of children later, high heels and socks make me very nervous indeed.

Is the dress too short? The heels too high? Are the socks the right length and do they fold in the right place? Will they force me to slip and slide around in my Vuittons thus making both outfit and me a complete disaster? Or, the question I’m really scared of, am I just too old and too neurotic to even consider it?

So that’s my big fashion dilemma on this Friday afternoon. I’m venturing to London this weekend for a night out with my husband. We’re staying in a real life hotel, without the children. This could be the perfect weekend for an ankle sock / high heel outing. I can feign fashion insanity and blame it solely on London Fashion Week. After all, I’ve always said I don’t follow trends, not ever.

So while I’m busy being subliminally affected by the catwalks, here’s a few of my top ankle sock inspiration pics from the Marc Jacobs SS12 show in New York. The perfect sock shoe combo.


Marc Jacobs SS12 Style.com


Marc Jacobs SS12 Style.com


Marc Jacobs SS12 Style.com


London Fashion Week Bloomers : Tennis Bottom by Zebedee Helm

Happy London Fashion Week. Here’s to catwalks full of bloomers.

You can see this and lots more of Zebedee’s wonderful cartoons right here

Absolutely Nothing To Talk About : Minnie Driver

She’s an Actress, Musician and Mother as well as being an extremely stylish, funny and inspiring lady.

Minnie Driver talks to Absolutely Nothing To Wear about all sorts of Absolutely Nothing…..

Absolutely Nothing To Wear…..

Times are hard. I can’t spend the usual on clothes for me, with my three year old now in school and growing like a weed. If I WERE to shop it would be at a series of stores near my house in LA called Lost and Found it is a heavenly place.

For now, I went shopping in my closet and found : very odd, never been worn, oatmeal canvas and red leather loafers from Tod’s. Sort of awful until you wear them with white shorts and your boyfriend’s cotton knit, navy blue, fisherman’s sweater.

Also, a black silk Vionnet shift dress which I was vehemently told NOT to belt by a stylist but which obviously looks far better belted. ( I found a very thin dark green leather one from J Crew)

Absolutely Nothing To Listen To…..

Here is a play-list that will make you very happy…

Bonnie Raitt – I ain’t blue
Donny Hathaway – A song for you
Neil Young – Long may you run
The Beatles – Across the Universe
Brandi Carlile – If there was no you
Sade – Paradise
Feist – Mushaboom

Absolutely Nothing To Read…..

The New Yorker; extremely funny, poignant, wildly diverse subject matter from the world’s best journalists/authors.

And Middlemarch by George Eliot; I read it on a beach in Greece once and the juxtaposition of book and location was thrillingly inappropriate and enjoyable.

Absolutely Nothing To Watch…..

Fishtank, directed by Andrea Arnold.  She is just a brilliant director and Michael Fassbender is about as good as it gets.

The Inbetweeners – you can keep your Madmen, I love the boys.

Absolutely Nothing To Eat…..

I just got a new grill and if I can get it at the market, its been grilled. Favourite combination so far is fresh pineapple and salmon marinated in ginger, sliced up orange, soy sauce, agave and garlic. The pineapple caramelizes and the fish gets the crispiest most delicious skin you’ve ever tasted. Ridiculous.

Absolutely Nothing To Do…..

Nature walks with my son. We make a list of things we’d like to find. I try to add seasonal likelihoods to balance out the dinosaurs. We take a bag and it becomes a lovely, lazy treasure hunt.

Absolutely Nothing To Smile About…..

On the morning of his second day of school ever I woke my son up saying  ” Come on chicken you’ve got to get up and go to school” and he looked at me askance and said “Again?

Absolutely Nothing To Wear : Slippersocks

It’s about the right time of year for some Slippersocks but I still draw the line at a Slanket.

So for fans of Coatigans, Skorts, Mandals and Jeggings and other ridiculous fashion portmanteaus, this one’s for you.

Slippersocks by Zebedee Helm

Absolutely Nothing To Drink : La Tisaniere, a very grown up cuppa

Who’d have thought it, I’ve gone all funny about flavoured teas. Turns out I’d rather drink the herbal variety at almost any point in the day than my usual dark, caffeine packed Yorkshire blend of choice. Don’t get me wrong, I still can’t get out of bed without a cup of proper, strong tea with milk but that’s about it. I’m a reformed herbal tea drinking person and it’s all thanks to a particular french tea maker and a new website discovery.

My first memory of a this very different and altogether grown up sort of tea drinking was when I was in Paris on a school exchange. I was staying with Laure, perhaps the coolest girl I had ever met, who lived with her father and his enormous collection of CDs. He was a music producer and also one of the coolest people I had ever met. They drank La Tisaniere’s Verveine Orange sans milk, every morning out of big white bowls and I decided from that point onwards that I would never drink anything else. It was not only delicious but was to me the absolute epitome of everything I thought of as being french and chic. That resolution lasted about a week, at which point I tired of trying to relive the Parisienne dream back home in our little cottage in Wimbledon. It didn’t seem quite the same and the only orange tea I could find came in tea leaves, which proved to be a little too much like hard work for a very impatient 15 year old.

This brings me to the wonderful world of tea according to La Tisaniere. My Mum has been drinking their Nuit Calme for years, or “sleepy time tea” as it’s better known in our house and just like my inherited addiction to The Archers, I too became a sleepy time tea convert when the time was right. It wasn’t long until I got my husband hooked and before we knew it we were loading the car up with boxes of the stuff whenever we drove to France. Then, this year, I discovered a new tea, “Ligne Svelte”, which sounded like the perfect tea to me. It’s a delicious blend of green tea, verveine, mint and hibiscus. I’m not sure it’s giving me a svelte line but who knows, it might just be very very subtle. Anyway, whatever it’s doing it’s got me hooked.

So how to satisfy an addiction to teas when I can only find them on the shelves of French supermarkets? Well for the past few years we’ve been bulk buying or having friends and family post as much as they can get away with in one package. Fine in theory but not exactly a quick fix solution when you’re nearing the bottom of the box. And then I found French Click, the most brilliant website selling all things deliciously French and delivered to your door in a matter of days. Yes you pay a little bit extra for the convenience but when you get a box packed full of Ligne Svelte tea, Amora mustard, Maggi Veal Stock (the best!) and Bon Maman lemon tarts (I can only ever find the raspberry ones here), quite frankly it’s worth every extravagant penny.

In appreciation of the simple things in life…….

In appreciation of the humble pomegranate….