Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Mutton dressed as Spam

Well, here we are approaching the end of July in 2008 and we are experiencing another warm patch in the schizophrenia that is our British Summer. My husband had the day off yesterday and we took child number two off to the Common for a picnic and a kick about - yes I attempted to play - and was even complimented on my ball control. I suspect my sexy husband was just surprised having recently devoted a great deal of his time trying to coach me at tennis of which I have no skill whatsoever (I blame the intense ballet training I undertook as a child and teenager - apparently tennis works all the opposite muscles.)

It was most pleasant and being a Tuesday, it was nice and quiet. Child number one had gone to the beach with her friends - dressed in white jeans and a hooded top. She refused to take it off because she feared her white t-shirt was too clingy. How are 11 year olds so self conscious nowadays? She is slim and beautiful and already 3 inches taller than my 5 foot nothing self and yet off she trots on the hottest day of the year looking like she has a sun allergy. 

As we munched on houmous, tomato and rocket sandwiches - lovingly made by my husband. I kicked back on the grass and enjoyed the views. What views? The rippling ocean? The Isle of Wight? The many monuments? Clarence Pier? No, no - the great British public. Or the inhabitants of Southsea and surrounding areas that happened to be passing by where I sat. So, my daughter's all trussed up in jeans and a jacket while most of the female Common visitors appeared to be wearing nothing at all. There's the obligatory Mums who have got dressed in a hurry who are clearly sweltering in a not too dissimilar fashion from child number one in jeans and a t-shirt. Then there's the ladies who have come down to the Common simply to sunbathe, laying in their patches in nothing but a minuscule bikini. I have no problem with either of these tribes.

I watched in awe as a young teenage thing jumped up from where her group of friends sat and ran barefoot at quite a speed like a young Zola Bud with long flowing blonde locks across the grass towards the park where her other friends were sitting on the swings. She ran with panache wearing a short kaftan style blouse which just skimmed her hips and pair of black pants. Black pants? Yes. Black pants - pants as in knickers - no shoes and a tiny kaftany blouse. She carried it off with such aplomb that I wanted to cheer as she reached the fence and did a very grand skip and a wave to her friends. I wasn't expecting her to take a leap at the fence then lose her footing before smashing her face on the post. Ouch, that had to hurt. Did she take a tumble? No, she regained her composure instantly. What a first class filly. She carried on skipping towards her friends before greeting a girl in a green tube dress with a theatrical hug. I inwardly chuckled and glanced at my husband to see if he had taken it all in - but he seemed quite unimpressed. There were some chic sights and there were some fright sights to be seen on that fine Tuesday in the sun.

What is it with women who are not just content at being mutton dressed as lamb? (I very often fall into that category) There are women who have morphed into a whole new disturbing category I call it "mutton dressed as Spam." They pour out of the ground like flying ants in the hot weather. These are not just women who dress 10, 15, 20 years too young and let's face it - that's not such a bad thing nowadays. These are women who are overly processed. Contain too much salt. Come in kitsch packaging. Look cheap and nasty and couldn't be appealing even if they were battered. The kind of women you might find on Jeremy Kyle or loitering in a doorway in Amsterdam. They have leathery skin the result of a thousand sun beds and a 40 a day lifetime smoking habit. They wear big jingle jangle metal jewellery that must be burning their already hot orangutan skin. They boast that can wear the same ra-ra skirt that they bought back in the 80s and convince themselves that they are a size 10 just because they can still fit into it even though it's straining at the seams and their legs are poking out from the bottom like two hot sausages waiting to burst from their skins. They fail to notice the 2-3 Stone that they have gained over the decades. They always sport a big parched hair. They stink of cheap perfume, which coupled with the fags and hairspray leaves a nasty zing in the back of your throat if you happen to walk past one of them.  They wear PVC stilettos or high heeled sandals with their cracked heels and bunions hanging out. They are so sad - and yet so funny. They ARE Mutton Dressed as Spam.

I have a huge disdain for VB - she makes clothes look cheap. She's not quite in the Spam category but she just has an air of ridiculousness about her. I am quite upset that Marc Jacobs who's designs I adore, chose old Posh to be his advert model. I'll give her due - she does have a sense of humour but she takes her image very seriously and often gets it very wrong. I laughed like a drain when I read about the recent flight fiasco. There was a scare for Posh because a bird flew into the plane's engine so the pilot had to land shortly after take off. A scare because VB feared for her life? No. She was scared that she might be seen in public without the make-up that she had already taken off. She had also removed her clothes and was all comfied up in her jim jams. Horror! I'd have been terrified if I'd been on that flight and caught a whiff of her.
It was so kind of her to get dressed again and look - as a special treat she matched her belt bag and shoes to the tan on her legs and ridiculous chest!

I am giving my website  a re haul as I am not happy with the way it looks. It's not particularly sleek. It should be done in the next few weeks but I am delighted to have taken the work of two new designers on board. Sharei La Mar a Central St Martin's Graduate who has a boutique offering one offs in Covent Garden and a concession in London's flagship Topshop store and BelleBika who make wonderful luxury shoes.

Sharei La Mar makes adorable cotton dresses with original styling. This Daria dress for example is lightly boned with a stretch smocked back. The fabric is covered in cute little cherries, it's fully lined and it has a contrast fuchsia underlay with matching belt. It's also an absolute steal at £65 for such craftsmanship. It also comes in an array of different colour ways and backgrounds. Please contact me if you are interested or keep checking back to the website.

BelleBika are an Australian based duo who design superb quality shoes. The aspiration to create sexy, timeless designs which don’t follow trends is the incentive behind BelleBika. Together they engaged in the vision and combining childhood nicknames was the most fitting choice when deciding upon a name. BelleBika felt strongly about having their product made in Australia supporting local industry & enabling them to closely oversee the product development and ensure high quality.

BelleBika always aspire to create something that is different and not seen before. Their current collection has been inspired by their European work and travels. 'We were motivated by their non-inhibition when it came to the use of colour and have injected this into our range. Each piece is designed as if the foot were a woman's figure, accentuating and exposing the sexiest constituent; this blended with an appreciation of bygone eras has resulted in designs that create a seductive look with a classic edge’.

As soon as you see their designs you will fall in love. Keep posted to for more BelleBika designs available in the UK.

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