A Good Investment

Every decision we make in life is an investment into our future. Whether it be buying a house or even choosing what to have for dinner, we are pre-empting what will be best for us at some point in the near or distant future. When our financial situation is less than desirable, (which, if you’re in fashion, it probably is) we quickly learn to prioritise, we make allocations and allowances – buying those shoes means I won’t eat for three days, going on that night out means I can’t go on that one, we ask ourselves “Is it worth it?”. When life gives us boundaries, we make the best of our options, we decide what would ultimately be best for us.

The same goes, or at least should go, for love. We have to be wise with our investments. I often get criticised for not ‘living in the moment’ people tell me all the time to not let the future worry or concern me, I’m young, I’ve got my whole life ahead of me, the world is (apparently) my oyster, so why trouble myself in questioning whether the person I’m dating, is my lobster?* Why not enjoy it for what it is, when it is?

My argument remains the same. Why get preoccupied in something that has a sell by date? Why get caught up in a relationship that’s doomed from that start, one that you can already see the end of? When starting a new relationship, isn’t being blissfully unaware of how long it’ll last or where it will take you, half the fun?

In a conversation about an ex of mine, a friend said “Yeah he’s fabulous now, fun, seemingly care-free, but he isn’t a good investment”. Until very recently I never fully understood what they meant by that, now I realise. Living for the moment can only be a temporary state of mind, no matter how secure someone may seem now, there will come a time when there will be a sudden realisation of their lack of achievements, friends, prospects, or whatever they have considered to be ‘accomplishments’ actually amounting to... very little. The people they consider to be friends aren’t actually very good to them at all. Surely these worry-free creatures must stop and think “Where is all this going?” Maybe even once or twice? At some point in life we will all have responsibilities.

Consider the lifestyle you see yourself with in the future, does the other person in your life fit in to this lifestyle? Could they ever be a part of it?

When choosing someone to share your life with, even if only for a short while, we must ensure that we will as good for them as they will be for us. I’m not saying we need to be concerned about the future, we don’t need that nibbling away at the back of our minds, living for the moment afterall is refreshing and liberating. What I am saying is when you invest feelings in a new relationship, be wary that your stocks won’t plummet. This isn’t about getting something out of a relationship, or using someone for personal gain, it’s about emotional security. Knowing that you’re not wasting your time.

On one hand I want to urge you all to not waste your time on something that doesn’t seem like a worthwhile investment just because it seems “fun while it lasts” but on the other hand I want to tell you not to let the future pre-occupy your mind and distract you from what’s important right now. If you concentrate on the future too much, the present can pass you by and you may miss some unbelievable opportunities.

I wish I was one of these people that coasted through life and has the “Whatever happens, happens” outlook, but I just think about things too much. Maybe that’s what I should try. I should relax. Jump at every chance I get and not over-think situations. Throw caution to the wind. It seems to work for everyone else. I’m not that kind of person.... but maybe I could be...

* http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyvRjF0NBeM


Frost Bite and Respite

Hello everybody, Jack's back.

I do apologise for my (longer than expected) absence, I can't believe this is my first blog post in over a month! With university, house hunting (then eventually finding and moving in to a new flat without internet access) and then Christmas, I've been somewhat distracted.

I'm currently writing this from the living room of my parent's house, the house I was brought up in. In front of a roaring log fire (that I started - snaps for me!) and looking over the glistening snow-covered valley, it's apparently the coldest it's been here since 1982 and we had the coldest Christmas Day on record. It's pretty ridiculous. It's slowly becoming my goal in life to never see a winter and to just follow the sun around the world... or just move to LA. Having said that, I always find it comforting and humbling to come back here. A place to gather my thoughts, slow down and get some perspective on life. The perfect time and place to start writing again and to concentrate on myself!

Needless to say, I am throwing myself back into the blogosphere with lots of new material coming your way (mostly lifestyle posts as being out of the fashion loop for quite some time, I've got some catching up to do!)

I hope you've all had a spectacular Christmas and are all looking forward to New Year. Stay tuned for more regular updates. Lovelovelove.

Creative Outlet

Looks like I've found another outlet for the crazy in my head.
I now also have Tumblr. It's brand new so keep an eye on it -

Carey and the Olsens

I don't consider myself to be much of a celebrity reporter, but you can't argue with Carey Mulligan in Chanel couture at the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards.

The 25 year-old British actress (who seems to have come from nowhere) has designers tripping over their hemlines to get her to wear their clothes, and although I don't know if she has a huge team of stylists behind her, but her taste and style seem to be impeccable. There's something very Parisian chic about her attitude and yet she still evokes the true laid-back effortlessness that I (perhaps with slight bias) consider to be quintessentially British. It has also been reported that during that she broke down in tears during the awards ceremony after receiving a phone call from Baz Luhrmann awarding her the role of Daisy Buchanan in his upcoming adaptation of the literary classic 'The Great Gatsby'.

And of course, the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards could never be blogged about without the mention of my favourite twins who were also in attendance -

- they never fail me.

Images of Carey Mulligan courtesy of JustJared.buzznet.com

Tom Ford Womenswear


I melted in awe and squealed with excitement when a friend showed me VOGUE's sneak peak at Tom Ford's Spring/Summer 2011 womenswear collection (his first independent womenswear collection). The decadence, the elegance, the glamour! I'm already excited to see more of the fringing and the tailoring, there's a strong powerful 70s aesthetic but still maintaining Ford's modern edge. I'm bursting to see more!
It's official - he is unstoppable. Is there anything he can't do?
When I know more and when I have seen more, I will blog more. So stay tuned!

Brands You May Have Missed


I've recently gone back to this season's runway shows to see any I may have missed or to check out brands I've never heard of before. First of these brands is by German-born American designer Robert Geller. His menswear debuted at New York Fashion Week three years ago and it seems he gone from strength to strength and is starting to find his voice. I love the shades of deep red used in the above looks and the silky sheen of the shorts (which move amazingly by the way, they flow and bounce and look so effortlessly slung on). The coat in the same deep red is also a favourite item of mine, and definitely a colour I'll be looking for this season.

The leather gilet was also a stand-out piece for me, as was the men's jumpsuit, a daring, risky garment but the Geller shows how it can be worn correctly and stylishly whilst still retaining a masculine edge and not looking like a unitard.

Another interesting detail of the collection was the use of crumpled-effect leather cummerbunds. In a range of colours these add an extra detail and some extra interest to an outfit and is an interesting take on the everyday belt. I would like one in a dark grey please!

Loden Dager (above) was another brand I came across, again it featured a leather gilet which is even more evidence that I should have one in my wardrobe (or more temptation for me to get one at least). I also liked the mixed greens in the look above right, designer Oliver Helden commented that the tailoring this season were in "Ice cream colours" , I assume the look above would be pistachio? I adore the long, well-fitted jacket and the short shorts, and the colour scheme adds and extra unexpected flair to the outfit, I'm all for a coloured blazer.

The final brand I considered worth mentioning was Band of Outsiders. The looks above were my favourites from the Fall 2010 collection. I fell instantly in love with the shearling jacket, complete with an enormous head-encompassing hood...cosy. I also enjoyed the laid-back slouchy feeling I got from the collection. It looked effortlessly cool and unpretentious. It was a new, refreshing take on preppy, college and/or resort wear. Their womenswear is also definitely worth looking at, and although I felt the mens Spring/Summer 2011 collection wasn't quite as good as the collection that preceded it, I predict that this brand's commercial success is imminent.


Goddamned


On Wednesday October 20th my friend Robyn and I ventured to Camden town to see Jay Brannan live in concert. Ever since stumbling upon his youtube videos 2 years ago I have been an avid fan and was determined to see him on his UK tour since I missed him the last time he was here.


The gig was wonderful. Jay played all the songs I wanted him to, (including his goosebump-creating cover of 'Zombie' originally recorded by The Crannberries) especially 'Can't Have It All' being possibly one of my favourite songs of all time and inspired the very name of this blog -

"If these walls could talk they'd probably cry out for mercy,
until I'm outlined in chalk I'll be romantically thirsty"

And of course he couldn't have had a gig without performing his most well-known song 'Soda Shop' which can be found on the soundtrack of the movie Shortbus in which he also stars. I must also mention that Jay was supported by singer/songwriter Chris Pureka who was so endearing, warm and charismatic, her songs were acoustic and emotional works of beauty!


I also had the honour of meeting the man himself before and after he performed (I didn't get a picture with him before he performed so simply had to approach him afterwards). He was grateful, somewhat shy, soft spoken and so friendly. I was not disappointed in the slightest.

The most surprising thing for me was that, before the gig I assumed hearing him live would be pretty much the same as listening to him on my iPod, turns out that when you're within six feet of Jay Brannan, sat with his guitar singing his heart out, you really get to hear his lyrics, you develop a new understanding of them and some songs that you simply enjoyed, now have resonance with you that they never would have had if you had not seen him live. One song in particular with a new-found resonance is 'Half Boyfriend' (lyrics below).

So the moral of this story is that if you're not familiar with Jay Brannan - you should be. Google him, check out his music on itunes, follow him on Twitter, 'Like' him on Facebook and subscribe to his youtube channel which he regularly updates with news, original songs, newly written material and spellbinding covers.

'Half Boyfriend' from the album 'Goddamned'

I don't know where we're going
But I know we've gone too far
And I hope it isn't showing,
But I think I love you
And I can't believe you're leaving
Just when I let you in
And when you had me believing
I could feel again

I could give a million reasons
Why we should not be friends
Our moods change like the seasons
My mood ends your mood begins
And you're a tease, you're a cockblocker
You're a loud mouth bitch and a big talker,
But that's okay.
You'll grow up someday.

You're the pill I never wanted to take.
An anti-misanthrope
Mine was the heart I never thought you would be break
My one hope was that I'd survive you

I've shown up for you in ways that boy never would
But I know you'll go back to him and maybe you should
But I hope you don't go backwards
‘Cause I'm going on ahead
And one day you'll wish that you had stuck with me instead

You're the pill I never wanted to take.
An anti-misanthrope
Mine was the heart I never thought you would be break
My one hope was that I'd survive you

As I wander through Union Square
I remember when you followed me there
You were the stalker I kind of wanted to have
Being your half-boyfriend was only half bad

You're the pill I never wanted to take.
An anti-misanthrope
Mine was the heart I never thought you would be break
My one hope was that I'd survive you.

Must we all be chameleons?

In relationships, sacrifices must be made, some compromises need to be reached. Perhaps a slight tweak of your music taste, a certain shirt that your other half considers to be particularly hideous might never see the light of day again (at least when they're not around) but should anyone really change themselves to make a relationship work?
We've all heard the line from a less than ideal partner when things aren't going very well, "I'll change!" well, what makes you think I want you to? So you change, we get together and then what? You resent me for making you lose touch with your former self? No thanks. Of course there are some relationships that will change you for the better, but we've all seen those God-awful dominating women, thinking they can shape their man into the type of person that they want them to be. Honey, it never works.
Some people are easily blinded by love. They see an imperfect person, perfectly, looking pass the flaws and letting the love become unconditional. As romantic as that may sound to some of you, it really is not healthy. It can sometimes be dangerous for a person (like me) who isn't entirely certain of their personal identity or a person who considers themselves to be a "chameleon" to enter a relationship, whether it be plutonic or romantic. I often find myself mimicking the way someone dresses, stealing a few songs from their itunes and even adopting similar eating patterns, perhaps in an attempt to impress the other person, to feign common ground or perhaps to prove to myself how adaptable I can be. I'm not saying I change my opinions or my personality, I'm talking about minor tweaks I have been known to make in the past. Having said that, I must also say that there have been a good few people who I've felt completely at ease with, wholly comfortable to be who I want and say what I want.
So do we have to change to make a relationship work? Yes, but only slightly.
Of course someone should love you for who you are, but it is only natural when welcoming someone else into your life that you must adapt and/or compromise certain parts of your personality (as should the other person). Some adjustments are necessary, just as long as we never, ever lose our sense of self. We don't want to become a clone of our other half, plus, agreeing on everything is quite frankly, mind-numbingly boring, and God forbid you become one of those couples that speak about themselves as though they are one entity "We love that restaurant", "We hate that film" I despair! Please remember that you are still two independent individuals and not two halves of a whole!
Embrace the change, be open-minded, be willing, be adaptable, be accessible and understanding, but always stay true to yourself, don't let anyone take that away, you've worked far too hard to shape who you are for someone else to come and break it down. Just be it, and you'll eventually find someone willing to do the same, someone worthy of having you.

The Turtleneck and the Facial Hair


Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Hermès

So this season GQ is telling us men to don a turtleneck, it appears it is the must-have knitwear of the season. That's right, the chest-broadening, neck-shortening, double chin-creating turtleneck is apparently trying to make a comeback. Please someone stop this madness.
Fearful that the lightweight turtlenecks above aren't to your taste? Don't panic, how about some heavier turtlenecks to swamp you head even more?

Dolce and Gabbana, Jil Sander

Even the models look awkward.

Perhaps I'm missing the mark here and there is something "European old school cool" about a turtleneck. But all I can think of is tacky 1970s men in flares and corduroy blazers with gold chains around the outside of their turtlenecks, signet rings, thick moustaches and mutton chops, oh and let's not forget - a cigar. In short, a 70s porn star.

Not that I'm stereotyping an entire breed of man that wears this type of attire, I would actually love for someone to prove me wrong, but when wearing a turtleneck, I would instantly feel the need to acquire all the things I listed above, and perhaps to point and wink at all the lovely ladies that walk pass me as I strut down the street .

But for now I think I'll leave this trend for someone else to attempt to pull off, for I am not David Starsky, I am not Kenneth "Hutch" Hutchinson, and let's be honest,


no one is as cool as Ron Burgundy.


Holy Hi-tops Batman!


For some reason, unknown even to me, I want these.
Not a matching pair you understand,
Batman on one foot, Robin on the other.
Of course.

Blogger's Block


"I'm a connoisseur of roads.
I've been tasting roads my whole life. This road will never end.
It probably goes all around the world."

Now I know I haven't blogged in a long while, to be quite honest this has merely been because I haven't had much to say. Between looking for a house, looking for a job, starting my second year at university and just downright enjoying myself, my life hasn't really been that eventful of late and I therefore haven't had much to report or comment on.
I often get like this. I consider myself to be rather introverted, always in my head, always thinking and yet now and then my fountain of creativity can temporarily dry up. Instead of posting meaningless crap and just generally cluttering up my blog, I would much rather wait until something comes to me, something of substance, something actually worth blogging about, rather than blogging for the sake of blogging (which far too many people are guilty of).

A very good friend of mine gave me some of the best advice I've had recently "You can go to all the parties and know all these fabulous people, but it doesn't pay the bills". Sane, simple, sound advice. Another acquaintance of mine mused "Go out as much as you can, meet as many people as you can and just work on getting yourself out there. These girls that go home every weekend to be with their boyfriends will get nowhere." Two very different pieces of advice, both of which I have to agree with. The message here is, that although making contacts and social events are vital, it is important to stay grounded, don't get too wrapped up in it all. Keep your priorities right - party your ass off, meet important people, but remember you have bills to pay and probably a mountain of other responsibilities.

Although I am a very sociable person, and consider myself fairly easy to get along with, I have often struggled to create really strong affinities with people. With huge age gaps between my sisters and I, I felt very much like an only child and spent a lot of my childhood either alone or with my parents (I've been called a "mummy's boy" far too many times to count). I consider this to be why I find it difficult to spend too much time with the same person/people. I've been mistaken for a social butterfly, a social climber, but in reality it's not that I'm flitting between friendship groups, I'm merely trying to find my way in the world, trying to figure out where (if anywhere) I fit in and in what kind of tribe of people I belong. Which to be honest, I'm really enjoying, I've met some incredible people and made some amazing friends along the way.

At twenty years of age I am still constantly learning about myself. Getting older is a constant education. I truly envy people who are so sure within themselves, they know exactly who they are, what they want and where they're going. I've always had a rough idea, but have never pinned down any specifics. Perhaps this has saved me from being even more overly-ambitious and setting myself up for disappointment, who knows?
There's plenty of things I'm not too sure about, but one thing I do know is that any day now, I'll know exactly who I am, what I want and where I'm heading. But right now, I'm just enjoying the ride.

New Obsession Alert II


Paris-based super stylist Catherine Baba is rather fabulous.
Old Hollywood glamour teamed with Parisian chic, how can you go wrong?

Footnote: This does not mean that my love for Anna Dello Russo has subsided in any way...

... just so we're clear.


Camel Grows Up


Gucci

By the looks of the latest pictures from Milan Fashion Week it seems that this season's it-colour "camel" will evolve next season and make way for more golden, earthy hues, a deeper and richer nude palette, and hints of (dare I say it?) khaki...

Versace

This new colour trend which is set to be hot for spring/summer next year is the chicer, more mature big sister of the camel shades that have graced both the runways and the high street (thank you Zara) this year. With Gucci, Versace, Gianfranco Ferré, Alberta Ferretti and Etro showcasing this colour scheme, it is sure to become unavoidable.

Gianfranco Ferré

From nudes and gold comes the inevitable graduation into the more "khaki" shades of the colour spectrum. As Tim Gunn would muse, this worries me. With khaki comes the whole "camo" aesthetic, multiple shades of dark green and outfits that take the military trend a step too far and have you resembling a legitimate member of the army, or a zookeeper. Not cute.

Alberta Ferretti and Etro

Thankfully Alberta Ferretti veered off that path and edged slightly towards a more yellow tone. Now this interests me. As yellow is possibly the most difficult colour on Earth for a person to wear, this simplifies it, but still doesn't make it an obvious yellow. It's yellow without being too yellow. I think this colour scheme is the complete antithesis to what we (or at least I) were expecting. Other designers please take note that this is the route you should all be taking and then we can all breathe a sigh of relief that "camo" (and God forbid camo print!) is dead a buried.

Grazie Alberta!

Worth The Effort



The "Apples on Trees" theory has been circling the internet for quite some time, I have no idea who wrote or said it, I simply stumbled across it on someone's Facebook profile. It spoke to me, it really did resonate with me, it's pretty much what friends and family have been trying to tell me for months and I never really took much notice. Reading it in black and white however, the message came through loud and clear.

I related to it, not in an egotistical way, but because it is often how I feel about myself and I've never really been able to verbalise it in an eloquent and clear way. There was a time, not so long ago, when my opinion of a certain someone was far higher than any opinion I have ever had of myself... never again.


For those of you who have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about, here is the "Apples on Trees" theory (aka the story of my romantic life thus far) :

"Boys are like apples on trees, the best ones are at the top. Other boys dont want to reach for the good ones because they are afraid of falling and getting hurt. Instead, they get the rotten apples from the ground that aren't as nice, but are easy. So the apples up top think there is something wrong with them, when in reality they're amazing. They just have to wait for the right boy to come along, the one who is brave enough to climb all the way to the top of the tree."

I'm worth the effort, and he'll be worth the wait.


Summer 2010

Being British I spend a large amount of time complaining how awful the weather is. However when it does improve I seem to spend that time complaining that there are far too many insects and people on the Earth and not enough beaches. Having said that, as a self-confessed sun-worshipper and welcome any form of summer with open legs. Especially in Britain.

This summer has been pretty incredible. I've got closer to existing friends and made so many new friends who I know will still be in my life in years to come. Good friends are hard to come by in the city, particularly in the fashion crowd and this summer has certainly been an eye-opener, I've learned a lot about myself and those around me. My biggest and most useful lesson has been to prioritise. As much as I adore my lifestyle, I didn't move to London to party and/or fall in love. I moved here with the intention of making something of myself, building a foundation, meeting people, carving out a career for myself and to start the journey towards becoming the man I have always wanted to be. I'm much more focused, determined and at peace now. With a few internships under my belt and more to come, this summer has been a constant education. I'm going into winter not only enveloped in chunky knitwear and cosy shearling, but also feeling stronger, more confident and more optimistic about the future than I've felt for... let's just say a very long time.

My trip to Egypt was good for me on so many levels. I needed to get away for a while, I needed good weather and good times and some worry-free time, which is exactly what I got. Escaping emotional and career drama and also the ongoing house-hunting drama, I was simply existing for 2 whole weeks. I returned to London relaxed, with a clear train of thought. I had gained a new perspective on things, new priorities, new goals and a new outlook on my path in life.

I'm ready to take on the world.
I just hope the world is ready for me.

My mantras this summer come from two of the most inspirational people to have ever graced the Earth.

Abraham Lincoln -

"The best way to predict your future is to create it."

And Lady Gaga -

"Some women choose to follow men, and some women choose to follow their dreams. If you're wondering which way to go, remember that your career will never wake up and tell you that it doesn't love you any more."


Thank you to everyone who has made this summer so amazing and so memorable (next summer has a lot to live up to!) and thank you to those who actually take the time to read this blog. It does mean a lot. I put a lot of time and effort into it and try to be as open as I can without blabbling about every minute detail of my life. (Another thing I've learned this summer - albeit the hard way - is how to keep my mouth shut when necessary). With the fashion weeks drawing to a close and the new uni term starting in less than a week, this month feels like a second new year to me, a second chance for a fresh start. Let each year be even better than the last!

Here are some pictures from this summer. Some of me. Some of me with friends. Some are just pictures that have inspired, caught my eye or meant something to me over the summer of 2010.


And remember kids, don't be afraid to fuck up occasionally. Making certain mistakes could be the best thing to ever happen to you...