Tuesday, 29 January 2013


It's easy to forget Elle Fanning is just 14 years old, especially when she photographs as beautifully as she does in this recent shoot for Bullett Magazine:

Modelling the likes of Jil Sander, Christopher Kane, Chanel, Rodarte and Giles like a PRO

The accompanying interview talks about her certain Virgin Suicides, Angela Chase-type quality, given her "tender, distinctly mid-’90s languidness" and I'd have to agree - something about that long, messy blonde hair, gangly adolescent awkwardness and slightly miserable coupin says young 90s Lux Lisbon to me, no?

I can't find information on Bullett's website RE credits, but whoever did the creative direction and post-production, MAD PROPS - totally loving the visual impact of these shots, and I normally find adding effects afterwards really pointless and distracting, but here it all makes sense. And ditto with the makeup... Anyone for a  glossy orange eye ?

The shoot and interview are promo pieces for the upcoming theatre release of Ginger and Rosa (think it's already been out in the US?) which looks decent...

However the GOFF (and Coppola fan) in me is more excited for Twixt, released in spring/summer time...


Thursday, 24 January 2013


Last week (so up to date as usual!) the images for the Alexander Wang SS13 campaign were released, shot by Steven Klein and showing model Malgosia Bela looking pretty masculine and stripped back.

The campaign has a weird, insudtrial Ancient Greece sort of feel, and it's divided some of the fashion press... Personally I like it, but then I'm a massively biased, die-hard Wang fan and he'd have to do something REALLY awful to disappoint me.


I can see the thinking behind the toughness of the shots and poses, as the dresses, cuffs and sandals are typically masculine, industrial and contemporary (and there's definitely something toga-ish about those dresses). Plus,Wang's gone for a kind of "disjointed" feel by pulling apart and making a feature of all the seams which is SUPER COOL, but remember Rihanna on Xfactor in the white SS13 Wang dress? I love that it showed you can ALWAYS style Wang in a wearable way.

Morally bankrupt but SMOKIN' hot!

I just love Alexander Wang... Can you tell? Even more excited for his debut at Balenciaga now, if that's even possible!

Thursday, 17 January 2013


*WARNING: long*

So you know when you wake up in the morning (feeling like P-Diddy) and have a swatch through the news on Twitter and read something that seriously bums you out? Well... that. Except this didn't just bum me out you guys, it ENRAGED me too. So much so that I couldn't stop thinking about it and I literally HAD to write this huge long rant about it. Sorry in advance.

The thing I'm talking about is an article on The Herald website - a newspaper I read, respect and have even worked for - called Men Think Women Should Cover Up at Work And I Agree, by Susan Swarbrick, a journalist I respect for being high up in her field, and in a position of relative power and influence. Which makes it all the worse, really. In case you haven't read the article (and you should, because this will make way more sense) I've picked out just some of the many parts that RILED ME UP no end.

Firstly though, a disclaimer. Why do I feel like I have the right to respond to this article in this sort of way? Apart from the overriding fact I am a person with a brain and opinion and an outlet, I’m precisely the target audience. In it, Susan Swarbrick is talking about women like me. Or, in any case, TO me. Or at the VERY LEAST she’s talking at me. And I don't like what's being said.

Recently I’ve noticed a worrying trend of women slagging off other women in the media - of women more than willing to align themselves with backward, out-of-date sexist views because these days feminism and gender equality is TOTALLY UNCOOL, MAN. Well I’m not buying it. Remember the glory days of 2010? Let’s get back there folks. We can’t be complacent about this stuff…

So, yeah, here I go picking out the bits that I can't deal with. Be warned, it's pretty much the whole thing. Point number one:
“According to a recent survey, nearly a third of males don't like seeing their female colleagues in skimpy outfits, with mini skirts, revealing tops and hot-pants topping the veto list”

UM, I'm sorry, but where the hell do YOU work? If this is a third of ALL men then this kind of mental workwear must be RIFE, right? Except, let me tell you, I’ve been in The Herald offices, and not ONCE have I seen anyone cutting about in “revealing tops and mini skirts.” It’s the same as saying men don’t want women to wear bikinis to work – a moot point because, hello, THEY DON’T? Unless they’re a lifeguard or something. I’ve worked in several offices, big and small, from fairly smart to super casual and never have I seen any female rock a pair of hotpants to the Monday morning meeting. Not once. And frankly, if I ever did, I’d be questioning the company, not the chick rocking out with her ass hanging out. I mean, if you (most likely a man, let’s face it) are in a position to be hiring and firing, and you choose to employ someone LIKELY to get her chebs and ass out around the office (by that I mean for a job where hotpants and bra-tops are inappropriate, for which the office IS one, don't get it twisted), then maybe you don’t know what you’re doing and I don’t want to work for you.

Point two:
Spout off all you like about a woman's right to choose, express individuality or whatever other feminist badge of honour you wish to brandish, but – like it or not – we are all judged on what we wear.

"In a perfect world, whether you wore stilettos or wellies to the office would matter not a jot, but here's the clincher: it does. “

Look, I think we all know we're are judged on appearances. Such an important point, you need to make it twice, huh? OK, I’ve got it. People (men, and you, obviously) will judge me on what I wear to work. And instead of suggesting that’s maybe not such a great thing, you’re instead suggesting I stop trying to fight these kinds of attitudes, SUCK IT UP and just get on with accepting it. Also, I’m SO uncomfortable with the wording and tone of this part, it makes me physically cringe. The sneering way “feminist” is presented turns it into a dirty word – how DARE I not want to accept that if I wear a sleeveless blouse or a skirt that exposes my knees a male colleague will assume I’m crap at my job. Sorry, let me take off my UNCOOL feminist badge and just sit down to it, shall I? The tone is all wrong.

How disappointing. This the perfect point to talk about the nuances of being judged on looks in the workplace, on the many subtleties surrounding image and gender stereotyping  - about WHY it happens, and WHY it’s not cool.  As it stands, it’s pointless. Except to beat me around the face with things I already know to be true, with a stick made out of derision and misogyny. Frankly, it smacks of laziness. It's always easier to agree and re-present unfortunate facts in a sarky way than to challenge them, isn't it?

Point three:
“Sexist? Maybe. But if a man turned up at work with a shirt slashed to the waist and bottom-hugging hot pants, he would probably find himself categorised as odd or creepy, labels arguably no less demeaning.” 

Again, MOOT. We're back to the rubbish reasoning of point one. This never happens. Have YOU ever seen a man "with a shirt slashed to the waist and bottom-hugging hot pants" in YOUR work? In philosophy we studied bad logic like this, I think it’s called the Exaggeration Faulty Causation Fallacy (it’s got a fancy Latin name as well but I can’t remember)... WHEN HAS THIS SERIOUSLY EVER HAPPENED? And likewise the other way round... As I said before, I’ve never seen a woman in any office I’ve ever worked in wearing hot pants or a cropped top. For real. Come on, Susan, you KNOW this issue is a thousand times more complicated than you’re making it here. Plain BAD reasoning.

Have I seen women wearing jumpers or skirts that are a bit too tight to work? Yes. Have I seen them wear massive platforms which totally don’t go with their outfit? Yes. Have I seen cleavage in the workplace? You bet. Have I judged these women? Yes. Until I’ve realised that they’re getting a bonus that month and I’m not… for doing WELL in their job. Or until I’ve realised the one with the boob job is actually the manager (true story) and really I should be giving her props because she’s worked there for longer than me, climbed the ladder and is in a position to fire my ass any minute. Because, mostly, the women who have the confidence to dress ATTRACTIVELY or STYLISHLY or FEMININELY to work (and really, this is what it’s about, isn’t it?) often have the confidence to do well and compete at the same level as their male colleagues who don't have to worry about sh*t like this. To go for promotions, to bust balls. And a ball-busting woman in the workplace a thing to admire. Right? And even if Julie from accounts likes to flash a bit of thigh now and then, as long as the bloody accounts are done well and on time, why are we all slagging her off? If she came in in leather chaps and nipple tassells, that'd be different. BUT SHE WOULDN'T, because that doesn't happen! Gahh!

Anyway, honestly, it gets worse. Point four:
“I have a friend who is a personal fitness trainer and she wouldn't spend her working day in a dress and kitten heels any more than I would wear jogging bottoms and a Nike crop-top to interview an important dignitary.

"Imagine a police officer in a cleavage-displaying mini-dress and teetering high heels arriving to break the news of the death of a relative. Not appropriate by any stretch of the imagination.”

Oh God. I just… I don't even know how I'm supposed to respond to that. Except with a GUTTURAL WAIL. I can’t even…

Point five:
“Knicker-skimming skirts, plunging necklines and any other garments better suited to a fortnight in Magaluf have no place in a work environment. Unless, of course, your workplace happens to be a pole-dancing establishment.”

Nice, end with another big fat dose of misoginy. I can’t tell AT ALL by your tone that you despise pole dancers by the way. Brilliant. Let’s hear it for sisterhood, ladies!

OK, so let’s accept that the point being made in this article relies on a GROSSLY EXAGGERATED example of dressing like a stripper to do an office-based job. Which never happens. But you know what does happen? Bare arms. Make up. In the summer, MAYBE AN OPEN-TOED SANDAL or even exposed calves! And, less than that, fashion. Style. Prints, block colour, patent leather accessories…  How MUCH are you (and apparently 30% of all men) suggesting I cover up here? What would you rather I wore? Why does it make YOU feel more comfortable if I dress in a floor length sack when I’m at work? You see how this is dangerous? Once you start, where does it stop?

I’m mostly disappointed that I’ve been so grossly underestimated. As a reader of The Herald, clearly I have a brain, I’m educated, I work for a living, in an office, I’m in my mid 20s, I earn a decent wage… etc. Like, I would imagine, a large portion of the readership. And you think you can slip this by me? You think I won’t NOTICE or, worse, CARE? If I want to dress my age and show my curves and feel empowered and look good and present my best self at work, you, The Herald, are telling me I shouldn’t? I have no problem with anyone, men or women, dressing their best for work. Dressing stylishly, dressing fashionably - appropriately, obviously - and dressing attractively. It tells me they take care of themselves, have pride in their appearance and exude confidence. This article implicitly assumes I don't know the difference between THIS and dressing downright ridiculously. A policewoman in a mini dress and heels - I MEAN, PLEASE!

It’s hard enough, hard A-BLOODY-NOUGH being a woman in the workplace. That’s right, we still earn (on average) 16% less for doing the same job as a man. And more than that, it’s hard enough being a woman today PERIOD, trying to get on, do what you love, earn money, be successful, be respected... Ladies, I KNOW you hear me. I don’t need disappointing articles like this to remind me that it’s not just the men I’ve to watch out for judging me negatively if I wear a kitten heel and bum-hugging pencil skirt to work (but like, why would I ever wear a kitten heel you guys?) it’s my own kind now too. Brilliant.

Yeah, so, sorry for this mental rant. I just was honestly REALLY disappointed by the tone and discussion in this article. The exaggeration of something that's a genuine issue into a farcical excuse to laugh at women who are fighting their hardest in the workplace just to keep up with men ISN'T REALLY MY DEAL, yi know?

Wednesday, 16 January 2013


Kate Moss is 40!

OK, 39, but, like, ALMOST 40! Sorry to make you feel old but it's a fact.

My feelings about her have always been weirdly conflicted...

Here's the thing. I think Kate Moss *the person* is a bit of a bint. She can be VERY irritating in interviews (giggling, smoking, swearing, putting on stupid voices and generally acting like a fud) and sometimes appears to be incredibly THICK. I mean, getting caught snorting coke in a jakey toilet? How skanky, Kate, it's not like you're massively famous or nowt. Plus, remember those awful Pete Doherty years? I think we'd rather all forget THAT happened. Oh, and "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels," right? WRONG mate, mon with me for a Nandos and join us in the REAL WORLD.

But that's ridiculous, because Kate Moss *the model* doesn't exist in the real world - she's like some perfect, mythical being, and as soon as someone snaps her picture, gone are all the horrible bintish things about her I hate, and instead she's transformed into the biggest and best supermodel of all time. Ever. An idol, a deity, and I'm captivated. I can't look away. It's like she's half pain-in-the-ass and half ACTUAL goddess and the only distinguishing factor is a camera.

Jeeze. Anyway, my favourite Mossy is early 90s Mossy. 15-year-old Mossy from The Face and the cover of Vogue '93 and THAT Calvin Klein campaign etc... In particular Mossy by pal and photographer Corinne Day who sadly died in 2010. Day managed to catch a young Kate Moss better than anyone else, probably because the two were pals and you're always comfier getting your wazzos out in front of someone you know, right?

Jokes aside, these shots are amazing, still, and her best. Surreal to think they were taken over 20 years ago.

Isn't that last one EVERYONE'S favourite picture of Kate Moss? I had a rubbish print out of this up on my bedroom door for years and years. Actually, I've no idea what happened to that... Must see if I can get another that's not of such a grainy Epson printer quality.

But yeah, you get my drift. Kate the person, not so much. Kate the model, there's no one to touch her. Happy almost-40th.


Friday, 11 January 2013


Thanks to Mairead for the headsup over on Facedeath that the red-carpet pics of last night's Critics Choice Awards were up - GO GO GO!

I'm not going to waste any time on anyone else's dresses because, frankly, they were all a bit MEH... except from Marion Cotillard who was my favourite of the night and absolutely NAILED IT in this fabulous Zuhair Murad dress with Jimmy Choos and Louboutin clutch...

Just totally stunning, and I'm loving the hair too - making me rethink my middle part...

What do you guys think of Marion's dress, and did you have any other favourites from the red carpet? I also really liked Emily Blunt's white gown - even if it was a weird length - and slick 40s waves. She, like Marion, almost never gets it wrong. But don't get me started on Jennifer Lawrence and Elle Fanning...

SO EXCITED for the rest of awards season...

Thursday, 3 January 2013


Well hi there, and a happy new year to you, my lovely readers!

I've been a bit AWOL the last few weeks, haven't I? While other (more ORGANISED) bloggers were furiously bashing out glossy gift guides and seasonal party-wear posts in their thousands, I was buried deep, DEEP in a festive food-and-booze-induced coma that I'm only NOW dragging myself out of like a grumpy muthabear after hibernation. YAWWWWWWN!

In case anyone is interested, my Christmas was simultaneously both quiet AND boozy, spent at my aunts pulling crackers, eating FAR too many pigs-in-blankets and quaffing copious amounts of expensive gin. HICCUP. New Year was much less quiet and MUCH more boozy, spent at a house party in Clydebank playing drinking games till I eventually passed out. Thumbs up all round really!

HOWEVER, as you may have guessed from this title, I am starting 2013 with a NEW JOB. As a Communications Executive for big fat company no less! Cue lots of excitement and more than a BIT of trepidation as it slowly dawns on me that not only will I have to act the part on a daily basis, I'll have to LOOK IT as well...

Where I work just now the dress code is super casual, meaning that virtually anything goes. Naturally I opt for comfort and practicality on a daily basis which doesn't tend to differ vastly from my out-of-hours style, except I maybe tone down my inner goff slightly (but I'm definitely becoming a lazy dresser in my old age). At this new place though, as far as I could tell from my interviews anyway, the dress code is SMART. Which is fine, and is probably the NORM, except I've never had to dress like a grown up smart before, and to be perfectly honest it's WAY outside my comfort zone.

But I'm nothing if not up for a challenge so today I had a wee browse round some online shops in preparation for a day of SMART CLAITHES SHOPPING on Saturday. Here's what I liked...


Cos turned out to be my favourite stop for minimal dresses. These are just a selection but to be honest I'd happily wear any of the ones featured on the website. That top left velvet number might be a bit much for work but I LOVE it, and same with the mustardy marl-knit jumper dress... Honestly, it's so difficult to find a quality jumper dress that has a waistband! As bottom-heavy gal (REPPIN THE PEARS) it's a VITAL component as anything without one looks sack-like and shapeless, gaping unattractively at my middle and clinging to my bum. Which doesn't exactly scream PROFESHUNAL, does it?


I was also pleasantly surprised by the NW3 range at Hobbs, especially for prints. Click to enlarge, but yeah, those ARE ducks on that red dress, AND WHAT?! I'm a fan of a ZANEY print at the best of times and nothing says, "hey, I'm a fun-loving, wacky communications exec" like a crazy-but-classy duck print, right? RIGHT?!


Ted Baker also surprised me in all-round goodness, especially that velvet blazer and 60s black and white dress, and my mind's definitely been changed about the brand after that quick swatch online. I'm not sure what I expected if I'm honest, maybe something a little bit naff? I've been in to the Ted Baker store in Prince's Square twice in my puff, (once to hurry through to the mall out of the rain and once to help shop for a friends boyfriend) so I am about as unfamiliar with their style as it's possible to be, but I'll be sure not to overlook them again.


Probably not a huge shock for most, but I found Whistles best for the slightly more casual end of the work-wear spectrum. I have a couple of silk t-shirts and tunics from Zara which remind me of the type of thing on offer at Whistles and it's a classic look that can't help but be smart and chic without really trying. And let's face it, anything that requires minimal effort is a winner with me!

I've not included places like Zara or Next or wherever else because I'm just ASSUMING (rightly or wrongly?) that they'll be obvious places to hit for smart staples, plus I wanted to push myself to have a look at shops I wouldn't normally. But yeah, can you tell I'm massively out of my element here? I'm sure once I start trying things on I'll get the hang of things I like and don't like, and it is a WEE bit exciting, contemplating a whole new weekday wardrobe - sort of like playing dress up. I just hope I manage to strike the balance between matronly and tacky... It's an issue.

Finally, in the spirit of getting ones SHIZ together, I have to add a picture of  this wee GEM I've just placed an order for...
This, folks, is Moleskine's limited edition Le Petit Prince 2013 daily diary and it's a BEAUT! The eagle-eyed among you may notice the significance given the name of this here blog... Swoon!

Yeah, so that's that.

I'm not sure what this change will mean for Forty Four Sunsets. *sadface*  I tend to do a lot of blogging on my lunch breaks here, but I've a feeling that kind of thing won't be possible at the new place and I've already got list upon list of things to do with my new-found EVENINGS and WEEKENDS (no more mental shifts for me - hurrah!) including joining a gym - DO NOT LAUGH - and possibly doing a part-time night course at college or something, maybe in creative writing? Or maybe something bonkers like basket weaving - just because I can! Plus, yi know, generally having a life again. So it could be difficult to fit in posts for a while, at least until I find my feet. 

But stick with me, I promise I won't abandon FFS! I mean, where else will I get to indulge in my love for CAPS LOCK AND RAMBLING AND RANTING ON FOR FAR TOO BLOODY LONG FOR NO REASON TO VIRTUALLY NO ONE AT ALL and linking obscure YouTube clips and weird Google images furtively into text that may or may not have anything to do with the point I'm making etc...?

I've been at this too long, can you tell? Time to wrap it up. Hope you all had a BONZER festive season and let's all make 2013 OUR YEAR, yeah? Yeah. Cool.

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