'New-age' weather

It’s a Sunday evening in mid-August.  The eternal question pops into my subconscious. “What am I going to wear tomorrow?” a question so loaded in this ‘new-age’ of weather. My days of listening to the forecasts are over!  Its 6.30am and a grey Monday, am now consciously thinking about what to wear to work, along with other real-life thoughts.  Be positive; I’ll wear my cobalt blue silk dress, silver pumps…No! I’ll wear my lime green kaftan, grey capris..No! I’ll wear…..Aargghh!                                                                                     

This dilemma hasn’t just arisen out of having too much choice in my instance; it’s compounded with multiple weather conditions in one day! I shout to myself “Make a DECISION! – You do this for a living WOMAN! I make my decision and leave home, as I walk, the clouds turn dark and the air misty – Oh Lord! Just as I enter Lynton Road – A flash downpour attacks with vengeance!

At Queens Park I struggle onto the Bakerloo line - it’s 30º!  As I settle, it suddenly dawns on me that joe public is just as bewildered. The man to my left has on; cream linen suit with beige suede brogues (living dangerously). The woman opposite has on; black mini-dress, tights and knee-high boots (feeling hot hot hot); another lady has on white havaianas and yellow sun-dress (very optimistic). As for moi, I have on; Foxglove pink top, black pencil skirt and blazer. Yes I know I’m nigh on head-to-toe in black…I sweat through the Central line, exit Liverpool St – and low and behold, the sun is blazing! At lunchtime the weather will be…?!

My advice: think of yourself as a ‘style-onion’ – layering is obvious yet we often forget to. Invest in a cagoule – please don’t buy the action hero cape kind, buy the zip-up, elasticised hood kind, that folds up easily!

‘Merged’ seasons have brought about a new creativity – it forces us to think, whether we’re into fashion or not.  From a Karma-Style point of view – It’s woken us up.

Tomorrow; have two client meetings, Pilates in the evening followed by dinner with friends – that’s a given.  As for the weather and what to wear – who knows?! I’ll just be creative and play it by ear…..

Designer Bag God Complex

The numerous conversations I’ve had and overheard about designer bags (DBs) have inspired this post.  A lot of wo/men out there have a bad case of what Karma-Style (K-S) has diagnosed as DBGC.

The Definition:

Designer Bag God Complex (DBGC) is a psychological state of mind in which the individual believes he/she is, or is destined to become god-like in the fashion world.  The person generally believes they are better than everyone else.

Overview & Facts:

A  lot of women out there have a bad case of DBGC.  This is an epidemic disease of the mind and body.  It’s all good to buy this season’s Fendi or Balenciaga, but unfortunately there are women (and a few men) who think that by buying DBs they will be worshipped by us all – and thus exalting them to a god-like status.  The media plays a major part in this big con.  Celebrities are walking advertisements as soon as they are seen with the ‘latest’ bag; it becomes a surefire sell-out in stores. 

Buy a bag YOU LIKE and that LOOKS GOOD on you for you.  It can be an unnamed designer; it can cost 30 or 3,000 quid as long as it works for you as an individual who cares!

The Disease:

Very recently I had a conversation, well, it wasn’t really a conversation as this particular woman spoke at me for twenty minutes about her …guess what…Louis Vuitton (LV) bag. I wouldn’t mind if she was just as enthusiastic about ‘a gorgeous bag’ she had bought I would have listened with respect.  She went on to say “You know, you know, people really treat me differently when I’m wearing LV you know, they just do” blah LV blah blah LV blah LV this LV that - in this elevated tone of delusional grandeur. I tell you between the ummms and uh-huhs of my responses. I had to stop myself from cracking up laughing in her face when I realised she was deadly serious about a bag?!? This is what she truly believed.  Diagnosis: a classic, critical case of DBGC.


If you have any of the symptoms such as; continuous DB name-dropping, delusions of grandeur etc. or notice them in any of your friends; you/they may well be afflicted with DBGC – DO NOT WORRY. There is a cure.  K-S has the remedy.

The Cure/Remedy:

Firstly: take a BIG dose of humble pie, this will help you come back down to earth, then an EQUAL amount of sorting out your head to acknowledge that “the bag doth not maketh the wo/man”.  Finally when you’re next out shopping for a new bag purchase, take a HUGE thought process of quality, style and cost with wearability and add a little longevity before you buy.  Don’t be blind-slighted by the brand name.

Remember to take all of the above remedy every time, in order to make a non-DBGC purchase.  Feel free to email me whenever you feel a slight or major DBGC fever coming on.

 One of my missions is to free all wo/men from this awful disease.  Join us now.

One more thing, there is no excuse on this planet to use a DB for a lack of style.  I don’t care how rich or poor you are.  Make an effort for ‘God’s sake’.

And finally, please don’t buy anything ever because you think it makes you more superior to others - that’s just not cool.

'Malfunction junction'

It was another cool party in London on a perfect summer’s evening. Feeling very chic and relaxed, mingling and chatting away to various friends and strangers as the Champagne and cocktails flowed, admiring the amazing views from the balcony and discussing the owners’ fight to keep developers from building ruthlessly by blocking the views from the beautiful art-deco building we were in.

I hadn’t seen Moya (one of the guests who lived in the building) for ages. In classic tradition we talked our way back into the lounge. She began to tell me about a new play she had written, soon to be produced by Radio 4. We sat down, chuckling childishly as the effects of alcohol set in, at one point trying to remember the name of the very kind warder* in Prisoner Cell block H. Suddenly, without warning I heard and felt the zip of my new “looks extremely expensive but was cheap and cheerful” strapless black jumpsuit come apart at a rapid rate! I felt a definite breeze at my left side. I carried on talking in shock for a minute or so. I looked down and knew I had to act fast, my zip had busted in both directions from the waist outwards to my thigh and bustline! - It was one almighty 'Malfunction Junction' - Oh hell no!!

Moya’s alacrity to tell me all about her play and my eagerness to listen was halted in an instant by my muted, panicked cry for help - “Moy-yaa, my zip’s busted and I’m totally exposed LOOK!!!” - She did, and subtlely shrieked “Ohh myyyy!!” The military operation began in silence; I got up, holding my sides and edged to the bathroom with Moya casually shuffling and shielding me. We locked ourselves away from the other partygoers and began fighting with the zip to get it to the bottom, in order to get it back up to the top! Breaking into sweats and cracking up laughing with each try, I would turn to one side and look completely clothed and normal, then turn to the other and my underwear and body was in full display! We were in a penthouse in Westminster but I swear it wasn’t that kind of party! Even without the Champagne high it would have been just as hilarious. Moya was a star, we worked tirelessly as a team, one of us holding the sides, the other trying to zip up desperate to fix the friggin’ thing, but unfortunately we couldn't…

How could I go out and face all those people! Then I remembered I had packed a cashmere cardigan in my bag. Being a Londoner (and stylist) I’ve learnt to be ready for all types of weather (refer to New Age weather blog – Sept 09). Once on, it camouflaged beautifully - Phew!! I partied on carefully into the early hours.

The moral of this story - with a certain type of outfit be prepared for a ‘Malfunction Junction’ because you never know. 

*Meg Jackson was the warder’s name.

'Dressing' for a date - a cautionary tale

It was a pretty laid back build up to my invite, to what was to be a one-on-one evening with my kind platonic friend Bob* who I’d recently become attracted to. We spoke regularly, catching up on life/work and the universe. One evening he said after hearing my latest life event “You always have fun – let’s do something fun one night this week?” I said yes and he said he would think of something for us to do. (Note: the word Us)

From the tone of the build-up I thought, “Is he organising a date?” These days you never know! We were friends, so I decided to take it as such (even though he warmed my belly).

So…what to wear? I have a variety of what I call ‘Friday dresses’ versatile outfits with more juooosh than an every day work number but nothing over-the-top. I made a conscious decision (premonition) NOT to ‘dress’ for a date, as one: It’s not my style, two: wanted to look good for my own self-esteem, as well as wear something he’d appreciate and three: to me it smacks of desperation. So my cleavage busting Isabel de Cat dress was out and my Manoush 60’s above the knee smock dress was in. No believe me - it’s a fab dress.

Friday came; I left work and went straight home. Didn’t really feel like going out as that morning became my time of the month. So, if plans changed I was home already and could just chill. I’d just gotten out of the shower when he called to tell me it had been a full-on week and he hadn’t had time to sort anything out, so would I like to join him and his friend John* (Okkkk?) at their private members club blah blah. I accepted and said I’d be there in an hour…Ladies, I took my sweet time getting ready seeing as he already had company. Can I get an Amen?! And I thought of my good girlfriend Tanya* who I’d blown out that same night, was slightly peeved as if I’d known she could’ve come with.

When I got there, I sat in between them as nervous as hell. I felt like I was on live tv! After a glass of sauvignon I relaxed somewhat into the evening. My ‘friend’ Bob* I observed, had made zero effort in his dress. That disappointed me. As my usual crowd of friends– male or female, when we meet up tend to make some form of effort. The evening continued with us chatting and drinking away. At some point John*, left the club as he had to be up early in the morning - so he said.

Bob* and I carried on, the conversation just flowed. His phone had been ringing a few times during the evening. This time when it rang he answered and began directing someone up to the floor where we were. Seconds later Pebble* appeared (when I relayed this story to one of my girlfriends she said I quote “..Anyway, how can you take someone called "Pebble*" seriously, it's not even a real name!) I digress; When she saw me the look on her face is one I will never forget! I also thought “Oh no he didn’t!” Turns out this pretty young lady (I give credit where it’s due) was I quote “this girl I’ve been seeing.” What? Urh?

The level of uncomfortableness rose to an unbearable high. Staccato conversation ensued, at points I zoned out. Not long after Pebble* arrived she went for a cigarette break outside – a long one, which I assumed included a call to a girlfriend to try to get to grips with the situation. That was my cue to take myself and my ‘Friday dress’ the hell up out of there – Can I get an Amen?! I called Addison Lee. I could be in Timbuktu and they’d come to my rescue – they came in record time, God bless them. Not wanting to encroach, off home I went. Three’s a crowd and all that.

So ladies, you can imagine how mortified I would have been if I hadn’t got it a little but totally twisted that night and opted for a little black number or something similar. Well, to be honest, blatant seduction has never been my style. It was just my mind that got it wrong. Imagine if it were both that would have been just horrible!

What happened after? Whether I was misled by or I misread Bob. That night definitely gave me clarity. We are still good friends and have agreed that’s all we’ll ever be. Yes there’s an attraction, the good thing is, it’s not love…

What I do LOVE though are my ‘Friday dresses’ especially my Manoush one, it holds an ever special place in my wardrobe.


*I've so obviously changed the names. I don't know any guy called Bob in their 30s nor do I know anyone called Pebble :)