Portmanteau List: Emmy Red Carpet Dress Watch

While my dear Emily from Fashion Foie Gras is keeping me updated with immediate screenshots of the best dresses, here are some of my favourites so far, I will keep updating this post until the end so keep coming back!

Images taken from Wikifashion

One of the "talks of the internet" Heidi Klum opts for this frilly Marchesa number everyone seems to love and I therefore feel obliged to talk about. I personally don't particularly like it and this is a clear case of needing to tell her "Sometimes showing less is more, you know?" Two inches longer skirt, and it would be a different story.

Love, love LOVE this Versace dress on January Jones. Although I would have given her either nude or cream/very light yellow shoes to match her hair (or just as electric blue satin to match the dress), not black. Or at least give her a black clutch, the poor girl doesn't seem to know what to do with her hands!

Portmanteau Diary: Duval Timothy Are Na Fo - A raw diamond of constructive art

With his trademark bow-tie and beautiful linen suits, Duval is sweet and enigmatic without being eccentric. About a year and a half ago I bumped into his brother Miles, a fellow Goldsmithsian and only one member of the tightly knit family of two architect parents and a beautiful sister I was about to encounter. He took me for tea and a catch up just around the corner from my old office, right by Tower Bridge. It was such a pleasure to be welcomed into a REAL space where a room is what in London would pass as a three bedroom flat, the size a room should be. After a lovely catch up on my way out as I was chatting along, my eyes struck upon a medium, square constructive painting and I froze and burned at the same time. I had little time to look at it properly and even less time to make my astonishment heard and I was out of there with the promise that I'd be given Duval's contact upon my request to their father wondering if he was at all willing to part with said painting. Cutting a long saving up money story short, the painting now graces my hallway as I am the proud owner of a Duval painting.

A couple of days ago, I was invited to one of Duval's solo exhibitions at the Art House Lewisham, which just so happened to be a 15 minute walk from my house. Considering it takes me 20 minutes to get to the station, that's quite a location score. ARE NA FO, of an era, is an exhibition worth trekking to south east London for. I don't say this often, and especially not about artists, but this is one who ticks all the boxes. Beautiful, vibrant, perfectly balanced yet characteristic pieces that I will, and suggest you should, keep coming back for. I don't think I have to state the obvious, which is that investing in his pieces are more than an intelligent choice and you'd be mad to miss out while you still can!

I strongly suggest you go view the exhibition at 140 Lewisham Way, London SE14 6PD and hold yourself a piece. However, I must warn you, there are two pieces which will by the time the exhibition ends and paintings get allocated to their respective owners, be gracing the house of the Portmanteau and you'll only be able to see them if you walk 15 minutes further.

To view more of Duval's heart stopping pieces have a look at his website http://www.duvaltimothy.co.uk
The Portmanteau and the Artist
This image and all following are by Stuart Bannocks
The portmanteau is wearing:
Black Zara hat
Brown vintage fox fur neckwarmer
Black Longchamp Le Pliage bag
Black wet-look silk DKNY shirt
Black and light colored knitted Chanel-like Primark cardigan
Black H&M zip skinny trousers
Black suede Zara lace up ankle boots

Portmanteau List: The Dame of British Punk and her infamous shoe collection - Vivienne Westwood Shoes Selfridges

Equipped with my little camera, which you can see reflected at times, I set our to bring my transatlantic and indeed trans country friends who are not able to flock to London's yellow fridges of Self in order to see the momentous collection of the dame of British Punk Fashion.

Excuse the shaky camera and enjoy!

Vivienne Westwood Shoes Selfridges

Equipped with my little camera, which you can see reflected at times, I set our to bring my transatlantic and indeed trans country friends who are not able to flock to London's yellow fridges of Self, the momentous collection of the dame of English Punk Fashion - Vivienne Westwood Shoes in Selfridges.

Excuse the shaky camera and enjoy!

Portmanteau List: Where woodland creatures meet fashion

Unlike my fellow bloggerati friends, I had not been able to make my way to the Wolf and Badger opening I was invited to a while back based on the stupidity of being a dress (and therefore summer) obsessed fashionista who will not acknowledge that summer is over until my garden turns into a pool of frosted brown leaves and my legs turn blue. As a result I found myself in close proximity with my bed and cursed the dress between sneezes and sobs.

Anywhoo, today I have finally managed to find myself an afternoon where I had errands to run in the claustrophobic vicinity of Bond Street, allowing me to catch five flies with one trip, two of which were located within the halls of yellow. I was extremely curious as to what Wolf and Badger was truly about as I had mainly been shown images of people who attended ranging from rich ladies full of botox to my gorgeous friends - informative stuff, but not really anything that gave me a proper insight to the shop itself. I had also been a grateful subject of Wolf and Badger's twittention (portmanteau: twitter attention) including sending me get better cheer up images and tweets and #ff me as a favourite blogger. It is probably quite an understatement to say that being interesting to the brains behind a project and concept I truly identify myself with and would love to be involved in with my own designs is beyond flattering.

Most of the Portmanteau's readers are writers in one form or another, so I am going to have to explain this differently. Do you ever read a post and think "This is brilliant" but also "Damn, this is so good I wish I had written this"? Well, that's how I felt about, for instance, the white coat as you may witness and admire in the images below.

"ENVY" is surely applicable here, although probably not in the consumerist sense Selfridges is most likely trying to imply.

With pop - up shops popping up a plenty, as the name implies, the London fashion scene has been witness to a lovely dose of quirky experimentation that allows the commercialism of brands to be surpassed a little to allow for alternative return on investments. I am therefore a big fan of pop up shops and believe that the true creative spirit behind a conglomerate or commercial designer house comes through.
Although I love attending events and meeting and snapping fashionistas, fashionistos and PR's in their element, it was quite soothing to be able to have a look at the much celebrated place on its own. No muss, no fuss, no claustrophobia. And no queues to play with the interactive installation where your blowing is what impacts how much the swallows on the screen overhead would be blown across the screen.
I conclude with the stating of the fact that if you thought Wolf and Badger was awesome, quirky and cool, I think we've seen nothing yet and will be looking forward to everything they get involved with. I may not be signing up to Louis Vuitton or Benetton press releases, but I will be signing up to theirs. That's how awesome they are.

What LL Wore: Breaking the cycle of see saw

After writing a heavily philosophical or thoughtful post I tend to go for some lighter outfit ones. the need for that balance is great in me, whether it be craving something salty immediately after having had something sweet and vice versa or needing to dress elegantly the day after a grunge day and, you guessed it - vice versa. I am much like the weather, I wished there was a medium but instead there's merely a see saw of opposites. I therefore decided to try and include a see saw within a single outfit to see whether that would break me free from the cycle and opted for a black leather dress, richly filling my nostrils with leather, and patent pink Longchamps with a Chanel - like pink and black knitted blazer.

Now - most of you out there who know me will probably not believe their eyes seeing that I am wearing pink. No, don't get your hopes up. I still don't like pink in most of its monstrous variations in existence. The lighter shade of red that is pink need not look like an exploded bubble gum, which is what I tend to say a cheap children clothing department looks like. It needs to either be strong, deep and vibrant in a fuchsia - almost a shade of purple rather than red, or so pale it could almost pass off as a nude color. There is also an optional fabulousness of bright neon which needs to be teamed up properly in a bid to be kittted for a trip to a Gay parade, but that's another story. Those are pink variations I can live with.

Black leather Vila Clothes dress
Calvin Klein tights
Pink patent Louboutin heels
Pink and black bow knitted Chanel like Primark cardigan
Black rubber Longchamp bag
Brown Aigner sunglasses
Black plastic bow headband
Black Yorkshire Pearl bracelet

What LL Wore: The Autumn Bee

Fighting autumn is pointless in the territory where the bullying weather reigns in order to lure you out with sun, only to surprise you with heavy dropped rain half way through your walk towards a given destination. Once you manage to happily ensure an umbrella has been thought to be brought along, it does not rain. In fact, the sky happens to turn blue. Surely, this is no longer teasing but a case to report to bullystoppers.com? In fact, I have not needed to use my umbrella ONCE this week. Every time I left when the sky was blue, the rain surprised me. And every time I brought an umbrella with me "just in case and because there are a few gray clouds" it served merely as a handy bulky item which we all love to carry around.

So since I cannot be at where summer's at
I surely shall try to be-at autumn
By bee-ing
The Autumn Bee

Brown patent Russel and Bromley brogues
Chocolate brown with cream stripes lined 15 year old velvet H&M skirt
Brown and orange striped mohair twopercent long turtleneck jumper pre-owned by Style Bubble purchased at Yard Sale for £1
Black ankle cotton socks
Calvin Klein tights
Brown orange lined vintage Aquascutum coat
Brown green check umbrella from a boutique
Brown Le Pliage Longchamp bag
Brown suede hat

Portmanteau Commentary: Knowledge vs intelligence - The conflict of the saint and the artist

In the past couple of weeks or so I have gone through an emotional upheaval quite fitting in juxtaposition to the euphoric beginnings and sunny introduction to the fantastical reality of beginnings. If 'fantastical reality' is wanting to let you shout 'oxymoron', you'd be quite right. However, not in the sense of contradicting understandings for as you shall see during the course of my argument, it is truly real, but in the original portmanteau of the Greek words sharp and dull. In fact, in it's sourced meaning, I could argue the juxtaposition to be based on the oxymoron of reality of beginnings in that it is painfully sharp yet dull.

The sharpness derives, in this procession of events related to my own experience, from the affinity and taking a shine to the sense of importance and discovery, a sense of importance in uniqueness, appreciation of not the work or object but the concept of being first, that of discovery and merit based on discovery rather than what fills said discovery. I suggest that even more so than happiness, it is greatness, which drives great minds. For we remember many great authors, scientists and philosophers for being the first to publicize a point made, no matter how that same apple may have fallen upon a thinker setting in motion similar thoughts centuries after. The knowledge and drive for genius and to be known stretches beyond the mere contentment with goodness or even greatness of craftsmanship, intelligence or beauty, it strives for individuality, differentiation, and most of all, for being first.

Naivety of knowledge and conceptualization of such knowledge can be truly liberating in the process of thought and creation. It matters not how many generations of humans have learned to grasp the conceptualization of self, for instance, every time it is discovered new, without outside help, almost as a switch of connections of neurons. That, I believe, cannot be dismissed as a lesser discovery for lack of timely births and century choices of sperms and eggs to create, that is, for lack of control over which century one is born in as well as the unfortunate coincidence that one has thought thus before. One should not dismiss the naivety of unknown historical or literate knowledge at the presence of intelligent thought. I have discussed this previously in closer proximity to fashion in my article "Knowledge vs Intelligence - Defining expertise in the world of fashion".

Naivety is an interesting word and an interesting concept. One might quite like to decide that naivety is an attribute unwished for, but I have come to realize that depends on what kind of picture you'd like yourself to be painted in.

In the contextualization of the dualistic view of tough vs. soft, me desperately avoiding the latter, naivety seems to evoke a reaction of protectionism, motherhood and general puppy-with-three-legs-reaction that is extremely unappreciated despite its well meaning intentions. The concept of naivety does not seem, as it should, to create the realization of sharp, unadultered interpretation of, may I suggest, an intelligent observer, but is merely belittled to that of lacking knowledge of what is perceived as reality and in the worst yet most caring cases, in need of protection when reality is often clearer to the naive than it is to the knowledgeable.

On another note, creativity derives from naivety with a much stronger sense of conviction and drive as it does from that of tutored and shaped mind. In fact, creativity in par with productivity is best observed in the reclusion of the creator, the insolvency of interaction or interference. Surely it must be understandable that to interfere a sensation of discovery, genius and uniqueness with an unnecessary and uncalled for tutorial of historical knowledge is hindering in the productivity of creation. The afterthought, dare I suggest the portmanteau afterknowledge, may have to be professionally derived from historical and contextualized fact, however, it should, in the best of circumstances, not appear in the process of creation as a catalyst force of unproductivity and negative stimulus. The easiest, and often most naturally adapted form I have observed in the greatest minds and creators, is that of necessity for loneliness. And that, in turn, requires a necessity to abandon the want to be good to others. Creativity requires for one to be truly selfish in the process of creation, to believe in the possibility of greatness in order to achieve the highest possible form of drive and productivity.

As Iris Murdoch points out in relation to her book "Under the Net", the want to be good and the nesessity to be creative is in recurrent conflict. I thoroughly identify with the statement that there is a conflict between the artist and the saint and I believe it is so because of our necessity for loneliness in order to avoid the negative stimulus of historically contextualized knowledge helping screen the brakes of production and creativity.

Images are snapshots from the BBC program "In their own words: British Novelists - 2. The age of Anxiety (1945 - 1969)

Portmanteau Commentary: That thing I miss doing

The Portmanteau reading come day or night - images courtesy of my sister Lua

I taught myself to read at the tender age of four. Even before going to kindergarten, I enthusiastically loved doing my three and a half years older sister's homework, which didn't change until she was 18 - my sentiment towards doing so may have changed, but you know how bigger siblings can be, even the nicest ones. I'm not complaining, though, it meant I was always ahead of class in every single subject for six years, which meant I was bored out of my mind in primary school and either bullying my class mates for being dumb (I was the worst kind of snob) or reading a book while others were pretending to pay attention with vacant looks. Being a child who cared more about Sherlock Holmes' explanation of reversed coat wetness than whether one girl called the other a bitch, I didn't have much to worry about whilst in school. In year six I finally got fed up and sat my teacher down and demanded (yes, I know. Horrible.) from my teacher that I either be jumped a class or two or I'd change schools into a completely different system which would equal jumping two classes if I wasn't put back. I ended up doing the latter and hence jumped two classes straight into Mandarin and Latin classes, which was lovely.

What I did lose from the move was my most precious childhood habit - that of reading in average three or four books per day over six years. Needless to say I can cherry pick the books I hadn't read in the entirety of the local library and that my trip home involved dropping off and picking up books. Heavily identifying with Matilda's library antics, I was allowed to move onto different sections of the library ahead of my age (they had age restrictions, I kid you not).

With the introduction of real life and growing up, having responsibilities and such, the amount of books I have had the pleasure to read are laughable, and I miss it. I miss literally devouring a 500 page books in a day and being utterly and truly no longer myself. When I read, my cynicism, hunger, tiredness or worries are all gone. I live a completely different life, think completely different thoughts. Whoever is satisfied with just their own?

Portmanteau Diary: Style Bubble Yard Sale

As most of you from the fashion world know, Susie from Style Bubble was hosting a yard sale with Save our Shoes, Park and Cube, Discotheque Confusion, Frou Frouu, Style Slicker, Geisha Rock, and Style Salvage. Despite being an almost two hour trek from my house, it was worth it - the bargains I snapped up speak for themselves and I had the best chocolate cake since childhood and got to hang out with my dear friend Fiona from Save our Shoes as well as meet lots of new and stylish people and a ferret.

For the occasion Lira Leirner the Portmanteau is wearing:
White cream firefly patterned Lira Leirner dress
Calvin Klein tights
White Diesel leather flats
Black Yorkshire Pearl Bangle
Cream Le Pliage Longchamp bag
Briwn H & M braided hair headband
Alicia Zielasko from Alice Point, a style blogger from Krakau snapping the scene, which you can see in the mirror
Drawings by the talented fashion illustrator Vicky Riches

What LL Wore: Penguins are Yellow, did you know?

A while ago I encountered an exciting website that is about to launch next month. Young British Designers will be focusing on showcasing, stocking and "putting on the world stage brilliant British designers" fresh from their first collection. Their motto is "You'll see it here first!"

Relentlessly working pre-launch, they also had a giveaway - a scarf by Charlotte Tailor and many, many jumped on the band wagon to post their earliest fashion memory. My contributions was:

"It was my seventh birthday and the pianist Maria Joao Pires dedicated her concert to me as a birthday present in the concert hall of the State Museum of Felicia Leirner (my great-great aunt). My overjoyed reaction was that of falling asleep. There was a picture of me wearing a navy blue velvet dress, asleep in my mother’s arms in the national newspapers the following day entitled “Born with a silver spoon in her mouth”. I told my sister “Wow, this dress makes me look like I’m about nine!” – That was the first time it hit me that fashion makes a difference."

I waited in anticipation and after confirming that I was JUST next in line she requested my address and I received the scarf....

The beautiful, yellow penguin on deep light blue silk double sided scarf. Now, both with yellow and light blue I am quite uptight. A lot of yellows around are either too mustard-y, washed out or plain off - and light blue often falls into the danger of becoming baby blue. However, thus was not so with this beautiful scarf.

I couldn't wait to wear it and styled my outfit around it when I went into town to meet up with my friends and pop into the Benetton opening (read whole article).

Lira Leirner the Portmanteau is wearing:

Yellow moc croc leather Zara gladiator sandals
Blue silk Topshop jumpsuit
Yellow hand knitted vest by my grandmother with my first name LI on it
Yellow Blue scarf by Charlotte Tailor
Blue and black hat from an Italian boutique
Black Yorkshire pearl bracelet
Black Rubber Le Pliage Longchamp bag
Black vintage real goat fur and leather coat
Black biker Alessandro Dell'Acqua sunglasses

Portmanteau List: Welcome to the Accesserobe of the Portmanteau

Following my bid to create an online portfolio of my wardrobe for when I'm away so that I have somewhere to go when I miss it too much, I am looking at my "accesserobe" today although they don't include my proper hats. It starts with some of my sunglasses, I couldn't find all of them as they're still scattered throughout the house - I am always wearing them. Here you can see Aigner mainly, Nicole Farhi, Alessandro Dell'Acqua, Proenza Shouler, Calvin Klein, Cynthia Rowley, and a pair I love that I found in a pound shop.

It moves down to my silk scarves, first the chiffon long ones including Charlotte Taylor, Valentino, Kookai, Moschino, French Connection, and some vintage pieces then the square small ones including several Givenchy, several Moschino, the first silk scarf I owned when I swiftly wandered from my mum's closet into mine, the Christian Dior navy blue big square scarf, DKNY, several Oscar de la Renta, a few pieces from museum shops and the classic, 20 year old lumberjack squares. In between you can see some of my headbands of which I own a lot more that are also scattered across the house... I must take an hour out tomorrow just to find and collect them back to their original place, I think.

One down it starts with thick lambswool scarves by Enrico Coveri and goes onto check thinner and longer lambswool scarves then onto cashmere scarves, my favourites. Some dark knitted scarves including the brown Lira Leirner scarf, right next to my lovely gloves. I love gloves, my hands get cold quickly and I wear gloves until late into spring and start wearing them again late summer (it's London, after all). They are mainly nappa leather lined with cashmere, the only way to keep me warm really - a navy blue, a brown one, a beige one, a red one, a cream one and several black ones. I also have a pair of black biker gloves I love more than any - and some woolen ones although mittens make me nervous - I like knowing I can stretch my fingers out. One of my ticks, I guess. It moves onto my hats, mainly berets in every color and hand knitted hats by me and my great grandmother (who is still alive).

The shelf down has several layers (most of them invisible) of bigger scarves and pashminas, mainly silk or cashmere but some cotton as well - witness to my hippie years during high school. The level below is one of my favourites, that's where my fur and feather collars and hats are stored. It moves over some of my left over shoe boxes entailing fabric belts for dresses so they are all in one place (you may have noticed the rest of my stuff is in Prada and Miu Miu boxes as they are the ones I have most and are biggest/ sturdiest) and don't get lost on the floor of the wardrobe and wallets and clutches to my belts including Valentino and Next but most are vintage because I am not a big fan of the mid-riff belt that is common today - my mid-riff isn't long enough to pull that off and often disappears underneath, uh, two specific things.

Portmanteau Diary: Jaeger Pop Up Shop on Carnaby Street

A few weeks ago I was invited to take part in a styling competition to embody the "spirit" of Jaeger's quirky, stylish and young-elegant pop up shop on Carnaby street filled with illustrations enhancing the experience of the clothes themselves. However, as the lovely Amy discovered upon a quick call on my phone, I was too ill to leave the bed and am sad to say I didn't get to participate. However, I was well and up enough to come and witness the announcement of the winner of the competition as well as having followed the gradual increase of likes and comments on the Jaeger facebook page.

Personally my favourite looks - images taken from Jaeger facebook page

There were two competitions, essentially - one, which was decided by the public or those with the most readers / followers / friends as well as best skill to market and distribute such information through the arrears of Social Media, as such competitions work, and one based solely on the decision of the curator of Jaeger's pop up shop, a dashingly arrogant (in a good way) and tall James Bondesque figure, a mix of Clive Owen and Daniel Craig who reminded me of someone else in fashion I had met resulting in a mildly embarrassing situation where I talked to him about something he couldn't possibly have known.

More of my favourite looks - images taken from Jaeger facebook page
The boutique was packed with London fashion bloggerati - it was so warm, that many ended up squatting outside the boutique. Must have been quite a sight seeing fashionistas sitting upon Longchamp bags on the floor. I know this because several tourists snapped the scene up and bemused of the antics of London life in the square central mile of fashion. Cupcakes were served and even apple and pear juice! Finally something I can drink - I usually have to nibble on chocolate which appears from my bag only to disappear in a flash into my mouth where it's silently indulged until it makes its way to work its druggy wonders all the while not offending any hosts with non-vegetarian fish 'n chip or mini burgers on lovely wholemeal bred. Plenty of popping corks were to be heard, a sound that lightens up the bloggerati's face possibly to almost the same level as a gorgeous velvet jumpsuits or deeply purple, perfectly mixed cape that I encountered and broke off a tiny piece of my heart for to leave behind.

Portmanteau List: Look makes the woman - Being cute keeps you warm

This is me if I were an animal. Spiky on the outside, easily on the defense but all soft and cuddly on the inside and relaxed only around those I trust
Despite the concrete warmth for the odd hour when the clouds have graced us with the joy of dispersing their curtains, I have felt quite cold lately. Today has been surprisingly warm and sunny, which is confusing my body, being fully aware that I have just figuratively detached "myself" from my body because I don't want to take the blame... Being ill and therefore having developed a very close relationship with my bed allowed me to wear pieces such as my roughed khaki silk Diesel trousers, a massive Valentino scarf (it's bigger than me when I open it up, I think "massive" is in order) and some sort of cashmere jumper as well as continuously, charmingly mismatched thick socks, preferably with cute motifs.

Found on The Very Simon G's Blog - best wellies ever

Cute. That's the cu(t)e. I stumbled upon a very cute picture today, which made me want to look at more cute things. Believe it or not, I feel a lot happier and warm and somehow fuzzy.

How much does looking at a certain repeated pattern and category triggering certain reactions from us actually impact our state of being?

Mark Twain was right to say "Clothes make the man" or more likely the woman, obviously. Again, how much does LOOKING at certain type of fashion actually impact our state of being? The common understanding is that it is what you wear that makes you who you are (that day).

Although the impact and reaction, therefore the immediate results from wearing certain fashion is certainly a statement I agree with, I believe the verb used is wrong. The important act in this transgression of events to achieve a certain resulting image perception is the act of LOOKING, first. If you cannot see yourself in what you are wearing, it is often difficult to feel different at all. Beyond that, it requires the act of another to LOOK at what you are wearing in order to trigger a certain reaction, which in turn affects the wearer's behavior and perception of self.

Cutest tired rabbit ever seen, taken from the profile of my friend the illustrator Lizzie Mary Cullen

I have a suspicion that the impact of said phrase was a lot less before mirrors were invented, there wasn't always a river around to drown in narcissism. The historical circumstances may have provided less of an incentive to dress up, but I believe the argument stands. One wears to be seen. If one wears to not be seen, not even by the self, the image and visualization becomes obsolete, fashion becomes merely functional.

This argument supports chiefly two situations I find myself confronted with. Firstly, as it is closest at hand today, it's an elegant way of saying "F - off, no one sees what I'm wearing, so it doesn't matter". It also is an argument to point out why it is perfectly legitimate, no, indeed necessary for the image of a blogger who has made an effort to wear a certain image, to be seen and captured in said gear - it is the seeing, which manifests the creation and the self within that creation.

With that, I'll cuddle back into my Valentino and bid you farewell, until next time, and be seen. Enjoy being looked at. Looking Is Good.