Portmanteau List: Rochas, come over here and sit by me

The last few weeks, as most of you know, have been awashed under fashion weeks across the fashion capitals of the world. NYFW was spent in delirious preparation for LFW, LFW was spent in my own pop up shop or on the plane to Brazil and MFW as well as PFW was witnessed vicariously through blogger friends, online fashion magazines, visual scrapbooks and live streamings. Sometimes, especially when working on my own collection and putting down the blogger hat which sort of drops down the side, just hanging off my hairdo whilst my designer hat firmly sits on top, girlfriend needs a helping hand.

You know those theater pieces, films and such, that are meant to be comedies but can get your mouth to curl at most? It doesn't mean you don't enjoy them, but you're not pissing yourself either.

That's how I have felt about most of the collections that have been shared with my second hand eyes. Some gorgeous pieces, many classic and clean lines just how I like them (hint hint). However, whilst following another of the daily updates by The Clothes Whisperer my heart stopped only to catch up again at double speed. The equivalent of actually peeing yourself with laughter.

And since girlfriend was not able to attend said collection, which is good as I may have created a scene trying to steal it, girlfriend is in need of other girlfriends to borrow some visuals to support my musings. Voila, here's a piece of my heart, images courtesy of Kristin Knox who did all the work to share with me (*cough* and the zillion other readers *cough*) that piece of genius. Oh, and by the way, Rochas can sit by me for as long as they like.

Perfection. The color, the hem, the volume, the length... *sigh*




I like the way you move!


Ouch my heart.

Portmanteau Commentary: Sample Sizing - Let's start a revolution

Most of you know I am tiny. I am five foot one (and I insist on the one!) and not exactly thin but still a size UK6. In fact, that's how the fashion line Lira Leirner started in the first place - I could never find things to wear that fit me.

However, Lira Leirner has evolved and explored and is no longer a petite only dress hub but includes a range of sizes, styles and different garment types. The sizing issue in the fashion industry is one that will always be very close to my heart, though.

Now I've been planning a collection of 28 pieces (so far) and have it drawn up and ready to go. However, that's where I came across a hurdle I could not jump myself on my own.

What should be the sample size of my collection? Unlike other big or medium designers, I can't afford to make a collection which exists merely to be looked at on the runway on models. I need to actually sell this stuff and I don't remember models being exactly rich or falling in love with pieces they've worn during work enough to buy them.

My point is, creating an entire collection to FIT MODELS and then to be merely looked at by buyers, PR's, journalists. stylists and bloggers is something only the rich and mighty (or those with a loan) can do. I know it's a vicious circle, but why are we meant to create stuff to fit people whose job is to fit into whatever it is we make? How about we use a better size and the circle becomes the same but on a better scale?

I want to go with a size that won't require TOO MUCH pinning that it would effect the garment but is also a size that fits those who would actually buy the pieces. Surely the fashion industry can "understand" and like a piece just as much when it's a few inches bigger?!

I am thinking a size UK8 or UK10 / US6 or US8.

This, I know, is still relatively small but I think is also the widest used size.

Please help me and tell me your thoughts on this matter by commenting below or sending me a tweet with #NewSampleSize. I do want to stick it up to the man but am I shooting myself in the leg? Which size would you suggest I use?

I'm going to count the votes, so make sure to leave a concrete size either UK or US. I created a poll as well to make it easier, please vote!

THANK YOU!!

Image of Chrystal Renn taken from Adventures in Heels, image of skinny model (gross) taken from Komo News

Portmanteau Diary: My last few weeks in Twit pics

This last week, as you may have noticed, I was virtually absent from this blog. There were the two announcements - "Lira Leirner introduces new collections" and "Lira Leirner Pop up shop during London Fashion Week" but that was about it.

This was mainly due to the fact that this week saw me extend my usual 20 hour days onto 48 to even 74 hour "days" at one time. I created twenty pieces to make four new collections, completely restructured my website to offer 22 options of shops which I had to create individually as my CMS is still Dreamweaver, painstakingly photoshopped over a hundred images, organized and had the photo shoot with the fabulous photographer Terence the Fashionographer and prepared the pop up shop.

I do have some catching up to do but until then here's my last few weeks in twitpic or iPhone pics, whichever you prefer.

Gabby Young comes to pick up her Lira Leirner stage dress
Wearing the Charlotte Taylor scarf I won in the Young British Designer competition
Amazingly simple yet effective marketing strategy
Observing my muses in their habitat (Clothes Whisperer and Fashion Foie Gras)

LL Fashion Label: Lira Leirner Pop-up shop in Covent Garden during London Fashion Week 2010

I've been telling some of you here and there but now it's confirmed. During London Fashion Week, Lira Leirner will be having a pop-up stall, if you will, as part of the Fashion Fete in Covent Garden where you will find old and new pieces in size ranging form 6 to 14 both menswear and womenswear as well as the usual Lira Leirner dresses. There will be an array of accessories, blouses, shorts and jackets - something for everybody, so make sure to pop by and have a look.

And now comes the most important incentive of all... EVERYTHING will be £100 or less going all the way to £20. This will be only at the stall, and not repeated. A one off sale that you should take advantage of before someone else snaps up the unique one off pieces. This will include some never before seen exclusive pieces that you will only be able to get during these two days of London Fashion Week.

While you're there, you can also have fun at the other stalls which are outlined in the official press release as follows!

Please spread the word, have a look at the Lira Leirner website to get you excited and I look forward to seeing you there!

As the buzz of London Fashion Week takes over the capital, Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th September (11am-6pm) will see Covent Garden, home of Fashion Fringe, play host to the tongue-in-cheek fashion extravaganza that is Fashion Fête.

Back by popular demand, Fashion Fête sashays back into town with an entourage of traditional village fête activities, each with a jaunty fashion edge. 2010 Fashion Fête is all about modern-retro with an 80’s twist and set to be bolder, brighter and even more stylish than 2009.

Last year’s favourites will make a reappearance including Vintage Patisserie’s tea party, Hunter welly wanging, fashion hook-a-duck and the much-loved London Fashion Woof, but this year there’s the chance for all our furry friends to get involved in the fashion antics and strut their stuff on the ‘dog walk’. If you’ve got a cool cat or a fashionable ferret bring them along to work it at Fashion Fête.

These Fashion Fête classics will be joined by a flock of wacky new games and fashion kiosks including uber-cool London jeweller ‘Tatty Devine’, celeb favourite, skincare specialist Erno Laszlo and vintage fashion leader, Rokit spanning the two-day style spectacular. You’ll have a chance to get a mini make-over from Covent Garden favourite Charles H Fox and have your own faux paparazzi shot taken.

For the first time ever, Covent Garden will also be scouting for pet models with cutting-edge animal accessories brand PetLondon, searching for the face of their next modelling campaign.

So get ready to throw your glad rags on and strut down to Covent Garden – the only place to see and be seen this London Fashion Week!

Fashion-esque fête fun will include:

London Fashion Woof! Designer “dog-walk” with PetLondon
Stylish pups from far-and-wide are invited to compete in a doggy fashion contest. Categories include: ‘Best Outfit’, ‘Best Walk’, ‘Best Groomed’ and ‘Best in Show’. For the first time ever we’re opening the invitation to more of our furry friends, so if you’ve got a cool cat or a fashionable ferret bring them along to work it on the ‘dog walk’. Model scouts from cutting edge animal accessories brand PetLondon will be on the look-out for the new face of the animal kingdom – no mutts need apply!

Faux Paparazzi Photoshoot
Turn heads with a model look as you get made-over by top make-up artists from Charles H Fox and hair stylists from a top Covent Garden salon then strut like Kate Moss in front of the paparazzi and a screaming fans back-drop and get your star moment captured in a photo to take home.

Tatty Devine
Give your style the individual touch and get creative with a jewellery making class by most desired jewellers Tatty Devine – colour your own charms and use pretty ribbons to make beautiful personalised pendants for an instant style update.

Lira Leirner
Drawing your dream fashion piece and letting your creativity free by engaging with the process of design making with fashion blogger Lira Leirner, who will be selling her own original clothing designs and advising on how to get started in the fashion industry.

Tea, Cakes and Tiaras (sort of) with Vintage Patisserie
True glamour is timeless, so Vintage Patisserie will again be adding a touch of class with their 20s inspired look, complete with dancing tea ladies. Enjoy a delicious cuppa in beautiful vintage crockery along with a scrumptious cupcake on the tea lawn - or get yourself a stunning hand-made 1920s head band from the stall.

Fashion Week Front Row Fan Booth
This magic photobooth gives an instant re-touched look as the soft lighting and wind machine ensure your photo is good enough for the Vogue cover! The booth comes equipped with fun face masks, so you can don the looks of Karl Lagerfeld, Anna Wintour and Naomi Campbell and create your own fun Fashion Week front row picture.

Hunter Welly Wanging
See how far you can wang your wellies; only Hunter will do. The furthest welly wanged wins a pair of Hunter Boots - but watch out, the course is dotted with festival chic models in Hunter wellies – make sure you don’t hit them or you’ll fail the course!

Fancy Dress-Up Boxes
Fancy dress-up boxes are supplied by theatrical costumiers Costume Boutique and hip vintage clothing experts Rokit so you can try out some new looks and make sure you look the part. If you like what you see, stroll over to the Rokit stall where you can also buy their retro gear.

Hook a Fashion Duck
Take a rod, chose your target, keep a firm hand, hook-a-duck! Cross your fingers that your duck has a fashion prize attached.

Hand, Arm and Eye Massages
When carrying all those bags gets too much, stop off for a pamper session and enjoy a luxurious massage from the famous Doctor skincare brand Erno Laszlo. Find out about the famous 30 splashes technique and how to get a free 30 minute facial at the global institute (here in Covent Garden).

Perfume sampling
Join in L'Artisan’s Blindfold Fragrance Fun and test your fragrance skills. Can you tell us what the smell is? What the taste is? What does this feel like? Blindfolded, can you identify all the lovely smells? Discover fragrance like no other perfumery.

The Lush Airstream
The Lush vintage airstream is rolling in to join the fiesta and will be selling a specially selected range of pampering products for the fashionista and offering fete-goers indulgent hand massages. The Lush team will also be selling a selection of their stunning vintage and own design scarves and offering scarf tying master classes to make sure you rock the look. Come along and invent your own scarf style and you could be chosen to win a fantastic Lush pamper pack prize.

Pearl and Ivy
Because all style gurus know, accessorising is key... Make sure you stand out from the crowd this season and pick up beautiful hand-made, original vintage-inspired hair accessories from London designers Pearl and Ivy.

Create Boutique
Fancy becoming the envy of all your friends with this season’s must have footwear accessory? Then come down and join a creative workshop with the Create Boutique specialists and learn to make your own cute 80s-inspired bows to adorn your pretty pumps.

Fashion Piñata
The most legal fun you can have with a bat in public! Break open the Fashion Fête ostentatious 80s fashion Piñata and get showered with fabulous fashion prizes.

Chalkyvan
Unleash your creativity at the innovative Chalkyvan, a customised vintage VW campervan whose blank panels are ready and waiting for Londoners to make their mark on the Piazza with any passing design, style or fashion-related comments and observations.

Not only this, there will be nail painting, funky stalls where you can buy everything from earrings and mojitos to doggy couture, from brands including vintage jeweller Maria Zureta and lots of prizes to be won, as well as much, much more.

Bev Churchill, Brand Director of Covent Garden London, comments, “September in London is all about fashion and we couldn’t let that pass at Covent Garden without a celebration, especially as London Fashion Week is now just down the road. We are really excited to be working with some fantastic partners from PetLondon, Hunter wellies and Tatty Devine, who will help make 2010 Fashion Fête a fun fashion experience that everyone can enjoy and get involved in.”

Portmanteau Commentary: My Habbit is Not a Hobbit – How to Calculate Your Carbon Footprint


Shopping locally, by Kayleigh Bluck
I have to honestly admit that I don’t really THINK about sustainability in my everyday life. I even recycle without thinking because it is such a natural process to me. You don’t consciously think about why you drink tea from a cup and not from a bowl or why you pee into the toilet and not into the basin.
I think you’re only truly sustainable when it’s a part of your way of life, just like a diet is pointless unless you actually change your lifestyle and habits. In keeping with this, I came across a test with a perfectly relevant name: “My Habbit“. You can check out your own carbon footprint and you might be surprised at how easy it is to change really small habits.

Whilst taking the test it visualises your carbon footprint in the form of a strange and creepy semi-alien computer-generated human body. Proportionally distorting a human’s body parts in order to visualise your disproportionate use, you work your way through the different stages of sustainability. For instance, if you use a lot of electricity, you head starts to look more and more like a skeleton. The more meat you eat, the fatter your belly gets. Electricity and gas expands your hands, travel expands your feet until it looks like an almost bursting balloon. Mine looked pretty normal at the end, but it still had suggestions for me to better myself. But how did I even come across this test?
“So, a guy came into the office today to borrow some of our paper, which was recycled and said ‘So are you trying to save the world or summin?’ (sic) to which I wanted to start replying but by the time I said ‘Um..’ he said ‘Then stop driving!’ I obviously replied ‘I don’t drive’ and he said ‘Oh’ and walked off. What’s the dude hassling me for?”
This is a snippet of a conversation I had during dinner today, where it transpired that me being a vegetarian and not having a car actually makes me “pretty green” according to a test my partner had taken during the workshop he held at the “Sustainable Futures” exhibition at the Design Museum. I was immediately intrigued. This may have been mainly due to the fact that I was fairly certain I was going to come out of the other end of the tunnel with a result to be proud of (aka something to show off about).

Shopping locally for fabric, illustrated by Naomi Law
I already knew some of the reasons that were going to be to my advantage. I work from home, which means that in average, I use the underground only once a week for meetings or events in town. I have only travelled by plane once in the past year (last November, in fact), which is highly unusual and mainly down to the fact that work has happily consumed all my time. Either way, I knew it was going to make me look good in the test. I walk to the shops, and buy most of my food and fabric (I am a fashion designer) in the local market where things are mainly locally sourced. I’m very lazy when it comes to anything that is essential to life such as sleep, eating and washing. That’s only of advantage because I own a lot of clothes, which means I very rarely have to actually wash any of them. My washing machine is extremely underused.
Furthermore, since we’re on the subject of big white goods, I don’t own a dishwasher or tumble dryer or any such machinery. I recycle everything from paper snippets to plastic to glass to fabric. I would say “tins” but I don’t really use them. As I mentioned before, most my food moves directly from the bowl of vegetables of the farmer’s table into my Longchamp shopping bag into my vegetable drawer. Another point that I knew was going to help me look good in this test was the fact that I’m a vegetarian. Apparently, that makes a difference although I’m still not quite sure why. Surely any food needs to be transported, worked on? Do feel free to enlighten me if you know.
Returning to the subject of technical items, I don’t watch TV. I have a TV set for watching a DVD every now and then, but I usually prefer to work, and the TV is of course unplugged when I don’t use it because otherwise it makes a very annoying humming noise when it’s on standby. I unplug my printers, sewing machines, hair straighteners etc when I’m not using them.
People who don’t live with me would never believe it, but I’d rather look like a couch potato wearing three jackets (I’m at home, right?) than turn on the heating unnecessarily. In fact, the heating is completely switched off until the temperature drops below 10 degrees Celsius for more than a week, which doesn’t make me very popular with my housemates.
We were given some free sustainable light bulbs when we last switched gas and electricity companies, which we use throughout the house and half of the fluorescent light bulbs we have in our office have burned out and we are too lazy to replace them.

Shopping for clothes, illustrated by Zarina Liew
This one is a big deal, but not a topic that gave me any extra credit during the test. About 80% of my wardrobe (including my shoes) is either second hand, vintage or passed on in some form or another through eBay, TK Maxx, in the form of presents from family and friends, inherited pieces, charity shops etc. This does not, however, mean that I don’t indulge my fashion sense, as a quick peek into the style section of my website will confirm.
I don’t listen to the radio, I don’t have a CD player or stereo because I have all my music on my Mac and iPhone – who knew being this non-nostalgic about music, could turn into a blessing?
We have an agreement with our landlord who sends round a gardener every two months. Officially, any carbon footprint they amass during their work is technically not mine, so I am not counting it. The grass is yellow from the few days of “heat” this lame English summer had, but I don’t really see that as my responsibility and as far as I can tell, I don’t think the gardeners ever water the grass – they simply cut it even shorter and dryer and pick up the leaves.
Some of the questions in the test were difficult. For instance, I had to look up which type of light bulbs we actually use. They cleverly adjust the optimum “habit” you could have at the end and suggest ways in which you can better yourself, even if your carbon emission is as low as one could realistically imagine.
However, there were aspects of importance that were not quite taken into consideration. A big issue, which could tip someone’s carbon print (especially among us fashionistas and fashionistos, eh?) is our shopping and consumption habits beyond mere primary necessity (food). Do you buy online? Are your purchases shipped or flown from overseas or do you make sure buy locally? Do you shop in chain supermarkets or local markets? How much stuff do you own? Do you buy from Primark or second hand? Do you buy per trend and season or do you invest in pieces that you have worn for decades? Do you tend to consume actual objects such as electric equipment, decorative items, clothing or something altogether different?

Using recycled paper, illustrated by Emma Block, using recycled paper!
There are also questions relating to your profession that are not taken into consideration at all. For instance, the test asks you whether you use a printer at home, but not whether you use a printer at work. How much paper do you use and waste, knowing you’re not paying for it? I’ll forgive them for not asking office-related questions, though, as this could get very detailed and complex. But what about mobile phones? No sign of their impact.
Having an iPhone, which I use for work, means I charge my phone up a lot more often than, say, someone who works in a shop and turns theirs off for most of the day. As anybody who owns an iPhone knows, as much as we love them – the battery of the iPhone is abysmal. It needs charging ALL the time. Surely the test should be asking about the different phones one has, the same way they asked about what type of TV I own? On the other hand, I charge my iPhone via my laptop – this means less electricity is used. You can see, the questions can be quite endless, but an essential acknowledgement of such basics would have improved the test.
Many of my friends and colleagues are writers or need to write in some form or another. When you do your writing, do you do it online or offline? That sounds like it would make no difference, but it does. Here’s a good illustrating example, which has astounded quite a lot of people when I’ve mentioned it.

Energy in the kitchen, illustrated by Gemma Randall
One of the questions in the questionnaire is how often you boil the kettle. Did you know that every time you do a search on google it uses as much electricity and power from the mighty google servers as it does to boil a full kettle? A question in the test, if I have had any say, should have been “Do you look up the tiniest question on google rather than trying to think that second longer in case you remember?” Do you maybe have a real life dictionary (oh wonder and glory), which can help you just as much? Yes, one should consider the production cost of making said book, but for the sake of the argument, let’s assume it’s a vintage book, which still holds perfectly updated descriptions of most words we know. If it doesn’t, you can STILL use Google, Wikipedia or an online dictionary. But not doing so would immediately reduce your carbon footprint more than you think…
I am a great believer in the fact that until something is accepted as normal, it has not really been overcome. Until it is, the obstacle of integration is not complete. I feel this is the way with sustainability. I grew up with it, so it was quite strange for me to see what fuss people made about being sustainable – it was new to me. Once people embrace it as part of their lives, it will be a lot easier. You hear campaigns telling you to “be aware” and “do your part” as if most of these acts weren’t perfectly logical. I disagree. Sure, some people just don’t admit to perfectly basic knowledge being obvious, and need those hints and tips, and none of us are perfect and continue to be educated. However, the obsession of making recycling something to be conscious about is not going to help. Only once it’s truly and easily integrated into our lives in a manner that is natural to participate in will sustainability really be standard practice.
(This article was published on Amelia's Magazine)

Portmanteau Commentary: It's confirmed - Lanvin is collaborating with H and M

After a string of high profile Designer collaborations with H&M ranging from Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, Viktor & Rolf, Madonna, Roberto Cavalli, Kylie Minogue, Comme des Garçons, Matthew Williamson, Sonia Rykiel to a rapidly sold out collection bearing the label “Jimmy Choo for H&M”, one always is slightly perked when hearing that H&M could get another coup.
H&M did designer collaborations at the very beginning of when they became “the thing to do” to open up new markets and make the shareholders *cough*, I mean consumers, happy. This year, in particular, has seen a boom in collaborations between fashion houses and designers such as between Forever 21 and L.A. designer Brian Lichtenberg, Stella McCartney and Gap, Range Rover and Victoria Beckham (I know, weird, right?) and many more; surely prompting H&M to up their game and partner with the notoriously difficult and exclusive art director Alber Elbaz by convincing him or letting him convince himself that the approach would be “making H&M luxurious” rather than Lanvin accessible.
Despite the plans of imminent collaboration with Shiatzy Chen, which is to be launched in November 2010, H&M saw it fitting to push further with even bigger news. With a mysterious and clever build up of a few sneak peak previews the rumours were boiling in the fashionsphere and the pieces trying to be identified.
Today, the rumours were confirmed by Lanvin’s Art Director Alber Elbaz (who, incidentally, is also the head of menswear Lucas Ossendrijver) in a clip to the world, subtitled despite being spoken in English. To view the clip, have a look at the Lanvin for H&M Designer Collection video on YouTube.
The new line will arrive in stores November 23. Will you be there?
(This article was published on LDNfashion.net)

Portmanteau Commentary: Harvey Nichols Hosts a “Classy” Dinner

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_hBXoD4eQ3LI/S4gXxyW-rdI/AAAAAAAAAVQ/8c6eiNVZPr0/s400/12b099e59d399fa5_Classy_Derek_Blasberg.jpg
Last week Lucy Yeomans and Sophia Neophitou hosted a private dinner at Harvey Nichols in celebration of the newest courtesy book to join the ranks of historically and culturally poignant behavioral books – “Classy – Exceptional Advice for the Extremely Modern Lady” by Derek Blasberg. With his impressive fashion based background ranging from publishing for Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, W, V Magazine, Interview, The Sunday Times and Conde Nast’s Style.com and a collection of a fashionistas with a wide fan base, this book is setting itself out to be a must-read even if it is to chuckle at silly quotes or more innocently, to read up a few stories of rags to riches to red carpet (quite literally) and dream that “modern” American Dream.
Burping may bring you glory according to Jonathan Swift’s “Tale of a Tub”‘s Aeolists (if one would like to consider themselves as a fool reader), and the oldest English courtesy book dating back to the 13th century, the “Book of the Civilized Man” by Daniel of Beccles outlines that “If you wish to belch, remember to look up to the ceiling.” So burping can’t be quite wrong, right? Right? Uh…
I’m sure we can come to agree that despite the amusement and historical factor of these books, when it comes to such social constitutions as fleeting as social manners, it is quite pivotal to have a regular update every few centuries or so (at the least). In many cases, they will help future generations understand not only the details of etiquette, but also the implications such etiquette have about the culture and understanding of what was deemed higher society in general.
With his firm belief that “At the end of the day, even the unclassiest girls can become classy” one does wonder whether there has been an adjustment to the understanding of the word and meaning “classy”. Yes, we saw that Lindsay Lohan can look ladylike on the cover of Vanity Fair before her stint in jail, that whichever childhood or background you come from, you can “get to the top” where you’ll be perfectified by a horde of stylists, make-up artists and hairdressers. Does that mean class? Perhaps not, but for the sake of a fashion based book with the assumption that looking classy (plus having your manners roughly in check) means you are classy, let’s say yes. Derek Blasberg provides a handbook with quotes and secrets from “all the socialites”, and may be confusing fame with class, but maybe this is the new definition of the word or the new understanding of what is deemed high class today.
However, pulling in the extremest examples that overshadow all the hard working and well mannered people working in fashion isn’t entirely fair. Take Anna Wintour for example. Do you think she should have a peak into what this book promises to be? Do you think she really needs to? Would you classify her sharp but real tongue to be “unclassy” or does it suddenly not matter because of her position? “Classy” sounds to be a very fun book to read where, I am sure, the structure, hierarchies and real rules of today’s fashion culture will come across if the words aren’t taken by their literal meaning and am even more certain, will provide a an actual insight to this mad world we call the fashion industry.
Apart from the fact that modernity is strictly speaking a historical time frame that was taking place around the time of the Industrial Revolution and that the late 20th was, technically speaking, post-modernity, one must go with the given lingo even if I do think that the “Extremely Modern Lady” Derek Basberg is referring to might actually be the the “Extremely Post – Modern Lady” since the extremely modern lady is actually one from the last century as, one could argue, is the concept of the “American Dream”, which underlies the rags to riches storyline. But of course, this doesn’t sound as good, so I’m going to put aside such technicalities for now and celebrate the star studded launch, most namely Alexa Chung in that beautiful leather skirt outfit (see how quickly I abandon all reason and argumentative tendencies just to celebrate fashion?).

Back to the point, here are the nitty gritty detail of where you may purchase the discussed book: The US No. 1 Bestseller ‘CLASSY’ by Derek Blasberg is exclusively available at Harvey Nichols for £9.99
(This article was published on LDNfashion.net)

Portmanteau Commentary: We Love the Power - the shift to consumer driven technology

Do you realize we're the last generation who grew up, at least part of their childhood, without internet, mobile phones or even - o shock and horror - without iPhones (or blackberries, for you PC people out there)?

This became incredibly apparent when I started getting panic attacks imagining being without constant access to the internet whilst comfortably lodged at my grandmother's house the coming month, who very impressively uses email like no other, but still enjoys the non-comfort of a dial up connection on a ten year old PC laptop (they're so sturdy, aren't they, those android things). This was eased when I found out that installing wireless will be able to be done in a jiffy. Problem sorted.

However, the revelation remains, and it's a scary one at that. I have come to rely on the fact that I can leave my house and still be connected. I know this sounds incredibly obvious, but think back ten years. Do you remember the maps, address books, slight panic at 5 minute lateness of friends, racking the brain for that name of that actor of that film... Yes, this was not long ago. Now, I rely on the fact that all this does not have to happen. That I can be in control, never lost, save time, always in reach of knowledge via Google, Wikipedia, eBay and other applications (the use of which has risen to 13million downloads this year. Seriously). That I am never alone. And that my bag is a lot lighter and emptier, leaving space to carry an extra pair of flats so I keep the usage of my Prada heels to a minimum. And most importantly, that I am independent from the help of anybody else. The dependency is based solely on a single object.

Given that, I started to look up some facts (I am a journalist geek, what do you want?) and it's astounding. "Looking up facts" involved scouring - you guessed it- the internet but luckily also involved getting invited to the Primrose Bakery to a panel discussion of the new "Hip to be Square" Motorola flip out phones.

Remember how I was talking about "ten years ago"? Scrap that. Think back merely TWO years ago. The use of smart phones has risen to 20% of all phones in the UK from 1% last year. No, this isn't a joke. I thought it was going to be a number around that of 70%, which is being predicted is what the use of smart phones is going to rise to in the next few years. And there I was, in my relatively small world of fashionistas in London, thinking it was representable of people in the UK in general. Still, that is quite a scary number to observe.

As Victoria McManus, the UK Marketing Director of Motorola pointed out, the phones we use are no longer merely about fashion. Or functionality. If it were about functionality only we'd still be walking around with those adorable android Nokia sets. Remember them? I left mine outside in a thunderstorm by mistake and found it dripping water from its speakers. It was a sad day. "It's about how smart your phone is as well as about how fashionable it is" says Victoria, and I agree. It's not just about making phone calls, it's about the applications and how far you can rely on that single object to make you look as good, communicative and intelligent as possible.

Since I'm an eBay addict if ever there was one, the eBay app obviously graces the front cover of my application listings on my iPhone. For those of you equally as interested in facts and statistics as me (knowing they are never really what they seem, but still impressive) 9mil people in UK downloaded the eBay application. I had a strange mix of surprise and "I knew it"- sensation when I was told by Ruth Szwszkowski, the spokesperson for eBay Europe, that more eBay apps were downloaded in the UK than anywhere else in Europe. It made me chuckle, and a bit worried to know that I am one of the people in such a large group.

And then another reason transpired as to why applications as we know it are so popular in comparison to android applications as created by the makers of the respective objects (technically they're both android, but let's ease the distinction and say they're not). "Androids development and creation is guarded. Applications as we know it can be done by anybody. The technology becomes consumer driven, the balance of power is inverted. Consumers can now make or break a brand." Peter Cross, the Managing Partner of YellowDoor made the most poignant point of the evening.

It truly outlines the psychology of the popularity of the democratic power of technology that has been introduced. Because don't we bloggers know it better than anyone else... we love the power. And we're here to take it.

LL Creates: Pink Chanel Suit - Charlotte's earliest fashion memory

Remember the "Earliest Memory" competition that the soon to be launched website Young British Designers held? Well, if my partner's sister Charlotte had written an entry, it would have been about the pink Chanel suit that was given to her as a child. She never took it off, I was told, and played in the holiest of fashion tweeds, merrily in the sand. I really loved that idea and wanted to replicate the suit as I imagined it for her birthday. The birthday was a few months ago but I finally got round to doing it. Researching vintage Chanel patterns, I have updated the pattern a notch - I included seams at the back to give it a bit more shape and created a pleated soft tear which points up the shoulders.

What LL Wore: Autumn tartan dress

The top part is made from handwoven Donegal tweed fabric from weaver Jimmy McNeil in Shandon, Ireland. It is lined with think suiting cotton and the skirt is made of heavy knit wool in a full circle.

Portmanteau Diary: Gabby Young on the Tamesis Dock Boat

This post is just about the images because I think they speak for themselves about the amazingness that was the evening of the secret gig on the Tamesis Dock Boat, which changes location with Gabby Young and Other Animals to which I was very sweetly invited by her Fashion PR Katie from London Plinth and attended with my partners in crime Sarah from Sarah Scribbles and Mariana from Sketchbook Magazine. Thank you for this evening, the music was pounding, Gabby's voice and stage presence is indescribable - no clip or video can do it justice - and the crowd was dancing away. I had the best time!!