What LL Wore: Winter in Westminster with Phantom of Autumn

Brown Hugo Boss leather boots
Copper Valentino silk pleat skirt
(invisible) Copper orange Burberry silk blouse
Beige vintage rabbit fur coat
Brown over-knee Scottish Heritage wool socks
Beige lambswool beret
Brown leather and cashmere gloves
Tortoiseshell brown Cynthia Rowley sunglasses

Portmanteau List: Where blue meets winter

Thom Browne's navy blue shawl cardigan has not only been in the forefront of my mind all of yesterday evening, it was in my dreams tonight. I was running barefeet over a beautyful landscape to catch the train on which my mother was held in order to get it to hold before my sister could catch up.
I was barefeet.
But I sure was wearing this perfect cardigan.

What LL Wore: Lira alone at home


Time to dance!

White TM Lewin cufflinked shirt
Purple Ralph Lauren Bow tie
Beige Pringle of Schottland pleat skirt
Gray tweed vest
Black patent bow tie headband
Mother of pearl Next cufflinks

LL Creates: Meet Tweed, Mr Bow Tie

Continuing my obsession with bow ties, I've gone down the tweed road.

Blue and caramel, my favourite autumn colors, the knife point bow tie goes with everything.

Portmanteau List: Favourite Books

Children’s books
  • Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder
  • The Never Ending Story by Michael Ende
  • Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
  • Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll
  • Sherlock Holmes series by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Miss Marple series by Agatha Christie
  • Momo by Michael Ende
  • Matilda by Roald Dahl
  • Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman
  • Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
  • Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • Wicked by Gregory Maguire
  • The Philosopher’s Apprentice by James Morrow
  • Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell
Philosophy and discussion
  • Regarding the Pain of Others by Susan Sontag
  • The Art of War by Sun Tzu
  • Seredipities by Umberto Eco
  • The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa
  • Orientalism by Edward Said
  • Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste by Pierre Bourdieu
  • White Collar Crime by E. H. Sutherland
Please note that these are merely my absolutely favourites, the very smallest I can make this list be. I also tried to narrow the books I personally like further by choosing to put up those I’d recommend to pretty much anybody.

What LL Wore: Purple Spirit Day

Last year a Canadian girl, supported by Glaad, got websites, celebrities and millions of people throughout the world to wear purple on October the 20th in order to for LGBT young people who are victims of bullying. This year, I made my own purple tweed dress.

I haven't really managed to get a proper picture, just a really quick one in the mirror before I even put my make up on... oops. The fabric is quite dark, and although very obviously purple inn daylight, hard to capture on the low quality camera I had available.

I adore the hint of green running through the fabric as well.

LL Creates: Ties to my new bow obsession

I've got a new obsession, and it's bow ties. The one above is Ralph Lauren and the first one I've ever actually tied myself.

I then proceeded to figure out how to make my own and experimented around to come up with the following final first ever bow tie. It's Black & Yellow wool, and not adjustable - I'll get to that with the next tie.

What LL Wore: The color brown on me

Browns/ orange check Ralph Lauren shirt
Vintage brown tweed blazer Brown
Le Pliage Longchamp Brows/ orange
Lyle & Scott 100% lambswool scarf
Brown Gap trousers
Leather Russel & Bromley brogues

What LL Wore: A blue-green autumn graces us still

Lira Leirner tartan mini skirt
Lira Leirner tartan puff shirt
Versace black leather 5 inch boots
Hermes vintage blazer
Felt hat with red feathers
Zara black top
Vintage satchel
Pringle over knee black socks
Cynthia Rowley brown sunglasses
Valentino wool scarf

All images by Stuart Bannocks. Thank you! :)

What LL Wore: Gay Pride Parade London Colors


Blue Miss Selfridges knit top with deep V-back
Orange Zara cotton dress
White rabbit fur Lira Leirner bracelet
Orange- blue suede platform Acada heels

Portmanteau List: Masato

Apart from being a lovely Twitter friend, I've been following Masato and his "hubby" Mike for a little while and everything peaked towards their Brighton Fashion Week show. From what I had seen from Masato before, I was positively surprised at the wearability and interpretation of features we've been seeing this in Dior and Burberry collections this season and there are some pieces that are not only mouth watering but actually, seriously, seriously realistically flattering and wearable without losing the detailed touch of high fashion flair.

Those made it onto my Wish List. I rarely put one together because it's either just fashion I admire from afar, or not worth mentioning until it's actually worn in an outfit post by me (oh, the self centeredness of moi). This however combines the wearability, zero cashage and actual WANT.


Dear gray skirt. Please kindly make your way onto my hips.

More concretely, the silhouette and sturdiness reminds me of Giorgio Armani's futuristic couture collection, which was received by critics and the blogosphere alike with mixed reviews but I personally loved it - and the silhouette of this skirt reminds me of my favourite piece from the entire collection.




Masato's red V-neck 2/3 sleeved fit and flare dress is exactly what I need. Now. The front is the perfect length to show off my (barely existing) pins while the train provides much appreciated drama. The dress reminds me of:
Christian Dior Paris Spring Haute Couture 2011
Maria Grachvogel London Fashion Week Autumn/ Winter 2011/ 2012
Hey, Masato!

For more information and the rest of the collection head over to Masato Studio's blog - these pieces are all available and more than worth their price. For people who actually earn money, which I guess is most of you (but not me).

Portmanteau Commentary: Genderless World

I've come across an article outlining the approach of a Canadian couple to raise their third child genderless. They want the child to decide what gender it is and although I agree that they won't be able to keep it up forever, early experiences are crucial for development and might actually make a difference in the clarity and freedom of the child to develop as it is rather than within self-fulfilling prophecy and societal expectations.

"If sex is what is 'between the legs' and gender is what is 'between the ears', neither is confused for any of our children," said Ms Witterick.
"What we noticed is that parents make so many choices for their children. It's obnoxious."
This is awesome.
I don’t like children and I’m not goiong to have any, but I support this wholeheartedly. Except I wonder how far the bias is actually already implemented in those who do know.
Either way, despite the possible psychological repercussions because of the way the world is dualistically still divided, it’s a step in the right direction. It seems to be a very supportive family and I think it’s a great approach to raising a child. Bullying is based on anything different and could be ANYTHING, but if this catches on, the approach to personal choice is definitely enhanced. Hats off.

Portmanteau Commentary: Ankles are the beacon of light for change

Remember when ankles were the sexiest part of the body a woman could show? We were heading in the right direction in fashion. Hemlines were changing, and attitudes toward optional silhouettes fast approaching. I might be optimistic, and there is still a long way to go - but the recent nod and inclusion of ankle exposing slim lined suits and trou' for men are very promising in terms of a design breakthrough I hope will catch on.

It wasn't that many months ago that at being questioned what my thoughts were on menswear in an interview by Amelia's Magazine I outlined my frustration with the fact that men simply do not experiment. I even went as far as to controversially state that most men I've had the pleasure of working for that far "have bigger mouths than the will to be experimental". I went on to say that "There’s not much room for experimentation for me as a designer, as they’re very specific about what they want and even half an inch down or up is a deal breaker. Hopefully I can be proven wrong one day."

A few days ago I had a few insightful discussions with some of my fellow menswear ethusiasts including the graphic designer David McGillivray and a few Twitter friends during which I came to realize that although there is a variety in menswear, the actual consumer varies from person to person instead of within situations as it does for women. As I said, when mentioning my upcoming collection including both womenswear and menswear, women comment "Oh, I can't wait to see what you've come up with" while men say "I hope the collection includes pieces that are basically what I already wear".

Although the experimentation is minimal and only applied in refinement of an already decided on style instead of a full blown experimentation, instead of being frustrated I'm feeling more driven to crack this nut than ever. I'm lucky that I'm still at the stage where I can establish and refine certain key pieces, design features particular to me and a fit I hope a group of guys will be able to incorporate as part of their already established style. Much like they do. In that respect I will be taking inspiration to their approach to styling and apply it to my approach to designing, different to the way I approach designing for women, which very much fits into the way women style.

I can't wait.

Furthermore, I can see the rays shooting through from behind the horizon. Where ankles pointed to a bright future of female fashion, ankles might be pointing at a bright future in menswear. I might not be alive for it, but I'll gladly join in with the first baby steps.

Portmanteau List: Five songs I'd sing if I could sing

Anyone who has talked to me lately may have noticed I have taken to swallow a few select TV shows whole in the matter of a weekend for each show, including "The Thick of It", "Community", ""24", "The Office", "House of Cards", "Spaced", "Black Books", "Hellcats", "Greenwing", "Ugly Betty", "Gossip Girl" and the latest one, "Glee". These are just a few, obviously, but my approach is usually to watch the whole thing in one go, which is why I prefer watching series once they've actually been taken off the air and are completed. I'm not very good at the waiting for story lines to unfold thing, I am a greedy reader. And similarly, I am a greedy watcher and need to know a storyline as immediately as possible. The more information, the better. That's why films rarely cut it for me any more.

Either way, I was just bantering with my friend Mariana about which songs she would sing to me as she's part of a club that gets together and sings. I, of course, cannot sing. I'm worse than Mike. In fact, if I was anyone in Glee, I'd probably be Mike because I can shake my booty but I seriously cannot sing. But one can enjoy the hypothetical in blog posts, so that's what I'm going to do, especially because I WANT TO HEAR WHAT YOU WOULD CHOSE AS YOUR TOP FIVE. Seriously, you gotta comment, otherwise it's not as fun!

I'm going to implement some rules, though, that are along the lines of how I imagine Glee choses theirs
1. It's not just about a random song you like and can sing
2. The lyrics have to be relevant to the situation YOU are in or something you wish you could say or the way you feel at the moment. That's what singing other people's songs is for, they can express how you really feel without being too personally specific - usually. As if I had to tell anyone, but some people take the easy way out. Let's not.
3. Usually, I'd say you need to be able to sing it (has to be in your key etc) but let's ignore that because it would mean I can chose no songs. Ever, at all. But if you can actually sing, be my guest and include that in your specifications. I will let YouTube do the job for me.
4. Feel free to do mash ups and suggest your version of the lyrics break down!
5. In my case they all happen to be some of my favourite songs as well, but relevance comes first!

So here we go, my top 5 songs I would sing if I were in Glee, that express how I feel about things in general at the moment:

Portmanteau List: Top five feather dresses

I have a current obsession with feather as part of a feature in my dresses, which is an expensive and time consuming taste to have. Helped along by the fact that hand sewing allows me to work in the garden whilst sunbathing, I managed to get a few pieces done lately - however, until further financial notice my enjoyment is limited to the drooling over feathered dresses I've adored in the past, most of which are by the indisputable king of feather detailing, the late Alexander McQueen.

1. Alexander McQueen


Image by Fashionfoiegras (thanks for sharing this piece of perfection with us)

2. Atelier Versace

Source: Popsugar

Penelope Cruz in Versace at the Oscars

3. Alexander McQueen Fall 2008

Source: Style.com

4. Oscar de la Renta Spring 2008

Source: NY Fashion Mag

4. D&G A/W 2011

Source: Huffingtonpost

Please share some beautiful feathered dresses if you like, I can't get enough of them.

Opposing Mitosis

T'is two branched a tree
With dual intent
Did we ever foresee?
Oh, it did misrepresent

Decades ago the word meant joy
Back when the new meaning
Is what did kill that boy
Oh, which way am I leaning?

There laid out for taking
Duality merged into unity
And whether it is breaking
Oh, it wounds my immunity

When the everyday fact
Of the definition
Doesn't match how I react
Oh, it becomes my mission

Importance is fleeting
Definition leads to categorization
Don't see why I'm cheating
Oh, whence come from this fixation?

The certainty of category
Could bring so much clarity
Confusion, however mandatory
Oh, it creeps up so warily

I used to sit comfortably
Where the tree split in two
Gripping the right branch uncertainly
Oh, but drinking the new

Melting like iron in a forge
Will decisions make me complete?
Dripping from the cone to the porch
Oh, but nothing could be this concrete

Just dripping and fleeting
As I'm gripping tightly
Which is it I'm needing?
Oh, confused so rightly

There is no conclusion
For there is no decision
There's only confusion
And exploring illusion.

What LL Wore: Summer storm a-brewing

Where life takes place is reminiscent of how that life is lived. In the UK, more specifically in London, life is lived inside. Inside oneself, inside the house, inside the group of friends one surrounds oneself with.

Furthermore, I am usually constantly working, which so far I always thought required another level of interiority. As I spend most my days relocating my life to the outdoors with every sunny moment absorbed into the pores of my sun-drenched being, there's also memento mori of weather, based on previous experience of UK summer.

Re-locating to the garden

As many will confirm, the summer experienced in said lovely little wet country centers around roughly two weeks in late spring, usually around the time when exams are due. Almost like clockwork awareness the rain and drizzle misery will approach in clouds of darkness by the time you have handed in your last essay - an awareness that stays with you no mater how long ago you've graduated. With this in mind, the very first storm that came a-brewing this year had people drily stating that autumn had now arrived and me wailing. However, the very next day, the sun came back out and we rejoiced once more. So much so, in fact, that when the storm clouds came thundering down the horizon or what counts as one within the limited visibility of Londonderry, I thoroughly enjoyed layering up in summer storm appropriate gear without fear (ohh, rhyme) of any ceasing of summer.

Ada Gatti red knit shirt
Vintage red and black beads necklace
Atmosphere blue bird jacket
Traditional Scottish pleat skirt
Pringle red golf socks
Prada red T-bar heels
Blue Lira Leirner bow hairclip

What LL Wore: Day two at the V&A and Yohji Yamamoto

Image by Mummy Portmanteau

Vintage cream silk blouse
Zara Navy blue silk cardigan
Pringle of Schottland cream pleat skirt
Rupert Sanderson cream and white rimmed leather heels
Lira Leirner yellow-gold and black checked raw silk and leather jacket
Black hair bow
Calvin Klein black watch

Continuing the indulgence of the imaginary sartorial pathway "If I had been a Prep girl", the second day of Mummy Portmanteau's visit to the big smoke took us to see Yohji Yamamoto's collection at the V&A in a brightly lit sterile show space which made me feel like I was back in fashion week and not in a museum. Some of the pieces were truly jaw droppingly beautiful and I found myself drawn to red pieces more than any other. Quite charmingly, I could see faults of finish and methods every now and then, in particular with his earlier pieces - for example, a full - train pure cashmere night gown had moth holes and another garment had it's beautiful front gathering pulling down the corner of the mid- button that would have benefitted from a discreet hook and eyes. Minute details, which always rock my nerves when I see them in my own garments while everyone around me seems to see only the positives, yes details nonetheless - made by a master of fashion sculpting. I know I should make this about myself, but it did make me feel better about the mistakes only I seem to see. However, when it comes to pleating and layering, I had goose bumps.

Isn't this the most beautiful mushrooming pleat sculptured dress you've ever seen? I find it hard to take my eyes off the red sleeveless pleated silk dress in homage to Madame Gres from the S/S 2005 collection

Beautiful red and black distressed boiled wool jacket with gathered front and long skirt from the /W 2009-10 collection and a red asymmetric light wool felt dress with crinoline from the A/W 1990-91 collection.

Black long dress with buttons from top to bottom at the front and on both sides in silk from the A/W 1995-1996 collection. This is a feature I've been meaning to incorporate into my pieces for a while but I never end up having the patience to actually implement it. One day... one day.

Black halter-neck long dress in homage to Madame Gres, with pleat detail in the front and black trousers in silk and satin from the S/S 2005 collection

What LL Wore: Day one in Hampstead Heath

La Babele vintage check wool jumper (inherited from my grandmother, who wore it at my age)
HandBook black denim pleat skirt
Hermes vintage blazer (gift from my aunt)
Red scottish check hairband
Yellow kid leather Lira Leirner bracelet with silver badge
Tommy Hilfiger red polo shirt
Longchamp red Le Pliage bag
Prada red and white T-bar block 5 inch heels

In a series of looks to indulge the scream for attention by my inner prep-school girl I've outlined in my previous post "If I had been a prep girl" I've opted for a red and black palette with a flash of yellow incorporating a check pattern without becoming too christmassy or mockingly British by keeping the accents minimal. As my mother was visiting we went for a lovely extended walk in Hampstead Heath and had some fun taking pictures by this gorgeous pond into which a dog kept jumping into. Thanks to mummy Portmanteau for taking this lovely picture and even more thanks for going for lovely walks with me and insisting on bus rides across London.