Thursday, 30 September 2010

Tony Curtis RIP

"I wouldn't be caught dead marrying a woman
old enough to be my wife"

Tony Curtis

And he had six of them.  A man who lived life to the full.
Wasn't he handsome?

RIP Tony Curtis xxx

Seven quotes for a Thursday afternoon - Part forty eight

"Do you want to be an artist and a writer, a wife and a lover?
With kids, your focus changes.  I don't want to go to PTA meetings"

Stevie Nicks
(b. 1948)

"Besides wanting to be an artist I wanted to be a movie star"

Patti Smith
(b. 1946)

Photography by William Gottlieb
Billie and her dog Mister, 1946

"There's no damn business like show business.
You have to smile to keep from throwing up"

Billie Holiday

Photography by Richard Avedon

"Audiences like their blues singers to be miserable"

Janice Joplin

"Tell me what you'd like me to sing.  I'll sing whatever you like,
after which I'll take a collection, if you don't mind"

Edith Piaf

"Musical people always want one to be perfectly dumb
at the very moment when one is longing to be perfectly deaf"

Oscar Wilde

Photography by Bob Gruen
Alice Cooper and Salvador Dali

"Marilyn Manson? He has a woman's name and wears make up.
How original."

Alice Cooper
(b. 1948)

Seven quotes for a Thursday afternoon is a weekly series to read more click here

The English weather

Photography by Camilla Akrans
Edita Vilkeviciute

This week in London it has rained relentlessly.  Either constant drizzle or absolutely chucking it down.  It sounded like someone was running a bath outside my window for most of yesterday.

I know the picture above is a spring picture, I just think it's really beautiful.  Now I'll have to accept that all my hopes of a late Indian summer have gone.  A couple of weeks ago I was sitting on my little terrace outside my back door having my breakfast in the sun, now Autumn is well and truly here.

My upstairs neighbour Chloe is having the windows painted (and whatever the bit under the roof's called - don't ask me).  A load of men turned up at 8am yesterday to put scaffolding around our entire house.  It's right across my front and back windows.  Thankfully they've alarmed it as the burglars round here will be in like a shot.  I now have another set of alarm controls to contend with.

I bumped into Chloe's boyfriend Barry in the corner shop late last night.  We were chatting and I said I wondered if the alarm actually worked.  He dared me to climb up the scaffolding and see.  Of course I did.  I was wearing Ugg boots and my pyjamas with a long cashmere coat over the top.  The alarm didn't go off... until I stood on the planks then the whole thing went mental, flashing lights and all sorts!  It was SO loud.   I had to jump down about eight feet into the front garden.  There's me trying to look athletic, styling it out like I knew what I was doing.  I'm lucky I didn't fall flat on my face!  I ran inside to turn the alarm off but I was laughing so much I kept putting the wrong code in.  In the meantime my house alarm started going off and the bloody things were deafening!  Barry thought this was hilarious and we were killing ourselves laughing at the racket going on.  Of course no one in the street took a blind bit of notice.

I shall miss eating outside and the warm evenings

This is London Fields the park at the end of my street.  There's a pub right in the middle of it.  Not that I go there very often you understand.  I don't think their Bloody Mary's are up to much.  I might have to go and show them how it's done.  The other pub round the corner makes a brilliant one.

Photography by Clive Arrowsmith
Kate Bush

This picture has absolutely nothing to do with what I'm talking about, but I thought it went quite well with the others.  Well, it has leaves in it and it's a fabulous picture of Kate.  I grew up with her music which I love.

I'm a winter baby and I really like the winter.  My favourite time of year is Christmas which I've started to think about already.  I love it SO much.  I'm going to have to keep a lid on myself this year as I won't have so much to spend... that should be interesting!  All you Christmas haters will be cursing me for mentioning it already!

I think I'll have to do my next wardrobe post on coats.  Thankfully it's stopped raining or I'd have to do it on waterproofs, not that I have any of course!  Can you imagine?  There's nothing more unflattering than a cagoule.  I'm not even sure how to spell it!  Let alone be seen dead in one! 

Actually I tell a lie, I saw one on Vix's blog yesterday which was by far the nicest one I've ever seen, Vix had made it for herself to wear to festivals.  I'd call it more of a matching hat and cape than a cagoule.  I can't even bear the word cagoule!  I remember those hideous ones that zipped up into a little bag that everyone had in the Seventies.  I'd rather get wet than put one of those on!  I had a bright red one and I looked like Red Riding Hood gone wrong.  A tall, skinny, lanky kid in a cagoule is not a good look.  My friend Jo lent me a hooded anorak, like a kids style one when I went to Latitude.  It was actually quite sweet, although I looked about twelve in it with the hood up.  Oh well, at least I didn't have to wear a cagoule!

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Are diamonds a girl's best friend?

I wonder if Marilyn's diamonds are real?

I love anything sparkly and I adore jewellery.  I'm quite boring though I just wear the same jewellery all the time.  I don't have any diamonds, apart from some diamond stud earrings which are the only earrings I wear apart from pearl studs.  A boy once bought me a gorgeous antique diamond ring but I gave it back when we split up.  All the rings and pendants I wear now are made of semi-precious stones.

The Actor has seen my taste in diamond engagement rings when we've been window shopping (three carat plus solitaire) and his eyes popped out of his head when he saw the prices.  He's in no rush to spend that kind of money. Luckily I don't mind what I wear as long as it sparkles.

My belly button

I have a big "diamond" in my belly button.  Yes, this is my actual belly button.  The Actor's eyes will roll when he sees this and he'll be like "Have you taken a photo of your belly button and put it on your blog?"  Well, yes I have.  I couldn't find a picture on the internet I liked.  Some of them looked a bit deformed and quite put me off.  I'm not actually that yellow it's the lighting in my sitting room this evening.  I have no idea what this one's made of, it could even be crystal.  I've had it for absolutely years.

I had my belly button pierced when I was twenty five at a place in Clerkenwell called Into You which was highly recommended as the place to go.  The chap who did it was brilliant.  There was no time for any fuss he just put some antiseptic on and went straight in with a banana shaped needle!  Thankfully it didn't hurt as the adrenalin kicked in immediately.  When you first have it done they give you a surgical steel hoop with a big ball bearing thing on it.  I didn't want a dull looking steel one so I asked him for something a bit jazzier, which he thought was hilarious.  He humoured me and came back with a pink crystal ball bearing instead.  I was much happier with that!  They tell you to take it easy after you've had it done but never one to take advice I went straight to the pub to show all my friends.

I've always thought I'd get a tattoo but I've never got round to it.  All the ideas I originally had have now been done so it's sort of fallen by the wayside.  I do like them though and I'm always interested in other people's.

Amethyst and ruby coloured

I have lots of different ones, these were the only two I could locate but I have blue topaz, yellow topaz, emerald green and aquamarine too.  I like the ones with big stones and I'm not keen on dangly bits swinging off them.

When I first had it done I had one like this but in surgical steel with a pink crystal ball bearing.  Can you imagine me with a plain grey surgical steel one?  That would be too dull.

Here's a selection that are sold at Into You - these are all 18ct gold

Marilyn and some diamonds - I just loved this picture.

Do you have any piercings or tattoos?  If so what do you have?  or if not, what would you like? xxx

My interview with Janice Dickinson for LOVE

Last week I interviewed Janice Dickinson for LOVE which was great fun.  I didn't have as long as I'd have liked and Janice and I spent the first fifteen minutes outside smoking and chatting off the tape but in the twenty minutes I actually recorded we crammed a fair bit in!  Next time I'd like to talk more in depth about men though...

To read the interview CLICK HERE  If the link doesn't work I shall post it here with lots of pics tomorrow (Thursday)

I sent the people who do the website a folder of lovely old modeling pictures of Janice but they've only posted one old grainy one.  Never one to skimp on a picture, here's one of them above.  Doesn't she look gorgeous?

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Where I go to a WI evening with a difference

My best friend Fee, designer Mrs Jones called me yesterday and said I had to come to the studio this evening.  She told me "The WI are doing something down here" I said "What THE Women's Institute?  Are you having a laugh?" Why on earth would I be up for that?  I haven't baked a cake since I was seven!  I didn't think the WI would be my thing at all, and of course I thought I was far too young!  Above is a picture of the sort of thing I was expecting.

How wrong I was.  Far from a load of old dears bringing Victoria sponges and jars of jam these girls turned up with bag loads of wine and not one of them was over twenty five!  This branch of the WI broke all the moulds.  They are known as the Shoreditch Sisters.  And what a fantastic bunch of girls they are.

Fee gave a talk and then left them alone to rummage at their leisure and try on whatever they liked.  The studio is like a giant dressing up box.  Everytime I go in there I ended up flying about in something.

They tried on lots of outfits, hats and accessories that are all for sale in the Mrs Jones Emporium.  It was loads of fun and I have to say that my opinion of the WI has been changed for good.

Here are some of the girls.  The rail behind them is full of old stage outfits alternatively known as "Pop star's droppings"

The girls get stuck into the Rosé and crisps.  Fee kept saying to me "Where are the cakes??"  But there wasn't a cake in sight

Betty even dressed up for the occasion in this rather fetching 50's style number

The fabulous art director and designer Fred Butler was there.  Fred is also doing an evening of making accessories with the girls.  That sounds like something I'd love to go to

There are shiny things to see everywhere you look
It's like being in a sweet shop

Rails stacked with a riot of colour and tons to try on

Elnaz wears Bros' old leather jacket which has been customised

Danielle wears a Mrs Jones suit

Tara in one of Ana Matronic's dresses

Tara looking fabulous in a headress

And a dress which Mrs Jones made after being inspired by the documentary My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding

Elnaz in a pom pom headdress

Tara in a sequin stage number and a snake headdress

Elnaz in a Feathersmith headdress and Jazz wearing another stage piece

Not to be outdone Betty pops on her next look - a dog-tooth ('scuse the pun) check coat with a fur collar.  Rather smart I thought.  Betty has also had a haircut so you can actually see her face now.  And she can see out too.

There were lots of laps to have a cheeky kip on and plenty of crisps to scrounge

This is the lovely Jazz who's the president of the Shoreditch Sisters WI with Betty who was absolutely loving all the attention (I was going to say lapping up but that was too cheesy!).  What a brilliant and fun evening.   And Fee has two new volunteers for work experience to boot.  Well, what girl can resist a bit of dressing up?

For all enquiries about the Mrs Jones Emporium or Mrs Jones designs please contact

To read my interview with Mrs Jones CLICK HERE

Shoreditch Sisters WI blog is HERE

Monday, 27 September 2010

Show you my wardrobe - Part four

Vintage 1930's cherry red crepe bias cut dress with rhinestone polka dots

This is the last Thirties dress I shall show you, in case it's all getting a big samey and you start dozing off.  I bought this hand made dress at a Hollywood estate sale for $150 in about 1994.

The dress is made of a heavy crepe with hand applied rhinestones.  They are clipped on with a metal circle on the inside.  They didn't have zips in the Thirties either so it does up on the hip with tiny hooks and eyes which are so well done you can't see them at all.

I never think about fashion I just buy things if I like them.  It was one of those dresses that ticked all the boxes, the colour, the cut, a bit of sparkle and the belt.  I knew I had to buy it the minute I saw it .

It came with two loose straps that you can sew back on if you wish.  They run from the bottom of spine in an upside down V up to the neckline.  I left it backless but I still have them.  The skirt fishtails out at the back when you walk.

The strap around the neck threads through the gathers and ties in a bow

The rhinestones aren't really sparkly instead they just catch the light now and again.  It has a little Art Deco buckle set with hundreds of rhinestones on a matching fabric belt.

What do you think?  Timeless? or dated?

To see part five of 'Show you my wardrobe' CLICK HERE

Shoots I love - Bal masqué

Bal masqué - French Vogue October 2010
Photography by Mert Atlas and Marcus Piggott
Models - Lara Stone, Freja Beha Erichssen, Mariacarla Boscono, Daphne Groeneveld
Realisation by Carine Roitfeld

I think this is a beautiful and strong shoot and one of the most interesting I've seen for ages.  Sadly I can't post the whole shoot as I have to be careful posting tits on this blog!  Google are not keen on any nudity.  Anyway, it's great to see the art put back into fashion.  I love it.

Steve McQueen - The King of Cool... and his women

"I live for myself and answer to nobody"

Steve  McQueen

I've always thought Steve McQueen was one of Hollywood's sexiest men.  His macho, smouldering good looks, bright blue eyes and raw sex appeal have always done it for me.  Given the chance I would definitely have gone there (if he was single of course).  Who wouldn't?  You'd never want to be his wife or girlfriend though.  Although he was very happily married for some time, he's not the type to be tied down.  Women clearly adored him and found him irresistible.  And he certainly was all man!

Steve McQueen lived life at top speed, he worked hard, played hard and loved hard.  He drank and smoked heavily, took "an heroic amount of drugs" according to his friend Terence McKenna.  At the height of his fame he was using LSD, amyl nitrate, smoking dope and consuming vast amounts of cocaine.

His sex life was legendary.  Known as The Love Machine he slept his way through Hollywood's most glamorous women and allegedly some of the men, including bedding all of his co-stars.  And then some.

One of his biographies claims he also had flings with Marilyn Monroe, Lana Turner, Judy Garland aand much older Hollywood stars Joan Crawford and Bette Davis.

Described as many things; Screen hero, rebel, sexual outlaw megastar, loner, gigolo, mysterious recluse, brutal yet tender and in the words of Jaqueline Bisset "the most beautiful, beautiful man".

To this day there hasn't been anyone with the same presence as Steve McQueen, although there have been a few imitators.  His devil-may-care attitude, athletic triumphs,  sexual charisma and unconvential lifestyle earned him the nickname The King of Cool.  And he most certainly was.

Photography by John Dominis
Steve and his first wife Neile

Photography by John Dominis

Photography by John Dominis

Photography by John Dominis

Photography by John Dominis

Photography by John Dominis

Photography by John Dominis

This set of photos were taken when John Dominis who was given unprecedented access to McQueen and his family in 1963.

Steve McQueen's women

Mamie Van Doren (early 1950's)

Photography by Ralph Crane
Gia Scala (1952-1954)

Ava Gardner (1955)

Neile Adams, married from (1956-1972)

Ann Margret (1960's)

Tuesday Weld (1960's)

Filming The Cincinatti Kid with Tuesday Weld

Sharon Tate (1960's)

Faye Dunaway (1968)

Filming The Thomas Crown Affair with Faye Dunaway

I watched this earlier today... God, they were gorgeous!

Jacqueline Bisset (1968)

Filming Bullitt with Jacqueline Bisset

Raquel Welch (1971)

Barbara Leigh (1971-1972)

Filming Junior Bonner with Barbara Leigh

Barbara Leigh lasted the longest of the girlfriends

Natalie Wood (1972)

Filming Love With The Proper Stranger with Natalie Wood

"I remember seeing him across the swimming pool and my knees were knocking.  He radiated such macho energy.  Men wanted to be like him.  Uptight society ladies and biker molls wanted to be with him"

Ali MacGraw
(b. 1938)

With Ali MacGraw.  Married (1972-1978)

Filming The Getaway with Ali MacGraw

"The best sex I ever had"

Lauren Hutton
(b. 1943)

Barbara Minty, married (1978-1980)

Further reading

Christopher Sandford's biography has rave reviews

From the woman who knew him the best and for the longest

Barbara Leigh wrote her acclaimed autobiography - a former girlfriend of Elvis it's titled The King, McQueen and The Love Machine.  I love it already... just from the title.  I'm off to Amazon to buy a copy NOW.  The reviews are great, this will be well worth a read.

"I believe in me.  I'm a little screwed up, but I'm beautiful"

Steve McQueen

Oh!  Wasn't he gorgeous?