A t-shirt finds a home

How could I not buy this in Zara today? It was basically calling to me …

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Nonie says yay for Coco

This is so wonderful. (Not what happened, but what happened next …)

Coco Rocha was recently photographed for the cover of Elle Brazil. She has a brave policy of no nudity or partial nudity, and therefore her fans must have been surprised to see her posing like this:

Great picture. Possibly a bit too much information in the boob department. The thing is, she didn’t pose like that. And here’s what she said on her Tumblr yesterday to clear things up. Go Coco! Go Coco! (This is exactly what my new book, The Look, is all about.)

As a high fashion model I have long had a policy of no nudity or partial nudity in my photo shoots. For my recent Elle Brazil cover shoot I wore a body suit under a sheer dress which I now find was photoshopped out to give the impression of me showing much more skin than I was, or am comfortable with. This was specifically against my expressed verbal and written direction to the entire team that they not do so. I’m extremely disappointed that my wishes and contract was ignored. I strongly believe every model has a right to set rules for how she is portrayed and for me these rules were clearly circumvented.

– Coco Rocha

I read the story on Fashionista, which is where I get a lot of my fashion news. Their post included a comment from a model saying that it’s all right for Coco to have standards and principles, but other less successful models have to do what it takes while they’re starting out if they want to get anywhere.

Well, first of all – they don’t. It’s up to you how badly you want it, and what it’s worth, and how much of yourself you’re prepared to sacrifice. If every model took a stand, we might start to see women the way they want to be portrayed, and not the way editors think readers and advertisers might want to see them. The same applies to writers and journalists: sometimes, just say no. Let the job go.

And second – I agree that it’s very, very hard for the models at the bottom of the heap to do this, so it’s fabulous when the models at the top do it for them, and shout about it, and show that you can get where you want to be without losing what’s inside you.

Coco Rocha is the Mary Beard of modelling. (Mary is a professor of Classics at Cambridge, who has recently been all over the press defending her right not to wear makeup and have cute hair, just so she can tell us about the Romans on TV. We watched her last night. She was brilliant. Actually, I don’t like her hair, but I just adore how strong and feisty and self-confident and clever and interesting she is. I think she and Coco would hit it off brilliantly.)

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Joseph Kony – Nonie says Ew

It was because of what Joseph Kony did in Uganda that Threads became the book it was. He created the Lords Resistance Army that forced thousands of Uganda’s boys to become child soldiers, and its girls to become slaves. It is estimated that he has caused over 2 million people to be displaced. And in 2008, it was my anger at what he was doing that created the background of Crow, and Edie’s campaign to help her.

Right now, the campaign against him is all over the internet, called Kony 2012 and run by Invisible Children – whom I mentioned in Threads, and who are still going. Watch the video if you can. See what committed young people can do.

This is what Wikipedia had to say on the subject:

Kony received a surge of attention in early March 2012 with the release of “Kony 2012“, a thirty minute documentary, was made by filmaker Jason Russell for the campaign group Invisible Children Inc. The film’s aim is to make Joseph Kony famous, since fame would justify the United States getting involved in Kony’s capture. Michael Geheren, blogger for The Huffington Post, commented: “The 27-minute video was posted on Vimeo and YouTube by Invisible Children and became a worldwide trending topic on the Internet.. Personally, I have never seen an outpour of support from people on my Facebook news feed like this.”[21]

The Telegraph online mentioned the video, pointing out that it quickly received attention from celebrities.[22]. Elizabeth Flock, writer for the Washington Post, offered more background on the LRA as well as Invisible Children in response to the documentary.[23] Flock and The Toronto Star also mentioned that Invisible Children hoped to raise Kony’s notoriety enough to provoke an overnight postering on April 20.[24][23]

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The Oscars – Nonie has spoken

Well – the moment has come. Nonie has been busy today, but finally she has researched, reviewed and reached her opinion on those all important Oscar dresses. First of all, she must thank Harpers Bazaar for the photos, which were the best of the bunch.

And this is what she thinks …

Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton. Generally agreed to be the biggest fashion success of the night. In ‘coral’. Although Nonie quite liked the colour description given as ‘the inside of a fruit’. Against the trend, Nonie is not sure about that orangey-red. Nor the oh-so-in peplum. She wonders if it looked more amazing in the flesh. But she LOVES Michelle’s hair.

Gwyneth in Tom Ford. The fashion editors’ choice. Nonie has humed and haed and is still undecided. It is indeed brave. It shows off her mind-bogglingly perfect figure. It Will Be Remembered. But Nonie does rather secretly think it makes her look a bit like a white rectangle. Is that a good thing? Maybe Nonie is just jealous of Gwyn’s perfect bod.

It’s Lanvin. It’s Meryl’s third Oscar, from 17 nominations (which is possibly why it looks a bit like one). The woman can wear what she wants. Nonie can whisper ‘ballroom curtains’, but that would be rude. Besides, Meryl is probably still sleeping off her post-Oscar-party hangover, and would neither hear nor care.

Nonie has recently been watching Natalie in the 3-D version of Star Wars, where she looks just as luminous as always. Nonie is in love. She seems to remember that Natalie looked pretty darn hot last year, when she accessorised her Oscar with a baby bump and a new fiance. This year, it’s vintage Dior with velvet polka dots. Velvet polka dots, people! Nonie is swooning here. And it’s red, which means that Natalie took note when Nonie complained about the monochromeness of the BAFTAs. Yay. Total Yay. You go, talented girl.

Angelina is allowed to be the honourable exception to the ‘no black’ rule because a) it is velvet, Nonie’s favourite fabric, and b) it is Angelina, who manages to rock black every time, including this one by Atelier Versace. Nonie loves the asymmetric neckline and the slit to the thigh, but disapproves of the positively silly way Angelina has to pose for every picture, including on the Oscars stage, so people can see her leg. You have more class than that, Angie. Let us imagine the leg this time. Nonie understands why the scriptwriters of The Descendants, who got the Oscar from her, felt obliged to stand on one hip, with their right knee pointed at a distorted angle. Also, scale back on the Botox, Angie. You are allowed frown lines, too.

Viola Davies in Vera Wang. Stunning colour. Brave choice. Looked gorgeous on TV. But somehow her assets seem a bit squeezed in the pictures. A topical allusion? Nonie doubts it. She wishes the cup size had been a bit more generous. Nevertheless, a yay.

Octavia Spencer shows us how it’s done. Take note, Angie and Viola. Her legs are at normal angles, it fits, swoops and curves to perfection, and she looks like a goddess. And she won the Oscar. (The dress is by Tadashi Shoji. Me neither. We do now, though.)

Berenice Bejo in Elie Saab. Nonie expected to like this. She wanted to like this. Apparently it’s the top of one couture dress, and the skirt of another. It’s mint green, not white like it was on the catwalk. She’sthought about it. And she looks so heavenly in every shot from The Artist. So it’s a pity the dress is so … meh. Sorry, Berenice. But at least your husband’s movie got 5 OSCARS last night. So not a bad night overall. (And Nonie loved the clutch, if that’s any help.)

Jessica Chastain, in Nonie’s final Yay of the evening. It’s not just that it’s McQueen. It’s that it’s baroque (which Nonie’s into at the moment – check out the newest Dolce and Gabbana collection – WOW!). It fits, it’s glamorous, it’s special, it’s Oscar-reminiscent, without looking like an actual statuette. It’s the dress Nonie would have worn if she’d been up for Best Supporting Actress –  and Jessica Chastain hadn’t got there first.

And now Nonie must go and lie down in a quiet room somewhere. So much fashion hype, for so long, about so many people, for such a short time on the red carpet. It’s crazy. Nonie loves it.

Until next year …

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Back to Black

Oh dear. I have said it before (in 2009, no less), and I shall say it again: we may be in the depths of something-we’re-not-quiet-calling-a-recession-but-might-as-well-be, but we don’t hold big, glitzy award shows at the Royal Opera House to enforce this. Quite the opposite. We hold big, glitzy award shows to cheer ourselves up.

Just for a moment, we want to forget it’s February, that there’s a cold snap, that we have no money, that everybody’s fake boobs are on the verge of exploding. We want to see bling and va va voom, and preferably lots of it. We don’t want the front row of the BAFTAs to look like an upmarket funeral procession. (Which last night it did.) So enough with the black already. Show us a bit of colour.

To illustrate (and I have borrowed from the Daily Mail and the Telegraph here, because they were the first with the pictures):

This is Christina Hendricks, looking lovely. She gives excellent cleavage, as we know, and has more than a hint of late nineteenth century courtesan about her here – in a good way. But she is wearing black and hasn’t bothered with her hair. B-, Christina. B-. She did, I think, do the whole black corset look slightly better than Meryl Streep (whom I’m not showing, because you’ve seen her everywhere), but even so.

By the way, did you see the bit with Meryl’s stiletto coming off and Colin Firth retrieving it and putting it back on for her? Meryl said ‘That couldn’t have gone worse,’ but it was actually the best bit of the show. ‘Aw’ factor – about ten trillion. That is what we need in these troubled times: Oscar winners losing shoes like Cinderella and other Oscar winners kneeling down to put them back on again. Take note, Hollywood.

OK, enough of the black dresses. (There were loads and loads.) I include Michelle Williams because the bit next to her face is white, and very pretty. And because I love the overall effect. And her hair is great. And the dress came from H&M. H&M, I tell you. Total win. A+. Go, you, Michelle. And she doesn’t look cold.

It was Christina Ricci’s birthday. She celebrated by wearing gold Lanvin, with classic Hollywood glamour. As you do. Was it a nod to The Artist, which won practically everything? (My favourite quote of the night was by the guy who won Best Adapted Screenplay, who thanked The Artist for not being a book first.) Anyway, it was not black, it was yum. Admittedly, it is very hard to screw up in gold Lanvin, but we like, Christina, we really do.

I loved Viola Davis’s pink dress anyway, because it’s such a pretty colour and it zings against her skin and fits her to perfection. It’s by Valentino, which never hurts, and I’ve just found out (from Grazia) that it was made out of recycled plastic bottles. That definitely sounds like a scene from Threads … Apparently it was organised by Colin Firth’s eco-friendly wife, Livia. See how educational we are?

Moving up the colour scale, Naomie Harris’s yellow number reminds me of the tulips that have just started to appear – at vast expense – in our local florist. Very beautiful. She looks freezing, poor lass, for which I don’t blame her. If I’d been out in the same weather last night, it would have been in several layers and a coat. I hope she’s tucked up in bed with a hot chocolate this morning, recovering, and deservedly admiring herself in all the papers. Thank you, Naomie, for the yellow. It’s just what we needed.

This was my favourite dress. For a start, it’s worn by Ginny Weasley, aka Ginny Potter, aka Bonnie Wright. It’s not black. It’s very pretty. You could imagine a real human being wearing it to a real party. I’d have given her nicer accessories, but I am quibbling. I couldn’t possibly have given her better hair.

It contrasts big time with Jessica Chastain in her Oscar de la Renta silver/gold number, which is about as Hollywood as you can get. I loved this dress too, and particularly the way it looked in this photo, billowing out in the freezing cold London wind, while Jessica tried to look as if she was modelling on a beach somewhere.

Opposite ends of the spectrum: accessible and impossible. But neither of them funereal. The BAFTAs did OK fashion-wise, eventually. Now it’s Oscar time. Auntie Nonie is primed and ready to tell you what she thinks. Watch this space.

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This collection is so Crow it’s crazy

Not only H&M know how to put on a colourful Spring designer collection in February. Mary Katrantzou (and yes I had to check how to spell that – God it was easier when it was all Dior and YSL) is just about to launch her third collection for Topshop.

There is boning. There are short bubble skirts. There are fabulous textiles, with vivid images. There is colour. Crow could happily have sent this down the catwalk any time.

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Marni + H&M = Happy

This is going to sound a leeetle bit familiar.

H&M has collaborated with a top designer to produce a truly wonderful high-street collection, and I want all of it. (Not that it’s available yet. You have to wait until 8 March, sharpening your elbows, until you can muscle on in there and get it. But if you do, leave the jewellery ALONE. It’s MINE.)

It’s Beads Boys & Bangles all over again. H&M’s chief, Margareta van den Bosch, was one of the inspirations for Andy Elat, the retail impressario in the Threads series – but only the good bits! This time, she’s worked with someone with an equally wonderful, unspellable name – Consuelo Castiglioni of Marni. The collection will be colourful and bold and slightly mad and wonderful and grown-up. Check it out here.

Then they got Sofia Coppola (official film goddess) to film the promotional video. Then they used Bryan Ferry’s Avalon as the song for the backing track.

Can. Not. Take. Any. More. Perfection.

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