22 April 2014


OK, out of town retail parks, not usually a hotbed of fashion, more a bit of a meh, alright for basics and the DIY store type of destination.  Arcadia Group over the last couple of years have been quietly putting this right, with the latest of their Outfit shops opening at New Mersey Retail Park in Speke.

So what makes Outfit worth a visit?  Well it houses the majority of the Arcadia brands under one roof, and this means high fashion and a fast turnover of styles in a shopping environment that you would not expect.  In a way it is a similar idea to department stores, but as we know, they tend to only house small capsule sized choices from each brand.  Outfit has a wide choice and what I particularly liked is that it is catering for all ages, and sizes in one place.  So you don't normally buy clothes in Topshop, but you do quite like the accessories?  No more traipsing ladies, all in one place.

Right practical things.  The store is well laid out with a big of common sense.  There is one think I hate, and that is wondering aimlessly trying to find something because the store designer took inspiration from a jumble sale.  Life is just too short.

The changies, good seating area for bored mates, kids and fellas outside.  The girls were really pleasant and helpful and didn't tut or roll their eyes when I had them running back into the store to get me things every two minutes.  Kudos for their patience.  The cubicles are roomy, but I have one small criticism.  The mirrors are those ones that make you look like your legs are made out of pure cellulite.  Use the one at the end, much more flattering.

And finally the staff, shop floor staff were friendly, quite glamourous, as above, but not pushy.  Also they seemed to, I'm not sure whether this was accident or design, to have matched the ages of the floor staff to the brand where they worked which actually is a canny move I think.  The girls on the tills were also really lovely, even though it was late when I left they were chatty and happy to chinwag, I do like that.

Anyway, give it a go you lot.  I will be going again.

7 April 2014

Thomas and Noah

Reading:  To a God Unknown by John Steinbeck
Listening to:  Dan Greenpeace Piano Breaks 2

1 April 2014

31 March 2014

St Lukes - Naomi

Photo:  Victoria Hyam

Reading:  Game of Thrones
Listening to:  Oliver Arnold

30 March 2014

Me and the Bombed Out Church

Reading:  Twitter
Listening to:  Dead Skeletons
Smoking:  A rollie

Liverpool this last fortnight has been outraged by the rumour of the Council's plans to sell off a much loved building to private developers.  St Lukes, or the Bombed Out Church is one of the cities most recognisable buildings.  Probably the rest of the world thinks of the Liver Buildings, or the cathedrals when they imagine the architectural icons of the city but ask a Scouser and the Bombed Out Church will be high up on that list.

During the Blitz of 1941, the church scored a direct hit.  Since then it has remained a shell, and a constant reminder and memorial to all those people who lost their lives in the german bombing of the city during WW2.  For many years now it has hosted various events, yoga classes, film screening, concerts and today it was closed while a band filmed a video in there.  It's a versatile space and we love it.

When I asked the very talented artist Katie Craven to design my blog header, I wanted an iconic building on it which would instantly identify my blog with the city.  St Lukes was a no brainer.

With all these in mind, I decided to do a series of street style pictures on the steps.  The steps where many have waited for a hot date, have rested before the trek up Hardman Street and where many a drunken bag of chips and pizza have been consumed in the early hours.

I was accompanied today by a student photographer, Victoria Hyam (who will be guest blogging here in the future).  Victoria is using me as the subject of her 2nd year project.  Photographing me photographing people.  The premise of her project is that street style photography will be seen in years to come as a valuable source of documentary material about the times we live in now.  I'm sure she will keep you updated on this here.

So the point of all this?  Well every day this week, I will be posting some street style from the steps.  The steps of hopes, dreams, lost love and chips.

More information about events at the Bombed Out Church can be found here Urban Strawberry Lunch.

Photo Credit:  Victoria Hyam  (dead talented isn't she)

19 February 2014


I didn't ask Nadine any of the usual questions I ask when I stop people, that is because she is an old mate from fashion school who I haven't seen for 25 years.  And I'm telling you readers, she looks even better than ever.  Look at that outfit, that hair, HOW BOSS IS THAT!  As you can tell I'm made up to have bumped into a gorgeous old friend and expect a lot more pictures of her when I get to raid her wardrobe.

7 January 2014

London Collections: Men

I'd hate to be a men's fashion designer as it always feels like such a tricksy area.  Men are traditionally more conservative dressers, and although we would all like to see them push the flamboyance boat out a bit more, it is a very fine line between looking interesting and downright WTF.  As usual the mens collections, which are being shown in London this week, are a mix of the classic, interesting and jaw droppingly awful.  My personal preference is for what we do in Britain exceptionally well, quality tailoring, fabrics and interesting details, but hey there must be a market out there for pink mohair sportswear, isn't there?


Margaret Howell

John Smedley

Nutters of Saville Row

Tom Ford

9 December 2013

5 December 2013

Liverpool's Winter Wonderland

Christmas shopping is a nightmare, Christmas shopping with kids is enough to send me into a psychotic state.  And, as every right thinking parent knows, the best way to get the little blighters to stop moaning/kicking off is to dangle a treat over their heads in exchange for a bit of peace.  Liverpool One has thought of this.  Oh yes, only this level of genius can come from my home city.

Up on Chavasse Park, they have built a little winter wonderland to not only pacify the sproglets, but there is also something for us harassed parents to enjoy.  Yes there is a Santa's Grotto, but at Liverpool One there is also a Santa's Workshop which has loads of crafty activities, a very nice touch.  The kids can make their own Christmas stocking courtesy of the Button Boutique or decorate a cupcake, most of which will thankfully be eaten before they thrust their crumbling efforts into your hand to hold.

Now onto the ice rinks.  There is a smaller one for the smaller people and the adult one.  I have to own up, I didn't have a go.  Owning a centre of gravity that sits somewhere on my forehead, this was always going to be a non starter.  However, Liverpool One, if you are listening, if there was a little penguin I could have clung onto  like you provide for the kids, then I might have have chanced it.

What's in this for the adults? I hear you asking.  Well you could pretend you are in Scandinavia and pop along to the Ice Bar for a cocktail.  Made entirely out of ice, you can sup whilst wearing the thoughtfully provided thermal cape.  Wear it, it is freezing, it is an ice bar remember, this is no time for worrying about showing your frock off.  You do have to book to go so I would suggest you pop up and do this before you do your shopping.

As well as the above delights, there is an Apres Bar for drinks and snacks and loads of other activities.  The only problem you are going to have is persuading the kids (or your mate) to go home.

I haven't mentioned Liverpool One very much on this blog, not sure why, because it has in a very short time become an intrinsic part of Liverpool life.  Choc a block with the usual high street names, it also has to coin that old cliche, something for everyone.  For me I can swoon away in Whistles and The Kooples and my beloved John Lewis, whilst others prefer Pretty Green and the Doc Martin shop.  Oh and don't forget, Harvey Nicks have done another pop up shop for food, you can all buy my presents from there.  It is a bit of a fashion mecca, which covers all tastes and prices points, as well as hosting some niche and local brands such as Utility.

It's not just shopping at Liverpool One.  It has quite a few nice restaurants and bars.  you could do like I did and pop along to Jamies Italian for some porchetta, or La Lunya for tapas.  Basically whatever you fancy, you can get it here from posh burgers to sushi.

And finally, one thing you probably don't know about Liverpool One.  The Liverpool One Foundation, which provides support for good causes in and around our fair city, for the following three themes:  The prevention and relief of poverty, education and skills and social and community advancement.  They can provide funding with grants ranging from £500 to over £5000.  I like a bit of feelgood.

1 December 2013


Listening to:  Mumbaton and Electric Swing.
Reading:  Restaurant Babylon by Imogen Edwards-Jones