Tweed This

I’m a big fan of outdoor fashion photography à la The Clothes Horse. But I'm also quite a wimp when it comes to cold weather - which is why I've lately taken most pictures indoors.

But when it comes to showing tweed I really had to overcome my inner wuss. Tweed evokes pictures of horses, hounds and rifles (and ideally a rambling English mansion) in me, but since I was a bit short on these accessoires the hedge had to do. The costume is one of my diy projects; I made it by cutting up an old coat I bought in an Oxfam (thrift) store. Theoretically I love it, but practically I rarely wear it because it's scratchy as hell.

Why is it tweed today? Because I've become a tweeter (or twitterer?)… Anyway, I've finally managed to activate my twitter account. I signed up ages ago but 140 characters never seemed enough to have my say and in the end I just forgot about it. I'm a total novice and really don't know if I will be very entertaining, but I will try my best and be prolific. You can find me as SabinePsynopsis and if anyone wants to communicate with me please leave your twitter name and I will follow you.

But back to fashion – What’s your stand on tweed? Friend or foe? Chanel or Prince Charles? Cool or way too old-fashioned?

jacket & skirt: diy, sweater: antonio berardi, tights: wolford, bag: anya hindmarch, shoes: marc by marc jacobs


The Peacock Dress

Psynopsis Acne Denim Peplum Dress
Psynopsis Acne Denim Peplum Dress
It's not often that I buy a piece of clothing just out of pure (design) pleasure. No, I'm a sensible girl! I stock up on black trousers, silk blouses, cashmere sweaters and LBDs, and if I ever revel in frivolity it's shoes. (Although I haven’t even touched a Nicholas Kirkwood shoe yet.*)

But when I saw this Acne dress in the sales there was no stopping me. When would I wear it in the middle of winter? Who cares? A jeans peplum dress – pure genius! I just loved the 'architecture' of it. I was told that topshop had them big time last year and that every 16-year-old had already strutted her stuff up and down Oxford Street in them. Again, I say: Who cares? (Plus, I haven’t seen them, have you?)

Actually, it’s a nearly impossible dress to wear. Not only do you need someone to zip you in; it’s also extremely stiff, making me feel a bit like an underdressed Marie Antoinette. But again I say: Who cares?!?

What's your take on peplum? Love it? Hate it? Already totally over it?...

*That’s why I’m so excited about the Nicholas Kirkwood-Liberty London collaboration at the end of May.


Back to Black

Psynopsis Sarah in Black Malene Birger Dress
Not one LBD did Karl Lagerfeld show in his latest Haute Couture show for Chanel. It looks that fashion-wise black is so far from being back, it’s somewhere stuck on the moon, which makes me feel rather silly to have stocked up on black clothes in my latest shopping spree. I didn't even want to, I wanted colours and patterns… but something always makes me come back to black.

No matter if pastels, mustard or tribal prints are en vogue, black stays the eternally fashionable colour. Yes, it might add years to our teint and make us look drained, but it's also slimming and gives the wearer sincerity à la: "You may all dance around like peacocks, but I've got never-changing eternity on my side, I’m not influenced by little fashion whims and frolics." (Why else is the whole staff of Vogue mostly clad in black; not to mention King Karl and Coco themselves?)*

I might give other hues a try, but when in doubt/lazy/undecided/not up for experiments the shade that doesn’t emit or reflect light will always be my fall-back choice.

So what about you? Is it good-bye to black for you this season or are you sticking to the colour of nobility, experience and death**?

**They just want to lock slimmer, you say? Fair point.
**Black is actually only the colour of death in Europe and the Americas. In Asia and many African countries white symbolises mourning. (Thanks, Wiki!)

dress: malene birger


Snow White

Psynopsis Antonio Marras Leather Jacket Vintage Liz Claiborne Skirt Eric Bompard Scarf
Psynopsis Antonio Marras Leather Jacket Vintage Liz Claiborne Skirt Eric Bompard Scarf

It's the same every year: Come winter I start wearing black. Black tights, black trousers, black tops, even black underwear… Summer is just the opposite – very white orientated. And for years now I've been wondering: Why not wear more white in winter? Wouldn't this help to bring some light and optimism into the dark days?

It sounds so easy, but I realised it's anything but… 1st, you need to be the neatest person on the planet not to smudge your beautiful white clothes with wintery grime. 2nd, I'm not a colour expert, but it seems to me that plain white can look quite harsh on winter days, especially when there is snow. And 3rd, the main problem: Shoes! I don’t know about you, but I do not own any warm shoes in light colours (except uggish ones, but they are not really for wearing anywhere but on Australian beaches, are they?). White trousers and black shoes? A definite No-No; or am I being too conservative here?

Creamy colours or beige though, well, that’s a totally different matter…

leather jacket: antonio marras, scarf: eric bompard, t-shirt: gap, skirt: vintage liz claiborne


Dressing Down (& other Disasters)

Psynopsis Vanessa Bruno Wool Top Costume National Satin Trousers
Psynopsis Vanessa Bruno Wool Top
Clothes-wise I vacillate between being a real 'dress-upper' (or is it 'up-dresser') and a total slob. To me going to work means dressing the part – no matter if I rot away in my office and no one ever sees me. It’s high heels, tight skirts, blouses… you get the picture. But as soon as I hit the house I throw everything off me and slip into trackies, Uggs a threadbare t-shirt or an old cashmere sweater. (In a moment of weakness, it must have been a Sunday evening, I started wondering if I couldn’t bridge this fashion gap by wearing tracksuit bottoms to work; but never put the idea into action.)

Recently, I started working more from home and this opens a whole new can of fashion worms…* It’s not off-time, I’m working and this calls for a certain inner poise trackies can’t provide; but I would feel rather silly wearing high heels and a costume at home. So being more a tights than a jeans girl I thought 'What about the good old wool dress?' Comfy, but not sloppy, wearable indoors and outdoors… and I started my new dress code with this grey Vanesso Bruno dress.

I know some women wouldn’t even take out the garbage without wearing lipstick and manolos… Home-wear, work-wear – Does it make a difference to you?

*And let me tell you, not only fashion worms… Less time at work also gives me the chance to do other things, like picking up daughter from school. Having always been a working girl I find motherly activities rather exciting, so while I’m sitting innocently in the reception area, feeling all smug for being a 'real mum', a girl walks up to me, bends over…. and throws up. If these are the joys of motherly activities I don't think I've missed much.

P.S. Sorry for looking so grumpy. It’s the first time I’ve worked with self-timer and I have the tendency to scowl at the camera wondering if it will do as told (still
figuring it out).

dress: vanessa bruno, trousers: c’n’c costume national, boots: fendi



When Susie Bubble just posted about Brazilian knitwear designer Lucas Nascimento I was reminded of how much I love knitwear.

Not only do I love knitwear I’m even a bit of a knitter myself (at least from time to time). So when I could not afford a much desired piece by Missoni I tried to knit a missoni-esque sweater myself.

Later I actually did buy my dream, a dress, but strangely I’m wearing it far less than I thought I would. One of the reasons is that it looses shape so quickly it has to be washed* every time it has been worn. I still love the pattern and the colours though.

Do you have a favourite knitwear designer?

*Naturally it should only be dry-cleaned, but if a garment doesn’t survive a wash it doesn't survive long in my wardrobe… I might make an exception for coats and blazers, which means they tend to become slightly filthy… but Shush! Enough of that!

P.S. It seems the camera works in near darkness. Not best results, but quite atmospheric, don't you think?

pictures 1 & 2: dress: missoni, shoes: bruno frisoni
picture 3: sweater: diy, jumpsuit: vintage katherine hamnett


Skins, Snaps & Ponytails

What happens when you take pictures of winter though your mind is already set on summer, while reviewing series 1-3 of Skins (to be ready for series 4 starting next week), simultaneously trying to catch up on all the interesting blogging activity out there? Simple, one (me, that is) just gets really confused and nothing gets done properly.

But all this has to stop now, because I finally GOT A CAMERA! No need to use the little family snapper anymore. It’s a proper Nikon DSLR (not the D300 I had dreamed of - in my wildest dreams – but I think the D60 isn't bad at all, don't you?). Unfortunately it comes with a big instruction booklet. This means, if I want to produce some proper pictures in the future it's good-bye to Skins and Hello to reading instruction booklets. (Don't you just hate them? With all our technological advantages how come we haven't yet found a method to feed knowledge directly into our brains?)

Ponytails? Yeap, what about them (apart from that I just liked the title and they heavily feature in fashion shows and so naturally fashion blogs)? They've given me a money-saving inspiration: I'll be wearing a plait all the time now. This will make me oh-so-fashionable and avoid the need for a new hairdresser… How thrifty is that?!


I Love to Travel, but Hate to Arrive #2

Psynopsis Vintage Travel Look DIY Wool Suit Eric Bompard Scarf Vintage Hat and Suitcase
Psynopsis Vintage Travel Look DIY Wool Suit Eric Bompard Scarf Vintage Hat and Suitcases
Don’t you think there is a new wind in the fashion air? This spring I'm seeing myself in fresh flowery colours, innocent pastels, fascinating patterns… I want to wear soft suede and Indian patterns à Altuzarra, twist and turns (and bone-like structures) like Sandra Backlund and intricate patterns, lace and cuts like Bora Aksu.

With this vision I’m storming the sales at net-a-porter. (Thank God for online shopping when the weather is bad, one’s energy low and all official winter sales have ended 3 weeks ago). But after 2 hours of scrolling, picking and binning – what have I chosen? 1 pair of black trousers, 2 black dresses and a jeans dress from Acne. Is it really so difficult to change one’s habits and adapt a new style? Or are the winter sales maybe not the right place to adjust to the summer vibe?

Perhaps I have to send it all back to become the colourful person I’m envisioning myself. But my hunch is I’ll try the clothes on and it will feel just fine and my mind will whisper: Colours? You can always add some later…

Although the weather has changed and it feels nearly spring-like now I wanted to post part 2 of my travel post. Yes, there were days when I had the time and energy to make my
own blanket dreams and I still like the pearly snake crawling up the jacket…


I Love to Travel, but Hate to Arrive #1

I am fevered with the sunset, I am fretful with the bay, for the wander-thirst is on me and my soul is in Cathay. Richard Hovey, A Sea Gypsy*

It's not only indoors I like wearing blankets. I absolutely adore trousers and skirt suits made from thick woolen materials and remember trying this one on in a little boutique in Berlin Kreuzberg. The designer, who happened to be in the shop thought the skirt was too wide for me and told me to come back the next day so she had time to change it. It was one of the first times in my life I consciously spent a lot of money on a garment I had fallen in love with and after she had changed the skirt it fit like a glove.

Yes, although the skirt is very short you pretty much need a Russian winter to wear this kind of material. But this is what we just had – And
not being able to leave the house doesn’t mean one can't dream of traveling…

The title isn’t true at all. I love to arrive, and though I love to travel, I normally dread the thought of having to get out of my lazy routine.

jacket & skirt: &Co, tights: wolford, shoes: new look, handbag: anya hindmarch


I Don’t Care Who I Am - Just Get Me Out of Here!

'Cabin fever', 'really had enough', 'snow is boring'… are all sighs I've been reading in quite a few English blogs lately. I so do agree! Though normally a happily unsocial and self-entertaining person, not having been able to leave the house for a week now has established the expressions 'boredom' and slight 'grumpiness' in my personal dictionary. (And also serves as a reminder to be careful what to wish for – After Christmas the idea of being snowed in seemed highly romantic. The reality has turned out to be rather monotonous.)

I'm also declining into a frightening state of barbarism… I don't consider myself a HMG*, but with a tooth crown missing and a cancelled waxing appointment I am starting to feel rather 'unpolished'. Yesterday my desperation for some consoling prettiness was so big that I marched half a mile through the snow to meet the UPS delivery guy (who naturally declined to deliver my Wolford order to our house). Imagine my delight when I schlepped the parcel with hosiery and lingerie home – like a lioness dragging a poor zebra…

All this ennui has allowed my to play around with
Poladroid. I had to fiddle a bit to install it (but that’s probably just technologically challenged me…). Now that it’s on my desktop I'm finding it quite a cute gadget – doing the proper polaroid camera noise and taking 2 minutes to develop. Have you had any experiences? What do you think?

*High Maintanance Girl
**I have this idea of a necklace made from my daughter’s milk teeth… First signs of isolation-induced madness?


Je Suis un Jeans, Je Suis un Soutien-Gorge

OK, enough with self-indulgence, back to business… February is the month Vogue and Co. present us with the fashions to come. Animal prints, military, safari, white, pastel colours, shorts, print dresses, bling, lace becomes chiffon… tick, tick, tick. But there are 2 looks I find intriguing. One is 'Jeans Total', a trend not so new, you could see denim worn with denim for a while. Although I normally stay as far away as possible from anything with connotations to cowboy chic I’m strangely drawn to this look. It’s cool because it’s so wrong…

The other trend is wearing your bra on top. Not any bra though, ideally a corset style in satin or a lacey cami. What do you think? I think I'll give this fad a miss.
trousers: vintage; jacket: vintage, shirt: stüssi, shoes: bally, bags: own design



I'm actually quite excited about the new spring colour palette: Pastels. Up to now my attitude towards the soft ice hues was: Too 80s, only for elderly ladies, definitely not for freckly red haired people (like me) – In short, just wrong.

Maybe it’s because I am actually older now, maybe I aspire to become a(n elderly) lady; maybe it’s because I read that black is a difficult colour to wear*, maybe it’s dreaming of spring, maybe it’s the recession... WHO CARES?!?... I just suddenly take a liking to spring colours.

Being a 'normal' woman – i.e. wanting to look underfed and cool – my wardrobe strongly features black and is rather void of ice cream colours. Just in one dark corner I found this rosé silk blouse.** It’s a start.

*According to the Daily Mail it makes you look old, wrinkly and drained. But, I say, it also makes you look intellectual, cool and slimmer...

**... and asked Sarah to model it for me in the snow. But please with lots of skin to accentuate the rose colour. So cruel.


Serious Boots Crush #2: Givenchy

Taking pictures of my old battered Fendi boots made me realize that my REAL favourite boots are my Givenchy ones. Hold on! It’s not as if I have a row of designer shoes lined up – I scramble the sales, never throw away anything, buy on the high street and in vintage shops to be able to splash out from time to time – And even after several years these boots make me happy every time I set my eyes on them. It’s not just a visual thing… You know how terribly difficult it is to find shoes that look good (i.e. make your legs look slim and shapely and give your figure a bit of a lift), but not make you limp in pain after wearing them for 20 minutes (20…? 5!)? Let me tell you, these boots are nearly too good to be true – I walked through Paris with them for days and could still hold my head up high*.

*As you can see in the picture; but come on, you can’t have these gorgeous French chicks make you feel all inadequate, can you?!

OK, I promise this will be the last shoe post for a while. 1st I don’t have any other boots worth mentioning (hold on, there are some MiuMius somewhere, but they are really sensible walking boots) and also I start feeling like a shoe fetishist. (Anything wrong with this?)


Snuggle Up & Zip Up

I’m still in shock – It’s Good-Bye to sofa, tea & cookies (don’t you think they go together like popeye, spinach & olive oyl?), late nights and later mornings and Hello to the alarm clock, healthy breakfast and yoga in the mornings (soo painful after a break!) – But I’m being a good girl and it’s also a chance to get organised again… 2010 I’m ready!

Also, it’s soooo cold – I thought I had left below zero temperatures behind me when I moved to the UK, but right now it’s properly icy and English houses are just not built for the cold… The wool blanket has become my constant companion.

I really don’t care how I look at home. Being wrapped in an old wool blanket is sartorially just fine with me... But protecting myself from the cold outside is a different task altogether. Somehow big sweaters and sensible shoes just don’t satisfy the fashionista in me. But after The Sartorialist showed this seriously cool girl in a biker leather jacket I think I’ve found the solution (and I certainly won’t forget my leopard gloves)!


Sweet Suede, Fluffy Jackets & Fendi Boots

As already mentioned, in the end it was neither one of the three but an outfit I’ve loved and felt comfortable in for months: suede trousers and ankle boots. I didn’t really hook up with the black, tight nappa leather fashion of 2009 but rediscovered a look that strongly features in ’The Getaway’: suede. Last year I just couldn’t get enough of it… First I found a light brown pencil skirt at Oxfam, then I got a dark blue bomber jacket in Italy and after that some suede trousers… I wonder if the general rule ‘If you don’t want to look like a rocker stick to one piece of leather’ also applies to suede.

The Glossy wanted to see the Fendi boots. Since they are one of my favourite boots (actually more shoe-boots, but you won't hear shoots from me. No way!), they look a bit worse for wear. But I agree, they deserve a picture (or 2).

P.S. Why fluffy jacket in the end? Well, it was COLD! And you never know if your hosts suddenly get the idea to celebrate New Year outside.
P.S.2 Yes, like the boots, looking a bit worse for wear; but I guess one can't expect much better on the January 1st...


Starting 2010 Sheer, Bare-shouldered or Green?

New Year's Eve... What to wear? What to wear? What to wear?! The £10 jumpsuit I got in the sales? The 2nd hand mermaid dress? Or the sheer Rick Owens number? (No, I agree, guess not...)

In the end it was t-shirt, suede trousers and my favourite Fendi ankle boots. Perfect for a lovely evening with friends.

No matter how big the hangover... Wishing everyone a good start to the New Year.

What do I wish for in 2010? Health, unlimited creative engergy and a new camera.* What do you hope for in the new year? Any new year resolutions?

*Still undecided if a Nikon or a Canon. Any experiences or opinions on this matter are very welcome.

Thanks to Sarah for taking the outfit pictures. I would have preferred it the other way round, but she didn't see herself fit for purpose (bhd**)

** bad hair day (though looking at the pics mine is pretty bad, too).

P.S. The 2nd picture is especially for Claire. It's a close-up of the dress shown in last post.