We just had to mention how much we love this photo, and that dress, from the new issue of Lula. We will report back on the dress once we have some info (Alice + Olivia, we’re guessing?) In the meantime: this and many other lovely fashion images are on our new Tumblr!
So we break from our usually scheduled coverage for a brief report:
We’re in the process of wrapping up our annual summer sojourn to the UK. We love London, even if it’s rained, and we think this is actually true, every day for the last 300. (It’s raining right now, as a matter of fact.) Anyway, we’ve had a cold, and last night we tried to do that thing where you pop your stuffy ears—we’ll spare the details because they make our attempt at a medical remedy sound even stupider than it actually was. In any case, we came to believe we had destroyed our own eardrum. (This was in fact reinforced by our perusal of medical-advice websites, which either repeated the fact that we were very, very stupid to have done this to our ears or provided helpful information like one commenter’s report that he had “**** my pants while popping my ears.” That’s so gross we can’t even think it without asterisks.) We went to sleep hoping our eardrum would spontaneously repair itself, but it hurt so badly that we woke up at seven a.m. This is a difficult time to wake up as an American in London, because all your east coast friends are asleep and all your west coast friends are at bars. (And don’t know about eardrums, anyway, because you met them in art school.)
Bereft of the advice of friends, family, or our own medical professionals, we thought of that scene in Michael Moore’s Sicko, where the idiot American who like broke his head on Abbey Road ended up in a National Health Service clinic and walked out, basically fixed, without paying a dime. Now, we love Michael Moore, even if we think he can be a bully sometimes. We’ve never understood the criticism that his documentaries are overly opinionated: a newspaper has room for news stories and opinion pieces, and documentary films, in our opinion, should have more than enough room for news pieces and films advancing an argument. But even though we’re big MM fans, we saw that scene, with the American at the NHS, and we were like: really? Really? We know the NHS isn’t perfect; our ex-boyfriend complained about it mercilessly when he had to wait 12 weeks for an appointment once, and we think some of their decisions, widely reported here, are heartbreaking. (Some cancer drugs commonly available on medical plans in the US, for example, aren’t available through the NHS—and patients who pay for them privately here risk losing all of their NHS coverage, which obviously would be a debacle for them.)
We were trepidatious, then, when we set off for a local walk-in clinic, designed to treat minor illnesses and injuries. We packed two books, our laptop and a lunch, just in case we were there for the day. We were wondering if we should have perhaps brought a couple DVDs when we walked into the clinic, which was empty, well lit and well thought out, with rows of chairs in front of three public bathrooms. We filled out some paperwork—less paperwork than we do at our own doctor’s office in Manhattan, where we are somehow endlessly writing in our Oxford group number—and before we’d finished the chapter of the Bill Bryson book we’re reading, we were being seen by a nurse named Magda. Long story short: We did not destroy our own ear, but we are going to be on amoxicillin for the next seven days. Except for the pharmacy bill (£7.10) we didn’t pay for anything.
We left having come to two conclusions: First, our NHS experience—and obviously this is nothing but anecdotal, but there it is—was even better than the one in Sicko. And second: We walked out of the clinic being, like, Why don’t we have this? We went to a walk-in clinic at home once, to provide a urine sample for some job we ended up hating, and we spent four hours in this terrible basement with our hand over our mouth as protection against avian flu, which was the only possible diagnosis we could come up with for some of the coughing in the room. This morning, we left feeling like we were very literally in the debt of the United Kingdom, and we were like: How do we repay this? And then we thought: by providing the same service to idiot Britons who are traveling in New York, and decide they’ve come up with an amazing home remedy to clear their stuffy ears, or surf poorly and don’t want to go home with a $100,000 hospital bill.
We believe in universal health care; it was the main reason we were such supporters of John Edwards—don’t get us started on that nefarious personality—and then Hillary Clinton, both of whose health care plans we preferred to Barack Obama’s. All we know is that as soon as we got back to our apartment, we did two things: We re-requested our absentee ballot, just in case the first one got lost, and we gave Barack’s campaign $15, which these days is a significant portion of our discretionary spending. We probably would have done the latter anyway, given the events of the last few days, but all we can say is that we can’t wait to get our hands on that ballot and cast our vote, crossing our fingers for a better tomorrow.
Above: Urban Outfitters UK wool tote, about $67
We always hate these ads with those little instructional quotes: “The new bell leg is the jean silhouette of the season. Wear it long, so that your hem skims the floor.” We saw this as former Gap Kids employees—the Gap basically taught us how to dress, as unbelievably worrisome as that sounds—but we do not believe the new bell leg is the jean silhouette of the season, and we do not appreciate the fib-telling.
Today’s small contest:
We love these small wipes! V. convenient. Just tell us your jean silhouette for fall, or your new favorite denim brand. Winner takes the wipes! And an array of British chocolates.
And yesterday’s winner: Jess! Be sending the delivery address!
We do love the September magazine covers. One of our best friends is a redhead, and we have spent money hours together trying to come to terms with the ginger phenomenon in Britain, which has absolutely no American analogue. Well, "red-headed stepchild," maybe, but at least as far as Lacey tells us, no one beats up the red-headed kids just because they have red hair, or yell things like, "Oi, ginger wanker!" a phrase we’ve actually overhead.
We view this cover as an achievement for redheads across the land but there’s not much on this cover that necessitates our buying the magazine. And what’s up with that "Glorious!" font \ handwriting? Who wrote that? They’re doing better at Starbucks. Meh.
Oh goodness! Here it is, the contest we’ve been waiting to debut for ages. The amazing folks at Jocasi are sponsoring it—which means they gave us one of their gorgeous bags to give away. We love Jocasi so much we have no fewer than five in the BS HQ—they could hardly be more awesome. We would likely be capable of more effusion if the washing machine in the apartment we’re staying in this weekend hadn’t been cycling for literally six hours, but here we are.
Anyway, it’ll work like this. There are only going to be ten entries. You get an entry by sending us a Reader Mail question. The bag will go to the person whose question gets the most responses in the comments section. (We’ll be making sure that there’s only one comment per person, not that we think any member of the Bunnyshop community would consider doing that.) We hope this isn’t as confusing \ convoluted as our contests usually are.
Today, we begin with this question, from LA:
If you could pick just one, what would be your all time favorite article of clothing or accessory … and do you still have it?
(mine is a silver cuff bracelet, that I received as a gift over 10 years ago, and I still wear it all the time. I think it is timeless … and it makes me feel like Wonder Woman.)
LA is now entered for the contest. We’ll be running a new Reader Mail question each day, and then we’ll give this gorgeous bag to the reader who came up with the best question—"best" in this case measured by the number of comments. Send us your questions—and definitely let us know your answer to LA’s question, below. Very important last thing: Definitely put "Jocasi" in your subject line—otherwise we’ll think they’re garden-variety reader mail.
Above: the Jocasi Montana, about $170
One of these days we’re going to figure out a way to take pictures of store windows without a ridiculous amount of glare. Er, until then: these are two windows from Burberry on Regent Street. We can’t afford the trench (obvs) but: note semi-adorable shoe-sock!
We do! These are from Jaeger, on Regent Street in London. It’s hard to see with the glare (we did what we could), but there are, like, layers of hanging threads. We’re not sure about the domestic application of such, but we love them. Maybe we need a mansion, and a grotto, and some mannequins. We’re not sure. Don’t feel either way about the clothes, but love the window.
Bright red lips! This is the poster for The Edge of Love, with Sienna M. and Keira K. Excited to see in general but feeling very motivated in particular to be all about the make-up. Here’s a Keira close-up:
We’re sure that’s been airbrushed to fuck-all but still. Pretty! We’d like to say, we’re not investing in this, but we wouldn’t mind scouring the drugstore for something suitable. Like: Boots Botanics in Carmella, $8.99
Love it! Apparently Helmut Newton’s position was that the best photographer was the subject herself, so he came up with this "machine" that allowed them to do so—a set-up Topshop is replicating at a whole bunch of stores across the U.K. So you go, you style yourself, and then you take your own picture. The best long-distance aspect of this is the totally fun gallery of pictures people have taken, like this one, above. It’s like all styling, all the time. We’re totally going to Topshop as soon as we get out of the UAE—though of course, there are like three Topshops here, right next to the Forever 21 and Starbucks. Hurrah!
In today’s Reader Mail:
So…I seem to remember reading somewhere that you’ve visited London quite a few times. Well, I have a NINE hour lay-over at Heathrow airport’s international terminals (landing at terminal 1 & then catching another flight at terminal 2) and I want to know if there’s anything interesting I should check out. Like, for example, I would tell someone visiting Portland airport to check out the mini-Powell’s bookstore & the Good Dog/Bad Dog sausage restaurant. Any good tips for London?
Possibly our favorite question of all time! Er, we love them all equally. Just maybe a tiny bit more. We think we are going to make Thursdays "Traveling Thursdays" around here. (Please send in your travel questions! We are officially, as on our tax forms which we are totally not dealing with at all at the moment, officially a travel writer!)
This is what we would do. If you can afford it, and it’s not cheap—the roundtrip ("return") fare is about $56!—take the Heathrow Express to Paddington—it’s only 15 minutes and they run every 15 minutes. (The other alternatives are the middle way-ish Heathrow Connect and then the Piccadilly line Tube into central London, but the latter can take well into an hour, though if we have time to spare, that’s what we’ll do.
Purists may disagree (and we want to hear from you) but we think we’d head straight for the Topshop at Oxford Circus. It’s not like Oxford Street has any hipster cache (it has negative hipster cache). But when our sister came to London, Oxford Street was the first place we took her, and it addled her jetlagged mind. It’s not super cheap but not too expensive, and all of our favorite things come from there. (We particularly like the denim, which even with the exchange rate blowing so hard at the moment is always under $100.) We especially love the shoes, and they usually have a big Jocasi concessions. Also, the jackets. And the tops. You see where this is going.
From there, we’d go about a half-block east to the Urban Outfitters, which really does have different (and better) lines from the US original. And then sort of set off a block from Oxford Street is the "fashion book store" RD Franks, which is completely amazing.
And then I’d also go down Carnaby Street, which is also right nearby. The first Jocasi store is there, as well as a small branch of our favorite yoga studio, Triyoga. (Nine hours + yoga = better.) If you can find Triyoga there’s a cute vintage shop right below, as well as Super Superficial, an adorable t-shirt store we’ve covered here before. And then you’re right around the corner from Liberty—we can’t afford much of it, but the building’s beautiful and the selection is top-notch.
Now! That’s what we’d do. (Did we mention lunch at Eat? It’s across the street from the ATM where we always see the Topshop sales staff.) Er, we just realized that this is completely shopping based. Mm, just culturally we’d go to the Tate Modern or the British Museum. We can’t believe we just reduced a city we love to shopping. Actually, with prolly five hours (once travel time’s considered) to go, we’d probably hop on one of the sight-seeing buses, we love them. And we’ll say that if we, personally, had that time to spare, we’d go to the Triyoga in Primrose Hill, and then spend the rest of the time just sort of looking around up there and going to the pub on the bridge that we cannot remember the name of even though we have been there like 10 million times.
And we have like five million other suggestions. Argh!
Who else has ideas?