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Wrapping things around my neck, draping my nape and kissing my collarbones got me thinking. Historically only two groups of people had anything around their necks; slaves and the hanged. Right? The American newtwork news broadcaster Linda Ellerbee is quoted as saying: “If men can run the world, why can’t they stop wearing neckties? How intelligent is it to start the day by tying a noose around your neck?” I’ve always loved ties, but thought upon them as the ultimate fabric hazard for ravenous people like myself: soup, spaghetti and steak. Need I say more. Or maybe just: dodgy nightclub owners.

Some anthropologists have called the tie a phallic symbol which calls into question what one’s head represents. Same for chest-skimming lariats, a universal form of adornment, and my favorite kind of jewelry to wear – preferably covered in rainbow stones of great meaning. Side note: the lariat is also a loop of rope designed as a restraint to be thrown around a target and tightened when pulled, a well-known tool of the American cowboy. Don’t worry, I’m not into strangling myself. I really love the way they move on me when they’re tied long and low on a bare décolletage, swinging softly – the best kind of cacophony.

Believe it or not Croatia is the mother country of the modern necktie but archaeological evidence of the use of ties goes back to the Chinese and the Romans almost two millenniums back. The earliest known version was found in the mausoleum of China’s first emperor, Shih Huang Ti, who was buried in 210 B.C. Desperately afraid of death, the emperor wanted to slaughter an entire to army to accompany him into the next world. His advisers ultimately persuaded him to take life-size replicas of soldiers instead. The result is one of the marvels of the ancient world. Unearthed in 1974 near the ancient capital city of Xian, the tomb contained an astonishing 7,500 life-size terracotta replicas of his famed fighting force. Each figure is different – except in one respect: all wear neck cloths. Historians say other records indicate the Chinese did not wear ties, so why the emperor’s guards wore carefully wrapped silk cloths remains a mystery. In 113 A.D., one of Rome’s greatest Emperors, the military genius Trajan, erected a marble column to commemorate a triumphant victory over the Dacians who lived in what is now Romania. The 2,500 realistic figures on the column sport no less than three different styles of neckwear. While Roman orators often wore cloths to keep their throats warm, soldiers did not cover their necks. In fact, writers such as Horace and Seneca said only effeminate men covered their necks.

Necklaces have been an integral part of jewelry since the the Paleolithic Era and pre-date the invention of writing – in South Africa they excavated a cave that had over 41 mollusks that were strung as possible neck jewelry nearly 75,000 years ago. The oldest necklaces were made of purely natural materials – before weaving and the invention of string, durable vines or pieces of animal sinew left over from hunts were tied together and adorned with shells, bones, teeth, colorful skins of human prey animals, bird feathers, corals, carved pieces of wood, seeds, stones and naturally occurring gems. Short or long, choker or sautoir, gold or diamond, the emphasis here is on trends, which have for the most part followed the style of lowering necklines.

History, tradition, provenance: all these should be celebrated. Men and women wear things around their necks for the sheer pleasure of it, to espouse the idea of ‘hanging out’ (ok, maybe that’s just my take). Everywhere, that is, except the clerical establishment of Iran, which banned (oft ignored) the sale of the tie (and maybe even the adorned necklace) after the 1979 Islamic revolution deeming it a symbol of western decadence. Explains why former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad always looked like a stressed out middle manager in a suit sans tie.

I don’t want to live in a world where I can’t be pulled by my big phallic symbols into a passionate embrace. Do you?

 

source: glamradar.com


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I take Sonja Kovachevich’s beautiful hand written and illustrated guide wherever I may go because it makes me and my tummy very happy. It’s got loads of unique ideas for delicious raw vegan treats (I’m not vegan), soups, dips, salads, hearty mains and my favorite thickeys – amped up smoothies that will take your day up a fair few notches. I’ve also had the pleasure of doing guided mediations with Sonja and she is a wonderful light worker to connect with.


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I’ve been writing a piece on coloured hair. Every shade on the chromatic spectrum. Hues I didn’t think were conceivably possible to use, let alone weave through my current flaxen strands. Tints of rose, champagne, copper, pale crimson, transluscent silver and parma-violet purple. Then I happed upon a picture of these meandering flamingos and decided that just for right now, it’s the tint I would most like to be playing with. Is it the colour of candy-floss mixed with a silvery-rose and a hint of apricot? Who knows, but I’m seeing Lena Ott tomorrow so I’ll keep you posted.


 

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Podiatrists, power-pedicures, pressure-point massage, acupuncture? I’ll take Yogatoes anyday, squishy plastic separators that stretch toes apart to tone the muscles, increase circulation and long term, help realign the foot.

 

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It’s the look after a morning of skiing, a piping hot bath or great sex; soft pink flushed cheeks. Part lit-from-within gleam, part elemental luck and a dab of Laura Geller Ombre Blush in Pink Blossom. Add a pat of crimson or electric pink to lips for a literal pop of brightness. I’m loving Estée Lauder’s Pure Color High Intensity Lip Lacquer in Hot Cherry blotted, reapplied and then blotted some more.

 

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On the Pacific Coast in Santa Barbara, California, El Capitan Canyon pitches safari tents near the beach furnished with handwoven willow-branch beds, in-tent herbal spa treatments, burning campfires and s’mores. Closer to home, Fforestcamp offers a modern twist on the camping holiday in the depths of the Welsh countryside. The ultimate antithesis to the soggy reality? Ralph Lauren’s teepees set up for guests every summer at his ranch in Telluride, Colardo. Instead of fire pit’s there’s chandeliers, antique leather chairs and glorious beds. If living outdoors was this cool everyone would be camping.


 

I met Tilly Macalister-Smith when we worked at Vogue and I thought she was the ultimate Nordic blonde (she is in fact British) who oozed an easy nonchalance that was intoxicating. Quickly moving up the ranks, she left in spring 2013 as Acting Fashion Editor of www.vogue.co.uk. Currently the Fashion Features Editor of MATCHESFASHION.COM, I wanted to know all about her ‘first ever’ adventures in fashion.

First purchase?

A lime green and neon orange skirt and top ensemble from New Look; stripy denim dungarees; a cropped top from Topshop with ‘fast N funky’ emblazoned across the front; one of those long printed hippy skirts with little bells on the drawstring. Oh, and a Kangol hat.

First shoe?

Converse blue suede sneakers, followed by Chippie trainers and Dunlop Green Flash. Then Red or Dead foam wedges.

First time you splurged?

On a red stretch Moschino shirt while shopping in Saint Tropez. I think I was 14.

First fashion obsession?

The Clothes Show Live. And Fiorucci.

First show?

Christian Lacroix in Paris. It was a dream-like entry to the show circuit, running across the Jardin de Tuileries in ridiculous heels in the snow on a school trip with Central Saint Martin’s. I had just been interning with Hilary Alexander and she couldn’t make it into Paris in time for the show, so she kindly arranged for me to pick up her ticket from the Telegraphs’s Paris office and I slipped in and stood at the back on tiptoes. It was intoxicating.

First foreign fashion find?

A tiny Fiorucci store in Verona on a family holiday. Between being shepherded around Shakespearian sculptures I discovered the tiny gem, replete with golden cherubs and a worrying amount of fluoro pink. I vaguely remember feeling like I’d found heaven.

First designer you met?

Of any consequence, was Jonathan Saunders. I interned with him at St Martin’s and he took me under his wing. I travelled to New York and Paris with him, he taught me so much and I now consider him a dear friend.