Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Meet the models breaking the mould

Daphne Self
Daphne Selfe: 'Everyone can look lovely.' Photograph: Nick Ballon
The older model: Daphne Selfe

Do models eat biscuits? Daphne Selfe does. "And cake," she says – "Are you sure you won't have a sandwich?" – before we sit down in the living room of her Hertfordshire home.
You may recognise Selfe from the fashion pages of the Guardian, or from Vogue, advertising campaigns and style magazines such as Dazed & Confused. She has been shot by Mario Testino, Rankin and Nick Knight. She is 83, and last year appeared more in demand than ever.
Her long silver hair has become her trademark, though today it's pinned back. "I think it's fine for a woman of my age to have long hair," she says, "but I think we should wear it up." She's happy to talk and talk, so I let her get on with it while I study her face. Her cheekbones are sharp, her blue eyes shine and her skin looks lived-in and luminous. Her secret? "I have an Irish family behind me, which is good for looks," she says with a smile. "But everyone can look lovely. It's what's in your head that counts – your outlook."
As a young woman, Selfe wanted to work with horses and helped run a riding school. Then she moved to Reading and got a job in a department store. When a local photographer organised a modelling competition, the shop girls applied and Selfe won. After that, she trained with an agency – "We were taught how to walk, how to do hair and make-up, because in those days you had to do all that yourself. It's not like now, when you have all these people to transform you."
Around the same time, she met her future husband, Jim. Soon after, they were married with three children, and Selfe gave up modelling. Did she miss it? "No! With three children? That was what you did. You expected to give up work when you got married."
In the 60s, Selfe considered going back to modelling and approached a few agencies. "No way," she says, with a dramatic eye roll. "They didn't like the look of me. It was people like Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton. I just didn't fit." Was it a terrible rejection? "No! As a model you have to learn to be rejected. I know if I do five auditions, I might get one. And if I don't, so what?"
Not until 1998, aged 70, did Selfe – by then a widow – get her big break. The label Red Or Dead was looking for older models for its London fashion week show and Selfe, who had stayed registered with an agent, was cast. The stylist suggested she contact Vogue, which was working on an issue celebrating age. At the shoot, she met a scout for Models 1. "And I haven't looked back."
The fashion world has changed since she first became a model. Then she was a size 12 – "A strapping girl" – but now the standard size is a six or eight. "That's much too thin. If you're very tall, you've got to have some flesh on you. I don't think being too thin is awfully pretty."
She has undoubtedly stood up for diversity in a world that venerates youth. "People now get to 40 and think, 'Oh my God', but so what? Everybody has to get old."
We are not used to seeing older people presented in a sexy way – and Selfe has done some sexy shoots. She nods. "I don't mind. I used to be an artists' model. What upsets me is the way older people don't bother any more. I never go out without make-up. I do my hair."
She would never have cosmetic surgery. "Or Botox. I think it's a shame. Somebody I know went to America and they said, 'All these people with these fabulous faces, then you see them on the beach and they've got wrinkly bodies.' Why?" Selfe puts her good skin down to her genes, exercise, good diet and skincare. Does she mourn her youthful beauty? She shakes her head. "Age just makes you a bit slower." She thinks for a while and then smiles. "I can't wear high heels now, but I'm not bothered."
What makes a good model, and whom do you admire?
Bone structure, attitude – and a good agent. You've got to be very adaptable. I like Gisele B√ľndchen.

What have you eaten today?
Every morning I put carrot, celery, apple and ginger in my juicer, and I make my own muesli. I'll have a proper lunch – chicken or salmon with rice and lots of vegetables. I don't eat as much red meat as I used to. I'll have a piece of cake at tea, then soup for supper. I drink a lot of water, but I barely drink alcohol now. I might have a quarter of a glass of wine at dinner.

What was your worst job?
An ad I did for Bupa – I was photographed in a swimming pool with no heating.

Would you recommend modelling as a career to your granddaughter?
Yes. It's fine as long as you know what you're letting yourself in for, are strong-minded and take it with a pinch of salt. Some people [in the fashion industry] can be very rude.

Who is your favourite designer?
Etro – it's bohemian but wearable. I like unusual clothes. I don't like to go out looking frumpy.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Dead Man's Shoes Vintage & Other Curious Goods

Don't you love it when you find great new local shops when you aren't really looking for them?  That happened to me and my mom over the weekend when we ended up at Dead Man's Shoes Vintage...
Alex was out of town on another business trip so I asked my mom to come for a visit and thankfully she hopped in her little red hybrid and drove on over from Michigan to keep me company over the weekend!   Or maybe she did just to make sure I don't end up in the ER like the last time Alex was gone?  Anyway....
Shopping adventure selfie with mom :)
We were out and about on Sunday heading to a few estate sales and one of the sales happened to be next to Dead Man's Shoes Vintage.  Naturally, when I saw "vintage" I told her we had to stop in to check it out, so glad we did! The store had oodles of fun vintage clothing, shoes, accessories, furniture, home decor and other fun curiosities or as they describe it-  "A truly one of a kind collection of curious goods".  I also loved the way the store was curated, the mix of color and pattern throughout added to the fun retro vibe and made browsing through every little bit irresistible.

I have to comment on a few items now- the favorite being the Disposable Dress!  Did you know there was such a thing?!?!  The packaging said it was for "shopping, dancing, partying, funning, and house cleaning" and that it was "for today's Swingers".
It made me wonder if this is where the phrase "she'd look good wearing a paper bag" came from?  Because it is really just a paper bag... with a paper belt/sash.  At least it was water resistant and flame resistant so you can't soak your dress with a spilled a drink or get light on fire during your Swingers party :) 

Lastly, I have to tell you that the best thing about this store is that the prices are reasonable!  That's usually my beef with some vintage stores when you find great things but the pricing is outrageous.  I mean, that dress form in the above pic is $42!  Such a deal!

For all you local Minneapolis/St. Paul folks, you should definitely check it out!  After writing about the Disposable Dress I am kind of kicking myself for not buying it, should I go back and get it?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

How To Wear High Heels Without Pain Easily

As all good things have a bad side so are the shoes with high and fashionable heel. Apart from being too expensive the shoes are also not recommended for your health. Wearing the high heels for long duration can threaten your health and result in physical ailment. In serious cases the damage can be long lasting. However it does not mean that you will not wear them instead my indication is, be a bit cautious while you wear them.

Every fashion show in the city will display some of the spellbound designer shoes with high heels. These shoes are usually worn by show stoppers or other ramp walker, this is an industry where the word immaculate is meant for everyone at every moment. Apart from fashion world the numerous professions that demands flawless and smart presentation. The sound of the heel as you walk down the corridor creates an awesome feeling. But at the end of the day those nagging back ache will make you forget and curse the activities you did in office. In this article we will talk about ways and means by which you can avoid those persisting problems and yet wear one of your favorite sandals with high heels.


It is always advisable to wear shoes of known and popular brand. Avoid using cheap shoes .Since shoes are inseparable from us in our professional life shoes manufactured from cheap materials may result in physical complication.

The shoes that you choose make sure have optimum area for the proper movement of the feet. By maintaining the same position for long hours at an elevated mode, our feet may likely to experience cramps. Thus if the shoe has sufficient space you can move the ankles and fingers.

You must buy shoes that have padding in their soles. This kind of shoes will provide a soft base to your feet and keep them stress free.

You can also place those gel pads in the front part of your shoe to make sure the fingers are comfortable enough for long hours.

Before you wear the shoes make sure to trim off the toe nails. It is a fact that big toe nails will push the feet back and also pushes the toe nails toward the wall of the shoes. This can result in severe injury to the toes. Sometimes you may also have broken toe nails in case you fall down.

Maintaining a right posture is extremely important when you wear shoes with high heels. It is better to maintain an erect position every time you are on your toes. This position will help you to maintain the balance of your body. If the posture is correct you can avoid unnecessary strain on your feet and legs.

Though you abide by all the do's and don'ts list while wearing high heel shoes yet there are chances that you will hurt yourself. The main reason is that you are wearing them for long hours. The moment you re elevating your feet according to the plane of the shoe you are maintaining an artificial position and is working against the gravity which might be harmful if continued for long hours. What you can do is open the shoes every time you are in your desk and keep your feet on the ground and relax them for few minutes.