I Want Some Spring(/Summer 2011) in My Step.

Hello, chickens. 
I’m conscious that I’ve had my Critical Hat on a lot lately, what with my indignation at Superette, Calvin Klein and Jennifer Aniston in Allure magazine…so as a welcome antidote – and after the crushing realisation that I will never be able to afford this season’s Miu Miu heels – I want to talk to you about shoes. It’ll be as though second-wave feminism never existed… *plants tongue firmly in cheek*

First: the Miu Mius. They were for me one of the highlights of the S/S 2011 shows (in fact, so were the dresses – I wrote briefly about it in my post Miu Miu: Gatsby on Acid? ). Part brogue, part spats, part 30s dancing shoes, the demure shape, metallic leather and neon shades culminated in what I thought were some seriously cool footwear. Want a reminder? Course you do…

What I love about the them is the way they decorate the front of the foot – I’m no fetishist, but there’s something very sensual about the glimpse of the part between ankle and toe, especially when the ankle and toes are hidden. Of course, the ‘corset-style’ lace-up and multiple straps help to eroticise the look a little…

After long deliberation, I’ve decided these are my favourites.

And look how they emphasise the curve of the leg (at least for people with legs like gazelles):

Anyway – I like them. You get it. I had a happy old time discussing with Pearl W which ones I was saving up for…but tragically, as it turned out they retail at £700 they won’t be my First Pair of Brand New Designer Shoes after all. But, as we all know, once you’re strung out on something, it’s hard to let it go…which is why I couldn’t resist turning to my faithful old pal the highstreet in search of a fix.

Topshop’s ‘Heels’ banner.

At first it was a bit disheartening – the Dorothy Perkins could do with a bit of metallic spraypaint, and the New Look ones, while sporting the requisite straps, are a little underwhelming:

These Monsoon lovelies at least have a degree of the filigree flourish:

Veering more towards shoeboots – check out the bondage-esque straps on these two offerings from Office.

So far so dull. Where are all the eye-popping brights?! Just as we all yearned for autumn at the tail end of summer, as the grey days drag on I’m now dreaming of spring sunshine – the kind of days that require you to have an array of peeptoe shoes at your disposal to show off a glimpse of your colourful pedicure. Well look no further – Kurt Geiger are bringing the colour this spring. The top lefthand ones also have the nude/yellow/metallic combination that I find so delectable in the Miu Mius…

In the end, though, it looks like ‘neon and metallic leather brogue shoeboots’ is too much to ask from the high street. These Méchante of London are closest in nailing that glitzy roller-derby aesthetic – relatively cheap at under 200 notes. Perhaps flouro-pink toenails would give them the right feel…?! 

So for now, at least, the Miu Miu-shaped gap in my life is here to stay. (As for feminism…just remember, heels may make you as tall as the fellas – but you might not be able to walk at the same pace… )

Which were your favourite shoes from SS 2011?
Would you save for the designer or splurge on the high-street?


Mrs B's Benedictine-Fuelled Birthday Bash.

I promised I would post a picture of my 30th knees-up…and I’ve stretched it to five pictures! The dress was carefully donned, the Big Band music played – and the my sister and I scattered gold balloons round about. I had the pre-requisite Party Nerves, but after a couple of well-deserved glasses of Bénédictine I was fine. Not that Mrs Bossa condones excessive drinking, children, so don’t try that at home.
These are the best photos I have of my dress, and there are none – NONE – of my shoes. Blame that on Mr Bossa and his late arrival…

Clapping at my dad’s speech.

I hoped I danced more sexily than that…but never mind.
My sister, looking lovely.
For those of you who don’t know, Bénédictine is a French liqueur traditionally served with ice. Burnley men got a taste for it in the Normandy trenches during World War I, and passed on their love of it on returning home. “Bene ‘n’ hot” is still the drink of choice for many at this bar, which is the single biggest outlet for the liqueur…IN THE WORLD. The Independent called this a “rare bacchanalian claim to fame“, which I think may be the most highbrow phrase I’ve ever heard associated with my ex-mining home town.
It is good.
Mrs B and her Bene. They keep hot water on the bar.

Closer still to my dress. The pewter and silver beading was beautiful.

I want to thank all my blogging buddies for your birthday wishes, too. Imagine what the photos would’ve been like if I could have invited you!!

Jennifer Aniston: the Loungewear Lolita?

So Rachel Aniston says she hated ‘The Rachel’, the hairstyle copied by millions. Can’t say I blame you, Ms A – I’m sick of versions of that cut being forced on me years later. In the light of such an albatross round one’s neck, I can understand the need for experimentation, and clipping in bangs is a sure-fire way to get a different look. But in this recent Allure photoshoot, I can’t help feeling that the coolness of the style has been somewhat undermined by the nauseating Lolita-esque undertones

A teddybear? Really? Come on now.

A pout and an eerily vacant expression…is this the canny Jennifer Aniston that people know and love?

Ok, this one isn’t in the final shoot…but she still looks like a child being made up by Mommy.

What do you think of Jen’s photoshoot?
Is it creepy or clever? Smart or sinister?

The One Where Mrs B Turns 30!

I’ve had a blog-free week, as I’ve been bracing myself for the end of my twenties and reaching the Big Three Oh. I’m glad to be here.

I’ve been pondering over the larger questions of life, such as: ‘Where can I buy an embellished mini dress?’ and ‘Can I get away with playing Big Band tunes at my party next week?’ You know how it is.

Anyhow, I’ve found The Dress, and have rather cheekily and unnecessarily bought some shoes to keep the dress company…and I’ll make sure I share an odd carefully-selected photo next week.
Very fancy dress…

…but very low-key shoes.

Hope you all had a lovely weekend…
Love Mrs B xxx

Wanted: Dead or Alive?

Mrs Bossa is doffing her paper party crown, and is putting her Serious Hat on.

I’m sure, despite your dear selves, that you haven’t managed to avoid the Superette clothing adverts (below). I’m sure I don’t need to say much more about them, or why they had a lot of people up in arms (I couldn’t include the picture of the lift, as it made me feel a bit sick). The slogan ‘Be Caught Dead in It’ says it all…

Images from campaignbrief.com

Since then, I’ve noticed quite a few posts on ‘offensive’ fashion adverts – I even wrote a brief one myself on the Louise Vuitton S/S 10 campaign – and between Vogue Italia’s ‘oil shoot‘ and CK adverts being accused of glamorising gang rape, fashion seems determined to continue courting controversy.

From http://www.worldofwonder.net
It put me in mind of a project I started when I was studying Art at Goldsmiths College (back in 2001). Younger and feistier, I rather morbidly asked lots of the girls I knew what they were scared of, and asked them to choose images from fashion magazines to be coupled with their quotes. I then embroidered the quotes onto copies of the adverts. Rifling through Vogue, they found images of vulnerable women all too easily!

“I’m scared of being attacked walking alone at night”

“I’m scared of being rejected”

Long ago as my project was, and mild as these images are by comparison, I still think they raise interesting questions about the nature of fashion advertising (not least how women are depicted!). Obviously my project had an agenda, and this interpretation of ‘vulnerability’ could be read more positively as seductive, languorous, pensive, intimate…the list goes on. It’s the potential for interpretation that fascinates me – do you always know what an ad ‘means’?! – something which nudges it beyond fashion photography into the art arena.  

“I’m scared of being hurt”

“I’m scared that I’m not strong enough to defend myself”

Many brands sell a lifestyle as much as (if not more than) an item of clothing, focusing on decadence, youth, social lives, glamour…think of Michael Kors, or even Tommy Hilfiger. Some take the more ‘catalogue approach’, with the emphasis on the clothes. I’m generalising of course, but there’s no denying that the Superette/CK images above still evoke a strong reaction, perhaps because they do neither of those things – take away the logos and all you’re left with is fairly disturbing photographic images. One cynical blogger said that the CK ad being banned made the label ‘edgy’ again, and there’s no denying that this kind of publicity doesn’t tend to do labels much harm…but is it right?

How do you feel about shock tactics as a way of selling clothes?

Do fashion labels have a responsibility for the way they portray women?

Which ad campaigns have you had a strong reaction to? 

Friend Friday: small fish in a big pond?

Some very pertinent questions for Friend Friday today, along with a gratuitous shot of my over-the-knee red suede boots (they first garnered a mention in my New Year’s Eve post).
1. Have you ever looked at someone’s blog and thought yours will never measure up? 

I’d love to pretend that I lived in a Bossa-shaped bubble, blissfully unaware of ‘better’ blogs…but it just ain’t true. I think it’s natural – especially for those of us with a competitive spirit – to compare your own blog to the those with larger readerships, sleeker designs or truly original voices. But in the end you’ve got to keep your head, and use it as impetus to keep your own blog going from strength to strength. If I ever need a boost to the old ego, I look back on my earliest posts – it reminds you how much you’ve learnt so far, and how much more potential you have.

My very first post – very succinct!
2. Do you (did you) feel pressure to meet some kind of undefined standard for fashion bloggers? 

Definitely – when I started blogging life was easier, as I had no idea of the sheer talent knocking about! A lot of the offerings on IFB’s Links a la Mode, for example, make me more aware of a standard I want to reach. But ultimately it’s my favourite blogs – those that are knowledgeable, engaging, often witty and occasionally vociferous (Veshoevius, I’m looking at you) – that make me want to up my game. I believe that’s healthy. My sister would say “that’s a Capricorn”. 

3. Many established fashion bloggers are also extraordinary DIYers, bakers, and crafty people. Do you think you need to combine all of these things to be successful at blogging? 

No, I don’t think it’s essential – how overfacing would that be? Success surely comes from blogging on subjects that you have a passion for, and those alone. Of course, there’s no denying that showcasing any special talents can give your blog an edge. It also gives your readers an insight into your lifestyle, which most people seem to enjoy, and can help to differentiate you from the tons of bloggers out there. I occasionally include posts on art (sometimes my own!), but I’ve actually been wary of doing so in case it dilutes the tone of the blog. Maybe I’ll make some further forays in that direction this year… What you have to remember, though, is that everyone else’s blogs contain carefully-edited elements of their lives – and what you do and don’t include in your own blog is your choice. If you start trying to incorporate elements that aren’t you, it’s easy to lose your feet. And you need those for wearing nice shoes.

4. The most successful blogs are the ones that have their own personal voice – how are you developing your voice or how did you find yours? 

Ah, the ‘voice’ question. I think it’s a little like love – you know when you’ve found it, but until then it remains an elusive and intangible goal. It strikes me that the blogging world is often like a large party with all the social interplay that entails: there are those for whom ‘socialising’ seems effortless – they can speak to many people and remain popular; there are those who are more tentative, and need a while to ‘warm up’ and hit their stride; and there are those who stay in the corner, determinedly being themselves and attracting gradual yet loyal attention. Having said that, I do think it’s an organic process, and it’s natural that each of us will develop a voice, and continue to develop that voice. The key is to keep writing posts – even if you don’t publish them – as I think it’s the only way to hit on your special brand of magic. And if all else fails: I heartily recommend a dry Manhattan to loosen up your inhibitions…

5. Toot your own horn… what’s one thing you do that is unique to you and your blog? What gives your blog an edge? 

Can I even answer this?! Last year I felt all brave, and sought out feedback from bloggers I really respected. One of them told me they liked the “Does the Do” vibe…!  Now that isn’t obviously definable, of course, but I like it! Topics and outfit posts aside, I still believe the unique personality of a blog is its initial ‘hook’. In an already saturated world of blogging, showcasing some personality in Mrs Bossa Does the Do is what I’m aiming for this year. That and more photos of pretty vintage dresses…

What do you think is the most important way to keep your readers coming back?
And do you ever succumb to the ‘measuring up’ curse?!

Subtlety Not Included: a glimpse at 80s film fashions…

It’s natural at this time of year to make resolutions, and to look back over the previous year. To be honest, though – and despite the many lovely folks I’ve met in the blogging world – I’m glad that 2010 is over. I have no real desire to glance back wistfully over such a tough year. No, if nostalgia is the game, then I’m playing it properly…

I have a ridiculous collection of naff-yet-brilliant 80s films, and they are an endless source of comfort and amusement to me. What heart can’t be warmed by the sentiment and swingy soundtrack of Batteries Not Included? Hands up those who wanted to be part of the Breakfast Club! And who fantasised about running off with the Goblin King of Labyrinth (I hope it wasn’t just me…)? Of course, our favourite childhood films don’t always hold up to the scrutiny of our adult selves, and it’s a bonus if you find something else to appreciate about them in later life (watching Tom Selleck discover his paternal side in Three Men and a Baby tugs on the heartstrings of broody ol’ me). Rewatching many of my old faves over the holidays, I decided I had to share some of the fashions with you – forgive the screen-grab quality. Amazingly, there isn’t a legwarmer in sight… 

First up – the film that started it all…Uncle Buck. I couldn’t keep this frankly astounding outfit from you...

Not enough people team their champagne satin blouses with mock-croc skirt/waistcoat combos, in my opinion. What’s that you said? “Please can we have a close up of that headband, Mrs B?” Go on then…

Phew – glad she added the fur coat. It was missing something…

The 80s’ fascination with hair continued unabated in my viewing marathon, varying from the subtle, as demonstrated by a younger SJP’s purple streak in Flight of the Navigator

…to this bizarre offering from Pretty in Pink:

In case you’re wondering: yes, her hair IS long at the back.

In Overboard, Goldie Hawn managed to combine a scary ‘do with terrifying epaulettes:

I’m a benevolent woman, so will spare you images of the infamous thong swimsuit.

But it wasn’t all about the hair, oh no. Silly hats also got a look-in (thanks, Kim Basinger):

My Stepmother is an Alien

And have you seen Troop Beverly Hills? If not, you really must – Shelley Long is wonderful as the fashion-obsessed but kind-hearted Wilderness Girls group leader (incidentally, the girl who played her daughter grew up to be Jenny Lewis of Watson Twins fame. Album highly recommended):

Only the tip of the iceberg – get thee on Amazon, forthwith!

Daryl Hannah did better than most, managing to look lovely in Roxanne despite all the sleeveless denim jackets and lumberjack shirts in other scenes…

It wouldn’t be an 80s film fest without a bit of Molly Ringwald, so I’ll stick this in just so you can reiterate your cries of, “Molly, what did you do with that dress?!”

Pretty in Pink
Finally, a few inevitable shots of Mannequin – just because I love Kim Cattrall, and think we’re missing a bit of luxuriousness:

And you’ve still got it, Kim.

Which era of films do you like to look back on? 
And which have the most outrageous fashions?!