Category Archives: fashion

In the club

Red WinePhil: While it’s important to research your writing, it’s not easy to gain entry to everywhere you need to write about, so I was pleased recently to find out that we’d got our guesswork right.

Early in our book, there is a scene that takes place in a club. Not the sort of club la Nolan goes to boogie to phat beats by Chaka Demus & Pliers, but a proper Gentleman’s club. The sort with fine dining and comfortable furniture dating back to the middle ages.

A few weeks ago, I was invited to a business lunch to discuss a new project. The man who set it up works in the City of London and it appears, does this sort of thing all the time. Very nice.

When I mentioned this to Candice by e-mail, the response asked a question that hadn’t crossed my mind.

OMG. What are you going to wear?

Hmmm. Well, I’d sort of got it in mind I’d wear my nice interview jacket from Next, black trousers and shoes and a shirt.

We then proceeded to have a discussion where I learned that I might not actually be suitably attired for such an occasion. It didn’t help that the dress code according to the website was “city smart casual” which means nothing to me. A dark jacket, or better still a suit would have been better, “as long as it’s not too old”. Too old? Why does that matter? Something to do with style apparently. I don’t have it but was ominously told that “anyone can be styled”.

Anyway, out of the three of us at the lunch, I was the second smartest which was fine. The scruffiest, wearing all the right clothes but looking rumpled, was the guy who was a member so obviously it didn’t matter that much. Having said this, the people at the other tables were pretty uniformly dressed in black or dark grey suits.

The club itself was very nice. In The Book, we describe wood panelling and leather chairs and that’s pretty much what I got. Service was discrete but polite with the members name being remembered as well as the (presumably) good red wine he favoured, a bottle of which was proffered within a few minutes of arrival.

Basically, I can see why Gareth would like it and how Kate would feel like a fish out of water. Lunch lasted three hours for a start and could be described as “convivial” even a bit old-fashioned. If you are a go-getting young business woman, learning to slow down and get the best out of it will be a challenge. At least, unlike Kate, I didn’t need to nip off to the loo to jot down notes in case the alcohol dulled my memory. Mind you, if I had, the loos were very nice as well.

Anyway, last week, I described this to Candice and mentioned that I’d brought back a souvenir. I meant a postcard from the club advertising the facilities, not a nipple tassel as she suggested.

What sort of place does she think I frequent?

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Running on Caffeine and Sugar

Candice: I’ve had a hell of week, starting off with a drive to Hull which I thought would never end and ending up with a trip in an Ambulance to A&E for me and the little one. She’s fine but it was a bit of a shock.

So I come to Friday, before three days off work next week, and am playing catch up. This week, and with the dark days too, I think I’ve been running on adrenaline, caffeine and sugar.

I’ve got a stinking cold to, so there was I supping tea and taking a cold and flu tablet this morning (active ingredient, Caffeine) and I though, need to  be careful here Nolan.

What did we do before stimulants?  A few years ago I worked out that my regular stomach problems are related to too much caffeine, so I cut it out.  The terrible headaches and other effects of going cold turkey made me realise that it is not a good thing to be reliant on.

However, recently I seem to have become more reliant on it again, which I initially put down to new job.  But actually I’ve worked out I probably always do in the darker months, as I get a level of SAD.

So, I’m not going to beat myself up about it, but as long as I don’t end up looking like the side of a house, and getting the jitters, I’ll keep eating the sugar and taking the caffeine until the world gets a bit brighter.

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Don’t wanna go to BAFTA

baftatweetsPhil: On Sunday I returned from a busy weekend, tired but not enough to go straight to bed. I flicked on the TV hoping to find something mildly diverting that would entertain me without engaging my brain.

What I got was the BAFTAs.

I’m not a fan of awards ceremonies. They normally seem to be a large group of people who earn far too much for what they do spending an evening congratulating each other on being marvellous and allowing us serfs to look on in awe and wonder.

Too stunned to operate the remote control, I watched for a few minutes and realised something else. It looks really, really boring.

If you don’t stand a chance of winning anything then you spend the evening watching people who do. Looking at the number crowded in there, I bet the winners were less than 1% of the attendees.

At this point, I decided I didn’t want to go and sent Candice the tweet above.

It seems she does.

This might not be the problem you might expect. For a start, there are 26 awards and it’s reasonable to think that the film of The Book will sweep the lot. If the table is at the back of the room, that’s an awful lot of walking back and forth and my friend is far fitter than I am. She might need to wear trainers under the big frock of course.baftapic

The main issue is that no-one wants me there.

Look at this photo of Eddie Redmayne and his co-star in “The Theory of Everything”, Felicity Jones. As you can see, she is holding the trophy. The only problem is that it’s HIS trophy. She was a runner up and didn’t get one.

The press though, have decided that the person holding the gong should be the pretty one, even if it is rubbing her defeat in her face.

Conclusion: Because all the blokes wear dinner jackets and can’t be poured over by fashionistas who will decide if their outfit is “a disaster” (fashion journalism, your name is hyperbole) they aren’t really important and might as well go down the pub or watch the thing sat on a sofa with a bag of crisps.

Which suits me fine.

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You don’t understand being famous

Glasses

Phil: This is the first blog post I’ve written whilst wearing a new pair of glasses. It’s very exciting.

We’ve discussed my deep joy at having to find a new pair of glasses on here before. It’s a reflection of the time we’ve been writing this blog that I’m changing them yet again. Another opportunity to pick a major facial feature. One that I only half got right as purely by chance my “everyday” pair turned out to be identical to the last design I’d picked a couple of years ago. Mind you, the ones in the photo are my “high days and holidays” pair so calm yourselves ladies…

Anyway, this time, there is an extra consideration. After my Aussie trip I’d wondered if some sunglasses might be a good idea. Then an advert planted the idea that some reactor lights lenses that automatically change would be a good idea. I love a bit of technology and don’t relish carrying glasses, a spare pare of glasses AND sunglasses around.

Fortunately, I discussed the idea with the optician and we hit a snag. You see, when I’m in the studio filming for a DVD, the bright lights in there will set off the lenses so I’ll be facing the camera looking a bit like Bono and no-one wants that.

How did being a celebrity become so difficult? Will there be other things like this to trip us up in our inexorable rise to A-list status?

You can laugh but just remember, when you watch Nativity on BBC2 Saturday December 20th at 4.45pm, La Nolan didn’t dominate the scene with Pam Ferris and the chocolate fountain without some serious hair dressing!

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Fashion for the gentleman writer

Jason KingPhil: If we want to make a big splash in the publishing world then we need an image. Or to be more specific, I need an image. Candice has fashion sense and knows what looks good. I don’t, so some inspiration is required.

Last night it arrived.

Watching a documentary on the 1970’s there was a writer. OK, a fictional writer but a writer nonetheless. He was considered dapper and a real style icon. Best of all, when not writing massively succesful adventure stories, he was a secret agent and wow with the ladies. Wikipedia describes him as a “dilettante dandy” A perfect match for me !

I am of course referring to Jason King, late of Department S.

I recon I could do the cravat thing. With a bit of luck I’ll not look too Nicholas Parsons, not that this is a bad thing. The moustache might take a bit of time but a falsie would do the job for the moment. I need more hair, or perhaps a wig. Thinking about it, that would be a good idea then I could go incognito when required and escape the paparazzi.

As with all plans, there are downsides. In common with most people in the 1970’s, King smoked, but at least he smoked a pipe. I’ve never been tempted but if I was I think pipe smoking would suit me. There’s lots of work involved with cleaning and packing the thing. Best of all you get to say you are nipping in to your favorite tabaconists for a good rough shag.

Jason King - or maybe Phil ?

King’s outfits were many and varied. So varied in fact, that I could turn out to be the colourful one in this partnership and probably need to the bigger trunk to carry the clothing on tour. Something tells me that isn’t going to go down too well !

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The return of the peplum

Peplum FrillCandice: Nearly a year ago to the day, Phil wrote a post about not understanding the women’s clothing and particularly being stuck by a “peplum frill”

Now, at the time of writing, a peplum was something that was a severe throw back to the 80’s.  Think shoulder pads, big hair and mobile phones that needed their own carry case.  However,as is the way with the world of fashion, I open my weekly copy of Grazia magazine and find the peplum has returned.  A quick look round the shops and I can see them everywhere.  Slightly less pronounced than last time as they no longer are accompanied by those massive shoulder pads but still there.

So now comes a quandry.  The peplum was a sarcastic decription on the style of one of the characters, and a way of defining her so that readers could just jump in and see what she was really like.  But, nearly two years since conception, suddenly a style tip which made someone seem abit backwards is now making her the height of fashion.

This is must be a common problem with authors, as the wheels of publishing move slowly.  Referencing current events can date things  as politics, fashion, music etc all change so quickly.  What do authors do – not reference things so current but lose the strength of their story, or keep in the reference and rely on that fact it will be set in one place and time.

I’m loathed to take my peplum description out.  Hopefully with the addition of blue eye shadow, the soundtrack to “The Breakfast Club” and the peplum being a on a shiny pastel suit it will help to keep our character stuck in time.

But hang on, what’s this in Grazia, “Blue eye shadow on the return…”  ARGH!

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Oh what shall I wear?

Cheese on the left, chalk on the right.Candice:  As my writing partner has pointed out, he’s not really a christmas party man. However, I like some shape throwing and love the concept of Christmas, so I’m kinda in my element.  (Do the expressions “chalk and cheese” come to mind – though I think it’s the contrast with having the same stupid sense of humour that makes the writing work).

Anyway, a key part of the whole process is the outfit.  Every year I say to myself, I’ll just get one of my old numbers out and that will be fine.

But as the day approaches I realise I’m bored out of my mind with that dress I wore twice last year, so have to have something new.

Where I am working at the moment, the shopping is poor.  This leads to mad sessions on the internet when I get home, ordering stuff from websites.  The other half has been at home so he’s chief receiver of my many parcels (to the point I got a, “You’ve ordered alot of new clothes recently” to which I sweetly replied, “But they’ve mostly gone back.” Flutter eyelashes)  Debenhams sent me five different dresses in three different parcels for a mad trying on session the night before the event.

I’m not alone in this though.  We went to a ball on Thursday and I had panicked call from the sister, saying can I come around to assess her new purchases as she’d had a last minute internet moment too.  Lucky Debenhams is all I can say!

So I might like the whole party concept but the reality it is just as stressful for me, in a whole different way.

Don’t even get me on shoes and accessories.

Ah well, at least this year I came up with a corker.  Though my facebook photos are going to look abit samie as I’m going to three events, all with different people, so I can reasonably wear it to all three.  Or maybe not…..  asos where are you!

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