I fell in love with a kitten this weekend, and had to leave her behind.

She appeared in Ben's parents' garden, bold kitten style, having apparently been wandering the streets for a few days, and just never left. She was very skinny, and very adventurous for a little kitten who is probably too young to be outside at all. Wherever she came from, her owners, if there were any, weren't looking for her. We completely fell in love with her and named her Olive after a kitchen incident with a jar of them. I hadn't realised just how much I wanted a cat until she turned up on the doorstep.




After two days of serious soul searching and logistical thinking and predictions for the future, we decided that we couldn't take her back to our flat with us. We have a tiny garden, and there are some good cat-friendly streets behind our house, but she just seemed so happy frolicking around in the big open spaces that we thought that she would be happier elsewhere. Also our lack of a cat flap and permission to add one was a major issue, and what do you do with them when you go away? Still, I had already thought up pet names for her.

She was taken to a family with two little girls who have a garden and all the time in the world to look after her and will surely have a happy time, but that just means that we can't now change our minds, which we desperately want to. It's all terribly sad, and I can't help but imagine her padding around the flat and being hilarious and kitteny and cute. I know I'll have one one day though, and until then I'll just have to satisfy myself with Dreamcats.


To keep this vaguely clothes related, Ben's hilarious socks come courtesy of Uniqlo, his go-to destination for amusingly hued socks. The hole in them comes courtesy of orange being his favourite.


Ebay Update

I have a couple of very pretty vintage items up on eBay at the moment, due to expire on Sunday evening. Everything from my Etsy shop is now there and at much lower prices, as well as some new gems like these vintage 90s Kurt Geiger T-bar heels.

Take a look, here, or follow the link in my sidebar.


Sessun AW10

I have been checking French label Sessùn's website at least twice a week lately in anticipation of their autumn collection. Created by designer Emma Francois as far back as 1995, the label was conceived originally with Latin American influences in mind, but seems to have whittled said influences down in order to concentrate on fantastic material quality and cut. What's more, Sessun is sold in Urban Outfitters and ASOS, and is surprisingly affordable for a label with such a beautiful lookbook.

I definitely have a thing for faded, hazy, beach location lookbooks, as it turns out, and there were many many of them for spring, but this is the first one I have seen for autumn. I admire the atmosphere of it, although it does seem to take centre stage. The clothes, sidelined though they may be, are both simple and complex in their details, patterns, cut and materials.





All images from www.sessun.com

The long-sleeved dress recalls what the high street often forgets – that winters are cold and cardigans tiresome and negates the need for one. My childhood shopping trips with my mother around this time of year were always punctuated by exclamations such as: 'that's far too cold, you'll freeze!' and nowadays my internal shopping monologue is irritatingly similar. Both of them, though (my mother and my monologue) would be satisfied by this dress, and indeed the red coat, reminiscent of rowan berries and cosy-looking enough for snow.

I am drawn to the breton top, which seems almost to be an inverted version of itself, with thicker stripes of dark and thinner stripes of light. Tartan trousers are likely beyond me but those shoes seem to be a great solution to the dilemma of how to wear boots with tapered trousers.

It's a pity that the models' top halves are showcased the most here, as a quick look on the Urban Outftters website is enough to show you that they do some pretty great trousers, such as these ones, here. Also I would love to see what the hemline of the zipped and belted long-sleeved dress looks like, and how they styled it. The upside of this, though, is the exposure that their perfect autumn hairstyles get instead: all achievable twists and bobby-pinned turns, a modern take on 40s hair is the perfect antidote to the vast exposure that the beehive is receiving. All in, a thoroughly French, and thoroughly covetable, lookbook.


The September Issue

I always save up a pound coin or four for September Vogue, no matter the volume of other more important things of a similar price I have forgone for being 'too expensive'. I buy it to pretend that I am the sort of person who has made enough money over the summer to be able to spend thousands on the 'ultimate' coat and the 'new' skirt shape, and to get me excited about the fact that we won't see the sun for another six months.

This issue is no less disappointing than last year's, in fact it is almost identical. The same cover girl, the same ideas for investment camel coats in a recession and the same 'new' skirt shapes. Vogue to me suddenly seems bored and conceited, full of lazy editorial errors and recycled ideas. It's a pity, as an established title with the clout that Vogue has could really take a risk and do something different once in a while.

Luckily for Vogue, despite everything else I cannot deny that I am a huge fan of the new/old skirt length, and always a champion of a woollen cardigan. This editorial combines the two and just happens to be the best of a bad bunch, which includes one styled and modelled by Kate Moss (because we don't see enough of that at Topshop).



All scans of UK Vogue September 2010 are via Fashionising.com

Venom aside. The skirts and dresses, colours and fabric mixing here are just my thing. It is a study in layering, marrying autumnal colours, and a lesson in ways to wear volume without feeling swamped. The tall socks and delicate ribbed tights remember that winter is cold on toes in uncomfortable shoes, and the angora and the camisoles remind me how effective layering can be (and how much I love cardigans in that deep rusty brown). Hilariously it also seems to remember that keeping hair tidy in swirly autumn winds is impossible, and advocates a messy beehive for an entirely questionable 'I meant to do that' look.

When autumn and winter come around it's tempting to just swamp oneself in wool, but this editorial teases with thoughts that it might not have to be that way. In this 50s/60s style hybrid, necks and shins, the parts that need least woolly attention, are king and queen. Could it work in the snow and in the wind and rain, with crispy leaves attaching themselves to the inside of your layered petticoats? Likely not, but as someone who spends most of her winter time in the house, looking out of the windows and sitting by the fire, it looks pretty perfect.



When I moved to England, to Bristol, from my little Scottish island, the first place I lived was Clifton village. I thought 'this is what England is like' and was amazed and terrified. Clifton village is a village within a town that feels like a village. The people who live there are the kinds of people whose wives drive Mini Coopers to lunch dates and whose husbands drive Saabs and Audis to offices five minutes' walk away and keep vintage Jaguars in the garage for glorious Sundays. Heroes and darlings of the cultural world can also be found here, playing the piano with the windows wide to see who stops to listen.


This is my favourite part, Royal York Crescent, because you can spy on these lives so effectively from here. The windows, under their humbug-striped canopies, are old and enormously wide and tall – a statement from a time when sheets of glass that size were rare – and resemble shopfronts, displaying the wares inside. There are few net curtains: an assumption that those who live or walk in Clifton are too polite to peer inside? An invitation to do just that? I always look in.

Some are minimalist white and bare inside. Others embrace the architecture and attempt a befitting atmosphere: regency armchairs, dark shiny mahogany sideboards, imperious lamps. A few have been lived in unchanged for decades, and look nicely dated, like old curiosity shops that I might like to have a rummage in, given the chance.


I wandered around it in the early afternoon in my thoroughly modern American Apparel dress, layered over a white skirt and tube top from the same, carrying my grandmother's white gloves (which she once wore to launch a ship, I'm told) and her (and my) prized neckscarf on my head, I suppose contrasting the old and the new in the same way as the buildings do. Then my camera battery ran out.

Dress, Skirt, Top: American Apparel
Scarf, Gloves, Bag: Pinched from my mother, Pinched from my mother, Charity shopped (respectively)



Whenever we move into a season transition (I'm sure no one gets as excited about season transitions as style bloggers do – maybe gardeners?) I start vaguely awaiting my next Lula installment. I bought a subscription before my spending ban, so it feels like a free expensive luxury. Leith Clarks's tweets have been at times so exotic and interesting that I feel like this issue is going to be an extra good one.


In a similar vein, this editorial from Test magazine is so pretty that I can't stop going back to it. It is fairly Lula-esque, and is satisfying my anticipation. Technically it's a spring editorial, but I think that a) much as everyone seems to be tired of sunshine, it is still summer, and b) spring editorials are just early autumn editorials in disguise. This one is styled by Lyson Marchessault, who does admittedly style a lot of Lula editorials (including that amazing Erdem one) and photographed by Nicholas Lawn.






My favourite style is in the top picture. I love the kind of cricketing blazer with the translucent seersucker skirt. It's a look that could be easily translated to autumn's camel blazers and mid-length skirts, in a heavier cotton. I really like the model's 20s hair too – I'm always trying to twist and curl my hair into styles like that, but it's just too stubbornly straight. My sister has fantastic curls that would suit the style perfectly, and which I'm pretty jealous of!

My charity shopping trip today yielded a few good things for Autumn – probably to be sold on eBay again though, as a lot of it is verging on '90s (good '90s though of course!) and having pieces up on two different sites at the same time is too confusing for me! A lot of it is too small for me, which really is just as well, as it removes the temptation to keep them. I'll let you know when they're up.


Simple Village Girl

You might have noticed that the title (and url – update your links!) of my blog have changed. Biscotti was a bit of a non-name, chosen rashly when I really had very little idea about blogging, and it has been annoying me for a while.

Simple Village Girl on the other hand is taken from a song by Belle and Sebastian ('If you find yourself caught in love') and sums me up quite well, with a little bit of irony: at heart I'll always just be a village girl, but never a simple one. Belle and Sebastian are Scottish, as I am, and are also the first band I ever saw live. So, you see, it is plenty relevant! What do you think?

As I was saying in a previous post, I'd love to meander down to the south coast of France or Italy. I'd especially like to go by train – my love of train journeys knows no bounds. This is one of my photographs of a holiday I once had in Florence, but I just discovered this post on blog BawkBawkBawk which has the most fantastic photographs of Rome and puts mine to shame! They are very beautiful.

This is what I would wear on my imaginary trip to those south coasts – try and ignore the fact that I am actually on a street in Bristol! Orange and yellowy colours seem to suit that kind of light, as you can see in the editorial I posted here. I think these pictures are of a simple village girl with her basket, so are perfect for this post.


I'm off to Wales this weekend to visit Ben's family, so this is my Friday offering, early. I hope to take a real live analogue (!) camera with me to experiment with on the trip, so we shall see how that turns out. I haven't used a camera with film for such a long time – I'm really quite excited about it.

Dress: H&M
Basket: vintage
Sandals: Toast


Etsy Experiment

I've never sold anything on Etsy, (although I do find myself going there every other day to swoon over the selection of 1950s dresses on offer) so this is a bit of an experiment. Ebay is so frustrating for goodhearted sellers that it just isn't worthwhile – I'm absconding.

Anyway, these are the best bits from my first shop upload:

*Turquoise Blue Skirt* * 1970s Purple Floral Lurex Dress*

The yellow top and the purple dress are easily my favourites! In other news, working in dollars is ridiculously confusing.