Category Archives: Uncategorized


It’s day three of no heating in my office and given that my lips did actually take on a blue-ish hue today, I think I’m officially allowed to complain. I know that people on the East coast of the US are 6 feet deep in snow and so I shouldn’t make a fuss, but what can I say, us Brits love to moan about the weather.

I feel a fool for the naive optimism in a few of my recent posts about slipping into Spring-like clothes. Instead, I’m trying to work out how to wear a hat all day without the inevitable problem of hat hair. grr! and brr! for that matter.

Still, these girls manage to pull off the cold weather look with a certain panache. Elle Tea needs to take heed.

fur stole

Fur stole plus military coat = winning combination (image from Garance Dore)

Taking fur to another level. p.s. love the gloves

Even more fur and another side plait.. trend?


Now everyone’s talking about luxury and digital…

Looks like I’m not the only one bemoaning the lack of innovative digital work from luxury brands. The NY Times just featured an article that is remarkably similar to my previous “Luxury brands struggle to be social” post.

Glad I’m on the same page as such an esteemed publication!

From tiny acorns, mighty oaks grow…

“I had another dream last night. Cherry blossom popping up everywhere, the streets turning pink. So, the second I blinked my eyes open I knew that another mission had begun. I wasn’t sure what it was yet, but that didn’t matter..”

These are the opening words of the Cherry Girl, a mysterious, playful creature “discovered” by MTV, whose  mission is to make tiny, positive impacts on her surroundings whilst still living a beautiful, mischievous existence.  She represents the new hedonism for Generation Y: teens and twenty-somethings for whom fun is still the most important thing, but not at the expense of the environment and those around you.

In keeping with her peers, Cherry Girl is highly active on social media, charting her minute-by-minute exploits via her Twitter feed (which now has over 800 faithful followers) and her blog, where she discusses topics as diverse and bizarre as “clean graffiti” and leaving fortune cookies for random strangers to chance upon on their daily commute.


The most interesting thing about Cherry Girl is that you’re not quite sure what she is all about, where she comes from and what she’ll do next. The video that introduces her is almost eerie with the electro music and sepia tint and it takes a while to understand what is going on.   Perhaps that’s the point. She is a teenager after all and no teenager wants to appear straightforward.


It used to be that to do your bit for charity, you’d file through some old clothes, throw them into a bin bag and lug them to the nearest charity shop, hoping that someone would see them in a new light, pay a few pennies for them, and in return you’d get to clear up some space in your wardrobe.

Not anymore.

Those of us on Twitter and Facebook can’t escape the “tweets” and “invites” from the charities looking for our cash and our attention. The savviest ones, like charity:water, are using social media to offer a level of transparency and accountability like never before, and throwing in a fun time to boot.

A few months ago I went to along to Twestival – an event organized via Twitter by charity:water and held in over 200 cities worldwide. For a $20 ticket, I made a donation to clean water projects in Africa, mixed with other social media geeks, and danced to super-cool DJ’s Eclectic Method.


Twestival was a perfect example of a movement/cause starting online, generating a load of buzz and then culminating in a gathering of like-minded individuals offline.  Everyone I spoke to at Twestival was a self-confessed“social media addict”, many of them working in advertising/media/marketing and wanting to “do their bit” whilst still having a fun night out. As would be expected, people were tweeting here, there and everywhere with tweets displayed on a big screen.

As the Twestival motto so aptly puts it “”

Twestival re-entered my consciousness recently when I received an invite via Twitter to “watch us drill the first Twestival drill in Ethiopia” where from the comfort of my laptop screen I could see where my money went to, right down to the drill bit spiraling it’s way into the dusty Ethiopian soil. I was even invited to email questions for the community that was being helped by charity:water.  Wow: talk about seeing where your money goes. See more footage here.

Only downside? I’m going to have to find another way of clearing space in my tiny Manhattan-sized wardrobe. Hmm.

one of the charity:water projects in Kenya

Women’s Aid

Post Rihanna and Chris, domestic violence has become a topic of somewhat macabre interest in the celebrity gossip magazines. Fortunately, this time out of choice and in an entirely fictional setting, another beautiful, young celebrity has put this issue further into the spotlight.

Watching Keira Knightley being beaten to the ground in ‘Cut’, a short film created for the charity Women’s Aid, had a similar effect on me as those shocking pictures of Rihanna’s battered face. You just don’t expect to see a beautiful, stunning celebrity as a victim…and I guess this is the eternal problem with domestic violence. Often, no one other than the victim and her abuser know what happens behind closed doors, or in the case of celebrities, behind red-carpet-ready smiles and glamorous parties.

I’ve never been a big Keira fan – I can’t get over the irritating omnipresent pout – but I really  admire her for taking the time to do this powerful fim. It’s not the easiest of issues to be ‘the face’ of and it is an issue that is not commonly taken up by celebrities. It’s not quite in the same league as cuddling a cute rescue dog.

p.s. love Keira’s hair in this. Envy.

Everybody is against everybody but somebody has to be for them

The new, slightly kitsch but still serious Amnesty International ads put this admirable organization back onto my radar. During my worthier university days, I used to run the Amnesty “letter-writing lunches” and I can still vividly picture the well-meaning but slightly odd little crowd huddled in a damp and musty Oxford tutorial room, scrawling away multiple letters. In the mix were the ambitious, wannabe human rights lawyers, the peace-loving hippies and the ones who cared a little but mostly wanted a free lunch (we were students after all). No matter what our individual motivations were, we all left those lunches with a trail of crumbs, a pile of envelopes, and the feeling that we had all done our bit for humanity.

Although, in some ways, the slick production and boldness of this new spot feels far removed from those archaic little Oxford gatherings, the graphic novel style and bookish references to historical world events, is exactly the kind of thing that would appeal to that motley crew of letter-writers. Like me, they may just need to see something like this to be reminded of this fantastic organization.

Pie chart power

Maybe it is the Geography geek hiding in me, but I love these new Red Cross ads. It reminded me how one bold but simple pie chart can do far more than any overly complex ad concept, particularly when it is designed so beautifully. I haven’t always been the biggest fan of the Red Cross but this certainly made me sit up and notice that they do impact the lives of many children around the world. Red Cross