Thursday, 20 December 2007

Santa is coming dontcha know!

Ok, so it's not quite Christmas.

It's 20th December, and most people are still working until the 24th. Hell, some people haven't even started their festive shopping yet: fools!! Still, i'm not most people. In Tor's world (It's a weird and wonderful place)Christmas started at the weekend when I left my Norwich hovel and returned to the rural expanse that is my parental home: a fantastic luxurious place where mincepies appear all the time, as if by magic, and laundary does itself.

The downside of this wonderland however is the dial up internet. For you, dear reader, i've just sat for 20 minutes waiting for this page to load, and I dare not add a picture- That's an hour of my life i'm just not prepared to waste!

So this is just a note to say thank you to: (cough cough, prepare for the speeches) Becky, for coming on board and adding that special sparkle to this blog with her witty reparte. To all of the highstreet stores I fill up the changing rooms of most days with no intention of ever buying anything. Thanks for unwittingly letting me advertise and (lets not lie) criticise your clothes for my own selfish means. Finally thank you to (no, not my parents) you, lovely reader, for reading my random ramblings this year and not laughing too loudly at all those dresses that just didn't fit. (yes, there were many)

I will try and post regularly from this back of beyond (i'm starting to feel farmer chic as a major trend: it must be my surroundings) but I make no promises precious readers. Even for you i'm not prepared for a 30 minute page load! If I don't manage to tap out a word or two, complete with pictures of those lovely Christmas dresses i'm expecting santa to drop down the chimney any day now, then have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Check us out from the 2nd of January, when I will be doing a week of daily live reports from the sales showing you what's hot, what's not, and what's a plain got-to-have-it-now bargain. I hear Primark is having a January blow out this year: just when you thought that store couldn't get any cheaper: thank you santa, a Primark sale is just what I asked for (Well, that and YSL shoes but you can't have everything.......)

See you in 2008!

Thinkin' Pink n' Puppies

Dear Blogosphere,

Devastating news - Catwalk Queen didn't include me n Tor in the Top 100 Fashion & Lifestyle blogs. It's almost as though an online experience that's only been going a few months and features badly photoshopped pictures of Karl Lagerfeld doesn't cut it anymore. That makes Karl sad.

Well, inwardly sad, anyway. Karl is nothing if not a trouper. He is a Belgian of many layers and mysterious caprices. I, however, am outwardly sad and rending my polyester garments. You know though, when I feel blue I always turn to my secret love -- musical theatre.

There is much to be learnt from musical theatre when it comes to fashion. Costumes have to project character to 150 rows and beyond, they have to swoosh and dance well and they have to glitter! sparkle! and shine! enough to delight the 13 year old girls and gay boys (I consider myself a spiritual member of both communities) this is not only fine entertainment but good style. I'll be conceptual and Japanese tomorrow,.

Because it's so insanely apropo-po, I'm going to take a look at Legally Blonde - The Broadway Musical. I've been obsessed with it the past few greyish days.

This is Laura Bell bundy belting her heart out as Elle Woods. I'm not going to pretend that the Legally Blonde musical isn't aching and groaning with product placement. That is a an actual Tiffany necklace around her neck, par example. The superiorities of Red Bull are touted in one scene (it's seamless, okay? no judgement - it probably paid for the lighting rig, all right? all right.) You'll also notice her brave use of the pale blue denim jacket. I used to despise it (helloooooo 1994) but now I'm digging the slight trashiness and full bodied unprentiousness of the thing. Used with appropriate contrast, it's an awesome look to layer in with something glitzy or something edgy. Also really liking the geometric forms on the skirt - a pink version of the S/S 2008 Marc Jacobs - I bet there'll be 100 million version in Topshop by March:

There's inspiration to be found every which-way, even for those allergic to pink and fluffy.

You can, like totally stroll into Harvard in a Topshop coat and you can choose between a Giles dress or a little Chilhuahua of your very own:


.....equals one awesome outfit in which to defend innocent fitness instructors. Topshop coat is £75 and the Giles S/S 2008 dress is on of those 'price on request' dealies. That translates to at least a grand.


Blow your grand on chilhuahua puppies.

They're not accessories, however. Remember: if it shits, it's not fashion. Puppies need love. Fortunately you can express that love through fashion. Legally Blonde's merchandising is way intergrated, you guys. You can purchase every handbag used in the show - they just happen to be made and sold by Laura Bell Bundy herself. This hand-made bag entitled Bruiser's Cruiser will set you back $150 or around £70:

You can buy it all with your internet prowess just click: Schmancy Purses. then your doggies can travel in the diamonte'd style to which they should have become accustomed.

You see Catwalk Queen? We all need love. Especially me - I'm needy. Oh dear, my getting my rejection anxiety shakes. I need an uptempo triumph song!

Whew. Thank god.


Dress - Primark (£3), Denim Puffed sleeved Jacket - NafNaf (£35, 8 years ago), Necklace - Topshop (£1)

Monday, 17 December 2007

The £1 Rule

Hello friends,

I have danced around it in previous post but I'll say it loud: I'm broke. Not la-di-dah o!noI've only got£45beforepayday broke, but the real hardcore broke where the letters are red and the phone is your enemy. Christmas therefore is going to be something of a sedate affair. I've painstakingly bullied and alienated my friendship circle down to 3 people so as to save money on potential Christmas presents. I'll make new and better friends next year - cheaper ones with fewer expectations!

The sad story of my financial situation is pertinent to this blog in that today we're talking about the joys of super-bargain shopping. When I was less broke, I used to shop frugally and fabulously from and the world was verily my vintage and cheap designer treasure trove. Now, the rule is: if it's over £1, I can't have it. This isn't the nicest position to be in but it does give one the chance to put on their cheapo Columbus hat and discover new worlds of bargains (no, I will not think of a better metaphor). Here are two recent finds:

Dress#1 Severe Grey Tunic with additional pretty-pretty - Primark (£1)

I picked this up today whilst searching desperately for the final component in my boyfriend's birthday present. Though Primark's men's range is nauseatingly skaterboi and not at all in keeping with his style, I was pleased that this fine garment, previously £12, had been marked down to a much more reasonable £1. I enjoy these things: ( 1)the pussy bow, (2)the ugly charity shop pattern (3)the puffed sleeves (4)the whorish length. If you're looking for a designer comparison, I'd say it's very Anna Sui A/W 2007. All I need is a big long cuddly cardigan, a fluffy hat and I'm good to go. Also, blue shoes. I definitely need blue shoes:

Dress# 2 Ice Ice baby - Vintagey Christoper Kane - £1 at Romanian Children's Hospice Charity Shop.

This picture is blurred not because of my inept camera focusing but because I am GLIDING AT UNIMAGINABLE SPEED. I just wanted you to know. This dress makes me look like a figure skater with a tiny little waist, the kind of waist you'd be proud to show off at a Canadian icerink. I love this dress with its huge skirt and tight bodice - if I stretch my imagination the littlest bit, I can say it's reminiscent of Christopher Kane's A/W 07 collection:

If you click on my photo and squint super hard you'll see that I even wore my fake Swarkovski bling necklace to add to the illusion. It too was £1 and from Topshop - here's a better picture:

Y'see? I am well cyber goth, me. Designer up to the eyeballs.

Don't contradict me, this shit is what lets me sleep.

Your pal,

Erin O'Connor and I..................we're like that!

.......And when I say that, i'm crossing my fingers and nodding wisely.

Ok, so we haven't ever actually met (her life being Fendi, my life being Primark) but I feel like we are so similar it's scary. I'm recently addicted to Erin's new blog on (which is alot funnier and more down to earth than you'd expect) and discovered that Erin and I battle with a lot of the same demons. Facebook addiction-check. Love of Halloween-check (although Erin wore Vivienne Westwood and I wore a binliner) Indulging at breakfast time because it's 'nearly' Christmas- check (although Erin indulged with champagne, me with trifle, but the concept is the same!)

Sunday, 16 December 2007

I've found it! I've found it!

The perfect New Years Eve dress is mine! Mine Mine Mine! And not only is it perfect and sparkly and everything I was looking for, it is also subtle enough that it can be dressed down, accessorised, and worn over and over and over again. And then maybe again! And even better than that it came in under budget at £27 (well, £30, minus my 10% student discount, God love it!) Look look! Admire with delight:

Ok, so now my excitement levels have dropped and i've calmed down enough to type in proper sentences. Firstly, apologies for the glimpse at my grotty student kitchen: I have no excuse except that i'm a slob when it comes to all kitchen related chores, but I promise to clean it up right after i've written this. Honest.
Now onto the important business: the dress. This perfect gem is from Topshop where it rrp'ed for £50 but was reduced to £30 as part of the stores pre-Christmas offers: there are loads of other great deals in their online store.
The bodice is boned so it gives loads of support on the bust (i'm not even wearing a strapless bra in these pics and that is a never before seen gravity defying feat!) As you can see best in the third pic, the bodice also has a slight gold fleck running through it whihc reflects light and adds a little glamourous sparkle to the frock. The skirt is darted so it flares out into a tulip shape and it has big hidden hip pockets which is a design detail I adore. The dress is 99% cotton and the fabric is really thick so it holds in every lump and bump and creates a really lovely shape (even if I do say so myself!)
I am one very happy bunny! Although i'm now realising that it's very nearly Christmas and i've been so preoccupied with pretty dresses (and who isn't?) I've hardly started my present shopping........ Methinks I sense this weeks quest approaching fast.........

Saturday, 15 December 2007

We are proud to waste your time.

Hello everyone,

Facebook is a mystical beast. It's a haven, a xanadu -a place where you can fight vampires, reunite with vaguely remembered school friends, be hit in the face with a virtual snowball and prevent child abuse simply by forwarding terrible poems with varying ABAB rhyme structures.

Accordingly, we have set up a Facebook group where fans and vaguely motivated well-wishers can congregate and luxuriate in the splendour of community that this blog provides.

Tor set it up - she's way more on the ball than me. She also drew our logo with her own mouse-bearing hand. Tor is pretty damn impressive.

But here's where I get all New York fashion gay, shake my head and finger in a rhythmic way and say:
"Honey -- high waisted jeans? Step back from the brink. Friends don't let friends bisect their torsos."
You'll see Tor's post below and no doubt you enjoyed her adorable plaid shirt and cardigan ensemble - I know I did. However: no no no no on those Primark jeans, Tor. Yes, I love the big golden sailor buttons too and I know they feel soft like a bunny. I say to you, however, look again at Mischa Barton - if you can clearly identify the lines of a woman's pubic mound then I say no amount of snuggliness can redeem the outfit. In fact, I'd even go so far as to say you look way better than Ms O.C. in your trousers. Again, this is not an endorsement of the trouser shape, merely an observation of your superior styling.

I too coveted the high waisted trend, especially in the mannish trouser style when it first broke on the high street last spring. It led to nought but sadness, fury and vaginal wedgies:

Maybe I'm just projecting my disappointment but I felt I must speak. Spend the £10 on wine, tea, cake and sparkly things. You deserve them all.


The big debate: High waisted jeans?

Ok, so it was a trend that was huge in celeb-land (yes, that is a real place!) aaages ago! But as Primark have just got some rather lovely dark denim wide legged examples in store, i've only really started to consider whether it was a trend that will work for me this week. (The thought of paying £60 for the Kate Moss @ Topshop pair made me dismiss the trend when it first hit the highstreet this summer) High waisted jeans. Yes reader, i did sense you recoil in horror!

Now, the style icons that are Ms Barton and Ms Moss managed to pull this look off beautifully. Behold:

However, i'm inclined to think that if you took away the flat tums and perky breasts and wore these very same outfits you might look a little bit like an Eighties mum doing the school-run. This belief isn't entirely unfounded either. Jessica Simpson (God bless her!) tried to pull of the high waisted look, but the combination of bad top choice (polo neck and high waisters was never going to be a good idea) and ample busom led straight to this style disaster:

Eeeek! Lovely Jessica is normally so beautiful, and yet in this photo it actually hurts to look!

This leads perfectly to my own denim dillemma. I am closer in figure to Jessica Simpson (I wish) than Kate Moss, so can I wear the high waisted jeans I crave (because they're from Primark and they're so soft and only £10)? The jury is still out:

It's a denim conundrum: high-waisted jeans mean denim clinging to your tummy and shortening your torso, but Low slung 'hipster jeans' (my usual denim of choice means love handles and (i'm sad to admit) an ample display of butt crack whenever I bend over.It's enough to make you hope this seasons dress revival will last forever isn't it?

Friday, 14 December 2007

Erotic jumpers - when your day is not fashion

Hello, tiny but slowly increasing readership,

Today was just not fashion. I tried, as I always do, to make sure the events that greeted me upon waking were fabulousity at at least 40% capacity. Nope. Friday 14th December 2007 said "nope" and all was, in my boyfriend's delightful slang, gash and gash to the extreme.

Un-fashion events
#1 Stomach bug
#2 Medicating iron deficiency
#3 Fluffy face
#4 Smirked at by blonde highlighted homosexual Topshop worker probably because of the following:

It's okay. I would smirk at my outfit and face too. Working in a fashion emporium elevates you morally and aesthetically, way beyond the reach of most workaday people. I was once full bodied shoved out away from the Lanvin in Dover Street Market. And I was glad, I tell you, glad to be touched by the hands blessed by Rei Kawakubo.

Anyway, I need cheering up and for that I turn to Marks & Spencer and piracy. I was going to feature this item in a post on ethical tote bags, but frankly I don't have the emotional strength to write and then read another sentence on the subject. All I care for is Erin O' Connor's face.

Behold my massive new shopping bag - 100% Organic cotton, supermodel endorsed and as scratchy as couture in Soviet Russia. All for £2.50. You could also grab a bag featuring Twiggy at her 1960s peak. Though since she betrayed this fine nation so extravagantly by appearing on America's Next Top Model, I don't see why you would do that. The camera laahves, yew, Twiggy but to me, you are less then dead. There. I said it.

Another cheering and welcoming fashion moment comes in the guise of this video of the Sonia Rykiel S/S 08 catwalk show. It's all so floaty and the models are smiling and swooping and gaying it up at the end in a most delightful way. It's so nice when you see models being silly and girlish rather than fierce. It may be heresy but I believe fierce is overrated as a lifestyle choice.

This clip also features some genuine comedy gold: Sonia wrote an erotic romance novel about a man, a woman and a sweater. Thank you,! I'm praying to all the Gods I know that it's a sincere literary work. In fact --a dildo wrapped in high street cashmere for anyone who finds me that book!

Why, I'd be as happy as a chiffon-coated Rocha!

Your pal,

Thursday, 13 December 2007

River Island brings their A game!

Just as I was beginning to fear that, in some perculiar twist of fate, highstreet buyers had decided not to pick any dresses for my bodyshape this year, I stumbled into River Island. I am actually a massive River Island fan, but at Christmas time especially, they really come into their own with great cuts in great fabrics and masses of sparkle thrown in for good measure. As usual I selected 5 frocks and made a horrible show of myself in an obscenely, starkly white changing room.

Dress #1: The body con(cious) Now firstly, I feel I should point out that the only thing my body is concious of is when i'm running low on chocolate supplies, so I should have known that a dress that clings to every lump and bump was not a good idea. Oh, how right I would have been.

Since Alicia Silverstone wandered down the stairs in that white body-con dress in Clueless and explained to her father how fabulous it was (Father: what's that? Cher: A dress Father: who says? Cher: Calvin Klein) I have had a soft spot for the body-con look. It's just that the look does not have a soft spot for me. Unless of course it clinging to my soft spots counts.

I couldnt fasten the zip of the frock all the way (hence the massive gaping) and the tight fit made my tummy look round enough to give santa a run for his money. Having said that the material was very thick and very stretchy, so if you do have figure, and the confidence, to wear body con I can imagine this would be a good dress to go for. Still, that doesn't help me.......

Dress #2: The sparkly dominatrix

Ok, so this dress was quite clingy too, but I liked the neckline so much the rest could be fixed with some super-magic-underwear (I really don't know where i'd be without it!) The horizontal stitching in bands across the dress was both a little widening and totally pointless, as the dress appeared to be made from the same piece of fabric. The things these stores will do for detail, eh?
The length of the dress however was perfect (short, but not too short) The fabric was the perfect weight (have I mentioned I have a thing for super heavy fabric?) and I love the shimmer detail running through it.
Awww, look how happy I look in the close up of the neckline? If only you could take all the best bits from each and make the perfect dress. *sigh*

Dress #3: The Animal Cracker

I love love LOVE this dress! I am every so more than slightly obsessed with animal print anyway, but that is only the first plus point to this fabric dear reader: the print runs diagonally across the dress so it is body lengthening. The fabric is thick and slighty shiny so it has the look of satin without being as cheap and unforgiving as satin.
And you don't need me to tell you that the cut of this dress is amazing. (One look at my smiley face should tell you that!) The unusual strap detail, the flattering bustline, the darting in the centre rather than entirely across the dress so as to aviod the 'maternity-wear' flare so popular at the moment......thats it. Im in love, and i'm going to marry the dress. I'll wear, erm, this and the dress can wear, erm, me I suppose.......

Dress #4: Gok's pick

I picked up this dress because it followed all the 'rules' someone with my body shape is supposed to employ according to How to look good naked guru Gok Wan. Busty: wear a v neck. Hour glass figure: wear a belt around your waist. And most importantly: always aviod wearing black!
Now as far as I'm concern this photo is actual evidence that the rules are rubbish! This dress makes me look dumpy, top heavy and out of proportion, and to be honest, as vibrant as the colour may be, if this is what I look like in red, I think i'll stick to the black.

Dress #5: Rock chick at a prom

The 'pretty' colour of this dress means that it would need some serious accessorising to stop it looking twee and girly. Having said that, it makes a change from the black parade usually associated with a party dress hunt.
I should point of that my boobs are actually sitting 2 inches under the band they should be sitting above. But actually, the dress was cut so nicely that didn't seem to matter and the minimising effect this had was incredible. The flowy chiffon was flattering and hid any minor body flaws but the underlayer was sturdy and supportive so I didn't feel like I might fall out at any moment! The beaded band only goes half way round which is a money saving tip highstreet stores often employ and I always hate, as it breaks the line of the dress. Having said that though, the beading detail is very pretty and not too over the top and 'bling'.
I like this dress. In fact I think add some killer studded spike heels and a chnky gold necklace and she and I could be ready for our date.....
Now i'm sure with her Zara finds, Becky might disagree, but I think River Island has been the most successful store so far. I still dont think the (possibly unobtainable) perfect dress has been found yet though. The hunt continues........

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

H&M hates my Body!

Another day, another installment of the quest for the perfect party dress! Today I attacked the 'Young Trend' section at H&M: My logic being that at just 23 I surely am still 'young' and 'trendy'. Right?! Right. You should know the drill by now: I selected the 4 party dresses I liked the most tried them on and photographed myself for your viewing pleasure: all in the quest to find the perfect Christmas party dress on as small a budget as possible.

Unfortunately through bad chosing, bad design, or both, all the dresses I attempted to display systematically hated my body: H&M hate me. Fact!

Dress #1: H&M hates my boobs

Apparently being young and having breasts are mutually exclusive concepts to the H&M team! This dress felt fun and floaty. The material was very flimsy, which I usually consider a bad thing, but putting it on it actually worked: it skimmed my hips and gave a great shape until.....i tried to squeeze in my bosom. I would have loved to have made it look good for you reader, but miracle worker I am not- my boobs are just not young and trendy enough. Fact.

For those of you that are feeling young and trendy though, here's how the frock (wich comes in black and grey) looked on the 'perfectly shaped' model:

Is it OK to ever so slightly hate a mannequin!?

Dress #2: H&M hates my arms

There's not much to say about this tuxedo style shirt dress (which looked amazing on the hanger and was made of a lovely quality cotton) except that i'm not holding my arms out like that out of choice. I'm holding them like that because the arms were sooo tight that I couldn't move. What's weird is that there was loads of room around the body and bust, so if the arms have been looser this would have buttoned up and looked rather lovely. Curiouser and curiouser........

Dress #3: H&M hates my curves

And now we move from one end of the scale to the other! Ok, so in the second picture i'm sticking my tummy out a bit but you get the idea! From the front this dress looked lovely: I loved the neckline, it minimised my bust, I even quite liked the (poorly attached) embellishments. But the problem is they had used enough material to make 2 dresses in constructing this frock: the result? From the side the dress looked like a shapeless sack light materity dress that was far too big for me.

Dress #4: H&M Hates my hips

Ok, I admit it! By this stage I was dissillutioned with H&M 'Young Trend' dresses and thought I might have more luck with a sequined mini-skirt teamed with a long sleeved top (an idea I admit I saw showcased on LK Today) How wrong I was! The poorly crafted skirt stuck not only to itself but also my tights and gave the illusion of 4 hips rather than my usual curvy 2: not a good look!

So there you have it! A full range of body hatred from the European clothing giant. Here's hoping River Island are a little better tomorrow..........

Warhol jeans anyone?

For anyone looking at this mini post, (an online vignette if you will) don't worry dear reader, I will be posting properly this evening and bringing you a wide selection of dresses from the "Young trends" section of H&M. (Provided there is anything I can squeeze myself into of course!)

For now i'm bringing you some not-exactly-up-to-date fashion news. Damn that Vogue! They always know everything before I do!

-Photo 'borrowed' from

Factory Girl Sienna Miller has been fronting the Pepe jeans advertising campaign for two years now, (see? The picture above proves it!) so it stand to reason that the brand loves things a little smouldering and more than a little sixties. Pepe announced yesterday that they are to take this passion for the era of love up a step with a 250 piece collection based entirely on iconic artist Andy Warhol. Exclusive to Europe, the Andy Warhol Collection by Pepe Jeans London will comprise two lines: Pop, which will be based on the artist's signature works, and Factory - which will take its cue from the style of Warhol and his crowd. The full 250 piece range launches next August, with a smaller capsule version launching at the Portabello road store in May.

Now I have been scouring the tintyweb for some sneak previews of the range and im sorry reader of mine, but I've failed you! Instead feast your eyes on this image set i'm sure the designers will be using as inspiration from an artist who's had far more than his 15 minutes of fame:

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Tit-Tock it's Pirelli o'Clock

Hello friends,

It's getting towards the end of the year and like many responsible young people, my thoughts are turning to how I'm going to mark my time. Buying a New Years' calender is a tricky business for the aesthetically inclined. It's got to be glossy, embody in its pictures a little of my true nature and have good sized squares for me to write my important business doings and whatnots.

That said, I'll settle for boobies.

I was reminded of how much I love an arty or art-ish nude whilst browsing in Borders and happening upon The New Complete Pirelli Calendars a glossy tome that is wrist splintering in weight and filled with all the Pirelli Calendar images from 1964 to the present day. Apart from a chance to look at pretty much every supermodel that's ever been revelling in purest sun-drenched nudity, it also provides a fascinating glimpse into 50 years of mainstream erotica and how our scientific notions of phwrogh! have changed over the half century. It's also pretty cool to see models (which, face it, women and gay men pretty much own, visually and emotionally speaking) shot with an unabashed eye to the mainstream heterosexual male audience. Let us not forget, the calender is a tool to promote car tyres and I like to imagine Karen Elson's pale artistic buttocks hanging on the walls of the greasiest of garages. High fashion crossover is good, huh?

March 2001. Model: Karen Elson. Photographer: Mario Testino

Now, the book is an eye-watering £50 in the shops but like all good nerds, I swallowed my despair and went online. You can see the vast majority of Pirelli pictures at the Pirelli website
albeit in lo-res andd slightly cropped form. You should buy the book for the full experience. And some nice tyres. And Pirelli should not sue me. Yes. That part is important.

Doctor E-rotica analyses some Pirelli images from across the decades
When you're digging around the archives, the Pirelli image is fascinating. It's so strange to see how the brand has moved so much from the artish titties and beer approach to a more out-and-out high fashion stance. Now, Pirelli has always employed a lot of fashion photographers to do their shoots - pretty much everyone big in the business but a surprising number of them do soft core a great service and a an equally surprising number don't seem to be satisfied until all the world's hetero winkies have shrivelled and inverted like sea anemones.

See here:

August 1969. Photographer: Harri Pecchinotti,

This shoot, only the fifth in Pirelli's history, is one of my favourites. No 'name' models but a really amazing scuzzy San Antonio vibe. Sassy urban girls in bikinis....who don't know they're being watched - check those low angles and photographer's print sheet motif and marvel at the seedy voyeurism that's being implied. 'Don't Walk' and 'Don't Touch', friend because this is the sexually violent urban world that created "Last Exit to Brooklyn".These natural untouched photos are genuinely sexy but they're critiquing our lewdness even as we look. It's a really amazing juggling act.

November 1970, Model: Alexandra Bastedo. Photographer: Francis Giacobetti

Crude, sure. But I love an image that cuts to the chase. The Pirelli calender was always meant to be photographs ofglorious women with their tits out, shot by master photographers. The ultra zoom on the nipple is erotic, sure but also turns the breast into this strange abstraction. I love we can see the texture of the cotton (is there anything more innocent and prim then a grey cotton bra? I love love love that juxtaposition) and the moisture on the skin. A lovely breast is one thing but a visceral lovely breast is quite another.

November 1972. Photographer: Sarah Moon

This is the first Pirelli shoot photographed by a woman and it shows. It's a very female type of sexuality on show here, with an emphasis on texture and implication. It also doesn't acknowledge maleness or the male gaze - the whole year it's the same: gauzey, lacey Pretty Baby style pseudo lesbianism. It may not do it for the fellas but I think it's pretty ace. The fact that the lovely frizzy grainy 1970s style resembles the decadent Ossie Clark print ads is so much the better:

Then....the 1980s happened and it was all big lips and bitches. Pirelli from this era is ACE.

November 1985. Model: Iman. Photographer: Norman Parkinson

I'm obsessed with Iman at the moment. If you're not already, I heartily endorse Project Runway: Canada as worthy of your reality TV time. Iman is a frickin' QUEEN and the Canadians provides a surprising amount of pure fashiony goodness. I salute them, their mounties and their tendency to produce excellent improvisational comics.

February 1999. Model: Sophie Dahl. Photographer: Herb Ritts

Ah, the 90s and their back to basic minimalism. The majority of the photos from this era have stark backgrounds and acres of tasteful bosom. Sidenote: don't you miss fat Sophie Dahl? I sure do - she was something magic back then.

And then Pirelli caught art. Sucks for us when Annie Leibowitz gets all Lucien Freud on our asses:

March 2000, Model: June Omura. Photographer: Annie Leibowitz

And lo! we cry as one: I can't wank to that! It's especially unfair when you consider that Leibowitz was getting some hot Susan Sontag action of her own.

Way sexier than ol' corpse flesh above. She probably wouldn't have done a Pirelli though.
What with the whole "Images anaesthetise" thing.

This brings us up to 2008 and the latest calender. Without doubt, this is the WORST Pirelli calender I've ever seen. Get this: no nudity. Not even a buttock outline. It's just a bunch of models in 'Oriental' clothing, mostly Dior.

Go to the site, you'll see Lily Donaldson, Agyness Deyn and Du Juan.....fully clothed and in a shoot more boring than American Elle (the apex of fashion zzzzzz). Talk about images anaesthetising us, Susan. Neither I nor you, nor anyone else can become aroused by Caroline Trentini with a cabbage on her head.

Wow. Bodes well, huh? 2008: Chinese Year of the Meh. Let's pray for 2009 and the full reign of the ample buttock.