Thursday, 31 October 2013

Today I'm channelling... Twyla Tharp

"If you've done enough falls, you know exactly what to do when you hit the ground."

Twyla Tharp

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Today I'm channelling... an old chinese proverb

"The person who says something is impossible should not interrupt the person doing it."

Old Chinese proverb

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Today I'm channelling... Sheryl Sandberg

"I want every little girl who's told she's bossy to be told instead that she has leadership skills."

Sheryl Sandberg

Monday, 28 October 2013

Today I'm channelling... Lou Reed

"There's only x amount of time. You can do whatever you want with that time. It's your time."

Lou Reed (March 2, 1942 - October 27, 2013)

Friday, 25 October 2013

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Today I'm channelling... Clementine Paddleford

"Never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be."

Clementine Paddleford, American food writer

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Today I'm channelling... Patti Smith

"Build a good name. Keep your name clean. Don't make compromises. Don't worry about making a bunch of money or being successful. Be concerned with doing good work. And if you can build a good name, eventually, that will be its own currency."

Patti Smith on advice given to her by William Burroughs

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Monday, 21 October 2013

Today I'm channelling... Stephen King

"You can, you should, and, if you're brave enough to start, you will."

Stephen King

Friday, 18 October 2013

Today I'm channelling... Kurt Vonnegut

"True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country."

Kurt Vonnegut, author of Slaughterhouse Five

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Today I'm channelling... Abraham Lincoln

"Things may come to those who wait, but only those left by those who hustle."

Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Today I'm channelling... Ada Lovelace

"I am never really satisfied that I understand anything, because, understand it well as I may, my comprehension can only be an infinitesimal fraction of all I want to understand." 

Ada Lovelace, the world's first programmer #Adalovelaceday

Monday, 14 October 2013

Today I'm channelling... Maya Angelou

"Success is liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you do it."

Maya Angelou, author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Friday, 11 October 2013

Thursday, 10 October 2013


On mother-daughter relationships
"Psychologists say that women who have very narcissistic mothers often take one of two very different paths in life: they either go down the rabbit hole of drug addiction, or they become overachievers...I followed both."

On being your own boss
"They say that when we reach our forties our life goals shift, with autonomy becoming the central issue. But, at any age, being able to chart your own course, rather than responding to others' demands, is a beautiful thing."

On working with men
"Every time I'd complain about something, I'd be told, "You're not a team player." I came to realise that this is what a man says to a woman in business any time she isn't willing to do what he wants."

On private equity
"[They] should stick with soy beans and cement and stay out of fashion."

On trusting your own judgement 
"Every mistake I've made in business has come from not trusting myself. But now I know that if something doesn't work for me, it's not going to work for the customer."

On being perfectionist
"Anyone who does anything well is probably compulsive to some degree, displaying obsessive behaviour otherwise known as 'taking pains' and 'getting details right'."

On her ex
"Being married to Matthew was like having another child...he couldn't keep up with his bills or his bank accounts...My husband couldn't manage a comic book, much less a legal document."

On dating a toyboy
"I felt I was pioneering new realms of equality for women, a bit like Demi Moore with Ashton Kutcher. I was a self-made why shouldn't I be able to do what I wanted?"

On being photographed naked at 40
"Having a nude taken while I was young and fit, by one of the best photographers in the world, was an offer that was not going to come around again."

On the fashion industry
"The fashion business has become a dinosaur...[It] has always operated on a seasonal schedule. Women have been forced to buy their spring/summer clothes in February and their winter coats in June. But attitudes have changed. Customers don't want to think about a coat in June. And if they don't want to think about it, they don't want to buy it."

In My Shoes: A Memoir by Tamara Mellon is published by Portfolio Penguin, £20

Today I'm channelling... Wendy Davis

"Discovering you have a voice is a powerful feeling. I know, because I remember when I discovered my own voice."

Wendy Davis, Texas state senator and candidate for governor

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Today I'm channelling... Robin Williams

Mork, of Mork and Mindy, 70s kids

"You're only given one little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it."

Robin Williams

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Monday, 7 October 2013

Today I'm channelling... Dolly Parton

"If you don't like the road you're walking, start paving another one."

Dolly Parton

Friday, 4 October 2013

Today I'm channelling... Elizabeth Taylor

"The problem with people who have no vices is that they're pretty sure to have some annoying virtues."

Elizabeth Taylor

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Today I'm channelling... LM Montgomery

"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers."

LM Montgomery (author of Anne of Green Gables)

Wednesday, 2 October 2013


The launch issue of Just Seventeen

Thirty years... It's thirty years this month since Just Seventeen, arguably the teenage magazine to define all teenage magazines, launched. And nearly ten since it died, leaving hundreds of thousands of no-longer teenage girls in mourning.

Thirty years... How can it be that long? How can I have ever been that young? And, crucially, how can I be that old?

In truth, I was a little bit too old for Just Seventeen when it launched in 1983. I'd been reading its big sister magazine, Smash Hits, for a couple of years - I was even known to climb through a hole in the fence to cut through the estate that backed on to our school playing field to get to the newsagent every other thursday lunchtime so I could buy a copy as soon as it came out. But I vividly remember the first issue of Just Seventeen, mainly because it came free with Smash Hits.

I had always been a magazine girl. Starting with Twinkle, a brief, deeply unsatisfactory, dalliance with Bunty, and then a long love-in with Jackie before I outgrew it and found nothing really to replace it - despite occasional flings with My Guy and Photo Love, but only because my auntie worked in the factory where they were printed. Until Smash Hits came along. And then Just Seventeen.

Right from the start, there was something different - something special - about Just Seventeen. It was our badge and we loved it. Its problem pages were ruder, its features funnier, the fashion cooler, did I mention the problem pages were ruder...? Just Seventeen spoke our language, and it was a language our parents didn't like or understand. These were girls, like me, loving Duran Duran and Human League, suffering endless bad hair days, trying to work out who they were meant to be, feeling our pain. (Just as well we didn't know it was actually produced by a bunch of old blokes, probably even as old as Duran Duran and they weren't feeling our pain at all...)

It was thanks to Just Seventeen and Jackie, and subsequently Cosmopolitan, that I went into magazines at all. It had absolutely nothing to do with the gloss and the glamour and the getting to meet celebrities - it was the way a magazine could make you feel when you just knew it 'got you'. The way a few of the right words, at the right time, in a magazine, could make you feel better, different, special, understood. In extreme circumstances, it could even change your life.

A few years later Just Seventeen and I had a near miss. A second interview for Features Editor came my way and it was going well, I could tell. It didn't matter that I was seeing another magazine at the time, I knew this was the one if I could just make it see how much it needed me. I followed all the advice. But something happened. I still don't know what. Maybe I was too keen. (Never a good look. I should have taken my own favourite mag's advice.) Either way, Just Seventeen wasn't that into me after all.

Devastated I rebounded onto another magazine and then another, until one day, a few years later, I found myself entrusted with the magazine that formed my teenage years. By then, of course, it wasn't the cool, older sister I'd fallen for. It was drowning in a sea of glossier, more grown-up-looking titles. And so we relaunched it as a monthly glossy and Just Seventeen became J17. And, you know what, for a while, it worked. Thanks in no small part to Leonardo Di Caprio and Clare Danes and the Romeo & Juliet exclusive emblazoned across the first issue.

Sales went up, readers came back, and for a while we were able to do for several hundred thousand teenage girls what the old Just Seventeen had done for me. Tell them stuff they needed to know, stuff no-one else would tell them (stuff like any boy who says "you would if you loved him" doesn't love you) and we made it our business to ensure the problem pages stayed as rude as possible (or at least as rude as certain elements of the tabloid press would let us).

Of course, Just Seventeen, like most other teenage magazines, is now RIP. Dumped, unceremoniously, like that boy/those friends/that ra-ra skirt we outgrew... And I never did get to meet Duran Duran.

Today I'm channelling... Marc Jacobs

Before he was perfect...

"I always find beauty in things that are odd or imperfect - they are much more interesting."

Marc Jacobs showing his SS14 collection for Louis Vuitton today in Paris #fashionweek

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Today I'm channelling... Karl Lagerfeld

"Madame, you can do whatever you want, as long as you are first."

Karl Lagerfeld [to Carine Roitfeld] showing his SS14 collection for Chanel today in Paris  #fashionweek