Monday, September 29, 2008

Recession Cut Backs?

I know we're in the midst of a global recession and companies worldwide have taken to extreme measures to cut back on costs....but chopping off the heel?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Name and Shame

I'm a big believer in manners.

Smile, remember your P's and Q's, treat people with basic human respect and a little kindness.

We can all be so quick to forget to treat people how we'd like to be treated.

Which brings me to my topic of today (which I need you all to participate in)...the Name and Shame.

Certain places, be they shops, restaurants, bars, airlines, hotels where you feel you were on the receiving end of bad customer service. Name and Shame them readers.

The world is just too competitive when it comes to businesses who want to take our money to tolerate bad customer service so readers, I invite you to Name and Shame.

Before I launch into my tirade I will say they would score 100% on my prat-meter if it wasn't for a really nice sales woman upstairs and a very kind salesman downstairs. They showed me what good customer service is all about.

I was given a gift from Tiffany which was beautiful but it was too big so I took it in to swap it for a similar item of a smaller size.

So I happily took my time looking at their website to whittle down my alternative options to one or two items. So happy with my choices, I popped into their store.

Doorman was great, very polite. All smiles and hello madam, how are you today.

I was happily walking around seeing what caught my eye, this year I've been developing a rather unhealthy obsession with jewellery and I'm pretty well informed on what's what.

My eye focuses on a small wonder and when I asked the price the salesman literally sniffed as he told me.
The sniff didn't go un-noticed. He got 'a look' but I'm not quick to anger. So I give it back and move along.

Upstairs, a really lovely saleswoman attended to me. She was young, pretty and very helpful.
I saw one of the options I'd picked out online and couldn't find the other so I described it to her.
She wasn't sure so she asked one of her superiors who turned out to be a really ITK (I Too Know aka Know-it-all) crochety old Chinese man.

ITK man proceeded to say they didn't have what I described and maybe I'd looked on a fake Tiffany site.

Me: Fake Tiffany site?
(you think I'm bootleg because I'm black when quite frankly China has the intellectual property rights on bootleg)

ITK: Yes madam, there are some fake websites pretending to be Tiffany but they're not.
Me: Ok, but I think I can safely assume is your company.
ITK: Oh you can't be too sure, people get confused all the time.
Me: I'm pretty comfortable using computers so I pretty sure I looked at the right site.
(I move away before I feel compelled to reach over the counter and slap the old man).
ITK: Oh but we don't have what you're describing so you must have been looking in the wrong place.
Me: Ok thanks. (walk away and back to the saleswoman who was helping me in the first place).

I ask her to check on the computer system, she mentions it might be downstairs but starts looking through the company website. I show her how I searched for my items and she happily obliged.

And horror of horrors....we can't find it.

Then young ITK in a slick suit sticks his head over and says to sales woman quietly, we don't have what she's looking for.
To her credit, she ignores him. I ignore him. He moves away.

I ask her to search a different way and I'm getting increasingly irritated as old Chinese man ITK keeps coming over as if to prove I'm wrong. Now anyone who knows me knows
a. I'm always right
b. I've got a pretty good memory and
c. I'm pretty comfortable with computers

So having this old ITK dude who I'm sure has never looked at the company website telling me I don't know what I'm talking about, when I know what I saw this morning, is firmly pressing my buttons.

He moves away and like magic, the woman says, is this what you're looking for?
Bingo. Right name, right category, right price.

So she takes be back downstairs as that's where they have what I was looking for, hands me over to a really nice, supersweet old guy who happily helps me. They're closing by this point but he's so polite about it. Initially he thought they didn't have the right size. But he checked the stock room. Came back out, checked the stock list on the computer, went back to the stockroom and got me EXACTLY what I'd seen on their website and it was EXACTLY what I wanted.

The sales woman who helped me upstairs is leaving the building just as I get to the door and she sees the bag in my hand and asks me if I found what i was looking for, I say I did, thank her and she apologises for any 'confusion upstairs'. Its in our exchanged smiles that we both know exactly who 'confusion' was.

I can't remember any particular incidents as I stopped flying with them years ago.
I think it might be something to do with the way they treat passengers flying to Lagos at Xmas. Insane.
They're rude, they're snotty and their service is crap.
They offer crap airmiles and they can't even begin to strike a match to the burning inferno that is Virgin Atlantic.
I've been flying with Virgin for about 5 years and they've never done me wrong. I LOVE that airline.
So many times they've gone over and above the call of duty. The staff at check in are always friendly, happy and helpful and early or late, you're treated like the full fare paying passenger you are.
BA could get away with their crap service while they had the monopoly on Nigeria but then Virgin Atlantic swooped in to claim their share. Egg on your face BA.

Again, I can't remember what they did that pissed me off so much.
It was in my first year of uni.
I'm one of those people, when I love a place/airline/hotel/whatever...I'll tell everyone about it.
If I hate a place/airline/hotel/whatever...I'll tell everyone about it.
If I don't love or hate it, its too mediocre to be memorable.

So when Lloyd's Customer Services pissed me off, my 18 year old self politely told the woman on the phone that I'd be closing my account as soon as I could get to the nearest branch today and I explained to her that while they might not have much respect for the students of today, we'll be the millionaires of tomorrow. Then I explained that HSBC have been like champions and I'm going to advise all my friends with Lloyds accounts to switch to HSBC as their customer service is by far superior.
I think I managed to recruit about 5 people for HSBC so not that you care, but egg on your face Lloyds.

So readers, join in the fun...NAME AND SHAME!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Gunning For Fashion Gold

Abuja...the big city of dreams, where the real money in Lagos lies.

Its not a city I've spent much time in, but from the little I have seen I can safely say things in general work better, look a bit better and feel a bit better.

And that was my opinion before I came across what must surely be the most stylish looking boutique I've seen in Nigeria.

You know how some businesses make a cacophony of noise when they burst on the scene, only to die a very quiet and quick death.

And then some businesses, make a quiet entry. The people in the know are the first to know about it. They all simultaneously fall in love with it, the way you can fall in love with something when its new, unchartered territory, and quite frankly you got there first.

D BOUTIQUE definitely falls into the latter category.

Slowly but surely D BOUTIQUE has been creating a quiet revolution in the way the moneyed women in Abuja shop.

The grand entrance, more in line with the style of an important political arena, lets you know you're about to enter something new, something special and something...expensive.

D BOUTIQUE is slick, stylish, sexy and expensive, just like its owner and just like its shoppers. With a look and feel that can best be compared to the 'fabulous lifestyles of the rich and shameless' calibre of boutiques on Melrose in LA. The decor has been kept simple but stylish, with a striking palette of black white and bright pink. Throw in a little bit of gilt on the mirrors, some glamorously gothic black crystal chandeliers, and a smattering of sparkly cushions and you have one decadent looking boutique. All this and we're not even onto the clothes yet.

In keeping with the laidback sexy aesthetic of LA, the style ethos of D BOUTIQUE is 'casual chic'. Each item in the store is presented with a specific purpose in and function in mind. Yummy mummy going to lunch, moneyed it girl out on a hot date, maverick fashionista hitting the clubs, high rollers looking good enough to eat...D BOUTIQUE has got you covered. No detail is overlooked in their bid to deliver the perfect garments to the most discerning fashion enthusiasts. D BOUTIQUE deliberately seeks out clothes and accessories that are individually designed, aiming for the high levels of quality attained best when things are made by hand.

Jaded By Knight's one of a kind, reworked vintage creations are one of LA's most reputable and cutting edge designers. Their choice of fabrics and avant-garde styles are intrinsically unique and ahead of the pack. Rawyalty tees bring out the bling with their Swarovski embellished patterns (for men and for women). Pair your bling tee with the celeb loved jeans that create the most bodacious butt, True Religion, or Citizens of Humanity if you prefer your glamour with a rock edge, and you're on your way to mastering the art of the casual chic daytime look as loved by the Hollywood elite. Make like the Real Housewives of Orange County (via Abuja) in a sexy low cut and heavily embellished top or dress by Sky. Or if you prefer your daytime attire a little more PG-13, take a look at the collection from Voom and Sweetees.

There's nothing like a shroud of mystery to keep tongues wagging and minds running into overdrive so for now, I'm not telling you who the owner is. I will run his Tiger Bites Q&A next week though. Yes I said HIS. But to keep your minds ticking away, the name D BOUTIQUE was created by the first letter of his surname and boutique sums up the concept of the store "A nice and peaceful area where one comes to relax, take their time and enjoy the day. I believe it's all about the shopping experience".

Uzi’s definitely gunning for style gold with this fabulous spot as he clearly has a firm grip on the stylish weapons in his arsenal. Love it.

Monday........10am to 8pm
Tuesday.......10am to 8pm
Wednesday...10am to 8pm
Thursday......10am to 8pm
Friday...........10am to 8pm
Saturday.......10am to 8pm
Sundays........12pm to 6pm


Office: 0805 768 8888

41 Jimmy Carter Street, Asokoro, off Yakubu Gowon Crescent (Villa Side)
Abuja, Nigeria

Friday, September 19, 2008

Flex Drops the Truth about BET Interview

I'm so glad to see a prominent person in the music community telling it like it is.

Watch the Kells clip first though.

R. Kelly Down Low...Nobody Has to Know?

Relax, its not 'the tape' but a very interesting clip from an interview he did on BET. SDMF, if there was any doubt in anybody's mind as to what he did.....this clip confirms it. You don't have to be a genius to note:-
1. "When you say teenage how old are we talking?"
2. "I have 19 year old friends but i don't like anybody illegal."
3. Watch his eyes and his body language as he answers that question.
4. Over explanation is always a sign of guilt in my book.
5. And in his over-explanation he starts to confuse himself...listen to the bit about his brother...
6 "It depends on who you're saying is all and what they're saying".

Wowza, Kells. This was so not a smart move. Who's your PR rep and why in God's name did they let you loose on TV? Just because you didn't get convicted doesn't mean you're innocent. The legal system is flawed, we all know that.

Yes I poked fun at the case in January...

But this is s.e.r.i.o.u.s.

This guy is guilty!

I have a law degree and this is exactly why I would never be able to be a lawyer. criminal law is the mot interesting but what happens when you have to do your job and defend a guy like Kells who is so obviously guilty.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Little Bit of Lace

With a little bit of lace....we can make it through the night.

Ain't that the truth?

'Hollering with the rinsing sound' was what DJ Luck and MC Neat had in mind with their garage anthem...but I'm sure they'd agree with my point about lace.

Seems we're set for a bit of an 80s throwback this autumn/winter, with the bright coloured tights, tartan/plaid/check prints everywhere, ankle boots (shooboots) big bold florals....and one of my personal Madonna inspired favourites...lace.

So sexy, so feminine. Black is the obvious colour but it can work well in other colours too.

I found there and they're a little Michael Jackson, a little Madonna and very sexy. Again, its not for everyone so you're bound to get some odd looks, but as I always say, leave the haters to choke on their hatorade.

Call me OCD but I always feel the need to wear gloves on public transport...yes, I said it. You know you always think it too.
I'm loving the pair on the left, £4 from

The fingerless pair on the right are bound to inspire pesky passers-by to hum Beat It as you walk past, but hey, they're cute and your important finger will still be visible enough for an impolite gesture. $6 from

These skirts are a very easy sexy, way to wear a little lace. They work by day or by night, just depends on what you wear them with. For day, a tank and cute cardi with ballet pumps, or when its chillier a poloneck and boots.
LEFT: $30 from This skirt is more pretty pretty and delicate which works.
RIGHT: £50 This skirt is a bit more interesting, edgy and goth..which I'm totally loving.

Lace leggings....Hmmm. Very 80s but I love it. Choose how to wear them carefully otherwise they could probably look really crap. I'd say evening as opposed to daytime, and worn with a mini dress or long top, probably black or a dark colour. Work the dark angel look and you're a lot more likely to get sexy right!
LEFT: Kova & T are really making a name for themselves with their finger on the pulse offering of leggings. First the liquid latex and now these.

RIGHT: If you'd rather save your pennies on such a transient fashion item, try these from for £15. They're not completely lace, they just have a lace panel down the side which might or might not make them more to your liking. (I prefer the Kova & T).

By night, lace looks great on a cute prom dress. Yes, the prom dress is still big news and looks set to stay. Its such a cute flattering shape on most body shapes.
LEFT: This black lace prom dress has a corset bodice which will amplify your fabulous hourglass shape. Love it. Was $40 now $20.

RIGHT: How about some old school colour? This As U Wish Bordeaux vintage lace prom dress is just too cute. Making me think about the party season Was $78 now $52.

LEFT: I love the two tone colour of this silver antique lace Anna Sui dress. Absolutely fabulous. Was $430 now $300.

RIGHT: Marchesa do some of the prettiest, glamorous dresses around and although this one has a lot going on, with the ruffled tiers, the beaded belt, scalloped hem and scalloped neckline...I LOVE it. $3400 now $2550.

LEFT: The olive green and shape of this dress make it decidedly grown up and sophisticated. Christian Lacroix $1370.

RIGHT: You must have noticed by now, I'm a huge DVF fan. She always gets it right! Love this dove grey chiffon and lace shift Oleada dress. $485 now $339.

LEFT: This white dress from Karta is the perfect white dress. I have an incredibly similar dress and it fab as it always works, by day, by night, dress it up with glam heels, dress it down with cute ballet pumps. A true style winner!

RIGHT: Miu Miu is a big name I'm a big fan of. How genius is the dress? Lace printed on chiffon? Love it. And love the delicate and feminine colour combo too. Was $1540 now $1048.

LEFT: Love the very 80s cobalt blue of this lace trim jersey dress. This is one of the few that could work well by day. Also comes in black...which truth be told, would be my preference. £50.

RIGHT: This is a very proper dress for a very proper occasion like a wedding or something. Its quite a mature style but if you go glam with the accessories, you'd be amazed how big a difference that could make. I'm talking those fetish type Dior Extreme Gladiator shoes in black or gold, an outsize croc clutch, some big gold hoops and your hair in a ponytail...see? Grown up Glam. Lela Rose floral cut out dress from $1095 now $547.

LEFT: Since L'Wren Scott did that black glittery dress in a very similar shape for Sarah Jessica Parker at the MTV awards, I've been paying a lot of attention and I LOVE her style. I'm loving this dress. Yes it works best with a banging body (or at least, with the help of Spanx) but I love the way this dress is so covered up yet sooo sexy. Make like SJP and wear with pale shooboots, or those Extreme Gladiators.

RIGHT: This is another very grown up very proper dress, so wear it with an abundance of attitude and bold accessories to tone down the properness of the dress. AKA New York $330.

Nothing will ever be quite as sexy as underwear as outwear and if one team have this down to a t, its those people at Both these dresses would look fab worn with a long chunky cardigan and riding boots. Work it.

LEFT: Victoria's Secret lace trim satin slip $58.

RIGHT: Victoria's Secret satin ballet length slip $27.

Let me know your thoughts on how you'll be wearing a little bit of lace this season.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I See You Baby - People Pics NY Fashion Week

So last week we took a quick peek at the runway pieces and now we're taking a good look at who was papped out and about looking fabulous.

I See You Baby.

The Marc Jacobs show pulled in the biggest and the baddest celeb guestlist of the week.

Padma...wowza, she's got legs for miles. Can anyone tell me how someone who professes to be obsessed with food stays so slim?

Vicky B. Never one to miss a shameless pap fest of a photo opportunity. She took her arrival with J Lo at the Marc Jacobs show to show the world her new pixie cut. I like it. I think it suits her, won't suit a lot of the many that will copy her. She's got wide eyes and pixie features which is usually the basic requirement for such a short choppy crop. Master of reinvention. Me likey.

Julia Restoin Roitfeld (daughter of French Vogue editor, Corinne Roitfeld) looking fabulous in her liquid leggings and her chiseled piece of arm candy, Magnus Berger.

Helena. Now this is why only a handful of models were ever called super. This woman is giving all the young bloods a very good run for their money. Fabulously sexy.

Nicole Richie put in an appearance in a monochrome outfit with a suitably grimy rocker edge and a hippy style headband. Cute. And clearly Marc's been working out.

Doesn't she look absolutely gorgeous in this pic? Well, they say motherhood makes you radiant (especially when you have a fleet of staff on hand to lessen your load).

Jigga...what's my m*tha f***in' name? A little too contrived in I'm-a-badass-hip-hop-star way but whatever. He ain't a patch on Kanyeze who is looking SOOOOOOO contrived in his daft outfit. Hate it. Looks like he spent far too long to be straight getting ready. And that's aside from the fact that I find him intensely irritating anyway.

Queen B of fashion week, Anna Wintour sits serenely on her throne with her gorgeous daughter Bee Schaffer.

Rachel Zoe looking a little pinched and remarkably line free. Anyone say botox? Haven't been able to look at this woman the same way since I heard Perez Hilton calls her Chupacabra....which means bloodsucker, his whole angle being she's been sucking the life blood out of young hollywood to make them thin and keep her alive. So wrong but so funny.

And there were a bevy of beauties papped out and about at other fashion shows during NY fashion week.

Just looking at him makes me want to slap those spoddy glasses off. Take it easy man. Relax. Anyway luckily his intense repellant effect on me is watered down by the joyous looking Joy Bryant, on their way out from the Thakoon show.

And here's Joy again, looking more joyous in what I think is a Marc by Marc Jacobs jacket. Such a simple and stylish outfit, love it.

Tinsley Mortimer in her signature pose with her signature ringlets at the Carolina Herrera, one of the enduring favourites of the Upper East Side echelons of society.

Natasha Bedingfield with Zoe Saldana at the Max Azria show looking like they're having a jolly good time. (Take note kanye)

Heidi Klum looking like her usual fabtastic self at her buddy Michael Kors shows. He definitely adds a lot to the Project Runway panel.

Lauren Conrad looking cute as a button at the Nanette Lepore show.

Nicole Fiscella, ex model and Gossip Girl star (even though I swear I've never heard her speak on the show...anyone say token black friend?). Looking fab at the Nanette Lepore show.

How lovely is this? Blake Lively and her mum Lori Lively at Michael Kors. Clearly Blake was dunked at the deep end of the gene pool.

Brandy at the Prada show. Looking cute in the abstract polka dot top.

Cassie and Letoya Luckett looking absolutely f.a.b.o.u.l.o.u.s. at the D Squared party. Hotness.

Cassie for all her lack of singing skills, is one of the hottest chicks in the game. Very cute dress. Want it.

The always adorable Paula Patton with her crooing husband Robin Thicke. Such a cute couple.

And now for something very interesting....THE FASHIONISTAS
They'll spend their last dollar on that piece of fashion fabulosity they can't afford. They'll relentlessly shop at sample sales gilt and ebay so they can wear that much coveted Thakoon MC Hammer pantsuit. They wake, breathe, (don't) eat and dream fashion. They live in cigarettes, coffee and water and maybe the occasional undressed salad so they can stay looking fabulous in the sample sized clothes they borrow from the wardrobe of the magazine they work for. I admire their foolhardy determination and dedication to a cause. Fashionistas of NY, I salute you.

Madeline Weeks at Marc Jacobs. Very cute outfit.

Agyness backstage at Oscar de la Renta.

Virginia Smith at Michael Kors. Love the outfit.

Roopal Patel has a wicked way with her fab accessories. Love it.

Brit beauty Jourdann Dunn at Oscar de le Renta.

And the following pics were shamelessly poached from The Sartorialist's running commentary of NY fashion week for Love it. These women all look FABULOUS.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I See You Baby - NY Fashion Week Runway Part 2

As promised here's part 2 of the decidedly un-diva take on NY Fashion Week. I looked through the pictures and happily selected what I thought was cute, fun, fierce, sexy an absolute must have. My only premise being what would I wear?

So after taking a good look at the offerings from DVF and the lesser known Alexander Wang. Today I'm starting with a name I've only discovered this year....Boy by Band of Outsiders. I fell in love with their Ivy League inspired preppy style on eluxury the first time I saw it there.

Boy by Band of Outsiders
For their Spring/Summer collection they did it in a really simple, stylish way and just got Kirsten Dunst to model their entire collection. The result is a set of laidback, unfussy ubercool pictures for their lookbook. Kirsten is know for her easy breezy slightly ruffled style and proved to be their perfect muse. The quirky reinterpretation of classic preppy are just what the sexy tomboy uptown kids (determined to look like kooky downtowners) need.

LEFT: Looks like the shorts suit is big news again for next summer. I'm loving the easy laidback cappuccino linen with the slick black shirt. Sexy without trying too hard. love it.

RIGHT: I'm all about a great white shirt for its understated sex appeal. And worn with this bandage inspired skirt, with the yellow shoes, is a winner in my eyes. I just love yellow shoes. They're pretty much a neutral colour as they work with everything and are a great easy way of adding a pop of colour to a monochrome outfit like this one.

LEFT: Camel is such an effortlessly stylish timeless colour and work over the belted white dress, it makes a fab summer outfit for a smart work lunch.

RIGHT: This is one of those dresses that looks crap on the hanger yet when you put it on its surprisingly sexy in a forgiving way (i.e. you can eat a big dinner wearing it) yet it still has fabulous shape. Love the colour too.

LEFT: Again a kooky take on the sexy secretary look. It seems Scott Sternberg (head designer) was quite inspired by Mad Men. The polo in a pale pink cashmere and the lightweight cashmere grey skirt. I wouldn't wear them together but as separate pieces they're both those items that you know would get plenty of play over the summer.

RIGHT: The shorts suit strikes back in an easy to wear, suits everybody shade of grey and I love the way it looks with that dusky mauve shirt. Very cute.

SDMF. If one designer got what women want right on the NY catwalk it was Rock and Republic. Yeah, I'd never paid much attention to them either. I'd only heard of them because of Vicky B then I saw this collection and holy moly...they GET it. What do they get? The very simple thing that women look beautiful.

Yes theirs was a more aggressive ubersexy type of beauty with the tight black clothes, big hair, smoky eyes and towering stiletto es.

But damn, who doesn't want to look this hot? The take no prisoners brand of fierceness needed to pull these looks off is an admirable quality in itself.

LEFT: Short, sexy, asymmetric, strength softened by the ruffles. And the perfect white summer dress is becoming a style essential. Love it.

RIGHT: And the sexier, sleeker version in black. Its a little more streamlined, with a lower straighter neckline and downsized ruffles but its still one hot tamale of an LBD.

LEFT: The fierceness of this white suit is highlighted by the model's strut. I defy any man to not give you what you're asking for in a suit this hot! And the shoes....those shoes!

RIGHT: Damn. You've got to be one hell of a minx to pull off this black leather dress. To those who can. I take my hat off to you.

LEFT: A stylish contemporary take on the classic women's tux. Love the shape of the white jacket, the superskinny black jeans and the ruffled shirt. Understated sexy. Love it.

RIGHT: This one is just too easy. Too sexy, too fierce. White superskinny jeans in real life however, are an entirely different matter!

LEFT: Simple but you can imagine how those well placed studs on this LBD move as you shake and shimmy the night away.

RIGHT: Ruffles are big news for next summer and this top is an easy way to welcome them into your wardrobe. I'm loving the spiderweb leggings too. Not in white though, perhaps black with the web in white would be more my speed.

LEFT:Chanel just too fierce! Love the exposed zip on the tube top and I'm LOVING those leggings. Not to be worn together by the rest of us, but damn, this is a good look.

RIGHT: Almost too straightforward for the catwalk but I love its simplicity. And versatility. Dinner, cocktails, party, for all evening occasions.

This was my last pick from NY fashion week. The clothes were unfussy, superstylish and in bright pops of colour which is usually what most of us want when the sun comes out again.

LEFT: As I mentioned earlier, the sexy, stylish white dress for summer is a style must...everybody is busy having white parties every summer now, so you'll probably need a few. Its hard to find a white dress that works well at night, too short, too tight and too white is just too hooch. I love the slightly unexpected layering of this one. Demure yet very sexy at the same time. Love it.

RIGHT: I'm becoming a bigger fan of heather grey by the minute and this is another dress that's sexy because of its unexpected layering and draping. And you can see how it skims and hugs in all the right places. Want this.

LEFT: Another asymmetric ruffled dress. Clearly a big trend for next summer. Its the dove grey hue of this one that caught my eye. Discreetly luxurious. Love it.

RIGHT: And now here's some of that colour I was talking about. i love the bold bright coral of this dress, and the extra diaphanous layer that glides as you it. And I love the way they toughened it up with those black shoes.

LEFT: Very summery style, and I'm loving the superbright electric blue. Its like a modified wrap dress, stylish, simple and very sophisticated dahling.

RIGHT:Orange isn't a colour we see so much and I love this slightly burnt orange. The subtle ruching and draping means its one of those dresses that's notoriously difficult to wear...all the more reason to love it when you get it on properly!