-- Stretch out your fingers and take a look at your nails. Are they perfectly manicured in the latest Chanel, cuticles flawless and matched by a glittering diamond ring or two? Or, like ours, are they a little chipped, hastily polished, resplendent with hangnails and cuticles betraying a lack of TLC? Watch out if you fall into the latter, as Lady Gaga superstar-cum-nail Nazi is willing to ‘beat it out of you.’
One would have thought Lady G preferred vampish talons and sculptured acrylic over a classic French polish, but as she revealed to V magazine, “any woman is instantly above the rest if well-manicured.” She goes onto warn, we imagine whilst peering over sci-fi shades, “I know this may sound harsh, but perhaps if I beat it into you, you will cut those cuticles.” Well sorry Gaga, but for most of us a thirty minute manicure is pretty much bottom on our list of essential things to do, beaten to the top spot by laundry, filing that report, tackling bills, and eating.
She helpfully suggests grabbing “a coffee and a magazine”, and taking a “moment just for you” – ‘cause we have plenty of those, eh – and doing it frequently, mind, “to stay in a nice self-compassionate habit.” Though we do all love whipping out the polish and hiding imperfect nails under a sweep of red, we wouldn’t go so far as to call it “an excellent hobby” – yet more wise words from the Lady. Less hobby, more further chore in the life of (pretending) to be the ‘perfect woman.’ But whatever you say Gaga, pass the nail file.
-- We all have a power-suit: the outfit you wear to important meetings, presentations and nausea-inducing network events where you just want to be noticed. Your clothes say, ‘Hey! Look at pretty me, gimme a pay rise/promotion/boyfriend’, even if you are trembling inside. Whether your power-suit is a Stella McCartney print trouser suit or a pinstripe Westwood dress, a strong sartorial statement can do wonders for your confidence and business prowess. What better power dresser to turn to for inspiration then, than that of the original Power Woman: The Iron Lady.
Maggie Thatcher’s iconic wardrobe will be auctioned this September at Christies, the seven pieces for sale charting her rise from Minister for Education to Tory leader. Yellow and turquoise, colours not out of place in our own wardrobes today, represent her early career when as a woman in parliament it took more than a shrill voice and bosom to get oneself noticed. As she rose to power, the brights faded to navy, the Conservative colour, albeit with polka dot trims – oh Mags. As Pat Frost, Fashion Director at Christie's notes, what Margaret wore “had a significant impact on the outward impression she gave – one could even argue Margaret Thatcher invented the art of power dressing.” So next time you pull on that dress or that suit, and you feel like some sort of business Super Woman, whatever your political allegiance give a little thanks to Maggie.
-- She’s a gold medal winning cyclist who makes our weekly pedal to work look frankly pathetic, and looked ridiculously hot post-race on the podium in Stella’s kit. All the girls want to be Victoria Pendleton, and all the boys want to, ahem, hold her hand. But guess what the now retired champion’s “ultimate dream” is? To be the face of Burberry. Yup, that’s right, even top international athlete’s dream of nothing more than slipping into a Burberry trench and pretending they’re Emma Watson or Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Us and Pendleton, we’re not really that different – bar the toned thighs.
Miss Pendleton told Vogue that she’s been invited to Burberry shows before, but wasn’t able to attend because of training, saying “I literally cried when I found out that it wasn’t possible.” Cheer up, Pedal-ton, mention Burberry enough in this post-Olympic limelight and you’ll find yourself in more than the front row…
We’re seeing Victoria sat atop a vintage bicycle, gold medals stowed in a wicker basket, and Burberry coat rippling in an English breeze. Who needs a velodrome?
- Natasha Slee @TashaLouiseS