Chrissie Hynde – Queen of Christmas

Whilst you’ve been enjoying all those fabulous, festive classics, have you noticed just how male dominated the Christmas hits we play every single year are? From the Black Country glam rock of Slade and Wizzard, to the cosy jumpers of Shakin Stevens, the homeliness of Bin,g to more glam rock from The Darkness, Christmas chart hits have a definite male slant. And we haven’t even begun to mention The Beach Boys, Cliff Richard, David Essex, Greg Lake, Johnny Mathis, and now Michael Buble, all who have become synonymous with their Christmas hits. But there are a couple of ladies who at least try to set the balance straight.

We have Mariah of course, who sang one of my absolute favourite Christmas songs, although I hate everything else she’s ever done. The ladies who created those Phil Spector masterpieces, Darlene Love and her stablemates, created Christmas classics that she have to sing aloud to long and hard. Cerys Matthews and the unforgettable Kirsty MacColl duet on undeniable Christmas classics. But for me, the Christmas queen is Chrissie Hynde, and The Pretenders festive classic, 2000 Miles.

2000 Miles was released for Christmas 1983, and although definitely a Christmas song, it was actually a tribute to band member James Honeyman Scott, who had died a drug related death in the previous year. The song has the sound of a Christmas carol, but with the unmistakeable Pretenders guitar sound. It had a cracking video too, with Chrissie dressed as a member of the Salvation Army.

Single_Pretenders-2000_Miles_cover

Chrissie is one of my favourite musical style icons, an uncompromising rock chick who has stayed true to her fashion roots for the past 30+ years. I love the skinny jeans, mannish blazers, feathered hair cut and thick black Kohl – just so glamorous and gorgeous without any flesh being on show. Chrissie continues to influence style – just look at Alison Mosshart from The Kills, who owes a massive debt to Chrissie and her style.

cfda0557-0766-4128-96dc-502b7a954a12.img

With Debbie Harry

chrissie-e-ray

With Ray Davies

The Pretenders

The original Pretenders, James Honeyman Scott stands next to Chrissie

tumblr_m9d1jmenj71rpu1yso1_1280

tumblr_m9uqvlesgt1qd418mo1_500

Merry Christmas to my musical queen of the festive season.

Why don’t you have a stylish September?

Sex and the City 2

Image by petesimon via Flickr

I love the last page of style magazine par excellence Harpers Bazaar. The page where each month a stylish fashionista (think Victoria Beckham, Manolo Blahnik, Chrissie Hynde, and, this month, my favourite 60’s icon Marianne Faithfull) gives a list of suggestions for stylish things to do during the new month under the title ‘Why Don’t you…’ I’ve decided launch my own suggestions for why don’t you each month. Enjoy, and if you  have anything else to suggest, leave a comment and add it to the site.

WHY DON’T YOU…

  • Enjoy a night out for charity. It is Vogue‘s ‘BIG NIGHT OUT’ tonight all over London. Fashionista’s everywhere will be putting on their glad rags and snapping up fashion bargains to raise money for good causes. Alternatively, if you are in the Midlands tonight, why not attend the ‘Sex and the City‘ evening of High fashion in aid of the Newlife Foundation for disabled children. This is taking place in the ‘Bank bar and lounge’ in Cannock from 7pm. Enjoy half price cocktails and buy guilt free jewellery, clothes and accessories on the night. You can then go home and tell Hubby that it was all for a good cause. Well, that’s what I’m going to do anyway!
  • Have a great outdoors style Saturday night, if you are in London, Swansea, or Glasgow you could enjoy the fabulous Proms in the Park and enjoy the range of rainwear and wellies on show. In Birmingham it is the weekend of ‘Artsfest, which is all totally free and includes Kerrangfest with The Twang, and stars of the Birmingham Royal Ballet. If you are attend ‘Proms in the Park’ check out Evans(www.evans.co.uk)  fab range of wellies which come in E nad EEE fittings, and don’t forget to add a bit of vintage sparkle to so British an event.

    these are fab wellies from Evans - great for wet autumn days.

    this might come in useful for Artsfest and Proms in the park. check out fab umbrellas from Fulton and Cath Kidston at Amazon.co.uk

  • Catch the Grace Kelly Style exhibition at the V&A before it finishes and see why this lady is still a fashion muse almost 30 years after her death. Until 26th September.
  • Check out the charity shops in the lovely riverside town of Stourport on Severn. At a quick glance last Saturday evening I did a mental count of eight charity shops. Perfect for a Saturday afternoon rummage followed by a few drinks on the river.
  • Sort out your wardrobe and ‘DONATE DON’T DUMP!’ Get rid of anything too big, too small, unworn, unloved and put a big smile on the face of Mary Portas. Charity shops are in dire need of new stock for the new season, do your bit.
  • Try out the new Levi’s website for their ‘Curve ID’ jeans. It’s fabulous. You just answer some simple questions about your shape and , hey presto, they find your perfect jeans. I tried it and was shocked when I noticed that the plus size model/real person wearing my perfect jeans actually had my shape. Prices are not cheap, starting at around £80, so you may decide to save money and try New Look’s new range of YES YES jeans that come in all shapes and start at just £9.99.
  • Pre-order your copy of Sex and the City 2 from Amazon.co.uk now. Ignore the critics, the girls looked fab, were older but not wiser and frankly I lived the chat between Miranda and Charlotte where Miranda said it was ok to love your kids but need to escape from them sometimes. Whilst waiting for the film to arrive, check out Amazon.co.uk ‘s Sex and the City store which stocks everything SATC related. And check out the Fab poster above, it made me laugh out loud as I don’t know a straight man ANYWHERE who ‘gets’ SATC.
  • Finally check out a gorgeous new hair style icon in the unlikeliest of places. As you know I am a mom to Baba, aged 20 months, and watch a hell of a lot of CBEEBIES. I have lately found myself obsessed with an amazing glossy auburn mane of May, the park keeper on ‘Big City Park’. May, played by actress Sarah McCardie is a plus size girl(size 16 maybe?) with a beautiful face, a great line in plaid shirts and the most truly amazing hair. And with not a hair extension in sight. Check her out and I challenge you not to be jealous!

check out that fab mane of hair. Sarah McCardie on Big city park

That’s it for September – but if you have a recommendation – pass it on in the comments box and I will add it to the site.