Posted by Harriet on 01/08/12

My own Hiroshima detonator has just gone off. After months of my eyes morphing into my computer screen and sourcing designers and artists, finally I bit my lip and launched The 123 Store online. (www.123store.co.uk).

Formally a four storied concept store in the heart of East London, I had a Noah’s ark moment, set sail and shipped “The best of British” onto the interweb. My former colleague and I (Micaela Phillipo) spent two years building up 123 Bethnal Green Road, being voted best shop 3 years running by TIMEOUT, giving jobs to our penniless friends and dealing with a 400 strong rat infestation. There was always a bottle of Jonny Blacks behind the counter, homeless “harry” lingering outside with a polish beer and a harem of local kids sitting on the bench doing nails for “a quid a pop”. The most memorable experience was homeless Harry (real name Alexander) was screaming obscenities, tongue inbetween two fingers at the shop door. I dared him to come in, cross the line. Didn’t think he would. Then he fucking did. Chased me round the jewellery cabinets, arms flailing like a beast he hissed as he ran. The customers fled, all that Bryony (black lipstick, dog collar wearing sales assistant) could do was squirt water at him (albeit from behind the counter) and scream “Leave her alone”. He got soaked, I nearly chocked. A few months later he did try and strangle me, did I mention that our feisty Aphrodite boss Micaela also throws a hearty punch?

The shop engulfed and consumed my life. I didn’t see the sun once last year (did anyone?!) Like a doll in a goldfish bowl.  Streetsquad’s Louie was our resident photographer, Mimi the in house model. Sami and Lucy both did shoots on our Mary Poppins style rooftop it was sort of the HQ, the pit stop for everyone passing through Red Church street.

Anywho. Back to shop, I would love for everyone to have a gander, maybe buy something, actually yes, please buy something! We are supporting THE BEST OF BRITISH, ETHICAL AND LOCAL FASHION AND ART. I am constantly looking for new additions for the site. If it sounds like your kinda thang email me: Admin@123store.co.uk. If not  as recycling and ethical King NOKI once said “give a falic one fingered thumb “fuck you” to commercialism and capitalism”.

Pig out. X



The other night I watched Ken Russell’s 1971 film version of Sandy Wilson’s musical The Boy Friend. Twiggy is an absolute delight and so is her make up. I marvelled at the costumes and set pastiche of 1920s glamour and musicals. The perfectly cast Twiggy twirls, flaps and sings through a stunning array of elaborate stages. Its a trippy affair. I was particularly taken by Twiggy’s eyebrows. The thin arched brow sported by many silver screen goddesses in the 20s/30s notably Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich.

You can define the time by a brow, Twiggy’s make up reminded me of my Mum above pictured with my Dad who modelled around that time and also had the freckles, big doe eyes and curved browature with masses of thick red hair. In fact my mother still looks like that. I think it was those pictures of my Mum that led me to paint faces and she will be surprised to read that I’m sure…

More recently the big brow, gently shaped but not trimmed, not over groomed has been en vogue, think Brooke Shields in Blue Lagoon and a very 80’s Madonna. A lot of ladies go for threading, threading bars pop up all over the place. I was astonished when recently I taught class of students that all had identical to the last hair threaded eyebrows. All of them, yawn. The one brow shape cannot suit so many faces. Surely.

Not many people can get away with no brows but Karen Elson did, when she had her already awfully (in a good way) fair brows shaved off and painted with blocks of colour she shot to fame in the late 90s coinciding with the release of Elizabeth starring Kate Blanchett she was right on trend with her pale skin and red hair, a time when brows were pretty thin on the ground anyway, who could forget Pamela Anderson or Annalise in Neighbours.

I have had some real eyebrow disasters, I met a guy at college with a convincing preach on deconstruction of the human form ie: 1 green horn of hair on his head and half a blue moustache, I thought he was marvellous and promptly shaved mine off. Um Regret. I even had them tattooed back on by my friend Tara for my birthday. They grew back.

So I’m wondering what the next brow fix will be and if I can find a face with freckles and arched brows like Twiggy in the Boy Friend to use for a beauty story…”..could it be you?”

 Sorry did I digress from the film? well it’s one of my new favourites ever… You really must watch it.

I can’t believe I managed to get a pic of Annalise and Pammy in my blog all my dreams come true.