Sunday, 27 February 2011

OH THE DAYS WHEN I HAD MY FULL-THROTTLE MOJO


I have to say that I am rather uninspired for this week’s column. It’s been half term week so the streets of London have been strewn with annoying children and the nightclubs full of just turned 18 year olds getting hammered. I have therefore been rather boring and not done much, neither has the weather motivated me to do much more than sleep. Longest winter EVER! It has got to that time of year when there is nothing really happening. I have totally lost my mojo, I don’t like any of the clothes in the shop, my appetite has gone and worst of all I don’t even feel like drinking any Champagne! It’ll pass, I’ll probably be back on it tomorrow but right this very second I just can’t go on.


So I have decided rather than bore you with my moaning I will take you on another trip down memory lane and tell you about a party that I ended up going to during my time in Brazil. It was a party held for said just turned 18 year olds. As you might imagine it was bloomin’ hilarious...


One of my favourite things in life is juicy gossip. Not the malicious kind where people get hurt but the kind that is just so incredibly juicy and scandalous it makes everything else seem lacklustre (which life does seem to be at the moment with or without gossip). So you can imagine that during my first weeks in Brazil I was denied any gossip as I knew no one, not even the celebs of the telenovelas (Brazilian soaps). But then I had the genius idea to invite myself to a family friend’s son’s girlfriend’s surprise birthday party. It was a guaranteed drama fest.

They were all 17/18 and still wore braces. I decided to position myself in the kitchen as this is usually where everything unfolds. Oh, how right I was....


A few of the girls who were drunk on literally 2 watered down caipirinhas came in crying because one of the boys had made a bet with his mates to pull one of them. As I understood it, the boy had made quite a bit of money. Not to be rude about the fairer sex and indeed my sex but he really was taking one for the team as she was not a looker. Anyway I tried to calm them down in my best portuguese – which I think cheered her up immensely as it was fairly terrible. Whilst I was doing this A MAJOR FATTY entered the room. The fatty was nicknamed 'barriga' which means belly in Brazilian. He told me this with such pride I was so impressed that my initial reaction was to shake his hand but then the giggles got the better of me. Like the girls earlier the watered down caipirinhas had quite an effect on me too. Anyway he told me about the girl he fancied... I like the Brazilian approach to nicknames. I had 2 black friends out there whose names were ‘black out’ and ‘midnight’. Talk about stating the obvious. I suppose my nickname, which my father gave me, also fits under this category.


Then entered public enemy number one who was showing off his winnings after kissing the munter... He was repenting of his ways so I tried to convince him that maybe he should split the cash with the girl - he was having none of it.


I decided that 3 watered down caipirinha was quite enough to allow me to venture out of the kitchen in to the darkened sitting room. Oh my word it made the house parties I had a University look so tame. Everyone was bumping and grinding and for want of a better word sucking face. I felt like a real party pooper when I retired from the party at a respectable 12.30am when one of the girls turned off the funky beats in favour of her opera singing.


It’s time for another safari dinner party maybe that will inspire me a little bit more....


Cordelia Rosa

Thursday, 24 February 2011

LONDON FASHION WEEK


As a cold New York fashion week came to a close with the LAMB presentation on Thursday, the six most stylish days on London’s calendar began. So far we have glimpsed Lolita dresses teamed with wild Ophelia locks at Charles Anastase, seventies inspired, tweed herringbone at Burberry and metallic leather at Acne. With the infamous Tom Ford bringing his much talked about woman’s presentation to the city, this season London designers have created edgier clothes than the majority of their New York counterparts. Here are three of this season’s early highlights.


Topshop Unique





The Topshop Unique show ensured that dalmatian print will no longer be associated with Cruella De Vil as 101 Dalmatians was certainly the muse for their Autumn/Winter collection. Dalmatian print covered fur coats, heeled boots, jumpsuits and even the lapels on a skirt suit. Hair and make up even fitted with the theme, as the models paraded down the runway with their noses painted and hair tied into ear shaped buns. Alongside this tongue in cheek theme, there was an underlying thirties inspiration to the collection with influences ranging from the black tie glamour of Fred and Ginger to gangster moll pinstripes. As always Unique integrated a number of the most popular trends of the season; lower hemlines, higher necklines and Art Deco inspired pieces. The highlights of the collection were the faux fur coats, elegant tailoring and dalmatian print accessories, all enhanced by Katie Grand’s flawless styling. For those looking for an easier way to wear the latex spots seen at Marc Jacobs, look no further, dalmatians are clearly back.



Margaret Howell




At Margaret Howell the models sauntered out in pale pink brogues with waists nipped in by masculine belts,and jaunty hats to a tinkling jazz soundtrack. The collection was full of Howell’s signature: masculine tailoring with a feminine undertone, creating a quintessentially English, schoolgirl look. This season Howell’s muse was off to a ballet class or horse riding, clad in baggy jodhpurs, delicate mid length skirts and rustic tweeds. The designer used a variety of contrasting fabrics, including sumptuous velvet, soft jersey and chiffon to create a sophisticated, androgynous silhouette. Essential basics which will slot into any wardrobe were included in the collection, such as a camel tailored trench, a silk white tied shirt and a luxurious, corduroy skirt. With long flowing skirts, belted cable knits and structured tweed blazers in subtle hues of maroon (the colour for autumn), khaki, nude, taupe and navy, the collection was Howell at her best, simplistic and elegant.



Christopher Kane




Christopher Kane produced another innovative collection for Autumn/Winter 2011, designing dresses and separates in a variety of unusual fabrics. Tammy Kane stated that the collection’s starting point was to ‘find a textile that has never been used’ and surely enough, the plastic filled with encapsulated liquid that trimmed each dress was certainly novel, particularly as when the models moved it warmed up and began to bubble. This material added a stunning twist to a number of plain shift dresses and was even used for ‘lava lamp‘ clutches (sure to be the bag of the season). The variety of materials used by the designer were inspired by his childhood; the innovative plastic trimming was based on the nineties craze of squidgy, glitter filled pencil cases and the sequined dresses by the carbonated fizz of a Sodastream. As with last season’s fluoro leather lace, for AW11, Kane fearlessly reinvented crotchet, sending out a see through pencil skirt in a geometric version of the fabric no longer to be associated with the elderly.. There are few designers who would describe the ‘sterile, medicinal’ science lab as a source of inspiration, but as always Christopher Kane crossed boundaries to create contemporary designs.


With Anna Wintour and Emanuelle Alt front row, Beth Ditto onstage and Alexa Chung EVERYWHERE, this season London fashion week contained both innovative high fashion and star power, hopefully setting the tone for years to come.


Harriet Tisdall

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

EAT CHIC DRINK!


I was told about some of the food that passed around at this season’s London fashion week. And here it is; a stunt used as quite a powerful marketing tool...Burberry burgers, Chanel fries, Paul Smith Sundaes an aim of creating a little bit of humour among the serious business of fashion! A bite of comfort food over all the light healthy canapés,!....The question is whether any of the fashionistas actually try them out. Probably not, just something fun to talk about this year...




All created by Amy Moss for ‘Eat, Drink, Chic’.


www.eatdrinkchic.com


Lily Barton

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

NEW YORK STATE OF MIND

A freezing cold New York fashion week ended yesterday after providing us with the continued presence of ‘super blogger, super fashion, super obsessed’ Anna dello Russo, resplendent in gold fringing on the front row. New York often provides us with an early indication of what we will be wearing come autumn and this season championed the seventies revival, the elegant knee boot and more surprisingly, the fetish inspired look. Highlights of the week included the chic offering from new cult label Theyskens Theory, Anna Sui’s Ballet Russes inspired collection and an abundance of latex and polka dots at Marc Jacobs. The past week has provided us with endless fashion inspiration and here is three of New York’s highlights.


Preen




For Autumn/Winter 2011 Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi of Preen continued to explore ‘deconstruction,’ creating a collection which juxtaposed masculine and feminine influences in a variety of prints. Containing embellished shift dresses, split mid length skirts and stunning blouses that would work for evening or day, this collection was undoubtedly the highlight of the week. Dresses and jumpers embellished with a multicoloured, geometric, floral motif (inspired by the Northern Californian arts and crafts movement) contrasted beautifully with the refined navy palette that dominated the second half of the collection. Each piece was embroidered or printed by hand, the stunning crystal and metal beading was individually sewn in India and was able to transform the more conservative navy pieces into elegant evening wear. Thornton and Bregazzi have moved away from the shorter lengths they became famous for and have created a grown up, modern collection with eccentric undertones (although as always ensured there was a hint of neon).


Rodarte




The ‘windswept, prarie girls’ who marched down the runway at Rodarte with natural make up and mussed up locks were certainly clad in the most romantic designs of the week. Inspired by Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven, Kate and Laura Mulleavy took us to the great plains of America at sunset, creating dreamy and ethereal pieces in golden, neutral hues. Featuring silk gowns with wheat fields printed onto the hem, ankle grazing boucle coats and hand crafted embellishments, the collection transported the viewer to the prairie. The use of crotchet and handcrafted quilt motifs on Amish knitwear was a romantic ode to middle America’s craft movement and allowed the sisters to introduce their traditional deconstructive elements. The exquisite detailing of perfectly nipped in waists, lean draping and layered fabrics (such as criss crossing straps on an evening gown) were the true highlights of the collection. Despite using a more refined palette of neutral hues, the sisters still included a number of stand out, fairytale dresses for which they have become known. The pair of ruby red party dresses in the latter section of the show shone out amongst a sea of taupe and fawn, though as Kate explained to reporters after the show, ‘we couldn’t go to Kansas and not do a Wizard of Oz reference.’


Steven Alan



For Autumn/Winter 2011 Steven Alan once again ‘deconstructed the formula for young, chic American clothing,’ by creating a collection which consisted of those key pieces that will fit effortlessly into any wardrobe. The woman’s collection inspired by ‘Berkeley students, with an intellectual, outdoorsy look’ contained a number of artfully, layered pieces teamed with simple accessories. There was a definite late sixties to early seventies vibe to the collection, with pieces such as short shift dresses, knitted pinafores, flared trousers and a velvet skirt suit. The rich quality of the materials used by the designer added to the collections appeal; a maroon, polka dotted, velvet maxi dress was particularly beautiful. Alan ensured each look was perfectly layered with the perfect camel coat, chic ankle boots and woolly tights (grey tights being the item to invest in next season). Considering this was only Alan’s second presentation in New York, he presented a range of wearable, chic pieces with a twist that will be a welcome addition to any wardrobe(particularly the perfect polka dot maxi dress above).


Notable mentions go to:

Proenza Schouler,

Marc by Marc Jacobs,

Edun and Chris Benz.

On an exciting note now for London and for the lovely Charles Anastase, Christopher Kane and Margaret Howell.


Harriet Tisdall


Monday, 21 February 2011

MY SAFARI DINNER PARTY EXTRAVAGANZA...EXTENDED FROM DIARY OF A HEDONIST



I thought this week I would enlighten you all with my Safari dinner party extravaganza, which all in all was a success but at the same time I can quite confidently say that I will NEVER host one of these events again!


The stress of the evening started at around 11am on the Friday morning when we realised we were 2 boys down, I know I commented previously that the quota was filled but that was an error– I was philosophical about it by saying that I was 2 chairs short so it was a blessing in disguise. My friends were not amused by this yet somehow in the ensuing text messages flying between us it became actually quite comical. It read a little something like this:


Friend 1: Shiiiiit what are we going to do with 2 less boys?

Me: I don’t mind not getting a snog – that’ll make the ratio a little better plus I don’t have enough chairs.


Friend 2: I have asked percy, paul, peter and none of them can come. Philip is going to see if there is anyone in his office friends who can make it at such short notice.

All the above names are made up - not all of the boys my friend knows have names beginning with P.


There were then a few texts about whether or not I have suitable pie dishes – I told them both that I didn’t live in a pie making flat – turned out when I got home later there is a cupboard loads of pie dishes at mine – who da thunk?


Anyway, as I was trying to look like I was working but actually texting like a mad woman, friend 2 found 2 boys. Her friend had quite literally sent an email around his office asking if anybody was available. Luckily 2 were, obviously I was questioning whether these 2 guys would be eligible seeing as who on earth has no plans on a Friday night? (I mean that sarcastically – I am not judgmental like that – well maybe a little bit).


I got home and was about 2 glasses of Champagne down by the time the girls arrived to cook. I will say now that I am a terrible cook – it is not purely because of laziness that the other girls ended up doing all the cooking, I would have feared for people’s lives if I were to have done it.... I provided the ice cream for the pudding and of course the venue which is in fact far more hard work than anything else – because it’s my neighbours and my housemate that I had apologise to for the noise and mess as well as thoroughly cleaning the flat whilst nursing a terrible hangover the next day.


My biggest challenge of the evening was to get 2 spare chairs. There had been the suggestion of buying garden furniture – a) there was no garden centre nearby and b) I was not about to waste money on garden furniture. I tried everything, the corner shop (who know me and I like to think have a bit of a soft spot for me – obviously not), the Chinese, the greasy spoon. NOTHING. NO ONE would give me 2 lousy chairs. Until I came to my last resort – the Indian Takeaway- ‘Spice Grills’. Not only is the name of the place a play on the name of my absolute favourite girl band but they are also very nice obliging people. We named them the curry chairs as they absolutely stank of curry.


The evening went well. At the beginning there was the classic; girls on 1 side, boys on the other but after about a bottle each there were no qualms, we were practically feeding each other chicken pie and there was no need for the 2 chairs. But alas just as we were getting in to the swing of things – it was time for pudding and the changeover. It basically just went downhill from there – everyone was so smashed that giving names was pointless, jaeger bombs were dished out and we actually played spin the bottle!


The error I made was to have everyone reconvene at mine before going on to the proposed venue for the house party... oh dear. The noise level went up by a bajillion decibels and everyone went from drunk to paralytic in the excitement. Operation Evacuation had to get underway. Of course it didn’t happen until after the neighbours had complained and my housemate had had to come home and tell me to get everyone out or else. This was not helped by everyone thinking it would be funny to buzz the people’s door bells and sing horrendous songs as we left...


The next house party was for want of a better word debauched – people were lying on sofas with come to bed eyes (or just really really drunk eyes) and people were pulling left right and centre. I stayed there till about 4am and then my sensible side got the better of me as I sobered up at the thought of all the cleaning I had to do the next morning.


All in all though I think we achieved what we had aimed for even if in house relations were a little strained at mine yesterday. We all met some nice new guys even if we can’t remember all of their names and a jolly good time was had by all. I would highly recommend that you do one of these evenings, just make sure it’s at someone else’s flat.


Cordelia Rosa

Sunday, 20 February 2011

CHARLES ANASTASE AW11


Yesterday was a wet weather, McDonalds and cinema day suitably followed by an afternoon nap and a second bacon sarnie. Unfortunately I had to drag myself out of bed (but quite gladly) to go see the Charles Anastase AW11 show.


I always have mixed feelings about fashion week. Plans are always so ambiguous and the whole kerfuffle I feel has sadly become more focused on who is who rather than the height of creativity that swarms the catwalks. And then the parties… you don’t really want to go but you feel that you should to show that you have made a little bit of effort. But this year I have made a strict rule with myself to stop getting over frazzled about this one week and just focus on the important thing…the clothes.


To all those who are not aware of Charles Anastase’s signature look and muse, it is the girl all too well known as Lolita. The young, naïve but sexually active, promiscuous girl who captures the interest of all those who look upon her. Sadly nowadays I feel that it is quite difficult for people to shock or disturb but Anastase’s obsession with this character still remains steady in the heart of his work.


Heavy satin frocks, frilled collars, lingerie-esque dresses in pale pink, tightly done up shirts and school girl jackets portrayed the youth of a twelve year old despite the models being undeniably older. Toitering on towering heels one girl faltered and slipped which in my mind added to the whimsical bambi effect.


Hair was Ophelia frizzy and models were adolescently skinny illustrating a child-like silhouette. However, there were also glimpses of a more evocative side contradicting any wide eyed naivety in a seductive but distortive manner. Mature fabric and long, heavy cashmere and silk coats were a perfect fit but appeared disconcerting on the Lolita figure. Nude dresses suggested innocence but they were just that little bit see through until Anastase went all out with a black velvet jumpsuit, sheer bodice and embellished collar.


Chic, tailored and conservative with room for playfulness this AW11 Charles Anastase continued his journey towards finding the perfect Lolita.


See Charles Anastase here:

http://www.style.com/fashionshows/complete/F2011RTW-CANASTASE?page=1









Sacha x

Saturday, 19 February 2011

NEVER LET ME GO : THE FILM


‘Never Let Me Go’ presents a rose tinted perspective on science fiction. This adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Booker Prize short listed novel has been met with critical resistance; some reviews plant it as somewhat of a glorious failure. I am not usually a fan of sci-fi, but I disagree.


Set in a seemingly idyllic English boarding school the story portrays a love triangle between Ruth (Keira Knightley), Kathy (Carey Mulligan) and Tommy (Andrew Garfield). However, all is not what it seems, and as the film develops the true purpose of the school is revealed.


Knightley excels whilst type cast in her usual role, and Garfield proves that he is one to watch out for in the future. However, I think Mulligan is the star of the bunch. Playing the narrator, Kathy H, she produces a powerful performance which reduced me to tears several times. Her long stares down the lens permeate your mind, and her interaction with Garfield is very real, upsettingly so at times. The cinematography is beautiful, and I particularly enjoyed the sweeping seascapes, filmed not in Norfolk as the film suggests, but in the West Country. The use of muted tones is very clever, and that the actors playing the young Ruth, Kathy and Tommy have mastered the trademark Knightley look and the Mulligan stare made the whole film more believable.


You could hear a pin drop in the cinema, and when the silent end credits started to roll my ears were met with a barrage of sniffles. ‘Never Let Me Go’ is a fantastically beautiful film. Moody, with just the right amount of real emotion…remember the tissues.


Hennie Jerram




Thursday, 17 February 2011




Lily x

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

CEE LO & GWYNETH PALTROW = PRICELESS




This is probably my highlight of the year so far…. I remember first hearing this song in the depths of Wales after an extremely strenuous walk and I thought ‘God we haven’t heard such a banging song in yonks!’ It wasn’t just my then current lack of energy and desperate need to perk up - I have loved this song thoroughly from the beginning like a crooning mother hen and when Gwyneth Paltrow covered it in Glee I was all the more merrier.


This performance was everything and more to me because it was just so damn visually entertaining: Big man Cee lo in a multi-coloured feathered suit complete with glittering scalp, puppets, a live band with all those little snippets that you just don’t get from a record and of course Gwyneth charmingly larking around in Louboutins and pink feathered earrings. Priceless!


Sacha x

Sunday, 13 February 2011

DIARY OF A HEDONIST



Roses are Red

Violets are Blue

Singles evening suck

And Smell like Poo


I have had it up to here (puts hand up as far as it will go) with Valentine’s day. Not because I am a bitter twisted singleton but because I have been organising a Valentine’s promotion for work and if I have to look at another pink heart or write another press release containing the words ‘special evening’, ‘loved one’ or ‘share’, I will scream and scream until I’m sick. So you will be glad to hear that I am going to write a nostalgic piece about my first night out in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil when I lived and worked there. It was a serious learning curb for me and it seems fitting to act as a word of warning for all those singletons wanting to go out and pick up guys or girls especially at this time of year when there are so many cringe singles evenings set up.

It was a Friday night, I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty excited about it… I really dolled myself up to the nines. I arrived at a very cool bar in a very cool area of Rio with my new Brazilian friends. All good, got my drink, clocked the fit waiter (who incidentally didn't even give me a second glance) and sat down at the table. No one fit - literally not one. Not a problem, drink through it. I went to get a second caipirinha – a look of shock and horror swept over the faces of my friends - apparently you're not supposed to drink 2 of them in quick succession as they are very strong. I just told everyone 'it's fine I'm english' (which translated means, "I come from a long line of binge drinkers, I can handle my alcohol") big mistake - HUGE! 2 Caipirinhas down and I was ready for the dance floor - they don't dance like we do in England - I had to seriously tone down my moves as I was seriously starting to embarrass my friends…so then we moved to the live music room where in my tipsy state I obviously looked like easy prey to those latino lovers...

Something my friend had omitted to tell me is that if you talk to a guy for longer than 10 minutes in a club it means you want to kiss them. Obviously me being naive and a new comer to the Brazilian night life, I was not aware of this effing rule. The guy I was talking to was alright but not to my mind was he worthy of swapping saliva. We must have been in conversation for 10 minutes and 22 seconds when he started to make the move. He took a step forward so I took a step back. He took a step forward so I took a step back. This awkard kind of shimeeing carried on for about a minute - I was starting to run out of room to reverse before I hit the wall so I was frantically trying to remember how to say "Do you know where the loos are?" in portuguese. Luckily my friend detected or maybe even smelt my fear and came and rescued me. The rest of the evening was a bit of a blur, but I made sure all conversations with unwanted males were kept to the absolute minimum.

Lesson learnt: Always wear a watch when you go out and preferably one with a stopwatch (and maybe even a rape alarm).


Just as a little post note, even though I just ridiculed the set up singles nights, I am actually being a horrible hypocrite as I am organising a safari dinner party this Friday night. This doesn’t mean that everyone comes dressed as animals and gives in to their inner animal desires; well actually come to think of it, that is exactly what it is except for the dressing up part. There are 2 groups of 10 singletons, 5 of which are boys and 5 of which are girls. You eat the main course with one group of the 5 boys then you swap over and have pudding with the other group of single boys. Then afterwards you all meet up again and you can then after careful consideration decide whether to snog a main course boy or a pudding boy. Anyway – I am looking for 3 single boys. You must be fun, funny and up for a good time and it would definitely work in your favour if you look good naked.

The only thing you must do is bring a bottle of Champagne – NOT prosecco or cava but the rizzle dizzle. Anyway if you’re interested please post a comment below and I will see if you fit the bill. Thank you.

Cordelia Rosa

KIRSTEN DUNST + BOY BAND OF OUTSIDERS




Kirsten Dunst for Boy by Band of Outsiders photographed by Scott Stenberg.


Set in the idyllic Huntington Botanical Gardens in Pasadena, California, the Spring/Summer 2011 lookbook for Boy by Band of Outsiders features the divine Kirsten Dunst (complete with her perfect bobbed haircut) playing amongst the flowers. Boy’s offbeat prepster clothes perfectly suit Kirsten’s whimsical style and she perfectly encapsulates the brand as she flits amongst the scenery, stopping only for tea with an elephant (in the most beautiful white suit and silver shoes). Equal parts magical and whimsical the lookbook contains the perfect items for a summer day: the sheer white dress, a camel mac, nude separates and metallic brogues. Shot entirely in grainy polaroids by the brand’s designer, the viewer can almost believe they are spying on a secret, extremely well dressed picnic. The combination of these grainy polaroids, crisp white frocks, rounded sunglasses and idealistic setting make the ideal tea party that we would all like to be invited too please?


To view the entire lookbook click here

http://boy.bandofoutsiders.com/


Harriet Tisdall

Saturday, 12 February 2011

CHRIS ADDISON


In the words of Alan Carr:- Back in the 90s it was cool to be a DJ. Now it’s cool to be a comedian.

So, in the gloomy months pre-spring and post the month that I like to call ‘spending all my bloody wages buying stuff for other people (other people call it Christmas..), …Bah! Humbug! What could be better than hearing the change jingle in your pockets from laughing rather than simply acting as an audible reminder that tonight’s dinner can only amount to £1.65 and only if the cashier is open to bartering a paper clip, button and varying sizes of rich tea crumbs (in the market stalls of Peru these are worth their weight in gold.)


I will be reviewing all the best comedy gigs in and around London as well as further a field. No city is safe.


Chris Addison has now become a familiar face in the Direct Line adverts after breaking into mainstream consciousness with ‘The Thick of It’ television series and the feature length episode, ‘In The Loop.’ He now frequently graces the panel of many comedy quiz shows including Mock the Week. His satire is pithy and his enviable quick thinking is something not to miss.

Along side some much anticipated stand up dates being announced at the beginning of this year, Chris will be recording a stand-up special for the comedy channel, Dave in his home town of Manchester on the 20th of February. Get your tickets now.


applausestore.com


In Chris’s own words: “Come along. It should be huge fun.”


Olivia Bailey

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

RETAIL THERAPY

As February has begun with a few bleak rays of sunshine, it is finally time to update your wardrobe with key pieces for the season to come. With the high street awash with items inspired by key trends from seventies brights to romantic, ballet inspired looks it is the perfect time to update your wardrobe. With the added advantage that the majority of us have recently been paid, now is the ideal opportunity update your wardrobe with the perfect item to take you through to spring and beat those winter blues (I am surely not the only one who is sick of warmer clothes). Here is a small selection of beautiful items that are currently available on the high street (and soon to feature in my wardrobe, a girl can dream).




Whistles Lucky Horse Blouse (£85)

For Spring/Summer 2011 Whistles has continued to produce individual, beautifully made pieces that will slot into any wardrobe easily.This silk wonder, embossed with a leaping horse print, is a truly beautiful blouse that will last for seasons. The dancing ponies add a fresh twist to the classic white shirt creating an item that will go with everything and brighten up any outfit.




Asos Dahlia Heart Print Chiffon Dress (£62)

This dreamy chiffon dress printed with hearts seems particularly apt with Valentines Day just around the corner. The embossed gold buttons, cuffed sleeves, super flattering skater cut and adorable black ribbon to nip in the waist ensure this is the most feminine, adorable dress I have seen in a while. Furthermore it can easily be paired with tights until the weather becomes warmer.




American Apparel Chiffon Double Layered Full Length Skirt (£52)

Last summer’s love for all things maxi looks set to continue and American Apparel’s full length skirt is perfect for channeling this season’s relaxed, seventies vibe. This elegant skirt which comes in a variety of shades from camel to ballerina pink (perfect for this seasons romance trend), is particularly perfect for now in navy as it will bring fresh life to your winter knits.


Topshop Yellow Sunspot Print Shorts (£32)

A key piece from Topshop’s seventies inspired ‘Graduation’ collection, these sunshine shaded shorts are sure to brighten up a bleak February day. The shocking mustard shade is perfect to channel the decade of the moment and for those who are brave enough - it can be clashed with a contrasting print as seen at Jil Sander.




TBA Organza Ballerina Print Dress (£150)

The highlight of TBA’s romantic spring collection was this pale silk dress embossed with ballerinas and swans, which looks like it has stepped right out of a fairytale. The combination of nude and lemon silk, sheer panel detailing and the dreamlike print has created a dress truly fit for a princess.

As the new collections continue to drift into stores, the opportunities to update our wardrobes for spring are (unfortunately for the bank balance) plentiful. This season I will be channeling a romantic, seventies flower girl. However, the high street offers a number of alternatives to ensure everyone will be individual for SS11.

Harriet Tisdall

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

ROCKETEER MUSIC VIDEO: MAKING OF...


Every photographer believes they can double up as a director. I am no different.
I cautiously stepped in to the world of directing with a music video for an up and coming band, Rocketeer (www.rocketeermusic.co.uk). They came up with the idea of a tongue-in-cheek battle scene set at the turn of the 19th century with a story line that a Hollywood writer would be proud of: prosthetic wounds, scars and of course some kick ass weapons. All that in a four minute video. Easy (sarcastically said!).

I assembled a dream team of make up artist supremo, Lillie Lindh and one ace assistant we shall call Jack, as that is his name. So a two day shoot followed in the depths of the New Forest with high stress levels, little sleep and a 20kg steadicam rig attached to me for 9 hours a day.
The band played their parts brilliantly, got really stuck in and my dream team outdid themselves tremendously. This is what a 2 day shoot and 20 solid days of learning how to use iMovie can produce, enjoy:



Tommy Clarke

Monday, 7 February 2011

DIARY OF A HEDONIST


With this column I am going to write down all the little absurdities, niceties and downright Bridget Jonesy situations that I get myself into for your amusement.


A brief intro to who I am: I am half English half Brazilian and although I am very proud of my Brazilian heritage the only thing that is vaguely Brazilian about me is my fairly sizeable bottom. I am a redhead, therefore plagued daily by the stigma of being a ‘ginge’. I live in Shepherds Bush, conveniently close to Westfield to cater for my shopping addiction. I am terrible at relationships; I have a talent for lunging at the worst moment and once I managed to leave my knickers in a boy’s room after the night before …..and I really can pick’em! I would describe my style sense as vintage Parisian chic meets London high street brash – quite often there’s a little too much brash and not enough chic but hey isn’t that just so edgy.. I like to think of myself as an international woman of mystery having travelled afar and lived in every continent except Africa – I can speak French, Spanish and Portuguese – not to boast or anything. Oh and one small detail: I love to drink champagne and luckily for me my job working for a Champagne House entails drinking lots of it.


So here starts the ‘Diary of a Champagne Girl’:


10 days ago now I went to the National Television Awards. I know this is not a patch on the Oscars or baftas or golden globes but as an avid trashy television watcher this was very exciting. It was the Wednesday evening, my colleague and I were hardly able to concentrate on the emails and phone calls coming in as we counted down the minutes till we could whizz to the ladies to get changed in to our glad rags. Unfortunately for me my boss arrived back from meetings 10 minutes before go time and I had to send off emails and notes and samples. I tried not to feel resentment towards him as the reason we had the VIP tickets to the NTAs and after party was because of him. Nevertheless I was secretly screaming in my head: ‘MY GOD! HOW AM I MEANT TO SEDUCE DR WHO IF I’M NOT ABLE TO GET TO THE LADIES AND STYLE MY HAIR, FRESHEN UP MY PITS AND PUT ON MY BRAND NEW SEXY KNICKERS!!!’


So yes ,you guessed it ,I rocked up late, with un-styled hair and un-fresh armpits to see some of the nations treasures. Lucky for me Cheryl was wearing some hideous bondage dress and was showing off a mahoosive tattoo. You can take the girl out of the council estate... anyway we found our seats, I had met up with my plus one who was my wonderful enviably beautiful housemate who is an actress;the joys of not having a 9 till 5 job enabled her to apply just the right amount of make-up, tease that lock of hair so that it fell in just the right place on her forehead and of course make sure the tit tape was covering just the right amount of bosom up! The ceremony was boring, the only person who really brought the stage to life was Stacey Solomon and for all the wrong reasons. My beloved Stephen Fry was of course just perfection, as was Dermot. I suppose I just wasn’t bothered anymore after David Jason won best actor for drama over Dr Who and Ant & Dec won best presenters for 10th time in a row! The bottom line is the British public should not have been allowed to vote. The after party, which did I mention was VIP? Was the weirdest thing I’ve ever been to. Clearly not an occasion where old friends and screen rivals have a jolly good knees up but an occasion to see who can eat the least amount of canapés and get in there with the most producers.


I am not going to lie to you and say that I was as cool as a cucumber about walking in to the bar area with Tess Daly’s arm brushing mine or that Anne Widdecombe bumped in to me and said sorry – she is such a darl - or that my eyes met Matt Cardle’s across the crowded room and I think or at least I keep telling everyone that he smiled at me. So the atmosphere in the room was a bit strange – clearly no one was wanting to really let their hair down in case they got papped getting out of a taxi with no knickers on... I for one as a nobody had no such qualms so let me regale you with my total uncoolness at trying to get as many pictures of celebs drinking my shampoo as possible. I had 3 glasses before I descended upon them.


Blunder number 1: Davina McCall. Did you know she is a recovering alcoholic? I didn’t. I marched straight up to her and asked her nicely if she wouldn’t mind having her photo with a glass of champagne. I was given a fairly sharp reply of ‘I am teetotal, I do not want to have my photo taken with any champagne or any other alcohol’ – woops.


Blunder number 2: When I asked Stephen Fry if he would have his photo taken with champagne and he replied that he is allergic... liar.


Blunder number 3: I went up to Baby Spice AKA. Emma Bunton and totally didn’t notice that she is pregnant!


Blunder number 4: I walked outside for a breath of fresh air and didn’t realise but was standing right behind Peter Andre who was filming for his ridiculous reality TV Show ‘The Next Chapter’. Of course me being me I didn’t casually saunter off but gave out a little scream and look of shock before stumbling off in my heels. I hope they edited that bit....


So just when I was about to give up, the sexiest man alive came in to view. T4’s very own Steve Jones. He is divine. I was about 6 glasses down at this point and you could probably smell the desperation on me. I grabbed a bottle from a waiter’s hand and marched up to Steve flinging about 3 stage 5 clinger onners that were surrounding him. I literally grabbed the beer bottle our of his hand and got my poor suffering housemate to get a picture of him pouring me a glass (I look like the cat that got the cream) and a photo of me pouring him a glass. SUCCESS AT LAST! After that we got photos of a few Hollyoaks cast members and Matt Cardle’s band mates.


The highlight of the evening for me was over hearing Mark and Sam from ‘The Only Way is Essex’ having a massive barney about the Christmas Special episode and getting a photo of my housemate hugging the tantastic Amy Childs.


All in a day’s work.


Cordelia Rosa