Archive for the ‘Fashion’ Category

Ooops; I forgot to blog, my bad.

November 26, 2008
MILk - Sean Penn as the Milk Man

MILk - Sean Penn as the Milk Man

Argh; I haven’t written anything for the longest time.

It is an annoying irony of blogging – and diaries in general – that the more you do, the less time you have to document it.

I have been busy every single night this week – and actually was double booked for tonight – so freaked out and stayed at home. (Well, kinda – I visited an old friend and went to Pogo for a Punk burger.)

Yesterday I saw Lemon Tree, the uber-PC Israeli film that launched the UK Jewish film festival here last week and on Monday I saw Gus Van Sant’s MILK. MILK is awesome; so fucking ripe what with all this Prop 8 bullshit.

MILK - getting the campaign started

MILK - getting the campaign started


Sean Penn is totally great in it; and I hate Penn as much as anyone else with a sense of humour. But, then again, he did made Vedder-fest, Into The Wild and he and I seem to love Emile Hirsch (now that’s a decent German name) as much as each other so I guess I was starting to give the guy another go.
But, seriously, he’s wonderful as Harvey Milk – totally charming, cute, passionate, dedicated to his righteous cause.

Old skool womens Mag

Women's Mags; they'll make you fat and lonely

Spare Rib - awesome!

Spare Rib - awesome!

Erm, what else have I done? Oh yes – Saturday I went to the Woman’s Library in Whitechapel as my friend had put my name down for the Study Day about woman’s magazine through the ages.

It was SO great to be in an academic setting, talking seriously about pop culture. I miss that! And, the best thing? All the ‘old women’ and Sue O’Sullivan (co-editor of Spare Rib 1979 to 1984).

Seriously, I’m 24, and I was like, the youngest. I was so enthused to see and meet these retired women who although over 60, were lecturers, private tutors or studying themselves.

Every coffee break (NB – good biscuits) saw me meet another amazing woman, inlcuding a member of DIVA’s editorial team (deffo below 60) and a cognitive therapist (over 60.)

NOVA

NOVA

I was also introduced to NOVA magazine – old issues of which look totally cutting edge even today.

Anyway, more about that later – I’m going to watch Gregg Araki‘s TOTALLY FUCKED UP now and I can’t wait – even though it’s really bed time…

Totally Fucked UP - Pecadillo Pictures

Totally Fucked UP - Pecadillo Pictures

Buck Launch Party: It starts here!

November 6, 2008
Bucks fashion team parties hard

Buck's fashion team parties hard

Buck magazine is finally on sale now.

Having pushed staid men’s monthly, Arena out of the bigger Tesco shops, the magazine run by Steve Doyle who has no previous publishing experience but a whole lot of love and clearly quite some cash, is ready to take over the world!

Bucks first issue, November 2008

Buck's first issue, November 2008

On Wednesday, I went to the multi-floored House of St Barnabas-in-Soho, on Greek street for the launch party. Orange-haired French hairdresser to the stars, Charlie Le Mindu (check out his website – it’s awesome!) held a short-lived pop-up salon.

The light was bad so he decided not to cut or shave but style, which was good enough for his clients.

See below for his re-styling of Sonya’s fiery barnet.

When Charlie met Sonia

When Charlie met Sonya

It’s great to see that in a climate that has seen monthly glossies drained of advertising money even pre-recession, that a former finance dude who just loves Japanese and good food is determined to make a new monthly work.

Good luck Buck!

Manifesto Marathon at The Serpentine Gallery

October 19, 2008

I am exhausted. I’ve been sitting in the cold for 20 hours since Saturday (with a few hours snuck off for sleep) at the Frank Gehry pavilion at The Serpentine.

I’ve seen everybody from Vivienne Westwood (and the skinny, clattering circus that follows her), Gilbert and George, Tom Mc Carthy (more of him later), Taryn Simon , and about an hour ago, the surreal finale that was Terence Koh.

Dressed in head to toe black, with a structured rubber poncho, black tights, tight black skirts and thigh high PVC boots, Terence garbled in his own language riddled with fantastic gestures fro straight pointing to drawing on the floor with his hands, as a mishmash of images from war to gay porn) whizzed past on the screen.

Oh – more later, I’m too exhausted.

Here are some pics of the highlights – all photos credited to the husband, Chris Reed.

Hans Ulrich Obrist talks to Timo Sehgal

Hans Ulrich Obrist talks to Timo Sehgal

My fave, K8 Hardy:

New York City artist, K8 Hardy snuggled up in the Pavillion

New York City artist, K8 Hardy snuggled up in the Pavillion

Terence Koh:

Terence Koh closes the two-day marathon

Terence Koh closes the two-day marathon

BUCK magazine – food, fashion and furniture and free drinks

September 28, 2008
Mathew Brindle shoots for Buck

Mathew Brindle shoots for Buck

Every fortnight, the new monthly men’s magazine, BUCK (to be launched end of October) hosts a little end-of-week party, with drinks and nibbles.

I’d heard lots about the mag, but had never been to their east end offices (off Roman Road, E2) so, since the weather was nice, hopped on over.

I’m really excited about the mag, and am totally kicking myself for not going for a job there when another friend of mine who works there (Holly Falconer, pic editor) mentioned its launch back in May.

Anyway, after too much white wine in east London, discussing squats, designer hair-cuts in Berlin/Paris/London nightclubs, how I was going to write a book about people who suck ‘scenes’ dry til thier dead and drunken collaboration between myself and the Observer’s War and Crime correspondent about a lawyer who was sent to Iraq for 6 months I’d met at a Claridge‘s dinner last week, cycled home.

There I re-grouped (with myself), bought some snacks and headed to the Curzon Soho for the second in its new MIDNIGHT MOVIE screenings.

Fashion weekend at the Natural History Museum

September 27, 2008
Sorted for Es and Whizz oh and, caffiene

Sorted for E's and Whizz oh and, caffeine

London Fashion Week is over, with all the underfed and over-excited having long since headed to Milan or Paris or wherever for A/W 09 to die its princely death.

But, back in London, the consumer end (London Fashion Weekend, sponsored by Elle) is only coming to its tail-end today; 28th September.

I popped down last Thursday to check out sponsors, Italian coffee supremos Lavazza unveil its new coffee-maker.Modo Mio coffee machine in red (and therefore more expensive I'm told)

Modo Mio coffee machine in red (and therefore more expensive I

The pouring of cappuccino wouldn’t normally see me cycling for half an hour across town from SE1 to W11 (that’s a lot of postcodes and a lot of bridges), but as I’ve said before, (read my blog on soy cappuccino here,) coffee is my biggest vice.

(Rebel that I am).

But, a friend in public relations needed to please her demanding international client, who had asked last minute for journalists to be at a launch event, so I gamely volunteered.

Hubby pretended to be a photographer and we all got into a long debate about price-points, brand comparisons and other such marketing drivel with one of the friendly coffee dudes.

Our usual coffee shop is our local, the legendary Monmouth Coffee in Borough market, so we have high standards. And though I was dubious (your hands don’t even touch the ground beans, in fact, you don’t even do any grinding), the coffee machine passed the taste test.

You pick up a pouch of he stuff drop it into the machine press a button and out comes your coffee. You have to add your own milk. It’s mega yuppie, but mega tasty.

It works out at 23p a cup, which immediately made me suspicious because I’m like: ‘Italian coffee dudes, how are you paying your bean growers on that?’ And also: Why are you creating excess packaging? Like, get on the THE END OF THE WORLD IS NIGH IF WE DON’T RECYCLE MORE mail shot.’ Geez.

As I was saying to the Lavazza dude, even as a teen I’ve stared lustily and thirstily at their ad campaigns; they tie into everything I like about high-maintenance studio photography.

They have a tangible theme and back-story (I’m unsympathetic to photos without narrative, ask my budding photographer friends who really might as well not ask my opinion on their hazy pics of tables and fag butts) and humangazoid budgets.

Their annual calenders are waited for with baited breath, my fave being Ellen Von Unwerth’s 2006’s airplane theme. (See a host of her shots here.)

Dont fall! Lavazza gives you wings...

Don't fall! Lavazza gives you wings...

Sex sells today as yesterday

Sex sells today as yesterday

The ‘let’s make out in a sea of coffee beans’ advert above is, we’re all agreed, ridiculous, but the pre-revolutionary French decadence below is nice, right?

Coffee And Corsets, not a Jarmusch movie bu a recent Lavazza ad campaign

Coffee And Corsets, not a Jarmusch movie bu a recent Lavazza ad campaign

Kinda like Kirsten Dunst in Sofia Copolla’s Marie Antoinette:

Is it a dress? Is it a wall? Thank God I'm not trying to dress myself in the 18th Century

Is it a dress is it the background? Thank God I'm not trying to dress myself in the 18th Century

Anyway I was also told ‘in strictest confidence’ who the next high-profile fashion photographer will be for the forth-coming calender.

The press is officially told on 14th October, but I feel I should say because aren’t blogs meant to be the place for breaking news? (Wasn’t Bill Clinton found to be schtupping LSE student Monica Lewinsky after a blog broke the story?)

Should I really ask ‘PR permission’ to break a hard-hitting story? Tune in tomorrow for the unmissable sequel ……..! Yeh…right

Eau de Toilette – John Waters delights at the Hammersmith Apollo, with ‘This Filthy World’

September 21, 2008
Divine!

Divine!

Last night the hubby and I went to see ‘pope of Trash’. John Waters in his one-off show at the Hammersmith Apollo – horrible place. We dressed up in our finest (me in 1960s’ Wednesday Adams/American Gothic dress and he in what I refer to as his psycho-cowboy shirt) and ate greasy chips as we headed to the tube.

I didnt look like this but thought this unusual take on the trad American Gothic picture was too good to pass up

I didn't look like this but thought this 'unusual' take on the trad American Gothic picture was too good to pass up

After a long trek from south London to the far reaches of West London (as cyclists, we cannot understand how the tube takes so long to get where its going, or rather, sometimes going), we had to risk life and limb to actually enter the Apollo since it sits obtusely behind a fly-over with little pedestrian access).

But Waters, well, he lit it up. We were very lucky to have been donated super good seats, so we got to see him and opening burlesque act, Ivy Paige’s Sex Doll up close and sweaty. Paige particularly.

Ivy Paige likes it red hot

Ivy Paige likes it red hot

Note to self (and nutritionists): Does Waters, at 60-whatever years if age even have enough body fat to survive sweating any out?

Anyway, from what I understand he regurgitated a lot of his ‘This Filthy World’ act on stage – he made a movie with Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Jeff Garlin, which documented the same stage show in New York in 2006.

But no matter, while die-hard fans are going to O.D on Waterisms, there’s little harm in being exposed to outré snippets of wit consistently is there?

And while I like his movies (though some parts of Desperate Living are too terrible to take), I actually think he’s far funnier in person than his films end up being.

Desperate Living

Desperate Living

Obviously, stylishly unsurpassed and always ‘button-pressing’, I sometimes find all the hyped-garishness off-putting. It took me a long time before I would watch the unashamedly camp Hairspray (1988) – and not least because I was four when it came out.

I fought my friends arguments as to its merits, and eventually watched it one night while my then far-too-old for-me boyfriend was watching straight-edge punk bands while dressed as a women down in Brighton, where he lived/lives.

Debbie Harry holds her own in Hairspray (1988)

Debbie Harry holds her own in Hairspray (1988)

Anyway, I liked it n all but it didn’t affect me as it has done others. I like being part of sub-culture that appreciates what John Waters does, and I very much like his insistence on the ceremony of cinema, like 50’s techniques of employing ODORAMA, or ELECTRIC SHOCKS IN CINEMA SEATS TO TINGLE AUDIENCES, or FAKING FAINTINGS TO HYPE UP A HORROR or GETTING AMBULANCES TO WAIT OUTSIDE etc.

Oh and his soundtracks rule – all creepy 1960s freak-out and sing along tragi-comi melodies (Is there a better genre?)

I’m listening to The Meteors‘ typically haunted copy of John Leyton 1961’s ‘Johnny Remember Me’, –click here for it on youtube – in a kind of homage to the man.

But in terms of queer cinema, I’m like : ‘that was okay’.

John, recently

John, recently

I just found this lovely piece of prose from the New York Times in 2002 which sums up Waters’ snappy humour brilliantly, and what I do love about him. (NB= writer, John Leland even calls Johnny-boy, Mr. Waters throughout! )

It stands to reason that you cannot become John Waters, auteur of such Oscar-free classics as ”Female Trouble” and ”Hag in a Black Leather Jacket,” without drinking long and deep of the cultural gutters of downtown Manhattan. Baltimore may have its gothic charms, but if the Dutch explorers had not settled this other lustrous, grubby isle, the world might never know the cinematic sensation of Odorama.

Mr. Waters offered a tour, beginning in the living room with a witty sculpture by George Stoll. On an ordinary toilet-paper holder, mounted in a wall, Mr. Stoll, who had a small role in Mr. Waters’s 1972 movie ”Pink Flamingos,” replaced the tissue with a roll of chiffon. Mr. Waters needed approval from the condominium to install it. He could only imagine what the super thought.

To facilitate his vision of semi-patrician Manhattan, he hired a Baltimore decorator named Henry Johnson, the first time he had ever used a professional. ”I told him I just wanted a symphony in puke green, and I got it,” Mr. Waters said. He had always considered that his signature color. There’s a slightly different shade in each room.

Mr. Waters explained: ”When I was a child I wanted my skin to be that color, like the Wicked Witch of the West. Now, as I get older, it’s getting close. It’ll match the apartment.’

John Leyton sings Johnny Remember Me:

Outed: Lorriane Candy wears Christian Louboutin

September 11, 2008

Went to the Barbican for the ELLE thing as promised, and formed part of the 99 per cent-strong white, female middle-class crowd.

I sat in the front row – unlike me – largely because I didn’t feel threatened I expect.

I remember when I went to a press junket for Atonement (Keira Knightley, James MacAvoy and Joe Wright) and though there was a space in the front, I felt unable to fill it.

Atonement (2007)

Atonement (2007)

Our seats were all graced with a free copy of the latest edition of the magazine (from the brave white, black and yellow cover, I’d say it was the recently-launched subscribers-only cover. Scrap that, just found out it is one of four collector’s editions the Giles Deacon one) and up front was Lorraine Candy in Louboutin (trademark red sole gave her away) and in some yawns-ville grey dress, with what looked like a belt that came with it.

I’m not a fan of pre-accessorized goods. Anyway, I might be wrong, maybe she picked it out but didn’t look like it to me. The shoes reminded me of this time I worked at Another Magazine/Dazed & Confused during September – A/W Fashion Week in NYC/London and had to use my phone (long deceased) to actually text Christian Louboutin to ask him to a fashion party. Firstly, I was like: ‘dude, how do you even text France?’ and secondly, ‘what the fuck am I doing texting this red-sole shoe fettishist?’ but it was kinda fun. I can’t remember if he replied.

Louboutin soles - whats the big deal anyways?

Louboutin soles - what's the big deal anyways?

Next to her was cherub-faced creative director, Marrissa Bourke (in black, like the rest of the team), then Tom Meredith (a very young-looking deputy art director dressed in black chino turn-up shorts, black shirt and tie plus Joy Division hair), Kerry Porter, fashion director, picture editor Marina Ansell and – the most charming of the bunch, Andrew Falconer, its manager director – who interestingly started his life as editorial assistant on Elle Decoration.

Read this (‘fucking elle’) – it’s pretty funny.

I asked Hannah Swerling, editorial assistant/P.A to Lorraine how she got the job and she said:

“I worked as work experience FOR FREE FOR TWO YEARS and applied to ELLE five times before someone looked at my CV. My one recommendation would be – don’t make your C.V boring, so many are boring. Why send in a traditional C.V when you’re applying to work in this kind of creative place?”

I asked her what her style of cover letter was and she said that when she gt experience at Cosmo, she:

“wrote it in the style of a letter of a parallel world where journalism is really easy to get into”.

So – there you go. Have enough money so’s you don’t need an income for the first two years of your post-uni life and ‘be creative’.

Does the Devil Wear Prada? Tommorrow I find out.

September 10, 2008
Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway

The Devil Wears Prada: Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway

Tomorrow night I am going to see Lorraine Candy, editor of ELLE fashion magazine talk about well, fashion magazines, at The Barbican.

I saw the event advertised while I was there for the Viktor and Rolf doll’s house show a fortnight ago.

It reads:

Lorraine Candy, Editor in Chief of ELLE magazine is joined by journalists, stylists and photographers. Go behind the scenes of the world’s biggest selling fashion magazine. Find out how covers are born, how fashion stories are planned and how the magazine changes from month to month. High heels optional! Limited places available, early booking recommended. Part of ELLE Magazine Present: Between The Pages.

One assumes ELLE is a bit like The Devil Wears Prada or perhaps, Ugly Betty and that Lorriane Candy will be a bit Anna Wintour-ish.

I mean, that’s what I’m hoping for (since I don’t work there).

Chloe Sevigny sucks in untypical ELLE fashionistas by wearing no pants

Chloe Sevigny sucks in untypical ELLE fashionistas by wearing no pants

The last ELLE I bought sucked me in by featuring Chloe Sevigny on the cover, back in March. The last time I bought it before that was a year earlier when we had to dissect its contents on the first day of my magazine PGDip at City University, London.
We didn’t view it very highly.

And indeed, when I eagerly opened the pages to see Chloe’s intrepid styling I was, of course, let down. So boring! And Chloe – you sell out!

Plus I think that same week she launched her collection for Opening Ceremony – which blew the conservative ELLE styling away by miles.

Chloe for Opening Ceremony

Chloe for Opening Ceremony

Anyway, I’m still super excited about Thursday evening because even though my tastes are somewhat more esoteric than ELLE‘s, I love magazines. I would love it if say, WIRED did the same thing at the Apple Store, or Wallpaper* did it in The Charlotte Street Hotel.

It’ll be like the best editorial meeting – when everyone is really positive and you feel like any interviewee can be tracked and all investigative features are possible.

And, I really like the crowd that go to the Barbican’s late Thursday events.

They went mad for the doll outfits for Viktor and Rolf and, since the ELLE Magazine Present: Between The Pages sold out wayyyy in advance, I’m thinking the ‘high heels optional!!!’ advice is going to be taken as more an order than an option.

I, for one, am going dressed like Carrie:

Sex And The City

Carrie Bradshaw: Sex And The City

Sakuran – out August 29 2008

August 29, 2008

SAKURAN directed by Japanese photographer Mika Ninagawa is a lush and surreal visual treat, based on a manga comic of the same name.

Sakuran - the Manga version

Sakuran - the Manga version

Set in the wackiest vision of the 1700s I’ve ever seen – it tells the story of the world’s most wicked courtesan, Kiyoha played by model and incredibly cute-looking it-girl, Anna Tsuchiya.

Adored by men and abhorred by women, Kiyoha is a kick-ass heroine, a rebel with a righteous cause (it’s been her destiny to fuck all and sundry since she was sold to the whore house, aged eight).

Sakuran

Tsuchiya (how do I pronounce that?!) has the most bugged-out eyes; lined in black and accentuated by “who me?” eyebrows, she huffs and puffs her slender cigarette holder, angry at the world for her sordid success.

The set is inspired; recurrent shots of the sex parlour’s giant gate reveals a decadent tank with countless goldfish floating above the earth.

It’s one thing to see fashionable goldfish tanks lurking in in the foyer of your dentist’s, or above the loo in a yuppie’s apartment but above like, six feet above the ground in ancient Japan?

The effect is masterful – playful, innovative and – typical of Mika, apparently. Check out his website – in addition to fashion, advertising and travel shots, he has a whole section for the little fishies.

Sakuran set

Sakuran set

The labyrinthine set, compartmentalised rooms separated by paper thin and epicly-designed sliding doors are probably going to spark a mass purchase for harlequin-esque wallpaper patterns in the Western world.

Welcome To The Dollhouse (of Viktor, Rolf and Todd Haynes)

August 29, 2008

Tonight I went to the Barbican‘s The House of Viktor and Rolf exhibition, parts of its gallery space now includes a three-story doll’s house that’s home to 55 miniature Victor & Rolf-dressed Victorian dolls, standing at just 2ft high and wearing scaled-down versions of their original designs with their faces made to mimic those of the original waif who modeled the outfit.

(That was a sentence and a half, part pinched from Eleanor Morgan’s description for Dazed Digital)

The Dollhouse

The Dollhouse

By design the dolls have cherubic faces and models more pencil-point like, but it’s a neat idea.

There was even a viewing platform to get up close and personal with the dolls; you can just see it poking out from the right hand side of the above pic, (pinched from Amelia’s magazine.)

Viktor and Rolf dolls

Viktor and Rolf dolls

My fave outfit is, I think, a populist choice, the quilted ivory ‘I Love You’ wedding dress, commonly described as the world’s most literal marriage outfit.

(Oddly the Internet doesn’t offer ANY pics of it.., so maybe not to populist after all.)

Anyway, the link to Todd Solondz‘s Welcome To The Dollhouse (1995) was less tenuous when I first thought of blogging. But it’s a great – if depressing – movie, so why not flag up some images of it, I figure.

Welcome To The Dollhouse
Welcome To The Dollhouse
Matthew Faber and Heather Matarazzo

Matthew Faber and Heather Matarazzo


Good styling, huh?

Anyway, an added kitsch dimension to the night was provided by Viva Cake, who served up (non vegan) tea and cake, while the Smokey Angel Shades played rock’n’roll on stage. Theme was, well, the doll house (duh), so there were lots of dressed-up girls who delight in frills, frocks n rock’n’roll and err, parlour games.

I’m ending this post with a shot that cannot be ignored; a DREAM outfit from the Dutch duo’s 2008’s ‘NO’ to thoughtless fashion collection. They rule, huh?

Viktor and Rolf's 2008 NO Collection

Viktor and Rolfk's 2008 NO Collection