Monthly Archives: February 2015

Saturday Style

This week’s style is brought to you by metallics. See also Christopher Kane’s A/W 15 collection and the pink organza skirt by Asos from last week’s Saturday style.

Kate bosworth

Kate Bosworth in Angel Sanchez this week.

la perla

La Perla’s futuristic bikini from their Milan Fashion Week show.


Metallic tee, £35, Asos.


Tourmaline silver gypsy ring, £39, Raw mineral set in sterling silver. Handmade. Incredible.


Pink split front metallic clutch bag, £7, River Island.–purses/Pink-split-front-metallic-clutch-bag-661589

gold sunnies

Gold sunglasses, £5.99, H&M.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Did you see…? Picasso: Love, Sex and Art

An interesting film on the prolific painter’s even more prolific love life, tangled with muses and strewn with broken hearts. He got around for a little guy – it shows how artistic genius and intensity of character can serve as better aphrodisiacs than traditional good looks. It describes his life-long artistic and carnal obsession with the female form and illuminates his work while also entertaining.


Off the Beaten Tracks

Hot Chip – Huarache Lights

I first listened to this and thought “meh” but by the second listen it started to give me that fizzy, happy feeling that Hot Chip is so good at creating.

Emile Haynie – Come Find Me feat. Lykke Li and Romy

The producer’s album is a bit of a non-entity, despite the huge roster of talent used. However, this track features the sherbet vocals of Lykke Li, instantly marking it out as worth a listen.

Blur – Go Out

Blur’s back! New album The Magic Whip is out on 27th April.

The Staves – Black and White

The folk trio of three sisters from Watford have a new album out, If I Was.

Sylas – Shore

James Blake-style ambience.

Tagged , , , , ,

Round-up of the Week

It’s been a live one, with the Oscars, Brits, ELLE Style Awards and Madonna’s fall, ending on a bizarre note with the internet surpassing itself in silliness by going mental over a dress that changes colour depending on the light or who’s looking at it (who gives a flaming toss?).

madonna falls

First to Madonna’s fall at the Brits. I like a pratfall more than most (I am STILL amused by a spectacular tumble a girl took in my vicinity in a sixth form yoga class and probably always will be) but this just looked painful. It launched a thousand memes, puns (Ma-gonna!, Too much material girl) and ageist comments (“She’s too old for this malarkey”, “Her hip!”). I actually feel quite sorry for her, she’ll never live this down and it wasn’t even her fault. You’d think the dancer tasked with removing the cape could have exercised some common sense, seeing it wasn’t undone properly, rather than yanking her to internet infamy. I read reports that the dancer approached her for a hug afterwards, which is akin to approaching a viper you’ve just grabbed by the tail and swung repeatedly round your head for amusement for a kiss – ie, extremely unwise. If I were that dancer I’d have been legging it as soon as the music finished, possibly organising an alias. I feel he probably left the Brits with one of those minotaur head-dresses inserted somewhere deeply uncomfortable. Madonna tweeted a manic missive afterwards saying that she was fine, but the perilous amount of exclamation marks suggested she was anything but.

charli xcx fka-twigs

Charli XCX in Vivienne Westwood and FKA Twigs in Alexander McQueen arrive at the Brits.

taylor swift

Taylor Swift vamps it up in Julien Macdonald at the ELLE Style Awards, where she was awarded Woman of the Year.

Eddie Redmayne lili elbe

Eddie Redmayne makes a beautiful woman. He’s dragged up for new film The Danish Girl, about 1920s transgender pioneer Einat Wegner.

Scarlett Johansson issued a statement about that Travolta-kiss-photo that definitely doesn’t sound like she’s being prodded in the back by Scientologists. Definitely not. “The image that is circulating is an unfortunate still-frame from a live-action encounter that was very sweet and totally welcome. That still photo does not reflect what preceded and followed if you see the moment live. Yet another way we are misguided, misinformed and sensationalised by the 24-hour news cycle. I haven’t seen John in some years and it is always a pleasure to be greeted by him.” Ah, so it’s the news’s fault.

London Fashion Week Round-up

Here’s the best of London Fashion Week’s autumn/winter 2015 looks.


As usual, Christopher Kane produced the most interesting looks with an expansive collection of electric iridescents. Stand outs are the uncompromising colours of the blue and purple dresses, and the whimsy of the lacy black and white number.


Jonathan Saunders went for full-on 70s revival with loud prints and chunky sunnies.


Topshop Unique also went for a 70s feel – although less garishly so – with fur coats and Japanese inspired prints.


Giles featured unabashed theatricality and kingfishers.

Gareth Pugh

Gareth Pugh’s collection was scary mash-up of influences – Boudicca and England football fans.


Sibling dabbled in tangerine latex.

fyodor golan

Fyodor Golan felt rainbow unicorns.


Erdem’s take on sheeny boho.

alexa chung

Alexa Chung in JW Anderson.


Burberry’s gigantic fringed suede cape.


Matthew Williamson provided ravishing prints.

This was fun, let’s do it all again in six months.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Oscar Dresses

Lady Gaga paired her dress with red washing up gloves, Rita Ora flashed her bum (sigh) and some people won some awards.

Felicity Jones

Stunning: Best Actress nominee Felicity Jones in Alexander McQueen.

laura dern

Gladiatrix: Laura Dern in Alberta Ferretti.


Flawless: Rosamund Pike in Givenchy.


John Revolt-her: Travolta lurks up behind Scarlett Johansson and gets handy with her dangerously hourglass, Versace-clad figure. Her face is – quite literally – a picture.


If it’s true that society gets the stars it deserves, then what we deserve is a perplexing, Australian Cousin It impersonator. That’s Sia.

As for the awards, Eddie Redmayne won Best Actor, Julianne Moore Best Actress and Birdman Best Film.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Did you see… The Big Painting Challenge?

We’ve had the Great British Bake Off, Sewing Bee, Allotment Challenge and Interior Design Challenge. Now we have the Big Painting Challenge (Sunday, 6pm, BBC One). Now I like all of the aforementioned, except the allotment one (I have killed two cacti. Cacti. One met a particularly undignified end after I accidentally tipped it out of its pot, basically breaking it, and it refused to recover, perhaps feeling that succumbing to the inevitable was preferable to a life with a cack-handed plant murderer. So, for the sake of our chlorophyll-filled friends I stay away from growing stuff and its affiliated programming) but was left unsure about this show. It is essentially Watercolour Challenge resurrected. While the others offer tangible ways of judging – for instance, if a cake can be used a doorstop it’s probably not good; if you can wear an item of clothing then the sewing’s worked – art is much more subjective. You can critique the technique but does worthwhile art always lie in the technique? There were talented people there, especially the soldier, whose first painting was best about halfway through the time, before he bungled it up by giving the statue a weird face. I felt very sorry for the first casualty, Melvyn. Being rejected for your creativity just seemed more of a personal insult than having your buns dissed. I also worry where this influx of hobby programming will end. It’s just about under control at the moment but I feel there may be an impending tidal wave of increasingly spurious ones. Great British Pickle Off? Great British Campanologist? Great British Ball of Twine? Great British Ship in a Bottle? The Big Whittle Off? Feel free to take any of these by the way, BBC – call me.

I don’t get The Casual Vacancy at all. I think maybe JK Rowling’s writing is best seen through the prism of fantasy as the village of Pagford and its inhabitants do not bear resemblance to any England I’ve ever known. I guess that it means to be social commentary, but if you are aiming for that, and for realism, then if the dial is even a millimetre out it may as well be miles out as the viewer’s belief is gone.

Tagged ,

Sunday Poem

This week’s poem comes from Carol Ann Duffy’s 1999 collection, The World’s Wife, a reimagining of many ingrained stories from female perspectives. Some are fiendishly clever and funny, like the one below; some I found slightly naïve (the reimagining of the Kray twins as female – that simply would never, could never have happened and didn’t make sense to me) but in all it is a clever and worthwhile anthology that twists our accepted perspectives on stories we’ve known since childhood – from Classical myths to the myths of real people (Elvis, Shakespeare…)  Duffy (1955-) is the first woman to be appointed Poet Laureate in the institution’s 400 year history. I saw her perform this poem at Latitude in 2013. My friends immediately fell asleep, lulled by the warmth of the tent, but I was kind of entranced by her clipped, soft delivery of mighty stanzas.

Mrs Midas

It was late September. I’d just poured a glass of wine, begun
to unwind, while the vegetables cooked. The kitchen
filled with the smell of itself, relaxed, its steamy breath
gently blanching the windows. So I opened one,
then with my fingers wiped the other’s glass like a brow.
He was standing under the pear tree snapping a twig.

Now the garden was long and the visibility poor, the way
the dark of the ground seems to drink the light of the sky,
but that twig in his hand was gold. And then he plucked
a pear from a branch. – we grew Fondante d’Automne –
and it sat in his palm, like a lightbulb. On.
I thought to myself, Is he putting fairy lights in the tree?

He came into the house. The doorknobs gleamed.
He drew the blinds. You know the mind; I thought of
the Field of the Cloth of Gold and of Miss Macready.
He sat in that chair like a king on a burnished throne.
The look on his face was strange, wild, vain. I said,
What in the name of God is going on? He started to laugh.

I served up the meal. For starters, corn on the cob.
Within seconds he was spitting out the teeth of the rich.
He toyed with his spoon, then mine, then with the knives, the forks.
He asked where was the wine. I poured with a shaking hand,
a fragrant, bone-dry white from Italy, then watched
as he picked up the glass, goblet, golden chalice, drank.

It was then that I started to scream. He sank to his knees.
After we’d both calmed down, I finished the wine
on my own, hearing him out. I made him sit
on the other side of the room and keep his hands to himself.
I locked the cat in the cellar. I moved the phone.
The toilet I didn’t mind. I couldn’t believe my ears:

how he’d had a wish. Look, we all have wishes; granted.
But who has wishes granted? Him. Do you know about gold?
It feeds no one; aurum, soft, untarnishable; slakes
no thirst. He tried to light a cigarette; I gazed, entranced,
as the blue flame played on its luteous stem. At least,
I said, you’ll be able to give up smoking for good.

Separate beds. in fact, I put a chair against my door,
near petrified. He was below, turning the spare room
into the tomb of Tutankhamun. You see, we were passionate then,
in those halcyon days; unwrapping each other, rapidly,
like presents, fast food. But now I feared his honeyed embrace,
the kiss that would turn my lips to a work of art.

And who, when it comes to the crunch, can live
with a heart of gold? That night, I dreamt I bore
his child, its perfect ore limbs, its little tongue
like a precious latch, its amber eyes
holding their pupils like flies. My dream milk
burned in my breasts. I woke to the streaming sun.

So he had to move out. We’d a caravan
in the wilds, in a glade of its own. I drove him up
under the cover of dark. He sat in the back.
And then I came home, the woman who married the fool
who wished for gold. At first, I visited, odd times,
parking the car a good way off, then walking.

You knew you were getting close. Golden trout
on the grass. One day, a hare hung from a larch,
a beautiful lemon mistake.  And then his footprints,
glistening next to the river’s path. He was thin,
delirious; hearing, he said, the music of Pan
from the woods. Listen. That was the last straw.

What gets me now is not the idiocy or greed
but lack of thought for me. Pure selfishness. I sold
the contents of the house and came down here.
I think of him in certain lights, dawn, late afternoon,
and once a bowl of apples stopped me dead. I miss most,
even now, his hands, his warm hands on my skin, his touch.

Tagged , ,

Don’t Miss Guy Bourdin: Image Maker

guy-bourdin-beauté-(vogue,-paris)      guy french   guy-bourdin-linsolite-et-la-mode

vogue italia  guy vogue

Above: A selection of Guy Bourdin photos

Somerset House is displaying a retrospective of fashion photographer Guy Bourdin’s playful, sexy, subversive work until the 15th March.

Click here for more information:

Tagged ,