Monday, 22 January 2007

Trendy Bag

When I was at University my Mum used to send me off with all sorts of goodies; rice and stew, carnation milk, digestives etc. You name it and it was in there. She used to put all the yummy food in a blue and red check bag that was made out of some hard wearing fabric. These bags were so tough that the straps wore your hands out after a while and they were so sturdy that they could hold a baby elephant. Well these gems came in various sizes; small, medium, large and larger. My mum used to get them from Brixton market and they were very popular among the African contingent. In fact my fellow Nigerian mate at Uni used to call them "The African bags" and whenever we saw a brother or a sister with one we would smile between ourselves and go "Yep, one of our lot." Well ladies and gents, according to The London Paper, that bag is the new Balenciago. Dubbed the market carrier, it was featured in the paper last week after bling luggage designer, Louis Vuitton featured it as part of his fashion show for his spring/summer 07 collection. Of course Vuitton's version is made out of more fancy material - woven leather - and has an even fancier price tag of £1,000 compared to the mere £1 that the African bag is sold for at various markets. I better rush off and tell my Mum how hip she is.

Tuesday, 16 January 2007

Thin Is In

I think it is safe to say that Ugly Betty will be one of the most hyped TV shows of the year. As well as TV adverts, reviews in newspapers and magazines, we were treated to images of the adorable Betty on the cover (front and back) on the Friday issue of The London Paper.'Well I am pleased to say that the show lived up to the hype and 'Ugly Betty' is now the new 'must-see' show. Who needs Desperate Housewives when we have a protagonist who is smart, sharp and sweet. This show is the TV version of The Devil Wears Prada but without the makeover. Set in the image and size obsessed offices of Mode magazine, the bible of the fashion industry, Betty sticks out like a sore thumb with her thick glasses (I can identify with those massive frames), braces, chubby frame and unfashionable clothes. However, our Betty has her sights set on working for Meade Publishing and she shows a lot of verve when she goes for an interview at the company. Despite being fobbed off by the jerk from HR she is undetered and sets out to prove her worth. Lucky for her, Bradford Meade, founder of the company spots her and she is offered the role as assistant to the Editor. As nepotism has it the Editor of Mode magazine is in fact Daniel Meade, son of Bradford who is a total womaniser but completly hapless when it comes to magazines or any kind of work. I don't think it takes a genius to work out that Betty is far from ugly and as soon as she whips off those glasses and braces you will see how totally gorgeous she is. Still the show is compelling to watch and America Ferrera is amazing as Betty. I saw her in a film she made a few years ago called, Real Women Have Curves and she was real class. Vanessa Williams is scarily convincing as the evil, Whilhelmina Slater and it is wonderful to see former 'Neighbours' and 'The OC' star, Alan Dale playing Bradford. If you were a fan of the film, 'The Devil Wears Prada' (not the book as that was lousy) then you will totally love 'Ugly Betty.'

On the subject of looks last night I was watching a programme on Living TV about skinny celebrities and the trend to be ultra thin. Since the whole size Zero thing blew up last autumn during London Fashion Week, skinny celebrities have seldom been out of the news. I am a size 10 and when I look at myself in the mirror I think I look great but could do with a bit of padding out, so someone who is a size eight must be tiny so what does that say about ladies who are a size six or below? You have to be very ill to even be anywhere near a size Zero which in the UK translation is a size FOUR!! How can anyone in their right mind think that looks good? I think Nicole Ritchie and Victoria Beckham look awful. Now we have this scary trend of these websites that are set up to celebrate being super skinny (I won't name them for obvious reasons) but they act as a community for young women whose aim is to be thin as hell and endorse methods such as anorexia and bulmina. This issue was featured on the BBC last Friday and as not eating is a secretive thing anyway, these websites make these women feel like they are part of an exclusive club. It is frightening and if I had a daughter or a little sister I would be petrified. The only thing we can do is to encourage women to love themselves and have a healthy body image.Picture from Ugly Betty website. The fact is that a majority of the successful fashion designers are male and they design for young boys not women and god forbid women with curves. So take this scenario you are a 17 year old model who is a size 10 and you put on a dress that you cannot get over your hips, tell me that is not going to give you a complex. So what do you do? You try and lose weight. Then there are the women's magazines whose main aim is to make you feel bad about yourself so you can buy into the products they advertise. What makes me sick and is that all of the women's magazines in the UK are edited by women yet they enforce this myth about being skinny by featuring thin and gauntless models.

Friday, 5 January 2007

This Life

Last Tuesday evening was an important one in my house; it was the reunion of the characters of the cult show, 'This Life.' For those who don't know, 'This Life' was a drama about five lawyers sharing a house in South London. It wasn't glossy like 'Friends' or cosy like its Brit counterpart, 'Cold Feet' but it was riveting to watch and funny as hell. It aired during 1996 and I had finished my 1st degree and was back in London studying my post grad diploma in journalism when late one night I flicked over to BBC2 and found this amazing show. From then on the perils of Anna (the mouthy Scot), Miles (the posh stiff), Millie (the career woman), Egg (the lost soul) and Warren (the quirky gay) became a part of my life. Millie and Egg were a couple who it seemed were on the path to marriage and Anna and Miles had the hots for each but could not spend ten minutes in the same room without arguing. The series ran for two years and went from being an amazing secret you kept to yourself to a media darling. However I was stunned when it was axed despite calls for the Beeb to bring it back. You can imagine my delight when I heard 'This Life' was coming back to our screens for a one off special. I couldn't wait to see what had happened to the famous five.

Ten years on and the characters have calmed down and settled into their 30s. Egg, who gave up a Law career to work in cafe is now a famous author and has written a book about the lives of five lawyers sharing a flat. Hmm how original. In order to celebrate his new release a documentary is being made about the five friends as they gathered in Miles' grand mansion. Yes, snotty Miles is no longer a Lawyer and owns a series of boutique hotels as well as a hilarious shaggy hairstyle. You've got to admit the guy has style. Miles and Egg were not the only ones out of the pack to opt out of the legal system as Warren was now a Life Coach and Millie was a housewife albeit a frustrated one.
The one off show was great, all the characters were on fine form and the lines were as funny as ever but I have severe criticisms about where the writers took the characters. In the original series Millie was totally into her career but we are supposed to believe that she gave up work to look after her and Egg's son. Yeah right!! As Egg was a successful writer and worth a few bob or too, couldn't they afford a Nanny? Also as most writers work from home couldn't Egg have structured his writing time around their son? Plus they have Anna, the complete opposite of Millie who is married to her work and now her biological clock is ticking, supposedly she wants a baby. In fact she is so desperate that she goes to a sperm bank. How lame is that? Plus the whole thing with the documentary maker following the friends around didn't work either and just looked clumsy.

I was glad they brought the show back but I was disappointed and surprised with the way the women were treated. It just seemed so old fashioned. Still it was 90 minutes entertainment which is more than I can say for 'Celebrity Big Brother' Did you see how plastic Jermaine Jackson's face looks when he talks? More on that later. Tonight I am going to be tuning into 'Ugly Betty' I cannot wait to see this show, it looks amazing. Hopefully it won't go the same way as 'The OC' and get axed.