Wednesday, 31 December 2008


The theme tune is a bit like the signature song to The Devil Wears Prada (Jump by Madonna) and it has the formidable boss from hell so comparisons between Stylista and The Devil Wears Prada are expected. Stylista is a reality show that followed 11 wannabe fashionistas vying for the position as assistant editor at US Elle magazine. This job comes with other perks such as a plush apartment in Manhattan for a year and a wardrobe allowance from H&M for a year. Now who can argue with that? Stylista aired on CWTV between October 22nd and December 17th in 2008.

The contestants were aged from 19 to 28 and all came from a variety of backgrounds and as you can expect had very different personalities. There were five of them who stood out to me - for example Dyshaun - a wardrobe stylist who clicks his fingers a lot and squeals OMG quite a lot.
Then there was Kate - a former Law student who drama seemed to follow everywhere. She seems to get into arguments with every candidate in particular Megan - a boutique owner who is as calculating as they come. There was Ashlie - fashion buyer who is passionate and not afraid of confrontation. Then there was Johanna - a former Military Analyst who you would view as a fish out of water.  Fashion News Director aka boss from hell, Anne Slowey made no impression on me at all; she came across as stiff, cold and very awkward. She lacked the presence of Miranda Priestley/Anna Wintour and the sophistication. She was like a low rent version of Nina Garcia. Also what was up with her accent? Is it British, American, faux Brit or what? 

In each show each contestants are given two tasks; an assistants task that consists of something menial like putting together breakfast for Anne, pitching a birthday party for Anne's spoiled bratty niece or selecting an outfit for her to wear for a weekend away. The winner is given the power to choose the team members for all groups. A move that a few of the contestants relish as they have the power to influence the outcome of that episode's task as well as the actual competition. After the groups are decided they are given an editorial task which ranges from styling a photo shoot, working on a trends page, producing an ad campaign and working on a fashion shoot. This is really where the show comes into its own and sheer genius; think Project Catwalk and The Apprentice - candidates getting down and dirty into an exciting and creative project and you get the gist. The groups present their ideas to Anne and her cronies, the weakest group is brought back in to face the music and the worst performing person or in many cases - the scapegoat is sent packing. The show wonderfully demonstrates that it is the combination of a great idea and the execution that makes a successful project.

Stylista has enough action to keep you interested but the constant bickering between the contestants gets tiring and very jarring after a while.  We all know that the fashion industry contains unsavoury characters but I feel that the producers went too far with this. No matter how bitchy fashionistas can be to one another the ultimate thing that remains is that they are always professional. My opinion about Stylista is what a great show it is bloody shame about the drama.  However, there are some good stuff that came out of the show such as insider blogs from the peeps from Elle mag such as Fashion Bookings Editor, Malina V. Joseph. More interesting are the stories from the contestants, Ashlie shares her Stylista experience with us in her blog along with Kate

I enjoyed watching the show but what I have gained from the show is the amount of thought and effort that goes into producing those editorial pages; the pondering over the headline, strap lines, images and captions. Not an easy task and who said working on a magazine is all glamour. In case you are interested the person who landed the coveted position was Johanna who worked her ass off to raise her stake in the fashion game. She even went as far as to set up a blog where she could display her writing talents. Check it out here

Whitney in the City

So Whitney Port made her debut in her new show, The City which aired last night on MTV with a bumper edition. The City is a spin off of the popular so-called reality show, The Hills which is set in LA and in which Whitney is a co-star. After spending many years as an intern at Teen Vogue and stylist at PR company, People's Revolution as well as lending a sympathetic ear to the doe eyed Lauren, Whitney has swapped LA for NYC. She lands a plum job as PR for Diane von Furstenberg (DVF) and moves in with her old mate Erin Williams in a cool apartment in the Gramercy area of Manhattan. The perks of moving to a new city means meeting new people and checking out exciting bars and restaurants. We are introduced to Whitney's co-worker, the divine Olivia Palermo who is a high profile socialite or social as she prefers to be called. Olivia is quite clearly the catalyst to Whitney as Heidi is to Lauren in The Hills but with much better connections. Erin offers the fun factor and a lending ear particularly when it comes to guys. Talking of guys this is where the intro to The City differs from The Hills in that the guys are featured in the opening credits. One of then is Jay Lyons, a musician who Whitney met when she came to NYC for her job interview. She is quite clearly smitten with him but whether he feels the same way about her is to be seen. Then there is Adam Senn, a restaurateur and Jay's flatmate who is new to NYC as well.

This new reality show has been covered extensively in the media and blogsphere which is no surprise considering the phenomenon of The Hills. Aesthetically, The City is definitely easy on the eye and with the almighty Big Apple as a backdrop, how can you go wrong? As a TV show the plot leaves a lot to be desired; a considerable amount of time was spent on Whitney's love life. Is Jay a two-faced, two-timing snake? The answer is that Jay lacks so little charisma and presence that it was hard to care. Aside from her first day at work and New York Fashion Week, very little is seen of Whitney in her workplace which is very worrying as it was Lauren and Heidi's glam jobs that made The Hills the success it is. Olivia is a very different proposition; yes she has a life fuelled with dinner parties, lunches, fashions shows and celebrity galas but she has an edge to her that makes her interesting. For a start she is described as a real life Blair Waldorf; she even has her own publicist and is constantly being mentioned in gossip blogs and newspapers and she even has a fan blog that focuses on her life. Rumour has it that she runs her own PR agency which would make sense as she is trying to build her brand. I would say that The City has a long way to go before it earns the right to be called the reality version of Sex and the City. Still it was good to see Kelly Cultrone in the programme and more interesting are the reports that Kelly is to get her own show.

Check out the official blog for The City here.

Here's to 2009

Well here we go again, another year passes by and we look towards a new one with great expectation and promise. A new year is always exciting to me as it offers a new adventure with wonderful possibilities. 2009 also marks two years that I have been blogging and I never thought I would last this long. I thought I would get bored and move onto something else but if anything my appetite for blogging has increased. I have even more ideas and stories that I want to share with you and 2009 will be all about taking my blog to the next level - so watch this space.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Kate Moss: Style

Over the last few years style trends such as knee length boots, skinny jeans, flat ballet pumps, the cape and Mary Jane shoes have been seen on all and sundry and they have one person to thank - Kate Moss. The sight of the famous supermodel wearing these items has played a big part in their popularity. Part bio and part style book – Kate Moss: Style delves into the wardrobe of one of the most iconic woman in the world. We are given the stories behind Kate’s wonderful outfits, where she really shops for her clothes, who her inspirations are and what exactly her input is to her line at Topshop. As you can imagine a whole range of fashionistas have contributed quotes to this books; stylistas such as Tom Ford, Karl Lagerfeld, Matthew Williamson, Alexander McQueen, Britt Ekland, Katie Grand and many more all add in their two pence worth.

Fashion journo, Angela Buttolph has been buzzing around on the scene for a long while – her stints have included the Evening Standard, i-D, Vogue and Grazia. She is one of those faces that pops up on TV now and again offering her opinion on fashion culture but she has never really made an impression on me unlike other fashion peeps such as The Telegraph’s Hilary Alexander or The Guardian’s Hadley Freeman. Well that is all in the past now because I am truly smitten with Angela and her delicious book. As far as I am concerned she has taken a really tricky task of creating a riveting book on Kate Moss based on quotes from past interviews in various publications with gusto. Ms Moss is so famous that there are very few people out there who do not know the ins and outs of her personal and public life but Angela manages to present the Moss story in a way that is refreshing and compelling. Weighing in at a massive 198 pages, Kate Moss: Style did look like a very daunting read but I was hooked from the very first line. The writing, which is sharp and crunchy, is a product of fantastic research into Kate’s early years in South London, onto her life as a supermodel and then her evolution as a designer. The book also has wonderful typography, great captions and captivating images that are to die for. Kate Moss: Style maybe a celebration of the model’s life in fashion but it is also a wonderful celebration of fashion journalism.

Kate Moss: Style is available in all good book stores.

You can check out Angela Buttolph’s chic website here.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

A Star is Born

You are on the cover of The Sun all week, Mohamed Al Fayed decides to open Harrods especially for you, you have top designers queuing up to dress you, Kate Moss invites you to hang out with her, oh and your new single, Hallelujah has just gone into the charts at No 1. Just a week in the new, crazy, cool life of Alexandra Burke - the newly crowned winner of the X Factor. Last Saturday 15 million people tuned in to watch Alexandra sing her way to fame, adulation and a new million pound record deal. What better way to celebrate your feat than to appear on the cover of the nation's favourite magazine, Grazia. The glossy weekly snapped up an exclusive interview with the lady they call the most famous woman in Britain, where she talks frankly about her beloved family, friendship with Cheryl Cole and her new celeb mates. It really is a riveting interview with a woman who I admire immensely; despite her soul destroying knock back three years, Alex picked herself up and went after her dream. She really is a testament to the theory that you should never give up. The spread in Grazia features the diva in mouth watering outfits made by designers such as Jenny Packham and Christopher Kane.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Bride Wars

There is nothing like a wedding to bring out the evil in a person; the mother of the Bride gets over zealous, bridesmaids get competitive over dresses and the bride gets obsessed to the point of insanity. Is it a wonder that the show, Bridezilla is so popular? Anyone who has been involved in a wedding knows how crazy it makes you. Hence the upcoming release of the film, Bride Wars which stars Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway and is about two close friends who become embroiled in a wedding war. Liv played by Kate Hudson and Emma played by Anne Hathaway have been best mates forever and have shared everything including elaborate details of their dream wedding. So when the two of them get engaged at the same time they are both over the moon. However, circumstances beyond their control means that only one of them can have their dream venue so out come the fist cuffs. Every dirty trick and game you can imagine is carried and pretty soon Liv and Anne have a lot more to lose than their friendship. I have always had a soft spot for Kate Hudson ever since seeing her in the hilarious rom-com, How to Lose a Guy 10 Days and Anne Hathaway stole my heart in The Devil Wears Prada so this partnership is like dynamite to me.

Bride Wars is released on 9th January 2008

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Daddy's Girls

Despite the huge acclaim of their book Influence, Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen are not the only stylish sisters on the block. Slick siblings, Angela and Vanessa Simmons are carving out a name for themselves in the style stakes. Hip hop enthusiasts will know them as daughters of Joseph Simmons aka Rev Run from rap group, Run-DMC. Angela and Vanessa are founders of Pastry Clothing line which includes shoes, handbags and clothes for chic and preppy ladies. When Run's House aired back in 2005 most people including Rev Run himself, were expecting the rapper turned Reverend to be the star of the show. Instead he found himself out shined by his two gorgeous daughters. Week after week viewers tuned into MTV to find out what mini dramas the two young ladies were embroiled in but most of all to check out their glamorous lifestyle. To say that they have developed a huge following would be putting it mildly. So what do you do when you are rich, young and successful? Simple - You get your own reality show.

Daddy's Girls is a spin-off from Run's House and will feature the two sisters leaving their family home in new Jersey and living on their own in LA for the first time. We will see the business savvy ladies grow the Pastries line and move into other exciting ventures that include Vanessa with her acting and Angela launching her teen magazine. Looks like we have finally found our Black version of The Hills. I was not really a fan of Run's House but I will certainly be checking this little beauty out?

The preview for Daddy's Girls airs on 5th January 2009 on MTV.

Monday, 15 December 2008

I HEART magazines

Well who would have thought that there was a credit crunch with all these magazine launches around. Over the past week or so I have read numerous stories about publications that are hitting the racks in the new year. It goes to show that no matter how harsh times get people still need their luxuries.

Well lets start with the newest kid on the block; Jamie magazine. Master chef and lead campaigner for healthy meals in schools, Jamie Oliver has gone and launched his own self titled, magazine. He has the TV shows, books, websites and now he has gone that one step further. Roll over Martha Stewart and Oprah, Mr Oliver is in town. Jamie magazine is a food and lifestyle publication that features over 100 recipes from Jamie himself and other top chefs around the world. Aesthetically, the publication is wonderful to look at with an amazing layout and wonderful photography. However, if it had just been an ordinary magazine I would not have given it a second look. This is for hard core foodie only or Jamie fans. Jamie is a bi-monthly publication.

Those who were unfortunate to catch Peaches Geldof's lame performance on her MTV documentary, Disappear Here might be interested to know that she has secured funding for the magazine. The documentary aired a few months back (read my blog about it here) and showed Ms Geldof launching a 'cool' urban magazine that covers in pop culture. With a mentor in James Brown, former Editor of the iconic, Loaded, Peaches launched the magazine earlier this month. Disappear Here is co-owned by James Brown, Bob Geldof and Peaches' manager, Andy Varley.

Another launch that is getting headlines by the hour is the cutely named, Love. Any mag with a name as cheesy as that (and I love my cheese) would be doomed by the start, however when you have the legend that is Katie Grand giving birth to you then anything is possible. Grand who brought us the phenomenal, Pop magazine was snapped up by Conde Nast a few months back to work on a title that was edgy and experimental. Love launches in February and the last I heard they had hired, former Heat editor, Mark Frith to be editorial consultant. Love will be a bi-annual publication.

Forget diamonds because it is apparent that magazines are a person's best friend.

Image from Creative Review

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Babylon Mania

Oh happy days, I have heard some news that has turned my gloomy week into a great one. The lovely Rachel Zoe will be coming back to our screens after her docu show, The Rachel Zoe Project has been commissioned for a second series. However, the cherry on the top of the cake is news that Hotel Babylon, the TV series that exposes the seedy goings on in the hotel industry is to have a baby sister. BBC TV producers are bringing Fashion Babylon to the small screen in time for next spring. The book which is penned by Imogen Edwards-Jones gives us a huge insight into the perils of the high end fashion industry and exposes the world of haute couture seen through the eyes of an anonymous fashion designer. As well as Hotel Babylon, the Babylon franchise consists of Air Babylon, Pop Babylon and Beach Babylon. A new title, Wedding Babylon will be released next year. The show will be produced by Carnival, an independent production company that also makes Hotel Babylon. They have also optioned Air Babylon as well so it looks like it will soon by Babylon mania.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Influence - Ashley Olsen & Mary-Kate Olsen

Mary-Kate Olsen describes her twin sister Ashley Olsen as someone who is passionate, driven and with great integrity while she is feisty with a maverick demeanor. This is highlighted immensely in their new book in which they share their historic influences. The mammoth coffee table book is aptly titled, Influence and shows these two ladies of style celebrating their icons. We all know the story of the Olsen twins; famous before they could even breathe they landed a slot on the TV show, Full House before they were even a year old. Before the show ended in 1993 they began to build their brand and lent their name to clothes, perfumes, books and magazines - you name it and chances are Mary-Kate and Ashley were on the cover of it. Over the last few years as they have become young women, The Olsens have become style icons with Mary-Kate leading the way with her waify boho-chic look which some people refer to as ashcan. Last year the twins launched a hip and contemporary clothing line called Elizabeth and James, so I suppose the release of this book was inevitable. 

The Olsens undertook all the interviews themselves in cities such as New York, Paris and LA and spoke to fashion's finest such as Karl Lagerfeld, Diane Von Furstenburg, Lauren Hutton, John Galliano, Margherita Missoni, Christian Laboutin and many many more. Each interview is accompanied by wonderful and vivid images taken by uber photographer, Rankin.  However, it is not just the images that make this book tick; the typography which is used abundantly is just beautiful to look at. 

While Mary-Kate plays her part this is very much Ashley's book in the fact that she has done most of the interviews and has written the introduction although Mary-Kate gets the last word with the conclusion. The scrap book like pages of the twins when they were younger and more recently in various on trend poses are very cute. I also really dig the the fact that they have used different textures for their pages; Mary-Kate's is a glossy matte while Ashley's has a much rougher texture. Even the images are a world apart - the ones on Ashley's pages are slightly off beat and quite grungy while Mary-Kate's reek of pure high end glamour. I just adore the Polaroid images in the book particularly the ones on the inside front and back. Gorgeous, gorgeous book that any fashion or photography lover would be proud to have in their collection. I am not an Olsen fan but this book might just convert me. 

NB: It has just come to light that Influence has two version, one for Ashley and the other for Mary-Kate hence the different covers and slants. 

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Grazia LIVE

Those ingenious lot at Grazia have taken magazine journalism one step further by producing a special Grazia Live issue. In celebration of Westfield, the whole team - 46 of them - packed up everything lock stock and barrel and headed down to the country's brand new spanking shopping centre to set up up office. Courtesy of Habitat, the Grazia team took up residence in a cool perspex pod which is literally a fishbowl and set about producing the magazine. Westfield, in case you have been in a deep coma is Europe's newest and largest urban shopping centre and as it holds a whooping 271 high street and designer stores, is a perfect venue for the shopping obsessed Grazia.

You can imagine that producing a weekly magazine must be pretty fast paced at the best of times but doing it in a bustling shopping centre where you are totally exposed to the public must be totally frantic. However, the nation's top magazine of the year did not stop there and also found time to do a live model casting, run a competition to find Grazia's Next Top Intern as well as hosting five daily fashion seminars. Phew all that makes me feel dizzy but all the crazy hard work paid off and we have a cracking issue - all 148 pages.

You can watch the rest of the Grazia in Westfield's episodes here.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Surviving the Property Credit Crunch

You will have to be living under a rock not to notice that the recession is upon us and that the credit crunch has taken the wheels off the economy. Cutbacks are being made left, right and centre in the job market and consumer spending has taken a downturn. This has affected the property market immensely because it means that what was once a buoyant market full of sales and viewings has now turned into one of huge decline. People are no longer snapping up properties like they did a few years back but instead are choosing to rent. More crucially those who are already on the property ladder and would have been looking to trade up are staying put. Enter The Home Show from the fold of Channel 4, pioneers of property shows such as Location, Location, Location, Selling Homes and Property Ladder. All these shows tapped into the property boom of the 90s and showed the viewers how they could make zillions from their home. Sadly those days are over but The Home Show is here to the rescue to show us how we can stay put but still have the home of our dreams.

Trendy architect, George Clarke focuses on a different family home each week, reworking its layout to optimise its space, natural assets, comfort and style. Similar to Selling Homes, the homeowners clear out of their pad while George transforms the place. The magazine like show also features architect, Angela Brady who takes us through the stunning style of European homes and gives viewers tips on how they can replicate the look. Also Builders Confidential looks at the things that drive us crazy about builders and throw us some inside tips on how to get the best service.

You can catch The Home Show on Wednesdays at 8.00pm on Channel 4.

For those who are hell bent on buying Channel 4 have created a spin off edition of Location, Location, Location which sees presenters, Kirstie Allsop and Phil Spencer seeking bargains for homebuyers and offering tips on how to stay afloat in the current climate.

Location, Location, Location: A Survival Guide is on Monday at 9.00pm on Channel 4.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Pat McGrath

We all need to put a bit of slap on now and again; whether to hide blemishes or to achieve a glam look for a night out. Wearing make up can go from accentuating your best features to utterly transforming you completely. Applying lipstick, powder and paint is a work of art and a profession that make up artists are highly revered for. I remember seeing a book by the iconic Kevyn Aucoin in the early 1990s and being totally floored by his work. The Art of Make Up, featured top notch celebrities in make up and costumes that made them look like other famous bods. You might remember Kevyn from an episode in Sex and the City where he did Carrie's make up for the fashion show that she was in. While Cindy Crawford was the first supermodel and I think it is safe to say that Kevyn was the first super make up artist. Nowadays we have big guns such as Bobbi Brown, Francois Nars, Laura Mercier, Jemima Kidd, Charlotte Tilbury, Ruby Hammer and Charlie Green who dominate the international cosmetics scene but none of them have made as much of a mark as Pat McGrath.

Ms McGrath has been wielding her mascara wand since the mid 1990s and is simply the best in the business. A feature in the Observer Woman dubbed her the world's most-wanted make up artist and others tout her as the most influential beauty artist in the world. A firm presence backstage at all the premier fashion weeks, the Northampton born McGrath is not afraid to experiment with colours and textures. So do not be surprised when you see her using lipstick on the eyes and cheeks and mixing face creams. She got her break after a stint with i-D magazine by over turning the nation's obsession with grunge and going for full on glam with lots of colour thrown in. A tour with the hotter than hot Soul II Soul soon hailed and after that virtually every other music job going. She eventually moved back into fashion and picked up clients such as Jill Sanders, Hussein Chalayan, John Galliano and became renowned for "latex petals stuck to faces, vinyl lips, bodies drenched in powder paint, and stylized Kabuki physiognomies." Pat divides her time between London and New York (where else?) and like other celeb make-up artists, she plans to launch her own cosmetics brand (what else?) which should hit the high street in 18 months time.  Check out the video above and see how great she is.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Black Love

Images of Black couples in the media has always been a turbulent one and more often than not it has often been negative. The relationship between Black men and women have historically been depicted as dysfunctional, unhealthy and sometime violent. When I was younger I used to wince when a Black couple came onto the big or small screen as I could tell that something horrible was going to happen. A lot of the depiction was down to racism and deep ignorance as well as an imbalance in the number of people of colour who are in production positions in film and TV. The 70s had a few gems in the shape of Lady Sings the Blues in which Diana Ross played jazz singer, Billie Holiday. The story demonstrated how Billie's life was marred by her drug addiction but what was poignant about the film were the loving scenes between Billie and her husband, Louis who was played by Billy Dee Williams. The Cosby Show carried the baton next with the tales of Cliff and Clair Huxtable and their five lively children. Cliff played by the legendary, Bill Cosby absolutely doted on Clair and was not ashamed to show it. Where The Cosby Show left off the films in the 90s and naughties took up and we saw films like Love Jones, Brown Sugar, Love and Basketball representing Black love in a realistic way. Just like any other the couples in these films had their ups and downs but they were treated in a respectful and positive way. Now we see Black love represented in the tallest order. The new President of the United States and his First Lady are a loving couple who have caught the imagination of the world. He the powerful orator who instill passion and pride in his countryman and she the tall elegant figure who is the backbone in the partnership. Together with their two daughters they will be the most glamorous family to enter the White House since JFK and his family swept everyone off their feet in 1960. So it was of great pleasure to me to see the image of Barack kissing his wife tenderly after he had won the presidential campaign plastered all over the media. Talk about full circle. Here's to you Barack and Michelle. Yes We Can!!!

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Melrose Place Reloaded

I think we can agree that the weather has been lousy this week so what better than to curl up on the sofa with a mug of tea and settle down watching a fun show on the TV. That is the saving grace of the winter; all the cool shows come back and it is like being reunited with a bunch of old friends. Right now I am spending quality time with Gossip Girl, The Hills, 90210, Lipstick Jungle and The Starter Wife and it is fantastic. Like having a ladies night out except it is at home in your living room. It looks like Melrose Place will be joining us this time next year. 90210 has proved so successful that the powers that be at CW Network have decided to spread the spin-off project to the popular 1990s drama. Premiering in 1992, Melrose Place featured the lives of sophisticated twenty-somethings who lived in an apartment complex and we saw them live, work and play together. As we can expect in a typical soap drama we had the usual emotional storylines such as infidelity, homophobia, divorce, prostitution, domestic abuse and many others. The show bowed out in 1999 after a period of low ratings and as well as making a star out of Heather Locklear who went onto Spin City and Scrubs, it will also be remembered for launching the careers of the stars below:

Kristin Davies
She played the scheming Brooke Armstrong and later found fame and many pairs of Jimmy Choos as Charlotte York in Sex and the City.

Marcia Cross
She played Dr Kimberly Shaw, the total nut job and is now famous as house proud Bree Van de Kamp Hodge in Desperate Housewives.

Doug Savant
He played Matt Fielding, the token gay guy and is now best known as Lynette's hubby, Tom Scavo in Desperate Housewives.

Courtney Thorne-Smith
She played the annoying Alison Parker who had a long relationship with Billy and became an alcoholic. She went on to star in Ally McBeal as Georgia Thomas, wife of Billy Thomas who was the ex love of Ally.

Kelly Rutherford
She played Megan Lewis a high class call girl who is hired by Dr Kimberly Shaw to seduce her partner. She is now in Gossip Girl playing the snooty Lily van der Woodsen, mother of lead character Serena van der Woodsen.

Rob Estes
He played restaurateur, Kyle McBride and can be currently seen in the all new 90210 as head of school Harry Wilson and father of Annie and Dixon.

Alyssa Milano
She played spoiled brat Jennifer Mancini and went on to play Phoebe Halliwell in the hit series, Charmed.

Wow what a load of talent that show produced. Roll on the remake.

Friday, 24 October 2008

The Selby

I am obsessed with interior design and I love checking out other people's homes. Whether in magazines, on TV shows or waltzing down the street - yes if you must leave your curtains wide open then it would be rude not to peep. There might be a credit crunch on but making your pad look beautiful is still top priority. They say that your home is your castle, your domain and sanctuary and I agree totally. My home to me is where I can relax, read while on the toilet, do silly little dances and watch whatever I like when I like. It is indeed a document of my life which is illustrated by my clothes, books, magazines, furniture and film collection. Your personal space reflects you and your life. So I was pretty chuffed when I came across The Selby which is a blog that features creative people in their personal spaces. It is created by photographer, Todd Selby and his mantra is to show gorgeous and quirky homes with their delightful owners in them. So you have artists' nesting in their studios in Long Island Queens, film producers flexing in their funky loft apartment in Greenwich Village, NYC, DJs hob knobbing in their cute mews' in Islington, London and fashion designers posing in their apartments in LA. What is interesting about these images is that they also focus on the work of the home owners and mixes them up so they form a fantastic collection.

If you are looking for some ideas for doing up your place or simply fancy looking at some beautiful and unusual homes then check out The Selby.

Picture taken from The Selby.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

It's a 'magazines' life

Working on a magazine is glamorous. Sorry, let me correct that; the idea of working on a magazine can appear to be glamorous. However throw in the low pay, job insecurity, tight deadlines and long hours not to mention being amongst volatile characters and the industry starts to lose it's appeal. The perks can be high though such as free entry to practically any event in the land and abroad as well free goodies landing on your desk each day. So it is no wonder that people are so fascinated by mag land which has culminated to the huge success of The Devil Wears Prada and Ugly Betty. The concept went one stage further with the introduction of a reality show called, The Paper where a bunch of college kids put together a student publication. Now we have Stylista, upon us where we join Elle's Fashion News Director, Anne Slowey on her search for an assistant.

Today saw the airing of Peaches: Disappear Here on MTV One, a documentary that followed Peaches Geldof while she edits a glossy magazine called, Disappear Here. The publication is supposed to reflect Ms Geldof herself in that it is edgy, arty, trendy and covers arts and pop culture. As well as a mentor in magazine supremo, James Brown who founded lads mag, Loaded, Peaches was granted with a team of six writers, designers and advertising execs. The comments leading up to the programme about Madame le Geldof have not been good. To be blunt she has been described as a monster and beastly by media aficionados. and there have been complaints about her arrogant manner to her team. For those who don't know, Peaches Geldof is the second daughter of Sir Bob Geldof (a rock artist but more famous for being the founder of Band Aid and Live Aid) and the late TV presenter Paula Yates. After the tragic death of her mother, the Geldof daughters have kept a very low profile till a few years back when Peaches began to be papped out and about at glittery events. She was granted a column in Elle Girl (read editor, Claire Irvin's hilarious article on Peaches here) and NYLON TV and became known for her outspoken views. So it was no surprise to anyone when she expressed a desire to be a journalist and pretty soon she was approached to present a variety of TV documentaries. However, along the way Peaches has managed to rub people up the wrong way and make a few enemies. There is also a notion that she has only been given these wonderful opportunities due to her name rather than her talent.

Therefore you would be right in saying that this documentary would be a perfect way for her to dispel all these theories and show what a talented journo she is if not a fantastic person. Sadly, Peaches fails on both counts. She is rude and disparaging to her staff directly and during her voice overs. I almost winch when I hear her comments when she is describing their abilities. Her professionalism leaves a lot to be desired as she decides to leave midway through production to go to the States for a festival. Her argument being that she is covering the event for another magazine. Right! Well in the magazine game timing is everything so it might have been a good idea to inform her editor about the impending documentary so he or she could ask someone else to cover it. It is all rather bizarre considering that the programme is produced by her Dad's production company. Peaches: Disappear Here is very entertaining and extremely well made and shows a knowledgeable and passionate magazine team who are keen to learn and I loved watching it. The show would just be so much better without Peaches in it.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

The Starter Wife

I remember watching one of those celebrity shows where a journalist described Jennifer Aniston as sporting a crushed look on her face after the duo called Brangelina was created. However, no one carries the crushed look better than Debra Messing who is known as the chipper Grace from the hit comedy Will and Grace. Messing has made a name for herself in rom coms and in the brit romance, The Wedding Date she was screwed over by her sister and boyfriend. She also played the emaciated estranged bride of Ben Stiller in Along Came Polly and now she is back in The Starter Wife, a TV series where she plays an abandoned wife. Debra's character, Molly Kagan is the wife of a top Hollywood studio boss and lives the life of complete luxury, totally sheltered from the real world, her life is spent whirling out of control when she is dumped by her husband for a younger woman. There are starter jobs, starter cars, starter houses and now starter wives. It takes the support of her close friends as well as a dose of strong will that makes Molly take stock and get her life back on track.

The Starter Wife is based on the book by Gigi Levangie Grazer who penned the script for the film, Stepmom which starred Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon. The mini series was aired last year and was nominated for ten Emmy Awards as well as a Golden Globe Award. In fact it was so popular that the show was recommissioned as a proper series and made it's return in the US last Friday. I have not had a chance to catch the second series yet but if it is anything like the mini series then it will be cracking. The show has all the elements; witty script, great lead characters, a few twists and turns and a rites of passage theme. Debra is really convincing here as the down trodden Molly but with just the right spark not to lose the respect of the audience. The supporting cast is stellar along with the black humour. This story is not about revenge but more about a lady who has lost herself setting on a journey to find out who she is and what makes her tick. All sorts of social issues are tackled here such as infidelity, alcoholism, homelessness and suicide but the over riding issue is about the strength of friendship. I spent all of Sunday watching the mini series and did not come up for air and I cannot wait to see the second series.

The Starter Wife is on Fridays.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

The City

Hooray, my favourite Hiller, Whitney Port has at last been granted her own fly on the wall show. Next year we will see the LA native move from her home town to the Big Apple after landing a job with iconic designer, Diane Von Furstenberg where she will pursue a brand new life with love and friends thrown into the mix. The show is titled, The City and Whitney will be able to offer more than the predicted pre-emptive questions to Lauren Conrad about her dramatic life as we have seen in the last four series of The Hills. Smart, sassy and classy, Ms Port really has all the attributes that are needed to front a fantastic reality series. She may be regarded as the quiet and steady one in a show that is full with drama queens and a great friend to Lauren but there is something about her that is so intriguing. So it will be interesting to see the angle that MTV take on the show we all know that The Hills is scripted but Whitney does not have the volatile nature of Lauren or her drama fueled lifestyle. Therefore there is a danger that The City may not get the huge ratings of The Hills but if the producers play it right they could have a slick and savvy show on their hands. With Philip Lim, Marchesa and Valentino down as her favourite designers, we expect to see Whitney boasting a stellar wardrobe and rocking that amazing NYC lifestyle combined with living in a stunning loft. Her stints at Teen Vogue and fashion PR company, People's Revolution will certainly hold her in good stead.

The City will be aired on MTV in early 2009.

Check it Out
If you are doubtful as to whether Ms Port has what it takes to rock her own reality show then check out this trailer below.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Frock Me

On the eve before the BBC launches the fashion extravaganza, British Style Genius, Channel 4 in the shape of T4 get in there with their new kid on the block, Frock Me. Fronted by (yawn) Alexa Chung and wonder boy designer, Henry Holland, Frock Me prides itself on being more irreverent and aimed at a younger crowd - well according to Alexa anyway. To sum it up, T4's latest focuses on the relationship between fashion and music which is kind of cool as that is something that fascinates me a lot. It is also a theme that the media find fascinating hence the creation of the starry event, Fashion Rocks combined with the amount of music artists who have ventured into the fashion business.

I am not sure what I was expecting from this show but as it is on T4, which is Channel 4's younger and cooler sister, I had high hopes. However, I was left feeling very disappointed, yes the show has a lot in it such as tips on how to customise your own clothes, interviews with celebs and heading to a different city each week to find Britain's wannabee stylist. Each show has a different theme and this week's one was rock and roll jeans and how to wear them. However, it all seemed so samey and very much like a rejigged form of The Clothes Show in fact if it wasn't on Channel 4, I would have thought I was watching The Fashion Show with a new line up. There was nothing cutting edge about it at all; what show about fashion does not feature celebs sharing style tips and show a roving reporter hounding people on the street? A big fat zero for originality. Even the concept is old hat as we all know that the Frock Me brand was created four years ago as a vintage fashion event where all the top vintage dealers in the country sell their wares. Taking place in London and Brighton, it is now one of the hottest events in the calender. If you are lounging around on a Sunday morning with nothing to do then I would say tune in but other than that I wouldn't bother. They don't call T4 hangover TV for nothing.

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

You Know You Love Me

Oh my god, I have just seen the latest episode of Gossip Girl and it was sensational! After a rather shaky return to the small screen it seems that my favourite show about the shenanigans of the posse from Upper East side is back to it's wonderful best. The crafty weeded plots, amazing twists along with the razor sharp dialogue is well and truly alive. When Gossip Girl aired last year it featured a wide division between the haves and the have nots. The haves being Serena Van der Woodsen, her side kick Blair Waldorf, the brooding Nate Archibald and all American bad boy Chuck Bass who spent their trust funds partying it up in Manhattan. The have nots were Brooklyn natives Dan Humphreys and his sister Jenny who were forever on the fringes of social activities. This is until Serena returned from exile back to New York and started dating Dan. Soon Serena became a bad girl turned good and the circle became more open, lines were blurred and before we knew it all the characters became some what entwined.

In a fairytale Serena and Dan would have lived happily ever after with their mates and family looking on but hell this is drama and damm it - Josh Schwartz created this show and one thing we have learned from The OC is that nothing is at it seems. So Dan and Serena broke up, Jenny gave up trying to nab a spot with the inner circle at school, Dan went back to being Lonely Boy and Blair still reigned as the original Mean Girl. However the most dramatic turn round was Serena; we all know that she and Blair had a bit of a competitive thing going on which is stemmed from Blair insecurity. So in order to accommodate her Serena often toned down her vibrant personality. Blair repaid the gesture by being fiercely protective of Serena and woe betide anyone who crossed her. So imagine my shock when I see Serena throw down the gauntlet to Ms Blair and tell her that she is no longer going to hold back so she no longer steals the limelight from her. It seems that Serena wants to sparkle and this time no one is going to put out her bright light. Well that along with Dan enlisting Chuck to help him find his writing mojo, Lily turning out to have a deep secret (who doesn't in GG?) and the secret of Chuck's childhood is revealed, I am safe to say that this episode was a corker. Long may it continue.

Monday, 29 September 2008

The Rachel

She's cute, tiny, girly and a total fashionista who lives and dies for her passion; basically a real life Carrie Bradshaw. Rachel Zoe is not joking when she claims that fashion is her drug. The super stylist collects Birkins - which she dubs, The Birk - like some people collect stamps. I could never grasp the whole Rachel Zoe thing since magazines started raving about her a few years back up to when she released her book, Style A to Zoe. So when I heard that she was to star in her own reality show I was very quick to scoff. The twenty minute preview of The Rachel Zoe Project did not do Ms Zoe any justice as we saw her personal and private life full of drama (read my blog post here). Then I watched the first three episodes and somewhere between the first and second, I was hooked. Rachel Zoe's life is like a fairytale; she is like a godmother albeit a petite one and gets to play with clothes all day. Attending fashion shoots, show houses and meeting with designers to find gorgeous outfits to dress her celebrity clients in. Despite the conflict between her key staff members and several dramas, Rachel never flips and instead maintains her composure and treats her staff like they are her equal. Moreover, our super stylist has an amazing home life which she shares with cute hubby, Rodger who is clearly head over heels in love with her despite the fact they have been together for over 15 years. The Rachel Zoe Project is totally compulsive viewing the same reason why people love The Hills because Rachel is living the life that many ladies aspire to.

After 15 years as a stylist, Rachel is taking it the next level by building The Rachel Zoe brand. Whether she pulls this off is any one's guess but I am damm sure that she will give it her best shot. Watching the show does throws up a few questions. Such as does Starbucks sponsor the show? Every character is seen donning a Starbucks cup in practically every scene, so this is either amazing product placement or Rachel and her posse are some of the most caffeine addicted fiends that we have ever seen.

The Rachel Zoe Project is on Bravo TV on Tuesdays

Friday, 26 September 2008

British Style Genius

Oooooh I love a good fashion programme; especially the creativity, glamour, eccentricity and lavishness of it all. The fashion season is approaching its last leg in Paris where all the amazing fashion houses will be showing their wonderful wares. Unlike NYC, Milan and Paris, the fashion industry in Britain does not reek of cash but instead makes up for creativity. Stars such as Dita Von Teese, Mischa Barton, Gwen Stefani flock to London Fashion Week to see original and fresh designers such as Henry Holland, Gareth Pugh and Christopher Kane at work. To capitalise on this pool of talent, BBC are launching the British Fashion Season which is a selection of programmes that make a fashion statement.

There is the Twiggy Style Exchange that which shows the diminutive 60s star hosting clothes swapping parties and giving us tips on how to re-style old clothes with Grazia's Paula Reed on hand with top fashion tips. Check out the website here. The Beeb take a blast back to the past by reminiscing on the style from different eras. Men, Women and Clothes: How Fashions Come and Go reveals what it would be like to be stylish through over 250 years of British history.

Last but not least is British Style Genius a five part documentary that provides a fascinating insight into what makes British fashion and style innovative and so influential. The series uses couture houses in Paris which are and have been headed by Brits as an example. Each show is one hour and takes each dimension of British fashion from high street, tailored, rebel, country and street. Designers, models, stylists fashion journos, retail shakers and movers as well as the stars are featured in the show and all agree on one thing; Britain rocks!

British Style Genius airs on BBC2 in October

For all you eco fashionistas, check out BBC's online ethical fashion magazine here.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

The Women

I saw the original version of The Women when I was in my late teens and all I remember was being awestruck by how glamorous, witty and slick it was. Also the fact that there were no men anywhere to be seen did not go un-noticed. The 1939 classic starred the great Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell and Norma Sheerer as wealthy socialites who came to blows when one of them becomes romantically involved with the other's husband. Along with power and gossip, one of the themes in the movie is the comradeship of females and how they bond together during a crisis and this is an element that is displayed in the remake that was released last week. The modern day version of The Women has an amazing cast such as Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Debra Messing, Jada Pinkett and Eva Mendes on board. Meg Ryan plays Mary Haines whose husband is having an affair with Crystal played by Eva Mendes. Mary's pals, Sylvia played by Annette Bening, Edith played by Debra Messing and Alex played by Jada Pinkett Smith all rally round to provide support and a plan for vengeance.

As the title suggests The Women circa 2008 is a real girlie girlie film and one that you should go and see with your gal pals. It is engaging right from the start and packed full of real laughter moments. If flicks such as The Devil Wears Prada are your type then you will love this. Another thing I loved about The Women is the way they tackle the image of females in the media. You have Mary Haines' young daughter showing the affects of the media's unrealistic representation of women by almost starving herself and you also have Sylvia who is editor of a top fashion magazine trying to break the mould of skinny models on the cover. The leading ladies show wonderful charisma in what is a truly enjoyable film.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Nina's Top Six

Candace Bushnell's face has been plastered all over the place, in magazines and newspapers publicizing her new book, One 5th Avenue and the fact that she has been commissioned to write The Carrie Diaries. Another lady who has been having an excellent week is Nina Garcia, she of Project Runway and fashion director of Marie Claire. It seems that like others, Ms Garcia has caught the reality TV bug and will be starring in a show of her own - Running in Heels. The show will document the glossy and glam life at US Marie Claire by focusing on 15 members of staff (on different levels) with two being highlighted each week. Airing on The Style Network next March, Nina is expected to be one of the lucky 15. Not surprisingly, Running in Heels has drawn much comparison to Stylista which is set at US Elle magazine and stars fashion news director, Anne Slowey. Yes I can hear chants off rip off Devil Wears Prada everywhere but I am liking the sound of these shows especially Running with Heels. Bring it on! If this show makes it big then there is no doubt that it will break Nina as a huge star across the world. With success of her two books what is the likelihood that Nina Garcia will be turned into a brand. In celebration of her second book release and annoucement of her new show, I have compiled a list of Nina's top six.

Elle magazine
This is where Nina got her break, her job is to oversee editors and work closely with designers and stylists. During her 13 years at Elle Nina created the front-of-book Trends, Shops and Accessories page and was responsible for covering all the major shows. However, she and Elle parted ways earlier this year allegedly on bad terms.

Project Runway
This award winning show is in its sixth year and features up and coming designers competing for a sponsorship and a spot at New York Fashion Week. Over the years Nina has gained a reputation of having something of an acid tongue which has caused her to be feared by fashionistas.

The Little Black Book of Style
A bible for all fashion lovers, this book gives you lots of tips on you how to create your own style. Dressing to suit your shape, not following trends, investing in key pieces and having fun with fashion are just a few. This book was published last year and was a huge hit.

Marie Claire
After her omission from Elle, Nina was appointed fashion director of this popular magazine. Elle's loss was Marie Claire's gain as Nina's new stable took over as partner of Project Runway. Whether this was planned or pure coincidence, no one knows but it seems to be a perfect fit.

The One Hundred
This book is an exhaustive list of all the 'must have' things that every self respecting fashionista should own. Clothes, shoes, jewellery, make up, accessories.. it is all here for you to devour. Like Nina's first book The One Hundred contains gorgeous illustrations.

Running in Heels
The show that follows the life and careers of staff on Marie Claire showing the dramas, pressures and responsibilities that they face. It will show what it is like to be a working woman in a cut throat industry like women's magazines.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Getting Carried Away

The Sex and the City film is now out on DVD so here we go again with all the hype. I finally got the film the second time round but still left feeling a tad bit disappointed. The film had it all; love, friendship, clothes, shoes and New York but I couldn't help feeling how cool it would have been if Sex and the City: The Movie had taken us back a few years so we could see Carrie when she first came to NYC and met her ladies in crime. Funny to hear that the children's division of Harper Collins are planning to release a series of books about Carrie in her teenage years. The books will show a young Ms Bradshaw growing up in her native home town and feature her visits to the big apple. S&TC book author, Candace Bushnell has been enlisted to write the books and with a working title of The Carrie Years, it looks like it will be hit with teens as well as their Mothers. However as a good mate of mine stated, it is all a bit much and anyone would think that Carrie Bradshaw was a real life character. So it leads me to ask the question of whether we are truly getting carried away with the immortal S&TC.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

London Fashion Week - September 08

It is that time of year again when we all put on our high heels and fancy frocks and head down to the Natural History Museum for London Fashion Week. That was how I spent my Monday taking in the collections by Wildlifeworks and Olanic, that is when I was not hanging out at the sub zero press office with the lovely Michelle Obi from myfashionlife and checking out the exhibition. It was just what I expected from LFW; original, creative and stylish with an uber cool vibe in the air.

The thing that stands out about LFW are the events that run alongside it. As well as the numerous parties, launches and receptions there are fantastic fashion shows that run off schedule from the main fashion shows. On/Off and Vauxhall Fashion Scout are the main two and the idea of these shows is to allow up and coming designers who cannot afford to show to LFW an avenue to show their collection. So while On/Off takes up residence at the the Royal Academy of Arts, Vauxhall Fashion Scout makes its base on Cromwell Road. Each venue comes with its own press office complete with laptops, publications and footage of the shows.

On/Off events
In it's ninth year, On/Off prides itself in nurturing new talent in the UK and have established themselves as the trendiest designer exhibition showcase. Considering that they have talent such as Sinha Stanic, Jasper Conran and Louise Amstrup onboard this is no surprise. However, On/Off is now much more than a showcase; the brand has launched the On/Off boutique with and have also embraced technology by producing video podcasts of all catwalk shows which are available to download from iTunes, Youtube as well as the On/Off website. The brand is also making it's debut at Paris Fashion Week.

Vauxhall Fashion Scout
This is the largest catwalk event in London for emerging designers and features 20 exciting shows over the course of LFW. Designers such as Jens Laugesen, Aganovich, Avsh Alom Gur, Peter Pilotto and Felder Felder have glided through. The most striking aspect about Vauxhall is the funky and vibrant press office that is located upstairs. Taking the theme from Morocco, the press office has drapes made from North African influence with beaded cushions lying casually on the sofas. Trust me it is superfly.

With all these countless activities the mind boggles when you hear the shocking news that the country's finest fashion show may be reduced from six days to four. It seems that our pals across the Atlantic are pushing for New York Fashion Week to be put back so it does not clash with Labour Day celebrations and with Milan Fashion Week refusing to budge this puts the pressure on LFW. The decision is set to be announced tomorrow so you can imagine that the British Fashion Council along with all the Brit fashionistas will be glued to the news.

Well it's smiles all round today as it has just been announced that London Fashion Week will be keeping their five days. An agreement was reached by all four fashion meccas which will accommodate all events.