Thursday, 31 January 2008

The Meaning of Sunglasses: A Guide to Almost All Things Fashionable

Ok, brace yourself because this is a heavyweight of a style book. Fashionista journo, Hadley Freeman's writing debut is on the ethos of fashion industry and all other elements. The Meaning of Sunglasses: A Guide to Almost all Things Fashionable is an A to Z of fashion with a twist. It does not cover the all and sundry of fashion but topics and subjects that the author finds intruiging. This approach results in a very funny, witty and very well researched book. As an officiando of The Guardian and ultimate style mag, Vogue, Ms Freeman certainly knows her stuff. However, unlike other fashion journos, she posseses a look on the industry that is cynical and analytical. Freeman like her books teaches you how to embrace the fun in fashion and not to take it too seriously. I mean it is only clothes right? Ok as well as shoes, handbags etc. Every echelon in the style stakes is covered here; vintage, music, film, fashion designers and even a certain Kate Moss. Normally I do not care for blurbs on press releases but the statement issued from the PRO that this title 'shucks off its imposing mystique of fashion and makes it relevant to people beyond the usual Vogue readership' is true to its word. Hadley takes fashion from the snooty elevators and brings it right down to grass roots level with her delightful entries.

The Meaning of Sunglasses: A Guide to Almost All Things Fashionable is published by Viking and out in February.

Monday, 21 January 2008

Make Me a Supermodel

I am not really a fan of modelling shows, I am so not into America's Next Top Model and I find watching a bunch of bean poles waiting around to be photographed or moaning very tedious. However, like most women alive and breathing, I could not resist the opportunity to drool over Mr Beckford. Make Me a Supermodel, or whatever it is called is a reality show that is based on the UK counterpart which was presented by Aussie model, Rachel Hunter. The US version is anchored by Tyson Beckford and Nikki Taylor and sees 14 male and female models compete for $100,000 and a modelling contract with New York Model Management. Make Me a Supermodel will run for twelve weeks and viewers will decide which model they want to save and go on to fight for the title.

Now that's the boring bits out of the way, lets talk about Tyson and how FINE he looked in - erm - every scene. There is no doubt that he is the magnet for this show and the dude plays his part well. Mr Beckford simly oozes charisma and demonstrates lots of game as well as heart. During the photo shoots we see him shouting out words of encouragement to the models and even holding their coats for them as they prepare to get their picture taken. What a guy! In the mornings the models are even treated to a wake up call from him. Now who would not want to wake up to that face? My verdict on Make Me a Supermodel is that it is not the greatest show on earth but damm - that Tyson makes up for it.

Thursday, 17 January 2008


It has taken me a while to get onto this show. I have heard it mentioned in various magazines and blogs but until a few months back I had no concept of what it was like. Thanks to itunes I was able to watch series seven which is the aftermath of Toni's demise and the tragedy in New Orleans. Without the prior history it took me a while to get into it but once I had sussed out the who was who I was hooked. I have watched all of series seven and I am now onto series eight, which I understand is to be the final series. Damm typical, I find a great show and it is about to end. Still I have the early shows to look forward to. I am hunting for the first six series because I am dying to meet Toni! She is like an enigma to me because she is mentioned many times but of course I have not met her. Girlfriends is an American sitcom about the trials and tribulations of four African American female friends. It is created by Mara Brock Akil who worked on the sitcom, Moesha which starred R&B singer, Brandy and it is produced by Kelsey Grammer who we all know from Frasier.

One of the many reasons why I love this show is because of the fantastic witty dialogue and the intensity of the characters. Everyone of them is complex and has many levels to them and moreover they have flaws. What is so amazing about Girlfriends is that it shows how each person deals with their imperfections and how they are accepted by their peers despite them. My favorite characters are Mya played by Golden Brooks and Darnell played by Khalil Kain; these two have been through the mill but are still going strong. I just adore Mya's sassiness and Darnell's gentleman qualities and he proves that a guy does not need to play the hard man to be strong. Lyn played by Persia White is pretty hit and miss to me - I guess she is the Phoebe of the group but I just don't get her bohemian qualities and find her parasite ways down right annoying. I love Monica played by Keesha Sharp with her fiestiness but I find William played by Reginald C. Hayes (what is up wit that hair?) a complete bore. Which brings me to Joan who is played by Tracee Ellis Ross (Diana Ross' daughter!); it is difficult to describe whether I like her or not. Sometimes her snobbish attitude makes me want to throw things at the TV and at other time she can be very sweet. I guess that is the beauty of Girlfriends, you have real characters that make you think.

Friday, 11 January 2008

Cashmere Mafia

Cries of a rip off of Sex and the City were heard when the much anticipated pilot of Cashmere Mafia come to the small screen on Wednesday. The latest series by S&TC creator, Darren Star was due to air last year but a certain writer's strike put a halt to that. The plot is a no brainer, four high flying women who meet while doing their MBA's form a deep and loyal friendship.
Mia Mason played by Lucy Liu is a go getter who will do anything to win and when she is pitted against her fiance in her publishing firm, she puts out all the stops to win. Zoe Burden played by Frances O'Connor, lives an unorthodox life where she goes out to earn the bacon in her investment banking role while her sexy hubby stays at home and looks after their kids. Unfortunately, life is not so blissful with Juliet Harper who is played by Miranda Otto. She may be the big honcho of a massive hotel chain with a fantastic home but this is marred by her cheating husband and rebellious daughter. Then there is Caitlin Dowd, played by Bonnie Somerville, a marketing exec who is muddling through life and discovering her sexuality on the way.

My first impressions of Cashmere Mafia was how similar it is to Lipstick Jungle (TV series based on a book by Candace Bushnell - read my previous blog about it here) in terms of the look of the programme. However as we move on into the show the similarities stop. While all the characters in Lipstick Jungle were well developed and very distinctive, the Cashmere set come across as very contrived. Mia is forgettable, Juliet is disappointing as the down trodden wife but Caitlin takes the biscuit. She goes from being in a relationship, single and a lesbian in all of 30 minutes. A record if you ask me and downright ridiculous. This character reeks of tokenism and it is so obvious that she has just been thrown in as the 'lesbian.' The only shining light is Zoe and her husband whose charm and humour rescues this show from being a total dismal affair. I love the scene at her daughter's ballet show, she was so cute. However, I hated the bit where Juliet prances into her awards ceremony in her red dress with her posse behind her. Is this a TV series or an R&B video?

Another grip I have is that these women spend so much time discussing their woes over breakfast, lunch and dinner that it is a wonder that they get any work done at all. Oh and what is with the Blackberries going off every second? That is so unreal, if any corporate professional behaved like that she would be out on her cute ass.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Living etc

Now as you know I am a mag hag, although I have got better over years. Instead of buying zillion glossies each month, I now only buy a selected few and read the rest at Borders or standing in the aisles of WHSmiths. The magazines that are lucky enough to make it home with me are Grazia, Marie Claire (sometimes), Elle (sometimes), First (occasionally) and Living etc. Since I bought and revamped my house four years ago I have become obsessed with property and interiors. I watched all the shows, read all the books and attend lots of fairs. I cannot even remember how I discovered Living etc, I think I must have just picked it up when I was looking for something to read many moons ago; circa 2003. During that time it was edited by Jane Bruton who now heads Grazia magazine and it was full of great articles on doing up your home, tips on property renovations and it also contained the most wonderful pictures. Unlike Elle Decoration whose concept is aspirational bordering on avant garde, Living etc focuses on homes for modern living and zones in on the latest trends, stylish items and sheer gorgeousness. I was totally entranced when I first read it and I guess you can say I still am. Today Living etc is edited by Suzanne Imre and the magazine is just as fabulous as ever, I have about four year's worth of issues and each one is irreplaceable.

Check out their website here.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

My New Year Resolutions

2008 is here at last. I love the beginning of a new year because it means a brand new chapter in your life with new adventures, experiences and joys. A new year also brings new challenges and goals. I make resolutions for every year and 2008 will be no different; so here they are listed below:

1. Learn how to drive
2. Buy a car ( preferably a Mini)
3. Pay off my debts
4. Start a savings/investment plan
5. Detox my house
6. Redo my kitchen
7. Finally do up my garden

Of course that includes lots and lots of blogging (reading and writing them) and reading plenty of wonderful books, attending amazing fashion shows, catching great TV and seeing brilliant movies. One movie that I will NOT be missing is of course Sex and the City, nothing short of being on my death bed will stop me seeing that movie when it comes out later this year. Although thanks to all the many, many, many pictures I have seen from the movie set, I feel like I have seen the film already I am still itching to see it.