Thursday, 28 February 2008

Lipstick Jungle

So at last Lipstick Jungle, the lovely, Candace Bushnell's new baby gets its airtime. This new show, which is touted as the new Sex and the City is about three chums who happen to be the biggest players in New York. There is Wendy Healy played by Brooke Shields, a top movie exec who is the bread winner of the family, Nico Reily played by Kim Raver a glam magazine editor who embarks on an affair with a younger guy and Victory Ford played by Lindsay Price, a fashion designer who is trying to pick up the pieces after damming reviews of her latest collection. Now I am sure you all know the details about Lipstick Jungle and Cashmere Mafia, the rival show but in case you need reminding then may I suggest you click here to read my previous blog.

I will be honest and admit that Lipstick Jungle has the advantage as I have read the book and taken a liking to all the characters. My first impression of Cashmere Mafia was not good but seven shows in I have found myself warming to the show and the characters. Ok the dialogue is a bit lame and the jokes few and far between in but Cashmere Mafia does a good job of portraying the way powerful women behave in the boardroom. Lipstick Jungle, on the other hand fares better in the way the friendship of the three women is developed. Unlike the Cashmere quartet, you can really believe that the Lipstick trio are best mates who have known each other for a long time. The way they bicker, reprimand each other, joke together and console each other; very often all over a three course meal, makes you want to buy this friendship. Also the jokes are a lot better and the one-liners are simply sensational. My only quibble is the casting; from what I read in the book Wendy is very tomboyish in contrast to her feminine husband, which is a far cry from the very glamorous Brooke Shields. I also would have had Nico down as a ravishing brunette as opposed to the waspy Kim Raver and Lindsay Price's wardrobe is so so wrong considering the character she plays. Come on, she is supposed to be a fashion designer not a reject from a pantomime. It will be interesting to see which show comes out tops. NBC are really going for it though, they have even produced a real version of Bonfire magazine, the publication that Nico Reily edits. Cool huh? It seems to be a growing trend, FX Networks did the same with Dirt; the TV series staring Courtney Cox in which she plays an Editor of a tabloid magazine .

Thursday, 21 February 2008

The Book Trailer

It is Oscar time again and I am really excited. I love the whole buzz around the Academy Awards, seeing all the A list stars dressed up to the nines and watching all the films, actors and directors who have made an impact last year. Now the academy may not always get it right but the event certainly makes damm good entertainment. Popular actors and respected directors may be able to sell a movie to an audience but it is the trailer that gets bums on seats. Movie studios spend thousands of pounds putting together the trailer of a film to look right as this is the bench mark that people use on whether to see it or not. The book publishing industry has got onto the act and we now have trailers for books. Hence author, Lorelei Mathias who produced a trailer for her book, Step On It Cupid (below) which is based on the life of Amelie, a sassy advertising executive who has everything except the right guy. Not one to give up while she is ahead, Lorelei has come up with another promo ad for her new title, Lost for Words (above) which is the tale of Daisy, a book lover who slogs away at her job in a publishing house till a tall and handsome stranger starts work there. Both books are published by The Little Black Dress Books, who I blogged about here.

Check out both trailers and tell me what you think.

If these videos otherwise known as vidlits have tickled your fancy then read this article in The Bookseller which was written by Lorelei Mathias herself. She discusses the popularity of viral marketing in promoting books. It certainly makes interesting reading - excuse the pun.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

In the Red

I started reading this book in January when myself, the whole world and his dog were totally skint after the Christmas activities. In the Red is the story of Alexis Hall, a 39 year old journo turned PR, who has very expensive taste in clothes, shoes, make up and all other goodies which results in her ending up in severe debt. Sounds familiar? Umm yes, it does sound very much like The Shopaholic series but there are fundamental differences. In the Red is a bio that is set out in diary form; Alexis comes up with a strategy that will see her debtfree in a few years and unlike our beloved shopaholic, Becky Bloomwood, she actually sticks to it. Sassy Scot, Alexis hits a rock and a hard place when she realises how much debts she has racked up over the years. In total her personal debt is a whooping £30,000, give or take a few pounds. After a stint of self reckoning Alexis decided to turn over a new leaf and starts spending her money on simply bare essentials over the next year. Can she subcumb to the temptations of cute boutiques and swanky stores on her high street? Well it remains to be seen. This book reminds me a lot of Save Karyn, the cult hit about a gal about town who is on a mission to clear her debts. Alexis' witty and amiable style realy draws you in and has you rooting for her. She may be up to her ears in debt but this lady is no victim.

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Mac - Metal-X Cream Colour Shadow

I was a bit of a late bloomer when it came to make up and did not get the hang of it till I was in my early 30s. A fantastic makeover at Mac had me hooked on their products for life. I am in love with their Shock-O-Late lipglass which is the complete bomb and leaves your lips with a choccy glossy look. I also use their foundations and eye shadows avidly. I received the all new Metal-X Cream Shadow a while back but did not know what to do with it. The Metal-X Cream Colour Shadow comes in sumptous colours such as virgin silver, fusion gold, cyber metalic; all colours that I like a lot. However the sample colour that I got was Pink Ingot, don't get me wrong, I kind of like pink - but just not on my face. Anyway one morning I was feeling adventurous so I decided to try it and I was pleasantly surprised. The Cream Colour Base turned out to be a real treat - it not only glided on smoothly, it looked hot in a frosty kind of way. It brings creamy to the max and if you like a luxurious feel in your make up then this little gem is for you. I have not tried it on my cheeks or skin yet but plan to do so very soon. The Metal-X Cream Shadow is a cream to powder metalics shadow that provides liquid metal effects. It comes in a wide variety of colours such as Virgin Silver, Pure Ore, Goldspice, Fusion Gold, Metalblu, Cyber Metallic, 6th Sin, Plum Electric. I also have a crush on Chintz on Chintz lipstick, which is a uber nude colour which has been the reason for my move back to lipstick.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Britannia Rocks

London Fashion Week (LFW) has come round again amidst a time packed with glamorous media festivities such as the BAFTAS and the Brit Awards. The British Fashion Council have organised a mouth watering menu of catwalk shows from cutting edge designers such as Gareth Pugh, Christopher Kane and the new darling Emma Cook. As well as the new wave there is the established posse such as Betty Jackson, Caroline Charles and the grand dame in the shape of Vivienne Westwood. LFW is always an amazing event full of excitement bordering on hysteria. In between the shows there are lots of launches and champagne receptions and lets not forget all the activities in press room. Every night there is a slinky party where the fashion pack can shake their designer clad booty to the cool beats.

Oh and then there is the Exhibition which plays host to over two hundred designer labels, from established to up and coming and brand spanking new. It is also where the buyers and owners hang out sipping Moet hoping to nail that huge order that will pay for their jet set lifestyle. If you think the catwalk looks glamorous then you really need to take a trip down here. On the ground floor you have jewellery, bags, footwear and millinery and upstairs is where the ready to wear collections are. Taking a browse through the Exhibition can be pretty daunting as you are looked over head to toe by perfectly coiffed fashionistas. What is funny is the way they all look immediately at your pass; obviously to see if you are a buyer from a large store. Those curious looks then turn to fake smiles when they realise that you are press. This year the Exhibition which is sponsored by Topshop, who welcome a revamped New Gen which showcases the works of some of the most promising names in fashion. Hip labels such as Christopher Kane, House of Holland, Duru Olowu, Erdem and Todd Lynn all hold court here. As you enter this section you experience a total new vibe that is cool and shaking. Gone is the smooth albastor interior and in its place is a space that is akin to an old fashioned boozer with that touch of hippy hippy shake. It comes complete with a bar, dartboard and of course a pool table. New Gen is definately the place with LFW embracing the best of Brit talent.

So much that this week's Grazia celebrates this by producing a special 'Britain Rocks Again' issue which shows model, Agyness Deyn on the cover carry the Union Jack. The magazine also has Aygness and her mate, Henry Holland aka House of Holland, adopting the infamous pose that Patsy Kensit and Liam Gallagher did in Vanity Fair back in the 90s. Grazia also features other Brit idols from the entertainment industry.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Top Tips for Girls

Remember those old wives tales that your mother and her peers use to spout? Yes, you know the ones that you scoffed at till you realised that there was a bit of truth in them? Well they have all been collated into a chic little green book called Top Tips for Girls. Written by journo, Kate Reardon, the book is packed with tips on everything from - how to remove water marks on dark wood, how to achieve the perfect wardrobe, how to manage your boss and how to get people talking at weddings. All the things you need to know to run your life is crammed into this gem of a book. Reardon, whose day job is as an Editor at Vanity Fair decided to set up a website in 2007 after realising that that was a gap in the market for this sort of information. The website became a smash hit and has almost 4 million hits from women all over the globe.

Top Tips for Girls is a cute hand book sized that is made to fit into your handbag. It is divided into 25 tiny sections that consist of clothes, gardening, cars, dating, make up, weddings etc. It is really is a handy book for any lady that will help her sort her life out.

Top Tips for Girls is out now!

Click here to check out the website.

Friday, 8 February 2008

My Adidas

The iconic brand of Adidas have launched a new advert that traces the history of their trainers. The commercial, which airs this week sees Adidas creator, Adi Dassler in his workshop coming up with dynamic concepts. The short memorial goes on to feature other Adidas icons such as Muhammed Ali, Run DMC and Bob Marley. Now I am not a real trainer fan, in fact I have had the same pair of trainers for the last seven years; the Adidas original with three stripes. I bought them on a vacation in Sydney and these ones were white with light green stripes. To say that trainers are big money these days would be a complete understatement, the whole sport industry is worth gazillions. Nike is the big player of course with other brands following suit such as Reebok, Converse, Puma and of course Adidas. Apart from the Nike store which I really like having a browse through for inspiration, Nike does not really do it for me. I find their approach a bit too generic and their clothes very overpriced and unoriginal. I do admire their marketing tricks and find a lot of their adverts very engaging. The brand that is after my heart is Adidas as they represent everything that Nike isn't which is more edgy and slightly elusive. Basically Adidas is the Apple of the sportswear market and has a vintage image that was gained from the early days of hip hop. Rap legends, Run DMC were avid supporters of the brand and even penned a song called 'My Adidas.' Since then the brand has been through leaps and bounds and they broke through during 1998 when they produced some amazing adverts starring footballers Zinedine Zidane, Alessandro Del Piero, Patrick Kluivert and David Beckham. Those adverts were beautifully shot and very dramatic. A few years later they followed with the basketball adverts where the likes of Vince Carter showed off some breath taking skills. Adidas was here to stay and they were not going anywhere. Since then Adidas have had a mouth watering list of sports stars on its roster such as Patrick Kluivert, Anna Kournikova, Zinedine Zidane, Kobe Bryant, Sergio Garcia, Donavan Bailey and of course David Beckham and they have all made their mark.

I have been wearing my old Adidas quite a bit lately on my way to and from work as my poor feet cannot do heels 24/7 anymore. Last year I decided that my old pair were a but beat up and went looking for a replacement. I saw a really nice pair of white ones with pink stripes, yeah really girly girly but I liked them. I was expecting to pay around £50 but I was surprised when the sales assistant told me that they had been reduced to £19.99. Not bad eh. The problem is that they are sooo white that I am kind of scared to wear them. I mean we are talking pristine white here At the moment they are still in the cool blue box that they came in till I pluck up the courage to put them on.

Friday, 1 February 2008


This show, like chocolate cake is pure indulgence. I love nothing more than waking up on a Sunday morning, floating down the stairs to the lounge and tucking into breakfast while watching this show. What is it that I like about Hollyoaks? It is the ridiculous story lines, crappy acting, OTT characters as well as the over zelous music soundtrack that tries so hard to be cool. For those of you who don't know, Hollyoaks is a soap that is set in the Northern town of Cheshire where teenagers and twenty-somethings get up to all sorts of shenanigans. Teenage sex, marital affairs, rape, drugs, homosexuality, it is all here and then some. Think, Gossip Girl but without the penthouse apartments and million dollar trust funds and you are on the right track.

One of the new plot developments concerns, Summer Shaw, played by Summer Strallen who is pictured on the left. Now Summer (the actress) has starred in the West End productions Cats and Guys and Dolls. This week the show merges fact and fiction where Summer (the character) heads to London to pursue her dream to play Maria in The Sound of Music. This story mirrors real life as the actress who plays her has just landed the exact role.

Project Catwalk 3

Don't laugh but I only signed up for Sky last year so I missed out on the first series of Project Catwalk with the divine Liz Hurley. I am now rapidly catching up via YouTube. I am beginning to wonder how I ever coped before that amazing invention. I throughly enjoyed the second series of Project Catwalk albiet my shock when dumpy, Kelly Osborne was given the presenter's gig. No matter how I try I cannot bring myself to like that girl. Maybe it is her awful dress sense, her obnxious manner or the fact that she possess no talent whatsoever. Anyway - mini rant over - as you all know the second series ended with wonder boy, Wayne Aveline taking the crown and all the perks that came with it. I had my bet on Monika Rene with her flair and feistiness. Didn't you just love the sparring contest between her and Julien McDonald?

The third series started a few weeks ago and I have managed to catch some of it but what I have seen it seems to be more fight than fashion. Contestants bickering over trivial matters. Anyway it is the same format as last year; 13 contestants competing for the sum of £25,000, a spread in Grazia magazine and the chance to design a clothing range for catalogue, Oli. Now I am not one to turn my nose up at clothing labels but surely no aspiring fashion designer wants to be associated with a catalogue. It would be different with if you were an established designer and created a diffusion range to bring in some readies and make your line more accessible. The winner of Project Runway gets to show at New York Fashion Week, now that in my opinion is huge and much more beneficial to any designer's career than a catalogue deal. So how about next year's winner getting a gig at London Fashion Week? That is something I would love to see.

Project Catwalk 3 is on Sky One on Wednesday at 9.00pm