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.