Sunday, 27 December 2009

The Karate Kid

I loved The Karate Kid which was released back in 1985 and I still do, so I was pretty perplexed when I heard that there was a new Karate Kid film on the block. After the huge success of Karate Kid two other follow ups were produced but they were all car crashes. There was even The Next Karate Kid starring a fresh faced Hilary Swank but that was a huge flop. So when I spotted a link in Twitter for the trailer of the new movie I was not expecting much. Take my words the all new Karate Kid looks like a lot of fun. It stars Jaden Smith better known as son of Will Smith and co-star of The Pursuit of Happyness. He plays Dre Parker whose perfect life is interrupted when he is uprooted to Bejing after his actress mother, played by Taraji P. Henson lands a role in a big movie. However things do not go smoothly for Dre when he makes an enemy out of the school bully who proceeds to make his life a living hell. Totally isolated he has no one to turn to till he meets his messiah in the form of Mr Han played by Jackie Chan. Mr Han introduces him to the philosophy of Kung Fu and teaches him how to empower himself. The film is produced by Will Smith and Jada Pinkett themselves and I say they have done a cracking job.

The Karate Kid is released in the US in June 2010.

Check out the trailer and tell me what you think.

Friday, 25 December 2009

Merry Xmas

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all. For those of you in Australia and Asia I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Good tidings to you all.

Friday, 18 December 2009

The Beautiful Life Returns

Remember when models ruled the world in the 90s with Naomi, Linda, Christy and Cindy? Yep who can forget when that gorgeous quartet rocked the runway at the Versace show to George Michael's Freedom. That was a moment etched in pop culture history with fashion meshing with music. During that decade everyone became obessed with models and not a magazine went by without a model appearing on the cover. The term supermodel was born and granted to a select few and they became very famous and rich. Following the media and public's appetite for tall and skinny creatures a show was created that showed the fabulous life of a model. Enter Models Inc which was launched in 1994 and starred Linda Gray from Dallas and Carrie-Ann Moss who go on and kick ass in The Matrix. The show was not a huge  success and ran for one season.

The Beautiful Life  is the baby of Ashton Kutcher (he is the executive producer)  and it made it's debut this season on CWTV with Mischa Barton as top billing. However the show was axed after only two episodes and I was devastated as I was really getting into it. It seemed that although we love shows about models in reality shows such as America's Next Top Model, fiction shows about them are not as well received. Today I  logged onto Perez Hilton and found out that The Beautiful Life is being relaunched by Ashton Kutcher on YouTube. That's right, all five episodes will be available to watch online. The objective is to prove that an online show can get more viewers than one that is aired on TV. If the shows turn out to be a hit then this will give Ashton the green light to make more episodes specifically for the web. How exciting! I love to seeing people taking life by the hands and really going for things they believe in.

Let me give you a bit of background on The Beautiful Life aka TBL. Forget Mischa, TBL is actually about Chris Mathews played by Benjamin Hollingsworth, a small town boy from Iowa who falls into modelling as a way to make some extra cash for his struggling family. He moves into a model house in Manhattan where he meets Raina Mayer played by Sara Paxton, an up and coming model who I guess is like a new Christy Turlington. How can I describe Raina? Well she is gorgeous, kind, gutsy and humble; kind of like Mother Theresa in stilettos. The two teenagers are instantly attracted to each other but as you would have it work keeps getting in the way. There is also a small matter of a huge family secret that Raina is carrying. Other characters are Sonja Stone played by Mischa Barton who is making a comeback to modelling after an unexplained six month hiatus. Marissa Delfina played by Ashley Madekwe, a Brit chick who will stop at nothing to get to the top and that includes knocking Sonja off her perche. Cole Shephard played by Nico Tortorella is a seasoned model who holds a torch for Raina. Issac Taylor played by Corbin Bleu plans to replace modelling with a career in music but finds himself in a dangerous relationship with cougar, Vivienne played by Jaime Murray who is interested in more than his modelling abililites. Then there is former supermodel, Claudia Foster played by Elle McPherson who owns the modelling agency they work for and determined to make it a success no matter what. The Beautiful Life is a rather voyeristic look into the crazy and ultra competitive life of the modeling world.

Read my preview of The Beautiful Life here.

You can watch the full pilot of the show above and you can catch all the rest of episodes right here.

TGI Friday

Another week, another dollar and a whole heap of snow has landed on my street. It looked really pretty when it set in the early hours of the morning but now it is gradually turning to ice and looking grim. Anyway enough doom and gloom, here are the blog posts that have rocked my world this week.

Not only is it the end of the year it is also the end of the decade and the Pbleepd posse look at the top 20 dancers of all time.

Michelle O. Style
Can you believe it is almost a year since the Obamas took over the world in the form of Barack and Michelle? This tribute blog takes a retrospective look at Michelle O. mania.

The (official) London Blogger Meet Up got together a few weeks back and Sian was invited to talk at the event. Find out how it went and what went down at the event.

Black Women in Europe
Every Black person I know plans to see the Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, have a read of this commentary by Black Women in Europe.

Bangs and a Bun
New Years Eve is the thorn in my side; to go out or not to go out? So I was glad to read this blog and find out that I am not the only one who thinks the hype of NYE is over rated.

Picture taken from Pbleepd.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

In the Editor's Chair - Sarah Diouf

Welcome to In the Editor's Chair where I feature editors from niche and underground magazines. Meet 22 year old Sarah Diouf who is the brains and driving force behind GHUBAR magazine; a publication which covers fashion and style from a global perspective. As Paris is regarded as the capital of fashion then it is very fitting that GHUBAR (which means dust in arabic) is based in there. An undergraduate in marketing and communications, an intern at an accessories company as well as holding down a part time job at a department store, I do wonder how she manages to find the time to produce a magazine but she certainly makes it happen. The past issues of GHUBAR have featured an eclectic mix of music artist, fashionistas as well as trend pioneers. The December GHUBAR is a double issue which celebrates their one year anniversary and contains a article on blogs and looks at punk culture. Sarah took some time out to tell me all about GHUBAR and other things.  

How did you get into journalism?
Lol. I didn't. I'm actually studying marketing and communication which is my major but I fell in this adventure by passion. 

Describe the concept of GHUBAR magazine.
GHUBAR stands for difference. We live more than ever in the cross cultures era, and GHUBAR is a magazine built around inter-breeding and multiculturalism. Our hope and aim is to make people realize there are different standards of beauty out there and they are just waiting to be recognized, since it is not the case in all the current paper magazines. Difference is our crenel. We promote all types of beauty; any girl or boy can read the magazine without feeling forgotten. This is what is actually happening today and not only in the Press but in most of the medias. Everybody seem to forget we are in 2009 and that the 00's girls are not all straight blond, with blue eyes, fitting in a size 2. Sometimes we have to get back to what is called "standards", as you will see in the November issue, to also make people understand we are not the voice of all communautarisms. We want everybody to feel concerned. It is about finding the balance.

The design is very glam, how did you decide on the art design of the publication?
Thank you. Well, I’m doing the whole magazine layout myself and I have to say, it was not what is it is now at the beginning. But I’m learning everyday and getting critics and feedback from people we work with on each issue really helps. I wanted the magazine to look like a real one, not just like a news website. So Carl, the webmaster and I had a long months chat about the global website layout and what was possible or not to do. I especially wanted to set up the magazine myself since Carl and I are working very closely, it was the best way. about the design, we have to keep in mind that we are on the internet and the fact that images have stronger impact than writings. So we have to keep in mind that we are on the internet and the fact that images have stronger impact than writings.

Who is behind Ghubar magazine?
I think now you know. (laughs)

How many members of staff work on the magazine?
We are  15; Maxime, the art director, Laura, Lala, Gregory, Mboko, the fashion editors, Tene, artists interviews, Raphaelle, Elodie who do communication and press relations, Laetitia, Maya, Claude, the photographers, Carl, the webmaster, Clara, graphist, Emily, who just joined us as a production assistant and myself.

Describe a day in the life of Sarah Diouf.
It depends on the week actually. I’m going to school and I’m also interning in a luxury accessories rental company, so it depends on the week actually. But I woke up in the morning, grabbed a juice bottle and set off to work. On Saturday I’m selling tablecloths (no kiddin!) in a luxury store called Le Bon Marché, a student job I have held for almost three years now. On Sunday, it is all about
GHUBAR and I’m on set with the team.

Which blogs do you check out regularly?
My friend's. Three of them don't live with me in Paris so it is a good way for me to follow their adventures.

and mine of course.

What magazines do you read?
All I can, from fashion to economy...but mainly French ones regularly. I wish some magazine were not so expensive (when they come from abroad, there’s always taxes). But when I can, I jump on some Japanese and English magazines because they are different from any others. Now I have to say I have kind a crush on this new mag that has just dropped in France called
Grazia, and if I am not a huge fan of the way the threat their covers (...) but some inside subjects are very interesting.

What tips do you have for anyone who wants to become a magazine editor?
Lol. It is funny how often this question is asked. Well, just do it!

The new issue of GHUBAR magazine is out now, check out their website here.
You can read the GHUBAR blog here.
You can follow Sarah on twitter here.

Check out the backstage shoot of the December cover below.


Wednesday, 16 December 2009

My Space - Amber McNaught from Forever Amber

Amber McNaught is a very busy lady, what with a media empire to run and an expensive shoe habit to feed. Media Midas consist seven websites that include,,,, and There is also Amber’s personal blog, Forever Amber where she talks about personal matters that concern her. This can range from the lovely items she has purchased to her daily adventures and no decent blog would be taken seriously without the odd ranting here and there. So where does Amber write her blog? I set out to find out.

Describe the concept of Forever Amber.
Forever Amber is basically a personal journal. I’d been keeping paper journals since I was about 12 years old, so this seemed like the natural extension of that. I have other blogs devoted to fashion, beauty and shoes, so Forever Amber is a space to write about anything and everything else that occurs to me, from random tales from my day-to-day life or the occasional rant.

Where do you scribe?
I have a home office in the spare bedroom and do almost all of my blogging from there. I will occasionally take my laptop downstairs (or into bed) but I’d say 98% of my blogging is done from my desk – very boring.

Why that place?
I work from home, so the office has everything I need – well, everything except an endless supply of coffee, anyway. I’m also very easily distracted, so coffee shops or other typical writing venues are out for me – I need to minimize the distractions.

What is on your desk at the moment?
Other than my laptop, phone and printer I have a mug of coffee, a bottle of water a set of earplugs (Noise drives me mad when I’m trying to work. Or any other time, really.), a couple of little ornaments that were gifts from my parents, and a SAD lamp: I really hate the winter.

What form of inspiration do you have on the wall i.e. photos, magazine cuttings or extracts?
My walls are embarrassingly bare at the moment: must sort that out in the new year.

Do you keep a tidy office or are you a messy worker?
I’m a complete neat-freak, so I run a tight ship. That said - my husband who also works from home and occupies the desk next to me - is the exact opposite, so one half of the room is normally tidy while the other half looks like we’ve just been robbed.

You can read Amber's blog here.  

You can follow her on Twitter here.  

24 Hours London by Marsha Moore

I like to do my fair bit of travelling so travel guides produced by Rough Guides and Lonely Planet come in very handy. While Lonely Planet is geared towards the solo traveller, Rough Guides is the book for quirky characters who just love to do their travels off the beaten path. While I was hot footing it around Atlanta, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City, Toronto oh yeah and New York (I am such a show off aren't I?) last summer I had roughly a few days to get to know each city. A momentous task when you consider how wide spread Atlanta is and how cramped NYC is. I kept thinking how useful it would have been to have a structured guide to the cities. Enter 24 Hours London which is a round-the-clock guide to what to do in the Capital. All the gems of London are revealed hour by hour, plenty of best kept secrets and a wide range of activities that will suit anyone from a speed junkie to someone who likes the easier pace in life. As a Londoner born and bred I started this book thinking that there would was very little that anyone can tell me about my beloved city but I was left feeling very surprised. So I decided to catch up with author, Marsha Moore to talk about this dynamic new guide to London. 

Tell me about the concept of 24 Hours London.
There’s so much to do in London, it’s hard to know where to start!  24 Hours London breaks down the day and night, hour by hour, and lets readers choose from the best London has to offer. From running up walls to hunting down ghosts or just kicking back and relaxing at an underground loo-turned-pub; readers can see the top picks for what's happening city-wide at any moment in time. It’s a bit like having a ready-made itinerary for 24 hours. 

How long did it take you to research the book?
I’ve lived in London for almost six years (I’m Canadian), and I consider each one of those six years as research. I love the diversity of London and I really enjoy exploring, so when it came time to sit down and write the book, I already had a good sense of what I’d like to include – activities for both tourists and locals, a different take on the usual tourists-track sights. The actual writing took about six weeks, and then the lengthy process of editing and fact-checking was a few months. The listings are fairly short and snappy, with just enough information to give people a sense of what there is to do without going into information overload. The hardest part was making sure all the factual information was correct – you wouldn’t believe how difficult it can be to pin down some businesses on their actual opening hours.

How did you land your book deal?
The book deal happened in a rather roundabout way. I’d met a publisher (Prospera Publishing) who was seeking non-fiction projects. Since I love London, most my ideas were London-related. There’s already a lot of London material out there, so we needed something different; something that didn’t already exist.  Most London guides list a mind-boggling number of activities and sights to see, but there didn’t seem to be a guide to help people decide what to do, when. A few more brainstorming sessions later, and the 24 Hours London idea was born. I wrote up some sample hours to give my publisher a sense of how it would look and the project developed from there. The book was released in November 2009 and we’ve had a lot of positive feedback from many people, including the Mayor of London. We’ve just partnered with London Interesting to develop an iPhone application of 24 Hours London, which I think is pretty cool. 

What authors do you admire and why?
I love Peter Mayle (A Year in Provence) for the wonderful way he captures the atmosphere and spirit of a place, as well as Sarah Turnbull (Almost French) who writes with wit and humour of the challenge of understanding and integrating into another culture. On the fiction side, I really enjoy the fast-paced Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella. The wonderful story-telling of the Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger leaves me in tears every time I read it. 

Describe a day in the life of Marsha Moore
It’s not exactly what you’d call exciting, but I love my work day! I work from home, so I have to be really strict with myself or I find that it’s night and I’m still in my pyjamas. I’m up at 7:30 a.m, have a very strong cup of coffee and browse the Internet for 30 minutes while waking up. Then it’s into my office at 8 a.m, where I work on my fiction writing until lunch. I usually go for a run to clear my head and get out of the flat; otherwise, I might never leave. I’m back at my desk until four, working on a mixture of non-fiction and promotion. Evenings are spent eating (usually chocolate), reading and obsessively checking my email (what can I say, I’m an Internet addict!).

24 Hours Paris is out in March, is this the start of a new brand? Will we see 24 hour guides to other cities?
It is the start of a new brand! We’ve had such a good response to the London guide that we’re really excited to get 24 Hours Paris into bookstores. It was great fun to write and research 24 Hours Paris and I’m already starting on New York, with plans to extend the series to include other cities. Watch this space. 

You can buy 24 Hours London on amazon here

Check out the 24 Hours London blog 

You can check out Marsha's website and read her blog. 

You can follow Marsha on Twitter here.

Check out the book trailer to 24 Hours London below.

Friday, 11 December 2009

TGI Friday

Wow, what a week it has been and not too long before Xmas. Once again here are the blog posts that have rocked my world this week.

Kiss My Black Ads
If you loved the film Biker Boyz then you will love this post about the legacy of Black American motorcycle culture.

Coco's Tea Party
Check out Coco's fashion moments of the year.

London Liberty Girl
LLG gives us her two pence worth on the ten words that writers should never use.

Bangs and a Bun
This week (and the week before that) has certainly been all about Tiger and his off golf antics. This post looks at the role that women who get involved with married guys play in extra marital affairs.

Kingdom of Style
Queen Michelle introduces us to the rant manifesto for all graphic designers to use when they are getting annoyed with clients.

Glossy Mania

You wouldn't think there was a recession on the way magazines have been behaving with their covers lately. Despite cutting back on staff a lot of magazines have been indulgent by producing two different covers (some even more) for an issue. The November issue of US Elle had five different covers of various Hollywood stars, the December issue of Ebony had a whooping eight different covers which featured the most powerful people in the States. Even the all new Vibe magazine have got in on the act of multi covers by kicking off with a double issue with Chris Brown and Drake. So it was no surprise when Honey magazine presented their double December issue with Angela and Vanessa Simmons beaming out as they celebrate the success of Pastry and a third series of their reality show, Daddy's Girls.

Glad to see Honey magazine back in the form where they belong.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

My Space - Jade Gerald from Somebody Loves You

We all need a bit of romance in our lives and that special someone who is always there for us. However, relationships take time in order to keep them ticking over and investment to fine tune them so they advance like the two people in them are. So when Jade Gerald told me all about her blog at the last Blogger Meet Up I was intrigued. Basically it is all about relationships and Jade’s concept of what makes a perfect love union. I caught up with her to find out where she scribes.

Describe the concept of Somebody Loves You
The name of the blog, took inspiration from songs by, Joan Armatrading and Patti Labelle. It's a light-hearted take, on how I would like relationships to be. The idea that somebody, would love me, just the way I am and that I wouldn't have to change is something that I've had to grapple with. But in the end, you can either accept a person or leave, you shouldn't try and change people – it's not good for the soul.

Where do you scribe?
I usually scribe on the living room floor.

Why that place?
Well, I'm not wireless yet, so I have to work where my modem connection is. I like sitting on cushions on the floor and also most of my books are in the living-room, so if I need to reference anything, they're close at hand.

What is on your living room floor at the moment?
On the living-room floor with me at the moment is an empty champagne flute, copies of Psychologies magazine and some unopened bills. 

What form of inspiration do you have on the wall i.e. photos, magazine cuttings or extracts?
I have framed family photos on the wall, a 'be nice or leave' sign. I also have a picture of the Sagrada defamilia temple in Barcelona – where I visited this summer. 

Do you keep a tidy office or are you a messy worker?
I'm either extremely messy, or extremely tidy, there's no in-between with me.

You can read Jade's blog here

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

To Shop or Not to Shop

Here we go, it’s that dreaded time of year where we must brave the brutalities of the cold weather and arm ourselves with shields while we go battle the other shoppers on the High Street looking to snare Xmas presents for their loved ones. For some it is an utter delight while for others it is complete torture. I like most people enjoy shopping a lot, I love browsing in the shops and picking out lush items and taking them home with me. However, I detest Xmas shopping and as a crowd hater I dread purchasing items under duress, so a few years back when I came across The Shopaholic’s Guide to Buying Online I was very excited. The book contained the nuts and bolts on where to buy amazing gifts on the web. So goodbye to bracing the cold and hostile crowds and hello to surfing online while lying on my sofa munching chocolates. Talk about pure bliss! This gem of a book is written by Patricia Davidson who has written four other more titles such as The Shopaholic’s Guide to Buying Gorgeous Gifts, The Shopaholic’s Guide to Buying for Mothers, The Shopaholic’s Guide to Buying Fashion and Beauty Online and The Shopaholic’s Top 1000 Websites. Patricia works as a retail consultant for and and she launched in 2003 which brings together all the best in online shopping. Patricia took time out to answer a few questions about shopping, shopping and shopping.

Describe the concept of your books.
The idea of the books is to provide a light-hearted but informative commentary about all the best websites, particularly for fashion, beauty, lifestyle products and gifts, so that people don’t have to spend time searching.  They are also ‘the books of the site’ at

What is the inspiration behind them?
As an ‘online shopping addict’ I’d collected together all my favourite websites.  Friends and family kept asking me for the list, so I started  I knew practically nothing about online marketing then (2004), so I decided that it would be a good idea to write a book which would bring people to the site.  This was extremely naïve, because it’s much harder to find a publisher (or an agent for that matter) than it is to start a website, however after two years of sending out outlines and manuscripts I found both and since then I’ve been published seven times with the most recent book being The Shopaholic’s Top 1000 Websites.  I’ll never forget my first call from the commissioning editor at John Wiley, when she asked me the question ‘are you still looking for a publisher for your book?’  It was a magic moment. 

Everyone finds Xmas shopping a nightmare and a total chore; please give me three tips on how to get through it.
The big mistake that people make is in thinking that a ‘gift’ is just a ‘gift’, something to buy for someone without giving it very much thought. If people gave more thought to the person they were buying for, they’d find it much easier.  Rather than dashing out to the shops, or sitting down at your pc with a list of people and ‘going for it’, give yourself just a bit more time and write down a few things about each person on the list, such as hobbies, style (eg classic, contemporary, fashion forward) favourite colours, favourite type of fragrance (eg floral, fruity, spicy) and then buying for people and getting it right becomes so much easier.  It also helps, particularly with family, if you listen out for hints on what they’d like but don’t want to buy for themselves. One of my books, The Gift Book has a section at the back specifically for writing down this kind of information plus gift ideas for specific types of people and occasions.

I always find it difficult shopping for my Mum as she has everything. What on earth do you buy someone who has everything?
Go for a favourite, such as a Gift Voucher to her favourite salon, beauty gifts from her favourite brand or a new book by an author you know she loves. Anything really beautiful and high quality, no matter how small, is always appreciated, such as cashmere, high quality leather, a scented candle or a pair of sheepskin lined gloves, making sure that anything you choose is relevant to the style/colour/fragrance/hobbies outline. Never buy the person who (you think) has everything daft gadgets or anything just because you have no idea and want to get them something, and never buy kitchen tools or appliances unless you’re absolutely certain they’ll be welcome!

Name three websites that you use to shop regularly.

What other projects do you have in the pipeline?
I’m currently working on a book about Glamour online for next year, following the same principle as my other books, but very much fashion and beauty related and including quite a few places that most people will never have heard of. has just re-launched with a new shopping portal, so visitors can just click through to buy, and I’m currently developing that. As well as working as a retail consultant for and, I expect to be developing my consultancy over the next couple of years, using the experience I’ve gained from reviewing over 2000 online retailers for both and my books.

You can read Patricia's blog here
You can follow her on Twitter here

We have five copies of The Shopaholic's Top 1000 Websites and five copies of The Gift Guide to giveaway. All you need to do is drop me an email with 'Patricia Davidson' in the subject line stating which book you would like. The deadline is Monday 14th December. 

Sunday, 6 December 2009


I will be honest I have never really paid much attention to BET (US or UK), because I have never found their shows to be particularly appealing. Then a few weeks ago I came across a trailer for a show called Buppies which starred Tatyana Ali, she of The Fresh Prince fame. That got me interested for a few reasons; a show with a group of twentysomthing Blacks working in the entertainment industry is very sexy. Also the term Buppies always takes me back to 80s with the Thatcherism era of power suits,  filofaxes and consumerism so I was keen to see how it would translate to the US in 2009.  Buppies is a webseries about five close knit friends who reside in LA. The lead character is Quinci, played by Tatyana Ali, an IT girl who had it all - great career, loving relationship with a guy she was planning to marry, fantastic friends and a close bond with her father. Then her life comes crashing around her ears when her Dad dies and her fiance dumps her right before their wedding. Totally crushed, Quinci begins to realise that it is her close friends who are now her family and rock. Her inner circle consists of Priscilla, played by Robin Thede who is a magazine editor and likes the finer things in life. Priscilla's other half, Eliot played by Preston Davis works as a sports agent but is shielding a dark secret. Shaka, played by Ernest Waddell is a corporate lawyer by day and a rapper by night who is a bit of a ladies man. Then there is Kourtney, played by Chante Frierson who is a music industry heiress but is as feisty as they come.

Buppies is not a bad programme, it is entertaining enough to watch in bites of 10 minutes.  This is because the plot is not very fast moving and not an awful lot happens in the show. However there are some interesting characters who have potential to develop over time. Aside from cultural references to designer labels and fancy cars there is not much sign of wealthy living in Buppies: I was expecting to see the characters situated in lavish houses, shopping on Rodeo Drive and travelling by private jets. Sadly all this remains to be seen and what we are left with is dodgy scenery. Hopefully this will change soon as the series goes on but I am afraid Buppies really has to up its game for people to really take it seriously as a mesh of Girlfriends and Sex and the City.

This is BET's first online series and airs on Wednesdays at 3.00pm. You can watch it online here.

Check out a preview of the show below.

BUPPIES - Visit: BUPPIES.BET.COM to watch! from BUPPIES on Vimeo.

Friday, 4 December 2009

TGI Friday

Once again here are the blog posts that have rocked my world this week.

Marion Kihogo
Everyone loved Carrie's quirky dress sense in Sex and the City and Marion takes us back to the many looks of Carrie Bradshaw.

Style Bubble
Every book lover and mag addict were devastated when Borders closed their doors this week and Susie Style Bubble looks at the impact this closure will have on the magazine industry.

Somebody Loves You
This week has been full of revelations of infidelity and betrayal with a few high profile relationships suffering huge problems. This blog post looks at exactly what makes a happy and successful marriage.

Bravo TV have a new TV show called Launch My Line which gives 10 aspiring fashion designers a chance to launch their own collection. Read the preview on the link above.

I am a nosey so and so who loves to have a peeps at other people's style so it will be no surprise to you when I admit that I found this video blog about the contents of Bubblegarm's bag very fascinating.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

My Space - Ruki Garuba from Neon Style by Ruki Garuba

Ruki Garuba has a totally fabulous life; glam job as a stylist to artists such as Jay Sean, Keyshia Cole and Kelly Rowland and when she is not savouring the LA sunshine she is hot footing it between London and New York. To keep us abreast with all her activities Ruki has launched a blog called Neon Style by Ruki Garuba which is a collection of her thoughts and personal style.  Ruki cut her teeth at Pride magazine where she went on to become beauty and fashion writer of the UK's bestselling magazine for Black women. After doing some PR for major fashion brands such as CAT and Quicksilver, Ruki eventually settled into her passion for styling.

Describe the concept of Neon Style
Neon Style is a place where I share my fashion moments with the world. I talk about everything from sexy new shoes, sneak peeks back stage of shoots as well as what’s inspiring me. I want the readers to be able to get into  my mind, not just as a celebrity stylist but someone who is constantly growing and fine tuning her craft. 

Where do you scribe?
Any and every where. In my bed, on my sofa, by the pool and some mornings from my sunny balcony in L.A

Why those places?
I tend to do a lot of magazine reading in bed, searching the web and general research and prepping for shoots so that sometimes inspires blog entries. I also have a short attention span so I like to do ‘something’ else at the same time as watching TV, and that’s normally either Twittering or blogging. And if I need extra inspiration I take a cup of tea and some chocolate Hob Nobs and write from my balcony.

What is on your bed, desk and sofa at the moment?
I share my bed with my MacBook and a pile of pages I rip out of magazines with the intention of filing. My desk has fashion reference books, shoes boxes, accessories and lots of snacks. My sofa has a notebook, pen, Blackberry and TV remote that I mean to tidy away but never do.

What form of inspiration do you have on the wall ie photos, magazine cuttings or extracts?
Pictures of my mother when she was young – her sense of style inspires me. Framed collages of my childhood pictures, family members, vacations and friends. Magazine pages of fashion moments I wish I created. Things that basically make me smile and remember where I’m going and where I came from.

Do you keep a tidy office or are you a messy worker?
I keep a pile that would look messy to the untrained eye but I can tell you exactly what is in each pile. I am also a hoarder so I hold onto things like backstage passes, tour passes, a printout from the first gig I did at Paramount Studios. Memories keep me going when I’m stressed or losing sight of the prize.  

You can follow Ruki's blog here
You can follow her on Twitter here

Boutique Bookshops

Well now that Borders had gone kaput, exactly where are we supposed to go to flop down with a book and a cuppa? Yeah amazon is great for superb deals and speedy delivery but the downside to online shopping is that you do not get to experience the lovely sensation of touch and smell which you gain from real time shopping. Sometimes you just want to chill out in a warm and friendly bookshop, flicking though the books and savouring some high tea. Well all is not lost because last Sunday I was flicking through The Times Magazine (glossy supplement that comes with The Sunday Times) and they had a little piece about Boutique Bookshops where they talked about the growth in independent bookshops in Britain. At these delightful places you can have coffee served in china cups, home made biscuits and can make good use of snug reading rooms as well as screening rooms. In case you want to sample these boutique bookshops then pop down to Lutyens & Rubenstein and Cinephilia in Notting Hill. Also make sure you check out Phaidon's pop up store in Picadilly which features titles on visual arts and culture. The store will be there till next January so you still have time to check it out.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Dancing Queen

Yoruba Girl Dancing is a blog that covers cultural observations as well as the personal musings of Bim Adewunmi. Anything from films, books, TV, food and shopping are covered here with Bim sharing her random thoughts with us. Created in April this year, Yoruba Girl Dancing is a honest, funny and thoughtful insight into the life of a writer and freelance journalist living the London life. I took time out to catch up with Bim to discuss blogging and other things. 

What made you start blogging?
I’m a freelance journalist by trade – mostly newspaper and magazines and some online stuff. I was working as a temp at a charity because journalism work was so scarce, and so the blog came about, mostly to keep myself in the writing habit. Of course, it took my sister badgering me (in the best possible way!) for me to actually start the blog, as I was dragging my feet so much. 

Describe the concept behind Yoruba Girl Dancing?
Um, there isn’t one, not exactly. I started out with a completely vague idea – write what you know and like and hopefully inject it with a bit of humour. My remit is wide – London, popular and not-so-popular culture, news, family life, fashion – anything that catches my eye, really. The outcome is definitely eclectic, as I have diverse tastes. But I think people like the mix – I know I do. 

How do you think bloggers have made an impact on the media?
I think the blogosphere has democratised the way the public consumes information - anyone with an Internet connection and something to say can be a blogger. Of course, it’s not always an unqualified success, and quality varies wildly, but I think it means that if you can find a niche, people are out there reading. I guess that’s both a bad and good thing. I reckon newspapers will go down the ‘personalised news’ route eventually. 

Yoruba Girl Dancing is full of high culture observations; how do you keep your blog fresh?
Wow, high culture – what a compliment! I write about things I like and follow in my everyday life, so I guess I try to keep my experiences fresh. If nothing else, they provide fodder for the blog. Plus, I live in London – the most exciting city in the world! There’s always something going on. 

What do you do when you are not working on your blog?
I’m a telly addict and love watching old movies - one of my all time faves is Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. I recently learned to ride a bike, and then received a bike for my birthday, so I’m trying to master that. I really love reading and I’m in the middle of writing a collection of short stories. 

Describe a typical day in the life of Bim Adewunmi.
I’m most definitely not a morning person! I drag myself out of bed as late as I possibly can and log straight onto the web. I pick up the news of the day, and check my emails. As a freelance, the ideal situation is to be working on commissions. If I’ve got none on the go, then I’m pitching - it’s a very up and down existence. Throughout the day, I’m on Twitter, and the blog – researching and writing and also authorising comments. I don’t really have a firm ‘finish work’ time, but try not to work late into the night if I can help it. In the evenings, I try to take in as many of London’s charms as I can. This sounds far more interesting than the more common reality - I’m often slobbed out on the couch watching telly with a mug of tea in my hand. 

Where do you source your stories from?
All over the place. I subscribe to a few press services, so I get a mishmash of things coming through. I also have a look at some American sites to see what’s happening across the pond. Because the blog isn’t strictly news-focused, anything and everything can act as a trigger for a post. 

What are your favourite glossy magazines?
My favourite of all time, Jane, died a few years back, so I tend to get it all online now. I do like Colures (whenever it’s out), Arise, and Marie Claire UK and US. 

Name five blogs that you read religiously
Oh man, I can’t narrow it down to just five! Seriously, I think I killed my Google Reader... I’ll try: The Musings of Ondo Lady, Womens Glib, Harlem Loves, Ill Doctrine and Jezebel.

How do you see Yoruba Girl Dancing evolving over the next two years?
I recently got featured on the Wordpress front page, which resulted in my highest visitor numbers so far, so though tiring, I’d love to have that kind of traffic everyday! I love writing the blog, so I hope I still find it interesting in the future – I want to keep getting better. I’m currently into writing posts for series, so I’d like to have those properly established with readers too. I also love the ideas of having guest bloggers – we are a community after all, and I think we need to utilise our resources more.

You can check out Yoruba Girl Dancing here. 
You can follow Bim on Twitter here.

Friday, 27 November 2009

TGI Friday

I know it's been a while since TGI Friday graced its presence but I'm afraid life got in the way. The last week has resulted in a bit of a blog fest with a lot of people writing posts about blogging culture and the relationship we have with PRs. It has all made for some provocative reading. So here we are with the blog posts that have rocked my world this week.

Over the world magazine circulations are declining and this blog looks at the reasons why and on the flip side why blogs are so popular.

Lipstick Rules
The International Make Up Artists Trade Show (IMATS) took place in Toronto last weekend and every beauty blogger in town made their way down to the event. Lipstick Rules reviews the event and discuses how beauty bloggers are perceived by PRs.

Liberty London Girl
Everyone's favourite blogger gives us the nitty gritty on the relationship between bloggers and PRs.

This post picks up where Liberty London Girl left off with a dummies guide aimed at PRs on how to deal with bloggers.

Girl With a Satchel
This essential read for glossy magazine addicts talks about the love fest that magazines are having with fashion bloggers.

Pic taken from Divalocity.

In the Editor's Chair - Annika Allen

Welcome to In the Editor's Chair where I feature editors from niche and underground magazines. At the tender age of 27, Annika Allen has certainly packed an awful lot into her career. She has written for Street Cred magazine, Positive People magazine, Pride magazine, The Voice and New Nation. She also had her own show on a community radio station back in her home town of Birmingham and has worked as a runner for the legendary daytime TV hosts, Richard and Judy. Annika is the CEO and Editor of Flavour magazine which is an entertainment and creative arts publication. Flavour was born in 2006 and since then it has established itself as a voice in urban entertainment. The publication which has has had the likes of Ashley Walters, Jamelia and Alexandra Burke on the cover recently picked up the prize for Magazine of the year at the BEFFTA Awards. They celebrate their third anniversary this month by producing a special double issue with JLS on the front and Cherri V on the back. There are also interviews with Mr Hudson, Reggie Yates, Pixie Lott, Tinchy Stryder and N-Dubz. There is also a great feature called 15 people you should follow on Twitter. I caught up with Annika to find out what life is like as glamorous editor for a hip magazine. 

How did you get into journalism?
I’ve been writing since I was a child. At 8 I joined CBBC’s Press Pack club and never looked back. I’ve been writing ever since for local magazines and newspapers in my home town Birmingham and then I moved to London to study journalism at London College of Communication and the rest as they say is history. 

Describe the concept of Flavour magazine.
Flavour Magazine is a youth lifestyle publication and website for the young, ambitious and cool. Flavour’s aim is to inspire and empower its readers. After all there’s enough negativity in the world so why add to it. We love to showcase creative talent as we feel photographers, fashion designers; artists etc need a platform for this. Plus we are categorised by our exclusive stunning photography. All our covers have been exclusively shot for Flavour Magazine and this is something that we are very proud of. 

Who is behind Flavour?
Flavour is run by my wonderful business partner Leonard Foster and I. Flavour is run and published independently by us and for you.    

Describe a day in the life of Annika Allen.
There is no such thing as a typical day in my life, which is what I love about it. One day I could be sitting at my desk all day answering emails, editing copy for the website or the print edition and talking with PRs on the phone. Then next I could be putting on a fabulous dress to strut down a red carpet at a premiere or interviewing Outkast or Mariah Carey. For the last few month’s I’ve been organising our annual model competition Miss Flavour 2009 which was held at Cafe de Paris.   

Which blogs do you check out regularly? - Matilda or Matty as I call her is my girl from back in the day. We used to go to a writing club called Smoke Free Birmingham where we used to produce a magazine. We were 13-15 years-old at the time. She’s very opinionated and an amazing writer. - another friend of mine whose fly and fabulous and on a journey to work in NY.
Bossip – Who can resist celebrity gossip. I know I can’t.
Global Grind – Everything you want on music, fashion, celebrities and world news all in one place. If I’m not looking at Flavour Magazine, The BBC or All Hip Hop I’m on this website.   

What magazines do you read? 
Well I love reading Flavour of course, I’m very proud of my work but of course I read other publications. I read Pride Magazine, Glamour, Vibe Magazine (which will be returning in December after closing) and my guilty pleasure is soap magazines like Soap Life, All About Soap etc.  

What tips do you have for anyone who wants to become a magazine editor?
Get writing, start your blog, get work experience at magazines, write articles for free if you’re just starting out so that you can build up your name and get your by-line in print and network like crazy to build up your contacts.  

The new issue of Flavour is out today, check out the website here.

You can follow Annika on Twiiter here.