Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Material Girl

Last year I blogged about the Babylon series which is written by Imogen Edwards- Jones. Her delicious books include Hotel Babylon, Fashion Babylon, Beach Babylon, Air Babylon, Pop Babylon and the soon to be released, Wedding Babylon. Each book goes behind the scenes of each industry and offers revelation and revelation about the inside goings on. Following the success of Hotel Babylon into a TV series, Fashion Babylon (my favourite title) has been made into a six part romantic comedy. The series is called Material Girl and is about Ali Redcliffe, a young fashion designer who is leading a cool and glamorous life with her uber stylish friends, Alex, Mimi and Lydia. Alex is Ali's best friend from college and also a fashion designer at Ali's rival Davina Bailey, Mimi is an aspiring stylist at a high profile magazine and Lydia is a model.

We see Ali come head to head with her evil ex-boss, battle with her sexy but devilish business partner and deal with snooty fashionistas to get her break in work and love. Our protagonist is played by Lenora Crichlow - who is pictured above - you know the feisty one in Sugar Rush and Being Human. She is joined by Dervla Kirwan who plays hotter than hot designer, Davina Bailey who is hell bent on hanging onto her crown. Michael Landes plays Ai's brilliant business partner, Marco who is determined to make her a star. Material Girl is set in the bustling and creative area of Brick Lane, East London and features witty and colourful characters of the fashion world alongside the passions of tight knit friendships. It has been described as a fun saga of a girl trying to make it in a competitive professional and personal world, with all the zest of a romantic Hollywood comedy. It sounds just like my cup of tea and I cannot wait till it airs on the BBC later this year.

Pictures from Contact Music

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Cult Creatives in the House

Us bloggers are always being asked to share our workspace and show others where we do our creative milling. Last year The Stiletto Effect ran a special feature where she interviewed several bloggers and discussed their private spaces. More recently, Daddy Likey showed off her blog spot and created her own tag by inviting fellow blog mates to do the same. Face it we are all obsessed with other people's private and work space and there may be a housing plummet but our appetite has certainly not waned.

Creative Space: Urban Homes of Artists and Innovators by Francesca Gavin gives us a look into the homes of 30 cult creatives based in hip cities such as Barcelona, Berlin, London, New York, Paris and Tokyo. Gavin takes us into studios, apartments and houses of the likes of writers, photographers and stylists and gives us an insight into their minds and how their interiors shape their thinking and creative process. We are all influenced by our surroundings so it is really fascinating to see how a designer such as Hardy Blechman who founded niche label, Maharishi, or Grace Cobb, fashion stylist and creative director for Wonderland magazine create their home.

For those of you who check out The Selby on a regular basis, well if Todd Selby was to produce a book this is what it would be like. Creative Space takes on a different slant from interior magazines that are out there. Instead of featuring perfect show houses that do not look lived in this book focuses on spaces that are spontaneously filled with collectibles that mean a lot to the owner. Francesca Gavin is a writer and editor who works at cool mags such as Dazed and Confused and Elle. Like her I also suffer from an aversion of minimalism so I am delighted to see a book full of vibrant, arty homes with lots of life and colour.

Creative Space: Urban Homes of Artists and Innovators is out in bookshops in May.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Super Stylist

Her fly on the wall show, The Rachel Zoe Project has been recommissioned for a second series in the States and will be hitting the UK next month and on top of this she has been snapped up to design a clothing line. I would say that it must be pretty great to be Rachel Zoe right now. With a loving hubby, a die for wardrobe and a wonderful lifestyle; she is living the life that many would dream of. As stylist to actresses such as Debra Messing, Jennifer Garner and Joy Bryant, Rachel has become one of the most coveted name in fashion and is now a household name. However, people still get confused about what a stylist actually does. Some people think they just shop all day, pick out clothes and get chummy with the designers but the life of a stylist is a bit more complex than that. This is what journo and author, Tamsin Blanchard has to say about styling in an article about high profile stylist.

"Fashion stylists are the people who decide not so much what we are going to wear, but what we are going to buy. They choose the clothes on the pages of the magazines; they decide that Jennifer Lopez looks great in that Versace dress; they are the ones who select the clothes that will make it on to the runway and into the buyers' order books."

I did a bit of digging around and have come up with a list of five stylists whose work I rate:

William Baker

This is the man who puts Kylie in those sumptuous outfits. However take note because William Baker is far more than a stylist, he is in fact Creative Director to the princess of pop. His previous clients have included Vivienne Westwood where he worked on her flagship store.

Andrea Lieberman

She dresses two of the most stylish women in the world; Gwen Stefani and Jennifer Lopez. She takes responsibility to introducing Ms Stefani to the world of style and I would call that some feat considering how renowned Stefani has become in fashion terms. She was also the very same person who put Jennifer Lopez in that plunging Versace gown which she wore to The Grammys which earned her many column inches. Her other clients are Drew Barrymore and Faith Hill.

Eric Daman

He has been dubbed the male version to Patricia Fields with those amazing outfits that he puts together in Gossip Girl. The story lines might be hotter than hot in GG but it is the fashion that has everyone talking and this is all down to a certain Mr Daman. The former model got his big break when he was discovered by Steven Meisel (as you do) who promptly booked him for a Calvin Klein advert. He then went onto to work as a costume designer on Sex and the City.

Philip Bloch

This is the man who dresses the Hollywood A lister for glitzy events such as The Oscars, The Golden Globes and The Emmys. Halle Berry, Nicole Kidman, Sandra Bullock, Salma Hayak, Will and Jada Pinkett all have Mr Bloch on speed dial. When he is not mixing with fashionistas Philip is either acting or contributing to various newspapers and magazines.

Christina Ehrlich and Estee Stanley

Their clients include Demi Moore, Jessica Biel, Penelope Cruz, Nicole Ritchie as well as The Olsen twins whose style are admired by young women all over the world. The duo are based in LA and have been working together for over five years. Their usp is putting starlets onto the red carpet and turning them into stars. Christina and Estee recently launched their own line, Ms Davenporte which is stylish and easy to wear items for women.

Funnily enough both Carine Roitfeld, editor of French Vogue and Katie Grand founder Pop magazine and now editor of Love magazine started out as stylists. So it goes to show that stylists rock! Check out this article here that was published in The Observer back in 2002 about stylists for fashion brands. Then there is this article here that features stylists who work in the music industry.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Mario Testino: Diana's Favourite Photographer

"He sells a dream," says Anna Wintour. "You want to be that woman in that glorious house, on the glorious beach and in that incredible dress"

"Mario gives them a heightened and more beautiful version of reality," says Tom Ford. "Mario's pictures are very mystic and they're about having a great time. They are about not being afraid of being rich or being famous or being a little bit excessive and are really a celebration of that. A celebration of life."

However, actress Gwyneth Paltrow nails it on the head, "He's very good at doing young, sexy and vibrant pictures."

There is no argument that Mario Testino produces images that are vibrant, sexy and utterly glamorous. Therefore it is no surprise that one of his books is called Alive which when you think about it is totally appropriate because when Mario Testino shoots someone he makes them come alive. In 1997 he took a post divorce suffering and depressed Princess Diana and managed to produce images of her that made her look so radiant and delirious that I am sure Prince Charles must have doubted his decision to let her go. As these images made the rounds in newspapers and magazines, Mario found himself zooming up the A list. Mario was born in Lima, Peru and in 1976, after completing his studies he left Peru to pursue a career in photography and spent his initial years living in a squat in South London. Success was not instant for him and he spent a lot of years struggling to get work - the problem was that instead of finding his own style he was trying to emulate his idols, Cecil Beaton and Richard Avedon. His break came in the 80s when he met a certain Carine Roitfeld (before her French Vogue days) while working on a fashion shoot. Roitfeld was working as a freelance stylist and the two hit it off and began working as a team.

Over the years he has amassed a remarkable body of work from magazines such as Vogue, Vanity Fair and V to fashion houses such as Burberry, Gucci, Versace, Calvin Klein, Dolce & Gabbana, Salvatore Ferragamo, Estee Launder, Hugo Boss, Miu Miu, Shiseido and Michael Kors. The cream on the cake was in 2002 when his portraits were showcased in the National Portrait Gallery (NPG). Portraits was a landmark exhibition that became the NPG's most successful exhibit and also drew celebrities from afar as well as huge media attention. That year Mario was also the subject of a documentary made by the BBC. I meant to catch that exhibition back in 2002 but never got round to it but I watch the documentary about Mario and I fell in love with his enthusiasm and zest for the life. The man oozes energy and charisma and his passion for life and people are surely key to his ability to make his subjects warm to him during shoots. Mario's success is that he wants his subject to look their best and will go to great lengths to achieve that. This is the man who made the ever so stiff Prince of Wales look cool and relaxed in those chic images in Vanity Fair circa 2001. He has gone on to take the photos of other royals such as the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William, Prince Harry, The Duke of Kent, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent who normally would have given Lord Snowdon a call. As well as taking images, Mario has published seven books of his work and edited one which is dedicated to contemporary art and artists from his native Lima, Peru.

Here are some more of Mario Testino's images below:

Pictures taken by Mario Testino

Monday, 20 April 2009

Britain's Next Top Model

Poor old Britain's Next Top Model aka BNTM has always been the very poor relation to the glittery, America's Next Top Model aka ANTM. Despite a decent promotional push this show has always struggled to nab decent ratings as well as respectability. It is a real shame because the models in the show actually look like they could have a career as a proper model unlike their counterparts in the US who look like your average Joanna or at best a catalogue model. BNTM is now five years old (I know I can't believe it either) and to commemorate this occasion, Living has stepped up a gear by launching a huge marketing campaign that kicked off six weeks ago. Enter a brand new concept for the show that is based on a 'New Model Army' which is basically a take on the 40s style wartime with presenter, Lisa Snowdon as the commander of the troop.

We have been bombarded with TV ads on Channel4, E4, ITV2 and MTV and BNTM has been dominant in websites such as Heatworld and glamourmagazine.co.uk. The all new BNTM concept has been produced on over 3000 posters which have appeared in shopping centres such as Bluewater, Lakeside, Birmingham's Bullring and Trafford Centre, and Westfield shopping centre. As a marketer I will put my hands up and say, a job well done - Holler, the creative team behind the campaignn should pat themselves on the back for doing a 180 on what was a tired show and representing it into a sexy and glamorous product. The effect has been amazing with fantastic imagery that emphasises the 'cool' in Britannia. With Lisa Snowdon going up the list in the celebdom after her stint in Strictly Come Dancing I am sure the show will gain more viewers so lets hope that the content is up to par. With the talent we have in this country and our reputation in fashion, this show should really be up there with ANTM.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Online Fashion 100

How many times have you picked up a magazine and come across a guide to the movers and shakers of fashion, business and media? London's Most Influential People by the Evening Standard and The Media 100 which is brought to us by The Guardian. Now we have Online Fashion 100 which gives us the heavyweights behind the UK's online fashion industry. Online Fashion 100 is a 'who's who' guide for everyone who wants to know about online fashion and in there you will find entrepreneurs, bloggers, marketers and photographers. Online Fashion 100 is brought to us by Leon Bailey-Green who is an online fashion consultant, digital marketing strategist and blogger. After reading this guide - which is well overdue - I decided to seek out Leon and ask him a few questions about this exciting project.

How long did it take you to compile the list and did you have anyone working on it with you?
I began working on it in January, although most of the work went into it six weeks before release. I did everything myself - the research, writing, images, design etc.

How did you get The Independent and Schway onboard?
They were really keen on the idea and it was great to get the support from both of them. Schway is going to be everywhere soon!

I am a big fan of Nicky Hambleton-Jones and was delighted to see her involved in the project. However, some would say that she is an 'interesting' choice. What were your reasons for choosing her?
I've met Nicky and all I would say is that she's creative, business savvy, successful and genuine. She was an obvious choice to give an all round view of the impact of online in the fashion industry.

We had four bloggers in the top 40, do you think that we are now at a stage where bloggers are taken seriously and seen as here to stay?
I should stress the list is compiled in random order to make everyone equal. I think there is still a way to go but nowadays if a blog can demonstrate its visitors numbers and quality of audience it'll go places, and be taken seriously.

What are the medium and long term plans for Online Fashion 100?
Medium term, it's a secret! But long term I can tell you that there will be another one in 2010 around March. I will use a panel to suggest names, but it will still be my final edited choice and will continue to contain names of those on the fringes of the industry not just those deep in it.

Your own blog is very lively, how much of your time does it take?
I find it quite relaxing. When I write it gets me thinking. I get a lot of emails from brands, pr agencies and students, asking for advice and opinions. That's the rewarding side and makes it all worth it.

Describe a typical day in the life of Leon Bailey-Green.
Working, lunching and numerous meetings!
I have a few exciting things coming up like my next eBook which is going to take quite some time to produce.

You can download a copy of Online Fashion 100 here. You can also check out Leon's fantastic blog here.

Leon supports www.b-eat.co.uk

Photo courtesy of Metropolitan Hotel

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Seven Photographs That Changed Fashion

I have often viewed John Rankin aka Rankin to be a rather detached figure; from his input to uber trendy mag, Dazed & Confused to holding the position as one of the nation's coveted photographers. He has snapped everyone from The Spice Girls, Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Kylie Minogue, Queen Elizabeth and Tony Blair. Rankin has also had his fingers in other pies; a quick look at Wikipedia tells me that he is co-owner of the Proud Galleries and publishes Another Magazine and Another Man. So watching him gush over the work of veteran photographers in the documentary, Seven Photographs that Changed Fashion is very endearing. The programme paid homage to great photographers past and present and looked at iconic images in the history of fashion which you can see above. To add a twist to things Rankin recreated each photograph with his own team of stylists and make up artists as well as contemporary models. You can see the new Rankin versions below.

Cecil Beaton - the quintessential British photographer.
"He help set the template for fashion photography. Packaging a world of decadent beauty and above all selling a dream," says Rankin. He recreated the 1934 photo in Vogue that showed off a white Panama hat. "Beaton brought to it his typical wit and elegance so that what she is wearing is secondary to the beauty of the image." Rankin enlisted the service of pop star and model, Sophie Ellis Bextor to pose as the model as she was ideal for the 1930s and 1940s look.

Erwin Blumenfeld - the innovator and pioneer.
"Blumenfield was all about visual experimentation. He was an innovative fashion photographer of his era and a pioneer for colour photography. His stunning Vogue cover in 1950 shows the influence of the surrealist but also shows the excitement of the country looking forward to the next century," says Rankin. Heidi Klum was chosen to be the muse for this shot due to her chameleon tendencies and stardom.

Richard Avedon - the first celebrity fashion photographer.
"Classic styling with energy and creative spirit. Daring, stylish and ambitious, his pictures reflected the optimism of 50s America and turned him into the first celebrity fashion photographer. His status was confirmed by Funny Face, a film based on Avedon but was was made famous for starring Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire. His photo of a model with elephants that was in Harpers Bazaar in 1955," says Rankin. He chose supermodel, Erin O'Connor for the recreation because of her tall frame and demeanor.

David Bailey - the man who brought sex to photos.
"Before Bailey, fashion photographer in Britain was still a gentleman's trade however he broke through all that bringing an energy, charm and incredible life to his images. Bailey is the perfect fashion photographer combining technical brilliance with sheer force of personality to create photos that have a sense of total spontaneity. He created some of the most iconic images of the 60s and most of them were with his muse and girlfriend, Jean Shrimpton, " says Rankin. It is the image from Vogue in 1963 that Rankin chose to recreate with his own girlfriend, Tuuli Shipster.

Helmut Newton - the voyeur.
"In the era of sexual liberation, pornography going mainstream and conventions being challenged; Newton's voyeuristic images of strong women in often highly charged sexual scenarios often captured the new mood. His pictures also suggested that fashion photographs could be more than just a beautiful snapshot. His images felt like frames from a slightly seedy film and moved fashion photography forward again,' says Rankin. The photo that he recreated is the one taken for Vogue in 1975 with an androgynous and mysterious feel taken in the Rue Aubriot in Paris outside Newton's apartment. Rankin has gone back to the same street for his shoot and is using models, Jade Parfitt and Mollie Gondi.

Guy Bourdin - one of the most imitated fashion photographers of all.
"His highly saturated look and dramatic scenario seem to suggest some hidden tension or trauma. His influence is incredible not just in photography but in pop culture," says Rankin. He chose to recreate Bourdin's 1970 Vogue cover because it captures the sleazy glamour of his work with none of the admiration of women normally seen in traditional fashion photos. He invited model and socialite, Daphne Guinness to pose for the shot.

Herb Ritts - who brought homoeroticty into the mainstream.
"Ritts' work has been described as so dark you can see the shadows and the light. He wanted to make beautiful images with beautiful people and in doing so was responsible for the way men were portrayed in fashion. His image 'Fred With Tyres' which was about workers in denim was shown in Italian Vogue in 1984 and caused quite a stir," says Rankin. To recreate this image, Rankin invited top male model, David Gandy who is the face of Dolce and Gabanna.

I learnt a lot from this documentary, as well as what a passionate and dedicated photographer, Rankin is but also the enormous respect he has for his peers and craft. He even took one of the images in a digital format but still achieved the same effect. Seven Photographs That Changed Fashion has also given me a great introduction into the artists who made their mark in photography.

Images taken by the BBC.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Hip Hop @ 30

I cannot believe that hip hop is 30 years old. It was back in 1979 when the music genre came onto the scene with the block parties that took place in the Bronx, New York where a certain DJ Kool Herc took to the helms. Those humble days are a long way from the billion industry that hip hop is now as well as a global phenomenon that is has become. I will be honest I used to get confused between hip hop and rap music and it took me a while to differentiate between the two. While rap is a genre of music that involves a vocal rhyming over a beat, hip hop is a cultural movement that consists of clothes, dancing, language, art as well as music. Last week Tim Westwood and Zane Bowes hosted, Most Hip Hop which was a five hour marathon that celebrated 30 years of hip hop cultre by counting down to the most important people in the genre. The likes of Pharrell Williams, P Diddy, Public Enemy, Eminem, Barack Obama, Kanye West and many many others were in there along with Jay-Z who headed the list. It was certainly an interesting line up which many will dispute (read Janice's Mad News' blog about it here) and it got me thinking about my own influences in hip hop so I sat down to jot down a little list and ended up with this below.


Back in 1987 this was the first hip hop concert I ever went to and I believe their first ever gig in London. Their debut album, Hot, Cool & Vicious was doing some serious damage in the charts with singles, Push It, Tramp and I'll Take Your Man burning the airwaves, so London was ready for a live Salt-n-Pepa act. I went to this concert straight from little Saturday job on Oxford Street and as the tube (subway or metro to others) pulled into Green Park and a number of people piled in and more and more people got on at Victoria, Pimlico and Vauxhall and by the time we got to Stockwell, lets say the tube was totally packed with Salt-n-Pepa fans with a few donning the jackets. The whole train got off at Brixton and made their way down to the academy. The show was very entertaining and the ladies from Queens certainly know how to put on a show. There was no Kid 'n' Play though which I was very disappointed about as I was looking forward to seeing their flash dance steps but it was all good and I left happy feeling that I got my money's worth.

Public Enemy

This group was my initial introduction to hip hop and boy what an introduction it was. Good old Public Enemy or PE as they were fondly known were really conscious brothers who were bursting with strong positive messages. Chuck D, the lyrical assassin, Professor Griff, the hyper intellectual, Flavor Flav - the eccentric clown , Terminator X, the DJ with a mission and the formidable S1W. During the period of 1985 and 1990 they reigned supreme with albums such as Yo Bum Rush the Show, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, Fear of a Black Planet and Apocalypse 91, The Enemy Strikes Back. I went to see them in 1989 at Brixton Academy and 1990 at Dockland Arena. The atmosphere at both stadiums were electric but the concert at Brixton stood out to me. Not because it was on my door step but because the size of the academy was just right to cram in enough people to feel like we were in a real gig but also enabled us to feel like we were close to PE. Chuck D's performance was mesmerising as usual and Black people as well as white got down to a night of dancing and jostling.

Big Daddy Kane

While other rappers on the scene presented the elements of street culture into their music, Big Daddy Kane brought a form of sophistication to hip hop. Other rappers wore trainers, tracksuits, t-shirts and jeans; Big Daddy Kane did not. He lounged around in beautiful suits, elegant shoes and the occasional hat and he looked fine! His music was not too shabby either with classics such as Ain't No Half Steppin, Set It Off, The Wrath of Kane and Smooth Operator. He also paid a trip to Brixon Academy in the late 80s with his two lookalike dancers called Scoob and Scrap and kicked ass. Decked out in a blue suit that was so sharp it would have made Ozwald Boateng cry, Big Daddy Kane performed his pioneering fast rap and executed some outrageous acrobatic dance moves that took the place down. In 2005 he was honoured in the VH1 Hip Hop Honours where he performed with Scoob and Scrap and showed that he might be a bit older but he had not lost any of his dance moves. It is on the video above, check out Common's breakdancing skills.


Sadly I never got to see this guy live but listening to his music and speeches made up for it. Having a powerful orator such as Chuck D was blessing enough but to have KRS-One on top of that was totally amazing. KRS-One (which stands for Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everyone) is the co-founder of Boogie Down Productions along with DJ Scott La Rock who was tragically killed in a shooting. Their first album, Criminal Minded was released in 1987 and contained the iconic tune, South Bronx with scratch beats that are still used today. After Scott La Rock's death KRS-One joined forces with D-Nice and Ms Melodie and released a second album, By All Means Necessary. As well as exemplary songs such as My Philosphy and Ya Slippin which talked about police corruption, safe sex and violence in the hip hop community, it was the cover of the album that got a lot of attention. The image showed KRS-One adopting the famous stance of a certain Malcolm X holding a rifle while looking out of the window. It would be safe to say that a large part of the album pays homage to Malcolm X from the title to the overall message. KRS-One was the first hip hop artist to use Jamaican culture into his music by sampling the ZungaZung melody that was brought to us by Yellowman. According to Wikipedia, this album was a huge landmark in hip hop.

"The album is widely seen as one of, if not, the first politically conscious efforts in hip-hop. Allmusic.com described the album as "a landmark of political rap" and Rolling Stone praised its social commentary.[4] Anthony DeCurtis of Rolling Stone wrote that "Over irresistible beats provided by his BDP cohorts, KRS delivers the word on the drug trade, AIDS and violence – three forces that threaten to destroy minority communities".[5]

I am a fan of KRS-One for many reasons and these are just a few:
  • In 1989 he kicked off the Stop the Violence Movement - a response to violence in Black communities which resulted in the single, Self Destruction and a video that featured prominent hip hop artists of the time. The campaign raised a lot of awareness about Black on Black crime. He has relaunched the campaign this year and the single features the likes of Syleena Johnson and Twista.
  • His berating of that muppet Tim Westwood back in 1997 accusing him of being a sell out and so not true to the game. Makes me laugh till this day.
  • He brought us that magnificent song, Sound of da Police which is aimed at the police in the Bronx. The lyrics, 'Whoop-whoop, that's the sound of da police', makes fun of them.

I don't really listen to much hip hop these days. A large majority of it have formed into a concoction of hip pop that leaves a nasty taste in my mouth. The rest of it is so negative or comical that all I can do is shake my head. There are a few gems out there such as Mos Def, Kanye West, Nas and Common but they are all too far and between. Still I have my memories. What are your hip hop memories?

Top image from Blackstate.com.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

The Masthead with Marie Claire

Well reality show, Running in Heels is finally making it's debut in the UK on Tuesday and I am sure fashionistas and magaholics all over the UK will be tuning in. In case you don't know Running in Heels is a new TV show that takes us behind the scenes at US Marie Claire and follows staff and interns as they work on the glossy magazine. It hit the screens in the US early last month and I blogged about it here. The show is captivating to say the least and the 30 minute show only wetted my appetite for more so I was delighted when I came across, The Masthead with Marie Claire. The Masthead is a series of podcasts that gives you an insight into what life is like at the magazine. It focuses on cover shoots and you can see interviews with the cover stars and editors involved. The Masthead also takes you to the magical wardrobe, looks at the beauty closet and even takes you to the homes of editors. These bite sized shows are hosted by editor in chief, Joanna Coles and gives you an insight into the editorial process and a real flavour of the magazine.

I really enjoy these podcasts - ok they may not possess the 'in your face' drama that Running in Heels is full of but what they do is give us a quick shot of the glam and glitzy life of magazines. You can download the series on iTunes for free or watch it online. The series has a substantial archive that goes back to 2007 so I suggest you grab a nice cup of tea or coffee and a slice of cake and chill out to watch it.

Running in Heels airs on The Style Network on Tuesday at 10.00pm.

Links a la' Mode: 2nd April

Check out the latest offerings in the world of style and fashion from the Independent Fashion Bloggers network. You can also find the full version of Links a la Mode here in the forums.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Picture Me

Picture Me Trailer

Remember the online reality series, Models Live which documented the lives of aspiring models, Cato, Austria and Madeline? Well if you got hooked on that show then you will be interested in hearing about Picture Me which is a new film that delves into the super competitive world of catwalk modelling. The expose is the baby of model, Sara Ziff (face of Burberry) and director, Ole Schell who have collaborated to make this cool indie film. Unlike Models Live which followed the models over a season, Picture Me follows Ziff's career for several years; from her debut onto the scene as a fresh faced newbie to a seasoned pro whose faces is on billboards and magazines. We are also privy to photo shoots with famous photographers and runway shows in Milan, New York, Paris as well as in depth interviews with designers, Karl Lagerfeld, Hussein Chalayan, Nicole Miller and photographer Gilles Bensimone. Models, Missy Rayder, Tanya D and Irina Lazareanu are also thrown into the mix.

The trailer certainly looks interesting enough with great footage from the shows and location shoots and I am sure it would have made a superb TV documentary but I am not sure how well it will translate to the big screen. Still I guess it remains to be seen and all will be revealed on Monday when Picture Me makes it's debut at the 14th Annual Gen Art Film Festival. The event is a travelling festival that takes place in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Miami and LA and showcases emerging and independent North American film makers. New Gen is currently running in New York and is in the middle of a week of film premieres and parties and so I am sure Picture Me will fit in.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Geek Chic

Who didn’t see this video of Pharrell Williams trying to sing his way into getting a big mac and fries at MacDonalds in Paris? He never got his big mac and fries but boy did I love him for trying. The performance was geekery in it’s finest form. There was a time when being called a geek or nerd was a huge insult; the term sums up visions of a social inept person with super large glasses who spends their time delved into computer books and comics. Not a good look. However over the last few years that image has been turned upside down as geeks have risen to the top of pop culture. With gadgets becoming de rigor in today’s society and Blackberrys, laptops, Twitter, Facebook now an integral part of our lives it is now chic to be a bit of a geek.

Take this quote from a character in an episode of the animated series, Freakazoid.
“Who writes all the best selling books? Nerds. Who directs the top grossing Hollywood movies? Nerds. Who creates the highly advanced technology that only they can understand? ...Nerds. And who are the people who run for the high office of the Presidency? No one but nerds.”

You can add President Barack Obama to that list, as well as a Blackberry addict, he admits to being a huge fan of Star Trek and collected comic books when he was younger. Not only that but Obama was the first President to embrace the web by introducing online voting which was instrumental in his historic victory. I am sure he is twittering his way through London at the G20 Summit as well as causing carnage in the capital. Other famous geeks are Kanye West, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg (founder of Facebook), Steve Jobs (co-founder of Apple) and Tiger Woods. On the TV side who can forget lovely, Seth Cohen from The OC decked out in his scuffed sneakers and plaid shirts creasing us up with his quirky observations. His character was based on none other than Josh Schwartz, the creator of The OC and Gossip Girl who is big player in TV.

As individuals have learned to embrace their inner geek the corporate world have cotton onto the act as well. IT companies such as The Geek Squad (who are so cool that they have sponsored London Fashion Week), Geeks on Call and Dial a Geek use the term to display their highly sophisticated IT skills. What can I say - I am a geek and proud! Check out a scene from Sex and the City where Carrie has a one to one with a geek when her Macbook crashes. Very funny!!

My Motherboard, Myself Part 1

My Motherboard, Myself Part 2