Thursday, 28 May 2009

The Splash Award

I have been given a Splash Award by the lovely Angel from A Taste of Angel Cake. According to Keith from Keith's Space this award originates from the Electronic Village, one of the most influential sites for African American bloggers in the blogsphere.

So here are the rules.

1. Put the award on your blog post.
2. Nominate up to 9 bloggers (blogs) which allure, amuse, bewitch, impress, or inspire you.
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have been splashed by commenting on their blog.
5. Remember to link to the person from whom you received your Splash award

It was a really tough choice but I have managed to narrow it down to nine wonderful blogs that I feel enrich my life. So in no particular order, my Splash Award goes to the following fantastic bloggers:

1. Brown Girl Gumbo for her fantastic celeb pics and info on lush beauty products as well as the arts
2. The Cocoa Diaries for keeping me to date with the goings on in Black Brit culture
3. Mad News for her mad jokes that never fail to cheer me up.
4. Make Fetch Happen for her brilliant observations of black people in the media (the NAACP have nothing on her)
5. Harlem Loves for her gorgeous posts in interiors, style and all things pretty
6. The Wider Perspective for his intelligence and fantastic insight on society
7. Style Canteen for providing me with the latest on the hip and happening
8. Yoruba Girl Dancing for her wonderful prose on popular culture
9. K.Hart for her great reviews on entertainment

Congratulations to you all.

Personal Affairs

They say two's company, three's a crowd but four is a party. And boy is it some party; we only have to look at musical legends such as The Beatles and Abba to prove that point. Other famous posses derive from TV such as The Golden Girls, Desperate Housewives, the ladies from BBC drama, Mistresses and of course those minxes from Sex and the City (S&TC) - who are probably the most famous foursome of all. It seems that women work best when they are in groups of four. Hence the new series, Personal Affairs which is about the lives and loves of four PA's working in London. The offbeat drama delves into the lives of Lucy Baxter, Midge Lermer, Doris (Sid) Siddiqi and Nicole Palmerston-Amory as they try and deal with the pressures and imbalance of working in an investment bank. Lucy is a open and warm lady who lacks real confidence, Midge is a can do girl who yearns to be famous, Nicole is an independent chick who very rarely lets her guard down and Sid is a repressed intellectual snob who cannot believe she has ended up as a PA.

Personal Affairs aims to show what life is really like for PAs working in the city who earn a fraction of what their bosses do yet are expected to carry a lot of their workload. Scriptwriter, Gabbie Asher who previously worked on EastEnders is well aware of the perils that face PAs as she used to be one herself.

"For me, Personal Affairs truly captures the unique experience of working in an office with a group of girls – the fun, the friendship, the bickering, the hopes and dreams, the tears and the personal dilemmas that arise every day. Friendship is at the heart of this drama as the girls help one another navigate through a myriad of life choices, with varying success!

"There is nothing more glorious than being in the company of friends who you know will support you and tell you the truth, whether you want to hear it or not. For me, the Personal Affairs workplace in this drama is the dream office. You'll want to work alongside Midge, Lucy, Nicole, Sid and Grace, share stories with them and be friends with them because these girls genuinely care about one another, even though their personalities are poles apart."

We have spent years looking for the Brit S&TC, we thought Mistresses might do it but the characters lacked the charm or pizazz to hold a candle to our beloved show. With a group of cracking characters on board, Personal Services might just be the one.

Personal Services airs on BBC Three later this year.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Only in a Woman's World

I am getting to be a real fan of this viral video lark and last week I came across a web video series called Only in a Woman's World which promotes snack foods produced by Frito-Lay. The series is part of a huge campaign to target women to the snacks; I have never heard of Frito-Lay but a few clicks on Google tells me that they make a bunch of calorie conscious snacks such as Dortitos, Cheetos and Fritos. Taking the lead from Sex and the City, Only in a Woman's World is a cute animated show which goes into the lives of four female friends who try to juggle career, relationships, children, friendships as well as getting their hands on the perfect pair of killer heels. Anna is a journalist who finds it hard to ask for help, Cheryl is a housewife who puts everyone's needs before her own, Maya runs a boutique store but is known for her no bullshit approach while Nikki dreams of jacking in her job and doing something more creative. Four very different women at different stages in their lives but their common goal is fun, friendship and laughter. The series launched earlier this month and has developed a considerable following, according to social media guide, Mashable, the most recent episode had 713,729 views in one week. I have watched some funny shows in my time but this one really takes the biscuit. Only in A Woman's World is heart warming and extremely endearing - you really take these four women into your hearts. My favourite webisodes are the premiere, webisode 1, webisode 4 and webisode 7.

I have uploaded the trailer above and below is webisode 7 for you to enjoy.

You can check out all the webisodes here.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

The Beautiful Life

I was delighted to get home and see one of my favourite magazines, asos on the doormat. On the cover is Mischa Barton looking kind of kooky wearing a boho suit with a top hat. The look which is a far cry from her sophisticated one, works very well. In the interview she talks about her style influences, British fashion and her new bag collection which is sold on asos. Mischa also fills us in on her new show, The Beautiful Life in which she plays a character far removed from Marissa Cooper. She makes her return to the small screen in the shape of Sonia, a catty and neurotic model who will stop at nothing to keep her place at the top. Produced by twitter fan, Ashton Kutcher this glossy drama is about a group of male and female models sharing a home in New York and shows the cut throat world of modelling. According to Mischa, The Beautiful Life is based on Ashton's experience as a model before he went on to become a successful actor as well as Mr Demi Moore. With a stellar 'model' cast which includes Elle Macpherson, Corbin Bie, (a former model and actor from High School Musical) as well as Mischa who has done a spot of modelling; the show may lack originality but few will doubt it's credibility. The trailer looks amazing; I was hooked from the word go and my first impression was how sharp it looked. I am totally ecstatic to see Mischa playing a character with a lot more bite and backbone than the emaciated Marissa who face it was the eternal victim. The show strikes me as a fiction version of America's Next Top Model or Make Me a Supermodel. Check out the trailer above and tell me what you think.

The Beautiful Life airs on The CW Television this autumn. Also check out Mischa's cool website where she spills the beans on the entertainment industry and her new handbag line.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Really: You Couldn't Make It Up

The term broadcasting means to send a message to many people and a few years ago in the good old world of terrestrial television that was exactly what TV did. Now in the era of cable and Freeview and about a zillion channels on offer, TV stations are becoming more niche. We have MTV, E4, Zone Romantica, Zone Thriller, E! and numerous others which are all aimed at different audiences and the process of narrow casting is being applied. UKTV has got this down to a tee, in 2007 after going through some major rebranding they launched, Dave which is a blokey channel dubbed the home of the witty banter. Programmes such as Top Gear, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Have I Got News For You and Dragon's Den are featured on here.

This week saw the launch of Really (taking over the now defunct UKTV Gardens) which is a girlie girlie channel that is home to hip reality shows which ladies are not ashamed to admit that they watch. We have shows such as What Not to Wear, Spendaholics, Mary Queen of Shops, The Clothes Show and The Rachel Zoe Project. What an exciting line up! I was so thrilled when I heard and in terms of appealing to 18-35 year old women, UKTV have nailed it on the head here. Along with Dave, Really joins the likes of Alibi, Eden, Gold, Yesterday and Home which is a new home and interiors channel.

You can find Really on Sky 248 or Virgin TV 267. Enjoy!

Image from

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

The Hills: Alive and Kicking

The O.C may have only been around for four years but it certainly made it's mark and when the teen drama shut down shop in 2007 it left behind a few things. For a start the birth of Mischa Barton and Rachel Bilson as style icons and the introduction of the creator, Josh Schwartz to TV heaven. However in my eyes the main legacy of The O.C is the fact that it became the inspiration of The Hills. For it was the lavish lives of the teenagers of The Orange County that led to the reality show, Laguna Beach and it was here that we met the likes of Stephen Colletti, Lo Bosworth and a certain Lauren Conrad. The pert Lauren left Laguna for the heights of LA and moved onto her own reality show The Hills and the rest is history. Over the last five years we have been caught up with the drama and tribulations of Lauren's world. We have cried with her, laughed with her, laughed at her and watched her fall out with friend after friend.

Now Ms Conrad is about to say goodbye to her life on the small screen and will move onto new pastures new. Such as? I hear you ask. Well for a start she has penned a book called L.A. Candy and is about a young lady who moves to the city of angels and ends up on reality show. Wow, I wonder how long it took her to come up with that concept? But you know what? I can't wait to read it. Going by the spiel on the HarperCollins website, this book has all the qualities that I look for in my fiction. Fun, drama, glamour and with the odd bit of fashion thrown. L.A Candy hits the stores on 18th June but if you can't wait till then you can read an excerpt on TeenVogue. Quite fitting considering Lauren spent a great deal of her vital years there. HarperColins have signed Ms Conrad to write three books for them so look out for more literary works from Laguna's finest.

So with the commercial success of The Hills, other characters from the show have taken the opportunity to work on other projects. First we have Brody Jenner with his diabolical reality show, Bromance. She-devil boss, Kelly Cutrone has been granted her own reality show called Kell on Earth and is also writing a self help book to young women on how to rule the world. I am sure it will be riveting as Kelly is. Oh of course lets not forget Whitney who is riding high with the success of her own fly on the wall series, The City. Looks like the hills are alive and kicking.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Between the Covers

Last Wednesday I went to Black in Fashion: Have We Turned the Page?, an event that explores the relationship between Black people and fashion. It took place at The Women's Library and the panel consisted of Carol Tulloch, a curator at the Victoria & Albert Museum, Carole White from Premier Model Management, Sole Oyebade, founder of Mahogony Models Management, Jennifer G Robinson from Precious and my good friend and fellow blogger, Ashanti Omkar former editor of Henna magazine who invited me to the event. This vivid occasion looked at the history of Black magazine and Jennifer's delightful presentation was a wonderful reminisce of great publications such as Origins and Untold that have come and gone. However, the main debate was regarding the lack of Black models on catwalks and in magazines. We also discussed the presence of Black people working in the media and the impact they were having. Initially when I was invited to this event I turned it down due to work constraints as well as having turned into a couch potato but then I thought to myself 'sod it, I'm going' and I am so glad I did. As well as meeting like minded and creative types, Black in Fashion gave me a much needed zest. Like they say, it is good to get out.

As I mentioned before Black in Fashion took place at The Women's Library and is currently hosting an exhibition called Between the Covers which looks at the history of glossy magazines from the 17th century. Publications such as Spare Rib, The Lady, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Glamour and Grazia are on hand to disect. There are audio recordings on the culture of women's magazines as well as archived copies and visual presentations. Walking round the exhibition, I was in awe of the vast amount of material that had been collected over the years and I guess you could say I was like a kid in a sweet shop. I mean where was I supposed to start? If you like your glossy mags the I suggest you get down there sharpish. The exhibition is on till 29th August and it is FREE.

On the subject of magazines you might have heard that i-D magazine is to decrease their issues to six a year. It looks like the credit crunch is biting everyone. Respect to i-D and Terry and Tricia Jones for staying strong and not throwing in the towel. Sustaining a magazine is bloody hard business at the best of times let alone when there is a recession and particularly when you are a niche title. i-D magazine was founded by Terry Jones, a former art director at Vogue in 1980 it became renowned for it's groundbreaking photography and typography as well as being a training ground for up and coming talents. The likes of Nick Knight, Wolfgang Tillmans, Juergen Teller, Terry Richardson, Dylan Jones, Caryn Franklin all worked here. Terry and Tricia explained the rationale behind their decision in a statement that was published in The Guardian.

"We see this restructure as a reinforcement of position and strength towards a magazine and brand we are passionate about and have protected for so long, As one of the most respected and loved independent voices within the international fashion community, i-D is determined to maintain its unique status bridging the space between high fashion and street savvy."

One of i-D's usp's is it's quirky personality which is reflected on the front cover and always features a model winking.The magazine celebrates it's 300th issue next month and if it is anything the past anniversaries I am sure it will be ultra special.

Links a la' Mode: 15th May

Edited by StyleMom

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.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Gossip Girl Spin Off

So it was with great anticipation that I tuned into the 80s throwback of Gossip Girl. This is the one where we see Lily van der Woodsen as a teenager wrecking havoc in Los Angeles. First of all I was expecting the whole show to be dedicated to Lily and her antics as opposed to the obvious flashbacks that we were treated to. Secondly I was hoping to see the young Lily engage in all sorts of shenanigans and to be a feisty and fearless madam. Instead what we got was some mediocre action from a poor little rich girl who had been kicked out of school and flees to her sister. Brittany Snow who has been in Nip ‘n’ Tuck (not to be confused with Brittany Murphy who she looks a lot like) plays Lily Junior and Krysten Ritter from The Gilmore Girls and Confessions of a Shopaholic played older sister, Carol. The flashbacks lacked a lot of spark and the characters were not at all endearing to watch. What was up with all those wishy washy male characters? They were so lame. The only good thing about the show was the music soundtrack with tunes from Men Without Hats and Depeche Mode. I certainly won’t be crying into my herbal tea regarding the rumours about the spin off not going ahead.

Monday, 11 May 2009

CrazySexyCool - H&M and Chanel

Ok it's advert time. Last week The Guardian published it's viral video chart which is a list of the 20 most blogged about viral videos. Leading the pack was the Phillips Carousel Commercial which is an avant garde film made by top music director, Adam Berg. Other videos on the list were the trailer for the Chanel film, the advert for the NYLON and Urban Outfitters collaboration, the HP advert which is kind of cute and the Adidas House Party one which I blogged about here. Funnily over the weekend two adverts caught my eye and had me transfixed and I thought I would share them with you.

Matthew Williamson for H&M
In the past I have not really taken much notice of Matthew Williamson, aside from his love of bright colours and Sienna Miller, I know very little about the man. So his new line at H&M meant very little to me. However, this advert really made me sit up and take notice; it is everything that you associate with British creativity; arty, quirky, funny and totally anti-establishment. I especially love the bit where the model walks off the pages of the magazine. That is just awesome.

Check it out and tell me what you think.

The new Chanel No 5
I have always had a soft spot for doe eyed Audrey Tautou since I saw her in Brit film, Dirty Pretty Things. The cinematography in this advert is wonderful and the views of Paris and Istanbul are exquisite. I am also loving the sexy jumpsuit that she is wearing at the end. Go Audrey!!

Also check out the lowdown on the making of the new T-Mobile advert which was filmed in Trafalgar Square last week. The sweet Angel from A Taste of Angel Cake fills us in here.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Links a la' Mode: 7th May

Edited by Debutante Clothing

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.
  • Super Kawaii Mama - A cracking interview with a very worthy girl crush - Amelia Arsenic!
  • Style Symmetry - Seven Questions with Susie of Style Bubble!
  • Solo Lisa - Canadian jewelry line DESIGN + CONQUER puts a bold, quirky spin on the meaning of geek chic
  • The Coveted - Win a $250 gift certificate for Avelle (formerly Bag, Borrow or Steal) luxury handbags!
  • Agent Dreamer - Hearts Idil Vice
  • Tickle the Blog - Make your existing make-up into summer beauty must-haves!
  • The Musings of Ondo Lady - Too cool for school, NYLON magazine have just recently celebrated their 10th anniversary
  • Dramatis Personae - Ashe Mischief Asks Herself “Why Develop Your Wardrobe’s Color Palette?”
  • fete a fete - Guerlain’s new summer Terracotta lip glosses, Fard Indien, and the new Rouge G lipstick!
  • The Capitola Fashionista - The 15 Must Have Sandals for this Summer
  • Style With Anna - The Hottest Swimwear and Bikini Trends for Spring/Summer 2009
  • A Few Goody Gumdrops - is giving away a Hana Elite Ceramic Flat Iron for Mother’s Day. Enter to Win!
  • Capitola Girl - So ready for summer on The Devil Wears Etsy
  • Two Thousand Things – Celebrity Walk-In Wardrobes and some pictures for reference
  • The Curvy Fashionista - A Curvy Fashionista declaring her fashionable existence in a straight world
  • The Fashion Grail - Get Miranda Kerr’s look for less!
  • Misslikey - my view on the night at Met’s
  • Fashion Pulse Daily - Khaki goes beyond its preppy stigma with the new Gap designer collaboration
  • Brick My Lane - DIY: how to make an “organic” spike Rock’n'Roll belt

Friday, 8 May 2009

The Face Hunter Show

Paris part 1 from The Facehunter Show on Vimeo.

I have always regarded Face Hunter as the poor relation to The Satorialist. When it comes to street style some would say that The Satorialist aka Scott Schuman has it covered with his iconic blogsphere status which see him being cooed over by fashion editors. Also with a book due out later this year Schuman looks set to imprint The Satorialist brand online and offline. The glittering success of street style has led to everyone and their dog focusing on this trend with some doing it well like The Daily formerly know as Rubbish (the official publication for London Fashion Week) but some do it badly and with very little imagination. Swiss born, Yvan Rodic aka Face Hunter describes himself as a man out and about in London and beyond capturing eye candy for the style hungry. I would agree totally as the blog celebrates not just style but originality and verve. Yvan was working as a copywriter in advertising and a writer for a magazine when he came across the idea of starting a blog. This was back in 2006 and now Face Hunter is one of the most talked about street blogs around.

Adding another string to his bow, Yvan has launched a web TV show called The Face Hunter Show that covers fashionistas while they are out and about. Filmed in Paris, Moscow, Stockholm and Mexico City we see him fraternising with the creme a la creme of the creative art scene. He takes off to Moscow and hangs out in studios with the edgy artists, he relaxes with the cool and trendy in Sweden and he parties with the funky creatives in Mexico. I love all the shows but my favourite one is in Paris where he interviews bloggers such as Garance Dore', Eddie Newton from Style Sightings and I just loved the bit where Scott Schuman himself makes an appearance. Talk about blogger solidarity. The Face Hunter Show is a delightful and funny look into the world of creative artists around the world and it makes you realise that art just not just stop at the Tate Modern in London or The Met in New York. Yvan reveals himself to be a very charismatic character who is slightly off the wall and as batty as his subjects.

Oh and guess what? The Face Hunter also has a book out and it will be published by Thames and Hudson and will hit the stores in early next year.

Check out his myspace page, it is pretty cool.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Pretty: The NYLON Book of Beauty

Too cool for school, NYLON magazine have just recently celebrated their 10th anniversary. So what do they do to mark this feat? Piss off some of their subscribers by informing them that they will now be receiving their beloved magazine in digital format. You can imagine that went down like a ton of bricks and rightfully so. I don't think it would take a genius to work out that if someone is committed enough to sign up for a supply of magazines then they are expecting a hard copy to be delivered through their door. NYLON execs need to get with the programme and fast before they lose all their readers. In terms of the magazine, on a stylish level it looks amazing - the layouts are fresh and so pretty but the editorial sucks. The writing is pretty bad and bland at the best of times and their title as a mag that is edgy and bit off the wall is not justified. I am sorry but I just cannot take a magazine who claims to be different from other glossies yet puts wash out Lindsay Lohan and doolittles, Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie on the cover seriously. Right now I would say NYLON is all style with very little substance.

On a much more positive note NYLON do produce some pretty impressive books. Recently the lovely J gifted me a copy of Pretty: The NYLON Book of Beauty. One of the attributes that die hard NYLON fans talk about when raving about the magazine is the unique way that they feature beauty products which goes far beyond applying make up. This book covers core beauty products that every lady will use at sometime in her life - iconic brands such as Maybelline mascara, Shu Uemura eye lash curlers, Revlon lipstick and many many more. As well as some tips on how to use them we are also given a bit of history of these great brands. The next section is all about the icon's whose looks have shaped each decades since the 40s. Greta Garbo, Josephine Baker, Elizabeth Taylor, Anne Bancroft, Pam Grier, Madonna, Uma Thurman et all are featured with a brief bio of their lives as well as the 'moment' that they shaped history. For Anne Bancroft it is her pressance in The Graduate and Uma Thurman her look in Pulp Fiction while women like Greta Garbo and Josephine Baker had an aesthetic influence that ran though out their career. The final section is a culmination of the basics from part one and the inspiration from part two and this is where you put your face on and do your hair. This section has samples of different make up looks and hairstyles. Pretty The NYLON Book of Beauty lives up to its billing and is as gorgeous on the inside as it is on the outside.

The book is written by NYLON beauty director, Fiorella Valdesolo, check out an interview with her here.

Pictures taken from the NYLON website.

Jamrock Magazine

Remember the time when Vibe magazine was the epi-centre of urban popular culture? When hip hop artists such as Wu Tang Clan, KRS One and Jay Z who got no love from other publications but were greeted with open arms by Vibe? This was back in the mid 90s before urban culture became mainstream. Sadly Vibe is no longer the magazine that it was which was edgy, forward thinking and exciting to read. It is now just another magazine. However there is a new publication on the scene that might be able to take up where Vibe left off. Jamrock is a glossy lifestyle magazine that comes with a Caribbean and American edge. Based in New York, it takes a global perspective on all things good such as music, film, style, travel and beauty. The lovely Keysha from The Cocoa Diaries featured Jamrock on her fantastic blog - check it out here.

Friday, 1 May 2009

The One and Only Coco

Now we all know that there are a whole heap of fashion blogs out there which cover anything from fashion shows to the latest trends and what celebrities are wearing. However not all of them possess the passion and knowledge that you will find in Coco's Tea Party. Set up 2006, the blog looks at the parallels between fashion and celebrities and the popular hit and miss feature scrutinises the wardrobes of the rich and famous. I caught up with Coco to find out the real deal about Coco's Tea Party.

What made you start blogging?
I don't really remember why I started and to be honest I never planned to. I was just bored one day, and I get through magazines so quickly I thought it would be something constructive to do while waiting for the new issues to come out. But over time I really got into it and now it is much more than just filling time.

Describe the concept behind Coco's Tea Party.
Well my ideas change all the time. When I first started Coco's Tea Party was probably 80% celebrity fashion and it's probably more 50/50 between celebrity and designer now.

You always have an interesting image on the header, how do you go about choosing it?
Well since I came up with the 'We'd rather go naked' quote I always choose images of naked celebrities. It is slightly odd when googling to look for a new one. The first naked star I had was Chloe Sevigny and I loved that header. I changed it to Lindsay Lohan once and there was outrage, so that one only last about 24 hours - it will never be her again. At the moment it is Madonna and I don't think I'll change it for a while.

How do you think bloggers have made an impact on the media?
I think the speed you can get a story out and the fact it is free to read has probably impacted it the most. I often see stories in weekly magazines (which I won't name) where they claim to have just discovered something and it has normally been on some one's blog weeks before. I think it's nice to have the option to read both blogs and magazines - I wouldn't pick one over the other, they each have their strong points.

What do you do when you are not working on your blog?
If I'm not working on my blog I am probably doing work for my degree in Fashion Journalism. I don't think a day goes by where I don't write about fashion at some point. But outside of writing at the moment I am seriously obsessed with watching Brothers & Sisters, I could do that all day.

Describe a typical day.
The first thing I do when I wake up is go online. I don't think I have a 'typical' day as such but there will normally be blogging involved. Haha.

Name your top fashion icons.
This is hard; I love Diane Kruger, Nicole Richie, Mary-Kate Olsen, Carine Roitfeld and Chloe Sevigny. There are so many women. I love Rachel Zoe's look too, the 1970s is one of my favourite decades for fashion so I love how she references it so strongly in her style. I always go back to Ashley Olsen and Sarah Jessica Parker when I need inspiration though.

Name five blogs that you read religiously.
Fashionista, Fashionologie, Just Jared, Lainey Gossip and Discotheque Confusion as me and Stevie started blogging around the same time and I always love to see what she's doing.

How do you see Coco's Tea Party evolving over the next two years?
I don't really have a plan with Coco's Tea Party, and I never had which odd for me as I'm so OCD. It's the only thing that I've ever just let float along. I would like some magazines to give the blog a mention, which I know isn't really that important but it would be quite flattering, especially as I've been writing for almost three years now.