Tuesday, 30 June 2009

NYC Prep

Oh no they didn’t! Oh but they have. Bravo TV are airing a reality version of Gossip Girl – no not Schooled that I blogged about here or Gossip Girl: Real NYC Stories Revealed, which I featured here. NYC Prep is a docu drama that depicts the lives of six teenagers who live a privilege existence in an affluent part of New York. The teenagers range from 15 to 18 and attend the most elite schools in Manhattan and live in a world where credit cards, Blackberrys and cellphones are the norm.

Jessie is a feisty social mover who dreams of a life in fashion, she hangs out with Peter Peterson aka PC an obnoxious 17 year old who is rather jaded and quite clearly being pushed as the Chuck Bass of the group. Jessie and PC used to date and now they are just best friends. Kelli is kind of a latchkey kid who shares an apartment with her 18 year old brother while her parents pop in once a week from the Hamptons. Kelli wants to be a singer hence the fact that she moved back to the city so when she is not working making demos in the recording studio she is spending time with Camille, an over achiever who has her heart set on Harvard. Camille has quite the acid tongue and does not suffer fools gladly. The eye candy of the group is French speaking Sebastian whose main goal is hook up with as many girls as possible. Last but not least is Taylor, the Jenny Humphries of the set. Taylor is the only one that attends public school and spends most of her time trying to fit in with her much richer peers.

The kids in NYC Prep have a fabulous lifestyle; they have great clothes, great apartments, unlimited access to money and great hair. Their activities involve eating out in swanky restaurants, shopping in designer boutiques, attending fashion shows and launches at art galleries. The similarities between GG are obvious with the same playing field in common and to a certain extent absentee parents but I would go out on a limb and say that NYC Prep is more like the East Coast version of Laguna Beach. It is not a work of art and Bravo TV's new show makes very entertaining and envious watching.

Check out a clip from the show below.

NYC Prep airs on Tuesdays on Bravo TV.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Rimmel London

There was a time when you wouldn't be caught dead wearing Rimmel make up but my how things have changed. Thanks to some major rebranding and a great marketing campaign, Rimmel is now mentioned in the same breath as Maybelline, MAC, L'Oreal and Revlon. It all started back in 2001 when the company approached Kate Moss to spearhead their new directional campaign, Rimmel London. The concept was to celebrate the heritage of London and transform Rimmel from a naff brand into one that was cool, edgy and street wise. A TV and print campaign was created which focused on Moss being the quintessential London girl. Moss herself admitted that she had been a Rimmel girl when she was teenager and soon a beautiful partnership was born and one that would stay firm during Moss's drug scandal a few years later. Since then Rimmel London have gone strength to strength and last year they introduced model, Lily Cole and pop star, Sophie Ellis-Bexter to the stable.

Rimmel London's roots go back as far as 1820 and was family run until 1996 when it was acquired by Coty Inc, owners of numerous perfume and make up brands. Today Rimmel London is all about fashion and experimentation and about creating trends as opposed to following them. Aligning themselves with glamorous events such as London Fashion Week and Clothes Show London shows how far they have come. With a mixture of old and new Rimmel London produces a wide range of shades in eye shadows, nail polishes, lipsticks and foundations. These colours are constantly updated to make sure that they are on trend.

I have always liked the TV adverts which I found to be quirky and kind of hippy chic and I really admired Rimmel London for standing by Kate Moss during her troubled period even though everyone else dropped her like a hot potato. However, to be honest I never really took notice of the Rimmel London products till a work colleague and I popped into Superdrug and stopped by the stand. To say I was impressed would be putting it lightly, the range on the stand was fresh, hip and almost retro. I fell in love their nail varnishes especially the New I Heart Lasting Finish range which comes in a wide range of mouth watering colours. If you are in a hurry then there is the new 60 Second polish and if you want easy application then check out the Lycra Pro range.

Check out the Rimmel London website and have a peep at Sophie's little black book, read all about Lilly's beauty regime and admire all the images of Kate while she has been a Rimmel London lady.

I have also included below the Rimmel London advert of Sophie Ellis-Bexter displaying the traits of the quintessential London girl.

Images taken by Rimmel

Saturday, 27 June 2009

I Have Patrick

"Did Patrick Demarchelier confirm?" barked dragon boss, Miranda Priestly to rookie assistant, Andy Sachs in the movie, The Devil Wears Prada which led to much confusion on her part. First assistant Emily saved the day by calling him and coolly shouting out from her office, "I have Patrick." All this commotion left me to wonder exactly who this Patrick fellow was. After some research I found out quite a few things, French born, Patrick Demarchelier is a hot shot photographer who has been in the business for over 40 years. During that time he has shot the covers for just about every major fashion magazine as well as covers of Rolling Stone, Life and Newsweek. He has also produced high profile ad campaigns for Revlon, Chanel, Calvin Klein and The Gap and shot images of A list celebrities including the ultimate celeb Princess Diana who personally requested that Demarchelier take her picture back in 1991. Demarchelier is simply regarded as one of the best fashion photographers today.

Not bad for a guy who grew up in a small village near Paris and was more interested in fishing and climbing trees. It all changed when his stepfather gave him a Kodak camera for his seventeenth birthday and suddenly Demarchelier knew exactly what he wanted to with his life. After learning his craft in Paris on a variety of French, German and Italian publications, Demarchelier took himself off to New York and began to build up his client list. Although clients could not understand a word he said they were captivated by his work and soon he was working regularly for Vogue, Mademoiselle, Glamour and Brit Vogue.

Every successful photographer has a USP and Demarchelier's strengths is the approachability that he brings to his pictures particularly when shooting models for covers. His images hold a breezy and understated elegance which at the same time possess a realistic and thoughtful outlook. Throughout his long career Demarchelier has been responsible for creating the most pivotal images in pop culture. From the cover of Janet Jackson's album, Madonna dressed in leather with a cigarette hanging from her mouth taken for the cover of French magazine, Photo to Princess Diana on the cover of British Vogue. The icing on the cake? Appearing in the Sex and the City film, shooting soon to be bride Carrie Bradshaw for American Vogue. Talk about art imitating life.

Here is a clip from Sex and the City: The Movie.

Patrick Demarchelier resides with his wife Mia and their three sons where they divide their time between their family homes in Manhattan and St Barts.

If you would like to see more of Patrick's work then just check out his website here.

All images taken by Patrick Demarchelier.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Michael Jackson - 1958 to 2009

I don't think there are anymore words that I can add to the sad death of Michael Jackson. There is no doubt that he changed the face of music and he will leave behind a huge legacy that many will find hard to fill. The picture above is how I like to remember him.

Rest in peace Michael Jackson.

Picture taken from mjsite.com

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Wimbledon Chic

In 1919 the great Suzanne Lenglen caused a stir when she dared to bear her legs in (gasp) a calf length dress. Her outfit which was worn at Winbledon garnered as many headlines as her victory did. It may not be as popular as it was in the 80s but few can argue that tennis is a sport that makes people sit up take notice, especially when Wimbledon is on. So while the nation roars on Andy Murray the fashionistas will be checking out what the tennis stars are wearing. The All England Championship is infamous for its all white policy which has resulted in back to basic outfits being worn by the world’s top players. In 1985 American, Anne White broke tradition by donning an all white slinky cat suit (pictured above) and found herself all over the newspapers. She described the outfit as a perfect combination of "fashion and function but was told by referee, Alan Mills not to wear the outfit the next day.

Well gladly those stuffy days are behind us and now tennis stars are free to embrace their inner fashion self. We have the Williams sisters designing their own outfits with Serena waltzing onto court wearing a trench coat which has been imitated by Maria Sharapova. Defending champion, Rafael Nadal will be missed for his tennis talents as well as his style which comprises of a tank top and Capri pants. However, Roger Federer takes fashion to new lengths; in 2007 he had his blazer with four gold rackets embroidered on it to symbolise his victories, last year he had the retro cardigan. However this year he has surpassed himself by wearing a military style jacket with trousers and a waistcoat. He was also accessorised out with a gold and white man bag and gold swishes on his trainers.

Monday, 22 June 2009

The Proposal

I have had a drought with films over the last few months; in fact my last time at the cinema was when I went to Confessions of a Shopaholic. Well that little cutie is now out on DVD which tells us what an age it has been. Well good old Sandra Bullock has come to the rescue with her rom com, The Proposal where she plays a kick ass boss who would give Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada a run for her Manolos. Sandra plays Margaret Tate, a hotshot in the book publishing industry who is faced with deportation back to Canada after her visa is not renewed. In order to avoid this she manipulates her downtrodden assistant, Andrew Paxton (played by Ryan Reynolds) into marrying her with the promise of a promotion and that his book will be published. The Proposal is directed by Anne Fletcher who worked on 27 Dresses and Step up 2 which holds it in great stead. Well after a few dreary months at the box office I say this is just the remedy I need.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Only the Brave

I know this fragrance is for guys but I love the adverts especially the one featuring Common. I really like the lyrics which are set upon some funky drumbeats. Only the Brave is a perfume that not only smells good but also possess an awful lot of attitude. The bottle is shaped like a clenched fist which is a symbol of strength and the ingredients are leather, styrax, labdanum, woody cedar and lemon. Only the Brave is all about tapping into the strong identity of young men.

The adverts are produced by Paris based ad agency, Fred and Farid whose portfolio include McVities and Orangina and features Common and models Sam Ways, Tony Ward and Daniel Pimentel . The campaign is a combination of print adverts which have been placed in hip magazines and billboard posters. These amazing images have been shot by a photographer called Platon who has worked for just about every magazine in the business and has shot many famous people including Barack Obama. As well as lots of acclaim there have been a few criticisms of the ads, with Adweek calling them disturbing and threatening. Spoilsports I say, some people really need to take a chill pill.

Rapper, Common

Model, Sam Ways

Model, Daniel Pimentel

Model, Tony Ward

Images taken by Platon

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Shopping for Vintage by Funmi Odulate

"Vintage, schmintage - it's not the concept that bothers, it"s the snooty-faced justifications behind its recent election to the top of the fashion pyramid. Ever since people (aka Kate Moss) popularized vintage clothes about a decade ago her followers have come up with some rum old justifications for this trend."

Hadley Freeman, The Meaning of Sunglasses.

I have always been perplexed by the term 'vintage' and the way it has been placed onto every piece of clothing that ranges from 30 years old to just a few years. I appreciate that there are some amazing collectors items out there that are irreplaceable and to quote Rachel Zoe - to die for. However I fail to see how a shop can charge £100 for an old t-shirt that would have going for a mere 50p before vintage became hip. Well thank god for Shopping for Vintage: The Definitive Guide to Vintage Fashion which is written by journalist, Funmi Odulate. This gorgeous book gives the down low on vintage and tells you how to separate vintage clothing from that which is antique, retro or simply secondhand. With contributions from the likes of Hilary Alexander to Miuccia Prada, this book also contains hints and tips on what to look for and how to haggle when you find a great vintage piece. I caught up with Funmi to find out how life was treating her on and off the vintage track.

What was the idea behind Shopping For Vintage?
My initial inspiration behind this book was purely selfish. I wanted a book that would tell me where to find vintage shops and markets worldwide. I couldn't’t find one so I thought I would create one and that’s basically how it began.

There has been a lot of ambiguity about what 'vintage' actually is. Can you tell me how you define it?
Vintage is really anything older than a quarter of a century.

How much research went into compiling the list of shops together?
More research than you would believe! It took years. This included travelling around many cities to actually check them out.

How did you go about getting your book deal? Did you pitch it to Quadrille Publishing?
I sent my idea to an agent, they rang me up the next day and they clinched the deal with Quadrille.

We all know that vintage is the new Black but people like yourself have been on the ball for years. Do you think that there are a lot of fake vintage lovers out there?
Gosh I don’t know if I can be pompous enough to label someone a ‘fake vintage lover’. Yes I’ve loved vintage way before I knew what ‘vintage’ was. Back then it was just secondhand clothes. But hey. You like what you like. If someone likes something and it happens to be vintage then all power to them.

You have worked for all the top end glossy magazines such as Vogue and Harper's Bazaar - how did you start out as a journalist?
I basically started out by doing work experience at Elle Magazine and worked my way through that route. That is just about the only way to do it.

Tell me whose style you admire?
It varies – lots of people from Julia Restoin-Roitfeld to Dot Cotton to Ebony Bones to Michelle Obama to Chrissie Hynde to Kelis to Kanye West to Nigella Lawson. All for very different reasons. To be honest most of the people’s styles I admire are not even famous.

What is the fashion item that you would just die for?
Die is such a strong word hahaha! However, I am loving this jacket from Balmain right now. I also love Marni’s new collection for autumn winter , Lanvin and Chanel are super gorgeous and vintage Yves Saint Laurent and vintage Bulgari jewellery do it for me every time. I’d also like a vintage Rolex. Okay this list could get VERY long.

Describe your own personal style.
I always find this quite a tough question. It’s a real mix; the best way to describe it would be in terms of designer’s styles. For day time it is very Marni meets Bottega meets vintage and for evening its Yves Saint Laurent meets Lanvin.

Describe a day in the life of Funmi Odulate.
At the moment I am the Editor of the Browns website so everyday is different. A mix of meetings, working on editorial, choosing pictures from a mammoth fashion shoot my stylists have shot etc etc. It really does vary.

What are you working on at the moment?
As well as Browns I write fashion, arts and beauty features for other publications and am currently working on a literary novel.

Shopping for Vintage is available to buy from amazon.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Leighton and Denny Nail Kit

Like most bloggers I spend a lot of time nurturing my blog and giving it the time and effort that it deserves. As fellow blogger, Afrobella recently tweeted; 'Blogging is such a labour of love. It requires stamina and diligence," However I do like to stick my hand into other pies so when blogger, The Style PA asked for people to review beauty products I gratefully took the opportunity. My gig was to review the Leighton Denny nail repair kit which you can read here. Tell me what you think.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Win a Signed Copy of Wedding Babylon

Imogen Edwards-Jones - author of Hotel Babylon, Pop Babylon and Fashion Babylon which has been made into a TV series (read here) is at it again. She has released a book that spills the beans about the UK wedding industry. She takes us behind the scenes of the excesses of the industry and focuses on the real life bridezillas. To celebrate the release of Wedding Babylon we have 30 signed copies to giveaway. All you have to do is tell me who starred in the hit film Four Weddings and a Funeral and email the answer to ondolady@googlemail.com by 4th July.

The potential for things to go horribly, horribly wrong is never higher than at a wedding. Wedding Babylon reveals all.... the scams which inflate the prices of everything from flowers to cakes to marquee hire, stories of high jinxes at the alter and disastrous low comedy in the speeches!! Everyone loves a good wedding.

Wedding Babylon is available to buy for £14.99 from Amazon here.

Join the Wedding Babylon Facebook fan page here.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Fashionista Magazine

Graduate Fashion Week (GFW) featured the absolute cream of talent in this country as Universities around the UK displayed the work of their finest students. In it's 18th year, GFW is where companies, talent scouts, trend spotters and fashionistas go to check out the up and coming talent. I saw shows by Nottingham Trent, UCA Rochester, UCA Epsom and Manchester Metropolitan University and the collections I saw were pretty much on par with those at London Fashion Week. My favourite part of GFW is wandering round the exhibition and checking out the portfolios, sketchbooks and publications created by the students. There is some amazing work displayed here and more importantly you get an idea of the thought process of the student when they were working on their collection. Wednesday saw the galas take place where Claudia Schiffer, Matthew Williamson, Dylan Jones and Lorraine Candy presented awards to the most promising students. Myrto Stamou from UCA Rochester took home the Gold Award as well as the award for Womenswear. Thursday was the last day and it was Education Day where students who are looking to break into the industry could pick up information about fashion courses and careers. There was also a careers clinic which was hosted by the so cool it hurts, Caryn Franklin with a panel which consisted of established people from the fashion biz; where they answered questions about how to get into the industry. I said hi to Susie Bubble who was blogging away at her stand and I bumped into Disney RollerGirl in the press office.

I picked up a copy of Fashionista which is the official magazine published for GFW and packed with lots of information about getting into the industry. When I was starting out in my career all that was on offer were a few leaflets, there were no magazines let alone a cool and stylish one like Fashionista. The magazine is written by fashion students from UCA Rochester and edited by Hannah Kane and put together by Piers Atkinson, hat maker and editor from Disorder and Dennis Maloney. This gem of a publication features an interview with current darling, Hannah Marshall, a look behind the scenes at Elle, diaries by interns at magazines such as Bliss and Absolute Brighton, Sunday Times Style magazine and TheFashionScout.com. All the tips that are needed for getting into the fashion business are presented in a really cool way that is accessible as well as fun. Information and entertainment mixed together.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Gossip Girl: Real NYC Stories Revealed

The Upper East Side is the most prestigious area of New York; located between Central Park and the East River, it is home to world-famous museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim as well as elite schools and luxury boutiques. It is also a pivotal place for four feisty New Yorkers who are dubbed the real Gossip Girls. In celebration of their new go fresh Burst Body Wash, Dove have created a series of micro documentaries that takes us into the lives of four sassy women who are connected to the Upper East Side. Gossip Girl: Real NYC Stories Revealed gives us an insight into the life of a working gal in the Big Apple. The series was aired last month on CWTV during the last four episodes of Gossip Girl and it was introduced by Jessica Szohr who plays Vanessa Abrams.

The four featured ladies are different in many ways. There is IT girl, Dani Stahl, style director of hip magazine NYLON and a jewellery designer who is born and bred on the Upper East Side. Faythallegra Coleman is an indie film maker who was born and raised in Harlem. She schooled at a prestigious school on the Upper East Side but now calls Brooklyn her home. Then there is Lara Meiland Shaw who was born in Denmark but moved to the Upper East Side when she was ten years old. She is a wedding couture designer and co-founder of Lara Helene which is a label that she runs with her sister who is based in London. Like a true socialite, Lara's evenings are full with cocktail parties and fundraisers. Her life is a far cry from Chrissie Miller who was born and raised in the Upper East Side but now calls the Lower East Side her home. She moves in a tight knit circle of musicians, film makers and artists. Chrissie is a fashion designer who runs hip label, Sophomore.

These videos are a lot of fun and gives you a taste into the life of Upper East Siders. All of these ladies are doing great things and making huge strides in their career and any notions of them being little rich girls are quickly dispelled. Dani, Lara, Chrissie and Faythallegra and women who have the guts to go for their passion and are now living their dreams. You ever heard of the phrase lifestyle envy - well I have it. Check out the intro to the show below and tell me what you think.

You can watch Gossip Girl: Real NYC Stories Revealed here.

Monday, 8 June 2009

The Skinny: Win a FREE Pair of Skinny Jeans

You can never go wrong with a pair of jeans, whether you are going out on the town, shopping or chilling in the house, these classic gems never let you down. What is so exciting about jeans is the wide variety of styles that are out there. There are bootcut, flared, wide leg, roll up, kick flared or skinny jeans. My favourite style are kick flares which are skinny on the top but flared at the bottom. I find them very flattering as they hug the leg but also give me extra length. Over the last three years it has been all about the skinny with everyone from celebrities to fashionistas wearing them. Naturally Kate Moss is to blame after she was snapped donning a pair with flats a few years back. Fashion observers took note and the rest as they say is history. The skinny can be seen on the streets of the UK either tucked in boots, worn with a pair of killer heels or with the popular ballerina flats.

YMI Jeanswear International stands for 'why am I' and is aimed at young women who seek the freedom to be themselves. YMI is a leader in the juniors denim industry and creates fantastic and unique clothing for young women who are trend setters and forward thinking. They also have a great blog, YMI Obsessed which is packed with features, fashion tips and celebrity news. To celebrate the yumminess of the skinny, YMI are giving away a FREE pair of skinny jeans to a lucky reader. All you have to do is email ondolady@googlemail.com by Friday 12th June and state The Skinny in the subject field.

NB: Please note that this competition is now closed!

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Made in NYC

One of the charms of the film Wall Street was the way it featured the heartbeat of Manhattan and how exciting life is in the Big Apple. I admit I am a sucker for films and shows based on NYC. Carrie Bradshaw told Miranda in our beloved Sex and the City that she was having a love affair with the city. Who can blame the gal; with it's funky boutiques, wonderful galleries, great restaurants and superb nightlife along with it's vibrant and diverse neighbourhoods - New York may be small but it certainly packs a punch. It also looks great on the eye so it is no surprise that the most famous city in the world has been featured in thousands of films and TV shows. The Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting was founded in 1966 and this kicked off an explosion of productions made in NYC. There are classic films such as the ones made by Woody Allen and Martin Scorcese and TV shows like Seinfeld and Spin City and I have listed the ones that have made an impact on me.


Sex and the City: The Movie
Last year everyone went agog over the much aniticipated release of the S&TC film. Scenes wee shot at Bryant Park when the quartet attend Fashion Week, Park Avenue where Charlotte resides with Harry and Lilly, Fifth Avenue at Carrie and Big's swish new penthouse, Deklab Avenue in Brooklyn where Miranda lived with Steve, Lower East Side where she moved to after their break up and of course Central Park.

The Devil Wears Prada
This film was one of the most glamorous of recent times and showed the drama of working on one of the glossiest magazines around. It featured areas such as the Lower East Side where our protagonist, Andrea Sachs lived, the Tribeca where she hanged out with her fella and pals and the Upper East Side where boss from hell, Miranda Priestly lived.

Working Girl
Melanie Griffiths stars as Tess McGill in a rags to riches story based in the boardroom. The film is shot in locations such as Staten Island where she lived and Bowling Green where she worked.

You've Got Mail
Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan reunite to play two star crossed lovers who communicate by email in the Big Apple. This film showed a really romantic look of the city with a 40s vibe that is very care free. Scenes took place primarily on the Upper West Side where both characters lived and also where their rival bookstores were based.

An Affair to Remember
Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant play star crossed lover in this classic film. It will always be synonymous with the Empire State Building where the two lovers were supposed to meet till tragedy hit. An Affair to Remember also inspired the hit film, Sleepless in Seattle.

Breakfast at Tiffany's
One of my favourite movies of all the time. Never mind the dialogue, I just loved watching the scenery and the fashion. This is the film that put the ever so glamorous store Tiffany's on the map. Interesting to find out that while most of the outside shots were filmed in Manhattan, a lot of the inside ones were filmed in Hollywood.

Other films that made an impression are Spike Lee's films such Do The Right Thing, Mo Better Blues and Crooklyn that gave a great insight into Brooklyn. Also Ghost, Desperately Seeking Susan, Confessions of a Shopaholic, It Could Happen to You, 10 Ways to Lose a Guy, Cruel Intentions, Cruel Intentions, What Women Want and As Good As it Gets focused on certain areas in Manhattan.

TV Shows

Gossip Girl
As well as the frolics from the upper classes, Gossip Girl shows off the lushness of the Upper East Side, Fifth Avenue and Central Park where Serena, Blair and co inhabit. However, it gives us an insight into the funkiness of Williamsburg in Brooklyn where all the hipsters such as Vanessa, Dan and Jenny live.

Sex and the City
S&TC creator, Darren Star often said that New York was the fifth character in the show and I don't think he could have put it better. The four women have NYC as their playground and the show concentrates on areas such as the Meatpacking District where Samantha's retro pad is and Upper West Side where Miranda's single ladies apartment is. The Upper East Side is important to the show as that is not only where Charlotte and Carrie have their apartments but it is alsowhere Jimmy Choo, Manola Blahnik and lavish department store, Barneys are based.

Ugly Betty
Often dubbed the TV version of The Devil Wears Prada but Ugly Betty is much more than that. Since it burst onto our scenes two years sgo, Ugly Betty has become a global success and won many prestigious awards. It is hard to believe but the first two seasons of this popular series were filmed in LA. Only the pilot was made in NYC.

Lipstick Jungle
Three women take on NYC juggling high powered careers, families while wearing stilettos. Scenes are filmed in 501 Broadway, Rockland Lake State Park and Nyack Beach State Park.

Ok I admit it, I am cheating a bit here as Friends was filmed on sets in LA and NYC was only used for outside shots of the apartment block that Monica, Rachel, Chandler and Joey lived in. However Paramount really do a fantastic replica of Manhattan with the fabulous apartments and the cool coffee shop set in Greenwich Village.

Will and Grace
I was not a huge fan of this show and I could not stand Grace but I loved the apartment she shared with Will. It really represented a true Manhattan loft because it was so wide and spacious. Like Friends this was filmed in LA but the exterior shots were all NYC.

Other TV shows that come to mind are Cashmere Mafia, Law and Order and Spin City.

If you are interested in the production of films and TV in the Big Apple then you will love Made in NY which is a series of podcasts that hold walking tours of film and TV locations in NYC. So if you are in NYC and fancy checking out famous shooting scenes then all you need to do is download it onto your iPod and off you go. Whatever you do, don't forget the S&TC tour where you can see the locations from the series. Check out a fantastic review from Vex in the City.

So what are your favourite films and TV shows set in NYC and why?

Friday, 5 June 2009

Retro Review: Wall Street

"Greed, for lack of a better word, is good," Gordon Gekko in Wall Street circa 1987.

Bud Fox played by Charlie Sheen is a bright, hungry and ambitious stockbroker who punches in hours at Wall Street, the financial district of Manhattan. While his colleagues look forward to bringing in a six figure salary and retiring with a huge pension along with a massive house in Connecticut, Bud longs for more. His idol is arbitrageur, Gordon Gekko played by Michael Douglas; a man who eats dragons for breakfast and is worth $650. Gekko is Bud's passport out of a life that he regards as mediocre and into one that he craves. After being granted a rare meeting with Mr Gekko, Bud manages to impress him by giving him some inside tips about the airline company that his father works for. This earns Gekko a small fortune and he manipulates Bud into giving him more inside info which puts Bud's career at risk. The 'partnership' with Gekko pays off and pretty soon, Bud is living his ultimate dream. He has a cool bachelor pad on the exclusive Upper East Side, designer suits that start at $500 a pop as well the obligatory leggy blonde girlfriend. His lifestyle goes completely against his father's ethos which is anti capitalism. Bud's father played by Sheen's real Daddy - Martin, is union leader for Bluestar airlines and often urges him to find a more meaningful job. His advice falls on deaf ears as Bud gets more embroiled into the trappings of money and moves further and further into Gekko's clutches.

If any film defined the 80s then this was it; Wall Street represents the excesses of an era that was based on power, consumption and greed. Gordon Gekko with his flash hand made suits, colourful braces and slicked back hair was the epitome of that era. This was the film that put stockbroking and yuppiedom into the mainstream and made it look glamorous. Remember Capital City, the British TV series that was about a group of investment bankers in the city of London? Wall Street was released in 1987 and made a huge impact financially and culturally. The film grossed just over $4 million in the opening weekend and went to make a whooping $43 million in the states. Michael Douglas was praised for his remarkable performance as the charismatic Gekko and went on to win an Oscar. Oliver Stone who based the film on his father who was a former stockbroker really created a gem of a movie here. I have just heard that there is to be a Wall Street 2 with Michael Douglas reprising his role as Gekko. The film will be released next year.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

The Musings of Ondo Lady featured in Style Bazaar

Style Bazaar is a concept that has an online store, a fashion magazine, a blog as well as fashion videos. The magazine covers the latest trends, vintage clothing, up and coming designers as well as all the gossip. The publication was set up by Tallulah Doherty in order to provide a boutique aimed at mid market consumers. So I was thrilled and not to mention very flattered when she approached me to be featured in her lovely publication. The feature is called Off the Beaten Path and where they interview various favourite fashion bloggers from around the world. I was joined by the likes of Swank Heights, Fashionista at Play, Jeanne Suica Vintage and Fashion Journalist in the City.

Check out the feature here and flick over to page 35.

You can read an interview with Tallulah here which was published on Wafa from Fashion Ambition.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

What Are You Using Right Now?

It's that time of the month again when I need to shed my hair (well extensions) and put on a new look. So on Saturday morning off I headed to Peckham to undertake the ritual of getting my hair done. This meant getting up at 7am, leaving the house before 9am to board the train that takes me to Peckham Rye, popping into Aces to buy the hair and then going to the hairdressers to get it done. To most people going to the hairdressers is quite a relaxing time and for me back in the day when I used to relax my hair it was. I would go in, get seen to right away and be offered tea or coffee, handed some glossy magazines and be able to relax for a good few hours. Sadly the experience is very different when you are going to get your hair braided or twisted. The environment is very different and the customer emphasis is not quite the same. However, the results are stunning hence the reason why you go back for more. Now after getting my hair done I always treat myself to a facial and eyebrow threading at one of my favourite places in the world, Cucumba, an urban pit stop that offers beauty treatments and therapies. An hour or two here and I always leave feeling very lush.

How befitting is it to hear that Lushes Brown Thoughts has tagged me in her hair and beauty post, What are you using right now? The idea of the post is to find out what sort of products different bloggers use on their face and body and it all makes very interesting reading. This is a list of all the stuff that I use to keep me looking great.

Shampoo - Sulfur8 medicated shampoo - it just works or Olive Oil Creamy Aloe Shampoo
Conditioner – Trespak treatment, gets rid of those knots and makes the hair feels so much better
Styling products – Trespak medicated hair and scalp conditioner

Cleanse – Any soap from Lush
Moisturise – Palmers Cocoa Butter
Deodorant – Palmolive Soft and Gentle Aromatherapy: Lavender, Ylang Ylang & Patchouli
Sun care – None at the mo but I guess I should get on it
Perfume - I LOVE perfume and tend to use different scents, right now it is Daisy by Marc Jacobs.

Cleanse – Clarins Gel Nettoyant Purifiant Cleansing Gel
Tone - Clarins Lotion with Iris
Moisturise – Clarins HydroQuench Lotion
Mask - Clinique Deep Cleansing Emergency Mask
Lip Balm - Any by the Bodyshop or Lush

Primer - Benefit Dr Feel Good
Foundation – MAC Studio Fix powder NW45
Eye Shadow – Mac
Eyeliner - Mac
Lip gloss – Mac Chocolaite
Mascara – Maybelline Define a Lash, Mac Splashproof
Nail Polish - Essi Chocolate

I tag Brown Girl Gumbo, The Cocoa Diaries, Mad News, A Taste of Angel Cake, Harlem Loves and all my readers.

What lush goodies have you been using lately ladies?

Monday, 1 June 2009

Grab a Cup of Cocoa Diaries

Entertainment editor by day, blogger by night and a devoted mum and partner, Keysha Davis is certainly juggling a lot of balls. Her blog, The Cocoa Diaries offers the perfect blend of entertainment and pop culture from a Black British perspective. Set up over a year ago, this delightful blog covers entertainment, fashion, beauty, community, film & music. Basically if it's hip and happening you will find it in The Cocoa Diaries.

What made you start blogging?
I was inspired by the work of others. I’ve been an avid reader of blogs for a few years now, and decided to take the plunge and start one of my own.

Describe the concept behind The Cocoa Diaries?
When I first started out there were tonnes of blogs dedicated to entertainment and popular culture, but very few focused specifically on Black British culture. So I decided that that would be my niche. The ethos of The Cocoa Diaries is a celebration of Black British people and culture. It just so happens to coincide with a time when Black artists in the UK are doing particularly well. New artists like VV Brown, Laura Izibor and Shingai from The Noisettes are rightfully receiving lots of plaudits and media attention. And then you have the likes of Dizzee Rascal, who has just secured the No.1 spot and has the fastest selling single this year. That’s a huge accomplishment. Particularly when you consider that he started off as an underground artist. I want to be there to capture all these moments.

How do you think bloggers have made an impact on the media?
Blogs have impacted the media immensely. The speed at which bloggers can get information out to the general public means they have one up on traditional media. Alongside blogging, I am also a magazine journalist and I often use blogs as a port of call, especially when writing entertainment type articles. I do believe the two can co-exist though. I love the honest, subjective nature of blogging, but I also couldn’t survive without well researched, objective journalism.

What do you do when you are not working on your blog?
Running around like a headless chicken, pretty much. I work full time and have a four year old son so I’m one busy, harried and tired lady (who drinks far too much Red Bull). Aside from work stuff, I like to spend time with my fiancĂ© and child - we’re quite a football mad household so there’s often plenty of screaming and shouting at the TV when Arsenal are playing. I also like to read novels, although I really don’t get enough time to do so. And then there’s netball. I’m part of a team and we play in a league, so I spend a couple nights of the week training and competing in matches.

Describe a typical day.
By day I am the entertainment editor for Pride magazine. I spend my day editing pages, writing articles, conducting phone interviews, and fielding calls that range from disgruntled readers who haven’t received their subscription in the post, to young girls who want to become a model. We are a very small team so it’s a very fast paced environment that can get quite crazy and stressful. By night I switch into mummy mode. That means cooking, bathing and bed time story, before usually dozing off myself (laughs).

What are your favourite glossy magazines?
To be honest I don’t read glossies as much as I used to as I‘m always on the Internet. I subscribe to Glamour and I buy Grazia and Look occasionally when I fancy a quick read on the train. I occasionally pick up Essence if I like the person on front of the cover, and that’s about it.

Name five blogs that you read religiously.

How do you see The Cocoa Diaries evolving over the next two years?
I’d like to see it evolve into a lifestyle online magazine . So essentially that means more frequent posts, interviews and features. My main issue is time, or lack thereof, so I am hoping to work with an editorial intern over the next few months to get more content out there. Ultimately I’d like to see The Cocoa Diaries recognised as a formidable brand. In my opinion traditional Black British media outlets still don’t fully recognise the benefits of online publishing, so it’s definitely something I‘d like to fully explore.