Monday, 31 August 2009

H&M Magazine

A few months ago I heard mutterings about a magazine for H&M but that was as far as it got; well to my ears anyway. However, while I was on a shopping mission for my holiday oh and for some goodies to serve my post holiday depression, I ran into copies of the H&M magazine. So being the mag addict that you all know and love I scooped it up along with my new items. I decided I would save reading the publication till I got on the flight to Atlanta. I wish I could say it was worth the wait but sadly it wasn't. I was expecting something along the lines of the ultra lush asos magazine but unfortunately that was not the case. H&M magazine is A4, glossy, 82 pages thick and has all the makings of a great magazine but somehow misses the mark. Content wise it focuses on fashion and the trends that we should expect to see in the autumn but it also looks at the hip places to shop in Moscow and how to shop smart. There is only one article that stood out to me which was called Teenage Takeover which was a look at cool teenagers such as Jenny Humphrys, Cory Kennedy, Pixie Geldof and Jourdan Dunn and how they now dictate fashion. Apart from that there is very little in H&M magazine that inspires me, it all feels very remote and cold (an editor's note without a picture of the editor is not a good start to a magazine.) From the bland cover of model Angela Lindvall, the unimpressive layout and unimaginative use of fonts and colours. It is difficult to see who the magazine is pitched at as the feel is too serious for teenagers yet just not chic enough for twenty something fashionistas. H&M magazine will be one publication that I will have no qualms in parting with when I do embark on some more decluttering.

H&M magazine is published quarterly and is available in the stores.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

L.A. Candy: Review

When Lauren Conrad hanged up her stilettos and called in time on The Hills everyone wondered what she would do next. Well she decided to put pen to paper and write a book. L.A. Candy is the story of Jane Roberts a sweet 19 year old who moves to LA with her best friend Scarlett when she lands an internship with one of the best event planners in town. While Jane attends to the whims of her demanding boss, Scarlett gets stuck into her studies at University of Southern California. The racy life of LA is a far cry from the safe haven of Santa Barbara and Jane finds herself drawn to the diet of cute guys, designer clothes and cool clubs. So when she is approached by a producer to star in a reality version of Sex and the City which is called L.A. Candy, she and Scarlett jump at the chance. In a few months, the show catapulted Jane into stardom and she is LA’s new IT girl. However as she soon finds out fame comes with a lot of baggage and Jane has to distinguish between her real friends and those who are just out for what they can get.

I was very sceptical when I heard that Lauren Conrad was releasing a book. I mean we have all been here before with Z list celebs releasing book after book. Jordan, Madonna, Pamela Anderson and Naomi Campbell, eat your heart out. However I must admit that this book is a really good read. It is well written and the characters may be a touch cliche but they definitely evoke feeling; whether it is compassion or loathing. You find yourself caring about what happens to these people. This is the first release from Lauren’s three-book deal and judging by the huge cliff hanger at the end of the book I can only assume that there is a sequel lined up.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

An Ondo Lady in Atlanta

Well last Monday I set off on my adventures to the USA. Now we all know that America is a very big place what with 52 states and all and my goal is to see as much off it as possible. So I decided that a trip to Atlanta to visit relatives would be a great way to spend the vacation. I missed out on the Olympics in 96 so I guess this trip would be as good as anything. I flew with Continental Airlines with a stopover at Cleveland, Ohio; the plane ride was pretty cool with the small screens on the back. I watched the Beyonce film, Obsessed which was as tedious as I thought it would be and My Life in Ruins which starred, Nia Vardalos who starred in my Big Fat Greek Wedding. The changeover at Cleveland was a tad dramatic mainly because I had forgotten to write down my Uncle’s address so I was subjected to a bit of interrogation from the officials at immigration. After they had satisfied themselves that I was not a terrorist I was let through and made my way to the gate for my connecting flight to Atlanta. I must have looked lost because a toilet attendant asked me if I needed help and escorted me to the gate. On the way she asked me where I was headed and when I told her she gave me a puzzled look. “Where?” she asked. So I repeated what I said. “Ohhhh Aaaaat – laaaan – naaaa!!!,” she exclaimed.

Just over two hours later I was in Atlanta and ready for action. Last year I was in Dallas and Fort Worth which were cities on a very small scale but Atlanta is a very different proposition. The city has an amazing history and has always been the home of the Black middle class and in particular a certain Martin Luther King. It is also where the Black Universities such as Morehouse and Spellman are based hence the fact that the place is dubbed the Black Mecca. Downtown Atlanta is where a lot of things are such as CNN, Coca Cola, Georgia Dome, Georgia World Congress Centre and the Olympic Park. The place is also very easy to navigate because you can walk to most places or take the subway or bus which is called MARTA. Altantans are a friendly bunch and don’t expect to sit down alone for two long because some Southern dude will come marching up to you for a chat. Like I said, people from Atlanta are friendly. Canada and New York beckon next week and I cannot wait to get to Canada because I have been dying to go there since like forever.

Well my blogging will be a bit sporadic over the next few weeks so please bear with me. Updates will be published as soon as I can step to it.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

My Space - Adrienne Smith

Along with fashion, books and magazines; interiors is another one of my passions. Over the last few months I have come across a variety of fantastic interior blogs. Fashion bloggers may rule blogsphere with beauty bloggers not far behind but those who write about stylish cool living are a new force to deal with. Enter Adrienne Smith whose blog Mustard Seed Collective portrays the best in interior design, style and art.

How did you come up with the name of your blog?
The name is inspired by the
Parable of the Mustard Seed
has always been one of my favorites from the Bible, and it basically says that even a little bit of faith, when acted upon, will produce great things. And I consider myself to be a creative person, and all creative people know it takes more than just coming up with an idea, you have to act on it. So for me the combination of creativity and belief in a vision equal a collective of decor, fashion, art, etc. I have actually been considering changing the title of my blog, but time will tell.

Where do you scribe?
As far as my blog goes, I write from my bed. It's the most comfy place-- maybe a little too comfortable. It's not uncommon to find me falling asleep at my laptop but as long as I don't push it off the bed, I'm good.

Why that place?
I spend eight hours of the day at work behind a desk staring at a computer. If I am going to keep working on the computer once I get home I want to do it in the most relaxing spot possible. My desk is actually a sewing maching my father gave my mother before I was born. She made a lot of my clothes on that machine, it has a lot of knicks and scratches and I plan to refinish it one day but I have been more focused on my bedroom. If you're on a limited budget like I am you build a space piece by piece. Patience is a requirement.



What is on your desk at the moment?
A scarf to protect the desk from further scratches, which matches the one at the end of my bed. A few sketches, mostly doodling, notecards that I am designing, a bowl of beads that I am still deciding what to do with, dried pink roses-- which I love because they dried nicely, look great and I don't have to worry about watering them. Two white ceramic hands, a giant wax candle with intricate scrollwork and my favorite issues of Domino and Elle Decor.

What form of inspiration do you have on the wall or desk ie photos, magazine cuttings or extracts?
I wish I had the guts to cut and tear out pages from a magazine, but I usually tab the pages so I can keep them neat. My laptop has many saved articles, images, tips, and blogs, all of which inspire me in various ways.

Do you keep a tidy office or are you a messy worker?
I am more tidy than messy, but I definitely have my messy moments. Sometimes it's just easier to push something to the side or pile it as high as it can go, but I make sure to straighten up before it all comes crashing down.

What will your office look like when it is ready?
I am going for an eclectic look, so I might keep the sewing machine desk. New floor-length drapes are in order, even though I love the way the sunlight comes through the one pictured early in the morning. Also a nice wall treatment, two chairs, one for sitting and the other for a guest or to drape a scarf on, an area rug, hopefully from Designers Guild to anchor everything, and a white lamp to give it all light. I will also add my own crafty touches to make it mine.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

An Exhibition to Celebrate 100 Years of Selfridges

I love browsing around Selfridges on a late Saturday afternoon, the place just has the most wonderful and welcoming vibe. Last week I saw the Centenary Exhibition at Selfridges which celebrates 100 years of the stylish store. The exhibition takes a retrospective look at founder, Harry Gordon Selfridge the founder and his vibrant store. It also looks at every aspect that makes Selfridges what it is; from the exterior, the architecture of the building and the dynamic window displays. It also takes a look at the key departments such sports, technology, perfumery and the foodhall. There is also a section that looks at the relationship that Selfridges had with celebrities - a relationship that was pioneered from the early years when there was no radio, TV and cinema. Since then celebrities such as Charlie Chaplin to Victoria Beckham have popped into the store to launch their latest products. You can find various exciting elements here such as vibrant installations, press cuttings and stunning window displays from the past. This exhibition will provides you with an idea on what makes Selfridges a very special place.

The Centenary Exhibition runs till 31st August and takes place in the Ultralounge, Lower Ground Floor in Selfridges.

Be Delicious

Well while I have been hibernating in North Kent the stores on the high street have gone and prettied themselves up. Earlier this week I blogged about the cute window display by La Senza and yesterday while I was shopping down Oxford Street when I came across the DKNY window display for Debenhams for the Be Delicious Art Limited Edition. I adore the apple shaped perfume for it's sweet and refreshing fragrance as well as it's quirky shape. I was rather taken by the display by Debenhams because of the Pop Art images as well as the cartoon narrative which sells the story of the DKNY ideology. A young glam lady living the life of riley in NYC, one of the most exciting cities in the world. I love Pop Art because I can relate to it a lot more than abstract concepts - I mean Pop Art is simply what it is, no messing and I like that. The images were created by award winning illustrator, Brad Haman whose client list include HBO, New York Times and Harper Collins. I took some quick images with Le Blackberry so check them out.

Check out the website for DKNY Be Delicious here.

Images taken by Brad Haman

Friday, 21 August 2009

TGI Friday

Please find a list of links that have rocked my world this week.

A fantastic review of The September Issue (if you have not heard of it - what hole have you been under?) which only whetted my appetite to see it.

Check out her vision board which is a visual representation on her aims and aspirations of her life. Very cool and I need to get on that soon.

Fashion journos on film, TV and in books get a very mixed treatment and there is always a misconception on what their job actually entails and this is never so evident with the Sex and the City's Carrie Bradshaw. Check out this spotlight on Ms Bradshaw.

Check out my fellow Yoruba girl's hilarious tales of her trip to Nigeria.

Read all about her yearning for the Blackberry. I know how you feel girl, I've been there.

If you would like to be included in TGI Friday next week then please submit your links to ondolady@googlemail.com by next Thursday. Please note that the post must be published between Sunday 23rd August and Thursday 27th August to be in with the running.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Bedtime Stories by La Senza

I decided to do a spot of shopping today in order to get myself out of my style rut. You know when you go through that phase where you hate everything in your wardrobe? Well I was in that place months ago but could not find the time and energy to update my wardrobe. So off to Maidstone I went for some high street shopping; Zara, H&M and Topshop - I was there. While I was on my style mission I went past La Senza which is home of the girlie girlie nightwear and underwear and I was taken by their cute window display. The theme is bedtime stories with the cover of a large book used as a prop and on the floor there are copies of bespoke books scattered. It looked really sweet and I could not resist taking a picture of it. Thank god for le Blackberry eh?

I did a bit of digging around and I found out that La Senza are running a competition where aspiring writers are asked to submit their own bedtime stories. The prize is a luxury weekend break away and £100 worth of La Senza underwear. Not bad eh? The competition is run in conjunction with uber hotel, Malmaison and chick lit publishers, Little Black Dress Books. So if you fancy yourself as the next big author then enter here.

Le Blackberry

At long last I finally got my Blackberry! After months of smart phone envy and wandering into Vodafone wistfully looking at the range of Blackberrys, I now have my own one. It was a toss up between the Curve and the Bold and I decided on the Bold as it was newer and had a slightly wider keyboard which would make it easy for me to type. So far I am loving it and I can see exactly why Blackberrys are so popular. The phone just oozes sex appeal. Not only can I send and receive emails, use Yahoo Messenger, go onto Facebook and Twitter endlessly, I can also take photos, do some filming and download all sorts of nifty software. I am not alone in my complete and utter adulation for the Blackberry as I have several friends and fellow Bloggers who have fallen for it's charms. Also there are lots of celebrities who have the cute device as well such as Barack Obama, Madonna, Brad Pitt, Rhianna, Rachel Zoe, Linday Lohan, Reese Witherspoon, David Beckham, Halle Berry and many many more. The numbers of celebs with Blackberrys is so huge that a blog has been created which feature this. Celebrity Blackberry Sightings is a one stop celebrity shop for pictures of the famous and their Blackberry device. I am not sure who is behind this blog, (I suspect it is the creator of the Blackberry, Research in Motion) all I know is that they also publish RIMarkable which is like an unofficial guide to the Blackberry. You heard it here first.

My Space - Sarah Ayoub

Anyone who has worked as a freelance writer knows the frustrations of sending off endless pitches to editors compared to the highs of finally seeing your work in print. Sydney based Sarah Ayoub has written for Yen, Cleo, Shop Till You Drop, Girlfriend, Cosmopolitan and is also a co-publisher of which is a hip youth website. She set up Wordsmith Lane recently when she realised there was a gap in the market for aspiring writers who needed information in light digestive forms on how to get their work out there.

Where do you scribe?
I scribe in my room, at a desk I have had since I was 11 years old and which is ugly and horrible and which I can't wait to replace. I really wish I had my own space, but I still live at home, and can't afford to deck out my room the way I want to. Plus my mother is very pedantic about the wall space in her house, and she makes a face everytime I do something new with my room. I have so many nice artworks that I cant wait to hang up, and so many books and magazines overflowing because they don't fit in here anymore. Mum always remarks that my room resembles a $2 shop.

So why do you choose that place to work?
I come from a huge Lebanese family. There is always someone here making noise or disrupting everyone else. My room is my own space and I shut the door and attempt to drown out the sound. It doesnt usually work - we are a very noisy, communal people.


What is on your desk at the moment?
My laptop which I adore, a whole load of library books which I am using to research for my University thesis, (see www.sarahayoub.com;" for information on my research). Folders which have my past work in, another folder with potential writing ideas, and scrapbooks that contain clippings on a variety of subjects for more areas of thesis research. There's also a load of current magazines that I am supposed to be reading, coloured post it notes, a notebook, a pile of unread mail which concerns supernanuation (hence why it is unread - I simply do not get that stuff), bobby pins, pens and highlighters in a mug and tin bucket, The Times Complete History of the World, a Dictionary and thesaurus, a book on Australia through Time and my camera. Oh, and three bottles of moisturisers (all with different scents) and handcream, because I have very dry skin and hands and I am hoping that in those moments of writer's block I can do something about it without moving!

What form of inspiration do you have on your desk and on your wall?
On the wall opposite me, I have a corkboard filled with inspiration quotes, photos and cute cards. I also have post-its above my computer with my to-do-it list, story ideas, a shopping list, my thesis question and another inspirational quotes.

So do you keep a tidy office or are you a messy worker?
I like to think I am tidy, but when I'm working on a particular project, I like to have all my things out and around me, so it often looks like I am messy. But as soon as I am done, everything is filed away. I actually cannot stand clutter, so I know that when I have my own office space, everything will be different.

Friday, 14 August 2009

The Broadroom and Prospect Park West

I am feeling very scared about the second Sex and the City film; I feel that they risked the values of the S&TC brand by making the first film two years ago. They only got away with it because of the increasing popularity of the series after it ended so by the time the movie came round everyone was dying to see Carrie and co back again. Hence the fact that Sex and the City: The Movie was a sensational hit. Now they want to ruin it all by making a sequel. Why? Well pure and utter greed. S&TC had it's moment in the sun so lets put it to rest and move on. One lady who has certainly not looked back since her S&TC days is Candace Bushnell, the lady who brought Carrie Bradshaw to life by writing the S&TC books. She has landed a gig writing a new female-led web series called the Broadroom which is a humorous look women in the workplace and will star Jennie Garth, Talia Balsam and Jennifer Espisoto. The Broadroom has two exciting brands associated with it. More magazine - a lifestyle magazine aimed at women who are 40 plus not the UK trashy More magazine - and Maybeline are collaborating as corporate sponsors. Bushnell recently signed up as a contributor for More magazine and will write in the September and October issues. Maybeline will be screening the show on it's website in conjunction with the launch of its new Color Sensational Lipcolor.

The Broadroom airs in September.

Another lady who has moved on since S&TC is Amy Sohn who penned the 'other' S&TC books which were fabulous guides to the show and the movie. If you don't own one of these then you really cannot call yourself a S&TC fan. Well Amy has a book out called Prospect Park West which is about the Brooklyn bourgeois. Set in the lush Park Slope we are introduced to four yummy mummies who are experiencing serious life crisis. Meet Melora Leigh, an acclaimed actress who is frustrated with her career and the pressures of raising her adopted toddler, so goes shoplifting. Rebecca Rose fills the void in her marriage by starting a dangerous flirtation with a handsome neighborhood celebrity. Lizzie O'Donnell, a former lesbian (or "hasbian"), is happily married to a sexy guy with an adorable baby so wonders why she is still drawn to women? Then there is supermon, Karen Bryan Shapiro whose main goal in life are her four-year-old son's well-being and snagging that perfect apartment. Four different women with one thing in common, none of them are satisfied with their lot. Interestingly enough Sarah Jessica Parker has bought the rights to the book and plans to turn it into a TV show.

Prospect Park West is available to buy in September

TGI Friday

Welcome to TGI Friday, a new weekly section where I compile links to my favourite blog posts of the week.

Stylish People
Remi Nicole, the nouveau rockabilly pop songstress from London talk to Pretty Stylish London about her inspirations for the new album Cupid Shoot Me.

Walking fashion show, Rhianna steps out in NYC.

Bloggers all around the world show off postcards of their hometown.

A look at the sad state of the music industry.

Check out this month's edition of Back in D Day with Amanda Diva.

Have a look at this fabulous film about Capoeira.

Enjoy!

If you would like to be included in TGI Friday next week then please submit your posts by next Thursday. Please note that the post must be published between Sunday 17th August to Thursday 20th August to be in with the running.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

My Space

Well as bloggers are no longer welcome in coffee shops it looks like they will be retreating back to their cribs to produce their regular posts. According to the Wall Street Journal, coffee shop owners are getting twitchy about bloggers who take up space in their premises for several hours while making their way through a sole cup of coffee. Needless to say some indie coffee outlets are giving bloggers the cold treatment and restricting their access. This got me thinking about where bloggers create their posts; is it in the garden, kitchen, lounge or in the home office? Every Wednesday I will be featuring the blogging boudoirs of bloggers around the world and find what space they use to create their their blogs. The first installment of My Space will be kicking off next Wednesday so keep your eyes peeled.

If you are a blogger and would like to be featured in My Space then just drop me a line on ondolady@googlemail.com.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Meet the Blythewoods

On Saturday, I played host to the lovely Ola from Diverse Traveller where I showed her the sights of my little town. After my great day was over I decided to chill out and treat myself to one of my favourite films, Biker Boyz. With a stellar cast of Laurence Fishburne, Derek Luke, Larenz Tate, Tyson Beckford, Orlando Jones, Djimon Hounsou, Terrence Howard, Meagan Good and Lisa Bonet; you pretty much had the creme a la creme of Black Hollywood. Biker Boyz is the baby of Reggie Rock Blythwood who wrote and directed the exciting action film while his wife, Gina Prince Blythewood served as a producer. With several quality films under their belts, the Blythewoods are pretty much the doyennes in African American film making.

Born and raised in the Bronx, Reggie Rock Bythewood studied acting at Marymount Manhattan College. In 1990 he landed a job as a writer on A Different World where he met wife to be Gina who was also on the writing team. He went on to write for Fox's drama series New York Undercover, where he was the show's supervising producer. He penned the script for Get On the Bus which was directed by Spike Lee and went on to write Dancing in September, a drama which stared Tichina Arnold who now stars in Everybody Hates Chris. Blythewood's directorial debut came in 2003 when he pitched Biker Boyz to the Hollywood bosses. His most recent works has been writing the script for the biopic of Biggie Smalls in Notorious which was released earlier this year.

Gina Prince Blythewood holds her own alongside her husband; her body of work includes Disappearing Acts which is based on the book by Terry McMillan and the romance, Love and Basketball which starred Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps. Love and Basketball won an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature. However her most remarkable work to date has been The Secret Lives of the Bees in which was produced by Will Smith and his wife Jada. The Secret Life of the Bees was a hit at the box office which is not surprising considering the talent in the cast which included Queen Latifah, Alicia Keyes, Jennifer Hudson, Sophie Okinedo and Paul Bettany. On top of the she has also directed episodes of Girlfriends and Everybody Hates Chris.

Black film making has come an awful long way since the 80s and if someone had told that an predominately Black cast would star in a Hollywood film about bikers I would have told you to shut up right now! However it looks like the Blythewoods are about to take Black film making to a completely different level.

Reggie and Gina reside in California with their two sons.

The Musings of Ondo Lady on Facebook

Well I have finally gone and done it. After much procrastinating, I have set up a Facebook Fan page for The Musings of Ondo Lady. There will be updates on the blog, discussions as well as freebies, so keep your eyes peeled.

So come and find us on Facebook.

Friday, 7 August 2009

R.I.P John Hughes


I was really sad to hear about the untimely death of John Hughes last night. Hughes was one of the most important directors of his decade but he also lent his hand in producing and script-writing. His films such as The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles and Some Kind of Wonderful helped define pop culture in the 80s. They were the first films to cover teenage angst in a way that no one had done before and captured the way the youth talked and issues they had to deal with. In a nutshell John Hughes made movies that spoke to teenagers. Unlike directors today, Hughes made a lot of films in a short amount of time but still managed to maintain pure quality. My favorite John Hughes film is The Breakfast Club for it's compelling dialogue and characters which is closely followed by Some Kind of Wonderful.

John Hughes excellent body of work includes.

Sixteen Candles -1984
Weird Science - 1985
Ferris Bueller's Day Off - 1986
Pretty in Pink - 1986
The Breakfast Club - 1986
Some Kind of Wonderful - 1987
Planes, Trains and Automobiles - 1987
She’s Having a Baby –1988
Uncle Buck - 1989
Home Alone - 1990
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York - 1992
Home Alone 3 - 1997
Maid in Manhattan - 2002

Look out for a retro review of Sixteen Candles next month. Check out the tribute video above and tell me which is your favourite John Hughes film?

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Melrose Place 2.0


I used to love this show back in the 90s so I am delighted to hear that Melrose Place is back, better and bigger. Melrose Place was one of the most successful show of it’s era as well being as a pop culture phenomenon it received tremendous media kudos. The show was so hip it made the cover of Rolling Stone but sadly it came to an end in 1999. Now ten years later it is back with a new look and a new cast. The focus is on the lives of cool and stylish twenty-somethings from a wide variety of backgrounds who live in a trendy apartment complex in Melrose which is a hip area in LA.

There is Ella Simms played by Katie Cassidy who is a smart, savvy, up-and-coming publicist who is determined to get where she wants at any costs. She persuades Jonah Miller, a struggling filmmaker who is played by Michael Rady to let her manage him much to the dismay of his live in fiancĂ©e Riley Richmond played by Jessica Lucas who is a school teacher. Riley confides her reservations to medical student, Lauren Yung played by Stephanie Jacobsen but Lauren has problems of her own; she is in a lot of debt and must come up with a creative way to pay her tuition. Then there is Auggie Kirkpatrick a sensitive sous chef with a dark past played by Colin Egglesfield. The new kid on the block is Violet Foster played by Ashlee Simpson-Wentz, a small town girl who moves to LA and has a deep secret. Last but not least is the rebellious David Breck played by Shaun Sipos who is the estranged son of Dr. Michael Mancini (who was in the original Melrose Place) played by Thomas Calabro. We can look forward to seeing him pop up in the show from time to time and doing battle with Sydney Andrews played by Laura Leighton – his former sparring partner. Sydney is now the landlady of the complex but is still as devious as ever and is a force in the lives of all the characters. The remake plans to attract fans of the old series while picking up new viewers for the new show.

"We were huge fans of the original but when we set out to do our version, we wanted to pay tribute to the old show but create our own show with our own characters," says Todd Slavkin, executive producer.

Check out a post I wrote about the stars of the original Melrose Place and where they are now.

Melrose Place airs on CWTV this autumn.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Blogger Meet Up

So on Sunday 2nd August at 4pm, eight fabulous bloggers bit the bullet and met up at Savannah Jerk (formerly known as Mr Jerks) in Soho for some food, drink and some chat. The group included Keysha of The Cocoa Diaries, Janice of Mad News, Michelle of Fantasy Ride, Yinka of Vex in the City, Didi of The Virtues of Beauty, Ashanti of OMkari, Karen of K.Hart and moi. Over some superb Caribbean cuisine we discussed music, make up, twitter, facebook, blackberries, celebrities and everything else in between. A fun time was had by all and it was really great putting the faces to so many superb blogs - apart from Ashanti and MsQuiche - who I knew them from before. I will admit I was a bit nervous meeting the bloggers, my first fear was - would anyone turn up? What will talk we about? What if we run out of things to say and there is this awkward silence? My fears proved to be totally unfounded because as soon as everyone arrived the noise volume at Savannah Jerk raised by 200 decibels. To say we were the loudest table would be putting it mildy and as customers came, eat and went London Bloggers Massive were still there taking up space. Eventually we shifted at 8.45pm when the Savannah Jerk staff started clearing up and giving us ‘get the fuck outta here, I wanna go home and put me feet up’ looks. We bade each other farewell and promised to meet again very soon.

Look out for the next Blogger Meet Up in autumn. If you are a Blogger and would like to join us in our meet ups then please leave a message and I will drop you a line when the planning commences.

Bloggers in the pic from left to right: Janice, Yinka, Michelle, Karen, Keysha, Ashanti, Didi and Me.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Retro Review: Pretty in Pink

Andie Walsh played by Molly Ringwald is the kid from the wrong side of the block who along with her friends has been given a pass to a privileged education at a top notch school. However everything is not so cheery as Andie and her mates are treated like second hand citizen by the in crowd. She draws on the support from her inner circle to get through the torment which include Duckie Dale played by Jon Cryer and Iona played by Annie Potts. Andie and Duckie are best friends who go way back although Duckie harbours stronger feelings for Andie. Meanwhile Andie has her eye on rich and popular guy, Blaine McDonough played by Andrew McCarthy and is astounded when he asks her out on a date. This does not prove to be popular with either of their friends and huge peer pressure poses a huge threat to their budding romance. Duckie is heartbroken as he long time plans of marrying Andie are cut short and Steff played by James Spader who is Blaine's best friend makes scathing comments about Andie.

This film was a huge success when it was released in 1986 and caught the imagination of teenagers all over the US. This was directed by Howard Deutch (who went on to direct Some Kind of Wonderful and Melrose Place) but the script was written by John Hughes. It is easy to see why it was so popular as it was one of the few of its kind; a film that explored the issues that were prevalent in teen life. Finding out who you are, dealing with peer pressure, trying to fit into social cliques, dating and working out what you want to do with your life. All these experiences are dealt with superbly in John Hughes films aka Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles and Some Kind of Wonderful which I blogged about here. I felt that Pretty in Pink was a pretty good movie and Molly Ringwald really creates a lot of empathy as Andie but it is her side kicks who steal the show. Jon Cryer who puts in a cracking performance as the very charismatic Duckie and Annie Potts is hilarious as Andie's quirky work buddy, Iona. What stands out about this film is the emphasis on youth culture hence Andie being a New Wave girl working in an indie record store. Andie's fashion sense is a the selling point of the film, her vintage and hand made wardrobe consisted of floral leggings, lace tops, boy blazers, waistcoats, trilby hats, cute cardigans, with layers of junk jewelery and lots of pink. Face it, Andie Walsh was the 80s Carrie Bradshaw.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Be Coveted

We all know Jennine Tamm as that lovely lady who runs Independent Fashion Bloggers, the global social networking site for fashion bloggers. When she is not plugging away with IFB Jennine dons her other hat as editor of The Coveted. Described as a blog about style without compromise, The Coveted covers style, beauty, fashion culture, beauty trends, eco-beauty, vintage clothing and emerging designers. This delightful blog was launched in 2007 and it is regarded as one of the best fashion blogs around. The Coveted has been featured on Glamour, IQONs, Modepass, and Pronto. I decided it was time to catch up with Jennine and get the 411 on The Coveted.

What made you start blogging?
Oh, there really isn't a straight answer to this. I had been interested in blogs since about 2002 when I heard people were keeping 'diaries' online. I even tried starting an online diary, but my daily life really isn't that interesting. For about a year or two before I started my own blog I was going through a few things... One, I wanted to do something interesting with my life. I liked my job, but I didn't love it, and greedy me wanted a job I loved and felt fulfilled with. Two, I had developed a shopping addiction. Three, I loved reading blogs. I guess the combination of the three gave me a purpose, a subject and a passion so when The Coveted was born in 2007 I had the stamina to keep it going and to keep trying to improve it.

We know the concept behind The Coveted is about style, beauty, fashion, tell us about the team behind it and how you work. Well, last year, my best friend started posting with me about beauty. But her life got busy, so in November Sonja started posting. She's been really great, as she has a background in journalism, so she's done a great job of mixing the two disciplines. She posts about twice a week, and I post about twice a day about fashion related things, and inspiration points. I've actually never met Sonja in real life, but through working together these last 7 months, I feel like I have met her.

The Coveted is such a pretty blog, how did you come up with the look?
Thank you! Well, I was a graphic designer for 10 years, so I think some of my skills were used in the making of my blog identity. It really was an evolution really, from when The Coveted was on blogger, and I was figuring out the blog templates, and from there I kept tweaking. To tell the truth, I'm thinking of doing a site redesign, but I"m going to keep the logo, it took 2 years to come up with it. I mean, it took me that long to really feel good about my identity online, so the logo came out of reaching that point.

How do you think bloggers have made an impact on the media?
I'm not really sure yet. I can say from my own experience, that I fell in love with blogging because I loved the idea the author was so accessible. That when I got into a blog, it felt more personal than reading the newspaper, or flipping through a magazine. The blogger felt like a friend, that I could ask questions and would let me in on their own musings. Online media has really come a long way, and traditional media is beginning to operate with community in mind, but I don't know if they have really captured that personal touch that makes blogging so appealing.

What do you do when you are not working on your blog?
Watching movies, baking, riding my bike, reading, giggling over D-Listed and icanhascheeseburger.

Describe a typical day.
I wake up, take a shower, make coffee. By 10am I start to working, I get my posts finished by 12pm then I work on all the other things that revolve around my sites, usually that will go until 7pm and then I go for a walk with my husband, then we make dinner. I finish up my work, or dilly dally about online for a bit, then I watch some TV or read a book. It's all kind of boring really.

Name your top fashion icons.
I'm really loving Tilda Swindon these days, she just impresses me so much! Also Lara Stone, Bjork, Patti Smith, Catherine Denueve, Grace Jones, Marchesa Luisa Casati... wow, I have an eclectic mix here.

Name five blogs that you read religiously.
Other than the two in #5? Heh, well, let's see I read my RSS feed every day, and there's over 300 blogs in there, not all fashion of course... and I don't read them all every day, and they don't all post every day. Thank god. At one point I had something like 703 blogs in my reader, that makes me cry every time I remember that.

Here are the ones I read just so I know I'm not missing anything. A Shaded View on Fashion, Style Bubble, Pedestrian.tv, The Business of Fashion, Problogger.

How do you see The Coveted evolving over the next two years?
You know, I'm not really sure about that. One thing I can say, is that it'll always be a work in progress.