Friday, 30 October 2009

TGI Friday


At last it is Friday and the weekend is upon us. Once again here are a list of links that have caught my eye this week.

The Feminista Files
It is almost a year since Barack Obama was elected President of the USA and to commenrate this New York Times Magazine published a 10 page story. Read our favourite feminista's blog post on this article.

Pretty Stylish London
Last week the lovely Eva threw a Pink Pamper Party to raise funds for cancer. Sadly I couldn't make it but here are the pictures from the glam event.

Afrobella
There are zillions of blogs out there; some good and some even better. Afrobella spills the beans on how to start up a fabulous blog.

Disney Roller Girl
DSR introduces us to the quartet behind Underlining Colours, a new arty magazine that has hit the streets.

If Wishes Were Clothes Horses
With Borders gone we now need someone to flick through magazines while we wait for late mates. Bring on RD Franks, a delicious mag shop that carries titles from far and away.

Picture taken from The Feminista Files.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

What's On Your Bookshelf?


I saw this cute feature on Robert Rave’s Facebook fanpage and loved it and decided I needed to have one two. I have quite a book selection which is full of titles I have read and also a to be read pile aka TBR. Since my fabulous summer vacation my TBR pile has expanded some what and with the arrival of some great titles over the next month or two I really need to get to it. So I thought I would share my TBR pile with you.

The Satorialist by Scott Schuman
The Making of Mia by Ilana Fox
Confessions of a Reluctant Recessionista by Amy Silver
The Good Bride Guide by Matt Dunn

So 5 Minutes Ago by Hilary De Vires
The Gift Bag Chronicles by Hilary De Vires
The Twins of Tribeca by Rachel Pine
How to Teach Filthy Rich Girls by Zoey Dean
One Fifth Avenue by Candace Bushnell
The Hollywood Ending by Robyn Sisman
The Style Strategy by Nina Garcia
Prospect Park West by Amy Sohn
Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

So what does your book shelf look like and what is on your TBR pile?

I tag the following bloggers to reveal what is on their bookshelf.

Yoruba Girl Dancing, Kwana Writes, Mustard Seed Collective, The Cocoa Diaries, What's Interesting Me Today, Disney Roller Girl, Mad News, Adenike's World, Broadband Writes and Fantasy Ride.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

My Space - Harlem Rae from Harlem Loves


Harlem Loves is one of those blogs which brings out the real beauty in things. It covers music, art, interiors, books, films etc but also embraces Harlem's own inner geekery. Very rarely do I leave Harlem Loves without feeling inspired, awed and a tad bit jealous that my blog does not look that pretty. It was my great pleasure to interview Harlem and find out the meaning behind her musings and find out where the magic happens.

Describe the concept of Harlem Loves.
Driven by my passion for writing, I've always been drawn to blogging but it was quite difficult for me to find something specific to blog about as I love so many things. Suddenly I was struck by the idea to blog about just that... the many things I love and voila Harlem Loves was born.

Where do you scribe?
If I'm good, at my desk but if I'm feeling really comfy it'll be in in my bed.

Why that place?
Mostly it's just convenient but it's also peaceful and relaxing. I get to tune out everything else and just enjoy my blogging time.

What is on your desk at the moment?
A plant, a lamp, some pictures, some DVDs (Motorcycle Diaries and For Love Of Ivy - great films!) a stationery box filled with lots of letter paper and a big mug of water.

What form of inspiration do you have on the wall?
Not much on my wall. I do have a few post-its reminding me to do things but I tend to find inspirational clips online and store them on my computer to refer to later. That said I do have a lot of gorgeous writing paper which always inspire me. There's something about having a beautiful sheet of blank paper that makes me want to write something meaningful on it.

Do you keep a tidy office or are you a messy worker?
Things can get messy whilst I'm working but once I'm done I like to tidy everything up so I can start with a clean setting the next day.

You can check out Harlem's blog here.
You can follow her on twitter here.

She has also got into the entrepreneurial spirit by creating tshirts that celebrate the one year blogaversary of Harlem Loves. You can buy these delightful tshirts here.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Fearne And.......


Hmmm ITV are not looking too shabby these days with their entertainment shows. As well as the almighty X Factor, the UK's commercial station also has Piers Morgan's Life Stories which consists of the former Mirror editor interviewing various stars. To add to their expanding portfolio ITV have launched Fearne And... which features TV presenter, Fearne Cotton as she follows the lives of celebs such as Paris Hilton, Peaches Geldof, Scarlett Johansson and Alesha Dixon. The objective of the show will be see what makes these stars tick and in order to find this out Fearne will be living their lives with them reportage style. Fearne came up with the idea of the show and pitched it to ITV. The show was born out of her love of autobiographies.

I watched the first show with Paris Hilton and it was pretty entertaining as we got a big insight into the star"s personal and work life. I am looking forward to next week"s show with Peaches Geldof. I do think that the group is.a bit of a random mix; who on earth would put a Hollywood A list star with a London It girl, an American socialite and a Brit pop star cum TV presenter? Very wierd. I am not a huge fan of Fearne Cotton as she normally makes me want to puke but she is not bad in this show.

Look out for Fearne and.... on Thursdays at 10.00pm on ITV2.

Friday, 23 October 2009

TGI Friday


Once again here are a list of blog posts that hit a nerve for me this week.

Mustard Seed Collective
Adrienne kicks off her 'In Her Shoes' series with a look at films with some serious foot fashion in it.

The Wider Perspective
We are often asked whether hip hop is dead but what about R&B? Mr Mayne discusses this intruiging topic here.

Fashion Journalist in the City
LG Fashion Week in Toronto took place, here is an inside account of the Joe Fresh Style show.

Disney Roller Girl
I didn't get an invite to the Anthropologie preview show but Disney Roller Girl did. Here is her take on the event.

Stylist and the City
Read all about the new MTV reality series, STYL'D that follows five junior stylists who set out to make a name for themselves.

Picture takem from Mustard Seed Collective.

Dizzee Rascal Goes Electric!


I remember back in 2003 when an 18 year old Dylan Kwabena Mills aka Dizzee Rascal took the Mercury Prize with his debut album Boy in da corner. I remember thinking props to him, doing so well at such a young age. What stuck me about Dizzee’s music was the eclectic mix of grime, hip hop, ragga and electronic which created an amazing mesh and unique sound. After his success Dizzee released two more albums, Showtime and Maths + English which did very well in the charts and received critical acclaim.  I particularly remember one track from Showtime called Happy Talk which was a funky version of the 80s hit by Captain Sensible. Apart from that I never really took a lot of notice of Dizzee – until November 2008 when he appeared on Newsnight to discuss Barack Obama’s presidential election victory. My reaction was KMT, what a chief! How can he behave like such an inarticulate twat after we have just witnessed the historical election of one of the most powerful orators in the world. Dizzee earned himself a big black mark in my book. However over the last year he was truly redeemed himself; he has cleaned up his act and is now repping himself properly. His interview on the Jonathon Ross Show earlier this year complete with a cream swish suit showed how far he has come. Then there is his music; his current album Tongue N’ Cheek has totally smashed it  - with No 1 hits like Dance Wiv Me, Bonkers and Holiday. On Wednesday he took his career to new heights when he performed at the BBC Electric Proms with a live band. He dazzled the crowd at the Roundhouse for a full hour while he performed hit after hit. I watched a few clips and it was really mesmorising and I cannot wait to check out the full set on BBC iPlayer tonight. A patron for Tower Hamlets Summers University and also with his own record company, Dirtee Stank, Dizzee Rascal is really a true role model. I guess you can say he is pretty much untouchable.

Check out a clip from the Electric Proms. I love the bit at the end when he makes fun of himself by saying "Dizzee Rascal for Prime Minister yeah."

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Expose Lit

Expose Lit are novels which gives us an insight into an industry which is based on the author's experience. 
Ondo Lady, 2009
We have Chick Lit, Lad Lit and Chick Noir but over the years we have witnessed the growth of Expose Lit. It is rather akin to roman a clef which is a depiction of real life experiences without revealing the sources, however Expose Lit has a variety of characteristics. It features a small town rookie who moves to the big city in order to persue their dreams, lands an entry level position in sexy glam industry and has a tyranic larger then live boss who is extremely demanding as well as back stabbing colleague. The dilenma of the story features whether or not the protagonist will go over to the dark side in order to get what they want. It was the release of The Nanny Diaries in 2002 that set the trend in the genre with the book being a huge success on both sides of the pond. Then a year later another book would send Expose Lit exploding into the mainstream media. The Devil Wears Prada caught the imagination of readers in the literary world in the story about a young upstart who lands a role as as assistant for a demanding editor. Since then everyone has become intruiged about the goings on in glam industries such as book publishing, PR, magazines, music, film and TV. Every so keen to meet demand, the book publishers have been releasing titles after titles to satisfy readers. A lot of these books have gone on to become successful films ie The Nanny Diaries, The Devil Wears Prada and The Girls Guide to Hunting and Fishing (which was renamed Surburban Girl.) The others remain great pieces of fiction.
Here are my top Expose Lit books. 

Spin by Robert Rave
Robert Rave worked in PR as an assistant for Lizzie Grubman. This book is a fantastic and riveting read with great writers and characters. There are rumours that Spin is to be made into a movie with Zac Efron playing the lead. 

Pop Tart by Kira Coplin and Julianne Kaye
This is the tale of Jackie O'Reilly, a make up artist who befriends teen pop star, Brooke Parker. Kira Coplin has written for US Weekly and now works as filmmaker in LA and Julianne Kaye is a very successful make up artists who has worked for many artists such as Britney Spears; so they really know what they are talking about. Great book and a fantastic insight into the music machine. 

Schooled by Anisha Lakhani
This book is basically the real Gossip Girl and exposes the deception and corruption that goes on in posh private schools in New York. Anna Taggart starts a new job as a teacher at Langdon Hall with all the best intentions of nurturing her students but finds herself sliding down the slippery pole of backhanders and designer gifts. A fantastic read.

The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

Not read this book but 10 out of 10 for pioneering the whole expose lit thing. Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Krause both worked as nannies in New York so this book was really their memoirs. The Nanny Diaries was released in 2002 and gained No 1 on the New York Times Best Seller list. A film was released in 2007 staring Scarlett Johanason but sadly it was a flop. 

The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger 
The ultimate Expose Lit which tells the story of Andrea Sachs, a midwestern girl who moves to the Big Apple in order to become a journalist for the New Yorker. Strangely enough she finds herself at the biggest magazine on earth and working for a boss with the biggest ego. Lauren Weisberger was an assistant at Vogue for Anna Wintour. The book was published in 2003 and was adapted into hugely successful film in 2006. My verdict is great film but shame about the book. The characters here are lacklustre and the narrative really drags. 

Twin of Tribeca by Rachel Pine
Just started reading this and so far so good. Karen Jacobs is a junior publicist at Glorious Pictures where she is treated like crap. The company is owned by the Waxman Brothers who run the company with an iron fist. Rachel Pine worked as a publicist at Miramax which is owned by the Weinstein brothers so knows all about the Hollywood machine. 

Because She Can by Bridie Clark
Clare Truman is offered a job as an editor with Vivian Grant, one of the most formidable women in publishing. Sadly her dream job turns into a nightmare when her boss shows her true colours and begins showering her staff with relentless workload and mental and verbal abuse. Bridie Clark has worked in the book publishing industry for years and under hot shot publishing maverick, Judith Regan who this book is rumoured to be based on. Because She Can is a blatant attempt to cash in on the success of The Devil Wears Prada but it fails miserably. The story is weak and the characters are super bland.

So with a sequel to The Nanny Diaries aka The Nanny Returns, out in December it looks like the genre of Expose Lit is set to run and run.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

My Space - Leon Mayne


Leon Mayne pretty much has his head screwed on for a 23 year old. A budding director, one of the founders of Pbleepd (an entertainment blog and website) as well as the owner of the blog, The Wider Perspective; there is no doubt that he is a talent to watch for the future. As well as a love of the written word, Leon has a penchant for Stacy Dash and a passion for Manchester United. He took time out to share his work space with me. 

Describe the concept of The Wider Perspective
An entree of thoughts, analysis, creative writing and questions shared to the masses (26 followers) by a multi-tasking, multi-charactered and apparently multi-talented 23 year old. I’ve inherited my clich├ęd star sign (Gemini) where some see me as outgoing but the majority think I’m quiet so I use this blog as a way for people to see me from a wider perspective (badoom-chi!). 

Where do you scribe?
Usually in the confines of my bedroom; either on my bed with the laptop or at my desk with the PC. 

Why that place?
I guess because it’s where I first created the blog and so it acts as the benchmark for my musings. It’s my source of comfort and where I tend to do most of my work from a creative point of view. I get distracted if I’m anywhere else, the ADD levels soar.





What is on your bed at the moment?
My trusty laptop, my active Blackberry, couple of neo-soul CDs, notes for some Pbleepd articles, script ideas and my annoying younger brother. Oh and this box of Viennese whirls...they’re a real man’s biscuit... 


What form of inspiration do you have on the wall ie photos, magazine cuttings or extracts?
My wall is absolutely bare, I guess it’s a subconscious inspiration to fill the emptiness - that or I just didn’t want to put anything on my wall. My usual inspiration comes from music, it’s what got me through Uni assignments so I’ve stuck with it since. That and my head, ideas run wild in there.
 

Do you keep a tidy office or are you a messy worker?
A bit of both to be honest; I try to keep my room tidy as much as possible but because I’m working on different projects I’ve always got sheets of paper about. In fact I need to tidy up right now.  

You can check out Leon's blog here.
You can follow him on Twitter here.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Win a FREE copy of Confessions of a Reluctant Recessionista by Amy Silver


Well we all know that the last year has been hard on our finances but no one has felt it more than all the fashionistas out there.  In order to help them through the difficult times every magazine has been coming up with tips on how to look stylish on a tight budget. Hence the fact that the term recessionista has been banded about like hot potatoes. Confessions of a Reluctant Recessionista is the tale of Cassie Cavanagh, a happy go lucky girl about town who loves to shop. She works as a PA in the city, has a cool flat, great mates and an ever so generous boyfriend. However, Cassie's life takes a turn for the worst when she loses her job and her boyfriend dumps her. Not one to take things lying down, Cassie devises a way of surviving on a budget without compromising her style.

Those kind people at Arrow have given us five copies of this fabulous book to giveaway to our readers. If you would like a copy then just send an email to ondolady@googlemail.com with Confessions of a Reluctant Recessionista in the subject line. The deadline for this competition is Tuesday 27th October.

Friday, 16 October 2009

In the Editor's Chair - Denise Kodia


Most journalists aspire to be editor at some point in their lives. Some break in right away such as Mia Freedman who became editor of Aussie Cosmopolitan at the tender age of 24 and Kate Thornton who became the youngest editor of Smash Hits at 22. So what is it like when you get there? Is it really all three hour lunches, entry to lavish VIP events and rubbing shoulders with celebs. Well no and yes, for while being an editor of a magazine or newspaper gives you access to the nicer things in life and raises your profile, it is also damm hard work with very late evenings, meetings upon meetings, developing a positioning strategy for your publication, analysing sales reports as well as a small matter of getting a magazine/newspaper together.

Meet 22 year old Denise Kodia who is the editor of Nang! magazine which is a publication for young people by young people. The latest issue was released this week and contains an exclusive interview with the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, comedian and actor Jason Lewis best known for his 'Too many weave' sketch, Rupert Everrett, the rising stars of Youtube (including Maleka best known for her funk house track 'Go').

Denise took some time out to tell me about Nang!, blogging and all other things. 

How did you get into journalism?
I've always been interested in journalism. From a very young age I have been interested in the news and media alike. It was my Dad who first showed me about it. He proposed that I become a News Anchor but as the years went on I decided against that. My first experience of journalism was when I was 16. I joined a youth magazine called Live. They taught me the basics of journalism and allowed me to get stuck in and get my ideas out there.


Describe the concept of Nang! magazine.
Nang! is a magazine for young people by young people. It doesn't have a specific audience, it tries to cater to all those under the age of 25. Whether this is in the area of music, books, health or politics. I'm sure there will be something in there for you.


Who is behind Nang!?
Nang! is a project run by Tower Hamlets Summer University. A youth charity that runs free courses for young people throughout the year. The young journalists that write for the mag are the ones who come up with the articles, interviews and reviews. 

How many members of staff work on the magazine?
There are so many it's a bit hard to give a number, as it it determined who is able (because of school, college, uni or otherwise) to submit something . . . however I would say there are at 15 - 25 members. 

Describe a day in the life of Denise Kodia.
Hahaha a day in my life? WOW! To be honest everyday isn't the same I usually wake up and have to answer a few e-mails. Once that's over, if I'm not on a shoot, interviewing someone somewhere, I'm at home working on articles for my blog or other magazines that I write for. Most of the time though, I have a meeting or two and have to attend those. As I'm a Youth Ambassador for THSU I get to go to some really cool meetings, for example I attended a Youth meeting about G8 and the Prime Minister was there (I didn't get to meet him though). 

Which blogs do you check out regularly?
There's loads! Half of the them I don't know the url lol they're all bookmarked on my laptop. I'm not a big fan of really popular blogs done by celebrities raving about their lives. I get enough of that on Twitter. However, I quite like Daniel (Diggy) Simmons blog. Another is a friend mine: In2mee her fashion style is really cool and it's interesting to read about all the different fashion trends (plus other stuff too). Another is Pbleepd.co.uk there mix of music and life is really good. Finally Wurrd.com is another she used to be able to find out the scoop on any track before all the major blogs did. 

What magazines do you read?
Look, Sophisticate's Black Hair, Rwd and sometimes Faboulous. 

What tips do you have for anyone who wants to become a magazine editor?
You have to have a passion, drive and experience. Passion because unless you love what you do the unsociable hours can be a bad thing. But if you like it this won't affect you. Drive because you need to have enough focus to know where you want to get to. Finally experience because this is what will set you apart from other people. If you gain experience while young it will benefit you as you get older.

You can check out Denise’s blog here.
You can follow her on twitter here.

TGI Friday


Have a look at all the blogs that rocked my world this week.

Girl With a Satchel
Our favourite magazine blog discusses the situation of cover mounts on glossy magazines.

There was a time when picking out a PC meant settling for a boring black option but now PC laptop companies have stepped up their game and now offer a moutwatering selection of colours. Yinka gives us the lowdown on the new range from Dell.

K-Hart
Once again travel fares in London go up but the service does not improve. Read K-Hart's woes about this distressing situation.

Mad News Blog
X Factor heated up our screens with the live finals last week where pop star, Robbie Williams made an appearance. Janice Mad News shares her thoughts with us.

Waltzing Matilda
Facebook is not for everyone and Matilda tells us why.

Picture is taken from Girl With a Satchel.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

My Space - Ibrahim C Gaye


Stockholm is one of the most stylish cities in the world and with wonderful architecture, art galleries, museums and theatres it gives chic places like Paris, Milan, Madrid and London a run for it's money. Sweden’s capital also has a huge number of people of African descent who make their presence known through art, sport, music and fashion. Ibrahim C Gaye is one of those people who merges the African diaspora with Swedish culture in his blog, A Brother in Sweden. I caught up with him to find out how life in Stockholm is treating him.

Describe the concept of A Brother in Sweden.
The concept of A Brother in Sweden is to share my thoughts about being of African descent in Sweden-Scandinavia-Europe. I have always been interested in the African diaspora so this is a good opportunity for me to connect with people that has same interests. I choose to write in english, instead of my native language swedish, so that I can reach out to more people.

Where do you scribe?
I sit in the corner in my living room at home.

Why that place?
I have a PC so I have to sit at the same place.

What is on your desk at the moment?
My PC, my cell phone, two lamps and a CD by Saul Williams.

What form of inspiration do you have on the wall or desk ie photos, magazine cuttings or extracts?
I have two African masks near my desk. They inspire me. I also have a bookshelves near my desk. The books always inspires me.

Do you keep a tidy office or are you a messy worker?
Ohhh I'm a messy worker.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Spin by Robert Rave


I first heard of Lizzie Grubman in 2001 in a feature in the mediaguardian which reported on her being charged with second degree assault after she drove her car into a crowd of people outside a nightclub. Grubman was THE PR lady in New York and had referrals from the creme a la creme including Madonna who Grubman's hot shot entertainment lawyer father represented. Madonna famously quoted that if LIzzie has as many balls as her father then she was a real tough cookie. Love her or hate her (and most people do seem to hate her) Grubman is indeed a very colourful lady who is loose, brash and forceful. This takes me to Spin which is the story of Taylor Green, a midwestern boy who moves to NYC and gets a job with Jennie Weinstein, the city's most prolific and notorious PR guru who is loose, brash and also forceful. There is huge speculation that Jennie is based on none other than Lizzie Grubman who Robert Rave worked for but he strongly denies this. Anyway back to the book, well needless to say Taylor does a cock a doop and begins to congratulate himself in landing such a plum job but sadly he is unaware that his nightmare us about to begin. For as well as writing press releases, organising press conferences and handling lucrative PR accounts, Taylor has to run the odd errand such as buying drugs for his boss and bribing high profile journalists into dropping salacious stories about his clients in replace of exclusive stories. However, the majority of his time is spent shielding from Jennie's tyrannical rages. Part of him wants to leave and put Jennie's abuse behind him but his severe upgrade in lifestyle ie the lure of restaurant openings, fashion shows, close access to celebrities as well designer clothes prove too much. 


Spin's comparison with The Devil Wears Prada is inevitable hence slogans such as 'The Devil Dubs Prada' and 'The male version of The Devil Wears Prada'. Except that while The Devil Wears Prada was a complete and utter snore of a book, Spin is utterly captivating. The characters are extremely well developed and I am talking about supporting ones as well as leading. Jennie's complete and utter wickedness is irresitable in a kind of peverse way and the character of Taylor does the thing that the main protagonist is supposed to do in a book - he talks to you. Taylor is ambitious, hard working, clever, compassionate but also at times weak, lacking in judgement, power hungry and greedy but he lives and breathes in this book which makes you root for him. Overall Spin is a great read and gives you a superb insight into the dirty dealings that go on in the world of PR.


There are plans for Spin to be made into a film with Robert Rave endorsing Zac Effron to play Taylor, nothing has been confirmed as yet but well you know Hollywood.


Spin is available to buy in bookshops and while you are here check out the trailer for the book above.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Elle's Leading Ladies


Well it has been a pretty good week for magazines. The Brit monthlies such as Elle, Red and Marie Claire all hit the shelves and of course there was Teen Vogue with that fantabulous cover with Chanel Iman and Jourdan Dunn. However, US Elle have come up trumps with their November issue and have gone for the trend of having multiple covers. In celebration of their Hollywood Issue, Elle have featured Katie Holmes, Emily Blunt, Julianne Moore, Renee Zellweger and Zoe Saldana on different covers. My favourite one is with Zoe Saldana because it looks very tranquail and fresh. The pure white cover is a complete contrast to Saldana's dark and exotic looks. So it looks like I have another great reason to buy US Elle.

US Elle is available to buy now!

Friday, 9 October 2009

TGI Friday


Yay, it's Friday and once again please find links to the blog posts that have rocked my world this week. This week was full of a lot of quality posts but after a lot of umming and urring, these were the posts that made my top five.

Brown Girl Gumbo
Check out BGG's review of the film that everyone is talking about - Good Hair.

Disney Roller Girl
What makes a fashion designer? Well Disney Roller Girl discuses this in her post.

K.Hart
Ms K.Hart gives us an hilarious account of her trip to the hairdressers. This is so funny.

in2mee
Since emails, texting and instant messengers, no one puts pen to paper anymore, but check out this lovely note.

Habitually Chic
This week was all about the shocking new policy by the FTC that stated that bloggers must declare any freebies or payments they receive. Read Habitually Chic's fantastic response.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Another Issue of Style Sample


I have been featured in the new issue of Style Sample, the magazine that is written for bloggers by bloggers. You might remember that I interviewed, Tamia Stinson, the lovely editor of the magazine back in July where she gave us an overview of the publication. Well a few weeks ago I was approached to pick a city and talk about why I like their street style. Well me being me had no problem with that whatsoever. You can find me on page 24 spouting off.

You can check out the new issue of Style Sample here.

My Space - Marian Kihogo

I have always wondered what stylists did with their time. How they spent their day, how many shopping hours they put in, the kind of travelling they did and how many luscious designer labels they got their mitts on. Marion Kihogo is a stylist, personal shopper as well as a fashion writer and the UK correspondent of French publication Dirrty Glam. She also has a self named blog where she writes all her musings about the fashion scene. She has decided to share her space with me. 

Describe the concept of Marian Kihogo.
My blog is a mix of my adventures as a fashion stylist and writer (i.e. backstage at editorial fashion shoots, at fashion events,styling personal clients,PR appoinments, etc), stylish obsessions, my inspirations, my daily outfits and features/interviews with fashion and style insiders and influencers etc. So simply put…it’s just a mini peek into my work and style (both the gore and gloryJ) as well asinterviews with the inspiring and all things stylish. 

Where do you scribe?
I blog from the corner of my couch usually in a little ball like a cat. 

Why that place?
I just seem to find it more comfortable then the desk. I think the couch works as I get to put my feet up as I simultaneously watch TV, talk to clients, pull garments from PR, research, type articles or blog etc.
What is on your couch at the moment?
Wow, as I type, I am stuck on the couch with what seems like a gazillion blankets, a box of tissues, a huge chocolate bar, my cell phone, a DVD box set of Sex and the City, half a bag of Haribo gold bears, a box of cough mixture, my mini Samsung laptop which I affectionately call Sandy (don't ask :o) lol), three random pound coins that keep digging into back, some painkillers, my broken camera, an infinite number of cushions which keep falling to the floor, an international phone card to call my Mum or else she will call incessantly from worry and odd pairs of cashmere socks. Hahaha that is a lot for a three seater couch but I am currently home bound with the flu and it's my survival kit. 

What form of inspiration do you have on the walls? 
Oh I do not have anything on my walls per say but from my corner of the couch I  do have a kick ass view of the River Thames which is always inspiring (if it counts). Also on my laptop I have a lot of images collected over the years from vintage editorials, present day editorials, street style images, compelling photos of a host of things, a LOT of mood boards and the like. They are great for drawing inspiration from, so I am constantly going through my gigantic image folder. 


Do you keep a tidy office or are you a neat worker?
Tidy? I wish! I am a messy worker to say the least. If I am blogging, writing fashion articles etc I just seem to thrive best in a little mess. I do not how the mess gets there but by the time I am done I am surrounded in a mountain of stuff. 


You can check out Marian's blog here.

You can follow her on Twitter here,

Monday, 5 October 2009

Jourdan Dunn and Chanel Iman and Teen Vogue


Having a Black model on the cover of a world famous magazine is fabulous enough but having two is pretty damm amazing. Enter Jourdan Dunn and Chanel Iman who donn the cover of November's issue of Teen Vogue. There is something about Teen Vogue that really takes my fancy; be it the cute size, the mini features and the great blogs. Despite the fact that I am (cough cough) well out of my teens I just like to read it. Back to Jourdan and Chanel, they discuss their friendship,  life as two of the great supermodels, Jourdan's pregnancy and being role models to young women. I really love the colour of the cover because it is fresh and fruity and quite a challenging one to use in November. Also the fashion shoot with the two ladies is stunning and they are really rocking the long pony tail and red lipstick. This issue also profiles Beyonce's hair stylist, Kimberly Kimble who dolls out advice on how to look after Afro hair.

The November issue of Teen Vogue hits the stores on 13th October but if you can't wait till then you can read the interview here.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Retro Review: Girls Just Want to Have Fun


Janey Glenn played by Sarah Jessica Parker loves to dance and has only one dream which is to appear on Dance TV (DTV), the ultra hip channel in Chicago. On her first day at a new school she makes friends with Lynne Stone played by Helen Hunt who is also a dance enthusiast and when they hear that DTV are holding a competition for dance regulars, they vow to get in on the act. However, Janey's ever so strict ex-army father barely allows her to leave the house so she is forced to sneak out of the house. Meanwhile across town Jeff Malene played by Lee Montgomery is aiming for the same dream as well. He is spurred on by his best friend Drew played by Jonathon Silverman and little sister Maggie played by Shannon Doherty.  At the regional competition Jacey and Jeff both make the cut for the finals are paired together to compete for a coveted place on DTV. However their plans are constantly sabotaged by Natalie Sands played by Natalie Gagnier, a rich, spoilt and pampered princess who is determined to get a place on DTV  at all cost. Do they win the competition? Of course they do! Do they live happily ever after? What a dumb question. Is the film a lot of fun? Hell yeah!

Helen Hunt and Jonathon Silverman do a great job as the witty side kicks and Shannon Doherty is hilarious as the spunky Maggie, while Sarah Jessica Parker and Lee Montgomery really sparkle in this cute and sweet little film.  Girls Just Want to Have Fun is from a batch of movies that emphasised on the concept of the body beautiful which was highly prominent in the 80s. This movie is also regarded as one of the greatest of it's era and I guess it is the Step Up 2 the Streets of it's time. Interestingly, I hear that Girls Just Want to Have Fun is to be remade into a modern version starring Miley Cyrus. I can't say I am surprised as everything in the 80s seems to be turned into a rehash.  I am not sure how I feel about Miley Cyrus in the role though. 

Friday, 2 October 2009

TGI Friday


Again here are a list of the blog posts that have rocked my world this week.

Hattie c in the place to be..
Resident music journo, Hattie Collins gives us a build up to the MOBO Awards and why this year, Brit music artist finally have something to shout about.

I Used to be a Socialiate and Now I Just Write a Lot
The Social writers team discuss the aftermath of the MOBOS, who won what and who got dissed.

Pbleepd
More MOBO rantings and the Pbleepd possee discuss 10 reasons why the MOBOs got it wrong.

Yoruba Girl Dancing
Our favourite Yoruba Girl tells us why she welcomes Black History Month.

K.Hart
The pressures of a lady to look good is discussed here in great detail.

If you would like to be included in TGI Friday next week then submit your links ondolady@googlemail.com. Please note that the links must be published between Friday 2nd October and Thursday 8th October.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Let Me Be Your Fantasy


Fantasy Ride is one of those blogs which entertains and educates at the same time. Founder, Michelle Owusu manages to take topical issues such as video vixens, weaves, diversity on TV and swagger and dissect them in a way that is both intellectual yet relatable. Michelle calls the blog her personal take on the entertainment and creative industry and the effect it has on society. Created in 2008, Fantasy Ride is the like the Big Brother of the entertainment world where everything is noted, observed and then reported right back at us. I took five with Michelle to find out more about her fantasy ride.  

What made you start blogging?
I started reading blogs about four years ago when I went away to university - it was my way of staying in touch with what was happening in the world of entertainment. Blogging was something that I watched from the sidelines as I never really thought of what my place would be within it. My friends and I always had debates that lasted hours about things that were going on in the entertainment world and they were always very entertaining as they often got quite heated. So I decided to take the debate to the blogs...and so Fantasy Ride was born.

Describe the concept behind Fantasy Ride?

Well as mentioned, I like all things entertainment whether it's music, film, television and even celebrities. What I find even more interesting is how this industry has such a large impact on culture and society. Celebrities are role models, music artists start trends, and films can bring an issue into the limelight and mainstream news - they all create a public debate so the influence of the entertainment industry is very powerful. The Fantasy Ride title evolved from the idea that the industry is considered to be so glamorous. There are talent shows full of people trying to get into it but often the reality is much darker than most expect, so it's like a fantasy world full of ups and downs. So that's what I try to get across in my blog. I highlight both the joys for example, the positive changes made to diversity within television as well as the not so great issues such as the effect of video vixens on the perception of women. 

How do you think bloggers have made an impact on the media?

In my opinion, the impact is huge. Personally, I go online for most of my news and information so will find out the latest way before it comes on the television and in the newspapers. Bloggers are often considered journalists so the challenge for traditional media now is how to deal with the advantage blogs have with disseminating information in real time. However, I do think that the US appreciate the power of bloggers more than the UK but I feel that we are catching up, especially in the world of public relations where blogs are becoming a larger part of communication strategies. I think that the corporates and consumer brands definitely need to take more initiative when it comes to blogs as consumers are more likely to buy a product or service based on recommendations from friends, family and even the comments underneath a blog post rather than if it was advertised on television.  

What do you do when you are not working on your blog?
I love dance, especially hip-hop/contemporary styles so I'll probably be dancing a piece of choreography in front of a mirror somewhere. I also watch a lot of internet television and uploads on YouTube, mostly U.S shows such as The Hills, The City, America's Next Top Model and The Rachel Zoe Project. Other than that, I'll be on Twitter, reading someone else's blog or out to lunch/dinner with my friends getting into a heavy debate about entertainment's latest hot topic.

Describe a typical day in the life of Michelle Owusu.

At the moment, my day is not so typical. I was working at a public relations company for the last year after graduating from university in 2008, but now I am preparing to start an International Marketing Masters programme. So right now, I'm juggling some freelance marketing and public relations work as well as getting ready for the study nights and early library starts that are about to come my way. 

You are always wonderfully opinionated in Fantasy Ride is this something you set out to do?
As mentioned, Fantasy Ride was born out of the debates that I often have with my friends so I try to include the same attitude in the blog. I try not to force my own opinion across but I will state what I think as well as welcome alternatives. I love hearing what other people think as they might highlight something that I haven't considered and that might change my own view. Sometimes when I start a post, I might not even know which side of the fence I stand, so often they are just written transcripts of my thought process so by the time I've reached the end, I know where I stand.

Where do you source your stories from?

I think my blog is different to other entertainment blogs as it's not a news/information site; it is more a commentary on something that most people have already read about or seen. That's probably why there is no real pressure to deliver timely information. A subject has to pull at me and make me want to go deeper into the topic; this may be something I have read on another blog, seen on television or read in a newspaper. For example, my most recent post was about Tyra Banks revealing her real hair on her talk show. I had heard about this on E News and even from the lady herself as she posted the news on her Twitter. So I decided to talk about this hair issue, what is means in society and critique some of the thoughts and ideals that accompany it.

What are your favourite glossy magazines?

My favourite is Glamour magazine as it is the perfect mix of celeb interviews, news, career advice, love stories and both high street and luxury fashion.

Name five blogs that you read religiously

Five!!! That is way too little a number so I might go over. The first blog I began to read daily was Concrete Loop. Other dailies include The YBF, Sandra Rose, The Musings of Ondo Lady, The Cocoa Diaries, Pbleepd, Mad News, The Wider Perspective and Diary of a Fab Black Woman.

How do you see Fantasy Ride evolving over the next two years?

Good question, I haven’t really thought that far ahead. I do it for my personal enjoyment so as long as I love it, I'll keep doing it. Hopefully the following will grow as I love to hear what other people think and contribute to the post through the comments. Possibly some guest writers in the future - anyone interested, get in touch!


You can follow Michelle on twitter here.