Monday, 31 January 2011

Welcome to Fashioning February

I launched this series last year and it proved to be so popular that I decided to bring it back again. Fashioning February is an editorial celebration of fashion focusing on New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week which takes place during next month. It will be rammed full of features, interviews and profiles on the fashion industry and fashion bloggers. Tomorrow we will kick with Blogger of the Month which will feature Sasha Wilkins from Liberty London Girl, there will also be a video interview with Amelia Gregory, founder of Amelia"s magazine which took place at the launch of her new book and also each week a blogger will be discussing her favourite fashion decade. You would have to be under a rock not to have come across the saga involving Jennine Jacobs regarding her blog, The Coveted. She took time out to talk to me about her other baby, the superb Evolving Influence Fashion Blogger Conference which takes place next week. As well as the usual My Space feature I will be talking about the pending Teen Vogue reality show and just why is that magazines reality shows are so popular.

I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow and let the start of Fashioning February begin.

In order to celebrate the launch of Fashioning February I am giving away books by the following fashionistas.

A copy of Style Diaries by Simone Werle which takes a look at fashion bloggers and their style
A copy of Style by Lauren Conrad where she talks about the secret to looking fabulous.
A copy of The Truth About Diamonds by Nicole Ritchie which is her debut novel.

To enter the competition all you need to do is drop me an email at and put the name of the book you want in the subject line. The competition will close on Monday 28th February at 12am GMT time.

Monday, 24 January 2011

The Black Behind the Camera

Not long ago I was complaining about the lack of Black programmes on TV. Well it seems as though someone was listening to me because we now a good selection of Black shows currently on the networks or about to hit the small screen. The most prominent of them is The Game which made it's widely anticipated comeback two weeks ago much to a lot of excitement. Running for four seasons on CW, The Game was suddenly axed but after having witnessed the sudden departure of Girlfriends in 2008, the African American viewers were not going to sit back and let the same happen to The Game. So on 11th January BET aired the fifth season of the popular sitcom. That night The Game was followed by brand new sitcom, Let's Stay Together which is about five friends who are juggling relationships in their different stages. We have Tasha and Jamal who are married with a little boy, Stacy and Charles who are recently engaged and Kita who is taking a break from dating. Lets Stay Together is produced by Queen Latifah under her company, Flavor Unit Productions.
Over on TV One we have Love That Girl starring Tatyana Ali. Tatyana plays a divorcee who moves back home with her family in order to get her life back on track. The four part series is created by a predominately Black crew including Martin Lawrence and Bentley Kylie Evans while Tatyana acts as producer. This is Tatyana's second producing role - you might remember that she created the web series Buppies with her sister in 2009 and Lawrence and Evans have worked together before on Martin and The Jamie Foxx Show. Coming soon is Single Ladies which is another Queen Latifah joint and is a dramedy about three best friends who live in Atlanta. Starring Lisa Raye, Lauren London and Stacey Dash, the series covers sex and relationships set to the background of music, fashion and celebrity. Not surprIsingly. Single Ladies has been compared to Girlfriends and of course Sex and the City. The series has been picked up by VH1 and will air on 30th May in the USA with a special two hour pilot and will feature celebrities such as Common, Chilli, Eve and Kim Porter. The actual series starts in July. I cannot tell you how great it is to see so many TV projects starring Black talent in fuition. Even more pleasing is the amount of Black talent behind the camera. This is what everyone has been going on about; that in order to make a change we need more people of colour in powerful positions. Let's not forget that The Game might be produced by Kelsey Grammer but it is actually the brains of Mara Brock Akil. It looks like 2011 is going to be a great year for Black people behind the camera.

You can watch full episodes of Love That Girl here.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Milk + Honey

milk + honey series trailer from brown paper dolls on Vimeo.
Lovely Idris Elba may have missed out on a Golden Globe for his work in Luther to Al Pacino but he has not let that deter him at all. The popular actor has been working on a web series called Milk + Honey which is based on four Black women who are striving to turn their dreams into reality. Nia, an aspiring actress who is trying to leave the 9-5 behind, Harper who is a kick ass powerhouse who plans to get to the top in the boardroom, Farrah, a glam socialite who turns heads everywhere she goes and Samirah a funky hipster who is a fly DJ. These four women juggle friendship, love and their dreams in the big city of Los Angeles. Milk + Honey is produced by Brown Paper Dolls which consists of three sisters who plan to make stories about real life in LA while providing opportunities for Black actors. The show stars Debbie Allen, Lance Gross and a host of new faces such as Faune Chambers, Bryce Wilson and Asha Kamali. The preview dropped a few days ago and it has sent blogsphere alight and after I viewed it I could see why. The series look fresh, contemporary, fun and very glamorous. All the elements that you would require from a top notch TV series and I cannot wait to see it.

There is no news about the launch date or whether it has been picked up by a major TV channel but I guess that will come in due course. For more information you can check out their website and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

The Sex and the City Tour

I have always wanted to go on the Sex and the City Hotspots tour since my trip to New York during the summer of 2009. Sadly due to bad timing I could not do it but after reading Yinka from Vex in the City's blog post, this made me more determined to embark on the tour. I had read a less than complimentary but netherthless interesting perspective on the tour but I was not about to let that deter me. So I booked my tickets online and set off to the meeting place at the Pullitzer Fountain opposite The Plaza on 5th Avenue. It mentioned on the website that the tour had been updated to include scenes from both movies so I was intrigued to see how this would be done. The big coach pulled up and we all got on. The tour guide was a very lively and funny lady called Emily Proch who kept us entertained with her wise cracks as well as her observations on the show. In fact the first she did was point out that The Plaza happened to be where Big had his engagement party to Natasha in season two. Then we went past the New York Public Library which was the venue of Carrie's doomed wedding in the first film. The first stop we made was the Pleasure Chest where the ladies went rabbit shopping earlier on in the series. Next we entered the ever so trendy West Village which is the home of the famous Bleecker Street where the famous Magnolia Bakery is located and where round the corner from Sarah Jessica Parker's (SJP) actual home. In fact Carrie's home is round the corner on Perry Street but sadly the tour no longer stops there. I guess the residents got sick of people sitting on their stoop and pretending to be Carrie.
After that we visited the Meat Packing district where Samantha lives (apartments go for 7k a month) and where Aiden's furniture shop is. We went into Buddakan where Carrie and Big had their engagement party and the place is as glam as it looks in the film. We also passed a restaurant called Pastis where Carrie had brunch with her Aussie GBF in season four and, where she has dinner with The Russian in Season six and his mates join them and ignore her. Pastis is also where Samantha and Smith have dinner and his pic is taken and she is chopped out. We are also shown the exclusive Soho House where Samantha gets busted for hijacking her way in. We also stopped at some designer shop called Jeffrey where bags were priced around 2K. Still trying to work out what the relevance was. After that we went past Diane Von Furstenberg which was really nice. Next we moved onto Soho and to Scouts, which was Steve and Aiden's bar which is actually called Onieals. We went in and sampled cosmopolitans true Sex and the City style. Then it was back on the coach for some more location spotting. We went past Mr Big's apartment which was actually at Hotel Giraffe.
A lot of emphasis is placed on location shots and angles and we are also shown shots from the series and films which use the relevant locations. We are even taken to spots that are integral to the character's lives.  Charlotte and Miranda's gyms which are both on the West Village. The tour guide was great (you could tell she was a massive S&TC fan) in proving juicy bits of information about the show. She gave us some inside information about Carrie's relationships and the reason for the emergence of Burger which was to show Carrie's creative and intellectual side. Also the baby that Aiden was carrying when he bumped into Carrie in season six was SJP's actual son. The Sex and the City Hotspots tour is three and half hours and costs $42 dollars which includes a $2 booking fee. Is it worth it? Hmmm this is a good question. Although we were given some complimentary cupcakes from The Magnolia Bakery, I think the price should have at least included a couple of free cocktails from Onieals as opposed to being charged $9 a glass. I also think there should have been more stops added to the tour as opposed to the three that we had; during the tour we seemed to spend a lot of time on the bus which was not something I was expecting. There were also too much referencing to locations that were quite a distance away which to me was a bit of a con, I did not pay $44 for someone to point out The Soho House which I could barely make out in the Manhattan skyline. I feel that the Sex and the City Hotspots tour is a great way to see hip parts of Manhattan in a short space of time but you could probably seek out a lot of the sites by yourself. I am glad I did it though and have no regrets and it is a great girly outing.

If you are off to New York and want to go on the Sex and the City tour then check out this website to book tickets.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Meet Chuck Holliday - Multimedia and Digital Publishing Mogul

Chuck Holliday is a busy man and catching up with him can be quite a challenge. Well if you were holding down three jobs chances are that you would be slightly elusive too. As well as working in production for NBC (his day job) he also runs his own multimedia, digital publishing and visual production company called Chelca. He produces magazines such as G Style which is a hip digital publication, Avenue 1 which is an online cultural publication and Suite929 which focuses on NYC's newest area code. On top of that he has a variety of online programmes like Glamours Edge which is his own reality series that documents his life, The Late Night Alumni which covers NYC's nightlife industry and In My Stilettos which is a reality show starring a singer/model called D. Malone. Chuck works with a small tight team who keep things funky by having their ears to the ground. Chuck's third gig is working the digital development of new magazine, Bullett which dropped this month. I managed to nab him for ten minutes so I could interview him about his various exciting projects. 

You can check out Chelca here.

You can follow Chuck on Twitter

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Snapped by Tracy Brown

I am a great lover of contemporary fiction featuring modern Millies jiggling careers, love lives and family and as a Black lady I always seek out stories about women of African descent whether they are based in the UK, Canada or the US. The last one I read was The Accidental Diva by Tia Williams which was a few years ago. While I was getting my flight from Atlanta to New York I came across Snapped by Tracy Brown in the bookstore. I have never heard of the author but a quick read of the synopsis and the first chapter had me riveted so I bought it. I read the book in a few days ( mostly when I was travelling around New York on the subway) and it was everything I hoped it would be; compelling, intriguing and a lot of fun. Snapped is about four female friends who inhabit New York City who are very different but all have a driving ambition to attain the perfect life. There is Camille Bingham, a former model who is married to the powerful Frankie Bingham and lives a life of luxury and opulence. Waited on hand and foot, she does not have a single care in the world however her perfect life is threatened when Frankie starts getting closer to another woman. Misa is Camille's sister and is as sassy as they come. A recent divorcee and a single mother means that Misa cannot afford the same lifestyle as her big sister but will stop at nothing to get it. Then there is Latoya who is a sharp mouthed lady with all the answers in life. The last thing on her mind is finding Mr Right and she believes that the only way for woman to survive is to concentrate on her career and keep her feelings in check. Dominique is also a single mother of a teenage daughter but despite this she has carved out a successful career for herself as a music exec. The only downside is her love life which is a bit of a mess as her boyfriend is serving a prison sentence for dealing in drugs.

Aside from the four ladies there are other minor characters who feature in the book. They are all very well developed and you can easily relate to them whether they are good or bad. This is one of Tracy Brown's strengths, creating strong characters and presenting them well. My only criticism is that there are too many minor characters who we did not really get to know. Snapped gives us a great insight into the criminal underworld and the people who are involved in organised crime such as drugs and fraud. A quick browse through amazon tells me that all of the author's books are about the crime world so it makes me wonder if that is a scene that she is familiar with after all the first rule of fiction is that you write about what you know. It looks like we have another Martina Cole on our hands. Snapped is a really gripping book that kept me hooked and wanting more, I really had no idea what was going to happen next and the book combines romance and intrigue seamlessly. Unfortunately I was not happy about the ending; there were too many loose ends left and the shock ending came out of nowhere. It was like the publisher had just yanked the two last chapters from the book and left us with a botched ending. It was really sad because up till then it had the makings of a great novel and one of the best I have ever read. Shame about the anti-climax.

NB: Ok I have done some digging around and there is a sequel being released next month. It is called Aftermath and picks up where Snapped left. Phew!! I cannot wait to read it. 

Friday, 14 January 2011

New York Winter Style

I have never been to New York in the winter before so it was interesting to see how I would cope with the weather and how my attire would shape up. I was told by a mate that fashion goes out the window when it comes to the bitter cold but I was still determined to be stylish as well as warm. So I packed my basics which comprised of black leggings. black socks, black lycra long sleeve tops along with an assortment of dresses. I also packed a few cardigans to wear on top of my dresses and brought my boots oh and of course a selection of woolly hats and scarves. It turns out that I was spot on, not only was my wardrobe functional for the cold it was also very feminine and girly girly. Well done me. As for the native New Yorkers, they did not let a deterrence called wind and snow get in the way of looking good. Part of the delights of my trip was the people watching that I got to do on the subway and on the streets of New York, (The Satorialist eat your heart out) and it all made very interesting watching.

The North Face
I first heard of this brand last year when my brother asked me to check the address of the shop as he was on the way to buy some stuff to get him through the British winter . Now my brother has very expensive taste so I knew that they did not come cheap. I could not move around New York without seeing someone in a North Face item whether it was a coat. jacket or a bag. It is quite clearly a brand to be reckoned with.
Hunters Wellies
When the snow hit yesterday these came out in full force as well as wellys from Kamik. I saw a few with the Burberry design as well and I even saw a lady donning a pair of Caterpillar Wellies and she looked mighty chic as well.

Woolly Hats
No self-respecting New Yorker is leaving their house without a hat on their head. They come in numerous colours, patterns, shapes and some even have a bobble on top. The hat that strikes me the most is the Aviator fur hat, I first saw this on Leon from Pbleepd but practically every New York guy is wearing them. I am told that they keep your ears warm. I showed a picture to little bro and he said that he loved them and needed to have one. They are also made in wool in various colours and patterns which I have seen a few ladies sporting.

Puffa Coats and Jackets
I bought my puffa coat as a last resort last year when my previous coat of many years failed me. I managed to find a great one from asos and it has served me well. However when I arrived in New York I found myself in good company because every other person has a coat like this. I have seen them short, medium, long, with snoods and hoodless. The most popular one is the Black coat with the fur trimmed hood. The type that B-boys wore in the 70s. Except now practically everyone from a hipster, to a Wall Street guy to a Park Avenue mom has one and they look great on all of them. I want one too!
Ear Muffs
I giggled when Ola from Diverse Traveller told me I would need these. Ear muffs have not been sighted since the 80s and as far as I was concerned they could stay there. Luckily I did not need them as the weather was not that extreme but apparently a few people in New York did as I spotted a few people wearing them. Some were stripy, coloured and few were in fur and to be honest they did not look that bad.

Fur Jackets
Saw a few of these about, they look wicked. I saw one lady in Starbucks (must have been a model) in a beige fur jacket along with a pleated skirt and boots. She looked divine.

Other trends that I spotted are: skinny jeans which are still going strong especially with the hipsters and stylish ladies. Ankle boots are worn more by high fashionistas who refuse to give up their heels for a bit of snow. Also there are still quite a few Uggs around but these are worn more in the milder weather and over skinny jeans and with a dress or a skirt. Another item that I saw were over the knee boots with a flat heel which not only looked practical but very stylish.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

The Roommate

I know that this film is a blatant rip off of Single White Female which is a thriller that starred Bridget Fonda and Jennifer Jason Leigh but for some reason it really appeals to me. The Roommate is a story of Sara Webber played by Minka Kelly who is starting her first year at college and looking forward to the next few years of campus life. She is sharing a room with Rebecca Woods played by Leighton Meester and initially the two hit it off but pretty soon Sara notices Rebecca's strange behaviour and things get more and more bizarre with Sara starting to fear for her life and for those who are in her life. Why do I like this film? Well for a start it has Leighton Meester who rocks as the evil Blair Waldorf in Gossip Girl, it is a teen slasher movie which are the best kind because you know that nothing too disturbing is going to happen but it will be as gripping as hell.

The Roommate opens in the US on 4th February but a date for the UK is yet to be announced.

The Fabulous Grand Central Terminal

So today I took a trip to visit Kwana from Kwana Writes at her place in Scarsdale, Westchester which is a suburb in New York. In order to get there I had to take a train from Grand Central in Manhattan. I don't know about you but waiting for a train at a London station is not a nice experience. Cold, dirty and nowhere to sit are the words that come to mind. Well Boris could take a few tips from New York and check out the fabulous Grand Central Terminal. Here are a few facts about the famous train station; it is the largest train station in the world and is iconic because it represents the growth of NYC itself. After a train collision in 1902 this resulted in the expansion and development of the station and new electric trains. A temporary station was installed while the new station was constructed over the next ten years. The new Grand Central Terminal was opened to the public in 1913 and has hosted an art gallery, art school, movie theater, museum and various exhibitions. In 1988 the station was renovated and restored to its former glory
It is here where you head out to New York towns such as Westchester, Yonkers and White Plains. The real name of the station is Grand Central Terminal but it gained the name Grand Central when people started abbreviating it. After the revamp the station now has a rather classical feel to it; high ceilings give a light and airy feel with marble flooring and the whole place gleams with sheer opulence. There are also retro like sofas dotted around for passengers to relax on while they wait for their train. Also there is an eating area and eateries on sale and the tables are designed with a collage of items that represent New York. Bits of the subway map, train tickets, metro cards, train timetables and a map of upstate New York are all pulled together to represent what Grand Central is all about. Even the bins are adorned with a colourful poster with a train and a sign that says 'Welcome Aboard" Grand Central is somewhere that you are happy to spend time in as opposed to wanting to get the hell out of.
My first introduction to  the place was reading about it in Hanging Out with Cici written by Francine Pascale, the creator of Sweet Valley High. The book was about a teenage girl who gets on a train at Grand Central to visit her relatives only to go back in time. Pascale's description of the train station was very illustrative and gave me an idea of what the station is like. Grand Central has also been featured in countless films and TV shows but the film that stands out to me is Carlito"s Way where Carlito Brigante played by Al Pacino, a reformed gangster is supposed to meet the love of his life so they can leave New York and start a new life together but sadly he does not make it. Grand Central is where Carrie and Samantha set off to San Francisco for Carrie's book signing only for Samantha to develop cabin fever in their poky compartment. Of course the station is where we are introduced to Serena van der Woodsen in the first episode of Gossip Girl when she heads back to the Big Apple after a hiatus at boarding school. Good times eh. Grand Central is as fabulous as it looks on the screen.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Retro Review: Beat Street

Remember Beat Street? Maybe it is being in New York that has got me all nostalgic. Beat Street is a film set in the South Bronx that showed Hip Hop culture in its purest form. From break dancing, body popping, graffiti, DJing and rapping, it was all there. The film was released in 1984 but got overshadowed by the cheesy Breakin, which was set in LA although the latter film had the glamour and the promotional budget, Beat Street was a far superior film and is still relevant today. Beat Street is the story of Kenny played by Guy Davis, (son of Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis) an aspiring DJ and his mates, Ramon played by Jon Chardiet who is a talented graffiti artist and Chollie played by Leon W. Grant a fast talking promoter. Kenny's little brother. Lee played by Robert Taylor is a break dancer and is part of the New York City Breakers. To throw a spanner in the works, Kenny meets and falls for Tracy, played by Rae Dawn Chong who is a music student from a more privileged background. The film shows the characters all striving to meet their dreams in a city that is plagued by inner crime, violence and poverty.  The film was produced by Harry Belafonte and directed by Stan Lathan. All the characters were relateble and the actors put in fantastic performances.
Aside from the gritty story lines which were very realistic, judging the state of NYC which was coming out of depression and starting to embrace the wonder of hip hop, the music scenes are really entertaining. Especially the battles between Lee's breakdance crew and the Rock Steady Crew, they were well constructed and blended very well into the story. The celebrity line up is impressive with performances by Afrika Bambaataa, & The Soul Sonic Force Doug E Fresh, Treacherous Three, Jazzy Jay, Magnificent Force, Grandmaster Melle Mel and the Furious Five. What stood out to me was the soundtrack which is amazing and has some wonderful tracks from the artists who performed in the movie.  I still have my raggedy VHS copy which I bought years ago but you can watch the whole film on You Tube.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Don't Kill Bill

What exactly does a working socialite do? Well in Bill Uko's life that involves working as a communications consultant, running his own company as well as attending New York University. This is all juggled while dividing his time between Nigeria, Ohio and New York - oh and of course there is his blog, Hanging Out With Bill. Bill started blogging in 2009 as a way to share his thoughts and ideas on his passions which include pop culture, fashion, events and life in general. I caught up with him to find out a bit more about what it is like to be a working socialite.

What made you start blogging? 
I started blogging because I wanted an outlet to share my thoughts, views, opinions and run commentary on the things that interest me without any censorship stricter than self-censorship.

Describe the concept behind Billuko? 
My blog description encapsulates the concept of my blog…“a working socialite's commentary on life, pop culture, fashion, events and everything that interests him” that’s basically the concept behind my blog. It’s a platform where I can comment on things that catch and hold my interest.

Over the last year bloggers have really made their mark in society, how do you think they will continue to push the boundaries over the next few years? 
Self publishing is one of the most powerful aspects on the Internet. Good bloggers who provide good journals will continue to rise to the top because blogging is basically a niche market and as long as people continue to prefer the opinions and views of 'real people' as opposed to company generated 'copy', blogs and their authors will continue to flourish. Some will be absorbed by mainstream media, but there will always be a slice that flies in the face of norms in that exciting way that brought bloggers to prominence in the first place.

Where do you get ideas for your blog? 
Hmm…my ideas come from events around me, my love of fashion, people, the media and sometimes the random thoughts and issues that I find myself grappling with in my alone time.

What do you do when you are not working on your blog? 
I work as a communications consultant and I also run a company called Fab Inc Universal we manage talent (models specifically). We also handle productions (media and events) and our flagship media production is called Grow Up, a show that I host on radio.

Describe a typical day in your life. 
The best thing about my life in my opinion is the fact that there is no ‘typical day’. My activities vary greatly from day to day depending on what project I’m handling at the time and that’s how I like to keep it.

What are your favorite glossy magazines? 
Vogue, GQ, Esquire, Vanity Fair and lately I’ve been buying and enjoying Mode Magazine (a Nigerian Men’s lifestyle and fashion magazine)

Name five blogs that you read religiously. 
My love of entertainment news leads me time and time again to Crazy Days and Nights and Rhymes with Snitch. And the fashion bug keeps me reverted to The Musings of Ondo Lady, Manolo - The Shoe Blogger and Bryan Boy. These are probably the five blogs I visit most often.

How do you see your blog evolving over the next two years? 
Doing this interview with you has changed my views on blogging considerably. Over the next two years I will streamline my blog in a way that enables me to provide quality content that has relevance to my readers whilst remaining true to myself, and I’d like to be able to update in a constant and efficient form.

You can read Bill's blog here.

You can follow him on Twitter.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Black Swan

Remember back in the 60s when little girls wanted to be ballerinas? Then in the 70s it was actresses, 80s pop stars, models in the 90s and now sadly they all want to be Wags. Well the movie, Black Swan might bring ballerinas into fashion judging by the response it has received at various film festivals. Nina played by Natalie Portman is a repressed ballet dancer who has spent the last good few years in the shadows of Beth played by Winona Ryder at one of New York's prestigious ballet companies. Mollycoddled by her mother played by Barbara Hershey (who is a former ballet dancer) she finds it hard to let go and express herself on and off the stage. Ballet director, Thomas played by Vincent Cassell decides her time has come and gives Nina the lead role in Swan Lake much to Nina's delight. She begins to celebrate with her mother as she feels that she has finally arrived, sadly there are two things standing in Nina's way. Lily played by Mila Kunis whose feisty personality and dazzling dance skills proves to be more than a match for Nina and the second issue is Nina herself. As talented and committed as she is Nina seems unable to cope with pressure and succumbs to self harming and bulimia when things get rocky. Matters take a turn for the worse when Nina let's her neurosis get the better of her and finds herself not just struggling to hold onto her coveted role as Swan Lake but to her sanity as well.
The last time I saw Natalie Portman in a film was in her debut role in Leon and she blew me away. Well she is just as wonderful in this film, Natalie is simply compelling to watch as the fragile Nina. Newcomer, Mila Kunis is also great as well but this is really Natalie's film. She plays the lead with just  enough gusto and really nails the vulnerability and dark side of the character. Winona is great as the fallen ballerina but the character of Beth did seem rather similar to her own life story. I saw a preview of this film at the London Film Festival and it immediately went on my 'to watch list' and I am glad to say that it did not disappoint. No surprise that it has received Golden Globe nominations for Best Picture, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress. Some of the scenes are a bit murky and if you are squeamish like I am you might want to cover your eyes during parts of it. At last we have a realistic portrayal about what it is really like to be a ballet dancer. It is not all sweetness and light and ballet dancers are under extreme pressure to maintain their stick like figure, they have to be under a certain height and they have awful feet from spending all their time walking on their toes. Now all I want to see is one about ice skaters and that will make me really happy.
Another theme that has come out of this riveting film is the fashion, I could not help but admire the cool assemble that the women wore during training such as lycra cardigans, over the knee leg warmers, sophisticated leotards along with the accustomed hair pulled back in a top knot. The costumes the dancers wore on stage were simply stunning; tutus are in right now, Carrie wore a few in Sex and the City and Nicole Richie wore a huge one for her wedding dress. The meshing of feathers and beads spells absolute glamour and Natalie and Esq looked amazing on screen in their outfits. Check out this blog post that the lovely Reena from Fashion Daydreams wrote about the inspiration of ballet on fashion. It is a corker.

Black Swan is out now in the US and is released on 21 January in the UK.

My Space - Lisa Bent from Deeper Than Twitter

Lisa Bent is a lady who has very many opinions and is not scared to share them. Her blog, Deeper Than Twitter covers topics from the sexualisation of the music industry, the representation of Black people in the media, the complex issue of euthanasia, homelessness and many others. She started her blog in 2009 as an outlet to share her views. When she is not blogging, Lisa is pursing her her career as a TV presenter and that as a counseller. She took time out to tell me where she blogs.

Describe the concept of your blog.
As a person who has an opinion on just about everything, I cannot and do not want to limit my expressions to 140 characters.  Whilst I acknowledge Twitter represents the new wave of social media, I want to bring back thought and depth before it disappears under the flow of constant tweets. As a qualified Counsellor with a passion for media, I use my psychology knowledge and interest in Existentialism and social trends to investigate possibilities, cultivate curiosity and go beyond the known and familiar to provide an alternative commentary to the raised issue. I am not and do not consider myself to be an expert. My blogs are my individual views based upon my life experiences, reality and ideas. My blog is a space to express my thoughts and views, while opening the avenues for further discussion.

Where do you scribe?
I mainly scribe at home in my dining room, in my bed, or on the train journey home.

Why that place?
I find that my concentration levels are much better when working in the dining room. In bed, I am comfy and able to relax and bulletpoint ideas, whilst working on the train allows me to be proactive when delayed.
What is on your dining room table?
At the moment laptop, pen, paper, Blackberry and flowers.

What form of inspiration do you have on the wall?
I have a picture that I painted as part of my Art G.C.S.E. As it is behind me it holds no form of inspiration…that I know of.

Do you keep a tidy office or are you a messy worker?
I cannot think in a messy space, I absolutely hate clutter. I am a tidy worker.

You can read Lisa's blog here.

You can follow her on Twitter.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Reality Heaven

She may have made some enemies on The City and earned herself a reputation as a snooty cow but there is no doubting Olivia Palermo's star quality. Her distinctive style has made her the toast of New York and glossy magazines galore and her feisty attitude appealed to many including me. So no surprise to hear that Madame Palermo has landed herself her own reality series which will show her life as a socialite fashionista about town and follows her launching her own fashion label. The show is in the very early stages so has not been picked up by a TV network. The gig is very similar to the one that Lauren Conrad has; the former start from The Hills is set to appear in a one-off reality show that features the launch of her fashion label called Paper Crown. The programme will be in the same mode of The September Issue and will be aired on MTV. The details of Olivia's own show are yet to be released and she only dropped the news last week during an interview in Vogue Espana and not surprisingly blogsphere and the rest of the media went into overdrive.

I am kind of over celebs launching fashion lines so the fashion projects by Palermo and Conrad do not really interest me but what I am into it is the reality shows themselves that depict the glam lives of these IT girls who appear to have it all. Looks, wonderful careers, great wardrobes and apartments and lots of fabulous friends. I mean who wouldn't want to live that sumptuous life? I loved watching Whitney in The City and other shows such as The Rachel Zoe Project and Kell on Earth are my 'not' guilty pleasures. So I cannot wait to see both Palermo and Conrad juggle working on a fashion line along with their personal lives in New York and LA respectively.

While I was researching the projects by Olivia and Lauren I came across this fantastic illustration in Bloomberg Business Week that looks at the pivotal points in Lauren's career. The model is created by Frazer Harrison and you can have a proper look at it here.