30 September 2009

Goodbye Solo & Glorious 39

I've been to two brilliant film previews in the past two weeks: Goodbye Solo at Soho House and Glorious 39 at the Soho Screening Rooms.

Goodbye Solo won the 'Fipresci' International Critics' Prize at last year's Venice Film Festival, and is the latest film from young, internationally-acclaimed filmmaker Ramin Bahrani - recently hailed “the new great American film director” by eminent critic Roger Ebert.

Featuring the irresistible pairing of first-time actor Souléymane Sy Savané with former Elvis bodyguard Red West, Goodbye Solo is an uplifting exploration of morality at the very heart of a poignant tale of unlikely friendship.

Solo, a Senegalese immigrant driving a taxi in North Carolina, has aspirations of becoming a flight attendant and help provide a better life for his pregnant wife and step-daughter. One night he picks up William, a tough Southern old-timer with a lifetime of regrets. One man‘s dream is just beginning, while the other‘s is quickly winding down. But despite their differences, both men soon realize they need each other more than either is willing to admit.

Through this unforgettable friendship, Goodbye Solo skillfully explores the passing of a generation as well as the rapidly changing face of the world we live in.





It's in cinemas from 9 October - go, see. Savané is excellent and the scenes are so well orchestrated, most of the drama lies in what's left unsaid - the tension between the two men as their relationship strengthens and the grim realisation unfolds is palpable.

Glorious 39 started on a cheerier note, before descending into a bleak insight to the beginnings of WWII - equally grim and equally excellent.

The British thriller, written by Stephen Poliakoff, is set in London and the idyllic Norfolk countryside when Britain stands on the brink of war. Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, is at the forefront of the movement to appease Hitler whilst others, with Winston Churchill as their powerful figurehead, believe that war is essential to combat the Nazi threat.

The story is centred around the formidable Keyes family, who are determined to preserve their very traditional, English way of life in the midst of this political uncertainty.

The adopted, eldest sibling Anne is a budding young actress in love with Foreign Office official Lawrence. Anne's seemingly perfect, carefree life surrounded by friends and family, begins to dramatically unravel when she stumbles across secret recordings hidden by outside forces in the out-buildings of the family home. Whilst trying to uncover the origin of these recordings, a tangled web of dark secrets begins to unfurl, along with a growing sense of menace of betrayal.

As war breaks out Anne flees to London in an attempt to confirm her growing suspicions of evil at work. Only then does she begin to discover the true extent to which she has been betrayed.

A beautifully shot film with a stellar cast, stunning wardrobe and a very interesting subject; you can't not like it. Apart from the ending, which was disappointing. But still: out 20 November - put it in your diary.

24 September 2009

LFW SS10 Highlights

London Fashion week's over and it consisted of designers doing what they do best: each label seemed to stick to their signature style whilst celebrating femininity with summery colours, floaty dresses or flattering tailoring. Lots of defining collections, notably Burberry and Luella, both of which were stunning.

Jaeger was beautiful, Pam Hogg was reliably crazy with gorgeous strong make-up (above), Pringle keeps improving and the young designers (Nicholl, Fast, Kane) keep LFW exciting for fresh, new talent in the fashion week circle. Peter Pilotto (below), whose show I've never been to and so never really thought about, had a really great collection of bold prints, strong shapes and striking colour contrasts.

Other than that, the usual suspects were my favourites: Basso & Brooke (below) were smoking hot with their best yet (apart from maybe AW06 - I still want those leggings) - the London-based duo absolutely nail 80s acid neon prints and their dresses packed a punch set against slicked wet hair, dark lips, dewy skin and black detailing. Gorgeous.

Luella had a great girly collection of vibrant, wearable pieces for spring with pastel colours, quirky bows and her signature polka dots (below) and then there was Burberry…

In London for the first time to celebrate 25 years of LFW, the latest from the British powerhouse was typically excellent. The stellar front row (Anna Wintour, Alexandra Shulman, Victoria Beckham, Gwyneth Paltrow, Liv Tyler, Mary-Kate Olsen, label faces Agyness Deyn and Emma Watson, Matthew Williamson, Freida Pinto and Alexa Chung) watched super supers strutting down the catwalk with beautiful ruffles, ruching, sheer jersey and delicate silks in a beautiful pale palette. The only man to successfully re-invent a trench time and time again? Saint Christopher Bailey!

Firm favourite Ashish stuck to the signature glitzy sequins and he debuted the new Nike collaboration (fabulous t-shirt below) but other than that I wasn't bowled over by the gaudy prints and bold slogans.

Emilio de la Morena - who I really rate - was quite disappointing with his simple dresses and, this is controversial; I didn't like current darling Christopher Kane. I know Donatella, Anna and Joan Collins were there and he can do no wrong, but…

I love his previous collections and current collaboration with Topshop, just not his latest show which was inspired by Midwestern good girls. It was certainly fresh - I'll give every fashion editor who's raving about the collection that - seeing as it's such a departure from his celebrated style. He seemed to be channelling milkmaid chic - yuck - with plaid and fringed gingham party dresses. Please, no. He sexed them up with thigh splits, cutaways and layered sheer chiffon, but still no stand-out pieces for me.

However, I'm very excited about his collaboration with Versace's Versus Line, hitting Italy's fashion capital in a few days. Onto Milan…

17 September 2009

The Sunday Times Style Magazine

Style being my favourite fashion supplement and The Times being my joint favourite paper (the soon-to-be-extinct thelondonpaper for quick mid-week scanning, The Guardian on Saturday and The Times on Sunday, if you're interested), I am very excited about the new revamped Style coming on on 20 September 2009.

Celebrating the launch of the refreshed magazine, The Sunday Times is issuing a massive one-off 'The Big Fashion Issue' edition to coincide with LFW. From the following Sunday, Style will have an increased focus on fashion and shopping, with interiors, beauty, lifestyle and food sections (in particular AA Gill's trusty Table Talk).

Going back to TLP, tomorrow is its last day of publication as Rupert Murdoch pulls the plug after poor business performance, hefty annual losses and a bitter rivalry with Associated Media.
Deciding that the masses are no longer worthy of free news - despite starting the freesheet wars back in the summer of 2006 - Murdoch's decision to kill his paper furthers the digital media's suppressing rule over print.
It looks like it's now just the inferior Lite and Metro battling it out with The Evening Standard on the streets of London...

16 September 2009

I Love Miles Aldridge

Let them eat cake! A photographer with a vision, I love him. A photographer with a surrealist high fashion vision of strong saturation and rich vivid setups. He loves nudity and explosive colours. Who doesn't?

15 September 2009

Mark Ronson for Esquire

Music producer/ stylish man about town (a label he claims to begrudge in the interview) Mark Ronson is featured on the cover of Esquire's October issue wearing head-to-toe Gucci to coincide with their collaboration. He's wearing a white shirt, black dress shoes and sleek single-breasted bowie evening jacket from their AW09/10 collection.

Ronson's focused on vintage styling and shapes from the 30s for his new shoe collection with the superbrand, adding that his own individual sense of style is inspired by the legendary jazz players of the 40s and 50s. I love the retro styling of the shoot and the cover shot but he needs to lay off the Brylcreem.

Ronson’s Stylish Life Tips

Spirits: “I usually drink whisky – Jack or Jameson’s – either straight or with Coca-Cola. I don’t do any of that fussy ‘one-part this, two-part that’ stuff.”

Cars: “When I got my license, I leased a Cadillac, because my inner driving spirit is that of an 80-year-old man. You always see old people in America driving them really slowly because they’re so uncomfortable. It’s like being in a hovercraft.”

Know when to leave a party: “When the lights go on.”

14 September 2009

Katy Perry Shines at the VMAs

Katy Perry upped the glitz stakes at the VMAs at Radio City Music Hall in NYC last night. She matched her spiky blinging minidress by The Blonds (yeah, who?), with silver nails and smoky metallic eyes. Other than fierce dresses on the red carpet, the outburst at teen poplet Taylor Swift from a presumably drunk Kanye West stole the show.

I love Kanye, and certainly feel no particular affinity with the country music star or country music in general, but leave the poor girl alone. As Perry tweeted: "F*ck u Kanye, it's like you stepped on a kitten". He lost himself a whole lotta fans in a few seconds before being promptly ejected from the awards. Ouch. Sore head full of regret today, no doubt.

11 September 2009


New York Fashion Week kicked off yesterday and Victoria Beckham looked scorching at Bergdorf Goodman. She was promoting her new range of dresses as part of the internationally-spanning Fashion's Night Out and she wore strong eye make-up, a tight animal print Giles bandeau dress, on-trend tangerine and over-the-knee leather boots.

She's just so unashamedly try hard, yet it works. People in the blogosphere are already hating, but I can't think of another mum of three who looks that fierce in thigh-highs.

8 September 2009

Karl Lagerfeld for Wallpaper*

Karl Lagerfeld brought Baptiste Giabiconi out on the AW09 PFW catwalk looking mighty fine, and is using him again in his latest venture; his new muse, dressed in Dior Homme, is the coverstar for the latest issue of Wallpaper*. Readers can peel off this image to reveal another, sans Dior Homme.

Lagerfeld’s 27 page guest-edited section focuses on photographs of his houses, the extraordinary belongings he crams into them and his muse travelling from Ancient Rome to mid-century Paris, via the Palace of Versailles.

The two collector's items out this month are memorable and unique: both using paper technologies never used before on magazine covers. The magazine also enlisted designer Philippe Starck as guest editor for the other special October issue, but I know which one I'd prefer to buy.

7 September 2009

London for London

On 3 October, the London for London campaign is asking every bar, club, restaurant, pub, taxi etc to invite each customer to donate £1 towards raising funds to tackle violence on the mean streets of London.

It being a Saturday, hopefully the nightlife scene can raise a fair amount of money as the evening progresses, the people get drunker and thus more generous. I'm all for this kind of campaigning: proactive initiatives garnering positive media attention and publicity, indicating a widespread interest to address street crime across the capital.

Boris says:

"London For London for London is fundraising for three great causes that make an immense difference to young people across the capital. I encourage everybody who’s out and about on Saturday October 3 to help play a part in tackling youth crime by digging deep and giving generously. Kids Company and Help a London Child have a remarkable record in supporting youngsters through tough times, whilst the Police Cadets give young people the discipline and motivation they need to succeed. I truly hope London for London is a great success."

I do like having a reason to go out. Especially if it's for a good cause.

3 September 2009

The Sartorialist: The Book

Scott Schuman has released his first book: a glossy coffee table book full of his favourite images showing the beautiful, stylish people of New York, Milan, Paris and London etc. Out today, £12.

Added to wishlist (cough cough, wishlist available on request).

2 September 2009

Maggie Gyllenhaal

The October 2009 issue of Marie Claire features the glorious Maggie Gyllenhaal as its coverstar. Over the years she's graced several Marie Claire covers on both sides of the Atlantic and I like this current offering - not keen on the Silk Cut purple, but the bow bustier's gorgeous and the rich, dark colour makes her eyes pop.

I'm all about lashings of black eyeliner and big lashes, so I think most make up looks aren't strong enough, but the August 2008 cover above is definitely too natural for a cover look. Still looks cute though.

The September 2006 cover is cool although a little too close to the DKNY Be Delicious campaign shots, which launched about the same time. Anyway, she looks fabulous on all three and I'm pleased to see she's a firm favourite with fashion magazines - mainly because, after Secretary and the Agent Provocateur campaign, I have a massive girl crush. And a normal crush on her brother. Them good genes.


SATC: The Movie 2

The first photos are already out of SJP filming the SATC movie sequel in NYC (it's all about the abbrvtns), looking summery in a white Halston shirt dress, sparkling Louboutins and her trademark curly tresses.

I hope they don't screw it up - they're too old to be whoring around as they did so well in the series and the first movie wrapped everything up neatly... Still I'm sure everyone'll love the finished product if only for the heritage. And the dresses.

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