Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Style crush du jour: Jennifer Lawrence

I'll confess I don't really know much about latest It film The Hunger Games. I know it's based on a book. I know male lead Liam Hemsworth is hot (not as hot as his brother Chris, of Thor fame, though). And, I know female lead Jennifer Lawrence is a) a great actress, b) gorgeous and c) one of the best dressed people around at the moment.

That last point is the one that's impressed itself on my mind the strongest. Her wardrobe for the promotional tour has been jaw droppingly good. Let's take a walk through some of the best bits (to date).

Starting strong:

At the world premiere of the film in Prabal Gurung. I think the word I'm looking for is fierce.

Still going for gold:

Same colour, totally different style. Ladylike in Ralph Lauren at the UK premiere.

And now for something completely different...

Looking completely sultry in Tom Ford at the Paris premiere. Proof that the right LBD is just as effective as the most extravagant evening gown. Love the poker straight hair and crimson lips too. Smoking hot!

But, y'know, sometimes you do just want to wear an extravagant gown. Enter Marchesa.

If you're going to go for extravagant then who better than Marchesa to provide it? Love the matchy matchy red shoes too.

Time for my personal highlight. The next three beauties were worn on the same day. (I want her life.)

1) Keeping it simple in Raoul for an appearance on Letterman. The perfect LBD strikes again.

2) Back in Prabal Gurung to leave Letterman. The gold lace on this is lush.

3) Flashing a bit of flesh but keeping it classy in gorgeous green Calvin Klein. The cut and colour of this dress are so perfect for her shape and colouring. Also? Boob envy. Just saying.

And I'm sure there are more to come, but that's for another blog post. Let's just hope the film is as good as her wardrobe!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Disney, I'm annoyed with you

(And now I'm also annoyed with Blogger/myself for deleting the original version of this post when I tried to correct a typo in it. This version is better though, promise.)


So John Carter is going to go down as one of the biggest movie flops in history. As HuffPo reports, it's set to lose parent company Disney around $200million. That's a big number. Mickey Mouse is going to have to shift a lot of Dole Whip* to make that up!

Now I saw JC over the weekend. It was a good film; not great but not awful and certainly not the turkey these numbers make it out to be. Visually, it was stunning - the landscapes, the effects, the CGI creatures were all brilliant and that's before I even get to the aesthetic appeal of the largely topless/otherwise half naked cast! (In my chart of hot villains, Dominic West's Sab Than is somewhere near the top. Mmmmm... I digress.) Although leading man Taylor Kitsch left me cold - and I hope he only got the part after Zac Efron turned it down, he would've been much better - the supporting cast was fab. All in all it was exactly what that sort of sci-fi-come-action film should be: an entertaining couple of hours.

So it's not the quality of the film I'm annoyed with, it's the marketing campaign. According to that HuffPo article $100million was spent on the John Carter marketing campaign. Really?! On what?!

I'm a geek. I'm a Disney loving geek. I'm a Disney loving, sci-fi-come-action film loving geek. I should've been the target of this alleged marketing campaign. So how did I find out about JC? Trailer in the cinema? TV spot? Print advert? Viral campaign online? No. I find out about it whilst stalking casually browsing Dominic West's IMDB page. Even the last minute, panicky push out of clips, trailers and interviews didn't appear on my radar until sites like Den of Geek wrote about them in the context of the general mess that the JC marketing became. If I wasn't noticing this stuff then who the hell else would be?

Compare and contrast with other recent, and less good (for my money), Disney offerings like Pirates of the Caribbean 2-4. I literally lost count of the number of adverts of various types I saw for POTC4. And that was a well established franchise with a well established fan base that, frankly, would probably have done fine without any advertising at all.

Part of me wonders whether Disney is prepared to take the hit on John Carter because it knows it will surely make the loss back with its share of mega franchise The Avengers which is out later this spring (and which I know all about thanks to some decent marketing). If that's true I'm even more annoyed.

Anyway, if you get the chance do go and see John Carter. As I said it's a good film that deserves to find an audience - and really is worth seeing on the big screen. I especially recommend it if you're a fan(girl) of Dominic West and/or James Purefoy both of whom are scene stealingly excellent in it. And half naked. I may have mentioned that already.

*This is an in joke for Disney World fans. If you don't get it then you clearly need to visit WDW, stat.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Style crush du jour: Sam Cam and Mrs O

There's no point lying about this: I fangirl over Michelle Obama as much as I do her husband. Often more so. 

I do not fangirl over David Cameron. This is just not a thing that happens in my life for a number of reasons. I have a lot more time for his wife, though. Anyone who's had a successful career in fashion (especially as an accessories designer) is something of a girl after my own heart. 

One of the things I like about both Sam Cam and Mrs O is the way they use their wardrobes to promote the fashion industries of their respective countries. And let's face it, they both look damn good doing it. Both of them have long being style crushes of mine.

With the Camerons currently on a state visit to the USA all eyes - including mine - have been on the two First Ladies fashion choices. Both have stuck to their signature styles and local designers, and both have looked consistently brilliant for doing so. They've provided a case study in how to combine high fashion and high politics which, as a fashion obsessed politico, has made me very excited indeed.

Check it out:

At the state dinner last night, Sam Cam went for a slightly quirky high neck Alessandra Rich gown with Mrs O in teal Marchesa with a statement necklace from Tom Binns. A lesson in grown up glamour from both.

Earlier in the day, Sam Cam is in plum Victoria Beckham. In my fantasy world, this dress is the cornerstone of my work wardrobe. Well jel.

At the official welcome at the White House, Mrs O chose a gorgeous Zac Posen dress and jacket (love the detailing on the jacket) and Sam Cam a Roksanda Ilinic dress accessorised with an Emilia Wickstead belt and LK Bennett shoes.

But the gorge colour block dress wasn't Sam Cam's first Ilinic look of the trip. The day before she stepped out in this fab combo: an Ilinic top (cinched in with the same Emilia Wickstead belt) teamed with Jospeh cigarette pants and her trusty LK Bennett heels. Mrs O went for chartreuse L'Wren Scott on top teamed with cream wide leg trousers. And they both look way to good to be in a sports hall.

Whoever said politics and fashion don't mix? They were clearly an idiot.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Awesome thing of the day: Dominic West on Googling himself

First off, 'Googling himself' is not a euphemism. Although, this post would be a billion times more awesome if it were...

Sorry, I'll stop that.

The Telegraph's Tom Chivers has the story (reporting comments from a Radio Times interview, to be fair):
"Obviously I loved Dominic West with a confusing passion already, but today he has made the breakthrough into all-time hero. The Old Etonian and erstwhile star of The Wire has cheerfully confessed in this morning's paper that he regularly Googles himself. Better still, he often gets involved in the comments on the articles he finds, as well: 'I like to have chats about myself with people – mainly putting forward the case for the defence in forums. I use my own name but nobody ever believes me.'"
There's nothing confusing about my passion for Dominic West (I'm doing it again. Sorry.) but I do love this story. As Chivers goes on to say:
"It's brilliant; I love the image of Jimmy McNulty tapping away one-fingered at the tired old BPD computer, truculently seeking a row on Holy Moly about his acting skills: "What the f**k did I do? If you don't like the Brechtian method, that's your problem, pal." It's pleasing to hear someone in the public eye say this without going on about how Googling yourself is narcissistic, or getting involved in online discussions is lonely and sad....But best of all it's West's sense of humour about the whole thing. Compare it to Reese Witherspoon on a similar topic: “Only in very, very dark moments – moments of pure self-loathing – do I type my name into Google. You never read anything positive. You’re fat, you’re ugly, you’re tired, you’re worthless, you don’t have a career any more, you’re a bad actor. It’s just an affirmation of every horrible feeling you have about yourself.” Well, if you seek out the horrible stuff, obviously, although I bet that Ms Witherspoon will find plenty of things calling her talented and beautiful as well, if she looks. But Dominic West knows what to do: you go and find the people who've called you a fat talentless hack, and you argue with them about it. "I may be talentless, but I am NOT FAT." It requires a thick skin, and can take up too much of your day, and it may be rather different for global celebrities than obscure bloggers on newspaper websites, but it's good fun."
Admit it: we've all done this. If you put my (real) name into Google, the top results are an American model and actress and a Guardian journalist. I know which one I'd rather be (hint: it's not the Guardian journalist). Google's autocorrect feature suggests I might be a volleyball player at Stanford University (I still prefer this to working for The Guardian).

Incidentally, if you happen upon a copy of the Radio Times - or can read it off the rack like I did - it's worth reading West's interview in full. It's very funny - and reassuring to find out that even he isn't immune to the questionable charms of Extreme Makeover. I also fell (a bit more) in love with him owing to the number of times 'I was drunk and this happened' appears as part of an answer. There are few things I find sexier than a posh boy with a bit of an edge. (And I've given up booze for lent so frankly anyone talking about/partaking in alcohol is an instant object of lust for me at the moment.)

I'm also enjoying the irony of blogging a story about someone Googling themselves that I found through a Google Alert about that person. I win at the internet.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Oscars: Best Dressed

So this is it. The big one. The climax of awards season. The Oscars.

First of all, HOORAY for Jean Dujardin, Meryl Streep and The Artist, the big winners of the night and deservedly so. I never did get around to writing the blog explaining why The Artist is my favourite film ever, but it is and I'm super chuffed to see it capping off a fantastic awards season with the Best Picture Oscar. Jean Dujardin's performance in it is just astonishing - regardless of the fact he only has one line in the whole film, acting isn't only about speaking - as is Meryl Streep's in The Iron Lady.

Fashion-wise the Oscars did not disappoint. So much so that I gave up trying to whittle down my favourite looks to my usual top 5. Instead, here are my top 10 looks (and also a small dog):

Gwyneth Paltrow in Tom Ford

It doesn't get more exclusive than Tom Ford when it comes to red carpet wear and this white number, complete with cape is a doozy. I love the simple, clean lines and figure hugging cut.

Natalie Portman in Vintage Christian Dior

This fabulously cute polka dot number is from 1954, proving that a beautiful dress never goes out of style. Love the colour, love the figure flattering cut, love the statement bling.

Milla Jojovich in Elie Saab

Elie Saab is pretty much the king of glitzy, feminine dresses and this one shouldered white number is stunning. The 50s waves and red lip give this look a real Old Hollywood vibe. Super glamorous.

Jennifer Lopez in Zuhair Murad

Wowza. Flesh flashing it may be, but this gown is just to die for. A perfect union between J Lo's personal style and art deco, twenties styling. Making a trend your own is what style is supposed to be (in my book anyway) so for me this is definitely one of the looks of the night.

Emma Stone in Giambattista Valli

A red head wearing red is always a bit of a risk, but this just works. The runaway favourite on the unscientific poll on my Pinterest board and it's not hard to see why. Love the chunky silver accessories too.

Rooney Mara in Givenchy

Apparently she chose this dress the morning of the ceremony. Seriously. Beautiful stuff and, for once, not black! Excellent, and fast, work Ms Mara!

Meryl Streep in Lanvin

Custom made and eco-friendly, this dress wins all the awards for age appropriate glamour. I love the detailing at the waist and the gold accessories, something not everyone could get away with.

Jessica Chastain in Alexander McQueen

Just a stunning dress. The detailing is mind blowing. Minimal accessories and natural hair and make up set it off to perfection too.

Octavia Spencer in Tadashi Shoji

A definite contender for most flattering gown of the night. The way the beading draws attention to her trim waist is genius and plays up her gorgeous curves perfectly. Love the sleeves too.

Glenn Close in Zac Posen

Amazing colour, amazing fit, amazing detailing on the bodice and around the waist. The matching tux jacket is fabulous. I want it. Like, badly.

And finally, the true break out star of awards season 2012 shows other up and coming starlets how to rock the bling...

Uggie in Chopard

You read that correctly. Jeweller to the stars Chopard designed a custom collar for The Artist's canine star. Vogue has the story:
"Caroline Scheufele, co-president and artistic director of Chopard, designed an 18-carat yellow gold and satin collar for Uggie's Oscars appearance, bearing the now-famous dog's name on a bone-shaped charm.

Following its red carpet appearance last night, the collar will now be auctioned off and all proceeds will be donated to The Amanda Foundation - a charity dedicated to rescuing cats and dogs from death row in the pounds of Los Angeles."
A fab fashion win and a fab cause too.

And the perfect way to end award's season 2012. Hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Brit Awards: best dressed

Like pretty much everyone I know, I have no interest in the outcome of the Brit Awards whatsoever. I don't like Adele, I have only a dim idea of who Ed Sheeran is and I find Coldplay inestimably dull.

But it does have a red carpet. And where there's a red carpet there's some pretty dresses to get excited about...

Rihanna in Givenchy Haute Couture

One of my absolute favourite looks of awards season so far, this look is stunning. There's literally nothing I don't love about it. The dress, the accessories, the shoes, the hair, the make up - all gorgeous. And let's all take a minute to admire the leather gloves. Divine.

Jessie J in Falguni and Shane Peacock

So subtle this is not, but what a knock out dress. I'm not usually a fan of this sort of thing, but the detailing on this is exquisite. I especially like the frothy hem. I love the contrast between her jet black hair and accessories and smoky eye make up with the bright red too.

Lana Del Rey in Vivienne Westwood

You can't go too far wrong with a Vivienne Westwood corset dress and this is a stunner. Very simple and with minimal accessories and make up and natural hair, this is a case study in letting a beautifully cut dress do all the talking. Gorge.

Kylie Minogue in YSL

Another very simple, completely gorgeous dress on the Queen of Pop. Love the colour, love the cut, love the embellishment at the waist, love the bling. Nice to see Kylie showing the young pretenders to her throne exactly how it's done!

Pixie Lott in Dolce and Gabbana

Black and red is always a great combination, as this look proves. A great fit with great detailing and another example of minimal accessories letting the dress take centre stage. And her up do is amazing.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Awesome thing of the day: Bill Nighy hits London Fashion Week

I love Bill Nighy. He's just such a dude.

I also love Mulberry. Their status bags make me weep with desire in a way only a certain strata of men can otherwise do.

So this is like awesome squared: Bill Nighy frow (front row) at the Mulberry show at London Fashion Week. Check him out in all his dapper glory, sitting front and centre next to US Vogue's Anna 'Certified Fashion LEGEND' Wintour:

All photos courtesy of Mulberry's blog

Look at him!

Look at his geek chic glasses, classic tailoring and slightly mad hair.

Just look!

Love. That. Man.

Also at Mulberry, the gorgeous Tom Hiddleston with (amongst others) achingly cool, achingly talented actresses du jour Michelle Williams and Elizabeth Olson:

And at the other end of the frow Tinie Tempah and super cool up-and-comer Azealia Banks holding court with Lana Del Rey (clutching her eponymous Del Rey Mulberry bag; well jel of that), Pixie Geldof and Leigh Lezark:

Can we take a moment to appreciate Tinie Tempah's shoes? ... Thank you.

Serious frow love, Mulberry. Anyone that can mix Bill Nighy and Tinie Tempah is all good with me. Imagine if they did a song together...

Monday, 13 February 2012

"Love hurts": Anton and Erin on tour

So I went to see Anton and Erin's latest tour, Let's Do It, this weekend.

Here's a potted review:

  • It was fabulous
  • Lance Ellington is still The Man (especially when clad in a purple tuxedo)
  • Anton's Rear of the Year win was very much deserved
  • If you've seen all the other tours, there wasn't a whole lot of new stuff here. Not necessarily a criticism by the way, just an observation
  • I do have one criticism: the inclusion of Paolo Nutini's Pencil Full of Lead. Regardless of the fact I think it's a terrible song, the main problem was it didn't fit with the rest of the show and therefore felt like filler. Which is unfortunate given it was Erin's solo spot
  • The return of the O Fortuna tango from Cheek to Cheek was very much welcome. Hot stuff.
  • You should go and see it
  • You should go and see it now.
In conclusion, I enjoyed an Anton and Erin tour show. Nothing new or eventful here. Why bother blogging it at all?

Well before and after the show were somewhat eventful. On the way, I got the heel of my (gorgeous, bright red and now slightly scuffed up) shoe stuck in a hole in the pavement. This resulted in quite a heroic incidence of falling over. Both knees were cut open in two places and really sore - the bruises are impressive - and I obviously went heavily onto my right hand as I still can't move or put pressure on my thumb properly. (Mum, if you're reading this I'm going to see a doctor tomorrow, promise). We were also running a bit late so I didn't have chance to clean my knees up before sitting down for the show. I don't know if you've ever felt had to extract bits of your tights from a congealing scab? Yeah, I did that in the interval and it's NOT pleasant.

Anyway, after the show we headed backstage as is the tradition. I should at this stage explain that the other half of 'we' was my male friend Chris, who is like 6'2" and very clearly not a woman. 

This detail apparently escaped the notice of the lovely Erin who met us at the stage door with an enthusiastic 'Hello ladies!' followed by a hasty '...and gentleman'. We laughed at that. Well, I laughed at that.

I decided, after some egging on from Chris (and necking half a bottle of wine at the interval), to tell Anton about my various wounds as a way of proving my status as Dedicated Fan. His response was priceless, and the real point of this post. After some quality hugging time he turned to me and said:
Well, they do say love hurts
And I have the bruises to prove it.

Grammys: Best Dressed

There's something fabulous about the Grammys. They're so brash, so bling. As a consequence the fashion is often - how shall I put this? - questionable. This year was no exception (Nicki Minaj, Fergie I'm looking at you) but there were some great looks too.

You know the drill by now. In no particular order etc etc:

Rihanna in Giorgio Armani

When you've got a body like hers, why bother with anything fussy? The clean lines and minimalist design of this dress show Rihanna off to amazing effect. Great accessories too - gold and black just works. Still unconvinced by her 80s hair though!

Kate Beckinsale in Zuhair Murad

Why was Kate Beckinsale at the Grammys? Who knows but her dress is stunning. I'm a huge fan of Grecian style draping and this dress shows exactly why. It's just flattering, whatever your figure. Lovely natural beauty look too. (In the unscientific test I do on my Pinterest Awards Season 2012 board this look was a runaway winner by the biggest margin of the season so far)

Kelly Rowland in Alberta Ferretti

Girlie loveliness. The detail on the bust is stunning and the colour is beautiful. Another less-is-more beauty look with minimal accessories - why do you need accessories in a dress this gorge?

Kelly Osbourne in Tony Ward

What was I saying about the Grammys being bling?! I love this assymetric column gown, especially the clever draping at the waist which really shows off a fabulously trim figure. Still unconvinced by the hair colour though.

Taylor Swift in Zuhair Murad

A second hit for Zuhair Murad - nice to see someone other than the usual big boys achieving that.The detail on this dress is so intricate and beautiful, and the colour is just the right nude tone for someone of Swift's colouring. Personally would have preferred a slightly less severe hair style, but overall still a great look.

BAFTAs: Best Dressed

I like the BAFTAs. They do have a certain pleasingly British quirkiness to them that the big LA ceremonies just don't have. They also tend to produce the winners list I agree most with and I was totally thrilled to see The Artist, Jean Dujardin, Meryl Streep and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy walk away with awards last night.

But enough of that. Let's look at the fashion (spoiler: contains a man).

Michelle Williams in H&M

Yes you read that correctly. One of the biggest and coolest stars of the red carpet chose high street. Admittedly bespoke high street, but still. Regardless of who designed this dress, I love the simplicity of it and the fit is perfect for her boyish figure. I love the wit of the Olympia Le-Tan Arthur Miller clutch too (Miller was of course Marilyn Monroe's husband and Williams is award nominated for playing Monroe).

Meryl Streep in Vivienne Westwood 

One word: regal. Amazing, super flattering cut with immaculate hair and make up. Love the cropped jacket too which is edgy without going overboard. A fabulous look on a fabulous human being.

Fearne Cotton in Moschino

Proof that you don't have to be a Hollywood A Lister to steal the show on the BAFTA red carpet. The colour of this is fab and the jewels are beautiful. I love the definition that the black belt and dark jewelled neckline give too.

Melissa George in Victoria Beckham

Good to see Victoria Beckham getting a proper red carpet Moment. This sequinned beauty is pure glamour and George carries it off with aplomb. Pared down accessories make sure the dress does all the talking whilst the vampy hair and make up give the look a lush Old Hollywood vibe.

Eddie Redmayne in Burberry

The first bloke to make it into my top 5s this season is gorgeous Burberry model/actor/general bright young thing Eddie in a Burberry velvet tux. I have to admit I have a serious thing for velvet DJs and there were a lot of them on show at the BAFTAs (see also: Kenneth Branagh, Cuba Gooding Jr and Tom Hiddleston) but on balance I think the lovely Eddie wears it the best. Just. Extra points for the perfectly jaunty pocket square too.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Awesome thing of the day: Jean Dujardin's villain auditions

Two awesome things in one week? That's just how awesome Jean Dujardin is.

And I couldn't not post this. It's just brilliant.

Courtesy of the good folks at Funny or Die: Jean Dujardin's Villain Auditions

Did I mention that I love him? I think I probably did.

I now love him more.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Awesome thing of the day: Jean Dujardin & George Clooney bromance (AKA the Oscar nominees luncheon)

I love Jean Dujardin.

Like, obsessively.

Since seeing The Artist (genuinely the best film I've ever seen) he's joined the elite list of men over whom I obsess like a fifteen year older. George Clooney is also pretty easy on the eye. Or smoking hot, to be accurate. So the awesomeness of them getting all bromance-y at the Oscar nominees luncheon is colossal.

Bonus Brad Pitt FTW
And, from the same event, some added awesomeness: Kenneth Branagh meets Brad Pitt:

That's a whole lot of hotness, or at least a whole lot of men I fancy, in one place. I'm off for a cold shower.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Awesome thing of the day: Keira Knightley in Burberry

Ok so technically this was the awesome thing of yesterday night, but still.

Can we all just take a moment out of our day and look at this dress please? Because it's perfect.

How good does she look?! Amazing colour, beautiful cut, fabulous hair and make up, and that pout!

And just for added awesome, here's Michael Fassbender and Viggo Mortensen taking a spin around the dancefloor at the same event.

I love how into this Viggo looks. Mind you, dancing with Fassbender who can blame him?

Monday, 30 January 2012

Screen Actors Guild Awards: Best Dressed

Ah the SAGs. The award ceremony with the worst acronym and the least publicity. And this year some pretty uninspiring fashion, for my money anyway.

I've picked my five favourites below but in truth no one really grabbed me the way they did at the Globes earlier in the month. I guess it's just a question of personal taste, but for me it was just all a bit... safe.

That said, here are my top five in no particular order (all of whom I think look gorgeous, previous comments notwithstanding):

Amber Heard in Zac Posen

Not usually a fan of fish tail dresses, but this slinky number does the look subtly. Same goes for the cut outs. A master class in dressing for your shape, the aforesaid cut outs draw attention to all her best bits and the overall look is a modern take on the classic Hollywood vamp. Not convinced about the Jedward-esque quiff though!

Emily Blunt in Oscar de la Renta

The colour of this dress is stunning. It hangs really beautifully too. I like the detail on the bodice and the silver accessories are great against the vivid colour of the dress. 

Lea Michele in Versace

It's so Versace it's almost a cliché and it's try hard but jeez how good does she look?! Love the draping on the bodice, love the accessories (silver strikes again - and can we just all take a moment to look at those amazing, pointed Cassadei pumps?!) and love the pared down hair and make-up. I find all things Glee very annoying. I wish they'd stop dressing so damn well!

Jessica Chastain in Calvin Klein Collection

Such an amazing colour that really shows off the uber simple cut of this dress. CK is the CKing of pared down futuristic fashion (Jennifer Lawrence at last year's Oscars anyone?) but the simplicity of his gowns is what makes them special. Gorgeous earrings too.

Natalie Portman in Giambattista Valli Couture

Beautiful colour, beautiful cut, beautiful detailing. More love for the silver accessories too. Quite why she chose to skip the red carpet whilst wearing this I'm not sure!