Tuesday, 23 February 2010

A Fast statement to fashion

Fashion went "plus size" at Mark Fast at this year's AW10 London Fashion Week.

Hayley Morley (centre) has become the muse for the designer who used models sized 12-16, upto five sizes bigger than the usual models seen on the catwalk.

Morley has recently been snapped up to model not only for Fast, but also for French Marie Claire magazine and high street strore, Evans.

Offers for the model who juggles her fashion work with university, have doubled since her first appearance on the catwalk last September.

While the sizes of these women may be more "normal" than "plus size", the statement made to the fashion world is loud and clear.

Cheryl gives up the fight for this love

Cheryl Cole's spokesperson confirmed today that the singer will split from Chelsea footballer husband Ashley Cole.

Cole arrived back at Heathrow Airport earlier today after fleeing to Los Angeles when allegations of Ashley's cheating surfaced.

Her husband has been accused of more than one infidelity in recent years, but the most recent exposed in the tabloids shows texts and photo messages being sent to other women.

Cheryl's spokesperson confirmed rumours of the split as the Girls Aloud star and solo performer was ushered out of the airport and back to her Surrey home.

She even managed an outfit change mid-journey. Loving the leather!

Monday, 22 February 2010

BAFTA red carpet style

The BAFTA red carpet is always a chance for actresses to show off their fashion credentials. While models parade down London Fashion Week's catwalks, stars showed off their style on Covent Garden's red carpet.

Some went for statement black dresses, including favourite simpleton Kate Winslet, who looked gorgeous in a Stella McCartney gown.

Rebecca Hall also went for a full-length black dress.

Gold was another colour of choice on the night, with Jodie Whittaker, Jaime Winstone and breath of fresh air Precious lead, Gabourey Sidibe opting for the shade. Girls Aloud singer Kimberly Walsh also showed up wearing an embellished gold floor-length dress.

Romola Garai went for a more daring choice in a multi-coloured knee length prom dress.

BAFTA newcomer wins for the Brits

Carey Mullighan did the Brits proud at last night's BAFTAs. She won her award for An Education.
Looking astounded as she picked up her award, she admitted to not having prepared a speech because she thought she would not win.

However, she accepted it with grace and looked stunning in her monochrome floral Vionnet couture gown.

Her new blonde pixie crop looks great too, a far cry from dowdy days playing Kitty Bennett in Pride and Prejudice, shadowing lead, Keira Knightley.

Unique fashion outlook

Unique offered an outdoor alternative wear at London Fashion Week.

One of the most ‘wearable’ collections debuted on the second day of LFW shows a utility feel, with emphasis on equestrian and outdoor influences, even sporting faux animal heads and antlers.

The collection featured focus pieces in earthy hues, sheepskin textures and leather and fur accents.

Silhouettes varied with capes for autumn and beautifully fitted blazers and jackets. Sheepskin collars were a huge hit.

Utility trends made impact on the SS10 catwalks, but the Unique collection sets it as a trend to carry through to AW10.

Knee high riding boots may be one to watch again this season.

In matching countryside theme, hair was backcombed, to accentuate the outdoor, dragged through a bush look?

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Monochrome comeback at Sass & Bide

Black and white was the main theme at Sass & Bide at London Fashion Week.

The AW10 collection showcased an array of monocrome designs with a distinctive african embelishment, ehoeing the tribal influences seen also at SS10.

The collection by Australian designers Sarah-Jane Clarke and Heidi Middleton kept with their signature bold, strong and obscure designs.

Clarke and Middleton said that their inspiration for AW10 is perfectly placed chaos.

Maxi dresses making an impact in AW10

Friday, 19 February 2010

Fashion For Relief

Fashion's favourite supermodel, Naomi Campbell organised a star-studded catwalk show to raise money for pregnant mothers and babies affected by the Haiti earthquake.

Celebrities and models alike took to the runway in Fashion For Relief Haiti put together by Campbell and Prime Minister's wife, Sarah Brown who is the Global Patron for the White Ribbon Alliance an organisation dedicated to helping women and children all over the world.

Stars, Campbell, Kate Moss, Geri Halliwell, James Cordon, David Walliams, Nicola Roberts, Pixie Geldof and Ronnie Barker were among the main attractions, many of which wearing Alexander Mcqueen to pay tribute to the late Lee McQueen who died last week.

Items from Vivienne Westwood, Jaeger and Dolce & Gabbana were also seen.

The show kicked off London Fashion Week, which will run through till next week, but Campbell also showcased the exclusive fund-raising event at New York Fashion Week last week.


To view footage from the show click HERE

Star studded Valentine's

Not since He’s Just Not That Into You have so many stars been on the same screen, but Valentine’s Day has slammed the Hollywood kudos barriers and marched its way onto screens everywhere.

The romantic comedy, from the director of Pretty Woman, starring a host of showbiz favourites ticked all the chick flick boxes with comedic, tear-jerking and love-ridden collaborative performances from; Jessica Alba, Kathy Bates, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Eric Dane, Patrick Dempsey, Hector Elizondo, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Topher Grace, Anne Hathaway, Carter Jenkins, Ashton Kutcher, Queen Latifa, Taylor Lautner, Taylor Swift, Emma Roberts and Julia Roberts (phew!).

A modern- day, US alternative to Love Actually, Valentine’s Day centres around, well, Valentine’s Day following the love lives of its lead characters, which are all interlinked along the way.

Some surprises come along the way, but for the most part the film is pretty predictable. But if you want a simple, light-hearted rom com, then it’s a great watch that will leave you feeling all gushy inside.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

A Precious tale of Hollywood's underworld

Last month saw the release of Precious, a story of real-life, down and dirty hardship that Hollywood so often ignores. Based on the novel, Push by Sapphire, director Lee Daniels brings to the screen a tale so moving and thought-provoking that even after the credits roll, it will not leave you for hours.

Set in the 1980s Harlem, New York, the film follows the heart-wrenching story of illiterate Claireese Precious Jones, a 16 year old who is physically and emotionally abused by her mother, in almost slave-like natures and sexually abused by her drug-addict father by whom she has had two children. Precious is suspended from school for being pregnant with her father’s child and sent to attend an alternative school where she meets teacher Blu Rain (Paula Patton) who helps her tell her story and outrun the tortures of her home life.

The plot is something that cannot easily be ignored. The shocking nature of the story is something which both awes and disgusts audiences. Precious can be described as rough, emotive, unsettling and heart-rending, but the most prominent part of the film is the ray of hope that it exudes. Precious takes you on a journey, a tough journey of love, hate, depression, shock, anger and disbelief. Hope is what brings the film to life. Young ladies who watch this film will no doubt be moved and inspired by the life and profound determination of its lead character.

New star, Gabourey “Gabby” Sedibe debuts her acting career as the lead role in this film, which was first shown at the Sundance Festival. Sedibe embodies the emotional conflict of her character exceptionally. A career defining role, Sedibe may find it difficult to outshine herself from this role, to most audiences she will remain as Precious.

The best thing about Sedibe is her innate ability to slide into the role of Precious without any compatibility problems and without any awkwardness from the first scene in. Sedibe tells the story of Precious, with included voice over narration, in such a captivating way that it leaves trails of sentiment after each subtly empowering monologue scene.

Critics have accused Precious of ‘ramming ideas of hardships of this culture and lifestyle down the audience’s throat’, but Precious is a wake-up call to those Hollywood happy-go-lucky tales of high-flying, high-wage lifestyles which too often grace our screens. It is the tale of life on the other side of the rainbow.

Showing in cinemas from 29 January, Precious shines new light on some famous faces. Executive directed by Oprah Winfrey, roles in the film are played by comedienne and talk-show host Mo’Nique, who plays Precious’ abusive mother, Mariah Carey (who looks decidedly plain), playing a social worker who helps Precious talk about her story, and Lenny Kravitz who plays a very small role as a nurse.

Mo’Nique delivers a performance that allows her humour-ridden background to fade away. She plays the good-for-nothing mother,who admittedly hates her daughter, Precious,  for having sex with her husband. Mo’Nique’s performance is seamless and characterized wonderfully into a character who the audience innately loathe from take one.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

A modern icon: Scarlett Johansson

Turn the page and there she is. Lying on a plush bed, velvet pillows strewn strategically to emphasize the curve of her perfect waistline, enticing the reader into the world where she belongs.

She is a vision of beauty. The kind of beauty that takes you by surprise; that holds you in awe. She captures that air of beauty that is true and authentic. She is both beautiful and stylish. She embodies the image of good looks and style, the kind that make you stop, stare, analyse and groan with a mixture of utter jealousy and sheer adoration.

A modern, twenty-something year old and a confident Hollywood glamour-puss, she is a woman who oozes sensuality with every flutter of her designer-clad eye lashes. She has that type of splendour previously reserved for the likes of Brigitte Bardot, Annie Hall and Audrey Hepburn. She is tantalisingly soaked with that vintage, real beauty and panache which easily qualifies her as an icon of desire and lust and style. Scarlett Johansson is a woman bound in the aura of stylish success.

A recent advertising campaign set Scarlett Johansson as a style icon of the noughties. A series of enticing Dolce & Gabbana campaigns swayed any magazine-flicker to stop and stare. Precociously looking up from the page, she spoke to the reader, without uttering a single word and it was clear that she meant business.

Johansson has the style of a vintage Hollywood starlet and of a modern woman who dresses the way she wants to dress, swaying away from the mainstream and carrying her nonchalant ideas with wit, elegance and grace.

The mainstream of the fashion world is trend-forward with seasons changing quicker than you can imagine, but Johansson needs not the seasons or the knowledge of the latest hot trends because her style is classic, well maintained and perfect for her. The red carpet is her forte where she so effortlessly pulls off beautiful gowns that look as if they have been crafted to adorn her hourglass curves.

Johansson is a testament to the 21st century woman. In a time when skinny is in, self esteem is teetering and the waist line, cellulite and knee fat are more scrutinized than any facial feature, Johansson brings comfort to the women who leaf through the many magazines stacked on shelves only to see figures that have been airbrushed, tweaked and preened to snap shot perfection. The woman looking down at the sexy gaze of Scarlett Johansson is met with understanding and reassurance and not with glorious intimidation.

The next time I, and the many ladies who turn the pages of the glossies in their lunch hour, pass over the image of this modern style vixen we will stop, stare, admire and groan with a mixture of jealousy and adoration, but smile because of the breath of realism she brings into the fashion world.

30 years of British music: A night to remember (for the good not the bad)

The BRITS celebrated its 30th anniversary last night and for the first time in 21 years broadcasted live from Earl’s Court, London.

The music awards show has not been broadcast live since 1989 when Samantha Fox and Mick Fleetwood presented the ceremony and with their radical behaviour on stage caused a monumental stir in the media.

But the risk paid off. The show went down a storm with live performances from Lilly Allen, who opened the show, Cheryl Cole, a duet from Dizzee Rascal and Florence + The Machine, Lady Gaga, Jay Z and Alicia Keys and Robbie Williams.

Gaga dedicated her eclectic and dazzling performance to the late Alexander McQeen, while Robbie performed a fantastic medley of some of his greatest hits after he picked up the prestigious Outstanding Contribution to Music award, previously given to U2, The Rolling Stones and The Pet Shop Boys.

The evening, hosted by Peter Kay, saw many stars pick up much deserved awards. JLS, the boy band who came second to Alexandra Burke in The X Factor picked up two awards.

Gaga picked up a total of three awards, getting more and more emotional with each acceptance speech. She thanked her fans, saying that she loved her British fans so very much. She may have stole the show for the number of awards won, but as usual her choice of outfit also created a stir.

A bouffant of white hair, lace face-mask and eyelashes and a nude and white lace body suit got lots of attention, but did not outshine her great voice and performance.

The star performance of the night went to Dizzee and newcomer Florence + The Machine who sang You’ve got the love; the red-head picked up her BRIT after gaining critical acclamation at last year’s show.

Jay Z showed pride as he picked up his award and noted his achievement of bringing Hip Hop to Glastonbury, an achievement he openly shared with the crowd.

Host of this year’s show Kay kept audiences laughing with his witty banter and jokes throughout the two hour show. Fearne Cotton played her part as backstage host with her usual success and flair.

The bad egg award for the evening went to the infamous risk-taker Liam Gallagher, who, after accepting his award for Oasis’ best album of the last ten years, threw the gong into the crowd. Kay reiterated thoughts from everyone by calling him a “Knobhead” moments later.

After what is sure to go down in history as a great evening and milestone anniversary celebration, those who won, deserved it and those who lost are offered commiserations all around.

Memorable images from the night:

Robbie performed an outdtanding medley of songs

Dizzee and Florence stole the show.

Cheryl Cole 'sang' and danced the night away.
Critics' Choice Ellie Goulding.Gaga shows off her outfit on the red carpet.
An eclectic performance.

JLS and Jonathan Ross.

Leona Lewis sadly missed out again this year.

Lily Allen opened the show with The Fear.

Images from msn.com

I love you more than...

It’s that time of year again. Spring is around the corner, January blues have been stored away ready for an unsightly appearance next year and the shops are filled with roses, hearts and all things lovely. And by lovely, I mean love-ly. As much of a corporate event Valentine’s Day is, when it comes around every year there are always those feelings of ‘what if’ and ‘maybe this year will be the one for me’, but that was not the case this year. It wasn’t the case last year either. But this year is different.

A singleton and selfish with it (come on, being single is fun as well, probably more fun..), this year I spent Valentine’s Day with my girlfriends. Secret Cupid treated us all as we bought each other gifts and cards, had a breakfast date and went for a very enjoyable meal and a drink in the pub. It may not be the height of romance in the eyes of Montague and Capulet, but it was good enough for me.

So as the spring birds sing their songs of love and the couples indulge in the air of Valentine’s; I revelled in the love between friends.

And if all else fails, it’s Pancake Day on Tuesday so I can revel in a bit of Mardi gras instead.