Thursday, 6 May 2010

Election Fever

 So what'll it be - Red, Yellow or Blue?

I know that my blog is not one for politics and you've probably been hearing enough about the elections as it is but I figured that on today of all days I couldn't not mention it.

The 'Great Election' is drawing to a close tonight and after all the gobbledygook policies, promises and 'politician speak' we've been hearing for the past God-knows how long, it's finally time to for us to decide who we believe. What team are you on? Whoever you vote for, whatever the reason, it's important to vote full-stop. It would be silly not to use your voice if you have one right? And also, as a mate at work said the other day, you can't go complaining later on if you didn't vote in the first place.

Image courtesy of the Sky News Blog

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

My Irish Love

A photographer, like a painter or an illustrator, creates an image intending to evoke a response in the person who views it. The degree of the response will vary of course, from the ‘huh, that’s interesting’ to the ones when your head cocks to the side and really makes you think. They might change your perception about a subject or inspire you to go and do something you wouldn’t normally do. Recently I’ve been inspired by an Irish photographer, Hugh O’Malley, whose work has a dual effect of calming me and bringing out my cheeky side (speaking of cheeky, I caught my 3-year old nephew scolding his pants calling them ‘cheeky’ a few days ago. Now the fascinating thing wasn’t him calling his pants cheeky – ok so it wasn’t the only fascinating thing – but more of where he learnt the word ‘cheeky’ from! I digress...) 
These pictures are from a test shot Hugh did portraying a woman who’s strong yet soft. There’s a vulnerability to her and the fact that she’s in her underwear brings this out even more. But in her eyes, especially in the picture with the fur stole where she’s looking directly at the camera, lets you know you can’t mess with this one. The feel of the pictures brings to mind a song by Jordin Sparks, a line from it reading “just ‘cause I think of you in bed, don’t let it go to your head”. Anyone else want to prance around London in just fur and HUGE hair after seeing these pictures?

Monday, 3 May 2010

Princess Grace

“There hasn't been such a demand for a girl since (Ingrid) Bergman. She's a lady without being starchy - that's how they dub Grace Kelly" quote from the article - New Queen of Hollywood.

I might not have been alive during her time, and in fact she had sadly passed away four years before I was born, but having lived in Philadelphia for a while I like to think that we might have crossed paths spatially, if not temporally. Before Grace became Princess Grace of Monaco she was a Philly girl – born and raised – and started her acting career at the wee age of 12 starring in popular MGM movies including 14 Hours, Dial M for Murder, To Catch a Thief and High Society alongside Bill Crosby and Frank Sinatra. MGM costume designers Edith Head and Helen Rose kept Grace looking stylish in all her roles and Helen also designed Grace’s dresses for both the civil and traditional marriage ceremonies to Prince Rainier III. Interestingly a sub-plot of the movie High Society, Grace’s last, paralleled her own forthcoming marriage to the Prince – imagine the media frenzy when the queen of Hollywood as she was dubbed became actually royalty. Back to the wedding; David Evins made matching shoes to go with her dress for the civil ceremony dress, she wore jewellery from Van Cleef & Arpels and smelled of Fleurissimo, the exclusive scent made for Grace by perfumery House of Creed. Wedding presents from the Prince? But of course. The wedding must have been quite an elegant sight as even the Prince designed the uniform he wore himself. Speaking of her wedding day Oscar de la Renta said she gave a new meaning to the word icon and described her as an ageless bride.

Now, these wedding dresses might have been the last outfits made for Grace by Edith or Helen, but it was far from being the end of a stylish Grace (or the last time a dress was made for her full stop. She was loved by designers and wore dresses by the best couturiers of the time – Balenciaga, Marc Bohan at Dior, and Hubert de Givenchy; lucky girl). Grace Kelly was a style icon before she became a princess, and even up until she died she still inspired modern day fashion. I could go on for a lot longer about the details of her wedding alone, and that only lasted for two days, let alone the rest of her very fashionable life. Princess Kelly continues to be a standard for beauty, grace and style and the exhibition at the V&A celebrates her life looking through her fabulous wardrobe.

Grace Kelly, Style Icon. Now at the V&A until 26th September 2010

Pictures are courtesy of Grace Kelly Online and from Tom Tierney’s Grace Kelly Paper Dolls in Full Colour.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Colour me Summer

With their first birthday coming round the corner nailgirls are certainly painting their little corner of Angel coral, yellow, aqua and green. Why these colours you might ask? These are the latest additions to their colour spectrum – the High Summer 2010 collection. 
Drawing inspiration from Christopher Kane and Burberry Prorsum SS10 amongst others, Lynda-Louise and Joanna, sisters and founders of nailgirls created a new palette of colours that they believe captures the essence of spring and summer months this year. The peachy coral is my favourite hue, but then again that’s a colour I would naturally gravitate towards. I also really liked the aqua, infact of all the colours the only one I can’t imagine wearing is the grassy-green colour #3 polish.
The launch at their boutique spa on Cross Street (off Upper Street) was cheesy twists, seafood canap├ęs and mini-manis galore. To my disappointment we couldn’t actually sample the new colours (the volcanic ash meant a delay in deliveries in time for the launch) and so we had to settle with some of their other own-brand colours. I chose a pretty light blue, a similar shade to the aqua #1 from the summer collection and, although I think it might be quite a bright shade for my skin tone, the more I look at it, the more I like it.
Lynda-Louise and Joanna Burrell 
My manicure - the light aqua blue is the same shade as my wall at home!
Goody bag with nail essentials
The collection officially launches in June 2010 and will be available to buy for £10 each at nailgirls – in the spa or online at 
Nailgirls spa and boutique
50 Cross Street, Islington, London N1 2BA
020 7359 2772

Monday, 19 April 2010

Hideaway Love by Natsuki Otani

Hello lovely people, it's been ages hasn't it? Quickie blog post, you know the illustrator Natsuki Otani? Of course you do! She did the banner for MHIINYC . Well she recently did a collaboration with Urban Outfitters and now you can buy her colourful artwork as prints of skins for you laptop or iPod/iPhone.

Hope you've been enjoying the sunshine recently (at least over the weekend). I have two interviews lined up soon for MHIINYC so look out for those too.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Absence makes the Heart grow fonder

How I have neglected thee. It's not because I have forgotten about MHIINYC but it was the Easter weekend and then my parents flew in plus I started my new job Tuesday right after the Easter weekend and then I'm also gearing up for a training session at church that I'm helping to organise (for our new Multimedia members) as well as a shoot on Sunday (that I'm still not even sure I'll be able to make) *sighs*. I'm thinking I might need to get back on coffee to keep my awake half the time - I have missed having my daily (ok twice-daily) caramel macchiato from Starbucks.

Will post again soon x

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Mooks, Blogebrities and Augmented Reality

Today I went to the Print vs Online panel discussion over at Sketchbook Magazine's pop-up shop which was very insightful with lots of thought-provoking points mentioned. The panel was made up of blogger Susie Bubble, graphic designer and writer Adrian Shaughnessy, trend director at Style Sight Sandrine Maggiani and Becky Smith, previously of Lula Magazine and now of Twin Magazine.

The moderator, art writer Clare Acheson, opened the discussion by inviting the panel members to talk about what they do and if they were more print or online based. Adrian believes in a hybrid future between print and online. He says there will always be a place for books and it's just a matter of finding a way to have best of both worlds. Becky talks about how Twin, unlike Lula, is more a book than a magazine (hence the term Mook) which is completely online with daily updates of the blog and video content. Susie dabbles in both worlds but is primarily online and Sandrine embraces both worlds.

The panel then go on to discuss the differences between print and online and the pros and cons of each medium. One of the points that were raised was the ease of the web in its navigation and in setting up a blog or website, giving individuals a platform to express their opinions without the costs and other setbacks with setting up a printed publication. However with the rise of bloggers, especially fashion bloggers, there's almost a blogger overload (as Becky called it) with bloggers getting younger and younger all trying to become blogger celebrities - blogebrities, like the Bryan Boys and Tavis, and they all want to rise up the ranks and get to seat front row at fashion shows. Can we deal with these many bloggers, should there be regulations for bloggers? Will it be possible to regulate, afterall isn't the beauty of having a blog the fact that you have freedom of speech? Susie and Becky both think blogging is simply another established way of media, especially with fashion. However is it just a thing of the moment, or will it die down eventually?

Going back to print, everyone generally agrees that it's something that shouldn't necessarily die out. It's always nice to have something tangible to flick through and also to be able to disconnect from technology, not having to always read things off a screen. Adrian does make a point that the next generation growing up might not care so much about books, especially if they have gadgets like the Apple iPad. He also says that magazines will probably be fine and newspapers are more likely to become extinct, if you can read all the news on your mobile applications or on BBC online why would you buy a newspaper? Susie agrees and points out that editorial and long features are the positive points about magazines and to that effect bite-size mumbo jumbos and revamped press releases will eventually become more redundant.

A question was asked by the moderator: how do you make a living as a blogger (because with online you expect the content to be free) and also as a magazine like Twin that has very little advertising? Becky and Susie agreed that it was hard, especially with the recession but it's all about being creative. Adrian tells about how people would often sell books or DVDs after talks or events to generate some income and most often have a day job to fund their blogging - a strange hybrid economy he calls it. Sandrine brings up the importance of collaborations and gives the example of Garance Dore collaborating with Vogue Online and stresses the point of being multi-talented. Susie then brings up the point that of course bloggers like Garance and Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist are brands in their own rights and of course this won't apply to every blogger.

The discussion continues on the internet and advances like video and 3D and now Augmented Reality (AR) and and how it will change the way we communicate and media as a whole (AR was first used by Esquire Magazine and recently by Grazia Magazine). Sandrine suggests it as a way for publishers to offer exclusive content only to subscribers but Susie comments that she wonders if locking content will actually hinder people as opposed to letting them access it for free.

 Mini Cupcakes from Love Bakery after the panel discussion

The discussion brought up a lot of other points but it would definitely make too long a post. I did go away from it with two big questions in mind:

1. Just WHERE will technology take us? With 3D printed shoes and AR bar codes in magazines meaning you can actually BE in the photo shoot what else can we expect? Is anyone else even slightly worried about where we could be in say 5 years?
2. Bloggers and blogging, how long will the fascination last for? Especially with some blogs containing less text and more pictures maybe we'll just start having photo/video blogs and no one will even care about words anymore.

The Writings on the Wall

Last night saw the launch of Sketchbook Magazine's pop-up shop in Carnaby as well as the release of the second issue. The ground floor of the shop had pictures and illustrations on the wall from the second issue; 5 Fabulously Colourful women in Fashion by Bryony Lloyd and Susan Keys, Susie Bubble by June Champoomidole, Lloyd Peek's Charlie Le Mindu and one of my favourites, Jack Teagle's Fashion Tips by Danielle Scutt

On descending the stairs little illustrated portraits of the team were hanging on the wall (including one of yours truly!) done by Laura Callaghan. The rooms downstairs all have a different theme, from Jack Teagle's 'office' to the dreamy room created by Annie Driscoll and the viewing den (as I've now named it) with mini-films courtesy of Sketchbook TV and illustrations by Hamza Isa. There were cupcakes (I missed out on unfortunately because I was late), wine and good music by ENL (Eighteen Nightmares at the Lux)

It was an amazing evening and one which I truly enjoyed. I think it was even more special for me because I was the Content Manager for the second issue and so was involved in commissioning most of the illustrations and choosing who we wanted to do what and then receiving the final drawings. As much as I'd seen the illustrations on a laptop screen and then on the flat plan, it was so different seeing them put up on the wall like that. It really was like seeing them for the first time. Also I hadn't seen the girls in a while so it was nice to catch up with everyone as well as putting faces to emails (June will know exactly what I mean).

If you missed it, not to worry, they still have more events up their sleeves. Besides the lectures and discussion sessions there are also two more Live Music sessions on Easter Sunday and the closing party but you better RSVP. Especially after the success of last night I'm sure spaces are even more limited now.



Love the guitarist's half-black half-white trousers

Some of the Sketchbook Girls. From L-R: Siobhan, Rachel, Beth, Sufiyeh, Wafa and I

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Sketchbook Magazine sets up Shop

My very own Sketchbook Magazine (well, not my Sketchbook Magazine but you know *smiles proudly*) launches its Pop-up Shop in Carnaby this evening. For the next three weeks it will be the place to be as they have scheduled workshops, lectures and discussions including guest speakers Maria Francesca Pepe, Lee Lapthorne, Twin Magazine's Becky Smith, Amelia Gregory and cover girl Susie Bubble. I'll be attending the launch party tonight and some of the talks over the weeks so check back here for updates and lots and lots of pictures. They've also got the Sketchbook illustrators to customise the walls so I can't wait to see those too.

Pictures are from the Sketchbook Blog. For the full schedule of events visit the blog.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Waiting for number 48

I bought a new pair of shoes this weekend and so of course when I got home I spent a while parading around in them (don’t pretend you don’t do it too). Whilst doing so this scene popped into my head – revolving around the shoes of course. Magical shoes? Well they are from Primarni. I’ll let you decide...

Samantha White was standing at the bus stop on Bishopgate Street waiting for a bus to London Bridge. The rain had finally subsided, which was just as well, I didn’t want my new cream shoes to get dirty already. I glanced down at them for about the hundredth time that day. “They’re some shoes; those studs could probably hurt someone”. I look up at the slightly dishevelled man who is now smiling at me. I smile back. He wasn’t half bad looking, sure I wouldn’t have picked out that colour shirt for him but I could tell his charcoal suit was from Zara so he scored some points.
“Thank you”, I answer “and yes they do double as a weapon”. “Well it is a dangerous world out there so protection is wise, even if they are in the form of shoes”. I smile and start to play with my hair. “So”, the stranger said, “What’s a girl like you doing waiting for the bus?” “What do you mean a girl like me?” I reply intrigued. “Well you know, you seem like the kind that would have a car, chauffeur driven even”. “Well maybe it’s the driver’s day off”. “Nah, you’d surely have a back up driver, surely”. I laugh at the thought; “I do use the bus. In fact I’ve had some of the funniest journeys on buses” “If you say so Princess”. I giggle at ‘Princess’ and run my fingers through my brown locks.
“You do that a lot don’t you? Play with your hair I mean. You don’t have to keep faffing with it, looks pretty good from where I’m standing”. I blush, “Thanks. Sorry, apparently I do it sometimes when I’m flirting” I peek at him from under my eyelashes. “So how would one know if you were definitely flirting?” I pause and then stretch out my right hand; “I would say ‘hi, my name is Samantha and I think you’re pretty cute’“. He takes my hand in a firm grip, “Just pretty cute?” he smiles. Jesus, he had the cutest dimples. “Uhm, I think a more appropriate response would have been to at least tell me your name, don’t you think?” “My name is Adam and I think you’re hot!” “Haha, you’re just saying that to make me feel bad about calling just calling you ‘pretty cute’”. “Exactly”, he grinned and I get another glimpse of those dimples. “You’re funny”. “I know, right? I get it all the time. I don’t even try you know”

He’s going on and I’m thinking Oh no, not another arrogant guy. I’ve dated his type before. Thank God, saved by the bus. “This is me” I say to Adam and move towards the bus that’s just arrived. “You’re getting the 48 too? What a coincidence”. I couldn’t help but smile at his cheeky grin, coincidence my backside. Adam steps aside to let me get on the bus first.  There aren’t any seats left so I stand in an available spot. I bring out my Blackberry; I need to tweet about my handsome encounter. Adam comes and stands next to me just as the bus begins to move; I’m thrown off balance, into his arms and onto his right foot. The look on his face as he tries to play hero but also hold in his scream is so endearing I have to bite my lip to stop from laughing out loud. “I’m so sorry. Are you okay?” “Fine” he manages to get out, “Are you okay?” “Yes I am. I’m so so sorry”. “Jeez I know you said those heels were a potential weapon but I was trying to help”. “I know and I said sorry. Stop being such a baby”. “I should step on you and see how you like it” Adam retorted. “Now wouldn’t that just be childish?” “Perhaps, but I’m in too much pain to care”.
We both fall into an awkward silence, me because I didn’t know what to say and I guess he was still in pain slash sulking. As the voice on the bus announces London Bridge I glance over at Adam and wonder if I should say something.  “Well this is me. It was nice to meet you Samantha, even though you almost maimed me” Adam’s voice interrupted my thoughts. “It was nice meeting you too Adam. Actually I’m getting off at London Bridge too”. “Uh huh, you wouldn’t just be getting off because I said I was”. There it was again, I guess at least it meant he was feeling better. We both get off the bus and I’m about to walk off towards the station when Adam calls after me, “Will you have dinner with me next Thursday?”
I turn around; “You’re not really my type” I say, “No offense”. “None taken, I just figured that after saving your life the least you could do is agree to have dinner with me. Think of it as a proper way to say thank you for saving your life instead of having stomped on my foot. What do you say?” I hesitate, he is very good looking but the arrogant ones always are. Jonathan was good looking and look at how that relationship turned out. Adam is looking at me expectantly, what do I say? Damn those dimples!

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Flying with your feet (firmly) on the ground

Check out these heels! Aren't they glorious?


I came across them whilst reading Susie's blog, they're part of the Finsk by Julia Lundsten A/W collection. You should read the rest of her post on Style Bubble

That is all I had to say :) I hope you all had an amazing weekend

Friday, 26 March 2010

5 reasons why I won't be wearing clogs

When the rumours of clogs coming back into fashion surfaced I was one of the first to scoff. Clogs? Yeah right. No one's going to want to wear clogs again. Surely not. Even when the March issue of the British Vogue came out featuring Alexa Chung wearing the Chanel clogs I was still desperately trying to resist.
I have to admit that my resistance has been weakening more and more ever since. But just when I thought I was getting over my addiction slight interest in the idea of clogs Kurt Geiger changed their home page image to this:

Amazing, beautiful, graceful, long, long limbs... WEARING CLOGS!

Why Kurt Geiger? Why do this to me? *sniff* And I was doing so well you know...

But I shall still resist. I can't and won't go back on my word. I said I wouldn't wear clogs and therefore I shan't *smiles to herself as she makes her mind up* However, I can't stop the rest of you lovely ladies buying clogs. I will say that if I were to indulge my... let's call it interest and purchase a pair (or 3) these would be my top 5 purchases:

(again, this situation is purely hypothetical)

So there you have it, my would-be purchases if I gave in to my 'interest'. Basically I would buy the shoes right off their front page. What do you think, will you be 'clogging' this summer?

3D Printed Shoes

Now when I first read this article a part of me thought "come on seriously, everything can't be 3D" but I was also very intrigued because shoes were involved. Sarah Barnes' post on Fashion156 talks about Melonia, the world's first pair of wearable printed shoes and the science behind how it works; a very interesting read. I am yet to watch the YouTube video and therefore a bit sceptical still but the rate at which technology is growing I wouldn't be too surprised.

Check out the article, what do you think? Just how close are we getting to year 3000 in 2010? If it were true however I would immediately print out these uber cute Emilio Pucci printed shoes - they're just crazy enough for me to want a pair.

Melonia is a creation of two students, Naim Josefi and Souzan Youssouf and their shoes made their debut during Stockholm Fashion Week.