Saturday, 30 August 2014
Wednesday, 27 August 2014
Meet my Caboodle, AKA possibly the best thing to ever happen to my life. Think of the touring possibilities! The snacks and strepsils I can put in this baby! The space for my earplugs and hair products! I read up about Caboodles a lot when I was researching my piece on Almost Famous for Noisey as in the film Penny Lane has a tackle box she takes on the road which is a very early version of the Caboodle boxes that sprung up in the late '80s. (Cher Horowitz also has a silver one FYI). Caboodle's creations were actually based on a very similar tackle box to the one Penny has, which the designers saw Vanna White using in 1986 in People Magazine backstage at Wheel Of Fortune.
You can still buy brand new Caboodles today, but my intense attraction for anything '90s led me to look for a vintage one on Etsy. I've packed it full of scrunchies, crappy eyeshadow, friendship bracelets and glittery nail varnish - exactly what I would have used in the '90s (and, err, still use now). This is what true love looks like. (This is me trying to be Penny Lane with my Caboodle).
Tuesday, 26 August 2014
The Lifetime Saved By The Bell movie is coming on September the 1st, and I am giddy with excitement. The fabulous Anne Donahue has just written about it on The Guardian, so far we know that Dustin Diamond is involved, but it's not based on his extremely dubious book. Thank goodness. The trailer looks sort of wonderful and sort of awful, which is surely how all the best TV reveal-all recreations should be?
Saturday, 23 August 2014
This is a piece I wrote for Noisey about the music and style in the Cameron Crowe classic Almost Famous.
The best time to be in a band? Definitely the 70s. Sure, bands were mostly touring in a bus rather than on a plane, and there wasn't as much money for artists as there would be in the dreamy days of the 80s and 90s. But there was hard liquor, big flares, and the sweet beginnings of rock ‘n’ roll excess.
Almost Famous is set in 1973, when Bowie was still wearing glitter, Led Zeppelin were the biggest band in the world, and 15-year-old Cameron Crowe (the film's writer and director) was calling upRolling Stone, putting on a deep voice, and landing his first writing job. The film is based on Crowe's experiences in the music industry as a sweet-faced teen, sitting side by side on tour buses with Bebe Buell, model, singer and girlfriend to a myriad of superstars including Elvis Costello, Mick Jagger, Iggy Pop, Todd Rundgren, and, most famously, Steven Tyler. Without her we wouldn't have his daughter Liv, or THAT Aerosmith video, so thank god those two got together. It makes sense that when Crowe was penning his autobiographical script he would base the part of Penny Lane (played perfectly by Kate Hudson) at least in part on Buell.
Crowe's version of 1973 seems somewhat more tame than other reports of the time—perhaps because we're seeing it through the eyes of an innocent virgin. Sure, we still get glimpses of the “Riot” Hyatt Hotel in LA, topless girls draped in furs, and hallucinogenic drugs, but it's all pretty vanilla. For example, said drugs are ingested at a suburban teenage party by the fictional band's lead guitarist after he has a crisis of confidence. While wearing these swimming shorts.
This isn't shark meat and orgies. But that's OK, watch Gimmie Shelter or Sid and Nancy for a more gritty take on this glorious but extremely politically incorrect world. Instead Crowe delivers a sweeter version—a young boy falling in love twice, first with music, then with a girl—and a dissection of what it is to be in a rock band who are never happy with their ranking, because their ranking isn't good enough to get them on the cover of Rolling Stone.
But the film isn't just about the music (though that earned Almost Famous a Grammy for Best Compilation Soundtrack). It was just as much about the clothes and all of the decade's astonishing fashion trends: muted colours, platform shoes, suede. And in LA it was all about tassles, fur, peasant blouses, and worshipping long, big, natural hair.
Since the 70s are sartorially back in full swing, with festival fashion reaching a saturation point and runway designers like Prada, Louis Vuitton, and Marni putting a modern spin on the decade's styles for fall 2014, what better time to talk about Almost Famous' iconic wardrobe?
Wednesday, 20 August 2014
This week I wrote about the music and style in Almost Famous - my personal favourite of Cameron Crowe's oeuvre - for Noisey. That West Coast music scene in the '70s was all about big hair, boho, fur, leather and suede, so I tried to incorporate all that into my outfit. And then added an ankle chain. Penny Lane, Crowe's top "band aid" (based loosely on real-life model, musician and lover of rock stars Bebe Buell) ended up being treated pretty badly by the man she loved. But before that happened she spent a summer on the tour bus with Stillwater, seeing America and swearing at school girls, doling out rock 'n' roll wisdom to the innocent William Miller. I would argue that it's impossible to watch the film and not fall a little bit in love with Ms. Lane.
I'm carrying my trusty pale purple Caboodle, which is the closest thing I have to Penny's tackle box that she uses to store essential tour supplies. (I'm going to do a separate post about this box as it deserves it). Needless to say, it's awesome. The clothes: the shoes are my Swedish Hasbeens I've had for years, the skirt is from Y.A.S. (you can get something similar from Forever 21 for £7.99 - how does that work?!) the top and jacket are from ASOS. The necklace and anklet (yes, ANKLET) are both items I've had in my possession for a looooong time.
Guys, it's all happening.
Monday, 18 August 2014
I also love these portraits below of some of the most famous characters as tattooed fans of pop culture. Belle in particular looks like a Daria-esque dream girl. Check out Rodolfo's instagram for more.
Friday, 15 August 2014
This is a piece I wrote for i-D Magazine. It's always a thrill when I get to write for them, as I grew up reading those glossy pages. It now seems like a serious error in judgement not to have Lauren Bacall or even Marilyn or Audrey in this list, but I can dedicate a whole other piece to those sirens of the screen another time.
In films the way a character looks informs, supports or sometimes even challenges the way we perceive them. Make-up becomes a signifier for the character's inner life - that shade of lipstick, those earrings, all reveal an extra layer of personality, and it's very rewarding to analyse and dissect the idea behind them. We can learn a lot from them – I often look to films for style and beauty inspiration. Here are my top five favourite female beauty looks from film.
UMA THURMAN IN PULP FICTION
Mia Wallace knows what works. Her pale skin is dusted with powder; her sleek black bob is striking and shiny. Her eyeliner, blood red lipstick and matching nail lacquer – Chanel's Vamp - are in wonderful contrast to her bright white shirt. This look is crisp, razor sharp, controlled. Which just makes her OD later on even more dramatic.
FAYE DUNAWAY IN BONNIE AND CLYDE
Dunaway is a 30s beauty reimagined by a 60s make-up artist. Soft peach lips, strong brows, pale eyeshadow finished with a flick of black eyeliner and rows of fake lashes. Her hair is worn loose or clipped on one side with a 30s style curl coaxed onto her cheek. Her skin is golden, glowing from days on the run in the heat of summer. A beautiful badass.
ALICIA SILVERSTONE IN CLUELESS
Is there a teenage girl more loved than Cher Horowitz? She's an American icon; beautiful and smart, superficial and spoilt. The classic LA babe, she flicks her blonde blow-dry as she walks through the quad, sports fuchsia lipstick and sparkly eye-shadow on a date, and has the confidence to wear yellow tartan.
JULIA ROBERTS IN MYSTIC PIZZA
Before Pretty Woman and Notting Hill, heck, even before Hook, Roberts played a small town girl who fell for a rich guy. She's boisterous, sassy and sweetly vulnerable. Sure, her hair is in huge 1980s curls that threaten to swallow her face, and her eyebrows are brushed up and filled in. But she's undone and natural and it's perfect.
SHARON STONE IN CASINO
This wife of a mob boss doesn't use makeup, she uses war paint. Ginger is a natural beauty but she accentuates and exploits every feature on her face, and then back combs her hair. Bronzer, smoky eye-shadow, glossy pink lips and chunky jewellery are all locked and loaded in her arsenal, and the result is breath-taking polished gorgeousness.
Wednesday, 13 August 2014
Yep. So this week I roped Jeremy into dressing up as Jerry Seinfeld, while I tried to emulate the style of the excellent Elaine Benes. We also strongly considered dressing up as George and Kramer (bagsy I get to be Costanza) but maybe we'll do that another time. I definitely want Jeremy to only wear this outfit from now on AND NOTHING ELSE. I might hide the rest of his clothes. I don't think he's ever had anything that tight on his waist before, but damn those jeans look good! They're vintage Levis 501s AKA the dad jean of the '90s. The suede bomber (hubba hubba) and burgundy shirt are both from ASOS, and the box fresh Air Max 90s are of course from Nike. I feel like that sneakerhead Jerry would approve.
I'm wearing a vintage floral maxi dress I've had for about a hundred million years, ditto the white T-shirt, ankle socks and black waistcoat (Elaine likes to layer). The denim jacket is from Missguided, the shoes are from Dune (similar here), and the bag is one I got a while ago from Pull&Bear.
Below is my interpretation of Elaine's "STELLA" that she does when she has taken too many painkillers.