Thursday, 27 February 2014

THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERHERO GIRL






I've not had this book for a long time, but I've already re-read it several times.  The latest graphic novel by Faith Erin Hicks (who I've written about before) is funny, sweet, and beautifully drawn and coloured.  It deals with the awesome-ness of being a superhero - having special powers and being able to save lives - along with the issues of where to actually buy a cape.  And what if you stumble into your nemesis at a job interview?  Also did you ever think about whether or not Batman et al put on sunscreen around their masks?  Superhero Girl has to deal with some pretty weird tan lines.

It's great.  Five enthusiastic thumbs up.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

TOKYO DISNEY SEA
















My band Summer Camp played our first show in Tokyo last week.  Before we went I was so excited/worried that I'd built up the city way too much in my head and that it wouldn't live up to my expectations.  I was thinking about it A LOT you guys.  Well it exceeded them.  I fell completely in love, I don't think I've ever been so sad to leave somewhere, it was actually a bit unsettling.  My first ever holiday romance was with a city, and I was completely overwhelmed by all the things to see, do and eat.

The show we played at O-Nest was really fun - thanks to everyone who came.  And thank you so much to Sam and all the people at Alive who put us on.  We loved the way they put the booking power into the hands of their audience - it was wonderful to have that connection with the people who came to see us in Tokyo.  Oh and it also gave us the chance to buy masses and masses of matcha and cream cheese-flavoured Kit Kats. 

Anyway, today's post is all about Tokyo Disney Sea.  I've been to Disney in California and Florida several times (I'm kiiiiinda obsessed), so I loved going to a park that neither of us had been to before.  Especially since it had brand spanking new rides they don't have in the other parks, and a concept and layout entirely its own – the Mysterious Island area was a particular favourite.  And the food, oh boy, the food.

It's famously the most expensive theme park ever built, and we were awed by the design. You enter the gates and are immediately confronted by a chunk of a 1930's New York harbour on the left, and a gorgeous miniature Venice on the right.  Oh and a huge volcano slap-bang in front of you.  Then Mickey and Minnie arrived on a huge ice-cream-shaped boat, singing a delightful song of welcome, telling us it was the "year of happiness". And then the volcano exploded.  Yep.  Brilliant.

We had pretty much the perfect day.  Tiramisu ice cream sandwiches at 11am, walking around with mouse ears on our heads all day, the brilliant rides, amazing Japanese food at Restaurant Sakura on the waterfront, and then when we were taking photos of my outfit two super lovely girls asked to be in the photo with me.

Speaking of the outfit, it's an ASOS leopard print skirt (which has a matching jumper!), and the top is from Lazy Oaf. I wore it loads during the week, I love pizza, and I especially love clothes that talk about pizza.  

Love you forever Tokyo Disney Sea. 



Monday, 24 February 2014

STYLE DISSECTION: LAST DAYS OF DISCO




I don't know about you, but I've always been a bit wary of the disco outfits from the 70s and early 80s. So many creations from itchy man-made fabrics, clothing you're going to be gyrating in all night – surely that's a recipe for disaster? And the their glitzy look walks the fine line between fun/chic and just, well, cheap.

However, I recently re-watched Last Days Of Disco and was pleasantly surprised by how much I like the costumes. The rules for success when it comes to classic party clothes seem to be a great cut, heavy on sequins, and keep the jewellery simple or even non-existent.

If you've not seen Last Days Of Disco, which was directed by Whit Stillman and released in 1998, it's the story of two female Hampshire graduates – Charlotte and Alice – who work at a publishing house by day, and by night attend the hottest 80's clubs in Manhattan. The club scene of the early 80's is portrayed as a wonderful time of freedom to be who you want and dress however you want. Yuppies getting down alongside two men who've dressed as a harlequin and a lion (below) is a particularly awesome moment.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

INSPIRED BY: THE CRAFT









I had so much fun putting together an outfit inspired by The Craft after doing a Style Dissection of the film a couple of weeks ago.  It's not a look I would ever normally wear, but it felt pretty badass, and it was totally worth the pain to get that nose ring (it's fake).  The leather jacket is from Warehouse and was warm and cosy so I hardly minded that I had bare legs above the knee (in February).  I'm pretty sure any floral dress would have worked, but I think having a bit of black in the print was more "Nancy".  

I'm also glad it required trying out a darker lipstick.  I rarely stray from my standard letterbox red - I have a shoebox under my bed gathering dust, filled with lipsticks that are all basically the same colour.  It's dumb, so it was nice to have the excuse to try something darker.  This lipstick is from Lord and Berry and it's their 'Vogue' one in Black/Red.  It's lovely and matte and stayed put for ages.  

The cross necklace is from Religion, it really should be a rosary, but it was the closest I could get.  

On the day we did the photos (by the way, massive thanks to Jeremy who takes all these) the weather was bright, but as soon as we went outside the wind started blowing.  Really blowing (see photos below).  Now, while I can't be certain that it was Manon, I'm 98% sure it was.  I also can't promise that I won't keep dressing like this and potentially discover my dark side and the innate magical ability that doubtless dwells deep within me.  So if halfway through our next gig I suddenly run my hands over my face and hair and morph into Jeremy...well...alert the authorities I guess.  Who are the magical authorities?  Dumbledore?


Thursday, 13 February 2014

STYLE DISSECTION: A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN





So, what I didn't realise when I watched this film for the first time many, many years ago, was that the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was real.  It was a league founded for female players during the second World War, and existed between 1943 to 1954.  During which time, according to Wikipedia, 600 women played ball.  Of course I know those women as Dottie, Kit, and "All the way" May, fictional characters in the 1992 film League Of Their Own.  Who were played by Geena Davis, Lori Petty and Madonna respectively.  Yeah, that's right, Madonna. 

Here she is timing how long Tom Hanks takes to pee (you kinda had to be there). 

Monday, 10 February 2014

ASOS S/S 2014 SHOWROOM VISIT






A couple of weeks ago I had the treat of visting the ASOS showroom in their expansive, gorgeous, offices.  While there I sneaked a peak at the upcoming S/S collection, which will hit the site pretty soon.  It's mighty fine, I have to say.  Lots of pastels, a catalogue of co-ordinates, and rows and rows of beautiful dresses.  Print also features heavily. I took a photo of their inspiration for the season (below) and as you can see it's heavy on purples and pinks, chevron prints, and diagonals.  Oh, and swirly oil-and-water type colours. 

Friday, 7 February 2014

STYLE DISSECTION: THE CRAFT




So now that Fairuza Balk (AKA Nancy from The Craft) is narrating the documentary we're soundtracking, I'm eager to fully assess the outfits of those teenage witches.  I remember watching The Craft when it was first released.  My sister had rented the VHS from Blockbuster and I pinched it out of her room and watched it secretly.  I loved the film, but was also pretty scared by it.  I've always been fascinated by witches and used to pretend I was one (I have home-made spell books to prove it - they're totally bonkers) but the idea that magic could corrupt and destroy was relatively new to me.  It's something they didn't cover much in The Worst Witch books.  Mildred Hubble had no interaction with boys, and never had to deal with racism.  

The Craft was released in 1996, and it's set at a Catholic school, so there are a lot of kilts, mountains of tartan/plaid, and a great line in knee socks, which is obviously excellent. 

However, often they wear their regulation skirts, blazers, shirts and ties with ankle socks and sneakers.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

FILMS FILMS FILMS: FEBRUARY 2014


February seems to be the month you go to the cinema with a serious face and watch serious drama about serious, important issues.  Fine by me, I can do serious.

That said, it's also the month that Lego Movie is released, and I'm pretty sure that isn't going to be presenting us with too much in the way of challenging subject matter, but maybe it's a metaphor for our society's increasing acceptance of plastic surgery...We just don't know. Yet.

Monday, 3 February 2014

RECIPE FOR MOCHA CAKE





When I was at school my mum had a much-loved tradition of making my sister and I a coffee cake on the first day back in September.  It gave me the Pavlovian response of: September = you need to start working hard again = "ooh coffee cake".  Now whenever the leaves turn and there's that first autumnal chill in the air I start dreaming of my mum's perfect back to school treat.  

But it's not autumn now, it's winter (although yesterday felt thoroughly spring-like, but let's not talk about that too much - I don't want to jinx it), so I've played around with the standard coffee cake recipe slightly, introducing some chocolate sponge into the mix and adding some grated chocolate on top.  

This recipe is a bit tricky.  I'm going to warn you about that now.  But if you think about it for approximately three minutes before you start, and work out how you're going to do it in your head - you'll be fine.  The issue is that half way through the process you have to split the batter and make two different cake mixtures, but we'll do it together, it'll be easy.