The wonderings, ponderings and other 'ings' of me. Lifestyle, review, news and opinion posts. Chic with a hint of sarcasm... hopefully!

Thursday 30 May 2013

Should we be Grateful for Gatsby?


So the long awaited latest Luhrmann offering has finally hit our cinemas and the critics it seems are out for blood.  I thought I’d have a go at reviewing the film without the inconvenience having read the book (thereby sidestepping those pesky preconceptions that come when one story is told in two medium).

So basically it’s about a young man Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) who finds himself involved in a debaucherous lifestyle led by his new friend and neighbour, the Great Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DeCaprio).  Gatsby just happens to be in love with Carraway’s cousin (Cary Mulligan) who is unfortunately married to, well her husband (some other dude).  Gatsby sets about securing the object of his affections with all his wealth and intrigue which ends in a tragic twisted finale of love, death, big cars and mind-numbingly beautiful clothes.

Firstly I should say that if you’re not a fan of over-the-top crazy extravagance in your films you’re not likely to enjoy this (or any Baz Luhrmann) epic anyway.  This is not a delicately told love story but one of crass extravagance and overtly paraded wealth of the 1920’s upper echelon.

It’s a spectacle for sure, invading your senses with colours, noises and actions.  The party scenes in particular are a mesh of dances, drunken carryings on and well more drinking.  There is something going on in every corner of this film, so much so that you could spend a great deal of time watching the extras and still enjoy it.  Except you won’t cos Leo is quite enchanting.  Really though, my issue is with the other characters not how they are portrayed. 

It’s Daisy that needs a smack round the head with a wet fish (and is about as interesting as one, Lord only knows why Gatsby is so into her.)  The pathetic creature actually says this of her child ‘I hope she’s a fool, a beautiful fool, that’s the best thing a woman can be in this world.’ Oh COME ON! Its 1922, Amelia Earhart is alive and well and soon to be heading off across the pacific and Pankhurst has just helped get you the power to vote, and the best you think a woman can be is a fool?!

Honestly all the women are weak or weird in this film and the men generally aren’t any better, with the exception of Gatsby that is.   Luckily Leo’s honest portrayal of a man in love saves the film as he manages to break your heart, make you laugh and charm the pants off of you in each scene.  His only faux pas being the amount of times he says ‘Old Sport’, it’s at least 5 times per scene sometimes twice in a sentence.  After about an hour (and the films 2.2) I’d heard it so much I considered drowning myself in the leftover champagne being poured into a spittoon during one post-party scene.

A word has to be said about the soundtrack which is both genuinely exciting and self-praising craziness from Jay-Z and his clan.  Kanye West and BeyoncĂ© both contribute and I wouldn’t be surprised if trawling through the credits you found Kim Kardashian noted as a backing singer.  His poorly timed diss of Taylor Swift in 100 $ bill (implying that she’s more famous because his fwiend jumped on stage and snatched her 2009 MTV award away) is a cheap shot and I’d expect better of him.  That said the contributions from Lana Del Rey, Florence and the Machine, The XX and Emile Sande pull the track listing into something more than the self-indulgent whining of two spoilt hip hop princes who don’t know quite how lucky they are.

So yes it’s too long, yes the people in the story are vile and yes the soundtrack is a little odd, but if you look at the real stars of the show (the costumes and set design) you’ll not be disappointed. Some of the items made by Catherine Martin (with a little help from Prada) were exquisite; I didn’t even mind Mulligan’s sappy face when she wore that lilac dress.

The problem I think is that it was so highly anticipated that expectations rose exponentially, it was then delayed which only added to the hype.  Hoopla was whipped up so that when it actually came out, the only thing that would have truly sated the critics would have been if Gatsby himself literally jumped off the screen, spewing the answer to world peace whilst simultaneously handing out Louboutins to each and every member of the audience.

Which actually, come to think of it, maybe the answer to world peace, “free shoes people, anyone still interested in fighting? No? Good!

Tuesday 28 May 2013

Cannes Carpet Critique!

So Cannes is in the can and the best film they could come up with seems to have been about a lesbian with blue hair, I honestly couldn’t comment having not seen it.  However what I have seen was the myriad of red carpet dresses that were paraded around and so donning my dress-judgy hat (it’s one of many I assure you) lets dig into the array of wonderfulness that was the Cannes Red Carpets…

Tilda Swinton

Channelling Spencer 'Wankee-face' Matthews from MIC's hair and wearing gold pyjamas The best I could say here is at least she remembered to wear a little lipstick.

Karlie Kloss

Giving a nod to the roaring 20’s (how very Gatsby) Karlie looked every inch the sophisticated starlet.

 Marion Cotillard

Was elegance personified in her Dior Gown.  Loved the flash of the silver shoe too!

Heidi Klum 

Giving us a real flash back to the Dynasty era with her one shoulder padded studded white number.  I get that she 'stunning and single' but seriously love, unless you want to start being compared to Madonna you may want to put it away (just once in while!)

Mila Jolivich

You know I’d have raved about this look if she hadn’t had a ribcage like an old washing board.  You could seriously see every inch of her skeletal frame and it was about as sexy and attractive as a large turd.  Had the dress a little more coverage on top it would have been one of my favourites.

Katerina Graham 

And the award for looking least like herself had to go to the witch from Vampire Diaries.  The Marylin Monroe Blonde Bombshell look was among the worst I have seen in a while and the orange 70’s designed dress, though well fitted made me itch just looking at it. Whoever told her that she should try this look is a short sighted moron, everyone's allowed a style hiccup once in a while (thank God) but please learn from this and shoot your stylist K  WORST DRESSED

Emma Watson

Emma was her usual sweet self, and looked lovely in her Chanel Gown at The Bling Ring premier (another film I just have to watch!)  I’d love for her to take a bit more of a risk but there’s no faulting the turnout.

 Zhang Ziyi

However my new favourite Style Star has to be Zhang Ziyi.

The Chinese actress (whose films I should probably at least skim over if I’m going to praise her so) turned up in Chanel, Dior and Elle Saab to name but a few and looked ravishingly elegant in all of them.  Best Dressed of the whole epic event by about a million miles!


Friday 17 May 2013

Baftas Blog

Here it is. The red carpet event that, as much as I hate to admit it, really does show British TV Stars have such a hard time doing OTT glam in comparison to our friends across the pond. Thankfully there were a good few offerings that get Thee Middle Sister Seal of approval…


Laura Whitmore: understated yet glamorous, casual yet red carpet ready. Loving this look.
Kara Tointon: loving the 1920’s vibe and that she was one of the few that actually went to real hairdressers rather than getting her hair done at Supercuts (eh Jenna Louise Coleman?) Though you can’t see them in this picture I thought the shoes were a little clunky for the delicate detail of the rest of her outfit, but a lovely look nonetheless.BEST DRESSED

Tess Daly: again with the 1920’s look (didn’t I say this would come in!) Not usually one of my favourite dressers, this time she’s actually done quite well. Brownie points for the woman devoid of personality.

Mille Mackintosh: skinny as a rake is a saying made for this girl, though she does look lovely and managed the whole ‘wind-blowing-skirt-incident’ well which showed a lot of class.


Binky: ahh Binks! Love that you don’t care, hate that you turned up to a red carpet event in a dentist swill pink jumpsuit. Honestly this is a horrible outfit but please never change, well you can change out of this (and the sooner the better). Just know that your down to earth attitude is why we love you so!

Holly Willoughby: Although she's put together well this look does not suit her gorgeous hourglass figure. I reckon her stylist must have been suffering from a relationship break up to let her go out in this – unless Hols is up the duff again? In which case congrats, and under the circumstances you look smashing!

Sienna Miller: Nothing bad about this per say but it’s her dull as ditch water attitude to style that I’m so bored of. Almost makes me wish for the time when she was shacking up with that Getty bloke just so she’s not as dull to write about. Nice shoes though.


Tina Malone: This is a joke, right? WORST DRESSED

 Next stop CANNES!


Tuesday 7 May 2013

Anyone for Met Ball?

Oh goody, its rolled around again, the red carpet that (if you believe the stories) banned Kim K from walking last year - though it seems Ms Wintour had something to say about that this year as Kimye and Anna had supper the other night.  One can only dream of the scintillating conversation that flowed at that dinner party.

The theme of Punk Chaos to Couture proves if you pose it correctly, you can get Hollywood's elite to look mahoosively daft in the name of fashion (though that's hardly a new aim now is it.) Shall we?

BAD: Aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh what the fuck is this meant to be Kim? The matching shoes, the matching gloves? she looks like a large bowl of potpourri! Look at Kanye's face, even he knows this is bad!

GOOD: SJP - Any excuse to wear a Philip Treacy eh Sas?  I actually quite liked this one, True its a little 'Last of the Mohicans', but at least she's made an effort to go along with the theme whilst still looking high end.

BAD:The Fanning sisters, a true image of younger sister going for a look that will take the limelight off of her older sister, and failing, GOOD: Dakota looked amazing while Elle looked just plan odd, but at least she has youth on her side, the same can't be said for 

BAD: Ginifer Goodwin.  this is not couture or cool or anything other than bad crayoned on make up.  EPIC FAIL!

GOOD: Katy Perry, Yep she looks a little odd but she can seriously pull off the punk vibe and added a little of her own style to the look, me likey.

BAD: Miley, oh my(ley).  Can anyone say Madonna circa 1980, speaking of..

WORST: Madonna, Seriously? Lourdes's therapy just stretched out to her 30th Birthday after this outfit!

GOOD: Cara, Alright this girl is SO annoying as she has completely saturated the market with her image, but on this occasion she does look pretty darn hot (though her job is to look good in clothes so you would hope she could pull off a dress like this).

MEH: Sienna Miller, Whilst you look lovely dear, please note 'punk' doesn't just mean adding a studded leather jacket to a white dress. 

BEST: Anne Hathaway! finally after a seriously long time of looking like a bit of a douche, my Anne comes out guns blazing again.  Not everyone can rock a dark brown to platinum blonde (take note Leigh Lezark) but Anne can.  Nice to see she's still friends with Valentino as well after the Oscars Fiasco!

Did I miss anyone you thought deserved a mention (good or bad!)

Sunday 5 May 2013

& Other Ideas?

What happens when a low end high street chain gets big ideas?  Well they have designers like Mary Katrantzou adding their name to their list of designer contributions, they get Helen Hunt to wear one of their dresses to the Oscars, they start a Conscious Collection and then they open a higher end high street store in Regents Street, London.

H & M saw all these things come to pass with the opening of & Other Stories on 8th March 2013.  NEVER one to turn down the chance to see how the next big thing is fairing after the initial hoopla of the opening events, my partner in style and I ventured into the City to have a gander and what they had on offer.

And on first glance it came across a little unfinished.  Air conditioning pipes weren't overly active (though were highly visible) and the fitting room signs seemed to be made up of 4 pieces of card stuck together .  And then it hit me, this is the look.  Were I a fresh faced 22 yr old fashion student I'd have seen it straight away but I fear time is turning me into my mother and I had to control the temptation to call a plumber and electrician in to fix the place up. Now firmly in the zone I could see that & Other Stories was going for a creative conceptual vibe, it felt like you were in an undiscovered designer's studio, where the clothes were being created there and then.

While the prices were higher than H & M's stores and some of the items were of a good quality, their sizing is a little off.  A size 12 person (ahem!) would be forced to part with their hard earned cash on a size 14 pair of shorts (and that's something no girl likes to do).  They also seemed to considerably struggle with stocking the obviously popular items.  There was only one of their edgy black mesh tops available (and that one had a pull in it.) That said the jewellery, accessories and make up were appealing and the shoes with their concept heels made for a nice change of pace from the usual high street offerings. 

& Other Stories know their target audience, their purchaser would likely be slight of figure and line free of face, and while I fear I may have missed the boat here, for this generations young, thin fashionistas, the next concept in high street designs has arrived.

 Some pictures provided by one Mrs Lauren Thomas 

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