Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Tomorrow is World Aids Day and as I explained a few posts ago many of our favourite online celebrities will face their digital deaths to raise money for, and to raise awareness of, HIV/AIDS. As well as this online campaign, a new concept to raise money for the 'Keep A Child Alive' is also being launched by Alicia Keys. The concept involves scanning the bar code t-shirt a celebrity is wearing so that you can buy their online life back and in turn you raise money for people with HIV/AIDS in Africa and India most artists have vowed that they will not return to the digital world until they have raised $1million.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Isabella Blow - Fashion Icon.

So everyone who knows fashion, knows Isabella Blow. But it only occurred to me yesterday that all I could remember about Blow was that she was super cool, slightly odd and was loved by Sophie Dahl and introduced Alexander McQueen to the world.... but I knew that she had done so much more! I just couldn't remember what. How embarrassing, right? I did the unthinkable today by using Wikipedia to find out exactly what she had done. And what an interesting life this woman had...

She studied at Columbia University and then left to become an assistant and friend to Anna Wintour (Editor of Vogue.) While working in New York, she befriended Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat. She returned to London and became fashion director of Tatler and the Sunday Times Style magazine. In 1989 she met Philip Treacy who designed her wedding head dress and this sparked the start of a beautiful relationship that sealed her signature style. Blow had an eye for fashion which is why she discovered and purchased Alexander McQueen's entire graduate collection! She launched Sophie Dahl into the modeling world with a single comment. She became the muse of many people which resulted in her modelling and film roles.

But as most of the great and talented people of this world she committed suicide. I still have a cut out from the newspaper from 2007 on my pin-board which broke the news of her death and those that would be most affected by it. Slightly morbid, but then again this is me. 

The time has now come for a biopic to be made of Blow's life and I for one can't wait to see it. At the moment there are no certainties and we haven't been given a date, a title or a cast but there is certainly a film in the works! I'll keep you posted! 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Lady Gaga's Digital Death

Lady Gaga puts herself up as a spokesperson for the L.G.B.T community she has made it clear in the past that the issues that concern this segment of society need to be aired so that awareness is broadened. Lady Gaga announced today that she would be signing off social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook on the 1st of December (World Aids Day) until $1 million dollars were raised for Alicia Keys' charity 'Keep A Child Alive' that is aimed at helping raise money and awareness of HIV/AIDS, many other celebrities such as Justin Timberlake and Usher will be joining in. They have all apparently recorded what has been called their 'Last tweet and testament' which will show them lying in coffins to represent their 'digital death.'

After only being announced by Lady Gaga today, already her fans have become divided on the issue of whether or not this is actually a good cause. Some have argued that celebrities can donate this type of money themselves and that there was no need for this kind of stand. On the other hand some have recognised that this is a great way to raise awareness and I  have to agree. Lady Gaga has millions of fans spread out over various social networking sites some of which reportedly have only joined sites like Twitter because of her so her absence will cause awareness as well as raising a considerable amount of money. If each of Gaga's fans donated even 50 cents or 50p the $1million mark would be exceeded!! This movement just highlights once again the importance and power of social networking.

Monday, November 22, 2010


If you are looking for something to listen to while you work/cook/do something that makes for some nice background music... let me introduce you to Frazey Ford!

I thought I would  review a few songs from her debut album 'Obadiah' which has a mixture of amazing Americana-sounding folk songs and here are my thoughts on my top 3 songs, in the order of preference: 

Blue Streak Mamma: - The song is introduced by a nice steady drum beat which carries it from beginning to end accompanied by the repetition of a beautiful riff that is locked on repeat. The structure and sound of Blue Streak Mamma resembles that of the down tempo soul and blues of the mid 60's.  The vocals start up pretty quickly and you are stuck by an extraordinary voice that is very similar to Adele but with a less commercial feel. This song is based on a lot of repetition- that locks you in and draws you closer. I honestly believe that a song you can sing along to whilst hearing it for the first time is one that is destined for great things - and Blue Streak Mamma has to be one of those songs! This song is sure to feature on some US drama and then become a big hit!

If You Gonna Go: - This song highlights what beautiful vocals Frazey Ford has. It is the kind of song that you could melt on your sofa to, whilst eating strawberry cheescake flavoured ice-cream and feeling sorry for yourself (not that I am speaking from experience -honest.) I could imagine Norah Jones doing an amazing cover of this for her next album. If you are a fan of Norah Jones' - Come Away With Me then I honestly think that this is the song you should be listening to from Frazey Ford's debut album. 
One More Cup Of Coffee: - This song has a lot of memories attached to it and it will always be one of my favourite songs. It is my favourite Bob Dylan track by far and Ford does a good job of covering it. I think covers of classic songs are a risk especially when they are sang with as much as passion and integrity as was the case of the original but Fazey Ford's cover is beautiful. I love the vulnerability in the verse but I find the chorus a tad soul-less - it lacks the authenticity that Dylan succeeded in putting across in the original. To some degree Ford's cover feels like it is heading to a great crescendo but it fails to deliver. 


Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Lanvin’s exclusive collection for H&M  will be arriving in stores on November 23rd, meaning that you will be able to own the essence of Lanvin with a more affordable price tag. The collection is an absolutely stunning portfolio of designs and accessories perfectly adapted for the high street. Alber Elbaz, artistic director of Lanvin, has created extraordinarily ambitious clothing for H&M, using house styles to make every single piece easily identifiable as their own work. He said, ‘The collection for H&M was about trying to translate the dream of luxury to the masses.’

For women there are dresses with stunning cuts and joyful colours, as well as pieces full of Parisian glamour and accessories with playful “joie de vivre.” However, if you wish to purchase anything from the line the first 320 people in the queue will be able to access the collection based on a coloured bracelet scheme with a time limit to enhance their shopping experience, followed by everyone else (this does not apply to men.) Men will be able to purchase a variety of updated classics, such as tuxedos made for day wear, paired with jogging pants- adding an athletic twist. Restrictions on this collection such as only being able to purchase one of each item and only 200 stores housing this line worldwide ensure the exclusivity of the Lanvin brand.  

H&M Stores housing this collection in London are: Kensington High Street, Brompton Road, Oxford Street, Regent Street, Brent Cross Shopping Centre and Westfield Shopping Centre. Get there early to be one of the lucky 320 who will be able to shop without dealing with crowds!

Friday, November 5, 2010

FOREVER 21 (to open in the UK!)

Okay, so I may be 22 but the American cross between Primark and Topshop aka Forever 21 is officially due to open it's flagship store, in my home-town - BIRMINGHAM. The store will open in literally a week, there are banners and signs all over the Bullring and the famous silver sign is already easy to catch.

Situated next to the High Street competitors of Topshop and River Island - I have a slight suspicion that Forever 21 might just be in the running to pip them both to the post of the best High Street store for 2011. However, it now all comes down to a question of pricing and I will obviously be giving you the low down once I have purchased some goods! I mean I still haven't spent my birthday money... so I know where that will be spent now!

I know I must sound like a hyperactive child right but I have never been so excited (okay that is a lie! - but I am VERY excited!) For those of you readers that know me personally you already know about my love of all things American but for those of you that don't - as an American Studies graduate a love for the U.S.A was almost one of the criteria to be selected for the course! Luckily, I got a big tick next to that one!

Whilst doing my degree I even got the opportunity to study in Missouri  for 6 months and everytime I popped into Forever 21, I longed for it to be available in the U.K! and now it will be... I am however, a little surprised that the brand didn't choose to open a store in London? But I don't mind... because it means that yet another shoppers delight is only 15 mins away from me! I will now stop gushing and enjoy some firework celebrations! Happy Bonfire Night! xxx

Monday, November 1, 2010

New Indie Band - Morning Parade!


Two years ago, Morning Parade were trapped in a variety of dead-end jobs. Their thoughts were of career advancement and growing up, but music had always been a cornerstone, a passion that stopped real life closing them in. Now they are releasing their new single ‘Under the Stars’ on the 22nd of November and I got the chance to ask the up and coming band a few questions...

Where did the name Morning Parade come from?
Morning Parade came about when we were having a fun night out - clubbers going home at 6 in the morning crossing the paths with people on their way to work doing their day to day things. It’s where something ends as another begins. It felt right at the time and it stuck.

How did you all meet?
Phil and Steve went to secondary school together and Steve met Chad at college while studying a music course. Ben and Andy were in other bands in the local scene.

Who would you say is the most creative out of all of you?
Steve is very creative across all the instruments, but we all work hard and are as creative as each other. We're always swapping instruments when we're jamming.

If you had 3 words to describe your sound which would you use?
Anthemic, Euphoric, Rock
There are so many Indie-Rock bands around - what makes you different to all the others?
I think its the massive blend of styles and influences that we share, we don't all share the same tastes musically, so it makes for interesting arrangements/arguments. I hope with the album we can show a good cross section of what we're into and what we can do. I think the blend of styles gives us a lot of freedom to go forwards in any direction we like... more guitars or more synths or something completely different...

What advice would you give to unsigned bands?
Stick to your guns, trust your gut and don't be precious with your songs, be brutal when judging your work and most of all make something you are proud of.

So we heard you are from Essex...have you managed to catch an episode of The Only Way Is Essex? if so what are your thoughts?
Haha, It's fast becoming a guilty pleasure...

If you could be anyone for a day who would it be and why?
Richard Branson- I wanna see what's up with that galactic thing he's up to. £100,000 a go.... chicken oriental.

Where do you see yourselves in 5 years?
Literally no idea, things are happening so quickly at the moment that we can't really tell you what we're going to be doing in a year let alone 5. Most importantly we hope we're still enjoying making music and hopefully making music far superior to what we're doing now, who knows? An Ivor Novello would be nice.

House! House! HOUSE MUSIC!

In most genres the youth prevail and the old are shelved, the Techno and House underworlds are no different - but why is it that in these particular genre’s older producers refrain from mentoring their youthful counterparts?

There is a great divide between the producers that coined this genre and those that we see today, not only do they differ in style but also in technique and notoriety. Robert Babicz aka Rob Acid is a polish producer that has been DJ’ing for over two decades, he has also been one of the main artists to recognise this great divide in his genre spectrum. How can Techno and House progress if the old won’t help the new? Well, one of the main reasons that the masters refuse to help up-coming DJ’s is because of their attitude. Those that have been in the game for over a decade appear to be down to earth, yet, newer acts seem to live the life of a Rockstar which obviously involves believing their own hype.

There have been a few older DJ’s such as Nick Muir that have helped mentor some of the greatest artists of the naughties like Neil Quigly and Claude VonStroke. If we see more of this wisdom being passed down through the generations of House and Techno music it can only get bigger and better. 

We certainly hope a few more oldies take some newbies under their wings, if the results resemble anything like Claude VonStroke!


Tall, Blonde and Beautiful - Taylor Momsen is the epitome of the blonde bombshell especially when you factor in her carefree rock and roll lifestyle and her new band The Pretty Reckless (that will be touring in December!) 

Despite her current image Momsen had a very humble and religious upbringing in St. Louis, Missouri.  However, unlike most others her age; by the time she was seven years old she was playing a leading role opposite Jim Carey in ‘The Grinch That Stole Christmas.’ Steadily her acting career grew and at present she plays the wild child Jenny Humphrey on the hit US show ‘Gossip Girl,’ now in its third season. Surely that would be enough for any 17 year old starlet? Well obviously not for Momsen because she has decided to tap into the music industry by forming a band called The Pretty Reckless.

Unlike most ‘actress turned rock-star’ transformations, Momsen’s music, style and live shows seem  genuine as opposed to the short lived careers of her counterparts; whose stage
presence consists solely of ripped hosiery, lashings of black eyeliner and an overwhelming sense of awkwardness. Momsen’s vocals are fiery and deep, her inhibitions are left off stage and her music  is passionate. Lyrically, there could be some improvement but who are we to judge - she isn’t even old enough to drink alcohol!

The Pretty Reckless - as a band, seem to mirror the sound of Courtney Love’s solo album ‘America’s Sweetheart’ and no, we aren’t pigeon holing Momsen based solely on the colour of her hair. Love and Momsen are very similar because they are both very talented and driven. They aren’t just recording artists, these powerful women in this genre dominated by men are role-models and amazing live performers. The Pretty Reckless will be playing some gigs in the U.K next month so be sure to catch them!

13th  December @ Glasgow O2 ABC
14th December @ Manchester Academy 2
15th Wolverhampton @ Wulfrun
16th London @ O2 Shepherds Bush Empire