Monday, 27 September 2010
Saturday, 25 September 2010
It's the weekend! What is everyone up to?? Apart from sipping Coffee, and getting some late brunch whilst reading The Guardian, I'm going to see some friends, so really excited about all of that happening. Last night was wine drinking and good [bad] TV like the awesomely insane 'Jersey Shore.' Lately, I've also decided to embrace the '35 steps to Happiness' courtesy of Glamour Magazine, and to this, I also thought I'd add the amazing self help book by Steven Covey 'The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People' which has the following tips:
Habit 1: Be Proactive
- focus on the things you can actually do something about
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
- begin everything you do with a clear picture of your ultimate goal
Habit 3: Put First Things First
- manage your life according to your needs and priorities
Habit 4: Think Win-Win
- integrity: stick with your true feelings, values, and commitments; maturity: be considerate of the feelings of others; abundance mentality: believe there is plenty for everyone
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
- learn how to communicate clearly and listen to others
Habit 6: Synergize
- “two heads are better than one.”
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
- allow yourself to grow by maintaining a balanced program in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual.
[In other fashion news, I've decided to draw your attention to a very important book if it means looking anything like Blake, Leighton & Katie... [Jessica and Taylor, too. although without the real life racoon look rocked by Momsen.]
Eric Daman is costume designer for Gossip Girl, and every season I'm overwhelmed by the amazing costumes he comes up with to suit all the girls, reflecting their personal style as well as their characters, as well as being able to dress everybody individually, taking into consideration their body shape as well. Oh, did I mention the fabulous wardrobe of Chuck Bass? He can rock orange, pink, dapper suits, and the most outrageous jumpers ever without breaking a sweat, and STILL keeping his masculinity very much in tact with his scene stealing one liners. '... I'm Chuck Bass.' He's an urban dandy and I love it.
Eric's classic advice includes the following:
1. Spanx is your new best friend.
2. If you love something, buy it twice. in another colour. or every colour!
3. Classic pieces will always remain relevant. Think Black, Trench Coats, Boots, and the Chanel 2.55
4. Blake and Serena's style has a symbiotic relationship. Often, Daman will use Blake's own clothes and accessories as part of Serena's own outfits. Blake loves Topshop!
5. Vanessa does loud, bright colours with pretty patterns that reflect an artsy, boho image. Think loose, long curls, maxi dresses, and bright pops of eyeshadow paired with minimalist make-up.
6. Leighton's personal style is more edgy and daring than Blair's on the show. Blair loves structured outfits, preppy looks, and headbands. Her Red Victoria Beckham dress worn on her first day at NYU is classic Blair. Leighton is more daring outside of her character, her favourite designers being Brian Reyes, Prabal Gurang, and Jason Wu.
I'm really excited to start wearing some Boots this season on the weekends paired with leather jackets [tassled, studded, plain, PVC] and lots of black eyeliner.I especially love Boots by Steve Madden this season. Here's a link to my personal favourites as sourced from Emily.
[I totally LOVE this picture! I'm totally going to start carrying around a Buddha in my bag.]
My favourite things this weekend included the following:
1. Girls Weekend Away - I think everyone always enjoys a bit of weekend downtime with friends. This one was no exception. Hope to do it all again soon. My only bug bear is it can be so incredibly hard to have fun and really kick back when you always seem to have persisting things and thoughts on your mind... it's even more annoying when you realize that you may not be able to expel them from your mind in a completely cathartic way. GRRRR.
2. Watching Juno! When Juno first came out, I really didn't see what the huuge fuss was about. But after watching it, I actually think Juno MacGuff is all kinds of awesome. She's not afraid to let her freak flag fly high. And Michael Cera is possibly the most adorable geek ever. After Adam Brody. But the scene where he gets in bed with Ellen [Juno] and they just cuddle is all kinds of cute. And incredibly poignant. which makes it all the more cuter. I also love the fact that she uses 'exponentially' in a sentence. WICKED!!
3. My Weekend Playlist included the following:
1. Katy Perry - Teenage Dream
2. Willow Smith - Whip My Hair
3. From Yesterday - 30 Seconds To Mars
4. Sassy/Milkshake Remix - Kat Graham/Kelis
5. Cold Hearted Snake - Kat Graham
6. The Saturdays - Higher
7. Kelis - Acapella
8. Florence & The Machine - Cosmic Love
Friday, 24 September 2010
Nine times out of ten, when it comes to their own personal websites and blogs, Celebrities are usually all about me, me, me. Which in the words of Kesha, means nothing but 'Blah Blah Blah!' to me. You would think that since they love to 'shun' the cameras, papparazzi and 'invading' press so much on a 'regular' basis, you'd think that when it comes to their own website or having so much power to influence people around the world, all of them would use this power and gift to embrace the greater good. Well, actually, not a lot of them do. Or if they do, they decide to embrace fashion instead and label it as 'a greater good.' Well, actually it still isn't.
Olivia Wilde is different. VERY different. And still manages to be voted Maxim's sexiest actress ever. And she's married to a guy who she eloped with at 18 on a bus. And he just happens to be a prince. Has she sold her life story rights to disney yet so they can make it into a film, because she's living the fairytale! Oh, and did I mention she's trying to save the world, one ethical and moral step at a time? Did I mention she's otherwordly stunning?
Olivia's a vegan, so since I've turned, her website Wilde Things is brilliant for vegan tips, resources and information. Not to mention using insanely catchy and cute buzz phrases like 'Bomb Diggidy.'
Best known for her roles in The OC as Alex Kelly, [Seth's one-time, sort of girlfriend, and Marissa's sapphic lesbian frisson and young love dream ] and House MD as Remy "Thirteen" Hadley, a doctor suffering from Huntingdon's Disease, Olivia has never been afraid to play challenging or dramatic roles.
Here is a lovely interview with her here: Olivia Wilde Women's Health Interview
Welcome to Wilde Things! This is a space for me to share with you the ever evolving grab bag of things I care about. Some of you may have ended up here because you know me from films or TV, and some of you may just have heard we have similar interests. Whatever the detour that brought you here, I’m happy to make your acquaintance! By putting my thoughts online myself, I have a chance to connect with you directly, instead of filtering everything through speculation, rumors, and glossy illusions. I’d love for you to be able to get to know me as if we met in person. Please enjoy.
Besides acting, she can often be found trying her best to leave the world a little better than the way she found it.
She is the Co Executive Director of Artists for Peace and Justice (www.artistsforpeaceandjustice.org) which has for the last 2 years focused entirely on education for the poor in Haiti. This year APJ moves into a new phase of providing secondary education to the poorest children, none of whom have ever been offered the chance to continue school past the 6th grade if they’re very lucky.
Growing up in DC, the child of two investigative journalists, Olivia has been passionate about political participation since she was old enough to protest on the Mall. She worked on the Obama campaign beginning as one of the first surrogates to travel the country for Senator Obama back in October of ‘07. Olivia proudly sits on the foundation board of the ACLU Southern California, and, besides scrambling to raise money for their crucial work each year, she is focusing on inspiring young Americans to get involved and support the ACLU in their efforts to protect basic civil rights.
An enthusiastic environmentalist (and vegan), Olivia is a supporter of the Environmental Media Association, an organization dedicated to “greening” the film and TV industry, as well as sponsoring school gardens to teach students about the earth and their health. She is also a supporter and admirer of Power Up Gambia (PUG), which is outfitting medical clinics in The Gambia, in West Africa, with solar panels.
She loves to dance, loves to cook, and is generally an optimist. She hopes to form a community of activists who are committed to creating peace and justice for all inhabitants of this beautiful planet.
Olivia's Favourite Books are as follows:
Kurt Vonnegut's "God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater"
Oliver Sacks' "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat"
John Kennedy Toole's "A Confederacy of Dunces"
Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged"
Elizabeth Gilbert's "Eat, Pray, Love"
Guerilla, even after all these years, is still a taboo subject. Guerilla photography is shunned, apart from Banksy, who has become an ingenious exception to this rule. What makes Guerilla cultural art very cool IS the fact that its taboo, somehow forbidden and shunned upon by the society of today, when really, we should embrace the unusual, the dark, the mysterious, the taboo, the eccentric.
The Guerilla Poetics Project aims to do that with their fantastic website and important work aesthetic that goes into the dedication of this website.
To read about their manifesto, please click on the following http://www.guerillapoetics.org/manifesto/ and try and do what you can to help this fantastic cause.
Thursday, 23 September 2010
My lovely friend Fiona, from the very awesome music blog Acoustic Dreams & Hardcore Screams put this very funny and ingenius blog 'Reasoning With Vampires' up on her Twitter feed, and once I caught sight of it, I just had to retweet it myself. [I'm just cool like that!]
'Reasoning with Vampires' sets out to convince all Twilight fans, lovers, and true devotees of the franchise just how much Stephenie Meyer is quite the amateur when it comes to writing. But, the ingenious part is the fact that the author does not do this by bitching about how boring they thought the Saga is, but by actually combing through all four books themselves to pick up and point out, very bluntly, what exactly goes wrong within Meyer's pages of seemingly well written prose. But to be fair, Meyer's target audience and key demographic ISN'T at adults rather, but at teenagers, tweens and young children. Which at first, doesn't seem like too much of a problem, especially as Stephenie is a Mormon, so all sexually explicit content is definitely out, but it's more than that. Even the actors who play the characters we feel we know and love so well, have come to admit this since making the films, reading the books, and trying to spend more time and headspace into getting to really know the voices of their characters, and how to relay this on screen in a way that is complimentary and accurate to the story.
Kristen Stewart, who plays Bella Swan, has previously said in interviews before that there's a certain level of fast moving, energetic raw desire that comes from the pages, so she finds it weird as when she's reading BETWEEN the lines to what it all really means, she still finds 10 year olds coming up to her telling her in all earnest, that they can 'relate' and 'understand' Bella's story and point of view. Actually, No, you can't.
So, in conclusion, the blog proves that Ms Meyer, for all her millions made by the Twilight Saga in spite of her inaccurate sentences, can now afford to get herself a decent editor. One that will actually correct her mistakes, if any in future, and not actually leave them alone in the book, to be mercilessly judged for all to see, although it is very, very funny indeed, and definetely worth a read by anybody, Twilight fan or not.
Super Sad True Love Story -
It's the not too distant future and society is even more sex and technology obsessed than ever. Books are now printed bound artefacts, iPhones have been replaced by apparati [all-seeing, all-doing devices that allow you to instantly judge others on credit rating, sexual proweclss, and self esteem] and career options have been reduced to Retail, Media and Credit. America is on the brink of economic and political collapse.
An updated version of dystopian classics, yet even more easy to imagine. Anti hero Lenny Abramov is the only glimmer of hope left. Dubbed 'the last reader on earth' he still treasures books and keeps perhaps the world's last diary. A sales representative for 'post human services', which attempts to offer immortality for the super-rich, his story begins with him taking a work trip to Italy. There, he falls madly in love with Eunice Park, a 20 year old Korean-American. On his return, he finds he has no desk and his 70 year old boss looks like his better looking younger brother. He attempts to regain control over his career and win Eunice, but riots break out in NYC.... what will happen to these star crossed lovers??
[WOW!! This not only sounds like a brilliant book, but the scary part is that this scenario doesn't seem any more than 10 years away or so. I mean, Kindle anyone?? And, I don't know anybody who writes in their diary with love, effort and true catharsis anymore, or even reminiscient of their younger teenage self? More like scribbled notes in a small pad of paper with one or two coffee stains. I think this book's a MUST READ!!!]
[Becky Brandon [nee Bloomwood] is back!! She thinks after going through marriage, pregnancy, and now looking after Minnie, would be a breeze, but it's trickier than she thought as her two year old has a very different approach to shopping.
Minnie creates havoc from Harrods to Harvey Nichols, but as well as trying to tame Minnie [as well as herself] from spending, Becky seems to face one crisis after another, especially as she and Luke are still living with her parents and Becky's job might be in danger... and then things get really complicated! ]
Having read all the previous Shopaholics in the series, and having seen the film [helloooo Hugh Dancy!] it's fair to say I'm a big fan ofBbeen done under the same premise for the last seven or so books, I hope there's something exciting and truly original in the story somewhere to keep it all going.
If you haven't been aware of the serious HYPE surrounding this film, or at least HEARD of the book written by Elizabeth Gilbert, based on true events, I have one question for you. Where, oh where, have you been?
The reason why Eat, Pray, Love, not only stormed the bookcharts but is set to be one of the biggest films of the year, too, is because of its brilliant simplicity. I really do believe that we are all very simple creatures at heart, and its only because we live in such a complex world that quite often, more often than not actually, that we have to change who we are, our perspectives, and our outlooks, in order to fit in with what society DEMANDS. And most of the time, it makes us thoroughly miserable. I mean, have you ever been on a long term diet and been completely happy through all of it? Yes, happy with the weight you lose, but not happy you have to exist on alfalfa sprouts and kale shakes every day. In fact, if most women had their own way, I'm pretty sure that making time to eat red velvet cupcakes would have been long passed as an actual law.
Susie Orbach, nutritionist, psychiatrist, and writer of 'Bodies' writes the following:
"This month sees the release of the much anticipated film adaptation of the Elizabeth Gilbert bestseller, Eat Pray Love starring Julia Roberts.The original book was a New York Times bestseller for 155 weeks and there are 5 million copies of it in print; in fact, it's zoomed back up to No.1 on the official paperback charts in the UK; it's a success and sensation of the highest order.
But what was it that gripped its readers? After an early-thirties meltdown, Gilbert purposefully sets out to find the happiness that eludes her. In the Pray section, she endeavours to make sense of the universe and of her place in it; in Love, she tries to unravel the mysteries of the human heart. There's no doubt that these questions are utterly universal. And in Eat, Gilbert turns eating, and how to do it, into one of the cornerstones of her life overhaul. This is no search for an undiscovered diet, the final solution to the question of how to be thin. Her revelation is simply to move to Italy and eat as much pasta, gelato, pizza, wine, and good cheese as she likes. She savours every delicious mouthful, prizing luscious fruit as highly as milky mozzarella, with no thoughts of 'calories', 'carbs', 'good', 'bad', 'fat', 'thin', or 'diet' involved. These buzz words have become like holy grails for many women in society today, something we live by and can no longer step away from and set ourselves free. We often lament how we feel like we're in 'food prison' but what we don't realize is that we are the ones who can set ourselves free and walk out, which is exactly what Elizabeth does, and she doesn't get fat because of it, either.
Elizabeth's message to us is clear, the underlying question is 'do we dare to follow it?' part of the reason why the book seems to do so well, is that it's suddenly turned into part autobiography, part self help book. and self help books always do well, no matter what the subject, especially as the usual blurb seems to outline that we need this one particular book as a crux in our lives to help us move forward and be throughly enriched and stimulated, living our lives for the better.
What we need to do is focus less negativity on each of the three components of the book, so we can make more room for the other two. In many women's cases, we need to focus less time on Eat so we have more time to Pray, and ESPECIALLY more time to Love.
But, I am sooooooooo looking forward to this movie!!! Bring on the popcorn - with extra salty goodness!!
Wednesday, 22 September 2010
There's something about Paris that just makes any girl swooooon. Impossible Romance of Parisian life aside, I really do think there's just something in the air. You only have to look around in today's society for a representation of a french woman to see what I'm talking about. Vanessa Paradis, Gabrielle Chanel, Melanie Laurent, Carla Bruni, Marion Cotillard, and Audrey Tautou are my excellent examples. Plus, there's a reason why two of the most fashionable TV shows to come across our screens have both opted for at least a couple of episodes worth of filming in the city. SATC and Gossip Girl, no less.
Not to mention the fact that every cafe you go to has croissants to die for, and although anywhere else, one croissant would be the equivalent to the taste of your tears, in Paris it seems, this really isn't the case. In Paris, women seem to eat bon bons and still look good. Not to mention brunch and dinner. And these dishes aren't just made up of two stalks of asparagus and some black coffee with a sugar or two. No, these are fully formed, voluptuous delights that make our appetites go weak at the knees, before being rounded off with a classy [small] glass of the very best pinot, bien sur! It's the ultimate temptation as the woman we see delicately eating these delicious ingredients have also managed to slip into a dress that is such a return to elegance that it almost doesn't seem fair. They manage to make cigarettes not a dirty little habit, but in fact, otherworldly and glamorous. But, in my book, comparison and the comparison of yourself against others remains as the thief of joy and pleasure, so if you can't beat them, join them!
Did I mention the accent? If you're lucky enough to be able to speak fluent french, I'm sure you have a natural way of sounding as if you're singing everything that you say, as opposed to rhyming cockney slang. The best example of this [TV-wise] to date from someone that isn't actually french is the lovely Autumn Reeser as the articulate Taylor Townsend speaking fluent french to her[ very cute and actual real life model] husband's lawyer whilst Ryan stands aside looking cute and thoroughly puzzled.
I think a trip to Paris is imminent.... even for the day.... Eurostar here I come... WITH a copy of the new COCO CHANEL book by author and previous Vogue journalist Justine Picardie!! [You can see her official blog, http://www.justine-picardie.blogspot.com on my blog roll to your right!]
All images courtesy of www.thechicmuse.blogspot.com & www.cupcakesandcashmere.blogspot.com
Sunday, 19 September 2010
Thursday, 16 September 2010
Just thought I would give you a QUICK update with everything that's happening with Beautiful Awakenings!
The process of actually writing BA is on a hiatus for now, but that's not to say it's ever far from my mind.... in fact quite the contrary! I think of my book like a fashion designer thinks about their new collection.... before the sketches comes the inspiration, which can be inspired by street style, influences, culture, as well as moodboards! It's exactly the same with writing... but I feel it's a longer and more organic process. I'm always being inspired to pick up my pen to find inspiration... I've actually stopped carrying around my notebook in my bag but I'll start that asap! It's such a good accessory to have as part of your day to day, to jot down inspiration, thoughts, feelings, and prose about what you see, what you do, the people you meet, or the scenery and atmosphere you decide to take in.
I've got some fantastic ideas in store, so can't wait for that, and I'm also planning on joining the Society for Young Publishers, as I feel this is a brilliant website for what I'm trying to do and where I see myself.
When it's finally ready, or a new chapter arrives, you'll be the first to know!! In the meantime, and to ensure my writing style doesn't dry up completely, I do find myself writing the occasional pieces of random prose [usually prologues and starts to stories] which I'll post here. If you're interested in any of them, or are intrigued to find out what happens next, please don't hesitate to drop me a line, comment, twitter me ... anything! and I'll see if I can come up with what happens next to provide you with a good or at least, amusing read.
Thanks for reading.
P&L....... C x
Wednesday, 15 September 2010
I'm really NOT into Celebrity Fashion Designers or Celebrity Perfumes... [Katie Price, Paris Hilton, take note!] but when it comes to a few, I will be more than happy to make the exception. My favourites include Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who together have formulated two superb fashion lines. Firstly, there's "The Row" based on the legendary Savile Row in London. This is their high end line, and I find they do amazing tailoring for the most clean cut and divine looking suits. You can find The Row at www.the-row.com and http://www.shopstyle.co.uk/browse/The-Row?shipping=*
Their second line is the more affordable Elizabeth and James, named after their younger siblings. Trend-led, slightly androgynous pieces, echoing the duo's own eclectic style. The new denim range, Textile Elizabeth and James is available in the US now and will make its debut in the UK in time for A/W '10. You can find E&J at www.elizabethandjames.us and www.my-wardrobe.com.
Adding to my favourite designers is the fabulous Victoria Beckham. Originally a Spice Girl, the thoughts on everyone's lips worth their fashion salt were probably along the lines of 'here we go again... another celebrity fashion-wannabe with a precocious 'fashion line' aimed predominantly at their fans and selected devotees, but when it comes to the fashion world, there's no chance it will make it's mark....' we all thought it. But we were proved wrong, because since then, Miss VB's designs have been worn by the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Lopez, Blake Lively, Jennifer Hudson, Elle Macpherson, Leighton Meester, Demi Moore, Courtney Cox Arquette and Cameron Diaz, as well as Victoria herself, who like the sucessful Stella McCartney, believes that the best poster/model woman for your own designs is yourself!! Why wear someone else's label when you can wear yourself???
Now most people who are serious about their fashion line are so dedicated to their craft of clothes that they tend to leave handbags, shoes, and accessories to credible and successful peers such as Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo. Not Ms Beckham.
Vogue's October Issue has got the exclusive on the press releases for Miss Beckham's new handbag line, and if they're remotely based on her excessive Hermes Birkin collection, chances are Victoria's handbags are going to be no less coveted, and they certainly are similar to the Birkin Bag itself. Let's hope she just doesn't disappoint when it comes to bags!
Another person who is a surprisingly good handbag designer is Mischa Barton. Although her career hasn't really progressed much post-OC days, she has a handbag line of day bags, night bags and clutches, that are surprisingly modern, cool, and trendy. They are featured in the UK high street in Dorothy Perkins, and you can find them online at www.mischabartonhandbags.com and more information at www.mischabarton.celebuzz.com which is Mischa's [rarely updated] personal blog.
Say what you want about her, but Olivia Palermo, along with Blake Lively, is literally all over everybody's fashion radar. Having a wide reputaion for being less than friendly towards the likes of Whitney Port and Erin Kaplan in The City, she's also a New York City Socialite, having been educated at the prestigious Spence, whose alumi includes Gwyneth Paltrow. Thanks to her exposure on both seasons of The City having gone from working at Diane Von Furstenberg in the fashionable Meatpacking district to now working in midtown at the ELLE offices and working with Creative Director Joe Zee.
But, what makes Olivia so entertaining is her uber-bitch actions, from her pout down to cutting people short mid-conversation in such an icy, aloof way that you wouldn't think twice about interacting with Anna Wintour. Personally, that really would be a face off I'd love to see.
Anyway, Olivia is able to put together fashion and jewellery ensembles which gives off a certain style edge that's pretty cool.
Not only has she graced the covers of high street online company ASOS and Socialite UK magazine Tatler, she's now been featured in the new campaign for Hogan, alongside her boyfriend and fellow model Johannes Huebl who is really quite dishy. Not to mention sh'e's one of those infinitely lucky people who can have both blonde and brunette hair and still look good. Yes, I'm screaming into my pillow right now, as this woman's just a mere 12 months my senior.