Sunday, 27 September 2009

Christopher Kane, need I explain?

Philip Green's latest venture is a winner.
Christopher Kane for Topshop is a super collection of shocking crocodiles, brilliant black and tight tight tight gorgeousness that is seriously making me consider taking up shoplifting. Ok, the price is a lot less compared to the sashaying creations he sends down the Catwalks, but prices are still a little too high for the girl about town who loves fashion but is limited to spending money on carefully picked accessories and bargains. For the record I did pick up a great tasseled leather bag for £3.00 on Friday from a second hand shop.

One purchase, however I can justify. And I'm having a serious case of envy (envious of the pretty Topshop girls who walk past this garment every day at work of course) over the sherbet yellow bright bandage dress which looks like a pop of Indian Summer amongst a sea of the new gothic trend. It will look striking at winter parties with lace tights and shoe boots. I think I may even dream about it tonight. Kane's clothes cause crazy dreams I imagine, they should come with a warning.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

What if maybe?

A Life Less Ordinary

That pivotal moment in life where you take one path and someone else takes another is often a make or break situation. Without any contact details, you may never cross paths again. Nowadays it is much easier to find the lost ones on Facebook or Myspace if you didn’t secure a phone number or address, though even addresses are temporary. Believe it or not there are still people out there who don’t have a “page” with boring information about themselves on it. There are people who have no contact with social networking sites. There are people who don’t have a blog. I know it’s hard to consider that some people know their lives are not worth documenting on the internet. The rest of us either know this and don’t care or worse; actually think we are worth reading about!

Twenty Years, Two People, One Day

The book One Day documents twenty years of a boy and a girl's life who met and shared a few kisses, and maybe more, on the night of their Graduation from an Edinburgh University. Only to be flung out of each others lives and on to the road of their own lives the very next day. The book is written by David Nicholls who also wrote the novel ‘Starter for 10’ which was recently visualised into a film starring James McAvoy. In the novel One Day, the lead characters, wealthy womaniser Dexter and social conscious and opinionated Emma manage to keep in contact by various letters where Emma’s thoughts on life/politics/books spill out and fill pages and Dexter manages a few lines in reply here and there as he fumbles through his gap year(s). This is of course the 1980s before the communication revolution, no texting or emailing, can you remember that far back?

Each chapter begins on the same date of every year following their quick meeting and then subsequent departure on the 15th July 1988 and as their lives unfold through the pages, the reader can relate to almost everything that happens in some way or another. No thoughts to the future in their twenties, like most, Dexter becomes completely hedonistic and does whatever he wants, even at the expense of losing his family and friends’ respect. This results in various bad habits and a career in TV that nosedives as quickly as it happened. Emma becomes lost, with no idea of what she wants to do with her life and only dreams of being a writer. She gets stuck in an unhappy state of mind relentlessly doing a job she hates until she has the courage to make some life changing decisions.

Sometimes it is almost too true to real life so that it makes you cringe but the book is a refreshing look at two people who grow up with each other in mind and what can happen to these people through time. Many parts of the book are set in London and it is great picturing where they’re living and what they’re seeing in their two different worlds. By the end of the book, you end up feeling great empathy and sympathy for the characters; they represent people in our lives we know or have known. This book has an unexpected ending and you feel as if you've lived through their twenty years. In fact you might need a nap at the end, I was exhausted, life is complicated!

Monday, 14 September 2009

My Generation!

Quadrophenia, the stage production is touring the UK. The film is a cult favourite written by The Who and focuses on Jimmy, a London boy who is at the centre of the mod scene gripping the 1960s. It is a masterpiece of a film with brilliant music and shows off the highs and lows of a generation. Phil Daniels, who recently had a role in Eastenders and was featured in Blur’s Parklife, is a stand out as Jimmy. Sting plays the Top Mod, also the infamous Bellboy, and Leslie Ash plays the love interest. A few other young British actors are in the film, nowadays they are middle aged and feature in programmes like ‘The Bill’. We were all youths once!

The stage version of Quadrophenia delves into the concept of schizophrenia Jimmy who has 4 personalities each played by a different actor. Each Jimmy wears the same tight blue jeans, Fred Perry T-shirt and obligatory Parka so as not to cause confusion but the actors that play him are very good and there is no doubt that each of them is a part of Jimmy. Act one sets the scene and shows young Jimmy with his family, his overbearing father bullying him and his mother. The conflict leads to Jimmy’s personality to split into four; anger, lunatic, contradict and romantic. All personalities compete for the main spot. As Jimmy grapples with his overbearing personalities, he becomes wrapped up in The Scene happening around him, and secures his identity as a Mod. The Who classics like ‘One’ and the magnificent ‘Love reign o’er me’ are sung out with heart and soul by the actors who as well as great movers are great singers too. ‘My Generation’ is a highlight emulating the scene in the film where the boys jump around like they have the world at their feet singing along to The Who classic.

The best thing about the stage production is the music. Where as the film has a gripping story line along with a stunning soundtrack, the theatre production focuses on concepts and so you are left to enjoy the scenes and music for what they are. There’s a few scenes which focus a bit too heavily on Jimmy’s family, although it is clear that the story line aims to show how Jimmy’s troubled relationship with his dad has lead to his personality disorder. The production could have looked at the muddy relationship between the Mods and Rockers a bit more but apart from that, the show sparkled with talent, show stopping songs and personalities – quite literally in Jimmy’s case.