Monthly Archives: March 2011

Stranger than fiction

If there is one film you see this year, make it Catfish. Admittedly, I was unsure at first but then I am stupidly fussy with films and often (and I hate myself for it) judge them all by their posters/names. I’d heard of Catfish from film buff, cinema season ticket wielding friends, who endlessly professed its brilliance – which was almost enough to put me off in itself. And when I heard what it was about, I was sceptical that such a story could make a very interesting film…and really I thought it sounded a bit… boring.

Catfish has all the makings of a pretentious independent: it’s a low budget, controversial, grainy documentary that has been clever enough to throw up questions surrounding its authenticity, leading to various debates and chat from film critics and the public alike. But in fact, it is completely bereft of pretension, and is actually a shockingly candid film with relatable ‘characters’ and a troublesome topic we are all too familiar with.

The film begins with Nev, a dance photographer, filmed by his brother and friend, innocently embarking upon a facebook correspondence with a little girl, after having received her paintings of his photographs. Phone chats and more facebook messages with the rest of her family ensue, and lead to a semi-romantic cyber relationship with the girl’s older sister. What gradually transpires is what makes Catfish one of the most absorbing films I have ever seen.

And I can’t say anymore.

…Which I think is the problem when trying to sell it – as Tom Charity of LoveFilm puts it: ‘The more you know about Catfish, the less impact the movie will have.’ Don’t try and seek out a synopsis or hope for an in depth answer when you ask what it is about, because knowing anything more than just what happens in the first 30 minutes will probably ruin it. Juuuuuust trust those that have seen it already and watch it yourself. And when you do, turn your phone off, because the sound of a text message could completely destroy the fantastic suspense of some of the scenes.

Here’s the trailer anyway, which is eventually what persuaded me to watch it:

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Brand love: American Retro

Before recently I didn’t know much about American Retro as a brand, nor was I ever particularly bowled over by their pieces when confronted with them online and in magazines. However, being able to get up close and personal with the collections, due to a recent internship with their PR agency, gave me a new found appreciation of, and almost obsession with their clothes (see previous owl maxi post). Despite popular belief, they are a French label, not an American one – the brand name / identity sprung from the minds of the AR creators after an inspirational road trip across the States, many moons ago.

Images of individual pieces I just don’t think do the collections the justice they deserve; a lot of the pieces aren’t statement items, rather staples, for instance, there are a lot of simple, but comfy and good quality items: plain, cotton tees; maxis and cardigans (mainly sold via their sister company, Zoe Tee’s [this is the actual spelling, no I don’t understand that apostrophe either…]) You almost therefore need to see and touch the clothing for yourself. I’m no seamstress, but I can say that American Retro knows good tailoring; their S/S 11 collection has such a variety of styles and the more fitted pieces are very flattering. They seem to really understand women’s problem areas and what makes us shy away from certain items of clothing, and have sought to counter that in their collections (again, see owl maxi post..)

What’s more, they may not be trend setters, but they do know what’s in this summer. American Retro’s summer collection is infused with corals, nudes and florals and they have also been careful not to abandon old favourites like lace, fringing and the trusty baggy cardi.

There are, however, some real stand out items… take these lace wedges and booties for example.

These beauts are the result of AR’s recent collaboration with…. (wait for it)… CLARKS!! What Clarks, as in that sort of sad brand that is only associated with school shoes for the under 10s? Yes, Clarks!

A Vogue cover to remember

Every now and then, just when you think Vogue has gotten stuck in a safe, slightly insipid, cover rut, it socks you one that’s as fresh and tantalizing as a Heston Bluthenthal taster menu. US Vogue’s April cover is one of these.

I often think of good editorials in terms of food. Because some of them, with their bold and rich colours and clever juxtapositions are so beautiful they seem edible! In this case, mermaid-esque Rihanna is definitely a Lola’s Red Velvet cupcake.

Best. Vogue Cover. Ever.

“There’s only one thing the world loves more than a beautiful girl, and that’s a beautiful girl who’s a little bit bad”

I know it’s a bit taboo, but let’s be honest, smoking can sometimes, not always, look quite cool (why else do youngsters start? It’s not because they like taste.) And I don’t think there is a better person to validate my point, than Kate Moss, the epitome of cool, smoking on the Louis Vuitton catwalk.

… Now, before there is a surge of outrage, I’m not saying it IS cool, just that I think we can all admit, that at some point in our lives, we’ve clocked an unlikely candidate lighting up for the first time, and for a split second seen them in a whole new, edgier, light..

As controversial as it sounds, I absolutely love what Marc Jacobs has done here! When it comes to smoking, I’m fairly impartial, I have succumbed the odd cigarette, but I don’t support or encourage it. However, Kate Moss casually smoking a cigarette, whilst walking for one of the most revered fashion labels of all time, in PARIS, on national anti-smoking day, after the announcement of UK plans to hide cigarette packets beneath shop counters, sends a tingle up my spine. 

She has made headlines in the past for her drug abuse and bad choice of rock star boyfriends, and has been snapped countless times pissed, falling out of taxis and smoking; essentially, she oozes rock n roll (without ever having picked up a guitar). So as bad as some of the things she has done are, you can’t get away from the fact that rock n roll is a bit cool. Kate Moss’s smoking on the catwalk is just her giving one last V-sign the system, before she goes back to a life of normality.

Louis Vuitton AW11

Whether you love or hate Kate Moss’s part in the LV show (and I’m sure there is a clear cut divide), you must be able to appreciate the cleverness of it. Not only has she jumped straight back into the limelight after 3 years off (you only have to Google Kate Moss or LV to find a host of related articles), but Marc Jacobs has potentially made one of the most memorable shows in history and placed his collection at the forefront of everyone’s mind. I have never really been a big Louis Vuitton fan, but admittedly, it was the sight of my favourite British icon that lured me to the Louis Vuitton Fall 2011 page of style.com, where I sat, clicking away for a good 20 minutes, mesmerized by some of the creations. And even if those flasher macs and maid uniforms only appeal to a select few, special, individuals (…Lady Gaga), those handbags will be everything and everywhere come Autumn.

Title quote from The Guardian’s Jess Cartner-Morley