Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Cruise 2011 Featuring Jane McDonald


What better way to present Cruise 2011, than worn by the sensational Jane McDonald. Mistress of the sequin and breathy renditions, over a Bontempi backing track; of Peggy Lee's Fever... Miss McDonald has delighted us since her BBC 'Cruise' days through her move over to ITV's panel of HRT-D-to-the-eyeballs Loose Women, to her inevitable return to the cruise ship.

Well on her 2011 tour of the Caribbean she's going to need a fabulous wardrobe, and the Cruise collections featured lots of lovely trouser suits Jane would look bloody smashing in.

To start the day on board, a Christopher Kane smart-casual Lounge Suit all-in-one will do the trick. The nice wide leg will provide ample swishing opportunity whilst one navigates the promenade, bucks fizz in hand. The razzle dazzle solar system print allows a nice segue to the Piano Bar, where Jane has been badgered into an impromptu jazzed up version of "fly me to the moon." Impromptu my bum: mid key change Jane whips the one-sy off to reveal a leggy (and props to her - extremely fashion forward) silk t-shirt/ra-ra skirt in matching print. Another Christopher Kane ensemble (Jane and his mum are like this.) She concludes a 45 minute set of jazz standards with her inimitable cover of Carol Douglas' 'Doctors Orders' and a high leg kick, revealing not only miles of shiny sheer tan coloured tight, but a black marabou fluffy mule, again courtesy of that lovely lad Christopher.

After a trip back to her suite to freshen up and apply an extra layer of bronze eyeshadow, it's cocktail hour and at the Captain's request, Jane will be joining him and his wife at the helm for Harvey Wallbangers. Enter Jane: shocking red Givenchy trouser suit with matching red turtleneck. So chic! (although she doesn't go with the official serving suggestion of a strappy-peep-toe gladiator thingy, opting instead for a glossy white PVC stiletto ankle boot, with extra pointy toe. £13 at Dorothy Perkins back in Doncaster. You can't argue with a bargain like that.) After three Wallbangers Jane has kicked off her boots and is sashaying back to her room to make a quick change for dinner (at the Captain's table of course.) For this moment she had been planning on a simple shiny Monsoon bridesmaid-esque frock with matching beaded bolero. More than a little tipsy she stumbles over to the wardrobe and yanks out a heavy black garment bag. She pauses. This was meant to be for her Bajan-beach wedding, to toyboy number 4... Sod it. With pillarbox red acrylics she tears the bag open to reveal layers and layers of chiffon in red and black and champagne. Alexander McQueen is taking her to dinner. With a dusting of glitter powder on her tanned cleavage, she's ready to wow. When she enters the ballroom the sound of cutlery stops dead and you could hear a pin drop.

When the ship docks and its cargo unloaded for a stopover in Barbados, like a true glamour puss Jane takes the opportunity not to grease up and lie on the beach, but to hit Barbados' many jewellery shops. Decked out in head to toe Miu Miu, in a palate of greens; she feels the only thing missing is oodles of emeralds. Out come the credit cards, and Jane thinks to herself 'yes I better sign on for another season of Loose Women.' In the evening rum punch on the beach is paired with a sprightly Balenciaga baby blue skirt suit. The locals are entranced with Jane's dulcet tones and after whipping off the suit to reveal another cheeky Balenciaga number (a loudly printed matching top and culottes: Jane is queen of the quick change) she delights all with a surprising performance of Ace of Base's 'The Sign,' backed with twelve steel drums and the gentle creaking of the crickets.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Pink Friday: Ambivalent

Oh Nicki, we were all so so excited...
It kills me, but after all that amazing guest rapping (good enough to make me not only listen to, but actually enjoy...<3...dance to a Kanye song) ... After the best song of the year (Massive Attack - NOT the wet 'Your Love') After the green hair, pink hair, Harajuku Barbie outfits... the anticipation... Pink Friday, devastatingly; is actually a bit limp.

There's so much droning drively sniffly wet blanket smooth-R&B-pop. Pop in it's worst form: completely unoriginal and indistinguishable from any commercial radio filler. WHY!? Nicki clearly knows the Power Of Pop - as demonstrated with Massive Attack. Great Pop in its purest form blasts everything else out of the way - it unites not only on the dancefloor but IRL: channeling the energy and force of a generation. Pop changes the world. Unfortunately a lot of Pink Friday doesn't stand a chance.

In my fantasy world, Pink Friday is actually just an EP, Tracks 1-3 (or if really pushed...1-5.) The first three tracks of the album are so fabulous, i'm just going to pretend they're the whole album, and give Pink Friday...

FIVE monsters out of five. I'm perfectly willing to be this delusional and forgiving for Nicki as she's clearly a genius, there's just some sort of record label interference going on. When she raps it's amazing and when she's bonkers it's so brilliant and fresh. This is my favourite Nicki quote i've read so far, from The Guardian:

"Roman's a little gay boy who lives in me. And every time I talk he sort of just appears and I tell him, 'Roman, you know, stop it, you've gone mad, I tell you, mad.' He's an outlet to say what I need to say but sometimes don't want to."

Arggghhh love it! Roman is the Roman of Track 2: 'Roman's Revenge' - my favourite song on the EP and sort of favourite song of all time at the moment. Even though it's got Eminem on it! I still j'adore! 'Roman's Revenge' shows Nicki's mad rapping off the most, and the lyrics are great. I especially love the chorus "Raah! Raah! Like a Dungeon Dragon." One thing that's really in the track's favour is its breakneck speed. It really shows up the mid-tempo slurry that makes up the (now forgotten) rest of the album. Nicki totally outshines Eminem and finishes the track with a hilarious faux British accent pretending to be Roman's worried mother. I love it so much I made you this gif:

Lil Kim (obviously an influence of Minaj?) has taken Roman's Revenge to be a diss and replied with 'Black Friday' (in which she tells Nicki to "go stick your head in a tornado - BRAINSTORM.") This feud has only just got going...

Anyway. I hope what happens with Nicki Minaj is sort of like Gaga- I mean there's actually lots of crap filler on The Fame, and then when she reached her position of power within Pop, she was free to experiment and produce genre-busting songs that expanded the Pop landscape much further. Maybe Nicki just wants to get a commercial album out there to hook the masses, then once she's got everybody's attention - shit on em (see Pink Friday Track 3.) Maybe next year she'll have everybody in raptures waving their poo in the air (again, see Track 3 - 'Did It On'em.)

For now i'm content with three great tracks, and i'm a total KenBarb (Nicki's pet name for gayboys - cute!) But I expect to hear some really interesting B Sides and future guest raps... and who knows maybe a bitch fight duet with Lil Kim??? That would be GOOSE.

Friday, 26 November 2010


Oh happy days. The Spring Summer shows were a riot of camp and it makes me so happy to see Phoebe Philo's Beige dictatorship (more on that later) give way to a parade of no-messing zing-ding-a-ling colours. In some cases it feels like designers are pulling a bit of a fast one on all those smug Chloe-Coated fashion editors, giving them something totally vulgar to chew on knowing they have to swallow it with a smile. It's all much more Anna Del Russo than Anna Wintour, and thank god for that. It's Friday night, it's Top Of The Pops...

This is my favourite Miu Miu collection in years. I can't be doing with all that twee lace and ruffley rubbish that usually comes with the Miu Miu tag, but this stuff is just genius. Super luxe textiles in acids and metallics, printed and pleated silk dresses in awkward lengths and shapes with boxy leather jackets plonked on top. The leather is my best bit - the amazing colours and cut out appliqued shapes (hearts, snakes, peacocks, swans...) The jackets look like they could be dead stock, found boxed away in the basement of Dollywood's souvenir shop. I've been saying for aaages that Porter Wagoner style Nudie Suits are going to be the next big thing, and I've been frantically rummaging the novelty rails in Beyond Retro to no avail. As I probably won't be able to afford any of these Miu Miu beauties, I'll have to keep searching, but for now I'll be keeping warm at the thought of Anna Del Russo rocking this gold number, with matching custom made gold metallic leather stetson, boots and gun holsters. Pow wow pizazz yee-haw.

I was short sighted enough to overlook this collection the day it walked (I blame being temporarily blinded by the Miu Miu metallic nudie suits.) It's very different to their previous shows, but if you pay attention the Rodarte philosophy can be seen in every fold and stitch. Not a fan of beige, it's surprising how much I adore this rhapsody in brown. Every type of brown - biscuits rich tea to bourbon. Not just the colour, but the very texture and starched rigidity of woodchip wallpaper. I feel like the Mulleavy sisters travelled back in time to 1990, to my Nana's sitting room in an ex-council house in Widnes. Tea time to be specific - and with a photoshop pipette type tool they sucked up all the muted shades of leftover 1970's chic. The fake exposed brick around the calor gas heater (an ochre beige), the golden brown swirly thick pile carpet, the cloudy brown glass teacup holding ashy-hued PG tips tinted pale tan with sterilised milk. And sat amongst all that brown, holding the biscuits; a blue and white china cake plate (printed with indistinguishable exotic landscapes. My Nan didn't go in for that much foreign stuff but those plated provided a perfect touch of after school escapism.)

Femme Fresh! I never thought she had a sense of humour but Stella McCartney's SS11 presentation is hillare. What starts as a collection of perfectly lovely milkshake pink, dark blue denim and crisp white - neatly pressed tailored separates (not really breaking out of the box, but really well executed) ... suddenly gives way to the most hideous (but amazing?) print I have ever seen. To quote myself from another article: A citrus print so on the knife edge between chic and lemon pledge- If you were given a sample of the fabric you could easily mistake it for the PVC tablecloth printed with fruit and veg, sold by the metre in poundshops nationwide.

Oh GAWWWD this is just the best. The best hair of all time. I am booked in with the fabulous Sami Knight next week to recreate this using a bucket of peroxide and 12 types of Crazy Colour. Meadham Kirchhoff are the most exciting designers working in London right now. Their stiff as a board glitter t-shirts over chiffon for AW10 was amazing and for SS11 they have really pushed their aesthetic further. The work is a noisy bricolage of folk art, riot grrrl and religious ceremony. Layered colourful lace, hand painted leather and silk dresses all piled on top of each other made for an iconic catwalk show, that when undressed would leave piles and piles of ultra-desirable frocks. The separate pieces are rich in handwork and beautiful details (trims, embroidery, rough ruffles, lots of frayed and burnt edges.) When everything is expertly thrown together, with the my-little-pony-riot-grrrl hair and messy make up - it goes beyond a fashion show. The effect is overwhelming and the garments are so "authentic" (and made with such conviction) its more poetry than fashion. They are walking fanzines, teenage diaries - covered in glitter stickers, Courtney Love lyrics, painted in chipping metallic nail polish and punctuated with angsty biro pen swirls. Looking at the first exit I can smell cheap rose oil, candle wax and I can hear the opening riff of Violet.

Bananarama. This season Prada is totally bonkers. Who would have thought nurse tunics / surgical scrubs would look so major covered in bananas and primary coloured baroque curls. Doing exactly what Prada does the best - Miuccia has taken something ugly, naff and unsellable; and made it over as the most lusted after thing of the season. The costume like ruffles at the bottom of the skirts and dresses make a really weird shape, especially paired with the oversized short sleeved shirts. I hope the rich bitches who can afford this shit put it together in a fun way. It would be a shame to water it down. There's not much more to say except for those men's platform shoes - LUST.

ZING zing zing went my heartstrings. Have there ever been more perfect colour harmonies? Trousers like tents and paper bag waists and gigantic plains of proud colour. The men's collection was almost as nice too. Divine.

I made these Gifs for you. Feel free to spread around but please link back to me.