Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Ryan McGinley @ Alison Jacques

Today I visited Ryan McGinley's exhibition 'Moonmilk' at the Alison Jacques Gallery.

Shot in caves across across North America, the contrast between human nudes and the giant natural formations, combined with intense colour saturation, reminds me of Led Zeppelin's album cover artwork for 'Houses of the Holy' by Storm Thorgerson.

(Image sources: Alison Jacques Gallery and Creative Review)

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Pavement returns

I am extremely excited about the reunion and have tickets for one NYC night in September. Only a year to go.

Until then, I will mostly be listening to the back catalogue, including one of my favourites from 'Slanted and Enchanted'. This is one of many songs that immediately transports me back to freshman year at University, where I used to buy at least 2 CDs a week and listen to them obsessively on my silver Sony Discman. Happy days.


Located on Thayer Street at the Oxford Street end of Marylebone, just a few minutes' walk from St Christopher's Place is newly-opened Cocorino. Serving a range of perfectly made breads, including savoury and sweet pastries, it is welcome stop-off point after a shopping trip down Marylebone High Street.

At the moment, their website is just a landing page so hopefully a fully-fledged menu and opening times are updated soon.

(Image source: Cocorino)

The Drums @ The Flowerpot

Newly signed to Moshi Moshi, Brooklyn's The Drums played their first London show last night at The Flowerpot in Kentish Town. The Flowerpot is a cool little venue - they host a band every night at 9pm and it's free. The setup is well considered with lots of sofa space, well-priced drinks and most importantly, a solid PA. A recent review in the Guardian describes the venue as 'a minty-green, one-room pub at the heart of a very modern musical revolution'.

The Drums put on a lively show; influenced by Californian 60's pop, Joy Division and the Smiths, with a look straight out of a mid-period John Hughes film, they had the crowd smiling and dancing away. Definitely one to watch this year.

(Image source: We are the Drums)

Over the knee

I wasn't convinced by the over-the-knee boot, as shown in numerous AW09/10 collections from Halston to McCartney to Rodarte. That is, until I tried on these numbers from Duo:

After years of playing tennis, my muscular calves prevent me from fitting into most high-street boots. Duo are my saviour - the boots are made to measure both foot and calf size. At £180 they are not a budget buy, but considering they are made to order, the cost-per-wear comes way down. I wore mine for the first time last night and they were the height of comfort even walking a couple of miles on a round trip from Camden to Kentish Town.

(Image source: Duo)

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

National Cupcake Week

Now there's a week to celebrate with one of these...

I highly recommend the ones from Ella's Bakehouse, created by Lorraine Pascale and her baking team. Lorraine sometimes delivers the cakes personally from her trusty Vespa!

Monday, 14 September 2009

The morning ritual

Some lovelies can go bare-faced however I always feel better with some assistance. My weekday ritual is thus:
Cleanser: Dermalogica Microfoliant
Moisturiser: Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser (Nude)
Mineral powder: Lily Lilo (Blondie)
Concealer: Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage and/or YSL Touch Eclat (depending on the night before)
Brows: Benefit Instant Brow Pencil (unlike Lara Stone, I can't rock the transparent brow)
Lashes: Diorshow Blackout (if I'm flush) or 2True Black (if I'm not)
Eyeliner: Mac Violet Trance eyeshadow, dampened and drawn with a brush
Blush: Benefit-anything (Posietint and Benetint are top of my list)
Lips: It has to be red (L'Occitane rose shea butter or Chanel Rouge Allure in Passion).

Let the day begin...

My perfect winter coat

I was looking for something like this little beauty...

...a gorgeously luxe MaxMara coat from the AW09/10 Collections. Costing almost £1,000, it is somewhat out of my price range, so I have been dreaming of a more affordable option. I found it in the form of a sumptuous camel-coloured wool/mohair wrap coat in the 'Young Fashion' section of an East London TK Maxx, for an eight of the cost of my beloved MaxMara!

The coat was designed by Edina Ronay, someone I know little about. After a spot of googling, I am even more intrigued by Miss Ronay, who starred in a number of 60's TV shows and films including 'The Avengers', 'Carry on Cowboy' and (my favourite) 'Prehistoric Women (Slave Girls)'. Now about that sparkly top...

(Image sources: Stylefinder and Starlet Showcase.)

Brigitte Bardot @ James Hyman

At lunchtime I visited the Brigitte Bardot exhibition at the James Hyman Gallery on Savile Row. It is in the basement of no.5 and only has a small sign on the railing at street level.

Featuring 75 photographs to commemorate the 75th birthday of Brigitte Bardot, it is a fascinating insight into the beginning of paparazzi culture, effecting the dynamic between celebrities and the public.

My favourite part of the exhibition are the black and white photographs featuring Bardot's impersonations of Charlie Chaplin, taken when bored on set on Viva Maria in 1965. Cheeky, moi?

(Image source: James Hyman Gallery.)

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Hermès @ Liberty

Another week, another Liberty post. After a quick afternoon visit to Hoss Intropia and COS (what is going on with their new site?), I popped in to Liberty to take in the last of the sample sale and to see the new Hermès pop-up store.

Abuzz with shoppers, it stocks a large range of scarves and ties, including a limited edition range of prints on traditional Liberty Tana Lawn cottons. Stupidly, I asked to take pictures and was told I could take a picture of the zebra on the wall with a scarf tied jauntily around its neck. Er, no thanks.

High level security aside, it is definitely worth a visit and if you can't make it in person, you can purchase a range of the scarves online.

(Image sources: Hermès / Liberty.)

Monday, 7 September 2009

Prints Charming

Thanks to my wonderful print-obsessed mother, I also have a love of all things Liberty so the Prints Charming exhibition was top of my 'to see' list. The fourth floor of the Liberty store was transformed into an ode to the print, which covered everything from fabrics by A.P.C and Cacharel, umbrellas, diaries, a Skeppshult bicycle and gorgeous boudoir dolls by Amanda Fatherazi. The exhibition was beautifully and carefully curated with an eccentric flair that is evident throughout the entire store. My favourite department store in the world, hands down.

Bandstand Busking

After a delicious Sunday brunch of pink grapefruit juice and eggs benedict at Bistoteque, I wandered over to Northampton Square to see 'Peggy Sue' play at the latest Bandstand Busking event. Some amazing bands have played at a London Bandstand, such as 'Fanfarlo', 'Asobi Seksu', and one of my favourites, 'Kill it Kid' who are due to release their debut album very soon. Hear the next big thing before it's on XFM or 'Skins'.

Moby @ Rough Trade East

Rough Trade, one of the original indie-labels, runs a hugely successful in-store live music programme, where you can see bands such as the Pretenders and Blur not only for free but playing to little more than 100 people, rather than at a stadium or festival.

On the weekend, I had the opportunity to see Moby play a selection of new tunes and classics from 'Play'. Both female vocalists were outstanding but Joy Malcolm really impressed with a 20-minute version of 'Natural Blues' closing the show. Oh lordy indeed.

Walking in my Mind

On Friday I visited the Hayward Gallery to see 'Walking in my mind'. My favourite works were Yoshitomo Nara's playhouse, Chiharu Shiota's 'After the dream' and the 'dots obsessions' by Yayoi Kusama, which included a room filled with inflatables which then opened to the roof garden filled with similar forms created in plastic.

Kusama's feeling of revolving 'in the infinity of endless time and the absoluteness of space,' and her view of herself as 'a dot lost among a million other dots' feels incredibly apt when viewing this with the rush-hour bustling of commuters and traffic in the distance.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Playing the Building

This summer saw the installation of David Byrne's 'Victorian steam-punk' sound experiment 'Playing the Building' launch in London after a run in New York's Battery Maritime Building in 2008. Set in Camden's historic 'Roundhouse', the former steam engine repair shed, was transformed into a giant musical instrument, played by a steady queue of volunteers.

Quoting Byrne's original proposal: "To create this, various devices are attached to parts of the building structure - to the metal beams, the plumbing, the electrical conduits, the heating pipes, the water pipes - and are used to make these things produce sound. No amplification is used, no computer synthesis of sound, and there are no speakers. The machines will produce sound in three ways: through wind, vibration and striking. The devices that are part of the piece do not produce sound on their own, but instead they cause the building elements themselves to vibrate, resonate and oscillate so that the building itself becomes a very large musical instrument."