Sunday, 29 November 2009
After seeing them earlier in the year at the Primavera festival in Barcelona, I had high expectations. They did not disappoint, playing a joyously enthusiastic set from their EP and first album. A sonic delight.
Last night saw Ringo Deathstar take the stage, supporting The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. They were enjoyable enough, borrowing heavily from the Cure and My Bloody Valentine. Hell, even their lighting referenced the iconic Loveless cover.
Thursday, 26 November 2009
Wednesday, 25 November 2009
Sunday, 22 November 2009
My favourite scenes were any with Grace Coddington, the Creative Director of American Vogue, who seems to be the only person in the documentary who challenges Anna Wintour's decisions on wardrobe selection and magazine narrative.
Grace is a fascinating woman with a strong creative vision based on both her own experiences as model and her vast knowledge of historical references. One of my favourite segments was where she fought - but lost - her case to include the 20's-inspired Galliano spread which she had styled and directed.
With an extensive sake and cocktail menu, it took some time to decide on drinks. I went with the lime and lychee martini, a fine balance of sharp and sweet. At £12 it wasn't cheap but the elegant surrounds and helpful waiting staff made it worthwhile. A great location to impress a date.
For dinner, we headed to the Mint Leaf, just off Haymarket. We shared two starters (grilled lamb and paneer with apricots), two mains (chicken tikka and sea bream) and dessert (coconut brulee, recommended by our waitress). The food was delicious - all the meats were tender and spicy without overwhelming the palate. Service was pleasant and very efficient. The only downside was the music which was overly loud for a pre-8pm booking. All in all, a great venue for a birthday party with a large group of friends in tow.
Friday, 20 November 2009
(Image source: Vanity Fair)
Thursday, 19 November 2009
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
Headlining the event were Paloma Faith and TaioCruz, who performed separately and then duetted for the finale. Paloma looked ravishing in her 40s pin curls, deep red dress and yellow burlesque feather fan.
Earlier on, we had dinner at a hyped and very well-reviewed new Italian restaurant in Soho. Although the service was excellent, and the dining room gorgeous, the main courses were disappointing. I barely had four bites from my partridge as it was very rare and the boy's tuna was miniscule and overwhelmed by a strong vinegar dressing. The highlights of the meal were the starters of giant green olives, homemade bread and deep-fried mozzarella balls.
Overall, the experience wasn't worth the price and £5.50 for a bottle of beer is surely a record for a Soho joint. It was very telling that the Italian couple at the next table left half of their food uneaten.
Sunday, 15 November 2009
My first stop was Beyond Retro in East London and the very first thing that caught my eye was a 60's-style cream rabbit fur coat (very Margot Tenenbaum).
From there I headed to The Shop for a rummage, scoring a handknitted cream aran sweater and a Liberty shirt-dress. The pale blue print is in excellent condition and I'm looking forward to the first warm Spring day for its debut.
Tuesday, 10 November 2009
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
Featuring 25 new paintings, the works feature an exploration of familiar Hirst motifs - skulls, butterflies, skeletons and dots, all painted on large canvases, with a thickly-applied oily black background.
Hirst's triptychs reference the great work of Francis Bacon, but they lack the visceral impact and the ability to leave the viewer breathless.
For me, the most interesting part of the exhibition is how these contemporary pieces have been curated in two rooms of blue silk-covered walls, with almost no differentiation between the classic baroque works that both precede and continue after the Hirst exhibition.
I enjoy the concept and humour in many of Hirst's creations and this is an interesting experiment. However, as an attempt to become 'one' with some of the great Masters of artistic tradition, it falls somewhat short.
(image source: The Wallace Collection)
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
These two from Monsoon certainly fit the bill.