Friday, May 29, 2009

The Very Private Lives of Winona Ryder

My favourite ever celebrity, Winona Ryder, is on the cover of UK Elle this month. The 37-year-old is looking as pixie-ish as ever in a tulle Dolce & Gabanna corset. Inside she is interviewed by Rebecca Miller, who directs her in the forthcoming film The Private Lives of Pippa Lee. I read the book (Miller first wrote TPLOPL as a novel and subsequently adapted and directed it for the big screen) on a flight recently and whilst I could recognise some of its limitations - the pretty ridiculous ending being a major one - I thought that Miller captured the difficult mother-daughter relationship perfectly and I’m really looking forward to the Blake Lively/Robin Wright Penn/Julianne Moore/Winona movie. Unfortunately though Miller fails to capture any essence of Winona in her interview but you get the feeling that this may have something to do with Winona’s reticence. In her editor’s letter, Lorraine Candy says “There is so much Winona does not want to talk about” and boy do you get that impression in the interview. LE

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Spoiled Brat

My Birthday

The good thing about birthdays is that you get lots of presents; the bad thing about birthdays is that some of the presents come in the form of vodka and tonics or bottles of Taittinger, which could lead to mishaps surrounding important electronic equipment. Yes, my camera is now memory card and battery-less after a birthday night out. And so instead of photographing my loot I've clumsily put together a Polyvore collage which includes my new Alex Monroe mushroom chain (a present from my mum), a Karen Walker sweatshirt dress and a Comfort Station inverted stag pendant (both from my boyfriend).

P.s. I hadn't heard of Comfort Station before, but a quick browse of their website means that I will be hotfooting it down to their beautiful Brick Lane shop, which stocks custom-made crockery as well as jewellery, as soon as I land in London. LE

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Rollin' with the Homies

Due to lack of funds, I was intending to be a total hermit this weekend - but there is no way I can miss this. It's FLICK IT - Clueless V Heathers night at The Old Blue Last tonight with a soundtrack inspired by the two classic teen movies. A night of high school bitchiness and free drinks for those who get into the spirit and dress up - I'm so there. So what will it be - Veronica and the Heathers or the ultimate Bettys, Cher and Dionne? Shoulder pads, coloured tights and plaid à la Heathers or knee - high socks, berets and even more plaid in honour of Clueless?

"Ok - I'm outie"
"Great pâté, mom, but I gotta motor if I wanna be ready for that party tonight."


Friday, May 22, 2009

Chelsea Hotel #3

One of The Portmanteau's very first posts featured 5 women whose lives we coveted, including US Vogue staffer, Sally Singer. We were, and still are, envious of Singer because she manages to retain a bohemian style whilst working at the über-glossy American Vogue. And because she lives at the Chelsea Hotel in New York. And because her husband, writer Joseph O'Neill, is very handsome and talented.

This week, The Selby photographed Singer in her apartment at the Chelsea Hotel. The results - colourful, modern and slightly messy shots - have made me more eager to walk a day in Singer's Tabitha Simmons shoes than ever.

Images from The Selby

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Advertising Fashion

Another day, another ad masquerading as a short film/piece of art/etc. Just a fortnight after the Audrey Tautou develops irrational crush on weird stranger whilst wearing Chanel on train film comes a Dior short featuring my other favourite French actress, Marion Cotillard. Marion is as beautiful and radiant as you would expect and the (former) production assistant/researcher in me applauds their Eiffel Tower location but I am not wowed by this offering, just as I didn't really enjoy the Chanel No 5 advert. The Lady Dior bag looks quite nice if you're into really expensive bags but I would have expected a more interesting piece from director Olivier Dahan, who also directed La Vie en Rose. I know that advertising is a wholly crucial cog in the fashion wheel and without it there would be no Vogue or other glossies (see the chapter on advertising in Hadley Freeman's The Meaning of Sunglasses), but I do think that there is room for creativity in this short film format. Take Somers Town, the Shane Meadows directed feature that derived most of its budget from the Eurostar, for example. OK so there is that awkward moment where the hard-drinking dad stops brawling to discuss the amazing train that goes under the sea or something, but otherwise you get a beautiful film examining teenage friendship starring the brilliantly talented, if not quite as photogenic as Audrey or Marion, Thomas Turgoose.

But maybe I'm just being naive and unrealistic as below are a couple of comments from the Chanel No 5 ad on YouTube.

its now officially my favorite commercial. it makes me really want to check this perfume out.

Aww. This is definately why I wear Chanel No5

Friday, May 15, 2009

The News

Chuck Bass, well Ed Westwick, is to play Heathcliff in a new adaptation of Wuthering Heights. This is quite possibly the most exciting casting decision ever. More exciting even than Sienna as Edie, Audrey as Coco, Renee as Bridget, Johnny as Wonka. Filming starts in the autumn so I suppose that means the film won’t be out until late 2010 at least, but I have a feeling that this is going to be worth the wait. Gemma Arterton is to play Cathy, which could be a problem because she seems way taller than Chuck, but I guess they can just have him stand on a box. I’m also concerned about his outfits. I never fancy Ed Westwick when he wears his boring normal clothes so hopefully they will bear this in mind and ensure that Heathcliff’s wardrobe is as exciting as Chuck’s.

In other news, Katie 'Jordan' Price and Peter Andre broke up. I don’t really care about this but evidently others do. My sister’s facebook status just minutes after the split was announced read: jordan and peter are no more. please tell me it is not true. devastated is not even the word. And despite Oliver Marre of the Guardian remarking that he didn’t care that they were splitting up, the paper/website still ran more than 10 stories on the subject, including this gem from Hadley.

Quote of the week comes from Gwyneth. Goop never lets us down. Every week we get a smug and self-righteous quote delivered straight into our inbox. A month ago it was her thinly veiled stab at my favourite ever celebrity, Winona, and this week she provided us with this little nugget: Gwyneth Paltrow is not a music expert but is an avid listener and knows how to get down. I’m not laughing at her for referring to herself in the third person. I love referring to myself in the third person. It makes me feel famous and talked about, but rather I am laughing at the bit where she says she “knows how to get down”.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Unseen Guy Bourdin

The private view of the Guy Bourdin exhibition at the Wapping Project last week was definitely not your regular, run-of-the-mill art opening. Instead of Asahi beer in a bin and the usual crowd of art students and hangers on, we had champagne cocktails and Bryan Ferry. The venue itself is breathtaking. It’s a renovated power station and the dark, cavernous interior was lit by hundreds of candles for the night. There is also the cutest little bookshop in a greenhouse outside on the grass. The rather excellent soundtrack was provided by Misty Rabbit and Jerry Bouthier and the fashion crowd actually danced, rather than just standing around, looking flawless.

I had always found Bourdin's work a little too disturbing and twisted for my taste but I was completely floored by this show - the photographs glowed in the haunting darkness and the compelling images offer the viewer a glimpse into a private world, inviting them to complete the narrative. The centrepiece of the exhibition is Bourdin's Surrealist-inspired image of a silhouette with a heavily made-up eye looking through a peephole. Until 4 July at the Wapping Project.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

London Calling

Our email address is, but admittedly there has been nothing daily about our recent posting. Portmanteautwiceweekly would be more accurate. Our excuse – my other The Portmanteau half has been something of a globetrotter in the past few weeks (well, British Isles trotter anyway) and I’ve been grappling with a pretty big decision. I’ve decided to swap Dublin for London and I’m moving in with my other The Portmanteau half at the end of the month.

The prospect of living in such a big city with so many options and possibilities – social, cultural and career-related – is simultaneously exciting and terrifying. On the one hand, I’m totally up for this challenge, ready to go over there with a new found enthusiasm and drive. Plus magazines are really cheap in London and I’m quite curious about Waitrose. But I am also incredibly frightened. Frightened that with no Irish Sea to separate us, my other The Portmanteau half and I are going to descend into a Grey Gardens meets Ab Fab mess, frightened that I’m going to start thinking Chris Moyles is funny and frightened that I won’t get a job and will therefore starve, unable to shop in Iceland, let alone Waitrose.

Anyway, that’s why I’ve been rather lax with the posts recently, but I promise that normal service will resume as soon as possible. Along with my unrealistic visions of the new London me being really into yoga and tidying, I imagine that she will also be very conscientious about daily posting. And I plan to finally join Twitter.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

MJ In His Early Days

It was the Costume Institute gala on Monday – aka Fright Night at the Museum. Nice Superquinn-turquoise horns, Madonna and don’t get me started on Stella’s lace bra suit. Even a huge 60s bouffant couldn't make Bland Hathaway look remotely interesting. Yes, we complain about boring red carpet dressing, but that’s really no excuse for parading a year’s worth of worst dressed moments all in one night.
King of the night was honorary chair Marc Jacobs. Although I’m usually his biggest fan, unfortunately he was responsible for many of the horrors on show  - Kate’s tinfoil mess, VB’s cheap polka dot handkerchief accessorized with hideous orange tan.
All of this Marc action reminded me yet again how much I miss the Marc Jacobs of yore, pre-rehab and pre- makeover. He had lank, greasy hair, wore nerdy specs and was a few stone heavier - but he was so cute. He’s all happily engaged now and living clean but the hotness just isn’t there for me anymore. I get it. He wanted to show ex Jason Preston what he was missing. But now he’s all loved up with Lorenzo Martone, maybe he’ll start to let himself go and return to his grungier roots. Hopefully. Enough with designers (Karl, Donna, John Galliano - I'm talking to you) and their dramatic weight loss. They should just leave the size zero obsession to the models.

PS - Just to prove we’re not evil bloggers, damning everybody…
The Portmanteau’s Best Dressed at the Met were Jessica Stam in Rodarte and Diane Kruger in Chanel.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The News

Yes, we realise that swine flu is a big deal but there were a few other interesting, although admittedly not as important, stories in the news this week. First off SJP announced she is having twins. By a surrogate. Despite the fact that Matthew Broderick had an affair quite recently. Then it was reported that one of our favourite couples ever are splitting up. We’ve long been fans of Jarvis and one might think that we’d be glad to hear of his impending divorce from French stylist, Camille Bidault-Waddington, but even we are not that mean-spirited. And we almost liked C B-W as much as Jarv anyway – I mean, who can forget the girlish envy endured at seeing her hen party weekend pictures in Elle. That’s exactly what I want my hen to be like when I’m a French stylist and I’m marrying Jarvis Cocker, my eighteen-year-old self thought pathetically.

Alexa’s move to NY was explained by the announcement that she is to have her own MTV show which will be a replacement for the now defunct TRL. Again, that is something that my eighteen-year-old self would be incredibly jealous about. Over at the Guardian, Ed Westwick was interviewed by Hannah Pool, which actually upsets me as I prefer to imagine Chuck Bass as being a real person, who I might meet and possibly go on a date with some time, rather than a character played by a polite English boy. The Guardian also had an excellent article on punctuation and the over-use of exclamation marks that appealed to the TEFL-trained side of me, its paragraph on semi-colons being of particular interest. Semi-colons make me nervous (I am not 100% sure of the rules) so I was heartened to hear that Orwell deemed them unnecessary and omitted them entirely from The Clergyman’s Daughter.

Our top news story of the week though came from the Irish Times and was entitled Naas to See You. We’re from Naas, you see, so this article was of particular interest. The piece appeared in last Saturday’s Irish Times and focused on the Punchestown National Hunt Festival, which yet again is something that my teenage self was very into. Not because I had any particular interest in horse racing but because you got the week off school and the town came alive at night with fun activities such as pig racing and the carnival (that’s carnival in the Irish sense of the word as in bumper cars and candy floss). The carnival, however, wasn’t mentioned in the article. Instead it focused on classier joints such as Butt Mullins, the restaurant where my other The Portmanteau half and I celebrated our confirmation, and Emporium Kalu, the shop responsible for thousands of middle-aged Kildare women adopting the layered boho-chic look.

I am using swine flu as an excuse to post this picture of really cute pigs.

Halston No! No! No!

Now that Peter Copping has been officially revealed as the new designer at the helm of Nina Ricci, it's time to find my beloved Olivier Theyskens a new home. I have professed my love for Theykens here before - a love for his beautiful face as well as his beautiful creations. There have been some horrible rumours swirling that he was about to go and join Halston - I can't think of a more ill-suited pairing - completely opposite aesthetics. American sportswear and gothic romanticism do not mix. There would be nothing worse than allowing awful Tamara Mellon & co to get their hands on him. Anna Wintour showed she was firmly on Team Theyskens, praising him in her editor's letter in April's Vogue and slamming Nina Ricci for letting him go. This also made me feel a bit uneasy - Anna usually has crushes on boring people like Roger Federer. I don't want her keeping tabs on my Theyskens by dragging him stateside.

Other goss has linked the brilliant Belgian to a design role at dormant house Schiaparelli - a better fit than Halston but neither really seem like the perfect match to me. Hopefully, OT will manage to avoid the clutches of both Anna & Tamara and can concentrate on reviving his signature label - yes, the financial backing of a Harvey Weinstein type would be nice but more importantly, he could flourish more creatively without the constraints of a fashion house.