Friday, October 30, 2009

Boys We Fancy

Going to the dentist isn't top of my fun-things-to-do list but it is made easier by the fact that I totally fancy dentists. Not all dentists, but, eh, most of them. Maybe because they’re strict or maybe because when I was twelve, I had an operation to remove a supernumerary (that’s fancy for extra) tooth and the dental surgeon was really handsome and – perhaps because of the general anaesthetic, perhaps because of the onset of puberty – became a kind of paradigm of male attractiveness. Most dentists are probably really boring, but when you’re lying back in the chair they seem smart and actually hot, albeit in a Jeremy Paxman way. L
(There are no Google images that successfully illustrate the concept of a hot dentist. Just imagine it.)

David Mitchell
I’m about five years behind the rest of the world when it comes to Peep Show having watched an ep for the first time last week. It was a revelation and since then I’ve been going around saying “You must check out this Peep Show” like I’ve just uncovered some obscure, underground arthouse oddity. I don’t know why it took me so long because I majorly fancy David Mitchell. The love affair began with his Observer columns and then only increased with his appearances on Who Do You Think You Are? and infinite panel shows. There are lots of drawbacks – he enjoys watching snooker, has a bad back and lives in an ex-council flat in Kilburn that he himself describes as “shit” and “a dump”. Hilarious and socially awkward, he’s my perfect man even though he does seem to be in competition with Stephen Fry to be crowned ultimate media whore. N

James Franco
James Franco’s films – Spiderman, Tristan and Isolde, The Holiday – meant that he remained under my radar for a really long time. It wasn’t until Pineapple Express that he caught my attention and then I made up for lost time by researching/Wikipedia-ing like crazy. Yeah, so he’s perfect. He holds a degree in English from UCLA and goes to graduate school at Columbia (creative writing) and NYU (film studies). It did occur to me that his Gucci campaign was kind of selling out but if Frida Giannini offered me a gig like that I would obv take it. Plus MFAs at Columbia and NYU aren’t going to pay for themselves, you know. Anyway he totally makes up for it by gently making fun of the ads. (See video.) L

Michael Fassbender
I have nothing really to say about Michael Fassbender except that he’s incredibly hot and probably the first person I’ve nominated for a Boys We Fancy post who is conventionally attractive and not some variety of social misfit. I have to admit that I even kind of fancied his character in Fish Tank even though it felt so wrong. He’s the archetypal charming, rugged Irish man, the type who only seems to exist in Guinness ads, a man who can swim from Ireland to New York via our hometown of Naas and its beloved motorway ball. N

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ready for the Floor

After years in the fashion wilderness, now is the time for the longer length. Shorter hemlines have dominated for seasons so now a longer silhouette catches the eye and looks genuinely fresh and different. And we’re not talking hippy-dippy, printed skirts or evening wear but proper, sweeping skirts for day that go well past the knee. Haider Ackermann is the man for a look that’s a little bit Olsen mixed with a nice buttoned-up Edwardian vibe.

Long skirts have always been part of my wardrobe but usually just second-hand ones that I never get around to shortening so they hover at some hideously frumpy and unflattering mid-calf length. Wearing longer skirts is just another example of the "lengths"- I’m hilarious- I’ll go to to avoid leg maintenance and exposure. My ultimate pin-up for the longer length is Bay Garnett who seems to wear nothing else but her floor-length Nicole Farhi skirt. I loved that article in Vogue years ago that documented her daily style for a week and showed that she basically lived in the skirt. She’s kinda lazy and a bit scruffy and she’s still allowed inside Vogue House! Loves it. NOK

Pics: The Sartorialist, Tommy Ton, Vogue US, Vogue UK

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I'm John and I'm Edward

I have loved John and Edward since their very first X Factor audition. Back then I was pretty much alone but in the last few days, they have acquired a dedicated following. Jackie Collins has leapt to their defence saying, “I think the twins - that choice of doing that Britney Spears song was genius, absolute genius. I mean they are so cute and they really give the show that pizzazz." They have been featured on Dlisted and Stuart Heritage wrote a brilliantly supportive article on the Guardian TV blog.

There’s a simple reason for my love of J & E – they cheer me up. One minute, I’m half-heartedly watching boring mediocrities such as Lloyd or Rikki, the next I’m frantically dancing round the living room, singing along to their excellent song choices. They induce happiness. They're like a natural Prozac. Well actually I've never been on Prozac but I'd wager that it's not as good as J & E. They're more like a natural laughing gas. A major factor in their charm is that they say the funniest things in their weird Southpark-esque voices. It’s like they’re not from Lucan at all, but another planet entirely. My top five Jedwardisms are:

When asked where they see themselves in 15 years
“Well I see myself being older.”

Discussing their influence on hairstyles
"Britney Spears, she wore a belly top and now everyone wears belly tops. John and Edward have big hair. Everybody is going to have big hair."

Talking about their influences
“I remember the very first day 5ive came on the telly and I was like ‘woah, imagine if we had that status and had that much fun and were able to come out with such a hit'.”

After a particularly bad performance
“I was practically laughing at myself, imagining I was looking at TV and going ‘woah, these guys are a joke’.”

On why they want to be pop stars
“We came to see all the ladies. Who wouldn’t want girls shouting your name, going ‘John’ or ‘Edward’ or whatever”


P.s. If you have yet to be introduced to John and Edward you should check this out. LE

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Under The Westway

London's so nice back in your seamless rhymes
But we're lost on the Westway
So we hold each other tightly
And hold on for tomorrow

Ok so I know that East is where it’s at, that Walthamstow is the new Dalston which was the new Shoreditch or whatever but since I moved to London I have lived in the deeply unfashionable West. The last time West London was remotely cool was probably sometime in the mid-nineties when Damon and Justine were living on Kensington Park Road.

The lyrics of Blur’s For Tomorrow evoke my favourite view over London - in a cab, driving along the Westway at night from Marylebone towards home, looking through the window at Golborne Road leading to Trellik Tower, Portobello Market and Ladbroke Grove tube, the skyline a mix of nineteenth century rooftops and stark, high rise flats. This urban landscape was lovingly documented in the latest issue of Pop with words by JG Ballard and pictures by Juergen Teller and Jon Savage. I first came across Savage’s portraits of neglected London at the ICA exhibition The Secret Public which explored the underground art scene that emerged against the background of Thatcher’s Britain. This feature was yet another highlight of Dasha’s first Pop. Overall, it more than surpassed my expectations, which were extremely low admittedly, and banished all thoughts of my initial WTF?? reaction to her appointment as editor-in- chief. NOK

Pics: flickr, Jon Savage, me & Fi.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Spring Awakening

As the collections draw to a close in Paris, it’s a good time to reassess and confront the challenges ahead for Spring 2010. Regular peeps must come to terms with ice cream shades and underwear as outerwear. The fashion pack need to learn that just because someone is young and falls out of nightclubs does not make them a designer or a cool, model muse.

First to Lindsay whose debut as artistic advisor at Emanuel Ungaro, working alongside head designer Estrella Archs, was universally panned. My issue isn’t that the clothes were hideous – which they were. My problem is that a once venerable fashion house like Ungaro could just use a desperate quick fix trick of the celeb designer appointment to bring some publicity to the brand. And rather than just putting her face to the name, it turns out she might have had some actual involvement in the design process. The results were an ugly and endless heart motif, nipple pasties that also reappeared on the heads of models and damning reviews. A fashion house of Ungaro’s stature is not a line of leggings. They could have used LiLo in advertising or as a brand ambassador, not have her in some faux artistic role that includes having to take an awkward catwalk bow complete with tears (Lindsay’s) and a face like thunder (Estrella’s).

Meanwhile over in Milan, it seems the Italian fash pack still hasn’t gotten over its fascination with the boring BrIT girls. Front row at Dolce & Gabbana was the ubiquitous Peaches, alongside Alice Dellal, Daisy Lowe and fellow Class of 2008 alum, Portia Freeman. Already this year we have seen Pixie (looking a lot like Shakira) on the cover of Italian Vogue with the cover line "So young, so cool.” Peaches also turned up in March at the opening of the Extreme Beauty exhibition hosted by Vogue and D&G. It’s bad enough having to deal with them looking grumpy and getting thrown evil looks by Anna W at LFW. But taking it international is just more than I can handle. Ok so I may have been one of only 3 people who actually watched Class of 2008 but even I don’t need to see this lot front row or on the cover of Vogue. Poor Dolce thinks this new generation is "interesting" – hmm, I think I'll point him in the direction of Class of 2008 and the London Lite and see how quickly he changes his mind. The Italians need to find some new muses and let the clothes do the talking – the epic finale at Dolce & Gabbana with an army of models in corsets and lippy was powerful enough to hog the headlines on its own. NOK

Friday, October 2, 2009

Martine's Mistress

This week Marina Hyde broke the news that the first chapter of Martine McCutcheon’s book, The Mistress, is available to read online. Instead of trying to explain it myself I will direct you to her wonderful Lost in Showbiz column. Oh and here are some extracts from the book:

She grabbed her slightly sodden copy of Grazia again and headed out of her heavy black door, pulling it shut by its knocker. She fumbled with her umbrella: ‘Oh bloody hell, it never works, why do I bother?’ She ran and jumped into the taxi.

‘Ready, darlin’?’ said the cabby with a twinkle in his eye – he clearly found Mandy attractive.


The lovely Irish doorman, Callum, helped her to the main doors of the restaurant. Mandy swept through the doors of the Wolseley, shook the raindrops off her umbrella, and gasped at the beauty and opulence that filled the room. Everyone looked so beautiful, polished and stylish. This wasn’t just a restaurant, this was like the perfect scene in a film.

And a video from Martine:

So this has thrown up two worrying problems for me. I sometimes buy Grazia (this week was amazing – so much reading and all for a £1) and sometimes I like to drink cocktails in fancy hotel bars (I love the peanuts and the attentive waiters, okay) so now I am worried that I resemble Mandy, the mistress of the title. I fear I am going to have to eschew silly drinks like the cocktails Mandy favours and give up Grazia because I just have to distance myself from this twenty-something London girl that Martine has created. The product placement has backfired big time.

The second troubling development was that when I mentioned the book to my other The Portmanteau half, she casually said, “Oh I think I have her autobiography." Em, excuse me. “Yeah I got it in a charity shop. It’s really funny.” So now when I go to bed each night and settle down to my proper respectable book (Rabbit, Run by John Updike) all I can think of is how Martine’s amazing biography is just begging to be read. It’s taunting me from the cupboard that is reserved especially for the embarrassing books we own. And yes, that includes all the Piers Morgan ones. I’m not going to be able to concentrate on Rabbit’s depressing crisis until I have devoured Martine’s triumph-over-tragedy tale. LE