Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It's a Boy Girl Thing


After aeons away from the blogosphere while I lived in the office planning this , I finally made my first tentative steps back onto Planet Fashion at the opening of concept store LN-CC housed in a former boxing gym on Shacklewell Lane. It's filled with things that I would probably never buy and definitely could never afford but the industrial interior dreamed up by set designer Gary Card is worth checking out as is the selection of books curated by book dealer Conor Donlon. All super groovy so The Portmanteau promptly headed to Nando's next door to take it all in. The strongest idea behind the project is how they mix menswear and womenswear. The whole concept is based on menswear but has been altered to work for girls too. JW Anderson is stocked at LN-CC and his boy/girl thing was one of my highlights of LFW, all those months ago. Overall, the 70s desert island tropicalia mood of the shows didnt grab me but J-Dubs did good with the select pieces from his womenswear collection that he mixed in at his menswear presentation. It didn't exactly hurt that the show also had the best soundtrack of the season – my song of the year, Arcade Fire’s "Sprawl II", followed by one of my all time classics, Pulp's "Do You Remember the First Time?". My favourite look was this layered, gawky schoolgirl OF that echoed Prada’s autumn/winter collection. Typical that my highlight of the spring collections is a woolly jumper and skirt combo –never been the biggest fan of summer clothes. Give me wool and layers every time. NOK



Pics:LN-CC; JW Anderson SS11; Prada in Pop AW10

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Retail Therapy

I don't have time to write a lengthy post, concerned as I am with chasing up leads and attending council meetings - it's all part of being a student reporter on a news website, don't you know. But I have two blogs I would like to share with you.

Both are concerned with one of my favourite aspects of London life - the independent shop. Coming from Ireland, with its countless Spars and Centras, it was a joy to come across the little independent stores that make up London's retail landscape. I remember being agog at the sight of fruit in bowls and night shops that sell alcohol all night long (in Ireland it is illegal for shops to sell alcohol after 10pm!) when I first moved here 18 months ago. My Portmanteau other half and I would spend hours in our local grocers when we lived in Holland Park, intrigued by the dusty ornaments and delighted by the out-of-date Immac depilatory cream.

LondonShopfronts.com
does what it says on the tin - photograph London shop fronts, duh - but the results are often beautiful, and always representative of the vast array of shops that populate the city.


Photographs: Emily Webber for London Shop Fronts

ChatsE5
is a blog that accompanies an exhibition currently on at Chats Palace, the Hackney-based art centre. Photographer Colin O'Brien and travel writer Jane Egginton have captured Clapton shopkeepers in their natural habitat - the shops, cafes, mechanics suppliers and launderettes that operate on Chatsworth Road in Hackney. The street's landscape is changing and gentrification may be afoot (read an article I wrote on the subject here) but this exhibition manages - through arresting images and engaging text - to capture the various businesspeople that make a living on this diverse street in 2010.


Photographs: Colin O'Brien for ChatsE5/Last of the Real High Streets

Lynn Enright

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Trailer Alert

As I’ve mentioned previously on this blog, we love a good trailer here at The Portmanteau. I watched the Bounty Hunter trailer around 50 times, squealing with delight as Gerard Butler mangled vowel sounds in a bid to sound American and Jennifer Aniston tried to endear us by pulling I’m-tough-yet-funny-yet-sexy-yet-not-desperate faces. Well now there’s another classic on YouTube. The trailer for upcoming “romantic comedy” No Strings Attached has recently become available for viewing. And laughing at (in a mean way). So yes Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher play really good-looking friends who have sex with each other but are not going out. You know, it’s that oft-talked about (in 90s TV programmes) concept: the “fuck buddy”. Blah, aren’t we over talking about this? Well, apparently not because the trailer asks “Can you have sex without love getting in the way?” Well yes, obviously, but probably not with somebody you really like over a prolonged time. Duh. And why would love be “getting in the way”? Pretty much everybody likes falling in love, even really attractive, busy people like those portrayed by Natlaie Portman and Ashton Kutcher. It’s disappointing to see Greta Gerwig is involved with this project because she was in the excellent Greenberg, a film that sort of looks at the same concept (well hooking up and complicated relationships) but in an original and funny way. I suppose I can sort of see why she and Natalie Portman would do it (Ashton K would obviously do anything – he was in Valentine’s Day): they want to be in a mainstream funny film that examines the complexities of relationships. And those are films that I love watching too. The only problem is that there hasn’t been a Hollywood movie that’s done that since When Harry Met Sally in 1989. And I should know. This year alone, I’ve sat through The Rebound, Leap Year, SATC 2 and Valentine’s Day in a quest to find a good rom-com. To no avail. Obvs.

Luckily for Natalie Portman, she also has another film out early next year and this one looks really good – Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan with costumes designed by Rodarte, and a supporting role from Mila Kunis. Oh, and in a trailer twist, Mila Kunis stars alongside Justin Timberlake in the upcoming Friends With Benefits, which is basically the same movie as No Strings Attached. Except for it looks funnier. Watch the trailer here. And just to hammer home the point that this is not an original concept, I would like to point out that there is another film trailer called Friends With Benefits on YouTube. And, yes, it is about friends who have sex with each other but aren't in love. Get it together, Hollywood.



Natalie Portman in Black Swan

Lynn Enright