Showing posts with label Newspapers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Newspapers. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Boys We Fancy


Obviously we’ve been fascinated by the Battle of the Milibands here at Portmanteau Towers. (Yes, Portmanteau Towers. I know we don’t have an office – like we barely manage a blog a week, hardly enough to warrant an office – but we do live together. In a kind of high-rise building. Well high-rise for somebody from Co. Kildare.) Anyway, yes we’ve been fascinated by the Milibands because, as we’ve mentioned in a previous Boys We Fancy post, we really fancy them. I mean the story is obviously intriguing even if you don’t have a crush on Ed and David but fancying them certainly does bring an extra dimension to our interest. We’re dead jealous of Gillian Duffy, aka The Rochester Bigot, who got to sit in on Ed Miliband’s speech today and is, according to the press association (via the Guardian), going for tea with him later in the week. But we have also been busy developing other, more mainstream, crushes recently.

Michael Buble

OK so everybody fancies Michael Buble. This was illustrated by the fact that 100,000 people went to see him play in Dublin’s Aviva stadium over the weekend. 100,000 people. Ireland’s tiny so that really is a massive proportion of Irish mammies. I like to think that I am drawn to “The Bubble” – that’s what we call him here at Portmanteau Towers (I should really drop this Portmanteau Towers thing) – for sophisticated reasons. Reasons that mark me as different from all the other screaming fans. But, yeah, basically I am the same as the rest of them. I think that ‘Haven’t Met you Yet’ is an incredibly catchy song and I like his smile. I am also strangely endeared by the fact that he seems to be a yo-yo dieter. One week he’s looking svelte on X Factor, the next (like literally the next) he’s looking porky on Graham Norton. But I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting to feed him pickle sandwiches (his favourite).


Jon Hamm

I actually fancy Don Draper but obviously that relationship could only ever end in tears so I have decided to fancy Jon Hamm instead. Don Draper is a lying, deceitful cad with a drink problem, whereas Jon Hamm is a sensitive, committed guy who, according to an interview in the Observer, would have been a teacher if the acting hadn’t worked out. Cute. I mean obviously I still fancy Don Draper a bit more (who doesn’t love a lying alcoholic?) but Jon Hamm looks exactly like him and would be less likely to deceive you with a fake background and various affairs. Also – Jon Hamm is funny. Don Draper isn’t actually that funny. Jon Hamm’s funniness can be witnessed in an SNL skit he made with my other boyfriend Michael Buble. They run a restaurant called the Hamm and Buble Restaurant that only serves pork and champagne. You can't view the video over here but check it out if you're ever in America.

Tim Dowling

Tim Dowling is the perfect man. I know this because he writes a column about his life and his family and it all sounds perfect. Yes he could be lying but I don’t think he is. I think that his relationship with his wife really is that nice and that he actually does get into those very minor, easily solved and hilarious scrapes. He is also very handsome. Or at least his byline picture portrays a handsome, tanned man. And he’s American so his family get to go on amazing holidays and they could all get green cards if they ever tire of Shepherd’s Bush. OK so I know I’m coming across as a bit of a stalker now but he happily volunteers this information every Saturday so I feel that I am entitled to know. Here at Portmanteau Towers (last time I promise) we particularly like Tim Dowling’s take on Pop, the Swedish child whose sex hasn’t been disclosed. Having discussed how Pop’s parents never use personal pronouns, he goes on to explain how “Pop has a wardrobe that includes trousers and dresses, and Pop popself mostly decides what Pop is going to wear each morning.” And I just think that’s one of the cutest, funniest sentences ever. Pop popself. I would never have thought of that. LE

Monday, September 13, 2010

The News

Usually the day after a big bash, when all the best celebs have been trussed up by whichever designer whose store opening or show they’re attending, my other The Portmanteau half and I spend the morning sending emails about just how “crap”, “ridiculous” and “overdone” everybody looked. Not so last Thursday after the Chanel boutique opening in NY. Hosted by Karl Lagerfeld, obvs, the event attracted Alexa, Diane Kruger, Rachel Bilson, the Gossip Girls - basically all the peeps you’d expect. And everybody looked amazing. Blake Lively had, thankfully, put away her cleavage for the night and opted for a sparkly lilac and silver dress that was so different – and so much better – than the poor man’s Sienna/slightly slutty looks she usually goes for. Alexa actually smiled in a photo and reminded me of just how beautiful she is. But Diane Kruger – Lagerfeld’s muse – must take the prize for best dressed of the evening. The ruffles, the little boots, the hair (hairband included) – I loved it all. The only dud was Claire Danes who looked like a typical WASP in her mumsy jeans and jacket combo and her too-perfect honey-coloured hairdid. But I guess the weird thing about Danes is that she is, by her own admission, a WASP. She was born to affluent yet creative parents and attended the Dalton School so it sort of makes sense that there she is, turning up to Manhattan openings in Chanel jackets. It’s just strange to think of Angela Chase – who Danes portrayed beautifully in the best TV show ever (well besides Mad Men, Come Dine With Me and Sex and the City) My So-Called Life – heading off to the manicurist and booking bi-monthly touch-ups at the hair salon at Bergdorfs. Angela Chase’s dyed red hair, pale skin and oversized plaid shirts continue to be a style influence sixteen years on and is perhaps a look that the über-groomed Danes could do with channelling.







New York grooming is the subject of an article in this month’s Vogue. Vicky Ward writes about how, after moving to New York from London, she abandoned the opaque tights she was so reliant on and opted for all-year-round waxing and fake tanning so as to show off her legs in cocktail dresses, even when Central Park was enveloped in snow or the rain was pouring down on City Hall. And, yeah, I get it. I mean I love the easiness of tights; I love how your skirt can be indecently short and it doesn’t matter because you have two pairs of 80 denier on. I love tights for their cosiness, their forgiving nature as they bundle and pack up your flesh. But I also think New Yorkers are right: tanned, toned, bare legs are infinitely sexier and compliment most dresses far better than their covered up counterpart. As Ward points out, “many of autumn’s trends just don’t work with tights.”

Alexa – who divides her time between New York and London – has obviously picked up on the NY attitude to tights because I can’t remember the last time she was spotted in a pair. Carey Mulligan – US Vogue’s October cover girl – highlighted the differing attitude that Londoners have to tights when she turned up the Met Ball in a pair. Nobody turns up the Met Ball in tights - well actually Winona Ryder did two years ago and looked terrible – but nobody else. The Met Ball is a place for glamour and unachievable muscle tone and silly LED dresses; it is not an event for dull types who have boring concerns like feeling the cold or inadvertently showing their knickers. And by wearing tights, the usually beautiful Mulligan managed to look kind of dowdy. Think of it this way: have you ever seen Carrie Bradshaw – the apotheosis of New York style – in a pair of tights? No, you haven’t.


Carey Mulligan at May's Met Ball

In the newspapers, there are lots of nice stories about the Mitfords as Deborah Mitford (or Debo or the Duchess of Devonshire or whatever) is publishing her memoirs. Now, I already know most of it but it’s always fun to read about the Mitfords. The Guardian had an especially nice interview today. Camille Paglia took issue with Gaga in yesterday’s Sunday Times, as I’m sure you have been made aware of. I liked Alex Needham’s response on the Guardian website because a) he pointed out that Gaga isn’t trying to be sexy (duh!), and b) he brought my attention to this amazing fax spat that existed between Camille Paglia and Julie Burchill. I was a child living in a small town in Ireland when the row occurred, so this was my first reading but wow! I have never seen such bitchy letters, besides perhaps those exchanged between a particularly loathsome letting agent and myself. LE

Monday, May 24, 2010

Me and You - Just Us 2


So the Sex and the City media coverage is reaching its frenzied peak. The posters are everywhere, you can’t open a mag without being assaulted by Halston Heritage dresses and SJP is staring out at me from all my Sunday supplements. Obviously Hadley Freeman’s piece in today’s G2 is the definitive read on the subject. It’s like she’s inside my mind. We’re soul mates or long lost sisters or something. Except for I’m the sister who drunkenly makes the point to a few friends over a boozy picnic and Hadley is the one who publishes her views in one of Britain’s best newspapers. But, basically, we’re the same.

So she’s seen the extended clips that appeared on the internet last week and she’s worried. Eh, yeah, moi aussi. It looks like a cartoon. Or worse – a play. A really bad play. The stilted dialogue, the colourful costumes, the caricatures that have taken the place of the characters we used to love. I mean obviously this comes as no surprise as the first movie made it clear that Carrie et al were no longer interested in careers or sex but were now only concerned with – and I know I made this point three blog posts ago, but come on! – “love and labels.”

Hadley seems to be referring to a feature in last week’s Stylist that asked four male journalists to analyse each of the four characters when she says: “One writer of a recent piece cited that achievement [not having watched the TV series] as a point of pride before then listing his reasons for hating the show, reasons he presumably pulled out of his ass.” Yes, Chris Bell opened his article with: “Let me begin by stating that – of course – I have never watched Sex and the City.” He then goes on to say that “for men, this [Charlotte] is perfect wife material – formal and reserved in public; a ‘goer’ in private.” Oh God.

But that’s not even the most offensive thing that was written in the feature. No, that was left to Toby Young (obvs). I’m paraphrasing but he is thankful to Samantha for persuading a generation of women that it’s cool to be slutty and sleep with men like him. Which, okay, is a funny take on things, but then he says: “The truly incredible thing about Samantha is that she doesn’t make the connection between her promiscuity and her inability to find a decent man… Duh! .... Since time immemorial, the way women have enticed men to make a commitment to them is by refusing to have sex until the man gets down on one knee. But if you’re willing to trade your body for a Cosmopolitan, why would a man bother to buy a ring?” SHE DOESN'T WANT TO GET MARRIED OR BE BOUGHT A RING. THAT’S THE WHOLE POINT. DUH! And, btw, she’s not “trading her body” because she’s not a prostitute, but engaging in a consensual, (hopefully) mutually beneficial relationship.

But anyway the point that Hadley Freeman makes in her piece is that now we don’t have a leg to stand on when it comes defending our once beloved SATC characters. Young and Bell and the rest of the misogynists will go along to the movie and have all their views confirmed as Carrie – a professional writer – presents Big with a watch inscribed with ‘Me and you – just us 2’ and Miranda – a high-flying career woman – leaves her job to look after her husband and child. LE

Friday, January 22, 2010

The News


So way back in November, we were stunned by the news that Lara Stone and David Walliams were dating. Well now they’re getting married! Yeah he proposed to her by hiding the vintage Tiffany engagement ring in a burger. Obviously this isn’t going to last but I wonder if they’ll actually go through with the wedding. I love that these two seem to be so open. We didn’t get so much as a glimpse of a dress when Sophie Dahl married Jamie Cullum recently, but we’ve already seen Lara and David cavorting around Mexico so they’re bound to show us some wedding pics, no? Who’s going to be best man? Matt Lucas. And what about bridesmaids? Oh this could be brilliant.

Tanya Gold has a vicious piece on fashion in today’s G2. She doesn’t like it and somehow links it to a tragic accident in an attempt to put us all off it too. Stylebubble has already responded, saying: "Gold's hatred of fashion is based on high heels, mal-treated models and gross consumption, when fashion and style (I'm lumping the two together because I'm thinking Gold hasn't made a distinction between the two...) is SO much more than that... "

If you happen to be in London and have cash and time to spare, call into the Connaught where they are selling galette des rois throughout January with proceeds going to the Great Ormond Street Hospital. I was lucky enough to get to try a slice when I wrote about it for Spectator Scoff and can’t recommend it highly enough.

I am now blogging for The Gloss. Check out my first post, and the posts of Caroline Scott and Natasha Sherling, on The Daily Gloss. LE

Monday, January 18, 2010

Bye Bye Observer Woman

So yesterday was a sad day. It was Observer Woman’s last day in existence. Every Saturday night for the past few years, I’ve wondered to myself if it was Observer Woman Day tomorrow. Even on the Saturdays when it had been Observer Woman Day last week so it couldn’t possibly have come round again. I’m stupid like that. So while I was happy as I skipped home from the newsagents yesterday with my Observer Woman nestled in the more weighty pages of the venerable Sunday broadsheet, I was all too aware that this was my last chance to read the funny and smart articles I’ve come to expect from the mag. The supplement is no more but elements of it will be included in the new and improved Observer magazine as part of a streamlining operation that is going on at the paper. The only monthly magazine to survive is the food one. (At least it’s not sport; I really hated it when it was Observer Sport Day.)

What am I going to do without Polly Vernon’s Chart of Lust? I loved that. When an acquaintance of mine once made it into the CoL, I reacted far more enthusiastically than when he’d garnered any boring praise for his actual work. “Wow, he’s really made it!” I noted. And so often it was as if Observer Woman could actually read my mind. When I was in LA a while back I met this ex-male model at a little league baseball game. He became something of a fascination for me and my friend and next thing you know we’re youtubing his 80s Levis ads and reading his autobiography (in which he talks about having sex with Andie McDowell). Well what do you know: a couple of months later, Observer Woman has an interview with him. And that Rachel Cook article with Peaches Geldof - that was one of the funniest interviews I’ve ever read.

All I can hope is that the new Observer magazine will continue to produce the hilarious interviews and interesting features that the team at OW did so well. And at least they folded with an excellent issue that included interviews with Jefferson Hack and Mariah Carey and a Chart of Lust that gave my crush-of-the-moment Aaron Johnson top billing. LE




Friday, August 21, 2009

The News


The September Issue premiere dominated fashion news this week. Anna Wintour wore Prada, Alexa went for a mid-calf vintage gown and Sienna chose a pale blue Thakoon number that didn't quite match up to the amazing outfits she sported on the GI Joe publicity tour, but still made the most of her long legs and glowing golden skin. The Cut has the skinny on what went down at the premiere.

Hannah Pool interviewed Victoria Aitken - daughter of Jonathan, cousin of Jodie Kidd - in the Guardian this week and coined the wonderful phrase, Sloane disco, to describe Aitken's new single I'll Be Your Bitch. I know I should probably hate Victoria A but I find her weirdly endearing. She just seems so proud to have escaped her Sloaney destiny, eschewing a degree at Georgetown and marriage to a hedge funder in favour of her new career as a (according to her website) songwriter/actress/writer.

ES magazine has an article on the troubled Hippie Hippie Shake, the biopic based on Richard Neville's memoirs. The film is on its fourth writer, and director Beeban Kidron, wife of Lee Hall who previously walked away as writer, is now keen to distance herself from the project having encountered 'creative differences' during the edit. When Sienna Miller was questioned about the project in this month's Nylon she said, "I don't think I'd make that film now." LE

Friday, July 31, 2009

The News

My Friend Michael Jackson: Uri's Story marked the end of our MJ obsession. For about a month we talked of little else and listened only to Michael Jackson music but at least now we have some answers. Uri says that he hypnotised Micahel Jackson without his knowledge (an unethical but perhaps unsurprising move given that when you begin typing Uri's name into Google the first suggestion is 'Uri Geller Fraud') and MJ vowed that he did not abuse any children. We also learned that Trevor Nunn, the acclaimed theatre director, thought that MJ had a Peter Pan complex and Mark Lester informed us that MJ liked to shop. So like I said we now have all the answers and can move onto our new favourite news story - the ballad of Jude and Samantha.

People magazine must be finally getting over their MJ obsession too. He’s been relegated to the side-bar of the latest issue with the Saved By the Bell gang (minus sex-tape making, tax-dodging Screech) gracing the cover. Dustin Diamond was even airbrushed out of the 1989 cast photo like he never existed in the first place. Maybe he'll have the last laugh though as apparently he’s currently working on a tell-all book called Behind the Bell. That's another amazing classic for the library. And what about Mr. Belding? Well, according to the comments section of New York magazine, he’s become a bit of a creep in the intervening years. So no place on the shiny, happy People cover for you, Mr B.

Hopefully Mark-Paul Gosselaar’s appearance in character as Zack Morris on Jimmy Fallon’s show was just a taster of the delights to come. We're totally in favour of this reunion although with constant repeats on TV it's not like they ever really went away but as pointed out in today's Guardian, we are living in the age of the comeback and so we can’t blame the SBTB kids from joining, or cashing, in. Our ultimate eps include the one with the Casey Kasem-hosted dance-off at the Max won by Lisa and Screech despite her sprained ankle (Casey: “"C'mon everybody, let's do the...the...the Sprain." ) and the Jessie-Spano-is-hooked-on-caffeine-pills classic (Jessie: "I'm so excited... I'm so exciteeeed!... I'm so... SCARED!"). LE & NOK


Friday, July 24, 2009

An Education

The trailer for An Education was released this week and has made us quite eager for the end of October to roll around. The film seems to posses pretty much everything we love in a movie - beautiful clothes, trips to Paris, allusions to Oxford and Rosamund Pike. But best of all, it is based on a journalist's autobiography - Lynn Barbers' An Education. We are obsessed with non-fiction books by journos. A quick glance at the bookshelf in the living room reveals The Meaning of Sunglasses by Hadley Freeman, Tabloid Love by Bridget Harrison, The Worst Date Ever by Jane Bussmann, The Thoughtful Dresser by Linda Grant, The Celeb Diaries by Mark Frith and pretty much everything that Piers Morgan has ever written. We only bought the Piers Morgan books because we fancy him and even we - his most adoring fans - were a little bit bored by the third installment but we must admit that they do make good, if slightly embarrassing, tube reading. LE

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The News

The news this week has been dominated by stories surrounding Michael Jackson’s death. I don’t have much to add to this sorry mess except to say that I really love Ben and have been listening to it over and over and I really hate Joe Jackson and have been watching the video where he tries to promote Blu Ray technology with his friend Marshall over and over.

In other news this week, Karen Mulder has been arrested in Paris for threatening a plastic surgeon. Apparently Mulder is dissatisfied with the surgeon’s work and has been making threatening phone calls demanding that she reverse the operation. I do sort of know how Karen feels. When we got our Debs photos and I looked really awful in mine, I phoned the photographer several times demanding to know why he took such a bad picture of me. My tone could even have been described as threatening but luckily the photographer explained in as gentle a way as possible that that is just what happens to my face when I smile too widely and he refrained from calling the police. I didn’t resort to plastic surgery but have never really smiled in a photo again.

Christa D’Souza went into a lot of detail regarding her own plastic surgery in yesterday’s Daily Mail. There was lots of talk about how she had implants, then had them removed, then got some different ones and was now getting them removed again. It all sounded very painful and pointless so the moral of the story this week is that plastic surgery is bad and doesn’t make anybody any happier. Unless you believe those reports that suggest if your botoxed forehead can’t frown then you will never feel depressed or something. LE