Archive | September, 2010

Punktuation: How Hurts are hampering my happiness

5 Sep

Arrrgh. I hate it when a new band with a grammatically challenging name is pronounced the Next Best Thing. Lately, I can’t so much as THINK of turning on the TV or opening up a magazine without being confronted by new wunderband Hurts.

I quite like them, don’t get me wrong (their album was almost on a loop when I was working at Company magazine this summer), but since they refuse to use a definite article (where’s the ‘The’?!) I have no choice but to blacklist them.

Now, I know this has been done before. Look at Editors. To clarify, I am speaking about the band and not just a random gaggle of people with an eye for a typo (you SEE what happens?!). And them there Klaxons and Foals are also at it. Why oh WHY is everyone insisting on running around with names that cause sentences to sound silly and wallyish (just because I make up words doesn’t mean I don’t have the right to moan about gimpish grammar, aiiite?).

Let us take Foals, shall we? If I hear a sentence like “the latest track by Foals”, I am instantly getting images of baby doe-eyed horses twiddling with DJ knobs and thrashing away on guitars, perhaps before going for a nice afternoon nap with mummy horse.

In a similar way, if I bought an album by Fawns, I might expect a nursery rhyme remix of Doe, A Deer.

Admittedly, the difficulty is mostly derived from the fact that Foals is a bloody stupid name with or without the ‘the’. Don’t get me started on Klaxons (it is a truth universally acknowledge that a generic group of horns cannot a very good record make).

But I swear everything would make a little more self if they just called themselves The Foals (it’s like, metaphorical, right?) or The Klaxons (ahhh they’re a physical representation of a cacophonous noise-maker!). This makes sense. All is well.

However, Hurts had to go a flipping step further didn’t they? I can’t picture a hurt. If I try, the best I can come up with is something like a giant plaster or at a push, a contorted morose face. It’s certainly not conjuring up the images of the Bros look-a-like indie beauts that I see when I check Google Images.

Happiness by Hurts it out now, my TV tells me. So, what do we reckon? Are they saying they’re a collective group of pains? Or are they banging on about the fact that something, an indeterminable, is giving them jip- have they had a booboo?

Or are they just being annoyingly random and non-committal and causing me to spend more than a few minutes harping on about how ridiculous and insolvable this grammatical conundrum REALLY IS?

Vintage at Goodwood: Five Decades of Cool

1 Sep

The magnificent Vintage at Goodwood Festival took place this August, with visitors paying homage to five decades of British cool. In honour of the event, check out my favourite piece from each decade…

40s – The Fascinator

THEN: After the war, hats experienced a bit of a dip in popularity, so the millinery industry set about making their hats more extravagant to entice buyers. They soon became established as the essential accessory to complete your look.

NOW: The fascinator is a fashion favourite with stylistas like Paloma Faith and Jaime Winstone, and is perfect for giving a retro nod to an other wise modern look. Vintage stores have impressive selections, but it’s also worth checking out the new range at M&S.

50s – The Hour Glass Silhouette

THEN: 1950s fashion was characterised by its ultra feminine silhouette, with plenty of waist-enhancing dresses creating an hour glass shape.

NOW: The fact that it’s sexy without being overtly provocative has made it a style favourite. Use Mad Men’s Betty Draper and the Sandy from Grease (pre make-over) as your inspiration.

60s – The Mini Skirt

THEN: The 60s was the first time that youngsters wanted to perpetuate their own sense of style to break away from dressing like their parents. Stylistas wanting to create a little controversy rushed out to snap up Mary Quant’s mini skirts.

NOW: The mini is still a statement of youth and confidence today, some 50 years later. The calf-length skirt might overtake it in the style stakes this season, but look out for new take minis in leather and black lace for A/W 2010.

70s – The Hippy Headband

THEN: The decade of free love was all about looking effortless. The first Woodstock festival took place in 1969, cultivating a laid-back look that soon took off over here.

NOW: Instantly evoking the spirit of free love, it’s no surprise that the hippy headband made a serious comeback at this year’s summer festivals. Best accessorised with mussed up hair and bare feet. Peace.

80s – The Power Shoulder

THEN: The 1980s were a decade defined by the art of power dressing. With more and more women in the work place, style got serious. To reflect the feisty nature of the 80s woman, pads were sewn into shoulders to create a sharper silhouette.

NOW: Where to start! Strutted up and down on multiple catwalks and rocked on stage by Rihanna and Gaga, the mighty shoulder has been a style wonder for most of this year. Next season look out for a more subtle shoulder on military and luxe jackets.

[this post originally appeared on Company’s High-Street Edit intern blog, click here to see the intern blog in full]

Style Stalking at V Festival

1 Sep

I went to V Festival this year and did some style spotting for Company magazine‘s website (click here to see the gallery). I had a brilliant time running around and meeting a lot of beautiful festival fashionistas, but unfortunately not all the pics made the website. Here’s the complete collection – how these girls manage to emerge from grubby tents looking so glam i have NO idea.

Film Review: The Switch

1 Sep

Last night I had tickets to a special preview of latest rom-com The Switch, starring Jennifer ‘I’m no longer Rachel but I will insist on playing characters like her for the REST OF MY LIFE’ Aniston at Leicester Square’s Empire Cinema.

So, what’s it all about, and is it any good?

Kassie, a 40-year-old singleton, is being deafened by the tick-tocking of her biological clock. Worried that her time is up and tired of waiting for the ideal man to come sweep her off her feet, she sticks a finger up at convention and goes on the hunt for a sperm donor.

It’s all a bit much for ex-boyfriend turned best friend Wally (Jason Bateman), who decides on a drunken whim to switch the donated sperm for his own.

You’ve already guessed the ending…I’d love to tell you you’re wrong and it’s as ‘offbeat’ as the producers would have us think, but considering The Switch is the latest endeavour from the people who brought us Juno and Little Miss Sunshine, it’s a disappointingly obvious rom-com.

It’s not a complete waste of popcorn however. Jason Bateman is a charming enough protagonist and there’s a nice, if fluffy, performance from Jeff Goldblum as Wally’s best friend. Jennifer Aniston meanwhile plays a single mum that Rachel Green would be proud of.

But the undoubted star of the show has to be Kassie’s little boy, Sebastian. Played by newcomer Thomas Robinson, the weirdly gloomy little kid with saucer eyes has the best lines in the script. With some genuinely touching moments, I defy your heartstrings to not be tugged at least a few times.

With a quirkier script maybe it would have seemed smarter, or maybe I’m just a moody old grump who expects too much from a rom-com. But where Juno and Little Miss Sunshine probe into the darker emotions within the comedy, The Switch just teeters around the edge.

The Switch isn’t a bad film. It’s just a shame it’s not a good one either.