Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Genius for hire, apparently

Heard today that The Village Voice has canned Lynn Yaeger along with other staff that have worked there for decades. A braver mag better grab her as her droll, clever and uncompromising fashion column is the rare sort of voice we need MORE, not less of in these homogenized times.

edited to add: Smart people at New York magazine snapped her up.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Illamasqua is a drool-y, theatrical new makeup line in the UK. Alex Box is the incredible makeup artist who is their artistic director. God knows when we'll get it in N. America, but the stuff looks sensational and the products have marvellous names like Salacious, Test, and Daemon, so ask your friend who's next going to London to get it at Selfridges!

Watch Alex Box's tutorial on the smoky eye. A northern accent makes '...Sex' even more-so.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Site

I unearthed a great ratty paperback a couple of months back. "The Site" by Melisand March had an era-appropriate (1989) metallic-embossed cover of a fanged and bloody face bursting out of a glass and steel building. I grabbed it because I do so love a modern haunting and was in the mood for some 80s horror.
It was very well-written - complex, with deep characterisation. Obviously her first book but the writing of it sprang from a series of coincidences and a natural passion for buildings which demanded the story be recorded.
She's disappeared from the world of writing (and perhaps the world in general)...but the buildings were real. Here's the site itself - where terrible things occur - 277 Park Avenue, New York City.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Too much for Italy...

...which has banned the new print ad for Tom Ford eyewear. My only argument is its lack of subtlety - which may be what TF was going for...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

das leben der anderen

...the lives of others.
Currently reading 'Stasiland', written by an Australian journo who spoke to East German people about what the everyday was like - afterwards. No longer having an informer for every 6 people. No longer being watched. How would you get used to that?

Monday, April 7, 2008

the jefferson institute

Freaked me out as a kid, and still provides a good chill. Wonderfully feline Genevieve Bujold tracks comatose patients to the concrete-stark Jefferson Institute, where they're being stored with an elegant pulley system and then harvested...

Thursday, March 6, 2008

seventh tree

Such a beautiful new album from Goldfrapp. Prancing clowns, a taste of The Wicker Man, softer than the last two albums yet no less sharp. Deepens and improves with each spin.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

boys & girls come out to play

Ruminating on some new releases by boy/girl outfits lately: The Raveonettes

and the Kills

Both are fond of a stripped-down sound with lashings of feedback.

The Kills are all over the fash mags of late - the male half Jamie Hince is dating Kate Moss. They're stylish in the classic skinny-cigarettes-dark hair & leather rock aesthetic.

The Raveonettes are a little easier to warm to.
Danes who temper the coolness with a touch of sweet & sad...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Eye of the Devil/13

Wonderfully stylish and evocative film from 1966.
David Niven, Deborah Kerr and an impossibly gorgeous Sharon Tate & David Hemmings.
Niven is the eldest son returning to his ancestral chateau to complete a ritual which will ensure the town's survival.
A familiar trope but sharply shot in B&W with some genuinely sinister moments.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Buffalo Gals

From a spread in American Vogue, July 1983.

Malcolm MacLaren's "Buffalo Gals" was the craziest thing I ever heard that year.
Skipping, skratching, all messed up like 8 songs in 1 - and after seeing the video, it made you want to change everything you listened to, everything you wore, ditch your friends and fly to New York...even if you were only 12.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Roxy Music: For Your Pleasure

1973--a dark, slick cover with S/M overtones---'In Every Dream Home A Heartache'---need any more?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Ashes to Ashes

So excited about this show! It's the sequel to the wonderful Life On Mars - this time set in 1981 London with a similar time-travel bent. The hard man gets skirt for new partner. Killer OTT clothes:

God knows when we'll get it on these shores. Check BBC Canada/America.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

the parking garage II

OK, so when you're walking through this:
you ought to be listening to this:
Or, more recently, this:

Monday, January 21, 2008

Bright & Jaunty

Alma Cogan was big in postwar Britain and eventually all over the world - she had a girlish, sparkly voice with a husk & a little squeak...known as 'The Girl with the Giggle in her Voice', and a dizzying range of glamourous outfit changes. Part of the red-velvet-curtain touring revue so popular at the time, when she was home she held court with her mam & sis in their flat in Kensington High Street to people like Tommy Steele, the Beatles, and many actors and musicians of the period. She died terribly young at 34 in 1966 - just before everything in popular culture changed.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Jeff Wayne's 'War of the Worlds'

Whose?, you may ask:

In 1978, Jeff Wayne (an unknown American record producer) put together a roster of musicians like Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues, David Essex, and Phil Lynott to record a musical version of the H. G. Wells story, with Richard Burton narrating.

A bit difficult to get your head round - until you listen to it. One of the finest examples of progressive rock & a concept album, done right.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Muir Blue

Jean Muir was a British designer of stunningly simple, clever, incredibly constructed clothes.
Her signature colour was navy, her fabric jersey.
Look at the lovely Joanna Lumley showing us this one:

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Golden Worlds

Joanna Newsom

and Bat for Lashes

can't extricate themselves from my player right now. In common they share an extraordinary talent for making music that's unlike anyone else. Comparisons to 'new folk' or Kate Bush are cheap and lazy. Both are classically trained and apply their rich imaginations to the musical world, creating a wonderful and sometimes uncomfortable place to visit.

Joanna Newsom, 'Sprout and the Bean'
Bat for Lashes, 'What's A Girl To Do'

Saturday, January 5, 2008

girls in suits

I was feeling YSL-ish for New Year's Eve (having just read the engrossing book 'The Beautiful Fall' by Alicia Drake) and wore my own version of Le Smoking cobbled together from satin trousers, a skinny blazer and black sequins.

Nowadays girls are doing it again, prompted by Hedi Slimane's designs for Dior Homme.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Inspector Calhoun

Donald Pleasance from the cult film 'Death Line' aka 'Raw Meat'. Just read a story in Best New Horror 18 - 'Sentinels' by Mark Samuels, which drew its influence from this film, reminding me of its humour and horror. Cannibals in the London Underground, 1972. Mind the doors!