Monday, 26 January 2009

America's Next Top Model: Season 11 Episode 1 - Could This Be Any Crazier?

I was looking forward to (that is squeeing with excitement) the new season of ANTM, having forgotten how bored I got last time - so bored I didn't even realise Whitney had won.

My excitement was rewarded. The crazy just keeps on coming, more epic and ridiculously fiercely fabulous than ever. HHPOF! Miz Tyra went all Space Odyssey on our asses and had wrapped Mr and Miz Jay in foil and neon pink with bizarre silver hair. HHPOF! herself looked like some kind of robot. There was a "scientific" runway to analyse how the girls walk (clue: ghetto ho or donkey). And a body analyser to strike a pose in. It was all too bizarrely awesome.

There's a French girl called Majorie who inspired HHPOF! to insult an entire nation with her take on their language. Marjorie looked bemused and Mr Jay claimed she would only find work in Europe. Because of course she is a bit of a gamine ingenué.

Clark is the confident bitch to watch get knocked out at some point. According to HHPOF! she's pretty pretty which is ugly ugly and they need to make her ugly pretty which, worryingly, made some kind of sense to me.

And for the showstopper, a girl from S10's homeless shoot who is transgender - Isis. From that photoshoot, she was pretty awesome and has a kind of gauche presence that could work very well indeed.

Kacey - the girl who chooses her friends based on whether they can understand her hair and thinks she's won already - finds out and is freaked out. The other girls? Curious but understanding about it.

Lindsey is the regular girl who's too big for regular modelling but too small for plus size. Will she be spearheading a new crusade for 'regular' models to fit in the middle.

HHPOF! plays a moose who doubles as a photographer to chase sweet lil Hannah from Alaska who once got chaased by a moose. I cannot describe how fantastic this was. It even made the Hairy Drummer laugh despite being too busy being angry at not having Sky Sports News on for an hour.

An animal abrasion vegan activist? On Top Model? But she likes playing at being a lesbian? Huzzah! Elina, count yourself in for the ratings if nothing else even though your stare is like a thousand death rays.

Kacey didn't seem to like lesbians either.

Nikeysha is a flasher and made them all want to vomit but somehow charmed them with her hands in the air like she didn't care "heeeeyyyyy"ing.

Brittany S has a great face and awesome red hair (though HHPOF! wasn't impressed by that). And a cage fighting ability thanks to her boyfriend. She challenged Mr J and it looked like some kind of anime Ben 10 thing.

A Harvard grad that doesn't know her major? Woop for uni education! Susan claimed her mind went blank, while HHPOF! smugged it out with her intimate knowledge of the classics such as Call Of The Wild and Persuasion. Ty Ty can read y'all!

The most disturbing thing was the lack of fashion knowledge. It was shocking. No knowledge of designers or models which annoyed the hell out of all the judges. As they said, they're supposed to be there to teach the wannabes everything the fashion mags don't teach you.

Hand scanning for finding out if you got through or not? Literally amazing. Even more amazing than the looks of despair from the losers.

The successful girls got 5 minutes to do their own make up and don metallic catsuits for the deciding photoshoot.

Boring Samantha drew a weird beardy thing on. For why?!?!?! It was either genius or insane and I'm not sure anyone could decide which.

In the end it came down to the final girls:
Kimora Lee wannabe Sheena, Analeigh, Nikeysha (wtf?!), Marjorie, Samantha (really!?), Elina, Brittany R, Brittany S, Brittany B, Cutesy Hannah, Lauren, Isis, Clark and Joslyn.

Boohoo for Kacey who didn't like anyone. She was confused and didn't understand why she hadn't won.

At this stage I think Brittany S, Isis and Lauren will rule the roost but it's early days yet and anything could happen!

(US readers - please no spoilers! I have to try really hard not to find out what happens before!)

Thursday, 15 January 2009

NES Has Second Thoughts About... River Island

River Island has always been one of those stores I've not 'got' since I was about 14. Yet it continually wins awards in magazines for best high street store or some such. I've never understood and to be honest, on the rare occasions when I ventured in to check what all the fuss was about, I still didn't get it.

The lovely Gemma at Catwalk Queen has marked it as one to watch for Spring/Summer and I must admit, I am again intrigued.

So it was with some trepidation that I ventured into my local store hoping to find at least three things I liked.

It did not start well.

The first thing I saw when I entered? Sequinned leggings. Leggings. Made of sequins. Trasharama. The horror continued. It was a whole table, the opening gambit in their visual merch, full of leggings.

You know my thoughts on leggings. A reminder in case you don't - NO, Never, Not Under ANY Circumstances. Just No.

So I went round clockwise and got increasingly more depressed. It was full of the shiny tack that I associate with the place. Neon? Check. Glittery chemical faded jeans? Check. Cheap looking shiny material? Check. Horror upon horror.

Then, a miracle. I spotted something I liked. Except it was in a nasty colour.

In the end I found a dress that I would wear (cute faded navy with white polka dots and a cute bow detail on the back hem) but would need the belt removing and a shirt (white, pink polka dots). That was it.

Given that on their website they have a section for tops specifically named 'Bar Tops', suggests that I'm not exactly their target consumer. But now that I've faced my fear, I'll not discount it completely when I want something new to wear.

Shop online here

Monday, 12 January 2009

Golden Globes Fail!: Renee Zellwegger

Ah Renee. We can count on you in our times of need to break out the crazy and downright 'WTF?' and break it out you did in this bizarre Carolina Herrara number.

I can't begin to describe how wrong and crazy yet awesome this is.

Drink it in kittens. Drink. It. In.

Picture: Golden Globe® Awards 2009 - © MMIX Hollywood Foreign Press Association®
"© HFPA" and "66th Golden Globe® Awards"

Golden Globes Win!: Kate Winslet

Finally. Kate Winslet won something. Two somethings in fact. And she did it in one of the more boring dresses she's ever worn for an awards ceremony (her Oscars circa Titanic Galliano green dress is still my favourite)

But although it was simple, it was elegant and well fitting and the whole package was so perfectly put together and it was so brilliantly English that she forgot who Angelina was and the over the top speech can be forgiven seeing as she had finally got the chance to make one that we can forgive her for picking this YSL number though I'd loved to have seen what else she was sent to choose from.

Picture: Golden Globe® Awards 2009 - © MMIX Hollywood Foreign Press Association®
"© HFPA" and "66th Golden Globe® Awards"

Golden Globes Win?: Brad and Angelina

So Brad looked hot as always. Angelina looked smug as always. But together it contrived an air of meh like they figured they had better things to do like making babies and generally being saintly and beautiful.

Angelina's Versace dress isn't hideous but neither is it the best thing she's worn. Although you can't see it in this picture, there is a thigh high slit in the skirt which ramps up the vamp factor. It wouldn't be Angelina without that.

Overall? Win? I guess so.

Picture: Golden Globe® Awards 2009 - © MMIX Hollywood Foreign Press Association®
"© HFPA" and "66th Golden Globe® Awards"

Golden Globes Fail!: Cameron Diaz

What's happened to Cameron Diaz? She used to be Hollywood's fun time girl in a cute and wholesome way and now? It's like she's desperately trying to remind us that that's who she is even though she herself is a bit tired of it now.

It shows. She's beginning to look a bit old and really is it too much to brush or style your hair and get your roots done?

As for the dress. It pains me to tell you that this mishmash of bubblegum pink drapery is brought to you by none other than Unkle Karl and the normally glorious Chanel. It's just too much and too wrong. Seriously? Ruching it up at the bottom makes it look like you can't be bothered to hem it up properly.

Unkle Karl, you have saddened me and it hurts more when you sadden me.

Golden Globes Win/Fail!: Eva Mendes

Another white dress, this time by Dior and worn by Eva Mendes.

The ruffles to the side look like an afterthought and the dress would work better in a different colour and with those taken off.

Having said that, her hair and make up were flawless and her Van Cleef & Arpels necklace was one of the best pieces of jewellery of the night.

This one heads more for the fail in my view.

Picture: Golden Globe® Awards 2009 - © MMIX Hollywood Foreign Press Association®
"© HFPA" and "66th Golden Globe® Awards"

Golden Globes Win/Fail!: Kate Beckinsale

Oh Kate "Mrs Wiseman" Beckinsale. You were so, so pretty when you left for Hollywood but then you allowed it to poison you and turn you into a stick insect drone. Your lollipop head looks all kinds of weird and wrong.

And yet.... the dress by J. Mendel is beautiful. Even though I'm sick of you wearing white. And you should've made more effort with your make up. The dress is a win. The rest, fail.

Picture: Golden Globe® Awards 2009 - © MMIX Hollywood Foreign Press Association®
"© HFPA" and "66th Golden Globe® Awards"

Golden Globes Win!: Demi Moore

She admits to her work and looks damn fabulous. Demi was out in support of her lil Miss Golden Globe, Rumer (don't worry, I'll get to her...), dragging along Ashton to help even further in her quest for post 40 awesomeness.

The dress works well on her and the make up and hair are done enough but also relaxed enough. Demi literally is made of win and awesome - that's what her surgeon used.

Picture: Golden Globe® Awards 2009 - © MMIX Hollywood Foreign Press Association®
"© HFPA" and "66th Golden Globe® Awards"

Golden Globes Fail!: Heidi Klum and Seal

This time, not even their beauty could save Heidi and Seal from fashion fail. Obviously Tim Gunn doesn't live in their wardrobe to pop out and make pithy comments on their sartorial choices (though how amazing would that be?!)

The dress and pose have conspired to make Heidi seem all kinds of dumpy and stumpy which we know she's not, the corsage is ridiculous and the shoes are a complete mismatch.

And why does Seal fail? Long jackets are a no-no. Plain and simple.

Picture: Golden Globe® Awards 2009 - © MMIX Hollywood Foreign Press Association®
"© HFPA" and "66th Golden Globe® Awards"

Golden Globes Win/Fail!: Jennifer Lopez

I can't WAIT to read what the GFY girls write about this particular piece of divadom. Taking the art of dressing one's own golden globes for the Golden Globes in GOLD! while still reminding everyone that you were the original bringer of curves, despite the fact you've popped out two children at the same time, to a whole new level, J.Lo (you know she was in a J.Lo place when she picked this) sashayed like a primed vixen in plunging Marchesa.

Except she's not quite in the shape she was and it all seemed a little bit desperate which isn't what I want from my divas.

But on the otherhand it is FABULOUS! in that kind of ridiculous J.Lo way that I was a bit worried had been sucked out of her by her creepy weird husband. And she did have two babies at the same time and looks quite ridiculously good following that.

I'm erring on the side of WIN!

Golden Globes Win!: Christina Applegate

Roberto Cavalli and understatement usually NEVER appear in the same sentence. Are you ready for it?

Christina Applegate looked gorgeous in this understated Roberto Cavalli dress. The hair, the jewels and the bag all matched perfectly for one of the best looks of the night.

Just ignore the slight muffin top effect at the drop waist.

Picture: Reuters

Golden Globes Win!: Anne Hathaway

I'm so confused over Anne Hathaway. On the one hand she should be like a latter day Audrey and on the other, she's so safe and dull at times that it says a lot that she was dressed in win looking as staid as normal.

She's saved by the Armani Privé dress which is glittery and flowy and gorgeous. It flatters Anne's skin and hair but sometimes she looks a little pageant queen.

Picture: Golden Globe® Awards 2009 - © MMIX Hollywood Foreign Press Association®
"© HFPA" and "66th Golden Globe® Awards"

Golden Globes Fail!: Megan Fox

I know right? Megan Fox, hotty totty extraordinaire looking drab, wan and a wee bit, actually a whole load... weird. The dress itself, Ralph Lauren fact fans, would probably have worked very nicely on someone else but it fails here.

As does Megan's make up:

It's a bit old and drab and I'm still not convinced that she hasn't had some work done. It's all a bit too old for one of the hottest young things around. Can definitely do better.

Pictures: Reuters

Shoe Of The Day: Sales Wishlist!

If it's true that April will see the opening of a MARC by Marc Jacobs store in London then I hope that it's filled with gorgeous goodies like these riding boots.

These are the kind of boots that every wardrobe should have. Practical, gorgeous and versatile. And they're the kind of boots that will improve with age providing they're lavished with the love they deserve.

And at a [bigger] purse [than mine] friendly $298 down from $595 (£200 from £400), there's no reason not to want and have them.

MARC by Marc Jacobs riding boot, $298 at Neiman Marcus

You Thought This Season Was Called Late Winter? Nope, It's Awards Season

Indeed it is. let's face it, January and February are terribly dull and depressing so those fabulous folks in the business of show have decided to being a bit of glamour into our humdrum lives by slapping themselves on their designer clad backs. I, for one, thank them for it.

I'll be busy watching for the fabulous and the fugly (now that should be a US daytime soap) and sharing my thoughts with you for what they're worth.

First up is the Golden Globes. Check back later for who wore what and whether they won or failed.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

What The Fug?! Hippy Headbands

Dear readers, I am confused and a little distressed. There seems to be a plague of plaited, twisted coils of fabric attaching themselves to the foreheads of the nation's Living On The Edge/The Hills wannabes. Or drama/art students if you will. What's going on? Why has this happened?

I can only surmise that for some inexplicable reason they have been hypnotised by Mischa Barton, possibly by the very use of these headbands, into constricting the blood flow to their heads and further filling them with air.

I can't say specifically why I dislike them. I think it might be because they are combined with that Uggs, leggings, baggy tee, scraggly badly highlighted hair look that is sweeping the land like some kind of zombie virus and I am definitely not a fan of this look. For the last time, you look lazy and sloppy, leggings make you look fat and combined with Uggs make you look fat AND short. You're not a dwarf or a troll so stop trying to look like one.


Regardez the triumverate of fug below. Let's start logically, left to right.

Ashlee Simpson. Would you really want people to associate your look with a woman who sanitised, and therefore eradicated, her very attractive look with a nose job, got knocked up by King of the Emoboys, and then allowed resultant offspring to be called Bronx Mowgli?!?!!? I think it's fair to say that you wouldn't.

Vanessa Hudgens. Over the hill in Disney terms but where to now? More "risque" photos? More being overlooked in favour of your pretty boyfriend? True, she's an icon to millions of pre-teens, tweens and teens but again, do you want your look to say "My mum still takes me to school?"

Mischa Barton. Let's face it - once Coop died, The OC* got good again. Taylor was a far superior character (and Autumn Reeser an actress) and better suited to Ryan. And Summer was allowed all the attention she should have been getting before - she always had the best outfits. But no matter for it's post-OC that Barton suddenly believed the hype surrounding the show that she was a style icon for a generation. No. Not only did she propagate the leggings debacle, she decided that headbands were so rad (you know she says rad and in a totally unironic way), that she wore them constantly until someone gave in and agreed to a collaborative design range (no, thank YOU Stacey Lapidus...) by some kind of spell or threatening to drive them somewhere. Apparently she is still in acting as a profession though the only example of this I have any evidence of so far is a DVD of some film with that other bit of wood Hayden Christensen (please part from him lovely Rachel Bilson and go back to being cute again!) that looked like some kind of sub-Troy concoction. Do you want your look to remind people of all this??

I'm hoping this fad is a momentary blip, a wistful yearning for summer months during this bleakest of midwinters. It best be anyway otherwise I may not be held repsonsible for my actions when I go out with my scissors and start freeing people from their head shackles.

* Oddly enough while I was writing this, the theme tune to The OC was played on the radio. How serendipitous!

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Shoe Of The Day: Sales Wishlist!

I like the word 'sales'. It conjures up winsome images of me exiting Selfridges laden with goodies that normally would escape my mere mortal grasp.

In reality of course, it's the same tat peddled at slightly lower prices but which still will not tempt me to part with my cash. And Selfridges would have to have a pretty damn magnificent sale for me to be able to afford half the stuff I wanted in there!

But still, a girl can dream right? And this girl dreams of having a spare £633.50 lurking somewhere so I could buy these divine Alexander McQueen shoes and thus save myself £271.50 to spend on a dress to go with them.

Don't question the logic, just love the shoes.

Alexander McQueen Crystal Platforms, were £903 now £633.50 at Net A Porter

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

NES *hearts*... butterfly bags

Specifically, this gorgeous clutch from Urban Outfitters.

Now being from Urban Outfitters, it was already expensive to begin with. And even in the sale, it's a bit out of my price range but then I do have expensive tastes apparently.

I like the simplicity that means it could work for daytime as well as evening. Which suddenly makes it seem very practical and worth it in terms of Cost Per Use...!

Buba Quilted Butterfly Clutch, £179.99 at Urban Outfitters

Happy New Year!

Woo for a different number after the 200!

Hope you all had a lovely festive break. Back to the grindstone now though but just think of all the pretty shoes you can buy (or more likely look at longingly!) this year!

NES xxx