Tuesday, 31 March 2009

America's Next top Model: Season 11 Episode 10/11: Go See Means Just Bloomin' Well Get There!

The following is basically my thought stream whilst watching ANTM. I've taken out the references to cookies, marshmallows and other foodstuffs. Though they might've made it more interesting....

Analeigh had the best pic from last week's first episode in Amsterdam which was all a bit piratey and surprisingly lovely. For the judging though, McKey was dressed up like Xena Model Princess which was disturbing yet amazing. I had interwebz trouble so lost all my notes on the rest of it. Suffice to say there was much being lost in a new city and Hoochy Queen Sheena got sent home instead of Ice Queen Elina.

So today is 'Go See' time which is always good for some dramz and hilarity. Marjorie is freaked out by the mere thought of finding her way to a go see so you just know she's going to be monumentally annoying and nervously tickish.

Marlies Dekkers is fab and thought Samantha was too commercial. Which she is.

Hans Ubbink loved Analeigh who seems to be acting the most professional.

Elina made the fatal error for Mart Vikker of sweating from running ("Models NEVER sweat darling") and having tattoos for Marlies Dekker.

Marjorie, having got lost, ignored and flustered bordering on tears, gave up and went back on time but had only seen 2 designers. Mckey was late and disqualified from the challenge despite being the favourite of the designers. Though the judges weren't there when she sneaked in so how did they know....

Analeigh rightly won the challenge and won clothes from all the designers to the obvious shock of Elina - bitch thought she had it in the bag.

Ooh it's HHPOF! As Serious Photographer time! with her traditonal plain and made up faces nicked from an idea for a shoot she was in years ago.

Marjorie, SHUT UP FFS! I'm SO OVER your ridiculous whining and broken doll posing!

Analeigh seemed to get it perfectly. I like her. She's pretty but quirky, seemingly very lovely and polite and well, just nice. Sometimes I like nice people.

Elina's nails were criticised for being too long. And again she was way too controlled. She kept making the classic mistake of snapping into what she thinks is a pose the moment the shutter goes.

Mckey seemed to do better on the plain shoot. I am undecided over her and still hate her hair.

Samantha though rocked the plain shoot and was deservedly pic of the week.

Then it was down to Elina and Marjorie somewhat predictably. Elina was criticised for being cold and Marjorie was criticised for being a hyper bag o'nerves.

Somewhat unpredictably Marjorie was picked to stay ahead of Elina. Bitch best stop crying before next week....

Monday, 30 March 2009

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Cheap Clothes? Oh Go On Then!

A girl can never have too many tees. This is an undeniable fact and thankfully, the rather fabulous Threadless have a sale on at the moment.

Even though the dollar to sterling exchange rate has diminished to almost nothing, prices from $5 is still pretty damned cheap for a cute'n'clever bit of clothing.

Hotfoot it though kittens, the sale's only on until Monday 30th March.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Wardobe Envy: Gossip Girl - Blair Waldorf's Bag

While the whole outfit pick for Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester filming in New York yesterday) screams Spring Perfection, I was particularly taken with the bag. The colours and the tiered pockets are classic but modern.

It's by Stuart Weitzman and if you have $750 spare then you can get your very own at Bloomingdales and other stockists too no doubt.

Is Your Body Too Bumpalicious?

Isn't it always the way? You really need/want something and you can never find what you need/want then suddenly, when the need/want has passed, you can't move for the stuff?

This is the situation with me and maternity clothes. About 5 years ago I was busy growing The Daughter and was desperate for some stylish but crucially not expensive maternity clothes to cover the bump. I began to see why the late 90s trend for celebs baring their pregnant bellies was not a case of extra publicity, it was simply that there was no decent maternity clothing around.

Companies like Blooming Marvellous and Isabella Oliver could supply the Yummy Mummy set no problem but what about Rock'n'roll Mummies like me?! Apparently we didn't exist.

Then Topshop became a clothing saviour again. They started doing a very small maternity range - jeans and tees - which was perfect.

But only in their Oxford Street branch. No matter, I needed jeans so I went and got them and they were absolutely perfect.

But aside from that and a couple of things from H&M, I had to be content with larger sized clothes. Luckily I was one of those freaky pregnant women who lost weight apart from the bump so I could still fit into size 16 clothes.

Fast forward 5 years and suddenly EVERYONE has a maternity range. I suspect that the increase in celebrity babies has played it's part but now you can choose from the stalwarts at H&M and Topshop through to Dorothy Perkins and Peacocks as well as countless internet stores meaning that you can find something affordable no matter what your fashion taste or budget. And don't forget eBay in all of this - bear in mind you'll only be getting 5-6 months wear out of this stuff!

The most important part of maternity clothing though is your bra. It's essential to get measured regularly and to get well fitting, supportive bras. Your breasts will thank you! Personally, I found Elle MacPherson's maternity range to be the most comfortable and, crucially, good looking. Figleaves have a fantastic range though so search and try out to find the one that's right for you.

I'd love to hear your comments on this and any unearthed tips or recommendations for fabulous bump covers!

Monday, 16 March 2009

America's Next Top Model: Season 11 Episode 8 - Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy Cover Girl!

Surely it's too early in the season for a catch-up episode? Apparently not as I settled down to two hours of ANTM madness (though admittedly not as mad as the stampede and general dumbassness at the Season 13: Revenge Of The Shorties auditions...). So we get arguments and rap offs and talcum powder fights. Obviously.

But OMG! Sweet Lil Hannah asked the magic question we all want the answer to - how do you smile with your eyes?!!?!? Tyra ably demonstrated not smiling with your eyes and, er, smiling WITH your eyes. Apparently it looks a bit like squinting in the sun....

Anyhoo, after the out takes, back to the current action and Elina and Marjorie are bonding over a common Europeanality while everyone else is flying the flag for the Great American Way.

Luckily the Aswirl Twins are on hand to introduce some swirly whirly awesome along with James St James which all results in some invisible modelling for Pedro Zillia meaning that it's All About The Clothes. There seemed that there should have been some hilarity to come from everyone being dressed as Kermit. Until Elina started to have a panic attack. Which a bit of dancing sorted out. Obviously. I always quell any sense of panic or dread with a quick boogie....

Apparently no one got the idea of showing the clothes off - Joslyn looked like an invisible stripper, Shoochna twirled too much, Marjorie let her dress fall down - except for Elina who won the photoshoot for Seventeen. She picked Marjorie and Analeigh to join her who all produced some very cute, Seventeen appropriate shots.

Shoochna, Marjorie and Elina came to blows again on over being ethnic and American and not American and ohmygiddyaunt, isn't everyone in America an immigrant anyway?!

Cover Girl ad time. S10 winner Whitney showed up to lend some support and er.... not a lot else.

Samantha was her usual All American Girl Next Door. I don't like her though - she's a wee bit bitchy in a not good way for me.

Mckey didn't realise where she was supposed to walk and seemed a bit lost. And I don't understand what was happening with her hair. It looked like Monica's hair on that One From Friends When Phoebe Cuts Monica's Hair And Confused Demi Moore With Dudley Moore (I believe that was the actual episode title...)

Analeigh was great! Cute and engaging and actually seemed to understand what adverts are about i.e. showing the product.

Joslyn decided to throw up everywhere.... then overdid her shoots in a bid to overcompensate.

Marjorie started crying.... then did some weird chicken neck thing.

Sheena brought it and managed to turn off the hooch for once which managed to surprise everyone involved.


A test on who can walk in clogs which was this week's tenuous link to this season's trip abroad to Amsterdam.

Analeigh rightly won accolade of Best Commercial In ANTM History. Which led to HHPOF! draping herself over The Hotness that is Nigel Barker. Can't blame her but he looks scared every time she gets close.

It got to the last two being Elina and Joslyn and after some mini dramz where it seemed Elina was going to be sent home for being cold, Joslyn got sent home because she had diminished in the face of competition and ANTM is no home for sympathy votes apparently.

So, off to Amsterdam from next week which should be interesting. if only for the range of disturbing attempts at a Dutch accent from HHPOF!

Although I have found out who won this season, I'm very intrigued to find out how as currently I would not expect it. Maybe a trip to Europe brings something out in them?

Shoe Of The Day

If there's one thing that is awesome about the British summer, then surely it has to be festivals. I'm hopefully off to Latitude again this year and I'm very tempted to grab these Hunter wellies to see my through any potential mud!

Currently half price on the ASOS Outlet site, Hunter are of course the wellington of choice for any stylish festival goer and I'm not sure it gets much more stylish than red and black.

Hunter Festival Boots, £37.50 at ASOS Outlet

Shoe Of The Day

I don't know about you but where I am, the sun is shining so convincingly that I'm almost persuaded that it's summer. Obviously it's still a bit too cold and indeed too early in the year to be actual summer but that doesn't stop us from looking at summery clothes and shoes!

Such as these understated but glam offerings from Faith. They have a slightly Grecian look to them which results in a more girlified take on the gladiator sandal. They also come in a gold colour but I think this pewter one would be a touch more versatile which is always a good thing.

Jonis, £25 at Faith

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Shoe Of The Day

Do you know what's coming? Apart from pretty shoes that is? SUMMER! Actual warm weather! Niceness!

Given that the sun is shining into my office at the moment and deceiving me into thinking it's very warm indeed outside, my mind has wandered to sunny weather clothes and these pretties from Office would fit into that section quite well I think. The pattern is appropriately jaunty but the black means that they're not too gaudy.

I like them but not the extortionate price tag which Office seem to be doing a lot of lately - like Topshop. Bah.

Tatsumi Tie, £55 (!) from Office

America's Next Top Model: Season 11 Episode 7 - POSE With Your Eyes Bitches!

Due to irksome work commitments and Champions League clashes, I was unable to watch the latest installment of ANTM. Lucky for us, the fabulous Miz Lesley did watch it and so she has decided to let us know what we were all missing. Eyes and hilariously inappropriate comments from Mr Jay apparently....

This week on ANTM saw us worshipping at the church of FIERCE, led by the insane high priestess herself, Miz Tyra. Coaching the girls through finding their 'signature pose' would, you'd think, be a pretty important lesson, except Tyra herself seemed to struggle with the concept of her own challenge. Her signature pose? Her eyes. Last time I checked, they were a body part, NOT A POSE, TYRA!

So everyone did their thing, from the predictable - McKey using her neck to Marjorie doing all that same-old broken down doll nonsense - to the inexplicable, where Lauren Brie's signature pose was that of a surfer, and Joscelyn explained that, you know, she likes to pose "wiiiiiiiiiiide". Whatever, Marjorie won the challenge because she embraced her awkwardness and insecurities, yadda yadda yadda.

The photoshoot was based on Tyra's Fiercee Awards from that other little sideline, her daytime talkshow, and all the models had to shoot as nominees in a bit of a predicament. Elina was the starlet who could barely give her acceptance speech because she was so busy choking on her own tears. Now I'm a big fan of this girl, I think she looks great and has produced consistently FIERCE pictures both pre- and post-makeover, but you know that that in itself just isn't enough for ANTM, they want to bring the drama. In Elina's case, they want to break the bitch down.

Mr Jay's direction of her was hilarious, although arguably it would be considered illegal by several mental health organisations. It ran a little something like this:
"Why do you always need to be in control?"
"Don't you feel good enough about yourself?"
"Do you hate yourself?! Who puts you down?! OH MY GOSH THAT IS SO PRETTY RIGHT THERE".

So having successfully reduced her to a shadow of her former self, things continued very much as per usual - Marjorie and McKey were pretty great, Samantha and Sheena were pretty awful. And so to elimination, where to remind us about the FIERCENESS we are celebrating, Miz Tyra broke out her commemorative Scottish Widows outfit, tastefully updated for the Noughties. By which I mean it barely covered her noughties. Bam! Fierce, I tell you.

Elina was commended for crying, but you know, not really crying enough, which wound me up something rotten. Is anyone else fed up of the continued cult of 'personality' on ANTM? Do you remember Molly Sue? The most successful girl so far ever to appear on the show and she was booted off for having no personality. Tyra and the gang are less bothered about finding a true high fashion model than finding a girl who is over-confident of her own ability, has lots of arguments with the rest of the house and who spends quality time screeching and crying. Like, a lot. Because that's just better TV, right?

So poor little Lauren Brie got sent home for her lack of the poppin' P - despite being down to the final two with Sheena, who honestly sucks. Sure, Lauren Cheese isn't majorly attention-grabbing, but shove a bunch of make-up on her and her photos are great. Sheena with her boob job, hoochie booty and Bronx accent is just fundamentally more interesting, apparently.

Play fair, ANTM. If it really IS all about the personality, then I want to see the same from the panel. Paulina managed only one slightly patronising comment but dammit! I need more than that. You want the models to bring the dramz? Well then I want Janice back, with all her drunken craziness. You want the girls to scream and cry? Then make them fight to the death with their stilletoes or something, coz I'm getting a little tired of the whole thing. Bring it!!!

Written by the Fabulous Lesley Anne Moore. She brings the fierce and then some.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Keeping The Pennies Pretty

A few months ago, I had my handbag stolen which had in it my fuschia pink hard case wallet I bought in Urban Outfitters in New York. I loved that wallet, not least because it was stylish and had sentimental value, and have been searching for a suitable replacement ever since. Well, it looks like the quirky stylishness of the UK Urban Outfitters have come to my rescue.

My love for butterflies and things what are pretty is well documented so it should come as no surprise to learn that this will be my first purchase on my next London Town trip. There's lots of other designs should this particular one not take your fancy so everyone can literally spend a pretty penny.

Loop Canvas Wallet, £24 at Urban Outfitters

Shoe Of The Day

I was in the Birmingham Selfridges the other day, ruing that it is a pale imitation of the Proper Selfridges when these beauties caught my eye and made me go "Ooh!"

The actual structure of the shoe appears quite delicate but the squared toe and chunky sparkles give it a femininely tough edge. I particularly love the heel - it's not too high and perfectly shaped.

As well as this muted pink, it comes in black but that just makes it any other shoe.

'Aston' by Kurt Geiger, £160

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

A New Pair Of Shoes? Every Day? For FREE?!

Why tell me more!

Ok then! Handbag.com are running Shoe Month giving you the chance to win a pair of shoes every day for the whole of March. You can have a look at the shoes that will be on offer but you need to check back everyday to see which shoes appear when.

The magic link is here and with shoes from M. Louboutin and Vivienne Westwood up for grabs, it's worth bookmarking!

Thanks to Sarah for the link!

You Spent How Much?!?!?

Whilst the world goes into economic meltdown, at least celebrities are on hand to keep the shoe designers of the world employed.

This great article over at Trendy Shoe Shop highlights those women who have little else to trouble them than feeding an addiction to shoes. I might cry if I added up how much they've spent.

Though does anyone else find it a bit weird that their walk in closets look like shops...?

Shoe Of The Day

These may be a Marmite choice but I'm firmly in the love camp with these cowboy boot-esque offerings from Topshop. Quite why they've named them Jagger I'm not sure, the only Jagger I can picture wearing cowboy boots being ex-Jagger Jerry Hall in a proper Texan way or Jade in a hippy boho Ibiza way.

Whatever, I love the black and white contrast that is a lot more interesting than most that you see and the mock snakeskin detailing on the black parts is a nice touch.

Apparently Rodeo style is "bang on trend" (what an awful phrase) but these would provide a subtle nod with your work clothes.

Jagger cowboy point shoe, £60 at Topshop

NES' Top Tips.... How To Wear Heels Without Wanting To Die From The Pain

In The Guardian today, Imogen Fox has proffered some tips on how to survive wearing heels having seen La Posh cavorting round a theme park in what else but 5" Louboutins.

But what is she telling us that we don't already know? Nothing. It's what she isn't telling us that's important and so I bring to you Never Enough Shoes' Top Tips on How To Wear Heels Without Wanting To Die From The Pain.

1. Ignore the tip about gel pads. They don't work.
Or at least none that I have ever tried have. The thing about padding is correct, nay essential, but there are better ways round it. As a rule I always have at least a cushioned insole inside my heels. You can pick them up very cheaply - I generally use these ones from Boots. Sometimes, that can be enough but for your very high heels or very spindly stilettos you need something extra.

In come these amazing pieces of awesome from Scholl - ball of foot cushions. Ignore their Party Feet range, these are the things to go for. As they hook over the toe, they don't slip about and scrunch up behind your toes and provide a foot-wide blister as happened to me both times I tried the gel pads.

Alternatively (or sometimes I have been know to use them in addition to the foot cushions), if you live in the States or don't but know someone going soon or someone there who can send them to you, get some of Duane Reade's No-Slip Cushions. I think they're about $3.50 and act in much the same way but just stick to the sole of your shoe with some kind of amazing tape. It means you can move them between shoes and they do retain their stick.

2. Practice.
Seriously, strut around the house in them like Miz J. Alexander is coaching you to catwalk stardom, stretch them out, mould them to your feet. I wear mine to do the housework in. The more fitted they are then the more comfortable they'll be. It's kinda like the principle behind shrink to fit jeans (remember that?!) only this time it's stretch to fit. Plus, the more practice you have, the more confident you'll be in them which leads us nicely to....

3. Stand up straight and walk properly!
Understand that wearing heels throws your natural balance and lowers your centre of gravity. I'm not a science geek but even I know that this means you have to alter the way you walk. It is so much easier if you keep good posture and a confident stride. The added benefits mean that your back won't hurt at the end of the day than if you were slouching a bit like you do in trainers. Don't deny you do, we all do!

4. Painkillers can help
Ok so medicating yourself to wear shoes isn't possibly the best idea in the world but keep a packet handy. So long as you're not allergic, ibuprofen works best in these cases. But please, please don't take them if you're out drinking - it's not a good idea! It could be argued that enough champagne cocktails numbs the pain sufficiently too but please stick to one or the other!

5. Substitute!
Take a pair of flats with you to wear at the end or during some points of the night. Forget them at your peril. I did this a few months ago and ended up walking home barefoot, in the rain, complaining that my feet hurt with some actual crying from the pain. Suffice to say I hadn't followed any of my own advice....

So there we have it. I generally find that following these tips does result in a virtually pain free heel wearing experience. But do you have any other top tips? Let me know if you do!

Monday, 2 March 2009

America's Next Top Model: Season 11 Episode 6?

Ok so I missed the non dramz of the makeovers (how disappointing was that?!) and I missed last week due to work and then The Hairy Drummer claiming remote rights so he could yell at Arsenal (damn not having Sky+ yet...) so I think we're up to Episode 6?

So all I know so far is that SuperBitch Clark won the photo staging last week and is acting all smug and bitchy about it. Marjorie is still whining about not being confident whilst the others put a brave face on it and SuperTransexual Isis got the heave-ho.

For the first challenge, Paulina appears in some hideous granny outfit and finally admits what we all know - ANTM produces catalogue models, not top models. So the girls have to put on outfits that are too big for them and they have to tuck and pin to make them fit in order for Paulina to assess if they can even make it as a catalogue model. Most people kind of get the point apart from Samantha who completely changes the way the clothes are supposed to look. Null points.

Paulina and Majorie had a moment where they had a Europe against the US view of confidence and nerves and apparently Paulina explains Marjorie's European sensibilities perfectly. The winner of the challenge got 50 extra frames and it was McKey, our lil cage fighter who looked better before the makeover.

Back at the house and Marjorie and Samantha argue over Marjorie's lack of confidence. Blah blah blah. They can't even argue convincingly!

The photoshoot this week is about disasters. As in natural disasters or something. So quite why Mr Jay is dressed as some kinda Godzilla meets Predator is unknown...

Sheena managed to lose the hooch - she's improving.

SuperBitch Clark was not good. Mr Jay was getting annoyed with her.

Joslyn looked awesome in her outfit but it was unclear if her photos would look as awesome given that she was being a bit, well, rubbish.

McKey managed to convey the sultriness of a heatwave quite well indeed. Mr Jay was suitably impressed - the judges less so.

The rest were in between blah and no one apart from maybe Elina is standing out at the moment as a definite winner.

The bottom two were SuperBitch Clark and Joslyn. Joslyn was saved by having a nicer personality than Clark. Ouch.

And I'm sad to say but ANTM is boring me a bit this season. There's a certain predictability to the editing and there's nowhere near enough Miz Jay. And I miss Janice. I hope she pops up in a future episode to remind us all how fabulously demented it was with her.Justify Full