Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Britain's Next Top Model: The One With The Ishoos

Previously on Britain's Next Top Model, there were haircuts and tears and meh.

This week, we start with a go see challenge (a bit early, no?) for Miss Sixty where the girls go in one by one and strike a pose (apparently there's nothing to it). Everyone is predictably... rubbish. But for some reason, Julian from Models 1 (the agency that gets the winner) picks Susan out as "not being right". Amba got her knickers in a twist that people had copied her pose. Bitch, please - it wasn't a pose to be proud of in the first place.

Next to William Tempest. This at least involves some walking as well. Which they all still suck at. PRACTICE! How many freaking times do you have to be told?!?!!??

The girls get home to Charley and Grace waiting up for them like chastising parents. And to get rid of one of the girls based on the decision of the guys from Models 1 - Susan. Quite why she got picked out above some of the others is unclear given that there are other girls who were worse.

Anyway, onto a shoot with ElleBot with some RED products. ElleBot switches into HHPOF! mode to coach the girls through the posing and to get a better look at them as potential models. She doesn't seem very impressed by any of them which would be a fair assessment.

Yay house fight! Kirsty cooks a roast for everyone except Harleen who's a veggie but doesn't complain and Amba who's... difficult and complains a lot. Most of the girls seem to have a problem with her because she whinges a lot and comes across as aloof. There's always one....

Oh god now they've stolen the idea of posing for an ishoo - this time it's anti bullying. And whaddya know, they've all been bullied and want to raise awareness. Of course.*

Nicola Roberts pops up and is confronted by Delita telling her that they're related by friendship or something. To Nicola's credit, she smiles sweetly while clearly thinking Delita is a mental.

Tiffany's still bitching about her hair and uses that as her inspiration for her pain and anguish. Delita is apparently the only one who hasn't been bullied but she's still as rubbish as ever. Amelia gets told to stop moving and is a bit confrontational about having been told that before. Nicola didn't look impressed by such attitude.

Amazing how they all get matched to something that has affected them huh?

Judging now with Nicola as the guest judge. I bloody love her by the way.

ElleBot tells the girls that Susan's departure was a lesson in the cut throat nature of fashion... I'm still not convinced that it was done in the best way though.

Alisha's photos were fabulous. I'm liking her more now.

Julian accuses Nicola of being boring in a kind of bullying way. Way to understand the ishoo, Julien...

Charley picks up on Tiffany hating her hair.

Joy has a fab picture again.

Personality void Amelia is told again what she needs to do.

And total non surprise, there weren't that many good pictures this week.

Delita's not even in the bottom two?!?!!? What kind of crazy ass shiz is this?!?!?!! Instead it's down to Amelia and Harleen. Harleen gets sent home. This doesn't make sense in any sort of way.

Next week, chocolate! Carnaby Street! Beyonce!

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Britain's Next Top Model: The One With The Makeover DRAMZ!

Makeover Week. We all know this is the only episode that is guaranteed to provide the necessary drama.

It started off tamely enough with a challenge from "style icon" (since when?!?) Miquita Oliver to create an outfit from Rokit's warehouse. Oh to be able to rummage through there, right? I'm not entirely sure where this idea that models have to be able to put outfits together to be successful has come from. Surely that's what stylists are for? And no, don't think for a moment that Kate Moss does it all herself.

Delita rendered Miquita speechless. She's amazing in her ridiculousness. Anyway, Amba won the challenge with a fairly safe look, winning 5 extra minutes for her and 5 minutes taken away from Kirsty in the photoshoot.

Next the girls got to see ElleBot do a shoot for Marie Claire before she sent them on their merry way to Daniel Galvin to be transformed. We were promised less hair, more hair and blonde hair. Marvellous.

Kirsty got the blonde, Harleen got the length and everyone else got something in between. Tiffany got the chop. Know how we could tell? She spent ages saying how much she hates short hair and cue tears! ElleBot tried to justify it with bone structure and cute pixie-ness. You can tell this is her first season doing it as she's still being nice and patient. HHPOF! Miz Tyra has got to the the stage of just telling them to get on with it. Alisha got her ratty weave chopped out.

And oh my but isn't Charlotte beyond annoying. Harleen and Joy look much better. Tiffany looks fab - she has a rare face that can rock short or long hair. Though obviously she can't see that yet.

Post makeover and a shoot for Links of London. Delita and Joy failed to deliver variety. Charlotte may be annoying but she did think about what she was doing.

I'm so undecided about Susan. She's really bouncy and.... nice but I'm not convinced she's a model.

And so to judging. Which is really far too tedious. Julien either needs a new insult writer or to learn to read the autocue better. He's more wooden than his Cuprinol Man twin.

And so Rachelle was dismissed. Curious. There was no stand out bad photo this week though. Apart from Delita. Really what is she all about? What info does she have on them?

Next week, go-sees and SHOCK! AND DRAMZ! with an unscheduled elimination....

Monday, 12 July 2010

Britain's Next Top Model: The One With Male Models! And Flesh! And Lingerie!

Previously on BNTM.... Seriously, the dramz are out in full force with this series already despite nothing really happening.

The lucky 14 have been sent to London for a pose off with Charley Speed. Posing with props. Mmm. So that means thinking about what you're posing with and holding it and arching apparently. Poor Charley, he ain't no Benny Ninja. And the girls ain't no posers. Apart from Susan, who I want to like but kinda want to slap at the same time because she is quite clearly A Drama Student.

Delita is deliciously deluded (no I will not stop with this until she is gone!) about her ability, insisting she was like La Moss.

Julien MacDonald woodenly wanders into view and proffers some gold catsuits for the girls to catwalk in. The amount of bad posture and bad walking is horrifying. Amelia was good but not because her and Julien are Welsh like she seems to think. And why do so many of these girls not know how to walk in heels?!?! Does no one understand that you have to practice these things?

Joy continues her bizarre displays of attitudinal problems. If someone says you need to work on something, you need to work on it. Not just dismiss it out of hand as irrelevant. Contrary to what she believes, she does not know everything.

Amelia and Kirsty were picked to walk at London Fashion Weekend and were pretty good to be fair.

Ugh pigeon chested male models. Who bizarrely invoke squeals (again, maybe it's contractual) And you know what half nekkid boymen mean? Nekkidness! Or rather more specifically a lingerie shoot for Fred and Ginger. The one goo thing about throwing them in at the deep end is that they have to get to grips with it. Despite all of them saying at the audition stages that they have absolutely no issues with nudity, when it comes down to it, nearly all of them do. Models spend a lot of time with not many clothes on so you kinda have to be ok with it or you don't work.

Joy and Kirsty had to lez it up which Joy couldn't quite get to grips with. Harleen worried about what her mum and boyfriend would think about her rolling round in her undercrackers.

Oh Delita... even with a mountain of instruction, her poor brain can't cope with more than one instruction at a time. Tiffany looked lovely - very sultry 60s.
I love Hannah. She's not a model but she's fab. Especially when stood next to the personality void that is Amelia. I don't like Amelia.

Susan and Amba had fab pictures as did Tiffany. My favourite overall though was this one from Joy and Kirsty

Hannah got down to the last two with Delita. And gallantly quit while she was ahead. Elle was simperingly nice about it. HHPOF! Miz Tyra would've cut a bitch for taking the place from someone who really, REALLY wanted it.

Anyway, next week..... MAKEOVER DRAMZ!!!! You know it's the only episode that counts.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Britain's Next Top Model: The One Where There's An Actual Top Model

So Britain's Next Top Model starts with some kind of weird film trailer type effort with platitudes from such press luminaries as The Telegraph, OK! and Grazia which I'm pretty sure were used to describe ANTM and not BNTM but still, it's all POW! POW! POW! ELLE!

In case you were under any illusion that the pretenders to HHPOF! Miz Tyra's crown were mere also-rans, think again. Elle Macpherson's introduction (complete with Executive Producer credit) shows that it may well have taken 5 seasons to get here but now they're really actually rather ready to find a top model. Obviously though in that grand tradition of Top Model antics from around the world (a top model from any of them? Anyone?)

In case you weren't sure which version you were watching, the 25 girls that are to be further whittled are in The Countryside, waiting at a bus stop curiously emblazoned with a TfL logo. I didn't know Zone 40 existed. First sob story - Kadian. Not only a single mum but run over! With a metal plate in her arm! And a scar! She's a SURVIVOR!

Charley Speed and Grace Woodward are introduced as new judges - good call. Grace is pretty aces at her job and we can now look at Charley instead of Jonathan Phang.
As per their contracts, there's a lot of shrieking at every statement and then even more for - lo! - there is Elle! An actual freaking supermodel!

(I'm just putting this out there now but Elle MacPherson has squiffy eyes. How has this never been noticed???)

First task to whittle the girls down was a head shot with Grace. We already get our first reference to smiling with your eyes though clearly this girl hasn't learnt properly from HHPOF! or she'd know it's just SMIZING now.

And because we're all about diversity (except when it comes to anyone over a size 8) look! A lesbian! Who reminds me of Lluvy from Season 4 of ANTM.

Joy is the current one who thinks she knows it all, complete with "Whatever bizatches" attitude.

Obviously next we have walking. And why for the love of god can none of them walk properly!?!??!!??! Will they never learn?!?!?!?!?? It's not just a case of Pow! Strut Pow! Only Amba admitted to having practised walking. Except for cute but useless Hannah. Oh bless her. She couldn't walk in heels, she couldn't walk out of them. I love her. She's a klutz, not a model.
Simone (token plus size?) had a Naomi fall but got up and got on with it which was the right thing to do.

The new format is a lot closer to ANTM now with the swimwear interview with the panel and all the talk of wanting it more than air/life/water/food/a kitten.

Bwahahaha! Julien Macdonald, Fashion Designer! New judge! Didn't appreciate his comments about plus size models but he was fab on Project Catwalk - he's kinda like a woodenly scripted Janice. Only less fabulous.

Time for a photoshoot and the obligatory group them together to make it easier to weed out the ones who don't 'pop'.

Joy has a hissy fit about her outfit. Oh my.... apparently they'd styled her like that on purpose. Uh-huh.

So then it got down to the nitty gritty of the final 13. And I have to say I'm surprised. Oh but twistaroo! A 14th! Oh my!
So, after 90 minutes of being assaulted by all the newness, these are my current top three:
She may be a whiny bitch but she takes a good picture and quite frankly, what more do you want?


Sultry and kooky and hella cute.

AmbaMy current tip to win. Which means now she probably won't.

If you need more BNTM goodness, and quite frankly who doesn't, then check out their website at

Monday, 14 June 2010

Shoe Of The Day: Festival 2010 Boot by Hunter

Seeing as I'm not going to any festivals this year thanks to growing The Hairy Baby, the idea of spending £145 on a pair of wellies doesn't seem as ludicrous to me as it would do were they competing with cider goodness for my monetary affections.

Yes they are a bit pretentious and ridiculous but I rather like them for it. They're like the WAG of the wellington boot world - overdressed for the purpose but ultimately ready for a good time.

Hunter Festival Boot, £145 from Asos

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Fugly Shoe Of The Day: Ruched Ankle Boot by Maison Martin Margiela

Dear Shoe Designer at Maison Martin Margiela,

I cannot, and will not, tolerate such abominations to pollute my eyes. What were you thinking? Did you want me to cry? Did you know I wasn't wearing waterproof eye make up and thought it'd be fun for me to end up looking like The Joker? And to charge £625 for them?

For shame, for shame.

Never yours if you continue to design such things,

Never Enough Shoes

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Shoe Of The Day: 'Giggle' by Office

I was striding past Office the other day, on my way to something important like finding food or meeting The Hairy Drummer, when these cute things caught my eye and reeled me in, coaxing me to take a closer look and maybe fondle them.

They're a little bit 1980s does 1940s which somehow makes them rather timeless. They also come in orange, black, gold and silver but it's the light blue that I love the most. The heel is a lovely shape and not so high that you can't wear them all day and night.

'Giggle', £58 from Office

Monday, 19 April 2010

What Would I Wear With These.... Sash Cowboy Boots by Faith?

So you see a pair of shoes you like then wonder what the hell you'd wear with them. Happens to me all the time. Sometimes I'll buy the shoes then wander round the shops and internet finding something to go with them. Sometimes I'll just spend a long time staring at them in the shop until I can think of something that would go. And other times, I wonder how on earth I survived without them for so long when it's so obvious what they'd go with.

Here's the first WWIWWT.
At first glance, ankle cowboy boots only seem like a good idea if you hang out at a rodeo. Which I do all the never. Look at them again though. Now imagine sunshine, a field, good friends, cider and some live music. Looks good doesn't it? Would you be wearing these boots though?

How about it you were wearing this dress from Asos?

Tie dye not your thing? How about this patterned dress from Warehouse?

Shy about uncovering your legs? Maxi length skirts and dresses are back with a vengeance so there's no need to show off anything you don't want to. I'm liking this dress from Topshop (still a touch overpriced but will last for years if cared for)

Especially if it was worn with either of these belts from Faith (both in the sale!)

See. Those boots suddenly seem a must have don't they?

Bag Of The Day: 'Lola' by Irregular Choice

I know! A bag that I like! It's very rare that I fall in love with a bag that I can afford (hello Mulberry Bayswater...) but this very cute, very kitsch frame bag from Irregular Choice has stolen my heart! It's perfect for the summer - summer bags should definitely not be serious. And at £79.99, whilst it's a little more than I would normally contemplate spending on a bag, it's not so much that I wouldn't say no.

Lola frame bag by Irregular Choice, £79.99 from Tinfish

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Oscars 2010 FAIL! Kate Winslet

So last year she could do no wrong. It was obviously way too much effort for her to replicate for this year (and she wasn't going to win anything) so she turned up in what looks like the skirt of a sateen dressing gown from the market topped with the body from her children's home-made cardboard and kitchen foil robot. Except she didn't whip it up herself in a gin soaked frenzy. Salvatore Ferragamo did. Not necessarily in a gin soaked frenzy either.

Points for hair and make up? Um.... I guess but it's Winslet Safe Mode isn't it and so it imbues me with an over-riding sense of meh.

Oscars 2010 WIN! Maggie Gyllenhaal

In a troubling world where her brother Jake is slowly slipping away from the hotness, Maggie just keeps knocking it out there. Maybe she's stealing it from him in some kind of weird sibling rivalry thing, sick of him being the pretty one.

Anyway, despite the fact her Dries Van Noten dress is a little bit too long, the colour and pattern made it stand out amongst the sea of wishy washy pinks, nudes and silvers. The shape is simple and flattering and dammit, it just works. One of my very favourites.

Oscars 2010 FAIL! Miley Cyrus

Oh Miley, Miley Miley. On the plus side, her hair is cute and the skirt of her Jenny Packham dress is divine - proper floaty old school glamour.

It's the bit in the middle. The tan lines. The bodice that doesn't quite fit. Or looks like it's finished. Seriously, it looks like she's forgotten to put a top on. I know underwear as outerwear is supposed to be "on-trend" (a case for being off trend if ever there was one) but really?

But then you see her mother:

and suddenly it all makes sense.

Oscars 2010 FAIL! George.... [is this a mistake? No? Oh.] Clooney

Going to show that we all have our off days, ladies and gentlemen, George Clooney. I think it's the hair. His and Elisabetta Canalis'.

It may also be the fact that he was swigging from a cheeky lil hip-flask the whole time.

Actually, that pushes it into win doesn't it.....

Oscars 2010 WIN! Cameron Diaz

Well, well, well! Cameron Diaz hey? This year she got absolutely everything spot on - hair, make up, dress. Beautiful.

But ah the dress. Princessy without being completely over the top, the Oscar de la Renta gown was one of the best dresses of the night. Bravo Cameron! Bravo!

Monday, 8 March 2010

Shoe Of The Day: Bow Front Raffia Heel by Irregular Choice

Some of you may think I've lost my mind. It is entirely possible I have. But dear reader, these Irregular Choice heels have stolen my heart completely and absolutely.

Is it because they're made of raffia which is solely a sunny day fabric? Is it because they exude a slightly tropical promise whilst retaining the shape of a Versailles court shoe? Is it because I just really like sturdy block heels?

Who knows? It's likely to be all these things and more. Sometimes you can't explain love.

Bow front raffia heel, £65 from Asos

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Sale Shoe Of The Day : 'Snippy' by Rocketdog

I love leopard print. I love trainers. Therefore, c'est un fait accompli that I love these trainers from Rocketdog.

As that's all fairly self explanatory, I'll leave you with the fact they're £15 down from £25 and available from ASOS.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Sale Shoe Of The Day : 'Saturday Job' by Office

I had these as a possible Shoe Of The Day way back when I first saw them. Then completely forgot about them until I had to start looking for work shoes in the sale.

And what a bargain they have turned out to be! The burgundy ones (pictured) are down to £15 from £58, while the black ones are down to £25.

I love the retro styling of them and the block heel means that they shouldn't hurt too much by the end of the day. Very important when you need to concentrate on your work rather than how much your feet hurt. The square toe adds a twist to a shoe that would otherwise be fairly ordinary with a rounded toe. Don't be swayed by 'trends' on toe shapes. Trends are too fickle to be relied upon for work.

Saturday Job, £15-25 from £58 at Office

Monday, 4 January 2010

Sale Shoe Of The Day : 'Lawed' by Faith

I know, I know. Party season has only just ended so why the hell am I proposing a party shoe as Shoe Of The Day? Because of these reasons:

a) It's never too early to plan pretty party outfits
b) There's always a need for pretty shoes
c) They're £25 down from £55

As for the shoe itself, it's a fairly classic choice - black, sparkle, satin, shaped heel. But don't think that means it's boring. No, no my friend, rather regard it as the versatile classic it is.

Lawed sandal from Faith, £25 reduced from £55

NES Is So Over Topshop And This Makes Her Sad

Dear reader, it is a sad day indeed when I can no longer face walking into Topshop. But I am afraid to say, with a heavy heart, that that day has come.

Let's go back some 15 years to when I was a gawky, slightly pudgy teenager who wouldn't know what fashion was if it came up and mocked her relentlessly (which I'm pretty sure it did). It wasn't until I started browsing through the delights Topshop had on offer that I thought properly about my clothes. True, I did embrace the grungy Angela Chase look for most of my teen years but it was that or looking like a Spice Girls backing dancer, resplendent in electric blue spandex and Lycra and I couldn't do that to myself or inflict the horror on the rest of the world.

So remember, this was around 15 years ago. The hot way to wear your tops was as a body. Denim was light and velvet was in along with plaid and florals. Also bear in mind I was like a fat Lisa Loeb and you get the picture.

I know fashion constantly recycles itself but even so, it was a shock to wander in to Topshop recently and see clothes that I am fairly sure I bought all those years ago. Who'd have thought it? Topshop making me confront the twilight years of my twenties and shining a spotlight on the impending new realm of 30-something.

It's not just that though. Frankly, I'm not enough of a navel gazer to allow my frivolous shopping habit to be dictated by the ravages of time. It's the quality and the prices which have made me decide that, unless they do something really bloody spectacular, Topshop isn't really worth my time, effort or money any more.

Take this dress.

A fairly inoffensive velvet skater dress, right? Indeed it is. Except I had one exactly like it. From Topshop. It cost me the princely sum of £20. Now even taking into account the bizarre economic shenanigans like inflation and all that jazz, the same dress today will apparently cost you £38. And be poorer quality.

And then there's this dress.

When I saw it on an in-store mannequin, I was actually intrigued. I liked it. It seemed new and different but wearable. Then I felt the fabric. Apparently it's made from Cupro, which is effectively a posh name for viscose. It feels cheap. But it isn't. £70 for this dress, if you please.

That's just two examples, there are many more. I won't abandon Topshop completely but it's safe to say it's not the essential place it once was. Not that Philip Green will lose any sleep over that!