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Showing posts from March, 2018

The #MeToo reality TV series, 'healthy' chocolate and the safety goggles trend

Today we are taking a trip back in time to our secondary school science classes - the land of Bunsen burners, litmus paper and glass jars full of hydrochloric acid. As well as those exceedingly unflattering and highly uncool safety goggles.

Now put down that test tube for a moment because this reporter has a piece of somewhat shocking news for you. It is those perspex glasses, which as teenagers we didn't want to be seen dead in but science teachers assured us would see us dead if we didn't wear them, that are now 'a trend'.

They are being stocked as bonafide fashion items by uber trendy LA fashion brand Brashy Studios - a contemporary streetwear emporium frequented by the likes of model Bella Hadid. A nonsensical trend perhaps but a pocket friendly one, as these safety goggles are available to you for a mere £17 (or 25 of your finest American dollars). Alternatively, this reporter has a plan. You could purchase these at B&Q.

Meanwhile, the wheels are in motion to …

The porn star set to topple Trump and the horse suit by Chloe

Is it an indictment of the holes in America's political system or the fact we have learnt so much post-Harvey Weinstein, that the most likely person to knock President Donald Trump off his narcissistic perch is a porn star going by the name of Stormy Daniels? Or perhaps, as many are joyfully claiming, it is because this porn star has become a feminist hero - her voice, rather than her body, her super power.

There have been murmurings for some time of how Trump employed the services of Stormy, real name Stephanie Clifford, to provide some bedroom entertainment - shall we say - shortly after his wife Melania gave birth to his youngest son back in 2006.

But it is only now as Stormy, as we shall call her, has announced she is suing the former American Apprentice star for slamming a non-disclosure agreement on her, that we are seeing just how pivotal and important a figure this adult film star could become in what happens to Trump next.

As anyone who follows the misogynistic transgress…

Labour's first female Prime Minister and the Ganni banana swimsuit

MP Harriet Harman has declared the next leader of the Labour party must be a woman. Not so contentious so far, this reporter concedes, but it is the method with which Ms Harman aims to achieve this which has rocked the status quo of a heretofore WASPish Parliament.

Ms Harman believes there should be an all-female leadership election to absolutely guarantee the next leader, and also potentially, the next Prime Minister, will be a woman. This is a ground-breaking, and essentially vital, achievement for the Labour party who sit very much in the shadow of the, ironically, more prehistoric-thinking Conservatives who have 'enjoyed' two female Prime Ministers thus far.

Ms Harman reports that her all-female candidate leadership contest idea has "startled" would-be male leaders. But the 'Mother of the House' as she is called for her seemingly endless stint as MP and, at brief intervals, acting but never 'proper' Prime Minister, is unmoved in the face of challe…

Empire pineapples, ignoring the news and the Zara fringed t-shirt

The pineapple - the symbol of the plunder and prosper of the Great British Empire, the centre piece of the opulent Victorian dinner table, the skewered accessory of the trendy 1980's cocktail party. It's back and its timing is impeccable.

No more the virtuous healthiness of millennial favourite, the avocado. Supermarkets are declaring that sales of the spikier, tongue clackingly sour/sweet pineapple are on the rise and set to mash its rival into a soup.

And this reporter suspects there is something far deeper going on here than a change in preference of fruit. As she suggested in her intro up there, this is without doubt entangled with this country's vision of a glorious Brittas Empire, as we emerge blinking and stumbling from our dark EU incarceration and into a new dawn of sovereignty once again - just as soon as the French have made us our new blue passports.

Oblivious to this change in fruity preference is a wealthy American introduced to this reporter by David Mitchel…

The anti-ageing sandwich, royal wedding cake and the raffia basket tote

This reporter is concerned she's 'been had'. A story has hit news stands this week about a new cafe offering anti-ageing sandwiches accompanied by all manner of age-staving beauty treatments. The story runs that whilst clients chomp down into Bite of Youth sandwiches at the Sandwich Spa cafe, they will be treated to a collagen-boosting facial.

There is even a YouTube video to accompany this news, showing the cafe very much in action. Youth-hungry patrons queueing up for the latest in wrinkle-blasting fillings, before cutting to the treatment rooms where diners are tucking into their age-defying lunches, whilst beauty therapists get stuck into their neck and decolletage.

This reporter questions whether this whole thing is a send up - a satire on just how gullible people are when it comes to the fruitless pursuit of turning back the clock. There is, admittedly, an element of science behind the whole process. The sandwiches do contain known 'super food' ingredients.

A…

Laundrettes, Brexit Beano and the Valentino throw-back mini dress

"You spin me right round, baby right round like a record, baby round round round round."

Oh hello there. I'll just turn the radio down. I'm at the laundrette, washing my clothes. Because we're all going to be doing this soon. Using laundrettes that is. They are popping back up everywhere. Perhaps not so much this side of the M25 but nevertheless, this is the future when it comes to washing, according to those in the fashion know.

Not perhaps as we once knew it. Carrier bags full of dirty washing self-consciously flung into big bellied washers, Dot Cotton-esque laundry assistants greeting you with a box of cheap soap suds, fag hanging out of mouth. It's all gone just that little bit chicer.

Hermes have launched a Hermesmatic laundrette service complete with bright orange, Instagrammable, machines specially to launder and service their Hermes silk scarves. Other brands are following suit, with the denim brand American Eagle opening a concept store and free laun…

Finland, Fitbits and the Stella McCartney Icy Ice Sunglasses

Drum roll please - unfurls scroll - clears throat...

This reporter can proudly announce that Britain has been named the happiest country in the world. Oh no, sorry, wrong scroll. It is actually Finland.

You didn't think for a milli-second there that it was actually Britain did you - this tea-stained picture postcard? Granted we have the British Broadcasting Corporation and 24 hour access to complex carbs, but with the current kerfuffle taking place on these shores, there's absolutely no chance.

Britain came in at a depressing number 19 in the World Happiness Report, as compiled by official bods at the United Nations. This ranked 156 countries based on life expectancy, social support and corruption and when it comes to Finland, let's be honest, it's not just to do with this one isolated country, but all those Nordic destinations.

They quite frankly dominated the top ten, with Norway at number two, followed by Denmark and Iceland in fourth. Sweden not far behind. So what…

Jeremy Corbyn's hat and the daunting trend for transparency

There have been distinct rumblings on social media this week about Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's hat.

Before looking into the matter more closely, this reporter was sure this was some kind of metaphor - along the lines of what 'hat' has Mr Corbyn got on today? Is it his trade union, I'm one of the workers, let's man the picket lines, hat, his nationalisation, this is the real reason I won't come out against Brexit, hat, or his down with the kids, I'm best mates with a rapper, hat?

But no, far from an invisible, this is nothing but a figure of speech and there is no hat, kind of hat, we are talking about, an actual hat (of sorts). Clear as mud so far? Thought so. Follow me and let's go back to the tail end of last week to an episode of current affairs programme Newsnight where the issue of Corbyn's hat first grew legs.

During a segment about the poisoning of spy Sergei Skripal and the potential impending outbreak of cold war with Russia, an image of …

Pass the bread sauce - we're off to war - and the Self Portrait cold shoulder sweater

This reporter was convinced we had lost our Blitz spirit. If this country had to endure a third world war, she thought, we would be completely sunk.

The snow brought on the back of the Beast from the East last month proved this reporter wrong in one aspect - far from being devoid of Blitz spirit, this country was possessed by it. To the point that, instead of providing us with the stoic armour with which to face great adversity, it had riddled us with unmanageable, blind hysteria.

Mass panic was induced by meteorologists and news readers as they banned us from venturing outside. Stark newspaper headlines ran "snowmageddon". Supermarkets were whipped free of their bread and milk in a frenzy of panic buying.

Schools were closed, trains failed to run, electricity supplies went down and people went into a weekend of hibernation as a fluttering of snow peppered our pavements and roadways.

Far from confronting the enemy head on with defiance, we were on our knees, hands clasped, b…

How the World Wide Web became Frankenstein's monster and the mismatched earring trend

You may have heard via the tub-thumping beat of the fashion bongo drums that we are living in the era of the earring. The "awesome earring" no less, according to the Guardian fashion pages.

The newspaper declares - in a manner no doubt geared to bring us out in a blotchy rash of non-conformity - that it is no longer just about what is between your ears that counts but what you wear on them.

It continues: "Being alive in 2018 and not going earring shopping would be like living in New York in the 20's and never going out dancing. Or living above Carnaby Street in the 60's but keeping the curtains drawn and moaning about the racket. Or living through the 00's without spending your entire salary in Topshop.

"You don't get to choose what golden age you live in, you just have to join in with what you get. Which right now means wearing awesome earrings while you discuss Netflix in the 40-minute street food queue for your vegan bowl lunch."

This report…

The Frida Kahlo Barbie, uncompromising dress codes and something fishy

This reporter is relieved to discover she is not the only human being perturbed by the decision to bring out a Frida Kahlo Barbie.

The feminists of the world gave a great cry of glee at the announcement that the contentious doll manufacturer had brought out a new range of modern day and historical heroes. This includes the aforementioned artist Frida Kahlo, alongside the first female to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, Amelia Earhart, pioneering mathematician Katherine Johnson and boxer Nicola Adams.

The dolls were brought out as part of celebrations for International Women's Day and have been praised for gazumping the usual stereotypical tottering, pink Barbie and giving girls dolls with more meat. Covering a whole range of nationalities and backgrounds - they are the ultimate in inclusivity.

This reporter however, did not understand the positivity to be had out of something akin to Barbie appropriation. We have been told for decades that if young girls spend their childhoods …

Bum bags, Freddos and the French ads banned for mocking Brexit

In her sporadic style column for the Sunday Times, journalist, author and all-round smasher of a person, Caitlin Moran applauds the return of the 90's "rave accoutrement" - the bum bag.

She exclaims that this new bag trend, which has been updated for the new millennium as a fancy "magic belt" to store all your stuff in, is the perfect antidote to "bag shoulder", the ailment that hits all women in their thirties after years suspending their belongings from a strap across one shoulder.

Ms Moran recounts a potentially made-up, but nonetheless factually correct, conversation with her doctor, who she turns to for some "industrial-strength opiates" to ease the "twingy back" brought on by carrying her bag around in the aforementioned manner - only to be told that one of her shoulders is three inches higher than the other.

The doctor informs her that actually despite the fact she is a woman, she has not been provided with special "han…

Carrying On Spying in Salisbury and the Saint Laurent leather shorts

The reason this reporter has not, until now, given her two penneth worth on the poisoning of Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, is because she was pretty certain she had dreamt the whole thing. Alternatively, we had all been sucked through our television screens and found ourselves in a low budget Russian spy drama on the Netflix.

This reporter's subsequent reaction to the saga of Skripal and his daughter being found poisoned on a shopping centre bench in the vicinity of Salisbury's Zizzi restaurant last week, was that all the glamour had gone out of spying.

Where were the slick Russian spies in their Tom Ford aviator sunglasses, where were the rich opulent settings of exclusive members-only clubs and mega yachts? This reporter felt cheated and so, quite reasonably she thought at the time, decided to dismiss it as fiction.

What we also came to realise as shoppers passed on by the Russian duo convinced they were on drugs - and if you includ…

Theresa May's girls' night in and ice-cream flavoured plimsoles

The fashion world is in a two-and-eight. It has inconceivably come up with a trend which is the complete antithesis of everything it stands for - ice-cream.

Let's be honest, no one in the fashion industry has eaten since 1997, subsisting on fresh air and the occasional whiff of Lancome watermelon Juicy Tube (because they're back). Never mind the veritable Pandora's box of worms the issue rears up for the lactose intolerant, and the vegans, who have risen up like a Samuria army since the clock struck midnight on first of January.

But fear not, this ice-cream trend is nothing to do with consuming delicious frozen cream (sadly). Instead it is about the chosen pastel colour palette for this spring, leading on to summer 2018.

Melting their way down runways there have been strawberry ice-cream coloured jackets from Celine, Acne Studios have offered up pistachio co-ords, Chanel have served us vanilla wafer coloured suits. There have been blueberry swirl skirts at Versace and viol…

The inside scoop on Meghan and Harry's wedding - all the action before it's even happened

Fantastic news. We have all been invited to a wedding, and not just any old wedding but the royal wedding of the year (sorry Princess Eugenie) between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

This is what the big day - 19th May, if you still need to jot it down in your filofax - will look like. The girls will all get ready at Meghan's house, taking it in turns to marvel at her dress, by an avant garde British designer we will all pretend we have heard of.

We will watch back-to-back episodes of Suits, quaffing glasses of Kombucha, so we can exclaim over how far she has come, all the while trying to reassure Kate Middleton we cannot see the baby sick down her brand new pleat detail dress from Reiss. (We can).

The boys will meanwhile be round Harry's gaff, stuffing themselves on venison burgers and Kettle Chips, before stripping down for a last game of naked snooker - for old time's sake. Reminiscing about ill-advised fancy dress costumes, past girlfriends with posh, fancy names witho…