Sunday, 20 November 2011

Paloma Faith Sketch

Two posts in one day - oh no! I'm not sure whether to open another blog for my sketches. Am I spamming anyone?  Anyway, a friend on Twitter suggested Paloma Faith as a good person to draw. This is the final sketch done, I just need to colour it in now and jazz it up an' that. I'm always worried about ruining the sketch through colouring.



(click for higher-res)

Laura xxx

Hang the DJ: This Boy (remastered) The Beatles


This is one of my favourite songs. Some days I find that I've just had this on repeat for hours. It's a great way to start the day. Enjoy your Sunday!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Wishlist Weekend! Smoking Lips



1. Black Swarovski Crystallised Lips Clutch, Lulu Guinness, £650.00
2. Anne Taintor 2012 Engagement Diary, (amazon.co,uk), £7.35
2.Smoking Lip Jacket, Holly Fulton (at matchesfashion.com),  £400.00
3. Black Peep Toe Stud Ankle Boots, River Island, £70.00
5. PU panel leggings, River Island (at ASOS) £25.00
6. Crystal Lips ring, st8tement.co.uk, £16.00
7. Beauté Weightless Lip Crème in 'Masochist' (at love-makeup.co.uk), £19.00
8. EyeStudio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner in 01 Black, Maybellene (at Boots), £7.99
9. Hamster Racer Set, Firebox.com, £18.99-£31.99

This was based around the Holly Fulton jacket. She's one of my favourite designers at the moment. This jacket was inspired by the romance between Coco Chanel and Hugh Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster. The A/W collection is gorgeous. I wish I had the money to invest in a piece. The 'smoking gun' dress is fantastic! (link)


As a vegetarian, I try to avoid leather shoes but I couldn't find any in the limited time I had for a search. Still, these are lovely shoes. I think Louboutin shoes would be perfect with the red sole.


And aaagh! I couldn't resist the hamster car, it just made me laugh so much. You can buy a racing track for it like scaletrix. I don't have a hamster or gerbil but being in a racing car must be a pretty amazing experience for them. It still fits in with the Rock 'n' Roll theme I suppose. :)

Friday, 18 November 2011

Hang the DJ: L'Enfant Terrible - An Alexander McQueen Fanmix




"I think there is beauty in everything. What ‘normal’ people would perceive as ugly,
 I can usually see something of beauty in it."
— Alexander McQueen

Tracklist:

1. Enfant Terrible - Sonny J
2. The Sun is Often Out - Patrick Wolf
3. All These Things That I've Done - The Killers
4. Working Class Hero - John Lennon
5. Oscillate Wildly - The Smiths
6. Western Eyes - Portishead
7. Laugh, I Nearly Died - The Rolling Stones
8. Come As You Are - Nirvana
9. Angie - Bert Jansch
10. Suedehead - Morrissey
11. On Sussex Downs - Patrick Wolf (Larrikin Love cover)
12. Little Drop of Poison - Tom Waits
13. Nice Work if You Can Get it - Ella Fitzgerald
14. Yumeji's Theme (Harmonica version) - Chikara Tsuzuki
15. There's a Place in Hell for Me and My Friends - Morrissey
16. The Man Who Sold the World - David Bowie
17. L'uomo Dell'armonica - Ennio Morricone
18. I See a Darkness - Bonnie 'Prince' Billy
19. Bad Romance (Chew Fu H1N1 Mix) - Lady Gaga ('Bad Romance' was used in one of McQ's shows)

Download - hxxp://www.megaupload.com/?d=JHP71ICV (19 tracks + cover art = 100.72MB)

(change hxxp to http and if you like any of the tracks, consider supporting the artists.)

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Style Icon: Courtney Love


Today heralds my return to blogger after a trying time at wordpress. I couldn't get on with it at all. Sorry, wordpress, it wasn't you, it was me. Maybe a little bit you but let's just part ways amicably.

I've uploaded all my wordpress posts here which means that the poor folks who have subscribed to the site will have bumper notifications today. Yes, I am a spambot.

I had planned to make this post and today I hear that Courtney's in the news again for ranting about Dave Grohl so I'm unintentionally on the button news-wise. 

Regardless of my own or anyone else's opinions of her personality, I really loved her style in the early 90s and that's what this post is about. The broken doll look really appeals to me and this is a great photo of her.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

*pitiful begging* Please vote for me on Threadless!

Score this design: "Kindness," to help it get printed on Threadless!



A friend of mine on Twitter (an excellent scriptwriter and film critic - http://ticketstubcentral.blogspot.com) encouraged me to submit a design of mine to Threadless and I AM EXCITE, PEOPLE! You can vote for it, if you'd be so kind, and then it will be a real t-shirt. At the moment it's a Pinocchio t-shirt dreaming of being a real t-shirt. I'm also dreaming that it'll get approved and I can run to the bank with $2,500 they pay. I'm not sure what that is in Pound Sterling but still, lots of money. Believe me, my wardrobe could do with that.

Please vote for me! I'd really, REALLY appreciate it.

Monday, 14 November 2011

The Sketchbook Project

Sketch book: bearskinrug.co.uk



I've just signed up for the The Sketchbook Project. I've wanted to just do some drawings for a while, unrelated to fashion, so this seemed like a perfect opportunity and for a real purpose. It's the most exciting idea.
The Sketchbook Project Limited Edition Vol. 1 is a collaborative series of art books created by 5,000 artists from around the world.

Anyone — from anywhere in the world — can participate in the project. Sign up to receive a blank sketchbook in the mail, then fill it up and send it back. Your work will be cataloged in the Brooklyn Art Library and published in the Limited Edition art book series.

You can choose one of the following themes -
  • Time and the way we travel
  • Distance and time
  • How to spell and other things to learn
  • The science of story
  • Thread and surface
  • The last word ever spoken
  • Why did the owl make everyone laugh?
  • Create and capture
  • The secret and how to tell it
  • Pictures and descriptions



I've chosen "The last word ever spoken". I just had an idea for it straight away. As soon as the sketchbook arrives I'll blog some of my pages.

If you'd like to take part in The Sketchbook Project you can have $2.00 off by typing in the code, ADDAFRIEND at the checkout! Have fun!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Tallulah Bankhead and Dorothy Parker

Tallulah Bankhead was one of the most wonderful characters who ever lived. I'm re-reading her biography, "Tallulah: My Biography" and Tallulah, Darling: A Biography of Tallulah Bankhead by Denis Brian and laughing in public places at some of her witticisms.
I read Shakespeare and the Bible, and I can shoot dice. That's what I call a liberal education.

I've tried several varieties of sex, all of which I hate. The conventional position makes me claustrophobic; the others give me a stiff neck and/or lockjaw.

My father warned me about men and booze, but he never mentioned a word about women and cocaine.

I'll come and make love to you at five o'clock. If I'm late start without me.

They used to photograph Shirley Temple through gauze. They should photograph me through linoleum.

(On seeing a former lover for the first time in years) I thought I told you to wait in the car.

The less I behave like Whistler's mother the night before, the more I look like her the morning after.

Her last words were "Codeine...bourbon..." Atta girl.





And Dorothy Parker, another heroine of mine. In my desperation to read every word she wrote, I seem to have a huge collection of books about and by her. Looking at them in a line on the shelf makes me look rather obsessive. I recommend The Complete Poems, The Collected Dorothy Parker (both by Penguin) and The Uncollected Dorothy Parker. Here are just a few choice quotes.
Well, Aimee Semple McPherson has written a book. And were you to call it a little peach, you would not be so much as scratching its surface. It is the story of her life, and it is called In the Service of the King, which title is perhaps a bit dangerously suggestive of a romantic novel. It may be that this autobiography is set down in sincerity, frankness and simple effort. It may be, too, that the Statue of Liberty is situated in Lake Ontario.

That would be a good thing for them to cut on my tombstone: Wherever she went, including here, it was against her better judgment.

The House Beautiful is, for me, the play lousy.

I might repeat to myself, slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound; if I can remember any of the damn things.

I'm never going to accomplish anything; that's perfectly clear to me. I'm never going to be famous. My name will never be writ large on the roster of Those Who Do Things. I don't do anything. Not one single thing. I used to bite my nails, but I don't even do that any more.

This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.

Men seldom make passes
At girls who wear glasses.

Katharine Hepburn delivered a striking performance that ran the gamut of emotions, from A to B.

(On answering the door) What fresh hell is this?

Résumé

Razors pain you,
Rivers are damp,
Acids stain you,
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful,
Nooses give,
Gas smells awful.
You might as well live.






The reason I'm writing about both of these fantastic women is because they were both members of the Algonquin Round Table, a group of writers, wits, critics, actors and actresses who would meet up for lunch in The Algonquin Hotel in New York in the 20s. Tallulah also read some of Dorothy Parker's writings on the radio. Tallulah's theatricality was parodied in a Groucho Marx radio play (in which Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin and Tallulah herself took part) which I've also included as someone kindly uploaded it to youtube.



And finally, the Groucho Marx parody -

Film Diary: Confessions (Kokuhaku), 2010


Confessions is directed by Tetsuya Nakashima. I'd previously seen his films, Kamikaze Girls and Memories of Matsuko and was struck by his unique, dream-like style. Confessions is different in the way that it's very dark, and, apart from one short section, is without the humour and brightness of the two films of his that I'm familiar with. It's a drama, told in spiralling form of individual confessions from the characters involved, all of which add a piece to the whole story until completion. As well as this complicated unfolding narrative, which centres around the death of a child, it also reveals the background of the characters which lead to the main event and the repercussions.


The film starts with a teacher calmly telling an unruly group of schoolchildren about the death of her daughter, who she believes was murdered by two students in the class. She describes how she wants them to pay, since the judicial system cannot metre the appropriate judgement they deserve, so she is taking her own form of revenge upon them. That's really the crux of the film. The actress who plays the teacher, Takako Matsu, is very understated and cold. She is extremely believable as a woman driven purely by revenge and her actions, though extreme, are understandable. It's hard to feel sympathy for some of the characters, yet I did. Bullying is depicted so brutally in Confessions that it was very hard to watch at times.


There is a high contrast, blue tint to the film, with a yellow, brighter tone to the 'happier' scenes. Much use of slow motion shots are edited in. I imagine that this film is an editor's dream. It is a beautiful example of film making. Every part of the film is perfect, from the script, performances, direction, editing and soundtrack. The soundtracks of Nakashina's films are always special, but Confessions features Radiohead ("Last Flowers") and The XX ("Fantasy") tracks so well in combination to haunting slow motion scenes that it's like the songs were written for the film.


Nakashima's screenplay doesn't sugarcoat the characters. It all seems like a terrible modern day Greek tragedy but very realistically done. It kept revealing secrets until the very end. One of final scenes shows the imagined reversal of time (with some amazing CGI effects) and is poignant in terms of the whole film, but echoes the way the narrative is crafted. To me, it seems like the film is revealed backwards in a way to move the film forwards and it's fantastically done because, unlike some attempts at reverse storytelling, you don't feel lost and have a need to watch the film again to take it all in.


I truly haven't seen a anything like this before. It's not a pleasant watch; it's very depressing on a Schindler's List level and I felt very disturbed afterwards since it is so very extremely bleak. If you can cope with that by consuming large amount of chocolate throughout, it's a film which will stay with you.  The moral I think the film tries to communicate is to value life, but it's told in such a devastating way that it makes it a much more powerful message than the happy, skippy "LIFE IS GOOD!" films. I do feel rather bankrupt emotionally by watching Confessions, but not in a bad way. I feel that buzz of having watched a genuinely good film and that doesn't happen as often as I'd like.


I would put this film alongside the Vengeance trilogy by another of my favourites, Park Chan-wook, as it is innovative and shares themes of revenge, lies, the value of life and the ripple effect a deed can have on others. It's films like this that you can't imagine originating in the West but are likely to be remade by Hollywood at some point. I dread the day.


In an attempt to emphasise how good this film is, it has won a host of awards. It was the Japanese entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards. It won the awards for Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay & Best Editor at the 34th Japan Academy Prize. Also, it had 6 nominations in the Asian Film Awards.


So, highly recommended. Also, try and find the soundtrack. I'm so thrilled to see that "Last Flowers" has been used because it was only available on the bonus disc of "In Rainbows" and is not as well know as the tracks on the standard edition. It's one of my favourite songs on the album and it's used to brilliant effect in this film. It could be said thought that the music makes the film even more depressing and dark, and it's pretty hard to stomach anyway, but personally I think it works perfectly. There are some gory scenes, but my gore level is warped since seeing Ichi the Killer so it seems pretty tame and 'artful' to me in comparison. I'm left wanting to read the novel upon which the film was based but there doesn't seem to be an English translation available from what I can tell. Hopefully if it wins at the Academy Awards, this may change.