Friday, 25 July 2008

NME Club Night Fashion

It looks like tartan is still the order of the day kidlettes. Check out these beauties:

Club NME at Koko

Back in the day, when my friends and I tripped happily (and, let’s face it, drunkenly) around club Koko in Camden, the Friday NME nights had quite boring bands and hit and miss DJs. Last Friday, I was pleased to find that this has all changed. The DJing, in particular was quite brilliant.

The NME staff share the responsibily of spinning tracks and I went along to check out my dear friend Jamie Fullerton’s skills. He played the great and the good of indie and rock, past and present. My favourite song of the moment, Mystery Jets’ ‘Two Doors Down’ went down a storm. The next DJ on was great too, Damien and he even let me pretend to be a DJ which made me like him even more (see picture).

The evening made me realise that even a good four years on, NME Fridays at Koko still has everything I need: Great music, reasonably (for London) priced booze, fun dancing and young skinny-jeaned whippersnappers!

Adele at Somerset House

I hobbled along to see Adele play at Somerset House (note to all you ladies and beloved transvestites: Somerset House had COBBLES so leave your stacked platforms at home, kay?!). It was all most civilised, we popped to the private bar before and enjoyed lots of Pimms with the lovely Helen who invited us along. Adele didn’t seem nervous at all, sitting and happily chatting with friends and family.

She opened with ‘Cold Shoulder’ and was fabulous. Somerset House is apparently a difficult venue to play, acoustically but she managed wonderfully, quipping with the audience after almost every song. The experience was slightly tainted when I decided to try some strawberry cider. Should anyone wonder, this is what it would probably be like to drink the Body Shop.

In one of Adele’s slower numbers, my attention was caught by my companion animatedly telling me some particularly juicy gossip. Obviously it would have been rude not to have reciprocated with a few choice titbits of my own! Alas, a man standing beside us didn’t seem to agree and voiced his disgust with the following choice words: “Will you shut the f**k up.” Well now. What this gentlemen seemed to fail to realise was that, while fairly busy, Somerset House court was not exactly short on space-we put it to him: why not just move somewhere else? This confrontation was soiling my enjoyment of Adele! A petite blonde woman approached us later, apologising for her rude husband’s behaviour, sweetly explaining that the reason her man got so worked up was because we were talking all the way through their wedding song. Oopsie!

We told Adele all about this when we met her later (for more Pimms) and she agreed that his direct swearing straight away was “very rude.” Adele’s concert was just what I fancied that evening: calm and entertaining and Adele herself is a lovely girl to boot. I think she will produce many more albums which as good as her latest, ‘19’.

M and P Models Summer Party

Last night I attended a party which was like a perfect little glimpse of heaven: a heaven where the tall and unusually symmetrical humans mingled with the shorter wonkier ones. It was an evening where everyone just got on and joined together for mass merriment, glowing happiness and lots of fun. That’s right, it was A Model Party.

It seemed as though every attractive person in London had decided to attend the M and P Models Summer Party at AKA and everyone was in definitely in the mood for fun. Regularly lubricated with alcohol, conversation flowed and there was even a bit of dancing later on (led mainly by the rather gorgeous Daniel of M and P who displayed the patience of a saint when later faced with my drunken flirtatiousness!). Model-wise, I was most impressed.

My absolute favourite boys were ‘New Face’ Harry and his twin brother James. Both boys were great fun and seem really focused on their upcoming careers. Once I had got over the initial shock of walking into a party and being immediately approached by two identically gorgeous young men, I was able to listen as they told me about their father’s unusual job (he is a dog trainer) and watched Harry proudly display his wallet which he and his brother had crafted together on a dull train journey using only gaffer tape (see top right). Modelicious.

For more information on M and P Models, check out their website and look for Harry on ‘New Faces’ and Daniel and Mads B in ‘Mens.’. Oh, and M and P Models represent lovely female models too but I’m afraid I was too preoccupied last night to really pay attention!

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Roll on Tomorrow

By way of therapy, I feel the need to describe the day I have just had:

went to pr work-worked til 4pm-ran to waitressing work, opposite side of London-paniced, couldn't find stupid, ridiculous SW road-5pm called waitressing work apologising madly for being late-was then informed that actually the job started at 6.45pm-went to a restaurant, sat down and realised everything on the menu cost £20 or above-embarassed, left-went to the pub-ate very bad pie-walked to the house where I was working-worked in a house far too small for the number of guests, was very Alice in Wonderland-got dropped off at Hammersmith tube in an extremely unhealthy sounding vehicle-got tube miles across London-got on bus at Kings Cross-girl in front of me projectile-vomited on woman in front of her (and most of the rest of the top deck)-swiftly got off the bus-thankfully, blessedly went to bed.

There are no photos with this blog because I cannot for the life of me think of a singular image that would come close to summing up this day. I know there are people who have it far worse, so I do feel bad for moaning but do you know what? I feel better for sharing.

Monday, 7 July 2008

Lady On The 149's Beautiful Hands

Okay, okay, one last thing-I am such a new blog_addict. There was this lady on the bus today who had the most incredible Henna-ed hands. Apparantly they are part of representing her religion. She seemed slightly wary of me so I didn't want to quiz her too much. She did let me take this picture though.

I really like these hands and want my hands Henna-ed too. I wonder where you go to do that?! I had a home henna kit once, unfortunately I managed to squirt most of it on the bathroom floor and ended up with a pretty angry mother and retained the boring, unadorned digits.

I Tunes Festival Fashion

Just before I check out for the night, here are some special pics of tonight's fashion spectacularios. I especially love the leopard print-that Aussie chick was so cool. From now on I want to do a 'Hot Boy of the Evening Award' see if you can spot my lovely single friend Jamie tonight (should'nt be hard, he's the only boy!). It really was so refreshing to go to Koko and not feel like the oldest hag on the block. Unusual but very pleasant. Oooh and I have no less than 10 free songs on I Tunes-what shall I buy? Hmmm...

I Tunes Festival: Foals and Black Kids

Ah, as if I didn't have a big enough hangover from last night, I went and did it all again. The Foals and Black Kids played Camden's Koko tonight as part of the I Tunes Summer Festival. I love Koko as a venue, and memories of stumbling around the place a couple of years ago flooded back as delicious cider swept down my tubes.

I really like a couple of the Foals' songs, especially 'Cassius' ('these daydreams, these daydreams are gay') but I was actually pleasantly surprised by how great they are live. Headliners Black Kids were reasonable but didn't really compete-just a couple of catchy tracks. The Foals make me think of the tv show 'Skins'. In a good way though. Oh to be 17 again...

Neon Neon Fashion

As they dispersed, I realised how well dressed the Neon Neon crowd were. I snapped a few of them for your delectation.

(clockwise) Ben Harris, the charming Neon Neon PR guru, wearing Denayer and Verne; gorgeous Ollie, friend of NME photographer Tom-frankly who cares what he is wearing?; A nicely dressed young lady (name escapes me!) wearing some Topshop goodies.

Neon Neon at Cargo

Enjoyment rating *****
Hangover rating ********

When Neon Neon pulled up to Cargo in the Back to the Future car, I kind of realised it was going to be a special night. Dynamic duo Gruff Rhys (from Super Furry Animals fame) and friend Boom Bip delivered a tantalising performance which got the (over)crowded venue worked up into a right old lather.

My personal enjoyment was fairly clouded at the beginning of Neon Neon's set owing to the personal hygene (or lack thereof) of the rather rotund man squished up next to me. Anyone who says that humans can't smell like ice rinks has been proven a liar by this gentleman.

Anyway, once I had managed to battle my way through the crowd, ice-rink man was left far behind and I could fully appreciate the wonders taking place on stage. The legendary Har Mar Superstar joined the boys, as did the rather lovely Cate Le Bon (pictured left) who features on their new single, I Lust U. The new album, Stainless Steel was inspired by the life of John Delorean, who created the Back to the Future car of the same name. And all becomes clear...

With a funky, futuristic sound, always impeccably delivered, Neon Neon can only succeed.

Now, if someone would swing the doors shut, then I'll be off in the Delorean.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

For Fake's Sake

Don’t get me wrong. I am only too aware that most of us cannot justify spending £700+ on a new ‘IT’ bag. I can fully appreciate that the temptation of paying £30 on a high street knock-off seems a far more appealing option, especially when pay day seems light years and many moons away. I am an understanding person. What I fail to fathom, however, is how a CHARITY, canvas shopper is being ripped-off and sold by money-grabbing goons on Oxford Street FOR THE SAME PRICE AS THE ORIGINAL!

Anya Hindmarch’s “Not a Plastic Bag” canvas shopper was an overnight phenomenon. People queued for hours at their local Sainsburys to get their hands on a designer name handbag for a fraction of the normal price (Hindmarch’s bags often hover around the £300 mark. This one was £5). It was a nice bag. People carried it with pride, the negativity of the initial media frenzy was happily overridden by the fact that the majority of the proceeds would go to charity. Nice. The only people who benefit from this, lets face it, pretty rubbish copy are those with little or no fashion sense and the people with scant moral values selling them. Who even wants this bag anymore? The bag’s cool factor was associated with the fact that it was a piece of designer luxury at low cost. The ones being sold now are terrible quality at the same cost. Baffling.

Another theme is raised from this subject: if you want a designer handbag at a discounted price, how can you be sure that you are getting the real thing? There are naturally well-respected websites (we know who they are, I won’t preach to the converted). They would not want to risk their reputations by selling fakes to unsuspecting online shoppers. Sites that offer products sold by the public (like E-bay for example) are a far dicier animal. The only way you can be 100% sure that you are buying a real Chloe Paddington is to go directly to the store or to a well-respected website or a department store and pay the full whack when you get there. Yikes.

Fashion Flurry-An Introduction to Yours Truly

A while ago, I sent this in for the part of the annual Vogue Talent Contest. On my 23rd birthday, no less, I received an envelope that threw me into a state of manic excitement. The envelope was thick and creamy, with the immortal words: 'Conde Nast Publications' emblazoned across the top. The paper inside carried five letters that change any aspiring fashion writer's life: V.O.G.U.E.

On closer inspection, however, this turned out to be a letter of rejection. Damn. Here it is anyway, I thought sharing my autobiography entry with you would be a nice way to introduce myself-maybe one day you'll see it in Vogue too. Mwahahaha.

A determined writer with a degree in fashion design, Bianca Pal is obsessed with all things creative. She recounts the years in which her skills developed.

Autobiographies can be thorny things to get right, especially in only six hundred words. I could ramble about moving to Belgium as a child, the bullies encountered at school. I could waffle about typically teenaged shenanigans, the culture shock of moving from a huge international school to a tiny, all-girls one. I could even delve into the horrors, joys and accomplishments of my art foundation year. But I will not. What I will do is describe to you the three most formative years of my life: the University Years.

Never will I forget driving to London with my parents; leaving the cows and sheep of my hamlet in Oxfordshire for the streets of New Cross Gate where I was to stay in halls of residence. Memories of excitement mixed with trepidation prevail. What would it be like studying at the prestigious University of the Arts? Would I fit in? Insecurities floated around after my worried parents left me. Then I met my new flatmates. A couple of parties and alcohol-fuelled chats later and it felt like we had known each other our entire lives. I still live with them now. One of the best surprises about London College of Fashion was my class. Who could have guessed that supposedly flighty fashion students could be so grounded and charming?

Luckily, I also learnt a vast amount: not only the skills taught in design classes, but social and life skills too, things that would have been learnt later had I not have studied there. The first year was a complete shambles; great fun socially but frustrating work-wise. I wanted to make couture eveningwear immediately but kept messing up simple seams. The sewing machines at Curtain Road never seemed to work properly. In retrospect it was a bit curious that they always functioned perfectly for other students. Two projects passed in a whirl of cotton, cuffs and metres of sparkly nude jersey. With unwavering support from the patient tutors and saintly technicians, I even clawed my way through to ‘the business year’.

We kicked off with a charity project, making fabulous creations from bin-bags. A swift sportswear assignment followed then work placements were organised. Students duly pottered off to the studios of Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, Luella Bartley and Giles Deacon (amongst others) and put their new skills to work. I went to help the patient and lovely Allegra Hicks. We came back with a renewed hunger to thrive somewhere in this competitive industry. A group project followed placement reports and we devised fantasy capsule collections for established brands (my group created a denim line for Aquascutum).

The third and final year arrived and most students chose to design collections to be shown on the catwalk. By this time I had realised that perhaps my talent lay somewhere other than in pattern cutting or fashion design and when considering what to do dissertation-wise, I thought back to more bewildering times. I remembered feelings of uncertainty about where my class were, how to get there. I recalled being ill but having no idea how to register with a doctor, let alone how to apply for ‘extenuating circumstances’. There were lots of things learnt over those three years that I wished had been known from the start. I ended up writing, graphic-designing and illustrating several magazines to help new, puzzled students. Writing them was so enjoyable that a future career plan was finalised: I had become a journalist.

Welcome to Fashion Slant

Well, here it is fellow fashion lovers, I have finally joined the new realms of technology (first a Prada touch-screen phone, now this!). Shameless Self-promotion, Slander and Style are the three 'S' words that form Fashion Slant. I hope that you will enjoy my little bloglets and that you will always take my opinions with a pinch of salt:

isn't that what London fashion life is all about?