19 December 2014

INSTAGRAM PURGE: THE NEW SELFIE QUEEN

Bieby's Selfie with pants
Bieby's purported Selfie's rather real looking
Instagram's stupid purge of supposed fake accounts from their site, has taken a toll on many follower lists. It has meant a huge decrease in followers for some, particularly some questionable celebrities who have so far been chalking up amazing numbers. As a result of this purge, Eg: Justin Bieber is no longer the King of Instagram. The new most-followed person on Instagram is (roll eyes) Kim Kardsashian West. 
It's hard (pun unintended) to believe that there are more people who want to look at Mrs West than Bieby - but there you go - all sorts of perversity etc.

16 December 2014

EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS VS THE HOBBIT: BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES MOVIE REVIEW

This is probably the only movie review that will come right out and say that the much maligned Ridley Scott epic Exodus: Gods and Kings is a much better movie than the generally praised The Hobbit.
Frankly, Exodus is simply more beautiful and finely made than The Hobbit, which feels for the most part like a glorified wuxia movie with too big a budget. You half expect to see Dato Michelle Yeoh leap out out from the cave looking gnarled and bloodied to battle an Orc played by Donnie Yen. (Of course Donnie Yen will die first; As you know Ms Yeoh has survived a disastrous string of flops and will outlive anything.)
Exodus promised to be a stunning epic, and delivers. The CGI and art direction are lushly beautiful in an Old Master way, at once stunning and considered, whereas in The Hobbit, it looks like CGI, at once too real and not real enough - you're never not aware that the actors are wearing a tonne of hair, makeup and polyester (for instance, you're never not aware that Gandolf is wearing a pointy hat made of that Christmas stocking felt - it's too real and not real because that Christmas stocking felt simply looks too NEW), or that the lumbering monsters are created by an army of artists clicking feverishly on a computer. The CGI monsters are summoned up for no reason, felled by any stray pebble hurled by a Hobbit, or elbowed by a Dwarf. They never feel menacing, just numerous.
I will never quibble with the casting of Christian Bale - in anything - even if he isn't his very best in Exodus, Bale is still always strangely watchable. I have no preconceived notions of what Moses should be like, and I reckon if there was a Moses, he would be heroic, human and conflicted, as portrayed by Bale. I also think that portraying the Old Testament God as a willful child is poetic and appropriate. 

14 December 2014

PRINCESS SRIRASMI NO MORE

To those addicted to Thai lakorns, the still unfolding saga of the former Thai Princess Srirasmi will seem familiar. It's even more riveting than Love Sick The Series. (I'm planning a really long post on this TV series, so watch out for it!)

It wasn't to be a happy birthday for the  Princess, who was born 9 December 1971 to a family of modest means. She graduated from Bangkok Business College at age 22, and entered the service of Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn as a “lady-in-waiting”. In 1997, Srirasmi enrolled in Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University and graduated in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in management science. In 2007 she received a Master of Arts degree in Home Economics from Kasetsart University. 
The always polished former Princess in happier times
Today, she is Princess no more, and has adopted a new identity overnight, and from now on she will be officially known as Thanphuying Srirasmi Suwadee. It is reported that she will now return to her hometown of Ratchaburi and devote her time to studying Buddhism. The former princess (the third wife of the Crown Prince) was seen at a government office in Bangkok's Dusit district obtaining her new identification card.
The scandal-plagued Srirasmi's abdication came to light last Friday in a terse statement carried in the Royal GazetteThe announcement said that Princess Srirasmi had requested in writing that she be allowed to relinquish her royal status. No reason was offered for her resigination.
This request had been acknowledged by His Majesty the King and permission has been granted. Additionally, it was officially acknowledged by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Apart from her royal title, she has also resigned her army position. 

Srirasmi has returned all her jewels and been granted 200 million baht to support her new life as a commoner

12 December 2014

MY VERY OWN TARZAN

My Tarzan was a TV Tarzan, and I remember watching this avidly as a kid in the 1970s. It starred the very beautiful Ron Ely (amazingly still alive and still gorgeous!), in the series that ran from 1966-1968, but wasn't broadcast here until the 1970s. It was this version of Tarzan that I got to know first, formatively, as well as getting the first inkling of issues like Nature threatened, the nasty white racist, witch doctors, loincloths, safari suits and various animal attacks embedded in my psyche. Tellingly, I don't have any memories of a Jane, just Tarzan, chimps and natives. 
"I never thought of myself as representing a sex symbol; I didn't see anything attractive in what I was doing or the way I was presented. I just saw it as natural and normal — never beyond that." - Ron Ely

10 December 2014

MARBLE, THE BEAUTIFUL STONE

A POLISHED BEAUTY
Marble carries a certain weight in our minds because of its elegant associations. We think of marble as the eternal building blocks of some of our most-loved monuments, an ancient Greek temple crumbling on a cliff, the lunar domes of the Taj Mahal spring quickly to mind in all their weathered nobility. And then we associate marble with the solidity of rich homes – perhaps your first encounter with marble was as a child, crawling on cold marbled floors, swimming in marbled pools and washing in marbled sinks – a hard knock or two was a lesson in how cruelly hard this stone can be.
    
By then, as adults, we would have learnt to appreciate the smooth marble hardness as a sort of beauty, perhaps the rarest of all beauties. A certain icy hauteur indicates a marble heart, remote and unknowable; a ghostly pale skin is said to be marble-like in texture and temperature. 
The poetry of marble is that it is both dead and ‘alive’. Marble has a unique translucence which comes from light entering its surface to produce a soft glow. This has made marble the favorite medium for Greek and Roman sculptors who brought galleries of models “to life”, and from them we have come to see marble as a symbol of refinement and art. Marble has the ability to take a very high polish, sanded to a high luster; After all, the word “marble” derives from the pre-Greek “crystalline rock, shining stone.”

Its varied and distinctive patterns make it decorative, and once you see it on a column in a renaissance palace, you will recognize it on Venetian paper, in a cupcake, a tub of ice-cream or a cake of eye-shadow. We are used to thinking of marble as being of a blinding white, but marble occurs naturally in a wide range of colours and can be green, yellow, orange, red and black, making it a perfect decorative material for architecture and interiors. 
Despite its many qualities, Michelangelo describes marble’s mysterious magic best: “The marble not yet carved can hold the form of every thought the greatest artist has. I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”

WHAT IS STYLE?

That is Style: November 2007, when I was still working on it, inventing that genre as I went along. My work, my passion and my style.

08 December 2014

TOP FASHION TREND 2014: ANIMAL PRINTS

NATURAL SELECTION
Animal print has probably always been in style in one form or another. Wearing the markings of jungle cats, zebra, giraffe, cow and reptiles is rooted in a atavistic yearning for our distant past, for a time when we were more connected with nature and depended more on our instincts, our animal senses, and our natural understanding of the wild environment. 
Animal prints are particularly alluring for us who live an air-conditioned existence, it's a sort of nostalgia for the time of caves and shamans and the colours of the wind. Perhaps this longing for the natural world is stitched into the threads of our genes, like a primeval ocean we can’t quite remember, yet whose undertow tugs on our subconscious hearts.

Azzedine Alaia design for Louis Vuitton
Animal prints entered fashion as a form of luxury and status. Throughout history, noblemen treasured animal patterns as they were exotic, and thereby wearing them was a sign of status. Traditionally, beautifully-marked animal skins were difficult to access, which meant that only the powerfully rich could afford them. A related aspect of this is that animal prints and skins were believed to convey a natural power to the wearer, like a sort of fashion homeopathy. Whatever its efficacy, not everyone has the prerequisite confidence to pull off animal print as they require an unabashed sense of self and an implied sexual accomplishment. Animal print advertises a feeling of “danger” as the one thing it isn’t is “safe.” Wear it, and you stand out from the crowd – and that is why animal print is often sold in small doses – not entire outfits. 

07 December 2014

TOP FASHION TREND: Athletics in Fashion

What will mark this era out in fashion history will be that sports has finally taken the leap, from all its sweaty origins, locations and associations, into the arena of luxury fashion. Thanks to street-inspired designers, athletic-inspired fashion has finally grown up. The idea has leapt far from the starting point of that unsophisticated pair of sweatpants, a slouchy T-shirt and baseball cap; Over the last two years, the lines between Sportswear and Fashion have become blurred. 
Athletic influences are no longer immediately recognisable, and when they are, they have been made so luxe that you wouldn’t dream of wearing them to kick about. A sexier (narrow) fit, unexpected styling and unusual fabrics are used to balance out the relaxed, rugged silhouettes, making the new sports-style a modern hybrid elegance.
Traditionally, fashion and sportswear have been polar opposites: Fashion is refined, decorative and precious, while Sportswear was about function, technically advanced fabrics, and durability. The assimilation process began in the 1990s when fashion designers began to be seduced by massive sportswear brands into signing lucrative “capsule collection” deals, which helped the designers raise their profile and reach a mass audience; they also learnt the vocabulary of Sportwear, and brought their new-found knowledge to Fashion. Fashion sneakers, which today can be worn with just about anything, became just the tip of the Sportswear iceberg.
Fast-forward to now and hoodies and sweatshirts are flooding runways; But perhaps you had seen it all coming for isn’t fashion’s perennial T-shirt a sign of what was to come? Blame it on Casual Fridays (which became casual Every-days) and the raise of comfort over anything. Blame it on exercise becoming a fact of life for the professionally beautiful. Blame it on mega-rich, celeb sports stars. 

Sports-styling has come to invade the Fashion arena in a winning streak and there’s no looking back now, except in wonder at all those difficult, fussy, restrictive things that we used to wear in the name of fashion.

Be a sport won’t you?