Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Fashion Trends of 2014

The Choker

According to Buzzfeed, the choker began in 1798 during the French Revolution. Back then the choker was more than a fashion accessory as women honoured the beheaded by wearing a red ribbon around their necks.

Fast forward to the 1890s where the choker was a pretty clear sign your lady was a call girl. Evidence for this: Manet's Olympia (1863).

Then towards the late 1800s the choker marked the high class lady as a major fashion accessory.

It faded a bit not really coming back until the 1940s marketed as 'dog collars.'

THEN THE 90S HAPPENED. No explanations necessary.

Then fairly recently Rihanna started wearing them, then fashion week thought it was a thing so they started doing it and now their everywhere and I feel like my daggy childhood is coming back to haunt me.


This is something I never thought would come back. Like seriously, its not particularly nice.

Yet it has appeared on the catwalk so it must be something thats in right now. There are websites like this.

The tartan has had quite a controversial history. Tartan isn't just a Scottish thing, it has actually been traced back to Central Europe and found on mummies in China from around 3000 BCE.

Yet in 1746 the Scots were out of control and in a desperate attempt to regain control the Brits freaked out and completely banned the tartan kilt and if you were caught wearing one you'd end up in orange or on the next boat outta there. In 1782 balance was restored and the tartan was reclaimed as a proud military and aristocratic symbol.

Tartan didn't come back until the 1970s as a symbol of punk rebellion and hard core everything. It was the opposite to what the Scots and Brits decided it was going to be way back when even though it was the Brits who started this whole punk thing. But the tartan punk look was pretty great which is probably why its come back today.

Yin Yang Everything

The Yin Yang (YY) symbol in the last year has been incorporated in virtually everything. Pants, skirts, tops, dresses, bags, all modes of jewellery, shoes, manicures and tattoos.

The YY symbol is a pretty prominent symbol of the right now yet it is actually a symbol of ancient Chinese philosophy all the way back to the 3rd century BCE. Its meaning is fairly simple yet I reckon that anyone who has ever worn a YY symbol have no clue or interest into its philosophical meaning.

It is the idea that all things exist in inseparable binary oppositions. E.g. male/female, dark/light, old/young or in this case black/white. These oppositions contradict and lie opposite each other with each having a central core of the other half which are represented by the small dots. The YY symbol is connected to Taoists and Confucianists as a core of Chinese philosophy, not just as a fashion accessory.

Chunky Shoes

Another 90s trend floating its way back to the 2014 surface, chunky shoes are seriously so hot right now that I'm questioning whether they will ever fade again.

The Windsor Smith, Doc Marten, Lipstik, Jelly Sandal, velcro sandal, rubber sole shoe are back from the dead. Well the jelly, velcro, rubber ones are anyway. Doc Martens have been around forever but it wasn't until the manufacture of Windsor Smith's Lily shoe that chunky sandal heels were really back.

As Fashion Tag describes it "how in the name of God have we managed to go ballistic over the ugliest shoes in the history of fashion?" As much as I don't to believe this it is irresistibly true. Some chunky shoes are ugly as fuck yet look cute as heck with the perfect outfit.

Now with all these combined you are now ready to take on the world with your gigantic shoes, symbolism, criss crossed colours and restraining necklaces. You go girl show em who's boss.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Hollywood Homewreckers

Urban Dictionary defines a homewrecker as: one who comes into your life, and screws it all up. This involves stealing your boyfriend/girlfriend, puppy, your friends, until they pretty much take over your entire life.

In Hollywood the lasting record of relationships is scathingly thin. Yet I'm interested in the relationships that have broken apart from the movies, Brangelina style. 

Kenneth Branagh and Helena Bonham Carter

This steamy love affair began during the filming for Branagh's 1994 film Mary Shelley's Frankenstein whilst he was married to actress and all round favourite person Emma Thompson. Their love affair lasted a mere five years but by that point Emma divorced his ass and won an Oscar or two. 

Today: Branagh, since 2003, has been married to film art director Lindsay Brunnock, Thompson has been married to actor Greg Wise for 11 years and they've got some kids and Bonham Carter also has some kids and has been with director Tim Burton since 2001.

Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz

To much disbelief yes James Bond is married to that chick from The Mummy and yes they are super cute and awkward. These two lovebirds met on the set of 2011 film Dream House and essentially eloped with only their children (from other marriages) and some friends present. At the time of their courtship Weisz (pronounce it like VICE) was engaged to director Darren Aronofsky and despite the belief that they were split by 2010 it does seem a little fishy that she was married to Craig by 2011.. Hmm what the heck they're adorable and I wish I was one of the four invited to their wedding. 

Today: Craig and Weisz are happily married and taking awkward pics since 2011 and Aronofsky is engaged to producer Brandi-Ann Milbradt. 

Ali MacGraw and Steve McQueen

These guys met on the set of 1972 film The Getaway and began a torrid love affair whilst she was married to producer Robert Evans. It is believed that MacGraw divorced Evans in order to marry McQueen which they did so in 1973. Unfortunately it ended in divorce in 1978 amidst further rumours of infidelity yet these two had something really cool going on for a bit, before it got all crazy.

Today: MacGraw hasn't remarried and nor should she need to, Evans has been married a total of four more times each lasting 1-2 years and McQueen married Barbara Minty in 1980 and died from an asbestos related cancer not long after. Doesn't seem like anyone ended up better off. 

Meg Ryan and Russell Crowe

This unlikely pair met during the 2000 filming of Proof of Life whilst Ryan was married to Hollywood heavyweight Dennis Quaid. Despite claims that Quaid had cheated on her in the past, Ryan went along and got with Crowe anyway and whatever, who cares what anyone else did, this still happened so lets move on. 

Today: Crowe married Danielle Spencer in 2001 and they had two kids together but they separated in 2012. Ryan just broke up with John Mellancamp and they'd been together for three years. Oh and she broke up his marriage too. Quaid married real estate agent Kimberley Buffington in 2004 and they had twins in 2007. She threatened him with divorce at least three times and they almost split for good a few more times consistently fighting over custody. They should have just done a Parent Trap and split them up and reconciled in the end and it would have been the best ever. 

Eddie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton

No this is not a polygamist Big Love style marriage. Unfortunately. This is instead a two way, double-whammy, karma filled comeback to bite ya affair. 

So in 1955 Fisher married Reynolds and get this their daughter is Carrie Fisher aka Princess Leia! In 1959 when Fisher's best friend and Taylor's husband Mike Todd died Fisher was there to console her until he consoled her a little too much and they got together. They married in 1959 and split in 1964 when Taylor met Richard Burton. Now no need to explain this really except that Taylor cheated on Fisher with Burton and the rest is history.

Today: Taylor married Burton twice and married a few more other guys and remained a spinster until her death in 2011. Fisher also married a few more times and died in 2010. Reynolds also married a few more times and is luckily still alive and remains a legend. Burton again married a few more times but died in 1980 from a brain haemorrhage. 

Monday, 7 July 2014

2014 in Film: Surprisingly Good and Surprisingly Disappointing

I don't go to the cinemas much but when I do I am very picky about what I'm seeing. Usually I get peer-pressured into seeing bad movies but I always like to see the ones that I really want to see and am super excited about. A lot of what I've seen in 2014 has shocked me with how surprisingly good or surprisingly disappointing they have been despite their terrible or excellent reviews.

#1: The Other Woman, directed by Nick Cassavetes and starring Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann

Despite its lame script, sexual glorification of Kate Upton's body and predictability this film was actually not that bad. The film's plot is simple, Carly (Diaz) has a had a few month relationship with Mark (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) who she finds out is married with Kate (Leslie Mann) who befriend each other and team up with a third mistress Amber (Kate Upton) to get revenge on the man who cheated on them all. Leslie Mann steals the show with her hilarious antics, sweet disposition and cute outfits making her surprisingly the star of the film whereas Diaz and Upton are just there to look good. Despite this the film is a surprise which I found when I saw it at the cinema. My friend forced me to go with her and I begrudgingly agreed only because Jaime Lannister was in it and I left feeling like I had a really good laugh.
Verdict: Surprisingly good.
IMDb rating: 6.4

#2: The Grand Budapest Hotel, directed by Wes Anderson and starring Ralph Fiennes and an ensemble of Anderson favourites

A hilarious film with an ensemble cast with every single one of my favourite actors yet lacking that Wes Anderson punch that I look for when I see one of his films. To me the plot was not really a plot. Nothing seemed to be happening and nothing seemed to be not happening. It was kind of in the middle. The film is a story within a story within a story within a story. It opens with a young girl reading a book, then the author tells this story as an old man but when he is a young man it is being told by the old Moustafa and this story is the story of Gustave H. and his young Lobby Boy Zero and the Grand Budapest Hotel. Fiennes is perfect as Gustave H. and I highly commend newcomer Tony Revolori as a young Zero yet there was something about this film that left me feeling a surprised "oh" when it was over. I have been a massive Anderson fan for a long time with my favourites being Moonrise Kingdom (2012) and Fantastic Mr Fox (2009) so I am in no way criticising the Anderson style of film I am instead criticising that it was not enough like any of his films prior to Grand Budapest.
Verdict: Surprisingly disappointing.
IMDb rating: 8.3

#3 Maleficent, directed by Robert Stromberg and starring Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning

I bought my ticket for this film thinking it would be a dark and evil story starring one of the most beautiful women in the world as one of the best villains in the world. In essence it was a children's film which I did not realise and did not expect. I still liked the film but I did expect it to be darker and more like Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) or even the original Sleeping Beauty (1959).
Verdict: Surprisingly disappointing.
IMDb rating: 7.4

#4 That Awkward Moment or Are We Officially Dating? Directed by Tom Gormican and starring Zac Efron and Miles Teller

Okay so my sister is a massive Zac Efron fan and dragged me to this one unwillingly and surprisingly I liked it. I'm a fan of Miles Teller so I knew it couldn't be so bad and I was actually kind of looking forward to seeing Zac in a different role, a lot different to the goody goody Troy Bolton or Link Larkin. I questioned the movie's leading lady Imogen Poots' character's involvement with Efron's Jason throughout the film just because they, on paper, were definitely not a match. Yet there was a cuteness to them that made them as a couple quite endearing and gave the movie a little bit extra.
Verdict: Surprisingly good.
IMDb rating: 6.2

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Back in Black

The black and white fashion trend seems to be slowly but surely taking over the world as we know it. Everywhere I go I see a stripey t-shirt, a gingham dress, dogstooth skirts, black nikes or just any general clothing item with a grid pattern and or black and white monochrome print. I literally cannot escape the trend and I'm finding myself becoming very much caught up in it all.

I recently purchased some grid patterned and gingham pants from fashion website boohoo.com for a pretty reasonable price. But now after thinking about what I bought and why I bought it I've begun to question whether I purchased those items to "look swaggy" or stay on trend. I legitimately like the clothes that I bought (however they are yet to come in the mail) but I have to question, would I have purchased them or would they have been made if it weren't for this massive monochrome trend?

The monochrome trend emerged during the revolution of Chanel's Little Black Dress in 1926. It faded until the 1960s where it became beyond a phenomenon. It was the symbol of the "mod" and typified art, fashion and design. Malevich, Yves Klein, Op Art, Bauhaus, Frank Stella, Karl Lagerfeld, monochrome was everywhere and the combination of black and white had never been sweeter.

So then why has it come back around?

I guess the answer can be seen in the timelessness of the colours. Black and white. Simple as that.

The colours have been the fore-fronters of most major developments during the Twentieth century through television and film appearing in black and white, unlike anything anybody had seen before to the newspaper or a book being printed entirely in black on white pages. There has to be some significance in that.

But what has this got to do with fashion and today and everything I'v been talking about?

You see, fashion is influenced by everything around it. Ideas form from other ideas which come from something else which lead to an entirely new thing yet it always has to come from something. The colours of black and white have been a significant part of this planet since forever, well since I can remember anyway, and I think this is the reason why this trend has never died.

This trend is effortless, its accessible, its low and high market at the same time, its simple, its chic and above all its timeless. It will never leave and its back more than ever now. Its a symbol of pop culture and its a symbol of the 21st century teenage generation. Its taken the planet by storm and its certainly here to stay.