Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday Sound

(I have seen Jake Isaac live and he is a. very talented & charming, b. super hot. The views on this video are shockingly low. Something must be done.)

None of these are new but all of them are good. In a bit of a music rut at the moment. Who are you listening to at the moment? Any recommendations/new artists appreciated.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Lena Luvvin'


Truly, the internet is full of unexpected delights. Would you look at this naked Hannah Horvath t-shirt?? What a joy. If I had the spare cash and the approximately appropriate body type this would be on my chest, like, yesterday. Amazing. Clashist are generally a fine discovery in the world of (semi novelty) printed t-shirts. Steve Zissou polka dots! Plus, their lookbooks are really well styled and I have a legit crush on their quilt print t-shirt, less immediately hilarious though. V natty all round.

Actually, I probably shouldn't let my body type stand in the way of my personal taste. Hannah would not roll with that! Not that Hannah's personal style and inability to buy clothes that fit are necessarily something to emulate but her body confidence is. I am in love with Lena Dunham's body. I don't feel ownership of it, I found the whole Jezebel debacle was rather unpleasant, it felt out of step with their campaign to undermine unrealistic and destructive beauty standards; the photoshopping was minimal and even with it the editorial wasn't pushing a fantastical, harmful vision of female bodies. She still looked like herself, she still looked plausible and human. I just feel like the $10,000 could have been spent on any number of more useful exposés. And Lena Dunham has been so generous with her body already that it felt petty. Anyway, I love her enthusiastic nakedness in Girls and I thank her for it. Perhaps it is weird to say that I feel happy every time I see her naked (yeah, weird, I think) but I do not care. It is so refreshing.

I think I am talking myself into buying this t-shirt and I can't really afford it so I had better stop. Basically, awesome t-shirt, cool brand, lovely Lena. N.B. I haven't talked about Girls on here before (I was super mega late to the Girls party as per every party ever) but I do have many thoughts. Maybe I'll explore them at a later date, maybe not, but basically I acknowledge the flaws and Series 3 didn't totally work for me but I do think Series 1-2 are things of glory and Lena Dunham is great. Series 4 is filming now and I am PSYCHED.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Article Reading Group

Elizabeth, from a fab series by Jordan Carroll

Gothic Tuesday: Northanger Abbey - Sarah Rees Brennan: SRB is a gift and a delight. I only came across her fairly recently (thank you, Mulp) so I have a whole internet back catalogue to browse through. Unfortunately, her Gothic Tuesdays series, where she parodies Gothic novels, has now finished. Fortunately, they are all available on her LJ! Read them and try not to snort hot tea out of your nose.
CATHERINE: I suppose you don’t read novels? 
HENRY ‘ACTUAL QUOTE, HE’S SO FINE’ TILNEY: The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel must be intolerably stupid.
CATHERINE: I am going to hit it like the fist of God.
HENRY: Beg pardon?
CATHERINE: Nothing! Please continue to talk about books!
23 Hairstyles That Are Physically Impossible To Do To Your Own Head - Mallory Ortberg: It is a daily struggle not just to throw in the towel and reblog everything Mallory has ever written. She is a golden goddess and I love her. This post is very true and neatly elucidates many of my problems with hair. Hair is hard. Hair comes in two settings - dirty and clean. Whatever else people claim you can do with hair is a lie.

'The Other Woman': When Terrible Movies Happen To Funny Actresses - Linda Holmes: I thought this article was going to be more of an exploration of the awkward position of female comic actors but actually it is mostly a properly cross review of 'The Other Woman'. If the trailer alone wasn't enough to put you off the ridiculous looking film Linda Homes's funny and fully justified rant will be.

SHOULD I GO TO GRAD SCHOOL?: AN INTERVIEW WITH SHEILA HETI - JESSICA LOUDIS: I heard Sheila Heti read from How Should a Person Be? recently and she was sweet and charming and little and she chose to read some very explicit, rather unpleasant, intensely interesting passages from the book. I liked her a lot and HSAPB is high up my To Read list. She is surprisingly prickly in this interview/discussion about grad school/educational systems but she has lots of really smart, inspiring things to say about learning outside of formal institutions and becoming an artist and a rounded, informed human. Parties and peers are the answer, apparently. And books obv.
I like what Eileen Myles said about mentoring—that she prefers “parallel” to “hierarchical” mentoring; that is, learning from one’s friends and peers, rather than from more successful, established people. I agree.
Sleep as Resistance: Hejinian, Whitman, and the politics of sleep - Siobhan Phillips: Well, this is right up my street. Sleep as a positive action - sleep resists capitalism! You can neither produce nor consume while you sleep; sleep as a mode of resistance! Plus, there's poetry. 'Our sleep has no conclusion... / Sleep is as abundant as the world is incomplete.' All my favourite things rolled up into a thoughtful essay.

Get That Life: How I Founded Jezebel and Became a New York Times Columnist - Anna Holmes interviewed by Jill Filipovic: Ok, so crappy title and I can't believe I'm featuring Cosmo on here but Holmes and Filipovic are both legitimately interesting feminist writers. The article doesn't really tell you how to "get that life" but it is an apparently honest (warty) look at her career path. Plus, it's always reassuring to read about successful people who did not nail their 20s.

Zac Efron Bros Down To Grow Up - Anne Helen Petersen: *Slow clap* This extended (7,500 words) article is epic. Clearly, AHP's move to Buzzfeed is working out well. I find Zefron grotesquely fascinating and this looks at his attempts to transition from teen idol to adult star/functioning human being as well as the history of the teen and matinee idol (holler at Rock Hudson) and the relative financial successes of performing different modern masculinities. That sounds boring and verbose but that's just because I am horrible at summaries. This is so good. Read it.

That is a strong selection. *Casually high-fives myself* If you have any article recommendations or you have enjoyed any of the above then do let me know. So many good words.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Veronese: Magnificence in Renaissance Venice

Subtitle: In Which I am Uncharacteristically Topical and Blog About an Exhibition that is Still Open

Veronese: Magnificence in Renaissance Venice is the current big exhibition at the National Gallery in London and I saw it last weekend and it is excellent. I was sceptical for many reasons and I was basically wrong on every count. In purely practical terms, blockbuster exhibitions are usually hell. It's great that everyone in London is so apparently keen on art but the recent Lucian Freud, David Hockney, Van Gogh etc. exhibs have been hell. Amazing exhibitions, wonderful art but absolutely packed to the gills - awful people crammed in so tight that you can't even see the paintings. I don't know if it was our timing (11am on a Saturday), the size of the National Gallery or the subject matter but it totally wasn't that busy. It wasn't empty but there was plenty of room to move about, double back and get up close and personal with the paintings without feeling bumped or overcrowded. It was a revelation.

The other reason I didn't originally rush to the exhibition was that I have seen sooooo much Veronese in my time. You can't move in Italy for all the Veronese's - the man was prolific. And loads of it is in situ and how is a London gallery supposed to rival an Italian church as a setting for Renaissance art? Well, I suppose it can't but it can offer you a new perspective. Plus, it can let you get closer to paintings and they can be better lit. Of course, altarpieces look great in churches (no duh) but often they're fenced off and dark and musty or miles off the ground. All of the paintings at the National Gallery, and they're a wonderful selection, are at ground level and beautifully illuminated. You get all the immaculate details and wonderful colours and clever composition right up in your grills.

Veronese can't compete with Titian for my love but, truly, he is a great painter. His colours and tones are luminous; indigo, verdigris, carmine, they are so rich and vibrant. Man, he gives good texture, velvets and furs and jacquard silks, you want to reach out and touch. I also want to wear half of the clothes he paints but that is another story. There is a nice mixture of portraits (my favourites) and biblical scenes. The National Gallery have put together and curated a beautiful collection of beautiful paintings. If you're in or passing through London and you have any interest in Renaissance art or, ya know, beauty I would def recommend checking it out.

(the colour on this isn't great so you'll have to go see it in person)
(the detail isn't great either but look at the monkey and the puppy - so many good dogs in this exhib - and the sisters in their matching dresses and the classical architecture)

(this isn't ideal either - go see the original!)
(look at her dress... phwoar)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Ice Cream Catch-up

London is still mostly grey and miserable but between the pissing rain and howling winds and grey skies there are flashes of unexpected and magnificent sunshine. I even managed to get some particularly strange patches of sunburn last weekend because I am the pastiest of English roses. Summer isn't here yet, it's still some way off, but it seems possible again. In honour of that fact my ice cream habits are picking up and, more relevantly here, I am intent on fully recording them. Repeat Scoop is back up and running after a kind of winter hibernation and I will be trying to update it fairly regularly.

In recent news, Snowflake, Creme Egg Mini Cones and Oddono's. All for your (my) ice cream pleasure.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Makeup Printers?

(Could I get the video to embed? Could I hell. Watch here)
Grace Choi was at Harvard Business School when she decided to disrupt the beauty industry. She did a little research and realized that beauty brands create and then majorly mark up their products by mixing lots of colors.
Choi created her own mini home 3D printer, Mink, that will retail for $300 and allow anyone to print makeup by ripping the color code off color photos on the internet. It hooks up to a computer, just like a normal printer. Business Insider
Well, would you look at that? What an interesting idea. Think of all the fun you could have on the Pantone website with that. (N.B. Look at this amazing pre-Pantone book of all the colours. I bet the artist was a riot at dinner parties. I legit mean that btw, I would totally sit next to them). Think of the possibilities for true custom match foundations. WOC could escape an industry aggressively biased against them and create their own colours!

As a lover of obscure colours and a makeup fan I am listening intently but there are many questions the panel left unasked:
  • Why are we all men?? Obviously a female perspective would be useful when discussing a makeup product but wouldn’t it also be useful when discussing any business start-up ever?
  • Please can you crack the pan to show us that the shadow is pigmented throughout?
  • Why are you discounting the critical importance of formula? Colour is hardly the only reason make up can be expensive. Tom Ford lipsticks may be aggressively overpriced and, sure, you’re paying crazy money for colour and branding and packaging but they are legitimately a bzillion times better than budget lipsticks. And I say that as a lover of budget lipsticks. I wear lots of cheap lipsticks and they are fun and versatile but my True Coral is smoother, softer, more flattering, longer lasting and kinder on my lips than anything else I own. If you have $300 to spend on a makeup printer, you have $30 to spend on a beautiful eyeshadow that isn’t chalky and doesn’t drop, crease or melt.
  • If you are hyping the colour possibilities of your machine and you can print any colour in the world why would you print crappy pink as your demonstration?? That has got to be one of the few colours the cheap beauty world is literally overflowing with. You could have had burnt sienna or ‘radiant orchid’ or dove grey or anything else ever…
  • Will you be able to print shot colours? Shimmers? Metallics?
  • Presumably you will only be able to print pans? You couldn’t print a lipstick bullet or a bottle of cream foundation in a standard inkjet, no matter how generously modified.
  • Would the bases be customisable? Could you choose satin vs. matte lipsticks, dewy vs. silk foundations, SPFs etc?
  • How many under 21 year olds have $300 to blow on a Make Your Own Makeup Kit? How many under 35 year olds for that matter??
  • Given the extortionate cost of bog standard printer ink how on earth are you going to make skin safe ink available at a reasonable price? Given that you can get a Collection 2000/17/Miss Sporty/Barry M pressed powder (admittedly not v good but in a reasonable range of colours if not super exciting) how are you going to compete?
Many sensible and legitimate questions. I would want answers to all of those before I invested my giant pile of non-existent money. Still, intriguing and I wish her well.  Young female entrepreneurs + women gaining some personal control of the beauty industry = good news.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Girl Crush: Oh Land

Oh Land FB (Cherry on Top) / Narwhals Land

I liked Oh Land (Nanna Øland Fabricius) back in the day but I love her now. Her latest incarnation, both musical and aesthetic, for her third album Wish Bone is delightful. Blonde prettiness is all well and good but give me blue weirdness any day. Her music is fun and danceable, her style is fab and her hair is AMAZING. The Pyromaniac video (so catchy) marks my dream hair right now. Pale blue grey + shoulder length + micro fringe. *Swoon*

As per usual I'm mega sick of my hair. I’m almost never not sick of my hair and really that has more to do with me than my hair. I have perfectly nice hair but I am broke and lazy and moderately afraid of hairdressers. This means that I only get it cut maybe every 6 months-3 years and I am incapable of holding out for what I actually want. In turn, this means my hair is always in some state of half grown out demi mullet. It doesn’t matter if I ask for a straight trim or something more drastic; hairdressers just seem to love cutting ugly, blocky layers into my thick hair. I do not get it. In defence of the hairdressers, there is also the matter of my throat length blunt fringe and my six inch mouse-on-ginger roots. Most of the responsibility for my crap hair is on me.

In my dreams, I would have Oh Land’s hair. In reality, there is no way I could cope with the maintenance (oh yeah, and not really office friendly). Also, bone structure. I need to constantly remind myself that mimicking a hairstyle does not magically turn you into the original hair-wearer. I have made that mistake before… Still, the take away from this is that Oh Land is lovely and I want to have her head on my head but given that impossibility I shall dance awkwardly to her music instead.