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Monthly Archives: November 2011

2011? That’s so last year, embrace the past and step into a simpler era. American icon Marilyn Monroe is reinvented by Michelle Williams, approaching 50 years on
from her untimely death, in film My Week with Marilyn, out now in theaters. The film documents the tense relations between Marilyn Monroe and Laurence Olivier while they were shooting The Prince and the Showgirl. Williams embodies the star wonderfully and now it’s your chance to get some inspiration, hit the shops and release your inner blonde bombshell with the fifties classics trending right now.

         You don’t need a film star budget to dress like one just have a look out for some high street brands offering those timeless classics. For day outfits think figure hugging blouses and tight pencil skirts in various beiges and creams. Try this cream pussybow blouse available from Topshop for only £32.99 and pair it up with this season’s hottest trend, the pencil skirt, enhance your curves with this black bodycon creation also from Topshop at the amazing price of £25.00 to emulate that perfect vintage chic Marilyn managed so well.







Cover up with this camel coat from Marks and Spencer’s that captures a classic Monroe day look, add a vintage headscarf and you’ll be working that Monroe glam, and it’s a bargain at £129.





Add some glitz and glam this festive season while embracing Marilyn’s iconic look, this black sequined wrap dress will flatter curves and give you that hour glass shape the star was so famous for. Similar to the one Marilyn donned during her promotion of The Prince and the Showgirl, this is available at Warehouse for £90.





Not big on accessories Marilyn opted for an understated look besides those revealing waist-hugging dresses. Match your vintage attire with simple court shoes or kitten heels, these black pumps from Zara
will recreate the demure side of Marilyn’s persona (£39.00). One of the most inspiring women of the world Marilyn was far from a size zero, embrace your curves or enhance them with a thick classic belt, this one from Miss Selfridge with cinch that waist and boost those assets (£12.00).


Don’t forget about the make-up to add those finishing touches in completing your Marilyn look. Monroe was said to have washed her face fifteen times a day to ensure she was clear and blemish free but you don’t need to go to those extremes. Check out Soap and Glory

cosmetics available at Boots that pay homage to the vintage look, start off with Hocus Focus Instant Visual Flaw-Softening Lotion (£13.00) to achieve a bright flawless look. Try the Arch de Triumph brow shaper and highlighter, (£8.00) to get that perfect Marilyn eyebrow arch. To top it off a sweep of Marilyn’s trademark siren red lipstick will give you that extra star quality. Oh and before you go always remember a spray of Marilyn’s favourite scent, Chanel No. 5.

Apart from embracing those vintage fashion looks and celebrating the life of the world’s most famous blonde what else is making an appearance from the past?

Chain smoking, champagne drinking, Lacroix wearing Eddy and Patsy are back on our screens. Nineties sit-com Absolutely Fabulous returns to mark its 20th anniversary, showing three thirty minute episodes over Christmas following the pairs uninhibited, mental lifestyle be prepared for lots of Versace, fabulous darling!

Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire are currently working the set filming an adaption of the classic, The Great Gatsby. This will be making an appearance in 2012 so why not step back into the golden age and delve into the literary genius of F. Scott Fitzgerald to conjure up images of the roaring twenties and the flapper scene.

Create a playlist of retro classics and generate the soundtrack of yesteryear. The Stone Roses were resurrected last month after fifteen year, tickets for the beginning of their official reunion tour starting in Manchester sold out in fifteen minutes but the band plan to hit the festival season next year and will be headlining T in the Park, a limited release of tickets will be sold at the beginning of December.

Over the past few years we have seen a rise in the amount of places we can shop online, I can even think of three new online stores I have heard of in the past couple of weeks. Now there are many shops that don’t actually even exist on the high street, only on the web. But what is the reason for this, is it convenience? Or that we just cannot be bothered going round the stores when we can do it sitting in front of our computers?

1994 saw the beginning of online banking, commencing on from that Ebay and Amazon arrive. Now, 2011, we reach the year where we are turning everything that we possibly can digital, we’re swapping proper books for Kindles, hard copies are on the way out, everything we need is under a click of a button.

Many fashion stores have recently begun to offer an online shopping service but one of the most popular of these is ASOS.com which sells both men and women’s clothing, this is an online store only. With hundreds of stores all in the one place, that being wherever you connect to the internet, it does seem a clever way to shop. ASOS continuously offer deals and there is new clothing lines added practically all the time. Next day delivery is available, free returns are offered, the only downside I can see is that you don’t get to try it on. Other up and coming virtual stores include, boohoo.com, very.co.uk and more recently misguided.com.

And of course you don’t get the queues at the checkouts, the annoying search for your size on the rail that is just out of your reach, or the trailing from one end of the Buchanan Street to the other to check out various shops, and with winter coming up it means you can sit all cozied up drinking a cup of tea while you find a great outfit for that Christmas outing. It is convenient and it is easier and it is relaxing to take your time and browse easily through such a range of clothing.

The thing I find that most attracts me to online shopping is paying for it. A couple of clicks and that’s you. Done. You’ve got an item on the way to you and it feels like you haven’t spent a penny, this is where you need to learn to be precautious. I could spend all day shopping online and not worry about it until I check my bank balance, but by then it’s of course too late.

ASOS now even offers their own ASOS marketplace which means all those lovers of vintage clothes can get to swap their old clothes for something equally old and worn out, it just keeps getting better! Online shopping is great for procrastinating, it’s like window shopping but you don’t need to get cold and wet and you can be simultaneously checking your Facebook as well.

 

Like Crazy gives us a sentimental insight into the ups and downs of falling in love in the 21st century. Endearing but wistful, writer and director Drake Dormeus picked up a well-deserved Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance film festival for this story.

Up and coming actor Anton Yelchin plays Jacob, an American student who meets and falls in love with British girl Anna, beautifully portrayed by a fellow newcomer Felicity Jones. The couple fight to keep their relationship alive after they are forced to live on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean due to visa problems.

With superb acting and an honest plot which anyone who has been far from a loved one can relate to, this makes for good watching, however, it may be a good idea to have a box of tissues at the ready as the saying goodbye at the airport scenes can get a bit much!

4/5

Woody Allen creates a beautiful romantic comedy swirling with fantasy. Midnight in Paris allows us to delve further into the streets of the beautiful city and the mysteries that lie between them.

Owen Wilson plays Gil, a struggling writer, travelling to Paris with his fiancé Inez (Rachel McAdams). Gil finds himself wandering, searching for inspiration through the city of love after dark which he comes to find truly lets his imagination run free.

A beautifully captured creation, the wonderful shots of Paris add to the enchanting atmosphere of the film which allows viewers to open their mind to magical possibilities. A city already bursting with vivacity and wonder is further brought to life and made to sparkle.

Wilson and McAdams have a charming, humorous connection which was first caught in Wedding Crashers, and they were definitely the right choice to cast. We see other memorable performances from the likes of Michael Sheen and Adrien Brody. Overall, a witty, surreal and charming watch.

4/5

The ‘Tree of Life’ (2011) focuses around a 1950’s American family. We follow the story of the eldest son from the day he’s born through his childhood and get a glimpse of his confused adult-life.

The film seems slow to start and after a twenty minute long sequence of various earthly landscapes and close ups of erupting volcanoes and waterfalls which then continue onto clips of dinosaurs I started to wonder if I was still viewing the same film. Although it continues like this throughout, giving little meaning away and focusing more on visual imagery, it is certainly thought-provoking.

Brad Pitt plays the controlling antagonistic father, alongside Jessica Chaistain (The Help, The Debt), the permissive mother.  We watch their three sons grow up, almost day by day it feels like, and then catch Sean Penn (Milk, The Interpreter) in the present day playing the eldest son, still consumed with his childhood and strained relationship with his father. Although there are big names in this we see little acting, Penn is shown for no longer than ten minutes. Pitt gives a powerful performance with what he can, there is more long silent stares than conversing.

Built around many ‘meaning of life’ questions and worries about humanity and faith the plot holds little excitement, which I was quite disappointed as I had expected a completely different angle from this movie. Some of the imagery is fantastic and would be nice to look at for a few minutes, however not through two and a half hours of film. The plot is difficult to connect to as it is so detached and I often found myself getting agitated at the pace it was progressing with.

This definitely could be the film for you if you like scenes of the grass growing and listening to an operatic soundtrack instead of dialogue, I’m all for artsy films but I’m afraid I had a lot of difficulty in sitting through this to the end credits.

2/5

Iceland may not be considered one of the top summer holiday destinations but it definitely should be noted as one of the places to see before you die. The country encompasses an ever-changing landscape dotted with incredible all natural sites including spurting geysers, magnificent glaciers, therapeutic spas and breath-taking scenery where you can truly embrace the relaxed Nordic way of life.

Sparsely populated, you will find the majority of the population residing in the South-West of the country, which boasts of having one of the highest standards of living and one of the lowest levels of crime in the world. It is ideal no matter what season, spring and summer are warmer than you would imagine, and as the sun never completely sets at this time you will experience a magical night sky filled with blue and grey hues. Come winter, witness the fantastic flickering of the northern lights in the sky where the luscious green hills turn to crisp white. One of the few places left that is still brewing naturally, hot springs bubble throughout the land, water spurts from geysers, glaciers move and volcanoes are still active, it is a perfect getaway from the bustle of the city centre.

The activities are endless and it does in fact feel you are in several destinations at once – within a short time of travelling around the country you can visit beaches, go hillwalking, see glaciers, relax in natural spa’s and take part in diving and whale-watching, all while taking in the magnificent scenery,

Stay in Reykjavik, the countries capital, where you can find the majority of accommodation, tour museums, visit the local shops and dine at restaurants offering the freshest seafood – or even try the delicacies puffin and whale. Another majorly unknown attraction is Iceland’s buzzing nightlife. After the sun goes down – or during summer, after the sun party goes down – the quiet tranquil streets become bustling with stylish Icelandic locals. Reykjavik offers a range of interesting and unusual hot spots for people of all ages, whether you want to sit in a cosy pub and drink the local beer or dance all night long at one of the many quirky clubs.

Reykjavik may be the busiest place in the country but if you venture further a field there is much more to see. Iceland offers a variety of tours, one of the best and most popular being the Golden Circle Tour where you make various stops at the most fascinating landmarks. Here you can view the Gulfoss waterfall and part of the country that is geothermally active spouting water high into the sky from the geysers. Along this tour you will discover yet another part of Iceland and witness how quickly the land can change from sloping green hills to jagged black rocks. Stand at highpoints to witness an array of colours across the land, a view that doesn’t quite seem real, more picturesque due to the pure untouched land, man has messed very little with this island. More activities can be ensued such as horse-riding or mountain biking. With such a variety of landscapes many adventures can be carried out.

One of Iceland’s main attractions is of course the Blue Lagoon, another geothermal hot spot that has been controlled to offer an outside spa where you can relax all day. Picture milky blue waters under a clear blue sky. Soak up the scenery in therapeutic mineral water which is also known to have various beneficial health properties, at around £28 for the day it is definitely worth it. They also offer various massage and beauty treatments. Located close to Keflavik airport, it is the perfect way to end your trip or to start it.

Iceland is known for amazing natural features although they tend to be spread out and if you truly want to make the most of it, hiring a car is the best idea to help you get around. Travel further south to the smaller villages where you can further discover the tranquillity and stillness of this country and witness the wildlife that take cover here.

Iceland offers such a variety of sights and activities that it can be a great holiday for any type of person, however the one downfall is the prices. Viewing these indescribable sights and enjoying a part of this underrated treasure which is so unlike any other country does not come cheap, but it is worth it and you will not be forgetting about it anytime soon.