Wednesday, 24 December 2014

I Like... Good pop music / Top Five Singles of 2014

No justification.

No arguing.

These are the best pop song's of the year (in no particular order):

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

DIGITAL WORDS / My Flash Trash Festivities

'Tis the season for Christmassy blog posts and branded content.

I've recently been asking cool girls in the know - like Victoria Higgs, Ekaterina Malysheva and Kylie Griffiths - what they'll be getting up to over the holidays.

I also rounded up the My Flash Trash team to talk all things festive (with added GIF art from Anne Horel

I've put together a gift guide that will save you money but impress your gift receiver... 

I have compiled an inspirational gallery of glitter makeup ideas

And as for non-Christmas content, I spoke to X Factor stylist Gemma Sheppard, got ear piercing envy from all of the famous babes who rock hoop earrings, put together a list of things that every girl is thankful for in 2014, and made a chart of Britney Spears' greatest stage costumes

So much stylish content. I'm spoiling you! 

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Thursday, 4 December 2014

PRINTED WORDS / Iconic Magazine #17 OUT NOW

The latest issue of Iconic magazine is out now.

The issue is inspired by the song 'They Don't Care About Us'. The Iconic team were on a mission to move away from lovey-dovey, softly-softly portrayals of Michael Jackson, so we got stuck into some nitty gritty topics.

The not-to-be-missed interview in the mag is with director Spike Lee. 

For my part, I wrote about Michael Jackson's speech at The Oxford Union and all of the hullabaloo that surrounded it... 

Order your copy HERE

Wednesday, 3 December 2014


The Mushpit is back.

It's only been a year... but the new issue is bigger and better than ever.

For my part, I've written about the covetable beauty looks of my favourite television career women: Karen Walker, Lilith Sternin, Amy Farrah Fowler and Mindy Lahiri.

Order yourself a copy HERE

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

DIGITAL WORDS / "Remember The Time: Protecting Michael Jackson In His Final Days" Book Review

Find the original post HERE

Remember The Time: Protecting Michael Jackson In His Final Days by Bill Whitfield and Javon Beard with Tanner Colby
Body guards - hardly renowned for their way with words. Fortunately 'Remember The Time...' does not see two security professionals, who looked after Michael Jackson and his children for the last two and a half years of his life, weaving their memories into a narrative. Instead, with the assistance of author Tanner Colby, hired heavies Bill Whitfield and Javon Beard have recorded their observations of a life less ordinary through a series of transcribed conversations.
By the authors' own admission their view into the life of Michael Jackson is a limited one. As they confess, it's not a security guard's place to know the whys and wherefores. They execute orders without asking questions. Thus what 'Remember The Time...' provides is a timeline of events viewed from an outsider's position with little scrutiny. It is an interesting timeline nonetheless: Michael Jackson's constant coming and goings around Las Vegas (usually on someone else's expenses account), late night entertainment excursions and shopping trips, ugly and unwelcome visits from the wider Jackson clan, and the feckless management of one of music's biggest stars and his crippled assets.
The fact that 'Remember The Time...' covers just the period of 2006-2009 (although it's worth noting that this security duo were phased out of the picture once AEG seized control of Michael Jackson's life, and Conrad Murray, his death) gives a startling portrayal of a powerless and directionless existence Jackson had endured for goodness knows how long. He seemed unable to shoo away the vultures he had allowed to feast upon him. It was a sad, limbo-like state that simply could not continue.
There are warm moments: the descriptions of time Michael shared with his children showed that they were his only solace. There are also jarringly cold ones: Jackson blissfully shops up a storm of festive abandon right in front of the two security guards who had been expected to live without payment for months on end and themselves unable afford gifts for their own family.
Despite it's own inherent limitations - narrow time span and restricted access to Jackson - 'Remember The Time...' is a partial yet valuable account of the reality of being Michael Jackson.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

DIGITAL WORDS / Lady Gaga ArtRave Live Review

Find the original post HERE

The past year or so has not been kind to Lady Gaga. Broken bones, cancelled tours, major management fall outs and furiously scrutinised falling music sales.
Most crucially though has been the apparent slacking going on at the quality control department within the Haus of Gaga. Her daily fashion statements remain outlandish but lack the originality and awe-inspiring edge circa The Fame Monster. Many of her recent career choices have been related only by their haphazardness — from promoting a "flying dress" (TechHaus Volantis), to making bit-part appearances in underwhelming films, shooting music videos too controversial to ever release (watch stolen snippets of the Terry Richardson-directed 'Do What U Want' at your own discretion), agreeing to be the first artist to perform in space and making Tony Bennett her constant companion.
So, really, however frustrating the erratic Artpop is, it is actually the perfect record to encapsulate Lady Gaga's current state of play. Whilst the message of Artpop as a whole got rather lost in translation on record, when fully realised as performance piece, Gaga's manifesto of creative freedom and artistic expression as a uniting force is communicated and made real through her ArtRave live show. 
Honestly, the EDM pop current she has been swept up by means her latest output has not been her most dynamic, and perhaps she knows it. Whilst the majority of Artpop's track list gets a look in on tonight's set, most songs are shortened with a chorus missing here, a verse cut out there and others simply used as interval tunes whilst Gaga changes outfit. She brings the hits too but tells anyone who has come solely to hear her past glories to, in no uncertain terms, GTFO.  
The delicate digital tones of 'Artpop' make for a knowingly understated but sublime opener. 'Venus' is the standout live moment of the night. Gaga roars in tribute to her inspirational goddess of love, embodies her spirit and threatens to devour her object of desire whole. 'Mary Jane Holland' goes down as the most absurd performance piece of the night which sees Gaga dancing around with a chair balanced on her head for no reason in particular.  
What the electro pomp of her newest material easily achieves is encouraging a party atmosphere amongst the audience. Dancing is the only available option. The frantic likes of 'Aura' and 'G.U.Y.' work splendidly to make it feel as though you're at the best party of your life, and Lady Gaga just so happens to be there too. Yet as much work and energy as Gaga puts into fostering a mass spirit of abandon, she too frequently slackens the pace and sacrifices her Club Kids-inspired ambience for sentimental pauses.
Anyone who says that the moments when Gaga sits down at the piano alone, stabs out some chords and belts out a couple of songs a capella is, frankly, a bore. If you need theatrics stripping back to hear that Gaga can sing and write a decent song, then you are, perhaps, a little bit simple. Yes, it is moving that ahead of 'Born This Way' Gaga reads an eloquent fan-penned letter about their mental health struggles and the solace they found in her music. Yes, it is lovely that said fan is then invited to sit beside Gaga at the piano. But did 'Born This Way' really need to be reduced to a thread-bare rendition that erases any semblance of it's 'Express Yourself'-esque empowered thrust? Similarly, Gaga's cover of 'Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)' is unquestionably strong, but unfitting for the occasion.  
Whilst the set list may not have been perfect, the overall set up for ArtRave is pure genius. Many a popstar talks a big game about loving their fans and sharing a close connection, but Gaga has acted on her word by making herself more accessible than ever to the fans attending her shows. The big innovation of this tour is the stage design. Two catwalks made of Lucite plastic and a connecting bridge loom over the standing audience which allows everyone to be part of the front row. If you so wish, the option of standing beneath the see-through stage to watch Gaga hump the floor is available to you. She gets close enough to her fans that the details of her tattoos can be seen by the naked eye. She spends the night covering the vast expanse of the stage which renders elongated dance routines obsolete, but it seems like a worthwhile sacrifice for the sake of facetime with the crowd. The feel-good factor this interaction brings cannot be underestimated in the soulless game of arena pop.  
Gaga in herself seems like a different person to the one of her previous tours. Everything about her now seems more natural and comfortable. Her focus is on enjoying her performance rather than making it and herself fit pop's archetypal clean-cut mould. I mean, how many pop stars would sacrifice their calorie counting ways to brazenly demand a bottle of beer be delivered to the stage before taking an almighty chug? How many other image-obsessives would execute an onstage outfit change in full view of their audience? Or tear the wig from their head and swing it through the air? 
The fact that Gaga has reached this new level of honesty as a performer without sacrificing any of her alluring artifice is quite astonishing. The costumes for this tour are Gaga's de rigueur level of surreal couture; a Versace-designed crystyal body suit embellished with a Jeff Koons reflective sphere upon the chest and a weighty pair of wings, a bejewelled seashell bra and floral thong, a latex leotard with sprawling tentacles, wigs of gravity defying height and another of such silken length it trails behind her like the train of a wedding dress (all the while, the backing dancers looking like they've had to make do with digging through the sale racks of Ann Summers and American Apparel). Yes, the outfits are still out of this world but Gaga has come to both accept and exploit the fact that she and all her accoutrements are just a part of experience that now surrounds her.
Finishing the night with a rousing and celebratory 'Gyspy' is just as fitting as the restrained opening of the night. But the fact that Gaga only rewards herself with a single song encore is far too modest for a star of her stature and the scale of the show. Gaga has every right to milk her much-loved applause after pulling off the most innovative pop concert of the year. 
  Written for Rock's Backpages

Friday, 14 November 2014

DIGITAL WORDS / Chill R&B Playlist

I put together the chillest of chill R&B playlists for My Flash Trash

Listen and turn it way up HERE

So. Many. Good. Songs. 

Monday, 3 November 2014

DIGITAL WORDS / Five Magazines We Wish We Could Read Right Now

Find the original post HERE

Company, XXL, Vibe… It’s been a dismal month of closures in the world of magazine publishing. As we bid farewell to those three mags, it got us thinking about the other titles we wish we could still pick up from our local newsagents…

Cheap Date 

Lo-fi, indie fashion zine Cheap Date was the ultimate in girly DIY mags. Founded in 1996 by Bay Garnett and Kira Joliffe, Cheap Date specialized in thrift store shopping (before it became “a thing”) and had cover and shoot girls like Liv Tyler, Sophie Dahl and Karen Elson. Vogue’s Garnett indicated in a 2012 interview that she hoped to revive Cheap Date… We’re waiting Bay!

Elle Girl

As the vital stepping stone between cute girl mags that came with free bubblegum and posters of kittens and the proper grown up monthly glossies, Elle Girl UK’s closure after just four years came way too soon. Yes, Peaches Geldof’s little rich girl column was totally unrelatable and no, we couldn’t afford any of the clothes in the fashion editorials, but we loved poring over the articles and pinning the pictures on our bedroom walls.


A magazine exclusively about and targeted at groupies? Umm, yes please! Star was a scandalous, short-lived title aimed at teenage girls which hit the shelves in 1973 and was forced out of publication after five months. Cover stories included the likes of “Are You Ready For An Older Boy?” and “Is One Boy Really Enough?” Actually, we’re surprised Star lasted as long as it did!


“The only official Girl Power magazine”, Spice was the Spice Girls’ impressively glossy and in-depth fanclub offering. It ran for just eight issues, but how glorious those eight issues were. By far the best bit of the mag was the Agony Aunt page where the Spice Girls would help fans with all kinds of personal issues. One torn reader who was trying to decide whether or not to become a nun and dedicate her life to God was told by Posh Spice not to because of the outfit…

Non-Threatening Boys

If Lisa Simson approves of it, then we want it! ‘Nuff said. (However, it was Non-Threatening Boys magazine that lead to her brief addiction to the 555-Corey hotline…)

Written for MY FLASH TRASH

Friday, 31 October 2014

DIGITAL WORDS / My Flash Trash Halloween Playlist

Happy Halloween etc.

I compiled a list of supernatural-themed musical treats for My Flash Trash.

Take a listen HERE (if you dare etc). 

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

DIGITAL WORDS / Aura Friedman Interview

I interviewed New York's most-wanted hair colourist for My Flash Trash

Find the original post HERE

We reached out to Aura Friedman – the hottest hair colourist in all of NYC – to talk about must-have products, celebrity clients and lock shocks…

How did you get started in the industry? 
I randomly started working in a salon mid-summer at 15 and it stuck.

Who did you wish you could have hair like when you were a teenager?
 I was into punk and hardcore, I wanted it to be every colour but I stuck with blood red. 

Any personal hair disasters you don’t mind sharing with us? 
My aunt took me to her "beauty parlour" and I walked out with a bowl cut… I had wavy hair. 

What’s your most requested service?

Girls in London are still obsessed with the ombré look… What should we be doing with our hair to stay ahead of the crowd?  
Just express yourself!

You’ve coloured so many celebrities – was there any one who you particularly enjoyed working with? 
It was a lot of fun to give Anna Paquin a colour she had been dreaming of having since she was thirteen. 

You’ve worked with Sky Ferreira a number of times. What is it about her hair that makes it look so covetable all the time? 
I started colouring Sky when she was just 17, the day I made her platinum I watched her skin tone change and face brighten up. It was magic.

If you could transform anyone’s hair, who would it be and what would you do? 
Dakota Fanning, powdery pink beige blonde, very ‘60's. 

Tell us, what is the product, without question, every girl should own… 
Nexxus Pre Wash Primer. You put on your hair before washing your hair. It helps seal in colour vibrancy.

You have a long list of honours to your name. Is there a particular title or project you are most proud of? 
I recently creative directed a few projects: The model transformation videos, they are featured on my YouTube channel, AuraColorist YouTube 

Which do you prefer – working in-salon at Sally Hershberger, working on editorials or backstage at fashion week? 
I love it all.  I've been coming up with concepts and working with some of the most talented people in the industry, this I feel forever grateful for. 

Do you have any top tips for girls who dream of following in your footsteps?
Dream big, you can manifest it all with hard work. Patience is a virtue. 

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

DIGITAL WORDS / Life and Style Lessons Courtesy of Gwen Stefani

Find the original post HERE

To mark the recommencement of Gwen Stefani’s solo career (if you haven’t checked out her new single ‘Baby Don’t Lie’ yet, where have you been?) let’s all remember the vital lifestyle lessons this couture rock goddess has taught us so far…

The definition of Harajuku (“Super cute in Japanese!” – ‘Harajuku Girls’)

How to style out a pair of hoop earrings

That thou shalt not be a Hollaback Girl

How to live it up when you’re a Rich Girl (a.k.a. pay day) 

How to look flashy 

How to look trashy

How to make a chunky chain necklace look cute

 How to rock knuckle-dusters

What a killer set of abs look like

That life is all about being brave and taking risks 

How to wear statement necklaces

And - above all - how to spell bananas 

Get Gwen's look!


Sunday, 19 October 2014

DIGITAL WORDS / Britney Spears Piece Of Me Live Review

Find the original post HERE

Seeing Britney Spears live holds every possibility of being an ugly affair. But seeing her play show number 32 as part of her Las Vegas residency? This could be hideous.
Like the hoards of 20-something women who dominate Britney’s audience tonight (and, one suspects, every night), I’ve grown up with her. The last time I attended a Britney Spears concert she was 19 and still a reported virgin. I was 11 and believed it.
Whilst her previous post-breakdown tours felt exploitative, Britney’s ‘Piece Of Me’ show is a celebration of her pop music milestones and a rapid-fire set list is required to get through them all. Some of her earlier hits are melded together, ‘…Baby One More Time’ into ‘Oops!… I Did It Again’ is sent from the Max Martin heavens, whilst others are re-arranged to match her new EDM pop sound. The vocals are not live but no one is a fan of Britney based on her voice alone.
Dancing was always her trump card and she’s still playing it. There is nothing spontaneous about her performance (how could there be? This is show 32, remember?) but the choreography is sharp and to be admired. In the flesh she looks far more dazzling than the tabloids would have you believe – she’s athletic, smiley and brighter of eye than I was anticipating.
Britney’s tours have always been renowned for their theatricality and she does not disappoint here: she varies from playing a flying angel for ‘Everytime’ to a dominatrix for ‘Freakshow’; she leaps from the heightened branch of a tree that grows onstage for ‘Toxic’; and reduces the crowd to a swaying mass for a ballad version of the now frighteningly prophetic ‘Lucky’.
Make no mistake, ‘Piece Of Me’ is no nostalgia fest, it’s a masterfully transmitted message that Britney Spears was and still is a true pop great. One particularly affecting intermission in the show sums it up: the multifarious television screens of the ‘Hold It Against Me’ video are re-created and simultaneously blast out her canonical made-for-MTV images. The impact, like this concert, and like the Britney Spears phenomenon as a whole, is overwhelming.
Written for Classic Pop (and a massive middle finger to anyone who doesn't appreciate the value of Ms Britney Spears) 

Saturday, 18 October 2014

DIGITAL WORDS / Britney Spears' Greatest Lingerie Moments

Find the original post HERE

Having launched her own line of lingerie and nightwear earlier this month, we’ve been reminiscing about all of the most fabulous bras and panties Britney Spears has rocked throughout her career. So many bra tops, so little time.
The ‘…Baby One More Time’ Sports Bras
The unbuttoned school shirt and it’s resultant exposed black bra may have been the school uniform that launched a thousand ships, but it was the brightly coloured sports bras that Britney wore when outside of the classroom that we still want to wear to the gym today. Still can’t decide whether the neon pink or yellow one is better.

The Black Push Up Bra
For her 1999 debut Rolling Stone cover, Britney Spears was photographed by David LaChapelle for what would be one of the magazine’s most iconic covers. Those silky pink sheets, the strategically placed Teletubby and that halter neck bra announced the arrival of a dangerously knowing teen dream.

The Panties Over The Jeans

To announce her no longer being a “little girl” Britney announced her new edgier pop sound with the help of The Neptunes and heightened provocative image with a whole lot of body oil in the video for ‘Slave 4 U’. By this point she was virtually the spokesgirl for low-cut jeans and she clearly couldn’t wear anything underneath them, so topped off her hip huggers with a pink lace thong.

The Dream Within A Dream Encore Bra

For the finale of Britney’s lavish Dream Within A Dream tour she did three notable things: 1) She murdered ‘…Baby One More Time’ by giving it a ballad/techno ballad makeover 2) Got soaked to the skin thanks to two tonnes of water raining down onto the stage and 3) Beat Rihanna to wearing a barely-there jewelled bra by eight years (and made it look so much better too).

The Neon Twin Set

Hot on the heels of her Las Vegas marriage and annulment, Blender magazine’s January 2004 issue starring Britney in a neon demi bra, matching thong (as exposed by low slung jeans) and an undone leather jacket solidified her new bad girl attitude.

The Onyx Hotel Bed Wear

In what was a racy live concert all round, Britney’s The Onyx Hotel tour reached a new level of peep-meets-pop-show plateau when she performed ‘Breath On Me’. She entered the stage via a pole, wore a silky pink underwear set and black stockings, and rolled around a bed with a backup dancer.

The Fur Shrug Accented Underwear

Not only did Britney Spears co-direct and choreograph the video for ‘Do Somethin’’ she also styled it entirely by herself. Scenes of Britney and her girl gang decked out in Juicy Couture in the club were interspersed with Spears goofing around in black undies with an added fur bolero and Hello Kitty ice around her neck.

The Casual Lounge Wear

Britney showed she can do off-duty sexy too whilst cooking up breakfast in the video for ‘Womanizer’. This soft, silky look can definitely be emulated thanks to The Intimate Britney Spears – pair items from the Anemone collection with the Clementine Kimono and you’re done.


Written for GALORE

DIGITAL WORDS / Pharrell Williams Live Review

Picture by Neil Lupic

At the age of 41 and with an estimated net worth of $80 million, why would Pharrell Williams bother submitting himself to the rigours of his first ever solo tour now?
Currently riding the third tidal wave of his career thanks to a hat-trick of some of the most successful singles in chart history ('Get Lucky', 'Blurred Lines' and 'Happy') he has somehow managed to better the stranglehold that he and his fellow Neptune, Chad Hugo, shared in the early '00s.
Apparently not content with his celebrated producer role or tenure as part of frap rap outfit N*E*R*D (as well as his multiple fashion lines and being the composer of McDonald's 'I'm Lovin' It' jingle), Williams has now completed his hand by proving himself as a standalone solo artist. He's no longer "feat Pharrell", he's "Pharrell Williams".
The set list for tonight's show is no problem. With so many hits to his name, the issue will most likely be deciding what not to play. The worry, though, is his voice. As sweet and smooth as his whispered falsetto tone is, can it truly stand up on it's own in a live setting, without any famous collaborators on hand to fill in the gaps?
As it turns out, even if Pharrell's voice is weaker than that of a seasoned pro, there really is no time to notice as this is one helluva fast paced, jam-packed gig.
He's backed up by two "incredible" backing singers, whom he rightly praises during the course of the night, and at no point does one wish Miley Cyrus was on hand to help out with 'Come Get It Bae' or that Justin Timberlake was waiting in the wings to complete 'Brand New'.
Every detail of Pharrell's tout ensemble tonight has been well considered. On his feet, his own-design, limited edition red Timberland boots. On his backside, some Adidas jeans taken from his collaborative range with the sports brand that sees their logo plastered brightly across the ass pockets. And I'm not sat close enough to verify, but I'm going to assume that he's doused in his unisex G I R L/Comme Des Garçon perfume as well. On his head, disappointingly, not thatVivienne Westwood Buffalo hat, but something slightly more compressed to the dimensions of a wide brimmed, round-topped fedora. Upon his chest, a vintage Stevie Nicks t-shirt. And on that Benjamin Button face of his, cleanly drawn lines of black kohl around his eyes. Take note boysand girls, as Pharrell Williams sets the fashion agenda for both sexes.
And the music is as perfect as his get up. 'Frontin'', his 2003 debut solo single, is dropped within the first five minutes. He plays a frantic selection of songs that he gave to other artists yet are unmistakably "Pharrell": 'Hot In Herre', 'I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)', 'Pass The Courvoisier', 'Beautiful', 'Drop It Like It's Hot' and 'Hollaback Girl'. Jesus — it's like having a dream, live action jukebox on shuffle.
An N*E*R*D medley — which sees Pharrell ask male fans from the audience to join him onstage for a dance and singalong to 'Rock Star' and 'Lap Dance', and then a separate selection of ladies to partake in 'She Wants To Move' (at the end of which he gives a warm to hug to each girl in turn) — heightens the night's impossibly entertaining vibe further.
However, the faction of the crowd who have come to see "the guy who does the 'Happy' song" are somewhat bemused. A family sat just behind me, who I guess were drawn to Pharrell following his soundtracks for the adorable Despicable Me films, sit lifeless all evening until he breaks out his more recent million-selling hits towards the very end. And even then the result is a mother awkwardly bopping along to 'Blurred Lines' with her awkward adolescent son.
Speaking of which… That song. Never before has a song of such phenomenal success been simulataneously lauded and derided with equal measure as 'Blurred Lines'. Considering the vocal feminist views that have inspired Pharrell's current album G I R L, his discomfort at airing even just a verse of this Robin Thicke-tainted number is clear. "We're all animals," he knowingly changes one line to say, and allows the crowd, who are too busy dancing to engage in a debate about the predatory nature of 'Blurred Lines'' lyrics, to finish the rest. Thankfully, the disco redeemer 'Get Lucky' rushes in soon enough to save Williams' blushes.
Two further Daft Punk-assisted gems see him staging a gorgeously laid back encore with 'Lose Yourself To Dance' and the crowning moment of his latest LP, 'Gust Of Wind' — all the while dressed in a jacket on par with the sparkle factor of Michael Jackson's single glove.
And so, it finally arrives. That other song. Pharrell precedes the gospel-pop of 'Happy' with an uplifting, if overly optimistic, speech about making the world a better place. And yes, we do clap along but as much as a cultural behemoth as 'Happy' has become, tonight has served as a reminder that it is not, by far, Pharrell Williams' greatest achievement, merely his most popular song right now.
Written for Rock's Backpages 

Monday, 22 September 2014

Sunday, 21 September 2014

DIGITAL WORDS / Alisa Ueno Interview

I interviewed Japanese IT girl Alisa Ueno for My Flash Trash.

Find the original post HERE

Please describe Fig & Viper.
Japanese women’s fashion brand
. Six retail stores in Japan

What is your day-to-day routine like at work?
Desk work-shooting-meeting

When you are designing do you ever have a particular person in mind that you want to wear those pieces? Or do you create according to your own tastes?
Both. I have muses on each season for example, Rita Ora was my muse for 2013 S/S. But not for all clothing because I have to make many stuff including mainstream on trend items and stuff.

You’ve previously said that London girls have a good eye for fashion. What do you like about London girls’ style?
They’re really good at mixing used clothing with original new stuff,
and the way they dress up is so unpredictable but natural at the same time, London girls are  phenomenal! Also, since London is such a fancy city, maybe that is why they are so fashionable.

What first got you interested in fashion?
I’ve been really into fashion since when I was in kindergarten. But when I started to model, that's when I really got what fashion is.

Who is your all-time fashion idol?
No one in particular.

Which aspects of your work life do like the most – modelling, designing or DJing?
Designing! I love all of my jobs, but designing is my main job and it is my expression.

What are your top tips for girls who want to get into fashion design?
Quick actions and play hard! Always create your own lifestyle and self-plan!

What achievements in your career are you most proud of?
Walked on the red carpet of “Transformer” Japan premier as a Japanese guest. Won a “best hair awards” as a new style section! Both of them were my pride achievements in Japan.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

PRINTED WORDS / Iconic Magazine #16 OUT NOW

The latest issue of Iconic magazine is out now. 

The current issue is dedicated, in a very timely fashion, to Neverland. 

Neverland was perhaps one of the most fascinating aspects of Michael Jackson's private life and much is uncovered about the construction of this dream home in the issue through conversations with many people who had a hand in creating it. 

Iconic even managed to acquire exclusive designs for a water park that was set to be installed at Neverland... 

My contribution to the issue is an essay looking at Michael Jackson's identification with Peter Pan.

Order your copy of Iconic magazine HERE

Also, if you do not support the sale of Neverland, please take the time to sign THIS PETITION 

Saturday, 13 September 2014

DIGITAL WORDS / Kate Bush 'Before The Dawn' Live Review

Find the original post HERE

There’s no need to explain this phenomenon in detail. Kate Bush breaking her 35 years of being conspicuous by absence from the stage is a big deal. The biggest deal. One particularly lively Kate Bush fan forum quite rightly has an active thread asking where Before The Dawn “ranks in your emotional experiences”. This is not hyperbole. My first draft of this review was a page sodden with tears and drool. Before The Dawn rates pretty damn highly in my own record of “emotional experiences” as it is exactly that – not a gig, not a show, not a musical but an “experience” in every sense of the word.

Where to begin? For anyone who has been lucky enough to be immersed in Before The Dawn will understand the difficulty in expressing the scale and impact of the night. It is structured into three sequences – the first sees Kate Bush fronting a band for a set of music, which seems straight forward enough… more on that momentarily. The second is the centrepiece, ‘The Ninth Wave’, Kate’s concept suite on the second side of Hounds Of Love brought to life and made flesh. The third, after an interval, is another swathe of conceptual beauty as Aerial’s continual ode to the power of nature, titled ‘A Sky Of Honey’, is played out musically and theatrically in full. If Before The Dawn had consisted of just one of these acts it would have been more than enough to justify the hype of Kate Bush’s live comeback, but the fact that she is spoiling her audiences’ three times over means you are left overawed by her generosity of talent, spirit and vision.

The straight opening set of six songs is nothing short of spectacular. Kate Bush grooves on stage barefoot, followed by her backing singers, with the warmest of smiles to a room of people all audibly holding their breath as they adjust to her presence and await her voice. ‘Lily’ is a perfectly selected first song. It’s only right that something from ‘The Red Shoes’ – an album written and recorded with touring in mind – should commence this momentous occasion. ‘Lily’ is given a storming makeover and packs more of punch live than anyone could have imagined. The sound of Kate Bush and her band is truly astounding; its richness fills the theatre to bursting point. The urgent pounding drums of ‘Hounds Of Love’ breaks through for song number two. How can a night get any better, any higher than the ‘Hounds Of’ bloody ‘Love’? The beaming grin on drummer Omar Hakim’s face summarises his and his fellow band members unmistakable joy to be playing these hallowed songs. Aerial’s ‘Joanni’ is next, followed by The Red Shoes’ ‘The Top Of The City’ which again, is realised on such an overwhelming scale that is feels utterly removed from the original recording. ‘Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)’ inspires a thankful cheer from the audience before demanding revered silence.

All the while Kate Bush’s voice is nothing short of faultless. Just like you imagined it would be yet somehow even better. Her backing singers too make an impact all of their own. ‘Top Of The City’ sees them creating a powerful, vocal wall of sound. ‘King Of The Mountain’, another towering number, brings this section to an abrupt end – a curtain descends and an explosion of confetti rains down. Wait… Nope, it’s not confetti, its tissue paper inscribed with an extract from Lord Tennyson’s ‘The Coming Of Arthur’. “Wave after wave… Till last, a ninth one…”

And so it begins, after almost 30 years of waiting ‘The Ninth Wave’ is fully executed. A ship, The Celtic Deep, is in trouble. A lone, female passenger is missing. And there she is, Kate Bush adrift in a sea of darkness, framed by her orange life jacket singing straight to camera (for this is a filmed segment) ‘And Dream Of Sheep’. It is deeply affecting. The stage has been transformed into a fearsome underwater realm with only live fish skeletons to keep Kate company on her one woman voyage. The feats of theatricality reached in this portion of the show are astounding – Kate bursting suddenly through the floor of the stage as her outer body experience takes hold; the rocking ship that houses the ghostly domesticated scene of ‘Watching You Without Me’; the helicopter search light that swoops over the audience; Kate’s distressing cries of “Let me live!”; and finally, and most touchingly, her lone outstretched hand that secures her safe return to land.

“Thank you,” Bush beams to the standing mass before her – just one of the many, I lost count after standing ovation number 11, that the performance demands this evening. “We’re going to take a quick break, if that’s alright?” she humbly asks. We need to get our breath back more than she does, trust me. “What can possibly happen next?” I wonder. “What is she going to do? Fly?” I chuckle…

Yes, for her final act Kate Bush becomes one with her favourite musicians, the birds, and takes flight after being fitted with a cumbersome set of wings towards the dénouement of ‘A Sky Of Honey’. Again, it’s one of many magical moments that accompanies one her most impressive musical landscapes – puppets coming to life; showers of billowing feathers and tree trunks crashing through the night time set. It is at this point that Kate Bush’s son – Bertie – takes up his biggest onstage role (having also been credited as “Creative Advisor” for these shows and serving as backing singer) as he plays “The Painter” who frets over nature’s ruinous effects upon his canvas. Although his biggest cheer came when his mother sang, “I’ll tell my son…” during ‘The Morning Fog’, so key has his influence been over making her live return real. ‘A Sky Of Honey’ roars to a glorious end with Kate Bush howling at human limitations, “I’ve gotta be up on the roof”, despite transcending the possibilities of performance here before our very eyes.

Two final treats are in store: The first, a calming, lone encore of Kate Bush at the piano playing ‘Among Angels’ from 50 Words For Snow (no material predating 1985 is played). The second, a rousing rendition of ‘Cloudbursting’ where everyone is more than happy to bellow out their own “yeah yeah yeah yeah ooooooooh”. Kate gorgeously growls that most inspiring of lines, “But just saying it could even make it happen,” pointing a finger towards the crowd as she does so in the sassiest of fashions. After this monumental residency comes to an end, who knows what else Kate Bush could make happen. Conversely she could disappear and take one of her extended, working breaks once again. Either way Before The Dawn marks yet another apex of Kate Bush’s evolutionary life and art.

Written for DISORDER