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