Friday, 28 June 2013

Film Review // Shame

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Directed by Steve McQueen
Starring Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge Dale, Nicole Beharie

Brandon (Fassbender) is a sex addict living in New York, whose lifestyle and obsession turns into self-destruction when his young, erratic sister Sissy (Mulligan) comes to stay.

I had wanted to watch Shame for a while, and as I had some time to kill today waiting for my new laptop to be delivered (which I am in love with, by the way!), I took the opportunity to finally see it on Netflix.

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Seconds in to the film, I realised I wasn't quite emotionally prepared for it. It starts with a macabre scene between Brandon and a strange women on the tube, where playful flirting soon becomes uncomfortable, interspersed with shots of him paying women for sex. We soon identify Brandon as an extremely lonely man with an uncontrollable habit. I will warn you, if easily offended by sexual scenes or nudity, then steer clear of this one, because there's a lot of it. The whole film is very up-close and personal, particularly with Michael Fassbender, but what I think the director has done so well is make the sex scenes totally devoid of emotion and deglamourised (is that a word?), making them part of the story rather than gratuitous.

The only glimmer of hope we see is Brandon attempting to start a relationship with colleague Marianne; their chemistry in a voyeuristic scene of their first date brought a genuine smile to my face, and their almost-love scene is the only romantic one of the film. 

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Michael Fassbender is just incredible in this film. He fully commits himself to the role, and I think he is one of the best actors around at the moment. He simultaneously conveys the sinking feeling of despair with the mask of a charming man. Carey Mulligan is also brilliant, in probably the most outspoken role I've seen her in. She is brash and troubled and mesmerizing, and the scenes between Sissy and Brandon are the best of the film. The one seen from behind them on the sofa (in the image above), where Brandon finally expresses his anger towards her, had me holding my breath, it was so full of tension. 

The direction is stunning, too; the shots are long and static (Sissy singing in the club, Brandon running off his impulses), often focusing on the characters midriffs rather than their faces, and this gives a very realistic feel. This realism is also created through the minimal dialogue and the fact a lot is expressed visually rather than verbally. Shame has been criticised for not having enough development of the siblings' troubled past (which was obviously influential in who they are now), but I think this reflects reality; unlike some, more mainstream, films, where character backgrounds are nicely summed up in a speech or a flashback, here the audience are left to imagine it for themselves. The soundtrack of mostly hypnotising classical piano music is also brilliant, giving a kind of poetic feel. That sounded kind of cheesy, but you'll know what I mean if you see it.

Shame has had a mixed reception; some felt it lacked in storyline, others think it a masterpiece. I personally loved is more an observation into someone's life than a full story arc, making the emotion in it all the more visceral and moving. 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Not quite perfect, but just about. Oh, and don't watch it with your parents, could get a little awkward.

Have you seen Shame?

PS: Quick! Follow me on bloglovin' here before Google Reader disappears! 

My Holiday Outfit Ideas #1

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Prada SS14: Mens & Womenswear

We all know that fashion moves along at a breakneck speed, but it does still baffle me a little that we are seeing next years Spring/Summer collections already when we're still waiting for sunshine in 2013! How can designers dangle these amazing clothes in front of us then expect us to wait a year?! Not that I can afford them anyway, obviously.

One of the SS14 collections that caught my eye was the legend that is PRADA. I'll be honest, I'm not always the biggest fan of Miuccia's creations; sometimes they are i n c r e d i b l e (AW12's geometric suits, for example?), but other times, I think she pushes ugly-pretty to the extreme of just, well, ugly

This one, however, is right on the money. It's a summer collection, but I like the mix of bright and autumny colours, as well as the elements of knitwear and layering that make it not too seasonally specific (which is a good job with weather like ours!). The leafy florals are kinda tropical yet vintage-looking, and the mixing of prints and use of panelling really modernises the whole look. Also, I am not against wearing mens clothing, and those sweatshirts with printed sleeves are my favourite pieces! Flat shoes are always a thumbs up in my eyes too. Basically, I'm in love. 

Here's some shots of the good stuff!
(Warning: a fair few pictures coming your way ha! All pictures from Vogue website, here)

What do you think of Prada SS14?

PS: We have literally days before Google Reader disappears! So if you could follow me on bloglovin' here, that would make my day. :)

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Albums I'm Loving // Bastille, Paramore, Lumineers, 30STM

A little music post for you all today! :)
Here's the albums I can't get enough of recently.

I'll be honest, I was kinda late to jump on the Bastille bandwagon. I first heard of them when they won a competition on Radio 1, and they have had huge success with the release of this debut album. 'Bad Blood' is a brilliant album, and Bastille have created a signature sound of booming drum beats and almost tribal male harmonies. I wasn't blown away on first listen, but after a couple of times, it has grown to be one of my favourites! I'm actually hoping to see Bastille later this year too (see dates here).

Favourites: Laura Palmer, Flaws, Icarus, Pompeii (absolute anthem!).

I am a long time fan of Paramore, ever since their first album All We Know Is Falling, and have seen them live twice. They are one of my all time favourite bands, so I was seriously excited for the new album! It's no secret Paramore have been through some personal ups and downs, with some members leaving, but this self-titled album is a great expression of that and how the band are moving on. It's a lot more varied than the previous albums, with some classic pop-rock sounds, as well some more electronics and a lot more instrumental work. Hayley's voice is incredible as always, and this is a brilliant example of musical storytelling. 

Favourites: Now (so punk, love it), Future, Last Hope, I'm Not Angry Anymore (Interlude).

You may know The Lumineers by their song 'Ho Hey', which was featured on an advert and proceeded to become everyone's favourite song, including mine. I then dug a little deeper and checked out their album. This is a truly beautiful album, with a folksy, indie sound and gorgeous melodies and lyrics. Every song is good'un, and I cannot get them out of my head! They remind me of Mumford & Sons, but a more gentler version, lovely.

Favourites: Slow It Down (the haunting tones and chords sound just like Jeff Buckley, insanely gorgeous), Big Parade, Dead Sea, Submarines.

Last, but not least, the freaking incredible 30 Seconds to Mars, another of my ultimate favourite bands. Their new album is split into the four sections of the name, and is full of the hugely epic tunes that we would expect of them. I'll admit, I kinda prefer the previous two albums, but this one is still repeating on my playlist! It's operatic, orchestral, dramatic, emotional...basically, I love it! The beautiful Jared Leto has amazing vocals, and soon I'll be witnessing them live at the Newcastle Metro Arena! I booked tickets this week to see them in November, supported by my other favourites You Me At Six. Check out the other tour dates here.

Favourites: Conquistador, Up In The Air, The Race, Depuis Le Debut

So there you are, the albums that are the soundtrack to my days at the moment.

Are you a fan of these bands? What's on your current playlist?

PS: If you like what you're reading, pleeease follow me on bloglovin here, as soon Google Reader will be no more! 

Liebster Award!

I was nominated for the Liebster Blogger Award yesterday by my friend Abi over at A Little Abstract, so here goes!

The Rules:

-Each nominee answers the 11 questions by the tagger
-Choose 11 bloggers with under 200 followers to pass the award to and link them
-Create 11 new questions for your chosen bloggers
-Comment on their blog telling them you've nominated them
-No tag backs!

1) If you could steal one celebrities style, who would it be?

Ah that is a hard one! Probably Cara Delevingne, I love her quite laid-back style with a kind of sporty/streetwear edge.

2) What is the most common colour in your wardrobe?

I think, boring as it sounds, it's black. Ha! Or, even more exciting, grey. I have a few statement pieces but tend to stick to classic colours.

3) What are you most likely to spend your money on?

I am terrible with money! I rarely leave the house without buying a nail varnish or lipstick so yeah, those.

4) Night in or night out?

Well, I am 20 going on 50 so night in, ha! I prefer nights out to be a special occasion, so a night in is fine. :)

5) Curly or straight hair?

I have naturally crazy curly, frizzy hair, so I'm inclined to say straight! Though curly is a lot easier for me, I love my hair to be poker straight.

6) Favourite high street store?

Most definitely Topshop! I have to restrain myself from going in there, haha! Though ASOS is catching up, does that count with it being online?

7) Heels or flats?

Anyone who knows me, knows that me wearing heels is fairly dangerous. I cannot walk in them or bear how painful they are, so tend to stick to flats, or maybe little chunky heels on a night out. I know I should man up and practise, but it's too painful! Also I'm pretty tall anyway, so I think I can get away with flats. 

8) Your favourite trend of the moment?

I'm actually loving the sporty vibe at the moment, like varsity or American Football tees with colourful trainers, but smartened up with tailoring (check out Toppers or River Island!)

9) Favourite Designer?

That's a tough one....this summer it is definitely Dries Van Noten, I cannot get enough of the grungy checks with oriental florals in their SS13 collection. Generally though, probably Chloe. Or Proenza Schouler. Or Jonathan Saunders. Argh it's too hard! 

10) Books or magazines?

Abi, you are killing me here haha! I do love a good book and reading, but don't often find one that grips me all the way to the end, so I'm going to go magazines, my faves being ELLE and Company :).

11) You are given £10, what do you spend it on?

Hmm.... I'm going to say jewellery, maybe a cool statement necklace? Loving those at the moment!

Okay, that was harder than I thought!

Here are the blogs I'm nominating....

Lucy at 100 Days of Makeup
Charlotte at Hobbits & Hair Dye
Rose at Fashion Rhapsody
Bits and Beauty Bobs
Hannah at Trust In Vogue
Holly at Tea And Blush
Terri at Terriface
Jodie at Jodie Melissa
Greta at Through Art Related to Fashion
Ellie at Candy Tapestry
Stacey at British Hearts

...and here are your 11 questions...

1) What's your favourite film?
2) Describe your style in 3 words?
3) Favourite memory of a concert or festival?
4) What's your signature make-up look?
5) Which artists are on your playlist at the moment?
6) Favourite beauty brand?
7) What's your ultimate career goal?
8) Who is your style icon?
9) Do you prefer summer or winter fashion?
10) If you could only shop from one store, which would it be?
11) Favourite magazine?

So there you go, good luck! 

Just to clarify, I based the amount of followers on bloglovin, as we are soon to be without Google Reader! 
You can follow me on bloglovin here, which would make me super happy!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Charlotte Olympia: Hollywoodland

"A shoe has so much more to offer than just to walk...."
(Christian Louboutin)

There are times in life when you get excited about finding a stylish bargain, but there are other times when all you wanna do is drool over incredible shoes that you can't afford.

Today is one of those times.

Introducing Charlotte Olympia's pre-fall collection, Hollywoodland.

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Charlotte Olympia Dellal is a half English, half Brazilian designer who launched her eponymous label in 2007, and has since become shoe legend. Her accessories are eccentric and seriously creative, which is why she has become so renowned in her field. Her slippers with a kitty-face design have become classics, and her pre-fall collection is just right up my street, with a Hollywood theme, film strip detail and of course, her signature spider-web on the sole. They are pretty darn pricey, but hey, a girl can dream!

Here's some of my favourites from the collection...

Movie Night Shoulder Bag £295
Take Pandora Clapperboard Clutch £795
Walk of Fame Bag £695
Spectator Dolly £595

Box Office Pandora Clutch  £1595

Hollywood Wedges £795

Girls on Film £645

Now I know Charlotte's designs are quite outlandish and probably not to everyone's taste, but I think they are beautiful, unique statement pieces, and the Hollywood cinema theme just evokes glamour and decadence. 

If you're a shoe lover, definitely go check out Charlotte's website here to see all her amazing collections.

Are you a fan of Charlotte Olympia?

(All images without an image source from

PS: Google Reader will soon be leaving us! So if you like what you see, follow me on Bloglovin' here. Thank you!