Wednesday, 5 December 2012

H and M, Maison Martin Marigela Collection, Fashion 2012

So I went to H and M with my friend Isi, when we were both in New York.  We were in a shopping centre I can’t remember the name of, just down from Times Square near the top (or bottom) of Central Park.  I always go into H and M, whichever town or city I’m in, as sometimes you find something they don’t have in any other branch of the store, and plus, I love their stuff.   So the first thought that came to my mind was ... why is everything creased?  Literally, every piece was hanging, totally wrinkled.  I saw the promotions and realised that it was the store’s opening day, and they must have, only hours before, just taken the clothes out of boxes.  The big news in the store was a cordoned off, security guarded section, MMM’s line.
Now, I do like fashion, I am a girl.  But I am not one of those girls who spends every morning picking out an outfit, blow-drying my hair, matching accessories, shoes, eye shadow etc for 2 hours.  But I have been quite interested by the looks this year (Or what I consider them to be.) 

In the spring, round the  end of April, I had a big job interview in Spain, and I went looking for an outfit through all the Spanish shops, to name a few, Blanco, Bershka, P and B, Pimkie, Shana, Mango, Zara.  I noticed a serious Spring primrose trend of block colours and I haven’t seen it leave all year.  Block coloured jeans, bold bright garish jeans in pinks, red, green, blue, plum.  And let’s not forget the pastel sensation that took over the shops, and I saw this is Barcelona in the line of other shops too (H and M, other international high street stores.)  Every shade of pastel (especially mint green.) And including, peach, cream, yellow, green, blue and any other “baby” colour you can think of, in every type of clothing and accessory you could imagine; shirt, bag, dress, jeans, shoes, blazers! There was a blazer craze too at that time.  (You saw them everywhere in all shades of pastels and brights.)  
Now it’s winter I am still seeing plain block coloured clothing in the high street (obviously among other patterned clothing as well) the bold jeans are still there, which I like to see, but a darker tone has crept in and the coats are taking up a large amount of room.  Black, Blue, brown and 50 shades of grey.   

So, I stepped into the VIP-esque MMM section and decided to take a look.  This was the lines launch and the store had pulled the stops out.  There were first day promotions and a DJ.  All we needed were flutes of champagne!  The most striking aspect of her collection was the bagginess of it all.  The coats and jeans were all huge.  The majority of the clothes were way too out there and expensive for me to even consider buying, but some of it I liked.  The ballet pumps with the clear plastic block heel were innovative, and weather proof (think spice girl shoes) and came in tan and black.  The accessories were wacky.  MMM has combined funky, actually guitar case shaped bags (full size at 400 USD) and had combined both gloves and the guitar theme on a smaller scale to make bags, with gloves sewn in as the handle.  The actual clothes took a backseat to the pieces that stood out so obviously.  There were a lot of baggy floor length coats, and inside out jeans, could be quite cool for a different look.  The trainers also caught my eye, they had some bright colours i.e. red, but the collection mainly stuck to beige, brown, black grey  and blue. 

The thing that struck me most about it was not the clothes or accessories themselves but the way they had been designed.  It was innovative, the designer has put together new methods in terms of making things, such as the handbags and jackets and jeans, so that the actual material almost takes a backseat to the never-seen-before.  Nothing was regular, everything was unique and tweaked, however at first glance you may have just seen large long plain coloured coats bags and trainers on the wall.  The way the pieces were combined and designed really was something I had never seen before.

Scroll down for some pics, and hope you enjoyed the blog. J


Sunday, 2 December 2012



So, during the summer I had a revelation.  For those of you who read my previous posts you may have seen my complaints about recent University graduate job prospects, recession etc.  I was finding myself doing the same, practically minimum wage bar and restaurant waitress work and I was tired of it.  I wanted to do something creative, something I enjoyed, and was proud to be doing, and also something that financially compensated all the hard work and dedication I knew I had.  It was probably my boyfriend who planted the seed of an idea.  He asked me, what do you want to do?  Why don’t you do something related to what you studied?  Now, I am not alone in the predicament many young people find themselves in today: What do I want to do?  Half of my friends with graduate jobs have job titles that a) their friend’s dad invented for them and b) didn’t exist ten years ago – Assistant marketing manager, Head of Social Media? See?? 

So what did I want to do?  What was related to what I studied, (English Literature) and an old dream reared its head.  I always wanted to be an actress, and I never focussed on doing it.  Some small desire in (as my teacher MJ likes to call it, the deepest place in your heart) called to me, and, for some reason, I had to listen to it, I simply had to.

Even though the entertainment industry is notoriously cut-throat and difficult to break into, I wasn’t keen on any other industries, nor was I finding any way into them so it was a case of, trying to follow my dreams, and seeing what happens.  I thought to myself, if it’s this hard trying to find a nine to five, which I won’t like anyways, then I’d rather be struggling, but headed towards somewhere I actually want to be.  And, you never know until you try, and even if you fail, at least you tried.  That was my logic anyway.

I applied to an acting course in Los Angeles.  I wanted to leave London and I thought, well, you want to be in TV and films, go to Hollywood!  The School accepted me and off I went, full of hope and anticipation.  The things I learnt during those three weeks of intensive training, and my time in the states could cover many different posts, so I am going to go through my teachers one by one.   There are four of them.  I’ll start with my favourite.  Aaron Lustig.

  Aaron took us for a class called Acting for TV and Film which one could also translate to Acting for Camera as a skill in itself.  From the first day the school surprised and shocked me.  But Aaron took us on the Tuesday.  After that first crazy Monday (we had 2 different classes and it was the longest day of the week) I was ready for anything. 

So Aaron walks in, Mr. Charisma and Jokes, and introduces himself and we go through and introduce ourselves.  Then he gives us a pep talk ... something along the lines of “So you want to be actors ... well, it’s a tough business, but with dedication, skill training and talent you can become liberated artists free to play any role you want; which is why I always play Lawyers and Doctors and audition with a bunch of bald Jewish men who look just like me. (rolls eyes ... que laughter all round.)

Then he proceeded to call us f***ers ... Sorry Aaron had to put this up there!  He was demonstrating his like for swearing.  All jokes aside he gave us some valuable advice, some funny stories .. (all the teachers had famous actor stories .. someone would mention Brad Pitt and they would say .. oh here’s my Brad Pitt story ... He smokes loads on set!  It’s disgusting!)  And he did some really interesting exercises with us.

The exercises on camera can be cringe worthy, when you watch play back you can see everyone thinking:  Wow, did I not wash my hair today?  Why do I frown so much?  Why do I blink so much .. Oh my god my face is wonky, one eye is bigger than the other ... ect!  Especially when you are under ECU (Extreme close up).  The first exercise we did was the I love You exercise which worked on subtext.  Saying the phrase I Love You whilst being filmed, in front of 10 people you only met yesterday, plus your acting teacher, with a subtext of I Hate You was no mean feat.  Aaron did a lot of camera work with us including monologues, both being filmed full body and close up to teach us the difference between these two, and an elevator scene we had to put our own subtext to.  We also watched back and learnt from others work in the classroom.  The conversation exercise was also interesting.  Having a normal conversation, recording it, and then having to have the conversation again, learnt off book and in front of the class.

Acting for TV and Camera was one of my favourite classes.  Aaron is full of practical advice and probably the most coherent teacher to help you actually find work and give industry advice.  He is also a sweetheart, and a well established and working actor himself, who has taught me a world of things about the subtleties and nuances of on-camera acting.  Thank you Aaron, it’s time to put your work into practice.