You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2010.

Paris is my favourite city in the world.  I have been there several times and I try to visit every couple of years.  Given that my last visit was in 2007, I am very overdue for a trip and think it’ll have to go on my agenda for 2010.

I discovered these beautiful hand cut maps of Paris online at Famille Summerbelle, a store which sells designs and accessories for children’s bedrooms.

Famille Summerbelle also produce hand cut maps of London and New York, however I think the Paris map is the one I will frame and hang on my bedroom wall.  Check out their online shop here – it’s filled with gorgeous prints and wallpapers which adults will love as much as children.

Catherine Baba is an Australian stylist who lives in Paris, and I have recently spent large amounts of time drooling over her personal style on t’internet.  She seems to be influenced by the 1920s, the fashion of the Weimar Republic, and old Hollywood glamour, as can be seen from her make-up, long cigarette holders, and turbans.

I love Catherine’s commitment to her aesthetic and her flair for combining textures and colours.  I also admire the hell out of any woman who can cycle in 5 inch heels!

Catherine’s styling work is stunning and has been featured in Dazed and Confused, Paper Magazine and Above Magazine.  She has also styled advertising campaigns including one for a Moschino fragrance.

Catherine’s website still seems to be under construction and it appears that there isn’t that much information available on her online, apart from various fashion bloggers cooing over her (in much the same vein as this post!).  However I predict Ms. Baba will be a new style star in 2010.

(Photos via Jak and Jil, Facehunter)

Am going through a bit of an old movie binge at the moment and Montgomery Clift is the focus.  Last Sunday I watched Suddenly Last Summer again and last night I watched A Place In The Sun, both movies starring Clift and Elizabeth Taylor. From the moment Clift turns to face the camera in A Place In The Sun, you are completely captivated by his astonishing face and remarkable naturalness on screen.

Montgomery Clift’s acting career started on Broadway at the age of 13 and he made his film debut ten years later in Red River, starring John Wayne.  He quickly rose to star status in Hollywood due to a rare combination of brooding good looks and incredible acting talent.  Nominated for an Academy Award four times, Clift never won but he is widely acknowledged as being one of the best screen actors of his generation.

Taylor and Clift were best friends and starred in three movies together.  In 1956 after leaving a party at Elizabeth Taylor’s, while they both were in the middle of filming Raintree County, he nodded off behind the wheel of his 1955 Buick, and drove head-on into a telephone pole by the side of the road near Taylor’s home in Beverly Hills. Taylor heard the crash and ran to help him.  She pulled him out from underneath the dashboard, and nursed his badly disfigured head until the ambulance arrived.

After that accident things took a downturn for Clift.  He was permanently scarred from the car crash, and that in turn impacted his career.  His drinking and dependence on prescription medication increased and he became known in the movie industry as an unreliable alcoholic.  While making The Misfits with Marilyn Monroe, her last movie before her death, she remarked that he was “the only person I know who is in worse shape than I am”.

Mongomery Clift died on July 23rd 1966 at just 45 years old.  The cause of death was reported as a heart attack brought on by coronary artery disease.

I would highly recommend any of the films mentioned above.  In addition, although he was severely alcoholic and unable to remember most of his lines, he still delivers an amazing performance in Judgment at Nuremburg, his second last film.

My friends know me so well.  I would like to thank Alan for bringing this fantastic piece of video to my attention.  It stars Josh Freese, who was the tour drummer with NIN from 2005-2008, and this is the shot from the “drummer cam” as he plays Wish.

Colour me baised but I think I’m in love.  I Googled the hell out of Mr. Freese (if you’re Irish and you remember these, you’d have to call him that at least once, wouldn’t you?) and found out that he has a very impressive CV.  He is a permanent member of A Perfect Circle, The Vandals and Devo and has also played with Sting, Guns and Roses, The Offspring, Ween, The Dixie Chicks and the Dwarves.

Josh released his solo album “Since 1972″ last year with a brilliant marketing campaign, which was comprised of a list of tiered offers ranging from $7 to $75,000.  The latter package includes such elements as:

- Josh will join your band for a month … play shows, record, party with groupies, etc.

- If you don’t have a band he’ll be your personal assistant for a month (4-day work weeks, 10 am to 4 pm)

- Take a limo down to Tijuana and he’ll show you how it’s done (what that means exactly we can’t legally get into here)

If I only had €75,000, I’d buy it; it’s become a necessary purchase!

Winter dresses can prove a bit problematic to find.  I don’t mean party dresses, cocktail dresses or evening gowns.  I don’t want anything with sequins on (am so overloaded on sequins this season), nothing with frothy bits of tulle, nothing one-shouldered or flimsy.  In short, I want the sort of dress a girl could wear out for dinner when she doesn’t want to get glammed up to the max.  The sort of dress you can simply pull on when you don’t want to have think about putting together an outfit.  The sort of dress you’d wear when it’s lashing rain outside, when it’s freezing cold and the idea of putting on anything short or see through is an anathema.

So imagine my delight when I found an Ann Sofie Back dress on sale on this website.  Dark purple, slashed for just the right amount of edge, and jersey for just the right amount of ease.  I received it last week and am delighted.

I was looking around Lookbook recently and saw a ton of gorgeous images featuring a well styled guy under the title Virgin Blak. Having done a bit of research I found out that it’s a men’s clothing label based in the US (and yes, they ship internationally).

I may have fallen a little bit in love with this cape; black cotton edged with Raccoon fur and just perfect for this weather.

Robert McCrum in yesterday’s Observer asks the question “Is it really doomsday for books?” and comes up with some interesting answers.  As he says “2010, not three weeks old, bears all the signs of a watershed year”.  Borders closed at the end of last year and sales at Waterstones are down.  Barnes and Noble stores are experiencing a similar slump and so they have created the Nook, an e-reader which will compete with Amazon’s Kindle.  Speaking of which, last December 25th saw Amazon e-book sales overtake print for the first time.

Writers are experiencing a similar crisis with publishing house slush pile discoveries becoming a thing of the past and advances to authors dwindling.  Nielsen Bookscan has found that of 86,000 new titles published in the UK in 2009, 59,000 sold an average of 18 copies, which I suppose must be the average number of family members and friends that an author can convince to buy their book.

It’s all very depressing for an as yet unpublished novelist!  However I refuse to be beaten down by bad news.  I am somewhat heartened to hear that celebrity memoirs are finally beginning to loosen their hold on the public.  A world in which Katie Price has not one but three autobiographies on the shelves is not a world I particularly want to live in.

William Styron was an American author most well known for his books Sophie’s ChoiceLie Down In Darkness and The Confessions of Nat Turner, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1968. Suicide Run has just been published, the only one of Styron’s works to be published posthumously, and it draws upon his experiences in the US Marine Corps in the Second World War and the Korean War.

Styron is one of my favourite American authors. I first came across him in a Paris Review interview (he is the only author to have been interviewed twice) and his gruff manner and world weary attitude instantly appealed to me. I started with his memoir of his experience with depression, Darkness Visible. Styron’s description of the bleakness of his mood, his suicidality and subsequent hospitalisation is extraordinarily brave and agonisingly truthful. Unlike many books dealing with this subject, I feel it accurately and movingly explains the inertia and hopelessness of living with depression.

The next book I chose was Lie Down In Darkness, Styron’s first novel published when he was just twenty-five. It is the story of Peyton Loftis, a psychologically damaged young girl, and her experiences with her emotionally dysfunctional Virginia family, which leads eventually to her suicide. The end of the book is an admirable example of stream-of-consciousness narrative and can be seen to be influenced by that other venerable Southern writer, William Faulkner.

I have not yet read Sophie’s Choice, which will be familiar to most people from the 1982 film version starring Meryl Streep, who won an Academy Award for her performance, Kevin Kline and Peter MacNicol. Nor have I read The Confessions of Nat Turner, which generated huge controversy at the time of publication due to the fact that Styron was a white man writing a first person narrative from the point of view of a black historical figure.

Suicide Run will definitely be added to “The Pile” but perhaps not for a while. “The Pile” has grown so big since Christmas – in danger of toppling off my bedside table – that I have had to turn it into two smaller piles!

(Photo by Kathy Willens/The Associated Press)

“Steve, Don’t Eat It” has provided me with many laughs since I first discovered it.  It’s part of Steve’s blog/zine (bline? zog?) and is pretty self explanatory; Steve undertakes to eat foul substances and then reviews them.  As the man says himself, “join me in saying F-YOU to my tastebuds”.  In the hands of someone less funny, this would be akin to torture, but it’s Steve’s commentaries that make it must-read stuff.

Take the time he realised that he found the ultimate test, right under his nose, at home; breast milk, or as Steve calls it “wife juice”.  Steve says, “the time has come…I’m off to The Booby Bar to see what they’ve got on tap”.

Or the time that Steve voluntarily eats Cuitlacoche, which looks like this:

Or the time he ate “Bun Dae Ki” or “Silkworm Snacks”, pictured below.   In Steve’s words “the yellow oval on the can says High Protein – great side dish when drinking alcohol. I imagine this came from the silkworm marketing team when faced with the nagging question “Who the fuck’s gonna eat this?!” The answer: DRUNKS!”

I reckon Steve should definitely try eating coddle, although it may be a day in the park for him after some of the vile substances he has ingested.  But boiled sausages and rashers?  To a vegetarian, the idea alone acts as an emetic!

Doing my usual browse through Apple Trailers to see what movies I might want to watch in the coming months, I came across a documentary called “Talhotblond” directed by Barbara Shroeder.  The documentary is billed as the true story of an online romance which goes horrifically wrong and ends with murder.

The trailer looks promising and I’m always a sucker for a good documentary so I did a little Googling.  Turns out there’s not much to find on this movie.  No entry on Wikipedia, no mention on any sites of the real life events that inspired the film, and the director of the documentary has a very short entry on IMDB most of it pertaining to this film.  In fact the only mention I could find of the crime was an article on this website, however in the “sources” section none of the weblinks actually work.

I smell a marketing ploy.  To me, this is all very reminiscent of the Blair Witch Project and the media campaign that surrounded that movie.  Maybe I’m just being paranoid, and if so, fair enough, but I’ll be keeping an eye on this one.

The Multiverse

is a blog from an Irish writer and DJ which takes in a wide range of subject matter as follows: Monday’s blogs are related to literature and writing; Tuesday is fashion, style and beauty; Wednesday is music; Thursday is TV and cinema; and Friday is a miscellany.

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