Wednesday, 21 December 2011

End of Year Piers Morgan Hating

Hi Everyone,

I think there is a lawyer deep inside me as I’ve been hooked on the Leveson Enquiry as I was the Conrad Murray trial.

With so many vested interests by so many different people it is fascinating watching the potential culprits squirm, double back on original statements and attempt to justify foolish comments. Piers Morgan was on fine form yesterday acting like a complete fool, comparing himself to a rock star, claiming to remember the exact content of a conversation but not remembering who said it and stating that hacking is not immoral. For the record, I really dislike this guy; it amazes me how he sleeps at night. He is a fame hungry media whore who feeds his ego by gloating and boasting and then seeming affronted when questioned about it. His attempt to be liked includes referencing the death of comedian Patrice O’Neal and referring to him as ‘her’ twice!

James Hipwell (former journalist at the Mirror where Morgan was editor) has also presented his evidence today which contradicts Piers Morgan’s account of things. Quelle surprise!

There is a part of me that wishes he gets found out for the jerk he is so his ego can take the hit it deserves for his unscrupulous behaviour but if he loses his job in the US he may end up coming back to the UK. What a dilemma!  

With more witnesses due it could be an exciting start to 2012 at the enquiry.

Other things I’m looking forward to in 2012:

Mass Effect 3

Batman The Dark Knight Rises

The Olympics

The Avalanches new album??

Have a good Christmas and New Year and we shall be back, refreshed and ready to shed our Christmas weight in January.



Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Cold Weather and X-Factor Finals

Hi Everyone,

The mind is a powerful thing, in the Summer it is difficult to imagine it ever been cold and as I huddle over the fan heater I wonder what it was like to be warm. I may also be lamenting the loss of the moustache as a heating aid.

I genuinely enjoy the snow so I’m excited for some snaction (snow action) not to be confused with snacktion (snack action).

The BBC Song of 2012 long list is out which proves some interesting reading, I need to have a few more days with some of the acts before I can decide who my favourite is but the Superbad track from Flux Pavilion and Doctor P is immense.

As I’ve covered X-Factor once or twice I should probably reference the final which is this week. Prepare yourself for the hype machine and the fact that it is totally irrelevant who wins as they will all be pushed to see where money can be made.

The criteria of what makes someone successful is by no means scientific so no need to analyse at any depth

Most Successful (position)
Steve Brookstein
G4 (Runners-up). They were on the radio for a bit with some dodgy covers
Shayne Ward
Andy Abraham (Runner-up). He represented England in the Eurovision song contest (and came last).
Leona Lewis
Leona Lewis (Winner). A couple of really successful albums and making it in the US.
Leon Jackson
Alexandra Burke
JLS (Runner-up). Now onto their third album.
Joe McElderry
Olly Murs (Runner-up). Number One album in the charts this week. Stacey Solomon (3rd) and Jedward (6th). Both presenting in some capacity.
Matt Cardle
One Direction (3rd). Mass hysteria tends to follow them around.
Marcus Collins*
Misha B (4th)*


Whatever happens expect a jump in sales from all guests that appear and some over the top indoor fireworks.

Time to defrost my feet!



Friday, 25 November 2011

Movember Update and Tanuary

Hi Everyone,

So we approach the end of Movember, and I can’t wait! I feel it is important to clarify that I think mass fundraising events are great and support them but I’m ready for December and the inevitable Christmas anarchy.

I am blessed with a pretty good coverage and density of facial hair so I headed into Movember with a little bit of confidence, additionally, as a bald man facial decoration helps liven up the blank canvass.

Unfortunately the moustache flatters nobody and to make matters worse it is pretty difficult to maintain. Trimming has been a time consuming affair, attempting to get both sides equal in length and girth is not helped by the fact that faces aren’t symmetrical. So when you relax the crazy face that you pull in order to trim the moustache accurately, you soon realise that it has been trimmed in the dark, with hedge cutters.

I normally bike into work so it wasn’t until mid-Movember when I got on the Underground that I realised how many people were taking part it also dawned on me how hard it is to pull off a good moustache. Standing on the tube and looking around, there was a look of acknowledgement from other participants, the look that says, “I know this isn’t working, I know my partner hates it, I don’t understand why the tache is a different colour to my hair, the coverage is uneven and I have aged 20years but Janine from accounts is paying 10p a day for this”. I think it’s fair to say I cannot work a moustache, unless it is required for a specific novelty event e.g. being a strongman at an old fashioned circus.

Would it not make more sense to have a shorter event, 31days is epic, the Olympics takes place in half that time.  I would also like to propose, for vanities sake a female alternative, Tanuary. This would involve having a ridiculously over the top fake tan for the whole of January. At least then the ridicule is shared and the charitable efforts are doubled!

Until next time Bat fans.


Thursday, 17 November 2011

Versace x H&M

Hi Everyone,

Versace x H&M appears to have been a success with the website crashing, people queuing overnight across the globe, additional security and photos of empty shelves being posted online. 

The marketing has been in overdrive for a while with the multi-coloured animal print images adorning London Underground and H&M stores with media coverage helping to increase the buzz. But what has the partnership achieved?

Possibly not suitable for the office party
The collection had been previewed and the vibrant colours and loud patterns will certainly brighten up the winter wardrobes. In all honesty the woman’s collection appears much more wearable than the men’s but the tie-in with a high street chain means that the collections get less opportunity to be ‘diluted’ from the catwalk creations. 

Bright vibrant and wearable
The result is that styles are being introduced that are slightly more extravagant/fun but in the era of Lady Gaga creations being slapped across all media what was once considered ostentatious seems relatively mundane. It is also good to see another top fashion icon reaching out to a new audience as opposed to a minor celebrity endorsed range of clothing (The Amy Childs Collection??)

Kudos goes to all involved as the partnership has only created winners, Versace and H&M have an increase in media exposure and sales and the customers are introduced to reasonably priced designer garments.

Best get down to the store and see what's left!


Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Frankie Cocozza axed: Only Marks&Spencer affected?

Hi Everyone,

It seems Christmas wishes do come true!!

The entirely crappy Marks&Spencer’s advert that ran during The X-Factor bore all the normal trappings of a festive promo. Apparently women love getting clothes (don’t bother getting her anything she may find useful, get her a bra so you can enjoy it!), only attractive people celebrate Christmas and excessive flaring and smoky effects is what Christmas looks like. Before you get to that point though you will no doubt be enjoying the song by The X-Factor finalists, slow motion panning shots as average singers, dressed in black stare stupidly into space.

I don’t really get what the message is? Are M&S telling me that if you wish hard enough then I could end up on The X-Factor (regardless of talent) or if I wish hard enough then I will be bought some sexy underwear? Regardless of what they are attempting, if you were wishing Frankie would leave X-Factor… wish granted!

As the self-perpetuating money machine that X-Factor has become continues its vain attempts to claw back its viewers a new ‘controversy’ has begun. The arguing, racism and bullying claims, changing of band names, Kelly’s ‘sick’ voice and the changing of band members has obviously not been enough so Frankie Cocozza has been removed for breaking the “Golden Rule” (we didn’t know there was one either). The official statement refers to breaking competition rules, in my opinion he is owed some leeway as having no discernable talent meant that he was barely in competition with anyone in the first place. The statements also firmly lay the blame on his shoulders which is a bit strange as The X-Factor controls so many aspects of the show.

Has the show finally got to the point where they can see that having a show based on talent (Strictly Come Dancing) is what people want to see? I feel sorry for Frankie as the show put him in this position (he won’t have seen the judges unless executive producers had auditioned him) he was then exploited for headlines and he is now surplus to requirements. I would imagine that one of the more talented (not talented) acts will be back to attempt to give the show some respectability on Saturday but at this point who cares?

In the meantime I expect the producers of the M&S advert to be submitting the overtime requests as they will, no doubt be editing a new version of the advert to account for the changing line-up (good luck with that!) I’m hoping they just bring Twiggy back.


Thursday, 27 October 2011

Winter Survival Plan

Hi Everyone,

Winter is here! It’s colder, darker and wetter and no matter how much we want to resist it is definitely time to work on the winter fashion (this Halloween being the exception). In this instance a quick google search will tell you all the trends for the winter so instead of re-hashing what everyone is saying so below are four things that will get me through the cold winter nights.

Wooly hats – Fun and practical, what’s not to like?

Mulled wine – Tasty warm and so Christmassy I can literally feel Santa’s presence after a few glasses.

Winter Coat – So big they feel like they can shield you from bullets as well as the elements and if I’m running around London, I will be pretending I’m Sherlock.

Duvet days – There will be times you wake up and you can hear the wind howling, the rain hammering, at this point it is time to let the duvet consume you!

You all better get your winter survival plans prepped, because it’s happening!!


Thursday, 20 October 2011

Theft is not 'inspiration'

Hi Everyone,

Intellectual property is a precious thing, in a creative industry you want to protect your hard work. We have been confronted by potential clients who don’t value IP and want to see assets prior to paying. This is very frustrating, I’m pretty sure they don’t ask an accountant to do their finances for six months to determine if the will hire them. Anyway, when we do create something you want to protect it as if that thing is successful people will attempt to use that success.

Today we heard that a settlement had been reached between Rihanna and David LaChapelle for the use of images used in her S&M video. As you can see below the similarities are obvious so he was right to be upset.

This brings us nicely on to the new Beyonce video and the work of choreographers Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. Take a look below and, again, there is no doubt that there are strong similarities between the two.

There is a difference between paying homage with a variety of subtle nods or thematic choices and the exploitation of someone else’s property. The proliferation of the web means that if you utilise information it is no longer a case of finding a random book from a library and taking those influences and expecting nobody to notice. If artists want to be credited as more than just a performer then it appears that they will need to check all source material. Millions of online detectives are ready and waiting to dissect and determine where any similarities lie so there is little chance of escape!

It will be interesting to see if the Beyonce video becomes subject to legal proceedings of the owner of the IP (Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker) may have been asked for permission. If not, then it will be time to arm the lawyers.

Until next time, I shall be learning some new dance moves!!


Thursday, 13 October 2011

A Week of Battles

Hi Everyone,

As we beaver away in Originals HQ it appears that battle lines are being drawn across the globe, Dr Conrad Murray vs the people, Dr Liam Fox vs media rumours and smartphone companies vs each other.

To be honest the live feed of the trial of Doctor Conrad Murray has raised expectations for similar drama when it comes to the UK although it may affect Jeremy Kyle’s ratings. The media hounding of Dr Liam Fox is interesting if only for the fact he is doing absolutely nothing to help bury any of the revelations that keep being unearthed, a novel approach which is enjoyable as it can only get messier.

The biggest fracas appears to be between the technological companies, BlackBerry are in a pickle as Apple reach for the iClouds. The technological battlefield is always a dangerous place with Twitter trends giving a real-time feedback for what the populous are feeling, each vying for the ultimate prize of being market leader. We doubt the result will be as clear cut as the Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD battle but it appears with BlackBerry on the ropes they could be ripe for a takeover which could throw a cat among the proverbial pigeons.


Thursday, 6 October 2011

Can an Icon be replaced?

Hi Everyone,

So sad that Steve Jobs has died, the guy is pretty much a legend for all the reasons that you are likely to have read about already. It won’t be long until discussion will turn to how Apple will cope in his absence. It is clear that Steve Jobs was the talisman for the company and when he was forced out in the 80’s the company suffered. This situation is different from his previous departure but it got me thinking about how companies react to the loss of an icon.

Within the vastness of the entertainment industry there are a number of occasions where the figure head has been lost. In music, Diana Ross left The Supremes and Michael Jackson left The Jacksons, both groups attempted to continue either with a replacement or in blissful ignorance but the impact was felt and neither group repeated the success they’d had with their leads. The death of a singer normally increases the number of records sold and posthumous releases are extremely common, with demo tracks re-produced, live tracks bolted into an album or simply re-packaging existing albums.

In film the biggest case I can think of is when Brandon Lee died before filming had been completed on ‘The Crow’. Ultimately the film was completed with some re-writes but this may have not been possible if at the beginning of the shoot. Alternatives do exist, a computer generated version of Oliver Reed was included in Gladiator, Liam McIntyre was re-cast as Spartacus after the unfortunate death of Andy Whitfield and Bob Monkhouse was reanimated for an advert! It appears that the show really does go on.

The most recent case is probably the suicide of Alexander McQueen, like Steve Jobs, he was undoubtedly a genius in his field, creating numerous iconic collections and being responsible for a number of trends. Perhaps where the differed was in business acumen, the fashion house was reported to be in considerable debt at the time of McQueen’s death - the same cannot be said for Apple. The McQueen brand continues without its founder and amid continued success under a new Creative Director.

It is difficult to find someone within business who has been as iconic as Steve Jobs. It is arguable that the loss of Bill Gates at his prime as the head of Microsoft would have created a similar impact but as he now has a limited role any potential issue is reduced. Perhaps businesses are now designed to prevent any one person having such a key aspect thus mitigating against their loss.

I have no doubt that Apple will remain successful at least in the short term but the long term plans seem a little less bright without Steve Jobs. One thing is for certain the techniques used in other industries means will not be possible to replace Steve Jobs.


Friday, 30 September 2011

Happy Friday

Hi Everyone,

It is too hot to write a long blog so I just want to capitalise on the feel good factor with further ‘goodness’.

Firstly the weather! Here is a shot of a cheeky little break on the roof of Originals HQ, the flip flops are not standard but it’s too hot for socks (you can use that catchphrase if you wish).

The second thing that cheered me up was another celeb attempting to get their hair back, I know it’s subtle but see if you can spot the difference.

Brownie points to those who spotted the before and after shot.

Thirdly is a very funny clip from Celebrity Juice, the final shot is amazing!

Finally, I have only just seen Failbook but I think it could be the funniest site I’ve ever seen. Keep it bookmarked in case the sunny weather doesn’t last throughout Winter!!

Have a great weekend.



Friday, 23 September 2011

A slice of London Fashion Week

Hi Everyone,

The Fashion Weeks are coming thick and fast with New York complete, London coming to an end and Milan about to kick-off we thought we would report back with some of our favourites so far.
In response to the days getting shorter and the fact that the weather has taken a turn, our favourite collections from this year’s myriad of styles are the ‘fun’ collections. By ‘fun’ we are talking, bright, loud and ostentatious creations.

Autumn/Winter 2011 Collection by Louise Gray makes us smile a lot. The collection has an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ feel mixed with some 60’s chic. If nothing else we want one of the head pieces so we can bring our packed lunch in to Originals HQ in style.
The sheer beauty and opulence of the Autumn/Winter 2011 Collection from Mary Katrantzou caught our eye.
The ornate print on the structured bodices and the flowing lines help create outfits that would look at home on a mantelpiece as well as on the catwalk.

Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Originals Production Process

Hey Everyone,

Last week I provided an insight into the Originals creative design process; the next phase is production which is a much trickier beast.

Figure 1: Production can be tricksy

Like many things in life (e.g. delays on public transportation, queuing at the Post Office etc) we become frustrated when we are no longer in control of a situation and through production we relinquish much of the control.

The first step of production is liaison with the factory. It normally helps if you have existing experience with the factory especially if you are using one from another country, in our case the factory is based in China. Research in to the factory is essential to ensure that the processes that are used and the conditions of the workers is in line with your own corporate and social responsibilities. After receiving the drawings there may be some deliberation, if there is a tricky element to the design. A round of negotiations is normally undertaken to ensure that the cost is suitable for all parties, timescales are agreed and any late fees and terms and conditions are also stated. It is then a case of sorting invoices, purchase orders and payments are made.

Then the waiting game begins.

It is always important to receive regular updates during production, ensuring that pre-production samples are received on time prior to the large order being delivered. There are still a number of elements that can go wrong, the freight forwarder can be troublesome, the factory may be late or samples are incorrect. There are many things out of control and planning will only go so far. Business relationships and your ability to handle these ‘curve balls’ is the key to minimising any impact, especially if you have a customer waiting for goods.

There is always a sense of relief when the items are correct, on time and all funds are cleared and at that point you can have a therapeutic cup of tea and start the process again!!

Here’s a viral to cheer you up on a wet Tuesday afternoon



Thursday, 25 August 2011

Originals Design Process

Hi Everyone,

In the midst of some new artwork going up in the office (I did insist on a dog poster and some Justice League of America) it has been a busy old time.

We are currently working on some new concepts and as ever, creative meetings are an excellent opportunity to debate. We do not believe in violence and if tensions rise too much then action is taken.
Figure 1: Dispute settling, Gladiators style

The design process in Originals HQ is a pretty enjoyable experience. We clear some wall and table space, get some food in and start working through what worked previously, lessons learned and successes. We then get together a trend and mood area to determine the direction which we want to take. This may involve tearing out articles from magazines, pinning up sketches/doodles that have accumulated on our desks and stills from recent fashion shows and music events. Any textures, colour samples or items we just bloody well like, will also be added into the mix.

At this point there will be very few (if any) limitations placed on the concept design. The team then starts to put concepts together. With music on in the background and healthy snacks we will create a range of concepts. The saturation point comes when we look at the work and originality is no longer seen.

The most important step occurs next when we stick the ideas up take a step back. There will be all manner of designs on the wall. They will range from serious tat to potentially great.

Figure 2: The dog glasses concept was vetoed.

These ideas will get chance to ‘breath’ and we will not make any decisions until we have had time to assess over the following days. The questionable concepts may be tweaked and become contenders and strong concepts may be problematic from a manufacturing process perspective and will lose Brownie points.

Figure 3: Brownie points are key to progressing a concept.

We will then have a powow and finalise which designs we will be developed as technical drawings. The decision may be based on materials, production processes, lead times, potential job profitability and belief in the design.

Figure 4: Final design selection process.

Depending on the intended user there may be some tweaking and engineering required to ensure that the designs are not only comfortable but fit accordingly!

The next bit tends to be the tricky bit… production!!

Insert your own dramatic cliff-hanger music and I will be back tomorrow to finish the tale!



Thursday, 18 August 2011

A-level Thanks From Jason Donovan

Hi Everyone,

Firstly congratulations to those celebrating successful A-level and AS-level results. Even if you didn’t get what you want there are lots of other avenues available, so no need to panic!

Whether it’s clearing, re-sitting, gap years, University preparation, switching to an apprenticeship or looking forward to the second year of A-levels enjoy the rest of Summer (responsibly, of course). I won’t regale/bore you with the Original Teams tales from results day, it’s just enough to say relief was the overriding emotion.

In light of the celebratory occasion I saw this advert and felt it may be appropriate. I can’t think of a better gift to someone then a tailored ‘Thank You’ from Jason Donovan.

Have fun tonight!!!



Friday, 12 August 2011

Riot Review

Hi Everyone,

I hope everyone is safe and sound after the recent craziness. Fingers crossed that looting, rioting and general ridiculousness has now stopped.

I think the media has pretty much covered all angles including but not limited to, shock, terror, hope and retribution.

The political posturing is now in full flow with key figures putting in face time on the streets, blaming each other, trying to sound united but not too united as then it lessens all the sniping and childish bickering that usually takes place. E-petitions are slightly flawed at this point as it is a knee-jerk reaction as opposed to a considered opinion.

For us at Originals HQ we were gutted to see so many of the things we are involved in being attacked and I don’t just mean the opticians, music stores and clothes shops that were trashed but also the scapegoating of certain demographics. The reasons for the trouble are a little bit beyond our analysis at Originals HQ but as the first wave of convictions are processed we see that it’s not quite as simple as the media points out. A teacher, the daughter of a millionaire, a chef and a postman have all been arrested which paints a slightly different picture to the one painted at certain points during the media coverage. The media is always quick to gain ‘expert’ opinion (for example Paul Gambaccini was wheeled out to discuss the death of Amy Winehouse. Whaaaat!) but until the facts are known then it is wrong to make sweeping statements about demographics.

It is impressive to see the willingness for communities and others to gather and support each other whether through the Riot Cleanup website or donations of money, clothing and other items to local centres.

Let’s hope that all remains calm and amongst all the drama here are some lighter notes

Poor journalism:

Umbrella fail:

Boris getting heckled:

And genuine hostility between two rivals on Newsnight:

I don’t think we will be tackling the economic crisis so hopefully things will be a bit lighter next week.



Thursday, 4 August 2011

Vintage at Southbank Review and New Superman

Hi Everyone,

The slightly cooler (and wetter) weather has cleared my head so it’s time to write a blog.

The Originals Team celebrated the wedding of one of its members at the weekend and it was a successful day. It’s always good to catch up with people and it was especially nice to see We Love Vintage make an appearance after dashing over from the Goodwood at Southbank Centre. Good effort!! Unfortunately the reports I’ve heard from the Festival are not great, this seems based on the ticket prices and the organisation of the areas within the Royal Festival Hall. The free areas and stalls seem to have gone down well and were busy for most of the day which shows that Vintage is still thriving. Perhaps attempting to create a Festival atmosphere within a large hall needs a re-think.

I started by writing about Spiderman and the ridiculous amount of coverage associated with the fact he is ‘bi-racial’, in this case his parents are black and Hispanic. I think I need to say congratulations to the marketing and press departments, but I’m not sure where the news is. Instead there is a new Superman image, how exciting!!

It is pretty standard, as a geek, to review the costume. It’s not easy to see all parts but I’ve had a bash, see the Christopher Reeve, Brandon Routh and Henry Cavill versions below.

I think that there are aspects in both the old costumes referenced in the new one.

Cape Attachment – It appears the cape attaches in a similar way to that of the Reeve costume. Although, the attachment on Cavill’s costume more closely resembles Thor’s costume from earlier in the summer. Either way I think it looks better to than Rouths’

Cape Colour and Length – Although Cavill is half crouching it does look as long, if not longer than the Routh version. A long cape always seems a bit impractical but we’ll have to wait to see the full length. The colour of the cape and the suit itself follows the trend of recent comic book movies by removing the “cartoony” vibrant colours. I don’t mind the “edgier” darker colours but I’m sure the diehard fans will be less than impressed.

The ‘S’ Shield – Consists of a raised emblem like Rouths version but thankfully has been increased in size to match that of the Reeves version.

Belt – Although it’s difficult to see, I am taking a punt on the belt being similar to Rouths. I just hope they don’t try and over egg the belt as there’s no real need.

I like the first look, although I think I’m just excited for more live action Superman! There is still time for the suit to be changed depending on feedback and we still need to see a classic Superman pose. Until then, I shall remain cautiously optimistic!



Friday, 29 July 2011

Vintage at Southbank Centre

Hi Everyone,

Been a hectic week with a wedding in the office (not literally, it’s on Saturday) and the blogs have fallen slightly by the wayside, apologies.

It’s a pretty big weekend for fashion with Vintage at Southbank Centre taking place. With food, drink, music and fashion from the 1920’s all the way through the 1980’s there should be a little something for everyone. Last year the festival was held at Goodwood and it was an amazing success and initial reports suggest that the Wayne Hemmingway fronted event is on course for another great year.

If the idea of catching Adam Ant and Sandie Shaw isn’t enough for you then we recommend you go check out We Love Vintage in Marquee 28.

Here’s a sneak peek at what’s on offer!

Have a great weekend and I’ll be back on Monday after some wedding frivolities.



Friday, 22 July 2011

Mercury Prize Nominees: My Musings

Hi Everyone,

I’ve had a listen to all the entries for the Barclaycard Mecury Prize. As I was listening I realised I was listening for two things, what I like and who do I think will win. Regular readers will now that I enjoy a bit of Adele but I think the commercial success of the album may be held her against her. I think the same can be said of Tinie Tempah, great album but I just don’t get the feeling that the judges will go for it.

On a personal level some of the albums are a bit maudlin I understand that a lot of people like to show emotion through lyrics and the music but it is exhausting listening to sometimes. It meant that Katy B and Tinie Tempah stand out due to the up-tempo nature of the music. The level of production is also notable with Elbow’s orchestral and choral arrangements adding to Guy Garvey’s haunting voice and beautiful lyrics. However, Seldom Seen Kid won in 2008 so I can’t see them winning.

The counterpoint to the mainstream albums is Gwilym Simcock and Ghostpoet, both offering something different from each other and the other nominees. Personally I struggled with Ghostpoet but I don’t think it’s really the type of music that you listen to in the middle of the day. I find myself having to listen really hard to marry the lyrics to the music and in the end I was exhausted as opposed to enjoying the music. Gwilym Simcock hits a soft spot for me because I love a bit of piano action but it may be a little too leftfield for the judges.

I really don’t want to do Metronomy a disservice but I can’t help but hear Mystery Jets when I listen to them, this sullied my enjoyment a wee bit. I would be very surprised if they win.

Everything Everything have produced a good, fun album which I don’t think will win but it’s well worth a listen.

I think my favourite track that I listened too was by Anna Calvi and it’s called Desire. The other tracks were strong too so I think she is in with a good shout.

The collaboration between King Creosote and Jon Hopkins is interesting as I didn’t dislike it I just couldn’t see when I would ever listen to it. The fact there were only seven tracks on the album did make me feel a bit for the artists who had the more traditional number. I think that this has an outside chance purely on the basis I don’t think it has a chance.

James Blake and PJ Harvey are the final contenders. PJ Harvey has won once and been runner up a few times too, so there is no doubt that she writes some quality music. I think that as well written and beautiful the music is I can’t see it winning and I’m afraid it’s not for me. James Blake has had a good year performing at Glastonbury (Jimmy enjoyed it) and releasing his first studio album. Limit to Your Love is standout and his voice betrays his 21years. I can see this winning but again it is not an album that you want to stick on if you want to get your housework done or power through a load of work in the office.

So, where does that leave us… I think the winner will be Anna Calvi!!

I shall leave you with a video that we will be attempting to replicate at an upcoming Original team members wedding!

Have a good weekend!



Thursday, 21 July 2011

Sci-fi Styling

Hi Everyone,

I’m currently working my way through the Mercury Prize nominations so I can’t give a fair comment on this point but I should have finished by tomorrow so I shall offer my musings then.

For today I wanted to show a little bit of my geek prowess. Triggered by the coverage of the end of the 30-year shuttle program, I started thinking about space, science-fiction and its impact upon the present-day products, fashion etc. Now I don’t want to dwell on the technicalities, I’m pretty sure that research and development done by NASA has filtered onto the high street. I want to look how science fiction e.g. 70’s TV shows/films have resulted in style and product development that is now in use.

Let’s kick things off with some Star Wars disco music and then read on.

I want to start with a couple of obvious examples the PADD that was used in Star Trek: The Next Generation (and subsequent series) has obviously inspired the ipad and consequently the Kindle.

Below is a screen cap from Star Trek: Voyager with some of the crew using a tricorder. In effect, a tricorder is mainly used to increase the pace of an episode. So when a team lands on a planet they scan all types of stuff and all of a sudden the crew know the exact location of the bad guys and can find a solution (all within the 44min runtime of the show). My point is the tricorder scans objects you know nothing about and presents you with information. This is now possible through Google goggles and the use of QR codes.

Not all advancements are cool. Below you have Lieutenant Uhura looking amazing while she interprets communications from, well whoever she wants (hopefully not phone hacking). Not all users can look this good though as hands free communication device is now used mainly by idiots who walk around thinking that they are riding the crest of the technological wave.

Fashion has also been influenced by sci-fi with varying degrees of success. Firstly let’s have a fail. Fern Britton doing a Princess Leia, granted she could have attempted the ‘Return of the Jedi’ bikini which would have been a shambles but the dress was not a great idea.

Secondly we look at an amazing film, Fifth Element. Not exactly quotable (Leeloo Dallas, multi-pass) but the Jean Paul Gaultier costume design is iconic. Mila Jovovic looks incredible too. Rihanna (or her stylist) obviously appreciated the style and adopted it for the 2009 American Music Awards. Excellent work all round.

We would be in error not to mention Lady Gaga, the easiest parallel to draw is Locutus of Borg (Star Trek: Nest Generation) and her outfit from the Alejandro video.

It just goes to show that fashion really does take inspiration from all places as with all things in life there will be some successes and fails but I'm just glad that geekdom is a source at all!

If the trend continues I’d like to see where we are in 20years time perhaps we’ll be adopting trends and styles that shows are championing now. If so, I would like a giant boxing robot from Real Steel.

I’m going to sign off with a cute piece of artwork of R2-D2 doing a Banksy.

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