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Eat. Pray. Love. Buy. Now!

26 Aug

Okay so people must remember a time when movie merchanidising was squarely aimed at kids: when I was younger it seemed that the film-related merch was all tacky little dolls, t-shirts with strange slogans and catchphrases on them and a whole load of other twiddly, cheap crap that they’d sell in the cinema (because at the time my local cinema had a merch section. It’s now a pick’n’mix section).

Now it’s not so simple. It’s also covering a whole range of the financial spectrum. You must know what this is a still from:

If you don’t then you’ve clearly been living under a rock for the past few months. It’s Javier Bardem and Julia Roberts in the adaptation of “Eat Pray Love” which was released in the US just recently. Basically, a woman leaves her husband and goes on a journey of self-discovery, doing those three things that the title would suggest. But aside from that all-important ticket to get in to actually see the movie, there’s a whole load of merchandising that’s been tacked on alongside it.

I was first exposed to this merch while waching “The Daily Show”, where, on it’s “Back In Black” section we were given a whole load of products from those home-buying networks to look at and, yes, maybe even laugh at. Some of this crazy crap includes: prayer beads, necklaces, t-shirts, make-a-wish bracelets, fragrances, special travel packages, more t-shirts, more jewellery aaaaand special tea. So there’s no denying that these products perhaps have some kind of tie-in with the movie but do we really need to be going around wearing bracelets and necklaces that have the words “Eat. Pray. Love” stamped on them?

Of course, this is actually a bit of an epidemic in terms of merch. When “Sex In The City 2” came out we were bombarded by promotions, not least from Muller and other yoghurt companies who plastered the branding all over their 8-packs. Then there was “Alice In Wonderland” which resulted in many kids in my town carrying bags and other such obvious merch around with them (although my suspicion about this surrounds “The Nightmare Before Christmas” which hasn’t stoped producing tween-goths since it tooks its first steps in the merch world. “Alice” has taken eerily similar steps).

I suppose it means that Hollywood could be taking their older female audiences a little more seriously: market research shows that the biggest cinema-goers are between the ages of 16-25 yet we’re given merch for a film that’s clearly aimed at a much more specific audience, perhas indicating that people think promoters think they’re a market that needs to be catered for. On the other hand, I don’t think we need all of this stuff on sale. It would be better to buy something without the labelling on it so it would last longer and not fade into obscurity a few months later when the film finishes its run.

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Birmingham: The Booty

25 Aug

Those of you who follow my Twitter will know, or maybe have guessed, that I’ve been away for a few days meaning that I’ve had to just set away my posts on timer rather than actually giving my blog some proper TLC. One trip to Birmingham, UK, and £68 later, this is what I ended up bringing home:

  1. Peacock-embroidered purse from Urban Outfitters: I really badly needed a new purse to hold all of my stuff in so when I saw this in UB I was incredibly pleased. This was the single most expensive item I bought on the trip. But it was worth it
  2. “Head First” by Goldfrapp and Them Crooked Vultures: As a lifelong fan of Goldfrapp I jumped at the oportunity to get this at a marked-down price, and seeing Them Crooked Vultures on the same offer sealed the deal. Expect reviews soon!
  3. Miniature Japanese dolls: These are so kitsch, but I’ve loved these little dollies for a long time. The store was having a 20% off moving sale as well, so it must have been fate. I’ve called the larger, green one Shinto and the smaller, yellow one Kabuki. I know, I’m sad. But who cares? These are so much better than Russian dolls
  4. “In The Miso Soup” by Ryu Murakami: Well I first saw this book for cheaper than I paid for it a few weeks ago and was attracted by the mix of manga and photography on the cover. So I judged a book by it’s cover. Who cares? It’s a dark neo-noir tale of suspense, murder and claustrophobia in the seediest areas of Tokyo. And it’s great.
  5. Verbena hand-cream from L’Occitane: L’Occitane are soooo expensive but this was a relative bargain. I love anything lemon-zesty and it gave me an excuse to buy from one of the poshest beauty stores around. Joy!
  6. Ruffled polka-dot shirt and long cream jumper, both H&M: Actually the jumper wasn’t the one I really wanted, but that one was far too large. But I still love this warming jumper that’s got me set for the autumn. Oh and I loved the shirt. I’ve thrown all my other shirts out, so I guess this fills the void.

Well that’s it. I could have bought an awful lot more if I’d wanted to but… I’m just not that much of a spendaholic. Besides, it gives me more money to spend on CDs and DVDs back home. Yay!

Faux Fur Feelings

27 Apr

It’s been a bit of a bonanza week for me (yes, yes, I’m well aware it’s only Tuesday but I’m counting back to last week)! Among my many CD purchases I’ve actually gone out and bought some clothes – it has to be said at this point that I don’t go out and buy clothes every week like some people. My reasons for this are that a.) I don’t have the money to spend lavishly like that and b.) my wardrobe wouldn’t be able to handle the bulge if I did. But alongside some much nedded jeggings (you know, those jean-look leggings that are ultra comfortable and cheap), I picked up this little number:

It’s not real fur, obviously! I’m not like that but for some reason this hip-length three-quarter sleeved leopard print jacket really appealed to me. After wearing it to work yesterday I found an extra use for it too: it keeps you really, really warm. Sweltering at one point actually but maybe that was because I was pegging it to actually get to work after  a business-related detour. Oh, and it feels lovely. And it was half-price! Bargain! So I guess the big question really is if you really want to wear this coat like me or is it just that little bit too… OTT? Of course, I think it’s fabulous – what about you?

Denim, Denim, and Even More Denim

27 Mar

Fashion industry insiders have predicted that one of the big trends coming up in the next season will be denim (but I guess you’ve already worked that out). But come on, do we really need another coming of denim?

Remember when everyone seemed to go around in denim jackets and jeans (oversized too, I might add) and it was all really tacky and awful? Well I think that’s what some insiders are aiming for with this re-emergence people. I’m already seeing some poor souls walking around in denim jackets that are at least two sizes too big for them, frankly making them look closer to a beer barrel than a human being. I dread to thin what might happen if this is combined with a re-emergence of stonewashed jeans in the (hopefully not) near future.

Of course we will ge a lot more denim dresses too, as shown in my pic above – this will range from shapeless balloons like item E above, to more classic designs with a denim “look” rather than using the actual material. Topshop have already had a few dresses of this nature in over the past few months, the best of which (this is, the best if I really had to choose one) being a short dress with shaped cups around the breast area, giving it a more structured, fashionable shape.

But I don’t think I’ll be going in for any of this denim nonsense – it could all go horribly wrong, and I don’t think anyone should be subjected to that. Be careful if you want to follow this trend.

Jeans: The Illusion

21 Mar

Perhaps the white and pink floral print gives it away a bit but these jeans aren’t jeans – they’re leggings. Yes, that’s right. We had the 3/4 length black affair a couple of years ago, then we had a break and everyone started wearing coloured tights. But now they’re back – sneakily!

Occassionally some girl will wear black full-length leggings but they’re the brave ones, the ones who can safely say “Yeah I’m wearing leggings as trousers and I don’t care that it shows every lump and bump of my legs and bum, that’s just me”. Kudos to you, I don’t think I could ever be that obvious. For those of us, then, who want to look like we’ve made an effort to hide the unfortunate areas of the lower half of our bodies, we have jean-look leggings. Blue is the most popular color, for obvious reasons, but as the pic above shows, there’s no limit to what can be done with this new trend.

So some of you might be saying to yourself: “Why would I want a piece of clothing that clings so much to everything?” Well, you could be right. If you’re over a certain size or a certain age then this look just won’t work.

However, have you ever noticed how when you go to buy a pair of skinny jeans they never have your exact size? Your leg length could be fine but you’ll have to tie your belt incredibly tight to hide the mountains of material around your tummy? You’re like me and can get a good hip size but there’s an extra foot of leg length at the bottom? Yeah, I know, it’s annoying. So this could just be the perfect solution to that skinny-jeans dilemma. They’ll never look as classy as a pair of perfectly-fitted skinny jeans but hey, I’m not complaining about that compromise!

Beige: Not The New Black?

27 Feb

Nude is back. Luckily this is nude shades and not the other more chilly kind. Nude can be described in many different ways: tan, sand, stone, camel, skin-tone, magnolia and, of course, beige. Yes, beige. How would’ve thought it? It’s certainly not vibrant and it’s certainly not, as they say in the fashion world, “editorial” (this means completely bonkers, in case you were wondering). It’s really rather safe, as you can see above.

But “safe” does not necessarily translate in to meaning “wearable”. Think about it: despite the many shades of beige that are on display above, the only model who doesn’t look washed-out is the one second to the left. Now, models are classically a lot paler than average people because it’s easier to work with a blank canvas, so you might say “so what?” Well, I think that beige will have the same problem as yellow – unless you’ve had more UV exposure than recommended, it’s just going to make you look sallow and strange.

Beige trousers may be your best bet if you want to follow this trend – teaming it with something more colourful on the top will help to balance your complexion and not make you look like a ghost walking down the high-street. Unfortunately, I’m probably too pale to do this too! Shock!
Beige will not be the new black – everyone feels good in black, and anyone who says they don’t must be lying so they don’t look like they’re following the crowd. Even pale little old me feels good in my black cocktail dress, whereas I’d just feel bare and need a bottle of fake tan to make me feel even half as good in beige, or magnolia, or sandstone.

Decide for yourself whether this trend is the best thing to ever happen: I know a lot of people hate bright colours with a vengeance so no doubt there’ll be loads of peeps out there who’ll feel comfortable wearing sand-coloured clothes. Just don’t expect to see me stepping out in beige.

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