Singer-songwriter Josh Ritter’s imaginative first novel, Bright’s Passage, took us on a WWI soldier’s journey through rural Virginia to save his newborn son. A humble Henry Bright recalls his service in France while setting off on foot to escape his ill-tempered father-in-law who is angered by the death of his daughter during childbirth. Bright and his child are not alone: A stubborn angel (manifested as a horse, of course) guides the soldier’s actions, including burning down his home. We couldn’t help but wonder if it was PTSD, but we were rooting for Bright’s safe passage to a new life all the same.
Leave it to Portishead to curate an eclectic mix of music for the ATP Festival in Asbury Park, New Jersey, this weekend. We’re so there.
“Sour Times,” by Portishead “Behold a Marvel in the Darkness,” by Deerhoof “Can’t Truss It,” by Public Enemy “Most Wanted,” by Cults “In the Aeroplane over the Sea,” by Neutral Milk Hotel “Wild Eyed,” by The Horrors “Atlas,” by Battles “There Is a Wind,” by The Album Leaf “Industry,” by Thought Forms “Espanolo Kolo,” by A Hawk and a Hacksaw
Bonnie Nadzam would rather you didn’t compare her debut novel to Lolita. But you won’t be able to stop yourself. In the book, she writes about a fiftysomething man who seduces an 11-year-old girl. It’s an unnerving and haunting 275 pages, and everything you think a child abduction might be and then not that at all. The author has claimed that the age difference between the characters “is not that essential,” but we disagree. Were the girl 21, Lambwould have been a remarkably different read. As it was, we held our breath from paragraph to paragraph and often couldn’t bear to turn the page, for fear of what might be next.
Bump it to UK artist Katy B (pictured at NYFW), new Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and pretty tracks from the film Drive.
“Katy on a Mission,” by Katy B “A Real Hero,” by College featuring Electric Youth “Same Mistake,” by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah “Miss You,” by The Rapture “Under Your Spell,” by Desire “Velociraptor,” by Kasabian “I Wanna Meet Dave Grohl,” by Wavves “Street Fighting Sun,” by Blitzen Trapper “Hound of Winter,” by Mogwai “To the Lighthouse,” by Memoryhouse
The collection: Beaded necklines, colourful plastic embellishment, raffia pompom hats, exotic prints and of course, the trench coat. This season the signature style came in turquoise leather, African-inspired prints and a raffia Burberry check. Not a bikini in sight. Perfect for a British summer.
Everyone was talking about: The first ever Tweetwalk show (photos were uploaded to the Burberry twitter account right before the models went out on the catwalk). Next season’s biggest catwalk trend? You heard it here first.
Name of Presentation: Lost & Found Location: The (long) abandoned Strand tube Station – also known as the Ghost station. Inspiration: A doctor’s bag that the designer found on the streets of London. The new shape is top of our next-season shopping list.
Moments are unpredictable, powerful and fleeting. The Lifecatching Project is a movement to collectively capture the best of ‘the now’ —- the simple rather than the exceptional moments that document who we are, how we feel, and what moves us. Part social experiment, part art project, part
Inspired by the landscape, mood and energy of her native Brazil, Daniella Helayel closed the second day of London Fashion Week with a colourful collection of dresses, tiny bikinis and floaty kaftans. One look, and we wanted to skip winter and head back to the beach. Tropical fruit prints; vibrant aqua, green and yellow; sequins and feathers came down the catwalk on Brazilian-looking (big hair, perfect tans) models. On the safer side — presumably for the Duchess of Cambridge — there were block-colour maxidresses and her signature jersey wrap dresses.
In the Front Row: New majority share holder Camilla Al Fayed and her father, ex-Harrods boss Mohammed Al Fayed. Gratuitous Invitee: Tinchy Stryder.
(Photos: Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho / Getty Images; Mike Marsland / Getty Images)
London shoe queen Charlotte Dellal gave the Royal Institute of British Architects a 1950s Miami beach makeover. She presented her spring/summer 2012 collection of espadrilles, caged heels, leopard-print platforms and towering wedges on models lounging on sand and stripy deck chairs. If only it was so sunny outside.
Favourite Schwag: Charlotte Olympia silk scarf, free Bobby Brown makeover, Vita Coco (hangover essential), OPI & Nail Girls polish, Tatty Devine necklace, Cocomaya lollipop. We Loved: Seashell-detailed shoes and a leaf-shaped clutch.
If Sarah-Jane Clark and Heidi Middleton, the Aussie duo behind Sass & Bide have anything to do with it, next summer will be a colourful one. Their eclectic collection shown in the beautiful Royal Opera House was a bright and cheery mix of giant polka dots, pops of neon, metallic flashes and vibrant embellishment. What We Loved: Statement necklaces and neon envelope clutch bags. What We Didn’t Love: Stab wounds from the deadly sharp tin invitation.
Inspired by a new generation of uptown girls gone downtown, the identical Felder twins presented a collection of contrasts — feminine and whimsical yet edgy and tough. There were spikes, studs, tiny embellished bikinis and fetish collars, and harnesses worn over pretty printed-chiffon dresses.
We Loved: Kat Maconie studded shoes (perfect for kicking some serious ass). We Didn’t Love: Metallic leather backpacks — a nod to the ’90s taken too far. Coolest on the Catwalk: Amber Le Bon following in her mother’s footsteps.
London-based, New Zealand-born designer (and favourite of Samantha Cameron and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge), Emilia Wickstead showed for the first time at London Fashion Week today. The romantic collection, inspired by the timeless elegance of La Parisienne, was a mix of feminine pleats, baby doll dresses, high-waisted palazzo pants and the shortest of short rompers (we don’t think the queen would approve of those, Kate) in neutral white and pink, and a charming print of Parisian landmarks.
No-Show: Samantha Cameron. Front-Row Footwear Trend: Leopard and snakeskin shoes and boots. Song That Had Us Humming: ‘Ritual Union’, by Little Dragon.
We’ll be honest: At most fashion shows, the ratio of pieces we’d actually buy to those we’d deem conceptual is 2-to-1. At designer Whitney Pozgay’s presentation at the Gramercy Park Hotel, we’d literally wear every single piece, from the bright geometric prints (impeccably mixed and matched) to embroidered Mexican-inspired shirts and dresses. In other words, she killed it.
Wait, was that a fashion show, or did we just relive Girl, Interrupted?
Through Wayne Lee’s collection of straightjacketesque dresses and slinglike accessories — mostly in stark black and white — a few unexpected must-haves emerged; models’ white eyebrows did not make the list. We’ll Save Up For: The collarless leather jacket — perfection. Trend We Can Picture on Tilda Swinton or Angelina Jolie: Long, tuxedo-inspired vests. Most Curious Footwear: Translucent ankle socks.
If Lulu Lemon walked the red carpet, she would wear something from Monique L’huillier’s spring 2012 collection. Stretchy dresses hugged curves — well, maybe created curves — on model after model. Black details popped on bright yellow, pink, and cobalt. Lace cutouts and glittery stripes caught the attention of starlets such as Leann Rimes and Mandy Moore (who were in the front row).
As for us? We’ll take the slim black slacks, stuff our iPhones in our glittery pockets, and move to the beat while voyeurs break a sweat.
Unfortunate Model Moments: Two stumbles, one major fall.
It wasn’t raining outside, but the models wore coats of color — on their nails. The transparent pink shade was custom blended and inspired by the collection’s filmy fabrics, waterproof pieces, and soft candy hues.
To DIY the barely there look, add a few drops of CND’s raspberry parfait to the Speedey top coat. Then apply thin layers until the polish matches your natural nail bed color.
French Riviera elegance met a muggy afternoon in Midtown at Yesdadt Millinery’s Fashion Week presentation. Starting with a simple, crumpled-paper piece, the collection morphed into tall, minimalist beach hats (perfect for tucking up hair), swooping bow fascinators, and an eye-catching beekeepers bonnet swathed in a silk veil. Sweet Giveaway: Momofuku birthday cake truffles. Designer’s Pick: A wide-brimmed white shantung straw hat. Where We’d Wear It: Our first trip to the shore in 2012.
Show Title: A Lesson in Geometry Standout Accessories: Nerdy reading glasses, mod sunglasses, animal-shaped brooches. Favorite Look: Vermilion striped sweater worn over a color-block skirt, with an easy leather tote. Where We’d Wear It: Checking out a copy of To Kill a Mockingbird at the library.