CUB ISSUE 544
ISSUE 544 DECEMBER
London Sunday Xmas Shopping Sorted
Manufactured Bands Who Didn’t Actually Suck Pop Punk’s Not Dead! The Vans Warped Tour comes to the UK (finally!) Scrooge You, Pogues Amy Watson tells us why it’s far too early to break out the Christmas tunes
ARTS 4 Controversial? 6 CUB Goes Royal See the Royal Ballet for a tenner 7 Theatre Review: Our Boys 8 A Christmas Cracker 9 This Month In Arts... FILM
cover photo by Laura Blair, contents photo by Emily Crosland
10 It Didn’t Live Forever: Cath12 13
erine Bridgeman laments the end of the Twilght era A Transatlantic Christmas A Film Selection Box
FEATURES 14 FESTIVE:A Bid Against Festive Binging 15 FESTIVE: Blue Christmas Should Auld Ac17 FESTIVE: quaintance be Forgot? The difficult choices New Year presents us with 19 FESTIVE: All She Wants for Christmas A go-to guide for those difficult gift choices
20 22 24
26 27 28
FASHION Must Have: The Christmas Jumper The Emperor’s New Clothes Back to Black: A return to the darkest shade in the pallet
32 UK City Breaks
QUPID 34 Couple Four: Rachel Crawford and Jack Frith-Powell
TWITTER: @cubmagazine GET INVOLVED: firstname.lastname@example.org
‘Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! “Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.” “Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!”’ Dr Seuss
LONDON SUNDAYS Why the London Sunday rules Supreme over the Saturday... The price of a cocktail and a cab fare in London don’t amount to a good night out (in my opinion). Forget London Saturdays - instead take note of the London Sunday. This is what they look like... An easy rise followed by a short but invigorating 15 minute run along the canal has me feeling fresh and ready to enjoy my Sunday off. Get home, stuff the washing in the machine, shower and put on my Sunday best; baggy jeans, jersey grey T, and suede moccasins. Now it’s getting chilly I bundle myself up in a giant scarf and winter coat and head out for breakfast with my wonderful housemate.
On the way home we realise we don’t have any wine glasses so we pop into a newsagents with our fingers crossed. Up on the top shelf we spot a pack of four - £3.99. Perfect. So we take them and hurry home to listen to Jazz and drink our red wine while we cook the roast. All the time describing our cooking in a way that oozes sex, fuelled by our Nigella obsession. Full up on all of the delicious home-cooking, we’ll crack out one of the previously bought DVDs and settle down to finish our Sunday in sublime comfort (unless we have over-indulged, in which case we settle down in slight discomfort).
An abundance of local cafés, organic delicatesA hearty breakfast of Eggs Florentine and a sens, markets, museums, galleries and newsafull-fat flat white while sitting outside on Vic- gents (stocking not only penny sweets and toria Park lake at The Pavillion. Bircher muesli or avocado on toasted caraway with a long black at Zealand on Roman Road (my version of Cheers - ‘where everybody knows your name’). Or warm brown sourdough slathered in butter and an incredibly delicious lemon curd from Loafing on Lauriston Road. All three hold the key to a good Sunday morning, decadent in their own individual way. Next we head off to find ingredients for Sunday dinner. Fresh veg and a refill of organic wine from the deli for a roast. Or black beans, quinoa and avocado from one of the exotically stocked newsagents for a Mexican style feast. Run the ingredients back home and then it’s time for a spot of Sunday spending. Brick Lane and Broadway among many other markets, or a good rummage amongst the charity shops that are surprisingly still open on a Sunday. This always results in at least one item of clothing, 3 items of houseware, and 2 vintage DVDs (anything from Crazy Moon to The Last Time I saw Paris). On a lucky day we’ve even managed to bag ourselves a good couple of free books from a shop clear out.
newspapers but anything from wine glasses to avocados) are still open on Sunday. So even if you do choose to cocoon yourself indoors all day at least you’ll always have options. That’s why I love London Sundays... that and the fact that I’m not nursing a hangover. END.
words by Alice Harry photo by Bryony Orr
XMAS SHOPPING SORTED
If you fancy something a little different you can pop down to Somerset House on Embankment and see what they have to offer in their Pop-Up Shopping Arcade. They also have their annual ice skating rink, so you can get into the wintery spirit before you spend spend spend.
Greenwich Market, unlike a lot of other markets in London, is open every day! This means you can skip the busy weekend crowds and check it out midweek if you don’t want to fight people. Pop along from 10am - 5.30pm. The arts, craft and food stalls run from Tuesday - Sunday, and the antiques, vintage and collectables stalls open on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. words by Bryony Orr photo by Coda
Every Thursday night until Christmas Camden is putting on Night Markets. A treat for you, with evening shopping offering different activities such as hat-making, design your own perfume and performances including Irish music.
Yes, it is a kids toy store. For anyone who is still a kid inside, or even on the outside, a trip up and down the escalators is a fun stop off if you’re doing Christmas shopping around Carnaby and Oxford Street. If you dislike children, perhaps avoid. If not, their excitement for Santa may well rub off on you.
One place to avoid on a weekend if you don’t want to get crushed, but Selfridges will get you in the festive mood, although do avoid if you’re a Grinch. There will be elves and other Christmassy characters roaming the store. The window displays are an annual ‘must check out’ so if you’re bored one afternoon take a look.
You told yourself you’d start your Christmas shopping a month ago, so you wouldn’t have to deal with the crowds. Oh look, it’s December already. Darn it! If you’re yet to start your shopping have a look at our suggestions...
We’ve had Hostels. We’ve had Saws. We’ve have the Internet - arguably a repository for all that is most depraved in humanity. We’ve had the not-so-gradual intrusion of porn aesthetics into everything from advertising, to film, to music videos, to music itself. Example: an (admittedly brilliant) song on the latest Nicki Minaj album opens: ‘Hey, you, jump in this ride/it’s real nice ‘n’ slippery inside.’ And, talking of aesthetics, perhaps the most defining representations of 21st-century nihilism are the awful images from September 11th, forever scarred into our cultural conscience. Surely there is little art can do to shock contemporary society? Sure, someone can pickle a shark, reconstruct their bed - used condoms
and all, artfully arrange and paint a few sex dolls, and cross-dress to receive an award. The question is; outside of the middle-class sensibilities of militant art patrons - who really cares? The Turner Prize has, almost from its conception in 1984, courted controversy – or, more accurately, publicity. It has, infact, quite cunningly confused the two concepts. Take for example Madonna’s ‘controversial’ speech at the presentation of the 2001 Turner Prize - during which she, shock horror, drops the Fbomb before the 9 o’clock watershed! Whilst ruffling more than a few feathers in the art world, (not to mention shocking the parents of
ARTS Even art’s foray into the graphic now seems somewhat conventional. The body as a site of disgust and/or horror is arguably an exhausted paradigm. Even the striking work of the Chapman brothers, incredibly shocking in the nineties and early noughties, pales in comparison to the grisly spectacle of the latest Human Centipede movie. Perhaps what is most ‘controversial’ is the classification of works as ‘art’ in the first place. To put it bluntly, the question is not ‘is it controversial?’ but rather; ‘is it Art?’. This issue has been puzzling art critics, the viewing public, and Art and Design students for decades. As the latest fab four prepare to be judged in the Turner awards on December 3rd, it is refreshing to see the theatrics toned down - except in the case of the fabulously-titled Spartacus Chetwynd. Having said that, Chetwynd - the weakest nominee in this humble reviewer’s opinion - still attempts to elicit a cheap gasp of indignation through her choice of religious
subject matter. Part of her exhibit includes a sock-puppet ‘performance art’ re-enactment of the story of Jesus and Barabas using distinctly shabby-looking sock puppets and performance artists. Would it have garnered as much attention had she chosen to recreate a scene of two ‘youths of today’ popping down to the newsagent for a packet of fags? Probably not. The best art should always aim to provoke and inspire a strong response in audiences. It should do this not through torturous loops of self-referentiality or a gratuitous use of ‘shocking’ content, but by asking perennially important questions and inspiring viewers to re-think their perspective on the world. The furore in Russia over ‘Pussy Riot’ shows us how alive and well controversy still is. However, this example proves that it is context as opposed to form that is the most provocative factor. Just as you get critics lamenting the de-sensitisation and thoughtless use of violence in the ‘torture-porn’ genre, it is equally tempting to giggle at the latest piece of schlock that sets the art world a-flutter. What the harsh treatment of the ‘Pussy Riot’ women reveals is that art, in whatever form it takes, should always be permitted to question and crucially to express - even if the end result is a load of s***. END. words by Phoenix Alexander photos courtesy of The Tate Press Ofﬁce
all those intelligent children who would be attentively watching the ceremony) the former Mrs Ritchie displayed a master class in how to grab attention, managing to both name-drop her new CD and ensure that the Turner Prize in that year was once again, ‘controversial’. Admittedly she didn’t have to do too much: it was already scandalised by Martin Creed (who would go on to win the prize) and his ‘Work No. 227, the lights going on and off’.
CUB GOES ROYAL
The Royal Opera House (ROH) is incredible, a world-class venue that is easily accessible via the Central Line. It even encourages students to attend and for only a tenner. Yes you read that right, a mere ten pounds out of that weekly budget can transport you into a completely different world. Goodbye greasy Mile End chicken shops and hello West End sparkle. All thanks to the Student Standby Scheme, that gives students the opportunity to buy unsold tickets for every performance for £10. Members of the scheme have access to special performances four times a year (two ballets and two operas) where seats are reserved just for students at heavily discounted prices. Considering that the ROH can charge near the £200 mark for performances this is an amazing deal. The top price point for students on the special performance nights are £15 for a ballet and £20 for an opera. On the night, programmes are half price with a valid student ID, as well as students getting 10% discount on selected drinks in the Amphitheatre Bar. These fantastic discounts mean that the special performanc-
es are very popular, with tickets sold on a first-come-first-served basis. However, it is still definitely worth signing up for, as that way you get to hear when the unsold tickets are made available. These are real treats, as the unsold tickets can be anywhere in the auditorium and once again, are only £10. Even without the Student Standby Scheme, the ROH is still a great value night. Having seen stunning ballets like Swan Lake and Alice In Wonderland as well as contemporary mixed programmes like Viscera/Infra/Fool’s Paradise, for £15 or less I really can't complain! Compare that to the cost of a night out and this without the added bonus of of a horrendous hangover the next morning! You don’t have to get dressed up or even sit in the best seats to have a good time. Try it, even if you don’t think you like ballet or opera. Go with an open mind, and you never know, you may have found your new favourite thing to do on a Saturday night. (Especially with the discounted bar). Sign up: students
http://www.roh.org.uk/for/ words by Lauren Cantillon photo by Andrea Puggioni
I made the mistake of seeing this play during the half term holidays; the audience was inundated with whispering, giggling teenage girls who seemed more interested in seeing a celebrity in the flesh than a night of theatre. Young teenage girls and problems faced by soldiers (the stereotypical ‘squaddie’ type) wounded in the Northern Ireland conflict do not sound like a good pairing, and in reality they weren’t. Inappropriate laughter often took the edge off some of the plays early dark moments. However, as the play progressed the frequency of these moments decreased, and humorous encounters were frequently juxtaposed against the realisation of a harsh reality descending on both the on-stage characters and the audience. With an extremely detailed hospital set, the level of realism reflecting that on the television confronts the audience upon entry, and with the soundtrack of 1984 blasting, the scene is definitely set. Whilst it seemed many of the audience were wait-
ing with baited breath for the actors they recognised, it was the least professionally experienced and relatively unknown actor whose performance really outstripped the rest. Entering in a wheelchair, dribbling and unable to speak or hold his head up, Lewis Reeves’ portrayal of Ian and his gradual recovery from a head injury gained in conflict was one of the most inspiring performances of the play. Whilst not wishing to diminish the acting of the whole cast who maintained a range of injuries from a paralysed leg to a painful circumcision, it was his character that affected the audience the most. Nevertheless, the camaraderie portrayed by the whole cast was excellent, and the issue of wounded servicemen’s mental health and subsequent role in society raised in the play was made all the more dramatic by the modern-day relevance. Whilst the big names involved in this play may have been the major draw for many, the whole cast contributes to create a highly emotive and thought-provoking play, the impression of which will hopefully linger on longer than the memory of seeing a famous face in real life. END. Our Boys is at the West End’s Duchess Theatre until December 15th. Standby seats are available for students at the box office on the day of the performance for £20 (subject to availability). words by Hannah Ballard photo by Andy Roberts
Our Boys: you’ve probably heard of it not so much as an emotive, alternative look at wounded soldiers lives but as the play with Neville Longbottom and Rory from Doctor Who. It is plain to see that this play’s reputation seems to stem more from its celebrity cast than the issues it deals with. This made me wonder, does an all-star cast add to a play, or does it divert attention from the message or meaning the playwright may have intended?
A CHRISTMAS CRACKER The Christmas season has descended upon us once again, and every turn in our wintery city reveals a much loved festive tradition; cranberry sauce is fully stocked on shelves, rickshaws are adorned with tinsel and the newly released John Lewis commercial is reducing viewers to tears across the country. Nothing says tradition likeChristmas and, in the world of the arts, nothing says Christmas like The Nutcracker.
In its sixty-two years of rich history, the English National Ballet has dazzled audiences with no fewer than eleven productions of Tchaikovsky’s ballet, giving daily performances every year in the lead up to Christmas. The current production, choreographed by the company’s former artistic director Wayne Eagling, premiered in 2010, and surprised audiences and critics alike with its deviation from its Matthew Bourne-esque predecessor. Dancing presents and Dr Seuss wigs were replaced by tutus and tiaras, restoring The ENB’s Nutcracker to an Edwardian spectacular which can only be described as thoroughly traditional. But, in a fast-paced society dominated by technological advances and digital music, the question we must ask ourselves is whether Eagling’s reversion to the past is a pirouette in the wrong direction.
and retaining our ballet art and also having the foresight to reach out and keep it relevant in today’s world. The company must continue to be creative.’
Enter Tamara Rojo, The Royal Ballet’s prima ballerina of twelve years who recently left her Covent Garden throne to take up residence as the ENB’s new artistic director. Renowned for her incomparable combination of flawlessly lustrous technique and captivatingly emotional performances, Rojo’s move from the stage to the director’s chair has been one of great confusion to many of her fans and colleagues. She admits though, that the transformation from dancer to director has been in the pipeline for some time, and insists that she feels fully prepared for the challenges the ENB promises to provide: ‘While I want thinking dancers as well as excellent technicians, my vision for the company reaches further. It’s all about protecting
The Nutcracker, aside from being an all round Christmas extravaganza, is the company’s main source of annual income, tending to be the only production of the year to sell out every performance in their resident theatre, The Coliseum. And yet this year, in their ongoing battle to eradicate ballet’s seemingly unshakeable stigma of elitism, the company took Nutcracker to Southampton’s Mayflower theatre, at a loss of £100,000 a week. Rojo is determined to battle through the cuts whilst maintaining the company’s touring program, with the firm belief that ballet is for the masses and should be available to all: ‘Art gives hope, and in moments like this, it’s more necessary than ever.’ END.
Over the next three years, the ENB are to face a cut of 15% from their Arts Council England budget. Such drastic cutbacks will inevitably hinder the progress of a company who pride themselves on their prerogative of bringing ballet to the masses, with an extensive program of touring productions and outreach programs throughout the year. In the fraught economic climate, ballet is not the only art form to have suffered at the hand of the dramatic budget slashes; The Royal Shakespeare Company have also lost 15% of their annual budgets, and a total of two-hundred arts groups across the country had their funding cut entirely.
words by Emma Shone photo courtesy of E.N.B.
SLEEPING BEAUTY - SADLER’S WELLS The immortal Matthew Bourne has done it again with the third in his trilogy of reimagined ballet classics, featuring once again the music of Tchaikovsky. The world premiere on 4th December marks the end of the 25th Birthday celebrations of Bourne’s company New Adventures, who have been responsible for his other two smash hits Nutcracker! and Swan Lake. Sleeping Beauty is a story most will be familiar with (young girl cursed to sleep for 100 years, woken by a kiss etc.) but Bourne has reworked the classic ballet into a contemporary gothic masterpiece that culminates in the modern day and, the best bit? Tickets start from just £12! AMY BLUE – THE NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY The NPG’s latest acquisition comes from the collection of Amsterdambased South African artist Marlene Dumas in the form of an oil-oncanvas portrait of Amy Winehouse painted shortly after the singer’s death in April 2011. The picture is on display now at the gallery in Trafalgar Square alongside its beautiful collection of portraits from throughout history. Free to all visitors, the NPG is one of London’s best free days out with portraits of pretty much everyone of importance from Shakespeare to Mick Jagger.
BANNER REPEATER – HACKNEY DOWNS STATION Described as ‘an artist-led reading room and exhibition space’ Banner Repeater is a secret staple of London’s text-based and printed materials scene and home to Publish and be Damned’s public library. Located on platform 1 of Hackney Downs rail station, its current exhibition is When Platitudes Become Form, ‘an on-going enterprise that exploits both the aesthetic and financial differences between centres of art power and their margins to pursue political affects that are not confined to the relation between artwork and viewer’. As well as the exhibition, the venue provides talks and a great study space (with free wifi!) for those wanting to escape the crush of Mile End Library. MASTER AND MARGARITA – THE BARBICAN After a sell-out run earlier this year, Complicite and Simon McBurney’s beautiful rendition of Mikhail Bulgakov’s ‘poetic maelstrom of a novel’ reopens on 14th December and runs until mid January. The story of the Devil’s visit to Stalinist Russia in order to wreak havoc amongst the fervently atheistic Muscovites as well as the occasional excursion to the time of Pontious Pilate and the last days of Jesus Christ, Bulgakov’s magical realism is brought to life by the internationally acclaimed director Simon McBurney, with set-design by Es Devlin, famous for her design of the Olympic Closing Ceremony. Ticket prices: £16 - £42. words by Millie Jefferies
THIS MONTH IN ARTS...
IT DIDN’T LIVE FOREVER... SO WHAT DO WE LIVE FOR? Woe is us, the time has come - 2012. The end of the world? The end of the Mayan calendar? Oh no, I refer to the last in the series of the infamous Twilight saga. Breaking Dawn, Part Two is the final episode in the series, and its release marks the end of an era. Pass me a tissue, I think I might cry. But in all seriousness, I can’t help but think it’s an era that has left me with a weird feeling. The series’ success can be quite easily compared to the that of Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings, which were
immensely popular and, especially in the case of the Tolkien adaptation, even iconic. And yet the fervor of hatred against the Twilight series has been equally as insane as those who live and die by it. People seem to love to hate it in a way that no one really did for these other series. Why is this? Why does the love triangle between Bella, Edward and Jacob make some people burn with the rage of a thousand fires? Here are a few reasons I’ve gathered...
Well that’s a no-brainer. Besides the fact that Meyer couldn’t think of any other word to describe Edward other than ‘beautiful’ doesn’t exactly paint her as a patron of the literary arts. There seems to be no actual emotional depth to the Twilight series and the plot is so safe that it becomes the bungee jump of vampire movies - you fall, but you know you‘ll bounce right up again. I walked into Waterstones some time ago and picked up a parody book of the series to flick through. It was that day that I realised how difficult it is to parody something that is already pretty awful in the first place. I could see no discernable difference in style, apart from the fact that you were marginally more likely to realise that this writer was taking the piss. Marginally.
Edward must always protect Bella and keep her from harm. Bella and Edward can’t have sex before they’re married. Bella can’t abort her baby, even though it will almost definitely rip her to pieces from the inside out. I regret to admit that, yes, I enjoyed the books and films, but I’m glad that I read and saw them when I was old enough to see them for what they are: a complete fantasy. For me, there’s little harm in the spectacle and visual delights of the series, in the fantasy of immortality and supernatural ability. Director Catherine Hardwicke did a particularly good artistic job in the first film, with its indie look and haunting soundtrack. But the reflected sparkle in all these young girls’ innocent eyes from Edward’s perfect, shining, Adonis-like chest tells us that the belief in the realness of the forever-in-love story is something more frightening than even the most blood-curdling vampires.
THE DEPICTION OF VAMPIRES: It really does upset me that the vampires in Twilight sparkle. If the series had any sincere credibility at all, Meyer certainly killed it with this little doozy. Sparkles are for kids and girls who think they look good in sequins. The vampires of the Cullen family also have a ‘vegetarian’ diet, meaning they drink the blood of animals instead of humans. Clearly Meyer has some issues with her beloved coven killing people. But what bothers me about this criticism is that it focuses on the vampires being ‘wimpy’. Is that true? After watching Twilight, it makes me wish I had super-strength and could fly and didn’t have to sleep. This ‘wimpy’ reputation seems to come from the fact that they have been switched around, so they’re the ‘goodies’ instead of the ‘baddies’. Haven’t we seen this before? Witches and wizards are normally used as characters almost exclusively aligned with evil and yet now we have the iconic Harry Potter. Sorry world, vampires are moving away from their wicked ways.
THE FANS. They are annoying. I have to admit that I saw the first two films on the day they were released and the screams and clapping and general American-ness of it all made me cringe. Even when I recently saw the last installment there were people clapping at the credits. I hate to sound terribly English but I had the almost unfeasible urge to turn around and say ‘Compose yourselves, for heaven’s sake!’ I go to lectures that better deserve a round of applause and invariably fail to receive one, and certainly better films. END.
words by Catherine Bridgman
A TRANSATLANTIC CHRISTMAS Film Editor Catherine Bridgman takes a look at the difference between American and British Christmas films... So it’s rolling around to that time of year again. Baubles and tinsel and mince pies galore, it’s the time of good cheer and who could want more? Well, apparently we do. When I was searching for some Christmas films to talk about in this issue I found surprisingly few that were British, or that seem to represent British Christmas in any kind of realistic sense. Of course, this is partially because Christmas films are mostly set in America and primarily made with a very young audience in mind. They are tales of magic and hope and love... but for the few that tell us what a British Christmas is really about, we seem to get a pretty grim picture. When looking at more recent films, such as Love Actually and Bridget Jones’ Diary, we see Christmas as a time where we all get together, get drunk and realise how pitifully miserable our lives are. In Love Actually, Christmas is a time when our husbands cheat on us and give the girl at work a gold necklace instead of us, or we realise our life will never be complete because the girl we love is married to our best friend. The Holiday is technically American but begins set in the UK; featuring Kate Winslet as Iris, she runs away from cosy little cottage to America because she just has to escape the man who broke her heart and the supposedly grim British Christmas.
photo by Andreas Brixen
I have to say that as far I know, they’re spot on. A lot of people I know say they love the idea of Christmas but that it never works out
very well. With the amount whose parents are divorced there are disputes about where and how they will spend Christmas day. It seems even for those whose families are still intact, a whole day together can have you at each others throats by the end of it. If there is anyone out there who’s screaming at the page that you have blissfully wonderful Christmases every year then hats off to you. At a dinner of ‘smug married couples’ Bridget Jones, when rudely pressed about her single status, sourly asks: ‘Tell me, is it one in four marriages that end in divorce these days, or one in three’ which Mark Darcy quickly retorts, ‘One in three’. But it seems that at the end of these films all is not lost. Despite a more realistic outlook than the American counterparts at the monotony we often find ourselves in, things seem to wrap up nicely. In The Holiday, Iris finds the unlikely love of Miles (dream on, Jack Black) and Amanda (Cameron Diaz) finds the delightfully British Graham (Jude Law). Bridget herself also finds exactly what she is looking for: a man. Perhaps not the man she wanted in the first place or the one she expected, but there we see her, standing half naked in the snow in the arms of the beautiful Mark Darcy. And they all lived happily ever after. Except poor Karen in Love Actually, who has to deal with the turmoil of a cheating husband and the potential break-up of her family. I guess we can’t all have our Happy Christmas ending. But that’s life and we Brits just love a bit of cynical realism. END.
A FILM SELECTION BOX
Simultaneously empowering and terrifying as a child, Home Alone was the movie that launched a thousand amateur prank videos and maybe, just maybe, is the spiritual predecessor to Jackass. Macaulay Culkin (Kevin) - who, having just googled him, appears to have not grown older, just taller - is, well, home alone at Christmas time when a couple of no-good bandits attempt to burgle his house. Their fatal mistake, however, is underestimating his spunky Christmas spirit (and Ray Mears level knowledge of trap construction) as well as how handy his new BFF ‘OldMan’ Marley is with a shovel. All round, Home Alone is great for a bit of easy Christmas slapstick, because who wants to concentrate after eating a roast anyway?
words by Harry Foster photo by spikeyhelen
It may be a mere twenty-six minutes long and completely wordless (aside from the incredibly high-pitched and oddly catchy ‘Walking in the Air’) but The Snowman is a pure Christmas classic. Adapted from Raymond Briggs’ book of the same name, The Snowman is a visual delight with warm, crayon-like colours that capture the childhood wonder of Christmas perfectly. Unfortunately though, it’s not all dancing with snowmen and free scarves from Father Christmas; the ending (not for the faint of heart nor stomach, with some graphic scenes of melting) shows the fleeting, transient nature of the festive season. As yuletide anthropologists-turned-glam rock band Wizzard once famously - and tragically - announced ‘I wish it could be Christmas every day’.
Elf sees Will Ferrell’s sobering portrayal of one man’s attempt to understand his place in the world and, with the harsh Arctic backdrop mirroring his internal conflict, it proves a groundbreaking work on the difficulties that can arise from adoption. On second thoughts that may be reading a little too much into it; for the most part Ferrell is a loud man child in a silly hat and even sillier shoes. Nevertheless, New York always seems to look lovely in the snow and the film has a certain charm that gives it a lasting appeal. Although the cheesy Christmas spirit and the so-very-noisy Ferrell can get a bit much at times, it does also have a number of genuinely funny moments.
A BID AGAINST FESTIVE BINGING
What’s your favourite part of Christmas? The first time you hear Michael Bublé on the radio? The anticipation of that John lewis or Coca Cola advert on the TV? The Christmas displays on Oxford street, or choosing the perfect gift for that special someone? (With matching wrapping paper and ribbon to top it all off). There’s no denying it, the build up to December the 25th is what it’s all about; the anticipation of the magical festive season we’re promised in the shops; films and ideals we’ve all grown up with and the longing for that Christmas break to catch up with your friends, family and generally get a proper night’s sleep in your childhood bed away from the hustle of London in the weeks leading up to the big day. The reality? Waking up on Christmas morning with a thumping headache and feeling sick even at the slightest whiff of turkey. Too much to drink last night, you say? Yeah, maybe but it’s Christmas Eve, so that’s ok right? More exciting than the post Christmas lunch, pre-board game afternoon slump, and much less pressurised than finding the perfect, exciting, glamourous allround AMAZING New Year’s Eve destination, Christmas Eve has become the relaxed little sister of yule tide celebrations. The yearly chance to go out and see all your old school friends - even that guy that sat behind you in AS Biology and barely spoke to anyone; they all come out of the woodwork on Christmas Eve for a few (or a few too many) down the local watering hole of choice. The
reasons behind such a surge in Christmas Eve celebrations aren’t quite clear. Maybe it’s an influx of those trying to avoid helping in the Christmas Eve preparations (guilty), or maybe it just feels like the time to go out and celebrate - after all, you’re about to be locked up for at least 48 hours with your family and, as much as you love them, the thought of it induces you to a much needed mug of mulled wine. My advice? Don’t overdo it. It’s alright to wake up with a bit of a headache that lasts until mid morning, but no one really wants to be the one with their head down the toilet whilst the rest of that family are watching the Queen’s Speech. All you have to do is google ‘Christmas Eve drinking’ and you’re inundated with drunk-driving arrests and reports of fights in local bars. One year I decided to do the sensible thing and earn some money on December 24th; smugly sober from behind the bar, I saw a local fall off a bench in the back garden and spent the earlier hours of Christmas day being wheeled home in a wheel barrow as nobody could lift him up… Nobody wants to be that guy now, do they? ‘Tis the season to be jolly’ and all that, but this Christmas it might be worth taking it a bit easier and letting your liver rest up for next term... but by all means, go crazy on those mince pies. END. words by Anna Matheson photo by Emily Crosland
Christmas has a lot advantages to it - these can safely be said to include mulled wine, turkey, and an implicit understanding that it’s the time of year that’s best to ‘let yourself go’ and allow your glass or plate to be topped up an infinite number of times until you are very round and red in the face. The leisure activities are also joyous: ice skating and Christmas markets, ridiculous sweatshirts and a sudden desire to go walking in the countryside are all fine examples of this, and infinitely better than standing motionless in a field for hours at a time as summer cricket matches require. Christmas activities all have a few underlying themes though, most important of which is that it’s fairly vital to do them with at least one other person. The man (or woman, just in case you think you may escape judgement) who, flying solo, makes a regular habit of quaffing mulled wine and then ice-skating their way to a lonely turkey-based meal in the countryside, is likely to be viewed as a fairly odd one. When I was younger, this accompanying role was very kindly taken up by my parents; I was born in December so they probably knew pretty early on that winter activities were going to be a big part of the job requirement. Sadly, they then decided to move to New York. No matter. Being in a relationship offers a guaranteed date for all Christmas events; if your partner refuses it has the potential to make them look like the Grinch and, more importantly, a risk of reduced present haulage. This means that all the examples above tend to be safe and can be freely enjoyed come winter with a dutiful partner. Unless they also decide that they have a pressing need to leave the country. (It’s safe to say there were some abandonment concerns going on last summer.)
Now, there are many pro’s and cons to longdistance relationships, most of which are fairly obvious, but the Christmas downside is not one that is often considered. However, there are some unexpected benefits to this, and for the benefit of my fellow abandoned people, I will give my main three (with the rest available upon request). The most important one is, have you seen when your deadlines are? That’s right, Christmas. You want to spend time with your loved ones in the buildup to Christmas? Fantastic! Unless you want to meet your deadlines without investing heavily in the Red Bull that is. Also, Christmas adverts started when we came back from summer holidays. If you live by those companies’ rules, you’re going to be spending a fortune on eggnog lattes and whatever else in the four month buildup to Christmas. A long-distancer means that you can condense all of this into a few days: you get the gingerbread and eggnog and candy canes without having to buy them twice a week, every week after your holiday. Most importantly, Christmas is a time in which you are expected to forget all minor disputes, and forgive all previous sins. If you see the person every few days, then I doubt the promise of a week of turkey is likely to make you forget that they habitually steal your lunch money to buy Heat magazine, or whatever other nefarious activity they do. If your Christmas reunion is a build up, then the joy is pretty genuine, and the willingness to forgive and forget can be more convincingly conveyed. So there it is: all is not lost for those who are going to be spending their Christmas waiting for someone’s flight/boat/train to arrive. If anything, it might make it better. END.
FESTIVE: over-indulgance and relationships.
Features Editor James Deacon explores the meaning of relationships at Christmas
New Year’s Eve is fast-approaching, along with all the associated festivities and boozerelated antics. The question is, what do we do with all of that? For my first time spending New Year in London, my plan is to haul my close family down to the capital and take them to where all the magic happens – right next to the Thames to welcome 2013 in with a bang on Embankment. I would assume that following the wondrous feast of fireworks, alcohol will be consumed in abundance and much mirth and merriment will ensue as a result, leading us nicely into New Year’s Day where food will be plentiful. If said family decline my invitation and would prefer something less ambitious, I shall be heading back home to spend it drinking and dancing foolishly in the nearest pubs, followed by a good old rock club I’ve frequented far too often. For those of you who can’t get home for New Year, fear not. This is London, and there’s always somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to. The problem with New Year’s Eve though, is that more often than not a lot of planning needs to go into it to make a good night. There’s a lot to be said for booking well in advance, particularly for enormous club events or packed-out restaurants. That isn’t to say however that if you do procrastinate slightly and end up stuck in a rut, you can’t just hop onto the tube and go and find a firework display or a gate-crash or party or two. There are, of course, likely to be plenty of people who have too many offers to take up, and
should you be one of those lucky individuals who has tempting invitations coming out of your ears, that’s a good thing. Being left with plenty of options is always great – it may mean having to disappoint a couple of people but there’s always the advantage of being able to tailor your night to suit you, hitting one party on the way to another, dropping by for a drink with some different people you don’t see very often and then moving on to your main destination later on with some close friends. It does get complicated when you start to feel torn between two opposing sets of people though. Spending New Year’s Eve gathered in your grandparents’ living room in front of the TV with the whole family back home is impossible to combine with a wild party on the roof terrace of one of the most fashionable clubs in London, so it all comes down to personal preference, who you can afford to let down and how badly your bank balance is suffering. For enormous events like New Year, it’s always difficult to get it right. Being decisive and planning well is always a good idea, as is setting aside a decent amount of cash if you’re planning to do something especially extravagant. Regardless of where we all end up this New Year, hopefully it’ll all be fun and games and there’ll be minimal amounts of heartache in conjuring up a mind-bendingly brilliant night, whether it ends up being squashed up on the sofa with younger siblings and a box of Miniature Heroes, creating chaos around central London or wreaking havoc in someone’s humble abode. Bring it on! END. words by Amy Watson photo by overduebook
FESTIVE: new year.
SHOULD AULD ACQUAINTANCE BE FORGOT?
FEATURES The point is, to avoid the awkwardness, you must be so outrageous that all memory of it is erased. My tactic is like shooting a goldfish with a sawn-off shotgun. It may be a bit much, but it gets the job done, and no-one can doubt that the job has definitely been done. At first you may feel self-conscious. This is a good sign. This means that you are being sufficiently unnecessary, and is a feeling that you must aim for at all stages involving new partners before Christmas. You must work hard to ensure that this feeling never leaves, for example: Christmas meal at Wetherspoons? NONSENSE! Book in for somewhere possibly French and outrageously inappropriate, like a Soho strip club. Once you do this, you will find that the initial awkwardness of ‘oh gosh, should we get the set menu? Is that too forward?’ is instantly gone, and replaced with the much more useful Soho sexual energy, which can be used for your own personal gain. This is also to be encouraged. On a serious note it probably isn’t best to follow that advice, or you will be spending your Christmas in a Soho strip club. If you want to take a more traditional route, use the £50-60 and take her to a halfdecent restaurant. This shows you care and want the relationship to progress. However, what happens if she doesn’t get you a present? Well that’s simple. You pack your bags and don’t look back on the problem (problem being her). END. words by Tom Paley photo by Emily Crosland
ALL SHE WANTS FOR CHRISTMAS IS...
I have been dating a girl for about a month, which has come with many benefits (as you can imagine). However, one of the downsides, which many others might appreciate, is that this close to Christmas it can create all sorts of problems. Do I buy her a present? If so, how much do I spend? Luckily, I have formulated a solution to all of these problems in one, easy way. My solution is so good, that it applies to ALL situations in life, not just dating. If in doubt, exaggerate the whole situation until the problem does not exist. How do you do this? Well, if you take one times Christmas present problems, and one times Christmas budget problems, and multiply them together, you get one times stressed young man. However, if you add into this one times massive exaggeration, the problem disappears. This maths can be difficult to follow, so I’ll explain the details. There is uncertainty as to whether or not I should be buying a present, and if I do, how much I should spend. I shall therefore respond in the most overthe-top manner. Instead of worrying whether to spend £6 or £7, I will spend enough to bring the UK out of recession. Alternatively, I will buy a dog, name it after me, and then tie it to her leg.
M A N U FA C T U R E D BANDS THAT DON’T ACTUALLY SUCK... With the unavoidable X Factor final looming its ugly head this December, and a influx of new 13 year old boy bands, comedy acts and general new ‘chart toppers’ filling the airwaves with utter s*** for the next few months, CUB Music decided to take a look at the original manufactured bands to see where it all went wrong (Simon Cowell/ Pete Waterman - we’re looking angrily at you.) Anyway, before Rylan strips down to his skimpies and does some sort of ‘Santa Baby’ impression, we thought we’d remind you that it wasn’t always that bad...
THE MONKEES The original manufactured band, The Monkees, were created for the American TV Series of the same name by film and TV directors Robert Rafelson and Bert Schneider in 1965. Inspired by the success of The Beatles, the programme followed the fictional quartet’s plight to achieve musical success, and actually gained a few Emmys in the process. Despite the series ending in ‘68, the then ‘actual band and not just a TV band’ continued initial recordings until ‘71; after some minor trouble gaining artistic rights to their material, they used the time to record their own material after busy filming schedules had ended. The result? 11 studio albums, countless tours and a reunion as recent as this month, despite the death of Englishman Davy Jones in february. Not forgetting a plethora of hits including ‘I’m a Believer’, ‘Daydream Believer’, and of course that unforgettable theme tune ‘The Monkees’.
words by Anna Matheson photos by Klaus Hiltcher, Scarlatti2004 & Esquisitur
MUSIC SPINAL TAP
THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE Manufactured you say? Well technically, yes. Formed in 1996, the trio comprising of Hendrix himself, bassist Noel Redding and and Drummer Mitch Mitchell, were put together by Hendrix’s manager Chas Chandler. Originally conceived as a backing band, the effect of the stripped back stage presence meant that the ‘power trio’ genre saw it’s roots being formed. ‘Purple Haze’, ‘All Along the Watchtower’ and ‘Voodoo Child’ - as well as pretty much all of the most adored Hendrix tracks came out of the 3 studio albums of Hendrix Experience, not to mention some pretty mental live shows.
THE SEX PISTOLS
Perhaps another surprise, but originally working under the name The Strand, the foundations of The Sex Pistols were dramatically changed by manager Malcolm Mclaren after his return to London from New York in May 1975. A brief flirtation with the lower Manhattan punk scene, and a few months managing the New York Dolls, meant Mclaren's vision for The Sex Pistols was born - members were kicked out, vocalist Steve Jones was demoted to bassist duties and Pink Floyd T-shirt sporting John Lydon was plucked from Kings Road to become the new frontman. The next two and a half years saw the the band's spell of success with the sole album Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols, but their vision and playing style catalysed the UK's punk movement and they are pretty much all still household names today, give or take a few dodgy butter adverts.
When Damon Albarn left his Blur duties behind and began working with cartoonist Jamie Hewlett, no one was really sure what was going on, or whether Albarn was just taking too many happy pills again. But alas, Gorillaz were born; the fictional characters 2D, Noodle, Murduc and Russel are surprisingly well known faces across the inter-web with their videos, website and occasional 3D live outings exploring their ‘alternate universe’. Wacky theatrical tricks aside, 2011 saw the ‘band’ mark their tenth anniversary, with their four albums having sold millions, collected various awards and headline sets at Coachella and Glastonbury in 2010- not bad for a bunch of cartoon characters.
The faux heavy metal band were born on another (albeit failed) American TV pilot, for ABC; a mock promotional video for ‘Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare’ in 1979. Despite the let down, the actors/musicians/mythical creatures or whatever you want to call them have carried on under their pseudonyms and actually created some pretty good music, with some questionable lyrics and album titles (Album number two was tentatively named Break Like The Wind.) With three albums on the discography, a host of fictional and non-fictional singles and pages and pages of ‘legends’ on the internet, it's hard to know what exactly is true about the 5 American/maybe English guys that no one really knows. They may not take themselves too seriously, but that didn't stop them from selling out an American Tour and Wembley in 2009.
‘POP PUNK’S NOT DEAD’
So screamed thousands of t-shirts at Alexandra Palace on 10th November for this year’s UK leg of the Vans Warped Tour, the first time it has visited this country for 13 years. This statement may come as a surprise (especially to those of you who have perhaps got a little bit too into the London music scene, with its edgy beats and ironic lyrics, and insist they ‘never really liked New Found Glory anyway’). Established in 1995 as a showcase of emerging punk rock talent and extreme sports, The Warped Tour has evolved alongside the genre of Pop Punk to become the last word in Rock festivals the world over. Sponsored by Vans, the tour’s second main attraction every year is the Half Pipe with BMX and Skateboarding competitions and displays throughout the day. At Ally Pally this year the Half Pipe offered the finals of the UK Vert championships and displays from skateboarding legends Christian Hosoi and Steve Caballero to the tune of bands like Bowling For Soup, Less Than Jake and Funeral for a
Friend on the Jaegermeister Stage. Known for its casual, friendly atmosphere (times for the bands are decided on the morning of the show and displayed in the centre of the venue on a gigantic, makeshift timetable, and bands can often be found at their merch stalls or just wandering around,) The Warped Tour rarely leaves the US, admittedly one of the only downsides, and the biggest frustration of my adolescent years. The origins of the tour coincided with the golden-age of ‘pop-punk’ (the mid ‘90s/early 2000s) with bands like Green Day and The Offspring emerging from the underground Californian punk scene of the ‘80’s to commercial success with their mainstream-debut albums Dookie and Smash. The momentum of the genre built up throughout the ‘90s, encompassing offshoot-genres like ska-punk (Less Than Jake, Reel Big Fish) and the more established Celtic Punk (Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys). However, it was the release of Blink 182’s 1999 album Enema of the
MUSIC Presuming that, like me, you are about tewntyish, that brings us up to approximately the time most of us became old enough to appreciate and cultivate our own tastes in music. Sum 41’s 2001 major label debut All Killer No Filler was the first album I remember actually buying for myself (I did go through a girl band phase in the late ‘90s, and up to 2001 most of my music collection was dominated by this, but I’m still pretending this didn’t happen) and resulted in me thinking I was possibly the coolest, most badass person ever. I started reading Kerrang! Magazine, listening to their Midlands based radio show and going to at least one gig a week at the old Carling Academy in Birmingham. Yes, I was one of those ‘music is my life’ people and, perhaps predictably, got caught up in the ‘emo’ trend of (approximately) 2005. The way I remember it, there was at least three months or so at my school surrounding the release of Fall Out Boy’s From Under the Cork Tree when emo was cool: boys grew fringes, the skate-park became the place to be seen on weekends and the local Claire’s accessories sold out of chequered wristbands. Alas it was only short-lived (something I apparently didn’t realise at the time resulting in temporary lack of depth perception and an everlasting love of black eyeliner that I am doing my best to grow out of) and after a short burst of Radio 1 airtime for Fuelled by Ramen bands like FOB, Panic! At The Disco, Paramore and Red Jumpsuit Apparatus it all started to go a bit wrong. I don’t know whether it was the increasingly silly and nonsensical band names and song titles or the release of My Chemical Romance’s theatrically emo flop The Black Parade in 2006 (I say flop, it debuted at Num-
ber 2 in the UK and the US and sold 240,000 copies in it’s first week so commercially it was a success, but it was still not only a huge disappointment after their previous Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge but an example of everything that was going wrong with the genre ‘emo-pop’ as it became almost a parody of itself) but pop-punk appeared to be dying a spectacularly public death. It’s not that good music wasn’t out there; ‘the mainstream’ just wasn’t interested in it anymore. Part of the issue was that ‘the scene’ became increasingly influenced by hardcore and metalcore; bands like A Day to Remember, Set your Goals and Four Year Strong, as much as I love them and despite frequent airplay on MTV and other music channels, are just a bit too heavy for most people. Rather upsettingly the European arm of this year’s Warped Tour was headlined by British bands Lostprophets and Bring Me The Horizon who, my own personal dislike of both bands aside, tour here all the time and, due to the scaling down of the festival to fit it inside Ally Pally, many of the best bands that played in the US were missed out. But, after the soldout success of this year’s tour the chances of it returning next year, bigger and better than ever, are looking good. Which brings me back, in a roundabout way, to my point: Pop Punk isn’t dead, it just isn’t everyone’s cup of tea anymore. And it no longer has to be. Artists don’t really rely on the charts anymore to get ‘famous’ and festivals offer increasing exposure for all different kinds of bands, each one representing its own little niche in the market or providing an overview of modern music as a whole. It’s up to you to choose what you want. END.
words by Millie Jefferies photo by Joe Brady photography
State that really catapulted pop-punk to the peak of its popularity. The second single released off the album, ‘All the Small Things’, became the first punk-identified single to reach the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 6, and reached number 2 over here. Bands like Good Charlotte, Simple Plan and Sum 41 brought pop punk into to the new millennium and it seemed to be going from strength to strength.
It’s still not late enough in the year to dance to Shakin’ Stevens’ ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ like an excitable elf, without being sneered at and resented by everyone else in the supermarket queue. So, what do we do whilst we wait for this limbo to pass? Do we succumb to the tempting cheese-fest? Do we embrace Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ for a month before we celebrate the big day? The answer is simple – no, we do not. We live in a society jam-packed with music, emanating from too many sources to count. Ear-splittingly loud drum and bass bursts its way out of heavily-modified hatchbacks at traffic lights, heavy metal roars at us from dark, dingy bars and high street shops buzz with bouncy chart hits. As we head towards the point where we will hit the festive season full throttle, there will of course be a multitude of Christmas tunes jangling through the air, propelling us nicely into December where things really start to pick up
and our bank balances face spontaneous combustion. Until then, however, there is no reason on earth why we should abandon our favourite music and replace our ordinary playlists with Christmas-infused ones, irritating the living daylights out of each other by doing so. It cannot be denied that Christmas music is a lot of fun after a drink or six in the run-up to December 25th, but personally I still feel it’s too early to be sacrificing our normal musical habits for Shane MacGowan and Kirsty MacColl crooning ‘Fairytale of New York’ at one another. Instead, let us celebrate the new albums of November: Aerosmith’s Music From Another Dimension, Rihanna’s Apologetic, Lana Del Rey’s Born To Die – Paradise Edition and Green Day’s ¡Dos!. This month has been fairly lucrative for new albums and there are arguably some great new releases in the pipeline for December too. The final part of Green Day’s trilogy, Tré!, Bruno Mars’ Unorthodox Jukebox and Taio Cruz’s TY.O. There’s something for everyone so there’s no excuse not to wait a little bit longer before we all lose our minds and start donning Santa hats, scoffing mince pies by the bucket load and bopping along to ostentatiously upbeat anthems we listen to year in, year out. Bring on the madness, but until then, stay sane and let’s enjoy what we’ve got! END. words by Amy Watson photo by Barry Yanowitz
It’s that time of year – we’re trapped in limbo between Halloween and Christmas, where it is no longer appropriate to plaster ourselves in make-up with the aim of terrorising the public and getting away with it, but where festive behaviour is only acceptable within certain boundaries. We’re beginning to hear those old classics playing again, but it isn’t okay to sing along just yet.
SCROOGE YOU, POGUES
must have: NEW LOOK £19.99 www.newlook.com
Only appearing during the festive period and often associated with fat, bearded old guys, like Father Christmas. No, not the ghastly red felt costume, but the Christmas jumper! Chunky, cosy and oh-socheery knits often adorned with snowflakes, snowmen and reindeers. When I think of Christmas jumpers I immediatly remember that painfully awkward scene with Colin Firth and Renée Zellweger in Bridget Jones’s Diary. A garish item that can make your jaw drop as you question whether it’s wearer was held at gunpoint whilst dressing in the morning - they must have been, right? On Googling ‘Christmas jumpers’ you will be greeted with cheesy images including the thumbs up pose. These are the type of people who enjoy mulled wine with cheap synthetic cheese whilst watching Sky+ Cash in the Attic. In other words - the real Ned Flanders. I haven’t made them sound very appealing so far but all I ask is that you take the plunge and try a few of these ‘statement’
jumpers on... with an open mind. There are an abundance of Christmas jumpers around this season, all with a really home-made, retro charm. Even highend designers have taken the Christmas classic on board; Preen’s red and blue Christmas tree knit, Moschino’s gingerbread turtleneck and Meadham Kirchhoff’s bauble sweater have all proved big hits on Net-a-Porter. Think less Bridget Jones and Mark Darcy, and more the chic geek that is Seth Cohen when celebrating Chrismukkah. You see - there’s a Christmas jumper for all! Truthfully, I’m not completely convinced by the really full-on Christmas jumper but I would like to make some sort of goodwill nod to the Christmas jumper. Maybe a Jacquard knit? I’ve had my eye on the White Mountaineering Fair Isle jumper for quite some time now. Perhaps, I’ll just have to spend a ridiculous amount on an expensive, ‘Christmas-themed’ jumper. I mean I have to find some way to get into the festive spirit... don’t I? words by Christopher Liu
DEBENHAMS £35.00 www.debenhams.com
Doggy Jumper ACCESSORIZE £10.00 www.accessorize.com
FAT FACE £68.00 www.fatface.com
THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES
While Signore Valentino Garavani no longer holds the strings, the house has settled down to a new era. When a designer leaves their signature line, there is a kind of seismic twist. The shoe space to fill is elephantine, and talent alone is insufficient to sustain such a legacy as the mighty Roman emperor of couture has achieved. Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli, the new puppeteers and those chosen to succeed the man that dressed Jackie Onassis and Elizabeth Taylor, came armed with far more than talent. Nerve, Roman grit and being utterly au fait with the label helped, perfected by years of delicate accessory design.
A smooth transfer to creative direction of the house in 2008 sealed the deal, and a new age was born. While fashion has embraced a new easy aesthetic perfected by the discerning recession shopper, Valentino is still enjoying time on cloud nine. 2012 has seen the 50th anniversary of the brand, the first menswear runway show and a debut eyewear collection that came with its own studded success. It takes a brand with considerable staying power to surmount the minimalist revolution; even Dior has boarded the clean lines train to Tokyo. Such success is not confined to the fashion elite. A new generation of Hollywood elite has embraced the duo’s refined design, maintaining Valentino as the red carpet label. It’s about the brand, not the makers, a seductive message in an industry that has recently been riled by uneasy rebranding and PR stunts. None of that in this lace haven. Anne Hathaway, Michelle Williams and Kirsten Dunst are among the stars modestly seduced by the new feminine that hums in the background of the Valentino atelier. The same modernity was astonishing on the lean bones of indie-icon Chloë Sevigny, an unexpected choice that stepped up perception of the brand. So to London, and what is certainly not the final bow. A major exhibition celebrating the life and work of the prophetic designer is now open at Somerset House. Valentino is honoured in the ultimate showcase, with over 130 exquisite couture pieces included in a comprehensive and largely exclusive collection. With an integrated role reversal experience, visitors can take the place of a model on the runway; descend the stairs to view Princess Marie-Chantal’s ten-lace dress and marvel at personal photographs from the Valentino archives. Truly, a once in a lifetime exhibition. So really, go and gasp and embrace the fiftyyear-old Roman legacy of Valentino Garavani and a brand that continues to astonish. END.
Valentino: Master of Couture runs until 3rd March 2013 at Somerset House.Visit www.somersethouse.org.uk or call 0207 845 4600 for more information.
words by Eleanor Doughty photo by Cathleen Naundorf
As far as moments go, Valentino is right in the middle of one. Forget Dior’s revival, the YSL scandal or Nicolas Ghesquire’s recent departure notice, half a century on, it’s still all about Valentino. More than just the haven for a lace-loving lady, Valentino’s reputation as a paragon of virtue far precedes the famous studded accessories that have appeared again, and again on the high streets.
BACK TO BLACK
Left: 1. Jacket, £29.75, Forever 21, Shirt, £14, Matalan, Trousers, £19.75, Forever 21, Watch, £49.95, Oozoo, Shoes, £33, Simmi, Necklace, £12, Topshop. Right clockwise: 2. Watch, as before. 3. Top, £22, China Doll Boutique, Skirt, £20, Matalan, 4. Jumper, £10, Katsumi, Skirt, £11.50, Forever 21, Shoes, £34.99, Missguided, Necklace, £20, Tosphop, 5. Dress, £24.75, Forever 21, Jacket, £32.75, Forever 21, Necklace, £20, Topshop, Boots, Model’s own. 6, As 5.
Stylist – Lucinda Turner Stylist’s Assistant – Rachel Michaella Finn Photography – Lloyd Ramos Photographer’s Assistant – Charisse Alyssa Fallaria Make up – Sean Richardson Hair – Sarah Harrison Model – Millie Jefferies
back to black:
UNLUCKY? That is the reputation that the superstitious know it by; cats, magic and Fridays cursed by its name. Heavy debate still ensues around whether it is a colour or not. An element in itself, the power of black is a force to be reckoned with. From Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, a moment in time engraved into starlet history, to gothic rocker Marilyn Manson’s infamous leather, black is a colour fashion never forgets. Synonymous throughout history with funerals and death, the shade has seen a revolution over the decades. However one thing has remained the same, the love that follows it in the clothing industry. In an industry that changes its mind about what’s in and what’s out quicker than you could snap your fingers, what makes this colour so irresistible? Is it the fact that it is effortless and easy to wear? Or is it because we will willingly believe it will hide all manner of what we’d consider bodily sin? Whilst black has been worn by mourners and widows alike as a sign of discipline and restriction since the Roman Empire, its connotations are now distinctly different. To many, nothing is more elegant than a silhouette draped in the hue, like a graceful shadow. But these associations have been evolved many times over and it is interesting to see why. For the emerging Parisian fashion houses it symbolised the beginning of a new modern era. Coco Chanel’s little black dress was constructed with the intention of lasting a life time. Suddenly, a girl was incomplete without one. Teamed with pearls, its simple and classic style was shocking at the time. The world-
wide recognition of the term ‘LBD’ verifies its very importance as the go to for parties, dates, and even work. Soon after, a young Yves Saint Laurent coined ‘Le Smoking’, the first tuxedo suit for women. It mimicked masculinity unbeknownst to women’s wear before, inspiring a new wave generation of designers. Women could wear the trousers. Black was liberating and bought with it new freedoms, cementing its love from the French masters of fashion. It’s survival through the Pop decade is a testament to its influence. During the time of rising popularity of the rainbow colours used by Andy Warhol in his cartoon art, the black turtle neck became a staple of Beatnik and drama students alike. They were indifferent, chic and most of all, non-conformists. Wearing black at this time was a sign of confidence and self-assuredness. Yet, once again black saw a reinvention. Nineties grunge made famous by bands such as Nirvana, reflected the depressive mood of the time, penetrating into the everyday lives of those who felt alienated. It became a cloak of the masses, who wanted to go unnoticed, with lashings of rips, leather and studs. Mantra at this time was that black was slimming, and women followed this advice in droves. Lovely as it was to believe, the shape of a person cannot be hidden by use of black. Instead, it even enhances the contours of the body, acting as a stark contrast to your surroundings. Its suaveness serves as inspiration for many contemporary designers, the late Alexander McQueen dreamed up a barrage of fairy tale
dresses, covered in sequins and dedicated to black. Gareth Pugh, Alexander Wang, and Tom Ford all religiously worship it in their collections. Cities around the world especially regard it as a status symbol, a polished rite of passage as it were. It has attracted loyal followers, men and women alike. Long has it been uniform for those at global Vogue offices, a sea of sombre looking fashionistas. These cosmopolitan globe trotters are some of the colours biggest fans, and rarely venture beyond. The seemingly ideal lifestyle it represents is complex. It is resolutely smart yet sophisticated at the same time in the modern age where black truly does rule. Burgundy may be the colour du jour strutting down our runways but this loving embrace it is experiencing will not last long. Fast forward to today, and the black of the 1920s has reemerged, yet a little more adventurous, a little more wild, with clashing dissonant textures and a dominatrix feel. Year after year, atleast one show pays homage solely to the colour and this year, YSL’s new creative director was the pilgrim for SS13. Hedi Slimane put on an eerie theatrical spectacle, of gothic witches’ dresses trailing down the runway, hats painstakingly positioned and suede stilettos sky high. Countless articles brandish the title ‘Black is back in fashion’, yet black has never left. It’s a mirror to the world, and a paintbrush for some. Mastering it is still an art. Black gives an air of sophisticated mystery and maybe that is why we are relentlessly obsessed with the darker side of life. END. words by Mun Mun Kong
BRIGHTON EMILY ZARATE Wander the Lanes filled with cafés, (Kensington’s roof top café does the best all day breakfast) restaurants, tattoo parlours and vintage shops. Grab a drink in the Mash Tun by the Theatre Royal or laze in Pavilion Gardens and watch some Tai Chi. The summer is the perfect opportunity for a barbeque on Hove lawns or enjoy watching the paddlers and skateboarders whilst munching on a battered sausage on the beach. By night the city is a hotspot; get randy in a club on the waterfront or watch some live music in the Albert or Concorde 2. Brighton is also pretty big on the comedy scene so an evening at the Komedia is a must. Also worth a visit is The Duke of York’s art house cinema. Every year in May, the Brighton festival fills the streets with theatre, music and visual art as does the notorious Gay Pride Carnival in August. To complete the scene, Brighton is surrounded by the picturesque South Downs and the quaint pubs provide a contrast from the eccentric hullabaloo of city
BIRMINGHAM BEATRICE PALLISTER Sitting by the canal whilst the sun sets, lazily sipping a mojito and listening to the lapping water isn’t exactly what everyone expects in Birmingham’s city centre. Once you have had your fill of the Bullring shopping centre, a refreshing walk around a city that has more canals than Venice is the perfect way to relax. Lining the canals you’ll find the occasional small independent pubs and cafés, serving homemade puddings and great ale. However, if you were looking for something a little bit different, I would recommend dining on one of the canal barges. What could be better than touring the city whilst enjoying good food and great music? Then it’s just a hop, skip and a jump to the Jewellery Quarter which houses some great jazz bars. Alternatively, you can go to Broad Street for a night of clubbing.
photos by Megan Morrison-Sloan, Beatrice Pallister and Photo Monkey
NEWCASTLE BELFAST ALEX HUXTABLE Belfast has always received fairly negative press, mostly due to the wider political problems that have plagued Northern Ireland for decades. But fear not, it is brimming with an array of hidden gems, just waiting to be explored. The Titanic Quarter has recently opened, allowing visitors to indulge in the history of Belfast’s most famous (or infamous) export. Or if you’re not feeling particularly cultural, you could visit the open-air shopping centre, Victoria Square for a bit of retail therapy, although it is always bloody freezing inside! Don’t forget to take the lift to the top floor and enjoy the pretty impressive view of the Belfast skyline. As for nightlife, head to the Cathedral Quarter for a wide selection of decent bars, clubs and traditional Irish pubs. The Northern Whig was always a favourite of mine with very good cocktails and a chilled atmosphere; not to mention the best Guinness outside of Dublin.
MEGAN MORRISON-SLOAN Once a city in decline due to the Tory-led de-industrialisation of the ‘80s, Newcastle is now the vibrant cultural hub of the North East. Famed for friendly locals and excellent nightlife but there is more to Newcastle than getting ‘mortal’. It is a beautiful city where Georgian architecture meets modern design, a notable example being the Millennium Bridge, which crosses the River Tyne, famously sang about in ‘Fog on The Tyne’ by the Legend that is Gazza. The Newcastle Gateshead area has many great attractions such as The Sage Music Centre, The Theatre Royal and The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, which recently hosted the Turner Prize Award. There are plenty of restaurants and bars, so picking up an obligatory Newcastle Brown Ale shouldn’t be too difficult. If nightlife is what you’re after, there are clubs to suit most musical tastes. World Headquarters is a lesser known option, despite it being the venue of choice for DJs such as David Rodigan and Mark Ronson.
COUPLE 4: RACHEL CRAWFORD AND JACK FRITH-POWELL
Here we go rolling out another one! As Rachel Crawford and I battled through the storm to meet Jack Frith-Powell at the cosy Fat Cat she pulled me close and whispered in my ear, ‘I’ve already had the best part of a bottle of wine!’. It was then that I knew this week’s date was going to be a funny one, if nothing else. ‘I want to be her. A Geordie Beyoncé with the biggest heart. A pua beltaz lass is our Rach!’- Hannah Murphy ‘An intelligent, lovable and charming young man who could talk his way out of anything and into anyone.’- Jack Francis
Did you like what your date was wearing? R: You really can’t go too wrong with a shirt and trouser combo. J: Yeah I did, and it wouldn’t have worked so well if she didn’t have such a great body! Initial thoughts after ﬁrst setting eyes on your date? R: ‘Oh, I don’t know you!’ I was honestly surprised. It made a nice change. J: Ooh sexy! Best parts of the date? R: We had a bond over being the eldest of five children. Which was odd, I’ve never met anyone in the same familial situation before. I felt like someone finally understood me. J: Apart from it all being free, Rachel’s smile was enchanting. …and worst? R: I don’t eat fish. At all. Ever. So his tuna steak set me on edge slightly, but I tried not to look it in the eye.
J: I ate a bit of the fish skin from the edge of the tuna steak and it felt eating a horribly salty lizard, or something. I swallowed and smiled when I would have preferred to swear and spit it out. Any awkward moments? R: It did get to a point in the evening when I realised (which I hope was down to wine) that I couldn’t remember his name! Really glad I didn’t get quizzed on that. J: It was a little awkward when she said she had love for Tottenham FC, but I think I kept my cool and hid my disgust. Any sexual tension? R: Not that I was aware of. J: Only when I pointed out a number of half-naked sweaty men. Out of ten? R: I’d give the whole date a solid 8. J: dziesięć (10). It sounds like the subject of fish was a contentious one for this couple along with football! So a resounding NO on the sexual tension front, despite Rachel’s oh-so-sexy body, but a great night had by all. Until next month’s installment, make sure to keep flirting, everywhere and with everyone, it just makes life more fun, (especially if its inappropriate).
photo by Laura Blair
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Were you nervous? J: Yeah, I was really nervous that my date was going to be hairy and boring. R: Yeah! I wasn’t worried at all about him liking me because I’ve come to terms with the fact I make terrible first impressions.
EDITORIAL TEAM THOSE WHO HELPED PUT THIS ISSUE TOGETHER
EDITOR IN CHIEF: Anna Matheson SUB EDITORS: Emma Shone, Alice Harry, Jemima Chamberlain-Adams, Jessica Anne Ormrod PHOTOGRAPHY EDITORS: Laura Blair & Eleanor Doughty LONDON EDITORS: Bryony Hannah Orr & Lizzie Howis FEATURES EDITORS: Lauren Cantillon & James Deacon MUSIC EDITORS: Edward Clibbens & Ryan Ramgobin ARTS EDITORS: Millie Jefferies & Phoenix Alexander FASHION EDITORS: Lucinda Turner & Sarah Harrison FILM EDITORS: Harry Foster & Catherine Bridgman TRAVEL EDITORS: Megan Morrison - Sloan & Tom Wyke QUPID EDITOR: Rosemara Mather-Lupton
photo by Eleanor Doughty