Page 1

Featured Editorial work by

Rachel Kennedy

Contents 2. An Introduction 3. Celebrity Style on a shoestring A potential feature for a Bridal magazine.

5. Take Notice of: MS MR Introducing new music.

6. A Review: Cirque Du Soleil present Totem 7. If the Shoe Fits

A potential feature for a Urban Outfitters magazine I pitched.

9. Flirt with the Fifties 11. Pasta Masterclass

Commissioned piece for Sodexo’s Salon Culinaire 2012 magazine.

13. Profile: Cyrus Todiwala

Commissioned piece for Sodexo’s Salon Culinaire 2012 magazine.

15. The Finishing Touch: Hot Puddings

Commissioned piece for Sodexo’s Salon Culinaire 2012 magazine.

16. Love, Virtually

Potential television review for Radio Times.

17. Profile: The Holiday Profile on up and comingband The Holiday, for a student magazine. 19. Cover(ed) Girl 21. The Perks of the Indoor Picnic

A potential feature for Oh Comely magazine.

22. Picture Credits 1

An Introduction I’ve put together a collection of my editorial features including assignments and commissions. Some are only extracts, but please do not hesitate to contact me for the full article.


I have a versatile writing style which I’m able to adapt to meet client’s and publication’s needs. I’ve written about an array of subjects for B2B, contract, consumer and specialist publications. In here you’ll find articles on almost everything; from pasta to Prince Charming. For more information about my qualifications and education see my CV, or visit my blog for tales about some of my favourite things including: fashion, beauty, travel and art. For the purpose of this magazine I’ve supplemented my copy with internet images, but you’ll find all the sources referenced at the end. tel: 07842652431 2

Celebrity Style on a Shoestring While A-listers break the bank British brides are achieving the look for less like never before. Find out how, now.


rom future monarchs William and Kate, to rock and roll royalty Kate Moss and Jamie Hince, A-listers everywhere tied the knot in 2011. Barely a month passed without glossy images of increasingly extravagant ceremonies filling the pages of magazines. Vogue produced a ‘Wedding Special’ to coincide with the Royal celebrations in May and in the winter You filled a whole issue with a roundup of the year’s biggest and best events. While you might expect these lavish affairs to inspire brides to indulge in A-list style ceremonies, statistics show the opposite has occurred. While the cost of celebrity

nuptials soared, (as evidenced by Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries whose wedding costs are said to have come in at just under £10million) the average price of British nuptials fell dramatically. The economic downturn has forced couples to cut back and in just three years the average cost has dropped from an all time high of £20, 273 to £15, 500. The 25% drop can be attributed to a number of factors, particularly increasing living costs which leave couples with decidedly less disposable income. Similarly, rising house prices make cohabiting sans wedding rings an increasing popular choice. Sarah Shill has

“Don’t mention the wedding, venues like to double the price when they hear the ‘W’ word!”


been engaged for four years and explained: “We decided to put a deposit down on a house so we can’t afford a big wedding right now too.” It is a choice echoed by many young couples across the country who are struggling with rising mortgage prices. Many are evidently sacrificing a sumptuous wedding and choosing to invest in their future together. “We’re prioritising our lives together over one special day.” Sarah said. Last year Simon Rodgers reported in The Guardian that: “fewer people are getting married (now) than at any time in more than 100 years.” However rather than opting out of marriage altogether, cutting the budget doesn’t have to mean compromising on quality. Many brides are successfully emulating celebrity ceremonies at a fraction of the cost. Admittedly A-listers can afford to be a little more indulgent than the rest of us, not least because the majority of their wedding costs can be covered by lucrative endorsements and deals. Kate Moss’ million-pound celebrations were covered by a deal

for exclusive pictures courtesy of US Vogue, while Katie Price actively profited from her marriage to Alex Reid, selling the broadcasting rights to ITV 2. But if no magazine deals are forthcoming for your wedding photographs, bear in mind that financial problems have been cited as one of the major causes of relationship breakdowns in the last two years. So perhaps it’s advisable to think twice before demanding a champagne fountain a la Kate Moss or three wedding dresses to see you from ceremony to reception as Kim Kardashian did. The 21st century bride is fortunate in having a wealth of support and resources at their disposal, from wedding fairs to internet forums where there’s a collective of brides offering up their best contacts and tips. “Help me have the perfect day for under £5000!” one woman cries and a flurry of comments and advice below shows it’s perfectly possible to come in well under the national average. Few will have done better than Bryony Butcher, who married on the Isle of Wight in February with the total cost coming in at just under £3000. “If anything spending less made it more special,” she says. “Because we did so much of it ourselves, there were lots of unique and personal touches.” Venues tend to be the biggest expense but there are ways to cut costs. Peak wedding season falls between April and October so choosing a date outside of this will reduce expenses. Bryony also recommended keeping the nature of your event quiet as long as possible: “Don’t mention it’s for a wedding, just say you’re having a celebration to find out an initial price. Venues like to double the price when they hear the ‘W’ word!” she said...

Extract: Contact for full article.


Take Notice of

MS MR Creating a Fantasy Until recently, noirpop duo MS MR have kept their identity unknown; providing few details to the increasingly curious industry as to who and what they’re about. Tantalising photographs cut them off at the neck and while their Tumblr encompasses a wealth of their musical inspiration, it’s difficult to glean anything about the duo themselves. While they’ve kept a relatively low profile up until now, they’re starting to gain the recognition they deserve, with Zane Lowe naming Hurricane his record of the week, Jay Z featuring their video on his Life & Times site and Tom Ford, using Hurricane for his S/S 2013 collection catwalk soundtrack. Fortunately, this month the release of their first full album ‘Second Hand Rapture’ promises to lure them out of obscurity and into the consciousness of many, who will be drawn in by their huge hooks, dark lyrics and haunting vocals. Lizzy Plapinger, the Londoner responsible for boutique pop label Neon Gold (who helped catapult Marina and the Diamonds from the Welsh Valleys to stardom) comprises the ‘MS’ of the duo: Idaho native Max Hershenow her counterpart. Together they write and produce beautiful, electro pop which is made all the more atmospheric by the addition of Lizzy’s haunting voice and often ominous lyrics: “Welcome to the inner workings of my mind, so dark


and foul I can’t disguise,” reads a verse from Hurricane. Along with several tracks from the new album, their latest release, Fantasy, has been mixed by Tom Elmhirst who can be credited with material on both Adele’s album: 21 and Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black - so expect big things. Their label, Purple PR promises it’ll be a ‘huge rush of cinematic electronic pop’ and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. Lizzie’s voice is clear and compelling, over a thunderous beat which is bursting with energy. In past releases, such as Bones and Hurricane her tone is often much softer and more vulnerable, her lyrics almost merging with the music, but here it breaks free; owning the song with a confidence you might expect from Florence Welch. In fact, the duo are frequently compared to Florence, and while there are certainly similarities in their fluorescent-pop sounds, I’m surprised nobody had drawn a comparison with The XX. Not solely because of the duo dynamic; the heavy, synthy baseline holds more than a passing resemblance -and is of a similar quality to the London pair’s music too. While Lizzy’s voice holds a greater clarity than Romy’s, The XX’s lyrics boast maturity and less clichéd rhymes - though MS MR’s melodies are no less enjoyable for it. Their songs are sweet in spite of often-intense lyrics, ideal for injecting a little energy into melancholy days. With The Guardian heralding them as: ‘potential superstars’ and a support slot on Bastille’s sold out UK tour, 2013 is set to be MS MR’s year – expect to see them all over the UK festival scene.

Cirque du

Soleil Totem:A Review

cape and various dancers emerge. Beautiful projections transform the island stage from an ocean one moment, a rippling lake or volcanic eruption a second later.

The show opens with a figure sparkling from

head to toe, falling (very artfully, of course) from the heavens to land where only moments before a giant turtle structure had filled the stage. The shell has vanished revealing the skeleton beneath which glittering amphibian like beings proceed to flip and fly and swing and soar from.


year ago I declared I was run-

The opening scene has set the

ning away with the circus af-

pace. A quick succession of acts,

ter a small scale troupe rolled into

each more astounding than the

town. A year later, having visited

last follows, before perhaps my

Cirque Du Soleil’s latest produc-

favourite act of the night enters

tion I’m all but ready to pack my

the ring. A quintet of oriental girls


pedal in on unicycles- surely twice ‘Totem’ directed by Robert

their height, and proceed to flip

Lepage, is the latest offering from

silver pots from their toes to their

the Canadian company and has

companion’s heads, maintaining

packed out the Royal Albert Hall,

perfect poise as they balance at

(which has got to be the fanciest

great heights.

big top I ever saw) since early Jan-

Later, two beautiful gymnasts


in canary yellow balance on their

Unlike many circus produc-

perch, twisting and entwining

tions, Totem claimed to have a nar-

their bodies until it’s impossible

rative- telling a story rather than

to tell where one begins and the

simply a series of tricks. The show

other ends. They writhe and fall,

declared it would: “Celebrate our

catching one another at the last

infinite potential, and trace Man’s

possible moment- showcasing in-

journey from the very beginnings

credible strength and control. So

of life on Earth to our ultimate de-

intense was their interest in each

sire to fly.” Yet, aside

other, I felt as if I was prying on

from a Darwinesque figure who observed all the acts accompanied by a ‘monkey’, the narrative was fairly


Glittering amphibians flip and fly and swing and soar

them in their Garden of Eden among the bamboo thicket, for surely in our story of evolution, here were Adam and Eve.

While tickets were incredibly

expensive, where else would you find

Fortunately if you can do a headstand on the end of a

such beautiful people performing audacious and dar-

pole balanced on another man’s head, you don’t really

ing feats? While Cirque Du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté

need to be the greatest storyteller too.

recently holidayed in space, fortunately for us, he’s

created a (faintly) more affordable out of this world ex-

The performance unravels on a slightly elevat-

ed platform in the centre of the hall. The main stage

perience, under the big top.

(where a live band performs the musical accompaniment) is hidden by a bamboo thicket into which acts es-


If The Shoe Fits Following in the footsteps of celebrities, monarchy and geisha girls to find the perfect fit.


arilyn Monroe claimed: “Give a girl the right shoes, and she will conquer the world.” and since I quite fancy world domination, I’m determined to find them. The question is, how do we know when we’ve found the one? And are we allowed to take them off, or are our feet destined to be clad in a court shoe, flip-flop or whatever our suitor happens to be, forever? Victoria Beckham made it clear early on; she was Posh (spice) and posh people wear heels. Fifteen years on and she still hasn’t taken them off, (despite her infamous bunions) because those stilettos have become


a part of her identity. If she were to be snapped on the streets in trainers the press would soon be listing various ailments which must be preventing her from stepping out in her signature heels. This rather suggests that once I’ve found my perfect fit, that’s it. In fact we can learn a lot about celebrities from what they choose to tread the red carpet in. Mischievous girls like Kristen Stewart, Eliza Doolittle and Lily Allen trot along in their trainers, paying no heed to invitations which clearly state ‘Black Tie’. While it’s immature and a little bit rebellious it earns them instant status, because we all know

our local club would turn us away in trainers - and there’s no red carpet reputation to protect there. They quickly make all the A-listers who spent hour primping and preening look over dressed. Though nothing stops glamorous girls like Beyonce and Paris Hilton (who boasts a 2,000 strong shoe collection) who are rarely seen sans heels. As if they’re not tall enough already, they make us minions feel impossible small as they tower above in glittering Louboutins. Ella May treads the boards at our flagship store on Oxford Street all week, in nothing less than a four inch heel: “I can dress as scruffy as I like, but with sparkling heels on no-one notices how underdressed I am; I look confident and authoritative.” she said. “Then at six o’clock I’m ready to party!” which is impressive; after an eight hour shift in heels, stagger-

ing home would be a struggle, let alone hitting the dance floor. All these heeled girls are in agreement on one thing; their heels have them walking tall, with confidence and attitude. Perhaps to run this world (a la Beyonce) I need an extra few inches too. It’s difficult to define exactly when shoes evolved from a practical necessity to a fashion obsession. Cave paintings from over 15, 000 years ago depict humans with a variety of leather and animal skins wrapped around their feet and while we’d like to think our design aesthetic has developed a little, this winter Urban Outfitters are stocking super stylish moccasin boots, which are not dissimilar to those worn by Native American tribes, circa 9000 BCE. Chopines – our modern day heel equivalent, were first worn in 16th century Venice. ‘Heels’ of wood up to twenty inches high (and Naomi Campbell notoriously tripped on the catwalk in a mere twelve) were attached to slipper shoes for the sheer practicality of keeping feet out of the dirt in the streets. Meanwhile thousands of miles away in Japan Geisha girls had a similar method for keeping their feet clean and elevating them to new heights. Their ‘geta’ shoes had heavy blocks of wood attached to the soles, and so it was the platforms we so adore were born. Furthermore, if you believed heels were strictly a girl’s best friend Louis XVI proved otherwise, for the French King played in the palace in heels up to four inches high. This quickly set a trend for men across Europe, though his designer Nicholas Lestage is said to have decorated them with battle scenes and hunting parties, making them the manliest of heels...

Urban Outfitters have a shoe for every foot

Extract: Contact for full article.


Flirt with the Fifties Be prepared to embrace all things ladylike, as style steps back several decades to the utterly glamorous, feminine fifties.


esigners continually look to the history

new look, is not at all dissimilar to the post

of dress for inspiration and this season

war fifties. Again Dior led the way showcasing

the focus is on the fifties. An age of glam-

flirty, fifties pinup-girl fashion on the catwalk

our, it was a celebration of fashion after

with high-waisted shorts, frilly skirts and fem-

the depression of war. Once again luxury

inine fabrics: gingham prints and spring time

fabrics could be shipped from abroad and

florals. A similar look appeared at Louis Vuit-

designers like Dior demonstrated the new

ton, while Teddy boys stepped out at Tod’s-

availability of materials by using the pretti-

proving fifties style reigns supreme for girls

est of prints and ample fabric to create the

and boys this season.

fullest skirts. Style was pretty, frivolous and

fun, as were the girls who worked it.

lowed suite, making it easier than ever to em-

Last year fashion took on a utility

ulate the look. Or better yet, hunt down the

look with sombre shades and heavy fabrics:

real deal: vintage fashion is becoming increas-

a reflection of a recession ravaged country.

ingly popular courtesy of style icons like Kate

But it’s a new year, a new season and the

Moss and Alexa Chung and vintage stores are


The good news is the high street has fol-

night. Add a contemporary twist of your own; Louis Vuitton added oversized, chunky jewellery to the fifties inspired designs which filled the 2011 Cruise Collection. What will Judy be wearing to replicate the look? “I haven’t got the legs for teeny tiny shorts anymore so a full floral skirt, denim shirt and a straw sunhat because spring is on its way!” she tells me.

It’s time to be glad to be a girl and steal your

grandmother’s style (not her current style mind,) and revert to the fifties lifestyle too. Pack your picnic hamper and prepare to embrace afternoon tea, pinup-girl glamour and, if Grease is anything to go by, bursting into song at every available opportunity. springing up here, there and absolutely everywhere. Travelling fairs like Judy Berger’s ‘Affordable Vintage’ have been making it even simpler by bringing the dresses of days gone by direct to you. There’s certainly something appealing about hunting down the perfect piece among the sixties skirts and thirties fringed goodies. “Different decades come and go in fashion but I’m so glad this season’s all about the fifties; it was such a girly and glamorous time.” Judy Berger said.

The key to the fifties look was to love the femi-

nine silhouette, whether with nipped in waists and full skirts in playful prints. Women are transformed from day to night, with easy to wear cottons by day, (think super short shorts paired with androgynous blouses and shirts) becoming fabulously feminine frocks by


Pasta Masterclass

Five competitors go for gold as they attempt to create an orinal, delectable dish.


fter an intense competition in the morning, only

previously). This is particularly risky – not least because

five competitors remained in the game for the sec-

it is so time consuming, and Titus, (whose dish consists

ond heat of the live pasta class. They had 30 minutes to

of butternut squash and chilli ravioli served on a bed

prepare, cook and present two identical portions, using

of spinach and rocket) quickly fell behind. He was still

any dried pasta of their choice.

rolling sheets of pasta when Dan Gee served up two

As the second heat began Judge Dan Arratoon

generous portions of tagliatelle with pork and herbs.

told us what they were looking for: “Competitors re-

Judge Dan Arratoon explained how difficult fresh pasta

ally need to consider their timing – a lot of this morning’s dishes weren’t cooked through; people think pasta cooks much quicker than it does,” he said. As ever, the judges have high expectations for the presentation too, a sprinkling of ‘green fairy candy’ a top one dish didn’t cut earlier that morning, but as John Rutter begins layering a circular spinach and ricotta lasagne into a tiny, delicious tower it didn’t look as though they would be disappointed.

Two competitors took a daring step and

prepared ravioli, leaving no alternative than to make the pasta themselves, (using dough made


a silver award in spite of a time penalty.

Ellis Masters, who demonstrated exceptional at-

tention to detail, going as far as placing his plates above the oven to warm through, received the much deserved best in class. Using a medley of deliciously colourful and fresh ingredients he prepared Devonshire white crab and spring cannelloni with mango and avocado puree, balsamic glaze

if you start overcomplicating things it does not work

and parmesan to finish. He attributed his success to his choice of ingredients (as opposed


his experience as a head chef, working


Sodexo multiple times and opening restaurants in between) “As soon as you start over complicating things can be to prepare




constraints: “Even


he rolls it

and adding too many ingredients it doesn’t work anymore. I only used about seven things, but super fresh flavours like crème fraiche, lemon zest and herbs. The puree was obviously quite sweet with the mango, but combined together it works really well.” he said, and looking at it, we certainly wouldn’t say no to a serving.

very thinly, where the joins are it’ll still be thick and undercooked if he keeps to the clock” he said.

It was an intense heat, with Dan Gee having

served and cleaned down his station before other competitors had their pasta boiling – the judges were certainly in for some seriously al dente dishes. The pace didn’t drop, with two more chefs serving up with only thirty seconds to spare, to huge audience applause. Unfortunately, as predicted by the judges, Titus Chege didn’t dish up in time, though in testament to his cooking skills, he still came away from the competition with


Indian Summers with

Cyrus Todiwala


yrus Todiwala is incredibly proud of his Indian her-

countries in the world, with some of the best produce

itage and it’s evident in his cooking, which uses

available to us. And a great national health service!” he

an abundance of authentic Indian ingredients. Having


grown up in a small Indian village he talks passionate-

ly about his country’s appreciation for good food; the mounds of red peppers which fill the fields at harvest, the Ria Festival during which different rice dishes are prepared daily and the integral nature of banana leaves in Indian cooking. Equally, he goes on to describe how fortunate we are in Britain to have such a wealth of food resources available to us, and how important it is to support this. As a chef he does everything he can to support British produce, using 98% British meat in his cooking. “History of food is really important and sometimes we forget we live in one of the most privileged


For his Salon Culinaire demonstration Cyrus is

away mud and grit and stones!” he explains.

Having grown up in one of the first Indian villag-

es to speak English fluently and utilise this to trade and do business, Cyrus has gone on to be awarded an OBE and earlier this year he received the prestigious Special Award from the Craft Guild of Chefs. Past winners have included highly prominent chefs including Raymond Blanc, the Roux Brothers and Heston Blumenthal and Cyrus recognised the honour claiming he was: “in good company”.

Over the summer months Cyrus has been work-

ing with Sodexo, adapting some of his dishes into something they can reproduce at various events. The project, ‘Indian Summer’ will give Sodexo clients an unparalleled opportunity to experience unique Indian

prepared a medley of dishes including spiced rice with coconut, a quick vegetable torrine with runner beans, squash, carrot and fresh coconut, and fresh fish in banana leaf. As he prepared the dishes; frying, sealing and boiling simultaneously, he offered advice for preparing the perfect Indian dishes. The importance of having a coconut milk of exactly the right consistency and the benefits of incorpo-

dishes designed to

We created five original recipes, with strong indian flavours

the spicier recipes. While his dishes were predominantly made to traditional Indian recipes, using the herbs and spices of his country, he continually refers back to his European training. Having studied and worked in both France and Britain the dishes he prepared today have a highly polished presentation and utilise cooking methods and skills learnt in Europe. He frequently commented on the differences in meal preparation – particularly when it comes to rice which in England, he says, is ‘too polished’. It doesn’t need washing like the

ard.” As a company they are very dedicated to producing authentic food, which is really important to me. Together, we’ve created five original recipes, with good,

rating black mustard seeds, a natural anti-flatulent which will help the body digest some of

the highest stand-

strong Indian flavours.” he said. But for those who don’t get to experience these dishes, Cyrus’ book ‘International


India’ is a wealth of innovative recipes, advice



placed in their cultural context.

rice he’s cooked with in India: “There you have to wash


The Finishing Touch Five chefs prepare perfect puddings for the hot dessert masterclass.


e very last dish of the day had to be good. As the judges struggled to lift their forks after endless tests and tastes, the hot puddings presented had to be exceptional to win them over. Of all the sights and smells on the day, we weren’t prepared for the jaw dropping deliciousness of swirling chocolate melting away, roasted plums crackling with sweet juices or cream and meringue being whipped to snowy peaks. The rules were simple: competitors had 30 minutes to prepare, cook and present two portions of a hot dessert, incorporating fresh plums. How or where they included the fruit was up to the creativity of the chefs – and creative they certainly were. One competitor prepared a roast plum ‘soup’ served with lightly toasted Italian meringues which unusual as it was, seemed the perfect sweet, winter treat for a cold day.


Judge Dan Arratoon confirmed the importance of innovative ideas: “We want to see unique approaches to incorporating the fresh plum. Presentation as ever, is absolutely key.” This was a point not missed by Ellis Etherington, who served her plum and frangipane tart with a cheerful purple daisy, making her offering even sweeter. This heat had the increased pressure of creating a dish with complimenting flavours: “Plums tend to be very sweet,” one judge said, “The challenge will be balancing it out with a less sugary accompaniment,” and while the plum soup served with meringue might have been an intense sugar hit, another competitor got the balance just right – and went on to win best in class for his efforts. Rob Hickmott prepared a chocolate fondant which was served with poached plums, tuille biscuits and plum syrup. Perhaps the judges were getting full, or maybe their tooth isn’t as sweet as ours, either way we got a little nibble and we can see why it won. Even under pressure Rob’s poached plums were soft and full of fruity flavour while his fondant had the perfect, melting soft centre, which can be so difficult to achieve. He did confess this wasn’t the first time he’s made this particular dessert: “Practice really does make perfect,” he said, when we asked for some tips on how to get our puds as delectable as his. “That and keeping a clean, tidy kitchen, you can’t work efficiently otherwise,” he said, and he would know; having worked for Sodexo for five years, preparing food for nearly 700 Navy personnel a day. With a victory at his second Salon Culinaire event his skills are going to be in demand, our mouths are already watering in anticipation of next year’s dish.

“Our mouths are already watering in anticipation of next year’s dish.”

Love, Virtually

We follow Lucy from the very first stage of

posting her profile through to finding love, losing it and sure enough, finding it again in the endless battle not to become one of those: “mad old women with cats.”

Don’t miss Channel Four’s all new and utterly entertaining portrayal of online love.

Certainly worth watching if you’re consider-

ing internet dating yourself- these women are the voice of experience. They share some of their best and worst dates, the art of taking their perfect profile picture and reveal how far is too far when it comes


to keeping tabs on a new man (it would seem scourne thing we’ve all learnt from the movies and I quote: “Love is, actual-

ly, all around.” But as channel four painstakingly identified in fiction documentary ‘Love Virtually’ last night, it’s certainly not always easy to find.

Men may well be put off dating for life

The programme documents the trials and trib-

ulations of online dating, combining the experiences of real women with the tale of Lucy


blogger for Marie



self-confessed serial


dater. You can’t put the television on or catch a bus without


an advert for online dating and with seven million signing up in 2010 and enjoying 12 million dates


them, it seems

ing Facebook photos is ok, checking out their pad on Google street view, isn’t). In hindsight they’re able to laugh about the tall,

dark and handsome men who have turned out to be rather shorter and tubbier than anticipated, adding some much needed humour alongside Claire Wood’s somewhat depressing portrayal of Lucy Robinson.

One wonders what Lucy herself made of it,

having been portrayed as something of a train wreck when it comes to love and (relevant or not) rarely depicted without a glass of wine in hand. It’s not altogether flattering for someone who is actually a highly successful journalist and independent young woman.

Men may well be put off dating for life given

the documentary’s revelations of the bunny boiler tendencies of well, most women, (the five that feature definitely haven’t done themselves any favours) but us girls will certainly laugh, cringe and probably cry a little bit inside, at the hideous familiarity of it all. Let’s face it: dating website or not, we’re all prone to checking out potential boyfriend material on Facebook first, or seeing if the ex is twittering about a new bird yet.

‘Love Virtually’ makes

this behaviour seem

utterly normal. Phew.

Prince Charming is easier to find online, than at the loacal bar or park.


Everyone Needs a Little Sunshine That’s what The Holiday are for.


alking through the city on an icy night the thought of a holiday is an incredibly appealing one. The thought of The Holiday however, is an intriguing one, for here is a band almost impossible to pin down and difficult to discover unless you’re lucky enough to chance upon them which as it turns out, I am. Drummer Jonathan describes the band as one of the industry’s best kept secrets: “You can’t find us online,” he said and he’s not kidding. A Google search for them will offer a variety of cheap deals to Thailand, but a song or a photograph of the band? Not so much. The group has romantic ideas about creating hype as people scour the internet for them to no avail. Risky, as the reality is today’s audience will quickly move on to the next up and coming artist - and The Holiday are in danger of being swept under the rug. The very dedicated might discover a short blurred video of one


of their live performances, but it really doesn’t do the band justice. “We don’t want to throw it on the internet for just anyone; we want people who know about us and like us to have it.” Dan explains. We’re promised a free download for signing up to their as of yet, non existent mailing list. Fingers crossed the freebie is ‘Cue the Sun’- one of their earliest tracks and still a firm favourite with the band: “It’s our call to arms,” Jonathan claims and it’s this song that’s getting them recognition and support act gigs with suc-

cessful bands like Little Comets and Fun. Or perhaps they’ll give us their newest track, yet to be performed but already a firm favourite: “I managed to listen to it 107 times in about two days,” Jonathan reveals. The five piece (including two James’ and a Jamie: they’re not making this easy for us) formed early this year, complete when vocalist Jamie was finally persuaded to leave his previous band and join the venture. Despite being the front man on stage, the moment they come away its clear Jonathan is the leader of this gang, not least because he stands a good foot higher than the others: “We had a photoshoot at the weekend, which was a bit of a nightmare.” Jonathan jokes. The boys are in good spirits though a little restless, keen to get off on a night out and enjoy some music which isn’t their own, having been locked away writing and rehearsing songs for longer than they care to think. Two of the band live together making it quite an intense working relationship. Jonathan tells us: “It helps with the song writing process, anytime I have an idea I just go into Dan and we work on it,

the problem is neither of us can sing.” Fortunately Jamie can, though often he changes their original vocals meaning one way or another, they all contribute to the process. It’s hard to believe former members of the likes of ‘Anal Dare’ and ‘Weasel Wedge’ have come together to form (the quite frankly, much preferable) The Holiday, a name which they feel epitomises what they’re about. “The name sort of sums up our upbeat sound, image and personalities,” Jonathan explains and certainly, they do appear to have sunny dispositions: “Let the good times roll!” the cry, and it’s a refreshing contrast to the downbeat bands of recent years like White Lies and Glasvegas. The Holiday aim to lift spirits with their bright, guitar-pop sounds, citing musical influences range from Morrisey to McFly, they have a truly unique sound which is difficult to compare to anything which has come before. From supporting Little Comets to playing a cramped space above Southampton Solent University’s Student Union, they embrace the opportunity to play anywhere they get the chance, and with an audience of perhaps a hundred squeezed in and a stage which has them literally rubbing shoulders ‘intimate’ is definitely the word. Laughing and joking together on stage their good mood is infectious and it’s difficult to resist tapping a foot to their rhythms. It’s the instrumentals which really carry this band, bassist James joins in on vocals intermittently but there’s more potential there- he has a distinctive voice, which has been the success of bands such as The Strokes or We Are Scientists. As they head into the night the invitation to join their party is reiterated, several times and actually, I can’t deny I’m tempted. The boys have a great sense of humour and instantly put those around them at ease, they’ve already publicised some impressive dance moves on the stage and there’s a twinkle in the eye that tells of good times: everyone should take time out for The Holiday.

“He has a distinctive voice, which has been the success of bands such as The Strokes or We Are Scientists.”


Cover(ed) Girl H&M’s latest advertising campaign makes a mess of Gisele Bündchen’s modesty.


n western culture we are used to photoshopped cover girls and airbrushed beauties, but you’d be forgiven for thinking there’s little left to correct for supermodel Gisele Bündchen. However it’s her modesty which has been enhanced for H&M’s latest advertising campaign. In the UK bikini bods barely get a second glance and in fact LOVE magazine recently went all out, launching ‘The Fashion Icons’ issue, which would have been more aptly named ‘The Naked’ issue. The pages were filled with many of our favourite supermodel faces, including Kate Moss and Naomi Camp-


bell, bearing quite literally, all. Girls everywhere surely shed a few tears at the unfeasibly beautiful bodies gracing the pages, but were we bothered by the nudity? Barely a raised eyebrow. Meanwhile internationally Gisele’s fully clothed shoot for H&M’s spring/ summer 2011 collection is causing controversy, having been deemed ‘too racy’ for the Middle East. While the same images are being used, some heavy handed photoshopping has provided her with incongruous undershirts beneath several garments. Elsewhere a whole

extra panel of fabric has been added to a floral frock, to disguise Gisele’s décolleté. If I sound contemptuous, it’s not because they’ve covered Gisele up; it’s the tactless approach they’ve taken in doing so. Surely a wealthy company like H&M could have produced alternative promotional images for their Middle Eastern market. Perhaps they could have used a scarf? Or did no one think to whip out a cardy at this photoshoot and say: “Here Gisele, pop this on for the next photo”? Voila, Gisele’s modesty could have been preserved without having two glaringly obvious white rectangles superimposed over her offending armpits. Furthermore, by adding extra pieces of fabric, H&M have completely altered the design of certain garments, so they’re essentially advertising products which don’t exist. As soon as a customer tries a top or two on, they’ll quickly see the neckline falls decidedly lower than it does on the advertisement. La Moda Dubai who is responsible for the digital alterations explained: “It better aligns the campaign with the sensibilities of the GCC market.” (Gulf Cooperation Council includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates). But by editing the clothes rather than offering their Middle Eastern clients wearable alternatives they’re not providing a feasible solution. Most countries within the GCC don’t actually enforce strict dress codes: it’s simply considered etiquette to wear modest clothes in public spaces. Putting a jumper on Gisele instead of a skimpy floral frock would have sufficed, and Gisele still would have looked fabulous instead of faintly hilarious.

“By editing images rather than offering their Middle Eastern clients wearable alternatives, H&M are not providing a feasi-


Perks of the Indoor Picnic Don’t let wet weather ruin the party.


here’s nothing nicer than summertime. Long days lying in the sun, eating strawberries, frolicking about the garden barefoot and laughing at the idea of ever needing to wear a coat, but those days are long gone and there’s nothing funny about the thought of coats anymore, or boots and brollies for that matter. Fortunately, not all our favourite summery pastimes have to end. Here’s something I discovered earlier this year in the as ever, utterly average British summer. I’d planned the perfect birthday picnic which nearly had to be called off due to silly stormy weather, but instead we relocated. Indoors. I know what you’re thinking,; glorified dinner party – but not if you lie a rug on the floor, eat from paper plates and fill the room with flowers. Swap lemonade for hot chocolate and when evening

comes trade your bonfire for tamed flames in the grate, toast marshmallows and snuggle up as cosy as can be. If anything, it’s better than the average picnic: no grass stains, bees in the honey pot or ants in your pants. Admittedly you can’t hear the wind in the trees or the birds singing, but sitting cross-legged on a rug for tea will always bring back childhood memories (unfortunatey cramp’s inevitable too) and make you feel all nostalgic and warm inside. If this is all too twee remember ‘indoors’ is only limited by your imagination. Perhaps you should pop up a tent in a meadow, brush out the garden shed or nestle down in an old hay barn*. You’ll practically have to drag yourself outside again when spring comes.

*If you opt for a barn take your/your neighbour’s cat with you: rats like barns and picnics.


Online Image Sources html Cover image: copyright Rachel Kennedy Fifties Fashion photographs: copyright Rachel Kennedy


editorial work  

A selection of features and articles I've written