The Siren Issue 3 2012

Page 1

college tribune entertainment supplement 9.10.12


and the future of the music industry DES BISHOP LIKES TO BANG








MUSIC Brewing up a Storm: Bob Dylan’s Tempest By Ciaran Breslin Page 5

You wouldn’t download a car... By Kathryn Toolan Page 4

ARTS Social Satire: Casual Vacancy By Sínead Slattery Page 6

reslin Ciaran B Editor Music

My absence from this section in our previous issue (caused, as hinted at, by the pressing business of celebrating an All Ireland victory) seems to have resulted in the cruel decision to select an accompanying picture that looks a bit like I’m making my First Holy Communion. It was actually from the Trinity Ball, which was the last occasion that saw Professor Green on these shores, until last week when he returned with a host of others to celebrate Arthur’s Day. Arthur’s Day has become a credible mini-festival, bringing a refreshingly eclectic range of talent for several intimate gigs across the country. From Mumford and Sons furiously strumming their banjos in front of a packed crowd in Whelans, to Tinie Tempah in Belfast and Fat Boy Slim spinning the decks at Reardens in Cork, it was a fantastic day’s music across the country. This week sees Boys Noize return to the Academy before Marina and the Diamonds head to the Olympia. The o2 also has a busy couple of weeks in store with Kelly Clarkson and Tenacious D both performing, before The Kink’s legendary front man Ray Davis takes to the stage. All this makes for a healthy couple of weeks on Dublin’s live scene, providing a reminder of the importance of live performances in the aftermath of the news of the introduction of prison sentences for illegal downloading in Japan. As music becomes commoditized, artists tend to be forced to tour more often without physical album sales, a tenuous situation but one which, in the short term at least, we can enjoy the benefits of.

More art with less matter By Aifric Ni Ruairc Page 7

French Fancies for the Uninformed By Lisa Gorry Page 8

Killing Them Softly By Joseph Gallagher Page 9


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The Dublin Docklands have calmed down after Munich export Oktoberfest and the city’s buildings have firmly shut their doors for another year following Open House Dublin (UCD’s offering? The New Student Centre and Roebuck Halls...). In case you’re afraid the city’s going to be awful quiet, don’t worry - Dublin Theatre Festival 2012 is still in action for another week. Tickets for most shows are still available but check out to figure out which show you want to see and to book your tickets. We’ve also got our Don’t Miss This! guide to tell you what’s what in Dublin and where you should be going - my personal favourite is Rumours tonight in the Grand Social; I’m far too excited about it for my own good. If Oktoberfest has made you realise how much you prefer continental culture to Irish, check out our list of must see French films. Unfortunately, The Siren got a bit of a flu down at the Docklands and we just can’t face leaving the house just yet; if you’re feeling the same, grab one of our reviewed books and stay in for a night of wit and whims. Stay artsy UCD.

Thrift shop by Miceala O’ Donavan Page 10

Flowering Fashions: Cath Kidston by Lauren Treacy Page 10

Style Icon: Bianca Jagger by Roisin Sweeney Page 11

Dowager designs by Erin Dunleavy Page 10

ey Sween n i s i o tor R ion Edi Fash

It’s been a dramatic week in Paris, where expectations were high for new designers such as Raf Simmons at Dior and Hedi Slimane at Yves Saint Laurent. The two have been pitted against each other by the press, and in terms of design, showmanship, and attitude, Dior has come out on top. Hedi Slimane presented a collection that, simply put, looked like a Yves Saint Laurent knockoff. He treated his guests as if they should be grateful to have been invited, and rudely left one of the industry’s most respected critics, Cathy Horyn, off the guest list. It was the Chanel show that really brought people to their senses, where Karl Lagerfeld showed an exquisite collection of more than 100 looks, reminding people that no matter what new designers come and go, no matter what hype surrounds them, he will always be the king of Paris fashion.




ay of last year saw Kreayshawn’s ‘Gucci Gucci’ take Youtube by storm, with the minature rapper going viral in her clarion call of swag. Kreayshawn’s got so much swag that, she claims, “it’s pumping out [of her] ovaries.” A year later, the Bay Area rapper has seen a summer of twitter spats with Minaj, an alKreayshawn - Somethin ‘Bout Kreay leged seven-figure deal, and finally more than one song. Unfortunately, Somethin’ Bout Kreay fails to live up to the hype. Last year’s ‘Gucci Gucci’ was annoyingly catchy, with the an-

S Josephine - Portrait

uch is the nature of the music industry that it’s hard to believe that the ‘next big thing’ is ever going to be just that. Meet Josephine Oniyama, a Mancunian singer whose album Portrait is about to captivate music enthusiasts worldwide. She’s all that. Manchester possesses a heritage rich in soul. The 60s saw The Twisted Wheel aid in the Northern Soul phenomenon. The Hacienda helped spread the rave culture that would dominate until the late 90s. Josephine, sitting at the forefront of a lineage of great Mancunian music,


manda Palmer is the most famous person you’ve never heard of: she’s a social media obsessive, a born exhibitionist, an overt and opinionated feminist who always has Kickstarter projects on the go, and somewhere in this she has developed a disturbing fascination with the ukulele. The very week her album is reAmanda Palmer & The Grand Theft leased she was embroiled in an online battle with various musiOrchestra - Theatre is Evil cal bodies following her appeal for string and horn players to join her on tour for nothing more than free beer and a good time. This triggered

F Death Grips - No Love Deep Web

or all the effort that these three California drifters have put into alienating people in their two years’ existence, it is the penis on the cover of their second major-label album that raises the possibility that they really do not want to be liked. The album’s surprise leak on Monday was the latest headache for their paymasters at Epic, seemingly the latest exercise in how far the band can push the boat out; however, intentionally or not, their profile just continues to skyrocket. The pulsating opening of “Come

noyance being overtly brazen and artlessly blatant. Filled with those half-caprioles of wit which our generation seems to enjoy with exuberance, Kreayshawn’s “one big room full of bad bitches” lyrics plagued hipster clubs throughout the year. This is where the catchiness ends. Kreayshawn’s ‘Blasé Blasé’ demonstrates her brat behavior on a whole new level, sounding less than a working class rapper and more like Daphne and Celeste on heroin. This, lamentably, isn’t a good thing. The downfall of Somethin’ Bout Kreay is that the album is innately

one of novelty and not of innovation. Not even the production work of Diplo, Boys Noize or Kid Cudi can help the record’s feeling of being a quick cash-in. The chafe album is threadbare in that it’s all ember and no spark. The newest single off the album, ‘Go Hard’, is the Home Alone 3 of music releases this year. Irreflective, unthought, childish and overproduced, ‘Go Hard’ is possibly everything that is wrong with the American music industry. This, perhaps, is its only achievement; it encompasses all things ste-

reotypically hedonistic. Generic auto-tuned lyrics reign supreme throughout the album. The lyrics lack substance and power (Kreayshawn claims to be influenced by the Spice Girls and Missy Elliot). Somethin’ Bout Kreay is - just like Kreayshawn herself - all lime and salt but no tequila.

is influenced by an array of various genres, from Mitchell to Marley. Portrait achieves through a musical quality which is both innovative and nostalgic; It is an audacious Janus. Josephine has managed to produce something individual and distinct, a rare feat within an industry that continuously assembling the latest fad pop princesses of the future. Unlike her contemporaries, Josephine’s Voice dominates the album with production and instruments taking second prize. A voice reminiscent of the days of vinyl,

classic undertones accompanied by a sense of experience and eloquence inform the album’s quality. The Jazz genre, one which has become seemingly archaic to the modern generation, is made accessible with soft and subtle jazz-inspired bars appearing throughout. ‘Original Love’, one of the album’s highlights, plays with Josephine’s West African heritage, infusing this with ever-changing smooth and tempestuous tones, recalling gospel greats such as Mahalia Jackson. The album is clearly heavily influenced by the complex rhythmical

styles of the likes of Marley, as well as adapting the story-telling heritage of a time past. Portrait is a relaxed, well thought out, box of melodies that doesn’t leave the listener feel shortchanged -as they are so often with pop albums these days.

a debate about the value of the artist, not least at the Siren, in which Palmer has been eloquent even on the back foot while everyone from Steve Albini to the American Federation of Musicians have had their input. It’s a diverting argument in every sense, yet no-one is talking about the songs. Often lost is the reason people fell for Amanda Palmer in the first place, as the mesmeric frontwoman of ‘Brechtian Punk Cabaret’ duo the Dresden Dolls, who could hammered ballads and furious piano-driven teeth-rattlers.

She’s a genuine talent with a lyrical knack for lovelorn honesty, anger and vicious wit. Theatre Is Evil suffers the same problem as the woman herself, as the presentation and context is so impressive it may overshadow the music: the crowd-funded project took over a million dollars in advance, defying the accepted record label model. The album is not fury of the Dresden Dolls, nor the elegant sketches of her previous solo effort Who Killed Amanda Palmer. It’s not, thankfully, the quirkierthan-you experiments of her album

of ukulele Radiohead covers or the Evelyn, Evelyn concept record. It’s much better. This isn’t a record you dismiss with one play. It demands work from the listener (like an audio version of Mrs Dalloway). Given proper attention, Theatre Is Evil unfolds into something ingenuously captivating.

Up and Get Me” serves to set the tone for the entirety of this gritty collection. From the sparse first track , it is evident that the band’s approach has evolved since last year’s chaotic “Ex Military” mixtape. Zach Hill’s drum throne is now more of a back seat, giving breathing space to the album as he manipulates all he surveys in much more sinister hues (However, label restrictions on their former sampling habits could explain this more than a desire to mellow out). The leaner production jars with

MC Ride’s straining-the-leash delivery, giving the beast more space to lash out. Ride’s outlook has actually grown more nihilistic on this sophomore effort; vivid scenarios of suicide are painted in hip-hop’s most articulate lexicon, Ride at times taunting life itself to pull the rug out from under him- “Murdered out windows, two exits/ Street or nosedive to the next life in seconds.” It is as if he is daring those forces controlling him to do their worst. Where fans of Death Grips’ earliest work may have had their tastes

Stephen West

Stephen West

Stephen West

challenged by the lush-by-comparison “Money Store” back in April, “No Love…” is more of a return to their earlier style, the bitter hangover from the party. It is too early to speculate how Death Grips will bite the hand that feeds next time around, but judging by this album, the suits at Epic will just keep scraping back for more.

Graham Luby



You wouldn’t download a car... Kathryn Toolan looks at ever-topical debate of illegal music downloading, the arguments for and against, and the effects it has on the music industry.


his month saw a crackdown on illegal music downloading across the globe, most notably in Japan, where downloaders now face the friendly prospect of two years in prison or a hefty fine if caught downloading as little as one file illegally from the internet. Too far? Not far enough? It is an ever present topic of debate (one with a lot of grey areas). Can the illegal downloading of music be accepted as the next step in the evolution of the music industry? Or is it just criminality, plain and simple? Almost everyone has done it. Even the most morally – just, upstanding citizens sometimes can not wait for the iTunes release date and just have to experience the most recent musical masterpiece from the prepubescent pop prince

Italy with 33.2 million, Canada with 24 million and Brazil with 19.7 million downloads. And the victims of this download-mania? It seems Drake is the main man Stateside and the Brits feel similarly about a certain red haired crooner. But are they truly the victims? Or could they also be the main benefactors? Evolution or criminality, which is it? Illegal downloading. With the word “illegal” in it’s title, one would often feel that the argument is over before it has even begun. But enter grey area numero uno: can downloading a song from the internet be entered into the same category of illegality as tax fraud or even assault? (Japan thinks so.) Regardless of the morality issue, it is a break of copyright. A song is a combination of time, capital

financial gain should not be the driving force behind any musical act; anti-downloaders respond with the argument that bills need to be paid. Elitism is, however, often overlooked when examining this issue. Dave Grohl and Neil Young think it’s okay to download illegally, Young even going in so far as saying “piracy is the new radio,” but Dave and Neil are sitting on top of bags of financial security, accumulated after long careers in the music business. What about up-andcoming artists and bands? They argue that record labels are taking less and less risks with new acts as a result of lost revenue from illegal downloading. Losses in revenue? Let’s ask Universal Music, who boasted a 3.2 percent increase in revenue this quarter. This points to a problem with the industry

"The facts: over one in three people illegally download music material for personal use, and over 95 percent of all music downloads are illegal." himself, the Bieber. Life simply wouldn’t be worth living. “Sure, I believe in the rights of the artist just eh, don’t check my browser history.” The facts: over one in three people illegally download music material for personal use, and over 95 percent of all music downloads are illegal. So who are the main offenders? BitTorrent (the peer to peer file sharing giant) released figures this week that did some naming and subsequently, shaming. Not surprisingly, the USA topped the table with an impressive 96.7 million illegal downloads in the last six months alone. But even more impressive is the silver medalist, the UK, with a very respectable 43.4 million downloads. Runners up included

and labour with a final product at the end. To download it for free is essentially stealing. No one can ever forget the “brilliant” antipiracy adverts at the beginning of all videos and dvds. A patronising male voice telling you that “you wouldn’t steal a car.” Well actually, given the chance, with no traceability and no prospect of getting caught... you probably would. Not that they don’t try to catch you. Year after year vast amounts of taxpayer’s money is being spent on police operations to stop illegal downloading, with very little or completely ridiculous results. Ridiculous? In 2007 the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) filed a lawsuit against a gentleman by the name of Chazz Berry, of New York City for copyright infringement. Seems quite reasonable, the only possible cause for concern was that Mr Berry was homeless, and had been for quite some time.

Proponents for illegal downloading put forward the argument that

and record labels, not illegal downloading. Record labels no longer have the power to decide who and what is popular on the music circuit. It is now possible for a relatively unknown artist to reach a certain level of success, without having to fork out cash for a marketing campaign. YouTube and SoundCloud are often viewed nowadays as the new “word of mouth”.

in five of the top 20 countries on the illegal downloading shortlist. This includes Brazil, which is number five on said list. Van has gained worldwide recognition that he may not have gotten without his controversial deal with BitTorrent. Another example is the mega-star that is Laura Pausini. Who? Pausini is the most downloaded artist in Italy and her popularity has increased

This makes downloading illegally seem less harmful to the artist, “they make their money from concerts anyway.” But what if the artist is dead? A sound engineer still had to completely re-master Elvis Presley’s music catalogue and unfortunately he can no longer tour (being deceased is a large hindrance on a worldwide tour). Is there a way to rectify this situation? A possible negotiation with the big

"It seems that the method of policing illegal downloading is currently not working so a possible solution may be just to completely re-vamp the industry.” So what about iTunes? It can not be denied that since the introduction of the iPod by Steve Jobs in in 2001, iTunes has monopolized the legal music download market. Economically, perfect competition is always preferred i.e. two or more firms offering the same product. For the sake of the consumer, removing the market power from iTunes can be viewed as a positive step. A side to the debate that is relatively unknown is the benefits of illegal downloading, not just to the music lover, but to the artists themselves. At the start of this year dubstep producer/artist Billy Van signed a deal with BitTorrent Inc to distribute his new EP – Cardigan. It is now the most downloaded song

tenfold as a result of her BitTorrent fame. Ed Sheeran recently quipped that if 1 million people downloaded his album legally and 7 million people downloaded it illegally, that was still 8 million people listening to his music. Artists’ main source of revenue comes from gigs, concerts and merchandising. Only a minute percentage of their profits come from cds and downloads (as small as 1/40th in some cases) . The majority of revenue from cd and download sales go to the Big Bad Record Label. Prices of concerts have risen in recent times but not drastically so. Ultimately they can not exceed a certain amount, otherwise people simply would not attend.

names in the illegal downloading world, such as BitTorrent? This is clearly a multi dimensional debate, with new developments and arguments made everyday. It seems that the method of policing illegal downloading is currently not working so a possible solution may be just to completely re-vamp the industry. Rather than see BitTorrent and Spotify as the enemy, they should be incorporated into business plans. Used for publicity and, ultimately, for gains. Constraints and financial compensation should also be considered. Whatever happens, something has to change. As the great Sam Cooke sang, “..long time coming, But I know a change gonna come.”



Brewing up a Storm: Bob Dylan’s Tempest On the occasion of his 35th studio album, Ciaran Breslin looks at the implications of Tempest on Dylan’s catalogue, as well as his influence on popular music


hirty-five studio albums in and Bob Dylan’s latest offering provides the usual mix of enigma, lyrical fodder for Dylan sleuths, and fantastic songs. In terms of musicianship Tempest seamlessly follows the albums of Dylan’s later years; since Time Out of Mind in 1997 Bob’s deteriorating rasp has been palliated by a big, complete blues and country sound, every note beautifully played and produced and Tempest is no different.

album of a few years back), although it’s always laced with the same humour, intelligence and a delicacy of language not replicated anywhere in music. ‘Dusquene Whistle’, the lead single of the album, begins with a gentle riff on strings and organ before exploding about 45 seconds in into a tight bouncing waltz, while the main man whales “Listen to that Dusqene whistle blowing!” The melody is infectious and is a reminder of Dylan’s timeless ear

all extensive mysterious narratives and barbed tongued. The riled voice on ‘Pay In Blood’ sounds every inch the same as that on ‘Positively Fourth Street’ for example. “How I made it back home, nobody knows/Or how I survived so many blows/I’ve been through hell, what good did it do?/You bastard! I’m supposed to respect you?” Dylan sneers, still with the same furious sneer he once directed towards Mr. Jones. The overall effect is a little like Dylan

“Fans will be delighted by the freshness and (echoing back to earlier years of Dylan) vitriolic aggression of the record.” Fans will be delighted by the freshness and (echoing back to earlier years of Dylan) vitriolic aggression of the record. Perhaps the only thing we can confidently predict about him is that he’s going to be unpredictable. Really, he’s liable to do anything musically and has throughout his career (from pioneering Rock and Roll in 1965, through his gospel period and right up to the bizarre Christmas

for a tune. The video is even better, featuring a kind of crazy tableau that looks like it comes from a slapstick romantic comedy, punctuated by an amiable Dylan strolling around New York with a variety of seedy looking characters. Indeed, while retaining that country-blues sound, Tempest is probably more poppy than Modern Times, boasting plenty of hooks and riffs. Stylistically it really is reminiscent of 60’s Dylan:

doing young Dylan, perhaps both an acknowledgment of the importance and the influence of the very style he created, and a reminder of his current distance from it. ‘Roll on John’, a beautiful track written about John Lennon, functions in a similar vein, sounding all poignant and reflective, a sage eye cast backwards through the foggy ruins of time, towards this kind of mythical influential figure,

until you remember that Dylan predated the Beatles man, used to hang around with him and probably influenced him more than anyone else. This again results in a kind of incidental reference his own influence and longevity: if this is what John Lennon is today, a musical influence of the past to be enshrined and remembered, then what does that make Dylan? Not only is he still around creating music but he’s the one doing the remembering. Really it underlines the unmatched shadow Dylan casts across the musical world. The album offers plenty of moments of humour and deprecation. ‘Roll On John’ sees Dylan inserting some iconic Lennon lyrics into his own, with the guttural cry of “I heard the news today oh boy/They tore the heart right out and cut him to the core” inspiring amusement more than anything else. The title track however perhaps best sums up the album. At fourteen minutes long, focusing on the dramatic re-imagining of a famous event it’s almost a pastiche of himself. Even the concept sounds like classic Dylan, a fourteen minute

epic about the Titanic, and, as the melody kicks in with some knowing irish folky fiddles, you can’t help but think that Dylan was aiming for a collective grin from his audience. Like Alecia Keys’ famous name drop on Modern Times, this time Dylan mentions “Leo’s sketchbook”, delighting and bemusing in equal measure. The full cast of the song, heroic sailors and villainous gamblers, the gentry and the work hands all sprawl through the melodramatic melee of the sinking ship, sounding like a nautical ‘Desolation Row’. The album is, of course, brilliant. The kind of criticism that Dylan has occasionally encountered in recent years, that he has lost his voice or that he is no longer relevant, completely miss the point. How can he be anything but relevant? It would be like if a new Shakespeare play was suddenly unearthed and everyone dismissed it because it was written so long ago. Like the greatest artists, Dylan transcends zeitgeist and fashion. He remains the most enduring and influential figure in music, the voice of generations, and he’s still not finished speaking.

Bob Dylan – The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (1963)

Blood on the Tracks (1975)

Blonde on Blonde (1966)

With his second album, Dylan grabbed the hearts and minds of the youth movement in America at one of the most tumultuous of political times. The album shattered comparisons of him as a younger version of Woody Guthrie (as so many criticized him for being at the time).

The motorcycle accident, the turn towards old folk and pastoral songs . . . People wondered where the Bob of old had gone. He reappeared on this masterpiece full to the brim with great songs. Divorce might be tough, but it’s great for creativity.

‘Sad-Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands’, at over 11 minutes, presents the surreal picture of a female figure that sets this album apart. It an ode to his wife Sara Lownds. It’s a list song, in 6/8 waltz arrangement, with Dylan on acoustic guitar and harmonica. The musicians in the studio were all expecting a three minute song, but in typical Dylan manner, he just kept on with new verses.



The only honest art form is laughter Social Satire: Casual Vacancy Conor Fox finds out that ‘There’s no show like a Joe


show’ at Dublin Theatre Festival. eaturing music from the man himself, The Night Joe Dolan’s Car Broke Down originated in Virginia Co. Cavan and did the rounds in surrounding counties before being transferred to Dublin’s Olympia Theatre, returning for a limited run during Dublin’s Theatre Festival. Set in The Glenaduff Inn in Cavan on a stormy St. Stephen’s night, the play features a host of small town characters, easily recognisable and identifiable, whose stories unravel as the night unfolds. As a critic, there’s a lot to nitpick about the play. The majority of the plot takes place in the first half making it feel overly full yet strangely sluggish at the same time. The audience is clearly waiting for ‘Joe’ to arrive and when he finally does, the second half reads like a tribute concert stuck in the middle of a play; the last scene wrapping up what happened in the previous act. The storyline set around the ‘Horse’ Munley’s apparent 60th birthday and English blow-in Jane’s mysterious reason for

wanting to celebrate his birthday isn’t particularly strong and the actors play most of the lines for laughs. That said, the laughs come consistently and raucously and the cast clearly understand their characters fully which allows for a performance deeper than the script may intend. It may not be a great play but it’s a great show. John O’Grady’s appearance as Joe Dolan lifts the audience literally onto their feet. He easily manages to fill the stage of the Olympia, belting out the late Dolan’s hits. Between his presence and the audience’s eagerness for joining in, it’s impossible to sit still; even if you’re just grinning at the cheese of it all. If you’re a hardcore “theatre is art” fan, it’s not advisable to see the show. If you’re just looking for a few laughs and a bit of a dance, head on down to the Olympia. You’ll probably be about 30 years younger than the rest of the audience but embrace it - you’ll be left wanting More and More and More. There may be ‘no show like a Joe show’ but McIntyre, O’Grady and crew offer a fine alternative.

New Releases The Perks of Being a Wallflower Director: Stephen Chbosky Stars: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Paul Rudd. Plot: An introvert freshman is taken under the wings of two seniors who welcome him to the real world. Why watch it? If you’re a fan of the original novel there will be much comfort in the fact that the author is helming the movie. Why not watch it? You are repulsed by any flattering depictions of pubescent angst.

Potterhead Sínead Slattery gets to grips with J. K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy


isguised as a ‘storm in a tea cup’ novel about small-town politics, J. K. Rowling’s first offering since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows surprises with unflinching descriptions of the hardships of modern life. Barry Fairbrother may die in the first chapter but his ghost looms large throughout the rest of the novel and over the lives of the other characters. Raised in the Fields (housing projects on the edge of town) and now a wellliked parish councillor, it’s Barry’s empty seat on the parish council is the “casual vacancy” of the title. Someone needs to take his place and Pagford’s finest begin plotting against each other. Whilst voting campaigns get underway, an online moniker “The Ghost of Barry Fairbrother” starts to reveal tightly guarded secrets about Pagford’s residents causeing chaos and consternation in the town. There’s also an ongoing turf war of sorts – some people want the Fields to be reassigned to the neighbouring town’s council and thus be rid of its social problems; others are fighting for it to stay. Pagford’s an uncharitable town filled with petty politics and obsessions over appearance and class. Overflowing with unlikeable characters, it’s the teenagers in the story that really make you care: chain-smoking Andrew, the victim of unrequited love; Stuart “Fats” who believes in “authenticity” even if it means hurting others; self-harming Sukhvinder whose family seems to forget about her; infamous Fields resident Krystal Weedon who is trying to keep her mother teetotal and her little brother out of care. Rowling is back on familiar ground when describing the lives of her young characters while her adults are largely unpleasant and flatly characterised. The novel can be quite emotional at times, which is expected considering the breath of issues it deals with: drug addiction, self-harm, prostitution, casual sex. Some of the descriptions are a bit vomit-worthy – for example, a discarded condom is described as “glistening in the grass beside her feet, like the gossamer cocoon of some huge grub.” Charming. Rowling herself describes the book as a comic tragedy – I found it more sad than funny. The Casual Vacancy may in holding the reader’s attention for the majority of the novel but lacks complexity; in terms of storytelling and in characterisation. The characters may be twisted but the plot lacks any twists. It’s a dissection of small-town life, a depressing one at that, but not a particularly exciting novel. No matter how much they may want to, the town’s residents cannot simply disapparate out of Pagford – magic can’t save you here. That’s the kicker really: there’s no magic.

The Campaign

Liberal Arts


Director: Jay Roach

Director: Josh Radnor

Director: Scott Derrickson

Stars: Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, Jason Sudeikis, Dylan McDermott.

Stars: Josh Radnor, Elizabeth Olsen, Zac Efron, Elizabeth Reaser.

Stars: Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, James Ransone, Fred Dalton Thompson

Plot: In order to gain influence over their North Carolina district, two CEOs seize an opportunity to oust long-term congressman Cam Brady by putting up a rival candidate. Their man: naive Marty Huggins, director of the local Tourism Center. Why watch it? It provides a comical escape from reality during the height of the presidential election. Why not watch it? You’re a supporter of the republican party and you fathom at the fact Zach Galifianakis, a bearded, weed-smoking, fat man is the person Hollywood thought best to play one running for office in this movie.

Plot: When 30-something Jesse returns to his alma mater for a professor’s retirement party, he falls for Zibby, a college student, and is faced with a powerful attraction that springs up between them. Why watch it? Multi-talented Josh Radnor, best known from How I Met Your Mother, writes, directs, produces, and stars in a tale that shines a romantic light on the dilemmas that occur between those students in buildings reminiscent of that of the Newman Building. Why not watch it? You’re a young female college student and you worry that the plot may influence you to take extra-credit in the not-so-hunky arms of much of the faculty in the Newman Building.

Plot: Found footage helps a true-crime novelist realize how and why a family was murdered in his new home, though his discoveries put his entire family in the path of a supernatural entity. Why watch it? It combines found footage creepiness and haunted house scares – sounds rather interesting. Why not watch it? You’re fed up with the fact that people from the team behind the Paranormal Activity releasing a new film around Halloween is becoming a recurring overtly saturated trick or treat basket.



More art with less matter Aifric Ni Ruairc gets reacquainted with Hamlet and tries to keep up with the Wooster Group’s inventive interpretation


verybody knows Hamlet; maybe you read it for the Junior Cert, maybe you desperately memorized it for the Leaving. If you’re a drama student you’ve probably dissected it, if you’re an English student you’ve probably referenced it in a thousand essays, and if you’re a Psychology student you’ve probably pondered whether Hamlet really did fancy his mammy... With so much written about Hamlet and so many past productions and films is there any new ground to be covered in Hamlet? Can theatre even compete with film anymore? Is there even any point in re-staging the play? The Wooster Group of New York, pioneers of innovative contemporary theatre, attempt to answer these question as they bring director Elizabeth LeCompte’s very different take on Hamlet to Dublin. Hamlet has seeped into our cultural lexicon and The Wooster Group directly address the history, rever-

ence and past-productions of the play in their production. If you’ve never read or seen Hamlet, you’re going to find this production of the play confusing. In fact, even if you have read and seen it, you’ll still be confused. Using multiple onstage televisions and projections The Wooster Group attempt to re-enact a 1964 Broadway production of Hamlet producing something completely new in the process. The production finds itself limited by both its own task –the act of re-enacting a previous production– and by its own agenda. By questioning the importance of multiple productions of the same text and even the relevance of live theatre LeCompte’s production seems to want to render itself redundant. However the play is fast and captivating, pushing the boundaries of the text. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are interchangeable; the actors playing them steal one anoth-

er’s lines seemingly as confounded as the audience when it comes to differentiating the two men. Time is literally “out of joint” here as characters suddenly lurch quickly forward or backwards through the text. When Hamlet is bored with the play he simply calls out “fast-forward”. Hamlet himself is central to the whole production, orchestrating those around him, both actors and technical staff. As such this production becomes more of a play within a play. The actors onstage as manipulated by Hamlet as the players during “The Mousetrap”. The main problem with this production is that although Hamlet is famous (even more famous than Cheryl Cole was at the height of her X-factor glory), not everybody can be expected to know the text. Those who haven’t encountered the play before certainly won’t be able to follow this production.

Des Bishop Likes To Bang

Dealing with everything from drums to drunks, Aifric Ni Ruairc reviews Bishop’s latest comedy offering


hen Róisín Shorthall resigned as Minister for State of Primary Care last week because of her frustrations with Minister for Health James Reilly, little did she realize that she had an unexpected supporter in comedian Des Bishop. But that’s Bishop all over, one minute he’s speaking out in support of Shorthall and the next he’s skipped onto the question of period sex (he’s all for it). If talk of menstruation is not exactly your cup of tea, then prepare to be made uncomfortable. Des Bishop walks the line between polite middle-class jokes and absolute filth. There is something dirty about Bishop that he just can’t seem to repress. He can’t help dropping in a line about his latest conquest or from hinting at just how much he enjoys a good ride. Bishop’s cocky, careless attitude carries him through his new show: Des Bishop Likes To Bang, in which he explores his new-found drumming skills. Bishop really tightened this show during his recent run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and it’s almost consistently funny. Despite this, however, there is a whiff of self-indulgence from the whole thing. Bishop uses the show as an ex-

cuse to show off not just his new love of drumming but also his rapping skills. He takes his hip-hop dreams to the excess wheeling out a Harpist to accompany him and encouraging the audience to stand and sing-along with him. Luckily Bishop is happy to poke fun at his own ego, as he bravely admitted on The Late Late Show recently he has taken to dying his hair. He’s also happy enough to poke fun at his own vanity so secure is he in his own skin. He quips that this is his Irish side and his American side battling with each other. Nothing is beyond ridicule here. Bishop launches a battle not only against greying hair but against the middle-classes and their fondness of a drink. Bishop is a tee-total pioneer and does not hold back about how those around him act with a few drinks on them. He laments the loss of hitch-hiking in Ireland but doesn’t see the current wave of emigration as the tragedy it has been portrayed as by the media. He can’t help but laugh at the idea of the entire population of Australia attempting to reign in the gangs of drunken Irish immigrants. There is plenty to enjoy here, once you suppress the urge to throttle Bishop with his own bow-tie because of his incredible smugness.



French Fancies for the Uninformed Lisa Gorry discusses the ‘je ne sais quoi’ that makes French film so captivating. I’ve never really been much of a foreign film person. If I’m going to see a movie, I don’t want to have to read it, and I definitely don’t want to end up losing interest halfway through because I can’t make up my mind on whether to read the translation or watch the actors. You can’t do both. Or at least I can’t. Foreign films were always reserved for the really cool, hipster kids who understood the abstract storylines and could somehow relate to that Polish lady who finds life again in bread-making. Uncultured as I am, for some reason, it all kind of went over my head. I left it to the cool kids, and went back to my rom-coms and high action flicks. Lately, however, I find myself being sucked into the world of French film. Having done French for the Leaving Cert, I always found the language poetic and musical, as opposed to its European neighbour, German, which sounds (at times) more rough and ready than romantic. Unfortunately, due to a frightfully short retention span, I have no advantage in having learned French at school, as despite six years of careful study, I’ve forgotten most of the lovely language, excluding how to say my name and hello (bonjour, je m’appelle Lisa!). All this said, the charm of the language and the definition of its culture in the movies has not been wasted on me, and has so moved me to step into the cultural abyss and broaden my horizons. Nothing says culture like dabbling in the language of love, and so I’ve picked my top three rather fantastic French fancies for you to feast on: Jeux d’enfants (Love Me If You Dare) This one I’ve actually seen already, but would happily watch again as the magnificent Marion Cotillard brings glamour to the role and real-life romance to the film, as she stars alongside her husband, Guillaume Canet. An enigmatic tale of childhood romance, Jeux d’enfants offers a quirky twist to the prospect of one true love.

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared Not even the rain can keep Lisa Gorry down after finding Jonas Jonasson’s 2009 debut


t’s not unreasonable to say that for most people, Swedish writing is earmarked by the dark and gothic Larsson saga, The Girl With the… trilogy, the series that captured many readers’ interests both before and after its transition onto the big screen. The success of such Scandi-crime has been thoroughly enjoyed by many writers looking to bounce off the success of Lisbeth’s adventures, and so it’s refreshing to find a book now that steers very much clear of such a genre. If I’m honest, I hadn’t really looked at the author when purchasing the book; it didn’t matter to me who had written it, as it was more on an impulse buy, bought out of guiltiness for ducking into Hodges and Figgis to escape a rainstorm. However, I’m beginning to think that it was fate that brought The Hundred-Year-Old Man and I together -it seems that for once the rain in Ireland has done me a bit of good! Allan Karlsson is our epony-

mous hero, a man who is far from done with life and not one to give up so easily on living, and so, on the afternoon of his one hundredth birthday, he creaks out his bedroom window and starts off on the adventure to top all adventures. Jonasson has a very quirky and light way of writing: fast paced and relentlessly sunny, we are lucky enough to accompany Allan on his latest adventure, learning about how he lived his hundred years on the way. While being set in recent years, the novel guides us through some of the major events of the 20th century; with Allan involving himself inadvertently in everything from the Russian Revolution to Reagan’s Star Wars, it soon becomes apparent that the centenarian has a knack for being in the wrong place at the right time. Concurrent to this, we watch as the story of Allan’s present day escape develops into a genial crimefest. While the plot itself is utterly ridiculous, Karlsson’s down-to-earth nature and the book’s innate charm

keeps the reader asking for more, and just when you think you’ve caught up on the story, Jonasson twists the plot and you’ve got something else to catch up on. Confident, quirky and charismatic, The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared will have you laughing out loud and contemplating your own way of living life. Highly recommended if you’re aiming to beat those autumn blues.

Verdict served

Shane Meagher examines why ‘Twelve Angry Men’ is so popular 55 years after its release

Les émotifs anonymes (Romantics Anonymous) Les émotifs anonymes was the first trailer I saw that I thought could maybe change my view of watching foreign film. It tells the story of Angelique and Jean-René, two people with the same crippling shyness who must learn to overcome their fears in order to express their feelings for one another and save Jean René’s business. Interesting fact: both actors actually suffer from severe shyness, and both attended real Romantics Anonymous meetings. Un amour de jeunesse (Goodbye First Love) We get a dose of mixed cultures here in Mia Hansen-Løve’s FrancoGerman examination of first love. Described as a “fluent, confident and deeply felt” movie, this film will pluck the heartstrings of anyone who’s experienced a first love, young or old. Refreshing in that it doesn’t demean young love as being any less worthy of note than that love we experience when we are older, this outstanding film will have even the most uncultured of viewer searching for more.


welve Angry Men is one of the most compelling films you’ll ever see. This is not because of any mind-blowing special effects or fast-paced scenes of action - in fact, the majority of the film takes place in one room. Yet, this masterpiece still enthralls viewers today as much as it did when it premiered in 1957. What is the secret behind its enduring appeal? The film deals with a jury of twelve men, who have been given the unenviable task of determining the guilt or innocence of an eighteen-year old boy who has been accused of stabbing his father to death. In spite of the fact that a guilty verdict would ultimately lead to a death sentence, eleven of the jurors are convinced of the boy’s guilt before any discussion has taken place. However, one man remains doubtful, and refuses to agree to a guilty verdict until the matter has been thoroughly examined and debated by the jury. And so, this juror (played by Henry Fonda) sets out to convince his peers that there is a reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the boy. While this may not sound like a particularly engaging storyline for

a movie that lasts an hour and a half, it is so well executed that the audience is entertained and compelled throughout. Twelve Angry Men is flawlessly written. The characters are well developed, so much so that one can fully believe them to be real people. This is helped by the impeccable acting of all involved. Henry Fonda in particular delivers an outstanding performance as the hero of the story, while the other eleven key actors each play their

part excellently. Sidney Lumet’s directing skills are also a major asset to this film. The fact that it was filmed in black and white only adds to its charm. Twelve Angry Men is one of those films that you’ll never forget. It has suspense, drama, tension and, like so many great movies, it reveals a great deal about the human condition. Truly, this is a movie that has truly earned its reputation as a must-see film. Highly recommended.



Joseph Gallagher examines “first rate gangster noir” Killing Them Softly


ndrew Dominik’s latest effort is a snazzy array of self-importance manifested in a blistering hypnotic movie that features a menacing performance from Brad Pitt as a mob enforcer by the name of Jackie Cogan. Jackie Cogan (Brad Pitt) is hired to track down three men who steal from a Mob-protected card game and restore order to the local criminal underworld. Following on from last year’s The Tree of Life (2011) and Moneyball (2011), Pitt returns to the screen with an animal magnetism and bad-boy charm that

has rarely been seen since Fight Club (1999). Surrounding the star is a string of highly regarded actors such as Richard Jenkins, James Gandolfini, Ray Liotta, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn, and Vincent Curatola. Andrew Dominik’s talent was made apparent in films such as Chopper (2000) and The Assasination of Jesse James by the Cowboy Robert Ford (2007), the latter of which is arguably one of the best Westerns of recent memory. Dominick, as a writer, is able to adapt the 1974 novel, Cogan’s

Trade, by George V. Higgins, and craft a screenplay that places the viewer comfortably in an off-balanced position with its unpredictable structure that lends itself exquisitely to the prodigious off-beat rhythm of the movie. In his role as a director, Dominik is able to use a colour pallet and lenses which may be reminiscent of the action flicks of Don Siegel, but are not in any way lacking in lustre, and, along with production designer Patricia Norris and director of photography Greig Fraser, move Higgins’s Boston setting to that of

New Orleans (probably because Brad Pitt could retreat to dinner every night). Credit is also due to a soundtrack that is able to thrust out ideas in a manner similar to a Scorsese classic. The movie admittedly stumbles in its efforts to become something more than it is and thus garners much self-importance when trying to be overtly political, but it is nonetheless a first-rate gangster noir that makes us hope there will be many more Dominik/ Pitt collaborations.


Don’t Miss This! The Big Dirty Didn’t get jiggy on Saturday night? Check out U Bar’s all day Sunday party. Featuring both a host of home-grown talent and a selection of international acts across two floors, The Big Dirty delivers you the latest in House, Disco, Hip-Hop, Techno and anything else they can find in their cd pile from noon til midnight. Free until 4pm (€5 after), noon, Sunday, U Bar.

The Craic Pack Comedy Improv group The Craic Pack take their suggestions from the audience, with MC Faloon charging his comedians-in-arms to act out even the most obscure of propositions. Head on down on a Friday armed with a list of ideas to see what’s what. Sure it’s only a bit of Craic (Pack).

BLAST FROM THE PAST: BLADE RUNNER Darragh O’Connor has a look back at the 1982 Sci-Fi classic Blade Runner


lade Runner is one of those films that helped define the Sci-Fi genre. There are literally scores of films that have used Blade Runner as its jump point and it’s arguable every Sci-Fi film since has borrowed something from Blade Runner. The plot is loosely based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick. The film plot is as follows; in the not so distant future Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a blade runner, has to “retire” four replicants. They have escaped their enslavement, and now wish to extend their builtin four year lifespan via the head of the über powerful Tyrell Corporation. Realistically there is not much of a plot here, despite this the flow of the film is not affected by the lean storyline. Ridley Scott has always managed to create an engaging world for his films. Blade Runner is no exception, the gloomy and sprawling sky scrapers with spats of neon was invented by this film (although the film includes many homages to Metropolis, but with added rain). Personally I find the pseudo-Japanese elements of this film funny, as Ghost in the Shell would later adapt elements of this film into its own world. Ironic? No doubt. Unlike most other films, Blade Run-

ner depends greatly on the mood and atmosphere spurred on by the grungy world of Rick Deckard. The acting throughout is disjointed and the film does have a collection of deplorable mistakes, stunt doubles looking nothing like the cast would be a fine example of this. Most of these mistakes have been corrected on later DVD releases. There are two outstandingly creepy performances: those of Rutger Hauer as Roy Batty and Sean Young as Rachael. The disjointed and distant acting choice is perfect here as they are both cast as replicants. To meander a little on this point, Harrison Ford too plays Deckard with a cocktail of apathy and pathos. This is probably where the “Deckard is an Replicant” argument comes from (you’ll understand when you watch the film). The acting choice works, but it may alienate a large number of people upon first viewing. The next question is: “Which version should I watch?” If you can get your hands on the Collector’s Edition, do. If not, watch the ‘Directors Cut’. This is the most accessible version of the film in which all the mistakes have been expunged and allows for a nicer viewing. This is a must see film.

€8, 9pm, Friday, Bankers Pub.

Rumours Any Fleetwood Mac fans in UCD or is The Siren the only one? Their Rumours album was released at a time when tension in the band was at an all time high yet showcased the best of the band. For one night only, a host of Dublin bands are joining up to play Rumours in one unique gig. For only €3 (€3!) it’s a steal. Don your bellbottoms and get your bong out - we’re going to the 1970s. €3, 8 pm, Tuesday 9th, The Grand Social.

Jack of All Trades The National Gallery hosts a selection of submissions to Punch magazine from the esteemed Irish artist Jack B. Yeats. Submitted under a pseudonym of W. Bird, the illustrations reveal insights into the artist’s dry humour and fertile imagination. A variety of objects from his personal library will be on show as well as a collection of illustrations submitted by other Irish artists. Free, the National Gallery.



Flowering Fashions: Cath Kidston


Lauren Treacy experiences the delights of what Cath Kidston shops and designs have to offer ashion has always held a certain fascination with the timeless, the classic, the elegant, and never more so than in recent years with the increasing popularity of vintage fashions. Such a sentiment has never seemed more true when one steps inside what can only be described as the feminine wonderland of a Cath Kidston store. Here the fabulous vintage trends that we have seen emerge in popularity over the past number of years flourish before your eyes, and, best of all, this is a label you can obtain at a reasonable price! From the very moment you step over the threshold it’s like you’ve taken a step back in time to the days when floral prints and polka dots were all the rage. Brightly painted antique furniture decorates the stores, and instantly one is provided with the idea that everything here has a story behind it. Cath Kidston is truly the essence of all things vintage.

For those of you who don’t know, Cath Kidston is a British designer who founded Cath Kidston ltd in 1993 and opened a small shop in London’s Holland Park, selling hand embroidered tea towels and brightly painted renovated furniture. Now, 19 years later the vintage movement has grown so fast that many place Cath Kidston as the queen of vintage nostalgia, considering her partially responsible for beginning the current obsession with all things kitsch. Today, with nearly one hundred shops spread across the UK, Ireland, China, Japan, Thailand and Taiwan, she has established a cult following, with many people falling in love with her beautiful designs, at such a bargain price. Here in the Republic of Ireland there are two Cath Kidston stores, one in the Pembrooke District of Dundrum Shopping Centre, and the other an outlet store in Kildare Village. The two stores give us a very wide variety of choice as shoppers. The Dundrum store features the current collections, offer-

ing some fabulous finds such as a brightly patterned floral notebook for €12.00, perfect for taking notes and keeping things organised! It is also possible to purchase a vast array of bags here, including a beautifully designed “Antique Rose” messenger bag at €46.00, a timeless piece you’re sure to have for many years to come. Upon taking a trip to the Kildare store, what can only be described as a bargain hunters dream, one is greeted by the brightly painted baby pink, blue and soft yellow walls. They are warm and inviting, as are the staff members, outfitted in adorable floral printed half aprons, who despite working in a store where the prices are all at least 30% cheaper than their Dundrum store counterparts, offer nothing less than the one-on-one treatment that has become almost synonymous with the Kidston shopping experience. In this store you can purchase many exquisite accessories for under €60.00. Many of Cath Kidston’s

iconic handbags retail here at €30.00, brightly patterned makeup bags are sold for €8.50, and the ever-coveted floral and polka dotted wallets sell for €18.00. The prices for what is becoming an ever more popular brand are truly jaw-

dropping. With the increasing popularity of vintage fashion this is one affordable designer label that certainly shouldn’t be passed up.

ing in an era of “fast fashion” where replicating catwalk looks as quickly as possible is the main agenda for many high street shops. It’s exciting that everyone has access to red hot trends straight from the designer, but inevitably, this has a detrimental effect on quality. A lot of the stuff you’ll find in your local charity shop is probably in better con-

dition than that Penney’s dress you bought a few months ago. Unfortunately, bargain prices can also come with the cost of being a product of unfair labour. Even with the more expensive brands it can be a nasty shock to learn about the reality of the working conditions the clothes are made in. And there can be no denying that the

“disposable fashion” industry takes a toll on the environment like every other. Heading to the bottle bank is one way to contribute. Recycling your dresses from the 1940’s, hats from the 50’s, handbags from the 60’s and shoes from the 70’s is a lot more interesting.

Thrift shop Miceala O’ Donavan provides an insight into thrift store shopping, saving more than just a few euro


ave you noticed how the economic recession has affected fashion? Given ever-tightening clothing budget restrictions, it’s pretty lucky that its cool to customize your own clothes again, grow your mousy roots out until they look “ombre” and lust after anything that looks like it was made in the 90’s. All you have to do is raid the attic. The vintage look is firmly in style and it’s not just super hipsters who are getting in on the action anymore – how many pairs of Levi cut-off inspired shorts did you spot in any high street shop this week? The vintage look has become so popular that many shops have started creating new clothes designed to look old. If you have been rolling your sleeves up and delving through all the insane clothes in your local second hand shop to find the treasure underneath, props to you. But if you’re one of those sillies who have been heading to American Apparel or Urban Outfitters to spend four times more on

your Grandpa jumpers you need to read on. It can be difficult to convince some people that they need to shake off their “that’s icky” feelings about the concept of second hand clothes. You might be freaked out by the thought that someone might have died in that sweet little embroidered cardigan or by the dubious blood-like stain on that fringed leather jacket. But come on, loving the vintage look but not having the guts to actually wear it is pretty, well, lame. Would you rather wear something bland, straight from the factory and replicated enough times to guarantee seeing it on someone taller than you who weighs less? Or would you choose something unique, with character and a mysterious past? And if we’re honest with ourselves, we’ve all wanted to drop a “thanks darling, its vintage” at least once. Plus there’s a lot more to be said for vintage clothes than personality. They may be old, but in the past, clothes were made to last. We’re liv-


Style Icon: Bianca Jagger


Roisin Sweeney discusses this week’s style icon, Bianca Jagger. ianca Jagger met her now ex-husband Mick at a party after a Rolling Stones concert in France, where she studied political science after receiving a scholarship. When she was 4 months pregnant she married Mick in St. Tropez, wearing a now-iconic Yves Saint Laurent smoking jacket. She was a friend of Andy Warhol and a regular of Studio 54, where on her 30th birthday, she rode in on a white horse, wearing Halston. She is also highly involved in humanitarian work, she founded the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, and is a member of the leadership council of Amnesty International USA.



Metallics: From burnished bronze to red rust, metallics were seen everywhere on the catwalks of this season’s fashion weeks, including collections from Prada, Lanvin and Louis Vuitton.

Burberry Trench: Burberry designer Christopher Bailey revamped the trench coat at London Fashion Week. Who knew fashion could be so practical for the weather we’re having at the moment? Clinque Even Better Eyes: Does exactly what it says on the tin! Banish those dark circles with this little gem.

Dowager designs


With Downton Abbey’s influence taking hold on our wardrobes this winter, Erin Dunleavy takes a look back on 1920’s fashion


es, winter is finally before us. I know many of us had to go into a tutorial with wet hair after a rain shower last week, but the glorious flip side is your winter wardrobe needs filling, and with the arrival of Downton abbey back on our screens, us ladies (and gents) are certainly not deprived of inspiration. The fashion of Downton Abbey is as much as part of the show as the actual story lines -obviously Ralph Lauren thinks so too as they’ve made the decision to sponsor the ITV series. The Downton effect has penetrated both the high street and the catwalk, with fashion bible Vogue saying the look is a key trend for Autumn/Winter 2012: “The Downton influence is still holding sway”. At the Burberry show tweeds and flat caps were the main attraction and Alice Temperly had Downton influenced evening dresses as the order of the day. Ralph Lauren even played the shows theme tune at his show and his pieces were undoubtedly heavily inspired by Downton too. The show’s costume designer, Susannah Buxton, like Patricia Field before her, is a hugely important addition to the show, and having recently won an Emmy for her work, life at the Abbey is exquisite. Its not just Downton that’s having an impact on our wardrobes, with the release of ‘The Great Gatsby’ later this year it’s inevitable

Knitwear: It comes back every year, and with the sudden drop in temperature it’s time to say farewell to our summer dresses and once again reach for our winter woolies.

that the 1920’s set film will have a roaring influence on our wardrobes (pun intended). With season 3 of Downton leading into the 1920’s as well, this look is well worth investing in a piece or two. ‘How does a poor student integrate the look into their 21st century wardrobe?’, you ask. With only a third of Downtown’s costumes made from scratch, vintage shopping is the way to go for this fabulous trend. ASOS and Topshop are also alternatives to vintage, with some luxurious pieces that perfectly emulate the period. So be brave and channel Lady Sybil with drop waists, beading, long necklaces and of course one mustn’t forget one’s

evening gloves. With our screens bombarded with Geordie shore and the like, class and style were taking a serious hit, but Downton has brought with it a look that celebrates keeping your clothes and dignity intact, and that certainly isn’t a bad thing. Cheers Abbey. This raises the question as to whether the popularity of Downton abbey is a reflection of our need for class and style in the midst of a Geordie shore generation? Is dressing like a lady back in fashion? Judging by this season, indeed it is. For there is a lady in all of us, even if Downton had to politely coax her out.

Illness: It’s that time of year again when fashions worst enemy rears its head: red noses and puffy eyes. Make sure to always carry a little concealer and some tissues with you Gals wherever you go!

Celine’s fluffy heels: Celine sent models down the catwalk at Paris Fashion Week in what appears to be slippers. Who’d ever thought we’d see the day?

By Anninka Barry