Tag Archives: rosaleen gallagher

Do’s and Don’ts by Vice

23 Sep

400 New Jokes from the Funniest Magazine Column to Ever Exist in the History of the Universe

You know those jokes that you know you shouldn’t laugh at but you can’t help yourself? Well, those are the kind of jokes that Vice Magazine specialises in. In every issue they run a column called Do’s and Don’ts in which they take photographs of unsuspecting people and write funny captions underneath. Apparently, “the first thing most people do when they pick up a copy of Vice is turn to the Do’s and Don’ts” and “they’ve become one of our most popular reads”.

So a la mode?

In just a few short words, Vice manage to completely take a photograph out of context and give it a hilarious new meaning. It’s really easy to flick through and you don’t need any prior knowledge of the magazine to totally understand the beauty of the column in just a few small page turns. This column is difficult to explain; it’s one of those you have to see. An example: a girl with lots of makeup on in rollerblades captioned with “she spent so long getting ready, she rolled over the line that separates ‘made up’ from ‘in drag’”. Most of the captions have some kind of joke about a person’s clothes, something that the Vice team say has “enduring possibilities”.

Uh-oh a la mode?

A few of the jokes go that smidge too far where you actually feel so bad for the poor, unknowing victim who will be amazed to see themselves in the Vice column!

A la Mode Appraisal: 9/10

Do’s and Don’ts is published by Canongate and will definitely tickle your coffee table for a reasonable £9.99. It’s quite thick and there are lots of captions per double page spread.

If you liked this, you may also like The World According to Vice by Vice.

Advertisements

How to Look Pretty Not Plastered by Emily Rose

23 Sep

“A step-by-step make-up guide to looking great!”

Makeup is something that so many ladies adore. I, myself, work as a makeup artist so I am of course one of them, but I often find that ladies come to me and say that they love makeup but are clueless regarding how to apply it. Makeup guides such as Emily Rose’s can be brilliant and helpful, but unfortunately I did not find this one to be so.

So a la mode?

The concept of the book is fantastic. Sometimes people may assume that applying lots of makeup is guaranteed to give a glam effect, but actually artful application can work wonders with the smallest amounts of product. The title did make me laugh and her message is promising. Helpful, too, are Emily’s sections about skincare. Chapters such as ‘Aloe Vera – Nature’s Gift’ and ‘Top Tips for Winter Skin’ are useful to women of all descriptions and in maintaining good skin makeup will, naturally, look a lot nicer when applied.

Uh-oh a la mode?

Experience stated does not seem to represent the quality of makeup ability demonstrated in the slightest. On page 91, a model is shown with a blue eyeliner on. Quite clearly her false eyelash is peeling off the corner her left eye. How this picture has made it into a published book is a question I would love to ask the editor? It seems unfair to capitalise on an industry that people are so willing to buy into and not even give value for money. Anyone, be it a first time user or a makeup artist extraordinaire, would be able to identify that a false lash should not be sat in this way. A positive and a negative of this book is that real women have been used to demonstrate makeup looks. This is brilliant in the sense that a diverse variety of face shapes and features will enable every reader to see how makeup should look in relation to their own face. It is not, however, an excuse for models to have unkempt eyebrows or undone nails. Call me old fashioned but if I am investing in a beauty book, I expect to see standards of grooming in all areas of production.

Considering that Emily Rose counts artists such as Tinie Tempah and Kissy Sell Out among her past clients, I was underwhelmed. One thing I really must emphasise is that although my standards of review are perhaps higher when considering my personal experience of makeup I am not judging this book from the perspective of someone in the know – I genuinely don’t feel that it would be useful to a beginner or anyone else. There are, however, lots of brilliant makeup books that would be so take a look at my recommendations below.

A la Mode Appraisal: 0/10 – Sorry to be blunt, I just don’t feel that this book would be worth investing in.

How to Look Pretty not Plastered is published by How to Books and is available for £14.99.

If you want to learn about makeup, you may find Express Yourself by NARS to be more useful or Express Makeup by Rae Morris. 

True Whit by Whitney Port

23 Sep


Deisnging a life of Style, Beauty and Fun with Sheryl Berk

 

Welcome to the world of Whitney Port. She was part of two of MTV’s most successful reality TV shows, The Hills and The City, and has since become a style icon through launching her very own fashion line Whitney Eve. In her first book, Whitney aims to use her life experience to enlighten young ladies who are starting to find their feet in the real world. “What I wanted to create was a guidebook, so to speak, to starting out in your twenties. It’s your time to shine, to dig deep and discover who you are.”

 

So a la mode?

 

Whitney goes down to every little detail when offering advice on how to get your life in order. Using specific family recipes and detailing things such as what her personal fitness regime consists of make it lots easier for us to dabble in her routine and see how it works. She also gives tips on how we can channel her eclectic style, from encouraging shopping in charity shops to identifying specific hair types and using that information to explain how each hair type can be styled to emulate her own locks. Every base is covered, from how to deal with a difficult co-worker to how to impress on a first date.

 

Uh-oh a la mode?

 

One thing that did disappoint me as an avid fan of The Hills and The City was that lots of her personal experiences draw from things we’ve already seen on the show. I was hoping that in purchasing the book I’d hear a different side of the story than what I’d already watched, but advice seemed based on things we already knew – e.g. relationship advice based on her relationship with Jay or work advice based on her time with Olivia. Maybe next time if Whitney could give us a little spoiler of all the things we had missed then the read would be a little juicier!

 

All in all a brilliant guide for a young girl – I’d especially recommend it to anyone who has just moved away from home, for example a University student or a new graduate.

 

A la Mode Appraisal: 8/10 – more secrets next time please, Whitney!

 

True Whit is published by Aurum Press and will help every young lady in her search for herself at a very reasonable £14.99.

 

If you liked this book, you may also like Style by Lauren Conrad.

Makeup Your Mind, Express Yourself by François Nars

2 Jul

Makeup Your Mind, Express Yourself by François Nars

All makeup artists are besotted with the power of transformation. Every time we take a brush to hand we are embarking upon the task of creating a whole new persona for a client and are responsible for making them feel like a new person, whoever that may be. Now, makeup artist and photographer extraordinaire François Nars, founder of Nars cosmetics, has decided to spill all of his beauty tricks and unveil his artistry secrets.

It is quite poignant to note the fascination between makeup artists and transformation, because Nars himself has actually transformed thisvery book. First  released some years ago as simply Makeup Your Mind, Nars has chosen to makeover his original guide with specific references to Nars products and techniques that will enable the reader to replicate looks exactly. In double page spreads, Nars provides his before and after shots of models that have recieved a pampering from him. In between each two-page spread a cellophane sheet- to be placed over the after shot- annotates the image and details exactly which products have been used. Featuring makeovers on people of all ages, races, skintones and of both sexes, this guide is an unmissable how-to for every makeup requirement.

Striking the perfect balance of theory and practical evidence, Nars begins the book by helping the reader to identify their own makeup needs. He provides information on how to assess their skin, how to prepare their skin for makeup, which tools to use for optimum results and other likewise essentials. He also gives his top ten makeup tips including: “10. Have some fun! It’s only makeup!”

Guarantee to instil a sense of confidence and ability in the reader, Nars proves in this book that all beauty lovers are capable of expressing themselves with makeup and encourages them to do so accordingly. “François Nars is an anti-depressant. There is an innate positivity in his message: adorn, enhance, attract, allure and express!”

A la Mode Appraisal: 10/10 – a timeless manual for any makeup artist or lover of Nars.

Makeup Your Mind, Express Yourself is published by Rizzoli International Publications and will teach you all of the tricks of the Nars trade for $45.00.

If you liked this, you may also like Express Makeup by Rae Morris.

Style Yourself, Inspirational Advice from the World’s Hottest Fashion Bloggers

13 Jun

Foreword by Jane Aldridge

Since the internet was launched, fashion bloggers have taken the web by storm and created an infectious network. Perfect for supporting those in need of fashion inspiration and daring readers to explore the endless possibilities within their wardrobes, there are tons of style writers all over the world uploading invaluable fashion content every day. Now, 95 of the best bloggers, from the UK to Japan, from the USA to Norway, have joined forces to compile the ultimate guide in personal style.

In a guide that is both logical and whimsical, bloggers give their advice on all wardrobe essentials. The book begins with a guide to which  items specifically should make up your wardrobe, e.g. number of skirts, tops and shoes, and then as it continues each garment is evaluated in meticulous details. Styles and shapes for each piece are explored and suggestions are made as to which variety of each garment is most suited to each individual. Throughout this process, bloggers sprinkle in their in-depth features on how to style a particular part of your wardrobe. Whether you’re after some advice on which colour suits you best, what trousers accentuate your shape or what kind of purse will compliment your earrings, this book is not to be missed. The balance between creating attainable concepts and outlandish collaborations is incredibly refreshing.

For a glimpse at some of the contributors personal blogs, why not visit some of the following websites?

Susie Lau from London, England
Style Bubble

Carolina Engman from Stockholm, Sweden
Fashion Squad

Funeka Ngwevela from Johannesburg, South Africa
Quirky Stylista

A la Mode Appraisal: 10/10

Style Yourself is published by Apple Press and will inspire you to play with your wardrobe for just £14.99.

If you liked this you may also like Style Diaries by Simone Werle.

Style Book by Elizabeth Walker

12 Jun

Fashionable Inspirations

Have you ever heard the expression “one picture is worth ten thousand words”? This is the sentiment that Elizabeth Walker uses to open her Style Book. When unveiling the truth behind her fashion inspirations, she takes photographs from all eras, locations and social situations to compile a “remarkable insight into the progression of fashion”.

Consisting of over 400 pages of photographs, Walker uses kitsch categories to divide her images into miniature style journeys. With chapters such as ‘Divine in Denim’, ‘Attention to Detail’ and ‘Button Up’, single fashion concepts are expanded upon and visited from film sets to sidewalks. A small caption is provided underneath each photo to provide an opinion, a story and details of the year it was taken.

Although famous faces such as Audrey Hepburn, Joanna Lumley and Twiggy crop up among the photographs, Walker uses lots of faceless fashionistas to “juxtapose” fashion moments from over the years. She is true to her claim that “from flowers to furs, from pearls to pools, there are all things here for all folk”. Despite being a beautiful book to flick through,  my criticism would be that I couldn’t help but yearn for more insight as to why exactly Walker had found these images to be inspirational.

A la Mode Appraisal: 7/10 – a wonderful collection of photographs, but perhaps a lower price tag would have been more suited.

Style Book is published by Endeavour publishers and will inspire your wardrobe for £20.00.

If you liked this, you may also like New Club Kids by Oggy Yordanov.

(Please note: the images used in this review have not been taken directly from the book.)

Vintage Fashion Sourcebook by Emma Baxter-Wright, Karen Clarkson, Sarah Kennedy and Kate Mulvey

12 Jun

New Looks and Labels and Where to Find Them

It is always lovely to have a one-off piece in your wardrobe that stands out a mile and can’t be replaced. You are never going to turn up to a dinner party in the same dress as someone else if it was a hand-me-down from your grandmother, or be embarrassed that someone is wearing the same cuff links as you if you’ve spent an hour on your hands and knees rummaging through the accessories at a charity shop. This sentiment seems to have spread to the minds of the mainstream fashion consumer in the last few years, leading to an enormous rise in popularity of vintage clothing. With so many competitive sellers on hand to offer their designs, and so many frauds willing to charge a fortune for a modern replica, four industry insiders have decided to unveil all about the world of vintage fashion.

In a decade by decade guide to vintage fashions of the twentieth century, the Vintage Fashion Sourcebook allows the reader to absorb trends of a specific period in fashion and to trace exactly where styles originated. This is helpful on numerous levels; not only can the vintage buyer gain a clear indication of how old their garment really is, but they can style an outfit to replicate a specific era should they need to. All sorts of context is given to fashion as the decades are explored, for example the vinyl dresses of Paco Rabanne are compared to the “party atmosphere” of London in the 1960’s and the hip-hop music of the 1980’s attributed to a “passion for bling and sportswear”.

To conclude the vintage timeline, the Vintage Fashion Sourcebook then goes on to offer tips on how to choose a vintage garment wisely, how to care for vintage appropriately, and offers a number of suggestions in regard to the best vintage sellers in England. Most of the boutiques are based in London which is unsurprising but nonetheless annoying for people from other parts of the country, so the ladies have also included a number of online outlets to accommodate for those outside of the capital.

An enjoyable and easy to follow book, this short read would be a lovely gift to a vintage lover who is eager to learn about the origins of their favourite garments.

A la Mode Appraisal: 10/10 – great value for money.

Vintage Fashion Sourcebook is published by Carlton Books and is an essential buy for all lovers of vintage at a very reasonable £5.99.

If you liked this, you may also like Vintage Jewellery by Caroline Cox.

Doppelganger by Gestalten

5 May

Images of the Human Being

I would like to preface this review by stating that this book contains the most astounding visuals I have ever seen. Have you ever seen a man with a half eaten face of cake? Laid eyes on a regular fellow who happens to assemble the features of his face like Mr Potato Man? Seen a girl with eyelashes the colours and length of the rainbow?

Doppelganger explores images of the human being in an array of different contexts. Sometimes the body is explored as an entity in itself and is pictured merely in its usual form, perhaps jogging or climbing up a wall as depicted by Willi Dorner. At other times completely manmade art works are made to resemble the human body, for example by artists such as Antony Gormley. Frequently an image of a human being will just be doctored to create an other-worldly concept of what is human. Whatever the method, these images are designed to shock and to invoke deep thought in those who receive them.

Upon observing these images, we are compelled to feel attached and react strongly to them because we can relate to clearly to them; these are body parts which we have ourselves and they are presented in a strange or unconceivable way. Any reader, old or young, male or female, would thoroughly enjoy exploring the possibilities of what could potentially be made of the limbs and features that they take for granted should they inject them with a little paint or a block of ice. An absolute must for fans of the bizarre, this book is truly mind-boggling.

A la Mode Appraisal: 10/10

Doppelganger is published by Gestalten and will blow your mind for £37.50.

If you liked this, you may also like Hyperactivitypography by Gestalten.

New Club Kids by Oggy Yordanov

18 Apr

 London Party Fashion in the Noughties

Welcome to a time when eccentricity was ultimate fashion statement. You are about to embark upon a journey of spandex, leather, glitter, wigs, body art and some female fashions, too. Influenced by the New Romantics and breaking the barriers of Punk, this is the tale of London’s New Club Kids.

Upon arriving in London in 2001, Bulgarian photographer Oggy Yordanov decided to capture the style of London’s original “dressers” in the underground club movement. For ten years he was immensely inspired by his findings and so he decided to put together a glorified scrapbook of all of his favourite looks. Containing minimal but brilliant prose, New Club Kids provides the reader with a brief written description of London’s New Club Kids, an interview with Princess Julia (a woman who has lived through many of London’s creative movements and played an enormous part in founding some of them) and then decides to let the photographs speak a thousand words.

Taking photographs of individuals and groups across a ten year period and in numerous London clubs, Oggy manages to capture the fashions behind the music, the art and the characters that inhabited the city at the time. What is most interesting for me is the fact that Oggy seems to focus particularly on androgynous fashion. In doing this, he almost creates the impression that each person is a piece of art all on their own. Rather than presenting these people as spectators of a fabulous scene, he presents them as a pivotal part of this ludicrous movement – they are the scene. By removing gender from the equation, these people become almost like other-worldly walking art forms and are even more integral in allowing the reader to get lost in such a fantastical time.

After turning through pages of outrageous face paint and wild props and every clothing texture under the sun, I felt as though I had completely developed a sense of what it was to be a New Club Kid and felt compelled to do something daring with my hair that evening. Oggy certainly knows how to capture a moment with his camera; if you’re a fan of fancy dress or have an interest in theatrical makeup, this book will certainly be useful in kick-starting your creative vision.

A la Mode Appraisal: 10/10

New Club Kids is published by Prestel and will provide you with endless fashion and makeup inspiration for £16.99.

If you liked this, you may also like Doppelganger by Gestalten.

Lust: A Travelling Art Journal of Graphic Designers by James Victore

22 Mar

What would you do given complete freedom?

In a quest to explore the possibilities of limitless creative freedom, James Victore sent blank workbooks to an array of graphic designers all over the world (with an address headed, “if LUST please return to”). They were instructed to fill it with their dream jobs, passions and things that they lusted after. After sifting through the books of over forty graphic designers, from golden oldies to new found talent, James presented his findings in this kooky little book.

One of his own designs was quite funny, a billboard that said ‘life is what happens when you are busy texting. Kill your i-Phone’. Another design by Claudia Schmauder was so sweet and liberating, an illustration of lots of brightly coloured birds and a tagline that wished that she could free those that were captured. Things like these were quick to evoke a philosophical contemplation and amounted to a contemplative read. Other designers like Catherine Zask disappointed me; her contribution was merely a few smudges and a couple of words on the page. Although the concept of the book was to explore the wildest dreams of other designers, in reading the book I was hoping to gain an insight into the personality and imagination of each person within it and a couple of these contributions did not enable this to happen. An interview with each contributor is featured at the end of the book to enlighten the reader in regard to the pieces they have seen. With this in mind, LUST has a fantastic variety of design styles that would be brilliant to accompany a discussion on how we really define art.

A la Mode Appraisal: 7/10. A brilliant concept, but points are deducted for the price of this book. It is a little more expensive when considering that it is a scrapbook, albeit a very fascinating one.

LUST is published by Rockport Publishers and will act as a coffee table conversation starter for £20.00.

If you liked this, you may also like Hyperactivitypography by Gestalten.