RIP Cilla...

There are just certain people who are synonymous with your childhood, and for me, one of those people was the ever glamorous national treasure that was Cilla Black, who sadly passed away at the weekend.  The very words that used to be spoken by ‘our Graham, "Aaand here is your host tonight... Missss Cillllaaaa Blaaaaack," would sound the klaxon to a Saturday night with my parents and sister, to all cosily watch “Blinnnnd-da-Date’ together.  Who could ever forget her little curtsey-bop upon her entrance to THAT theme tune, the ginger hurrr, the sequins, the long legs and the warm, Liverpudlian accent, “What’s your name and where d’ya come from?”  No show has really ever come close to being so authentically entertaining in a more innocent time of real personalities, before reality TV with it's falseness and ulterior motivations took over our televisions.  And don't even get me started on 'Surprise Surprise,' the show she hosted latterly that would leave a nation sobbing into their supper each weekend (all those reunited families would leave me in pieces!)  You may have helped make the 60's swing Cilla, but you also filled the 80's and 90's with a lorra lorra laughs and you will be missed. Ta-ra for now Chuck...  

A campaign has been launched to try and get Cilla Black's most famous hit back to the top of the charts. The Facebook group is urging Cilla fans to buy 'Anyone Who Had a Heart,' the Burt Bacharach and Hal David song that became the UK's biggest selling single by a female artist in the 1960s, as a tribute.  Available HERE on iTunes.

Blind Date's Greatest Hits and Unseen Bits...


Golden Globes 2015

Yessssssss… Award season has begun, which to me means the red carpet’s Battle of the Dresses is ON good people of Hollywood!  The Golden Globes, a ceremony I have always viewed as the drunken, more entertaining version of the Oscars, gives us not only an early indication of the season’s winners, but also a welcome glimpse at the latest show stopping frocks (or sparkly jumpsuits, as the case was this year).   

It is worth mentioning, before we get to the fashion nitty gritty, that the glorious Tina Fey and Amy Poehler presented the awards for the very last time on Sunday (a total travesty, someone throw even more money at them, QUICK!) Their opening monologue (below) was, once again, my serious highlight of the night… These two ladies and their on-point humour shall be greatly missed. 

Right, back to the fashuuuuun and my Best Dressed of the night… With so many of the stars dressed immaculately, but oh so predictably, at these events, I will always be drawn to the women who choose not to play it so safely (or clevagey).  No one, in my opinion, looked better at this year's Golden Globes than TLC's serial red carpet winner, Emma Stone.  Wearing a bejeweled Lanvin jumpsuit, the actress oooozed confidence and cool, with just the right amount of quirk.  Diane Kruger looked every inch the blonde and icy screen siren wearing one of my favourite designers, Emilia Wickstead.  I also adored beautiful Brit Felicity Jones’ unusual, teal Christian Dior gown, which although divided opinion, had me at hello. 

Special mentions must go to Leslie Mann for her yellow Kaufman Franco sequinned dress/green clutch combo (and for just always being the sweetest, most cute-as-a-button thing I ever did see), Sienna Miller’s stand out Miu Miu dress worn with rocky, choppy hair, and Anna Kendrick in her Cinderella by name/role, Cinderella by nature/dress, in fairytale Monique Lhuillier.

It has to be said, shiny Golden Globes may have been highly sought after by many a Hollywood hand, but the real winners were these three dapperly dressed dudes, all holding super smokin' and strikingly dressed ladies in their arms;  Benedict Cumberbatch with his fiancé Sophie Hunter (in Erdem), Joshua Jackson with long-term love Diane Kruger (in Emilia Wickstead) and Jamie Dornan with wife Amelia Warner (in another of my favourite designers, Husihan Zhang).  High five gentlemen, we salute you.

Below:  When Bad Dresses Happen to Good People.  Ohhhh… There’s always one who lets the side down… ok, perhaps five.  I met Lana Del Rey in LA once, she was LOVELY, unlike her dress on Sunday.  Rosamund Pike was scarily good in 'Gone Girl,' ironically as her cutom-made Vera Wang dress was scarily bad.  Lupita Nyong’o, who topped EVERY best dressed list last season, clearly has decided to let everyone else have a go this year, wearing this Giambattista Valli 'thing.'  Michelle Monaghan wearing a 'Throwback Thursday' to the awesome nineties… except it was a Sunday, and this Jason Wu dress was not awesome.  Kate Mara in Miu Miu. Has the 'House of Cards' actress stepped in a puddle?  Do puddles even exist in LA?!  And don’t get me started on that belt... No Kate. No. 

For the full list and details of the evening's winners see HERE

Best Of London - Amelia Warner (Slow Moving Millie)

This year’s Christmas John Lewis advert (below) is a real tear-jerker - guaranteed to tug at even the toughest of heartstrings. The commercial shows an impatient little boy anxiously waiting for Christmas Day to arrive - but not, as you first assume, in eager anticipation to open his own presents, but because he is desperate to give his parents a gift.

The track which accompanies this advert is a cover of The Smith’s ‘Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want,’ sung by emerging artist Slow Moving Millie (left) who I previously wrote about here.

Slow Moving Millie, the beeeeautiful actress and songstress Amelia Warner, has recently finished recording ‘Renditions,’ an album of songs from the 1980’s, including covers of hits by Tears for Fears, Thompson Twins, Bananarama, Yazoo and Frankie Goes to Hollywood. By stripping these songs from their manic 1980's rifts and crazy hair, what remains are "really poignant songs, and they're all about having your heart broken."

Amelia, currently living in West London with her boyfriend, took some time to share with us her London favourites;

Cocktail – I’m not a huge fan of the cocktail, so it would have to be a pint of Guinness at The Coach And Horses in Soho with some lovely friends.

Date night - Spaghetti pomodoro, red wine and candlelight at The Ripe Tomato on All Saints Road with my love.

Brunch - At home with the papers, Bloody Mary's and my friend Markus' home fries!

Boutique - Labour Of Love on Upper Street – I always find something one off and odd.

High St – It would have to be Topshop, although I am also loving COS.

Secret Place - Cork and Bottle, a very old fashioned wine bar hidden and tucked away under the craziness of Leicester Sq - Perfect for a late dinner.

London Icon - Tracey Emin for her humour, honesty, style and complete Britishness!

The single 'Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want’ is available as a single now on iTunes and Amazon.

The album 'Rendtions' is released on December 12th.

Slow Moving Millie's MySpace.

Gwyneth Paltrow Loving The London Look

I am a big fan of Gwyneth Paltrow – of her acting and of her towering high heel collection – and now I hear that Gwyneth Paltrow is a big fan of the London look.

Having lived in London for the last nine years Gwyneth recently revealed in an interview that she has “always felt that London is the capital of the style and street style… You see it filtered down into other cities later on, but I think the girls here dress so well, and there's always a twist or a little quirky thing... I always think I would never put that together, but when you see it on the girl you think wow - that's really clever."

I like her even more now, and after seeing her play the Holly Holiday, the kooky substitute teacher in Glee, I actually didn’t think this was possible...

Mulberry LFW After Show Party

Is it possible to have a pink-lemonade hangover?

9 million people tuned in to watch the return of Downton Abbey on Sunday night… I was not one of them, having received one of Mulberry's inflatable rubber ring invites to their LFW after show party at Claridges.

Following on from their early morning seaside shenanigans, the runway may have been gone but the retro Brighton Pier-esq theme was still out in full force.

There was a mechanical fortune teller (less like BIG’s Zaltar, more like a bodiless, creepy Anna Wintour…) who told me I ‘will be fortunate’ - things had started well! Carousel balloons, pinball and teddy bear grabber machines, slushy margarita’s, mini burgers, fish and chips and ice-cream all had the fabulous fashion crowd in high spirits.

Romola Garai, Fuchsia Sumner and Hayley Atwell were amongst the revelers, as was Twilight’s Kristen Stewart (two times in one day – we must be firm friends by now...?)

Thank you Mulberry!
(And thank you Sky Plus – Downton Abbey tonight!)

Musical Moment - Snow Patrol ('Called Out In The Dark') with Tara Summers

London born actress Tara Summers, who has previously held roles in shows including Dirt, Boston Legal, Damages and Private Practice has now taken to dancing in handcuffs... Calm yourselves now… Tara plays the despairing director in the new Snow Patrol music video for ‘Called Out In The Dark’ – with fellow Brit Jack Davenport also featuring - the results are hilarious.

(A heads up - These backing dancers can be held wholly responsible for the new beyond awesome moves I plan to unleash at my friend’s wedding this weekend...)


Rocking her new Jessica Rabbit flame red hair, striking beauty Tara Summers is currently filming CBS's new show Ringer (left) alongside Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ioan Gruffudd, which will be shown on Living in the UK later this year.

Best Of London - Chris O'Dowd

31 year old Irish actor Chris O’Dowd is used to playing affable nerds and the sweetest of slackers, becoming well known for his role as the hapless Roy in The IT Crowd and for playing Simon in 2009’s ‘The Boat That Rocked.’ This summer however, Chris was catapulted into the ‘Leading-Man-Eye-Candy’ category when he played Officer Rhodes in the whopper blockbuster hit ‘Bridesmaids’ - eclipsing seasoned screen hottie Jon Hamm by a mile.


Taking some time out from being swamped with marriage proposals (to say the least) via Twitter from swooning women all around the world, Chris shares with us some of his London favourites;

My Pint – A pint and a whiskey in the Toucan in Soho with my best mate, Jamie.

My Date Night – With my beautiful lady friend, Dawn, at a French place called La Brasseriein South Kensington.

My Sunday Brunch – We host a roast at our place in Bermondsey for a big bunch of our mates 2/3 times a month.

My Building – I love the Art Deco Tesco headquarters on the M40 on the way to Pinewood.

My London Shop – I love the stuff A.Sauvage makes. Sweet, classic suits with an African twist.

My London Extravagance – High tea at The Dorchester. Nothing quite like it.

London's Best Kept Secret  I really like L'Entrecote just off Marylebone High Street.

My London Icon (Past or Present) – Richard Harris. I loved that he spent his final years livin' it large in The Savoy...

Below: A recent picture on set of 'The Sapphires' in Australia. Set in 1968, four young, talented Australian Aboriginal girls learn about love, friendship and war when their all girl group entertain the US troops in Vietnam.

Below: With Meghan Fox and Jason Segal on the set of the Judd Apatow's new film, 'This is Forty' which follows Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd‘s 'Knocked Up' characters. Chris says, “it’s an in-depth look at relationships, marriage and parenting in this kind of post-boomer generation."

Follow Chris (or tweet marriage proposals) @bigboyler

Best Of London - Kelly Hoppen

Kelly Hoppen; MBE, Interior designer extraordinaire and the undisputed Queen of Taupe.

When not designing celebrities homes (or the interiors of their private jets... yachts...) or busy writing her 8th design book, Kelly also runs her own design school, has her own collection of home accessories, designs ranges of organic clothing for Earth Couture, has a super successful QVC range, oh – and has a new TV show helping five families create stylish interiors in their own homes starting next month.

Phew! This is one busy lady.

Surely Kelly, based in West London, has no time left to go out and about and enjoy London?! Wrong. This lady is nothing if not a serious multi-tasker!

Kelly shares with us some of her London favourites;

My Transport – Black Cab or I drive my Jaguar.

My Cocktail – A Caipirinha with agave at E&O - they have the best barman.

My Date Night – With my man - Big A, at J.Sheekey – Love, love, love! 

My Sunday Brunch – At Raoul's in Notting Hill Gate – Great food and happy, Spanish staff. 

My Boutique – The Cross, its small and full of unusual one offs.

My High Street Store – All Saints, I love their t-shirt clothes. 

London’s Best Kept Secret – The Idle Hour in Barnes; its cute, has great food and is tucked away. 

My London Icon (Past or Present) – Vidal Sassoon. A good friend, he is an extraordinary man and pioneer in his field – he was also so inspired by architecture – his new film is a must!

www.kellyhoppenretail.com

'Super Interiors with Kelly Hoppen' starts on Sept 21st at 8pm on Channel 5.

X Factor Fashion

Its back! The 8th series of X Factor launched this weekend and 12.6 million of us tuned in to boo and to cheer this year’s hearty concoction of desperate, deluded bellowers and genuinely talented songbirds.

They have a brand new, super shiny line up of judges… and Louis (who I’m sure will still be telling contestants they “have the full package” on X Factor 2070, having outlived us all.)

But what of the newbie’s? Handsome, stubbly, no-nonsense Gary Barlow, will surely have become the nation’s biggest crush overnight, but as with every X-Factor series, it’s really all about the gals...

Kelly Rowland is awesome.

With 15 years experience in the industry, a flirtatious Southern drawl and a swaggersome, super slick style (outfits for the audition stages have included this figure hugging Versace dress and lots... and lots… of bare midriff (hey, if we could, we would!) She’s also promised to wear more Brit designers for the live shows – Top contenders include Stella McCartney, Victoria Beckham, McQueen and Bass & Brooks.

I also love that her responses always include the liberal scattering of words such as ‘boo,’ and ‘mama’ – terms of endearment I feel, having obviously tried them out immediately, only Kelly Rowland can pull off.

N-Dubz feisty singer Tulisa totally held her own on the panel and also won the audience’s sympathy when a gobby auditionee verbally attacked her.

After seeing the above promo shots of her looking all a bit too reminiscent of Our Cheryl (tight Hervé Leger and glossy biiiiiiiig hair) Tulisa’s outfits for the auditions have been a relief - I especially loved her DKNY jumpsuit covered in little lips (available at Selfridges) which along with red lips and a retro hairstyle, she is definitely set to make her own fashion stamp on the proceedings.

The best audition of the night? 16 year old Janet Deviln (watch audition here.) A little bit Ellie Goulding, a little bit cupcake – this shy, ethereal girl from Northern Ireland was adorable and definitely one to watch.