Photography

Photography-Gallery

Punk has many definitions but when it comes to music, it is more akin to “a loud, fast-moving, and aggressive form of rock music, popular in the late 1970s.” Politically, it is associated with anarchy; a rebellion against the establishment. So I’m not sure I would describe Debbie Harry or her music with her band, Blondie, as punk. Unless I’m missing something?

For example, the 1979 hit Heart of Glass seems to be more akin to a disco/pop track emerging from a nightclub in New York, as part of the American New Wave music scene.

Heart of Glass

Not to mention that in Rapture, Debbie Harry starts to rap halfway through this 1981 hit which sounds more like hip hop or should I say hip pop.

Rapture

But when you look at Debbie Harry’s style and make-up from the 70s and 80s, you could see how she would fit in with the King’s Road punk scene. Her edgy yet sultry look defined Debbie Harry as an icon of her time. And Brian Aris’s collection of photographs for Proud Chelsea’s latest exhibition manages to show us exactly why.

Until 17th February 2013, Proud Chelsea will be exhibiting stills from Aris’s personal archive that include shots from the video shoot of “Island of Lost Souls” on the Scilly Isles as well as sittings in London and New York. These photographs have never been seen before and they are stunning.

bie Harry Queen of Punk: Portraits by Brian Aris

 

bie Harry Queen of Punk: Portraits by Brian ArisSo whether you are a Debbie Harry fan or are looking to appreciate the photos of a style icon, I know you’ll enjoy this exhibition: ‘Debbie Harry Queen of Punk: Portraits by Brian Aris.’

Proud Chelsea, 161 King’s Rd, London, Greater London SW3 5XP

I’ve recently noticed how snow seems to elicit opposing reactions from people: either you love it or you hate it. Either you want to stay indoors in the comfort of your own home unless you really have to leave it or you want to go outside and play in the winter wonderland whilst dodging snowballs. I belong to the latter group.

As much as I enjoyed sitting curled up on the sofa on Sunday, watching the snow fall outside, I couldn’t help but feel a strong itch to go for a walk in Battersea Park. After all, this weather comes but once a year and in London, the snow doesn’t hang around for too long. So wrapped up in layers and in my winter coat, I took a stroll along Chelsea Embankment.

What I’d discovered was more than snowy fields. There were snow people and snow sculptures all around with grown ups and adults rolling snowballs. At one point I did wonder whether a father was having more fun than his son whilst building their snowman, given the bottom snowball was actually bigger than the little boy. But that’s what I love about snow. It can bring out the kid in us.

So here are a few photos of my favourite finds. As you’ll see, Battersea Park turned into one big snowy playground and I loved every minute of it.

Walking along Chelsea Embankment towards Battersea Park:

Chelsea Embankment in the snow

Where I discovered a winter wonderland:

Battersea Park

And where I also found snowmen and other snow creatures lurking:

Battersea Park

Battersea Park

Snowman in Battersea Park

Snow rabbit in Battersea Park

Snowman in Battersea Park

Snowman in Battersea Park

Battersea Park

Battersea Park

The bf and I made this little fella:

Snowman in Battersea Park

As it started to get dark, no one was in a rush to go home …

Battersea Park

Battersea Park

But for me it was the perfect time to head off because I caught my favourite bridge in its best light:

Albert Bridge

Doesn’t it look so pretty? x

Happy New Year everyone and apologies for the delay in uploading this post. I’ve been on holiday and upon returning I discovered that my blog was down. All seems back to normal so here are my top five don’t miss suggestions for January 2013. Let’s start as we mean to go on on!

1. The Hollywood Costume exhibition at the V&A ends on 27th January 2013. For any movie fan, this is a must-see. Not only do you get to admire iconic costumes which defined your favourite screen characters but you are also presented with an insight into the creative process through which these costumes were conceived. From excerpts of screenplays to multimedia presentations of actors and directors talking between themselves, I would recommend giving yourself time to move between the displays. There is a lot to take in!

Hollywood Exhibition

2. More vintage Hollywood. Bob Willoughby: The Silver Age of Hollywood exhibition at Proud Chelsea ends on 13th January 2013. To find out why I think this exhibition is unmissable, have a read of my review post here.

3. You don’t believe in Dry January? Then don’t miss out on Embargo’s Season 1 – Episode 2: What exams night on 8th January 2013! Click here to find out more details.

4. There’s nothing better to help a girl get through the January blues than by feeling pampered. This month (and next), The Hand and Foot Spa are offering 25% savings on their Spa and Luxury Manicure and Pedicure treatments. The offer applies from Monday to Wednesday only.

5. If you cycle and live in Kensington & Chelsea, don’t miss your chance to have your say about cycling events and campaigns you’d like to see in the area. Bikeminded, who were responsible for the fabulous cupcake cycle tour and the styling Pinterest competition in conjunction with Harrods, will be running a focus group on 23rd January 2013 and they are looking for locals to take part. If you do, you will receive a cash thank you for your time. See Bikeminded’s blog for more info!

One of my movie heroes made a special visit to Chelsea over the weekend. Pedro Almodóvar, the film director who introduced Penélope Cruz to the world in his movie Jamon Jamon, in which Cruz also starred in her first film with Javier Bardem.

Almodóvar’s latest film, The Skin I Live In, starred Antonio Banderas whilst his next movie will star both Cruz and Banderas. In other words, Almodóvar dominates Spanish cinema. In fact, he has been the embodiment of Spanish cinema for decades.

Live Flesh was the first Almodóvar film I watched and it blew my mind. It stars Javier Bardem and is an adaptation of a Ruth Rendell novel: beautifully shot, great performances and really gripping.

Almodóvar is also an auteur, which are a rare breed nowadays. His films are visually stunning; his female characters have admirable strength and a fantastic sense of humour; and his stories tend to push the boundaries of our imagination.

So needless to say when I heard that he was doing a book signing at Taschen on Duke of York Square, there was no way I was going to miss it!

In fact, I arrived a bit early. Two hours early, to be precise.

There was no else waiting, so the bf and I sat across the way at Manicomio to keep an eye on the impending queue. It was hardly a chore with the Christmas lights on the Square to gaze at as other people sat around us, outside.

When other Almodóvar fans started to arrive at Taschen, we joined the line – and waited. And some time later, he finally arrived!

Me in my rain mac and scraped back hair – hardly glamorous – as he signed my limited edition copy of The Pedro Almodóvar Archives.

When he saw my name on the post-it: Mina, Almodóvar chuckled to himself and repeated “Mina”. For a split second I thought it was because of Dracula or one of the actresses he works with regularly. It wasn’t until I left the shop that I remembered Almodóvar is currently working on a biopic about the Italian singer, Mina. 😀

After Almodóvar signed my book, he turned round to shake my hand and wish me the best with my writing. He had a warmth that felt refreshing and comforting. No wonder the same actors want to work with him time and time again. It’s clearly not just about his talent.

I found the whole experience inspiring and I will always cherish the words written in my book:

And I’m sure it doesn’t have to be said that this book has now taken prime position on my coffee table.

Do you have someone you would love to meet? What would you ask them to write in a book for you? x

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