“ Did Keira Knightly just think: "I’m 21. I’m rich and I’m famous. I will wear a dress that makes me look like a small bar-heater with a flaccid windsock hanging on it." SMH on Keira’s anorexic look in her Gucci dress
“ Victoria Beckham carried on her quest to resemble the world’s richest adolescent by sporting a 12-year-old’s pleated miniskirt, a body the size of an ironing board and breasts that rival inflatable jumping castles.” SMH on Posh.
"I wish I could be that size, but I can’t be, I enjoy food too much. In the end, I’m too hedonistic. I enjoy pleasures." Elizabeth Taylor is just one big inflatable jumping castle.
"I’ve already gotten naked and it’s not even nine o’clock — that’s got to be a good night." Pamela Anderson shows off her 2 big inflatable life rafts as she gets naked for Peta in a shop window.
"Men first. Myself. Then other women. ‘Cause you can’t please women. They are horribly critical of each other. And more so if you’re famous” Elizabeth Taylor explains who she dresses for and why she is no small bar heater.
"You’ve beat the best, let’s not forget every urine test," Will Ferrell crooned a parody of the 1970s song "Times of Your Life." to Lance Armstrong at the Espy awards…. after introducing a white-suited astronaut who the comic insisted was Armstrong’s long-lost father, Neil Armstrong. Funny.
“ I’m doing it just because I want to. I feel I’m becoming stronger as a person. Every time I have a boyfriend, I’m just so romantic, and I’ll put all my energy into the guy, and I don’t really pay attention to myself." Self obsessed Paris Hilton says she is giving up sex for a year. Which is “ like Lindsay Lohan giving up bikinis. Or Britney Spears giving up taping her baby to the trunk of her car’ says thesuperficial
"I might have, or maybe I bought three pairs, it shows how depressing my life is that the hottest rumor about me is that I bought 300 pairs of shoes.” Danielle Steel, in the front-row at Christian Lacroix show in Paris. Sounds good to me.
“ Did Keira Knightly just think: "I’m 21. I’m rich and I’m famous. I will wear a dress that makes me look like a small bar-heater with a flaccid windsock hanging on it." SMH on Keira’s anorexic look in her Gucci dress
My philosophy in life is: if in doubt do as the French would do. Not sure how to cook? Just add butter, wine and cream. Not sure about the calories in camembert? Just eat it. With red wine. Uncertain about road rules? Just ignore other drivers. Don’t have an opinion on something? Be blasé. Worried about what to wear? Just grab a stripe T-shirt. They are tres hot. Perfect to wear with anything from a black pencil skirt to jeans or shorts they are always classic and always chic. Even better they add colour and print to your black wardrobe without you having to resort to floral or pink. Head to Cue for a fab grey and black stripe empire T $69; to Country Road for a classic black and white stripe fisherman’s T $49; to Sportsgirl for a cute little stripe tank $59 and Witchery for a grey and black stripe empire T $59. Of course there is another reason to wear a stripe T: it’s Bastille Day. Chic Alors!
Two very French icons will always be the item du jour: A Birkin bag and the philosopher Bernard Henri Levy. You may never meet either of them. Dommage. But you can create an ambiance where you can feel intime with them. First toss on the hot, best selling CD du moment by Carla Bruni. She is the supermodel turned chanteuse who ran off with Bernard Henri Levy’s daughter’s husband. How French. (She then wrote a hit book about it called Nothing Serious). Then play the fabulous new Serge Gainsbourg tribute album featuring everyone from Cat Power to Model Karen Elson singing Je T’aime and Franz Ferdinand singing with Jane Birkin. Pourquoi Pas? Listening to Jane Birkin may be the closest you will get to a Birkin Bag. And hearing Carla Bruni sing maybe the closest to understanding Bernard henri Levy. Formidable!
I am addicted to Clarins Beauty Flash Balm. Who knows if it works but maybe because you feel so great slathering it all over those wrinkles you start to look better and feel more radiant in a flash. Now Clarins has introduced Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch Makeup Base. They say ‘It’s silky smooth, and oil free, fills and hides lines, wrinkles and open pores, brightens unwanted facial shadows or dull skin, leaves skin looking smooth, luminous and younger”. They say the way to use it is to stroke with your fingertips sparingly over skin over your day cream. I say the word ‘sparingly’ should never apply to makeup except blue eye shadow. I say stroke it on by the handful and you will feel great. After all it’s the inside that counts.
$58.46 Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch Makeup Base from major department stores.
Read about the new Frank Gehry project in Spain: a 43 room hotel in Rioja.
· Go here to view the furniture by Bill Schofield the designer behind the Gucci interiors www.kohlerinteriors.com/baker/1_0_0_baker_home.jsp/
·The coolest cake shop in Barcelona…and a cute website bubo.ws/
·Off to Madrid? Head to www.museoprado.es/ihome.html# and check out the latest Picasso exbibition
·Heading to Rome? here is a cute little 3 bedroom guest house to stay www.buonanottegaribaldi.com/Eng/eng_1.htm
·A cute little place to stay in Corsica maremonti.c.la/
·Want to know the best places to eat shop and see art in Europe and the states? Go to www.blueguides.com. The first Blue Guide was published in 1918 and now continues to cover all there is to Art/shop/eat .
·Angelina Jolie will play Mariane Pearl, the widow of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, in a movie produced by Brad Pitt’s Plan B production company.
·Elizabeth Hurley is the newest shareholder in Eleven Cadogan Gardens, a chic little hotel in London better known as Number Eleven. www.number-eleven.co.uk/ Lovely
The latest hotel is Berlin’s Hotel Küenstlerheim Luise www.kuenstlerheim-luise.de/hotel.htm Described as the kind of place where you can get “a good night’s rest inside a work of art”, the hotel features 50 rooms designed by well known local artists, who, it appears, have a reoccurring interest in fairy tales (think butterflies and oversized beds).
This is a new hotel in New York with a cool website shorehamhotel.com/
This is hilarious ! Watch the the legendary incident from 1986 when French singer Serge Gainsbourg met Whitney Houston on a French live TV-Show.
French Vogue; all you need to know about La mode.
Katie Holmes has surfaced in Colarado and there is still not seen one shred of credible evidence that "baby" Suri Holmes-Cruise actually exists . ‘The timing is so perfect for this. Like the Cruise household started reading about how everybody questions if the baby actually exists so they sent Katie Holmes out on a little mission to convince everybody the baby is doing okay. And is real. And isn’t just a Mr. Potato Head they’re pushing around in a baby carriage. "Thesuperficial
Uma Thurman has split from with Andre Balazs . Again. For this week anyway
Tobey Maguire’s fiancee is pregnant.
Eva Longoria went out with out makeup. True. Brave. Maybe just stupid.
Kirsten Dunst has been secretly dating Saturday Night Live funnyman Andy Samberg. Secret.
London’s Sunday Mirror published a story about a bugged telephone conversation between Paul McCartney and daughter Stella. "Maccagate," called the conversation "explosive," with Stella launching a "ferocious attack" on Heather Mills.
Hilary Swank is on the cover of the August issue of Vanity Fair.
Nicole Richie has enjoyed a dinner with Jeff Goldblum. She actually ate?
Victoria Beckham has gone back to shopping after the World Cup.
Christie Brinkley and her fourth husband have separated.
Cameron diaz is wearing a new big fat diamond ring.
Jake Gyllenhaal, Lance Armstrong and Mathew McConaughey were seen all jogging and cycling together without their shirts. I thank you.
Jake Gyllenhaal and Natalie Portman were seen together.Shirt on.
Lindsay Lohan has a new bikini and a new boy. Every day.
Mischa Barton is studying at London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Insert your own joke HERE.
Books, Baguettes and Bedbugs …by Jeremy Mercer
‘Shakespeare and Company’ in 1921 Paris was one of the world’s most famous bookshops and the haunt of Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and James Joyce. In the 60’s it became the place for Beatnik poets, such as Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs. Today writers still find their way to this bizarre establishment, one of them being Jeremy Mercer. With no friends, no job, no money and no prospects, by chance, he happens upon the fairytale world of ‘Shakespeare and Co’ and is taken in. Read his tale of being down and out in the ‘city of light’ and, in particular, his relationship with the beguiling octogenarian owner, George.
$22 :www.amazon.co.uk Or from Leslie McKays Boo store Publisher: Phoenix· (August 3, 2006)
The Christmas List
French Country Hideaways : Vacationing At Private Chateaus & Manors in Rural France (Hardcover) by Casey O’Brien Blondes
‘Imagine awakening in a castle. You slip out of your poster bed, open French windows and step onto a stone balcony. You take in the view of surrounding vineyards that slope down to a quaint tile-roofed village in the misty river valley below. You smile at George Clooney. This isn’t a dream. You can actually spend the night in an authentic French château. For centuries, these small châteaux have remained secret but now many families are throwing open the doors and inviting the public to stay. Drool over 35 of these hidden gems. Charmant!
$25 www.amazon.com or Leslie McKays Book store. Publisher: Rizzoli (October 2, 2005)
Sportsgirl; Check out the black and white print empire tops with a bold floral $79; the cute navy cotton twill blazer $119; the chic little DB stone trench dress with short puff sleeves $149 and the cotton muslin cami tops with a wrap and tie ribbon belt $59 in white or black. There are simple black wide belts with a plain buckle $39; cool patent thin belts $19 in red and white and black ; and also check out the hot Lanvin platform shoes $99 as reported. Checkout the 50 % off a groovy silver leather bolero jackets now $100 and buy the crop dark jeans $89. The one button short sleeve jacket with frayed edges in black cotton is cool $79.
Witchery: Check out the black Broderie Anglaise bolero top $119; the dark denim jeans $89; the wide pleat Prada Sport style skirt with its own self ribbon belt in black and white $99; the cotton jeans in stone $89 and the cool satin cream cami with a lace trim $99. There are too many Balenciaga motorcycle bags here but go for the pointy toe sling backs with a grosgrain bow $139 and the ballet flats $129 in lots of colours. You will find the Roland Mouret galaxy dress here $159; a simple empire T shirt in white $39 and a satin trim Balenciaga style navy T shirt with brass buttons $59. The cute short jacket with elastic trim short sleeves is chic in fine wool in black $169.
David Jones Shoes: Look for the Sandler version of last seasons black patent wedge sandals with 3 crossover straps ; a very good copy I must say for $99. They are not called FiFi.
FCUK: The new first summer collection is fabulous. Lots of navy and red and cream. Love the navy cotton short peacoat jacket $178; the perfect white drape puff sleeve T also in a long sleeve version $39; the cool crop navy pants $99 and the navy short sleeve blouse $88. Buy the thin seer sucker stripe pleated skirt $99; the gorgeous choc brown and navy long, long belted cardigan almost a dress $99 and the grey belted peacoat $159.
Target: Check out the stripe tops here in blues and black $14 and the fab drape cotton scoop neck tanks $14. In the shoe department you will find some silver, gold or black sparkle ballet flats $39 and some black silver wedges for $39. Just hold your nose so you don’t breathe in too much of the plastic fumes. I see cool wooden platform sandals with black plaited straps $39.
Cue: New in are lots of simple black shift dresses for about $185 and a lot of suiting. Check out the black chiffon cap sleeve top $199; a classic paneled A line skirt $159 and a blue and black print empire dress with a belt $225. Buy the French navy egg skirt with a bow at the belt $145; the 40’s black chiffon blouse with a cream ribbon tie $189 and the fab black dress with cap sleeve, a deep V neckline and a full skirt and belt $289.
MNG: New collection has arrived: check out the fab black silver lurex sleeveless polo top $59; the cute silver singlet top $39; the crop dark denim jeans $99 and a very chic black long baggy singlet with a satin trim $49 also in cream.
Saba: Checkout the classic fitted black jacket $499; the brown and cream poets chiffon blouse $249; the navy velvet blazer $499 and the cotton trousers, very classic $245. There are nice little gauze wool bubble skirts in black wool $229. The egg shape is hot so keep an eye out for all those tulip skirts. Buy the chic cuffed cotton shirts in light blue and white $149 and the classic white tanks $139. There is a 50% sale so it’s worth having a look.
Country Road: Some of the new collection has arrived and it looks great. Lots of navy and cream. Best pieces are the black empire dress $248; the black twill peacoat $248; the navy and white print bow front cami $89 and the black dress with tiny blue trim and wide straps $189. Checkout the navy and black satin trim cami tops, very Balenciaga $89 and the navy empire dress with shoestring straps and black grosgrain ribbon trim $249. Buy the fabulous heavy knit double breasted fitted peacoat/jacket $229. The shoes are cool. Go for the very Chloe inspired tan peep toe heels with a brass buckle $229 and the oyster chiffon T $69.
Veronika Maine: it’s officially now Veronika Marni…The new collection in store even has belts that have been inspired’ shall we say by the Marni (as seen in Belinda). Check out the fab black drape front dress with wide straps and a slight bubble $289 (comes with the belt); also in a choc brown; a short sleeve navy jacket $229; a gorgeous cream wide strap cami to wear under everything with a square neckline $159. It also comes in a green, Wear these layered under the dresses.
Myer: I searched the huge sale but did not find.
David Jones: I noticed they now have a few pieces of Paul & Joe but it’s not very exciting. Is it the buying or has the label changed? I see too much pink, green and Boho. Eeeww. Best pieces are the lightweight wool pinstripe grey jacket $890; and the matching trousers $510. The suiting is the best buy. Also here is the Marc Jacobs as reported and D Squared. Go for the fab white pin tuck cotton cuffed shirt $915; the divine grey knit deep V sweater cardigan with cute pockets $915 and the simple black dress with a tie back and very Chloe $935. The jeans are groovy of course and so is the choc brown leather jacket, very boxy $2130.
David Jones Shoes: how did I miss these last week? The Sergio Ross black patent peep toe with a seriously high heel $799. Cool.
Orson and Blake: There is a 50% off sale but there is not alot left. Best pieces are the Helen Muriel trousers; the Hugo Boss shoes and an assortment of tops.
Evelyn Miles: There are a few pieces on sale. New in is a new divine Miu Miu choc brown bag with detachable fabric strap $1400 and new shoe label called Rupert Sanderson. Check out his black patent peep toe heels with crossover front $798 and the gold metallic strappy heels $878. Buy the sensational tan chunky platform sandals with white stitching $928.There are some classic Sergio Rossi black patent pointy pumps $528; outrageous short gold boots by Moschino $1428 and L’Autre Chose wooden platforms in navy, tan and green ankle straps $328.
Weekend Max Mara: Some of the new summer collection is here. Check out the navy and white stripe tops $230; the white with navy stripe top $385 and the stone or black belted jacket $830. There is chic cream double layered tank $230; a gorgeous zip through, cable knit stone sweater $420 and many classic black pants on sale for about $240. The perfect stone trench is on sale for $892 (was $1100).
Belinda shoe salon: What a delight. You want it all. Drool over the cute Marni black sandals with a check stone trim $995; the Marni tan shoulder bag with the disc enamel trim $1600; the black patent flats and the amazing Chloe pointy toe satin slippers with a jewel encrusted toe $995. buy the red Chloe chunky heels with an ankle strap $795; the beautiful Chloe choc peep toe satin heels with a ribbon detail $795 ; the Barbara Bui choc peep toe heels $895 and the Chloe black chunky heel sandals $795. There are some fab Miu Miu tan leather mules with a wooden sole $395; gorgeous Chloe chunky wooden sole heels with punched leather and an ankle strap $1095 and the Marni disc encrusted platform heels in choc brown $845. You want the fabulous Miu Miu peep toe patent heels $485 and the sparkle crossover heels in silver and black $545. Then buy up all the bags. Please. Remember many shoes and bags would have since left the building.
Chanel : Are on sale. No prices. If you need to ask you won’t be shopping there. Check out the ready to wear. The best buys are the black tweed jacket: the polo knits in a cream and taupe; the amazing chiffon dresses and I see a few shoes. Go for the ballet flats whether they are on sale or not. And of course the bags are gorgeous and so are the sunglasses.
Dior in David Jones: I spy the new hot bag du jour and some of the shoes are on sale too.
Pear Tarte Tatin ….from Good Taste.
Is there anything more French than Tarte Tatin? Non. (Actually a Birkin bag. But you can’t eat that.) Ne panickez pas this is not difficile. Just cook the pears in butter and sugar, throw on a sheet of puff pastry and cook. Pour off the excess jus, turn it upside down and voila! The most delicious, sweet, sticky dessert. Formidable.
100g unsalted butter
330g caster sugar
3 or 4 pears… the brown ones are the nicest
1 sheet of frozen puff pastry
A touch if vanilla essence
A touch of ground cinnamon to serve
Lashings of thickened cream to serve
·Preheat the oven to 190
·Don’t eat anything all day. To compensate for dessert.
·Moisterise a cake tin. The recipe suggests making it in an ovenproof frying pan so you can put it directly into the oven. I suggest cooking the pears in a saucepan on the stove then transferring the pears and juice to a cake tin with a detachable base. Then when you have cooked it you can drain off all the caramel juice before you flip it.
·Now the boring bit : Peel the pears and core them.
·Cut into chic quarters
·Think about being in Paris.
·Throw naughty but nice butter and sugar in a saucepan.
·And watch it melt. If only your hips would that.
·Keep heat on medium high heat
·Throw the pears in on top. Don’t worry if there is not enough moisture. Don’t put the lid on. The pears will ooze all their juice once they start to cook.
·Watch the sugar, butter and juices start to brown and turn to caramel. Think the caramel of a Birkin bag. Mais oui.
·Let the pears cook uncovered for about 20 to 25 minutes till slightly soft. Poke a fork in to check. Hint: You don’t want them too soft because they must keep their shape. A bit like your upper arms: They look better a little firmer .
·When the pears are cooked take them off the heat and let them cool.
·Carefully lift the pears out with a fork and tongs to place on the bottom of the cake tin. Leaving the juice for un petit moment
·Make a chic little circle of pears in a spiral.
·Hint : Leave a space around the edge so that the pastry will form a border
·Put the cake tin in another bigger baking dish so if the juice drains out in the oven you can catch it.
·Pour the juice over the pears.
·Then place the sheet of frozen or slightly unfrozen puff pastry on top of the pears. Hint: If it doesn’t fit turn the pastry edge over on top of itself as it will make a handy little border when it’s turned upside down and will hold in the fruit
·Stab the sheet of frozen puff pastry with a fork do it doesn’t puff up. Like your waist will after dinner.
·Whack into the oven. Remember to put the cake tin in the baking dish for any oozing jus.
·Cook for about 35 minutes or until the pastry is as golden as a Chloe platform.
·Hint: the juice can make the pastry soggy so the pastry should be well cooked.
·When it’s cooked let it cool for a couple of minutes..
·Then release the detachable rim of the cake tin and let the juices run out into the baking dish. This is to stop caramel flying through the air and in your hair as you flip it over. Sticky.
·Grab a wire rack and flip the tarte over. How chic those little pears look! .
·Serve either room temperature or warm from the oven.
·Pour the reserved caramel into a jug and pour over the tarte just before serving. Or if it’s a couple of hours reheat the caramel a little.
Watch your guest groan with delight and shriek with pure pleasure. Laugh as they kiss your feet. Oh to be adored every Bastille Day. Let them eat cake!
Fennel and Celeriac with Toasted almonds and Bacon dressing…from The Sydney Magazine (same page as last week ‘s recipe)
This is quite simply a sensation served with a perfect roast leg of lamb and those chic carrots from last week. I insist.
1 large peeled celeriac and cut into 8 wedges
1 star anise
2 large fennel trimmed and cut into quarters
I knob of butter
250g chopped bacon pieces or fat
100g almonds coarsely chopped
1 or 3 Garlics …why stop at one?
1 tabs chopped thyme
1 tab of chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tabs white wine vinegar or just white wine
· Get those weird looking lumpy celeriacs and give them a makeover. Watch them go from drab to fab with a peel and a chop.
· Toss them in a saucepan. With water. It helps.
· Add the cute little star anise
· Then some salt and pepper and bring gently to boil
· Cut up the parsley and thyme up
· Chop up the almonds.
· Cut up the garlic. Always do more.
· Watching water boil can be boring
· Pour a glass of wine. Sneak a few almonds.
· When the celeriac is gently boiling add the fennel; and simmer for about 12 minutes or until tender
· Now is a good time to ponder about the rest of dinner.
· Strain all the vegetable when they look cooked and just tender .
· Add lashings of butter to them.
· Forget that bikini.
·And keep warm (the vegetables, not you in a bikini) while you cook the bacons and almonds
· Throw the chopped bacon fat in a frypan.
Make sure there are no vegetarians invited to dinner.
· Watch as the bacon starts to brown. Think Eva Longoria in Tahiti (not Nicole).
· Throw in the almonds with the bacon.
· Increase heat and cook until almonds are as golden as Paris Hilton and the bacon is as crispy as a new $100 note.
· Toss on the garlic, then herbs, salt and pepper on the mix of celeriac and fennel.
· Scatter the bacon and almonds chicly and ever so nonchalantly over the vegetables.
· Serve with a juicy roast and the gorgeous ginger carrots from last week.
· Eat. Be happy
Junebug…directed by Phil Morrison
Who: Amy Adams, Embeth Davidtz, Benjamin McKenzie, Alessandro Nivola
Genre: comedy drama art film
Awards: Oscar nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for Amy Adams. She also won the inndependent Spirit Award Best Supporting Female and the Sundance Special Jury Prize.
The Plot: 2005. Groovy, cosmopolitan, art dealer meets and marries handsome husband within 6 weeks. She finds unknown artist from his hometown in North Carolina. She meets his family: a pregnant, kooky, naïve, God fearing sister in law, a pussy whipped father, a dominating mother and angry, downbeat, bitter and twisted brother . Who is normally on the O.C. Which is why he is bitter. Watch the family drams unfold.
Photography: Lots of lingering on a door or a wall with no one actually in the shot. It’s very French.
Set design: North Carolina is the worst of suburbia: lots of wood paneling, floral wallpaper, knobbly couches and brown carpet.
Salon de Beaute: I see red lipstick, mascara and back combing. I see split ends and wrinkles. In North Carolina they haven’t yet discovered blow drying or moisteriser.
Wardrobe: I see high waisted track pants, pink and florals. the Art dealer wears black. Of course.
Mind drifted to shopping …I didn’t think about Prada once ( except when I saw the wallpaper ..)
Botox: An amusing movie I suggest a dab of Chanel under eye cream to deal with the laugh lines and donate the botox to the actress playing the mother. A frown crease like that hasn’t been seen in Hollywood for years.
Waterproof mascara: Just your normal application of Aqua lash should do.
Smooches: Yes and they were smokin’
Blood’n’guts: Thankfully no.
Best line: “God loves you just the way you are but too much to let you stay that way” Pregnant wife says to lazy, deadbeat husband.
Best review: "It’s hugely entertaining, it’s spectacularly acted, and it pricks you in all kinds of places." SLATE
Best worst review: " A quirky, moderately entertaining, mildly depressing, altogether frustrating work…Too artsy by half. ", CULTUREVULTURE
See it or donate to the Prada bag fund: Quirky, arty, romantic, poignant and funny it’s Miu Miu ! See it and admire your Prada bag from last week.