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Tuesday, 28 September 2010


"yeo-bo-sae-yo" : "hello?"

THIS endearing image was taken by Irina Kalashnikova at Kim Jong-suk nursery, North Korea. There is something so charming about the little girl in her bright red skirt matching the bright red phone that she is talking on, especially when against such a neutral back drop. Having taken the photograph head on, therefore rendering the composition clean and uncomplicated, Kalashnikova has ensured that the viewer is drawn in by the details within: the secret smile of the woman behind the desk, the pedals upon which her feet are resting, the subtly patterned wallpaper, the delicate lace tablecloth amongst austere surroundings, and the sombre expressions of those framed high above.

But above all, my connection with this image arose from the intrigue of the situation. In this compact off-white cube two people co-exist; yet - at right angles with each other - they barely interact. What has triggered the woman's stiffled smile? Could it be her joy at being caught on camera; or a reaction to the girl's words? Is her conversation with a loved one; or one that's make-believe? This brought a smile to my face as it reminded me of times when I was little, and so desperately wanted to use the telephone that my mum would connect me to the talking clock so that my gibberish had a sounding board.

I hope that this image is found as enchanting by others as it is by me. More pictures of the rarely seen North Korea, captured by Kalashnikova, can be found on the Guardian website. They are subtle, yet densley populated with fascinating insight into the country.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

most wanted: Above Magazine

IT may be considered un-P.C. to reveal, but I must admit that I have never really been one of those whose conscience is heavily weighted with concern for environmental matters, or whose actions are undertaken following rules of eco-friendly living. Unfortunately, associations in my mind between those who choose to crusade for 'saving the environment' and dread-locked hippies shrouded in body-odour still pop up from time to time.  This is wrong. And untrue. I know this. And my discovery last summer of Above Magazine contributed to some extent in changing that. 



Above Magazine is laden full of jaw-droppingly beautiful images, amongst text that is informative and thought provoking. It makes you appreciate the fragility of the magnificent world that we inhabit. And, without preaching, it utilises tools such as photography, design and architecture to make the reader consider the reality of sustainable living, the possibility that it may not have to be as mundane as one would expect. 

Every issue so far has impressed me in the way that it smoothly walks the line between ethics and aesthetics. There is something for everyone - male or female - whether it be art or fashion, celebrity or the 'ordinary'. One thing that unites all subjects though, in their plight for respect towards the earth, is beauty. As the magazine itself quotes in its mission: "beauty will save the world". 

I have found it near impossible to select images that best sum up this wonderful publication, and so I urge you to visit its site; and of course to buy the magazine, with a new issue being out now! 

Monday, 20 September 2010

word of the day:


- (of a word) polysyllabic; long:
  sesquipedalian surnames

- characterised by long words; long-winded:
  the sesquipedalian prose of scientific journals

IT is always good to discover new words in the English language, especially on a day when it's announced that abbreviations such as TTYL (talk to you later), and words such as 'unfriend', have entered the New Oxford American Dictionary. But what made this  in particular my 'word of the day' was how perfectly it encompasses it's own meaning, the many syllables simply rolling off the tongue. And once you master remembering the word itself, by its very nature you will never forget it's definition.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

and stretch...

IF, like me, you find it just a little bit difficult to get yourself going in the morning, try taking some tips from Santra. The bear. These spectacular pictures were taken by a visitor to Ahtari zoo in Finland, capturing what ended up being an impressive 15 minute morning stretch routine.  

The images are mesmerising, with the poses struck bearing such an uncanny resemblance to that of a human. I wonder whether Santra was aware of the wonderful show she  had put on for the public. I'd like to think she was...


Tuesday, 14 September 2010

bring me sunshine on a rainy day...

IT may be ancient in fashion terms, but my dearest Stormer recently brought to my attention that Vanessa Bruno's film, starring Lou Doillon for S/S 2010, is one to watch when a smile is missing from your face. For guaranteed happiness, bringing you sunshine on these ever more frequent rainy days, watch this...

Thursday, 9 September 2010

curl and set

THIS week's oddity of choice at Kempton Park's antique market definitely had the right idea when it came to early morning bargain hunting with the Mrs... Snatching himself a snippet of peace while she does all the leg work, all that's missing from this delightful scene is a steaming cup of coffee and cosy pair of slippers.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

profile: Allyson Gee

ALLYSON Gee is a 2010 graduate in Jewellery and Silversmithing from Glasgow School of Art, whose work I discovered at New Designers. I was instantly intrigued by the way in which the delicate forms of the butterflies had been 'captured' within the metal framework. Drawing inspiration from the way in which entomology and lepidoptery uniformly presents its specimens, Gee explains that for this collection she sought to imitate the display cases within which the insects are held through the use of geometric structures. 

As much as I would love to, I somehow doubt that the pieces that Gee creates are wearable; though I can see real potential in them to be worn as part of an amazing photo shoot. To see the rest of the collection visit: