Faye’s comeback continues

19 07 2010

Faye Wong will hold a press conference in Beijing tomorrow, amid mounting excitement for her comeback tour. Ticket sales are breaking records, and sales of the shampoo she began to endorse earlier in the year – in the first sign of her imminent return – have increased 35 per cent.

Faye has also landed a new endorsement deal with luxury brand Celine, and will appear on the cover of Chinese “Elle” in September.

An album is supposed to be on the way with a “secret” video shoot already underway. Chinese web sites last week excitedly ran “leaked” pictures of her new “alien look” in the video, but is it real?

The speculation, and the excitement, keeps mounting …

Chameleon superman

19 07 2010

Some other guises from the irrepressible Sagat:

Beauty in the world 2: Through the lens of Nick Knight

17 07 2010

Some of the visceral, edgy images of leading fashion photograper Nick Knight, subject of a new coffee table book retrospective of his work.

David Lynch does Dior

8 07 2010

David Lynch first dabbled in high end advertising with this dreamy/nightmarish Gucci spot a few years ago:

Now he has a new 16 minute long movie (I’m cutting to the second half here) starring French actress Marion Cotillard, for Dior’s new range of “lady Blue” handbags.  I respect the fact that he doesn’t try and “sneak” the brand in, its clearly a handbag commercial and he has no shame; but still, he does it his way.

Music and fashion with SA soul star Simphiwe Dana

1 07 2010

Simphiwe Dana is a platinum-selling South African soul singer. She started as a fashion designer, and if these publicity shots are showing her own designs, she is just as talented with clothes as she is with music. I love everything about her;  her look – all blues and greens and African without being kitschy “ethnic”, the fabulous video for “Ndiredi” ( above ), her voice and her songs, combining Xhosa harmonies with gentle, refined jazz grooves.

She’s a rockstar

13 06 2010

Over the weekend I went to see the limp new “Sex in the City” movie and came out wondering how the project got greenlighted. Who wrote the script (and how much they got paid for it?) I could have done a better job, bashing away on my macbook after work. In my version, Samantha’s PR agency would have been on the lookout for a hot new act for a big party or premiere (cue a succession of stylish emerging stars – Janelle Monae perhaps, and a scene where the shaved-headed ICONIQ belts out “Like a Virgin” at a party somewhere in a prom dress with a big corsage). And then finally the *discovery* would be made -and it would be Shingai Shoniwa. She could have given a whole fresh blast to the sagging middleaged, but supposedly fashion-fabulous,  franchise. Because Shingai IS fashion. And rock n roll.

Raised in London by her Zimbabwean mother (“Shingai” means “to persevere” in Shona), the statuesque beauty is singer of the formerly punk rock and lately more soulful band, “the Noisettes”. Below, she covers the Buzzcocks “Have You Ever Fallen In Love With Someone You Shouldn’t Have Fallen In Love With?” for a Doc Martens corporate promo.

Described by the New York Times as “an African supermodel” Shoniwa has the looks, the voice,  a fierce sense of fashion and the hard-rockin attitude to become a major icon of our times. One of my regrets from last year’s Europe trip was that I foolishly missed an event in London where the Noisettes performed with dragqueen club maven Jodie Harsh and MPHO (whose own debut, set to become one of my albums of the year, seems to have vanished into some nightmarish record company mire). What a party?! How could I have let that one slip through my fingers?

Still it could be worse. I could’ve been a writer on “Sex in the City”.

Magazine world

30 05 2010

A rundown on some of my favorite magazines:

“Giant Robot” is an American based magazine presenting (a very dweeby,  straight male, and rather repressed version of) Asian pop culture. It was also the template for a similar and shortlived Australian publication called “Gaijin” (to which I contributed). I was interested to see in the latest issue though that Giant Robot is struggling, and has launched an appeal for donations to keep it afloat. I hope it pulls through.

ffw mag! is a fabulous Brazilian magazine presenting a breezily modern and tropical take on high fashion. I saw it on sale at Colette in Paris and regret not buying a stack of old issues – I bought a Filipino style mag with Lady Gaga on the cover instead. ffw mag! impossible to get here. I would subscribe, if the Brazilian postal service didn’t charge an exorbitant 25 dollars to send it to Australia!

“Arise” is a new one for me, but I picked it up a Borders this weekend, looking for something to read on the train. Billing itself as “Africa’s global stye and culture magazine”, it is full of beautiful fashion spreads of Afrocentric fashion and articles on celebrities from Nigeria and Ghana I had not heard of, like this fashion-conscious electro-y soul singer Iyadede from Rwanda: