Category Archives: Clothes

As advertising campaigns go…

This one, for Dutch underwear brand Hema, does not at first appear to be all that controversial.

It simply promises the wearer that the new Hema push-up bra will augment breast size by two categories, no matter how small the wearer’s breasts are.

And then there are a couple of very conservative pictures of the model…

…whose name is Andrej Pejic, was voted in FHM’s list of World’s 100 Sexiest Women – and is a man.

Didn’t see that one coming did you?


Filed under Ad Campaigns, Clothes, Culture, Europe

Disney goes bridal

They say all women dream of the perfect ‘fairytale wedding’ and now, the ultimate fairytale merchants have launched a bridal wear website selling dresses inspired by each of its famous princesses from Belle to Ariel.

See if you can guess the princess without reading the caption:





Snow White


I do have one question, though. What kind of woman actually buys this kind of dress for her wedding? Or does she just not admit it to a living soul?

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Filed under Clothes

Women of the week

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (obviously). Friday was the day Britain fell in love with their future Queen.

Adele – she seems to be the absolute craic.

Tara Palmer-Tomkinson. Say what you like, hers was the best hat at the royal wedding.

The child on the balcony at the wedding:

*UPDATE – I love it when Fox News gets it this wrong:


Filed under Celebrities, Clothes, Current Affairs, Laughs

First arrests made in France under the ‘Burka Ban’

Earlier today, a Muslim woman named Kenza Drider attended an unauthorised protest in front of Notre Dame de Paris cathedral wearing a niqab. She was promptly arrested along with another woman for taking part in an unauthorised protest and refusing to disperse.

These are the first arrests made in connection to France’s new ban on face coverings under the Bill Prohibiting Facial Dissimulation in Public Places, which came into effect today.  Under the law, women found wearing either the burka or the niqab in public will be subject to a €150 fine. The bill was controversial from the get-go, when it was first debate in early 2010.  The law has been condemned internationally, especially by the Muslim community – one French businessman has publicly urged Muslim women to commit acts of ‘civil disobedience’, saying that he will sell his €2 million house to pay the fines.

President Sarkozy says the veils are an affront to the values of equality and secularism and that they imprison women.  Critics of the ban say it is proof of the levels of xenophobia and racism which France has reached and that the ban is a breach of a person’s fundamental humans rights to practice whatever religion they choose. Those against also claim that the French law is based on a general fear and lack of understanding of Islam.

These dissidents seem blissfully ignorant of French culture. Their moronic over-simplification of the situation to portray the French as nothing other than a bunch of mean racists is telling.

The French Republic was founded on the idea of ‘laïcité‘, the concept of a secular society, denoting the absence of religious involvement in government affairs as well as absence of government involvement in religious affairs. This deep belief in separation of church and state is one which French people are especially proud of. Far from persecuting any particular religion, the 1905 law famously states: “The Republic neither recognises, nor salaries, nor subsidises any religion.” The law also states: “No one may be disturbed on account of his opinions, even religious ones, as long as the manifestation of such opinions does not interfere with the established Law and Order.”

As I was educated in a French lycée, the above was part of my primary education. French children are taught the value of secularism early on and tend not to forget the lesson. As far as most French are concerned, the key to social cohesion is the elimination of religion from all aspects of life but the most private. This is why religious symbols were banned in schools across France in 2004.

One would be forgiven, reading the hysterical coverage by many media outlets outside of France, for thinking that the French government ignorantly swept in and decided out of the blue to make life difficult for a tiny fraction of the French population (only 1,300 women in France are thought to wear the burka). Not so. French, and indeed Western, culture does not have any place for what it sees as the imposition of male will over the female on grounds of religion. Critics may say that the state should try to be more understanding of the Islamic culture – why should it? Religion is not the business of the French state. Other religions don’t receive special attention and neither will this one.

Dalil Boubakeur, the grand mufti of the Paris Mosque, the largest and most influential in France, testified to parliament during the bill’s preparation. He commented that the niqab was not prescribed in Islam, that in the French and contemporary context its spread was associated with radicalisation and criminal behaviour, and that its wearing was inconsistent with France’s concept of the secular state.

Other European nations have tip-toed uncomfortably around this issue for fear of (God forbid) offending someone. France, on the other hand, has met the problem at every opportunity with a consistent line of thought and reasoning: that for every religious problem the nation has had over the past three centuries, secularism has been the answer and it’s not going to change now.

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Filed under Clothes, Culture, Current Affairs, Protests, Religion

Queen Mother Library – The place where my happiness goes to die

It’s my birthday and I’ve spent the day in Queen Mother Library working on my dissertation which isn’t due for another three months. Sadly, there’s nothing else to do because Aberdeen University is in the midst of Exam Fear and nobody will even go for a celebratory pint with me.

I’m writing about class and the work of Pierre Bourdieu – this photograph pretty much sums it up:

I was sent a link to Burberry’s The Art of the Trench project today, and I’m fairly sure my next big purchase is going to have to be a Burberry coat.

Maybe I’ll get one for cheap at Armstrong’s of Edinburgh.

Anyway – I’m off to the cinema, but check out this clip of comedian/gymnast Larry Griswold in a routine he performed on the Frank Sinatra Show in 1961. It improved my birthday immensely.

So did this.

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Filed under Aberdeen, Clothes, Laughs, Photography

Tom Ford: A true artist knows how to sell

I’m not a high fashion type. I don’t care enough about being on trend, being a student, I don’t have the money anyway and, probably most significantly, I’m a man. The fashion business is one of those few-and-far-between industries that are very much female-centric. It is for this reason that, when I read last autumn that Tom Ford was releasing a women’s clothing line (for the first time in years), I was rather uninterested.

What’s more, I even scoffed aloud at the pretentiousness of his first show. The convention in the fashion industry is that the clothes be shown as publicly as possible in order to advertise to the masses. Ford, on the other hand, banned all phones and cameras from his catwalk showing of Spring/Summer 2011, which was held at a tiny secret location in New York during fashion week. Only a select few were invited to attend. The photographer Terry Richardson took all the stills and the models were all famous friends and patrons of Ford: Beyonce, Julianne Moore and Lauren Hutton among them.

However, this video of the event immediately rid me of cynicism and made me wish I’d been there. It’s just so… glamorous. And I suppose, that’s the point. What would haute couture, or fashion in general, be if fashionistas didn’t know how to make you want it?

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Filed under Clothes, Culture

Since snow kills fun, here are some fun things you can do instead…

You could check out this amusing clip of the Irish Government apologising for the banking crisis, released by Tiger Reborn – an internet lobby group (it would appear) whose “Primary objective is to produce smart solution based blueprints that will deliver soul inspiring vision, a happier quality of life, a sustainable thriving economy and a completely new type of political service for the citizens of Ireland.”

If you’ve already seen it (and if you’re Irish, you probably have) then you can check out London-based photographer Dan Wilton‘s blog instead. My friend Mark tells me he’s worked with Mark’s cousin – some of his stuff id beautiful (especially the photos of Secret Garden Party). I also very much respect his appreciation of dogs.

Or you could just check out the amount of INSANELY cool Christmas jumpers the internet has to offer…

That last one takes the cake.

Apparently it’s 31°C and sunny in Zanzibar. This is a photograph taken recently by friends of friends, Moshi during a black out with Kilimanjaro in the background.

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Filed under Art, Clothes, Current Affairs, Film, Laughs, Photography