Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The Look for Less: Christian Louboutin Madame Butterfly Booties

It's no secret I'm a sucker for Christian Louboutin shoes. Is it because all the celebrities wear them? The red soles? The sky high heels which can't help but make even the wobbliest legs look fabulous? The ridiculous price tag? Who knows, but I like 'em and I want 'em.

Recently the pair to be seen in is the Madame Butterfly Bootie. 6'' heel, cute little bows, killer platform, what's not to love?

Christian Louboutin Madame Butterfly BootieAnd they've had their fair share of red carpet coverage. Keri Hilson and Emma Watson both wore them, Watson at the National Movie awards and Hilson at the BET Awards. Rhianna and Heidi Klum have also been spotted in them and Lindsay Lohan wore them to one of her court appearances (she always lowers the tone...)

Rhianna, Lindsay Lohan, Heidi Klum, Emma Watson and Keri Hilson in Christian Louboutin Madame Butterfly booties

As you might guess, these shoes don't come cheap. At £775 a go I'll be giving them a miss for this month. But, luckily enough River Island have just launched these:

River Island Black Double Bow Peep Toe HeelAnd at £64.99 they're not a bad alternative!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Cheryl Cole- Messy Little Raindrops album review

Cheryl Cole, dubbed the nation’s sweetheart and possibly the most desirable female of the 20th century (actually she was voted sexiest woman in the world by FHM) but stunning and as close to being universally liked as you’re going to find, is releasing her sophomore album, Messy Little Raindrops.

My prediction, much like her first solo album 3 Words which went triple platinum and sold more than 900,000 copies, Messy Little Raindrops, will shift. But, again much like 3 Words, that doesn’t mean that it’s a musical masterpiece or even particularly memorable.

Upon first listening nothing really stands out. It’s no secret that Cheryl was never the voice of Girls Aloud, that was Nadine, and unfortunately her lack of vocal range isn’t disguised well enough by her master producer and BFF

Never the less, there are a few passable singles on there, Let’s Get Down seems like an obvious single release, and her follow up single, the Flood, I’m sure will do well.

Something which irks me about this album though is how moping and glum the general tone is. Indeed we all watched as Cheryl cried her heart out talking to Piers Morgan about her failed marriage, being hounded by paparazzi and her close escape from malaria, but if this album is meant to be a new beginning from all that, it’s a poor attempt.

And indeed, the references to crying come thick and fast. In Happy Tears, Cheryl tells us “she’s never going to cry again unless they’re happy tears”, hardly shutting a door on her troublesome past. Similarly in Amnesia she tells us “things are too good to be true” and the thinly veiled Ashley digs don’t stop there, coming thick and fast from every angle.

I really did want to like this album, I love Cheryl, look at her for God’s sake, she’s got such lovely hair! And ever since she fixed her teeth it’s been a struggle to take your eyes off her, but I’m afraid it’s not enough to make me love what is at best a mediocre album.

If an unknown artist come out with this it wouldn’t have a shot at the top 10, but attach that smile, that hair and that lovely personality and it’s a hit. If you like this album, you’re more than likely to be liking Cheryl the TV personality, or Cheryl the clothes horse, not Cheryl the singer. If you want my opinion, I’d spend my money on the calendar or Cheryl branded eye lashes, not the album.

Monday, 18 October 2010

“Goodbye first rate education, hello University of Lincoln”

Last Monday whilst watching The Inbetweeners, as I do every Monday because it’s a fantastically funny TV programme, Mr. Gilbert, the tyrannical head master who routinely tortures the four boys whose lives the show is centred around, threatened Will with a poor UCAS statement unless he told him who had rearranged flowers to say "we cum tit village".

His threat was worded as follows:
“Goodbye first rate education, hello University of Lincoln”.

His threat clearly did the trick as Will was terrified; he replied, “I’ve been to Lincoln, and it’s a shithole”

As a graduate of the University of Lincoln I feel the need to contribute my two cents.

Firstly, yes it was quite funny, I can take a joke, but none the less it was a bit misplaced. I’m not trying to say that Lincoln is up there with Warwick or Cambridge because, come on, it’s not. But still, surely it’s not so bad as to justify a very public and scathing slur?

For a start, the Inbetweeners boys themselves are sixth formers, so who’s going to be watching it? Tens of thousands of similar sixth formers and college students who in the next few months are going to be sending their UCAS forms off with their six chosen Universities. I’d hope that they’d know better than to let their choice be influenced by a programme which is mainly concerned with the inability of teenage boys to get laid, but we were all 17 once.

Secondly, the University of Lincoln really isn’t that bad. Yes our rankings aren’t fantastic, we place in the 70s out of the 120 or so UK Universities putting us in the middle third of the chart overall, however, these rankings aren’t the be and end all, something I’ve already written about. Firstly they’re based on what the Guardian and the Times deem important enough to take into account, not what you want from your University and your education, and secondly, a number cannot and will not be able to predict whether you or anyone else will have a good time at University and come out a better person.

Also, it’s worth bearing in mind that the subject specific league tables tell a very different story. For example for Business the Guardian puts us at number 33, we’re 29 for Media and Communications (my area) and even get up to the dizzy heights of 25 for Architecture, all in the top third.

However, there are two sides to the story; for Drama we’re way down at 84 and for History we’re a not so impressive 89 which is perhaps where the University’s reputation for low academic standards comes from. (Based solely on The Guardian University guide, because The Times one is a hassle to get access to)

And we haven’t even touched on the Universities trump card yet, student experience. Lincoln was ranked 34 out of 104, whatever that exactly means but it’s a low number so that must be good, and ever since the University’s communications people got their hands on that figure they’ve been telling anyone who’d listen, and even those who don’t care, repeatedly, with a verse of “improved six years running” and “most improved University 2009” thrown in for good measure.

In defence of the University and its students, the comment has stirred up a bit of a furore on social networking sites Twitter and Facebook as well as the blogosphere. With groups like,"Fuck you gilbert, i'm proud of my second rate education."

In sum, I’m not in the least bit angry at the writes of The Inbetweeners for dismissing the worth of my entire education in one foul swoop, in fact I think the statement put the University of Lincoln on a massive platform to speak to a hugely important group of people, potential students. It gave Lincoln the opportunity not just to dismiss this statement but also the chance to show exactly how wrong it was. So many people leapt to the defence of the University, including Fern Cotton on BBC Radio 1 and an army of loyal graduates and students who know exactly what the University is like beyond the tables, and hopefully between us all we’ve made enough noise to make it a whole lot easier for future students to be able to justify their choice of study.

After years of defending my choice of University, especially doing a Media course, easy target really, hopefully they will have an easier time of it than I did!