La La Land Live in Concert At Birmingham Symphony Hall

This weekend saw the Birmingham Weekender, a weekend dedicated to bringing the arts to the masses with a series of free and ticketed events. The city’s beautiful Symphony Hall, one of the most glorious concert venues in the country was the setting for one of the most anticipated events, a live screening of the Oscar Winning movie La La Land, complete with a full orchestra. It was a stunning event, with the music, setting and movie just perfect.

Before the screening, there was a chance to chill in the Heineken bar with an Absolut La La Land cocktail, a mix of vodka, cranberry juice and pomegranate juice with a hint of lime. There were also Seb’s special cupcakes, named in honour of La La Land’s leading male protagonist, played by the delectable Ryan Gosling (almost as tasty as the cupcakes.)

La La Land is a dream of a movie, a lush, romantic, bittersweet love story that sweeps you up with the beauty of its cinematography, particularly through the use of jewel colours and the motif of yellow that appears throughout the film. If ever a film was cried out to be watch on the large, Cinemascope style screen of the Symphony Hall it is La La Land, and with the exquisite score played by a full orchestra, the acoustical brilliance of the Hall was put to full, brilliant use. The music of La La Land is a key part of the success of the film, and hearing it played live was just wonderful.

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are movie perfection as the star crossed lovers Mia and Seb, an aspiring actress and jazz pianist both trying to find their way in Hollywood, the La La Land of the title. Emma is a luminous screen presence, whilst Ryan plays Seb as an old style movie star. Together they bring to mind the chemistry of Tracey and Hepburn in their heyday, and La La Land feels like a film that harks back to that era too, giving knowing nods to ‘Rebel without a Cause’ and Ingrid Bergman along the way.

There may be better ways to spend Sunday afternoon than watching La La Land in Concert, but frankly, I’m struggling to think of any. This Christmas will see a live in concert screening of Love Actually. I can’t wait.

Oscars 2017 – Best Dressed.

The 2017 Oscar ceremony will forever be mired in conspiracy and controversy. The best picture Oscar was first of all given to (as expected) La La Land, before it was revealed that ‘Moonlight’ was the actual winner. How had this happened? It seems it may have been a mix up with an envelope, although Emma Stone claims she had her best actress envelope that was being blamed for the issue. Whatever was the reason for the mix up, when you tie this in with the controversial Casey Affleck as ‘Best Actor’, you have an Oscar night that will live in the memory for all the wrong reasons.

Which may not be a bad thing, as the fashion seems to have been the least interesting thing about the night. It was not a vintage night for style by any means, with the standout best look, worn by model Karlie Kloss, being a very similar look to the iconic white cape style sported by Gwyneth Paltrow a few years earlier. Many on Twitter raved about the dress worn by Janelle Monae, but I found it to be an ugly mess of a dress with little or no redeeming features. With the likes of JLo, Cate Blanchett, Angelina Jolie and Naomi Watts missing, and with Alicia Vikander also disappointing, it was left to the glorious Leslie Mann in yellow Zac Posen, a very lovely Octavia Spencer in princess style Marchesa and Kirsten Dunst putting a glamorous spin on a classic Dior black dress to bring us the looks to savour.

There were other fashion moments worth mentioning. Hailee Steinfeld was exquisite in Ralph and Russo, the smokey eyed look was just beautiful. Ruth Negga will definitely divide opinions, but for me this was a definite love moment, and a welcome splash of colour on a night when white and nudes were the chosen trends. Taraji P Henson showed off her best look of awards season in a custom made Alberta Ferretti dress that totally screamed screen vamp, you can almost hear Thierry Henry talking about Va Va Voom. I was however, disappointed by my style crush Naomie Harris, the Calvin Klein dress was unusual, but the cocktail frock with a train just wasn’t right for the Oscars and would’ve been better suited to the SAG Awards in my opinion.

Here are some more of the key looks from last night – would love to know if you had a favourite?

Sofia Carson

Ruth Negga

Octavia Spencer

Kirsten Dunst

Taraji P. Henson

Karlie Kloss

Darby Stanchfield

Leslie Mann

Sofia Boutella

Hailee Steinfeld

Felicity Jones

Louise Roe

Olivia Culpo

Ava DuVernay

Jessica Biel

Chrissy Teigan

Michelle Williams

Busy Phillips

Laura Dern

Emma Stone

Nicole Kidman

Brie Larson

Naomie Harris

 

And a few from the After show parties

Katy Perry

Thandie Newton

Rashida Jones

Sofia Vergara

Fashion: The Year of Yellow

It may be a type of green that has been named the Pantone colour for 2017 (greenery – which is a shade I have frankly never heard of) but it seems to be yellow, all shades of yellow, that is having a moment.

For proof you need to look no further than the recent Golden Globe awards, where Natalie Portman, Viola Davis, Reese Witherspoon and  Maisie Williams were amongst the many ladies wearing a shade of yellow. Best Actress winner Emma Stone has also hit the campaign trail in yellow, as has one of my style crushes Naomie Harris. Kate Moss is famously a fan of the colour, one of her most iconic Topshop designs was based on a beautiful yellow gown from her own collection. Michelle Williams and Renee Zellweger wore two of the most iconic Oscar dresses of all time in, you’ve guessed it, a fabulous shade of yellow. When done correctly, I don’t think there is a better, more flattering colour. Now it is all over the press again as Emma Stone an La La Land have won a whole host of Oscar nominations, cue millions of pictures of Emma in that, soon to be iconic, yellow dress.

Yellow Inspiration

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LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 06: Actress Naomie Harris attends the 17th annual AFI Awards at Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on January 6, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for AFI)

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 05: Actress Emma Stone attends W Magazine Celebrates the Best Performances Portfolio and the Golden Globes with Audi and Moet & Chandon at Chateau Marmont on January 5, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Moet & Chandon)

On the catwalk – Giambattista Valli

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The key to wearing yellow is to suit a shade that will suit you. It works well in vibrant shades on redheads like Emma, and lemon and buttercup shades look good on paler blondes. Brunettes can pretty much get away with any variety. I’m a blonde, but love yellow, it is far and away my fave colour and one which I wear a lot.

I love Yellow

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Yellow on the High Street

**Vila Yellow Chiffon Dress Was £42.00 Now £21.00Click to visit Dorothy Perkins

**Vila Yellow Chiffon Dress
Was £42.00 Now £21.00 Click to visit Dorothy Perkins

**Vero Moda mustard pleated top Price: £22.00 Click to visit Dorothy Perkins

**Vero Moda mustard pleated top Price: £22.00 Click to visit Dorothy Perkins

Yellow lace soft tee Was £24.00 Now £12.00Click to visit Dorothy Perkins

Yellow lace soft tee
Was £24.00 Now £12.00 Click to visit Dorothy Perkins

Yellow Floral Linen Dress £36 Click to visit Next

Yellow Floral Linen Dress £36 Click to visit Next

Pointed Slipper Shoes £40 Click to visit Next

Pointed Slipper Shoes £40 Click to visit Next

Lipsy Love Michelle Keegan Applique Detail Bodycon Dress £65 Click to visit Next

Lipsy Love Michelle Keegan Applique Detail Bodycon Dress £65 Click to visit Next

Riva Jacquard Dress £90 Click to visit Boden

Riva Jacquard Dress £90 Click to visit Boden

 Skye Funnel Neck Jumper £70 Click to visit Boden

Sophia Shirt Dress Now £31.80 To £47.70 Click to visit Boden

Sophia Shirt Dress Now £31.80 To £47.70 Click to visit Boden

Ruby Demi Wedge £98 Click to visit Boden

Ruby Demi Wedge £98 Click to visit Boden