Archive for the ‘BOOKS’ Category

A midsummer night’s dream: style crushing on Puck

Have you seen BBC4’s newest Skandi crime drama Crimes of Passion? As is my way I’d decided I didn’t like the look of it based on the trailer, then caught the second episode and sheepishly had to admit that it is Really Rather Good. And the best thing about it is Puck Ekstedt and her amazing wardrobe. Yes the detective hero Christer Wijk looks like a smiley Don Draper and granted his best pal Eje is also a swoonesome Swede, but its Eje’s fiancee Puck who had me at hallå.

I’ve been a bit fed up with my style recently and Puck has saved me from the fashion doldrums. I didn’t want a total makeover you understand – that’s never advisable, both in terms of budget and just because the results are never entirely convincing (think of Tai in Clueless). No, I mean more of a refresh – using stuff I already own, just styled in a slightly different way, with a fresh silhouette. When you encounter a woman – whether real or fictional – whose look you really admire, it can help you rediscover the essence of what makes a good outfit – whether it’s the length of a trouser leg or the way a shirt sleeve is rolled just to the elbow – and even if you have a totally different style or body shape, you can incorporate that tiny detail into your own look and reboot it.

crimes of passion puck

Puck is an English lit student (like me!) Independent, brave, intuitive and emancipated (um, like me!), with piercing blue eyes (ok, not like me) that seem to burn into the soul of every suspect, ferreting out secrets large and small by intuition alone. And she wears the coolest clothes, in the most amazing way. High-waisted cigarette pants, crisp blouses with wide, flat collars and nippy little cardigans are perfectly suited to the fresh Swedish summer.

Her trademark outfit is clean, simple, elegant, chic – Katherine Hepburn with an indie twist. While the other women in the show are wafting around in full-skirted summer frocks or slinking about in pencil skirts, Puck can run, jump and bop aggressive men on the head in her boyish threads. She is the ultimate gamine crime fighter.

puck

Puck reminds me of Agatha Christie’s intrepid heroines – Tuppence Beresford (married to Tommy and foiler of Nazi plots and poisoners) and the stars of her spy novels like They Came to Baghdad and The Man in the Brown Suit. People sometimes think Agatha’s work begins with Poirot and ends with Miss Marple, but she wrote all these other amazing crime novels with some properly kickass young women running rings around international criminal masterminds, serial killers and the like. And chic, tomboyish Puck is just as fabulous.Christer-Dina-Puck-Einar

I’m definitely going to be watching the rest of this seriously good-looking series (if you have a thing for mid-century-modern Skandinavian furniture and quite frankly WHO DOESN’T? you will love it.) Crimes of Passion is on BBC4 on Saturday nights at 9pm.

REVIEW: Clothes, Music, Boys by Viv Albertine

Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys, Boys, Boys by Viv Albertine

Note the chant of that title and how long it takes to type: that’s just the beginning of the uncompromising life story that Viv Albertine shares in her new book. Guitarist in The Slits, Laura Ashley model, musician, director, actor, artist, mother – she has had a fascinating fifty-nine years and there’s a lot more to talk about than being a girl in the punk world (but that’s a good place to start).

In CCCMMMBBB (Faber, £14.99) she scrapbooks her vividly recalled memories together and tacks on a helpful appendix at the end detailing the most crucial bits of her biography – what she was wearing, listening to and who she was seeing during each of her eras. Her unconventional path through creative careers, various lovers and finally motherhood makes for compelling reading and her story illuminates some of life’s joyous feminist contradictions.  It’s also worth mentioning that I haven’t read a book which so unashamedly and refreshingly reveals the secrets of the female bedroom since Caitlin Moran’s How to Be a Woman, bedsheets, wardrobe, dressing table and all.

Albertine laments the fact that she had no female role models as a would-be guitarist in the late seventies, but luckily for us with this book she’s shown why she should be a heroine to every music-loving, clothes-obsessed, outsider girl out there.


Win a copy of The Well of Loneliness

CD1603 The Well of Loneliness COVER AW.inddThe reissue of Radclyffe Hall’s seminal lesbian novel The Well of Loneliness (£9.99, Hesperus Classics) is one of our March picks on our book blog over at Twin magazine. We have three copies of this new edition to give away so for your chance to win one, just email your name and address to [email protected] and we will pick three winners at random!


Interview: The Little Book of Lunch

Sophie & Caroline

Sophie & Caroline at Somerset House (2 minutes from Penguin HQ)

Last month Penguin editor Sophie Missing and ex-Penguin now Kew Gardens-publicist Caroline Craig‘s first cookbook was published. The Little Book of Lunch is full of ideas from the raw (‘Rainbow Rescue: your five-a-day in a jar’) to the baked (salted caramel brownies in the ‘Bribing Colleagues with Sweet Treats’). These are recipes for office people with imaginations because even if you can’t usually manage more than one take-in a week you will love flipping through this gorgeous collection of inspirations and amusing asides on al desko etiquette and lunchbox-styling tips. 

What was it like being on the author-side of the project as current/former publishing-employees? Did you experience any (un)pleasant surprises?

SM: It was actually really fun to see the other side of the process. And an eye-opener of course, because I was used to seeing things from the publisher’s perspective. I think I was terrified of annoying our publishers though!

CC: Yes, it was really interesting. As Sophie says we were mainly trying to be the kind of author we enjoy working with… Hands-off and letting the experts do their jobs! Don’t know if we always succeeded though…

What’s been your favourite part(s) of the process?

SM: It’s all been pretty exciting… doing the shoots was incredibly fun (though hard work) and a bit of a whirlwind. Seeing the proofs (and having what you’ve written suddenly look like ‘a real actual book’) is always exciting too. Mostly though, it’s been amazing to hear that people who aren’t our friends or our family like it, and enjoy the recipes. That’s the best. And a massive relief.

CC: I loved writing it so much! Sitting at my laptop in the kitchen at the crack of dawn with a cuppa… It was also wonderful writing as a partnership: Sophie and I would bounce off each other and I think our writing was all the better for it.

I loved the section on lunchboxes which made me feel inspired as well as deeply ashamed of my own scrappy Tupperware boxes. What are your favourite lunch receptacles and where did you find them?

SM: Caroline is the queen of the attractive lunchbox. She inspired me to buy a rather chic (if I do say so myself) aluminium one from Objects of Desire. It could double as a handbag. Muji is also good and practical.

CC: To be honest there are some mornings when I’m in such a rush I’ve been known to grab the first thing to hand to transport my lunch… a plastic  bag… a tea towel. But yes, I do love my enamel tiffin tin too! Read More…


Announcement: Pamflet x Twin

books

Phoebe’s to-read pile

After a short break over December and January (see Instagram for further details) we’re back blogging here at Pamflet and are also delighted to announce a special collaboration with our favourite style biannual Twin‘s blog.

From February we’ll be their new book bloggers, posting monthly book reviews and recommendations as well as reports on literary festivals and happenings. We’ll mostly be covering fiction (classic and contemporary), style, fashion and pop culture titles (what else really?) and can’t wait to get started!

Keep an eye on Twitter and Twin for our first roundup which is coming very soon.

 


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