Sunday, 6 December 2009

Life imitating art - and Web 2.0 inspires fashion

There have been many benefits of Web 2.0 and now we are starting to see the art-styles of the new media being used for old media.

Models of today are of the iShot generation and Vogue Italia decided to reflect the importance of self-image in a TwitPic/TweetPic way, allowing the models to pose and shoot themselves.

This Twitter-focus is the second major feature by Vogue Italia on Web 2.0 after they ran a webcam/YouTube issue in January 2007.

We applaud this approach. Just as new developments in cameras aided creativity, often in unexpected ways, so too has the web assisted, developed and changed our ideas of creativity and communication.

Good or bad? We think good, very good. And is the medium still the message? Well from our perspective, the medium is definitely a very large part of the message. Enjoy.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

The good, the bad and the ugly of Russian "westernisation"

Before I criticise, please let me praise. I have been to a number of eastern European countries and in every one have totally enjoyed my stay - loved the people, the cities and the fun. Especially in Moscow.

Russia is a huge country, from tall and blond people in the north-west, solid and fierce in the south, to elegant and cultured in the east. As befits such a huge melting pot of DNA there are some striking beauties to behold - who we've seen dominating the tennis courts as well as the catwalks.

BUT! Too many photographers, and I guess many of them are Russian and/or eastern European, are HOPELESS. Picture 1 (right).

This photoshoot has a horrid selection of poses, which even the thumbnails reveal. The girl may or may not be named Gaby in real life but she should sue the photographer. Or at least get any money back she may have "invested" in the photoshoot.

The poses are just awful. It doesn't matter if Gaby was new to the industry or if she failed to understand. The photographer should NEVER have allowed some of these photos out of his camera (or computer or dark-room).

Let's now look at picture 2 (below left). This is a crop of number 10 from the thumbnails.

Gaby is gorgeous, with a perfectly symentrical face, bright eyes and an elegant mouth. Her breasts are small-ish and perfect, with wonderful nipples and areolae.

If Gaby was being photographed by MET-ART or Hegre then maybe we would have seen a photoset with every shot a celebration of this striking girl.

Those photographers encourage the models to pose in ways which accentuate their features, each shot crafted to show strength, innocence, attitude, athleticism, allure or plain sexiness.

Long legs, pert bum, big breasts or radiant face, the established erotic-art photographers know how to get the best from a shoot.

But now we have some truly shocking examples, which picture 3 helps explain. This is picture 4 from the set.

First, the pose is awkward for the model to hold. Her body is tense. Her face is tense. It is unkind in the way it accentuates almost a grimace of pain. Look at the cheeks.

The left arm is flopping, doing nothing - unless it's helping Gaby to balance in the awkward pose.

But the worst aspect is how the pose pushes Gaby's stomach out. I've seldom seen such an unflattering shot get published and wonder why.

Pictures 9, 15 and 16 are also atrocious, so bad I can't repost them or describe any detail.

But please, someone, track down this photographer and offer a few lessons. And Gaby, please find someone with a lot more skill for your next photoshoot (and hoping this one doesn't put you off totally).


Saturday, 7 November 2009

Brittany Flick - musician, model, merchandiser, MySpace maestro

The web is still going through enormous change but 5-minute-fame has been one massive effect of Web 2.0 and the various social media sites.

Although reality tv started a lot of the throw-them-into-the-spotlight-and-see-what-happens nonsense, modern web technologies have allowed the very obsessed to continue the exposure/drama/fandom to almost unlimited degrees.

Whether ardent fans pushing their obsessions or ardent wannabes pushing themselves, the opportunities are almost endless: website, blog, FaceBook, MySpace, YouTube and Twitter can all be used, alone or in any combination.

Brittany Flickinger (photo) has used a number of methods to keep her hopes and potential-career in the spotlight. After winning season one of Paris Hilton's Best Friend Forever tv show, Britt Flick (as she is often known) is still nibbling at the edges of modelling and/or musician and/or merchandiser.

It has been reported that Hilton didn't stay friends with Brittany because, "I loved her and I trusted her, but sometimes people get too caught up and they change."

Anyone who has watched the BFF shows will know that Paris is constantly changing her own mind. Nothing wrong with that as she has a multi-million dollar business to run. So although Britt is not in that league yet, she is a very good example of a modern Web 2.0 user in the better senses of the term.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

America the clear winner in Paris Hilton's British Best Friend

There were two bits of bad news in the final of Paris Hilton's reality TV series British Best Friend. Samuel and Kat. Samuel the cheat and Kat the nasty. There were also two bits of good news. That Emma was in the final and that super-fake Carrie was eliminated from the trip to LA.

Unfortunately, Paris (or the producers) had made the wrong choices with Samuel and Kat. Both had been exposed as nasty schemers behind people's back.

Reports that the reality TV series descended into chaos during a fight between Emma and Kat is easy to believe. Whether the two were screaming at each other until 4.30am and "foaming at the mouth" is true or exaggeration, that bosses had to call a psychiatrist to calm them is a great story.

A spokesperson for the show is reported as saying: "We have a psychiatrist on hand at all times.” With the nasty characters like Kat on display as examples of modern Britian, Los Angeles and Las Vegas seem 'normal' in comparison to such antics.

The remaining impression of the show was the poise and intelligence of Paris Hilton. She frequently looks stunning, equally happy beside the pool or on the main stage at a high-profile awards event. With the spotlight on the differences between USA people and UK people, the clear winner was America.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

The decline of Microsoft continues - Netbooks and Appple the new winners

The numbers are remarkable given the previous growth of Microsoft - and its former stranglehold on the computer market. While Linux and Apple are increasing market share, Windows is declining.

So although Netbook sales are growing rapidly, Microsoft is missing out:
  • 10 million Netbooks sold in 2008
  • 20 million Netbook sales projection for 2009
  • 30 percent of Netbooks run Linux
Even those Netbooks that run Windows have a significant negative impact for Microsoft as they are not able to charge full price for their OS - which is, anyway, a scandal at $200 to $400 for a laptop or desktop.

The switch to Linux and Apple is hurting Microsoft in other ways as well. Users are no longer forced to buy the over-priced Microsoft Office. They can run the free Open Office instead. So for 2008 the figures are:
  • Microsoft Office sales down 23%
  • Windows OS sales down 8%
Which is all good news for consumers, but bad news for the millionaire employees of Microsoft.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Trainee BBF Pets at the Farm -

As we know, Paris Hilton loves animals, especially little ones. And she is a very accomplished horse rider. As a test for the British townies she sent them to a farm. Turned out to be a bit of a horror story. Most trainee British Best Friends are so precious they can't cope being around ordinary animals - like horses, sheep and pigs. The prize was a spa treat for the ones who could cope.

Meanwhile, Paris had been receiving a fantastic therapeutic massage, which turned out to be a treat for us - even just viewing.

Next came a bit of work with Olivia to examine the BBFs real thoughts - some good old-fashioned psycho-social confrontations forced a few people out of cover. The results were very revealing, plotting the BBFs on a scale from most real to most fake:

Real <--------------------------------------------------> Fake

Samuel -- Flic -- Emma -- Ola -- Chrissie -- Meddy -- Laura -- Layla -- Carrie

We totally agree with the results at the fake end, because Carrie has annoyed us from the start. She never stops thinking about herself, never stops complaining, never stops being totally self-obsessed. Never-ending bleating is fake, and Carrie can't understand how fake that is.

Samuel received an evening treat at a sushi restaurant with Paris, one-on-one, and once again Paris looked gorgeous and is so open and outgoing.

Was intriguing to hear Paris's view on the sex tape scandal, how someone she really trusted would go behind her back and sell something so private, especially when everything occured when she was 17 and still rather naive.

If you think Paris looks great on a catwalk, in boots and leather at a firing range, with a shotgun in hand, she looks awesome. One of the strong impressions from the whole series is how intelligent and perceptive Paris is, in contrast to most of the shallow BBFs.

Photo shows Paris with sister Nicky - the British hopefuls are way off the quality needed to live alongside the stylish sisters

To add a bit more pressure on the BBFs, Paris announced that the finalists will join her in Los Angeles.

When asked why she should stay, all Carrie really said was "I want this" and this proves again she is the least worthy. We think the wrong choice was made to eliminate Layla, although Paris explained that Layla had got lost in the background and so people were not trusting her.

The biggest surprise was when Kat arrived back in the competition - the faces of the other contestants fell about a mile. Cool.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Web to take over from TV soon? Online viewing doubles in two years!

You might have thought the 13-17-year-old bracket have a preference to watch tv shows via the web. That is confirmed with the latest viewing figures for 2008. Almost 3 times more now prefer the online versions, a massive 28% increase over the 2006 figure.

What is more of a surprise is this preference has more than doubled in every age range.

percentage who access full TV programs online 2008 (2006)
13-17 years .. 28% .. (11%)
18-34 years .. 26% .. (12%)
35-49 years .. 16% .... (8%)
50-54 years .... 9% ... (1%)

Overall, for all age ranges, 21% now prefer online viewing (compared to 10% in 2006).

With up to a third of the TV audience online, no wonder Apple is reportedly working on a computer-TV combo - iViewer perhaps, or iStream?

If Apple can bring the convenience of the iPod and iTunes to the craziness that is TV programming, we'll sign up now.