Labyrinth: the best bits

Such sad news to wake up to this morning. The world is in shock after hearing of the loss of music legend, creative genius and beloved hero, David Bowie. He was the face of British popular culture and a true artist.

I’m not usually one to talk about the death of a celebrity, and as much as I find it sad when any life is lost, I often don’t feel it as keenly as others clearly do. I’m feeling awfully sad today though, perhaps because of the shock of the news, and perhaps because of the incredible impact Bowie had on the music, film, art and fashion industries.

I’ve had the radio on lots as usual, and it’s been amazing to hear all the stories and tributes to Bowie, not to mention such a large sampling of his work. I remember thinking when I finally watched Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes a couple of years ago, about the huge expanse of his work and its influences on other artists. In fact, I just heard an interview with Michael Eavis, who put Bowie up there with Elvis and Sinatra, and I think he’s right when he says that there’ll never be anyone like him.

As a child of the early eighties, and like many of my peers, the film Labyrinth was my introduction to Bowie. Few films were watched half as often as this one in our home, the themes and ideas in it resonating throughout my childhood as well as in my own creativity. The Escher-inspired staircase… the twisted fairytale story… the outrageous, but somehow completely perfect costumes, hair and make-up… the beautiful but frightening masquerade ball… and of course, Bowie’s immaculate soundtrack…

And so, by way of a tribute, and to bring a smile at a sad time, I thought I’d share some of my favourite moments from Labyrinth….

“It’s a crystal. Nothing more. But if you turn it this way and look into it, it will show you your dreams. But this is not a gift for an ordinary girl who takes care of a screaming baby.”

Maybe this was the start of my love for all things shiny, hours spent in crystal shops and even longer spent trying (and failing) to master this trick….

 

“You remind me of the babe.”

“What babe?”

“The babe with the power.”

What power?”

The power of voodoo.”

Who do?”

You do.”

Do what?”

Remind me of the babe.”

Surely one of the most memorable introductions to a musical film scene ever…I defy anyone not to bop along to this track….

 

“I’ll paint you mornings of gold.
I’ll spin you Valentine evenings.
Though we’re strangers ’til now,
We’re choosing the path
Between the stars.
I’ll leave my love
Between the stars.”

This scene left such an impression on me that it became the basis for my first ever event design. I’d love to completely recreate it one day, the swagged chandliers, the golden clock, the haunting music and those magnificent but disturbing masks….

 

“Live without your sunlight.
Love without your heartbeat.
I…I..Can’t live within you.”

I think it’s probably true to say that the film was the start of my fascination with mazes and labyrinths… I always badly wanted Sarah’s wooden labyrinth game for myself, and was desperate to explore anything vaguely maze like as a child (and to this day). And it’s so perfectly fitting that the climax of the film, the end of our journey through secret passageways and hedged mazes, takes us to this thoroughly confusing and disorienting take on the Penrose Steps….

 

“Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, I have fought my way here to the castle beyond the Goblin City to take back the child that you have stolen, for my will is as strong as yours, and my kingdom as great —You have no power over me.”

Watching Labyrinth back as an adult, it’s always struck me how desperately serious and severe Sarah is…as a little girl though, it all seemed so perfectly matter-of-fact. And it’s with that same ardor that we lapped up this iconic scene, Bowie somehow resplendent in grey tights and metres of marabou, as our heroine wins the day. How could any little girl not dream of being in Sarah’s shoes?….

 

Now, I think I’ll have to go and watch the film in full….it’s been too long. Although you may like to know, if you don’t already, that BBC Radio 2 has cleared this evening’s schedule in tribute…. Simon Mayo’s show will feature an “All Request Bowie” slot, with Rick Wakeman as guest, then at 7pm Ken Bruce presents “Bowie at the BBC”, after which the station gives us another chance to hear “Bowie Live at Maida Vale”, recorded in 2002 and presented by Jonathan Ross.

Ems x

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Wednesday Wants: Blue suede shoes

Elvis Blue Suede Shoes

 

OK, so I’m a big Elvis fan. And I’m just as big a fan of shoes. Ergo…..I clearly need me some blue suede shoes!

I suppose a small obsession began when I first saw The Shoe Embassy stall at Old Spitalfields Market…they have the most wonderful collection and it happens to include some super lush blue suede numbers. And ever since, I’ve spotted different pairs here and there and thought how much I *want* some….although them not being the most practical choice I’ve yet to make a purchase.

Still, this feature is all about *wants* and not *needs* so here’s a round up of blue suede shoes I’d like to add to my shoe rack…..

 

Shoe Embassy, Al Capone in Indigo, £55

Shoe Embassy, Al Capone in Indigo, £55

These are the ones that started it all off! I actually have a pair in the Amber which is a gorgeously versatile tan shade. They are super comfy and go with anything. I love the cross between brogue and pixie boot! Now I just need their blue counterparts!

Shoe Embassy, Brick Lane in Indigo, £69

Shoe Embassy, Brick Lane in Indigo, £69

For a more boyish, less pixie-like brogue though, I’m loving these, also from Shoe Embassy. They’re adorably vintage looking, but with (if my other Shoe Embassy brogues are anything to go by!) the benefit of incredible comfort and seriously hard wearing.

Clarks, Chorus Voice in Violet, £ 55

Clarks, Chorus Voice in Violet, £55

Hello! How gorgeous are these?! The shade is amazing, as is that beautiful detail at the vamp. I adore the heel and vintage feel of these. Imagine them with a wiggle dress at a wedding or cocktail party! Lush!

Clarks, Chorus Thrill in Navy, £50

Clarks, Chorus Thrill in Navy, £50

If that vibrant indigo isn’t your bag, these navy stunners are a treat. I love a t-bar, and not just because it reminds me of dressing up in my Nanna’s shoes from the fifties as a little girl…they are mega practical and comfy to boot!

J. Crew, Lowell Boots in Dark Navy, Regular calf £298.00 / Extended Calf £318.00  

J. Crew, Lowell Boots in Dark Navy, Regular calf £298.00 / Extended Calf £318.00

Now what could be lovelier than a pair of stunning blue suede *boots* I hear you cry! Well, a pair of blue suede boots that will actually fit your legs in, that’s what! These J. Crew boots are all kinds of wonderful….they have that Puss In Boots appeal for sure, and I think they’d look amazing with a tweed mini skirt. Plus they’re available in two calf sizes, so that those of us with normal sized legs can get in them! Love!

J. Crew Collection, Lace-Up Houndstooth Pumps, £398

J. Crew Collection, Lace-Up Houndstooth Pumps, £398

And saving the best till last…..how about these?!?! I literally gasped when I saw these. Look at that hounds tooth panel! Look at the pointy blue toe! And the laces! I die.

Ems x

Blog Every Day in May: Fantasy Dinner Party

“Dinner party time – Who would you invite? What music is playing? What are you eating? Is there entertainment? Let your imagination go wild!”

This is (unsurprisingly as an Event Producer and dinner party hostess addict) something I think about all the time. I fuss over what the table centres would be, who sits next to who, and what to serve. I think though, as it’s all meant to be fantasy, I can allow myself some fantastical indulgences….

The dinner would take place I think in my dream home, because there could be no place dreamier. If it’s summer we’d eat out in my Xanadu-like gardens, or in Winter we’d eat inside in my grand dining hall. I’d prepare the meal myself in my dream kitchen, but as it’s a fantasy I’d have staff hired in specially to help serve (all the better for my Hostessing bit). Dinner would be made from all the very best Organic, seasonal ingredients, and would probably be along the lines of a huge sharing roast dinner (all the better for everyone to get to know each other and break the ice by passing the dishes around). The table centres would be made myself that morning using some of the fantastical flowers from my fantastical garden, with lots of taper candles of course. I find live music a little imposing for small gatherings, so I’d create a playlist based on my mood and the season to play just as guests arrive…thereafter giving over to the sound of chatter.

For a proper dinner party, where everyone gets to enjoy the company of each other, I don’t think numbers should be more than twelve in total. So, that leaves me the tricky task of who to invite (using hand-illustrated cards written out individually)….especially as this is a fantasy, which as far as I’m concerned gives me free reign to choose anyone from any point in time or from fiction.

Anyway, bearing in mind that I’d like my guests to have interesting discussions with each other as well as with me, I’ve come up with this table plan…..

Screen shot 2013-05-27 at 21.56.41

I’d definitely want my amazing fiance Adam to be there to share the experience with me, then clockwise from him….Grayson Perry, who I find massively inspiring, although would probably be too shy to talk to….Katy Perry, who I think would have fun chatting to Grayson, and bring lots of fun chat….Elvis I’m positive would love Katy, and he’d be close enough in this position for me to stare at lovingly, whilst not so close he could see my blushes….Fox Mulder would be just as excited as me to be at a dinner party with Elvis, and he *is* my second favourite Special Agent….first favourite though is Special Agent Dale Cooper who I would just love to spend the evening chatting with, especially with Mulder right next to him so they could share their stories with me….

My favourite British Agent would have to go to my left, and because it’s what happens in all the books, as a woman, he’d have to flirt with me all night….I think Joseph Gordon Levitt would have good chat with Bond, but he’s really there because I want to match-make him with the guest to his left….Zooey Deschanel is about my favouritest girl celebrity at the moment and I would love for her to get together with JGL to make babies and save the world….another inspiring woman is next, star of one of my favourite films and just all round awesome Tilda Swinton….and for intelligent banter, whit and trivia, the last seat goes to the wonderful Stephen Fry.

Writing all this down has made me think what a wonderful reality TV show this would make…..win your Fantasy Dinner Party by competing against other people in a sort of Come Dine With Me style, then the TV show arranges for all your dream guests to come along to your house for sups. I’d go on THAT TV show for sure!

Ems x