Author: Corinne Yaya

After the blockbusters of the summer in The Great Gatsby, Iron Man and Red 2 (no...??), autumn looks to be  the season of 'the biopic' for the big screens. As Naomi Watts takes on the nation's Princess 'Diana', we'll also witness Ashton Kutcher grow an impressive beard (to match his impressive 70s flares of course) as he channels the late Steve Jobs. But with the fresh release of the first official photo, the biopic on everyone's lips is 'All Is By My Side'; the story of the legendary Jimi Hendrix, played by Outkast front man André 3000.

andre3000_jimihendrix_00The super convincing photo was released by the Toronto International Film Festival website alongside a synopsis of the story itself:

"Jimmy James, an unknown backup guitarist, left New York City for London, England in 1966. A year later he returned — as Jimi Hendrix. All Is By My Side brings authenticity and poignancy to the story of the man behind the legend, and of the people who loved and inspired him."

One slight irritation is that the film will not contain any material recorded or composed by Hendrix as his estate granted a big no-no to the use of his songs in the production. Instead, André 3000 (real name André Benjamin) will take on the covers Jimi Hendrix tackled himself such as The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and  other tracks by Muddy Waters and Chip Taylor.

Filmed in Ireland last year and under the direction of John Ridley, the movie will be released at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2013. Supporting acts include Brit actors Hayley Atwell and Adrian Lester as well as Ruth Negga of E4's 'Misfits'.

 

 

 

 

Alexa Chung:  the fresh faced model turned TV presenter, all round style icon and fashion designer muse can now add another sparkling string to her best dressed bow with the eagerly anticipated release of her very own book.

Said not to be entirely autobiographical, the floppy fringed, dungaree wearing fashionista  revealed a while back:

"I'm writing, I'm drawing and I'm taking photographs. It's definitely not an autobiography, but it's me writing so in a way it probably will have that element."

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Other than a sneak peek of the baby pink canvas coloured front cover, complete with her imprinted signature and a glittery thumbnail of the author's heavily made up eye, we don't know much about the inside of 'IT' just yet. Available for pre-order on Amazon but with a UK release date not until 5 September, their blurb conjures up a feel for what we can expect:

"A truly one-off collection of Alexa's personal writings, drawings and photographs, It covers everything from her thoughts on life, love and music to her favourite looks and how to decide what to wear in the morning...this gorgeously-designed full-colour book is a must-have for anyone who loves fashion, music and just about everything Alexa Chung."

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'IT' is available to pre-order for £16.99 on Amazon.

 

On the same road as an 'everything £1' discount shop, a money transfer establishment and the cobblers sits discreet little pizza place Sodo on Hackney's Upper Clapton Road. I visited it for the first time on Thursday after a couple of jars at the Clapton Hart and by way of recommendation from a friend who had been singing its praises. And she had every right to.

As soon as we walked in we were greeted with two of the widest smiles: one being from the lovely waitress who excitedly showed us to our seats and the other from one of the chefs in the open kitchen who was casually spinning his dough in the air like a pizza based vinyl. Though tiny inside, it was jam-packed with character and the whole place was buzzing as Stevie Wonder played cooly in the background and diners nattered away at their candlelit tables.

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Now, I'm a firm believer in a limited menu as it usually means what's on offer has probably had more time and affection kneaded into each dish rather than spread thinly over three pages of options. For example, when you fancy fish and chips, do you go to the traditional fish and chips restaurant or do you hit up the joint that does curry/ pizza/ Chinese/ kebabs/ Thai AND fish and chips? Exactly. So, a choice of four pizzas and two specials was quite enough for me. Whilst my veggie friend went for the Lorena which saw a sourdough base topped with tomato, mozzarella, butternut squash, rosemary, feta and pine nuts, I opted for the pancetta, goat's cheese and caramelised onion special of the evening. Full of flavour, a dash of chilli oil and with the right amount of crunch from the base, it was the best pizza I've had in a while and I unashamedly finished every last speck. As for drinks, we got through a bottle of red from Sodo's neighbours over at Borough Wines, although their craft beers from an extensive list were also crying out to be tasted. Alas, next time.

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As the evening began to wind down, my friend and I finished up our wine as we did the "I'm nicely full and happy" belly rub before we were greeted by the chef himself who asked if we enjoyed our meals. With a grin and a slight slurring, we told him we absolutely did and that we'd would be making another appearance soon to try out the other pizzas. It would be silly not to.

Sodo Pizza Cafe, 126 Upper Clapton Road, E5 9JY. Open Tue-Sat midday to 10pm.

Girls, when it comes to your summer wardrobe, if Kuccia can't get you in the mood for sun, festivals and encouraging you to eat your five a day (bare with me), I don't know what will. A rainbow coloured collection of leggings, crop tops, dresses, playsuits and more has landed in high street favourite Topshop, covered in everything from juicy bananas and watermelons to aztec and palm tree prints. With a coveted spot on ASOS and heaps of stock in a number of shops across the country, the exciting clothing label has been putting a citrusy and playful kick into fashion already. Headed up by Devon girl Soraya Goggin, the Kuccia brand looks to do it's thing for girls of all shapes and sizes, keeping things flexible and flattering with their eclectic range of prints, cuts and fabrics.

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Not one to boast (but yeah, I guess I am) I've been a fan of Kuccia since July 2012 after clocking one of their cycling shorts playsuits being worn by a dancer from the Heatwave crew at last years Secret Garden Party. As well as having a great old time shaking my thing to Vybz Kartel, I made a somewhat hazy mental note that I had to at some point get my mitts on one of those banging all-in-ones when I got home. After some stealth hunting down, I found their Facebook page and a link to their online shop and admittedly, not feeling super confident enough to rock out the playsuit, I opted for a pair of the watermelon leggings instead. I couldn't have felt fruitier. Top banana if you will.

Here's a sneak peek at some of my favourite items from the collection:

Watermelon body con dress: £38

 

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Pineapple and watermelon crop top: £22

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Banana leggings: £30

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Geometric bomber jacket: £60

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So I'd get myself down to Topshop or onto their website before these sell out quicker than a £4 bottle of luke warm water at Glastonbury.

On first thought of all-American styled clothing, above the knee denim skirts, tight vest tops, and 'sweat pants' with huge A & F emblazoned on the bum spring to mind and I can't say either of those items have ever been up there for me...at any point. However, big US clothing J Crew, (a favourite of the First Lady Michelle Obama), is setting up shop over here in London and I'm feeling completely won over already.

While a main flagship store on Regent Street doesn't fling its doors open until later this year in November, a pop-up concept store will appear at the Western Transit Shed in King's Cross Central for a swift two days on 24 and 25 May. The store will get to show off and provide pre-prders for their summer collection, and give us a preview of their autumn line. Not finished there, a 'cashmere corner' dedicated to their finest Italian cashmere jumpers will be set up as well as a monogramming service while a selection of one of a kind hand jewelled collars will be up for purchasing.

With likening to high street favourite Zara, the brightly coloured collection shows off a mix of jazzy geometric prints, jewelled collars, neon coloured jumpers, and statement coats for the autumn.

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Making this visit extra special, the brand is also collaborating with Central Saint Martins College to launch an exclusive scholarship and design programme with the college's MA Fashion students. Jenna Lyons, President and Executive Creative Director of J.Crew, says: "Design students are the lifeblood of our industry. Their creativity and enthusiasm is a constant inspiration for all of us at J.Crew.’

The pop-up store will be open on Friday 24th May 10am – 8pm and Saturday 25th May 10am – 7pm.