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Celebrity

After going to the MET museum, my mum and I spent the rest of the day lost in Central Park.  I can tell you firsthand, that the streets of New York do not make you feel brand new, but rather the opposite after walking around all day.  How dare you lie to me Alicia Keys.  

The only cure for sore feet and the bitter feeling of betrayal?  A cupcake from Magnolia’s Bakery of course.

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After recharging our batteries with a sugary sweet treat, we headed to the Meatpacking District for drinks at the The Standard hotel.  As I’ve mentioned before, the Standard is now renowned for being the location of Solange and Jay-Z’s now infamous fight and I was on a mission to find out what really happened in that lift.  While from the outside, The Standard looks pretty, well…standard, resembling a glassy eyed council block, the inside is the real tour de force with the kind of sleek interiors which attracts models, ‘yes’ men and wayward artistes among the odd celebrity.

The bar at the top of The Standard is aptly named…The Top of The Standard.  Revolutionary branding.  The dress code depends less on what you’re wearing and more on who you are it seems, with some unlucky punters being turned away for wearing trainers, while others stroll through the golden gates with their dirty Converse trailing frayed laces.  Maybe its time to polish off the ‘don’t you know who I am’ gaff, just incase.

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Must have used a bit too much fake tan, looking a bit orange…

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Once inside – if you make it inside – you’re bathed in an orange light which evidently attracts the beautiful, the mildly famous and the grossly surgically enhanced like moths to the flame.  While I may not be any of the above, its hard to deny that the bar has a vibe which buzzes of the here and now.

When we arrived, it was heaving so the circular bar was surrounded by a two-deep layer of thirsty patrons waiting for the agonisingly slow barmen to pour their martini.  This is the kind of place where its best to order two rounds in one if you’ve got the gusto and the wallet for it. While the wait may be almost criminal, the measures are generous – Americans don’t use single or double measures apparently – so you get more ‘tini for your dolla’ than you would at an English bar of the same calibre.  Pros and cons, people.  

Of course, while the main draw of a bar is usually its alcohol and the main drawback its toilets, the Top of The Standard marches to a different beat with views and toilets which are both as fabulous as the other.  The floor to ceiling windows allow for a great view over to New Jersey and Manhattan and we were lucky enough to witness the city that never sleeps moving into the dark restless hours of the night.

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Toilefie? No, that doesn’t work…

P1010491The view from the loo

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These same floor to ceiling windows are also what have made the toilets such a trending topic.  You can literally sit on the throne and continue to cast an eye over your kingdom.  While they became notorious at first, with office blocks opposite catching an eyeful every time someone answered the call of nature, a handy net curtain has now been erected to preserve your modesty, not so fun in my eyes.  

So, why did Solange and Jay-Z’s night end in fistie cuffs after their trip to The Standard?  Well, Jay-Z’s obvious penchant for strawberry daiquiri’s, ordered one at a time resulted in Solange missing a re-run of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’s finale  (her favourite show, obvs) and matters only got worse when an unfortunate incident in a toilet led to Solange baring her soul (strategic word replacement there) to this side of lower Manhattan before a psychedelic art installation playing on the TVs in the lifts caused her to spin out in a rage fuelled by strongly mixed cocktails.  No wonder Beyonce and Jay-Z’s statement was so vague.  

I think I’ve accidentally made this review a bit scathing, so don’t be perturbed, I’ve read nothing but good things about the food and hotel experience of staying at The Standard and while The Top of The Standard has great toilets and even greater views most of us know that this package comes with the kind of pretentiousness that is inherent in a place that has been tipped as a place to be seen, so we kind of asked for it.  In fact, the people watching is great and the experience wouldn’t be the same if it was just a load of old codgers ordering lager at the bar really would it?

I have an iTunes library which is full of the bric-a-brac of the musical world but within my vast collection there are a few gems which provide me with 3 minutes of musically induced euphoria.  For me, music is the best form of therapy and when I find a song whose lyrics articulate what I’m feeling better than I ever could myself, it’ll stay on a constant repeat until I feel ready to face the light of day again.  

Throughout the years of teenage trials and tribulations, university induced breakdowns and bouts of homesickness there has always been one artist whose music has been my go to therapeutic soundtrack.  John Mayer’s music has accompanied me everything and I particularly associate his dulcet tones with my travels back in 2010.  In my gap year I travelled both Borneo and America and although my location would regularly change from week to week, John’s music was on constant play throughout.  

On Sunday night, after years of hoping, I got to see John play at the O2 arena in London.  Fittingly, I was accompanied by three girls who I have shared some of my many travels with and although we didn’t have the best seats, it was one of the best nights.

John’s arrival on stage prompted an uncontrollable squeal from myself and the surrounding crowd, with one over enthusiastic lady letting out a groan of sheer of delight behind me.  Ooo-errr.  I had been worried that his set would be predominately material from his sixth album, Paradise Valley but every single album in his repertoire was visited meaning that his old classics, Slow Dancing in a Burning Room and Gravity had their fair share of air time alongside newer songs like Paper Doll and Something Like Olivia.  Although I had hoped that he would play Stop This Train – perhaps my favourite song of all time – his cover of Tom Petty’s Free Fallin’ was an even trade off and made me feel a bit weak at the knees.

Mayer’s voice is even better live and although he does make some quite questionable faces while playing guitar, no one can deny that the man would school the vast majority of us at Guitar Hero.  He even played one behind his back.  Yes, thats right, he played a guitar backwards!  For me, an added special touch was the graphics which played behind John for his whole set.  Throughout every song, pictures of Monument Valley transformed behind the band and if you know me, you’ll know that the Valley was one of my favourite places I visited back in 2010.  Perfect. 

If you ever have the chance to see John Mayer live then go for it!  You won’t regret it!

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I have a confession.  I am irrevocably obsessed with Tumblr.

During my final year exams I found myself signing up for anything which would stem the boredom of revision.  Survey taker? Yeah!  Hard spin class?  Sign me up!  Tumblr…?  Um, okay then.  And thus, my newest love affair began.  Just call it the Kim to my Kanye.  

Scrolling through endless pictures of landscapes, interior designs and clothes, accessories and shoes which I can only aspire to own has quickly become my go-to past time and I often find myself burning the midnight oil refreshing my homepage.  Sad, I know.  

As the new University term is starting I should probably start weening myself off this stellar procrastination tool but I’m going to add some fuel to the fire by requesting your Tumblr’s!  Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie! 

P.S. The lovely Allie from Love From Misbehave! kindly named me the site’s ‘Blog of The Week’ and asked me to answer a few questions so if you want to look at what I said, click here.

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Jumper – Topshop / Skirt – Topshop / Shirt (underneath) – Zara / Socks – Topshop / Bag – Mulberry / Boots – Topshop 

Just like Cher Horowitz from Clueless, I often find solace in a mall (ahem, shopping centre).  Ahead of my first week starting my Masters in Media and Journalism and after seeing off the boyf as he moves to Dubai, I was definitely in need of a little – read, huge – bit of retail therapy.  My preferred treatment is a trip to Topshop and on this occasion I discovered that the perfect medicine for a bruised heart is definitely fluffy jumpers, tartan skirts and pony skin boots!  As if! 

I wore this outfit to an induction day at Uni and then to a pub dinner with my grandma – old people are so sweet – and my mum, who is a total Betty.  Although I could tell a few people were giving me strange looks throughout the day and would have probably classed me as a fashion victim – or ensembly challenged – I lovedddd recreating the Clueless vibe.

Now I just need a real life Dionne to join me!  Any takers?

P.S. camera quality is awful!  Relying on Santa for a new one!

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For the last three years, I’ve been in denial about being a fan of One Direction.  Although I have downloaded both their albums, watch out for stories of the boys on Daily Mail and regularly find myself playing their music on a loop while enthusiastically singing along, I have always tried to deny to myself that I am infact a fan.  But this well kept charade (I’m sure my old housemates will dispute that it was well kept) soon came a-tumbling when I was asked by the girls at LOOK magazine to cover the One Direction premiere.  My immediate reaction was to shout YES! and to text my mum, friends, acquaintances, boyfriend, extended family and anyone else with a phone that I’ve met in the last 20 years of my life.  In that moment of pure unadulterated excitement I had to admit to myself that yes, I am a Directioner.  

I spent the rest of that day reading up about the boys foray into the silver screen and in the evening, I attended a preview  of the film with other press and Alex Zane who turned out to be hosting the premiere extravaganza the next day.  This is the kind of film where, if you aren’t a fan of the band then you just won’t go to see, but those who are even half interested in the lives of the members of one of the biggest boy bands ever should probably go have a watch!  It’s definitely guilty pleasure watching.

The next day, I headed into work and checked the Daily Mail which estimated that 70,000 pre-pubescent girls would be roaming the streets of Leicester Square all eager to get a glimpse of their favourite band member.  Only a couple of days before returning to LOOK, I had watched the Channel 4 documentary which followed some of the bands most obsessive fans, so with the knowledge of lengths to which fans would go to get a photo with the boys, I was fully prepared to be going into a One Direction inspired battlefield full of girls armed with sharpies and raging hormones.

When I did eventually get to the venue, press pass and premiere ticket in hand, the screams were pretty loud but I didn’t get accosted by any over enthusiastic Niall fans.  Success!  As I looked around at the eager girls (some of which were already crying) I spotted Australian, Brazilian and a number of international flags flying around which proved that 1D really do have some of the most passionate (and apparently loaded – what kind of 15 year old has the dosh to be able to fly half way across the world for a premiere?!) fans in the world.  The most bizarre moment of the whole event for me was spotting the adult woman walking down the red carpet in a wedding dress, complete with veil.  A brave and bold tactic which, I can only hope did not work with any of the band.  When the boys finally arrived after an endless amount of teasers, the screams were off decibel scale and although I managed to keep my composure outwardly, I have to admit I did start to get a bit giddy when I spotted those floppy haired crooners making their way towards me.

The rest is a bit of a blur of famous faces; Simon Cowell – who is tiny by the way – Ronnie Wood, McFly, Little Mix, Diana Vickers, Conor Maynards and more all passed by.  Some serious name dropping there.  Although the boys seemed to stick to more TV interviews, I did manage to get a quick interview with Harry Styles which was definitely the highlight of well…ever?  The eligible bachelor is quite charismatic in real life and keeps some serious eye contact when talking.  You can check out what he said to me here.  

After watching the premiere and being fully immersed in Directioner mania, the ride home on the Tube was a major anti-climax and I did consider standing up and announcing to the whole carriage that, ‘I, Josie Ayre, had just interviewed Harry Styles’ but thankfully I managed to refrain and stick to reading the Metro instead.

My first premiere experience definitely threw me in at the deep end but I absolutely loved it and I’m extremely grateful that the ladies at LOOK trusted me to go!

If you’re a fan of the boys, then definitely make sure to watch the film which is out on the 29th!

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My fascination with the Knowles family does not just start and end with Beyonce but stretches to her younger, lesser known but no less stylish sister, Solange.

Just like her older sister, Solange has many strings to her bow, with the titles of DJ, mother, singer, model, actress and universal fashion icon all gracing her CV it’s hard to see where she gets the time.

An obvious penchant for bright and often clashing colours and prints has meant that Solange has become known as a true fashion maverick and someone who isn’t afraid to stretch and break the rules.  She’s become a regular feature on Opening Ceremony’s blog and Vogue has profiled her too many times to count.  Hers is a wardrobe I would love to rift through.  

Solange’s self titled ‘Afro Punk’ outfit to the 2013 MET Gala is one of my favourite Knowles sister moments and perfectly encompasses her passion for print.  Her custom Kenzo dress and Diana Ross inspired hairdo wowed the fashion critics and in my opinion, trumped Beyonce’s Givenchy gown, an impressive feat.  

Late last year, Solange released True, an eclectic dance EP featuring the amazing single, ‘Losing You‘ which has already been sampled by music’s current ‘It’ boy, Cyril Hahn.  Her third studio album which will feature such bigwigs as Justin Timberlake and Pharrell Williams will be released later this year under her own start up record label, Saint Records, while she’s set to promote her new music on the stage at Glasto later this month so there is plenty more Solange to come.  

If all this wasn’t enough, girl has her own tumblr where she chronicles her latest fashion forays, music making, some gorgeous photos of her son and an array of nostalgic holiday snaps from far away destinations.  Just to make me a little bit more jealous.

Move over Beyonce, 2013 is Solange’s year.  

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It is no secret to my friends back in Guernsey that I love Miley Cyrus. From watching reruns of Hannah Montana religiously (yes, I probably am older than the targeted demographic) to championing the saying ‘she’s just being Miley‘, I am what you could call, a super fan.

As Miley began to rebel against her sweeter than sweet Disney persona, I couldn’t help but be curious with what she would come up with next and this set of highly sexualised but stunning photographs from the upcoming V magazine styled by Carlyne Cerf De Dudzeele and shot by Mario Testino are certainly another step in Miley’s Disney emancipation.

It’s almost been clear from the beginning that Miley was perhaps not the clean cut Disney princess that the large multinational was hoping for.  With a penchant for older men, a leaked salvia scandal and a series of self portraits that perhaps weren’t meant to be seen by the general public, Miley has always been a bit of a maverick and these photos of her flashing some toned bum and boob while wearing some men’s Y fronts certainly embody that spirit. Rather than surprise me they seem to a natural progression for the star who is taking her look and sound to a whole new level.  Hannah Montana would be weeping if she saw these. 

The fast talking Southerner is now preparing to release another album, which has been produced by all round triple threat Pharrell Williams, throwing up questions of what genre the music will fit into, country hip-hop anyone?  With rumours that Wiz Khalifa and Tyler the Creator will be making guest appearances, it’s not hard to predict that this album will definitely not harken back to her The Climb days. Sorry tweens.

I will definitely be picking up a copy of this edition of V to learn more about her upcoming projects, but if you’re curious for more Miley news in the meantime, check out the magazine’s website here now for an exclusive joint interview with Pharrell!


JKA x

It may be obvious from my Oscar time tweets about the current It Girl of Hollywood, but my newest and most uncontrollable girl crush has got to be Jennifer Lawrence.  J-Law, as she will hereby be known, has captured the heart of almost every 20-something girl around the globe in the last year and not just because of her outstanding fashion choices.  Let’s have a look at some of J-Law’s best moments:

– After facings jibes from the media and die hard Hunger Games fans about her weight, Jennifer Lawrence decided to take the bull by the horns and address the trolls straight on by declaring that she wanted to portray a body image that was strong and healthy rather than one which was achieved through eating a singular grape a day, and she said all this in an interview with the LA Times while munching on some bread, shock horror.  

– While wearing the most ladylike of Dior Couture dresses at the 2013 Oscars (where she won the coveted Lead Actress gong) J-Law managed to fall up some stairs to collect her prize and give the middle finger to the press and I could not love her more for it.  Will I be trying out a J-Law fall at my graduation, we’ll just have to wait and see…

– At the age of 22 she’s twice been nominated for Oscars and won one, while I have a trophy from Pony Club lurking around in the back of a cupboard at home.  Drama lessons anyone?

– Jack Nicholson is without a doubt a Hollywood legend, but at the same time he is also a 76 year old man who probably shouldn’t be leching over a 22 year old woman in the middle of a Q&A session post-Oscars.  So seeing that moment play out in real time, with J-Law’s incredulous reaction was priceless.  

– Bradley Cooper and Jennifer’s dance scene in Silver Linings Playbook is perhaps on par with Dirty Dancing’s iconic moment.  First dances at wedding’s will be forever transformed into fusion style dances with a White Stripes slant, perhaps we won’t all be wearing the get up that J-Law modelled though…

– Dior recently released their newest campaign featuring our favourite actress and it wasn’t soon before J-Law publicly and proudly announced ‘I love Photoshop more than anything in the world’ to Access Hollywood.  So do we, so do we…

– Her refreshingly honest admissions to craving a McDonalds while wearing an impossibly expensive evening gown on the Oscars red carpet make me wish she was my best friend; after all, the majority of us have ended up queuing up under the golden arches after a night out.

– The girl is best friends with Bradley Cooper, need I say more?

JKA x

Festival season is officially upon us.  

Coachella Festivals first weekend has just finished in Indio, California, so while I’m sat in an artificially lit room of the library I am close to weeping while scrolling through photos of festival goers lounging around in the West Coast heat and listening to the musical offerings of The Stone Roses, The XX and Jake Bugg.

Attending the festival has been on my bucket list ever since Jay-Z headlined in 2010 while, last year’s reincarnation of Tupac had me pricing up flights for this year’s extravaganza.  Lo and behold, third year exams are  more of a priority this year, but that doesn’t mean I can’t peruse the internet for some festival style inspiration, let’s just pray for my sanity that I get a Glasto resale ticket! 

Flower crowns, midriff baring crop tops, retro swimwear, John Lennon style sunglasses and bindi’s all made regular appearances among Coachella ticketholders, proving that channelling the legendary Woodstock festival via laid back California cool has become a Coachella micro trend.  Vintage boho flares and cowboy boots were paired with brand spanking new fluro Alexander Wang and Chanel bags, this is the festival where almost anything goes.  

Check out some of my favourite looks from weekend one at Coachella above!

Get me to Weekend Two!

JKA x


Hong Kong actress Hilary Tsui has long been a trendsetter in the HK fashion scene and after recently discovering her, I will certainly be taking inspiration from her eclectic style.

She effortlessly switches between edgy sportswear accessorised with decadent jewellery to evening wear chic, making her a true fashion chameleon.  And as well as being inspiration to many, she’s a Chanel darling with her own cutting edge boutique, named Liger in the city which stocks everyone from Christopher Raeburn to Emma Cook.

With a wardrobe that includes palazzo pants printed with wild horses and a futurstic Pushbutton metallic jacket to an array of Kenzo caps and a collection of Nike Air Max 90’s which would have my boyfriend green with envy, Hilary is forever daring to push the boundaries.

A penchant for mixing trends, fabrics and prints and a love of pink, Hilary makes fashion fun and looking at pictures of her reminds me that breaking from the status quo is exciting!  So next time I’m in a bit of a fashion rut, I’ll definitely be looking to Hong Kong for a pinch of Tsui style.

JKA x