GWEN STEFANI FOR JANUARY VOGUE…

Can we please just take a moment. Take a moment of sheer admiration, envy and lust over these photos. Well, more than a mere moment is needed but I’ll carry on for the sake of finishing this blog post before my dinner is ready.

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Ms Wintour has placed the ever-stunning and graciously cool Gwen Stefani on the cover of Vogue for the January 2013 issue, and doesn’t she look FAB?! (In my humble opinion it looks more like a December cover than a refreshing January issue, but who am I to disagree with the high priestess of fashion?) Gwen is of course wearing Saint Laurent Paris by Hedi Slimane, the designer’s first collection for the newly overhauled classic French label, and it has to be said that they look like they were made for Ms Stefani herself. Looking (as always) effortlessly cool with a dollop of chic, Stefani just epitomises the kind of woman everyone wants to be, well the woman I want to be anyway.
With all the photos shot by Annie Leibovitz you know already that the shoot is going to be special. Leibovitz also shot Stefani’s previous cover for Vogue in 2004.

The January 2013 issue of American Vogue is out on US newsstands now, with it being released here in the UK within the next couple of weeks, and you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be inspecting every shelf in every WHSmiths that I can get to until I have this beauty in my paws.

THURSDAY 27TH SEPTEMBER: THE JONATHAN ROSS SHOW

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Having been a fan of No Doubt since I was 11, you can imagine my excitement when it was announced around four years ago that the band were in the studio recording their sixth studio album. For any die-hard fan, this is a BIG DEAL, but No Doubt’s last official studio release was Rock Steady in 2001, making this album extra special.

September 27th 2012
This was the day that No Doubt’s sixth studio album Push and Shove was released in the UK. It is also the day after the band arrive in the UK after a short promotional stop in Paris. It was also announced a few days before that the band would be appearing on The Jonathan Ross Show. Since that had been announced, I had been trying to get myself tickets from an online TV show ticket company, but to no avail. All the tickets had already been allocated.

October 2011
Last October when Lady Gaga appeared on The Jonathan Ross Show, I was also desperately trying to get tickets, again to no avail. So I went on Twitter the night they filmed the show (not just a one-off Twitter session, but because Twitter is my life… No joke) and noticed that Jonathan Ross was tweeting Gaga fans about the show that had just wrapped. I took this opportunity to ask the man himself if he could send tickets my way next time she was on the show. Not thinking that he would even so much as see my tweet, seeing as he has millions of followers, but he actually replied saying he would “see what I can do”, he also followed me.

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September 26th 2012
So here we are, almost a year later and my favourite band, No Doubt, are going on the show… And I can’t get tickets. As a last resort, I decide to send Jonathan a DM on Twitter explaining that I am a huuuuuuge No Doubt fan and that I have been trying and trying for tickets but have been unsuccessful. Not only did he reply, but he gave me two tickets and told me to message him back with my contact details and someone from his office would ring me the next day. Bingo! Ecstatic, I’m on a high. There’s only one problem… Jonathan Ross is a busy man, will he forget? I go to bed that night excited yet nervous.

September 27th 2012
8:00AM
I wake up and instinctively check my phone. I do this anyway, but today would be even more of a obsessive-compulsive phone-checking day.
10:00AM
After a couple of hours of torment, and still no word from Jonathan Ross-land, I become agitated. After all, I do have to get ready and make my way to London…
12:00PM
Still no word. Losing hope and faith in Jonathan Ross, I beg my mum to ring his office and explain the situation… Although to be honest, the “I spoke to Jonathan himself yesterday” card seemed a bit weak and unbelievable. After a few wrong numbers, we were finally put through to Jonathan Ross’ personal office and spoke to a nice lady called Katie who was lovely and was willing to do anything she could to help us. Katie said that Jonathan arrives at the studio with the “The List”. Now, when she said this, it reminded me of The Devil Wears Prada when they have to deliver “The Book”. It must be extremely covetable to be on “The List”. “The List” consists of people Jonathan has personally reserved seats for, but only when he turns up will they know if I’m on that list or not. My mum then explained that we’re coming from Cambridge and that we needed to leave in good time to make it to the studio; Katie said that she would get back to us.
12:20PM
Katie from Jonathan Ross’ office rings back saying that she has notified Tom, the producer of the show, of the situation and would either have him or his assistant Verity ring me in the next hour with confirmation of tickets.
12:25PM
Less than five minutes later, I get a phone call from Verity, the producer’s assistant confirming two tickets! Jonathan had just turned up to the studio with “The List” and I am on it! My name is on the production list! She said we had to arrive at the main desk of the ITV Studios between 5:00PM and 5:45PM where someone will be waiting to take us up to the studio.
1:00PM
FINALLY en route to London, it’s fair to say both my mum and I are very excited!
4:00PM
We arrive at the ITV Studios in Waterloo after stopping off for lunch, and are an hour early so we decided to sit and people-watch to pass the time away before heading to the reception desk. There’s paparazzi waiting outside the main entrance, which is always intriguing.
5:00PM
We make our way over to the main door and sign in at the desk. We wait for a while on some chairs that looks like they were taken straight out of the Big Brother house circa 2002, and while waiting, we noticed some commotion going on outside. I turn around and see four cast members of The Only way Is Essex: Mario Falcone, Lucy Mecklenburgh, Billie Faiers and Joey Essex in all their fake tanned, platform heel glory.
5:15PM
It is time for us to go up to the studio! We are taken in a lift up to Studio 5 where we are met with reserved seats, right next to Jonathan Ross’ daughter, Honey.

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5:30PM
While we’re all sat comfortably waiting in our seats, there are noticeably 6 seats empty in front of us. All at once, a man with a headset and notebook comes along with 6 people and a man with a camera. My mum and I looked at each other with horror as we realised we were right in the camera’s lens… *cue glance in compact and re-application of lipstick*. Turns out they were filming for a new show on Channel 4 called Mimic which is a comedy/drama.
6:30PM 
Showtime! No Doubt come out first and perform two small sections from the song Hella Good which is used for the opening and introduction to the show… This is the part where studio 5 in the ITV Studios was covered in my exploded body after taking in the fact that GWEN STEFANI was standing in front of me.
The other guests on the show were Emma Watson (boring bore), Dynamo the magician (cool guy, strange talent) and Jack Dee (who, in my humble opinion, tries too hard by ironically not trying at all). Nonetheless, the show was very entertaining and No Doubt came back at the end to perform Settle Down which, I of course, loved!

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The taping finished at aroung 9:15 PM and it is fair to say that I thoroughly enjoyed my day, there is no faulting Jonathan Ross!

In short, I woke up, panicked, spoke to the assistant producer of The Jonathan Ross Show, got tickets, bombed it to London, saw the TOWIE cast, was filmed for a Channel 4 drama and saw No Doubt live. Such a good day.

TO WATCH NO DOUBT’S PERFORMANCE ON THE SHOW, CLICK HERE

TO BUY NO DOUBT’S NEW ALBUM PUSH AND SHOVE, CLICK HERE

FAME & THE CULTURE OF CELEBRITY FRAGRANCES

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I’m going to start this post by mentioning that I myself own a few celebrity fragrances. I have to admit that only one was purchased because of the actual aroma and not the name endorsing it. That fragrance was DVB by Victoria Beckham. There, now that’s been said I can continue… I own ‘L’ by Gwen Stefani and her first set of four Harajuku Lovers fragrances , although I have to admit I wouldn’t have purchased them if it wasn’t for the fact that I would buy anything with Gwen Stefani’s name on it. Plus, the bottles are quite possibly the cutest things you will ever set your eyes on (see above)… But that still doesn’t refrain from the fact that the actual scents of them are… well to quote Janice Ian from Mean Girls, I would describe myself as smelling like “a baby prostitute”, but that is just my nose, for you they may be delightful.
Harajuku cuteness aside, let’s just say I have not and will not, repurchase any of these perfumes. As I said before, I do own a few celebrity perfumes and only one was bought for the scent.

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The most recent fragrance I purchased was FAME by the one-and-only Lady Gaga. Now if you don’t know this already, I love Lady Gaga. Love love love. Love love. So naturally I was excited when it was announced over a year ago that she would be collaborating with fragrance giant COTY to produce a scent of her own. A lot of hype was built up around said fragrance, in part because the Lady herself stated that she wanted it to smell like blood and semen… I’ll let you make you’re own mind up about that. So after a long time of waiting in anticipation (any die-hard Little Monster will be well-accustomed to this), in which time the fragrance would be sent to manufacturers and repealed three times because Gaga wasn’t happy with it, it was release day for FAME. In true Lady Gaga style, this fragrance isn’t just your average DKNY-esque, blend into the background fragrance. First off, the actual fragrance is black. The liquid, according to the smart guys at ‘Haus Laboratories’ is: “First of its kind, this perfume is an innovation of fluid technology. It’s black like the soul of fame, but invisible once airborne.” Trust Lady Gaga to create a black fluid that turns clear. I’ll get into the smell of it in a moment… I want to talk about the bottle.

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Designed by Nick Knight, it looks like a grenade. It really does. Ironically enough, the actual glass bottle reminds me of an old Hollywood glam movie star. The cap however, is where the creative big-wigs come in. Personally it reminds me of one of those mechanical grabber-things inside those machines that you used to nag and nag your parents for at the fair. The cap is like a gold, more glamorous version of that. And I love it. For me, the best part of the fragrance is the bottle, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing because I really, really like the bottle.
Now for the actual scent. According to the Haus Laboratories it is: “Tears of Belladonna, crushed heart of Tiger Orchidea, with a black veil of incense, pulverised apricot and the combinative essences of saffron and honey drops.” Got that? Basically it’s a sweet smell with darker, spicier undertones. And that is exactly what it is. For me, after all the hype and the deliciously glam bottle, the scent is underwhelming, certainly doesn’t match the fierceness of the bottle, but it is still a nice, wearable fragrance.
As someone who is not a big perfume wearer, (mostly because I find it to be too expensive to keep up!) it struck me that I have fallen into the marketing trap of celebrity fragrances a few times over and it got me thinking about the origins of celebrity fragrances. Almost everybody in the transcendent world of “celebrity” has a fragrance or a whole line thereof. Ones that currently spring to mind are Britney Spears, JLO, Kylie Minogue, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Beyoncé and Madonna. There are hundreds more of which I’m sure you are already aware which would mean I would be wasting my time listing them here. After a swift Google session, I was surprised to learn (It’s AMAZING what Google can teach you) that the first ever celebrity fragrance came from socialite Tabe Slioor in Finland in 1963. After that, Elizabeth Taylor released one in 1991 and the rest is history. Taylor’s one however apparently smells like “a stale old lady’s perfume” so I guess the trend for mediocre-smelling celebrity fragrances has been followed for some time…
As I said before, I am not a big perfume wearer. If I like a smell, I like it, if I don’t, I don’t. Simple. I personally don’t like all Chanel perfumes and love all of Roberto Cavalli’s. Don’t even get me started on Roberto Cavalli. I could drown in his ‘Serpentine’ fragrance and not mind because the scent is literally to die for.

So I’ve come to the conclusion that a scent is a scent, a bottle is a bottle and a name is a name. I don’t think there will be a time when all three factors will match up and become the most “perfect” celebrity fragrance. Having said that, I am so relieved (but also paradoxically disappointed) that Lady Gaga’s scent does not in fact smell of blood and semen.

Do you have any celebrity fragrances that you love/hate? Or any that you just bought for the name or the bottle?