Tuesday, 10 November 2015

The Owls Are Not What They Seem...

Last month I visited the Twin Peaks pop-up bar in London. The Boyf is a big fan of the show and got me in to it too. All he had to mention was Kyle MacLachlan. Tickets are pretty hard to come by, but James managed to grab some in the 2nd release. You can either opt for the £66.50 diner ticket which includes a 3 course meal, cocktail and entry into the Owl's Nest bar & installation rooms, or for just £6 you can get entry into just the bar & installation rooms. We opted for the latter. Before I go into our night in more detail, here's what I wore:

Jumper // Stolen from my Nan...     Skirt // Vintage     Shoes // Kurt Geiger

For this look I took inspiration from the shows sultry character, Audrey Horne. She wears a lot of boat necked fluffy jumpers and high waisted checked skirts. You can usually find her swaying by the jukebox in the diner. 


Anyone that has tickets to the last remaining dates to this pop-up bar, or anyone that is yet to see the show, you might not want to carry on...

Just a warning!

Okay, now they've gone, I can show/tell you more about the bar!

As you walk down the entrance stairs, you are greeted with a warning sign; "The owls are not what they seem". Turn left at the bottom of the stairs and you'll see something that is sure to give any Twin Peaks fan a chill. The Red Room. It's not so much a room, more of a long curtained corridor that leads to the main bar area, but back to that in a minute. We had some exploring to do!

Upstairs, you'll find a haunting scene. Laura in a body bag in the morgue. James's Dad poked her face, she's definitely dead! I had lots of fun delving into Laura's room. I may have taken a bracelet.

Back at the bar, things were starting to happen...

We managed to grab ourselves a table in the bar area where we found some pieces of wood, so naturally I became the Log Lady. I'd spotted Audrey hanging around by the bar. What I didn't know was that she'd already spotted us, or should I say Max. She sauntered over to our table and whispered in Max's ear. 
"What did she say?", we all asked.
"She told me to meet her over at the pinball machine...", Max replied, puzzled.
"GO!", we all shouted!
So off he went to meet Audrey at the pinball machine. We all saw her lean over and slide a piece of paper across to him. He brought it back to the table, and we all unravelled the code (Hint: read it backwards). 
So, Max took his little piece of paper to the bar where the girl serving presented him with a box full of more little bits of folded paper. He was told to pick one. 
Once unfolded, we found ourselves a little challenge. We basically had to make friends with another group of people and join forces for a dance together on the stage...

As the bar area was getting busier with diners from the restaurant experience, and a suited unicorn (?!), I plucked up the courage and asked a group of girls on the table next to us if they'd take to the stage with me for a dance.

They agreed...

This Twin Peaks pop-up bar is only around until Saturday 21st November. Unfortunately tickets just for the bar are all sold out, but you can still grab a ticket for the diner experience!

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Saturday, 7 November 2015

Dismaland OOTD

Last month me and The Boyf headed to Weston Super Mare to pay a visit to Dismaland, a bemusement park curated by Banksy. You can read James’s full review here, but not before I’ve shown you my outfit for the day!

T-shirt // Forever 21     Trousers // ASOS     Trainers // New Balance via ASOS     Bag // Accessorize     Sunglasses // Primark
As we were going to a seaside town, stripes were definitely on my agenda. I’d bought these stripy trousers in the ASOS summer sale but hadn't managed to find the perfect opportunity to wear them, until now. I first spotted Lucy who blogs at Shiny Thoughts wearing these beauties over on her Instagram and knew I HAD to have them! Naturally, they were all sold out, but eventually they came back with more sizes and this time in the sale. They currently have them in a lighter colour. The material was a bit thicker than I was expecting, so they've been perfect for the cooler days. As the trousers are high-waisted I paired them with my Peanuts (and Snoopy) crop top, you can see the back in more detail here. I opted for comfort with my New Balance trainers, which also helped tie in with my red sunglasses. I kept up the stripes with my trusty rucksack.

You can see more photos over on James’s post, but here are a few extra shots!

Who else managed to catch Dismaland? What did you think?

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Welcome to Dismaland

Back in September, The Boyf and I headed to Weston-super-Mare to check out Dismaland, a bemusement park curated by street artist Banksy. You can check out my outfit post from the day here, but for this post I've given James the free reigns to write up a little review all about it. So, without further ado...
Making our way to Dismaland Bemusement Park in sunny Weston-super-Mare, the already present sense of ‘what the hell are we getting ourselves into’ was heightened by the number of people wandering around carrying black balloons branded ‘I AM AN IMBECILE’.

Billed as a ‘sinister twist on Disneyland’, the park is an elaborate pop-up art exhibition based at the seaside town’s disused lido, the Tropicana, organised and coordinated by professional enigma Banksy. Through the works of over 50 artists from 17 different countries (all invited by Banksy himself), this fairground is a darkly satirical social commentary that chews up the squeaky-clean, enforced happiness regime of your typical theme park and spits it out as a decadent and decaying wasteland caked in the grim realities of the world in 2015.

First up is the security screening room, designed by Californian film maker Bill Barminksi. Everything in this room is made of white cardboard, looking like you’re in a cartoon that hasn't been coloured in yet. The cameras, the metal detector doors, everything is cardboard boxes with thick black outlines, and it’s so impressive you can’t help grinning, but as soon as you do that the equally cartoonish security guards will chastise you within an inch of your life. ‘Wipe that stupid smile off your face,’ they’ll bark, berating every sucker- I mean customer, who crosses their path.The first time you look around and see the park is a strange moment. You end up standing still, taking it all in for a minute. Everything is dirty; the kiddie rides are rusty and busted; a horrifying Punch & Judy is surrounded by rubble and police tape; walls are covered in large, darkly funny post-it notes (“The more I know humans, the more I love snakes”); the water is green and littered with plastic bags, trolleys and a broken-down police van; and Cinderella’s castle appears to be on fire.

Other than the art (which we’ll get to in a second), one of the best parts about Dismaland is the ‘staff’. Wandering around wearing broken Mickey Mouse ears and hilarious deadpan expressions, they’re all either miserable, rude, or even abusive, serving the overall effect of the park brilliantly. Want a balloon? Be prepared to earn it by holding out your money and dancing for it. Want to play mini golf or hook a duck? You WILL be sabotaged at every turn. Nope, there’s no “Hey boys and girls, have a super day” here. Instead, you can expect something more along the lines of “Keep the queue moving you idiots” or “I hate you all”. At one stall, we actually saw the attendant fashioning a noose.

Looking around the park there’s a falafel stand, a bar, outlets for Strike! magazine and Occupy Design, as well as an outdoor cinema showing witty and/or disturbing offerings from film makers like Chris Capel, Kirsten Lepore, Nicolas Deveaux and many more. But of course the real star of the show is the art itself.

Let’s talk about the big man himself first: Inside the smoking remains of Cinderella’s castle resides Banksy’s breathtakingly macabre scene which shows the 1950 film’s famous pumpkin carriage overturned after a horrific crash with Cinderella’s lifeless body hanging out of it while models of paparazzi are positioned around her, the cameras flashing away mercilessly and endlessly, a poignant statement on Princess Diana.

Banksy’s acidic humour is also present in his grim reaper cruising around in a bumper car to ‘Stayin’ Alive’, and his model of Mickey Mouse being swallowed whole by an enormous python. One of the more gruesome, confrontational pieces appears in the form of a traditional fairground boat pond, except here the boats are full of sick, dehumanised refugees.

Elsewhere, consumerism is tackled by a large-scale piece from Irish artist Caroline McCarthy showing a multitude of plant pots interspersed with processed food packaging. The sheer size of the piece makes it all the more impressive and melancholy at the same time. Speaking of scale, one of the biggest and most overwhelming works on display came from Jimmy Cauty. The Aftermath Displacement Principle is a huge, intricately crafted model city depicting scenes following a cataclysmic riot across a grim industrial-urban landscape, solely populated by the media and thousands of police.

A personal favourite portion of the fair is the ‘Big Top Freak Show’, where you’ll find some of the more bizarre offerings at Dismaland. Here we found American Scott Hove’s mounted cakes with the terrifying, ferocious snouts of unthinkable beasts bursting from within, as well as some unsettling ceramic, sentient teapots, cups and plates beginning to grow their own fingers and mouths from Israeli artist Ronit Baranga. Then of course there’s Damien Hirst’s macabre unicorn in a box…

Everything in this fascinating dystopia invites us to consider the bleak, burdensome future being tossed away to the next generation as if it were a live grenade. It’s Banksy’s idea of a more appropriate message to the kids than what’s offered by a certain other theme park. ‘Here it is kids, we messed up- sorry’. But somehow, despite the park’s relentless brutality, it’s still a genuinely fun day out, as well as a remarkable achievement for art- its beauty lying within its ugliness, its black humour and its irreverence.You are now leaving Disneyland. Welcome to Dismaland.

Words by James Hanman
Photos by Captain Charley

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Captain Charley

Captain Charley