Thursday, February 24, 2011

Licentiate Column 24/02/11 The Red Shoes

Have you ever heard the Tale of the Red Shoes, written by Hans Christian Anderson? A vain girl tricks her adoptive mother into buying her a pair of much-coveted red shoes, which causes her to pay no attention in church. She stops attending services and goes to a party in her bescarleted feet instead. Once she starts to dance, the shoes will not allow her to stop. She dances and dances without an end in sight, through storms, through her mother's funeral, until she reaches the point of insanity or death, when a man take mercy on her and chops off her feet.

She eventually realises the folly of emotionally blackmailing a parent into irresponsible shoe buying, then she dies. So, a happy ending for everyone involved. Or maybe not.

In 1948, a seminal dance film was released, also called The Red Shoes. In it, aspiring prima ballerina Vicky Page gets the chance to dance the lead role in the titular ballet, but eventually has to choose between love of a man or love of her art, symbolised potently in the form of a pair of red ballet slippers. The consequences are predictably disastrous.

That's the trouble with red shoes: They symbolise the things that a woman are, very unfairly, restricted from freely having. These stories are designed to encourage women to conform. Dedicate yourself to your artistic passion instead of looking after a husband? Indulge in hedonism and freedom of self expression? Be an independent person who answers only to herself? Then prepare to have your legs chopped off with a rusty axe before repenting your wicked, wicked ways.

Even now, the world at large doesn't want us to own a pair of proper red shoes. After spending a day in town with my friend Fiona, bemoaning the dearth of such appendages, she came home and asked a question on Facebook; 'what do red shoes mean?' The answers were varied, but the real corkers included such gems as 'red shoes, no knickers' and 'red shoes = Amsterdam window girl'. Apparently, only whores get to don red shoes.

In this day and age, it's surprising that such asinine restrictions actually exist in terms of a simple primary colour. I want a pair of red shoes. Preferably with a very high heel and all kinds of ribbons and general fripperies. And yet, I have never ever had sex in exchange for money - what kind of topsy-turvy world do we live in?

My non-purchase is not as a result of these utterly sophomoric preconceptions; it's the conditions that these preconceptions may have precipitated. There are just no nice red shoes to be had. Of the 1000 or so pairs of women's shoes available on behemoth e-tailer, just fifteen are red, and even then, maybe only two pairs are even slightly close to that particular shade or rich, tomatoey, viscid, brilliantine red that has provoked centuries-long controversy.

It's damnably sexist to assume that such a shade of footwear automatically shrills 'come to bed NOW'. Don't get me wrong, it commands your attention - but the sexual attention can be unwanted or unintended. Red holds immense, often untapped power. Just look at the pope. He wears red shoes, and you don't see anyone wolf-whistling at him or mistaking him for a call girl, now do you?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I have two words for you...

..and those words are 'CLEAR MACS'!

It seems that Jeremy Scott was definitely on the right track.  Now give me a plastic rain mac and let me splash around in some puddles, Burberry Prorsum-style.

To watch more, visit catwalkreport_v2.aspx?seasonid=23&seasonday=2011 02 21&day=4

Press play to watch the highlights of Day Four of London Fashion Week, which has been the best so far (in my incredibly inflated, self-important opinion).  An LFW round up will appear on the blog on Friday.

*Apologies for the shortness of this post.  Have you ever been so tired that you look at what you're writing and it's total gibberish?  Not badly-written or poorly thought out sentences, just actual unintelligible burble, like a toddler mashing the keyboard with his fists.  So, in a way, I'm doing you a favour by writing a twitter-length missive.  You can thank me later.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Wild for Kicks: The Beat Girl (Part II)

Beat Girl title card, image via Imageshack
 Some of you readers may remember a post I wrote back in November about 'Beat Girl', a 60's teensploitation film.  It has everything: Christopher Lee as a strip club operator, rebellious teens, rowdy beatnik tunes and an bouffanted ingenue who later became a successful ye-ye (nothing to do with yo-yos) singer in France - you know, all the things a modern girl wants in a good film.

Teenage exploitation flicks are highly underrated as a genre. Granted, the scripts are usually terrible, dialogue is delivered in the manner of Bela Lugosi at the dentist and I could burst several car tyres in the many plotholes that spring up all over the place. Then again, the appeal of these films is in the general apathetic yet highly self-involved natures of the characters, which makes them embark on many a high-spirited, poorly thought out, self-destructive adventure. They're just SO stylish, with their casually thrown on, yet meticulously put together outfits (it doesn't hurt that the films were made in an era that is now looked on nostalgically in terms of style). It's for the same reasons that so many people love watching Skins today.

Now, thanks to the Movies section on Youtube, you can watch Beat Girl in it's unadulterated, sleazy, slightly crackly form! Don't say I'm not good to you. Watch this film while doing the frug and smoking gauloises (or just with a cup of tea - make sure that you do the frug at some stage though).

P.S: Now THIS is how you do the frug.  Snazzy plaid-jacketed dancing partner optional.
Frug instructions via Flickr

Friday, February 18, 2011

Distilled: New York Fashion Week A/W '11

Here's a handy-dandy pocket guide to New York Fashion Week - Favourite runway looks, trend predictions and the stuff that didn't go over so well.  I'll be doing one for London, Milan and Paris every week so if you like this, make sure to check back next Friday for more catwalk overanalysis.

All photos from Fashion Gone Rogue, except photo 3, from Getty Images

From left to right, per row
Tartan galore: 1 - Y3, 2 - Rag& Bone, 3 - Libertine
Slick monochromatic tailoring:  4 - Jason Wu, 5 - Michael Kors, 6 - DKNY
Print clash:  7 - Proenza Schouler, 8 - Rodarte, 9 - Preen
Left-field details:  10 - Jeremy Scott, 11 - Marc Jacobs, 12 - Prabal Gurung
70's trend:  13 - Diane Von Furstenberg, 14 - Marc by Marc Jacobs, 15 - Rodarte

Trends from New York for Autumn/Winter 2010/11


  • Red - and LOTS of it.
  • Pattern clashes - intricate patterns based on maths/science (as seen on Preen with their uniform polyhedra prints)
  • Polka dots - as at Marc Jacobs.
  • Texture tastic - not only will we be mixing patterns, we'll be mixing textures as well.  As seen at Marc Jacobs, Proenza Schouler,
  • Thigh-high split skirts - my legs say no, but my brain says YES!
  • Sheer tights - Is it just me or are they a bit, erm, Maggie Thatcher?
  • Fur - on everything - on cuffs, on hats, skirts, everything.  I guarantee that someone will manufacture fur underpants and make a profit.  My personal stance on fur is pretty non-committal but the sheer amount of fur on the catwalks in NY seemed incredibly self-indulgent.  Some of the most original collections didn't use fur at all. 
Pic 10 - Where would we be without Jeremy Scott?  The world would be a much duller place (and Katy Perry would have a yawning chasm in her wardrobe).  I think that his collections are best viewed on individual merits.  Example; this bikini/clear mac combo.  Not something I could ever pull off in real life (and the world breathes a sigh of relief) but pair the crystal-encrusted mac with some monochrome tailoring?  WIN.
Pic 11 - Marc Jacobs also works the clear clothing look, but this blouse is much more subtle.
Pic 15 - If you can hold a pair of knitting needles, you could easily knit this Rodarte jumper.  I wonder how much the retail will be?

What were your NYFW highlights and lowlights?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Licentiate Column 17/02/11 Colour Blocking: A Guide

Colour blocking is a little bit like nuclear fusion. We all have a vague idea of what it is, but only people with specialist knowledge can explain it coherently or know how to work it properly. Colour blocking isn't the driving force behind the most powerful explosive men has ever known, but still, if you make one wrong move, everything is very liable to blow up in your face.
This particular trend has been all over the catwalks and in shops for several seasons now, but it has been hovering around the fringes of decorating, graphic design, home interiors, visual merchandising and art for much, much longer. If someone wants to draw your eye to something, be it a window display or a bathroom wall, colour blocking is one of the most effective ways to do it.
And yet, it is damnably hard to explain in simple, linear terms. I've spent a solid week researching and trying to write synopses, but the only one-line answer to colour blocking that I can come up with is this: If you look like a Fruit Pastille ice pop, then you're doing it right.
Colour blocking should be easy. In it's most basic term, it's the wearing a few contrasting colours in one outfit. Yep, it really should be easy - but it isn't. It's the sartorial equivalent of a sixteen year old trying to unhook his girlfriends bra. The swaggering confidence as the task begins soon turns, first to frustration, then crushing disappointment, insecurity and finally, an unsatisfactory conclusion for everyone involved.
There are a hundred and one simple rules for working colour blocking like a pro, but I only get five hundred words per column. I've wasted two hundred of them already joking about how difficult it is, so I'll just give you the basics. This is the fruit of reading about a hundred articles and embarking on some terrible wardrobe experiments, one of which resulted me going shopping in town resembling a human rubiks cube.
1) Only wear two or three colours at any one time. See rubiks cube statement above.
2) Pretend that you're colour blind. Remember 'blue and green must never be seen'? Rejoice, for the restraining order between cerulean and emerald has been lifted. A detente has been reached and the good news is ringing out all over your wardrobe. Red and pink are similarly jarring bedfellows.
3) The Clash is more than just an band. Red with blue? Yes please! Purple and green? Don't mind if I do! Yellow and teal? Why, I'll have a double portion. Please sir, I want some more!
4) Patterns are not your friends. Red and green is fine, if a little festive. Red and green stripes are a no-no. You're not Bosco, but wear that combo and you'll be sent back in your box. Patterns are generally eye-catching anyway, so they tend to have an America's Next Top Model-worthy fight for attention with contrasting trends. Remember, colour blocking = blocks of colour. That means no patterns allowed. No exceptions.
5) Neutrals are a welcome relief. If your multi-tonal antics are on the verge of inducing seizure, break up the colour party by introducing a neutral shade. Grey works well with cool blues and greens, tan and beige colours can look unexpectedly striking with warm tones. It makes an on-trend twist to all the boring basics.
So now you know the rules. Go forth and block your colours like there's no tomorrow. And if you find yourself looking longingly at stripes, just think to yourself - what would Bosco do?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The work of John Stezaker

John Stezaker is one of those artists I really should have heard of before, but haven't until now.


His photocollages are reminiscent of Linder Sterling (click here to read about Sterling at the Crawford Gallery) in the powerful subversion of imagery and the unending questioning of the images around us; what makes the day to day pictures we see, whether in advertising or editorial or promotion, such instruments of influence.

Stezaker (a word more difficult to pronounce that 'licentiate') takes the core elements of a picture and turns them on their heads by splicing in another image that is dischordant - with a weirdly harmonic result.  It tread the line between beautiful/ugly - often both at once.

That's basically an incredibly pretentious way of saying 'I like this artist.  His work is damn cool and I can't stop staring at his pictures'.  Here's some more images of Stezaker's work.  If you happen to be in London, stroll on down to the Whitechapel Gallery, who are hosting a retrospective of his work before it goes on tour.  Click here to listen to a short interview of Stezaker talking about his work

L - Third Person, R - Underworld I
This post is quite photo heavy, so click to see more...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Who was the real Holly Golightly?

Any fashion blogger worth his or her sodium intake has heard about, if not already read Truman Capote's novella, Breakfast at Tiffany's.  The book's heroine, Holly Golightly, is a gadabout girl-about-town with a predisposition for rich men and total character reinvention.  She's flighty and flirty.  She's a phony - but she's a real phony.

Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in the 1961 film

I've got a real grá (that's Irish for love, international readers) for Truman Capote.  I wrote many essays about him while studying English in university.  He was an enfant terrible, an enigma with a cryptic tongue, an interviewer with an uncanny knack to get details out of any source and reduce macho men like Muhammad Ali to tears.  When it came to being interviewed, Capote was undeniably economical with the truth.

Playboy:  Shortly after publication of Breakfast at Tiffany's, a writer named Bonnie Golightly sued you for $800,000, on the grounds that she was the real-life inspiration for your fictional heroine.  At least four other New York girls about town countered with the claim that they were the prototype of Holly.  Was the characterisation of Holly based on a real person?
Capote:  Yes, but not on any of the people you refer to.  The real Holly Golightly was a girl exactly like the girl in Breakfast at Tiffany's, with the single exception that in the books she comes from Texas, whereas the real Holly was a German refugee who arrived in New York at the beginning of the War, when she was 17 years old.  Very few people were aware of this, however, because she spoke English without any trace of an accent.  She had an apartment in the brownstone where I lived and we became great friends.  Everything I wrote about her is literally true - not about her friendship with a gangster called Sally Tomato and all that, but everything about her personality and approach to life, even the most preposterous parts of the book.
                 - From a 1968 interview with Playboy, click to read

Sorry Truman, I call bullshit on your answer...

People like to search for the 'real' Holly Golightly', just as they want to know who the 'real' Sherlock Holmes is, or the 'real' Sal Paradise.  In fiction, there is no 'real' anything, only composites and impressions drawn and interpreted through that writer's vision.  Even if the German did exist (which, due to Capote's predisposition for embellishment, I seriously doubt), she's not Holly Golightly.  Holly is her and more of the many women in Capote's coterie of female friends, all exceptional, all stylish, all Holly, all the time.  Here's a few of Capote's possible influences.

Maeve Brennan

Maeve Brennan at home - Photo by Karl Blissinger

Maeve Brennan moved from Ireland to the USA when she was seventeen.  Both Brennan and Capote worked at Harper's Bazaar, which is probably where they met.  They also worked at The New Yorker (where Brennan wrote a column called The Long-Winded Lady) at the same time.  She was regarded as eccentric, but this soon turned into obsessive behaviour and she became an alcoholic.  Towards the end of her life, she was committed to a hospital, where she died in 1993.

Just like Holly - Wore trademark black dresses and dark glasses. Spent far beyond her means.  Erratic behaviour.  Often had a case of the Mean Reds.
Not so Golightly - Brennan had a real, taxable job and a creative outlet, writing short stories and a novel.

Read more:  The Long-Winded Lady , by Maeve Brennan and Maeve Brennan: Wit, Style and Tragedy - An Irish Writer in New York by Angela Bourke

Doris Lilly

Lilly in later years
After Capote published Other Voices, Other Rooms, he became very good friends with Doris Lilly, a blonde starlet who famously dated Gene Kelly and Ronald Reagan and with whom he'd eat dinner and talk for hours.  Lilly said "Truman used to come over all the time and watch me put make-up on before I went out..., there's a lot of me in Holly Golightly".  Lilly died in 1991 with no money.  Her mountain of costume jewellery, given to her by her many admirers over the years, had to be sold off to cover funeral costs.

Just like Holly - Had a thwarted Hollywood career, was a gal-about-town, had a famously pragmatic attitude towards men (Lilly wrote How to Marry a Millionaire, amongst other suggestively titled works and said "Millionaires are marrying their secretaries because they're so busy making money that they haven't time to see other girls"), never actually got to marry a millionaire.
Not so Golightly - Can you see Holly Golightly as a leggy blonde?

Read More - How to Make Love in Five Languages by Doris Lilly

Suzy Parker and Dorian Leigh

Parker (left) and Leigh at a shoot for LIFE Magazine

Parker and Leigh were two sisters who were both models.  Leigh was photographed by Irving Penn, Richard Avedon and Cecil Beaton, amongst others. Parker, 15 years younger than Leigh, became Avedon's muse and the face of Chanel during the 50's and 60's.

Just like Holly - Terminal cat owners, use of the fire escape as means of exit and entry, beguiling and hilarious.
Not so Golightly - Both sisters were supposed homebodies and, unlike the champagne and cigarettes Golightly, both were excellent cooks - Leigh even had cordon Bleu training.

Read More - Avedon Fashion 1944 - 2000, by Richard Avedon

There are more women who could be Golightly.  If I was to list them all I'd be writing this post for a month.  But, that's what's so great about Holly Golightly.  She's such a singular character, but she could be anyone.  That's why so many women (myself included) identify with her.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Licentiate Column 10/02/11 Transitional Dressing and how to work it

I sometimes wonder who thought up the phrase 'Spring has sprung', because I can categorically guarantee that he or she was not an Irish person. In February Spring doesn't so much leap and bound about like an Easter rabbit as it does limp like a semi-retired March hare with a double hip replacement and an inner ear problem.

We all know that there are four seasons; Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter - Ireland is but one temporal nexus in a massive clump of countries where all four seasons make an appearance in one day. You step out on the street in the morning and the walk to work is punctuated by dangerous, icy puddles. It's blisteringly hot as you eat a sandwich in the park on your lunch break.On the way home, your much-needed umbrella gets turned inside-out by gale force winds powered by the unholy sneezes of Zeus.

In the month of February, fashion magazines are stuffed to the gills with articles on transitional dressing, that is, the subtle art of bridging the gap between winter and summer wardrobes without looking like the little girl who broke into her grannies dressing up box and decided that the denim hotpants and the feather-lined parka made a stylish and practical ensemble for all weather eventualities (if you have your own granny-esque dress up box then you deserve a high five - if your granny happens to have a pair of denim hotpants in her dress-up box then give her a high five from me).

Transitional dressing is a bit of a misnomer for temperate places like Melbourne or Cork or Glasgow or Reykjavik, where the time span between seasons can be a matter of minutes. We are forced to dress transitionally all year round, peeling off and putting on more layers than Salome dressed up as an onion at Hallowe'en.

A pessimistic person could argue that the emphasis put on the perceived importance of transitional dressing is one of the unwelcome side effects of global warming; the increasingly uncertain weather means that we have to be prepared for any outcome. A cynical person could argue that transitional dressing is a concerted effort by clothing manufacturers and fashion magazines to sell more clothes and draw in enough full-page advertising to make Vogue look like the Argos catalogue. A realistic person knows that everyone will always be somewhere between hot and cold most of the time, unless you happen to live in Antarctica or on Mercury, so dress accordingly.

There's really only one rule when it comes to transitional dressing, and that is layering. Layer, layer again, then add another layer for luck. Is it rainy but warm? Layer on a light raincoat. Wearing a floaty floral summer dress but unsure of the temperature? Leggings and fine knits are your new best friends.

The cardigan is perpetually useful when the seasons are having mood swings. Simultaneously demure and sexy, in a clichéd 'seductive librarian' way, it can be worn buttoned up, open, around the shoulders, with rolled up sleeves or knotted around the waist.

Transitional dressing is as easy as putting on your clothes. If you can't master that (I'm looking at you, Jodie Marsh) then all hope is lost. For everyone else, this is one trend that will outlast the seasons.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Waiting for Godot (or the fire brigade, whatevs)

I did have a huge post planned, with pictures and footnotes and reading lists, I really did.  The only trouble is, I left my notes in my notebook, which is on my kitchen table. On top of that, I can't get into my apartment block due to the fire alarm going off and weird, suspiciously burning-ish smells coming from the lift.

I wish I was joking.  If my flat burns down with my copy of Cheap and Chic Update in it, I'm going to be maaaad.

I'll have to post it on Friday - but here's some video candy - take it as an 'I'll make it up to you, I swear!'

HACHIKO ft Kiko Mizuhara for L'UOMO VOGUE from AntoineAsseraf+RenéHabermacher on Vimeo.

Directed by Rene Habermacher, this video plays with a story he heard about a dog who waited for his owner at a train station every day, even after the master stopped taking the train... Maybe he died. I like to think that he decided to take the bus instead and forgot to send his dog the memo.

Maybe that's what happened to this girl.  She's waiting for the fire marshals to let her back in her apartment block, but they forgot to tell her and went home...

EDIT: All clear. Phew.

Monday, February 7, 2011

In context: Rene Gruau and John Galliano

I've blogged about Rene Gruau before and was delighted to see that John Galliano had sifted through the archive to draw inspiration from a man who helped to mould the Dior image with his illustrations throughout the 50's and 60's.

I have much love for Gruau's work but his books are all out of print and sell for serious money on eBay - the closest thing I have to a print is a card I received for my university graduation, which has lasted through several house moves and now has pride of place on my fridge.

Gruau's work is painterly, spontaneous, cheeky, seductive, inimitable and just a tiny bit risqué - all words that you could also use to describe Galliano's work.

Gruau'l illustrations for Dior


This illustration was used for Dior Cherie and was also a promotional image for the recent Gruau/Dior exhibition at Somerset house




It's great to see that Galliano hasn't used the clichéd 50's silhouettes that are being done to death.  His subversive eye tallies more with translating Gruau's often abstract paintmarks and translating them into dresses.  A Philip Treacy headpiece looks like a brush stroke and an exclamation point to top off an outfit.  A bow mutates into a shimmering tulle overlay on a ballgown.  A train folds and is tucked so it becomes a whole with a dress.  All the dresses have a fluidity that is synonymous with Gruau's work.  More brush strokes are transposed onto the skirts themselves.  Gruau's trademark love of opera gloves is evident.  And the make-up!  Ah, the make-up... No shading - just black, white and red.

What do you think of Galliano's couture?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Licentiate Column 03/02/11

Paddy Englishman, Paddy Irishman and Paddy Scotsman walk into a bar. Englishman is wearing a riding habit, resplendent in jodphurs and red jacket. Scotsman is no less magnificent in tweed plus fours, wielding a golf club and swinging his familial tartan scarf over his brawny neck. Paddy Irishman is decked out in a three piece suit in varying shades of emerald green and pristine patent slippers, offset with unnecessarily large silver buckles.

Who's the odd one out? Surprise, surprise, it's the Irishman. While all three men are exemplary cliches, only the Irishman's clothing has no basis in fact whatsoever. Englishmen have been known to wear riding habits and some Scottish people don tweed from time to time (where do you think Chanel got the idea for all those suits?) but the Jolly Green Getup? That territory has been untouched by Irish Man, with the possible exception of Paul Galvin.

What is Irish style? The French have their innate chicness and tendency to favour quality over quantity, the Americans their cult of grooming and the English their mix of heritage and eccentricity. What do the Irish have that marks them out from everyone else? Could you pick out an Irish person in a foreign country if they weren't wearing a hurling jersey and a bad case of sunburn?

It's not that we don't have a long tradition of manufacturing distinctly Irish clothing. We did that hundreds of years ago and still do now- it's just that the Irish message has got lost in translation in an effort to engage in global communication. Consider the Aran jumper; originating from the Aran Islands in the west of Ireland. Even the stitches are imbued with a Celtic mysticism. The cable in the cable knit signifies an integral part of the Aran fishermen's trade as well as a talisman to ensure safety while on the sea. How much does this matter to the Topshop stylist who believes that they are an integral part of Scottish life, as well as being totally on trend? Zilch. Zippo. Zip.

Irish clothing also has the tendency to assimilate with the style of other countries. Take the brogue, the most famous manufacturer of which is Church's, a quintessentially British brand. Church's brogues come with different tips, perforations and colours, English stamps on an Irish template. It's not a bad thing (if it's good enough for Alexa Chung, it's definitely good enough for me) but a smidge of Gaelic recognition wouldn't go awry. The same goes for Irish lace and linens, Donegal tweeds, sturdy woolens and intricate Celtic patterns.

But what gives an Irish person her style? I don't think that it's as easy as popping on a geansaí; it's something else - indistinct, but still indelible. I don't think that Irish style is truly represented by the beaming, perma-tanned, body-conned lovelies that we often see hanging off rugby players or doing promotions for Bavaria on Stephen's Green.

For me, great Irish style is loose and slightly rumpled, like a poet taking in a liquid lunch in a boreen. The look is always slightly undone; hair is loose and natural, a top button on a shirt must never be done up. It's well put together, nicely thought but never overwrought. Low maintenance,high impact. It's always been there, so we don't think to much about it or wonder why other people don't notice.

We're so laid back that we don't question the implications of our appearance. And, with the typical luck of the Irish, it's that laid back casualness that makes Irish style great.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Black Swan Costume Controversy

Sometimes Twitter is great.  It is excellent for getting news as it happens, but it's also excellent for drowning in a sea of ill-informed statements.  It's like watching Jeremy Kyle if he could only shout in 140 characters at a time.

Case in point; the news that the Mulleavy sisters of Rodarte would not be credited if the film was nominated for Best Costumes (which... it wasn't).  People mass tweeted that Rodarte had been snubbed and that they hoped that costume designer Amy Westcott would hand over the Oscar to the Mulleaveys when Black Swan won (er, pre-emptive much?).

One of Westcott's original designs for Nina, via Clothes on Film

What I don't know about costume design in film could fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool. I do know, however, that it takes an army to do good costuming, which Black Swan has in spades.  Designer Amy Westcott gave a very insightful interview to Clothes on Film (read it!), which not only explores the process of designing for a film, but also details exactly how Rodarte made their contribution.

With all the negative press that Westcott has received, she's understandably a bit defensive when it comes to Rodarte, saying that "Controversy is too complimentary a word for two people using their considerable self-publicising resources to loudly complain about their credit once they realise how good the film is".

I might be missing something here, but since when did the Mulleavy's come out and complain about their credit?  Did they release a statement or quote that they were angry or felt snubbed?  I haven't seen a single article concerning the supposed snubs that involved a reporter or blogger talking to a Rodarte rep? It would seem that the media have created this controversy all by themselves.  Westcott is totally justified in defending herself and her work, but an unsupported attack on Rodarte's motivations only serves to diminish her.

The story is still evolving, so what do you think?  Is this a storm in a teacup or are Rodarte secretly PR evil geniuses?