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iPad therefore iWant? Probably. Why? iDunno


This article is by Charlie Brooker for the Guardian.

Members of the technology media try out Apple's

The iPad . . . ideal for keeping your lap warm. Photograph: Kimberly White/Reuters

A star appears over San Francisco and a new gizmo is born. The iPad! At first glance it resembles an iPhone in unhandy, non-pocket-sized form. But look a little longer, and . . Nope. You were right first time.

Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing. Apple excels at taking existing concepts – computers, MP3 players, conceit – and carefully streamlining them into glistening ergonomic chunks of concentrated aspiration. It took the laptop and the coffee table book and created the iBook. Now it’s taken the iBook and the iPhone and distilled them into a single device that answers a rhetorical question you weren’t really asking.

It’s an iPhone for people who can’t be arsed holding an iPhone up to their face. A slightly-further-away iPhone that keeps your lap warm. A weird combination of portable and cumbersome: too small to replace your desktop, too big to fit in your pocket, unless you’re a clown. It can play video, but really – do you want to spend hours staring at a movie in your lap? Sit through Lord of the Rings and you’d need an osteopath to punch the crick out of your neck afterwards. It can also be used as an ebook, something newspapers are understandably keen to play up, but because it’s got an illuminated display rather than a fancy non-backlight “digital ink” ebook screen, it’ll probably leave your eyes feeling strained, as though your pupils are wearing tight shoes.

The iPad falls between two stools – not quite a laptop, not quite a smartphone. In other words, it’s the spork of the electronic consumer goods world. Or rather it would be, were it not for one crucial factor: it looks ideal for idly browsing the web while watching telly. And I suspect that’s what it’ll largely be used for. Millions of people watch TV while checking their emails: it’s a perfect match for them.

Absurdly, Apple keeps trying to pretend it’ll make your life more efficient. Come off it. It’s an oblong that lights up. I’m sick of being pitched to like I’m a one-man corporation undertaking a personal productivity audit anyway. I don’t want to hear how the iPad is going to make my life simpler. I want to hear how it’ll amuse and distract me; how it plans to anaesthetise me into a numb, trancelike state. Call it the iDawdler and aggressively market it as the world’s first utterly dedicated timewasting device: an electronic sedative to rival diazepam, alcohol or television. If Apple can convince us of that, it’s got itself a hit.

Some people are complaining because it doesn’t have a camera in it. Spoiled techno-babies, all of them. Just because something is technically possible, it doesn’t mean it has to be done. It’s technically possible to build an egg whisk that makes phonecalls, an MP3 player that dispenses capers or a car with a bread windscreen. Humankind will continue prosper in their absence. Not everything needs a 15-megapixel lens stuck on the back, like a little glass anus. Give these ingrates a camera and they’d whine that it didn’t have a second camera built into it. What are you taking photographs of anyway? Your camera collection?

And don’t bring up videocalls to defend yourself: it’d be creepy talking to a disembodied two-dimensional head being held at arm’s length, and besides, the iPad is too heavy to hold in front of your face for long, so you’d end up balancing it in your lap, which means both callers would find themselves staring up one another’s others nostrils, like a pair of curious dental patients. (Videocalls are overrated anyway. You just sit there staring at each other with nothing to say. It’s like a prison visit: eventually one of you has to start masturbating just to break the tension.)

Personally, I’m not sure whether I’ll buy an iPad, although I think – I think – I’m about to buy an iBook. Yes, I was a dyed-in-the-wool Mac sceptic for years. Yes, I’ve written screeds bemoaning the infuriating breed of smug Apple monks who treat all PC owners with condescending pity. But being chained to a Sony Vaio for the last few weeks has convinced me that I’d rather use a laptop that just works, rather than one that’s so ponderous, stuttering and irritating I find myself perpetually on the verge of running outside and hurling it into traffic. (That’s a moan about Sony laptops, not PCs in general, by the way. I’m keeping my desktop PC, thanks: that’s lovely. Smooth as butter. Better than I deserve, in fact.)

I just hope buying an iBook won’t turn me into an iPrick. I want a machine that essentially makes itself invisible, not a rectangular bragging stone. If, 10 minutes after buying it, I start burbling on about how it’s left me more fulfilled as a human being, or find myself perched at a tiny Starbucks table stroking its glowing Apple with one hand while demonstratively tapping away with the other in the hope that passersby will assume I’m working on a screenplay, it’s going straight in the bin.

The iBin. Complete with built-in camera. $599.99.
Original article at The Guardian.

Cx

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London Fashion Week Round-up: DAY TWO.


London Fashion Week A/W 2009.

DAY TWO: Saturday 21st February 2009.

Today is the day I was looking forward to seeing… a few of my favourite designers were showcasing their A/W collections; including, Vivienne Westwood (especially!), Peter Jensen, UNIQUE by Topshop. What I am beginning to notice is the fact a lot of designers are playing their collections very ‘safe’. This is a direct result of the current economic climate; people are wanting to spend their money on much more hardwearing, simple pieces that will become wardrobe staples, rather than a one-off ‘party piece’.


Vivienne Westwood: RED LABEL.


-Daisy Lowe walks for Vivienne Westwood.

At first, I thought Vivienne Westwood had kept it a little too ‘safe’ with her Red Label A/W 09 collection; but after looking over at the photographs again, I absolutely LOVE it and cannot wait for it to hit stores. Theres lots of Viv’s signature textiles in there (tartan, harlequin, tweed, wool) and the signature shapes and forms. She hints back at the pirate era and heritage for this, very cosy, looking new collection. Daisy Lowe and Alice Dellal were amongst her wonderful models to walk the A/W 09 collection.

UNIQUE by Topshop.


UNIQUE looks to the future for their A/W collection. Not terribly sure how wearable this actually is; regardless of this, its definitely grabs your attention! The clothes are very art inspired with lots of decadent detail; I just cant wait to see the prices for this collection to be honest. A few hit and miss prints mixed with sequins and black dominates. The collection screams attitude, rave and technology as we’re faced with boiler suits, oversized hoods and quirky tailoring.

Margaret Howell.

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Margaret Howell’s A/W collection has left me a little confused… although, indeed, it is a lovely simple collection, it is very ‘light’, in the sense, that I feel it looks alot more like a S/S collection. Lots of shorts and sleeveless garments, not terribly practical for winter! The staple of the collection is however, knee high socks, a rather playful and endearing addition to the collection I thought. Some really nice tailoring and lovely ‘cruise’ pieces. A really nice colour palette of greys, white, slate, light blue. Overall, I really enjoyed this collection, despite the lack of thought for the English Weather!


Ann-Sofie Back.

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Ms AS. Back A/W 09 collection is just beautiful. Imagine a spell-binding mix between BeetleJuice (the film!), Hocus Pocus and The Nightmare Before Christmas, all juggled up with a Wedding and then thrown backwards through the darkest night. The models looked majestic with pale white faces and white stockinged legs. Feathers play a key focus to the collection as well as Hallows Eve. Oversized knits are emblazoned with BOO! and illustrations, while the more sophisticated end of the collection boasts high waisted carrot trousers and complicated sheer blouses. Ann-Sofie is definitely one to watch for 2009!


Ms. Judy Pink.

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London Fashion Week Round-Up: DAY ONE.


London Fashion Week A/W 2009.

DAY ONE: Friday 20th February 2009.


Central St. Martins.

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As always, St. Martins does not fail to entertain us with artistic and futuristic couture. Lots of quilting, one-sided madness, tasteful tailoring, jersey galore, cutesy cartoon animal prints: a colour palette of beiges, black, blush pink – lots of orange!

ASHISH.

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ASHISH offers lots of playful prints (stars/stripes, zebra print, fluro aztec/geometric) with even more playful sweaters, trousers and head gear.


Paul Costelloe.

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Costelloe gives us a lovely heritage, wearable mix for Autumn/Winter. Lots of hardwaring textiles bode well for those who are starting to get hit by the credit crunch! Lovely colour palette of tans, beige, plum, orange.

Ms. Judy Pink.

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