A Frida Kahlo exhibition has come to London and we’re here for it

A Frida Kahlo exhibition has come to London and we’re here for it

Here’s everything you need to know from how to get tickets to the woman behind the exhibition…

Frida Kahlo Exhibition

Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is an icon, with a colourful and compelling life story, but having died in 1954, most of what we learn about her is from books and films, with Salma Hayek nominated for an academy award for portraying her in Frida.

Now however, we will be able to see for ourselves as a brand new exhibition has come to the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, showcasing Frida’s most intimate personal belongings – from artefacts to clothing.

Introducing: Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up

Locked away for 50 years after her death, this collection has never before been exhibited outside Mexico – and it’s set to give us a fresh perspective on her incredible life story.

What is in the Frida Kahlo exhibition?

Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up will present some of Frida’s most intimate personal belongings, with the highlights including a Guatemalan cotton coat with Mazatec huipil belonging to the artist, a selection of Frida’s cosmetics and the prosthetic leg with a leather boot that she used to wear.

When is the Frida Kahlo exhibition?

The Frida Kahlo exhibition is running from Saturday 16th June till Saturday 4th November so we should all be able to get tickets.

How can I get tickets for the Frida Kahlo exhibition?

Tickets for Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up can be purchased either on the door of the V&A or online – and cost £15 each. It is recommended that you book in advance via their website though, with the exhibition set to be very popular.

What is Frida Kahlo’s life story?

With a sickening crash, the bus collided with a trolley car on a packed street in Mexico City. It was 17 September 1925, and as passengers were flung helplessly from the wreckage, an iron handrail pierced 18-year-old Frida Kahlo’s abdomen, fracturing her spine and shattering her pelvis. Her collarbone was broken, her right leg – already withered from childhood polio – was fractured in 11 places and her foot dislocated. Frida’s boyfriend at the time, Alejandro Gomez Arias (known as Alex), was travelling with her and remembers the scene: ‘Someone in the bus had been carrying a packet of powdered gold, which fell all over Frida. When people saw her they cried, “La bailarina!” With the gold on her red, bloody body, they thought she was a dancer.’

The physical, emotional and psychological impact was devastating. Frida was encased in a full-body cast for three months and underwent more than 30 operations. ‘She lived dying,’ said a close friend. But she found a way to communicate her fear and desperation through her uncompromising art. In 1926, confined to bed after a relapse, Frida was given an easel and paints by her parents. In the 29 years between her accident and her death in 1954, aged 47, she would create sensual, disturbing, powerful art, many self-portraits that challenged convention, pre-dating Tracey Emin’s artistic self-exposure by decades. ‘I paint myself because I am often alone and I am the subject I know best,’ Frida said.

Born on 6 July 1907 in Coyoac·n, a suburb of Mexico City, Frida later made a political gesture by claiming her birth date was 1910, so her life would begin with the Mexican Revolution. Raised with three sisters by their German father Guillermo, a photographer, and mother Matilde, Frida’s upbringing was unconventional. At six, she contracted polio, spending nine months confined to bed. Against the odds, eight years later she was one of only 35 girls in Mexico City to attend an elite prep school. A natural-born rebel, Frida would let off firecrackers in class and wear men’s clothing to taunt visiting artists. One visitor was world-famous painter Diego Rivera, who was invited to paint a mural in the school’s amphitheatre in 1922. He was 36 and Frida just 15, but she declared: ‘My ambition is to have a child by Diego Rivera.’

Frida Kahlo. Credit: Rex

The pair met again at a party six years later and, despite becoming known as something of an odd couple – her parents called them ‘the elephant and the dove’ (he was immensely overweight) – they married in 1929. He built them adjacent houses, joined by a bridge, and Frida would lock the connecting door when she was angry with him, usually over one of his many affairs. ‘She never got used to his loves,’ remembers her friend Ella Wolfe. ‘Diego never cared. He said having sex was like urinating. He couldn’t understand why people took it so seriously.’

The affair that caused Frida most pain was Diego’s relationship with her beloved younger sister, Cristina, in 1934. Frida described feeling as though she was being ‘murdered by life’ in her painting A Few Small Nips, which is also based on a newspaper account of a woman stabbed by her boyfriend. For a short time, Frida moved out. ‘I suffered two grave accidents in my life. One in which a streetcar knocked me down. The other accident is Diego.’

Openly bisexual, Frida also had extra-marital relationships with both women (which Diego encouraged) and men (which enraged him). Despite their difficulties, they were compulsively drawn to one another. Frida suffered multiple miscarriages and a medically advised abortion as she tried and failed to have Diego’s child, as a result of her pelvic injuries from the bus accident. She portrayed her pain in her painting Henry Ford Hospital, which shows her lying on blood-soaked sheets after a miscarriage. ‘Never before has a woman put such agonised poetry on canvas,’ said her husband at the time. Together, the couple became the centre of art, culture and Marxist politics in 30s Mexico.

Frida Kahlo painting In Bed. Photographed By Juan Guzman, Mexico City, 1952. Credit: Rex

In 1937, Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky and his wife came to live at Frida’s family home, Casa Azul, for two years, after he had been expelled from his country by Stalin. Trotsky and Frida had an impassioned affair (she called him 
‘el viejo’, old man, and he would leave her love notes inside books he loaned her). In Frida’s famous self-portrait Between The Curtains, she is holding a document that says, ‘To Trotsky with great affection, I dedicate this painting November 7, 1937. Frida Kahlo, in San Angel, Mexico.’ Two years later, both she and Diego were suspected, but cleared, of involvement 
in Trotsky’s assassination.

Meanwhile, Frida’s reputation as an artist was growing. In 1938, she was invited to exhibit her work in New York; artist Georgia O’Keefe came to the opening and Hollywood actor Edward G Robinson bought four of her works. ‘She became one of a group of post-revolutionary intellectuals who reinvented traditional culture through a lens of modernity,’ says Adriana Zavala, curator of a new exhibition of Frida’s work that opens at The New York Botanical Garden in May.

Known for her exotic outfits, Frida adopted the traditional costume of Mexico’s Tehuana Indians, with ribbons in her hair. She sometimes wore gold and diamond tooth caps that glittered when she smiled. Refusing to conform to feminine beauty ideals, she would blacken her faint moustache and heavy eyebrows to exaggerate them. When she walked down the streets, children would mob her and ask where the circus was. Her mother had dressed in Indian costume as a child and Frida originally began wearing the full skirts to disguise her withered leg. ‘Indigenous culture was adopted by Mexican intellectuals and Communists to signal their support of native practices,’ explains Zavala. ‘But Frida’s way of dressing was so extreme, it was a form of aggression; she was asserting her will to be different and to flout convention.’

Frida Kahlo. Credit: Rex

Her compelling image is still resonant today. Madonna said last year that when she was a struggling dancer in New 
York: ‘I would look at a postcard of Frida Kahlo taped to my wall, and the sight of her moustache consoled me. Because she was an artist who didn’t care what people thought.’ Even the latest Valentino Resort collection was inspired by Frida’s look. ‘We are fascinated by a character able to live following her own schemes and rules, not subjected to any kind of protocol,’ said joint creative director for the label, Pierpaolo Piccioli.

Frida showcased this independent attitude in Paris in 1939, when she was invited by Andre Breton to show her work. Unwell with a kidney infection, she was missing Diego and reportedly hated the ‘artistic bitches’ of the city’s bohemian cafe society. Nevertheless, her time in Paris was a triumph. Elsa Schiaparelli designed a dress inspired by her, the Louvre bought one of her paintings – its first by a 20th-century Mexican artist – and she even helped 400 refugees from the Spanish Civil War escape to Mexico. ‘They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn’t,’ she said at the time. ‘I never painted my dreams. I painted my own reality.’

Back in Mexico, that reality was to become even harsher. After five months apart, Frida and Diego’s marriage was over – he claimed he ended it to avoid causing her more pain with his infidelities. ‘I understood that for him it is better to leave me. Now I feel so rotten and lonely,’ she wrote at the time. But Diego couldn’t live without her, either. A year later, they remarried, with conditions – Frida insisted on supporting herself and refused to have sex with her husband.

Frida Kahlo photographed by Gisele Freund with her doctor and painting of the two of them. Credit: Rex

Their uneasy reconciliation coincided with Frida’s deteriorating health. From 1944 until her death, she suffered repeated operations on her spine – another consequence of her accident – spending 28 months encased in a plaster corset, sometimes suspended from iron hoops in the ceiling, or with sandbags attached to straighten her back. In 1953, in Mexico, she appeared at her final exhibition, in a huge four-poster bed decorated with skeletons and pictures of her friends, family and Diego. ‘I am not sick. I am broken,’ she said. ‘But I am happy to be alive as long as I can paint.’

Eventually, she was diagnosed with gangrene and her leg was amputated from the knee. Frida, who had occasionally used drink and drugs to cope with the agony of her condition, became even more dependent on them – sometimes drinking two litres of cognac a day and injecting a cocktail of opiates. She tried hard to maintain the Frida persona, wearing red leather boots with gold embroidery and bells to disguise her prosthetic limb, but her depression and despair were obvious. ‘If I were brave, I would kill her. I cannot stand to see her suffer so,’ lamented Diego.

She died in 1954 – whether from suicide or natural causes is still a mystery – but her passing was characteristically macabre. At her cremation, the intense heat of the furnace caused her body to sit up and her hair flame around her head ‘like a sunflower’. The shape of Frida’s body was apparent for a few moments in the ashes. The young girl who had been covered in gold dust was now a silvery skeleton.

Today, Frida remains the world’s most recognised female artist, according to Zavala. ‘There’s a very powerful self-presence in her paintings, but her work isn’t purely biographical: it reflects the politics and environment of her times and that has influenced generations of artists and feminists ever since.’ As Frida herself once said: ‘I used to think I was the strangest person in the world, but then I thought there must be someone who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this, yes, it’s true, I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.’

The Frida Kahlo exhibition will be open at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, from Saturday 16 June 2018 to Sunday 4 November 2018.

The post A Frida Kahlo exhibition has come to London and we’re here for it appeared first on Marie Claire.

Adam is not the true villain of Love Island – Eyal is

Adam is not the true villain of Love Island – Eyal is

There’s an inverse relationship between the number of times a man says ‘I’m deep’ with how deep he actually is. Eyal, my friends, is shallower than my niece’s paddling pool

Eyal has spent much of his Love Island air time honking on about his ‘spiritual side’. He came on the show to forge deep human connections (man) not to score a cheap fondle on a day bed. ‘The biggest thing I bring to a relationship is, like, truth’ he said.

Strange, then, that he spent his first few days chasing Hayley, a woman whom it was clear within five minutes he had absolutely nothing in common with. Ironically it was Hayley, not Eyal, who had the emotional intelligence to realise this. ‘There’s no chemistry’ she said, after Eyal had attempted to fondle her on the day bed, ‘I don’t feel like he brings my personality out, I feel like I’m very boring when I’m around him.’ When she confided to Laura and Wes about this ‘truth’ Eyal flew off the handle. ‘I’m not your hun, hun‘ he spat.

There also wasn’t a lot of ‘good energy’ in evidence last night when Eyal swooped in on an indecisive Megan, pulling her into a kiss in front of poor, unlucky Dr Alex, a move made even worse by the fact that Alex had been singing his rival’s praises to Megan a just a few hours earlier. In a vintage display of British passive aggression, Alex told Eyal ‘that’s not something I would do.’

Eyal’s zen is disintegrating faster than a cheap sarong. There’s an inverse relationship between the number of times a man says ‘I’m deep’ with how deep he actually is. Eyal is shallower than my niece’s paddling pool. He didn’t give a flying fuck what breed of dog Hayley had, just as he doesn’t care if this is the closest his ‘boy’ Alex has come to finding a partner. ‘It’s dog eat dog’ he shrugged to camera, his last shred of beer mat Buddhism vanishing into thin air.

Much has been made of Adam’s ‘Nasty Nick’ status in the house, but I think Eyal might be the true villain of this series. Yes, Adam is a piece of work, but it’s all in an entertaining, pantomime villain kind of way. You can practically see him winking at the producers.

Eyal, on the other hand, is sly. A particular brand of entitled, faux-spiritual-bro we’ve all had a run-in with at some point or another. He’s the guy in the dolphin thong necklace who spends an evening mansplaining the work of Pedro Almodovar to you, even though you’re the person who studied it, he’s the guy who says he finds it hard to connect with ‘most women’ then talks about himself for two hours straight, he’s the one who says ‘what, don’t you trust me?’ when you turn down a one-night stand, who asks you a question then interrupts your answer with ‘you have amazing eyes.’ It’s what’s on the inside that counts, so long as the outside is a size 8.

‘I believe in a past life that I was some kind of monkey’ Eyal said in his intro to the show. If he keeps this up he’ll be spending his next life as a cockroach.

The post Adam is not the true villain of Love Island – Eyal is appeared first on Marie Claire.

The most inspirational takeaways from Marie Claire Future Shapers Live

The most inspirational takeaways from Marie Claire Future Shapers Live

Prepare to be inspired…

Future Shapers Live 2018

This weekend we hosted our annual Marie Claire Future Shapers Live event, in partnership with Neutrogena, taking place this year at Sofitel St James, London.

The Saturday saw 300 career-focused women, of all ages and industries, gathering in the London hotel for inspiration, advice and skills to advance their careers, change direction or set out on their own.

Future Shapers Live 2018

Credit: Joe Burford

This year’s theme was ‘playing to your strengths’,  with a powerhouse line-up of CEOS, entrepreneurs, influencers and career coaches giving killer advice in a series of game-changing talks and workshops, closing with a keynote discussion between MC Editor-in-Chief Trish Halpin and singer and TV personality Alesha Dixon.

Future Shapers Live 2018

Credit: Joe Burford

From talks on starting a business from scratch and Facebook Lives on creating a social media following, to a workshop in coping with stress and a lecture on determining what’s not your job, every session served up practical advice and some very inspirational quotes.

Here are some of the best takeaways from the event…

Future Shapers Live 2018

Credit: Joe Burford

Be fearless:

‘If we eliminated fear, we would fly. The universe only wants good things for us – you just have to be fearless.’ Alesha Dixon 

‘Someone once described me as courageous and it was the biggest compliment I’ve ever been given. You don’t have to be born with courage. If you want it, you can have it.’ Victoria Pendleton

‘The biggest prison we live in is the fear of what other people think – if we change that mindset, we can be whatever we want to be.’ Aimee Bateman

‘Women are socialised to be perfect. We should be socialised to be brave.’ Stephanie Phair

Future Shapers Live 2018

Credit: Joe Burford

Be open to mistakes:

‘We need to redefine the word “mistake” – mistakes are important and necessary, and that’s true in all walks of life – it’s just that you’ll only find that out in hindsight.’ Pavan Ahluwalia

‘I nearly went bankrupt. I remember crying one night because I couldn’t afford to pay £16k in wages to my staff the next day. I had to go and tell them that I couldn’t pay them, and it was humiliating. But it was a huge learning curve and it changed my entire business, because I had to make sure it would never happen again.’ Rachel Flanagan

Future Shapers Live 2018

Credit: Joe Burford

Be authentic:

‘You can’t just copy someone else as you’ll only ever go as far as that person. You have to be you to reach your own potential.’ Sebina Hussain

‘I’ve been told my whole life I need to act more like a boy, which is a bit boring, isn’t it? I’m going to be that feminine person, I’m going to do it my way and it’s going to work.’ Victoria Pendleton

‘Be emotional. Be exactly who you are, and if people don’t like it, they’re not your tribe. What three words do you want people to use to describe you? That’s your brand.’ Aimee Bateman

Future Shapers Live 2018

Credit: Joe Burford

Be open to help:

‘Don’t be a busy fool. I know what I’m worth in my business and every time I put something in my diary, I think “Is that a job a director should be doing?”‘ Rachel Flanagan

‘Be inquisitive. If you’re stuck on a hurdle, ask and people will show you the way. And don’t spend your time doing something someone else can do. You need to be the person who’s improving the top line and bottom line therefore – stick to what you’re good at.’ Anna Gibson

‘Don’t dim your light, shine. It’s ok to be different, we can work together to make collective change. Even superheroes can’t do it on their own.’ Aimee Bateman

Future Shapers Live 2018

Credit: Joe Burford

Be persistent:

‘When you’re a young girl and you have dreams of your future, the path seems clear, but then reality kicks in. I wanted to be a doctor, and I was told that people like me couldn’t do it. I didn’t listen. When one door closes, you find a window with a tiny crack open and you find every bit of strength inside you to shatter that crack and jump through.’ Dr Rosena Allin-Khan MP

‘Let’s not think change happens to us. Let’s take the reigns and be the change makers. That will ensure we are not negatively affected by change – we will be driving the change.’ Brita Fernandez Schmidt

‘You have to communicate why you do what you do. There’s always going to be someone who dresses better than you or uses longer words, but the way you can win is giving people something to connect to.’ Aimee Bateman

Future Shapers Live 2018

Credit: Joe Burford


Be generous:

‘It’s not about pulling the ladder up behind you, it’s about trying to let down lots of ladders to give other women a leg up too.’ Dr Rosena Allin-Khan MP

‘It is such a privilege to be able to help others – we must use that privilege.’ Brita Fernandez Schmidt

‘People will fall in love with you if you give them something to fall in love with.’ Aimee Bateman


Feeling inspired? Come along next year and experience the first hand empowerment yourself.

The post The most inspirational takeaways from Marie Claire Future Shapers Live appeared first on Marie Claire.

Working with Alexander McQueen, by his best friend

McQueen, the must-see Alexander McQueen documentary, is released tomorrow. One of the film’s key contributors is Sebastian Pons, who worked with Lee at his own label and at Givenchy in Paris. Here, Pons tells us the incredible inside story of working with a genius and why he decided to do the film…

McQueen film

Fashion designer Sebastian Pons met Alexander McQueen in 1992 when they were both students at Central St Martin’s. Pons worked for McQueen at both his own house and at Givenchy for years – until Pons left in 2000 to start his own label. He is a key contributor to the documentary film McQueenan intimate portrayal of the late designer’s life – which is in cinemas tomorrow. It tells the story of his early years and traces his career from the iconic early shows to his time at Givenchy in Paris, and the personal demons that led to his tragic suicide in February 2010. Other contributors to the film include McQueen’s sister Janet, and Detmar Blow, the husband of McQueen’s late mentor Isabella Blow.

McQueen film

I first met Lee in the canteen at Central Saint Martin’s. I was in the final year of my BA, and he was doing his MA. He just seemed like a regular, down-to-earth, normal guy. Later on, I bumped into him on the street and he invited me to his [controversial] ‘Highland Rape’ show, and then when I graduated in 1995, he commissioned me to do some prints for his ‘Hunger’ collection. After I saw Highland Rape, I thought he was a genius. I saw him a few days after and I was like, ‘OH MY GOD, congratulations, it was so amazing…’ and he said to me, ‘Sebastian, you’re the only one who liked it.’ I didn’t see the supposed misogyny and the hate for women in the show that all the press were criticising him for. I saw a really raw, shocking collection. Fashion really needed that element. I remember thinking, ‘he did that on practically no money, imagine what this guy could actually do and achieve…’

McQueen film


Then at Givenchy [McQueen was creative director from 1996-2001] after the first couture show we did, again I was telling him ‘that was amazing’, and again he said ‘you’re the only one who thinks that’ [McQueen’s debut for the house received a drubbing from critics].  He was actually very very sensitive. He would put on this hard face, like he didn’t care about anything, but he did. I didn’t know that at the beginning – I really was his biggest fan and I honestly thought the clothes he was doing were just so special. He put that first couture collection together in a month!

McQueen film

Lee had this ability to travel to the fourth and fifth dimensions. When he was talking to us about ideas and concepts, he was so convincing it was almost like he’d seen the idea done already. He’d talk about, ‘the shoulder is going to be like this, the coat is going to be like this’, he had this vision in his mind’s eye, it was like nothing I’ve ever seen. With other designers, I’ve seen them take two or three days to make a small decision about a colour or a sleeve. But Lee had this conviction, and knew instinctively what to do and what he wanted.

McQueen film

To him, the collections were never just ‘Spring/Summer 1996’ or ‘Autumn/Winter 1998’ – of course, it was a business, but he viewed every collection as a new chapter. What new world am I going to show with this? They [critics] hurt his feelings after the first Givenchy haute couture, and he was like, ‘this is like a jungle, everyone eating each other’. And that’s what led to his ‘It’s a Jungle Out There’ collection. With the Joan of Arc show, we were in Paris walking past a building, and he told me ‘you know, she was locked up in that building. I feel so much, I feel for her such a lot’. And then it was, ‘I’ve got it! The next collection!’ He always had to feel something, an emotional connection.

Autumn/winter collections tended to be historically inspired, and spring/summer collections tended to be more urban and modern. I loved the dark, historical ones. What amazed me about him was that I never saw him flicking through books much but he was an expert in fashion history. He could take you to the 16th century, and explain the way the patterns were, then he’d take you to Yves Saint Laurent and explain that…I don’t know where it came from! It’s still a mystery to me. He had a mind of gold, incredibly intelligent, and he could store a lot of information. I remember him telling me the story of kimonos one day – if the woman is married, it’s like this, if she’s not, it’s like that…the way the obis are made…I was like, ‘how do you know all this stuff?!’

McQueen film

I don’t blame the fashion system and the pressure for what happened to Lee. He loved and had a huge passion for fashion. He was on a mission – he was a big fan of YSL and Rei Kawakubo and he wanted to be a major designer. That was in his plan. Problems like depression, Lee didn’t tell me the whole thing. Some things he kept inside. In a way, we were expecting it. We didn’t know it was going to be such a drastic end but there was a danger that something was going to happen.

When I left McQueen in 2000 it wasn’t good, he wasn’t happy and we didn’t talk from 2001-2003. Then I called him and he said, ‘Sebastian – I’ve been waiting for your call for 3 years, where the fuck have you been?’ and we became friends again. We had a conversation in 2009, where we put everything on the table and we had that opportunity to have it all out with each other. And I’m so glad. The last time I saw him, in March 2009, looking back I feel as if he came to say goodbye. At the time my father was ill in hospital and he said, ‘I’m so sorry I won’t be able to see your dad,’ and I said ‘don’t worry, next time.’ And he replied, ‘Sebastian, maybe there won’t be a next time’.

McQueen film

Working with Lee is a part of my story that I cannot erase. When they [documentary directors Ian Bonhote and Peter Ettedgui] approached me about this film, it took me more than a year to decide. I didn’t know who they were and I had to work out if I could trust them. In the end I listened to my inner voice and said yes. I had so many doubts and worries about doing it, but I wanted to celebrate the life and colour of a genius. Lee’s story is my story, I can’t erase part of my life because he’s Lee McQueen and we shouldn’t be talking about him.  I wish people really got to see the person I met and the person I knew.”

McQueen is in cinemas tomorrow, Friday June 8th


The post Working with Alexander McQueen, by his best friend appeared first on Marie Claire.

Lauren Child: ‘I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been asked when I was going to settle down and have a child.’

Lauren Child: ‘I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been asked when I was going to settle down and have a child.’

We sent our roving reporter Rosa, aged 7, to interview the Charlie and Lola author who was at Hay Festival to discuss her role as Children’s Laureate

Rosa interviewing Lauren Child over lunch at Hay Festival

Author and illustrator Lauren Child, 52, is the brain behind the hugely successful Charlie and Lola, Clarice Bean, and Ruby Redfort series. Taking over from Quentin Blake as Children’s Laureate, she lives in North London with her eight-year-old adopted daughter, and her partner, Adrian Darbishire. On a sunny Saturday at Hay literary festival, where Child is one of this year’s headliners, the writer met our intrepid report, 7-year-old Rosa, to discuss feminism, creativity, and why she refuses to discuss her relationship status, over lunch in the artist’s restaurant…

Why are you at Hay?

‘I get cross at the idea of putting everybody in boxes, of always wanting to categorise, because it shuts things down. I don’t love the idea that you have to be particularly talented or good at something in order to do it. As Children’s Laureate I’ve been asked to talk at Hay about things that are important to me. One of those things is creativity and the way it crosses over through seemingly different disciplines like art, maths, and science. True creativity comes when ideas collides.

My other talk is with mathematician Marcus du Sautoy who co-created my Ruby Redfort series [about a precocious 13-year-old spy]. In the books, I wanted to make the problems Ruby is solving really difficult, so I teamed up with Marcus, who created all the problems for the reader to solve. With Ruby Redfort, I wanted to write about a girl, because girls are not often allowed to headline books in the same way as boys. There is this idea that boys won’t read books with a girl in the title. I wanted to prove that you can have a lead who just happens to be a girl. It’s not about “girl issues”, it’s very much a thriller, but also Ruby is very clever. I didn’t want her to be clever and an outsider, I wanted her to be clever and popular so people would want to be her. I want to take away the idea that if you’re good at science and maths that you’re a geek. It’s actually a kind of superpower to be good at those things.

I also really wanted to write about a girl who was good at all those things I would have loved to have been, like maths; and who dares to say what she thinks without worrying what people will think of her. A girl who does what she thinks is right. We live in a very judgey world at the moment. Technology should be about the communicating of ideas; we have all these great devices which can be a power for good but I think they have become about limiting other people’s ideas and shutting down discussions.’

What are your hopes for girls like me for the future?

‘Well, I think as women we have a terrible habit of turning on each other. There’s a lovely bonding and friendship but I do think sometimes things can turn inwards and that can be our downfall. I have stopped reading those magazines that point out people’s flaws. Sometimes women do this more than men, and it’s very easy to do that. Now I try very hard not to. Beyond that, I’m always now counting how many women there are in leading roles, how many books by women there are that are not just seen as ‘for women’. The whole chick-lit label is so patronising. I greatly admire [Thelma and Louise actress] Gina Davies. Her movement in Hollywood is very quiet. She is arguing for 50/50 women on film-sets, and it’s one of those things we can actually achieve in order to make things more equal.

Also, until I had my daughter, I’ve lost count of how many times I was asked when I was going to settle down and have a child. It’s very painful when you’re trying for one. I’m also often asked about my relationship status and my age. I refuse to talk about my age, as if that has some bearing on my status, as if it somehow defines my work and where I am in my life. Also – and this might be controversial – but I would like the word ‘mrs’ to go, altogether. Why do we always have to state where we are with our relationships and men never do? My daughter has my surname and I feel very strongly that that is the way it should be.’

Who is the most important female voice right now?

‘One of the women I’ve admired so much in recent times is Michelle Obama, because she is so much a person in her own right, even when having to stand with someone like Obama – and she definitely stood with him rather than behind him – she was still so much her own personality with her own voice and opinions. She has had a lot flung at her, some really hateful stuff, but she is always rising above it and bearing it with so much grace, without ever sinking. I think how heartening that is, and it reminds me of the importance of doing that if you can. When someone writes something personal about you, you think “why bother to say that?” If someone doesn’t like my books, I can absolutely accept that. That’s fine. But when it’s personal you wonder why.’

What was your favourite children’s book when you were a child?

‘The Shrinking of Treehorn is a trilogy written by the American author Florence Parry Heide, and it’s the perfect match of illustrating and writing. It’s so beloved in America that they have a day dedicated to Florence. It was one of the first books I ever read as a child, it’s beautifully funny. It is also talking about something very important, because adults don’t always listen to children. My publisher in the US told Florence I loved her books and we started writing to each other. My one regret is that I never got to meet her in person before she died.

The second is The 18th Emergency by Betsy Byars. It’s about a boy who is terrified he is going to be beaten up at school. It’s about children talking but adults not really hearing what they’re saying. For a child things aren’t as simple as we as adults think it is, and because of that you often have to go through these things alone when you’re a child. For an adult, however much we want to, we can’t live our lives for our children. It’s a very profound message.’

The post Lauren Child: ‘I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been asked when I was going to settle down and have a child.’ appeared first on Marie Claire.

The best mascara formulas to lengthen, curl and volumise

The best mascara formulas to lengthen, curl and volumise

When it comes to mascara, these are the best in the business…

best mascara

Ah, mascara. Without a doubt the one item we’d hail as a ‘can’t-live-without’ in a beauty version of Desert Island Discs. There’s just something about giving your lashes a bit of oomph with the best mascara that no other cosmetic can quite match (not even your best liquid eyeliner).

Whether you’ve got stubborn, straight lashes, unbearably short ones, or you just want to add a bit of volume to your eyelashes, we’ve tried and tested a job lot of the best mascara formulas and narrowed it down to a few choice buys every woman should have in her beauty arsenal.

Most recently, Glossier launched their first mascara, which is exactly as fabulous as it sounds.

Walk this way for a tour through the best mascaras on the market, old and new, for just about every lash type, and keep your eye out for our Prix Beauty Award winner. We’re sure you’ll leave here with a new beauty best friend…

Best waterproof mascara

Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara, £18, Fabled

best mascara Clinique High Impact Waterproof MascaraClinique’s waterproof mascara accompanies many to weddings, funerals and other important occasions during which crying might occur – because it just will not budge until you take to it with a good eye make-up remover. It has staying power we can only liken to that of a determined customer who camps outside department stores ahead of the Boxing Day sales. Adding just the right amount of length and volume, sensitive-eyed girls will also love it for smudge-free days. One of the best waterproof mascaras you’ll ever try.

Buy Now

Best mascara for length

Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara, £23, Fabled

best mascara Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara

When it comes to the best mascara for a lengthening job, this is a super pigmented game-changer. The thicker brush combs through your lashes to build the length volume of each, unlike a lot of volumising mascaras which clump lashes together for a bolder lash look. The result? Spidery, jet black lashes that are the best finishing touch to any eye make-up look – but especially a smokey eye.

Buy Now

Best mascara for volume

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, £19, Selfridgesbest mascara Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

A mascara called ‘Better Than Sex’ has got a lot to answer for and, fortunately for Too Faced, this one does. We’re talking standout lashes that are both thick and lengthy. What’s more, the helix-shaped wand is great at reaching into those tiny inner corner lashes and bumping up the outer ones. Great for nights out with your best eyeshadow, but is it really better than sex? We’ll let you decide on that one…

Buy Now

Best mascara for short lashes

Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes , £23, charlottetilbury.com

best mascara Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes Mascara

Fed up of using several different mascaras to lengthen, volumise, and darken respectively, Charlotte Tilbury wanted to bring an ‘all in one’ mascara to the masses. And, being Charlotte Tilbury, she did exactly that. The cleverly designed brush catches hold of even the shortest, finest lashes, pushing them up and outwards to enhance your eyes to the max. When it comes to the best mascara for short lashes, always go for Full Fat.

Buy Now

Best mascara for straight lashes

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara, £18.50, Fabled

best mascara Benefit Roller Lash

When Benefit announced they were creating a new mascara, nobody believed it was possible for them to top their best seller, They’re Real. But oh, how we ate our words. Benefit created a groundbreaking brush which hooks onto your lashes (don’t panic, it doesn’t hurt) to ensure they meet their maximum curl and length potential. It’ll coax even the stubbornest straight lashes into a lifting curl that makes your eyes pop. Frankly we wouldn’t be without it.

Buy Now

Best mascara for sensitive eyes

No7 Extreme Lash Sensitive Eyes Mascara, £13, Boots

best mascara No7

It is a truth universally acknowledged that sensitive eyes water and, unfortunately, streaming eyes lead to under-eye smudge for mascara users. Homegrown brand No 7 tends to go in hand with sensitive skin sufferers, and their mascara is the solution to many a weepy-eyed girl’s woes thanks to its uber gentle formula. Plus who doesn’t love a high street price point, really?

Buy Now

Best mascara for length and volume

Dior DiorShow Mascara, £25.50, John Lewis

best mascara Dior DiorShow MascaraLegendary make-up artist Pat McGrath helped create this punch-packing mascara little over ten years ago during fashion week, where she resorted to applying it with a toothbrush on models for proper fluttery lashes. And so it was that DiorShow, the inky-black mascara of dreams, was born. It’s about as close as you’ll get to dramatic lashes without buying a pair of falsies (and a hell of a lot easier to apply, too), so it’s really no wonder that it’s such a crowd-pleaser.

Buy Now

Best smudge-proof mascara

Blinc Tubing Mascara, £22.20, blincinc.com

best mascara Blinc Mascara

Not all mascara formulas are created equal. As well as your traditional, run-of-the-mill fibre mascara there are also tubing formulas, which are a whole different ball game. The slogan says it all: ‘Stop painting your lashes… Tube them.’

Buy Now

Check out a few more of our fave lash-enhancers, from budget to bank-breaking (but worth it), below.

Your eyes will never have looked better.

The post The best mascara formulas to lengthen, curl and volumise appeared first on Marie Claire.

Father’s Day gifts that he’ll actually like (and use)

Father’s Day gifts that he’ll actually like (and use)

Father’s day is just around the corner, so we’ve scouted out the best gift ideas…

Gifts For Him

Struggling to buy a gift this Father’s day? Well have no fear. We’ve rounded up the best Father’s day gifts to get your hands on. You’d think by now we would know what to get and would’ve made some notes from these stylish Christmas gifts for him or the ultimate men’s grooming gift guide – but it gets harder every year.

Father’s Day is a celebration honoring fathers and it gives us a chance every year to show our appreciation for the dads in our lives. And we all want to do our best to show just how much we really love them. Notoriously hard to shop for, dad’s big day is always a bit of struggle. But we’re here with a little help.

We know how important the first man in our life is to us, and sometimes nothing can seem good enough for our lovely dads. But to them it’s the thought that counts and we’ve put all the thought in for you. Whether he’s a sporty dad, more of a clean-cut type, a big ol’bearded guy or maybe he’s just become a father for the first time and could do with being spoiled, there’s something for everyone.

They taught us how to swim and how to ride a bike, and much to our mortification, probably had a good old talking to with our very first boyfriend. But we love them no matter what, and what better way to show it than to buy them a divine tie, a slick pair of shoes or a snazzy travel kit. From old school aviators’ to top of the range aftershaves, we’ve got it covered. Whether you want to splurge or save there’s lots of choices in our epic selection of Father’s day gifts.

Whatever your budget have a look at our edit of the best Father’s day gifts and be sure to take note to ensure he will have a huge grin on his face come Sunday!

The post Father’s Day gifts that he’ll actually like (and use) appeared first on Marie Claire.

This year’s most talked about M&S dress has finally launched

This year’s most talked about M&S dress has finally launched

It’s finally launched

Remember a little while back when I told out about the M&S dress that got so much hype before it even launched (which was great news if you missed out on the M&S constellation dress). Well, sharpen your elbows, because it’s finally launched.

The striped wraparound dress was previewed on M&S’s Instagram account two months ago and quickly garnered over 5k likes and comments.

Users were eager to know when the dress launches (coming soon FYI), because they ‘need it in my life’, while others commented on the pockets and general gorgeousness of it.


Shop now: M&S COLLECTION Pure Cotton Striped Wrap Midi Dress for £39.50 from M&S

Sunshine ready ⛱👙#Happy #Days #style #summer #summer18mands #preview #comingsoon

A post shared by Marks & Spencer Fashion PR (@marksandspencerfashionpr) on Mar 7, 2018 at 7:40am PST

And tbh I can see why. The midi style is super flattering thanks to a tie waist and balloon sleeves, and it’s perfect day dress for both work and the weekends.

For work, wear it with a chic kitten heels, and swap for heeled wedges or espadrilles for a more casual vibe.

In the lookbook shot, it was styled with a cute basket bag which should launch soon too, and I’ve got a feeling it’s going to sell out, so be quick.

Hurry though, it’s selling out fast!

The post This year’s most talked about M&S dress has finally launched appeared first on Marie Claire.

Meghan Markle’s second wedding dress is possibly chicer than her first

Meghan Markle’s second wedding dress is possibly chicer than her first

A Stella McCartney creation

meghan second dress
Photo: Getty

We can all agree that Meghan Markle’s Givenchy wedding dress was well worth the wait, as it was revealed this morning in all its modern elegant glory.

However she might just have topped it with her evening wedding dress, a sleek number created by Stella McCartney (so half the wedding dress designer rumours were true at least).

The white silk evening gown featured a chic high neck and soft flowing skirt and small train, which Meghan held up as she got into a vintage sports car with Prince Harry to head to their evening reception.

meghan second dress

Photo: Getty

This gave us a glimpse of her pointed Aquazurra silky satin and nude mesh heels with baby blue soles.

A statement from the Palace read, ‘The Bride’s evening dress is designed by Stella McCartney and is a bespoke lily white high neck gown made of silk crepe. The Bride is wearing shoes from Aquazurra made in silky satin, with nude mesh, with soles painted in baby blue.’

meghan second dress

Photo: Getty

In comparison, Kate changed into a second McQueen dress for her evening do in 2011, and it was a very princessy strapless ballgown with jewelled belt.

Kate Middleton's Best Dresses

Well it’s a tough call, they’re both beautiful, so the jury’s out on that one.


The post Meghan Markle’s second wedding dress is possibly chicer than her first appeared first on Marie Claire.

‘Do they know each other yet?’ – a royal wedding review by our 5-year-old correspondent Beatrice 👑

‘Do they know each other yet?’ – a royal wedding review by our 5-year-old correspondent Beatrice 👑

‘Is that the one that’s getting married? The one with the orange beard?’

What a wedding! Prince Harry has married Meghan Markle on a gloriously sunny Saturday in Windsor.

Were you one of the two billion watching? Here’ s what our 5-year-old royal correspondent Beatrice Chadwick made of it all.

The guests

On Zara Phillips: ‘Is she going to have her baby at the wedding?’

On Princess Beatrice: ‘People call it RED hair but it’s actually orange’

Guests: ‘Everyone wants to see them. They must have made a long list of people.’

The Queen: ‘I think she looks old. I truly love her.’

Beatrice’s brother Teddy: ‘I like the bridesboys’

Our royal correspondent Beatrice with her little brother Teddy

The groom

‘Is that the one that’s getting married? The one with the orange beard?’

The arrival of the bride

Photo: Rex

‘She’s in a taxi! The girls are behind and the boys are in front’

‘They’ve been driving for a long time’

‘She’ll never get inside! She’s got such a long trail’

Photo: Rex

The royal couple

On Harry and Meghan: ‘Do they know each other yet?’

What do you think Harry is saying to Meghan? ‘I love you forever’

The carriage: ‘It’s like in Cinderella’

Final observations

‘I liked the Queen’s outfit best because of the purple flower on her head’

The post ‘Do they know each other yet?’ – a royal wedding review by our 5-year-old correspondent Beatrice 👑 appeared first on Marie Claire.