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What to Watch, Stream and Read Over the Holidays

In her latest post, Katie Burnett fills your holidays with culture.

Films Worth Braving the Weather to See

American Hustle

You had me at Jennifer Lawrence’s hair. But I’ll also go for Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Renner in this black comedy of con artists and bell bottoms.

The Wolf of Wall Street

I’ll always go when it’s Martin Scorsese and/or Leonardo DiCaprio, but having read the book the film is based on, I am very excited for crazy debauchery and the wild ride it will surely be.

Inside Llewyn Davis

OK spoiler, I’ve already seen this but I will 100% go again when it is widely released. I assumed this film would have all the answers to life, and it pretty much did. It’s beautiful and wonderful and sad and heartbreaking and the music is phenomenal. You’ll be buying the soundtrack from your smartphone before you’ve left the movie theatre.

To Read

Plan B by Jonathan Tropper

I absolutely LOVED Jonathan Tropper’s book This is Where I Leave You but I wasn’t so hot on One Last Thing Before I Go. But, I’m going back to the beginning and reading his first book, about a group of friends reuniting and debauchery ensues.

The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp

Yes it’s a YA book and no I haven’t grown out of them. A lovely story of romance and friendship, and incredibly well written. (And once you’ve finished the book you can check out the film version with Shailene Woodley!)

After Henry by Joan Didion

I should have had you at Joan Didion. That is all you need to know. She’s just beyond. This is a collection of political essays, and they’re all fascinating.

To Stream on Netflix

Smashed with Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron “Jesse Pinkman” Paul

They’re married. They’re alcoholics. It’s Jesse Pinkman. Just watch it.

Winter’s Bone with Jennifer Lawrence

I saw this in theatres a few years ago but it was so chilling and masterful it’s stayed with me ever since. I am definitely re-watching it this Christmas.

Spiral, TV Series

There’s four seasons of what can only be described as my absolute favourite French TV series of all time. It’s a detective series but like none you’ve never seen before. The characters, the stories, the hot French men and women – it’s phenomenal and exciting.

And, as a bonus, my favourite holiday movie of all time (nope, not Elf but that’s up there!)…..

Little Women with Winona Ryder

I mean. Look at them. Look at the snow. Look at their smiles. It’s perfect and you know you want to re-watch it.

Thanks, Katie!

Style | Alexa Chung’s “It”

In her latest post, Katie Burnett tells us how she fell hard for Alexa Chung’s first book. And at the bottom of the post, you could win a copy!

Alexa Chung’s debut book “It” is filled with pictures, anecdotes, and flashes of inspiration from the New York-based television personality and British Vogue contributing editor. Her style is eclectic, vintage, that kind of laissez-faire look that is unrefined yet totally elegant and seemingly achievable. Her outfits are enviable, and finally in this book we get to see all that inspires her.

An amalgamation of sketches, photos and quirky stories of Alexa’s upbringing and fashion experiences, “It” will make you want to dig out old diary entries and photos, buy a brand new moleskin and make your own collage of your life. It’s like the coolest diary ever.

The Anthology and Penguin are giving away a copy! Email to enter. Contest closes at noon on Tuesday, December 17th. You must be in the US or Canada. Good luck!

[UPDATE] Congratulations, Sarah W.! There’s a copy of “It” coming your way. Check your email for details.

A-List | Fiction to curl up with

Amanda writes:

I’m such a big fan of your blog! You have amazing style and I look to you for a lot of my own outfit inspiration. I especially love reading about your travels, from your vineyard trips to outings with your adorable doggy. From a recent book post, I decided to take Glamorama and The Beautiful and Damned on my last trip. Thanks for the great suggestions!

Thanks, Amanda! Hope you’re going on another trip soon because Katie Burnett has compiled another reading list, perfect for fall…

Fall is upon us, and that means it’s back to school and work, drudging through the books and other documents that are forced upon us. Since the weather is turning, and the movies won’t be interesting till Oscar season [except for Looper. It’s amazing! — Kelsey], relaxing with some fiction will be just what you need. Here are four great fiction novels to bury your head in.

1. Play it as it Lays by Joan Didion

Joan Didion is a famed essayist, novelist, playwright, screenwriter and altogether legend. Her books of essays never cease to dazzle and engage me, and her novel “Play It As It Lays” is a disturbingly good look at Hollywood in the 1970’s. A best-seller when it came out, it follows the troubled actress Mariah as she recovers from a breakdown. Slowly but surely we learn about her life in Beverly Hills with her husband, a director, and how a life of glamour and glitz isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.

Further reading: Try Didion’s essays like the collection “The White Album” about life in California in the 1970’s, or what is perhaps her most famous work, “The Year of Magical Thinking”, a harrowing and eloquent book about loss.

2. No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

This is both a formidable film and novel, and I can assure you even if you’ve seen the film, it’s worth reading the book. From the first page it will possess you and I can assure you, you won’t want to put it down! Part of Cormac McCarthy’s “Border Trilogy” novels, this one takes place along the US-Mexico border and follows three very different men – a sociopathic killer, a sheriff, and a war vet – as their lives intersect after a drug deal has gone awry. It is an engrossing and brilliant novel that is so beautifully written, it’s no wonder the author has won a Pulitzer Prize!

Javier Bardem is still hot as a psycho in a funny wig: Even if you’ve seen the film before, it’s worth a watch after reading the novel – the Cohen brothers, in top form as always, did a phenomenal job of capturing the mood and brilliance of the novel.

3. The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud

Set in New York City, “The Emperor’s Children” is a dazzling novel and social satire focused around a group of friends who haven’t quite achieved all they’ve wanted to by 30, and a troubled college dropout who goes to stay with his uncle in the Big Apple. Naturally, trouble ensues as everyone’s lives intersect, and it’s an incredibly multilayered story that is as captivating as it is troubling.

Fun to note: Noah Baumbach has long been attached to direct a film version of the book!

4. Savages by Don Winslow

You may have seen the Oliver Stone-directed film “Savages” this summer, based on Don Winslow’s book, which had its moments, but the book is phenomenal. Completely engaging, the story follows two best friends in California who grow and sell weed, while also sharing a girlfriend. When the Mexican cartels want a piece of them and they decline, their girlfriend is kidnapped, and they have to go rescue her. The book is written in a prose that is super unique and you won’t be able to put this down. In fact, I picked it up at a bookstore and was so into it, I had to sit and read it all in one go. It’s a fun, fast and entertaining read, and even if you’ve seen the film, I promise you’ll want to read the book for more details and twists, and a very different ending.

After you’re done: Don Winslow has recently released a prequel, “The Kings of Cool.”

P.S. Catch up on Katie Burnett’s earlier dispatches, like her recent recommended reads and add to your “When I’m in London” list: Sundays on Brick LaneSaturdays in Camden TownFriday nights at the theatre, and East Coast nostalgia.

Diary | Behind the Scenes of LOULOU Magazine’s Shop Till You Drop Event

Hurry up and wait. That’s show shop business. Along with the team from LOULOU Magazine and my lovely assistants Katie Burnett and Amy Podrasky, I styled the Shop Till You Drop trend presentation at Metropolis at Metrotown last night.

Which meant plenty of backstage beauty touchups.

And pulling $1000 worth of Forever 21 accessories. (Do you know how many $6 rings and $8 necklaces that is?)

Certainly enough to accessorize our models, who wore (from left) True Religion, BCBG, and Forever 21, with shoes from BCBG. Cute, huh?

P.S. For as-they-happen photos follow The Anthology on Facebook and Twitter.

A-List | Must-See Summer Flicks (nope, not the superhero ones…)

In The Anthology’s A-list column (“A” stands for Anthology, in case you haven’t had your coffee yet) we tabulate a few of the very best things in life. Here, writer and actress Katie Burnett shares her favourite summer films…

I love the beach as much as the next person but I can’t do it every day (unless I was in Hawaii. Then I could do it every day. If you’re in Hawaii, go back to enjoying the beach). But when it’s boiling hot and you need an alternative, there’s nothing I love more than an afternoon at the movies. Thanks to crazy publicity and marketing, we know the usual ones that are coming out – Spiderman, Batman, Avengers but let’s not forget there are some brilliant indie movies out in theatres and on the horizon that are also worth your $10.

And hey, they’re usually only two hours, so you can still catch some rays after!

Moonrise Kingdom

Wes Anderson delivers another classic film that is so beautiful, so entertaining, so heartfelt, so funny it is not to be missed. If you haven’t seen it, go now. Like right now. It’s a wonderful story of two 12 year olds who run away together, but it is so much more than that. If you know Wes Anderson, you know all his films are so detailed and artistic you want nothing more than to climb in and be a part of one. I’d personally like to climb into this one and hug Edward Norton. Just saying.

Need more Wes Anderson after seeing Moonrise Kingdom? Check out “The Darjeeling Limited”, “The Royal Tenenbaums” and “The Life Aquatic!”

The Intouchables

Straight from France is The Intouchables. Based on a true story, it tells the tale of a paraplegic man and the unexpected friendship he forges with his live-in carer. Francois Cluzet, one of my French crushes (he joins Jean Dujardin, Guillaume Canet and Gilles Lellouche!) stars alongside Omar Sy (who beat out Jean Dujardin at last year’s prestigious Cesar awards) in this unforgettable film that is one of France’s most popular and most successful. You gotta trust a country that can give us Brie, L’aduree and Marion Cotillard, right?

Looking for more French cinema? Try “Tell No One”, “Little White Lies” or “2 Days in Paris!”

Celeste and Jesse Forever

Come August, I’m really looking forward to seeing Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg as a divorcing couple who try to maintain their friendship while dating other people. Looks messy, looks funny, and it had great reviews coming out of Sundance. Who’s coming with me?

Magic Mike

Okay, so it’s not an indie movie, but have you seen Magic Mike yet? Why not? Come on. Seriously. No, like go right now. DROP EVERYTHING AND GO RIGHT NOW. (And tell your boyfriend it’s because you love Steven Soderbergh.)

P.S. Catch up on Katie Burnett’s earlier dispatches, like her favourite spots in Paris, her list of must-reads, her East Coast nostalgia and her favourite ways to spend time in London —  Sundays on Brick LaneSaturdays in Camden Town, and Friday nights at the theatre.

Trippin’ | When in Paris, How Many Crepes Are Too Many Crepes?

In her latest dispatch by Katie Burnett, a friend, actress and writer living in London shares her favourite things to see, do, eat and drink in Paris.

London to Paris is an easy, breezy 2.5 hour train ride, and I spent a very hot and beautiful weekend there exploring the city. As someone who loves books, I did a bit of a literary tour, and stopped by the old standards like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. No matter how many times I’ve been to Paris, it never gets old to see the Eiffel Tower in the distance!

Cafe de Flore and Cafe Deux Magots
Located right next to each other in the ultra trendy area of Saint Germain-des-Pres on the Left Bank, these two restaurants are both steeped in exciting history as they were hotspots for Simone de Beauvoir, Ernest Hemingway and Jean-Paul Sartre (among others) to gather and rendezvous with other writers, artists and intellectuals. Tea and a croissant will set you back 10 euros, but it’s worth it!

Shakespeare and Company
For North Americans passing through Paris, this bookstore is a must. Beautiful, crammed and elegant, Shakespeare and Company has hundreds of English books on the bottom floor, and a library on the top floor, which is also used for poetry nights. You can’t remove any books from the library, making it that much more special to sit and read them. (Fun fact: Most of the people who work in the bookstore also live there, and my sister’s friend once lived there and wrote poetry in exchange for her lodging.)

Ernest Hemingway’s House
When Hemingway first went to Paris he lived at 74 Rue du Cardinal-Lemoine in the Latin Quarter. It’s in a great area that’s a few steps from cafes and bars (now home to some of the best happy hours!) and a few minutes away from the stunning Luxembourg Gardens.

If you are like me and love sweets, Laduree is a very dangerous place. Stepping in is like entering Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette – and believe me, you’ll never want to leave.

See a French Movie
If your French is up to it, it’s a lovely experience, especially seeing a movie that won’t be out in North America anytime soon, like the Marion Cotillard film Rust and Bone. Or if you’re stuck in North America, try renting the Guillaume Canet-directed Tell No One (yes he’s the hot guy who wasn’t Leonardo DiCaprio in The Beach).

Oh and the answer to the age old question, how many crepes are too many crepes? Easy – as many as you want! How many times are you in Paris?!

[Photos by Katie Burnett.]

P.S. Catch up on Katie Burnett’s earlier dispatches, like her list of must-reads and add to your “When I’m in London” list: Sundays on Brick LaneSaturdays in Camden TownFriday nights at the theatre, and East Coast nostalgia.

The A-list | Great Reads

In The Anthology’s A-list column (“A” stands for Anthology, in case you haven’t had your coffee yet) we tabulate a few of the very best things in life. This list of must-reads is compiled by Katie Burnett, a friend, actress and writer living in London. Now you’ll know what to crack open when you’re done reading The Hunger Games

Is it time for summer yet? I am very ready for some sun, and while I always get into a panic when my TV shows go on hiatus for a few months, it means I can finally pay attention to my very, very large pile of books all begging for my attention. So if you’re looking for some books for the plane, the pool or for fun, here are my picks for summer reading.

1. Just Kids by Patti Smith

I am beyond obsessed with this book about the early beginnings of the “godmother of punk”, Patti Smith. It is a detailed account of her pre-fame life with the artist Robert Mapplethorpe, littered with stories of life in the iconic Chelsea Hotel, nights spent in proximity to Andy Warhol, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and the struggles an artist faces. It is a beautiful, sad, poetic and fascinating book that is not to be missed.

2. Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

Here’s the thing – some people love to run, others hate it. I love to run but it took me years before I could proudly declare it, and I still wake up very sure I should stay in bed instead of lacing up and going outside. But when I’m in my Lululemons, with the right music in my ears, I can go forever. Or, like, an hour. Christopher McDougall’s book is a breathtaking look at the evolution of running, of ultra-marathons, and the people who run them. The author goes down to find a deeply hidden tribe of people in Mexico who are the fastest long distance runners in the world, for whom running is not just recreational but is what shapes their lives. Every chapter is an intriguing feast for the senses, and a constant reminder and inspiration to get on the running shoes and run not just because we can, but because we were born to do so.

3. The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald

If you’re mine and Kelsey’s age then Leonardo DiCaprio was your first and potentially favourite boyfriend, thanks to Romeo and Juliet and Titanic. I am a massive fan of The Great Gatsby and can’t wait to see Leo as the great Jay, but since that’s not coming out till Christmas 2012, why not revisit Fitzgerald’s other classic novels in the meantime? I love The Beautiful and Damned, and how it portrays life in the Jazz Age and the enigmatic world of the elite in 1920’s. If you can’t get anywhere this summer, might as well escape to another era with Anthony and Gloria Patch.

Fun fact – this book has long been thought to be based on Fitzgerald’s marriage to Zelda. Why not check out Woody Allen’s glorious Midnight in Paris and see Allison Pill and Tom Hiddleston recreate Scott and Zelda?

4. Glamorama by Bret Easton Ellis

Bret Easton Ellis books are not for the faint hearted, and you’ll understand if you’ve read American Psycho or The Rules of Attraction (or seen the films!) Glamorama is no exception, as it dives into the world of a 90’s supermodel and is a totally satirical look at celebrity. Victor Ward is a vapid model and wannabe actor who gets involved in a dangerous international model terrorists….sounds nutty, yes, but thoroughly entertaining, especially as Ellis’s attention to detail is amazing to the point of unnerving.

P.S. Catch up on Katie Burnett’s earlier dispatches and add to your “When I’m in London” list: Sundays on Brick LaneSaturdays in Camden TownFriday nights at the theatre, and East Coast nostalgia.

London Town | Anatomy of an 80’s Film

In her latest dispatch from London, Katie Burnett, a friend, actress and writer, takes us behind the scenes of her short film 80’s Vampire Flick

Remember how Heathers was the coolest film ever? Aside from the hunk that was Christian Slater (who didn’t have a crush on him during HeathersPump up the Volume and Untamed Heart?!!), the film had snappy one-liners and incredible shoulder pads, and one of my personal favourite actresses, Winona Ryder.

So, OK, you know Heathers was super back in the day, and vampire stuff is super cool now? And you know how the 80’s are somehow funny, no matter what? Scrunchies, mom jeans, Christina Applegate? What does it all have in common? Well, one day my friends and I decided to stop waiting to see if Spielberg was going to call (any day now) and go out and make a short film.

We decided to make it a comedy. Tasked the writer, I decided to combine my love for 80’s films with the overly popular vampire craze, and make what is now known as 80’s Vampire Flick – a story of five high schoolers on detention, but one of them is a vampire slowly killing them all off.

Tasked with dressing the actors, I set off the ever popular Brick Lane, a place which, if you’ve been reading these dispatches, you know has incredible vintage clothes.

For my character (right), the bitchy Kiki Summers, I went for bright pink with a huge head of fake hair and a scrunchie. For Tristan Brooke, who played Kiki’s all-jock boyfriend Bobby, I went for a letter jacket and cutoff t-shirt, with a bright pink soccer ball, because nothing says 80’s like ironic pink and matching couples…

For Caroline Amer (right) who played Brandi, the head cheerleader who’s in love with the school outcast, I found a little vintage cheerleading outfit that already had MVP etched into the back (found at Rokit Vintage) and curled her hair to the nines.

Jackson Miller, who played Jimmy D, well, he was able to wear all his own clothes…

Roshni Rathore played Virginie French (below), the emo girl dressed all in black, and she had hair teased as high as Kelly Kapowski and some rad orange lipstick to off-set the whole outfit. Nothing says emo like a black cutoff denim shirt, skinny black jeans and black pumps. And nothing says 80’s like some orange lipstick!

Obi Ugoala (left) as Carter Luther is a very, very tall man, but with some specs and Santa braces (suspenders), he suddenly looked shy and vulnerable. Not only was every item of clothing affordable, it was all found on one street – the always incredible Brick Lane!

Special thanks to Sally Miura for make up and teased hair and Laurence Chater for directing!

P.S. Want to keep adding to your “When I’m in London” list? Catch up on Katie Burnett’s earlier dispatches: Sundays on Brick LaneSaturdays in Camden TownFriday nights at the theatre, and her East Coast nostalgia.

London Town | Sundays at Spitalfields

In her latest dispatch from London, Katie Burnett, a friend, actress and writer, shares the secrets of Spitalfields Market…

Remember that adorable film with Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts? Notting Hill was it? Loved it. So cute. Know it off by heart – “I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy” etc. And what huge attraction is in the London area of Notting Hill? The infamous Portobello Market, home of vintage things, antique things, expensive things. But what if you don’t have that much money to spend and are looking for something lesser known? Look no further than Old Spitalfields Market, located right by Liverpool Street.

On Sundays, hipsters, families and fashion editors alike converge down on the market, sorting through the rails of 5 pound dresses for a diamond in the rough, sampling the “best brownies in the world” and checking each other out for fashion inspirations. If you’re only in London for one Sunday and you need to pick your market, make it Spitalfields. While it’s still a very busy market, it’s one a lot of travellers don’t know about. And don’t we all want to return home with a one-of-a-kind item of clothing to make family and co-workers jealous?

For your hunger, try Androuet, the Parisian cheese shop where you can buy a few hunks of British and French cheese, or stay for a glass of wine.

And for those of us without a huge Benefit store in our cities, make sure to stop by and pick up some items you might not be able to get at home! Or for your sweet tooth, visit the rows of reasonably priced and delicious baked goods! The nearby Sunday Up Market will provide more vintage choices than you can handle, and if you haven’t filled up on food from Spitalfields, there will be more than enough choices from the food stalls with cuisine from around the world to tempt you!

It’s entirely possible to bring 20 pounds (roughly 31 CAD dollars) and walk away with an item of clothing, some funky jewellery and a very full belly!

[First photo found here, second photo found here, third photo found here.]

P.S. Want to keep adding to your “When I’m in London” list? Catch up on Katie Burnett’s earlier dispatches: Sundays on Brick LaneSaturdays in Camden TownFriday nights at the theatre, and her East Coast nostalgia.

Say hello to…

Erika Renfrew! Writer, fashion marketing student, and now, intern at The Anthology and Northill.


Erika’s still in school, but she’s got her heart set firmly on the communications industry, and not just any part of the communications industry, but the fashion marketing and writing part. Which makes her a perfect fit and I am so very thrilled to have her as part of the team.

The Victorian-turned-Vancouverite loves dance, music, art, and almost everything creative and cultural. Oh, and also, daydreaming about travel, drinking coffee and doing crosswords.

She joins Liv Hung as part of the Northill team and photographer Braden Paul and writer/actress Katie Burnett as contributors to The Anthology.

So when you see Erika at events, covering shows and/or doing research for Northill’s clients, say hello to her, will ya?

Welcome aboard, Erika!