Monday, 28 July 2014

Curated On Film: Shorthaul Destination Cinema

In the seemingly endless window of time between booking a holiday and arriving, nothing builds anticipation quite like settling down to watch a film in which your chosen location plays a starring role.

Whether it is a raucous road trip or couple's holiday, a beach-side retreat or a city break, taking in a plot weaved around your holiday destination also serves a practical purpose, with the potential to both uncover new, must-see sights and excursions for while you are there and make visiting the sites and attractions which appear in the plot even more fun.

Here's our edit of some of Europe's most popular destinations recently depicted in English-language films.


Midnight in Paris (2011) - pictured above

Woody Allen is truly one of the kings of destination cinema. And, true to his customary style, in Midnight in Paris the city plays such a key role that it is almost a character in itself. From the raucous and romantic Latin Quarter, to the towering majesty of the Palace of Versailles; the lazy flea markets to the grandeur of Musee Rodin, a seemingly never-ending list of Parisian highlights feature within this dreamy film. 


Marie Antoinette (2006)

If nothing else, Marie Antoinette is a stunning visual love letter to the Palace of Versailles and shows it at its resplendent best. From the sun rising over the perfect symmetry of the Grand Canal, to introducing a degree of humanity to the palace's rooms, which are otherwise missing from the museum sets in the palace we know today (take Marie Antoinette waking up in her sumptuous bedroom with a raging hangover, or the awkwardness of the couple's first night together in their bed chamber), this film is packed with sneak peaks into France's most famous palace and gardens which visitors are unlikely to witness themselves, and makes the short trip from central Paris to Versailles an absolute must-do.


Hanna (2011)

Finland, Morocco, Germany - the locations list for 2011's Hanna is both diverse and impressive. In fact, locations were so important to director Joe Wright that the film's finale was even re-written to incorporate one he felt implored to feature: Berlin's Spreepark. The eery beauty of this abandoned theme park, which lies gathering dust in the middle of the city's Treptower Park, receives significant airtime in the film's adrenalin-surging finale.


A Good Year (2006)

While thin on plot, anyone who has dreamed of starting a new life in the French countryside will on a surface level identify with this film, which takes in the stunning countryside and romantic lifestyle which this region is so celebrated for.


Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona (2008)

La Sagrada Familia, Casa Mila, Park Guell...this film's set list boasts some of Barcelona's most iconic sights. And what's more, the sexually-charged storyline contains themes many travellers can identify with: from the sense of self-discovery that travel commonly provokes, to the differences that can become more pronounced between close friends during the pursuit of adventure.


The Tourist (2010)

While the plot is by no means Oscar-worthy, The Tourist follows a storyline which anyone who has travelled alone and found themselves making friends with a stranger, or daydreaming of a more exciting purpose behind their journey, will find romantic. While the storyline also takes in Paris, the climax of the film takes in Venice. Showcasing the city both by day and night, and taking in numerous highlights - including St Mark's Square and the Venice Guggenheim - it showcases the romance and glamour of this essential Italian destination.

We'd love to hear about your favourite films depicting holiday destinations - let us know in the comments section below.

- Abigail

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Stylenotes: Timeless Style

Unknown source

To trend or not to trend? 

This has been the question on the lips of many for some time now. Every season the major fashion trends are swaying in two distinctly different directions: there will be a loud and proud, everyone knows from a mile away you're wearing it trend and then there will be a 'trend' that is simple, minimalist and classic - hang on! Is this a trend at all? Is this not just a timeless style that girls have been wearing for years and will continue to wear long after the next issue of Vogue tells them its not 'cool' anymore?

I, myself have for a while now been thinking more about building up a capsule wardrobe of classic items that won't date (although I find it hard to resist print temptation). I have a list in my head that I mentally check off when the wardrobe staple item falls into my internet browser. Here is the Summer edition:

  • The perfect T-shirt (one in white, light grey, charcoal and black please). This is proving difficult to find; one must consider the quality of the material and how it will wash, the length (not too long, not too short. Must sit just there), the cut of the sleeves and the neckline.
  • The black dress. This one is currently evading me. I finally thought I had found the dress of my dreams by Won Hundred in ASOS but low and behold, it had sold out in anything remotely near my size. My ideal black dress falls to mid-calf length, is perfectly tailored to fall loose from the body and has a button-up fastening and a neat little collar. It would look just as appropriate for off-duty as for work and could be worn with flat sandals and bare legs in the summer and layered up for the colder months.
  • The floppy hat. Every outfit looks better with the flourish of a nonchalant hat. Wide brims and beekeepers styles work best, proving the finishing touch to everything from simple jeans and T-shirt combos to flowing vintage kimono dresses. The perfect hat instantly makes everything better - even a bad hair day.
  • The denim shirt.The ultimate everyday essential, my mission this autumn is to collect an array of styles for every occasion: fitted, oversized, bleached and indigo. Doubling my denim (take care to mix washes) is one of my favourite looks, although I also have a penchant for loose denim shirts in summer paired with miniscule printed shorts.
  • The Birkenstocks. The shoe of the summer and one of 2014's biggest non-trends: the Birkenstock is simple, practical, comfortable and the perfect wardrobe staple for the warmer months. On my wish-list sit both the black and the white pairs - although I will never be tanned enough and careful enough to wear the white. Teamed with everything from summer dresses to cropped jeans and flowing culottes, the Birkenstock instantly adds an effortless air.
  • The stripes. A timeless breton stripe is my all-time favourite print. Whether it's an oversized T-shirt dress (I would walk on hot coals to get my hands on the one pictured below) or a well-fitting tee (recently purchased in bulk from Zara), fresh white stripes will instantly freshen up your wardrobe.


Sunday, 20 July 2014

Listography: Location Location Location

 Nate Zoller for Herschel Supply

I love to travel. As cliched as that sounds, nothing pleases me more than the anticipation of visiting a new place. I settle down with a newly purchased guide book, recommendations from friends and my trusty pal, the internet and make a loosely structured plan of what I want to see. 

There's a messily edited page in my notebook that lists the places for which my heart yearns. Some of these are constants; places that have been on my wish-list for years. Others are recent additions. Here are my top six.

 Hello America

1. America.
I'll begin with the one that's been on my list for decades. I've always wanted to visit America. When I was a child, I was jealous of school friend's trips to Florida. My teenage years found me craving the Big Apple. Now the list goes something like this: Oregon, Washington, California, Louisiana, New York State and Texas (for starters). 

The ultimate trip would be cruising along the highways in an RV; parking up whereever took our liking and eating under the stars. I want to run down gigantic white sand dunes, hang out in Portland, hike through dense forests, swim in Lake Tahoe, admire the view at Big Sur, go whale watching, walk around Haight Ashbury and drive down endless roads.

Guided by Cereal

2. Bristol/Bath
There are so many corners of the UK that I have yet to visit. Of all of those places, the South-West has been calling my name, Bristol and Bath in particular. 

Both cities seem to have a lot going for them both aesthetically and culturally. There's inspirational street art (See no Evil), feats of engineering (the Clifton suspension bridge), spas fed by natural hot springs, beautiful local countryside (not to mention the proximity of Stonehenge) and impeccably curated independent shops (Found). And only a train ride away!

Unknown, via Pinterest
3. Iceland
Everyone I know who has visited this lonely isle (Abigail included) has raved about it's otherworldlyness. There's nowhere else quite like it on earth. One of the reasons that Iceland appeals to me so is the diversity of the landscape and of the potential activities. One day you could be lazing in the blue lagoon, the next exploring the shops, bars and galleries of Reykjavik, followed by chasing waterfalls, hiking across glaciers and volcanic sand, whale watching in stormy seas and gazing down at the place where two tectonic plates collide.

Colourful toy towns, the northern lights, some of the most striking scenery on the planet and a thriving creative community beckon.

Unknown, via Pinterest

4. Provence
This one has been partially covered, as I spent two very brief days in the region en route to Barcelona earlier this summer. These fourty-eight hours of early morning markets, fresh water lakes, picturesque villages and jaw-dropping views have only stirred up an existing wanderlust for this southern French region.

I would love to visit in the height of lavender season; driving through the countryside from town to town, basking in a sea of purple fields. 

Unknown, via Pinterest

5. Scandinavia
The only issue that I would have planning a Scandinavian retreat would be choosing whether to visit Norway, Finland, Sweden or Denmark. All four countries have a deep allure, based around a fusion of dramatic landscapes and that distinctive Scandinavian design aesthetic that creeps its way into everything from interior design to fashion and art.

Proximity to water always appeals to me when planning trips; fjords and archipelagos beckon strongly. 

She Loves Mixtapes

6. Edinburgh
Back to the UK and up north to a Scottish city that I'm sure would steal my heart. Edinburgh seems to have it all: thriving nightlife, independent shops, interesting architecture, proximity to the sea and a mountainous surrounding.

August would be too obvious a time to visit, the city bustling with the festival crowd. Instead, I would love to trawl the cities streets and admire the views in Autumn, amongst a sea of sunburst hues.

Saturday, 19 July 2014


Welcome to Assemblage; a gathering of ideas, inspiration, places and things.

This is our space to talk about what inspires us, share our writing, exhibit the work of others that we find aesthetically pleasing and to take you on a journey into our world.

-Emma & Abigail