F Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 literary masterpiece is going to be everywhere in the near future, thanks to Moulin Rouge director Baz Luhrmann's plans to film Gatsby in 2011. Hopefully Luhrmann can find some modern resonances in this Depression-era fable: Carey Mulligan has been snapped up to play female lead Daisy Buchanan; and we wouldn't be all that surprised if Leo Di Caprio, the star of Baz's Romeo + Juliet, bagged the Gatsby role. Any excuse to re-read the book is welcome.
The massive make-up trend for spring 2011, that we already saw a little of this autumn. Models on the runways at Gucci, YSL, Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton all flaunted vividly red, old-world glamour pouts. It requires a level of precision and a perfect base, but it's sexy as hell.
A refreshing antidote to the usual frothy fashion blogs, Trinity student and gal-about-town Ana Kinsella's honest and kooky blog covers her favourite sartorial trends with her own personal style, complete with a pictorial record of herself in eclectic outfits. In her own words she "likes to write about anything that gets people talking about fashion". A typical entry starts: "Sundays are a bit depressing, aren't they? I recommend complementing this by listening to Cat Power and painting your nails black." Prepare to hear a lot more from this online style watcher in 2011.
Ireland's hottest new chef, O'Keeffe did his BA in culinary arts at DIT before heading off to the States, where he appears in the TV programme Private Chefs of Beverly Hills. That show's due to be shown on TV3 this year. Expect some of his mum's favourite recipes, the best of American cooking and easy entertaining ideas for friends. Oh, and the accompanying cookbook. Yum.
Dubliner Darragh Cullen's independently released debut album The Finish Line was a recent Hot Press Pick Of The Fortnight, an achievement made all the more remarkable by the fact that this veteran of several bands is only 15. Cullen's impressive debut, which he wrote, arranged and self-produced, marks the eclectic young multi-instrumentalist – who's been playing since he was eight – as a talent to be reckoned with.
She's just turned 11 years of age. She's child actor Kiernan Shipka, better known to Mad Men fans as Sally Draper, the troubled child of Don and Betty. 'Maddicts' have a treat in store in season four on RTé this month, with young Sal stealing many of the scenes. The frighteningly articulate Shipka says her mother tapes the show but only lets her watch what is deemed appropriate. But she has no problems channelling Sally. "I probably just become her. I'm very 'method' on set."
The brainchild of maverick art collector David Walsh, the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart, Tasmania, is tipped to be one of the biggest exhibition spaces in the southern hemisphere when it opens in January. The three-story structure, built almost entirely underground, will showcase Walsh's $50m art collection. According to Walsh, his aim is to combine avant-garde art with the "best of life's pleasures" which is why he's included a vineyard, top-notch restaurant and eight luxury pavilions for those who fancy overnighting: where else would you send a culture-vulture, gourmand art enthusiast? See www.mona.net.au for more details.
Having flirted with macaroons, OD'd on cupcakes and embraced the whoopie, the next big cake trend is the revival of the old-fashioned cake. "Classic cakes like the Victoria sandwich will come back," predicts Chris Seaby, head of baking at M&S. Anything with butter icing, jam or sugar is okay in our book.
Set to usurp the dress as the fashionista's 'going out' choice, these are going to be everywhere, and in every shape from harem to drop-crotch, and in every material from leopard print to silk jersey. Combine with a tuxedo jacket and tie, in the style of Kate Moss and Leighton Meester, for maximum fashion brownie points.
The prospect of a general election is a deeply depressing one, as the familiar old faces try to delude you they're not just pedalling more of the same. The public frustration with politics is finally taking a purposeful direction, as evidenced by a massive upswing in volunteerism and a willingness on the part of a younger generation to take to the streets and make their dissatisfaction felt. You want change you can believe in? Make it happen yourself.
This witty and fun Donegal-born ex-Trinity student runs a decent fashion blog with a bite. Oh yeah, and she's an international model with over 200,000 fans on Facebook. She's one of the few new models making a successful stab at building her personal brand online, and it's working, especially when she comes up with interactive ideas on her blog, like her poll on Ireland's most influential in fashion at the end of 2010.
We'll be tightening our belts, but we'll be altering hemlines, letting out seams, or maybe even creating our own designer garb too. Sewing will be the DIY skill of choice this year as fabric outlets have finally cottoned on to the fact that people need the skills to work with those cloths, and now offer classes for beginners upwards. Starting mid-January, cost-effective fabric outlet Murphy Sheehy (murphysheehy.com) will host both a one-off Saturday workshop, and an eight-week course in this, the year of the Material Girl (and Boy).
Ten years ago, New York combo the Strokes released their debut, Is This It. They looked sharp, sounded amazing, and reinvigorated rock music after a decade when everyone wanted to be a DJ. They made guitars deeply cool again. In the years since, they've released another two, underwhelming albums. We think they've got another great record in them. This, spring we get to find out if Julian Casablancas and posse still got game.
Not that we'd take any style pointers from Cheryl Cole, but she was ahead of the pack when she went for an auburn hue. Think Mad Men's Christina Hendricks, model Coco Rocha and Jack White's missus, and chanteuse in her own right, Karen Elson (above). And there's Hector…
Beirut? Really? Okay, so it hasn't exactly topped the hot destination poll in the past, but Beirut is back, shedding its warzone image and re-emerging as the Paris of the Middle East, trailing glamour and glitz in its wake. Top hotels are popping up all over the city – Le Gray and Four Seasons among them – and a rapidly expanding design district, vibrant nightlife and restaurant scene has foreigners sitting up to take notice. It's no wonder the Lebanese capital was recently nominated as a destination hotspot by the New York Times.
The enfants terribles of the Irish theatre scene, Shane Byrne, Doireann Coady and Grace Dyas , are barely out of their teens yet attract huge acclaim – including a Spirit of the Fringe award for Heroin – every time they get down to business. Their complex, intriguing and occasionally abrasive scripts address personal and 'now' subjects, making them ripe as commentators on a new generation of creative agitators.
For too long we've watched moodily handsome vampires having doomed relationships with human women on our telly screens. Well now, the zombie, that more relatable everyman of the monster world, is on the march (more a dull trudge, really). The Walking Dead, an ongoing television tale of survival in a zombie-filled world (based on a comic book), was broadcast in November to great acclaim. When it returns in the coming year, everyone will be watching it.
This trendy tattoo studio in Temple Bar has taken its name cue from the London, LA and Miami Ink premises-turned-TV-shows, and is soon to broadcast an online programme of its own. A cool but friendly and open atmosphere is luring all the inked kids in, especially thanks to Connecticut native 23-year-old Raquel Cude's needle skills.
Dublin's hottest new dating craze promises it's NOT a singles event, just one helluva party where everyone happens to be single. According to organiser Grainne McQuaid, men and women want the opportunity to mix in a fun, non-pressurised environment. There's no speed dating, just a fun atmosphere with matchmakers who can help you find your ideal partner or at least get you chatting to the cute guy or girl in the corner; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking to all kinds of influences, from Sesame Street to Studio 54, fashion is turning its back on the form-fitting Mad Men style primness and is embracing a more fluid, hippyish vibe instead with high-waisted trousers, flairs and all manner of browns and mustards. Key designers: Marc Jacobs, Chloe, Halton Heritage and Nicole Ritchie's Winter Kate label (right). Style icon: Ali McGraw in Love Story.
It's not just a big iPhone – global sales pre-Christmas were in the neighbourhood of 10,000,000. This year, however, everyone begins figuring out what the bloody things are actually for. The iPad is a game-changer, a versatile piece of super-smart uber-tech that can be put to an infinitesimal number of uses; Damon Albarn used his to record a Gorillaz album, which he's giving away free – and Rupert Murdoch says it's the future of media consumption. And he knows about these things.
A triumphant closing slot at Glastonbury 2009 might have reminded people exactly why U2 still matter… Instead, it was forfeited (thanks to Bono's bad back) to Gorillaz. Now, even though nothing is being confirmed, their 2010 Glasto comeback is the worst-kept secret this side of the IMF bailout. And, with not one but three – or more – new albums in the can, it's time to light that unforgettable fire once more. Can they pull it off? Absolutely.
The latest European luxury outpost from the Aman hotel group has arrived with aplomb. Occupying the entire island of Sveti Stefan off the Montenegrin coast, the resort offers eight luxury suites in the Villa Milocer with 50 cottages and suites set to open in the near future. You can also expect three gourmet restaurants, a beach café and plenty of serious R&R. A former bolthole for Hollywood elite and visiting royalty in the '50s, it's sure to bring a whole new generation of style victims and celebrities when it opens in April 2011; amanresorts.com/amansvetistefan.
Yes, she's the chick from That '70's Show and yes, she has been dating former child star Macaulay Culkin since 2002, but Ukrainian-born Kunis is a seriously underrated actress. The voice of Meg Griffin in Family Guy, she's brilliant starring alongside Natalie Portman in ballet flick Black Swan and will be seen next as Justin Timberlake's love interest in rom-com Friends with Benefits. She's also incredibly gorgeous.
A date in the diary for art aficionados who like their painting chilli hot: on 12 April the Irish Museum of Modern Art will host a major exhibition of the work of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Their marriage was as tempestuous as their art, while Kahlo also famously coped with childhood polio and then a serious accident which left her disabled. An inspirational example of how great art can be achieved against the odds – and with a unibrow...
It's impossible not to fall for this foppish man-boy actor who has earned zeitgeist credentials (The Social Network) and will add the making of a blockbuster (Spider-Man) to his IMDB filmography this year. Also in 2011, he stars in Never Let Me Go, an adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's Booker-nominated novel, with fellow indie film darling Carey Mulligan, making it the hispter popcorn event of the year.
Remember: 2011 is all about being nice. Although we are fairly excited about the Irish version of Come Dine with Me, on TV3 this March – for too long, we have been campaigning for this to happen – in real life, the formality and inherent competitiveness of dinner parties are giving way to cooler pot luck gatherings, where everyone mucks in with a dish, nobody gets too stressed and a lovely evening is had by all.
Scheduled to debut on Fox in winter 2011, the American version of The X Factor is set to knock American Idol off its perch with all the hallmarks of its UK counterpart, without Louis and Danni. Cowell is currently on the hunt for new blood to make up a rotating panel; rumour has it Eminem, Jay-Z and teen idol Justin Bieber will be involved. A wider age range of contestants and Cowell's promise of 'surprises' for the US version, coupled with his ritual humiliations, promises to make it a ratings winner.
Fans of this New-York based urban blog love it for its cheeky posts on everything from naughty nightclubs in Montreal and Berlin's best art galleries to practical information like where to find a good burger in Paris. Whatever the topic, Gridskipper's snarky writers promise to deliver juicy, edgy content "with an eye on sophistication and playful debauchery", making it a refreshing urban travel guide.
Oh how we'll scoff about the extravagance, the batty Windsors, the chinless wonders, the commemorative tat, and the 'commoners' given a bank holiday to gawp at it all. The 'weally, weally' big question is whether Kate will have to buy her frock in Pronuptia, seeing as she has been given a secondhand engagement ring? Or will it be 'twewibly, twewibly' expensive? Two things are certain: Prince Philip will insult someone and (despite ourselves) we'll be glued to the spectacle…
She cut her teeth as a suicidal teenager in HBO's In Treatment but it was her decision to follow a foppish rabbit down a hole in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland that proved she was anything but a one-part-wonder. Yet Wonderland was but a pitstop: this year, you'll see her take on literary heroine Jane Eyre in a stellar cast that includes Dame Judi Dench and our very own Michael Fassbender. At just 20, the Australian has proved her standing both on the big screen and as one to watch for the future.
Cahirciveen-born, Grafton Academy-schooled, this 32-year-old designer has been slowly but surely making a name for himself with his beautiful handmade dresses, corsages and vintage-style headpieces. He recently opened his own shop in the Powerscourt Centre, Dublin, which is an exquisite backdrop to his wares, and Doody's collection this season is focused around fitted dresses, to which he has added some tailored pieces. One of his biggest sellers is a silk, one-shouldered dress with a sash, which is both figure-flattering and wearable, while still being fairly dramatic.Doody says that his clothes can be worn by any woman, of any age. Amy Huberman is a fan.
It's not that the high street is over – far from it – but one of the plus sides of the downturn means that dropping rents has spawned a slew of little shops, where people are doing creative and interesting things. Horse and June, a new vintage boutique with an amazing bag section on Dublin's Drury Street, and Dolls Boutique on Clarendon Street, are doing just that.
Not that we can tell you where they are, but some of the best parties happening in the capital aren't exactly, well, you know, kosher. The Sound Factory, the Hacienda, and a boat that leaves in the early hours of Sunday morning from somewhere in Dublin are putting the rave back into the night. And the morning. Sorted.
The latest cosmetic enhancement has half of Hollywood at the end of its needle. The new injectable called 'vampire filler' is exactly what it sounds like: it sucks the blood from your body. The platelets from the patient's own purified blood are then injected back in creating a substance that stimulates the growth of new skin cells and collagen. According to the experts it's the 'natural' alternative and the next best thing to a facelift without the price tag or surgery.
The breakout star of RTÉ's Fade Street, model and DJ Vogue's profile has risen substantially more than that of her co-stars. Now branching into acting, 2011 could very well be the year she makes her mark outside of our TV screens and clubs.
This Irish movie boasts a formidable pedigree: it's produced by one to watch Katie Holly (already feted by industry bible Variety) and written and directed by Tom Hall, stepping up to the mark after co-creating much-loved TV series Bachelor's Walk. Sensation gives a first proper leading role to Domhnall Gleeson, son of Brendan: in this twisted love story, he plays a disaffected young Tipperary farmer who becomes the least likely pimp in screen history.
Sincerity is the new sarcasm. We think. Unless we're being sarcastic. It's kind of hard to tell anymore. But what we have noticed is a growing trend in the helping-hand spirit; be it the 'ticketfairy' hashtag on Twitter started by Nialler9 to help people find gig tickets without touts, an increase in volunteering and charity work, or a general surge in community spirit. It's nice to know that when the going gets tough, we should have each other's backs.
What next for one of the interweb's most influential sites? For starters, it's going to be expanding its premium content. What does this mean? Well, it's currently in discussion with Miramax to make its content available, meaning that YouTube is going to become a worldwide channel in its own right and no longer just the domain of skateboarding dogs and lightsabre-wielding nerds. And, given the recent release of internet-ready TVs, you'll soon be able to search for exactly what you want from the comfort of your livingroom.
Generally found playing surprisingly proficient tight-trousered stadium rock in small pubs and comedy clubs, comedy quartet Dead Cat Bounce have already recorded a series of clips for BBC Online and had a Movember hit with 'Every time you Shave a Moustache Dies'. Their future looks bright (and moustachioed).
After 'recession obsession' tomes, watch Irish publishers fall over themselves to publish the definitive chronicle of How It All Went Down: blow-by-blow accounts poring over every excruciating detail of the events leading to the arrival of our new best friends at the IMF. Anticipate insider accounts, on-site reportage and a litany of j'accuse, along with any number of RTé documentaries shot, cut and soundtracked to look like remakes of The Shining.
Longford-born McKeon is best known as an arts correspondent for the Irish Times: for the last few years, she's been based in Brooklyn, New York, where she's been studying in Columbia, writing plays, contributing to publications like The Paris Review and, most recently, programming a poetry festival for the Irish Arts Centre. Next: the publication of her debut novel, Solace, due in August. She's been snapped up by Picador for a two-book deal, and shares a literary agent with Colm Toibín.
The advent of low-cost airlines brought a hedonistic crowd to the Estonian capital in the early 2000s. Since then, this medieval town has been stag-party central. But beyond the binge drinking is a really beautiful city, and as European Capital of Culture in 2011, it will get a chance to showcase its creative spirit to the world. This coveted honour has given more than 40 countries a serious tourism boost and with something happening every day in Tallinn in 2011, from street theatre to music festivals, there's every reason to make the four-hour flight.
"First thing's first, I eat your brains." That's how hip hop's new queen kicked off the verse of the year on Kanye West's 'Monster' in 2010. Although her debut record Pink Friday leans to a poppier sensibility, Minaj has aggression, humour, bite and daftness at the core of her sparkling rhymes. While she occasionally borders on cheesiness, it's her prowess as a unique voice in rap that will sustain her.
Ridiculously cool actor who won the hearts of every nerd on the face of the planet after her turn in Tron: Legacy. And we can sort of claim her as our own, since her father is the Irish journalist Andrew Cockburn. This year she'll star in Butter with Hugh Jackman and Cowboys & Aliens alongside Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig and Sam Rockwell.
We're so over possessions and moving towards owning and consuming less. We want to play nice and share, whether that's with music (check out Soundcloud), urban gardening collectives or the myriad swap shops that are springing up everywhere. To be truly liberated, take up the '100 things challenge', whereby you whittle down your possessions to 100 items or less.
This 27-year-old performs both as a solo stand-up and with Dublin comedy team Diet of Worms. His day job is writing, often with writing partner Níal Conlan (bassist in indie band Delorentos). 2010 was a good year but Langan is now concentrating on working with RTé towards getting a comedy series commissioned in 2011 following on from the success of the team's Dublin Stories, and will also co-write and produce a play for staging in September. The recession? You've just gotta laugh, says Langan.
He's not a new name in fashion, but this year is when Tim Ryan becomes a massive one. Loved by magazines such as Vogue and selling extremely well in shops such as Browns Fashion in London, Ryan's designs have a wonderful sensuality and intimacy to them. TV presenter Sonya Lennon is a devotee, and for anyone who thinks that wool cannot be sexy, Ryan dispels this notion absolutely.
The fact that MCD was able to sustain a seemingly neverending video game exhibition (Game On) in Dublin's Ambassador in 2010 shows the demand for nostalgia when it comes to gaming. As gaming grows old, plenty are going back to its roots, with vintage gaming stores popping up around the capital – for example RAGE, a record and gaming shop that replaced Road Records on Fade Street, Dublin.
Lead singer Guy Garvey has been described as having a voice like an angel and the face of a brickie: whatever about the latter, you only have to listen to the haunting laments of 'Tower Crane Driver' to be rocked in your seat. The Mercury-award winning band bring their signature sound to the O2, Dublin, in March, so if you fancy being soothed and moved by Mancunian lullabies, get yourself there on 31 March for what's expected to be one of the best music gigs of the year.
Traditionally, US remakes always fell short of the mark when it came to TV drama, but that has all changed. The Office and Life On Mars are testimony to how something can be redone well, even if it's done brilliantly in the first place. Throw in some new HBO series into the mix like Game Of Thrones and David Milch's (Deadwood, John From Cincinnati) Luck, starring Dustin Hoffman, Nick Nolte and Irish actress Kerry Condon, and you've got a television schedule that's simply (Yankee doodle) dandy.
Nice satisfying slices of bluesy folk from this head-turning Irish singer songwriter whose soulful voice recalls a less fragile Regina Spektor. Her downbeat style, which rambles slowly through each tune, is oddly captivating, showing a level of depth we haven't come across for a while in an Irish songwriter.
While Ireland can hold its own in terms of glossy mags for women, there has been a sad dearth in the market of similar publications for men. But not any more, now that Irish Tatler: The Men's Issue has been launched, under the editorship of Alexander Fitzgerald, a graduate of London School of Economics and former editor of Irish Interiors who has written for numerous newspapers too. He also models with Morgan the Agency, although he says he is easing into semi-retirement at this stage, and he has great hopes for the new quarterly mag. "The response to the first issue has been extremely positive, which is very encouraging," he says.
After many years of thinking that the more vertiginous the heel, the better, the return of the kitten heel – in the fashion wilderness since the late '80s – is a shock to the system. Nonetheless it's what high-end designers like Jimmy Choo and Manola Blahnik are dictating. Very feminine, very feline, but actually not as easy to wear as you think.
The most eagerly anticipated comeback of 2011 promises to be special. Pulp's moment in the sun was brief, yet glorious: 'Common People', lest we forget, was the Britpop anthem to end them all. Jarvis Cocker, fresh from an Other Voices bash in Dingle, is finally willing to be a pop star again. Oxegen is on the cards.
Ross Lewis has one. Kevin Dundon has one. So has Neven Maguire. But this year this hottest of appliances moves from the Michelin-starred kitchen to the everyday domestic one. The Thermomix not only weighs and mixes, it also simmers, steams, cooks and, as a result, no professional chef would be without one. All the same, at a whopping great €960, you might need to own your own restaurant to afford one…
The creator of the Oscar-winning Once has been biding his time following his international breakthrough, developing a variety of projects, some of them for major Hollywood studios. His most intriguing proposition is a return to the land of Once, sort of: he recently held some low-key casting sessions in Dublin, seeking unknown musical talent for a new project, for a possible spring shoot.
Legs 11, two fat ladies, clickety click... Bingo is back and coming to a field near you. Well, a field in Meath to be exact, but the word is, it's catching. Apparently the smoking ban is said to have been the catalyst for this new craze of drive-in bingo. Players sit in their cars, smoke, drink and talk and when they win, simply honk their horns and the winnings are handed through the window... Eyes down, hands on the horn.
Since the conflict of the Maoist insurrection, the Nepalese government has been working hard to usher in a more peaceful era. And with 2011 being Nepal Tourism Year, it anticipates one million visitors before the year is through. Watch this space for new hotels, airports, sustainable eco-tourism, new trekking routes, enhanced infrastructure and an all-round number-one holiday destination on the horizon.
Taking Gandhi's adage "the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others" to a whole new level, couchsurfing.com is a clever network that connects over one million travellers with locals in over 230 countries with the aim of "creating deep and meaningful connections that cross oceans, continents and cultures"; plus it provides the twin benefits of helping you save your hard-earned cash by kipping on someone's couch and allowing you to live like a local.
These amazing Parisian identical-twin male breakdancers are redefining the genre. They brought their Parisian street style to the US and have left folks scratching their heads ever since. Highly complicated, sometimes high-camp moves seem to defy both gravity and physicality, and YouTube videos produced by Yak Films are gaining them a huge following.
The TV event of 2011 – an epic fantasy series from American TV giant HBO – has been filming in Belfast since July. Based on a series of bestselling novels by author George RR Martin, Game Of Thrones is a tale of bloody familial disputes in an elaborate medieval-ish universe: think The Sopranos meets Lord Of The Rings. The cast includes Sean Bean, alongside homegrown talents Aidan Gillen and Conleth Hill. The geek set are already salivating.
Performing for the first time in Ireland at Other Voices, Calvi's remarkable guitar playing blew those seated in the pews away. Since then, she's featured in the BBC Sound of 2011 longlist, her debut album is out on Domino this month and she plays Dublin's Workman's Club in February. Nick Cave and Brian Eno are fans.
One of the few things we look forward to getting in our inbox every day is the latest discount from Citydeal, which offers deals on everything from restaurants to beauty therapies to Harry Crosbie's wheel in Dublin's docklands. What most people don't realise is that Groupon, the company behind Citydeal, was recently the subject of a €4.5bn bid by Google only two years after it was set up. What's even more amazing is it turned it down. The company makes money by keeping a slice of the money from each deal and already has 35 million users.
These primary school teachers turned emotionally smart guitar and drum duo are clocking up some impressive support slots ahead of their debut LP release this year. 'Go Easy' is a hit and their album looks set to drop this year, choc full of lyrically smart tunes that swirl from the bombastic to the subtly beautiful.
The announcement of Limerick woman Emily-Jane Kirwan as the Irish commissioner for the 2011 Venice Biennale felt like a bold statement of intent. Kirwan has been carving a formidable reputation for herself on the dog-eat-dog NYC art scene for the past decade, championing noteworthy Irish talent at every given opportunity. Upon appointment, E-JK promptly nominated sculptor Corban Walker to represent Ireland at Venice: Walker is handled in his adopted New York by the legendary Pace Gallery, where Kirwan is a director. Call it smart synergy.
Dave O'Connor is the most popular DJ on the best radio station in the country right now – regional phenomenon iRadio (i102-104FM in the west and northwest, i105-107 in the midlands). This particular success story has bypassed the national media, but the JNLR figures are through the roof. Dave (AKA The I Jacker) is the station's morning DJ, a veritable comedic whirlwind who, alongside fellow jocks Fergal D'Arcy and Mary McGill, enjoys a formidable cult following. This is radio as it should be.
One of the biggest fashion trends for spring/summer 2011 is going to be biker all the way – military is so over. Next year you will mostly be lusting after Burberry (the new collection is called 'Heritage Biker'), whose jackets have been given zipped sleeves; Balmain, which showcases a grubby and distressed look; and Moschino, which comes with safety pins and studs.
Too many amazing food apps, too little time. Smart phones are amazing for anyone interested in food. Sites like Epicurious (28,000 recipes and counting), Ask the Butcher (where you can learn about various cuts of meat and how to cook them), or the Fast Food Calorie Counter are just for starters. From calculating tips to restaurant reviews to supermarket offers and beyond, these will whet your appetite.
As a performer she's like a female Prince, and we all know how good her music is, but Atlanta's new Princess of Out-there Funk also wins in the style stakes with a tailored monochrome-all-the-way sartorial approach. Tuxes, capes, blazers accompany her rocking pompadour hairdo.
Ten years to the day after online retail giant Net-A-Porter was founded comes the hot new menswear arm of the company. The first global shopping destination of its kind, Mr Porter will launch in January and will feature over 60 top menswear labels including Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Gucci and Lanvin and some serious style advice for the menfolk. Having changed the way women buy designer clothes, it hopes to do the same for men who, let's face it, often regard shopping as a chore rather than a leisure pursuit; mrporter.com.
The spring/summer 2011 catwalk shows were all about urban informal elegance as models at Bottega Veneta, Temperley, Lanvin and Georgio Armani shows stepped out with shower-wet hair. Slicked back or effortless beach-inspired hair, the trend for 2011 is the 'damp' look. According to hair genius Guido Palau it was as though "girls were rushing to work and letting their hair dry naturally – chic and effortless". That's all very well but we live in Ireland so until the sun decides to stick around it's back to blow drying. For the shower-wet look, try Kiehl's Just-Out-Of-The-Shower Hair Gel.
Irish comic-book mainstay Nolan is the co-creator of cult sensation Sancho – he's just signed a five-book deal with O'Brien Press to create a series of graphic novels for kids: the first one, The Big Break Detectives, features characters originally created for Irish language comic Ri-Ra. Depending on who he's drawing for – he also does a monthly science-related comic strip for The Irish Times – his work is sweet or deeply twisted. Can it be long before Hollywood snaps up Sancho for the big screen?
Some say it's overrated, some say 'it completes them': whatever you think about Apple's much-hyped 4G iPhone model, it's becoming stuck to the ears of the population quicker than you can say 'smartphone'. The thinnest phone on the planet, the 4G model has over 100 new features including in-phone movie editing and a front-facing camera for video calls, and will set you back a cool €600.
We're burnt out from information overload. We cannot finish reading an article online before tweeting about it. Actually, we can't finish an article online, full stop. Might we direct you towards the Freedom app. It locks down your internet for eight hours, giving you time to think, create or whatever before allowing you online again.
The summer of 2011 is so packed-to-bursting with mega-budget high-concept product that blockbuster burn-out is a serious possibility. Prepare yourself for Transformers: Dark Side Of The Moon, Mission: Impossible IV, Fast & The Furious 5, sequels to Cars and Kung-Fu Panda, the final Harry Potter, the beginning of the end of Twilight, comic-book epics Cowboys And Aliens, X-Men First Class, Green Lantern and Thor, plus a fourth Pirates Of The Caribbean flick and a Smurfs movie. Most of 'em in 3-D.
The Cork-based furniture designer is currently exhibiting his latest works with New York's Todd Merrill Contemporary Studio at Design Miami. Self-taught and passionate about his craft since opening his own studio in 1999, Walsh works predominantly in native Irish hardwoods such as elm, walnut and sycamore. Since his elegant, modern chairs and dining tables now feature in museums and embassies around the world, it looks like his designs are about to go stellar.
The Australian model, with her gap-toothed smile, is as much in demand on the Victoria Secrets catalogue as she is in the pages of Vogue and she's also feted for her great personal style – check out her blog jessicahart.net/blog, where she regularly posts updates of her recent fashion triumphs at sickeningly glamorous events all over the globe.
Its Gareth & Bev cartoon series has been shown everywhere from Qatar to Mexico and it won two gongs at the Digital Media Awards, but Dublin-based animation company Kavaleer is now focusing on its new animated series So Mortified. It's being developed with the distribution company behind Twilight and with Super RTL, the Disney subsidiary. It's also working on a new pre-school series dubbed Bedheads, which will focus on interactive content.
Considering they haven't released any decent music in years, expectations may be understandably low for solo projects from the mono-browed Mancs better known as Noel and Liam Gallagher. That said, critical reaction was surprisingly kind when Liam unveiled the first recordings from new band Beady Eye. Considering the younger Gallagher isn't renowned for his songwriting abilities or his decorum, expect the lyrics on Beady Eye's album Different Gear, Still Speeding (due 28 February) to be scrutinised for digs at his older brother. Noel's response should follow later in the year.
Where Twitter is all things to everyone, Ping may well be the new social network for music chatter. Cashing in on its massive iTunes database, Apple's music-oriented social network, which launched in late 2010, allows users to share music, review gigs, recommend albums and follow their favourite artists and other friends on Ping. It may be just another attempt at reaping the social network rewards but Ping is already drawing a niche audience of music lovers. Watch this space.
The most eagerly anticipated film of 2011 is the long-delayed fifth movie from reclusive legend Terrance Malick, the publicity-shy Texas-born enigma who's only made a handful of pictures in a career lasting 40 years. His latest creation, set to premiere at Cannes, is still clouded in mystery, save to say that it's a tale of fathers and sons starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn.
If anyone is going to keep our spirits high as we muddle through these dark economic times, it's freelance graphic designer Fergus O'Neill. His project grandgrand.bigcartel.com is where you'll find some of the finest, Irish, motivational posters, such as 'Keep Going Sure It Will Be Grand' and 'Feck It Sure It's Grand'. He's promising to give €1 back to the state for every poster sold and his objective is to sell 42 billion posters, thus helping to solve the banking crisis.
It would be lazy to describe him as the next John Rocha, but the 26-year-old designer from Derry has been making waves internationally in a way that suggests his career trajectory will be in line with Rocha's and could even surpass him. The son of rugby legend Willie Anderson, he's loved by the New York Times and Vogue amongst others, and a strong Irish influence is evident in his designs – his collection last season was all about Louis Le Brocquy.
A new HBO drama is always a 'looking forward to' event and this prohibition-era Atlantic City-set series promises to combine the period glam of Mad Men with the gangland violence of The Sopranos and the street-wise cool of The Wire. So, bootleg liquor, jazz age sounds, and flapper dresses – and if that's not enough, the creative team includes Martin Scorsese, Terence Winter and Steve Buscemi. Good-looking, gripping and coming to Sky television.
We all need as much help as we can get in these recession-addled times and consumer website saveafewbob.ie is all about helping the value-conscious consumer – and, unfortunately, that means everybody – manage funds, spend wisely and maximise on budgets. Adopting the know more, spend less philosophy, the site combines surveys, advice, offers and trends on anything from crèche costs and energy saving to the best credit cards and health cover, helping you get better value on everyday savings: it's going to be the bible for a long time to come.
Bang-on-trend zine edited by journalist Alanna Gallagher and delivering need-to-know fashion, beauty, interiors and other noteworthy style events to your inbox every Wednesday. The Street Style section is especially good, giving Grazia and The Sartorialist a run for their money.
At just nine years' old, actor Will Smith's daughter has a Beyoncé-sized hit on her hands, and Jay-Z thinks she could be the new Jacko. Take that, Bieber. Who cares if she doesn't go to school?
Two new films out this year, Black Swan and Emily Blunt's The Adjustment Bureau, are calling us to the barre. Fashion-wise, the Chanel spring/summer 2011 show was ballet-inspired, while at Marchesa and Ungaro, tutus were out in force. Hair wise, the fashion pack's favourite do, the topknot, is set to be replaced by the classic ballet bun.
Presenter of Following Fade Street, Behan, aka Platinum Jones, is one of the hardest-working DJs in the media. His DJ skills, which began at SPY, have seen him take up regular slots at Andrew's Lane Theatre. Most recently he supported Shakira at the O2.
The rise and rise of the online store continues unabated. Asos's latest development is a sort of cross between eBay and street-style photography, where sellers can take a pic of themselves and then resell their clothes, with a 10% fee to Asos. While it's not an option for Irish retailers yet, it may be further down the line; marketplace.asos.com.
Granny-style crockery will be a very big interiors trend this year and the best thing about it is that it doesn't have to cost very much. Scour charity shops, look on eBay, or raid your mother-in-law's diningroom – the more mismatched, the better. For a more sophisticated take on it, check out Lou Rota's reclaimed vintage plates from notonthehighstreet.com.
The love affair with Botox has finally faded, with even the most ardent of its celebrity devotees (the Minogue sisters in particular) no longer favouring the injectible. Those in search of non-invasive procedures that really work are seeking out Fraxel, a laser treatment that promises rejuvenated skin. The Clinic on Sandymount Green, Dublin 4, offers the treatment under sedation, making it painless.
Last year, Spanish festivals like Primavera and Sonar and Serbia's Exit were the ones to go to but this year, the emphasis is on small and very intimate gatherings like No Place Like Dome, which takes place at Temple House Estate, Co Sligo, from 17 to 19 June, where nothing is available for sale (you barter instead, à la Burning Man) and fancy dress is essential.
Crowd-pleasing in the extreme, this London outfit will provide your feelgood soundtrack for 2011. A little bit punky, a little bit Beach Boys, they don't have any gigs lined up in Ireland this year but no doubt will appear on the festival circuit.
Colour authority Pantone has declared this the 2011 colour of the year, so expect to see it cropping up a lot in interiors as well as in fashion. Why this shade? Pantone's Leatrice Eiseman says: "In times of stress, we need something to lift our spirits. Honeysuckle is a captivating, stimulating color that gets the adrenaline going – perfect to ward off the blues."
Stephen O'Leary took a risk in leaving his job at a sports management agency to set up his own project, O'Leary Analytics, but it's beginning to pay off. The company analyses the social media response to various events; everything from the Tiger Woods scandal to the launch of the iPad. His data has featured all across Irish media, on the BBC and in the Washington Post.
It's about going beyond the farmer's market and seeking out mushrooms, wild greens, nuts and berries. Clearly, it's economical but it's also great fun and will help you get in touch with the countryside. Laviston House in Kilkenny gives foraging courses. Richard Mabey's classic 1972 book Food For Free still remains the definitive guide.
Save the planet and improve your health by abstaining from meat one day a week? Non-profit initiative Meatless Monday gained a lot of momentum last year and foodie website epicurious.com says that as the proportion of people eating no meat or less meat grows, meat-free days will be on the calendar more than once a week.
What we're really looking forward to: The Pale King by David Foster Wallace. The American author passed away in 2008 but the publication of his unfinished novel, which was found among his papers, is going to be one of the year's highlights. Also on the 'must-read list' is Caitlin Moran's How To Be A Woman, in which the witty journalist promises to reclaim feminism for a generation.
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