Now and Later
By Neshmeen Faatimah
Still think leather (or shiny gold) overalls are out of fashion? How about peplum skirts, Peter Pan collars and wide leg flared pants? Still think black is the most fashionable colour out there? Disgusted of crazily bright head-to-toe patterns? Of parrots? You are in for a surprise. See, this is why RS is here to help you. You know, to keep you up-to-date with the crazy happenings in the world of fashion. Admittedly, the hotshot designers out there setting the trends these days are complete cuckoos in the head. The only way to survive now is to embrace whatever is out there, give off the impression that you know what you're doing and occasionally pretend to be blind so you don't have to look at yourself in the mirror and... become blind.
One of the biggest trends this season is colour blocking. Solid blocks of various coloured fabrics are sewn together in innovative patterns to create clothing with a differentiated design. This time around, bold opposites on the colour wheel (think hot pink and vivid orange; cobalt blue and neon yellow) are put together to create the widest contrasts possible. Everything from tops to accessories to pants, shoes and makeup are colour blocked, making it playful, fun, bold and simply awesome. Do not be scared of this trend - it's the safest one out there. Small tip - keep it to a maximum of three colours at a time in order to make sure you don't look like a silly rainbow. While we're on that topic, neon colours are ruling the world now. Along with everything else that's bright. So next time you laugh at that girl with the neon orange outfit, slap yourself hard. Then be ashamed that she's trendy and you're not.
Some people have been having lots of fun with Photoshop - that much is clear with so many extreme new prints in style. It's honestly difficult to describe these vibrant, fanatical swirling whirling blinding dazzling head-to-toe patterns. Futuristic, geometric, oversized florals, giant polka-dots, military, tartan, plaid, oriental, fantasy, baroque, fruits, bears, ducks, sparrows, crows… you get the point. Not too safe to try out the original versions of these in this country. But if long kameezes with subtle-bold prints can be accepted, why not prints ten times as superior in colour and make? Pair loud prints with super simples or divide the original ones by thirty three hundred and sixty five and you'll be fine. After all, we don't want to be called crazy.
Androgynous clothing is also in, but that won't be elaborated on, for the sole reason that not many women in this country need to be taught how to man up their clothes. Instead, we move on to pants, footwear and bags. Wearing ordinary jeans will no longer work if you want to keep some self-respect intact. You need to put colours in those pants. Coloured pants are just epitomes of fashion now, springing up in more and more cities across the country. You won't have any trouble finding these in stores, so why not start already? Late is still better than never. If you're the extreme kind, you could cut some of it off, loosen a few sections. Then add some patterns. Stripes and leopard prints. Leather and metallic. Refer to the bit with the maths again and you'll catch my drift.
Chunky block heels and wedges are back and heel-less platforms (the really scary, physics-defying ones) have been added to the list. You can't go lower than five inch heels this season. Bid farewell to comfort, feet that don't hurt and healthy backs.
What was, years ago, a working man's asset, is now women's arm-luxury. Gladstone bags, or doctor's bags, as they are also known, are small suitcases built over rigid frames. Why would women resort to these as fashion symbols, you ask? To answer that question, simply ask the first woman you see on the road to list out the contents of her handbag. It's assumed that she will have her whole life packed in there. But there is always a space-problem; you just cannot carry an extra pair of heels and a million makeup kits inside a small clutch. It's just not possible! Enter small suitcases.
Laugh as much as you want. Don't believe me when I tell you that this is the situation in the fashion world. Don't believe the pictures (all products of super-expensive brands, mind you) either. You will be seen wearing them a few months later. Or maybe not.
LEONARD COHEN: OLD IDEAS
Have you ever listened to a song and just wondered how the artist is so amazing? With Leonard Cohen, that happens with every song. For those of you not in the know, Cohen is a 77 year old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer whose graceful and powerful voice has endeared him to fans spanning at least three generations. Now, many of you might be a bit cynical when it comes to trying out old music, but here's the catch, it's not old music at all. He is still churning out album after album and his new release Old Ideas is as Cohen-y as it gets.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the songs, here's something about Cohen that might surprise everyone. He writes most of his own songs and even without the music, it can stand alone as brilliant poetry any day. His albums usually have a set theme to it and this one's no different. Almost at the twilight of his career (I hope he carries on for a 100 more years, though) he ponders about nostalgia, sorrow, love and endings. The album came out in early January 2012 and consists of 10 tracks.
The album starts off with 'Going Home', which will be familiar to Cohen fans as he uses the ever-present female vocals to complement his own, epic voice. As we go down the list, though, Cohen surprises us as always by playing some fun bluesy tracks as well. The highlight of the album is when he belts out 'Darkness' and 'Crazy to Love You'. This is Cohen at his finest and to enjoy his music fully, I suggest reading the lyrics too. Because then the sheer enormity of his genius hits us.
As the album draws to a close, so does his diction, which saunters past all the things in life to the inevitable end waiting patiently: death. The last few songs 'Lullaby' and 'Different Sides' give off a morbid feeling, as if it's the end of the road. Technically speaking, we can't fault Cohen anywhere even if we tried. From his lyrics to the slow, graceful music and his god-like voice: it's all brilliant. That is what makes this probably one of his best albums yet.
The real shame is that a lot of people don't really know about Cohen and his amazing works. Music is about taste and Cohen might not be everyone's cup of tea. But there is a chance that after listening to him singing once you just might fall in love with his voice. He doesn't just sing songs; he weaves stories into them that we can all relate to. For seasoned Cohen fans, this is a must. And for those of you who don't listen to Cohen, give it a shot. You will probably be soon looking through YouTube for his older stuff: that is if you haven't started downloading his discography already.
MUST LISTEN TO TRACKS:
DARKNESS * ANYHOW * COME HEALING
(BASICALLY, ALL OF THEM)
DARKSIDERS 2: DEATH LIVES
You are bored, and you want nothing but to have some fun. So you turn on your PC, go to wherever necessary and download a movie, which looks complete rubbish on the posters and screen shots. You relax on your chair, prepared for a movie that is going to be “it's so bad that it's good” and two hours later, you give a Facebook status like this: “ABCDXYZ is THE MOST amazing movie I have seen in AGES!”
Wrath of War followed a similar path. Before it was released in 2010, no one knew “Vigil Games” and scepticism surrounded the game. But, Darksiders defeated all expectations; it was one hell of a badass game!
Darksiders 2 was released with an immense burden of expectations. It being a sequel and the publisher, THQ, constantly losing money, some people thought maybe Darksiders 2 would not be able to bring anything new to the table.
They were wrong.
Unlike the original, Darksiders 2 is a hybrid of RPG and Hack n' Slash, with an inventory system that puts most hardcore RPGs to shame. The story follows the original game in parallel, featuring Death, the most iconic of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Death is on a quest to aid his brother War, the protagonist of the original game, where War, an agent of the Charred Council, battled both Angels and Demons on the ruins of Earth to restore balance. The Charred Council is the guardian of balance of the Three Realms: Heaven, Hell and The Kingdom of Man. But during a premature apocalypse, their use of War frames him as the bad guy responsible for the end of the world.
Naturally, Death now tries to help and ventures deep into the mystery of the three realms and unintentionally confronts his own past guilt.
The script is fantastic and with a voice cast to be cherished, the game comes to life. But aside from the story, the other highlight is Death's weaponry. He wields his traditional scythe, which can be split into a dual-wield weapons capable of some really awesome looking combos; add to that, there are also some “possessed weapons” that can “feed” on other weapons and get stronger as the weapons themselves level up. The expansive open world and side quests will have you playing the game for a good 25+ hours. The soundtrack follows a similar pattern to now legendary “Skyrim”; although there are some sparks of blood boiling scores, generally the ambient music will soothe you while you explore.
There are some drawbacks though. The combat is not as satisfying as the original, despite the cool combos. While the bosses go down easily, the mini-bosses give you a tough time. The skill system of the game is generic, and falls into the grey area between good and bad. The same cannot be said for the outdated engine; constant frame stuttering and loading freezes are a regular ordeal for console users as well as PC users with not-so-beefy rigs.
Overall, Darksiders 2: Death Lives is a good game with a good story, which is all you can ask for. Despite its shortcomings, Darksiders 2 does a brilliant job of it and is entertaining to the end.
* Vigil initially wanted the franchise to have four games for each horseman; but THQ told them that the third game will only be considered for production if Darksiders 2 sold at least at a satisfactory level.
* The game has been leading in video game software sales for August, 2012. Eat that THQ!!