Along with suncream, sarongs and that perfect poolside swimsuit, a good book is an essential part of your holiday packing. Whether you’re jetting off to the beach, exploring a new city or just chilling out at home, we’ve got the best reads to kick back and relax with.
1. THE PARTY VAYCAY: Animals, by Emma Jane Unsworth
Off on a party weekend away? Get in the mood for some serious mischief by reading Animals on the plane out. Described as ‘Withnail and I with girls’, this novel is a funny, prize-winning tale about two thirty-something women whose wild antics come under pressure when the responsibilities of adulthood set in. Be ready to LOL.
2. THE CITY BREAK:The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan
The sightseeing, local food and endless party options don’t leave much time for reading on a city break – so a book of short stories is just the ticket for reading on-the-go. The Opposite of Loneliness was penned by Marina Keegan while still a Yale student and is filled with engrossing, beautifully written stories that capture the hopes and fears of our generation.
3. THE BEACH HOLIDAY:The Wrong Knickers: A Decade Of Chaos by Bryony Gordon
Lazing around in scorching sun results in minimal brainpower, so we’re opting for something easy and fun. Enter this hilarious book by Telegraph columnist Bryony Gordon, an autobiographical account of the dating, dramas and disasters of her 20′s in London.
4. THE STAY-CAY:The Vacationers by Emma Straub
Stuck at home? Then you might as well read about a holiday! The Vacationers follows a Manhattan family on a two-week trip to the sun-drenched island of Mallorca. But despite the dream location, all does not go according to plan, as secrets come to light and childhood rivalries resurface. We were gripped!
5. THE COUNTRY RETREAT:The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
This dark and mysterious novel set in 1600s Amsterdam makes the perfect story to get caught up in while you’re holed up in a country house. We got completely obsessed with the mysterious novel and not a page turn went without a gasp of breath. Did we mention it also features a cute bird called Peebo? Author Jessie Burton is pretty cool too, office temp turned writer is one serious career change!
Read any good books lately? Let us know by tweeting an 140 character review @topshop.
Tapping into the zeitgeist for all things nostalgic Back to the Future comes roaring into London for a truly immersive cinematic experience set to be their biggest live experience yet. The much-loved ‘80s flick will be brought to life at a very secret London location transformed into the town of Hill Valley and it’s imagined world. The beauty is all in the detail which promises to flash between the ‘50s, ‘80s and even present day where you’ll no doubt encounter timely versions of Doc, Marty and Biff.
Thoughts they were sold out? Worry not, they’ve just released even more dates from August 14th to 31st. What are you waiting for! Get them here.
Fancy a dance? Then get yourself tickets to Eastern Electrics festival where you can spend ten hours straight with your hands in the air and the music turned way up. Starting as an underground rave back in 2007, the festival has now relocated to the vast grounds of Hatfield House outside London and boasts one of the strongest dance festival line-ups around. We caught a quick five minutes with two of the best DJs on the bill – Laura Jones and Monika Kruse.
After falling for house and techno on an Ibiza holiday, Laura Jones started making her own. Problems with her sight made pursuing the DJ dream that much harder, but after perseverance and hard work, she put her name on the map with club hit ‘Love In Me’ in 2011. Since then she hasn’t stopped, playing some of the hottest venues in the world and breathing new life into house classics like Romanthony’s ‘Let Me Show You Love.’ We chatted festival fashion and what it’s like to be a woman in the male dominated industry:
Have you played Eastern Electrics before?
I played there last August on the Just Jack stage and it was great! This year it’s just going to be on the one day so I’ll be able to stay and enjoy the whole thing from start to finish. Excited!
What are you planning on wearing for your set?
Festivals are always a little tricky as you have to prepare for eventualities weather-wise. I’m a big fan of Helmut Lang so I’m guessing I’ll undoubtedly be wearing something from him. I bought a really nice crepe knee-length marine blue dress from there recently so perhaps I’ll wear that with some festival-friendly boots.
Who are your go-to designers?
Alexander McQueen, Alexander Wang and Helmut Lang are my favourite. I’m also a fan of Topshop concessions; there’s one in Oxford Circus called Miwa which is really nice, simple lines with nice cuts, colours and fabrics.
Do you face any challenges as a female DJ?
I do hear the odd sexist remark from people. One girl I met the first time I played in Detroit said men tell her she’s only being booked because of her sex which is obviously not cool at all. I got a little bit of that when I first started out – people didn’t quite take me seriously but that soon changed!
Monika’s DJs career spans some 24 years, making her one of the most reputable DJs in the biz. Classically trained in piano from the age of four, she started DJing during the early ‘90s while still a sociology student in Munich. She’s since racked up a string of chart toppers and her sets span hip hop, funk, soul and early deep and vocal house. We caught up with her on her inspirations and the songs she’s loving right now.
What inspires your music?
Dancing in the crowd, the love of my fans, my mood, the weather. Sometimes it’s easier to write a track if you’re filled with emotions – good or bad. Although a no-go is to be hungry in the studio!
How would you describe your style?
A mixture between sexy and hippy! I always like to be comfortable.
Any style icons?
I love Vivian Westwood.
What’s in your Eastern Electrics survival kit?
Earplugs, homeopathic salts and a smile!
What songs are topping your playlist right now?
“Cassiopaya” by Kölsch and “Cyclo” by Traumer
Catch Monika Kruse and Laura Jones play Eastern Electrics on the main stage on 2nd August. Check out the full line-up here
Summer in full swing, an urge for a good French croissant and the kick-off of street festival, Soirs d’été – these are reasons enough to jump on the Eurostar and head over to our neighbouring capital of deliciousness, Paris! Here’s our whistle-stop tour…
10:00 After arriving at Gare du Nord we wandered down to the ever-glamorous Champs-Élysées for had to sneaky spot of shopping and a must-have taste of some pastel-perfect macaroons at Ladurée for our team back at TopshopHQ. After our sugar fix it was off to visit the iconic Eiffel Tower from the ideal viewing point at Trocadero square. Dreamy, right?
14:00 After our must-see tourist-y moment we had to check out the newest Topshop corner at BHV right in the heart of Paris. We pounded the picturesque streets of le Marais, to get our hands on the latest floral jumpsuit and a classic monochrome shift.
17:00 Next up, to scope out the most buzzed about bar and art gallery near the canal, named “Le Comptoir general”. Retro deco and cosy Parisian vibes made this an ideal place to put our feet up. Stuffed with vintage furniture and hanging palm trees wherever you look, it takes its style cues from old French colonial era with a quirky twist. From screening exhibitions and themed attractions to a record shop it’s a whole world to itself, check the website it’s worth the look.
19:00 Glitter and kimonos on, we let the evening fun begin with the young but booming city festivalSoirs d’été! It’s free, happening right on the Place de la République jam-packed with live music and crowd surfing. Watching from the front row we swooned over the fresh faced Marc Desse and Naïve New Beaters and Friends. The later featuring three energetic boys with hilarious lyrics who bounced around the stage with inflated palm trees. The last but not least, Deluxe and it’s eccentric songstress setting the stage on fire with an electric mix of punk and hip hop.
23:00 Exhausted, we headed back to the lovely Hotel Amour for some hot coco and to charge batteries. We love you Paris!
Don’t forget to follow out dedicated France Twitter page here and find out more about Soirs d’été festival here.
Whether it’s texting, Tinder or that macaroon pic you just shared on Instagram, tech has become a huge part of our everyday lives. But what about the art world? While you might think it’s limited to physical paintings and sculptures, a new generation of artists are leading the way for art on the internet. From online works ‘painted’ with code, to those composed entirely of algorithms, these talents are showing how art can adapt to and engage with new technologies - it’s like visiting a gallery without leaving your desk! Here’s three digital artists you need to know:
1. Graeme Rutherford
Graeme Rutherford‘s code-created work will fill your browser with bold colour and shape. Inspired by everything from relationships to early memories, each piece is available to buy through the domain name it lives on – so while the whole world can view it, art-lovers can own an original and unique design online. Catch his latest exhibition, ‘Still Searching’, at the Neverland Gallery until 15th August.
2. Rafael Rozendaal
Creating digital art for over 10 years, Rafael Rozendaal is an early pioneer of web art. The New York-based Dutch-Brazilian artist creates captivating online pieces, using simple shapes in striking colours that move, bend, and twist continuously in ways that are never the same. Check out his famous ‘Kiss’ displayed on the world’s largest LED screen in Seoul Square – mesmerising!
3. Nicolas Sassoon
Remember the days of Brick Breaker and Pacman? Nicolas Sassoon takes inspiration from vintage computer graphics to create beautifully glitchy pixel paintings. But his art is anything but dated. Using animated GIFs, he creates his own online interpretations of painting and sculpture that live in the online space.
Like the look of these guys? Then head to the sites below for even more digital art:
DevArt - Google’s platform for art made with code, dubbed as a place ‘where technology is the canvas and code is the raw material.’
The Space - A free website that commissions new talent from all art forms, creative industries, technical and digital backgrounds, through regular open calls and partnerships.
Paddles ON!Tumblr and Philips have joined forces with art curator Lindsay Howard to launch Paddles ON!, the UK’s very first exhibition and auction dedicated entirely to digital art.