Tuesday 18 June 2013

Royal Ascot Dress Code 2013 ...

Non-race goers might look to the Royal Ascot as a source of annual sartorial entertainment, however the dress code is more complex than simply 'oversized headwear'. To prevent any fashion faux pas' from occurring, the organisers at Royal Ascot have created a handy - and chic - video to advise racegoers on putting together an Ascot-appropriate look.
Beware though, those who go off-track with the strict guidelines will not be allowed entry to the Royal Enclosure. Ascot is not like the Grammys were one can defy the dresscode and still gain entry .
See the comprehensive list of guidelines below:
Royal Enclosure
Ladies are kindly reminded that formal day wear is a requirement in the Royal Enclosure, defined as follows:
• Dresses and skirts should be of modest length defined as falling just above the knee or longer.
• Dresses and tops should have straps of one inch or greater.
• Jackets and pashminas may be worn but dresses and tops underneath should still comply with the Royal Enclosure dress code.
• Trouser suits are welcome. They should be of full length and of matching material and colour.
• Hats should be worn; a headpiece which has a base of 4 inches (10cm) or more in diameter is acceptable as an alternative to a hat.
Ladies are kindly asked to note the following:
• Strapless, off the shoulder, halter neck, spaghetti straps and dresses with a strap of less than one inch (2.5cm) are not permitted.
• Midriffs must be covered.
• Fascinators are no longer permitted in the Royal Enclosure; neither are headpieces which do not have a base covering a sufficient area of the head (4 inches/10cm).
Gentlemen are kindly reminded that it is a requirement to wear either black or grey morning dress which must include:
• A waistcoat and tie (no cravats)
• A black or grey top hat
• Black shoes.
A gentleman may remove his top hat within a restaurant, a private box, a private club or that facility's terrace, balcony or garden. Hats may also be removed within any enclosed external seating area within the Royal Enclosure Garden.
The customisation of top hats (with, for example, coloured ribbons or bands) is not permitted in the Royal Enclosure.
(Admitted on Friday and Saturday only)
Girls (aged 10-16) should be dressed for a formal occasion. Smart summer dresses are suggested. Hats, headpieces or a fascinator may be worn but are not compulsory.
Boys (aged 10-16) should either dress in accordance with the gentlemen's dress code (as set out opposite); or alternatively may wear a dark-coloured lounge suit with a shirt and tie (whereupon no hat is required).

Ladies within the main Grandstand enclosure are encouraged to dress in a manner as befits a formal occasion. Ladies are kindly asked to take particular note of the following:
• A hat, headpiece or fascinator should be worn at all times.
• Strapless or sheer strap dresses and tops are not permitted.
• Trousers must be full length and worn with a top that adheres to the guidelines above (i.e. strapless or sheer strap tops are not permitted).
• Jackets and pashminas may be worn but dresses and tops underneath should still comply with the Grandstand Admission dress code.
• Midriffs must be covered.
• Shorts are not permitted.
Gentlemen are required to wear a suit with a shirt and tie.
Girls (17 or under) should be dressed for a formal occasion. Smart summer dresses are suggested. Hats, headpieces or a fascinator may be worn but are not compulsory.
Boys aged (13-17) should wear a suit or jacket with a shirt and a tie. Younger boys (12 or under) should be dressed smartly but are not required to wear a jacket or tie.
A final note
Fancy dress, novelty and branded/promotional clothing are not allowed on site.
Tickets are on sale now for Royal Ascot 18- 22nd June www.ascot.co.uk

In The Telegraph / http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/videos/TMG9952680/Royal-Ascot-2013-dress-code.html

Royal Ascot fashion 2012: hat horrors

Ascot Style Guide

Monday 17 June 2013

The Secret World of Haute Couture BBC Four.

The Secret World of Haute Couture BBC Four
Margy Kinmonth meets millionaire customers and world-famous designers as she explores the anachronistic but little-explained pocket of the fashion industry known as haute couture.

The Secret World of Haute Couture. - BBC Documentary

Saturday 15 June 2013

Remembering the Anna Wintour / The Devil Wears Prada / The September Issue ... question.

The Cameras Zoom In on Fashion’s Empress

“The September Issue,” a documentary about the creation of a single, very fat issue of American Vogue in a far-off gilded age (i.e., 2007), has little to say about fashion, the real ins and outs of publishing or the inner workings and demons of the magazine’s notoriously demanding meanie-in-chief, Anna Wintour. Rather, this entertaining, glib movie is about the maintenance of a brand that Ms. Wintour has brilliantly cultivated since she assumed her place at the top of the editorial masthead in 1988 and which the documentary’s director, R. J. Cutler, has helped polish with a take so flattering he might as well work there.
To judge from the flurries of behind-the-scenes evidence, however, if Mr. Cutler did work for the exacting Ms. Wintour he would still be doing reshoots. Shot on digital with an eye for sumptuous color by Bob Richman and briskly edited by Azin Samari, the 88-minute movie opens with Ms. Wintour explaining that “there is something about fashion that can make people very nervous.” Certainly she unnerves her staff, as you soon see from all the huddled bodies and popping eyes. Even the more self-possessed, like Candy Pratts Price, seem in the grip of awe. Is Ms. Wintour the “high priestess” of the magazine, an off-camera voice asks. “I would say pope,” Ms. Price says with a queasy smile.

Many will grasp this distinction, having already watched supplicants kiss the ring in the 2006 film “The Devil Wears Prada,” with Meryl Streep as a thinly disguised, fictionalized and Americanized version of Ms. Wintour. Etched in acid and often hilarious, the performance, while not wholly modeled on Ms. Wintour, helped humanize her public profile, lessening the sting of the original book, a roman à clef by one of her former assistants, Lauren Weisberger. The documentary continues this humanization largely by showing Ms. Wintour very hard at work, rather lonely and sensitive about her British family’s low opinion of fashion. She’s a poor little rich girl swaddled in fur and iced to the bone.

She’s also pretty funny, perhaps at times accidentally so. Much of the movie’s pleasure comes from the utter ease with which Ms. Wintour plays the Red Queen of fashion and orders off with their heads (and even tummies). In the case of the British actress Sienna Miller, the cover girl for the September 2007 issue, which gives the movie its structure and hook, the head in question receives the 21st-century version of a severing: it’s Photoshopped to unreal perfection. However lovely, Ms. Miller proves a problematic Vogue ideal for the editors, many of whose own faces are somewhat surprisingly scored with wrinkles. It’s a mark of how pitiless Ms. Wintour can come across that you end up feeling a bit sorry for Ms. Miller.

In truth Ms. Wintour was just doing her job. Yes, there’s cruelty here, but of the most attenuated kind: she says no, employees tremble. The strongest, like the flame-haired Grace Coddington, the magazine’s longtime creative director and the documentary’s hugely diverting stealth star, seem to have figured out how to survive with their dignity intact. Most of the truly ugly stuff in fashion — the models starving themselves, the exploited Chinese workers cranking out couture fakes and the animals inhumanely slaughtered for their fur — remains unnoted in “The September Issue,” much as it often does in Vogue. And while the movie shuns any overt discussion of money, it includes an instructive scene of Ms. Wintour playing the coquette with one of the magazine’s important advertisers.

Of course it really is all about money. Despite being crammed with glossy images of beautiful, weird, unattractive, ridiculous and prohibitively expensive clothes and accessories, Vogue isn’t about fashion: it’s about stoking the desire for those clothes and accessories. It’s about the creation of lust and the transformation of wants into needs. Almost everything in this temple of consumption, including its lavish layouts and the celebrities who now most often adorn its covers, hinges on stuff for sale. Some of that stuff comes with a price tag, but some of it is more ephemeral because Vogue is also in the aspiration business. Mr. Cutler doesn’t notice or doesn’t care about any of that, which makes his movie as facile as it is fun.

Given this, it’s no surprise that Ms. Wintour is doing her part to flog the documentary: she gave a party in its honor and recently appeared on David Letterman’s show, with and without her signature sunglasses, her glazed stare and tight smile firmly in place. The movie affords you many opportunities to marvel at the parsimony of that smile and wonder if she’s as bored as she looks, even while waiting for an agitated Stefano Pilati, the creative director at Yves Saint Laurent, to show his newest collection.

“That’s pretty,” she says, in a voice so drained of affect it’s a wonder he doesn’t commit seppuku with his scissors. You feel bad for Mr. Pilati, but it’s Ms. Wintour’s hauteur that makes you laugh and keeps you willingly at her side.

“The September Issue” is rated PG-13 (Parents strongly cautioned). Some understandably nasty words.

The September Issue

Opens on Friday in Manhattan.

Directed by R. J. Cutler; director of photography, Bob Richman; edited by Azin Samari; music by Craig Richey; produced by Mr. Cutler, Eliza Hindmarch and Sadia Shepard; released by Roadside Attractions. Running time: 1 hour 28 minutes.

Think the boss in The Devil Wears Prada was a total monster? Well she was even scarier in real life

She was the girl who wrote the book which became the film. She had Anne Hathaway playing her, Meryl Streep playing her tyrannical boss, and a world aghast at the, let's face it, sheer ghastliness of what life was really like in the fickle world of fashion magazines.
If revenge is sweet, then for Lauren Weisberger it was a double spoonful as her debut novel catapulted into the New York Times' bestseller list, was translated into 27 different languages and sold to 31 countries, before the film adaptation went on to gross more than $300 million worldwide.
The Devil Wears Prada was the story of a young girl, fresh out of university, working in New York as an assistant to a fashion magazine editor who possessed a frosty leadership style.
When she wrote it, Lauren had just left her job after 11 months as an assistant to American Vogue editor Anna Wintour, who possesses such a frosty leadership style she is known as Nuclear Wintour.
Seven years on and Lauren still looks a touch shell-shocked by the commotion she caused. 'I don't think anyone can ever be prepared for that level of attention,' she says.
'I was just excited that someone wanted to publish the book and that I could tell my family they could actually buy it in a store. But for it to sell and have it made into a film, too, was a complete whirlwind for which I wasn't prepared.'
Tall with coltish limbs and long blonde hair, 33-year-old Lauren does not physically resemble the darkly beautiful Hathaway. But wearing the tiniest trace of makeup, she looks like she's just stepped out of a Gap advert.
She plonks herself down at the table in the cool but not-too-cool Pastis restaurant in New York's Meatpacking District, looking most definitely not a part of the high-gloss Devil Wears Prada world.
Her jeans and sweater have been selected on the basis of comfort rather than label and the only vestige of the high fashion world she briefly inhabited comes in the shape of the Chanel sunglasses perched on her head.
She corrects the assumption that Hathaway was playing her  -  'she was playing Andy, the character in my book'  -  but the parallels between Lauren's tenure on Vogue (in 1999 and 2000) and Andy's stint on the fictional Runway magazine are too delicious to ignore.
In The Devil Wears Prada, Andy Sachs, a smalltown girl, lands a job as PA to Miranda Priestly (played by Streep).
Miranda  -  the stick-thin, steak-eating editor of top-selling New York fashion magazine Runway  -  is by turns capricious, thoughtlessly cruel, wildly extravagant and demanding, dismissing minions not with a 'Thank you' but with an abrupt: 'That's all.'
So terrifying is she that no one will ride in the lift with her and she issues impossible demands to her brow-beaten (though immaculately attired) staff.
As her new assistant, Andy forms a friendship of sorts with Miranda's senior assistant Emily (played by Emily Blunt) and though her job is fraught (the endless latte runs to Starbucks in high heels; the constant worrying about her weight when compared to the sylph-like beauties who populate the office), Andy also benefits from the perks of the job such as taking her pick of the designer clothes in Runway's heaving fashion cupboard.
When Emily gets sick, it is Andy whom Miranda commandeers to accompany her to the prestigious Paris fashion shows. But after realising that the more she has blended into Runway's world the further she has moved away from her real life, in particular her boyfriend, Andy gives up her job and, in that highly American fashion, becomes true to herself once more.
Though Lauren has over the years remained tight-lipped about her time working at Vogue for Anna Wintour (stick-thin, steak-eating and with a nickname like Nuclear Wintour, probably not the chummiest of bosses to work for), today she is in a more relaxed mode.
'It wasn't a one-to-one portrayal [of Wintour],' she says. 'But of course my time at Vogue informed the book, there's no denying that.'
Lauren, like Andy, would never have dreamed of getting in the lift with her boss, and though terribly slim, she still felt dumpy next to her pin-thin Vogue colleagues, saying: 'I knew I was tall and thin, but I was short and fat there.'
Where she differed from Andy was that she 'never got to raid the closet because I never had time, although the other girls did and they wore the most fabulous things to parties. And I never went to Paris. French Vogue provided Anna with assistants when she was over there.
'And unlike Andy I couldn' t force myself to wear high heels. It was expected of me, but I ran all day, all over the office, up and down the building 1,000 times and to Starbucks six times a day, so there was no way I could manage even a 2in heel.
I wore these horrible, black platform boots with a thick rubber sole because there was no choice. And even though for a couple of weeks I made the boot-to-high-heels switch under my desk, I just had to forget it in the end. She would stare at them in disgust and it was a stare that conveyed her displeasure pretty clearly.'
The 'she', in this instance, is pretty self-explanatory.
'People have said it was "boss betrayal", but that wasn't what it was. I worked there for a year and it was a hell of a year  -  crazy, exciting and hard.
'I left the job to work for a travel magazine and took a writing class at night. I'd had this crazy work experience which not a lot of people had had, so I wanted to write all the stuff down that was in my head. I hadn't even intended for it to be a book.
'When it was published, people kept saying "It's so brave of you to write this", but it wasn't bravery  -  it was stupidity and complete naivety. I didn't think anyone would read it, let alone have an opinion on it. Had I known about all the fuss that would ensue, I would have been paralysed. But people attributed things to the book that I hadn't intended.'
Still, her tenure at Vogue certainly provided Lauren with ample writing material. 'The strangest thing about my time there? Wow, how can I pick?' she grins.
' How they believed it was acceptable to show their midriff in the workplace and how they'd come in to work wearing leather trousers, stiletto heels and furry tops [Lauren, it must be said, hails from rural Pennsylvania].
'They wore the most outrageous outfits and even though they all
looked fabulous in them, it was hard to think of any other corporation where that would have been acceptable. They'd go to the filing cabinet dripping in jewels and even though I was there for almost a year, that aspect of the job continued to amaze me.'
Was there ever any comeback from Wintour or her people?
'No, not a thing. But what sent the biggest message of all was that silence. The book was getting so much hype and so much publicity, but not a single Conde Nast publication [Vogue is published by Conde Nast] mentioned a word  -  not my name, the title, anything, and that pretty much told me where they stood on that.'
So popular was The Devil Wears Prada that when The September Issue  -  a film documentary following the real goings-on at American Vogue  -  was released last year, many believed that Anna Wintour had only agreed to be the subject of the film in order to mitigate the reputation she had acquired since Devil.
The September Issue showed Wintour opening her doors and  -  shocker!  -  smiling. 'And it was a surprise to me, too, when I saw the movie,' says Lauren, 'because I did not see those things when I was there.
'I went to see it with my husband and it was amazing how much everything looked the same, even though I hadn't worked there for years. Anna's office looked the same and the people were the same  -  so much so that I started getting cold sweats from the flashbacks! I was shaking by the time I left the cinema!'
She says the book's success gave her the opportunity to write full time. Her new novel, Last Night At Chateau Marmont, out this week, is an equally zippy read.
It follows the fortunes of a young couple whose lives change when the husband, for years a struggling musician, hits the big time, leaving his wife to cope not only with the change in dynamic of their relationship, but also with the emergence of an incriminating photo featuring her husband and a young girl.
It is a dynamic Lauren is unfamiliar with personally (she has been married to playwright Mike Cohen for two years and they are expecting their first child in December): 'But I'm an avid reader of gossip magazines and I've always wondered what it feels like for the spouse in that kind of relationship, when they themselves aren't famous.'
The 'civilian' in the relationship must get quizzed constantly about their spouse in much the same way Lauren is constantly asked about The Devil Wears Prada, 'but I can't be anything but flattered by that,' she adds graciously.
'The movie brought it to a new level and even though as a writer you're not supposed to like how they interpret your story on film, I loved it and thought it was spot-on.
Anne Hathaway was just wonderful and Meryl Streep, well, what can you say? I hadn't envisaged her originally  - not that I had envisaged anyone for the role  -  but she was as good as it gets.'
Lauren even got to film a teeny cameo in The Devil Wears Prada as the nanny to Miranda's twins  -  a cameo she admits now she is 'hard-pressed to locate after several viewings'. 'But I was on set all the time during the making of the film and they were very inclusive,' she says, 'even giving me a chair with my name on it. It was such a once-in-a-lifetime thing and so removed from my normal life.
'I'm the type of person who watches American Idol in my pyjamas. This kind of thing doesn't happen to me.'
Before the film was released, Lauren and Anna Wintour attended the same preview screening, 'I was blissfully unaware until people told me afterwards. Honestly though, I do not exist in her world.
'We don't travel in the same circles, we don't run into each other and she would not be able to pick me out from a crowd of three. And I'm very, very comfortable with that.'
And what would Lauren say to Wintour should they ever bump into one another? She smiles slowly and says nothing. What more, quite frankly, needs to be said?

Art imitates life: The parallels between Lauren's tenure on Vogue (in 1999 and 2000) and Andy's stint on the fictional Runway magazine are too delicious to ignore

Nuclear: Lauren spent 11 months as an assistant to American Vogue editor Anna Wintour

The September Issue: Anna Wintour unmasked in The 'real' Devil Wear's Prada
Fearsome American Vogue editor, Anna 'Nuclear' Wintour allowed director RJ Cutler unprecedented access to film what really happens at the world's top fashion magazine.
Truth, it is sometimes said, is stranger than fiction. When it comes to Anna Wintour, the fearsome editor-in- chief of American Vogue, that is most certainly the case. Does anyone remember The Devil Wears Prada, the movie adaptation of the novel about life at a New York fashion magazine, in which Meryl Streep played the despotic editor who reduced her staff to jelly, tears and occasionally, nervous breakdowns? Written by Wintour's former assistant Lauren Weisberger, everybody thought it was based on her old boss, who has been at the helm of the magazine since 1988. But nobody really believed that it was a true depiction of her. Surely Wintour - or Nuclear Wintour, as she is often referred to - wasn't that bad? Surely Streep's character was just a gross Hollywood exaggeration?
It would seem not. For Wintour, 59, has taken the unusual step of letting cameras film a documentary about the magazine the New York Times once described as being "to our era what the idea of God was, in Voltaire's famous parlance, to his: if it didn't exist, we would have to invent it."
The result is The September Issue, a riveting and brilliant film that makes The Devil Wears Prada look like an episode of The Care Bears. The cameras follow British-born Wintour and her army of editors for much of 2007, as they create the biggest edition of the fashion year (the September issue, which that year had 840 pages, an incredible 727 of which were adverts).
Until this week, when it premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, only a handful of fashion insiders had been allowed to watch the 88-minute film. They had all been sworn to secrecy. For months the internet has been awash with speculation about the documentary, which earned director RJ Cutler a grand jury nomination at this year's Sundance festival. The excitement surrounding it was enough for me to travel all the way to Scotland to watch it.
It follows Wintour around the shows - she famously once got Milan fashion week moved to fit into her schedule - and proves that she doesn't just run a magazine: she runs all of fashion. When she meets the head designer at Yves Saint Laurent - a man we must presume to be reasonably powerful - she is disparaging enough of his collection for him to become flustered and rethink it; she has no qualms in asking Prada to "re-interpet" some of their designs. She does all of this in her trademark giant dark sunglasses, precision-bobbed hair and Chanel suit, a look that has not changed for years. Wintour may influence fashion, but she clearly considers herself to be above it.
Anna - or Ahhnna, as her staff refer to her - does not talk very much. There are only a few occasions when she speaks directly to camera; her permanent poker face says more about her than she ever could (tellingly she admits in her trans-atlantic drawl that she admired her father, Charles, a former editor of the London Evening Standard, because he was "inscrutable").
She throws out a shoot that cost $50,000 because she doesn't like it. When a stylist asks why the pictures of a model in a rubber outfit have been removed from a story about "texture", the art director replies that for Anna, rubber is not a texture. Another staff member picks out a jacket from a rail and wonders out loud if her boss would like it, before thinking better of it. "No, of course she won't. It's black. I could get fired for that."
Meanwhile, the magazine's publisher, Thomas Florio, when asked about Wintour's steeliness, has this to say: "She's just not accessible to people she doesn't need to be accessible to. She isn't warm, because she's busy."
"It's like belonging to a church," says Candy Pratts Price, who runs the Vogue website.
"And Anna is the High Priestess?" asks the director.
"I would say she is more like the Pope."
Despite Wintour's all dominating presence in the Vogue offices, she is surrounded by a cast of colourful characters. There is Andre Leon Talley, her editor-at-large, a portly man who plays tennis in top-to-toe Louis Vuitton and complains of "a famine of beauty". Then there is Grace Coddington, a former model who also hails from the UK and started at the magazine the same day as Anna and is now her number two. With wild red hair and not a scrap of make-up on her face, Coddington could not be more different to Wintour. Their relationship is intriguing. Coddington is perhaps the only person who stands up to Wintour (staff members really do scatter out of her way, and when one designer meets her, his hands are shaking) and Wintour clearly respects her for that. At the end of the film, the editor-in-chief reluctantly concedes that she could not live without Coddington.
The September Issue must be the only film in which Sienna Miller is reduced to a bit part. As a Hollywood A-lister and the magazine's cover girl, you might think that the staff of Vogue would treat her with the appropriate reverence, but instead Wintour complains that her hair is "lacklustre", that she is too "toothy" and that you can see her fillings in the pictures. Even Mario Testino, one of the world's most famous fashion photographers, is not spared the wrath of Wintour. When his photographs of Miller in Rome arrive, she is not impressed by the selection. "Where are the shots of her outside the Colosseum?" Wintour asks.
"Mario didn't like the Colosseum," says an assistant, and you half expect Wintour to demand that it is rebuilt.
So how on earth did director RJ Cutler get Wintour to agree to be filmed? "This will come as a shock to you," says Cutler, "but all I had to do was ask." Cutler produced The War Room, the 1993 documentary about Bill Clinton's presidential campaign. Who was more frightening? Neither, he says. Did she like it? "I think it would be fair to say that she would have made a different film to the one I did." Did she meddle? "Of course she did - she's Anna Wintour. But at Sundance she said 'I made many suggestions to RJ - but let's face it, it's his film.' I respect her for that."
They are still in touch. "She is astounding really," continues Cutler. "She is like an historical figure that walks amongst us. I always explain her this way: you can make a film without Steven Spielberg's blessing, you can produce some software without Bill Gates' blessing, but you can't get into fashion without Anna Wintour's blessing."
Some have suggested that this may be Wintour's last year as Editor-in-Chief at American Vogue; the September Issue would certainly serve as a supreme act of self-commemoration. But, for a documentary about fashion, there is a surprising poignancy to it. On the surface Wintour may seem ice cool, but her demeanour is underpinned by a deep insecurity. She says that "people are frightened of fashion - because it scares them they put it down. They mock it because they are not part of it." Her siblings all have serious jobs - one of her brothers is the political editor of the Guardian - and she thinks that "they are very amused by what I do." She looks pretty grim-faced as she says this.
Wintour has never struck me as the kind of person who would seek acceptance from anyone - she leads, everyone follows - and yet here we see her desperately craving acceptance from her family. It is sad; touching even. At one point we meet her charming daughter Bee, who wants to go into Law, despite her mother's keenness that she should become an editor. "Some of the people in there [the Vogue office] act as if fashion is life," says Bee to the camera at one point. "And I know that it is really fun, and amusing. But there are other things out there."
Deep down, her mother would most probably agree.

"The September Issue" - Official Trailer [HQ HD]

Boss Women: Anna Wintour (2000)

Friday 14 June 2013

Diana Trailer 2013 Naomi Watts - Princess Diana Movie - Official [HD]

Princess Diana Trailer 2013 - Official movie trailer in HD - starring Naomi Watts, Naveen Andrews, Douglas Hodge, Juliet Stevenson - directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel - the last two years of Princess Diana's life: her campaign against land mines and her relationship with surgeon Dr Hasnat Khan.

"Diana" movie hits theaters September 20, 2013.

From the director of the Academy Award-nominated Downfall, Oliver Hirschbiegel and writer Stephen Jeffreys ("The Libertine") , the film stars two time Academy Award-nominee Naomi Watts ("The Impossible," "J. Edgar," "21 Grams," "Mulholland Drive") and Naveen Andrews ("LOST," "The English Patient"). Currently in post-production, the romantic story explores the last two years of beloved Princess Diana's life and her relationship with heart surgeon Dr. Hasnat Khan. The film is produced by Ecosse Films' Robert Bernstein and Douglas Rae. Diana trailer 2013 is presented in full HD 1080p high resolution.

DIANA 2013 Movie
Genre: Biography, Drama
Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel
Starring: Naomi Watts, Naveen Andrews, Douglas Hodge, Juliet Stevenson

Diana official movie trailer courtesy eOne.
Streaming Trailer is your daily dose of new movies. Our passionate team of producers brings to you the best of officially licensed movie trailers, clips and featurettes.
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Thursday 13 June 2013

Princess ...

Princess Pushy: The Fabulous Life of Princess Michael of Kent.

By Elizabeth Kerri Mahon / http://scandalouswoman.blogspot.nl/2008/08/princess-pushy-fabulous-life-of.html

She's tall, blonde and striking, married to a handsome prince, a member of The Royal Family. She's also haughty, gaffe (she once complained "The English distrust foreigners, they think the wogs begin at Calais") prone, and been linked to other men. Princess Anne dubbed her 'Princess Pushy' and the Queen once remarked mischievously to her husband's uncle, Lord Mountbatten 'that she sounds a bit grand to us.' Also known amongst the Royal Family as "Our Val" for Valkryie, Princess Margaret's son was said when asked what he would wish on his worst enemy, 'Dinner with Princess Michael of Kent.' The media have dubbed her the "Rent-a-Kents," for their habit of turning up at the opening of an envelope.
Who is this woman that has provoked such a sharp reaction in both the establishment and the media? How did the wife of a minor royal become such a lighting rod for bad behavior in a family where Prince Charles's youngest son once wore the uniform of a Nazi to a costume party (apparently he had no idea why that was such a no-no. And they say that Americans no nothing about history!), and the Duchess of York was caught getting her toes sucked by her financial advisor?
 If you go to Princess Michael of Kent's web-site, you can trace her ancestry all the way back to Diane de Poitiers, along with Catherine the Great, Marie Antoinette and William the Conqueror. Quite a family for the former Marie Christine von Reibnitz or to be accurate Baroness Marie Christine Agnes Hedwig Ida von Reibnitz as she was born on January 15, 1945 in Carlsbad which is now part of the Czech Republic. Her mother was an Austro-Hungarian Countess, and her father Baron Gunther Hubertus von Reibnitz.
 Her parents split up and her father moved to Mozambique while her mother decamped to Australia with Marie Christine and her younger brother Friedrich, where she ran a hair salon (makes one wonder where Princess Michael picked up her Eurotrash accent!). While growing up in Sydney, the future Princess Michael attended Catholic schools. After graduation, she headed off to Africa to finally get reacquainted with her long absent father. Marie Christine made her way to London where she did a course at the Victoria and Albert Museum and worked as an interior decorator. "Deep down inside me I always hear my mother's words: 900 years of breeding must be worth something."
 She met her first husband, banker and Old Etonian, Thomas Troubridge, the younger brother of baronet Sir Peter Troubridge at a boar hunt of all places in Germany. They were married in 1971 and seperated two years later, although they didn't divorce until 1977. The marriage was later annulled in 1978 for undisclosed reasons but Marie-Christine was not allowed communion until she remarried in a Catholic ceremony which she and Prince Michael eventually did in 1983.
 In the meantime, Marie Christine met her future second husband, Prince Michael of Kent while hunting (sense a theme?). "I was struck by this tall Austrian lady. I remember we had a long talk about the history of art while sitting in a hut eating sausages,' he has remarked. Her first impression was a little different. 'I just thought he was the funniest man I'd ever met. ' According to Princess Michael, they were friends first given that she was married, and Prince Michael was in another relationship. The prince would 'accidentally' run into her during early-morning rides in Richmond Park before he went to work at the Ministry of Defence. She would flatter his ego and spoil him which none of his English girlfriends had thought to do.
 It was apparently that wily old matchmaker Lord Mountbatten who got them together by telling both Prince Michael and Marie Christine that the other was really keen on them, which then sparked their mutual interest. "One day Lord Mountbatten said to Michael, 'By the way, what are you going to do about that young woman?' He answered, 'Why should I do anything?' 'She's madly in love with you', came the reply. Then I too saw Lord Mountbatten and he said: 'What are you going to do about that young man? He's madly in love with you.' For all we knew, he believed it. I don't know but from then on we began to look at each other a little differently."
They married in June 30, 1978 in a civil ceremony in Vienna. Prince Michael had to give up his place in the succession since due to the Act of Succession of 1701 (at the time he was 15th in line for the throne), as no member of the Royal family can marry a Catholic and keep their place in the line of succession (their children Lord Frederick and Lady Gabriella were raised Anglican, and thus are still in the line of succession, although way down on the list, 31 and 32 respectively). Princess Michael has been quite vocal about how in the dark ages the attitude is, "They can marry a Moonie, A Seven-Day Adventist, a Scientologist, A Muslim. " (Okay, I have to agree with her on this one. If the heir to the throne can marry a divorcee that he had a thirty year affair with, I think they can bend and get rid of that Roman Catholic clause.)
Since then, Princess Michael has put her court shoes in her mouth more often than not. She attributes it to the fact that at 6ft tall in her stocking feet, she's hard to miss. Others put it down to her sense of entitlement. One of the first blows was the revelation that Princess Michael of Kent's father had not only been a member of the Nazi party but had also been in the SS, where he held the rank of Sturmbannfuhrer or "Assault Unit Leader" during the Second World War, although she produced papers that proved that he had actually been expelled from the party in 1944 (one wonders what he did to get the Nazi's to kick him out!)
Then there were the charges of plagiarism on her first two books Crowned in a Far Country, and Cupid and the King, which Princess Michael claims wasn't her fault but the fault of one of her researchers who didn't properly right down where the offending passages came from. In another interview, she allegedly claimed that she had more royal blood in her vieins than any person to marry into the royal family since Prince Philip. She's also a cat lover, in a family that adores dogs, particularly corgis. When she once complained about a cat being mauled by a corgi, she was promptly put in her place.
 Her most famous moment stuffing those size 11's in her mouth came in 2004 while dining at Da Silvano, a restaurant much favored by celebrities in Greenwich Village. Objecting to the noise level at a table of black diners near hers, she first slammed her hand down on their table and allegedly told them to "Get back to the colonies," as she and her party were moved to another table. One of the women at the table, Nicole Young confronted the Princess about her remark. Prince Michael is reported to have replied "I did not say 'back to the colonies' - I said 'you should remember the colonies.' Back in the days of the colonies there were rules that were very good. You think about it. Just think about it." The New York Post reported that the diners thought that the remark was racist. She subsequently denied the charge. Her later explanation was that she had merely told one of her fellow dinner companions that she would be glad to go back to the colonies in order to escape the noise. In another article, she complained that she couldn't possibly be racist because she had once darkened her skin and pretended to be half-caste while traveling through Africa after a visit to her father.
 In September 2005, she was caught on tape complaining about the Royal Family after a News of the World reporter pretendedto be a sheik, gained her confidence while pretending to be a buyer for her home Nether Lypiatt. In her defense, she wasn't the first royal to be caught out this way, Prince Edward's wife, Sophie Wessex too fell into the trapin 2001, which ended her PR career. While most of Princess Michael of Kent's revelations were pretty harmless (calling Princess Diana a 'nasty' and 'bitter' woman, who had been married merely as a 'womb'), it was her defense of Prince Harry for wearing the Swastika that really raised eyebrows. "But I believe that if he had been wearing the Hammer and Sickle there wouldn't have been so much fuss made." Recently Princess Michael has gone on record talking about how much smarter her children are then the other royals, having better education and a better degree than Prince William (Lord Frederick went to Oxford while Lady Ella graduated from Brown).
 Princess Michael has a reputation for being someone who cultivates people who can and are willing to be generous in order to have a royal at their table (hence the nickname 'Rent-A-Kents'). She once convinced British Airways to lay on a special plane to ferry her from Manchester airport to London for a private engagement! She has also accepted gifts like a 150,000 pound building plot in Antigua from tycoon Peter de Savary and a 115,000 racehorse from another admirer. Since she and her husband receive no funds from the civil list, they are forced to actually work for a living. Prince Michael has his own consultancy business, and is fluent in several languages with a particular flair for Russian, which is appropriate for someone related to the Romanov's. He also holds several paid directorships with companies in the City. Princess Michael recently took a job as President of Partridge Fine Art, a gallery in New Bond Street. She has also given lectures around the world on various subjects related to her three books, however after her remarks at Da Silvano, there were fewer invites from the lucrative American market. Although they have no official duties, Princess Michael clearly likes to look and travel in royal style. She admits to having had botox which doesn't come cheap.
 "I live in the 18th century in my mind," she once told an interviewer. "I see my whole life as a cultivation of taste. " Ah yes, when Royalty lived in splendid palaces, before a little thing called the French revolution! Unfortunately for the Kents, times are different. They were given a grace and favor apartment in Kensington Palace when they married (at various times royals from Princess Diana to Princess Margaret have lived at the Palace). However, in recent years, the public have complained about the fact that the Kents were paying only 67 pounds a week for the flat. The Queen stepped in and agreed to pay 10,000 pounds a month until 2010 by which time the Kents have to find another place to live. They've also had to sell their Cotswolds country estate Nether Lypiatt because of the upkeep, they received almost $11MM for the house.
 Rumors about Princess Michael of Kent's marriage to Prince Michael started almost as soon as they were married. In 1985, she was seen leaving the apartment of Texas oil millionaire J. Ward Hunt wearing a rather tragic red wig, and there were rumors of her canoodling in a New York movie theater with Senator John Warner, ex-husband of Elizabeth Taylor. In 2006, she was seen holding hands, kissing, and taking romantic gondola rides with a Russian millionaire Mikhail Kravchenko, who the media were happy to report was 21 years younger, while on a trip to Venice, where they stayed in adjoining $4,000 a night rooms at the 5-star Hotel Cipriani. Princess Michael's explanation was that she holds hands and kisses all her friends, and that they were discussing business.
 Until recently, it was assumed that Princess Michael of Kent wore the pants in the family and Prince Michael was just her mild-mannered hen-pecked hubby (shades of Sunny and Tsar Nicholas II who Prince Michael resembles). "She doesn't henpeck him, she lion-claws him," said a close friend. But it appears that still waters run deep. Recently, in the press, he was seen around town with an attractive blonde named Marianne Krex who is 30 years his junior. They even attended the ballet together with Marianne hiding her face from the cameras with her jacket. This isn't the first time that Prince Michael has been seen with a female friend. The ballet dancer Bryony Brind and historian Leonie Frieda are just two of the women he's been seen with without Princess Michael of Kent. Apparently Prince Michael is a regular at Julie's restaurant and bar where he takes many female 'friends. Lucy Weber, an American artist, is shopping around her memoirs, alleging that she and Prince Michael had an affair for 8 years. The artist kept a diary about her lover with such entries as "He loves sex pure, unadulterated. He thinks about it quite a bit during his working hours - loves white suspenders, beige or tan. His sexual senses are keen and he has a vivid imagination." Princess Michael went on the offense immediately, stating that her husband was not having an affair and that it was her idea for him to take Marianne Krex to the ballet. She also labels Lucy Weber as a fantasist.
 If it is true, then the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Prince Michael's father, the Duke of Kent, cut a wide swathe through society in the 1920's before his marraige to Princess Marina of Greece. He was alleged to have had affairs with everyone from the black singer Florence Mills to a 19 year affair with Noel Coward, there were even rumors of an illegitimate child, possibly Michael Canfield, Lee Radizwill's first husband. There were also rumors that he was addicted to drugs, cocaine and heroine, and that his cousin, the Prince of Wales used tough love to get him off. Prince Michael's mother, Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, was no slouch in the lover department either, having had affairs (allegedly) with the conductor Sir Malcolm Sargent and the black society pianist Leslie Hutchinson. Prince Michael's niece Lady Helen Taylor was once known by the horrible nickname 'Melons' due to her ample cleavage, and was considered a bit of a party girl during the 1980's. Even Prince Michael's son, Lord Frederick has admitted dabbling in drugs at college.
 Of course, it is possible that Prince and Princess Michael are innocent of any infidelity, that the friendships are simply what they say they are. After 30 years of marriage this past June, it is clear that they have come to some kind of understanding and contentment. Whatever the truth, it is clear that Princess Michael likes the perks and privileges that come from being a member of the Royal family, no matter how minor.
 Perhaps Princess Michael herself says it best. "They will always have to have a bad girl in the family..but I'm not going to have sleepless nights worrying about what the good citizens of Newcastle are thinking about me."

 Controversies. ( Wikipedia)

 The media claim she once declared to an American fashion magazine that she had "more royal blood in her veins than any person to marry into the royal family since Prince Philip". She is also reported to have said she was "probably the first tall person to marry into the clan" (also true if males are discounted; Princess Michael stands about six feet (1.83 m) tall). The Queen reportedly has referred to her as "Our Val", a reference to the warrior-like Valkyries, and – sarcastically – as "a bit too grand for" the rest of the royal family.
In May 2004 she was in the news when a group of black diners in a New York restaurant alleged that the Princess had told them to "get back to the colonies" when complaining about their noise – an accusation she denied, though it made headlines around the world. Her account of the story was that she remarked to one of her fellow dinner guests that she would be glad to go back to the colonies in order to escape her noisy neighbours. She later described her accusers as a "group of rappers". This was untrue; the group consisted of an investment banker, a music mogul, a reporter, a television fashion correspondent, and a lawyer.
In February 2005 she gave a series of interviews to promote her book, in one of which she claimed that Britons should be more concerned about the bloodlines of their children, and claimed that the British media were "excited" by Prince Harry's decision to wear a swastika for a fancy dress party because "of the ownership structure" of the British press. She claimed that the press would not have been so concerned had he worn a hammer and sickle, which "stands for Stalin and gulag and pogrom and devastation".
In September 2005, she appeared in the news again, after the News of the World reporter Mazher Mahmood apparently gained her confidence and claimed that she made a number of intemperate remarks, including calling Diana, Princess of Wales, "bitter" and "nasty".
On hearing that the research of Dorothy Cheney and Robert Seyfarth seems to indicate that rank among female baboons is hereditary, the Princess said, "I always knew that when people who aren’t like us claim that hereditary rank is not part of human nature, they must be wrong. Now you’ve given me evolutionary proof!"

Mikhail Kravchenko, Russian tycoon friend of Princess Michael of Kent, shot dead in Moscow
A long-standing friend of Princess Michael of Kent was found shot dead in a Moscow suburb yesterday morning.

The royal was said to be "very distressed" last night after the Russian tycoon Mikhail Kravchenko was found in a pool of blood beside his Mercedes in an apparent contract killing.
Police said the killing appeared to be carried out by two professional gunmen who knew his whereabouts.
The 46–year–old furniture company tycoon was said to have been driving at around 2am just yards from a home in the suburb of Peredelkino that he had built for his parents, when he was overtaken and the road blocked.
He was then shot five times in the body before being dragged from his car and shot in the head. There was speculation over whether his death may have been linked to a business dispute.
A source reportedly said: "We cannot rule out the common scenario for such shootings – a debt he couldn't repay or a dispute over the ownership of a company or property."
Simon Astaire, a spokesman for the Kents, told a newspaper: "Prince and Princess Michael of Kent are very distressed to hear of this tragedy."
Mr Kravchencko was pictured holding hands with the princess, 67, during a holiday in Venice six years ago. The princess spoke about their relationship in an interview with Hello! magazine.
She said: "The true nature of our relationship is that it is a very good friendship. I hold hands with all my friends. I don't think that's being intimate at all. I'm a very tactile person – I do it all the time."
Mr Kravchenko also denied claims of an affair, saying: "We (the princess and I) have just normal human relations. We are friends."

Support: Russian exile Boris Berezovsky said there was nothing underhand in the money he had given.

So why did a controversial Russian oligarch give Queen's cousin Prince Michael £320,000 through offshore companies?
The 56 payments, worth between £5,000 and £15,000, were made between 2002 and 2008
Money channeled through a private firm run by Prince Michael's Old Etonian private secretary

The Queen’s cousin Prince Michael of Kent has been secretly receiving hundreds of thousands of pounds from Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky.
Dozens of payments worth at least £320,000 from the exiled tycoon  were channelled through offshore companies.
Prince Michael is already known for accepting charity from the Queen who started paying the rent at Kensington Palace when MPs wanted to evict him and Princess Michael of Kent.
But now the royal, dubbed the ‘pauper prince’, faces questions about whether he has offered anything in return for the billionaire Russian’s money.
His spokesman yesterday said ‘absolutely not’, adding: ‘Mr Berezovsky has known the prince since the early 1990s and has a high regard for the prince’s work. He therefore chose to be supportive over a period which ended some years ago.’
A friend of the oligarch suggested he simply wanted to be a part of high society, and his friendship with Prince Michael gave him coveted access.
Mr Berezovsky was a key figure in the Kremlin before falling out with Vladimir Putin and seeking asylum in Britain 12 years ago. He became friends with Prince Michael – a distant cousin of the last tsar, Nicholas II – and the pair have frequently dined together at Kensington Palace.
High Court papers reveal that a fund controlled by the Russian made 56 payments worth between £5,000 and £15,000 to a company run by Prince Michael’s private secretary.
The money was paid every two to three weeks between 2002 and 2008.
Mr Berezovsky told The Sunday Times: ‘There is nothing underhand or improper about the financial assistance I have given Prince Michael. It is a matter between friends.’
Yesterday sources close to the prince said the money was used to pay for ‘his staff, his office and his private secretary’.
Although a member of the Royal Family, Prince Michael does not receive money from the public purse, and his money worries have been previously well publicised.
His wife – nicknamed ‘Princess Pushy’ by the rest of the Royal Family – once said she would ‘go anywhere for a hot meal’. In 2000, two years before the first payment from Mr Berezovsky, the prince’s consultancy firm Cantium Services was reported to have had debts of £200,000.
The financial support from Mr Berezovsky went to Bulmer Investments, a private firm run by private secretary Nicholas Chance, an Old Etonian. The oligarch made his fortune during the Russian state privatisation programme in the 1990s.
A Moscow court convicted him in 2007 in his absence of embezzling £4.4million and branded him a member of an ‘organised crime group’. But Mr Berezovsky has dismissed the ruling as farce trumped up by his enemies in the Kremlin. The Russian government has tried and failed to extradite him to Moscow.
Simon Astaire, the prince’s spokesman, said the royal was ‘absolutely not’ giving anything in return for the money, which he claimed funded ‘cultural and charitable activities’.
He said: ‘The way this arrangement was processed is a private matter, but suffice to say that it was conducted properly and, for example, all appropriate tax was paid.’
The first payment to the prince in 2002 coincided with criticism from an MPs committee about the £69 a week rent the prince paid for his Kensington Palace home. The Queen later stepped in with a personal subsidy of £100,000 a year to pay a market rent.
Prince and Princess Michael had to sell their eight bedroom mansion in Gloucestershire in 2006 for £5.75million to cut their costs. They have faced claims they used their titles to get free trips and boost their income, earning them the nickname ‘Rent-a-Kents’. In 2010 it emerged taxpayers were footing a £250,000-a-year bill for armed police protection for the royal couple, even though they carry out no official duties.
Prince Michael is allowed to take up to three officers with him on his numerous business trips to foreign destinations such as Moscow and China. Princess Michael has long had expensive tastes, and spends a fortune on fine antiques and paintings. She also found herself exposed by a reporter from the now-defunct News of the World as being available at around £25,000 for appearances such as opening a shopping centre in Dubai.
Details of the payments by Mr Berezovsky come ahead of a case in which the Russian is suing the family of a former  partner in a £2billion battle. He is pursuing the widow of Badri Patarkatsishvili, a Georgian tycoon who died in 2008.
The case follows Mr Berezovsky’s high profile £3.5billion legal action against fellow Russian Roman Abramovich. Judgment in his case against the Chelsea FC owner has yet to be handed down.

Princess Michael 'told black diners to go back to colonies'

By Marcus Warren in New York12:05AM BST 27 May 2004/ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/1462995/Princess-Michael-told-black-diners-to-go-back-to-colonies.html

 Princess Michael of Kent was accused last night of insulting a party of black diners at a smart New York restaurant with a racist slur, allegedly telling them to "go back to the colonies".
The reported outburst made the controversial member of the Royal Family a hate figure in the city, where she was depicted as a jumped-up aristocrat offending American ideals of equality and racial harmony.
"Royal Bigot", screamed a tabloid, describing the incident as "Pushy Princess Rage" and labelling her the House of Windsor's "equivalent to trailer trash".
Her spokesman denied that she made the remarks but not before they had passed into local lore.
"She needs help," said Merv Matheson, a Wall Street banker who claimed to have felt the whiplash of the princess's tongue. "She has a problem and that problem is racism."
Another member of the group, AJ Callaway, a television reporter, said he had no idea who the woman arguing with them was. "I thought she was just a crazy woman. I still think she's a crazy woman," he said.
The row centred on the princess's confrontation with a group of five black guests at an adjoining table at Da Silvano, where she was with two friends on Monday evening.
She is alleged to have said "Enough already!" and slammed her palm down on their table, apparently disturbed by their behaviour. "You need to quiet down."
The restaurant's owner, Silvano Marchetto, offered to move the princess's party to a separate room. But before she switched tables she is alleged to have leant over to the group, supposedly pumping her fist, and said: "You need to go back to the colonies."
"That she would make a comment like that. I was fuming," said Nicole Young, a PR consultant, one of the targets of the alleged snub.
Miss Young later demanded an explanation. The princess is supposed to have replied: "I did not say 'back to the colonies', I said you 'should remember the colonies'. Back in the days of the colonies there were rules that were very good."
"You think about it," she reportedly told Miss Young. "Just think about it."
According to the princess's spokesman, Simon Astaire, the clash was provoked by the loud behaviour and swearing of the table of five.
Born of German nobility, Princess Michael once famously accused the British of being racist. "I will never become British even if I live here the rest of my life," she said during an interview in the mid-1980s. "The English distrust foreigners."
If she hoped that her latest alleged remarks would pass unnoticed, she picked the wrong restaurant. A New York institution, Da Silvano is a favourite haunt of such grandes dames as Anna Wintour, the editor of US Vogue, and Nicole Kidman.
Celebrities are scattered through the room at lunch and dinner, sampling a Tuscan menu that yesterday included delicacies such as carre' di renna (rack of elk) and anatra muta (vertically roasted duck).
Mr Marchetto, whose restaurant celebrates its 30th birthday next year, later apologised to the black diners for the princess's behaviour.

"The phrase was trying to be funny but it wasn't so funny, maybe," he said. "If someone told me to go back to Italy, I would be offended, too."

Tuesday 11 June 2013

Niki Feijen ... A Very Special Photographer ...

“ I was born in 1977 in Eindhoven, located in the south of The Netherlands. Although it’s not my profession, I’ve been experimenting with photography ever since I was a kid. After a diversity of photography directions (Landscapes, Sports, Concerts), I discovered Urbex photography.
Urbex, short for Urban Exploring is according to Wikipedia: The examination of the normally unseen or off-limits parts of urban areas or industrial facilities. So basically visiting and photographing abandoned buildings, tunnels, industry, castles etc. Most of my shots are HDR shots, short for High Dynamic Range. HDR is perfect for low light locations but it has to be subtle. Besides Urbex, I have this crazy stairs addiction. I can spend hours underneath a staircase just to take that one awesome shot. A stairwell or an atmospheric urbex shot can turn into something very special, almost a piece of art. That’s the exactly what I want to show people; the beauty of decay, the Art of Urbex. “ ~ Niki Feijen

Family life frozen in time: Eerie images of the abandoned farm houses where even the beds are still made
Photographer Niki Feijen specialises in urban exploration; capturing boarded-up buildings and decaying farm houses
Images reveal furniture and clothes that remain in decaying homes where owners have long since departed
PUBLISHED: 09:07 GMT, 30 April 2013 | UPDATED: 06:57 GMT, 1 May 2013

From the pile of books in the bedside cabinet to the neatly folded duvet, this bedroom looks almost ready for its owner to turn in for the night.
Aside, that is, from the peeling walls, patches of damp, and the thick layer of filth shrouding everything in the room.
The eerie photograph is part of a series by Dutch photographer Niki Feijen, who has captured furniture, ornaments and clothes frozen in time in homes where the owners have long since departed.

The photographer specialises in urban exploration; going beyond 'do not enter' signs to document boarded-up houses and dilapidated buildings across western Europe.

His Disciple of Decay series features abandoned family homes that must once have been filled with conversation and laughter, but now house only the crumbling belongings of their former occupants.
One picture shows a bedroom that remains almost exactly as it was left, from the paintings hanging on the walls, to a television on a chest of drawers and a lace covering on the dressing table.
Another reveals a darkened living room with ornaments lining a sideboard, and a pair of shoes resting on the floor in front of an empty armchair.

Other images capture buildings in far worse states of repair, from the crumbling ceiling in a once-grand piano room, to a rotting table and chairs in an abandoned farmhouse.

Empty: The bed is still covered by a neatly folded duvet in this abandoned farm house - but it's unlikely anybody would want to sleep in it

Frozen in time: The occupants of this abandoned farm house are long gone, but their belongings remain; from the paintings hanging on the walls to the neatly made bed

Remains of a life: An old-fashioned baby carriage stands before a smeared window in an empty building that once housed a young family

Forlorn: A pair of shoes sit in front of an empty armchair and ornaments remain above the fireplace in this abandoned home

Religious: Layers of blankets remain on the bed in the empty farmhouse, which is still surrounded by crosses and statues of Jesus belonging to its former owner

Faded grandeur: Dutch photographer Niki Feijen specialises in urban exploration; capturing the abandoned and decaying buildings that lie behind 'do not enter' signs

Remnants of family life: A table and chairs discovered inside what was once the dining room of this now dilapidated farmhouse in western Europe
Grand: The photographer captured the soaring glass ceiling and detailed brickwork of this vast abandoned building

Ghostly: This eerie photograph captures the dusty pews and peeling walls inside a boarded up church

Disused: Ignore the dust, dirt and peeling walls, and this room is almost ready for a family to sit down to a cup of tea

Old-fashioned: Many of the buildings captured in the series are dotted with items left behind by their former owners

Mould: Beds feature heavily in the Disciple of Decay series, as do religious pictures and crosses

Ready to move in: Aside from the slightly peeling walls, this still-grand room is in almost perfect condition

Crumbling: Mr Feijen, 35, who has been experimenting with photography since he was a child, said he also has an obsession with taking pictures of staircases

Well-loved: A dusty toy doll sits in a decaying leather armchair in front of a stained glass window

Former splendour: Sunlight beaming through holes in the roof highlights the faded grandeur of this dilapidated building