Ben Mirza
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Ben Mirza is a freelance photographer, web designer, editor and blogger. He has written for The Untitled Magazine, Menswear Style and Hello Magazine, amongst others. He focuses on blogging about art, design and visual culture.

You can find more of his writing over at www.benmirza.com

Entries by Ben Mirza

Elsa Schiaparelli: A Life Well Lived

(0) Comments | Posted November 23, 2014 | 7:01 PM

Described as being "modern and sleek as a skyscraper" Elsa Schiaparelli was a tour-de-force in her day. A fashion designer extraordinaire, who pioneered avant-garde fashion, from knitwear to couture, and collaborated with some of the greatest creative minds of the 20th century, including Jean Cocteau,

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Monty Brown: Accessories for Gentlemen

(0) Comments | Posted October 27, 2014 | 8:46 PM

The truly stylish man has a good eye for accessories; he knows that a certain tie, a certain pocket square can make an outfit standout. Today, there's a new found confidence in men's accessories, with brands emerging dedicated solely to designing the perfect accessories, from tie pins to cufflinks, scarves...

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Ten Year Anniversary: Wes Anderson's 'The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou'

(0) Comments | Posted October 24, 2014 | 8:00 PM

Taking into consideration the fact that Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou is 10 years old, I didn't particularly want to do yet another review. What I wanted to do is simply give you a rundown of what makes this perfectly-crafted gem of a film, something...

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Michelangelo: Complete Works

(0) Comments | Posted October 21, 2014 | 8:13 PM

Taschen's latest comprehensive tome focuses on the work of the greatest artist of Western civilisation - Michelangelo. In the beautifully designed Michelangelo: Complete Works, Taschen have really captured the artist's power and prestige. With many fold-outs of well-known frescos from the Sistine Chapel, such as the Creation of...

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The Art of the Shahnameh: Introducing Iran's Epic Poem to a New Audience

(0) Comments | Posted September 24, 2014 | 3:10 PM

An integral part of Persian civilisation, which stretches back several millennia, it's only right that the Shahnameh, the epic poem by Iran's national poet Ferdowsi, should be given a place within the sphere of international culture, just as Homer's Illiad, Dante's Divine Comedy, Shakespeare's Romeo &...

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Tarun Tahiliani at Aashni & Co

(0) Comments | Posted June 1, 2014 | 2:01 PM

He's a major force in the world of contemporary Indian fashion; Tarun Tahiliani, who has mastered a fine balance between aesthetics and design, recently stopped by Aashni & Co, in London, to host a "trunk show".

Giving guests a chance to view his latest collection...

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Aakash Odedra: Man in Flight

(0) Comments | Posted May 7, 2014 | 8:16 PM

The legendary ballet dancer Margot Fontaine once said that dance communicates with people in a way that no other art form can, and it's true, dance has the ability to tap into the deepest recesses of our consciousness, both as performers and spectators. Aakash Odedra, a dancer who...

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Faisana Fashion Weekend: Celebrating Indo-Pakistani Design

(1) Comments | Posted April 8, 2014 | 8:28 PM

It's a rarity to find Indian and Pakistani fashion spoken of in the same breath, the two countries design ethics are of course unique, but thanks to their close cultural and geographical proximity, there are a great deal of similarities when it comes to inspiration and palate. Each designer evokes...

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Edmund Fraser: Capturing Life

(0) Comments | Posted February 26, 2014 | 5:51 PM

Anybody can take a photo, but it takes a special understanding and a whole heap of creativity to call yourself a photographer, Edmund Fraser is one of them. Based in North London, he ranges from fashion photography to experimental, and is co-founder of the arts/media agency

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St Piece: It's All in the Print

(0) Comments | Posted February 23, 2014 | 2:35 PM

Art and fashion are taken to the next level by St Piece, a new London based design studio, specialising in luxury scarves. Headed by Sandy Chang, St Piece fuses together contemporary art and design aesthetics with age old luxury, thus making them a unique addition to...

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Bahador Kharazmi: Prince of the Underground

(0) Comments | Posted February 10, 2014 | 11:26 AM

For over 3000 years Iran has nurtured a rich musical culture, from Zoroastrian, Sufi and Tazieh music to symphonic classical to contemporary pop music. The progression of musical creativity came to an end in 1979, after the Islamic revolution, when all production, promotion and distribution of music were deemed haram...

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Karle Pyaar Karle: The Bollywood Bonanza Comes to Town

(0) Comments | Posted January 15, 2014 | 8:00 PM

With his family's rich film pedigree, Shiv Darshan, son of acclaimed producer/director Suneel Darshan, has a lot to live up to. In a new film - Karle Pyaar Karle, released in cinemas this Friday, directed by Rajesh Pandey and produced by Suneel Darshan, Shiv makes his...

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Crunch Time for Criticism

(0) Comments | Posted January 14, 2014 | 12:52 PM

If you're under 45, ask yourself this, when do I ever buy a print magazine or newspaper? Your answer will probably be whenever I go on a train/plane journey. This is good, because you've made that leap from elitist to egalitarian. Why so? Well, by getting your news...

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Who Reads The Papers?

(0) Comments | Posted December 30, 2013 | 1:48 PM

In Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn's extremely funny sitcom Yes Minister, there was a scene where Prime Minister Jim Hacker, haughty civil servant Sir Humphrey Appleby and bumbling assistant Bernard Woolley discuss who reads the newspapers.


Nearly 30 years after that very accurate piece of social observation, although society might have changed somewhat, much of what was said still applies, newspapers will always pander to their readers prejudices.

Social and political leanings dictate who reads what, and here's a rundown of which newspapers appeal to which people.

The Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday

The Mail appeals to lower middle class and the grandparents of upper middle class people who thought Margaret Thatcher was the second coming of Jesus, bemoan the loss of the British Empire, think liberal teachers are turning their kids gay and brown people are colonising the Home Counties.

Although they're from different social classes they all have the same fear that in 20 years time Britain, sorry the European Union's Anglo-Saxon satellite state, will be governed by militant Muslims, Bulgarian pickpockets, homosexual paedophiles and hairy feminists.

The Daily Express and Sunday Express

Same as the above, yet Express readers have a strange preoccupation with the weather.....which is obviously being controlled by garlic chomping Frenchman in Brussels.

The Sun

Just like the Daily Mail, The Sun appeals to Little Englanders who agree with everything the Mail says, yet live on significantly smaller incomes and have low education levels, unlike Mail readers, flower arranging and Joan Collins doesn't appeal to them.

Sun readers tend to be male, work in the construction industry, think if a man doesn't like football then he's obviously a raging queen, enjoy ogling at girls with big tits, and hail Oasis as the best band ever.

The Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph

Daily Telegraph readers are split between liberal conservatives and diehard Thatcherites, on the one hand you've got affluent fair-weather Christians in their late thirties and on the other hand you've got retired barristers and civil servants who are petrified of change.

Telegraph readers tend to be suspicious of the European Union (the Soviet Union in disguise) climate change (left-wing hogwash) and immigration (greedy foreigners sucking Britain dry) Oh, and Tony Blair (lying sneaky dickhead).

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The Guardian and Observer

The majority of the Guardian's readership consists of white middle class people who like to lecture everybody about how bad slavery, colonialism and the patriarchy is. They have an inferiority complex about Western culture, own a Palestinian scarf (without actually knowing anything about Palestine) live in regenerated areas of big cities, and call themselves Socialists yet have lucrative careers usually in the media, judiciary or civil service.

Guardianistas as they're known profess egalitarianism and freedom of expression, yet if you disagree with them you're automatically a racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic fuckwit.

The Independent and Independent on Sunday

Same as the above, yet Independent readers are another section of society who have a strange preoccupation with the weather....which is obviously being controlled by right-wing racists and British Petroleum.

The Daily Mirror

Similar to the situation between The Daily Mail and The Sun, the Daily Mirror appeals to people of the same mind set as The Guardian e.g. borderline Socialists and Labour Party voters, but on a low income. Mirror readers are devout fans of ITV, religiously eat roast dinners on a Sunday and regularly moan about how Margaret Thatcher buggered up the country for all future generations.
They also think that anyone with a posh accent is every shade of evil and working class people are the salt of the earth.

The Times and Sunday Times

Despite being owned by Rupert Murdoch, The Times are actually pretty diverse when it comes to opinions and you can safely read the Times without thinking "Oh God, a George Galloway or gay basher is reading the same thing!"

Times readers are, on the whole, rationally liberal and can't be bothered reading the opinions of whining radical feminists, Peter Hitchins-a-likes or anyone who veers towards political extremes.
They tend to have enough wealth for ordinary people problems not to bother them, a diverse stock portfolio, know at least one person with a giant yacht moored in the Mediterranean and own various villas in Tuscany.

Now, despite what you've just read, if you're at a bus stop, airport or train station and you see a person reading one of these papers, remember to not judge them too...

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Why It's Cool To Be A Punjabi Film Star

(0) Comments | Posted December 2, 2013 | 2:45 PM

Why is it cool to be a Punjabi film star? I hear you ask. Well, when it comes to regional cinema in India, the Punjabi film industry, along with the Tamil film industry, has sky rocketed in popularity. In the West, it used to be that our definition...

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Tim Teeman on the Private Life of Gore Vidal

(0) Comments | Posted November 25, 2013 | 8:02 PM

I would have happily sat for hours with Gore Vidal, listening to him talk about everything, from the state of American politics to his various sexual encounters.

Much has been written about Gore Vidal, the man with a mind greater than Voltaire and Noel Coward combined, the author,...

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How Tumblr Will Change Your Life

(0) Comments | Posted November 25, 2013 | 2:21 PM

As a late starter to Tumblr, at the ripe old age of 22, it took me a while to actually get the point of this blogging site. For the first year I just thought it was a place for depressed teenagers to whine about their angst and twenty-something...

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Above The Stag: Theatre With Pride

(0) Comments | Posted November 21, 2013 | 6:34 PM

Did you know that amongst all the various theatre groups in London, there's only one dedicated to producing LGBT plays? It seems funny that it's taken so long for one to emerge. Fast becoming London's leading gay theatre group, Above the Stag offer up a mixture of comic relief and...

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Stop Being Literary Snobs and Embrace Chick-Lit

(1) Comments | Posted November 14, 2013 | 7:00 PM

The best description of chick-lit can be found in This is Chick-Lit (2005) edited by Lauren Baratz-Logsted, in which she writes "Chick-lit is entertainment. A wide range of stories designed to draw readers - particularly women - in and, for just a little while, transport them to a...

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A Guide to Twitter Etiquette: Unfollowers and Unfollowing

(1) Comments | Posted November 11, 2013 | 7:00 PM

It was Times newspaper journalist and author Caitlin Moran who said "I think we should all be polite and nice." Now, she was actually referring to being a feminist, but her simple statement applies to Twitter too. Twitter is basically the digital extension of you, a microcosm of...

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