26 episodes

Fanfare is a fortnightly culture review podcast with fashion journalist Monica Ainley de La Villardière and cookbook author and Greenhouse co-founder Emma Knight. In every episode we discuss the books, movies, shows, and etceteras that are inspiring us, troubling us, or just getting us talking.


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Fanfare Emma Knight & Monica Ainley

    • Arts
    • 4.8 • 23 Ratings

Fanfare is a fortnightly culture review podcast with fashion journalist Monica Ainley de La Villardière and cookbook author and Greenhouse co-founder Emma Knight. In every episode we discuss the books, movies, shows, and etceteras that are inspiring us, troubling us, or just getting us talking.


Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Fanfare Unplugged, Feat. The Awkward Fictional Dinner Party Awards

    Fanfare Unplugged, Feat. The Awkward Fictional Dinner Party Awards

    For our final episode of season three, we have tossed out the script. By (possibly soon to be regretted) popular request, it’s just us, Monica and Emma, chit-chatting. We share our favourite fictional dinner parties of all time, our thoughts on how social media has changed the dinner party, tips for hosting the Emilies, and so much more. Pull up a chair, won’t you?
    Show Notes:
    Email us at fanfarefanmail@gmail.com! F, don’t H B! (You’ll know what we mean soon.)
    Monica Ainley DLV @monicaainleyDLV | Emma Knight @emmalknight
    Thank you so much for listening! See you in season four.

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    • 1 hr 3 min
    Ana Girardot Brings Alice Guy to Dinner

    Ana Girardot Brings Alice Guy to Dinner

    French actress and director Ana Girardot has brought the mother of French cinema, pioneering early 20th century filmmaker Alice Guy, to dinner. Alice qui??? You might well be asking yourself. And to that we answer: precisely. Alice Guy was all but erased from the history of cinema until recent years, when a handful of biographers and documentarians have done some digging, and shown the world that some of the first narrative films in the history of cinema were written, directed, and produced by a woman. QUOI?? But why have we never heard of her? Why were her contributions to this art form buried for a century? Well…that’s the story of today’s podcast. And who better to enlighten us than one of the brightest stars of contemporary French cinema, actress and director, Ana Girardot. Queue up a case of champagne and a Lipp-style feast, don as many or as few layers as you please, and join us in toasting an inspiring female visionary.
    Show Notes:
    Email us at fanfarefanmail@gmail.com
    Monica Ainley DLV @monicaainleyDLV | Emma Knight @emmalknight
    Ana Girardot @girardotana
    The podcast we mention: “Alice Guy,” featuring her biographer, author and historian Janelle Dietrick on Ephemeral from iHeartPodcasts
    The Alice Guy short films we mention, available on YouTube:
    “La Fée Aux Choux” or “Midwife, First Class” or “Midwife to the Upper Class” (!!), 1902
    “The Consequences of Feminism” (we think this is a mistranslation – it should be “The Results of Feminism”), 1906
    “The Race for the Sausage,” 1907
    Some of the many recent films and articles correcting the record:
    “Overlooked No More: Alice Guy Blaché, the World’s First Female Filmmaker” by Manohla Dargis in The New York Times
    “Alice Guy-Blaché, Cinema’s First Woman Director in Newspapers,” A 2022 post on The Library of Congress Blog by Amber Paranick
    “Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché,” TVO Docs, directed by Pamela B. Green

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    • 48 min
    Molly Johnson Brings Billie Holiday to Dinner

    Molly Johnson Brings Billie Holiday to Dinner

    In this episode we are joined by Molly Johnson, one of Canada’s most celebrated jazz vocalists, and her imaginary dinner guest, Billie Holiday. Born Elinore Harris in Philadelphia in 1915, Billie Holiday – a name she later chose for herself – rose from a very difficult childhood in Baltimore and then New York City to become one of the greatest and most influential jazz and blues singers of all time. Nicknamed “Lady Day,” Holiday was a key and very influential early voice in the civil rights movement, refusing to stop singing the song Strange Fruit, even under immense pressure and at significant risk to herself and her career. Molly Johnson, who grew up in Toronto with parents who were devoted civil rights activists and members of Toronto’s musical and artistic scene, is an alum of Canada’s National Ballet School, and beyond her musical career which has spanned multiple genres, she is a mother, a philanthropist, the founder of the Kensington Jazz Festival, and a recent laureate of Canada’s Governor General’s Lifetime Artistic Achievement award as well as France’s Chevalier de l’Ordre des arts et des lettres, both awarded this year. You’ll want to stay until the wee hours for this one, and if you do, a friend peanut butter and jelly sandwich might just make its way into your hands.
    Show Notes:
    Listen to our Dinner with Billie Holiday playlist on Spotify
    Email us at fanfarefanmail@gmail.com
    Monica Ainley DLV @monicaainleyDLV | Emma Knight @emmalknight 
    Molly Johnson’s website, Instagram @mollyjohnsonmusic, + Twitter @themollyjohnson
    The NPR Through-line episode we mention: The United States Versus Billie Holiday
    The BBC documentary: Billie: In Search of Billie Holiday

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    • 46 min
    Bethan Holt Brings Queen Elizabeth II to Dinner

    Bethan Holt Brings Queen Elizabeth II to Dinner

    It has been a season of mysteries wrapped in riddles, and the subject of this episode is the crowning (crowned) jewel of private/public enigmas: Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Our real-life guest is Bethan Holt, Fashion Director for The Telegraph and author of The Queen: 70 years of Majestic Style. Queen Elizabeth II, who took the throne at only 25 and went on to have the longest verified reign of any female head of state in history, was famous for what she did not say–and sometimes, she communicated through her clothes. An acid green suit here, a Burberry headscarf there…what was she trying to tell us? And what, for goodness sake, was in that royal handbag? Bethan has a pretty good idea. Whilst decrypting sartorial messages and helping us understand the nuances of diplomatic dressing for a female monarch who covered such a long period of history, she helps us plan a cozy TV dinner at Balmoral Castle involving large quantities of chocolate biscuit cake. (Plus-fours optional.) So, be you a monarchist, a disloyal subject, a monarchy-curious non-subject, an outright critic… etcetera… welcome. Pull up a priceless piece of furniture, and let us fix you a gin and Dubonnet.
    Email us at fanfarefanmail@gmail.com
    Listen to our Dinner with QE2 Playlist on Spotify
    Monica Ainley DLV @monicaainleyDLV
    Emma Knight @emmalknight 
    Bethan Holt @bethanholt
    Bethan’s book, The Queen: 70 years of Majestic Style, the second edition of which was released in November 2022
    Bethan is Fashion Director at The Telegraph. Here are some of her articles.

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    • 54 min
    Laurel Pantin Brings Dolly Parton to Dinner

    Laurel Pantin Brings Dolly Parton to Dinner

    Good golly, Miss Dolly is coming for dinner! Texas-born Los Angeles-based fashion editor (and brand consultant, stylist, and writer) Laurel Pantin might be hiding under the table caressing a sheep, so nervous is she about meeting the legendary Parton — whom she has admired since childhood for her ability to put the Sunday sunset feeling into songs, for her carefully maintained independence, and for a sense of style that proves she has the courage to remain unashamedly herself (among other reasons) — but with our collective six children under six present, and with a spread that involves six kinds of potatoes, we are confident she will wrangle her Wranglers and get in on things. Dolly Parton, Queen of the Appalachians, author of over 3,000 songs, philanthropist, unifier of a divided America, arguable feminist by deed if not by label, and overturner of stereotypes of all kinds, we are ready for you.
    Show Notes:
    Email us at fanfarefanmail@gmail.com!
    Monica Ainley DLV @monicaainleyDLV
    Emma Knight @emmalknight 
    Laurel Pantin @laurelpantin
    Earl Earl | Laurel Pantin Substack 
    Your Mom | Laurel Pantin Substack
    Dolly Parton’s America | The amazing podcast we reference several times From Jad Abumrad and Shima Oliaee @ WYNC Studios

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    • 49 min
    Barnaby Thompson Invites Noel Coward to Dinner

    Barnaby Thompson Invites Noel Coward to Dinner

    In this episode, British film producer and director Barnaby Thompson (who produced both Wayne’s World and Spice World, among 30+ other films) brings “the quintessential Englishman” and one of the twentieth century’s most famous wits, Sir Noël Coward, to a breezy (and piquant, we hope) imaginary dinner in Jamaica, where Coward spent a large portion of his later life. Cho cho and snapper escovitch are on the menu, but so are baked beans and bangers and mash (although we’ll spare you the unsuccessful cold soup Coward apparently made for the Queen Mother on one of her visits to Blue Harbour, Coward’s Jamaican residence). Barnaby Thompson’s latest film is Mad About the Boy – The Noël Coward Story, which is currently in cinemas in the UK and Ireland. The documentary “digs into the contradictions underpinning the life and work of one of the most prolific and versatile talents of the 20th century,” according to The Guardian, and is “a fascinating portrait of the man, and of an era – a time in which a wildly successful entertainer had to be wary of wearing a polo neck sweater in public, for fear of inadvertently outing himself.” Fix yourself a stiff gin martini (“Anyone can write books, but it takes an artist to make a dry martini that’s dry enough” says one of Coward’s characters), don your crispest summer suit or slip into a Molyneux gown, and join us as we delve into the exterior and interior worlds of the generation-defining playwright, actor, songwriter, and entertainer.
    Show Notes:
    Barnaby Thompson's IMBD
    Watch Mad About the Boy (or, even better, in select theatres now!) 
    Listen to our Dinner with Noel Coward playlist! 
    Monica AinleyDLV on Instagram
    Emma Knight on Instagram 
    The Guardian’s review of the doc
    BBC Audio’s The Noël Coward Collection on Audible
    “Tour de Gall,” A.A. Gill on L’Ami Louis
    Molyneux gowns, exhibit A
    Email us at fanfarefanmail@gmail.com

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    • 54 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
23 Ratings

23 Ratings

SaElaine ,

Splendid

Absolutely such a delightful and inspiring listen. I love visuals the create and feel like I’m having with dinner with them all. I especially love the fashion and food tidbits that they add in.

massiewannabe ,

Thank you!

This podcast has taught me so much! I wish we could have so much more!

DelphineDelVal ,

Great podcast with top cultural thinkers!!!

I love Monica and Emma’s energy and how they compliment each other!
Been waiting for a podcast talking about various culture and pop culture subject, approachable, charming and informative, I leave each episode with a few new books, movies, records or TV show added to my list.
More please!

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