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When it rains it pours and at Kenzo we were told a story of water, that is to say Creative Director’s Humberto Leon and Carol Lim created a collection with all the components of water. The collection was clean, the cuts either clinical or flowing delivered a show that was altogether a soothing addition to Paris for spring.

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We’ve been asphyxiated with Alexander Wang since his six unisex silhouette line shortly after graduating from Parsons. The best thing to come out of San Francisco, alongside Harvey Milk, his new role as Creative Director at Balenciaga saw the sport-luxe cuts we all know him so well for at his eponymous label carried over and merged with Balenciaga’s striking silhouette through the use of sharp cuts in spherical angles in fabrics such as raw leathers and neoprene.

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“Clean room, clean mind” my mother always used to tell me, a precedent that heavily influenced my preference in design aesthetic. In toddler talk, Neil Barrett’s SS14 collection was clean, simplistic and humble. His designs were just that, heavily design led.  Read the rest of this entry »

Discard the singular idea of fashion for purpose alone. This season designers laced the garment with elegance; counteracting any stereotypical connotation the puffa is bulky, unflattering and excessive in volume alone.

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Our little old Marc went and took it one step further didn’t he. From lipstick to this? The new add for his fragrance for men, Bang. I’ve nothing further to say, make up your own mind on this one.

I’ve got a lot of explaining to do to some people. With the rare no-show to the odd show as well as a stinking cold to match, who’d o’ thought that it was the S/S collections I’d be viewing whilst taking with me a snivelling cold that’s more matched for the deep depths of A/W.

It’s always a pleasure to see Todd Lynn on the catwalk. He is, without a doubt in my mind, one of my favourite designers to emerge from the historically (debatable) doors of Central Saint Martins. Sitting here observing his collection once again has seriously hit home just how well the blog itself is doing. People are noticing it, people are noticing the work I pour into this. Just as long as they don’t start noticing me in the street I think I’m enjoying the ride. It wasn’t all that long ago, although boy does it feel it, that I sat in front of my laptop and watched Todd Lynn’s A/W ’10 collection, my favourite collection of last season. Inspired by hunting and the countryside the idea appealed to me before I even saw the sharp futuristic cuts that Todd put into his designs and now I sit here waiting for the 10 minute countdown to reach show time.

Covers off for the Todd Lynn show and lights dimmed as everything already becomes the setting for a somewhat Star Trek like futuristic playground for fashion. Neutral coloured fabrics are compensated for through asymmetric exaggerated collars attached around the back of the garment through clips, light patch work on the thighs and upper arms with snakeskin print being lightly highlighted through the backdrop of the neutral fabric.

Sharp cuts and beautiful tailor work are what, I think, we seemingly now expect from a designer such as Todd Lynn and his S/S ’11 collection delivered just that. And for the men? Above knee high shorts, again flattered by patchwork, as well as slim cut black jeans finished with the jacket of the season. From afar the jacket seemed like any other blazer yet one half resembled more of a cape with draping fabric covering one half of the male models shoulder and arm.

I myself am much more of a A/W collection fan however Todd Lynn has once again proven that a S/S collection can be dark, deep, vast and just as astonishing.

So your first question: What is the Triumph Inspiration awards? I was almost as clueless as you to begin with, but let me make it quite simple. The TIA is an annual contest that challenges design students around the world to create a unique lingerie showpiece, using all the talent, artistic vision and inspiration within their reach. Each year has a different design theme. This year just happened to be ‘shape sensation’. 27 countries, 27 design talents and 27 shape sensations made up the contestants who, with their ability to take a theme such as shape sensation and construct it into something beautiful, were judged by the Triumph panel.

Naturally after arriving somewhat slightly late to the event (but just in time for the catwalk show instead and of course the free drinks on hand with goodybag) I can safely say that wearing a black blogger wristband was on par (or so it felt) with how the Queen must feel at her coronation. Kayleigh, working on behalf of Mary Portas PR company took me under her wing, shuffling me through the front row crowd to place me respectfully on the 4th row. With that I had a somewhat perfect view of Adam Garcia who was nervously hosting the event (however did a great job) and designer Matthew Williamson who made up one of the six judges on the panel board, even if he did look a little bored during some of the show. Supermodel Helena Christensen, Hilary Riva Chair of British Fashion Council Development Committee, Karen Mok actress and singer, Rankin photographer, publisher and film director as well as Suzanne Mckenna head of global brand management Triumph made up the rest of the astonishingly elite judging board.

Suzanne Ferncombe, Ireland 'If I were a boy'

Grace Eliana Sugiarto, Singapore 'Preserved beauty'

Caroline du Chastel, Belgium 'Cubistery'

Phan Thi Cam Tu, Vietnam. 'Pregnancy'

Sofie Insam, France. 'Shape Explosion'

Nikolay Bojilov, Bulgaria. 'Morphology'

Nikolay Bojilov, Bulgaria. 'Morphology' - Triumph winner

Justin Singh, Canada. 'Sands of Time'

Da Da Tang Sze Man, Hong Kong. 'Diamondress'

Lodovico Loffreda, Italy. 'Memory of Shape' - third place winner

Isabella Newell, Great Britain. 'Circus Freaks'

Anette Bonman, Norway. 'Sensationally Shaped Information'

Tsai Hsuan Kao, Taiwan. 'Geometry'

Peet Dullaert, Netherlands. 'Sensimotion'

Dennis Lyngso, Denmark. 'Moth Metamorphosis'

Cristina Homen de Gouveia, Sweden. 'Body Frame'

Karine Feldman, Israel. 'Queen Elizabeth the 1st'

Benjamin Blarer, Switzerland. 'Hit-Or-Miss'

Isolde Mayer, Austria. 'Stone Cold'

Eugenia Dimopolou, Greece. 'Flesh'

Yadivi Aggarwal, India. 'Back to the Basics'

Manuel Marte, Germany. 'Human Animal Symbiosis'

Ayumi Kawase, Japan. 'A brassiere imagining a forest'

Elin Engstrom, Sweden. 'Imagomania'

Xu Yi, China. 'Fei (extraordinary) Fei (fly)'

Tovah Cottle, Australia. 'Body Architecture'

Liisa Neiminen, Finland. '90-60-90'

Amaya Carcamo, Spain. 'Wood Sensation' second-place winner

Amongst a vast sea of beautiful women in beautiful lingerie lay the likes of Alexandra Burke (as seemingly uninterested in socialising as she was, apparently her Blackberry was worth more attention) Louise Rednapp, Linford Christie and Katie Hill. After a heapful of tweets and facebook updates, as well as the bald mans head continuously obstructing my video opportunities, I was taken in beautifully by Kathleen, given the early chance of talking to some of the designers and grabbing a few photos. Excuse my shakey videos and amateur photography skills, I suppose I was just far too excited.

Explosion!

With Bulgaria coming in first place winning 15,000 EUR followed respectively by Spain in 2nd and Italy in 3rd the show was well and truly stolen by French designer Sofie Insam as her piece entitled ‘Shape Explosion’ elegantly took to the catwalk and in reaching the end struck a pin to each balloon producing an explosion of different coloured powders. Sofie was kind enough back stage to allow me to have my photo taken with her, her PR was lovely too! Thankfully I had my photographer on hand so keep posted and those photos will be updated here soon along with photos of what I was wearing that night and more! Thank you to Mary Portas PR company once again, and to the Triumph team for such a beautifully crafted show. Oh, and of course my free lingerie!

View from my seat!

Photo credit: Matt Crossick and all the rubbish ones would be me! More photos and videos arriving shortly. Very wobbly video footage taken by me.

Which designer was your favourite?

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Forget your big mags (but please don’t) and put down Vogue for just a few seconds as I share with you a new discovery given to us by ladies and men alike who appreciate the finer things in life, dhal soup, disposable cameras and posting bananas to the royal mail. Yes, a new magazine is born.

Cheeky, sophisticated, bohemian, free and inspirational are but a few words that come to mind after digging my way through issue 2 of Oh comely magazine. Decorated, not with glamorous (and glossy) advertorial content, but illustrations from front to back and beautiful ones at that. With features on heart break, forgotten friendships and lazy afternoons with ‘Emmy the great’ the tone might sound morbid but instead is far from. Page layouts are free from clutter and instead white space is dominant, imagine a home with minimalistic taste in layout and there’s your magazine. My favourite feature throughout this issue is a no brainer. ‘Did you get my postcard? Testing the charm and dedication of the royal mail’ sees the team behind the magazine posting the most obscure items into the post box and eagerly awaiting their arrival (or lack of arrival as it sometimes seemed). From full sized umbrellas, bags of flour unwrapped porn and an unwrapped pair of jeans the feature oozes humour giving the brains behind the creation a real human aspect, after all they are just that. Human. Although in my opinion, super human beings who probably have the cleanest bedrooms in England.

If you fancy getting involved with the publication these super humans are offering you a mission, should you choose to accept it to take some happy snappy photos with a few friendly disposable cameras (which they supply of course) and simply send them back! Now you don’t have to be intelligent to work out that some of them might creep into issue 3 so give them an email about it at info@ohcomely.co.uk. Now go read read read!

So you all know what university I go to, and I’m sure it wont bother you in the slightest to find out whereabouts I spend my days (and occasionally nights) when I am away from the big smoke and away from the hustle and bustle of London.

Lymington, a (sort of) tiny yachting town right on the central southern coast line of England has played home to me for over 15 whole years. Most famous for its snobbery against Argos when the town made the front cover of the Sun (shamefully) and now criticised by the Daily Mail for fighting off a Wetherspoons but that’s half the attraction of this harbour side town.

The town is littered with boutiques, edging away from mainstream stores such as H&M and Topshop (not one of these stores will be seen in town) and every Saturday hosts the town market, sporting some diamond buys as well as bits and bobs to make your eyes scream nonononono. From ‘Loose ends’ a classical traditional boutique, mainly for the sophisticated lady, to ‘In these Shoes’ a gorgeous little European-like shoe store to clean your credit card dry(sorry to the couple I caught mid-gorging on an ice cream). Down the cobbled path you’ll find sailing makes galore from Core, Henry Lloyd and Superdry, not to mention so many loafers you could give Hovis a run for their money.

Amongst the bearable hustle of bustle during market day you’ll find Stanwells, a boutique sporting designers from around the world, appealing to the sophisticated (but not always smiling) residents. If I vanish next week head straight for the woman in the knitwear in town, she’ll be responsible. So today I took a little trip into town and thought I’d illustrate the wonder. Good and bad…

Technicolour nightmare anyone?

And to eat? Greys! Placed rightfully in between In these shoes and Loose ends.

From this day forth the V in Vogue does not stand for vegetarian friendly. Whether you prefer yours rare, medium or well done raw is certainly making a phenomenal centre stage this year if Vogue’s trend setting history has anything to do with it.

The publication most famous for its enormous (elephant like) power to recreate a beaten down celebrity and transform their appearance is pure and simple fact.  I tend to think of Anna Wintour, in all her glory, as a washing machine. Either that or the most sort after laundrettes service this side of the Atlantic. Simply set the cycle to 40, regardless of delicates and you can pop out super fresh. A style icon to the public.

Japan does everything better, why can we not learn from the magazines circulating amongst a metropolis of futuristic cool kids who stay loyal to their publications, keeping the editor happy and causing some of the most outrageous controversial shoots than any other fashion forward country. Japan Vogue, naturally, would be the latest publication to upset the Jewish and vegetarians all in one day.

Notoriously naughty Lady GaGa bared all in a raw meat bikini especially for the publication and regardless of perhaps how many times the idea of wearing meat print one pieces has come about before I am yet to witness a member of the public disregarding the meat isle in Waitrose on the basis that they have more than enough sirloin steak hanging up in their wardrobe for months to come. Lady GaGa, we say why the hell not.

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