Saturday, 27 February 2010

Alice in Wonderland Madness: Everyone has fallen down the rabbit hole...

Alice in Wonderland has taken over.  Not just media (television, radio and even my blog) but it's taken over fashion.  Uniqlo, Miss Selfridge and even Claire's has gone mad with Alice in Wonderland inspired clothing and accessories...

In fact the jewellery world has fully embraced it with brands from Disney Couture to Swarovski and Stella McCartney designing Alice inspired designs...make sure to check out Shiny Style's round up.  I particularly love the Mad Hatter's hat ring.

I always loved Alice in Wonderland.  In fact a few years ago I dressed up as the White Rabbit for Halloween and was accompanied by the Mad Hatter, complete with a teeny tiny pink top hat for a feminine twist...and a set of playing cards of course.  At the time with though this was fun and original.  Maybe not next Halloween I suspect...

Whoever decided to make the world go crazy with Alice in Wonderland has succeeded.  Let's hope it lives up to the hype...especially as I've chosen to go on my birthday.  (That's a week on Tuesday if you would like to send me gifts. 9th March to clarify.)

Blanqworld: 36 Stratagems

Blanqworld created something individual with 36 Stratagems. The images focus on the concept that “women are actually raised in captivity, forced – whether by nature or nurture – into games of deceit in pursuit of societal values. This fashion shoot distils the tactical concepts of the 36 Stratagems and applies it to a woman’s machinations towards getting what she wants, namely: beauty, figure, taste, and mystique.”

Deep, huh? Maybe so but entirely apt for the world of fashion, which is all smoke and mirrors with airbrushed perfection and the kind of expensive items that women would beg, borrow and steal for.  What's more, they're a lot more appealing to the eye than merely a pretty model standing in some nice clothes.  I wish photography like this featured more in fashion magazines.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

A collective (slightly orgasmic) sigh for Johnny Depp

Today, whilst I was at work, Fearne Cotton (who I hate by the way...but not for this) played an interview she did with Tim Burton and Johnny Depp.  At the mere mention of Johnny Depp 95% of the staff (as all but 2/3 are female) turned and stared at the radio as if he was about to climb out of the speakers in some extreme miracle.

He didn't but he may as well of done.  The radio was turned up, his voice was all sexy and as one collective group we all let out this sigh of yearning.  I have never seen this in such hoards.  It was more than slightly inappropriate.  In fact my boss said: "If you're that desperate go and sit by the radio that way we can turn in down."  Needless to say nobody did...not really good to show your boss you care more about a five minute Johnny Depp interview than work.

Though Fearne Cotton's questions aren't very interesting Burton and Depp's answers make the most of them.  Think spanking with coat hangers.  Listen to it on BBC iPlayer...about 1 hour 6 mins through Fearne's show..  If it wasn't for the amazingly sexy tones of Johnny Depp's voice and the genius of Tim Burton I would have switched off entirely.  As it is though, because of trailers, snippets he said and various television interviews and I dying to see Alice in Wonderland.  After Depp's performance in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory I can't think of anyone more suited to the job of Mad Hatter.

The interview video is lovely for the eyes but I actually prefer pure sound I think.  It allows the power of his voice to take full effect without distractions.

On March 9th it's my birthday.  Celebrations are to last a April I have tickets to Wicked (thanks you lots)...and on the day I want to go see Alice in Wonderland.  Who's with me?  I promise no more orgasmic sighs, as the Mad Hatter I really doubt that'll be an issue though.  Amazing...but not sexy.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Deanne Berry must die

There are many reasons I am beginning to dislike Deanne Berry.  She wears too much lycra...often looking like a Fame reject, says "push" like she's in a porno, she tries to get me to "dance" to Heads, Shoulders Knees and Toes (which I HATE) and is probably the source of every boys wet dream...even though they won't admit it.  She is, after all, that hot blonde from the Call on Me video.

What I dislike most is that, whilst trying to make me fit, she makes me feel unfit.  I have been trying for the last weeks to workout at least twice a week.  Which means I only workout twice a week as the other days I don't feel guilty because I've done my quota for the week.  I tried to replace her exercise videos with some left at my house...Davina McCall and Charlie Brooks but Deanne give me the best aerobic workout.  I hate her for it.

I'm just not made for exercise.  That's all there is too it.  Maybe I should just give up and diet.  Put the cake down and walk away.

Yeah...that's silly talk.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Burberry Live

Burberry streamed their latest catwalk live.  In 3D.  And I bloody missed it.  And now apparently I should "return later" if it want to see it post-scheduled time.  My wings feel truely clipped.  I should have staged a walkout and abandoned work in favour of fashion.  One day my job will be fashion and I will be required at catwalk shows.

For now I make do with The Telegraph's teeny tiny video montage... is entirely not the same as a full length 3D feed but hey...for now this will have to do!

Very military in dark khaki's I was pleased to see a splash of rich tones from raspberry to royal blue.  What excites me most though is the contrast between heavy black buckled boots and leather jackets with delicate white fur.

A trip to Burberry HQ has solidified my desire to own a Burberry coat.  This just makes me wish it could be sooner rather than later.

I'll let you know when the full video is up...come on Fred, get on it!  In case you want to check up on it yourself visit the Burberry Live website.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Topshop Rocks LFW

Today as I subconsciously veered towards the Topshop store in Birmingham's Bull Ring I announced: "I love Topshop.  I know that's stereotypical but I do.  And you know what?  There's a reason people see it as stereotypical now...everyone loves it because it's bloody brilliant."

Well...turns out the fashion world agrees with me.  My Twitter homepage has been filled with London Fashion Week tweets but more than any other show Topshop Unique has been the one that's got people talking.  After my last post on Dande Maestre's nature inspired statement jewellery antlers are making their way onto my blog once more...

Topshop Unique's models reminded me of Mulberry's Autumn/Winter 2009/2010 look with bedraggled hair, knitted accessories and beautiful worn leathers.  That and my local forest, Cannock Chase.  As well as the faux fur animal headgear animal imagery is mingled with animal print for a primal, rustic look.

I'm wishing this winter away already but maybe I wouldn't if I had easy access to cable knit tights, contrasting chiffon, lace and leather, faux fur, work boots and bags belted at the waist.  The throw-it-on imperfect look is perfect for me at the minute.  Sure there's more to it than it looks but I'm willing to invest in lots of hairspray and some nature inspired accessories.  I have a bone cuff from Ghana that'd fit in perfectly with this colour palette.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Dandi Maestre: Statement Jewellery

Dandi Maestre's one of a kind jewellery designs are clearly inspired by travel and culture.  In fact, a lot of the pieces on Maestre's website remind me of jewellery I purchased in Ghana...only more exaggerated.  Natural materials from bone to wood are formed into extravagent statement pieces.

If you know me then you'll find it unsurprising that I am wondering how to find the funds to purchase some of this.  The only problem is the "price available on request" aspect...this is always a clear sign that even saving won't allow me to afford any of them!

Maestre says: "I see my pieces as artwork, where there isn’t anything too outrageous. Taking nature as my inspiration, I continue to explore organic shapes found in bone and driftwood, in shed antlers and amber, in coconuts and bull horns, in natural fibre and seeds, in rough emeralds and crocodile skins, in skulls and shells. I love their forms and their natural raw beauty."

The colours, shapes and patterns that can be created from natural objects will put you off cheap Primark beads for life.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Commitment Phobia hits the UK

A friend of mine recently laid out a whole list of wonderful things that her boyfriend does.  Then followed it up by saying that she wasn't sure they should even be together any more.  Despite only being 21 she claimed that now people are settling down.  They're moving in together, getting mortgages, getting engaged and actually going through with getting married.  It's scary stuff.  It seems there are two sides to the coin...

One friend is planning the exact month she needs to get pregnant for it to work most in her favour in terms of work (she's a teacher) and then there's my stressful friend thinking it's not all that serious.  Could it be she's just panicking? That old "be careful what you wish for"?  Maybe.  However, she is definitely not the only one.  Even the BBC agrees!!

To get in the festive mood on February 12th the BBC published an article showing the decline of marital perfect time for Valentines Day!  Apparently a heart shaped helium balloon is an acceptable gift but not an engagement ring.  There's statistics, with graphs even!  Really, it's downright scary if you're one of those people dead set on the perfect marriage and 2.4 children.  Thank the lord I'm not!

So...if you read this (and you know who you are)...I really wouldn't stress.  It looks like a whole nation is getting anxious over this expectation that you should grow up, get married and live happily ever after.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Philip Lim: Androgyny at NYFW

More and more lately I have been pining at menswear.  Not because of the models (well...most the time) but because of the beautiful clothing.  Today it was Philip Lim who grabbed my attention.  Anyone who knows me will know that my curves prevent true androgynous style but I have been throwing on mens shirts, quirky t-shirts, show boots with toe caps and baggy jeans more and more of late.  To complete the look is usually an oversized cardigan because it's freezing.

I was beginning to think that I should go back to a more feminine everyday look and then I saw the photograph's from Philip Lim's A/W 2010/11 menswear catwalk.  The androgyny I saw with the fitted boots, cardigans belted at the waist, longer length gloves and patent leathers made me swoon.  There are not many many that could pull of this look but I am absolutely in love with it.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Brit Magic/Brit Mess?

Radio one attempted yesterday to explain this scene...

..."theres a union jack to emphasise the Britishness of the Brits, and two skeletons.  Apparently they might emphasise the Brits' very first hosts."  This seemed odd to me....this emphasising the fact the Brit Awards are British.  Surely that's obviously.  Needless to say I hoped that it would be us Brit's that held the limelight.  It wasn't particularly.

Florence Welch looked amazing in this embellished mini dress and then nabbed Best Album (wonderful!) but I was less than impressed that Lily Allen took Best Female.  I'm sorry...she's just not that good.  This gothic Chanel number though has got to be one of the most memorable outfits of the night, though not for all the right reasons.  Not the normal chic Chanel the public are used to this vampiric look is just a bit much for Lily Allen.  I'd like to see it on someone waifish, pale with blonde blonde hair...playing the part rather than allowing the dress to wear them.  Sorry Lily.

In typical Brit fashion the Union Jacks were definitely out, with Geri Halliwell toning it down this year (and looking pretty good) and Katherine Jenkins paying homage to Alexander McQueen in one of his statement dresses.  The tulip skirt just doesn't do her figure justice in my opinion...

None of this really matters though because with Cheryl Cole's terrible miming and a lack of the usual Brit Award outfit spledour Lady Gaga stole the show...again.  Dressed in her tiered white number, stripping off for her performance into a much more revealing power net and lace look, she looked like a piece of bone china.  Winning every international award available to her Gaga dedicated her performance to Alexander McQueen and had just about everyone talking.  Including me it seems. 

Very Marie Antoinette, very white and ghostly...slightly morbid tribute maybe?  Who cares!  Whatever anyone says it's nice to see someone playing with fashion now and again.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Why it's a good thing flats are back...

Turns out even uber models like Agyness Deyn can't walk in them...

...and she took it with such grace.  Laughing about it on her Twitter account and sharing the video link for all the world to see.  Pretty good considering she fall not once, but twice at Naomi Campbell's Haiti relief catwalk!  Ouch.  To be honest, for me flats were never out.  I embraced them at any opportunity.  Anyone that knows me knows that I am clumsy enough without some towering platforms to balance precariously on.

So...take a tip from Aggy, whip them off, embrace the flat front and head to the high street for the cool yet comfortable option.  Flat shoes are the future.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Be my Valentine

My friend hates Valentines Day.  Always has.  One problem this year...after crossing off Valentines day as soon as the diary was purchased she now has to celebrate it.  Slightly difficult when all you've done for years is literally wiped it from the calendar as a none day.

This day Valentines is on a Sunday and for my perfect day here is what I would like:
1. Some sembelance of warm.  By no means must it rain/snow/hail or be windy.
2. A quaint walk through the countryside.
3. A surprise picnic...complete with wicker basket, champagne, strawberries and blanket.  This blanket can then be wrapped around me when I get very cold in...
4...This outfit...


That, my friend, is how to celebrate Valentines Day.  Well, apart from the outfit, it's not really very you is it?  Just in case her boyfriend ever ends up reading this, dig out the wicker basket.  She likes the countryside.  Opt for a listed estate so you can head indoors, visit an art gallery and cuddle around hot chocolate if the cold air is too much...because let's be honest, in February my perfect day is pretty much entirely impractical.

ps...I forgot to mention that the Marabou feather bag is from Oasis and in my haste to delete the image I now can't change it.  Oops.  It is beautiful and will fit across the body...big enough to squidge in some high heels to transfer to night time! Perfect for adding a bit of fun and texture...but you already know I love feathers.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Long live Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen passed away today, it's suggested through suicide, and so everyone in the fashion world is devastated/mourning/shocked or all three.

I could write about what happened or I could post lots of pictures in tribute.  Needless to say, hundreds of other people have already done that, so I'll just direct you to a news article from the trusty BBC and my favourite "Alexander McQueen: A life in pictures" from The Guardian, which I believe does him the most justice.

As the king of creative female fashion in particular.  He'll be missed.  This years fashion week will be the last to showcase Lee McQueen's personal designs.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Future in Progress....I'm in a book!

This year I graduated from UCLAN as the first set of fashion students to officially come from their "International Fashion Institute" (IFI).  They've made an amazing trend book called Future in Progress and I'm in it.  "Future in Progress features a series of directional and inspiring concepts, projects, ideas and opinion that we believe will influence our fashion future up to 2020."

I thought I'd treat you and took some pathetic iPhone pics for you...though just images don't do this justice.  The books actually really good.  Particularly because Elena Kate Gifford, the Creative Director of Future in Progress, is amazing with trend.  Genius.

Buy it at Amazon.  It's not just IFI includes students and professionals from all over the UK in one big, collaborative, epic mashup.  With contributors including Terry Mansfield (Chairman of GFW), Neil Bennet, Chris Hamilton and amazing UCLAN student Alex Crozier.  It's pretty epic.

Future in Progress: front cover, my page, my section (awww bless...they're promoting me!), Alex Crozier and Chris Hamilton

Monday, 8 February 2010

Great timing BBC...thanks.

It's weird how people talk about war and don't really think about the people involved unless it affects them. I can't say anything because since I found out that my cousin, Ashley, was going into the army I have bleeted on about how you don't hear about all that many people dying considering how many are out there.

Blatantly I was trying to make myself feel better about the fact he was going. As the day neared that he would leave for Afghanastan I repeatedly said "he'll be fine", "he's coming back" and "he's excited to go, that's why he joined up in the first place".

Today the day has arrived and he's left. He's 20. With a family upset that he couldn't come home and say farewell last weekend (he was told he had to stay in Edinburgh) and a girlfriend patiently (though probably very stressed) waiting at home for the arrival of their daughter in March.

In the third rifles Ashley will join all the other soldiers out there fighting to regain peace. What a terrible time for the BBC to announce yet more deaths and the new Operation Moshtarak that could lead to more deaths. I know he's coming back. I wished him luck, his response "I don't need luck, I'm a rifleman" followed by a laugh. And he's a good one, he got best shot at his passing out parade (where the picture on theis post was taken) though that won't really help with bombs will it...

Here's wishing him luck and love.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Raphael Vincenzi: Come Home Little Soul

Fashion illustration seems to get a bit samey at times.  You see the same mixed media quite a lot, which seems to blur the line between illustrators.  Raphael Vincenzi at times reminds me of people I have mentioned previously mentioned, such as Nadia Flower and Darren Firth, with watercoloured looks and mixed media squared paper.  However, his latest Behance album, "Come Home Little Soul", makes Vincenzi stand out against the others.  There is a very artistic, delicate, considered use of media and typography.  Always beautiful, and at times moving, it's a lot more than typical fashion illustration.

Check out his website and full Behance portfolio.

Type Sex with Andrej Krahne

Andrej Krahne's got all creative with the latest Durex brief.  Communicating the joy with Durex, Krahne demonstrates Durex's part in sex by creating images with text.  His self entitled "type sex" with type showing "like X-ray the inner feelings during the act with Durex."

I love the fact that the text takes into context not only sexual feelings but emotions, body reactions and also surfaces.  From "wood" to "fatal error" Krahne mocks typical sexual issues, with a mans "brain matter" and judgement" placed firmly where his penis is.  It's been said before but it's still amusing to see it in print.  Sex and humour sells, and this has both.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Master of Fashion?

I had a plan.  I was going to graduate, work as a fantastical fashion person for 2-5 years and then maybe do an MA/MBA...dependent on where I was and what I fancied.  Well...I am not a fantastical fashion person.

I am a person that gets mad at work, despises the gossip, gets paid less than the others and then ends up crying.  Not because I'm upset...because I'm frustrated.  Thanks to Graduate Fashion Week I have contacts at company's from Burberry to ASOS to pester for work experience but can I do it? NO! Why I hear you ask? Because I live in the Midlands and not in the centre of the fashion universe: London.

So here are my thoughts...maybe I should just buck up my ideas and change the plan around a bit.  Move to London, do an MA and get work experience alongside it.  THEN come out of university once and for alla nd become a fantastical fashion person with lots of experience rather than no experience.

I am very indecisive when it comes to my own life.  (Believe me I would plan your whole life for you though if you asked me.)  Right now I am scouring university websites, bank websites and careers websites in an attempt to make some kind of a decision.  Not really making much headway.  I don't even know whether it'd be clever to focus on fashion promotion or to broaden my horizons and do something more general.

Everyone I speak to says it's a decision only I can make.  Bugger. That's what I was dreading.  Suggestions on a postcard.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Maybe one day I'll go nude...

I've been burying my head in the sand as nude creeps its way back into fashion.  For two reasons....1) I am ultra pale and therefore lose any colour (though this is miniscule) in my skin as it bleeds straight into the dress. 2) I actually quite like it and don't want to be tempted as I feel it will not do me justice.  Instead I stick to purple, pink, blue...anything but nude.

Then I see Drew Barrymore in Atelier Versace at the Golden Globes and I have to admit I begin to rethink this whole anti-nude stance.  After all, she looked absolutely spectacular all a glisten.  And, with my new skills from Design by Janine, I'm pretty sure I could make a dress sparkle just like that.

I slept on this thought...and I woke up.  To be frank, I don't intend on going to any awards ceremonies any time soon.  I may, however, let a little bit of nude lace creep intop my wardrobe.  Let's just be clear though, it will be paired with something a lot bolder.

For now though here are my pick of the best nude dresses I've seen so far...

Drew Barrymore, Chloƫ Sevigny and Ginnifer Goodwin nailing the nude look

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Temporary Tattoo

I always wanted a tattoo.  I've planned, sketched, drawn on myself what and where...then swiftly changed my mind whether it be an hour, a day, a week or a month later.  I promised myself that if I ever wanted the same thing for six months then I would have it done.  My theory is if I don't like something for six months I definitely won't like it for a lifetime.

Fashion, like me, is fickle.  Perhaps that's why I like it so much...I can identify and change my style with the seasons (as much as I can afford).  With Rodarte, Jean Paul Gaultier and Chanel all featuring temporary/make-up tattoos it has sparked my interest again.  In contrast to Rodarte and Gaultier's heavy, bold tattoo's Chanel interlink flowers, birds and jewellery designs to lace around legs and wrists.  A suprising addition to the femininity of their collection.

And, marvellous news...that you'll probably have heard but I wanted to share my excitement with you even if it's a little late...Chanel has now announced they will be selling their temporary tattoo's, which means I don't even have to try (and probably fail) to paint tattoos on myself.  Bravo Chanel!  Genius way to allow people of all incomes to get a little Chanel in their lives...and promote the brand in the process.

Tattoos on the catwalk...Rodarte, John Paul Gaultier and Chanel