Tuesday, December 14, 2010

To Lee, With Love, Nick

To Lee, With Love, Nick is a visual homage to the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen (who tragically took his own life earlier this year) by reknowned fashion photographer Nick Knight. Regarded as a genius by many in the industry, McQueen's outlandish designers were often adored for their artistic qualities as well as for the way they appeared on the body. Knight shoots this moving tribute in a way that beautifully explores the style of McQueen's designs and celebrates his affect on the fashion industry. Set to a soundtrack by Bjork, the footage builds up slowly to a cataclysmic climax. A must see for any fans of the designer.

Tribute to Alexander McQueen by Nick Knight, music by Björk from SHOWstudio on Vimeo.


Yesterday I started my first internship, a placement at newly founded fashion blog styloko.com. As the company is so small I actually get to do some proper journalistic work and my first piece, the beginning article in a series written by me about where trends come from, was published today. Go check it out here!

End of term one!

So term one at London College of Fashion officially ended Friday - and what a first term its been! Moving to London, I had so many expectations of what it'd be like - most of which were very naive and based on silly television programmes. However, I have had so many great experiences since September that I never could've imagined would happen. Here are but a few...
  • Drinking my first cocktail (a Sex on the Beach, naturally) in a bar I didn't get ID-ed for and feeling very grown up
  • Going to Heaven for halloween dressed as Lady GaGa and having to remove my glasses for the bouncer to determine my gender
  • Having several very gay men ask to take photos with me on the same night
  • Grinding up against a variety of different males on the dancefloor of sweaty clubs - with all of the men in question being gay
  • Nabbing free hair cuts at the Vidal Sassoon training salon....and getting my friend to shave the back of my hair off soon after
  • Getting an internship - all of my own back
  • Being put on guestlist for events and feeling famous - and then not showing up to them
  • Modelling for my friend's fashion hair and makeup project
  • Wearing a real pigeon's wing on my head for a presentation about Isabella Blow
  • Meeting Iwan Rheon (Simon in the Channel 4 drama Misfits) and being too shy to say anything
  • Spending too much money and having to beg the bank for an overdraft extension
  • Being late to my first two lectures - and falling asleep in the third and fourth
  • Meeting an amazing set of new friends

Monday, November 08, 2010

Leper Messiah

I have a huge obsession with The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars right now. David Bowie is a bit of a personal hero of mine - forced into my eardrums from a young age by my dad, I've grown to look up to the man like some sort of Messiah. I may have to retire the day he dies.

One of my favourite songs of all time features on this album. "Moonage Daydream" is one of the most important songs in setting up the persona of Ziggy Stardust, an alien god-like rock star, that Bowie performed as during the early 1970s.

I'm an aliigator, I'm a Mama-Papa coming for you,
I'm the Space Invader, I'll be a rock 'n' rollin' bitch for you,
Keep your mouth shut,
You're squawking like a pink monkey bird
And I'm bustin' out my brains for the world

Keep your 'lectric eye on me babe
Put your ray gun to my head
Press you face close to mine, love

Freak out with the moonage daydream, ohhh yeah!

Don't fake it baby, Lay the real thing on me
The church of man, love
Is such a holy place to be
Take me baby, let me know you really care
Make me jump into the air

Keep your 'lectric eye on me babe
Put your ray gun to my head
Press your space face close to mine, love

Freak out in the moonage daydream, ohhh yeah!

Freak out, far out, in out

Lanvin for H&M

What does luxury mean today? Can luxury be exclusive and democratic at the same time? How can we translate the essence of luxury to a wider audience? The world around us is changing rapidly and I find myself asking these questions more and more. Designer’s work is usually tailored to a very small group of people, but the collection for H&M was about trying to translate the dream of luxury to the masses. It was almost like going back to school for me.” -- Alber Elbaz

The 23rd of November 2010 will see the launch of H&M's collaboration with Lanvin in 200 stores worldwide. Alber Elbaz, artistic director of Lanvin, has designed two separate collections for women and menswear, as well as a selection of accessories. Staying true to the brand's aesthetics, Lanvin's collection for H&M includes pretty party dresses encase in ruffles and splashed with bright colours.

 There is also a beautiful selection of chic black pieces that will unleash the inner supermodel in any girl.

My personal favourites from the collection? The t-shirt with the print of a woman's legs, complete with frilly tutu and embellished shoes; a golden, ruffled party dress in slinky lame material and a zebra printed trench coat.

Prices start from £7.99. All material used can be found here.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Hussein Chalayan - Burka (1996)

Images from Hussein Chalayan's 'Burka' show in 1996 are probably some of the most thought provoking I have ever seen. Forevering crossing the thin line between art and fashion, and in particular exhibitions and fashion shows, Chalayan's work excelled with the concept for the 'Burka' show. Challenging ideas such as modesty, identity and feminity, Chalayan presented models wearing different length burka inspired creations with nothing underneath them, with some of the model's being completely naked except for a mask and sandals.

For me personally, this work challenges how one item of clothing can really hide someone's identity. The burka is one of the items of clothing that have arisen from different interpretations as to how muslim women should dress. However, many in the western world have seen it as a symbol of patriachal oppression, as by covering women's faces it reduces them to the same person. For me, Chalayan's work shows women to appear to be all the same with their faces covered, no matter the length of the mask. As their face cannot be distingushed, neither can they as a person. And does covering the face really change how sexual a woman appears, even when naked? This makes a comment as to whether or not women should be made to hide their faces for the sake of 'modesty' - for all the Qu'ran outlines is that women should dress in a modest fashion.

No matter what your personal opinion is on the burka or any other form of veiling in the Islamic community, it must be admitted that Chalayan's work remains relevant fourteen years on, as citizens and politicians alike debate as to whether or not it is a woman's right to veil, or if she is forced into it. This ability to stay relevant to society this many years on is what I believe makes Chalayan's work stand out above many other designers - instead of just creating clothes, he creates ideas and works of art. Fashion is a medium so powerful that pretty much everyone can access it in some way and so to use it to challenge and question such a controversial topic is both brave and liberating of Chalayan. Long live fashion as art.

Arm candy: Three of my current favourite handbags

Today I made the mistake of walking through the handbag section of Selfridges in order to reach their wonderfully large magazine corner. Normally I'd be very contented purchasing a periodical but after spying the array of sholder/arm/hand candy, I instantly resolved to myself that I must find a sugar daddy, and immediately*.

First up was the highly covetable Mulberry Alexa (above). I often can't help but look at the girls on my course lucky enough to own one of these babies with slight contempt spawned from the belly of my envy. Personally, I love the Alexa in a simple black - chic, goes with everything and easy to jazz up with a scarf or fox's tail - but if you're feeling peppy it is also available in a beautiful grape tone (see it here).

Next up on the list of my bag stalking was the Alexander Wang Amber notebook Clutch (above). This one in snakeskin is particularly beautiful, and I love the idea of a bag inspired by a notebook - I often carry around very important bits of paper in my trust diary. In my head I see a city girl walking around central London with it under her arm, partying after a day at the office, a playful nod to the hours previous spent at work.

Although I didn't get to witness its beauty in the flesh (I probably would've made a dash for the doors with it hidden under my arm if I came within six feet of its gloriousness), this Alexander McQueen clutch (above) is a necessary mention. Its appearance begs little verbal backup - just look at it - but still, this stunning example of the McQueen brand would add just the right amount of edge to any night time outfit. Bearing the skull ubiquitous to the McQueen label, this clutch would be the perfect purchase if you wanted a personal tribute to the late designer.

So there we have it. Three of my current favourite bags. That's not to say this list is all I love (my God, if money was no object I'd have stacks of Lulu Guiness' and Chanel 2.55's laying everywhere). Like most girls, handbags are a fashion fetish of mine - accesories have the blissful ability to remove your worries about the current fat day you're having by being size free. And each of the ones listed above would be enough to make any girl feel a million dollars - even if her sugar daddy doesn't earn that much.

*I'm kidding about the sugar daddy part. Although at times it does seem like a good idea.