Sunday, 21 March 2010

20,000 leagues under the sea

Alexander McQueen, or 'Lee' as he is known to his friends, has always been one of my favourite designers. His work has often been described as "Schizophrenic with sharp wit", and this is exactly the reason for which i admire him. People these days seem to be so scared to experiment for fear of getting it wrong, and the value of ones own expressionism seems to be an idea that has escaped our current society, but not for McQueen. He respects no limits over what a fashion show can be, presenting his work in churches, assylums and even padded cells. In addition to this, he has also been known to make models fly, walk on water and find their way through blizzards. It is this unbelievably strong sense of passion, courage and innovation sparkling through all his work that makes me adore him even more as a designer.

McQueens spring summer collection for this year was revealed earlier this month at Paris Fashion Week; "20,000 leagues under the sea", telling the story of women morphing into creatures of the deep as the seas slowly reclaimed planet earth. The models looked fabulous, flaunting sculpted dresses, with computerised, digitally-enhanced prints of fantastical fish, snakes, praying mantis, moths, beetles and giant squid. Some wore dresses in iridescent tulle with waving 'fronds', suggesting cyber-jellyfish, whilst others gleamed in golden, fish-scale 'armour' like warrior-mermaids. Their hair was teased into foot-high cones or coiled like kelp in tiny plaits, with the 'undersea alien' look completed with prothesis-style 'gills' on each temple.

As an avid follower of Alexander McQueen i was devastated when i heard news of his suicide earlier this year as it meant the end of an era for the fashion industry as we know it. Nevertheless, the spring summer collection was still something i looked forward to seeing, perhaps more so now, as it was to be the last collection he would ever design. As i searched through the endless pictures, comments and backstage gossip supplied by the internet, i fell further in love with his new range. McQueen always finds a way to wow his audience and he has managed it yet again. Through the fabrics, patterns and cuts he has chosen, the models were able to demonstrate a high end, futuristic glamour - something completely new for 2010. This particular collection boasts a fresh excitement that is so rarely successfully achieved these days, but then again, McQueen never was one to disappoint.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

There is a thin line on the runway these days. Literally.

“You look REALLY thin,” Andy said, as she and Emily were arriving at the Runway Gala. I started a new diet,” Emily replied. “You see I don’t eat anything at all, and then just before I think I’m about to faint, I eat a cube of cheese.” This exchange of conversation comes from the well known, family friendly film and book “The devils wears prada”, and was what called for me to express my feelings on what seems to be the biggest trend of the noughties; Size 0.

As a natural born shopoholic, I have always been increasingly aware of the fact that my curvy shape limits the styles of clothing I can wear. We all long to fit perfectly into those tiny size 6 jeans without having to breathe in or crash diet for a week before hand, and with the media bombarding us with images of the size 0 craze; how is it surprising that Anorexia numbers are at an all time high.  Models today, are striding down the catwalk at the lowest possible weight, creating such misleading physical role models for women all around the world.

As a teenager, I myself had the misfortune of experiencing Anorexia first hand, and so my perspective on the size 0 debate may be somewhat stronger and more personal than that of my friend’s. People don’t seem to realise that it’s not easy to maintain such a low body weight. The months and months of endless starvation, lack of energy, concentration and excessive pain staking daily mental battles are not exactly as glamorous as the fashion world makes out. It seems that happy and healthy isn’t ‘in’ right now. The flat chest, the non-existent bottom, bad breath and brittle hair alongside yellowed skin; what is attractive about that? It certainly removed any feeling of femininity and confidence from my self-esteem at the time. When we see the likes of Alexander McQueen, Joji Yamamoto, Christian Dior and Marc Jacobs to name a few, sending models down the runway sporting this appearance, its hard not to feel compelled to create ideals based around them. Designers telling us the reasoning behind it being that the clothing hangs better on models of such a small frame, only pushes us further into believing this is the way we all should look.

Being an avid fashion consumer, I have realised that it is so easy to become immersed in ones own appearance and forget that age old saying “its what’s on the inside that counts”, but in the real world, I think that motto is actually all that matters. Happiness, love and good health are the 3 key components in life that shine through our personalities and make us attractive, make us admired. No two people are the same, and I truly believe that “having the strength to be Yourself, in a world that is constantly trying to make You something else, is the greatest accomplishment” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.



Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Fashion Phenomenon

Ever since my first purchase of 'Pop' magazine last year, i have become obsessed with watching the progression of 13 year Old blogger Tavi Gevinson from suburban Chicago, otherwise known as "Style Rookie". Her fashion blog attracts half a million hits monthly and she is taken so very seriously by the industry itself,  that she even earned front row seats at all the biggest shows during New York Fashion Week, where editors and celebrities could be seen respectfully watching over her shoulder. Her own ‘Style Rookie’ blog was created in 2008 when Tavi was just 11 years of age. Her writing illustrates such a strong understanding of fashion that it was initially assumed to be a fake created by experienced fashion insiders. It has a professional feel and features deep analysis of various magazines and photographs of her quirky daily outfits. Indeed, it appears Tavi Gevinson is beginning to emerge as quite a phenomenon. 
Her very first experience of paid journalism was for Pop’s website, giving her thoughts and opinions on New York Fashion Week.
 "For one week I was in a utopia full of people who can recognise that my jacket is Luella and appreciate that I stuck an upside-down doll in its chest pocket," she wrote. 

I guess this proves life is all about luck and having a keen passion for it. Tavi has become an inspiration to me, showing me that anything i possible when you really set your mind to it. When you get your head out the clouds.

So watch this space!

Monday, 15 March 2010

Bit of a style icon shall we say

Alexa Chung is my current style inspiration, so to speak. She never fails to amaze me; being the one person that i truely believe fails to get it wrong...well, in my eyes. Head to toe, Alexa pulls off that 'effortless chic' that we all spend hours preparing for, yet so rarely succeed in getting right. She is constantly seen scribbling notes in the front row of many a collection launch; something i feel is very much reflected in her daily attire. Consistently bang on trend, her face seems to become more and more famous with each passing season. 

Alexa Chung came to fame after being spotted by a modelling agency at Reading Festival several years ago. I envy the girl for this, in that after having spent a week unwashed, drunk, and raving in a muddy field, Chung still managed to pick up a modelling contract along the way! Jealous? Me? Nooo....

Fashionably Late..?

So im sat here at midnight, still wide awake for some strange reason, wandering what to do with myself when i realised i had some serious blogging to catch up on. As a natural shopoholic, (which i blame on my nan, clearly an inherited gene) i thought i would share with you my latest outfit purchase. Every single item - down to underwear, i kid you not - is a Topshop buy. That place never ceases to amaze me! Even in passing on my way to work, the fabulously dressed mannequins seem to lure me in and encourage me towards buying something else to throw to the back of my wardrobe and never be worn. But hey, you only live once right? Well that's my moto anyway. Not really sure if that's due to the fact i actually believe it or whether i just want to in order to justify the hiddeous amounts of money i shouldn't be spending, or rather wasting...but still am.

Style Society

Yesterday, classy cocktail bar 'Orange Rooms', held, for the first time, a 'Style Society'; an event where the citiest most stylish come together to hold a show entailing collections of vintage clothing; including a stall set up courtesy of Hepwrights Vintage, old school records, several live bands (such as the beautifully soft
and soulful voice of Kelly Mordecai) , 2 catwalks and a photography booth. And why you may ask? All in the name of charity! The night was constructed by Sarah-Leigh, managing editor of, in order to help raise money for Oxfam. All donations and entrance fees went towards building classrooms and paying for teachers to help children in the poorer countries; those that cannot afford education.

I was invited and decided to go along with a couple of my friends from uni; more than a great excuse to escape my ever growing pile of unfinished (if im honest, most un-started) course work gathering on my desk. It was so nice to relax and have a drink listening to the live music and just soak up the buzzing atmosphere, knowing everyone there shared the same deep  interest in clothes that i did. I just felt so at home. 

Unfortunately for me however, whilst milling around, a couple of gorgeous vintage pieces caught my attention. I say 'unfortunately' for the simple  reason that due to the fact i'm your typical student and have a scarce amount of disposable income, i had to dry my eyes and leave them behind! But i have to admit, that was the only down point in the night, i strongly hope Southampton decide to pull together and host an event similar to this one in the near future, and perhaps net time i can be a part of the process.