A Topshop Guide to Party Season

Fashion, love, Uncategorized

Kicking off the festivities with all things sparkly at Topshop! With Christmas less than 3 weeks away now (insert scream), I’m sure everyone is planning parties and festive occasions with your loved ones, so why not add some new sparkly members to your wardrobe, eh?

I’ve picked out a select few items, all from Topshop, which I am besotted with at the moment, and I’m sure you will be too. From sparkly heels to faux fur to velvet galore, Topshop are KILLING it with the Christmas vibe at the moment.

Take a sneak peak below and I can guarantee your mouths will be watering for more!

A Topshop Guide to Party Season
  1. The velvet top
  2. The metallic jacket
  3. The faux fur coat
  4. The sparkly poncho
  5. The star print trousers
  6. The mini skirt
  7. The party bag
  8. The iridescent earrings
  9. The glitter
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A Love Story

art, Fashion, love, Uncategorized

sjContrary to opinion, to me, Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg epitomise love. Possibly not in the conventional sense which one would assume romance, but there is just something about these two which gives me heart palpitations. For those that know me inside out, this will not come as a shock (actually they’re probably bored of hearing it), but I wanted to develop my feelings for this couple from pen to paper. Sit back, relax and let’s start at the beginning.

Before Serge, Jane was married to John Barry who was prolific in composing and conducting, and subsequently composed 11 scores of the James Bond films. Oh Jane, you know what you’re doing. Unfortunately the marriage was short lived, after the birth of their daughter, the late Kate Barry. Despite Jane’s obvious heartbreak, Gainsbourg took a fancy to the gorgeous actress on the set of Slogan in 1968. In the 70s, Jane and Serge’s love was controversial, which many saw as scandalous, and few others deemed as captivating. The explicit love affair wasn’t the typical tale Disney encapsulates, in fact it was quite the opposite. Gainsbourg and Birkin were so infatuated with each other, their love often turned to hate. One of the first things Birkin said about Gainsbourg was, “He’s horrible!”, which could be interpreted as a rocky start to a new relationship, but they proved us wrong!

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In 1969, a year after the pair started their love story, Gainsbourg created an album featuring duets of the two, including the infamous Je t’aime…moi non plus, which I am very lucky to have on vinyl (thank you to you). This song, for obvious reasons, received critical acclaim, not only because of the racy lyrics, but the addition of female moaning, which you can interpret as you will, probably didn’t help. Despite varied opinions on the album, I think it is a work of art which many misunderstood as a degrading way of boasting about their relationship.

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Although they never married, they had a child, Charlotte Gainsbourg, whom consolidated their relationship for a number of years. However, sadly the birth of their child only stabilised the couple for a short while, and eventually Serge and Jane’s love long outlived their relationship. Gainsbourg’s excessive drinking slowly brought the affair to a close, and whilst they lasted for 13 long years, the relationship came to a slow standstill after 10. Regardless of the separation, my favourite couple in the world remained best friends up until Serge’s death in 1991. In fact, after Jane gave birth to her third daughter, Lou Doillon, from her relationship with director, Jacques Doillon, Gainsbourg posted a box of baby clothes for Lou and Jane, and was later announced the child’s godfather. So, after a clearly turbulent romance, their true love never died, and in my eyes it never, ever will.

I love you. X

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The underdog of resort ’18

art, Fashion, Uncategorized

Resort collections wouldn’t be resort collections without Prada, Gucci and Chanel showing their faces, and whilst you can’t really beat them, this year Fausto Puglisi pulled out all the stops.

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Puglisi resort 2018 collection

An unfamiliar name to many, the Sicilian born Puglisi is climbing his way up the fashion ladder as a dazzling talent. Not only is Puglisi’s work effortlessly cool, it also holds a breath of fresh air which many other resort 2018 collections unfortunately lack. Inspired by brilliant Italian architecture combined with Indian Art Deco, Puglisi’s designs exude cultural beauty. From oversized t-shirts to leather mini skirts and flowing chiffon gowns, each piece has been meticulously thought through to produce an excellent emsemble of streetwear and couture. The bold colours, prints and materials Puglisi has used may seem to the untrained eye, ‘incohesive’, but the small details in the gladiatorial accessories and bejewelled corsets go together hand in hand.

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Puglisi resort 2018 collection

The heart and sun motifs may trigger one to Dolce and Gabbana, and considering Puglisi was part of D&G’s retail project Spiga 2 back in 2010, I don’t blame you. Although Pugilisi and fashion big guns Dolce and Gabbana may share slight resemblances, Puglisi’s designs are far less obvious and instead of making these iconic symbols the centre of the collection, the garments themselves override in a way D&G’s don’t necessarily.

 

 

 

Working closely with architect, Paulo Rizzo on his store in Milan, Puglisi has fused his Italian heritage with the everyday which in turn has created a luxury shop which mirrors that of the Roman Domus. You’ll know when you’re in Puglisi’s shop as the sun motif which is so emphatic throughout his collection lies on the floor, thus marking his territory on the fashion world.

 

 

 

This is my personal thank you to Fausto Puglisi on revitalising resort collections and teaching us that the heroes of the fashion world need not always be the star of the show. X

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Fausto Puglisi

KOONS AND VUITTON: THE DREAM TEAM

art, Fashion, Uncategorized

CALLING ALL ART LOVERS! Whether you’re into Impressionism, the Renaissance, Romanticism or whatever tickles your fancy, get ready to be transported into what I can only describe as heavenmonet bag.

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With a huge thank you to Louis Vuitton and the extraordinary handiwork of American artist, Jeff Koons, all of our prayers have been answered! I know this has been a hot topic of conversation many times since the collaboration launch in April of this year, but I wanted the chance to personally celebrate it. I like a handbag as much as the next person, but I didn’t know it was possible to feel infatuated with such a banal, everyday item, but that’s just the thing! These bags are the utter antithesis of mundane – they are, quite literally, works of art. Koons is famous for taking boring, household items and turning them into masterpieces. Take his giant balloon dog sculpture made out of brilliant blue steel for example. Who wouldn’t want this at their next birthday party?koons

Every single item in this collection is so beautiful, it’s incredibly difficult to even consider a favourite. However, for me there is one piece that is a cut above the rest. The Rubens’ rucksack is quite possibly, the most wonderful accessory I have ever seen (and not just because I’m more of a backpack girl). The astonishing Vuitton bag projects one of my favourite Rubens’ paintings, The Tiger Hunt. Rubens painted this work between 1615 and 1616, and over 400 years later here I am, obsessing over it imprinted in leather. There is just something about the ferociousness of the tiger sinking its teeth into the shoulder of a hunter which I would love to wear on my back…anything to look fierce. Even the cobalt straps are excellent; the way they mirror the blue sea between the horse’s back legs ties the bag altogether beautifully. I often see the downsides and faults to things, but I truly cannot seem to find anything wrong with this beautiful bag. Can you tell I’m in love?rubens.jpg

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is: Mum and Dad, if you read this and you have £2,240 going spare, this bag may just be on my christmas list. X

Wearing the Referendum

art, Fashion, Politics, Uncategorized, World News

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With June 23rd fast approaching, the UK has never appeared more like a Hokey Cokey frenzy. The poll tracker regarding each vote camp seems to indicate that at this stage the percentage for both campaigns is more or less equal. However, putting politics, statistics and real life aside; has anybody been wondering what the fashion industry has to say about all this?

Following recent events, Vote Remain is looking far more fashionable (I’m not biased), than Vote Leave. With 90% of British fashion designers posing their ‘IN’ vote, the rag trade are all up for remaining and working in harmony with Europe. On the other side of the fence, a mere 4.3% of designers are pro-Brexit. Vivienne Westwood started off the referendum trend by promoting how imperative it is for young people to make sure they vote in, arguably, the most significant election of their lifetime. Vivienne referendum

Vivienne Westwood.

And with this statement from Viv, the fashion industry EXPLODED. However, apparently it was LC:M (London Collections: Men) who exploded the loudest. The London-born fashion label, SIBLING, founded by designers Joe Bates, Sid Bryan and Cozette McCreery, were the first to state which way they would be swaying on June 23rd… I think the message was pretty clear. Sid Bryan and Cozette McCreery

Sid Bryan (left), Cozette McCreery (right) at the finale of their SIBLING show at LC:M).

This in/out/shake it all about style craze which was all the range at LC:M was the subject of many of the top menswear labels, including the man who’s more often than not sporting a Baker Boy; Christopher Raeburn. Raeburn wasn’t quite as ‘in-yer-face’ as Bryan and McCreery, but sometimes subtlety is the key to getting noticed.

Raeburn eu.jpg-large Christopher Raeburn’s SS17 collection at LC:M. 

Even if they weren’t on the catwalk, other curators such as fine art photographer, Wolfgang Tillmans, managed to get his message across perhaps more so than any other designer. Tillmans’ minimalist t-shirts promoting Team Remain were definitely simple, yet incredibly effective. With Tillmans’ main message being “No man is an island. No country by itself”, I think it is undeniable that the vast majority of people involved in the art scene are preparing to vote for our country to remain part of the European Union. I think it’s time we followed fashion.

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Design by artist Wolfgang Tillmans promoting Team Remain.

Long live McQueen

art, Fashion, Uncategorized

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“Give me time and I’ll give you a revolution.”

Genius, talent, a prodigy; just a handful of words I could use to describe the haute couture wizard that was, Alexander McQueen. For a life which ended far too young, people need to be made aware of the marker McQueen set down for fashion, art and life.

A taxi driver for a father and a mother who taught social sciences; it’s more than fair to say McQueen didn’t develop in the most bourgeois environment. Council housing in Lewisham, however nice it may be, doesn’t exactly scream ‘FASHION’S NEW BEST THING’. Yet, this is where Lee Alexander McQueen discovered his natural craft. I prefer to call McQueen’s designs art, rather than fashion. Anybody ordinary can create a garment, it’s easy. McQueen, however, was not ordinary. He was exceptionally extraordinary in fact. His designs had meaning, thought and intellect behind them, instead of just looking ‘pretty’, which most of the time, they did not.

Subsequent to dropping out of high school at the fragile age of sixteen, McQueen applied for a job at renowned tailors on the acclaimed street, Savile Row, where he learned the beautiful mastery of tailoring. With a passion to further his clothes-making desire, McQueen moved on from his tailoring placement and began working with theatrical costume designers, Angels and Bermans. The theatre which was encased within the garments he was working with inspired McQueen to think up dramatic and daring creations which soon came to light later on in his career. McQueen soon rocked up at Central St Martins, one of the most prestigious fashion institutions in London, without any qualifications, and was fast scooped up by influential stylist (best-known for her outlandish hat wearing), Isabella Blow. Blow bought the entirety of McQueen’s ’92 graduation collection and soon enough they became exceptional friends who saw each other more as family than anything else. Blow talks of McQueen, “He’s my child – I adore him”. Together, McQueen and Blow were unstoppable and, according to many friends and family, inseparable.

McQ and Blow

From McQueen’s graduation show, Jack The Ripper Stalks His Victims to his last titled spectacle before his death, Pomp and Circumstance, all performances were as shocking and iconic as the next. Highland Rape is possibly McQueen’s best known fashion display. Inspired by the ‘ethnic cleansing’ of British forces in the Scottish highlands within the 18th and 19th centuries, McQueen evoked his ancestral pride with this diverse collection. Beautifully cut tartan suits which revealed women in a way no designer had approached before and torn lace with unfinished hems, this was a concept entirely new to high-end fashion. With this collection, McQueen succeeded his dream of putting forth strong statements about femininity enraptured in fashion. The early appearance of the Bumster within Highland Rape produced a particularly strong statement which proliferated house codes. Who doesn’t love an unorthodox Scottish-inspired catwalk, eh?

Highland Rape and many others of McQueen’s catwalk shows emitted such attitude which made them absolutely archetypal within haute couture form. However, there is one show which, if you know your stuff, you’ll never forget. No.13: Alexander McQueen’s spring/summer 1999 show was a parade like no other. The catwalk held women, such as Paralympic athletes, sporting wooden, prosthetic limbs. They were dressed in hard, leather bodices with high necks which restricted the models in such a way that the audience were disturbed. However, these bound and restrained Paralympians would leave the audience feeling rather introspective after what they were about to witness. The finale of No.13 was un-heard of (even for McQueen). This was the most striking finish of his shows to date, and one which will forever live on. A limp, skeletal looking model stood loosely hunched on a rotating plinth in the centre of the show, between two industrial robots which appeared to be attempting to interact with her slow, gentle movements. The flailing of the robots grew more intense, juxtaposing themselves with the beautiful ballerina dressed in a white trapeze dress. The audience were astounded with the violence the robots evoked as they sprayed harsh hues of black and yellow in psychotic lines all about the revolving ballet dancer. Not only did this arresting performance startle and perturb the audience, it provoked comment upon the interaction between man and machine as we ascended into the 21st century. Iconic, is all that can be said for McQ’s shows.

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McQueen had it all. A beautiful and natural talent for designing and performing, a scintillating career which he had an avid passion for, a loving family and partner, and his dogs. But even those living the dream can have all kinds of things going on behind the scenes. In 2007, the shadow of death started to cast itself upon McQueen’s life after the suicide of friend and soulmate, Isabella Blow. McQueen devoted his 2008 spring/summer collection to Blow with which he contributed “her death was the most valuable thing I learnt in fashion”. This collection was quite different from the distressing scenes and garments of others. It exuded a beautiful delicacy which is hard to come by with McQueen’s designs. Heavily circulating around brilliant colour and fragile butterflies, this collection encapsulated the vulnerability and sentimentality McQueen felt at the time of Blow’s departure, and was a gracefully affectionate send off. If the parting of a dear confidante doesn’t tarnish your sparkle enough, a mere two years later, McQueen’s mother, Joyce, died after a long battle with cancer. McQueen and his mother had a bond you don’t see many influential designers admitting to nowadays. After this bond was destroyed by disease, McQueen became heavily depressed and was said to be taking a lot of drugs. Nine days on from Joyce McQueen’s death, Alexander McQueen was found by his housekeeper hanging within his wardrobe by ‘his favourite brown belt’, on February 11th, 2010. All that was found of McQueen that morning was a note which read: “Please look after my dogs”.

Alexander McQueen’s exceptional rise from a lower-class high school dropout to internationally notorious designer and artist is phenomenal. His dangerous styles and reckless shows inspired, amazed and some-what troubled the world of fashion, and his legacy will forever live on. Sarah Burton took over the Alexander McQueen brand, and their shows are still wonderfully perturbing. However, it will never quite be the same without McQ. As for his dogs, McQueen out aside £50,000 of his wealth for them so that they could live on the lap of luxury until they too joined McQueen in his escape. Even after he’s gone, he’s still pretty remarkable and that can’t be said for many people. Long live McQueen!

Long live McQueen

The Power Couple.

Fashion, Uncategorized

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With the delinquent above, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was thinking when I put pen to paper, but I have now decided this rioter is my punk. Looking back, the only punk-ish qualities about this ruffian are his multiple piercings and body modifications, paired with the fact he is sitting upon a Stranglers single (which I would like to add is one of my favourite record sleeves ever). Google it.

The illustrious music genre initiated within the United States rapidly making its way over to the United Kingdom and Australia. Homing many leading artists such as the Sex Pistols and The Clash, punk is arguably one of the most influential genres in music, and fashion. Sex Pistols

Dame Vivienne Westwood, AKA, the mother of hooliganism, is largely responsible for delivering punk and new wave style into the mainstreams way of dressing. Westwood came to fashion’s attention whilst creating clothing for Malcolm McLaren’s boutique, ‘Let it Rock’ which became acclaimed as ‘SEX’, highly dominated by McLaren’s band, the Sex Pistols. McLaren and Westwood soon started a relationship and became THE couple, further influencing their eclectic, mobster-esque style. Oh, how I wish I was around.

Westwood’s heavy use of tartan, safety pins and bondage gear fast blew up the punk haute couture scene, I wish she was my Grandma. Her ‘World’s End’ (formerly ‘Let it Rock’) recent campaign allows few lucky people to get their hands on select reworked pieces from the boutique. The things I would do for that anarchy shirt. The things I would do for Vivienne.

When you get up in the morning; think Vivienne. Stop caring about the state of your clothes.  Don’t be afraid to tear your favourite words out of the newspaper and staple them to your Levi’s jacket. Who cares if you paint nonsensical faces onto the back of your boyfriend jeans? Apply badges, buttons and chains to your boring ol’ black DM’s and rock the street. It’s good when people stare at you, it means you look absolutely awesome, or absolutely insane (which probably means you’re both).

Anyone who drives to our prime minister’s home in a tank deserves all the credit in the world. I think a round of applause is in order simply for her edgy style, wacky hair and bonkers brain. Although, that would probably be a little too boring for Queen Viv.

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“Don’t invest in fashion, invest in the world.” – Vivienne Westwood.

Hella fella!

Fashion, Mod culture, Uncategorized

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Evenin’ folks! This guy, the one above, the right handsome fellow, is a little someone who’s been transferred quite confusedly from ink to paper using a single line. Having no intention to give him an identity, apologies, the most perceptive of viewers may spot a three letter word sitting in the top right hand corner of this photo, lending itself very nicely to giving this fine gentleman a character of some sort. MOD.

The mod subculture began in the swingin’ sixties in Britain which fast transmitted its offbeat style to the rest of the world. From music to haircuts to amphetamine-induced dancing, I believe fashion is where it is at with the mod scene. Mod fashion

The famous ‘fashion rule’ of “DO NOT WEAR PATTERN ON PATTERN” is completely eradicated by mod fashion. Only in the sixties, would you see a beautiful woman with a neat fringe and fabulously long legs sporting swirling, twirling, monochromatic lines sat next to dead straight stripes of the same shade. Bleedin’ genius. Mod style is merely one big middle finger to conservative fashion.

Although male fashion wasn’t as radical as the ladies’ profound concoction of patterns, they were perfectly presented and put together. The classic jet black turtle neck,  is one which has circulated to fashion today, and is an item which I have a personal struggle with and shall never take up place in my wardrobe. However, those handsome sirs always managed to pull it out the bag. Despite my distaste towards the turtleneck jumper, I am definitely a fan of the striped suits which were frequently worn by the men of the sixties, the blazers in particular. In all honesty, anything possessing stripes has me at hello. I now bring myself to talk about my absolute favourite fashion item to emerge from the mod scene, and that, I am very, very happy to admit, is the beret. Along with turtlenecks, berets were the main items which a youth subculture known by the name of ‘beatniks’ frequently styled by the man and woman. Beautiful, classic French hats of ALL different colours were worn during this fashionable period, and I love it. Berets are definitely a piece which we should be seen in more these days. I’ll bring it back, with the help of Twiggy and Jean.

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