Tuesday, 18 September 2012


Day 4 London Fashion Week SS13 Reviews

This season David incorporated his body hugging silhouettes with 1920s flair, waist band were dropped and use of block deco inspired colours such as bold green, tangerine, crisp white and blues incorporated in honeycomb print.

His body contoured dresses had new twist to them with outer layered sheer tunics, lateral folds interweaving in the fabric and peplum style fringing swishing at bottom of dress .

His collection I felt had concurrent theme of 1920s sport inspired luxe, tennis dresses with dropped waist line and flashes of bold colouring shadowed over his precise silhouette perfect for the summer of Wimbledon.
Louise Gray

I was excited for Gray collection as I just invested in her makeup at Topshop loving the bold coloured eye shadows and lipsticks the same can be said for her SS13 season bright neon colours clashed with so many different prints, newsprint, haphazard black marker pen doodles, polka dots and Aztec inspired zig zags.

Her layering of leggings, dresses and shirts all in one print or clashing coloured print was statement and took an extra blink of the eye. Her mirrored head pieces and mirrored polka dot returned the gaze of spectator onto themselves the whole collection had light hearted feel and more is definitely more here.
It had futuristic sport inspired luxury feel I thought, the metallic baseball jacket was one of my favourite items and bright socks over equally coloured brogues and one I can see being re-dashed on the high street next SS.

SS13 sees the revamped trade mark trench coat being worked in a varied display of bold, exotic colouring of fuchsias, purples, coppery lace and midnight lighted blues. It had twist of youth and fun injected into the trench.

Capes were another key aspect of collection, long avenger style outer cape and shoulder cape in different colours of whites and plastic coloured pinks over peplum corsets and tap shorts was look of glamour interlaced with wearable style.

The collection reminded true to its classicism routes of Burberry but was just lifted into the realms of fun, light hearted styling by combination of colours and use of metallic, plastic and lace all heralding a vibrant, exciting Burberry under Christopher Baileys wing.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Day 3 London Fashion Week, SS13 reviews

The collection had warrior-esque inspired feel I thought with flat lace up, knee high boots and also the combination of textures such as chain of pearls that detailed around dress was like an armour shield. Garments had frayed edges, netted layered skirts and detail guillotine style cuts in fabric.

Conversely statement dresses were baroque inspired with bejewelled nude figure hugging maxi dresses and jewelled nude cycling shorts layered under dress.
The collection for SS13 was lavish, opulent and strong by use of different textures all combining in reacting layers to one another giving the garments movement and three dimensional structured look.

It had Stepford wife 1950s feel to the collection models with plastic doll like faces shining, blue eye shadow to the eyebrow, purple rinse hair and beehive grey wigs with rolls at front and tucked underneath at back of head. Beauty was made ugly, the new ugly fashion with hair nets and wide brimmed pointed glasses.

The accessories were heralding back to days when women were ladies lace and satin elbow length gloves, and hats not masculine bowler or flat caps but dainty boater hat style and sculpturally placed small brim hats. Not forgetting pearls the quintessential lady accessory they were large and long chain necklaces.
Some of my favourite looks were pyjama striped shirt dress, sharp off shoulder cut wraparound dress in soft coloured splattered print and the 50s swimsuits perfectly cut for the classic dream silhouette.

There was a nod to Westwood slogan print 90s days when back of t-shirt read ‘Climate Revolution’ which then materialised into intended message when Vivienne Westwood at end of show came out followed by two army clad slogan models, her dress unravelled to a large banner which was held by models with ‘Climate Revolution’ on and Westwood wore baroque inspired helmet highlighting the fights against climate control.

The extremes of the collection highlighted 50s repression, climate control and ugly as beauty.

The collection had a formalist approach, linear lines, block colour and pattern print with contrasting colour alignment. Shirts were button up collared two tone affairs the top was either a block colour or print and bottom half plain white, they looked crisp with a subtle twist on the conventional tailored shirt. The two tone was also on loose fitting v neck dresses the colour reached triangular point on dress and white around. Quirky differences to the tailored look came with the blazer having contrasting coloured lapels of white and black, also contrasting coloured arms.

The use of colour came in pop art bursts with varying stages of red and yellow in geometric square print dress. Lower half of shirt sleeves were dip dyed, I liked how the white shirt became reconstructured for younger audience by simple colour play.
The collection has inspiration from the classicism of the white shirt and line detail, giving modern sharp lines a dash with bold colouring.

SS13-: Inspired by world history, global exploration and guilloche pattern play.

It was all about the print beautiful scenic snap shots of historic landmarks printed upon full flowing lampshade dresses. The mix of print, structured shape and ornate detailing made the garments appeal ethereal in their design and metallic shine added three dimensional movements.
Sleeves were varied wide brimmed lampshade cut offs, concave to the body and hiding within the dress. The use of colours was varied they were soft palette though no brash or bold colouring but subdued and carefully mixed.

The sculptured designs such as tube panelled dress seemed to protrude out at the top giving precise lines. Which was also seen on pleated maxi dress the lines were perpendicular to one another in minute detail, the dress appeared to glisten between the pleats.
I loved this collection it was ornate, modern, varied colours and the lines mixed with print were striking.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Day 2 London Fashion Week, SS 13 Reviews

SS13-: ‘I read ‘The old man and the sea’ by Hemmingway and I wanted to bring this idea to life. I used conversational prints as bias of collection, to echo the conversations that man has with sea and that women have with each other.’

The collection had a kooky and retro feel, it opened with sound of Frank Sinatra singing ‘Somewhere over the sea,’ and the sea reference was seen not just in colouring of blues but with navy style long blazer, octopus tentacles cascading down dresses and along sleeves as well as oversized Mac which had contrasting short sleeves that were constructed into side of Mac.
Dungaree style dresses, jumpsuits and skirts also appeared adding to the kooky feel with the contrast of paisley mixed with plaid and world map print. There was also an elegant red trouser dungaree ¾ in length and skirts with rouched paper bag waist line.
I feel that the collections use of print and colour had a fun, light hearted approach to next SS.

SS13 -: ‘Marfa meets Savile row.’

The neon flower lights, bare footed models, green catwalk and subdued folk music gave the collection a boho seventies feel. Denim low waisted jeans and hot pants with peace motifs such as doves, heart and peace logo were printed on jeans in a collage mix match. Cut out detail print shift dresses and patchwork paisley print skirt added relaxed summer vibe to the collection.
It wasn’t just floral though stripes and glitter sequins sparkled down the catwalk. Multi coloured hexagon collage on vest dress captured the eye along with sparkling striped vest dress. The sparkly dresses were over embellished, bright and shining.

The inspiration of Savile row was seen in the tailoring, wide leg trouser suits with sharply fitted blazer with wide lapels came in crisp white and black colouring.
I thought it was a standard presentation of SS13 it was referenced in the past instead of modern designs. Denim, sparkles and tailored suits nothing too inspirational in its presentation.

The inspiration I felt through the collection was the dark canopy of the jungle, colours of green, khaki, flashes of red and yellow all against soundtrack of bongo drums and chanting. The collection was aggressive in style, sharp angles, high neck collars and metal zip up high jackets. Garments were slashed at the back and around the midriff exposing the skins in layers, the slashed fabric contrasting and moving against the body when in movement.

In contrast matching golden A line pleated skirt and high neck combos breathed the light in through the mass of dark colouring. Architectural folding of fabric to focal point at waist line on dresses gave the dresses a rigid structure. The use of two tone colouring on cigarette style trousers from dark to lighter matched with monochrome jackets giving a edgy but sophisticated look.

Volume and layering they are the two aspects I took from his collection. Full body taffeta dresses were layered over ankle grazer cigarette pants. The layering was architectural in design with different fabric such as sheer, taffeta and silk layered between and over one another combining the colouring.  My favourite look was sheer polka dot jumpsuit over bralet and boy shorts but instead of dots was embroidered daisy’s it had fun, youthful look but still daring as sheer material.

SS13-: ‘Inspired by Garden of Eden, Noahs ark, vibrant underwater corals, passion and seduction.’

Print, colour and detailing are all bold, vibrant use and range of colours giving tropical glow to the collection. The neck is exposed as main feature with halter neck dresses, opulent gold collared jewellery and knots as base of neck exposing shoulders and neck line. Maxi dresses with cut out backs and wrap around tie detail around waist focus the eye to waist line. Parrot and fauna motifs on the dresses enliven the dress to a tropical setting, as well as eastern influence with kaftans layered over trousers.
The collection is bright, mix matched and loud to the eye.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Day 1: London Fashion Week SS13 reviews

SS 13 -: ‘Set on Tropical Island, where there is an Embassy tea party on the lawn, the tropical setting as its backdrop.’

The show started with a red back light illuminating the cat walk like a rising sun the feeling of a tropical setting was immediate then out came a fusion of bright colours, floral print motifs, tropical fish print and patchwork dresses matched with long trailing neck scarves.
My favourite look was more tailored, high waisted black flare trousers juxtaposed against tucked under hot pant style shorts, her use of extremes of height made the collection accessible to a wider demographic. I also loved how she mix matched a draping side cut black flowing evening skirt with t-shirts knotted on the side; it gave a relaxed but formal look.

The overall style of the collection I feel has a relaxed, fun and modern approach for the seasoned traveller. The use of colour, motifs and accessories such as fish net bag bring a humour to her designs.

SS 13 -: ‘Has strong botanical influence, will feature my trademark sculptural shapes.’

The first hint to her botanical influence came with the music soft sounds of the rainforest could be heard, birds tweeting and water cascading down. The catwalk was illuminated by white light as the first model entered her shadow lit up casting white light onto the catwalk creating a glow behind and in front as she walked.
Sleeves were dramatic they came in sculptured shapes of full sleeve, puff ball cap sleeves, ¾ tailored sleeves and restrictive against the models bodies creating a distorted shape of the arm. The sculptured element of the garments was also seen in full body bubble skirts, oversized bow detailing around collar, layering tulip effect of dress over long train and use of tulle creating three dimensional shapes around the body. The body became distorted with concave shapes at back of dresses as well as dramatic shoulder lines.

The sculptured dramatic element of her designs was juxtaposed against the use of soft, ethereal colouring of creams, gold, white and sheer fabrics. The botanical influence was not the usual stereotypical fauna motifs but the feel and mood exhibited was one of contented relaxation with the environment.

SS13 –: ‘Inspiration came from Queen Victoria’s grand daughter, Marie who became the Queen of Romania in 1922 and the love she had for her botanical garden in Balchik.’

The models had a regal inspiration with tall head dress similar to crown structure the other inspiration that could be seen as a constant in models is the use of patterned tights the markings looked like vine leaves running up their legs, taking the botanical influence.
Collars was the main trend I saw in the collection there was embellished collars, lace, high collars, over sized asymmetrical collars and stand alone collars as statement jewellery pieces. Layering was another key trend and contrast of fabrics, sheer and lace. The sheer layering draped down and gave the garments a mystical quality of breezing along especially in the A line dresses which were layered over silk shift, the dress became alive and breezed offset against the body.

The colours used were mainly purple and blues but with the layering and use of different fabrics the colour palette varied as model walked against the light. Overall the collection had regal manner but one of haunted consequence it was as the models were portraying lost monarchs who could only retreat into their botanical dreams.

His collection had futuristic musical influence I thought. The beat of the track that played as models walked was echoed in the computerised graphic design print on his garments, the tie dye effect on the collection was sharp and had angular points it was as a beat on rock/trance soundtrack.

His collection had an angular approach the angles was asymmetric on the dresses reaching a triangular point at hem. Dresses were also cut into with use of different colouring they appeared to have contrasting sides, the fabric flapped and flayed over one another giving the dress three dimensional movement.
It had masculine feel there were low waist harem style trousers but they had impression of work man pants with heavy belt. The use of tailoring mixed with cut out details softened the masculine edge. I liked how his graphic print jump suits had none of the playfulness of the seventies but I feel he had re-invented in cool, hard edged manner by use of bold graphic print and sharp tailoring.

SS13-: ‘Harmony with disharmony creates illusions: expect the unexpected we are intrigued with contrasts.’

It kicked off with hard metallic guitar solo then the light went up to reveal girl on side of catwalk on top of box singing grunge/metal songs. That set off the feel off the collection, one for the young and cool.  Coloured leopard print dresses, skirt and crop top combos revealed slashes of skin be it by cut away dress revealing leg or top the mid riff. Tops were slashed at neck or high neck but all were cropped. The backs of dresses were low and V shaped, the contrast came with the front which was high neck.
My favourite look was sheer layered trousers over cropped shorts which went into high necked jump suit with the back revealed. The combination of different fabrics, length and skin exposure made the garment feel modern and not overly sexy but understated cool and fresh approach to the conventional jumpsuit, it was as three separate pieces in one.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Behind the Boosh, Photography by Dave Brown

Collage of some of the photographs from exhibtion.

Oriel Colwyn, 01.09.12-16.10.12

Dave Brown also known as Bollo the Gorilla from the Mighty Boosh had a photography exhibition at  gallery 'Oriel Colwyn' in which photography of props, backstage scenes, shots from tour and scenes from the TV series was shown all in which he had photographed from the start of 2004 with the first series of Mighty Boosh right through to the tour and ongoing series.

The photographs were all in black frames giving a simplistic and modernist approach the whole environment had an intimate room the exhibition was in a small room at the back of the theatre. As Dave Brown was the photographer the images have a personal feel and don't look staged it is as he is shooting his friends and span over the twelve years of the Boosh they provide a unique insight into the characters behind the Mighty Boosh.

Inge Jacobsen

Artist Inge Jacobsen is painstakingly turning over saturated commercial images into ones of couture status. Her methods include hand embroidery, cutting, cross stitching and collage of well known commercial images, magazine covers and fashion advertisements into hand stitched unique, individual creations.

Her style is highlighting the image saturated society we play a part in and by breaking the image into its cross stitched design she redefines the image and in turn I feel embeds the image with fresh connotations away from its previous mass produced into individualism.  

Her use of cross stitching over the face of the model in both the magazine cover and fashion editorial shoot shows how the imagery we see doesn’t depend on the individual look of the model as we are accustomed to a pre-defined over saturated image of aesthetic beauty so by removing the details of the face we do not lose the appeal of the image. Jacobsen is allowing the imagery to become unique to our own perspective by removing the aesthetic ideals of mass produced images by her individual cross stitching.
I like how Jacobsen is allowing fashion imagery to become back to its routes of individual style rather than that of over saturated replica imagery.
Some other examples of her work -:


Monday, 3 September 2012

Pre-Raphaelite Femme Fatales

Lady Lever Art Gallery, Liverpool
‘A Pre-Raphaelite Journey,’ Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale, 1 June to 4 November 2012.

Lady Lever Art Gallery current has an exhibition of Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale work who was known as one of the key figures in the last phase of Pre-Raphaelitism, a generation younger than the original Pre-Raphaelites (1848) she helped to revive their style at the end of nineteenth century.

The Pre-Raphaelite style of heightened colour and hyper real detail was known for in their images of telling a story of mystical religiosity and femme’s fatales, it was of the Victorian era where Shakespeare and medieval quests was a source of inspiration.
The Lady Lever exhibition was a labyrinth design of three rooms showcasing in chronological order Brickdale’s work as painter, designer and illustrator. The walls were painted lilac with the images in gold mounted frames and panel boards in each room with background information on about that time period. Overall I wasn’t enthralled by the design as there was no variety in display techniques used or colour was not emphasised it was not in keeping with the Pre-Raphaelite style of heightened colour and mystical story telling. I think in the exhibition plan there could be more definition used between each room/time period of emphasising the key highlights of that period via use of colour and texture.

The aspect of the exhibition that I was interested in was how Brickdale showed women she celebrated their beauty as a scene of nature and women were not seen as just ethereal creatures to be adorned and adored but who had control of their own destiny by their own natural beauty and how it could be used to disarm and distract men.
 The little foot page, 1905.
In this image Brickdale showed a woman cutting her own hair to disguise herself as a man so she could follow her lover as he rode on horseback as not to be discovered by him. By her cutting her hair it is symbolic of the lengths women would go to trick their lover as in the Victorian period long waving hair was a sign of aesthetic beauty. The woman is shown to be cunning and scheming in following her lover, it highlights the differences that women are showing as the Victorian period progresses from the previous images of ethereal delicate creatures to now being connoted as devious in controlling their own beauty for their own gains.
Vivien and Merlin, 1911.
In this image Brickdale shows how Merlin the wizard is beguiled by Viviens beauty, it shows the power of women as a seductresses as she is disarming him in taking control of his magical powers. She is shown as a serpent like figure with emerald green cloak it is the use of animal analogy and the use of natural colours in showing how women could be seen as part of nature and animalistic in their qualities for their own self preservation by the tightness of her dress it has sexual connotations and how use of their feminine charm and dress can be used to disarm and distract, it shows Vivien as a femme fatale.
Recently photographer Ellen Von Unwerth photographed model Eniko Mihalik for July 2012 Vogue Italia in a shoot named ‘So full of dreams’ it is inspired by the Pre-Raphaelites but unlike Brickdale it goes back to the earlier stages of early nineteenth century and shows women as ethereal creatures to be adorned and adored in this case by lightweight dresses and sparkling jewels all by Chanel. It shows how when we think of the Pre-Raphaelites we like to imagine beautiful, delicate women but I like how that as the Pre-Raphaelite period ended at beginning of twentieth century women were now seen as more than having just aesthetic charm.