Sunday, 28 February 2010

Goodbye to Fashioning February

Well sadly Fashioning February has come to an end but it has certainly been a ball. New York and London Fashion Weeks came and went, I attended LFW and was blown away by the shows I saw. I also witnessed a blogger baclklash which resulted in a couple of bloggers almost throwing in the towel. I was also priviledged to watch the live streaming of the IFB Evolving Influence Conference which took place in NYC and was attended by loads of fabulous bloggers. One of the topics that was raised was the ethic of bloggers and how they conduct themselves behind and away from the computer screens. This made me think about my own ethics and goals for my blog but I will leave that for another post. I also reached a long time goal and got to interview the wonderful Gisele Scanlon as well as Susie Bubble. Thank you all for your support and I hope you all enjoyed reading Fashioning February, I certainly enjoyed writing and I plan to have more themes this year. I would love to know what you thought about Fashioning February so would you be ever so kind and fill in my feedback form. By doing this you will be in with a chance of winning a copy of The Goddess Experience by Gisele Scanlon and 24 Hours London.by Marsha Moore. 

Click here to complete the survey

Friday, 26 February 2010

Fashioning February: TGI Friday

This is the last week of Fashioning February and I have an amazing amount of fun. London Fashion Week (LFW) came and went and yet again there were a fabulous amount of posts. Like two weeks ago it was a very hard decision to narrow it done to five links but I got there in the end. So with no further ado, here are the posts that have rocked my world this week.

Oh Elle
You know you have arrived when Topshop comes knocking on your door. Disney Roller Girl, Coco's Tea Party and Oh Elle were invited down to Topshop's flagship store to host a blogging workshop. The lovely Elle gives us a recap of the day.

Coco's Tea Party
Following the blogging workshop, Coco has kindly put together a list of blogging tips for newbie bloggers.

Kate Loves Me
This week was all about London Fashion Week and Pelayo gives us a pictorial lowdown on his time at LFW. I just love the We HEART KateLovesMe cards that he has all the fashionistas holding up.

Marian Kihogo
It wasn't just the clothes that got everyone hot under the collar, bloggers also breathing hard over their behaviour at shows and in the press room. Read this insightful and very honest commentary from Marian on her thoughts about the behaviour of bloggers at LFW.

Disco Nap
Sitting on the side of the fence was this spunky blogger who decided to speak up and give her side of the story. It certainly made interesting reading.

Picture taken from Oh Elle.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Fashioning February: In the Editor's Chair - Wafa Alobaidat

We are barely three months into the year yet bloggers have been talked about non stop since 2010 kicked in. From little Tavi's offending bow at New York Fashion Week to an avalanche of articles which have hyped up the bloggers and editors divide. This debate continued onto London Fashion Week when the unruly behaviour of a few blogger's were criticised. It looks like bloggers who have been warmly received by fashion brands might become the victims of a backlash. However every cloud has a silver lining and among these major faux pas have been a couple of exciting initiatives that surely will prove to be the saviour of bloggers. The Independent Fashion Bloggers Evolving Influence conference took place in New York last Monday and boasted several panels of respected bloggers who tackled issues such as ethics, professional blogging and marketing. The event was packed to capacity and the organisers had to create a space where people could watch the event on a screen. The event was also streamed online so bloggers all over the world could watch and this went down a treat. This takes me to Sketchbook Magazine which launched last August with a fashion blogger issue and as well as having Susie Bubble on the cover it featured interviews with other high profile fashion bloggers. Sketchbook is the baby of 23 year old Wafat Alobaidat who yearned to create a magazine which brimmed with illustrations, drawings and images that celebrated young talent. Wafat describes her magazine as part portfolio and character sketch and also rammed with fashion, art and culture. What is more remarkable about the publication is that it is one of few style magazines that is available by print on demand. I caught up with Wafat to find out the magazine, blogging and anything in between.

How did you get into journalism?
I started reading and writing at a very young age. I wrote short stories, kept journals, reported my daily life on a daily basis. I got some of my work published with a local newspaper and a local magazine a few years back, and a poem I wrote won a national contest in the US. I also started blogging when I was a student at Chelsea College of Art and Design and started to develop my writing there. I worked with many editors and writers after university and started to write for publications like Prim Magazine and Borderline in NY and Style Bazaar in London. Right now I still consider myself a journalist in a sense that through Sketchbook I assign stories to my writers, and keep the ‘reporting’ bit in check.  

Describe the concept of Sketchbook Magazine.
Sketchbook is a new quarterly magazine that showcases established and emerging creative talents in fashion, design and culture with a focus on features, photography and illustration. Featuring original sketchbook graphics, exclusive interviews with scientists in jelly and photographers in Africa, We present our finds in a raw and exposed fashion. In Sketchbook, it’s not just about the product itself, but also about the beauty of the process of conceptualization, creation and appreciating the means to an end. Sketchbook aims to provide an entrance into the minds of switched-on, aware and intelligent creative’s and inspire those who wish to be part of such an innovative industry. I wanted to create a publication rich with mood boards, illustrations, and bursting with ideas. I wanted it to be edit-free and advertise-less and full of workshops and spaces. 

The design is very glam, how did you decide on the art design of the publication?
The design for the first issue is very clean and straight forward which is still not how I envision Sketchbook. I want to do Sketchbook justice and really embrace the rawness, cuts, tears, look and feel of a sketch book. I am really looking to create an unconventional magazine free of guidelines, I want Sketchbook to explore different themes and styles in each issue, and try to get closer to what a sketch book really is, or try to explore the concept of a sketch book in each theme. 

Who is behind Sketchbook Magazine?
I started masterminding Sketchbook Magazine a year ago, so I was on my own for a while. I accumulated all the illustrators, designers, etc that I wanted to collaborate with. Features editor, Luma Bashmi joined six months later and she is my right hand person, overseeing the quality of all the features, does all the proof-reading and helps me run the whole Sketchbook brand (from Sketchbook TV, the magazine, the blog). Ekaete our content manager is our full time staffer and one of the core members of the magazine. 
How many members of staff work on the magazine? 
There are four full time staffers working with me and Luma at Sketchbook quarters, we have eight part- time interns who come in to write, report or blog for Sketchbook Magazine. 150 people have been involved with the first issue and 200 for the second issue. We also have a 15 member film crew made up of Komal Verma the executive producer of the webispodes, and Jospeh Salmassian who is our producer, and the rest are technicians, and sound editors.  But overall we have about 500 members of the Sketchbook network. I like to think of it as a huge family. 

Describe a day in the life of Wafa Alobaidat.
A day in my life consists of the following: Waking up at 9.30am, getting dressed (usually in something comfy and converse), cleaning up the studios, having breakfast (which is now becoming two cups of lemon and ginger tea and some fruit), and then everyone starts showing up at 10.30am. I usually start with checking the Sketchbook website, the blog, our sales through magcloud.com, our Twitter pages and start replying to anyone who has left any responses, and updating statuses. I then start going through my email (which takes me forever) and I start forwarding emails to Fiona Gandy, our press officer, and content for the next issue to Ekaete Inyang, my content manager. There is usually a list of to do’s to go through, writing up proposals, getting back to distributors and printers. Meanwhile everyone at the office is blogging, chasing up stories and planning events. We break for lunch at around 1pm. Luma and I used to cook for staffers which was really fun but the group just got so much bigger and we had to stop. We still make brownies when we can and there is plenty of choc and junk foods to snack on in the kitchen. We usually work till about 6.30pm, even though I tend to stay on the computer way longer than that. But every day is interesting - we always send our bloggers and writers to cover last minute events and sometime we find ourselves scrambling to get in touch with our TV crew who have to get to a location usually to interview an A-list designer in a matter of hours. Luma and I try to meet at least five designers a day to look through their portfolios and to commission new work. Every day is exciting and I love it. The best days are when we get to meet interesting people in the industry, or look through a great portfolio, and hopefully we still have time to go out and meet friends at night for some dinner, or invite them over for coffee and cake. 

Which blogs do you check out regularly?
I check out Style Bubble on a daily basis - it’s the one blog that I go back to for references and inspiration. My blog lists includes The Sartorialist, The Face Hunter, Yvan Rodic, Garance Dore', Sea of Shoes, Tavi-New Girl in Town, MykromagAbdul Lagerfeld,, Notes by Na├»ve, Fashion Toast, SHOWstudio blog, Kate Loves Me, Gala Gonzales’s Am-Lul’s blog, Creative Review’s blog, and Dazed Digital. I always try to check out The Business of Fashion, Style.com, Vogue.com a few times a week.

What magazines do you read? 
I read Dazed and Confused, Interview, POP, Love, Another Magazine, Another Man, Fantastic Man, Vogue UK, Crash, Evening Standard Magazine, Wallpaper, Monocole, Grafik, Amelia’s Magazine, Lula and Prim Magazine

What tips do you have for anyone who wants to become a magazine editor?
It’s a full time job getting the first issue together - I had no life in the first six months of putting the magazine together. You have to really be able to sell the idea to contributors and potential editors, so constantly being enthusiastic and positive about the project is a must. You can’t do it alone, you have to delegate responsibilities to people you trust who share your vision of the product. You must find a space to meet with your team and create a hub for activity whether it’s your living room or university library. You must be able to meet with people you want involved with the magazine. Have a unique selling point for your magazine – for Sketchbook magazine it’s the fashion illustrations, and blogger profiles that differentiate us from other magazines. Think digital – you have to be able to have a huge web presence to exist as a publication. Take advantage of media networks like Twitter, Facebook, Ping, Ying, Google Wave. Create blogs, update them regularly, upload your magazine onto issuu to gain a readership and following. There are so many exciting online ventures that you can get your magazine in. You can now buy Sketchbook as a book from Lulu.com, and buy a PDF of the magazine through e-junkie and Exact Editions. 

You can buy a copy of Sketchbook Magazine here.

You can read Wafa's blog here.

You can follow her on Twitter here.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Fashioning February: My Space by Abby Ajay from High Street Fashionista

The British High Street is certainly having a superb week with Topshop Unique going down a treat at London Fashion Week and of course the huge success of The Look Show, which was a collaboration between high street brands and Look magazine. I am a high street girl who likes to mix pieces from Mango, Zara, H&M and asos.com so I was delighted when I came across Abby's blog. The High Street Fashionista is a blog which documents Abby's shopping life and loves of many bags, shoes and accessories. She started her mouthpiece in 2006 and since then she has graduated onto other topics in the popular culture remit. I caught up with her to find out where she blogs.

Describe the concept of High Street Fashionista.
The High Street Fashionista blog initially grew out of my love of shopping for clothes, accessories and shoes on the high street and the starting concept was to discuss my experiences of high street shopping and my aspirations towards shopping for designer clothes. I also wanted to write something for fun, which was separate from the writing I was doing for my day job (though I do blog about writing at Moody Writer. High Street Fashionista has now broadened to include general comment on popular culture and things that grab my interest as well as cataloguing my experiences of travelling, eating out, living in London, trying and failing to be a recessionista and of course high street shopping. Ultimately the aim is to explore and discuss a range of topics that are aspirational and which will resonate with all the high street fashionistas out there. 

Where do you scribe?
My blogging happens in snatched moments between deadlines for my day job as a screenwriter. Working from home, the lure of the E! channel has often proven to strong to resist and I tend to go out and write at places like the Southbank Centre, the British Library, The Women's Library, BAFTA or my local Starbucks or Costa. Sometimes inspiration comes at home and then I tend to either write in bed or in a comfy old armchair with my Macbook on my knees.

Why that place?
I like writing in public places because between writing, I like to people watch and eavesdrop, which helps me generate ideas for the blog and for my writing in general. But I also like being comfy which is when writing at home is most appealing. I tend to write straight onto my computer - basically I draft my blog posts when inspiration strikes - though I also keep a list of ideas I'd like to explore on the blog at some point. 
What is on your bed and sofa at the moment?
My working area at home is always a mess. My Macbook and Iphone have pride of place alongside, a stetson hat (I like wearing a hat when I write), a stack of DVDs to watch, books to read, magazines - Mslexia and Harpers Bazaar, my various notebooks, lots of post-its with reminders and the script that I'm currently working on.

What form of inspiration do you have on the wall 
I am a great collector of quotes, some more profound than others. Above my desk I have a postcard with the Lady Astor quote, "I married beneath me, all women do." I also have a photo of myself outside Walford East station on the set of Eastenders. I like to write down and keep extracts from books that have particularly touched me and I also tend to collect postcards and images that are particularly striking and which have in some way inspired me. I also have a cuttings book/ ideas folder where I put interesting cuttings from magazines and newspapers.

Do you keep a tidy office or are you a messy worker?
I am a horribly messy person in general (except for my shoes which are all neatly boxed) and often my desk is littered with magazines, books, DVDs, cuttings and other stuff I've collected for inspiration, which is why having a desk in a public space is a good thing for me. However my laptop folders are incredibly well organized.

You can read Abby's blog here.

You can follow her on Twitter here.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Fashioning February: Style City by Robert O'Byrne

Style City (How London Became a Fashion Capital) is a comprehensive look at Britain’s fashion industry from the 1970s to the present. The book looks at how fashion developed in the country at a time when designer fashion did not exist to the current period where London sits alongside Paris, New York and Milan as a global fashion capital. Style City looks at the major players on the fashion scene and the influences that have shaped the industry such as music, clubs, parties. The book covers the period from the early 70s with Punk explosion and New Wave with references to Sid Vicious, and the partnership between Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren which led to the launch of their SEX shop in Kings Road. It also covers Zandra Rhodes adaptation of the punk phase in her collection of jersey silk dresses which she sold in her shop in central London. The emergence of designers such as Jasper Conran and Bruce Oldfield are also featured as well. The next chapter covers the 80s phase of The New Romantics with the young Princess Diana at the helm and the birth of London Fashion Week. While the new wave was all about anti establishment the New Romantics strengthened the links between pop music and fashion in Britain. It also touches on the fact that London was full of creativity but lacked the essential commerce aspect that Milan and Paris did.

Which brings me to the section on The Business of Fashion which was in the era where Brit fashion began to stand on its own two feet. This is the time when an astonishing amount of fashion businesses set up. Supported by Margaret Thatcher, designers and buyers were invited to lavish receptions held at Downing Street with everyone basking in their own success. The next chapter, A time of Crisis covers the gloomy recession in which we saw many Brit designers struggle to make ends meet. The 90s was the era of the supermodel but also a time of Cool Britannia and when fashion came back to London Fashion Week. Also a decade which spawned talents such as Alexander McQueen, Hussein Chalayan and Antonio Berradi and when hip magazines such as The Face, i-D and Blitz were launched. Style concludes with The New Millennium which looks at the impact that fashion has had on human causes such as Fashion Rocks and the plans to nurture future designers to make sure that London remains the global capital. Style City is a great book for those who are fashion obsessed. It is a bit on the wordy side to be a coffee table book but contains some really good stories about how London became the style city that it is. There are also loads of gorgeous photographs and illustrations for you to admire. Style City is given a lot of credibility with quotes from famous British designers as well as influential figures like Lynne Franks, Alexandra Shulman and Wendy Dagworthy. So it is very befitting that Style City has been chosen by the British Fashion Council as book of the year as it celebrates the 25th anniversary.  

You can buy Style City from amazon

Monday, 22 February 2010

Fashioning February: The Look Show

As I mentioned in a previous post, Slave to Fashion Britain has the best high street in the world. With gems like H&M, Oasis, Mango, Zara, Miss Selfridges etc we are really spoilt for choice when selecting high fashion at reasonable prices. So what better way to celebrate this by holding a fashion show that features items that will be available in store and online right after the show. While items shown on the catwalk do not make their appearances in the shops till six months later the pieces featured at The Look are immediately ripe for picking. The show was hosted by Look magazine and took place at the swish Saatchi Gallery on Saturday. It was the first ever high street fashion show that took place during London Fashion Week with Look being the only fashion magazine to be part of London Fashion Week. The fashion stores that took place were Reiss, French Connection, H&M, Dorothy Perkins, Mango, Miss Selfridge, Marks & Spencer, Next, Oasis, River Island, Warehouse, New Look, Zara and Asos.com.
Now I am not really a fan of Look magazine as I find that it is a bit too much like a catalogue; I am more of Grazia girl but they really pulled out the stops for this event. It was a pretty slick operation from start to finish. It all kicked off with a champagne reception with tasty canapes; I am proud to say that I lived up to my so called 'bligger' mantra and stuffed my face silly. My excuse is that I did not have time to stop for lunch so I was famished by the time I got to the event and hey a lady had to eat right? Then it was up to the actual show itself. There were a few minor celebrities in the crowd such as Mollie King from The Saturdays and Beverly Knight. The show kicked off with supermodel, Erin O'Conner opening with Reiss with other stores showing off their wares. The themes were florals, shorts, jumpsuits, blazers with shoulder pads and rolled up sleeves as well as a lot of prints. Pop diva, Pixie Lott performed one of her hit singles and demonstrated why she is being touted as one of the country's finest talents.
Unlike catwalk shows where only the front two rows are given goody bags, The Look Show gave goody bags to everyone who attended and these bags which were designed by Olivia Rubin were bulging with products. Inside were a bar of Thorntons chocolates, a scarf from Dorothy Perkins, a small bag from asos,  nail polish from nubar, bangles from DIVA, another one from Tallulah Tu, rose petal salve from Rose & Co Apothecary, moisturiser from Purity,  necklace and earrings from Hannahmakesthings.com,  soft curl cream from Toni&Guy, notepad from Kipling, necklace from Rosie Fox, lipstick from Guerlain, woolly hat from Chelsea Girl, sunglasses from The Laden Showroom, H&M magazine, a bottle of Evian water, a £25 voucher from Next and of course a copy of Look magazine. Basically everything but the kitchen sick. Overall it was a great celebration of fashion from the high street and really exciting to see such vibrant and stylish yet accessible outfits on the catwalk.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Fashioning February: London Fashion Week - February 2010

So yesterday I got my fashion fix by heading down to Somerset House for London Fashion Week aka LFW. This is the second season that LFW has been held at Somerset House and the location works a real treat. The cobbled streets brings out the quainty aspects of British style along with the period features of the buildings that surround the courtyard. I had a very packed schedule ahead of me so I made sure that I got there early so I could soak in the atmosphere of LFW. After picking up my press badge I had a quick look at the press area and a quick chat with fellow bloggers Susie Bubble and Disney Roller Girl. The first show I saw was Kinder Aggugni which was a mixture of millitary chic and vintage flowing pieces. Needless to say the venue was packed and the audience very appreciative.
After I popped into the Vauxhall Fashion Scout media centre (part of the off schedule for LFW) to have a look at their set up. The Vauxhall Fashion Scout crew are always mega friendly and never fail to produce a fabulous press room. In September 2008 they had a Moroccan theme with exotic furniture, silk cushions and throws which was followed in February 2009 with a cosy space filled with bunches of roses and candles. This year they came up trumps with an Alice in Wonderland like theme with bird cadges dotted about on tables and window sills. There were also yummy cupcakes on display courtesy of thelittlecakery which I just had to sample - well it would have been rude not to. Next it was off to New Oxford Street for Romina Karamanea which took place at an underground venue which was jam packed. I spied Marion Kihogo tapping away at her netbook while looking chic in a fur gillet. The Romina Karamanea collection was very gothic like with all black pieces made out of leather, tweed and jersey. After a quick hello to Marion I rushed off to The Look Show which turned out to be the highlight of the day.

Check out Vauxhall Fashion Scout's blog.

I will be reviewing The Look Show tomorrow.

The picture at the top is of Kinder Aggugini.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Fashioning February: TGI Friday


Whoopee!! London Fashion Week kicks off today and aside from losing my Blackberry, (why do I feel like I have lost my BF?) I am really pumped up for it. This week has produced yet another round of amazing blog posts so here we are with the ones that have rocked my world.

Fashion Editor at Large
Fashion bloggers are taking over the world, correction they have already taken over what with the massively successful Evolving Influence Blog Conference on Monday and now they are featured in US Vogue. Respect!

Wendy Brandes Jewelery
The enigmatic Wendey Brandes gives us the lowdown on the Evolving Influence Fashion Blog Conference which she took part in.

Your Private Shopper
The stylish Kristina was featured as one of the most stylish women on cyberspace by the mighty Forbes magazine. She was so chuffed that she decided to write a post about it and listing the other women on the list.

Disney Roller Girl
DRG looks at the evolution of fashion shows and the whole ethos behind them.

Marian Kihogo
All week the lovely Marian has been featuring the players of London Fashion Week and finding out how they are preparing for the five days full of fashion, parties and champagne. In this post she interviews Joy Vieli, a model and DJ who expects to be very busy during the event.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Fashioning February: My London Style Icon by Reena Rai

London has it’s fair share of style icons and it’s incredibly difficult to pick just one for the city which boasts some of the most diverse fashion styles in the world. Of course, there is Kate Moss. She is known the world over as a fashion icon with millions emulating her style, so much so that she has successfully made the transition from model to designer. But for me, she is too obvious a choice. London needs a rebellious, wild youngster who breaks the rules. Enter Daisy Lowe.
Daisy Lowe’s fashion star has been steadily rising since her first Vogue Italia shoot in early 2006. With campaigns for Louis Vuitton and Marc by Marc Jacobs as well as editorials for the likes of Vogue Italia, W Magazine, Instyle and Nylon, she has proven herself to be a true fashion darling. Her rock and roll heritage gives her a natural edge over her peers, effortless attitude and the kind of confidence you can’t fake.

Although her signature look is a quirky, understated chic take on grunge, Daisy can also pull off red carpet glamour like a pro. But it’s her off duty looks I love the most, as she’s not afraid to mix it up and take risks. Beaten up high tops and leggings one day, prim and proper white tights with mary-janes the next, both extremes pulled off with rock chick style with aplomb. I think Vivienne Westwood best summed her up when she said; 'She's a bombshell…she looks super sexy all the time. She's one of those lucky girls who never needs to try to be anything other than herself.

Reena Rai is the founder of Fashion Daydreams.

You can follow her on Twitter.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Fashioning February: My Space - Laetitia Wajnapel from Madmoiselle Robot

My first impression when landing on Laetitia Wajnapel's blog was "Wow, what a gorgeous place to be." Mademoiselle Robot is a blog that covers fashion and lifestyle in the form of beauty, interiors, styling but it also embracing it's girlieness with great layout, heart shaped plugins and cute polaroid snaps of Laetitia. Since she has been blogging Laetitiia has made a made for herself in the the blogging community and this has resulted in her gaining a lot of media coverage. She is now the proud owner of an extremely bulging online press file. She even takes vlogging to a new level with her own TV channel MRTV which can be found on her blog. Laetitia will be at London Fashion Week observing the new looks by fashion designers such as Topshop and co. I caught up with her to find out where she writes her blog.

Describe the concept of Mademoiselle Robot.
Mademoiselle Robot is a fashion and lifestyle website with a vintage twist. I focus mostly on style, not so much about fashion. I am generally more interested in looking at clothes because of how they help people feel good and be themselves. Because of my focus on style, I branch out and also write about beauty, interiors and have regular interviews with people I like about their own experiments with style

Where do you scribe?
Mademoiselle Robot is my half of my day job (the other half is MademoiselleStyle.co.uk) so I work from home, which is perfect for me as I work best on my own. I have a little office/work space in a corner of the living room which consists of my desk, a bookshelf and a few bits and bobs on the wall.

Why that place?
I used to have my desk in the bedroom but I found it was making me too lethargic, so I moved it to the living room. It really is the only other place I could have it so there aren't any specific reasons.

What is on your blogging space at the moment?
My desk is quite minimal, I have a 30s mirrored tray, a lamp, my filofax, sometimes a couple of magazines, and whatever I am working on at the moment.

What form of inspiration do you have on the wall?
I don't really have inspiration per se on the wall. I mainly have things that make me feel happy, pictures of my family, of baby animals, bits of ribbon, I have a Miranda July poster behind me and a bunch of old family photos that I have framed. I keep a moodbook in which I compile pictures of things that inspire my outfits but I don't feel the need to have them on display all the time. My inspiration process is quite organic, it comes from what I experience day to day and also from whatever is in my head at the time. If I forget, then it means it wasn't that inspiring, which is why I don't tend to put things up around me. I feel they actually limit my imagination rather that stimulate it.

Do you keep a tidy office or are you a messy worker?
I keep a very tidy office. Everything has a place. I also tidy my desk every day when I am done working. I find it helps me focus if things are tidy. Tidy desk = tidy mind.

You can read Laeitita's blog here.

You can follow her on Twitter here.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Fashioning February: Olivia Hearts New York


I came across this fantastic video last week on Diary of a Fashion Muse which features PR lady, Olivia Palermo showing off her favorite haunts in NYC. Olivia Hearts New York is produced by FashionAir which was set up by music mogul, Simon Fuller and is quickly proving to be a real force in online fashion. The documentary is part of a lifestyle series which features stylish women living in stylish cities. I was immediately drawn into the video because not only is it very slick it is also produced in a very quintessential way. I also loved watching the fabulousness of a la Palermo. Olivia Palermo for those who do not know stars in the reality show, The City where she is seen working as an editor at Elle magazine. She also known for impeccable poise and fashion sense so I was piqued to see where she hung out in New York. We see her in Calypso Room whee she shops for stuff for her new apartment in Brooklyn, picking out some cool pieces in Topshop, at Hair Party 24 Hours getting her nails done, shopping for some ballet flats at Foot Sole and at The Standard where she chills out for the evening.
As well as Olivia in NYC you can also watch Erin Hearts Paris with the fashion designer, Erin Fetherston taking us round Paris and Daisy Hearts London with model, Daisy Delevigne hanging out in London. The Heart slogan has been used in abundance over the last few years and you have to admit it is one pretty cool slogan. So it is no surprise that FashionAir have adopted the phrase for this lifestyle series which features high profile fashionistas showing us round their chic cities. We see Erin lounging around in Paris in places likeToraya where she relaxes with a cup of tea, David Mallet where she gets her hair done, Palais Royal where goes to have a moment of relaxation and Bibliotheque des arts decoratifs to pick up books and art stuff. Daisy shows off London's eclectic side by taking us to Chanel in Brompton Cross, Daylesford Organic where she not only buys her food but also relaxes with a cup of coffee, Les Senteurs to pick out a present for a mate, the Electric Cinema where she catches a film with some chums and Firehouse where she spends her evening drinking and dancing the night away. A city is very much what you make of it particularly large ones like NYC, London and Pars. They mean different things to different people. So what happens is that people create havens for themselves ie mini communities that they live in with shops, cafes, bars and restaurants that they frequent.

You can catch the rest of the videos on FashionAir here.

Picture taken from Diary of a Fashion Muse.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Fashioning February: Pop Idol or Stylista?


2009 was most definately the year of Lady Gaga and it was also a year which Rihanna would never forget for personal and career reasons. Both singers sold bucket loads of albums; Gaga had collaborations with Akon, Beyonce and Rihanna dueted with Jay Z and Kanye West. However as successful as these women are I find it hard to warm to them because I do not think they are great vocalists. You see I am a bit of a purist and I believe that people should hone their craft before they kick start their career and to me neither ladies can sing. I don't get any joy listening to Gaga's voice the way I do when I hear Whitney, Mariah or Lauryn Hill and Rihanna's voice frankly just jars me. As far as I am concerned both ladies are all about the image nothing more and nothing less and Lady Gaga and Rihanna's looks have most certainly been their fortune. Take yourself back to 2005 when Rihanna first came on the scene. With her long brown weave and sexy outfits she was dismissed as a poor man's Beyonce. Fast forward to 2007 with a monster hit, Umbrella and she was on everyone's lips. So what happened between those two years? Simple, a stylist. Out went the long brown weave, jeans and cropped tops and in came an edgy asymetric bob that you would die for as well as a funky designer couture which consisted of man suits, netted skirts and shoulder pads. Not many artists deserve to be compared to Madonna but I would say that Lady Gaga does. Her revolving image is rather akin to the Queen of Pop. The mini blonde manages to combine pop, performance art and fashion in the same way that Madonna has been doing for over 20 years. With her own production team called Haus of Gaga, Ms Gaga takes her fashion very seriously, pity she can't hold a note though. We all know that image is everything in the music industry and your success is all about the way you look and the way you brand yourself but somehow I think we have gone a bit too far with Gaga and Rihanna The only people who seem to show any talent from the Rihanna and Lady Gaga camp are Mariel Haenn and Nicola Formichetti who style them respectively. So maybe it should be the stylist going up to pick up all the awards?

I decided to ask two ladies who breathe fashion and music to share their thoughts on Rihanna and Lady Gaga.
Ruki Garuba, stylist and founder of Neon Style by Ruki.
Lysa Cooper is the stylist who introduced Rihanna to the world of European labels and couture. I believe that’s where her true passion for fashion started then Mariel Haenn came on board and helped her grow and develop a look that’s like no one else out there. In addition Mariel is also a designer, so even if what they want isn't in the store, they can have it made. Gone is the tomboy we met in Pon De Replay and the girly girl in SOS. The Rihanna we have now is so hard and so sexy. She is lucky to have been blessed with two amazing stylists, I admire the work both stylists have done with Rihanna as well as their other clients. I think her musical success means that the label give her a bigger buying budget for appearances and promo, therefore it’s slightly easier to get creative. Her musical success and model like proportions also mean that brands will be more open to working with her because they know that their pieces will be look amazing on her and they'll get international exposure. Lady Gaga definitely has people talking again and excited about seeing life shows. She’s a brilliant entertainer and very talented, plus no one else looks like her right now. She’s like a modern Madonna. I know that Gaga is very hands on when it comes to her wardrobe selection and also how she wants to look. In the beginning she was going out and buying pieces herself and customising them herself too. So now it must be easier for her to have a stylist that gets her vision and evolve it for her – which means she can focus on the music and performance side, which is how it should be.
Janice Spence, founder and editor of Mad News. 
Rihanna doesn't have a very good voice. I have heard her sing live and her backing band were playing their instruments extra loud, which kept on drowning out her vocals. I'm guessing that this was done deliberately. Lady GaGa on the other hand can sing. I am not a big fan of her music but the woman always delivers with her live vocals. I think that Lady GaGa has made a huge impact on the industry because to many she's original and brings the fun and wierdness back in to pop music. She creates a buzz. As for Rihanna, I don't think she's made much of an impact musically. I think the situation with former boyfriend Chris Brown has made more of an impact. In today's music industry I would say that it is more about image than singing talent. All you need is a pretty face, a nice figure and a top class stylist, make-up artist and hairdresser. When Island Def Jam signed Rihanna they were only interested in her looks and figure. They knew she couldn't sing a lick but that didn't matter. They used "studio magic" to make her vocals sound half way decent and brought in the best production teams and song writers to create the illusion of talent. The same can also be said for Ciara, Ashanti, Christina Milian and even Keri Hilson.
What do you think? Are Rihanna and Lady Gaga great music artists or just brilliant clothes horses?

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Fashioning February: Links a' la Mode

New York Fashion Week is in full flow and numerous bloggers have been camped in the tents at Bryant Park watching the wonderful fashion shows. Among the pack are members of Independent Fashion Bloggers (IFB) which is a community for fashion bloggers around the world. As well as providing a platform where bloggers can seek advice, IFB is also space where the blogger can read articles on blogging's best practice. They also do a weekly round up of the 20 best stories which have been published by members.

You can find the latest offerings in the world of style and fashion from the Independent Fashion Bloggers network below:


  • 39thandbroadway.com: – How Designers Really View Their Customers
  • A Typical Atypical: – I chat about how hard it must be to love fashion and be blind, and I question whether there ought to be a charity dedicated to helping people feel good about how they look even if they can’t see it in the mirror.
  • Cafe Fashionista: – Style Secrets: Symbol of Style. A how-to on creating your very own trademark/signature look.
  • dramatis personae – How to Pack for Mardi Gras!
  • Eternal Masquerade: – Interview with young designer, and Teen Vogue/CFDA/Target scholarship winner, Jennifer Huang.
  • Fab Blab: – Even after all these years, we continue to differentiate between dark and fair. How does this affect the fashion industry adversely?
  • Fashion Cents: – Seven Style Basics that EVERYONE should know! Make sure you are not committing these style “sins.”
  • fashion in my eyes: – Fashion is supposed to be fun! Interview with designer Arina Varga
  • Haute World: – A Mad Tea Party? An exclusive look at how 9 luxury designers interpret Alice in Wonderland for French department store Printemps.
  • Instant Vintage: – Blood, Sweat & T-Shirts: Learning the true cost of that cheap and chic outfit you just scored.
  • kaKofonie Of si(gh)lenS: – Interview with Anna Osterlund of Ravishing Mad
  • Model Max: – Are ‘respectable’ fashion writers insecure with ‘upstart amateur’ fashion bloggers?
  • Oranges and Apples: – Is fashion oppressive or fun? some belated thoughts on Tanya Gold hating fashion?
  • Rags to Reverie: – Vivienne Westwood showed that fashion forwardness could be inspired by the past?
  • Retro Chick: – Top tips to on the spot dating of Vintage Clothes
  • THE COVETED: – Devil’s Advocate : blogging and corporate seeding
  • The Fashion Planner: – DIY: How to Make Naughty Granny Panties for Valentine’s Day!
  • the musings of ondo lady: – Back in 2006 Slave to Fashion, a three part documentary was aired on Channel 4 which took a really good look at the fashion industry.The aim was to make sense of the multi billion industry which everyone from the media to consumers seemed to be obsessed with
  • The Recessionista: – an hour ago Rebecca Taylor & Milly: Fashion Week Inspiration
  • Unfunded: – Photos and thoughts from the Vintage Fashion Expo in Santa Monica, CA.
Tomorrow IFB will be hosting Evolving Influence, a fashion blog conference which will look at the future of blogging. There will be workshops and seminars tackling topics on branding, ethics, SEO and link building and sponsorship. Guest speakers will include Susie Bubble from Style Bubble, Diane Pernet from A Shaded View on Fashion, Imran Amed from The Business of Fashion and Tavi Gevinson from Style Rookie. It looks like it will be a corker of an event and I really wish I could be there. 

Evolving Influence takes place in NYC tomorrow from 10.00am to 6.00pm (local time) and you can find out more about it here.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Fashioning February: TGI Friday

Wow what a week it has been. New York Fashion Week had barely kicked off when the tragic news of Alexander McQueen's death exploded on the twittersphere and the news. All I can say is what a great loss and that my heart goes out to Lee McQueen and his family.

Today is the end of the second week of Fashioning February and I have been overwhelmed by the wonderful feedback and support that I have received. Selecting the links for TGI Friday was really difficult; there were so many fantastic posts published this week that really rocked my world and editing them down to the final five was not as easy task. So once again here are the blog posts which truly and utterly rocked my world this week.

The Satorialist
As you can expect there were lots of posts about the late Alexander McQueen but this post by The Satorialist stood out to me.

Disney Roller Girl
As the impending event of London Fashion Week draws closer, DSR shares with us her favourite fashion tweeters.

Fashion Editor at Large
The Satorialist and Face Hunter are not the only street style watchers around. Fashion Editor at Large tells us about her admiration for Tommy Ton from the much admired blog, Jak & Jill.

Style Amor
Most aspiring fashionistas start out as interns and a lot of them are not treated as well as they should be. This fabulous delivers some much needed advice on what to expect from an internship and what to do when you are not.

The Coveted
Remember Tavigate? Yes that drama from a few weeks back?  Well Jennine from The Coveted gives us her views on the scenario.


Image taken from The Satorialist.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Fashioning February: My New York Style Icon by Wendy Brandes

When I think of my New York style icon, I flash back to 1985, when New York magazine dubbed Sally Randall “the downtown demimonde’s girl of the minute.” The article portrayed Sally as a new Edie Sedgwick, with all of the glamour, greater ambition and without a propensity to nod off and set the Chelsea Hotel on fire. While Sally was flitting around Manhattan, I was growing up in Mahwah, N.J., with two goals: to become a journalist and live in New York. I diligently read the New York Times to prepare for journalism, but I spent more time poring over publications that covered the downtown club scene, including Details, the Village Voice and the East Village Eye.
Sally was the doorman at the club called the Palladium. She was also an artist, writer, singer, actor, model, party promoter and designer. She had drag queen style, with winged eyeliner, huge hoop earrings, Rockette leotard, gold platform shoes, tall velvet turbans, silver spandex, body paint, and wigs of all colors, including white. To this day, I see Lady Gaga in certain looks and think, “Sally Randall.”
I made it to New York in 1986. I made it to the Palladium (though Sally was long gone) and I even made it as a journalist for over a decade. Now I’m a jewelry designer. A few months ago, I teamed up with other designers for a sale. Among the participants were the Brungers, a husband and wife who do knitwear. The Brungers are Andrew and Sally…Sally Randall Brunger. A journalist turns into a jeweler and an It girl turns into a knit girl. You never know what’s going to happen to you in New York City.

You can read Wendy Brandes's blog here.

You can follow her on Twitter here.

Top image taken from cover of SO80s by Patrick McMullan


Middle and bottom image taken from Official Danceteria MySpace page.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Fashioning February: My Space - Dani Sauro from FerOHHHsh

Well New York Fashion kicks off today and all the fashion addicts all over the world will be watching to see what key looks will be storming the shops next season. Also looking on will be Dani Sauro who is editor-in-chief of FerOHHHsh which is a style site that brings us all that is hip in the world of fashion and beauty. Native New Yorker, Dani juggles her day job as an account executive for a top PR company while contributing articles to stylebakery and Iheartheels. She will be at New York Fashion Week eyeing up the new trends by various designers.

Describe the concept of FerOHHHsh.
FerOHHHsh started as a place for me to document things I'd come across on the web and loved and share them with others. It started out really niche, but is growing as my readers grow. It certainly still has a clear editorial voice, which I think distinguishes it from other sites. And I don't cover every industry peep, as some of the bigger sites do. I try to remain true to our readers and their interests...and ours. If I don't care about the latest nine west collaboration, why would I cover it on the site? I won't. My readers appreciate that.

Where do you scribe?
Lately I find that I write from everywhere. I mostly write from my home computer, in my bedroom but find that even while out I'm constantly twittering, making note of story ideas and brainstorming. But the real in-depth work takes place on my good old desktop computer.

Why that place?
It's convenient. Everything is within reach, and most of my files are on this computer. As much as I love live blogging events, I just can't get as much work done on my laptop. Maybe it's mental, but I work best at my desk.

What is on your desk at the moment?
A cluster f*** of crap. Makeup brushes, cosmetics, coffee mug, notepad, pens, samples/products sent to me by PR reps, magazines, (currently) fashion show invites and my blackberry.

What form of inspiration do you have on the wall?
I'm pretty minimalist in design and don't have a lot of stuff on the walls. I have a memory board above my desk that has pictures, mail, receipts, magazine tears; anything that I want to keep track of. It changes a lot, but currently includes a Sephora catalog, tear from Aug 2008 New York Mag featuring Anna Sui's closet design, paint colour cards, some photos as a child, with friends, with my brother, and my New York Fashion Week pass from last season.

Do you keep a tidy office or are you a messy worker?

Messy! It starts out tidy, but soon stress trumps my OCD and before I know it there's a pile of junk without a home. I really should straighten it up right now...

New York Fashion Week starts today, what will you be looking out for in terms of trends and events?
I'm hoping to be wowed. I feel like the last few seasons were just regurgitations of the same old trends. Neon, neutrals, rocker. Blah. Blah. I'd love to see something fresh and exciting. I'm really looking forward to see what Mizrahi does, I LOVED his presentation last season. Alex McQueen is showing for the first time, so that's super exciting. And maybe the biggest news, Marc Jacobs is live streaming his show this season....which I think is only the beginning and many designers will soon follow suit. They'd better start working on super servers to handle the traffic!
  

You can read Dani's blog here.

You can follow her on Twitter here.