Monday, 28 February 2011

Goodbye to Fashioning February

Well that was the fashion month that was and boy was it one hell of a month. I had a really fabulous time doing Fashioning February, I had the pleasure of featuring Sasha Wilkes Liberty London Girl as Blogger of the Month and Jennine Jacobs from The Coveted about the Evolving Influence IFB Conference. This season I had the pleasure of seeing more shows than I have ever done before and despite my weary arms and feet, it was well worth it. I also bumped into a few blogger mates such as Nneoma from TwentyTenEightyFour, Muireann from Bangs and a Bun, Archna from Punchbowl Blog, Navaz from Disney Roller Girl, Keysha from The Cocoa Diaries and Marian Kihogo and met some lovely new ones such as Christine from Very Nice Threads, Omoyemi from Style House Files and Hannah from Bow Dream Nation.

Following suit from a few fashion bloggers, here are my numbers for London Fashion Week.

Shows attended: 15
Glasses of champagne: 4
Cups of tea in the BFC Press Lounge: 5
Blackberry photos taken: 74 (this surprises me - I had no idea I took that many)
Camera photos taken: 101
Celebrities spotted: 8
Interviews taken: 2
Visits to MAC lounge: 1
Bloggers met and greeted: 12

Well that's all folks, I hope you enjoyed Fashioning February and I will see you same time next year.

You can check out all the posts from the Fashioning February series here.

Fashioning February: Kiki Kamanu


Interview with Kiki Kamanu at Fashion Mavericks.
I was gutted to miss Kiki Kamanu's catwalk show at Fashion Mavericks which consisted of bling jacket dresses robes, high waisted dresses and glitzy shirts all made in bright and vivid colours. It went down a storm and was one of the strongest collections of the event especially the goody bags which were handbags and slouch bags made out of Ankara material. Kiki describes her collection as unconventional and eclectic and her designs have been featured on various runways in Africa and featured in international magazines and TV. What makes her collection so special is the blend of different styles, textures and fabrics from around the world which she meshes so seamlessly together. Think of Italian leathers mixed with Thai and Indian silks with elements of Dutch wax prints and embroidery by West African artisans. Kiki who has lived in Nigeria, USA and France gave up her job as a corporate event planner to set up her label when she found that her itch to stitch  would not go away. I was fortunate enough to go backstage and take a peek at Kiki's amazing collection and I also got to interview her about her collection and inspirations.

Check out the Armcandy Bag below made out of Ankara material. Look how cool they.

Check out Kiki's website.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Fashioning February: Goody Bags Galore

No decent fashionista leaves a fashion show without a goody bag. These are mainly placed in the front row (sometimes second and third depending on how well off the designer is) for the creme a la creme such as top editors, buyers, celebs and certain bloggers. The idea of the goody bag or swag as they are now being referred to, is so you buy into the brand and give it a favourable review. They come in the form of fancy designed cardboard bags or recycled cloth ones and they can contain anything from perfume, tshirts, gift cards, make up to bottles of water. The quality of the bag really depends on how rich or generous the designer is feeling at the time or whether they have been able to find a company to sponsor them. Some bags can often be more style than substance with nothing more than a bottle of water and a mere magazine inside. However due to the recession it is no surprise that goody bags lack the lustre that they used to have in more buoyant times. Some designers do try their best though; during my adventures at London Fashion Week I managed to collect several goody bags and this is what was in them.

The Look Show
Bottle of Water
Look magazine
H&M magazine
H&M leopard clutch
New Look chiffon scarf
LMS Spotlights active cell regeneration
Marks and Spencer sunglasses
Monsoon jewellery
Rimini eyelashes
Label M sea salt spray
Natio rose water camomile skin toner
Kleenex tissues
Urban Decay eye pencil
Nails Inc nail polish
Next just pink lip balm
John Galliano perfume sample
Natio facial cleanser
L'Occitane hand cream
Natio moisturiser

MAC
Press releases and look books
Notepad
Lipcreme
Skin Base
Eye Creme

Jazzkatz
Vauxhall Fashion Scout notepad
Bottle of Vitamin Water
Label M fizz control serum
Label M mesh styling

Jaeger London
Bazaar magazine
Bottle of water
Bar of chocolate
Label M split end sealer compact

Paul Smith
Optimistic perfume
Paul Smith notepad

Bunmi Koko
Cupcake by Louise
2 cans of Red Bull
2 packs of Ferrero Rocher chocolates
2 packs of Borders cookies
2 packs of No7 colour eye palette
Sanctuary shower gel
Cargo concealer and foundation
Pen
Cargo mascara

All in all not bad at all and much appreciated.

Check out this hilarious video about goody bags at New Zealand Fashion Week.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Fashioning February: Enya Patricia


Enya Patricia from ondolady on Vimeo.
Every good lady needs a clutch for those occasions when you are out on the town. Right now I am enjoying a love renaissance with fur - ok faux fur, I mean I don't want a bucket of blood thrown over me like poor Samantha did in Sex and the City: The Movie. At London Fashion Week I kept seeing fur everywhere as jackets, gillets and satchels and they looked really cool in a luxurious way. So when I came across a faux fur clutch at Enya Patricia's stall during the exhibition of Fashion Mavericks I was taken by it. Enya Patricia is a brand owned by Enya Patricia Mooney who started designing in her spare time while she was studying Child Psychology. She also showed her lovely collection at Fashion Mavericks which was feminine with a dash of sexy, we saw elegant dresses draped with leather or fur accents. I grabbed Enya for an interview so she could tell me more about her classy collection.

You can check out Enya Patricia's website.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Fashioning February: McQueen and I

His designs were beautiful, brutal and bold. Dubbed 'enfant terrible' by the snooty fash pack, Alexander McQueen was never too feet away from controversy. However, love him or hate him no-one could deny that Alexander McQueen was indeed a true fashion genius. After all this is the man who brought bumsters into our lives and set his fashion shows in lunatic asylums, displayed car robots and put Kate Moss in a hologram. Alexander McQueen tragically took his life this time last year and it is only fitting that a documentary paying tribute to him and his legacy should be aired in the midst of Fashion Week. You cannot talk about McQueen without mentioning the late Isabella Blow, the eccentric stylist who committed suicide herself  in 2007. McQueen and I is a retrospective look at McQueen and his relationship with Blow who made a massive impact on his life from the day he showed his graduate collection from Central Saint Martins, which Blow immediately snapped up. Since then she became his personal champion by guiding and nurturing his talents as well as  her muse. The two passionate characters had a very tempestuous friendship which often went hot and cold.

The programme features key people in Alexander's life such as his ex-partner, family, close friends, models and journalists. We see his brother and close friend take us to his former stomping grounds in the gritty East End of London. Models such as Jodie Kidd talk about what he was like to work with and former tutors from Central Saint Martins recount his huge talent. The programme also delves into McQueen's career at Givenchy and after a faltering start he helped to shape the brand and give it the kudos it deserved. This led to his image evolving and with him getting out of his scruffy shirts and jeans and starting to wear designer suits. Isabella's husband also shares his thoughts on his late wife with us and gives us an insight into her personality. We also learn more about her childhood and her motivations for the need for glamour. McQueen and I contains some very interesting footage of Alexander and Isabella together and we get an insight into the deterioration of their relationship.

McQueen and I is aired on Friday 25th February at 9pm on More4.

Fashioning February: In the Editor's Chair - Erin Ralph

I came across Bullett when I interviewed Chuck Holliday and as soon as he handed me the hip publication I knew that I had to feature it on my blog. Bullett is the baby of brother and sister duo, Erin and Nick Ralph who launched the publication last September (10/10/10 to be precise) to a lot of anticipation. Not many indie magazines get slots on Access Hollywood, MTV and NY Daily News prior to their launch but this new kid on the scene managed just that. Bullett covers everything that is cool in films, music, art, fashion, travel, beauty and design plus it has a retro feel to it and manages to be slick yet cool at the same time. The premiere issue has a flip layout cover for both sexes - Cindy Crawford for the ladies and Mark Ruffalo for the guys. However, Bullett is much more than a magazine, it is a multimedia brand with videos, digital and mobile content on offer. Erin Ralph took time out to tell me about the concept behind Bullett.

How did you get into journalism?
When I was around 12 I started freelance writing articles on celebrity fashion and anything “up & coming”. I’ve always loved researching and finding new things and developed a bit of an eye for it- the pay was just a bonus. I started getting consultation and job offers, they didn’t know how young I was. When I was around 14 the Internet was becoming popular so I decided to start my own online magazine called LuxuryFashion.com. I ran LuxuryFashion for 11 years and also started several other media/communications companies with my brother Nick in this time.

Describe the concept of Bullett and the idea behind the name.
The magazine is a quarterly print style, arts and culture guide that transcends demographics, appealing to a diverse international unisex audience. The aim is to unify, inspire and uplift through our content. We like to celebrate and collaborate with true talent/artists/visionaries in their respected industries. Mainstream doesn’t seem to have a filter these days, we seek substance. To us Bullett can be interpreted a few ways. It’s fast moving, pierces through many barriers. Moving with precise aim, steady direction, as I wrote about in my editor's note for this issue. When we were gchatting brainstorming quick and cool names, Nick liked Steve McQueen’s Bullitt, which was the epitome of "cool". It’s a strong word. I thought the word could look pretty like ballet, so it has that balance. I also like the idea that it is usually associated with things that are not so great. We then spin it, making it beautiful and as a source of inspiration and intelligence.

The design is very stylish, how did you decide on the art design of the publication?
Thank you. We didn’t want to overload it. We wanted simplicity and space for readers to also think about what they’re seeing and reading; a bit of imagination space. In the design, we wanted something classic and beautiful, yet strong and powerful. Fortunately we have an incredibly gifted art director who not only shares the same vision, but comes in with some unique artistic elements of his own.
Who is behind Bullett?
After Nick and I sat down and wrote out a strategy, operational and business plan, we sat down a group of creative individuals/friends and asked them to become part of it. Nick became publisher and secured us international distribution and newsstand placement by the first issue and developed the marketing team. James was onboard from our last project. Sah, our Creative Director, understood the depth of our mission right away as did Johnny, who brought in Sah and Idi (Idil). Idi became our Chairwoman after raising funding and is Executive Editor in day-to-day. We work as a team, a family. It's nice.

How many members of staff work on the publication?
33-ish including freelancers/contributors. It grows depending on what projects we're working on. Having a strong core team is important.

Describe a day in the life of Erin Ralph.
Each day fluctuates and there is usually a lot of life in one day! The basics are making sure everything is flowing at Bullett on the production floor and that there is a nice synergy between the creative and business side. I stay involved in all aspects from reading every pitch we get to developing concepts to strategizing transmedia development (how we take the feature from a print article through video, interactive, short film, etc) to marketing opportunities and all elements of the business and publishing side. Then there is prepping for the next steps, which include launching Bullett TV (an online network of original shows, films, videos) and Bullett Creative, a branding extension. Then there is the strategy session time which includes research and development in the further future of Bullett and solutions to issues when we run into them. There are, of course, the social elements to my job that require going out. We've also started to do gatherings at the Bullett Loft after production hours. Personally, I also like to walk around and see as much as possible for inspiration- New York is filled with this. It’s important to take that time. I try to balance all of this with family, friends, being social and taking care of myself. It's a lot of focus.

What was Bullett's involvement in New York Fashion Week? 
We just had our first event at Loft hosted by Jessica White. It went very well. We had a live artist, a nice bar, art work of Jessica and she screened a very touching personal video that introduced her charity, Angel Wings Foundation. In this time Cynthia Rowley's publicist called me to ask us to co-host her after-party, which is turning into a much bigger collaboration. Should be a nice event!

Which blogs do you check out regularly?
I like a nice range of topics from fashion to art to film making, music to psychology and lots of different news sources. Then to stay in the loop WWD News, TED, Refinery29, National Geographic, Fashion Gone Rogue, Cool Hunting, T magazine, and there are endless others. I am a chronic Googler and come across new ones on a daily basis in my searches.

What magazines do you read?
For fashion and art I read a lot of internationals. I also like Vanity Fair for the articles, Elle has a commercial value, Rolling Stone, V is cool, the new W is interesting but thin. Sometimes I just like to go so a nice magazine shop and see what grabs me.

What tips do you have for anyone who wants to become a magazine editor?
Develop a thirst for knowledge! I love learning about new things, finding unique elements in things and thinking broader which is how you get a more well-rounded eye for things. Stay informed - visit a variety of sites, know what’s going on in other countries. Study trends but don’t get stuck in them. When it comes to the process, you’re basically editing a lot of options and curating the project like an art instillation. It’s good to think about the overall message you want to send in what you’re doing, whether it be a fashion story or a written feature, and then edit accordingly.

Check out Bullett.

You can follow Bullett on Twitter.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Fashioning February: London Fashion Week February 2011

I wasn't planning on doing a round-up post for London Fashion Week AW11, I was just going to post reviews of certain shows and events but as I have had such a crazy few days I decided it would a shame not to tell you about it. LFW 2011 was definitely the best I have ever experienced, from the moment I went to pick up my press pass in the congested registration area of the British Fashion Council (BFC) tent it was go, go, go.

Friday
First of all it was the obligatory pop in to the press room to pick up press packs and do some people watching. I forgot that it was BYOL aka Bring Your Own Laptop and the room was packed with journos and bloggers tapping out their copy. I rushed over to Holborn for The Look Show (review over here) where I bumped into fellow bloggers Archna from PunchBowl Blog, Nneoma from twentyteneightyfour and Muireann from Bangs and a Bun.

Sunday
I planned to spend the day hopping between Fashion Mavericks at Strand Palace Hotel and the BFC tent but before that I had more important matters to attend to, such as getting my make up done at the MAC booth. After that it was the Jasper Conran show which offered us a monochrome feel with sleek A line dresses and skirts with jersey tops and blazers. I made my way to Vauxhall Fashion Scout to see Jazzkatze where I saw loads of floaty, chiffon material in the form of blouses, shorts and cutesy dresses. What I loved most about this collection were the hair which were lovely up dos with a string tied round sections of it. Then it was onto Fashion Mavericks where I saw up and coming designers such as Enya Patricia (interview with her coming up shortly) and Hamra Alam. There were both great but I was gutted that I missed Kiki Kamanu because she had some brilliant designs including handbags made out of Ankara cloth. Watch out for an interview coming out with her very soon. I managed to catch the Jaeger London show which was a special event for Vodafone VIP customers. It was hosted by T4's Jameela Jamil and displayed what the line does best; smart structured tailoring but this collection had splashes of vibrant colours interjected amongst the muted ones. Then it was off to my final show A La Mode at Charing Cross Hotel. The event had been running since Friday so Sunday was the last day. I was treated to collections by Lunar Skye which was a selection of wedding dresses, Omar Mansoor which comprised of some glorious evening dresses, Zed Eye which was more directional with fantastic mix of different fabrics and Eveae West by Egypt which were a treat of short sweet dresses.
Monday
I was going to take this day off to rest but an impending interview and more scintillating shows lured me out of my house. At Somerset House I headed to the screening room to catch the short film by Fred Butler Style and was taken away by the wonderful cinematography. After that I headed off to see Todd Lynn in the BFC tent where I saw some really lovely fur stoles in the collection. This was the first collection I had seen that contained both men and women's wear and he did it very well. There were a lot of muted colours here with a couple of bright red outfits, cool knitwear as well as biker jackets. Then it was back to Fashion Mavericks where I saw designers Susana Bettencourt, Sarahi House of Fashion and the end of Fabryan. Then we popped across the road to The Savoy to see Paul Smith; the lavish surroundings of the venue was perfect for what is regarded as one of the country's finest brands. Tinie Tempah may have kicked off the black thick rimmed glasses trend but Paul Smith was definitely legitimising it when he sent his models (male and female) down the catwalk rocking the preppy come Englishman/lady look. From the understated style of Paul Smith to the flamboyance of Bunmi Koko who showed at Vauxhall Fashion Scout later that evening. All I can say is wow! Out of the shows that I have seen that was the one that blew me away in terms of creativity, vibrancy and the use of colour. Bunmi Koko is one to watch for the future. My last stop was Samantha Cole London which was just upstairs and this was a dark slightly Gothic collection of dresses made in leather, velvet and jersey. This was a really dramatic and powerful collection which was exacerbated by the fact that the show took place in two different rooms with the models flowing from one room to another.

Although LFW is scheduled over six days I am afraid I only lasted three. I know it sounds like a cliche but rushing round to fashion shows is such hard work darling!.

Fashioning February: My Space - Lisa Ventham from The Little Musings of LV

The Little Musings of LV reads like a cross between the lives of Carrie Bradshaw and Bridget Jones but with a concoction of humour and irony. Dating, pop culture, retro film reviews and the odd musings makes Lisa Ventham's blog very interesting reading. She has been blogging since 2009 and describes herself as a lady who works in the strange world of PR who works in the city and lives by the sea. I caught up with her to find out where she writes her blog.

Describe the concept of your blog.
I started it as I wanted a place to share anecdotes of the funny things I stumble across in the world of PR but then it just became more personal and more of an outlet for tales of my life and that of my friends.

Where do you scribe?
Always at my desk at home.

Why that place?
I can't be disciplined to write anywhere but at a desk.

What is on your desk at the moment?
Phone, bottle of water and a few beauty products.

What form of inspiration do you have on the wall.
I use an amazing book marking site for inspiration. its called weheartit.com I am addicted to it.

Do you keep a tidy office or are you a messy worker?
Mostly tidy but I always have magazines or beauty products scattered.

You can read Lisa's blog here.

You can follow her on Twitter.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Fashioning February: The Look Show

For the third season I attended The Look Show last Friday. There was a change of venue, instead of the lavish Saatchi Gallery on Kings Road it was held at Victoria House in Bloomsbury Square. I guess this made sense as it is only throw stone away from the Fashion HQ of Somerset House. The event is organised by Look magazine and the idea is to celebrate the best of the UK's fantastic High Street and to also show the trends that will be hitting our streets next season. So unlike the major designers who are showcasing looks for this Autumn and Winter, this event will show us looks for the pending Spring and Summer. In previous years I have enjoyed myself at The Look Show so I was really looking forward to this event. Before the show there was the usual champagne reception with nibbles as well as various stands offering beauty treatments and other activities. There were also a splattering of celebs such as Keisha Buchanan (stood right next to her thinking to myself that she looked familiar till I saw her picture in 'The Daily Fail', Lucie Jones from X Factor, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and IT Girl, Olivia Palermo. We were treated to a performance by Jay Z's protege, teen sensation, Alexis Jordan. Now onto the clothes - I hope you like the 70s as much as I do because this summer the High Street will be full of it. I warn you, you won't be able to move due to Saturday Night Fever and Studio 54. Shops such as French Connection, River Island and Mango are working their inner Bianca Jagger and Fleetwood Mac by using bold colours like bright orange, sunshine yellow, pillar box red, electric blue and bright purple.
These are the key pieces that will dominate the stores:

Jumpsuits
I love jumpsuits - they provide the perfect combination between glamour and comfort. Dorothy Perkins made a statement with their range of bold jumpsuits, French Connection had some classic black ones and New Look had palazzo halterneck jumpsuits that were divine.

Shorts
Start getting those thighs into shape because shorts are going nowhere. Next had brilliant white shorts on display as well as some fab short dungarees and French Connection are unleashing some seriously sexy tailored white shorts to go with a tuxedo blazer.

Maxi dresses
You could not move last summer without seeing a maxi dress and it looks like the summer of 2011 will be the same. Monsoon had really gorgeous maxis and there were floral maxi dresses from French Connection but Warehouse really out did themselves with their offer of really feminine maxi dresses.

Hats
Get one! A large floppy one - not only do they save your life when you are having a bad hair day, they also look fabulous.

Also corsages are back in a big way, no longer regarded as a hideous item reserved only for prom nights, corsages add a lovely touch to a large hat or a dress. Overall the girly girly look is still in and this was exercised very well by French Connection with their Parisian chic and 70s Riviera feel.

For more information about The Look Show check out the website where you can not only see clips from the show but you can also purchase the items.

In the top picture is Olivia Palermo and editor of Look magazine, Ali Hall.

Fashioning February: Behind the Scenes at Joburg Fashion Week

Fashion Week is not just about New York, London, Milan and Paris, while the glam squads are ferreting from country to country other cities around the world are getting their fashion freak on. Joburg Fashion Week (JHBFW) wrapped up over the weekend after four days of showing fresh, funky and hip outfits by designers. Dali Tembo is on the panel of the AFI (the body behind JHBFW) and works closely with the powers that be to make sure that the event displays the best talent that is on offer.
I was invited by the AFI (the organizer’s of the Audi Joburg Fashion Week, Africa Fashion Week & Cape Town Fashion Week) in November last year to be on their panel of experts for 2011. In recent years, the organization has gone to great lengths to streamline the way in which they choose and evaluate designers on show. In essence, my role was created to aid in this streamlining process by providing recommendations regarding which designers should show for JHBFW. The panel consists of experts from many different areas of fashion and my contribution really stems from my work as a brand strategist and trend analyst for the past six years. It’s been an honour to be considered, and recognized in this way given the behind the scenes contributions I've been involved with over the last few years. The nature of my consulting work required that I was flying between three cities during JHBFW. As a result, I was only able to attend two days of the event. During that time, I dedicated about 10 hours to the designer’s shows and I must say it was well worth every minute of it. The vibe backstage was hectic. Especially for what was my favorite show - designer Suzanne Heyns. It felt more like the behind the scenes of the production of ER. than it did a fashion show. But out of that chaos came some exceptional exhibitions of style and innovation.
To keep up with Dali's projects you can follow him on Twitter.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Fashioning February: Gemma Goes Behind the Scenes at Fashion East

Despite the many rewards, it can be very isolating working from home - daunting even so I have the radio on to keep me company. Talk radio can be a bit dry and I find non stop music a bit of a headache but Radio 1Xtra offers a mixture of music and light conversation covering topical issues. I started listening to Gemma Cairney when she co-hosted a morning show with Trevor Nelson on BBC Radio 1Xtra. Gemma who is a stylist by trade and a graduate of the BRITS school provided a lot of witty banter alongside her mate and mentor. So when the bosses of Radio 1Xtra had a bit of a reshuffle late last year, it was no surprise that Gemma landed her own show. The Gemma Cairney Show is now in its eighth week and offers a mixture of music, entertainment and gossip with a girlie slant. Gemma also taps into elements of pop culture by exploring trends such as fashion, blogs, music and films. Her past guests have been designer, Fred Butler, blogger, Laetitia Wajnapel from Mademoiselle Robot and Victoria White who edits Company magazine.

Gemma will be covering London Fashion Week in a big way; tomorrow she will be backstage at the Fashion East show watching them prepare for their much anticipated show. She will be the Topshow venue in East London getting stuck in the middle of things; observing hair being teased, lipstick being applied, models rushing about, stylists and make up artists frantically working hard and the designer trying to keep it all together. Fashion East is the cutting edge of London Fashion Week as it showcases pioneering new talent who are at the stage of their careers. The initiative receives funding from Topshop, TOPMAN and the London Development Agency. You will be able to experience the Fashion East show from the ears and eyes of Gemma. A few years ago there was a dearth of women radio presenters who really spoke to women but I am glad to see that this has been addressed with Sherry Dixon on Bang 103.8 and the ladies at Colourful radio.

Tune into the Gemma Cairney show tomorrow at 1pm on BBC Radio 1Xtra.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Fashioning February: Industrie

I heard about this magazine last year and I have been dying to get my mitts on it ever since. Industrie is a magazine that covers the culture of fashion and the personalities that run it and when the launch issue dropped last May with Anna Winour on the cover, all the fashion blogs and websites went into overdrive. The publication is the first of its kind and is published twice a year. The editors-in-chief and publishers are Erik Tortensson And Jens Grede of Saturday Group, which is one of the world"s leading marketing and entertainment groups who have offices in London, Paris and LA. Tortensson and Grede created Industries because they saw a gap in the market for a fashion magazine aimed at people who work in the industry. So after putting their heads together they came up with Industrie which is an ultra glossy beauty of a magazine. I managed to nab a copy of the second issue in the BFC press room at Somerset House (home for London Fashion Week) on Friday and spent Saturday morning reading it.

Industrie is divided into two sections; The New Creative Establishment and The Power Brokers. The New Creative Establishment is a list of people who have the biggest creative clout and those who have inspired others. Designers, editors, online entrepreneurs, fashion schools and stylists are all celebrated. There are in-depth features with the power brokers in the fashion business such as former designer, Miguel Androver who was the brains behind the I Heart New York shirt, Ivan Bart who runs IMG Models, Didier Grumbach who heads the board of Paris Fashion Week and iconic art director, Fabien Baron. There is also an 18 page special on Kate and Laura Mulleavy who own the Rodarte label. The feature on Marc Jacobs is quite something; for a start it is printed on glossy paper as opposed to matt like the other pages and Marc is styled by Katie Brand from Pop magazine and LOVE fame. Industrie ends with a great thought piece about the future of independent superbrands and whether young talent is being snapped up by the big houses instead of setting the world alight with their own labels.

Industrie Magazine Issue 2 from Saturday on Vimeo.
As you would expect from such a flamboyant industry, the magazine is large in every way. For a start it is huge in size - A3 to be exact and it is full of chic black and white pics and printed on matt paper. The front cover is very provoking as it features a certain Marc Jacobs dressed up as a woman. Industrie is a powerful magazine and one that takes fashion seriously but without over intellectualising everything. It features people and tackles topics that are relevant in fashion today and it is just what fashionistas deserve. You can have a look at second issue of Industrie on the video above.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Fashioning February: I Heart the 30s

Welcome to the I Heart series where a fashionista talks about their favourite decade in relation to style and pop cultural influences. This week we have Sophie Eggleton who is a freelance fashion and music writer as well as a blogger. She is deeply in love with the 30's and tells us why.
Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s my overriding style memories (and catalogue of cringey photographs) aren’t exactly of the chic variety - Lyrca cycling shorts, bomber (with the fetching orange lining) and puffa jackets, ice-cream hued shell suits and the grungey over sized checked shirts/washed out jean combo championed nonchalantly by Nirvana and TV show My So Called Life... I’m a mongrel in terms of personal style.. a tomboy who attempts, and fantasizes, about amping up the polish to ooze movie-star elegance. With these leanings there was an obvious style era to make further comment on...in part also persuaded by my infatuation with the green goddess gown (otherwise known as the perfect dress) worn by Keira Knightley in Atonement.

For many the 1930’s conjures images of the aforementioned optimum glamour, showcased perfectly by movie starlet Jean Harlow and re-imagined by the costumes adorned by Gwen Stefani in 2004’s The Aviator. As a reaction to the need for resourcefulness brought on by WW1, society reveled in a new opportunity to indulge and express excess .The Art Deco movement also encouraged opulence albeit with a certain amount of functionality. It’s basis of geometric shapes often informed tailoring styles, in particular the lapels. There were also obvious parallels with the structure and detail on women's shoes of the time. But as a regular trouser/loafer wearer its the character portrayed by Cate Blanchett in The Aviator who is the primary reason for picking 1930’s as my chosen decade....a women who wore what felt right to her, a fashion innovator...Katherine Hepburn. Her affect on the female wardrobe is unrivaled, happily defying social convention and unfazed by the scandalous label that followed. She consistently embraced her unique personality with stubborn independence - unlike many actresses of the era who would eradicate any sense of individuality in an attempt to embody the sex symbol image of the day. Apparently the first to female to wear trousers at her University, relentless in her unwilling to conform it has also been reported that once during filming a production assistant was instructed to remove her jeans from her dressing room (at that time only farmers or movie characters wore them). The bosses hoped it would push her into donning a skirt, however Katherine rebelled opting to sashay around in her undergarments until the jeans were given back! Incidentally Katherine (alongside Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor) was also one of the actresses Director Sam Goldwin had paid Coco Chanel one million dollars to create garments for in 1931. By this time Chanel's now iconic No.5 scent had already been launched with her name was renowned amongst those who could afford her.

Dancing also owned a major part of this decade in part due to the work of Director/Choreographer Busby Berkely and the legendary duo, the light of foot Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. While moving to the sounds of the big band ladies hair was still worn relatively short and set in soft waves, but the boyish shapes of the 1920’s flapper dresses had given way, the female shape embraced again with a bias cut a way of moulding the fluid materials against the body. Whether or not this was mirrored by their character, men appeared gentlemanly and suave, black or midnight blue double breasted tuxedos being the norm. However this era also saw the white jacket emerge ( a look which brought swoon-worthy Harrison Ford to my notice in 1930s shanghai scene in Indiana Jones at the Temple of Doom). While we touch on men's fashion I must once again return to Atonement (yes I am obsessed) where James McAvoy looked equally resplendent in his tux and bow tie as he did garden ready( brooding with sexual tension) in a dusky blue shirt with sleeves rolled up . I’m in full support of bands such as Hurts and Friendly Fires who in recent years have marvelously showcased the powerful simplicity of the humble shirt.... sorry I digress... I, alongside many of the glossies most featured fashion icons who have intentionally or not taken inspiration from Katherine, donning masculine pieces or giving an androgynous edge to their looks, will continue to enjoy the concept of unisex dressing. I will also continue to witness every female singer/ red carpet walker at one time or another attempt to emulate one of the 1930’s silver screen heroines.. with their accompanying sex appeal. In the meantime I will have to wait patiently in my slacks, brogues and boyfriend blazer and hope for a suitably glamorous occasion to wear my own version of the screen siren perfect dress.....

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Fashioning February: Behind the Scenes at London Fashion Week

New York Fashion Week comes to an end today and after seven days full of fun, frolics and fashion, tomorrow the fashion pack descend upon England for London Fashion Week. Over the next five days we expect to see collection after collection being displayed at Somerset House and various trendy venues around the capital. However, behind every show is a team of stylists, PRs, hairdressers and make up artists who make sure everything looks uber perfect. Thomas Walker is a make up artist who will be working hard backstage making the models look absolutely flawless.
I have been a freelance make up artist for two years however I have worked in the industry for 10 years now. This year I will be keying the make up for the Thomas Tait show which I look forward to working on every season because Thomas like myself is a perfectionist, so we always create something wonderful. I adore working with him. This year I am working on other top secret projects. Even though I'm only working on the one show this season a lot of time is spent prepping, researching looks; the side to my job I love. Along with the other top secret project I'm working on I'd say life over the Fashion Week period will be pretty hectic. I adore the backstage vibe, some find it stressful however I love it. Everybody is just working towards creating art at the end of the day so we all just wanna get our work down. I am an extremely calm person so it takes a lot for me to get stressed I love it. I always look forward to Ashish, Vivienne Westwood and of course Thomas Tait. However all the shows are great as they create trends that I can incorporate into my work.
To keep up with Thomas's movement during London Fashion Week follow him on Twitter

Fashioning February: Face Hunter Takes Manhattan


I was blown away by the video that Scott Schuman aka The Satorialist made for Intel last month where he talks about what inspires him to do his blog. So I was really excited when I came across a post on LDN Fashion about a project that Yvan Rodic aka Face Hunter is working on with NOWNESS. It consists of a sense of videos set in each of the fashion capitals - New York, London, Milan and Paris. NOWNESS is owned by LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton and part of their digital remit is to create inspiring videos about fashion, art, film. music, design, travel and sport. With his voyeuristic yet open approach, Face Hunter fits right in with the mix and the trailer for the films is very captivating to watch.

Yvan does make some very interesting comments about the nature of street style fashion.
Lately I have observed that in London and New York I am started to meet people who are fed up of being photographed all the time. But that is still a small figure compared to those who are dying to be famous for a few minutes. Nowadays if you observe the younger people who are born with the internet they consider themselves like a mini brand and having a Facebook page is like a personal advert campaign to them and any opportunity to be photographed on a street style blog gives them more visibility to get more followers and more people to know them.
He also compares Fashion Week to speed dating because of the apt of making a connection with the special person in order to create a beautiful picture. It was only this time last year that Face Hunter released his self titled book which contained the best looks from his website along with his witty observations. The book went down a storm with fashionistas everywhere who rushed to add it their collection to go with the book by The Satorialist.

The Face Hunter series launched on Tuesday and you can watch the rest of the documentaries when they air on NOWNESS.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Fashioning February: The Model Agency

I have always wondered what it was like to work in a model agency. I have always know that it is not as glamorous as it looks, in fact juggling the lives of several models who are dotted around the world while meeting client's needs must be bloody hard work. However, I am sure it is very fulfilling to see the young people whose lives you have managed go on to become successful models. The Model Agency hits our screens next week and this seven part documentary takes us into the lives of the founders, scouts, bookers and the models. Premier Model Management are the big boys in the modelling industry, for a start they have managed the careers of Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Claudia Schiffer and Linda Evangelista which is nothing to sniff at. The agency was founded by brother and sister duo, Carole White and Chris Owen in 1981 and they head a small team of very passionate and vibrant staff. We are introduced to senior booker, Paul. junior booker, Jamie, commercial booker, John, director of scouting, Anthony and Sadaf, booker for the mens division. Then there is Annie who is head of New Faces who works with Sissy who is Carole's daughter.
The series shows the Premier staff tackle their most busiest time of the year - the September Show season - which means one thing, New York Fashion Week, London Fashion Week, Milan Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week. We see them negotiating payment rates, pitching models. sorting out catwalk shows, shoots and castings, liaising with photographers, designers, foreign agents, scouts, model's parents along with the general running of the office. Then there is the crucial aspect of hunting for new models in the crucial bid to find that new face. The series also delves into the lives of the models and follows them as they rush frantically from castings to catwalk shows. I found The Model Agency completely fascinating: the huge pressure that the staff work under while dealing with the models and making sure that they emotionally and physically able to work really absorbed me. The bookers are basically parents to the models and sort out everything from their travel and accommodation as well as their personal lives. As Annie comments in the first episode, the models tell their booker stuff they do not tell their parents. We are also shown the volatile nature of the industry where an awful lot is at stake and with models earning anything between £5,000 to £15,000 a day it is no surprise to see people getting heated under the collar. The programme also displays the affection that the team at the agency have for each other and despite working in such a high pressure environment, they are still a small family unit.

The Model Agency is aired on Wednesday 23rd February at 10.00pm on Channel 4.

Fashioning February: My Space - Gemma Cartwright from Big Girls Browse

Gemma Cartwright is a busy bee, while she is running style blog, Big Girls Browse she is also the editor of Latest in Beauty and contributes to Domestic Sluttery and Dorkadore. Add that to running her own self-named blog and you have a very busy lady. Gemma is one of the pioneers of blogging and founded Catwalk Queen back in 2002 before anyone really knew what blogging (the site was bought by Shiny Media in 2005) was so I am really excited to feature her on the site. She took time out to tell me where she writes her pretty cool blog.

Describe the concept of your blog.
Big Girls Browse is essentially about proving you don't have to be a certain size to enjoy wearing nice clothes. I'm curvy, but not drastically overweight, but the fashion industry often makes me feel 'big', and that's where the idea came from originally. I think we put too much emphasis on a number on a label, when really it's about what suits a certain person and makes them feel good. I try to cover a bit of everything, some high street, some boutique stuff, a fair amount of plus size and a lot of reviews.

Where do you scribe?
Usually from the comfort of the sofa, with some kind of trashy TV blaring in the background.

Why that place?
I edit a website for a living as well so I spend all day at a desk staring at a computer screen. When I get home, I don't really want to go to another desk and do the same, so I blog from somewhere a bit comfier.

What is on your sofa at the moment?
A couple of remote controls, an X-box controller, copies of InStyle and Elle, and a bottle of nail polish.

What form of inspiration do you have on the wall?
It's a rented flat so I'm not really supposed to put stuff on the walls, That's where Tumblr comes in, I store my inspiration digitally instead. Usually it's clothes I like, photoshoots I love and lots and lots of pictures of old movies. I love anything from the 30s through to the 60s.

Do you keep a tidy office or are you a messy worker?
I'm incredibly messy and though I've tried to change that, it never works. I just have too much stuff. The living room isn't too bad but that's only because the box room in the flat has become my 'dressing room' and is loaded with clothes, cosmetics and anything else I choose to hoard.

Will you be attending London Fashion Week?
Not this year. I've been in the past, but now my day job is in beauty writing rather than fashion, so it's not so relevant to me. Instead, I'll enjoy all the amazing coverage from the bloggers who are going and thank my lucky stars that I still get to see all the amazing clothes without having to suffer the achy feet and 14 hour days.

Check out Gemma's blog.

You can follow her on Twitter.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Mills and Boon Brings the Romance to Selfridges

I was a total book geek when I was growing up, I was described by my teacher as always having my nose in a book. During my childhood I consumed books by Enid Blyton, Judy Blume, Rosa Guy and when I hit my teens I yearned for something a bit more mature. This was before Sweet Dreams and Sweet Valley High came into my life and I needed something to fill the gap, so enter Mills and Boon. This series of books were later mocked by many and deemed sexist but they really set the precedence for modern romantic fiction and what is now called Chick Lit. Mills and Boon are a phenomenon; they have been going since 1908, 130 million titles are sold worldwide each year and in the UK a Mills and Boon book is bought every four seconds. Now you have to admit that is an astounding fact.

So when a press release hit my in-box a few weeks ago informing me about the launch of a Mills and Boon pop-up shop in Selfridges I knew I had to be there. Dubbed The Together Shop, it is hosted in the Wonder Room Concept Store and features old and new Mills and Boons books, vintage artwork as well as cute gifts. The ideology behind the project are two things; to celebrate the launch of RIVA which is a new imprint by Mills and Boon and to to pay homage to Valentine's Day. Fans can purchase titles from the rare first edition  from the 1930s along with the new books. The pop-up store launched last week and what better way to kick off than to get your romantic writer in residence, Heidi Rice to host a series of workshops on romantic writing. She has published four books and she was happy to share her tips on how to write the perfect romance book. I was fortunate to attend one of the sessions and they were very informative and engaging, she talked about her experience in getting published, the painful editing process, where she gets her ideas from and the formula required to write a Mills and Boon book.

The Together Shop at the Wonder Room Concept Store is open till Friday 18th February.

Check out Heidi's website.

Check out a fabulous blog post that Yoruba Girl Dancing wrote about her love for Mills and Boon.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Fashioning February: I'll Tumblr For Ya

New York Fashion Week kicked off last Thursday in its usual fine style and while the world"s fashionistas were tottering around the Big Apple, 24 bloggers were were flown to New York City courtesy of Tumblr where they will be treated to nine days of endless fashion shows, lunches, dinners, cocktails and meetings with various designers. Nice work if you can get it eh? It seems that since its inception four years ago Tumblr has developed a love affair with fashion and vice versa. In 2005 if you were a blogger unless you had your own URL chances you were on Blogger, WordPress or TypePad. Over the last years a few more blogging platforms have come into the domain such as OnSugar, Posterous and Xanga but it is Tumblr that has got everyone buzzing. The platform came to prominence when outraged employees from Newsweek used it to fight back against the closure of the paper. When the well respected publication announced plans to merge with The Daily Beast, employees of Newsweek created a Tumblr page stating Save Newsweek.com, this gained immense interest from the media and public and caused Tina Brown the owner of The Daily Beast to announce that Newsweek was here to stay.
Described as a digital dump, Tumblr has become not only popular with teenagers but also with fashion brands. The creativity of fashion companies means that they are not short of vibrant images so that makes it an ideal space. No surprise that more and more fashion PR and marketing directors are including Tumblr into their digital marketing mix to run alongside Facebook and Twitter. Designers such as Kate Spade, Oscar de la Renta and Alexander McQueen have all created hip blogs on Tumblr. Along with personal style bloggers who have launched a secondary blog to go with their more text heavy one and fashion industry people such as Oliver Zahn who is editor of Purple Fashion and photographer, Terry Richardson. More importantly huge fashion bibles such as Vogue and Elle have launched Tumblrs. While Twitter is adored by those who have a way with words, Tumblr is for those who are visually stimulated. However, what makes the platform stand out is the reblogging function (similar to retweeting) which gives the brands more impetus. Rich Tong, fashion director from Tumblr demonstrated the company's relevancy by his presence at New York Fashion Week where he took part in panels such as Fashion and Beauty Blog Conference aka FABB hosted by Lucky magazine and the IFB Evolving Influence conference. It looks like Tumblr is now the new fashion accessory.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Fashioning February: I Heart the 90s

Welcome to the I Heart series where a fashionista talks about their favourite decade in relation to style and pop cultural influences. This week we have Reah Brown from The Musings of a Brixton Girl which covers fashion, music and TV. She is in love with the 90s and tells us why.
As a young woman in her early twenties realistically I am limited to the number of decades of which I can reference. With that said, the 90's influence on fashion and its cultural significance immediately had superiority over some of the arguably fleeting trends of the 2000’s. However; after re-evaluating a few fashion trends of the 00s, I thought ‘why not give the era the credit is deserves?’ In terms of fashion and music of the 00’s, Pharrell Williams and the Skateboard P generation along with Louis Vuitton don, Kanye West are arguably the most influential fashion figures of the decade. Pharrell Williams' affiliation with A Bathing Ape (hip Japanese clothing label) founder, Nigo not only lead to the establishment of their collaborative fashion labels, Billionaires Boys Club and Ice Cream but it solidified Pharrell’s dominance in fashion and music trend of that era. The whole idea of partnering avante garde luxury labels such as a Hermes HAC man bag, New Era cap with a pair of Air Force One' s was a reflection of his fascination with Japan and its street wear which in turn gave birth to a kind of “Kool Kid” generation. 
Although Kanye West didn’t pioneer the high class and sophisticated rapper, (see Slick Rick or Big Daddy Kane) he definitely carried the torch and elevated it to new heights. Only Yeezy could rub shoulders with the fashion hierarchy whilst also staying true to his hip hop fashion roots. Collaborating with both Nike and Louis Vuitton on footwear, he successfully played both sides of the coin very well. Both his shoes would sell out and become instant classics commanding almost triple resale, bringing sophisticated ‘swagger’ to a wider audience. What brings these two together is their love for something unique and a bit left field which they found in the land of the rising sun and which has also filtered into their music. Can you name one artist that hasn’t collaborated with Pharrell or Kanye? I rest my case. 

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Fashioning February: My Space - Anne Marie Boyhan from WhatSheWears.ie

I first met Anne Marie Boyhan  at a HP TouchSmart Bloggers event last summer and I decided that I had to nab her for the My Space section. WhatSheWears.ie cover the latest news in fashion and style from what celebrities are wearing to fashion shows and the latest trends. Based in Dublin, Anne Marie combines blogging with her part time job as a writer for MSN and a consultant for various brands. She started blogging in 2009 and WhatSheWears.ie is  now one of the biggest blogs in Ireland which is exemplified in the fact that it has been shortlisted for several awards such as the Irish Blog Awards, Irish Web Awards and Eircom Spiders. I caught up with her to find out where she blogs.

Describe the concept of your blog.
WhatSheWears.ie started out as a celebrity style and fashion blogazine but I now also cover beauty trends, stylish city features and shoot behind the scenes videos of fashion and beauty events. Every week there's a competition and a weekly newsletter too.

Where do you scribe?
At home in my living room, which is also my office. In Dublin, Ireland.
Why that place?
I work on WhatSheWears.ie three days a week from my home and due to the size of my apartment; my office is my living room and vice versa, with a Nespresso coffee machine close at hand. Some days I am home based mostly writing and updating the site and others I am attending fashion events in Dublin, viewing collections and sometimes meeting with publicists. I set up the site in February 2009 and for the first year I just wrote and developed the site. WhatSheWears.ie has now developed into a part time business and I also write for and run MSN Ireland's fashion channel. Two days a week I consult in online communications helping brands embrace the internet, so you could say that I wear two hats as the brands I work with are not fashion or beauty related.

What is on your desk at the moment?
My PC, a printer, files, a bunch of magazines, my iPhone, my diary, product samples, my video camera and a cup of peppermint tea.

Do you keep a tidy office or are you a messy worker?
My desk is messy but I try to keep the rest of the room tidy.

Will you be attending fashion week and if so in what capacity?
I'd love to! Please fix it for me to go this year.

Check out Anne Marie's blog.

Follow her on Twitter.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Fashioning February: The Glossy Reality

I don't know about you but I was rather upset when The City ended as it meant that my weekly fix of the lives of glam media girls was over. Who was not riveted by the arguments between Olivia and Erin at US Elle magazine? Despite all the drama that went on in the show, Elle's appearance in the spin off to The Hills rewarded them with hours of free publicity. Having a presence on TV, preferably a fashion related reality show is an essential marketing tool and something that magazine publishers are now considering as part of their marketing mix. Remember the Elle and Project Runway partnership which eventually became Marie Claire and Project Runway after Nina Garcia ousting from Elle and eventual appointment to Marie Claire. Ironically both publications got in on the action by launching their own reality shows; in 2009 we saw Stylista where a group of fashionistas competed for a job at Elle and the next year the staff of Marie Claire along with three wannabees starred in Running in Heels. However before that we had the now defunct Jane trying out potential writers in The Fashionista Diaries before they folded and Cosmo Girl stepped in to save the day. In actual fact the reality show and magazine hybrid only kicked off with The Hills when a certain Lauren Conrad landed an internship at Teen Vogue to go along with her new life in LA. So no surprise then to hear that Teen Vogue are in the midst of making their own reality show about life at the magazine. With Erin Kaplan now on board at the publication after bidding US Elle goodbye and working alongside the media friendly, Amy Astley it certainly would make superb viewing. To top it off the show will be directed by non other than R.J. Cutler who made the ever so successful film, The September Issue which is about the life of Anna. Wintour who really needs no introduction.
It really is amazing the way magazines have thrown open their doors to the cameras but what are the reasons for this? A reality show is all about extending the brand and broadening the magazine audience - basically exposure and product placement. A show about a magazine will feature close ups of the brand logo, computer screens displaying their website and more importantly we get to see the journalists at work discussing ideas and implementing them. This definitely gets the audience interested, I remember when US Marie Claire did a fashion shoot on three savvy business women which involved them traveling through New York in a caravan, it got me really intrigued that when the publication hit the stands I bought the issue and I never had anytime for US Marie Claire. Add that to an insight into the writer's personal lives and you have a very dynamic situation. The fact is television is an extremely powerful medium. Look at Elle - they have had cameras in their offices since 2004 with Project Runway. Stylista and the The City. Also the huge success of The Devil Wear Prada meant that every editor of a glossy magazine were inundated with offers of a reality show. With magazine sales declining rapidly due to the digital revolution it looks like magazines might be relying on TV to save them. Who would have thought it eh?

Monday, 7 February 2011

Fashioning Februray: Evolving Influence - A Q&A with Founder Jennine Jacob

You know an activity is here to stay when suddenly there are loads of events about it springing up all over the place. Over the last couple of years we have seen the emergence of blogging conferences such as BlogHer. Blogging While Brown and Blog World Expo. This Thursday Evolving Influence - a fashion blogging conference kicks off in New York covering topics such as the business of blogging, working with brands and the issues surrounding blog content. The event is in its third season and is now hosted by New York Fashion Week. I remember watching the first ever Evolving Influence this time last year and it was all everyone was talking about (well fashion bloggers anyway); the event was an instant hit and was totally over subscribed. So it is really inspiring to see it go from a one day independent blogging event to a two day one that is supported by one of the biggest fashion weeks in the word. Evolving Influence was set up by Jennine Jacob as a way of bringing the blogging community together and share best practice. An avid fashion blogger, Jennine is also the founder of Independent Fashion Bloggers (IFB) which is a portal that creates a community for fashion bloggers to share anything from their experiences to technical advice. The lovely Jennine took time to answer a few questions which I was so grateful for as she is a pretty busy lady.

What made you decide to set up Evolving Influence?
IFB started doing events at New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week in February of 2009 called Dress Up. While it was a lot of fun to meet everyone, there was something missing, Dress Up didn't have the educational component that made IFB what it is. So we had an idea to do a few panels before Dress Up and the first time, we filled the venue, there was a line around the block and people were so excited to be there. The energy was infectiously delightful, as we bloggers made it clear we're hungry to learn. It was then it became clear that two hours weren't enough to talk about everything., so I expanded it to a day.


What criterias do you use in choosing the speakers?
That's a very good question. At first I wanted to get the top of the top bloggers in the industry, and that's been really great, but at the same time bloggers are really tired of hearing about the same five people. This time I've tried to get a good mix of the up and coming and the established. Finding people who have something to say, who have energy and savvy. It's a bit difficult, because some of the most famous bloggers do well on screen but in real life, they're shy, while some of the more dynamic people in real life don't have as established a blog. Even then, it's finding the dynamic people who really want to share their experience. It's a challenge to find the right combination. Strangely enough, I get very wary about people who volunteer to speak. Not really sure what that is about, if it's a personal preference or not.  But I prefer to let the community do the talking for the potential speakers.

What should we expect from Evolving Influence February 2011 and are there any plans to bring it abroad like say London?
We are honored  Milk Studios has invited us to host our conference right there. It's the first time a major Fashion Week venue has invited bloggers in, this is a huge step towards legitimization of the fashion blogging industry. We're not only hoping to get in to see the shows, we're part of the show, and that's huge. There are some exciting people on the panel. It is a great mix of bloggers and people from the established industry, and a special pair designers. Stay tuned! My goal this year is to bring Evolving Influence to the UK. IFB gets more traffic from London than any other city (even New York) and I want to make sure our community has an opportunity to get together. I've been working on building contacts and getting everything together, so hopefully that goal becomes a reality.

Evolving Influence takes place in New York on Thursday 10th to Friday 11th February.

For more information and to book tickets go to the website. If like myself you cannot make it down to the event you can watch it online here.

Image by Saga Sig

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Fashioning February: Retro review - Breakfast at Tiffany"s

From the moment she stepped out of the yellow cab on Fifth Avenue and sauntered across to Tiffany in her long black evening gown, matching gloves, sunglasses adorned with pearls and immaculate chignon, she had our full attention. So it is no surprise that Breakfast at Tiffany's is regarded as one of the most iconic films of all time and the most stylish film of all time. The film recently celebrated its 50th anniversary last September and many a book and newspaper/magazines article werw written in celebration. Breakfast at Tiffany's is the story of Holly Golightly played by Audrey Hepburn who is a good time girl determined to escape the drudgery of her former life by marrying a rich man. She also harbours a fondness of the store, Tiffany where she often frequents. Holly strikes up a friendship with Paul Varjak played by George Peppard, a writer who moves into her building. He becomes intrigued with Holly's lifestyle which consists of living off old and wealthy men and pretty soon he finds himself falling for her. The plot is simple but beautifully told and wonderfully acted by the two lead actors but it is the clothes that really makes this film along with Audrey Hepburn's dazzling charisma.
After all those years since the movie was made people still rave about the clothes in Breakfast at Tiffany"s and in fact Audrey was responsible for making the little black dress popular. When deciding on Holly's look director, Blake Edwards wanted it to be simple, classic and glamorous and he boy did he succeed. Holly's staple diet consisted of little black dresses with pencil skirts which were accentuated by jewellery and accessories. For example the first time she meets Paul we see her changing into an elegant sleeveless, black cocktail dress with over sized sunglasses complete with a large hat. However, it wasn't all black in the Golightly wardrobe, there were flashes of colour in Holly's wardrobe especially in her day wear. For instance the orange buttoned up wool pea coat with a fur hat that she wore when she went wandering round Tiffany with Paul. Also the bright pink cocktail dress with matching coat, shoes and tiara that she wore on a date with her one of her many suitors. Even when she was milling around her apartment with a scarf wrapped round her head she looked effortlessly stylish. Note the peach belted dressing gown she had on when she was playing host to Paul in her flat. Who can forget the immaculate trench belted coat that she donned in the last scene. Audrey Hepburn may be dead but her impeccable style will always live on.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Retro TV: thirtysomething


I remember when thirtysomething set the screens alight in the late 80s and it was all everyone was talking about. I was in my (cough) late teens at the time and their lives did seem a distance from mine and quite suburban. Due to my part time job at good ole Marks & Spencer I was unable to catch the show and only began watching bits of the last series. However my best mate at the time was a real fan and kept me updated on what was going on. thirtysomething was the sort of groundbrealong show that made it's mark and stood out amongst other shows in its era. Think of  I Love Lucy in the 50s, The Avengers in the 60s, The Odd Couple in the 70s, LA Law in the 80s, ER in the 90s and Mad Men in the noughties. Well thirtysomething was right up there in the mix.
The show was set in Philadelphia and was about a group of baby boomers (advertising phrase for people born in the 50s and 60s) who were in their late 30s and settling down to marriage, babies, careers and mortgages. Like the name the show really encompassed the fears that the characters faced while leaving the carefree years of their 20s behind and moving into a new era of responsibility and commitment. The characters comprised of Micheal and Hope Steedman played by Ken Olin and Mel Smith who had just welcomed the birth of their daughter. Michael owned his own advertising business and Hope was a writer who was now a stay at home mum. Elliot and Nancy Weston were played by Timothy Busfield and Patricia Wettig. Elliot was Michael's business partner and Nancy was a former artist who had given up her career to raise their two kids. Gary Shepherd played by Peter Horton was Michael"s best friend and free spirited lecturer who embarked on a relationship with Melissa played by Melanie Mayron, an angst ridden photographer. Ellyn Warren played by Polly Draper was Hope's best friend who was career driven and relationship hapless. The show dealt with issues such as infidelity, cancer, death, marriage and break ups.
Like LA Law the show really was a representation of yuppie culture in the 80s but while the successful law show had a conservative, Reagan(esq) feel to it, thirtysomething really tapped into the Liberalism movement of that time. It also dealt with the changing expectations from men and women and the birth of second-wave feminism. thirtysomething broke many barriers; it was the first show to introduce an hour long drama based on the personal and professional lives of a group of friends. The show has been extremely influential on other programmes such as Friends, Cold Feet and Brothers and Sisters. It was created by Edward Zwick who directed films such as About Last Night, Blood Diamond and Love and Other Drugs. Also noticeable was the fashion which was very laid back preppy style with the characters seen in high waisted jeans, shoulder pads, braces, over sized shirts and sweaters topped with loafers. The hair was all about volume with bobs and flicks. Anyway I am glad it is back on the small screen so I can finally catch up with it.

thirtysomething airs on Sky Atlantic during weekdays at 10.00am and 3.00pm.

Fashioning February: Digital Fashion


A talk on Digital Fashion at the Apple Store with blogger, Disney Roller Girl and Vogue's Robin Derrick.

On Thursday I popped down to the Digital Fashion event at the Apple Store in Covent Garden. It comprised of the newly outed Disney Roller Girl discussing the relationship between fashion and technology with Robin Derrick. Robin works for UK Vogue as creative director and designed their iPad app. As you can imagine the venue was packed and filled with fashionistas, publishing types and bloggers as well as a few students who had come to the talk for material for their dissertations. The event was very engaging and Robin Derrick raised many interesting points on the future of magazines, fashion, the relationship between PRs and brands and what he told us what he really thought about bloggers.

PR
"The PR industry is redundant as the brand owners are going over the heads of PRs and talking directly to bloggers."

Magazines
"Shopping destinations are becoming more editorialised, magazines will become more like retail but it is not the future."

Bloggers
"Bloggers can get a little full of themselves."

New faces breaking into the fashion industry.
"It is very hard to introduce new talent into the fashion industry but new talent f**ks up more than old talent."

Touche'

Check out the Vogue app that Robin designed for the iPad below.

The Vogue app for the iPad designed by Robin Derrick which was displayed at the Digital Fashion event at the Apple Store.

Digital Fashion will be available on iTunes shortly.

PS: Sorry for the jerky camera action but my arm was hurting plus those three lovely but lethal cocktails from the River Island event before did not help.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Fashioning February: I Heart the 80s

Over the next four weeks a fashionistas will be sharing their love of a particular decade in terms of style and pop cultural influences. First up is Josam Coker who is obsessed with the 80s. She is a freelance presenter and journalist and is based in Manchester.
I wish I'd had the good sense to keep my mother's fuscia, snakeskin, kitten heels. An argument for time-travel if I ever heard one. 1980s dressing was all about decadence, opulence and power. Not since the 1930s had an era celebrated wealth so audaciously. We saw the birth of yuppies, time shares in Marbella and the moblile phone. People drank champagne and ate beluga caviar like it was going out of style (which to be fair, it did). Fashion had to reflect the zeitgeist. So as they made a killing on the stockmarket, people wore their affluence on their puff sleeves. Women rocked gilt without the guilt becoming larger than life in power suits, shoulder pads and stilettos. And it was out with the natural look and in with rouge lips and smokey eyes. Who could forget the steely gaze of the girls in Robert Palmer's Addicted to Love video? The very clear message heard over the electro of The Flying Lizards' Money was, prosperity
Even TV heros needed status symbols. From Magnum P.I. to Knight Rider, Hasselhoff and Selleck were never without their supercars. While men drove fast cars, women were mean. We witnessed the rise of  bejewelled and calculating heroines, just as ruthless as the tycoons they pursued. Aaron Spelling gave birth to Joan Collins' Alexis Carrington in Dynasty and Stephanie Beacham's Sable in The Colbys. Every week these women would emerge, immaculate in diamante and rooching. Whenever I think of Scarface, the graphic, violent images subside and give way to two words. Pfieffer, Michelle. Elvira was resplendent in her white suit and oversized sunglasses. Was it her emotionally unavailable demeanour that made her role so iconic? For me it will always be her impeccable taste. The devil was in the detailing of her purses. That for me encompasses the 1980s.