Friday, 8 June 2012

AZTEC, FANTAZTEC?

Is Aztec the new check?

Whether it be floral, pastel or the frequently favourite check, the summer season is always full of many a colourful print. In contradiction to our usual donning of the check print, this summer, Aztec print seems to be a pioneer in trends across the board. A variety of ages have united in support of the print and as festival season quickly approaches, we are bound to see an influx of wearers both male and female.
A challenge to find a high street store where the print has not made a home for itself this season, would be a near impossible task. If it hasn't already, the print is due to start filtering into the wardrobes of the masses and any time soon you will most probably become a member of fashions most recent tribe. 
Most high street stores have incorporated the print into their summer collections spreading the summer pop party vibe. 
Urban Oufitters have a great grasp on the Aztec trend, here are a some of my favourite items from their collection!

Urban Outfitters Hip flask - £12


Urban Oufitters Grey Aztec drop earrings - £12


Urban Outfitters Zip front bikini - £28


Timex T80 Silver Aztec metal watch - £75


Worland Grey Marl Aztec Tee - £25

Of course, whatever filters down to high street must come influenced from designer. Many designers have taken on the Aztec trend in various forms. 

The Mara Hoffman spring 2012 collection 'Mara Mexicana' is one my preferred aztec inspired designer collections. 

The Mara Mexicana Collection.













Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Skinhead Culture.

Due to the hideous amount of uni work I have had recently it has been weeks and weeks since I last blogged :(. Nevertheless, now I am back and I have a super long list of things I want to write about.

For part of my PR module this semester, we had to do a Petcha Kucha on any topic of our choice. This is a presentation in which you talk about a certain subject for twenty seconds on twenty slides, (It's more difficult than it sounds).

As it is something I am already interested in and as an excuse to watch 'This is England' for the umpteenth  time, I chose a topic of skinhead culture. I already knew a fair bit about this era and in my efforts to learn more, I found some pretty powerful photography. I have been wowed by some of these images and am excited to finally share my research with you!

A skinhead is a member of a subculture that originated amongst the working class youths throughout the United Kingdom in the 60s. This would later spread to other parts of the world. The first skinheads were influenced by Jamaican rude boys and British Mods; in terms of fashion, music and lifestyle. In the late 70s, the image of the rude boy became more popular thanks to the band The Specials.

Rude boys were associated with the poorer sections of Jamaica. Dressed in the latest trends, they wore sharp suits, thin ties, and Trilby hats; inspired by American gangster movies. Street violence became an integral part of the lifestyle and as the UK Jamaican population grew, rude boy music and fashion, as well as the gang mentality, influenced the skinhead subculture. 

Skinheads donned a variety of sportswear shirts, with Fred Perry and Ben Sherman being in the forefront. Both brands were popular with both sexes, it wasn’t rare that couples would share each other's clothes and both remain popular and highly sought after with men and women today. Musicians such as Pete Doherty, Paul Weller and Amy Winehouse have endorsed the Fred Perry brand, strengthening its link with popular culture. The Harrington jacket is also synonymous amongst the skinhead crowd. It is a lightweight, waist length jacket usually lined with Fraser tartan. Baracuta still make the same model now, the G9. The jacket was popularized when Elvis Presley wore it in ‘King Creole’ in 1958. Steve McQueen and Frank Sinatra were also frequent wearers of the Jacket whilst Yves Saint Laurent and Ralph Lauren have also made their own versions. Sta-prest trousers originated in 1964, wrinkle resistant they were designed and manufactured by Levis and since, original pairs have become collector’s items. The other trouser of choice was the Levis 501, shrink to fit jeans that were sold in a unique size arrangement. Jeans would then be shortened or rolled up to show off footwear and Denim would often be showered in bleach to create an acid wash effect.

One of the most important components of skinhead uniform, heavy brogues and military style boots were notorious, but it is Dr Martens that are iconic to the skinhead era. The brand has always been associated with rebellious teenagers, however the boots have become mainstream amongst the fashion industry, due to them being popularised by celebrities. Boots were always kept in pristine condition and it was a case of the shinier the better. 

Short hair was a brave statement in the late sixties, in opposition to the hippy movement, when most young people wanted to grow their hair long. The original Skinhead was not completely shaven, but had a short, smart crop. The inspiration may have been a combination of the college boy haircut favored by the Mods. In the 1960s, most female skinheads had mod-style haircuts. Many female skinheads had feathercuts, short on the crown, with fringes at the front, back and sides.
Female skinheads often referred to themselves as skinbyrds. They would wear the same attire as their male comrades and may even share clothes with a partner. The hair was cut short in an outright statement against the hippy movement. Although the look was harsh, the girls still held the same feminine values. Skinhead women took pride in their appearance and would stray away from fighting unless in extreme circumstances of self-defense. They wanted to portray an image of a gentle, attractive, women who had the skinhead spirit inside of them.

The skinhead era has had much influence on the catwalk and is proving to inspire designers even today. Henry Holland’s spring 2012 collection is dominated by the skinhead fashion movement and his first look sums up the whole collection. The typical skinhead uniform of a buttoned-up shirt and suspenders, paired with bleached-out jeans. He named the collection Pastel Punks, an idea sparked by Gavin Watson photographs of skinheads and punks in the late seventies and eighties.

Henry Holland Spring 2012.









Here are some of the incredible images i found whilst researching my topic!





























Tuesday, 6 March 2012

London Fashion Week - Day 2

18.02.12
LFW - Day 2

The morning consisted of a variety of pretty mundane (but necessary) tasks. The most exciting of which was when I was sent to go and buy as much bottled water (models don't drink tap water, apparently) as I possibly could, with seven pounds all before the Dans la Vie show started. Essentially i had to go and buy as much bottled water that i could carry (10.5 litres - i nearly died) in ONLY 4 MINUTES! Sprinting in and out of various central london corner shops was quite an experience and i quickly realised seven pounds wasn't going to satisfy 12 thirsty models. I gave a passionate 'This is a fashion emergency' speech to a shop worker who didn't have a clue what i was going on about and promised to return later with the rest of the money that owed him... I didn't give a specific date or time, I'm sure when i turn up with the money next season he will be really enthused. 
I completed my challenge with approximately thirty seconds of spare time, which was just enough to sneak myself into the Dans La Vie show. This was my first ever real fashion show, and i'm sure this is a moment i will never forget! For so many years i had contemplated what it was like to be in a Fashion Week audience, wondering if I ever really would get my chance to feel the buzz. And here it was, despite being on my tippy toes the entire time, resulting in some pretty intense cramp, it genuinely did feel like the most exciting moment of my life, and I'm sure i looked as though i had a serious case of ants in my pants!



After ushering all of the actual invited audience out from the catwalk space, i darted up the stairs, full of energy to go and help with the Alice Lee show. I would say this turned out to be my most valuable fashion week experience. I helped designers Alice and Lee for most of the afternoon, taking on tasks such as de-fluffing all of the garments and nagging the Vauxhall Fashion Scout office several times for more food for the models. (Yes, surprisingly models do eat, and throughout fashion week i was happy to witness all of the models we used looked very healthy!) I got to talk to a lot of the models who were all happy to answer any of my questions and in return i was happy to help them, whether they needed water, food or even help getting to the loo. I helped Alice organise each of the outfits into order and was particularly honoured, that she was even asking me to give my humble opinions! Thankfully i didn't have to fib as i absolutely loved this collection! The mix of leather and knitwear was refreshing and the quality of garment construction was truly beautiful. I was then sent to find ten dressers, a task which is never hard as this is something every intern is dying to experience. I helped to dress model JJ who seemed to be pretty experienced as opposed to some of younger obviously anxious models... Probably due to the fact they actually couldn't really see past the fashion forwards hairstyles Tony and Guy had supplied them with!
The show was an instant success which continued to receive rave reviews throughout the week and i was pretty excited to have been a part of it!

Some of my backstage snaps!



The girls trying to see past their hair!




This is JJ, the model i helped to dress along with some tasteful fashion illustrations.




Here are some more looks from the Alice Lee show.








Monday, 27 February 2012

My London Fashion Week.

On the 17th february i started my first day interning at Vauxhall Fashion Scout for London Fashion Week, knowing only, that i was to arrive 10am sharp at the freemasons hall, that I was part of the backstage crew and that my uniform was to be all black. I must say it felt like i was diving into a pool when i didn't know how deep it was! The first day was rather unexciting as expected, the shows had not yet started and i wasn't really sure of what i had signed myself up for... I soon found out i had signed myself up for lots of running around.


Day 1
18.02.12
My first day commenced with a rather appreciated 2pm start; not wanting to be late (and knowing how likely it would be that i would end up on some accidental london underground adventure) I ended up arriving an hour early.
My first involvement with fashion scout, (besides having shown numerous visitors the way to the toilet) was the tedious task of having to go over the approximate 30 mitres of make-up stained fabric, the Krystof Strozyna show had left us as a sort of parting gift, with a small (very small) collection of baby wipes. This task took a good hour but once completed, i felt i had really contributed something to the fashion industry... (Not really, but I feel this task was a great success.)

My second challenge of the day was much more exciting as i was picked to dress the Womenswear show: Ones to watch. As I stood in the queue, waiting to have my models name shouted at me by a bossy redhead (whilst i acted as though i was some sort of power woman), i grew increasingly nervous as i realised i didn't have a clue what i was about to do. An outfit each from designers Anne Sofie Madsen, Myrza De Muynck and the adorable Nova Chiu were plonked on my arm as if they were merely Tesco carrier bags (HEAVY Tesco carrier bags, might i add) and i struggled through to the backstage catwalk area in search of a dressing space and my model Elena. The Heohwan Simulation collection also showed but thankfully this first look was already dressed and was something i didn't have to worry about.
I painstakingly prepared every piece ready to dress, being ever so careful not to damage anything in my usually destructive path. Once the show starts my stress/adrenaline/excitement/urge to cry levels rise to ridiculous amounts, but within ten minutes the whole experience is over and i find myself whooping and clapping, along with everyone else backstage, encompassed by what we had all just experienced. For a few minutes it felt as though we were all one big, proud family, that was until the bossy redhead reappeared and started shouting at us to all get out of the way.

Here is my lovely model Elena along with the looks i dressed.

Anne Sofie Madsen

Myrza De Muynck

Nova Chiu

My backstage snaps.




I should add i loved this experience and for a while decided model dressing alone would be my fashion career choice. I also became very excited for Menswear.