Category Archives: fashion

brand alert: forfex

I can’t remember how I first came across Forfex but I felt that as I feel now, disappointed that I haven’t got man-sized feet to shove into the amazing and creative shoes. Now stocked by Opening Ceremony you can guarantee they’ll be gracing the trotters of all the cool NYC hipsters. Using interesting fabrics, stains , studs and patterns there’s sure to be a pair that would suit almost any taste.

Gentlemen – add them to your christmas/anniversary/birthday list. Ladies – try wearing a few pairs of socks and a few thick insoles to see if you can get them to fit!

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kate moss – w mag march 2012

My friend bought W recently for her artist boyfriend who likes to draw inspiration from high profile editorials.

Flicking through it I thought I recognised the cover star & model in one of the shoots & it took me a few minutes to realise it was Kate Moss. I’m a Kate fan, but I often grow weary of the media hype surrounding her skinny jeans and rockstar husband, so I was happy to see this & remember that above all she’s a bloody great model.

Check out the rest of the shoot here. Shot by Steven Klein, natch.

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Bill Cunningham New York

Forget Scott Schuman or Tommy Ton, Bill Cunningham is the 80+yrs old original street style photographer. More than just a photographer, he is described by some as a historian of fashion in New York City.
The film documentary Bill Cunningham New York follows him through the streets of NYC & gives us an insight into his fascinating life.

Bill has a column with the New York Times entitled On The Street where he photographs people and fashions and reports on trends as he sees them from the streets.
 Anna Wintour exclaims how herself & her fellow magazine editor friends are often  shocked when a trend bypasses them and even the fashion designers themselves  and is picked up by Bill through the photographs he takes on the street.

But the thing that stuck with me the most was that, in a modern world where we’re obsessed with celebrity, and certainly in the fashion world where being a celebrity endorsement can really make a designer’s business boom (see: The Kate Middleton effect), Bill really has no interest in celebrities and what they’re wearing. Nor is he obsessed with designer or expensive clothes.
A former milliner, he has an eye for design and structure. But what excites him and spurs him on to photograph people is the creativity in their sartorial choices. As he says in the film whilst choosing a photo of an unknown woman in a stylish dress over a photo of a celebrity in a designer gown “that’s not a model, that’s a private person that bought their own clothes”.

With the increase street style photography and whole blogs dedicated to them, it was inevitable that being papped by a well known street style photographer would become a mission for some. Prior to the recent fashion weeks I saw a few blogs detailing how to get noticed by the photographers. The main advice seemed to be to stick to a certain uniform du jour or be Alexa Chung.
Of course wearing head to toe Isabel Marant won’t always guarantee you a spot on the street style blogs and  there will always be the Anna Dello Russo’s or Iris Apfel’s that don’t dress by trends or what’s “in” and simply stick their own veritable mishmash style. According to Bill “a lot of people have taste, but they don’t have the daring to be creative”.

Whilst I still look to street style photos over magazines or runway trends for inspiration, what I find interesting about his comments and observations is that modern street style photography, or certainly street style blogs, seem to focus in on the same tired trends. Stylish they may be, but exciting and new? Most likely not. Sometimes you’ll often see the same person featured in more than 1 street style piece, out of thousands of people roaming the streets at any one time. Surely this demonstrates just how there is a specific “look” that is appreciated by street photographers. Not so much with Bill Cunningham.

He leads what some might see as a somewhat lonely life, living in a small apartment filled with filing cabinets of his work, with no bathroom or kitchen and his bed a simple plank of wood held up on crates. A very private man, even those closest to him don’t seem to know a whole lot about his background or family. And nor do they want to. It’s very reflective of his own view of the people that he photographs every day & his disinterest in celebrities or where people are from in the photographs that he takes.

There’s a few other interesting personalities featured in the documentary, aside from Anna Wintour and Iris Apfel, there’s his longtime neighbour & well-known artist Editta Sherman. Their nonchalant chats about Andy Warhol give a glimpse into a possible past life. Also featured was the very interesting former UN diplomat from Nepal, Shail Upadhya, who used to wear conservative suits during the day at work in the UN and outfits made from various materials, including his couch, at night.

As I constantly seem to go through a wardrobe panic and often spend hours obsessing over expensive items that I can’t afford, watching this made me appreciate fashion and style at it’s most fundamental. Aside from the obvious, that we wear clothes to protect our modesty, we wear clothes as an extension of who we are, or sometimes as armour to show who we want to be.
Here is a man who could wear clothes from probably every designer under the sun if he so wished, but instead he opts for a $20 janitor’s coat from a hardware department due to it’s functionality.
He tapes up his rain poncho rather than buying a new one.
And he photograph’s people because they look good in what they wear, rather than because of what they’re wearing.

I loved this film/documentary on a humanist level as a great insight into a fascinating person from an era gone-by, an era of camera film developing and manners. And an insight into being creative and having creative relationships with people who admire your work.
But it’s also made me appreciate more that some trends are just that, trends. A passing fad that mightn’t necessarily be flattering to everyone. So, can I finally hold  my hands up high and say I think JC Lita’s look like orthopedic shoes for someone with a club foot? Or is that not very PC? Ah, send the PC brigade to me if need be, i’ll already be fighting off the rest of the fashion blogger brigade for speaking out against Lita’s!

Fashion’s Night Out – Dublin

As you all probably know, on Thursday 8th September the fashion world went nuts for Vogue’s Fashion’s Night Out. Having previously heard of it happening in cities like New York and London I wondered what it was all about.

So I took myself and my housemate along for a little nose at what Dublin had to offer for this much talked about and MUCH publicised event. Seriously, even my boyfriend knew about it and he doesn’t know much about much. 
I was unsure about what sort of ‘events’ would be happening and wondered what would differentiate it from a regular instore event. Ultimately, I decided that not much did. There was a bit of a buzz along Dublin’s shopping mecca of Grafton Street, however  it was hard to tell if that was because Dublin Fashion Festival started on the same day. 
Our first port of call was to BT2. For those non-Irish readers amongst you (hi guys!), Brown Thomas is Ireland’s foremost high-end fashion department store. It’s where the celebs go shopping when they’re in town and stock pretty much every designer you could  name off the top of your head. BT2 is it’s younger, hipper sister, stocking labels such as Maje, Twenty8Twelve and boasting a denim bar with the best bumlifters this side of VB’s own wardrobe. 
We were greeted at the door of BT2 by some lovely young men holding trays of cocktails…for free! Delish. Also doing the rounds were miniature Starbucks frappucinno’s and mini cakes. Already onto a winner here. A DJ booth was being set up in amongst the jeans and an Instagram photo corner with rails of clothes and a pamper parlour were taking pride of place near the tills. We bypassed these to find out what was going on upstairs upon hearing voices over a microphone. 
A mini fashion show with stylist Courtney Smith was in full swing and featured some of the best brands available in BT2
Some of my favourite looks included:

Dress – MSGM @ BT2

Dress – Maje @ BT2

Geisha inspired playsuit – Twenty8Twelve @ BT2

Seeing these pieces just made me lament for my credit card so we quickly hot-trotted our way back downstairs. Upon arrival to the denim bar we were asked if we wanted to take part in an Instagram event where you got styled by one of BT2’s lovely stylists and had your photo taken by streetstyle blogger Stephen Moloney of Stitches, Fabric and Soul. I declined out of nervousness, but I pushed my housemate into doing it and she looked great!

We guzzled the rest of our cocktails and made our way to the bigger Brown Thomas store down the street, expecting more of the same. Unfortunately we felt a little let down. There was a Fashion Cafe outstide on the street where you could sit and chat the night away with your friends, luckily it was a dry evening, a rare event in Ireland these days. At the door you were greeted by faux-Karl Lagerfeld and faux-Anna Wintour, a touch tacky, I personally felt. 

Inside there were competitions for a night in a hotel and a suitcase filled with skincare goodies. For entertainment there were drag queen & cabaret shows, as well as catwalks and plenty of styling, skincare & beauty advice should you want it. However, most counters required a payment so it really seemed little more than a busy late night shopping night. After a grumpy phonecall from my boyfriend and with a light wallet I decided to call it a night. My housemate stayed on for a while and did get a free magnetic nail polish demonstration and free manicure from Nails Inc. – not too shabby, I guess!
All in all, it was a fun way to waste an hour or two. BT2 nailed it with their instore event and I felt it was miles apart from the supposed main event down the way in Brown Thomas. For anyone that travelled any distance especially for it, I would feel a bit sorry for them that it may have been built up to be more than it was, but then again maybe others expected it to be an event where splashing the cash was required? I just can’t help but feel a little let down when I look at the amazing events that were held in London & New York. Where was our Leighton Meester singing with an acoustic guitar, hmm? Oh well, I guess there’s always next year. 
Did you go along to any of the events? I’d love to hear people’s thoughts and those of anyone that went to events in other cities – please comment below. 
Have a good weekend ya’ll.

The Fashion Movement @ Jervis

First off, let me apologise for the potential to alienate any non-irish readers. There’s a lot of exciting fash-related things going on in Dublin right now, and, well…that doesn’t happen often! But there’s definitely a little bit of interesting reading in this post if you like your jeans and, let’s face it, who doesn’t love jeans?!

Brendan Courtney, Ireland’s own Gok Wan, last week launched The Fashion Movement at Jervis Shopping Centre in Dublin. Every Saturday & Sunday from 20th August right through to 10th September there will be live catwalks and mannequins along with the Jenius Jeans Style Station – a FREE jeans fitting service.
What’s not to love?

Brendan will be at the shopping centre every weekend giving mini-makeovers and offering advice. Such a great opportunity to ask those burning questions you’ve been dying to get off your chests.
Below are Brendan’s five tips for choosing the perfect jeans – take note!

1.      Start with a little stretch; try finding denim with a little give
2.     Avoid bootcut; use a wide leg to balance the hip
3.     Try a skinny jean! They make every leg look slimmer. You’ll be amazed. Start with a jegging to break you in and remember, it’s all about what you wear on top
4.     Back pocket size: big on small bum, small on a big bum
5.     The perfect indigo colour is always the best place to start and is much easier to smarten up

Interested? Of course you are! Here’s the information from the press release. Go forth and find your perfect jeans!

The Fashion Movement@ Jervis Shopping Centre will run for four fashion filled weeks. Each Saturday there will be four fashion shows throughout the day showcasing the hottest trends from all of Jervis Shopping Centre’s fashion stores including Forever 21, New Look, Topshop, Bershka and Stradivarius. These will take place at 12pm, 1:30pm, 3:00pm and 4:30pm, and will feature a special fashionably fun kids performance each week from the young trend setters from a number of schools in the local community.   
For more information see www.jervis.ie.

Bill Gibb – A Welcome Discovery

We all have friends of our parents that have done something we admire, something a little bit cool, something which sets them apart from our parents other friends. For me, it is that one of my mother’s dear friends worked in Fashion PR during the 60’s and 70’s (I might have to double check the decades, I hope I haven’t just insulted her!). She worked for Cartier amongst others and as a Fashion PR girl it was her duty to always look impeccable.
Fast forward to the noughties and you’ll see her gifting me a heavy, knitted, silver and grey cardigan. At the time I must only have been about 19 and, whilst fashion conscious, I certainly didn’t have the love for well made pieces as I do now. It was all about whatever was IN fashion at the time, competing with my friends.
Thankfully my mother kept the cardigan and recently dug it out for me. And boy, am I glad she kept it.

Upon further enquiries to my mother’s friend I was informed that the cardigan was by Bill Gibb. A name that was unfamiliar to me. She told me some stories and remembered him with fondness.

Born in Scotland in 1943 he studied at St Martin’s School of Art and The Royal College of Art in London. Upon graduating he worked for prestigious London fashion house, Baccarat as a designer, but left 3 years later.  He was a partner in the Alice Paul clothing boutique in London and later opened his own named shop in London where he sold wonderfully designed pieces, elaborately influenced by the Far East and tribal uniform.

It is said that he was inventive and bold in his use of textures and fabrics, often mixing the 2 in ways that weren’t all too conventional at the time. A point that my mother’s friend made was that the cardigan she had given to me was all in one piece, with no seams. The idea behind this was that it would fall perfectly upon a woman’s figure. He understood the female body and shape and form were forefront in his designs.

Bill Gibb design commissioned by Twiggy for the LA premier of The Boyfriend in 1971

Crowned Vogue Designer of the Year in 1970, his shop was opened in the mid 70’s and he graduated from using rich wools and Liberty prints to designing with leather and furs. A quick jaunt online found a Bill Gibb mink fur stole reaching well into the thousands.
Liquidity struck Bill’s business in the late 70’s, but the mid 80’s saw him re-emerge with a runway show in collaboration with knitwear designer Kaffe Fasset. The show only proved what people from Twiggy to John Galliano already knew about Bill, that he was a master of decorative, baroque fashion with the ability to take influences from the hippy fashion at Woodstock to tribal customary uniforms in the far east.
Bill passed away at the age of 45 in 1988, leaving behind an army of admirers. He was described by Twiggy as her ‘knight in shining armour’ and according to John Galliano he was the essence of British design.

Bianca Jagger in a Bill Gibb kaftan

Since his death there have been numerous exhibitions dedicated to Bill, including in the Louvre in Paris, The Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.
There are many books also written about Bill Gibb and I, for one, will be striving to find out more about him.

Here are a few (sketchy) pictures of the cardigan given to me. Camera excuses once again!! I can’t wait for an event for which to wear this. It’s so special that I think i’d wear it with black skinny jeans and a black vest and let the cardigan do all the talking. The balloon sleeves mean it’s perfect for winter & summer alike. Breezy.

A/W Burgundy

A/W 2011’s must have colour is reminiscent of expensive red wine, nights in by the fire, glamorous theatres and red velvet cake (any excuse to get a mention of cake in).

Here’s my picks of the best of burgundy. Drink up.

Work It

Skirt It

Slip them on

Jacket On, Jacket Off

Your bag, my bag

Trousersnake

Dress for the occasion

Top of the pops









Fast Fashion – The Debate Rages On…

Having read these 2 pieces on ‘fast fashion’ and making ethical shopping choices, I wanted to write a piece giving my views on this issue. But then both Pearl, from Fashion Pearls of Wisdom, and Jen, from Little Bird Fashion, wrote pieces which put it far better than I could.

Alongside recent reports of the BBC Panorama show having faked scenes of child labour for retail giants Primark, are reports of one of the world’s biggest fashion icons, Kate Moss, wearing a Primark poncho on her hen weekend to the Isle of Wight Festival. 
Kate Moss is one of the most respected modern fashion icons and one of the highest earning models of our time. She is often sported wearing Chanel and Louboutin’s and can well afford not to have to shop in Primark just to stay on trend. 
So what does this tell us? For one thing, I think it’s pretty certain that Primark is here to stay. Gone are the days when telling someone that your dress is from Primark is done in hushed tones and with a hint of embarassment.
 There’s a strange sense of pride with some people in letting someone know that they’ve paid a lot less for a dress that they might only wear a handful of times before you bore of the style, colour, or even size! Does this mean that we are being unethical in our choices? Or does this mean that we want to have the things that we see others have, but we don’t necessarily have the means to invest in these pieces? 
Has it even got anything to do with our sense of style, or is it wanting to be seen with different pieces all the time? 
Image via Primark.co.uk
I often felt guilty buying in Primark, feeling that I was going against what morals I have.
For me, personally, I shop in Primark for the odd essentials. The sizing on most of their clothes simply don’t suit me. I used to blame this on the cost of the clothes “oh well, you get what you pay for”, but then I realised that sizing is an issue in a large number of shops, all in varying degrees of affordability (another post to come on that one!). 
However, as my previous post shows, I won’t shy away from buying a whole outfit in there if the need arises. And perhaps, was I different shape or size, and the clothes fitted me better, I would buy whole outfits in there as often as I buy elsewhere. But the frequency of my purchases in there is irrelevant. 
As was stated by others, sometimes we simple don’t have the funds to be able to invest in high quality pieces.
Sometimes shopping in Primark is the only option someone has if they need an outfit for a job interview, or a wedding, and don’t have the funds to shop elsewhere. 
Perhaps now that Primark has made clear it’s stance on ethical trading we can start to see some positive progress with retailers being honest with where their clothes have come from. As Pearl says I will be blunt though, what I would like to see is some facts and figures from Primark and all the High St retailers as to how they can afford to sell things so cheaply whilst paying everyone in the chain a fair fee and still make a profit.”

Maybe the way forward isn’t to just avoid one store altogether, after all, this will do nothing to change the culture of ‘fast fashion’ and unethical trading. If one chain closes, another will see an opening in it’s place. 

Maybe the way forward is for there to be some transparency in where our clothes come from. For clear legislature to be put in place so that WE, the consumers, can ask the questions about where our clothes come from, without having to pay through the nose for designer gear because we have been urged to equate cost with ethics.  Or without being made to feel guilty because we mightn’t have the same income as someone able to buy somewhere slightly more expensive
After all, do we know where those clothes have come from either?






Newsround

Ok, not so much ‘news’ as ‘things I like’….but these things are news to you! (speaking of news, did you hear that Top of The Pops is coming back? SQUEEEEEEEEEEEAL)

Anyway, this is like a mid-week Sunday Roast of things that have caught my eye, but don’t particularly deserve a full post (OR, i’ve been too busy this week to dedicate the time to a full post, sorry!) Here goes, comments appreciated – also, feel free to let your friends know about the blog if you enjoy it, honest…I won’t mind!

Diane Kruger in THIS Jason Wu dress – I actually have an idea for a Diane Kruger related post, yeah, I know, i’m late to the bandwagon, but she’s really wowed me in this dress. It’s classy and elegant and the shapes are just beautiful, not to mention the naughty little peek of white from under the hem. I’d love to find an affordable version of this, or a dress with a similar shape. Stunning.

This post about Pamela Love’s studio from CoCo Celine. I’m so excited about the Topshop collab that is planned – i’m a big fan of her pieces. 
This dress from Rachel Zoe’s RTW Fall 2011 collection – can you tell yet that I love volume and shapes? 
Nicki Minaj is at it again – I love her, she’s FIERCE competition for Lady Gaga. Fearless and strong and wow, look at that ass! (i’m just saying what we’re all thinking)
This short piece about Tavi – The Style Rookie. Sometimes when reading her blog I feel strangely proud of her and how she’s growing up and maturing. She’s as cool as I wish I had been at her age. I hope she finds the direction she wants to go and doesn’t get pulled under by the evils of fashion. (is now an inappropriate time to add evil laughter?)
Cara Delevigne for Burberry Beauty via fashiongonerogue.com – ahoy there lovely eyebrows. 
Oh, Opening Ceremony, why must you taunt me with your ‘i’m so cute i might explode’ dresses and ‘fuck me i’m AMAZING’ platformed shoes teamed with socks? A quick jaunt into the SoHo, NYC store in February left me panting and grasping at my credit card, all the while pleading that my bank manager would give me MORE, MORE, MORE so I could spend there – alas, it was the end of the trip, the end of my funds and it just wasn’t meant to be. Here, they have partnered with Pendleton in these Navajo Desert, wild west inspired wonders. I just love their quirky photo shoots. (the cynical part of me hates myself for using the word ‘quirky’ just there, please don’t judge me)
More outfits & shots can be seen here.
Charlotte Free – read about her here
Alexandra Jefford jewellery – in particular the cocktail rings, I just can’t get enough, I just can’t get enough. 
And finally, because i’m loving barbie pink and neon lips at the moment, this piece from Net-a-Porter about perfecting your pout, ooh la la! 
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