Sunday, 28 July 2013

Exhibition review: V&A From Club to Catwalk

I have been excited to visit the V&A ‘From Club to Catwalk’ exhibition ever since I heard it was on just because I have a mini obsession with Leigh Bowery so I wanted to gain a more thorough understanding of the period in which he flourished: 1980s club scene in London.

The exhibition was split into two sections the ground floor focused on catwalk trends and the first floor was dedicated to club fashion. Walking around the ground floor I saw designers who I hadn’t previously heard of such as Chrissie Walsh and Willy Brown which has made me want to research them more as I particularly loved Willy brown’s peacock eye dress, it was a structured concave dress hand painted with peacock eyes it has similar traits to Issey Miyake pleats please collection in terms of 3D structure and shape. Also in a period when most club revellers were strutting around as preened peacocks aiming to out dazzle and shine other clubbers it was a dress that oozed uniqueness and creativity.

Another stand out section from the ground floor was a display dedicated to Levis denim jackets various designers customised them this highlighted the strong DIY ethos and cut and paste aesthetic of the 80s. The stand out creations for me was the Leigh Bowery creation in which he covered whole jacket with gold hair grips it turned a functional denim jacket into its polar opposite a heavy, embellished kitsch show stopper.
Other sections from the ground floor that I was drawn towards was a Vivienne Westwood Toga dress (1982-3) it was turtle neck with Campbell soup iconography printed at the bottom it was a dress that I thought was relevant today pop art has been seen printed on many a garment lately. Also the Katharine Hamnett display with her original slogan tees wouldn’t look out of place at a festival this year as there has been a resurgence in popularity of slogan tees this summer and her display highlighted the original ethos of the slogan tee as a vehicle to react against the establishment with a message to inspire.
I enjoyed taking a minute and sitting on a bench to watch a video showing different designer’s catwalk presentation from the 80s what struck me was the difference with the catwalk collections today, then they seemed more relaxed and fun with models role playing, rolling down the catwalk, dancing along and all in all rarely a straight walk down the catwalk compared to what we see happen a lot today. It emphasised that it was a period in which designers were first starting to become internationally recognised and established as LFW only started in 80s so it was a time for experiment and creativity which can be seen in the catwalk presentations.
Going up the stairs to the ‘Club Fashion’ section of the exhibition there was a mirror reflecting image of yourself with message saying ‘Would you let you in?’ this was comical reference to the London underground clubs such as Taboo and Blitz where you had to be dressed in a provocative, daring extreme manner otherwise you would be refused entry on the basis of boredom.
Mannequins were displayed on raised platforms in clusters of different sub cultures such as Goth, High Camp, New Romantics, Fetish and Rave. Some of my favourite garments displayed were a Georgina Godley 1986 dress made out of lycra with boned hoop at the hem it was at the same time provocative in that it clings to body shape and restrictive as covered whole body.
A Leigh Bowery stretch satin body suit with a suggestive tube of fabric hanging from groin it provoked wonder in me that anybody would be daring enough to wear that in public which he did, it only served to emphasize his unabashed dedication to his art which he expressed in clothing and how clothing can be used to manipulate a body and people around you into expressing different reactions and personas. A three tongued platform trainer by Westwood was another item that was one of my favourites I would wear it today, it shows how her designs are still unique and relevant in an over saturated market of today.
Overall the expression I had when leaving the exhibition was one of inspired creativity it made me want to get out my sewing kit and DIY some of my own unique creations. The exhibition was played homage to freaks, show offs and club weirdo’s of the 80s that made London what it is today a beacon and haven for expressive fashion and the arts.
Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s is at the V&A until 16 February.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

V&A From Club to Catwalk


The V&A’s latest exhibition blockbuster is named ‘From Club to Catwalk’ it celebrates London fashion in the 1980s. The 80s isn’t the decade that is remised of fondly say compared to the 60s or more recently the 90s which has been an inspiration for many 2013 summer trends, people associate the 80s with power dressing, shoulder pads and the Fame kids so all in all not a style decade to be celebrated.

However what the V&A have done is have a concentrated delve into what was coming out of the underground London club scene. When the mass public was dressed in neon lycra or box suits there was at the same time an emerging creative talent coming out of London fashion and art colleges designers such as Galliano, Kathern Hamnett and Betty Jackson are examples of this and their early garments are displayed in the exhibition.

New clubs such as the raucous Heaven and Taboo were a mixing pit of creative types who became their own art creation, people such as Leigh Bowery and Adam Ant expressed themselves in such original and innovative garments at club nights that they still inspire celebrities stage costumes today you only need to compare Lady Gaga with Bowery to see where she takes her inspiration from. With subcultures such as New Romantics and High Camp forming British fashion was so theatrical in this period and the DIY aesthetic has never been more prominent

I am visiting London next week for a few days to stay with friend so I am planning a visit so keep an eye out for a more in depth review and hopefully some sneaky pictures. What I’m excited about seeing is Leigh Bowery originals, Hamnet slogan tees and original photographs of Taboo and Heaven club nights.

The exhibition runs until 16th Feb 2014.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Tokidoki x Karl Lagerfeld

The collaboration between Tokidoki and Karl Lagerfeld is sure to be a collectors fashion item for the future. Priced at £129 is quite pricey but I really want one ... it'll be funny to take pictures at random places with Mr Lagerfeld himself. Sold exclusively at Net A Porter it will be an investment for the future .. right?!

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Summer stripes

For this weeks OTT Friday I wanted to show how I am having a bit of a stripe mclovin this summer and how I wear them for different occasions


Rayban Sunglasses - Vintage striped body suit - Levis shorts - M&S Snake print sandals
Lunch Out
ASOS cropped shirt worn underneath dress - Topshop striped denim dress - River Island double buckle sandals
Night Out
Vintage striped shirt dress - Vintage Snake skin waist belt - Kurt Geiger Chelsea heels - Topshop chain necklace

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Jeremy Scott Fall 2013

With the Summer heat wave we’re having at the moment it’s kind of depressing and gloomy to start to think about Autumn fashion but with the sales in the high street reaching fever point selling all summer things ready for next season I think the one designer who is able to transcend the current mood and joy of summer to Autumn is a Mr Jeremy Scott.

Ever since his first collection in 1997 based on car crashes he has been one designer to not go with the flow but to design for the true exhibitionist. His designs are based on pop culture, street wear, club life, mix of high and low culture all combined to create a truly theatrical, whimsical yet sometimes harrowing collections designed to shock and create buzz around what you’re wearing.
I’m currently lusting after his Fall 2013 collection, particularly I am loving his use of slogan tops, animal print combos, checkerboard print and my fave look from the collection is the leopard print double zip at front skirt. The whole collection has a punk edge but teamed with the use of bright candy colours makes me feel that there is still fun to be have this Autumn.

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Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Christian Lacroix tribute to Elsa Schiaparelli

Unveiled last week at A/W Couture Fashion Week in Paris Christian Lacroix’s homage to Elsa Schiaparelli but unlike other couture shown this collection is not for sale but was shown at Arts Decoratifs Museum in a one off 18 piece capsule collection. Ever since Schiaparelli was bought out last year this is the first collection to be seen from the house by guest designer Lacroix it has been said that in early 2014 that is when the first in house designer collection will be launched both haute couture and ready to wear collections but the designer is still not named publically yet.

Christian Lacroix collection played on some of Schiaparelli’s signature traits such as harem trousers, oversized bows and ruffled shirts – the collection is a whimsical, fantasy exploration in honour of Schiaparelli’s theatrical aesthetic. Some of my favourite looks shown were the green dress it looks so luxurious and the way it gathers at the front and falls reminds me of a chandelier casting off speckles of glittering light. I also love the pink and black striped dress, if there ever was a party in a dress then this is it - mix of fantasy and funfair combined.

The whole collection is a juxtaposition of fantasy, theatre and opulence – a rare insight into designs created just for aesthetic pleasure and not with desired customer in mind. I cannot wait to see what next comes out of the Schiaparelli house – the inspiration from Schiaparelli is surely never ending.

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Monday, 8 July 2013

Secret Emporium

Secret Emporium
T Rex rim sunglasses £35, Multi Print Backpack £58, Statement drop earrings £65, Tiger bum bag £28
A brilliantly unique creative website Secret Emporium is home to a host of new independent design talent - definitely one to look at. Above are all items on the website and my ultimate fave are the T Rex Rave rims perfect for summer holidays teamed with tiger bum bag - a force to be reckoned with I reckon.

‘Fashion Rules’ at Kensington Palace.

A new exhibition opened last week at Kensington Palace named ‘Fashion Rules’ 21 couture dresses worn by the Queen, Princess Margaret and Diana will be on show for the public to visit. This exhibition is defiantly one I am going to visit when next in London it showcases how much the Royals have influenced fashion over the past 50 years, but also how much they have credited British designers in them being recognised on a world stage.

 From the fifties Queens dresses designed by Norman Hartnell to the more daring younger sister Princess Margaret and her long time collaboration with Mark Bohan creative director at Dior – whose dresses were more provocative. To my favourite dress worn by Diana designed by Zandra Rhodes in 1986 of her tour in Japan – the subtle pink compliments the Japanese sensibility and shows how she dressed on royal visits had to be respectable to the nation she visited.

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Nowadays Kate is having a similar effect on the British public she uses her position as an ambassador for British fashion from her McQueen wedding dress to her wearing high street greats such as Reiss, Whistles and Hobbs. It is not just the public which the British Royals have influenced but many a designer such as McQueen in his Fall 2008 collection.
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Also, usually street inspired magazines such as Love have had a royal inspired cover – such as Agyness Dean in 2009 and the once renowned bag girl image of fashion Kate Moss has had a royal makeover on the cover of British Vogue in 2001.
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This exhibition I plan to visit at the end of month so watch out for a proper review – but I think if you’re in London (it runs for the next 2 years) it is worth a visit because we owe more to the Royals and how we dress then it first appears.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Glasto fashion on the high street

Glasto fashion

My three favourite looks from Glastonbury festival are shown above - I like how each of Cara, Millie and Rita bring their own individual style to what they're wearing. Cara is all low maintenance/relaxed vibe, Millie brings an preppy yet rock n roll vibe and Rita is overtly glamorous with her fitted dress and oversized hat.

If you've got any festivals coming up or holidays, or even want to replicate their style below are some examples I've put together.

Cara - Hat: Urban Outfitters, Floral Bomber Jacket: Missguided, Skinny Jeans: Topshop, Leather Backpack: Urban Outfitters, Western Boots: Matalan.
Millie - Floral Headband: ASOS, High Neck crop top: Boohoo, Floral silk shorts: Rhianna for River Island, Cheslsea Boots: Office, Tie Dye Parka: Topshop
Rita - Bowler Hat: Boohoo, Dress: Zara, Bomber Jacket: Fred Perry