Tuesday 31 March 2009

Trendstop FW09 lecture- 25 March 2009

Formed in 2004, Jaana Jätyri's (pictured top left) main occupation was a fashion designer who founded Trendstop as a reaction to her peers and colleagues who felt that there was not such a service available to designers across all fields such as fashion, architecture, and interiors to name but a few.

Below is an over view of trends and looks that will be present on the catwalks to the high streets in autumn/ winter 2009.

19th Century Dandy / Southern Comfort
Heavy textile influence
Prince of Wales, Tweed and printed velvet fabrics
Brocade, faux brocade
Dandy accessories such as cravats and bowties
Capes and cloaks
Midnight navy, fortified wine, tobacco- good to use the darker colours for the detailing

Behind the Iron Curtain
Film influences- Eastern Promises and new Tarantino ‘the Glorious Buster’
Greyscale panelling
Uniform colours such as charcoal grey
Flannel and washed woollen fabrics
Caps, uniform shirts, jodhpurs
Industrial work wear becoming design masterpieces for modern times

Couture for men
Hourglass silhouettes
Pinched waists- belted suits
Cocoon shapes
Sculpted bracelet sleeves
Cutting precision in navy and black
Homage to couturier Charles Worth
Kilts over skirts / trouser skirts
Hybrid dress making fabrics
Luxe wrap
Elaborate hats
Scarves to add an effeminate softness
Washed fabric effects to create a subtle texture
Feminine colours through detailing
Military detailing

Menswear Overview
Nude colour palette- camel shades
Madagascar sapphire
Emerald and winter green
Feminine reds- make up colours
Nightshade mauve
Shocking pink highlights
Yellow with monochrome
Colour blocking
Padding and quilting
Quilt placement on shoulders and front of garments- not restricted to the shoulders
Indoor leather-Sweater shapes and scarves
Low crotch tailored trousers

Scarytale: Witches/ Wood Dwelling Creatures
Fantsy characters
Purple and teal ocean colour
Black tape colouring
Hypnotic prints and patterns
Ornate graphic prints
Edwardian lace dresses

Paris of the Orient
Chiniese culture pays a big influence
Chinese red
Couturier Paul Poiret cocoon shapes
Alfons muscha prints
Upholstery tassels
Beaded purses

Paris Girl
Dandy looks translating into womens wear
19th Century poets- Lord Byron’s girl
Military referencing
Lapels, double breasted buttons, epaulettes, peplum
Satin and velvet brocade
19th Century frock coats
Waistcoats with dandy frilly blouses
Neck ruffles, cravats and boyish quiffs
Midnight navy velvet playsuits
Jersey fabrics
Biker dandy- leather

Lady is a Vamp
1940s wartime influences
Shadow and amber streetlight shades
Film noir / femme fatale
German expression
Joan Crawford shoulder pads
Belted utility tailoring air hostess / luxe balaclava
Helmet visors
Scarlet coloured accessories
Caramel flannel
French resistance chic
Fur arm warmers
Pagoda shoulders
Jersey tops / T-shirts with shoulder pads
Star trek officer jodhpurs
Leather tailoring
Contrast sleeves
Translucent colours and fabrics
All in ones / jumpsuits
Boiler suit look
Shaved fur patterns
Shaved hair

Womenswear Overview
Head to toe black (even designers who usually add a colour splash)
Bright colour pop with black
Optimistic colours such as- vertant green, butter and toffee, cool brown, winter white, dove grey, charcoal
Black and white optic weaves
Hound’s-tooth patterns
Grown up sophistication found in kids optic prints but translated to black and white
Optic hosiery
Black and red combinations
Appliqué on shoulders
Bustle trousers

All in all a good evening out, with great sushi, wine, vodka and most of all good company.
Image courtesy of Trendstop.

Saturday 28 March 2009

TOMO photography: Let the RANDOM(ness) ensue

On Monday gone I attended a party hosted by Random Magazine to celebrate the launch of a photography exhibition by one of their most talented contributors and coincidently founder and editor-in-chief of Random; Tomo Kembery.

Held in the beautiful and surprisingly grand Cobden Club on Kensal Road, W10 myself and my date for the evening H wondered up and down the street several times before finally realising that the party was situated within and old gentleman’s club that we had discounted several times previously. Once inside and rescued from the tingling chill we were ushered up to two floors of merriment.

Once inside we were greeted by beautiful and well heeled ladies with delicious looking pink cocktails ready for the taking, but alas these were not my bag. Once coats were safely deposited within the cloakroom I headed towards the bar looking for a more typical and robust drink such as red wine or beer only to discover that the only drinks available were the aforementioned raspberry martini or a vodka martini. Needless to say I chose the latter which was so strong that I proceeded to wince after every sip (which was shocking even to me as I can usually take my alcohol!).
After quenching my thirst we wandered around the central staircase where Tomo’s work was displayed and marvelled at how brilliantly jovial, colourful and bright his images were. Reminiscent of iconic LA photographer David Lachapelle’s work the light hearted nature of the imagery gave me high hopes that it was to set the tone for the night, which I’m pleased to say it eventually did.

On the first floor there were copies of Random scattered around on every surface visible ready to be read while eager revellers waited for the live music to begin. Myself and H settled at a marble topped table at one end of the room and as if by magic were within reaching distance of the bar. Between sips (and splutters) of vodka martini we poured over the many fashion pages for a good quarter of an hour which reflected a truly bizarre and unique blend of photography and styling featuring the work of the man of the hour Tomo. With subjects ranging from body builders to fashion models what I loved most about the pages of Random was the diversity that was clearly encouraged by Tomo and the ethos that anyone could be part of creating such a unique fashion and art glossy which I feel is unrivalled.

After looking through the magazine cover to cover, we wandered upstairs to see what thrills awaited. As we walked in I was wondering where the buzz was that I was so looking forward to with invitation having promised live bands and sexy trannies in attendance. Upstairs was even emptier than the floor below however we did spy a few of the advertised trannies walking around ready to host the bands a little later on.

Feeling rather out of place as we could not distinguish many other fashion types within the crowd myself and H decided we’d be very glamorous and head out for some food to kill time and also to soak up all the alcohol burning a hole straight through our stomachs. After getting directions from the bouncers we were once again in the cold and were a little surprised to see a line of paps standing around doing their usual chain smoking and pacing at the tender hour of 8pm. Wondering what we could possibly be missing we headed back up towards Ladbroke Grove and relented in our quest for hot food, instead settling upon a Sainsbury’s supper.

A little while later; once fed and watered we were back inside and found the first floor empty, with everyone taking their places upstairs to see the first band. Not really my cup of tea and rather brilliantly we grabbed a seat on a leather sofa near the front (stage left) just as their set was drawing to a close.

Next up on the stage was a gorgeous blonde tranny who was filling the gap whilst trying to locate the next band. Soon to take the stage were a rather dashingly dressed male who I had spotted earlier looking to approach him for a photo of his very well put together outfit (alas I did not get the chance) and his partner (later identified as Chuckles) who took his place behind the turntables. Pleasantries over The Correspondents began their set by playing that song which is synonymous with the Jungle Book, ‘I Wanna be Like You’ which they sampled beautifully.

A mixture of swing, hip hop and a bit of drum ‘n’ bass thrown in for good measure; The Correspondents completely blew me away. Not at all what I was expecting with the very comfortable and confident front man MC Mr Bruce bounding around the stage with such enthusiasm for dancing and swing music that it was impossible to ignore their energy or the fantastic 1920/30s-esque music that was reverberating around the room.

Enticing his audience with his cabaret banter and dapper dandy charm Mr Bruce became my most recent object of lust as was agreed by H as you could tell that he put a lot of his personality into his performance which made him instantly loveable. So much did we like the Correspondents that we stayed until the end of their set enjoying their unique music in addition to a couple of youthful men who were making us giggle by pouting to the extreme and doing poserish movements which are more commonly associated with dancehall music, which made them stand out like a sore thumb.

Alas it was the last train home for me, but all in all a fantastic night was had by all, and I would definitely recommend that you check out The Correspondents music.
Flyer and artwork courtesy of Tomo Kembery.

The Hardy Tree

I first stumbled across the Hardy Tree many years ago when I lived in the King’s Cross area where I was born and bred. Revisiting it on the off chance today whilst driving past I was reminded of how magnificent and rare a sight it truly is.

Set within Old St Pancras churchyard (famed by Charles Dickens in his 1859 novel ‘Tale of Two Cities’) on Pancras Road the Hardy Tree boasts a unique mix of history. Named after novelist and poet Thomas Hardy, this ash tree has been in situ since the mid 19th Century. During the 1860s when the Midland railway was being built over part of the churchyard Thomas Hardy was tasked with the gruesome job of overseeing the exhumation and removal of the many bodies and tombs.
Clearly visible are the headstones which were placed around the base of the tree over 150 years ago. Revisiting the tree many years after I first found it whilst walking around the churchyard it’s really rather interesting to see how they continue to grow between the gravestones and propel them upwards.
I think that this Camden site forms a fantastic piece of history which I personally have not and could not forget. I urge you to go and take a look for yourselves as it is quite extraordinary and the images I have taken on a rainy day simply do not do it justice.
Opening hours are generally during daylight which is a blessing for all first time visitors who are unaware that there is a coroner’s office located around the back on Camley Street, which some may find a bit spooky...

Saturday 21 March 2009



Once seated within the grand domed ceilinged lecture theatre we were introduced by London College of Fashion lecturer Reina Lewis to our trusty panel which consisted of editor-in-chief of Vogue.co.uk; Dolly Jones, Think Tank editor at WGSN; Ruth Marshall-Johnson and founder of niche blog hijabstyle.blogspot.com; Jana.

Throughout the course of just over an hour the panel were invited to speak about how the internet has played an important role within the fashion sphere with particular attention to its relevance to their own careers. Also discussed were the ways in which fashion designers, manufacturers, retailers, and consumers have been affected by the meteoric rise of the Internet.
Dolly Jones commented that back in 2000 when she started working on Vogue Online she used to routinely request tickets to all the major fashion shows and designers used to scoff at her saying that there was no way they would let an online journalist preview their collection for fear of their story going live and copycats counterfeiting the designs before they’d even hit the shops the following season. Now nine years on designers are much more confident with this medium of journalism and are now so dependent on its reach to a whole other world of consumers that if their collections are not written up within a couple of hours designers would personally call Dolly to ask ‘why not?’.

The benefits of fast fashion news online greatly appeal to many designers and stores as they provide consumers with instant brand access. Never before has such a world of knowledge been at the consumer’s fingertips whereby they can hear something on the radio or see an advertisement and with the power of search engine such as Google they can pull up extensive current and archived information within minutes.

Ruth Marshall-Johnson of WGSN opened her thoughts by stating that the first web communication took place on Christmas Day in 1990 and marvelled that the Internet is now in its ‘teenage years and is only beginning to understand its own capabilities’. She went on to discuss how consumers have more power over content now than ever due to consumer reviews and the upsurge of ‘home experts’ in the form of bloggers. With the internet’s reach growing further due to a high demand and availability of access through palm pilots and more basic mobile phones; without instant access consumers feel disconnected.

Another great point raised by Ruth was that whether as a society we like it or not ‘generation plays a huge role in how the media landscape affects and shapes our views about shopping’ and discussed how tomorrow’s children will have even more at their fingertips and will be instantly programmed on how to get the best from the internet as online is the future and ‘gives birth to many more opportunities’.

A main topic of the evening’s conversation was the world of blogging with Jana talking us through her blog; Hijab Style. Formed in September 2007, Jana created her blog in response to the lack of style information and advice for Muslim women who wanted to dress stylishly yet preserve their modesty. As the first style blog for Muslim women within the UK Jana has created a lucratively successful niche market whilst studying Medicine.

From Jana’s statements and interaction with the audience the need for moderating on blogs soon became the hot topic with both Dolly and Jana stating that at one point each of their respective sites had options to comment whereby readers could simply post their initial reaction to what they had read without censorship. This caused great concern as many readers from a variety of backgrounds tended to post their free flowing thoughts without due process in a different way to how they would complain to a journalist’s face or in a letter to the editor of a magazine. Both ladies conceded that this was an idealistic way to run a website and / or blog as there was often a need for them to step in and diffuse arguments as readers used to get into debates with each other across the website which created a bad atmosphere and misrepresented the original message intended for readers. In spite of this the conclusion was that the need for participation from readers is great as this form of feedback -whether it be positive, neutral or negative- is priceless and all together helpful for journalists, bloggers and other readers alike.

The main focus for the evening was what I would describe as the great debate between Print and Online. The emphasis being whether internet journalists hold the same credibility and receive the same respect and adulation as their print counterparts. A member of the audience commented that with the fold of so many magazines as of late with Amelia’s magazine being the prime example; ‘Is there still a need for magazines, when they can still have a strong readership by transferring to online media in the form of e-zines and blogs?’

The response of the majority was that in times such as these when the average person has less money to spend on themselves magazines such as Love, V, and Another Magazine offer an escape and a sense of luxury that is need now perhaps more than ever. Also it is buying into a fantasy and a fantastical lifestyle that is more appropriate in these times of economic stress than splurging on the archetypal designer handbag.

Lastly the conversation was steered towards debating the pros of cons of Online versus Offline shopping. This was widely debated with the thoughts on offline ranging from the possibility that said store do not have your size, shop attendants can be rude and unhelpful, other shoppers in the fitting room may be skinnier than you and look ten times better than you in what you’re trying on, but this aside nothing can compare to thrill of walking out of a store with your purchase in hand. For online the biggest pro was that retailers can cater to a much wider range of consumers and niche groups than they ever could in one flagship or smaller store, and that it is a fantastic tool for those who are less confident about shopping or for those who downright detest it.

It was agreed by all present that both Online and Offline shopping mediums can co-exist and co-evolve and that both now and in the future will always have their pros and cons. The question that we were left to mull over at the pub afterwards was ‘will there ever be a saturation point?’

With the buzz word of the night being ‘Internet’, it was a great lecture although myself and my friend who accompanied me were left feeling like we’d stepped into an LCF lecture where everyone knew everyone else. Very reminiscent of the lectures we used to have at university under the banner of Cultural and Social Studies.

The next lecture in the series is titled ‘Fashion and Faith’ scheduled to take place on Friday 22 May (19.00-20.00) in the Hochhauser Auditorium, Sackler Centre, V&A Museum.

Saturday 14 March 2009

Ujino and The Rotators @ The Hayward Gallery

A few weeks back I was fortunate enough to stumble upon the work of Tokyo based sculptor and musician Ujino at the Hayward Gallery. His exhibition entitled ‘The Rotators’ is a sculpture come performance artwork which is being shown as part of the Southbank Centre’s Ether series; a festival celebrating cutting edge innovation in sound and art.

When first stepping into the gallery space it was somewhat hard to determine exactly what the concept of Ujino’s installation was until my brain began to comprehend that all of the ubiquitous household objects before me were connected in such a way that a series of movements were translated into signature sounds unique to the electrical objects.

As my eyes were attracted to flashing lights and drawn to several objects such as a hoover strapped to an electric guitar (pictured above), and a London A-Z affixed to a rotating drill bit (pictured below) I began to comprehend the master behind Ujino’s three installations.

Whilst I’m sure this was not the artist’s intention I had a thought whilst surveying the installations; what a gigantic waste of energy these appliances omit in the form of sound, and by using it to his advantage to create such a groundbreaking installation Ujino inadvertently drew my attention to this fact. However it did leave me wondering just how much energy this installation would consume during the course of the exhibition which is scheduled to last 65 days.
Doing his part to reinvent and recycle alongside the largest of the three installations was a poster asking members of the public to donate their own household appliances to his cause during the duration of his exhibition (see below).
I would thoroughly recommend this exhibition to anyone who has a spare half hour to take a leisurely stroll along the Southbank and pop into the Hayward for this exciting and vibrant display.

‘Ujino and the Rotators’ is showing from Wednesday 18 February 2009 - Friday 24 April 2009 and is 100% free.


Welcome to my blogspot!

In future blogs you can look forward to seeing and reading my views on most things creative. From photography and fashion to art and film, I'm interested in all things of a creative persuasion.

Recently graduated I have become somewhat idle after going straight into full-time employment and through this blog I aim to kick start my creativity and reconnect with the creative world.

I hope you enjoy checking in to see what I'm up to x