Sunday, 20 March 2011

Lazing on a sunny afternoon

It's beginning to feel like Spring.
This whole outfit, (clogs, suede fringed jacket, leather shorts) is from Topshop. 
Predictable? Blame uniform. 
H x

Friday, 18 March 2011

Topshop's Blogging Masterclass, with Susie Lau and Stevie Mackenzie Smith

This is the second time Topshop have held an event at Nottingham's store, we felt that this one however was much more successful. It wasn't necessarily due to the larger turn out, but it was the fact that Susie Lau of Style Bubble, and Stevie Mackenzie Smith of Discotheque Confusion really gave us an insight into their worlds. Despite Harriet being armed with Topshop's questions for Susie and Stevie in case of silence at the Q&A session, there was no need as the questions kept coming and the answers were honest and engaging. We're often hurriedly booking train tickets to London when there's something cool going off, and wishing we lived there because Nottingham's not quite the epi-centre of Fashion - which is why it's always so great when something inspirational happens here! If you missed out on the evening, below is a round up of everything that we found particularly interesting...

Susie Lau, now a full-time professional blogger, started posting on Style Bubble during her lunch hours of her "dull" digital advertising job. Susie reinforced the importance of being passionate about your content - in the beginning, to make sure she had originality in her posts about discoveries of new designers and unknown shops she did google searches to see if she was simply re-reporting. Another point she made was about style blogging, and how she surpasses 'what I'm wearing today' by creating inspirational outfits around a theme or argument or piece which relates to an exhibition. We find we come across a lot of documenting of day-to-day outfits which has made us reluctant to do this ourselves, but Susie's approach has made us look at this element of fashion blogging in a new light, more outfit posts, we promise!

We were surprised when Susie explained that she often saves what she discovers at "Fashion month" until she's re-seen the collections and appreciated them up close. This was encouraging as this is something we do, in such a fast paced industry there's pressure to roll out posts as quickly as possible.
Whilst we were sat outside anxious for the event to start, we had to do a double take when Susie Lau walked straight past us (without sounding too cliché); in her own little bubble. It's one thing looking at style posts on blogs, but admiring some one's creativity in their dressing in person is another, so we ran after her for a photograph and to quickly ask what her outfit was made up of, we loved the vintage sheer robe she wore over the dress.                                                                                        

Susie likes to discover what makes designers special, above is an Proenza Schouler garment featured in one of her posts.

Stevie, who started her blog Discotheque Confusion when she was only 15, embraces fashion as “Part of your day, not something that has to be a big fantasy.” She discussed her love of blogs being due to the fact that they're "spur of the moment", which is what separates them from ruthlessly edited magazines. Her posts are personal as she has informal fun with fashion, leaving reporting Fashion news to someone else who "does it better", such as Fashionology or Fashionista.

Stevie commented on how as a student, she doesn't have the budget for loads of high-tech gadgets, and she finds personal pictures most interesting. This is why she shoots her style posts with a modest webcam, giving an intimate feel with the garment as well as the personality. Above is our favourite!
We love how Stevie shares the inspiration she finds, which is often from films - she recommended The Big Chill, Badlands and The Love Story. We've been delving into this recently with our Show & Tell posts, we get excited about so many things, it'd be selfish not to share! Stevie is a self-confessed 'Chloe Sevigny style enthusiast' but suggested that if you ever lose your style "mojo" that you hunt down a copy of The Cheap Date Guide To Style.

A prime example of a 'delicious pop cake' and one satisfied customer.
During the Q&A session both Susie and Stevie spied blogger Kristabel in the audience and complimented her blog, I Want You To Know. During the discussions, meeting new like-minded  people came up as one of the best things about blogging, and it was cool to have a tweet with Kristabel along with other attendees afterwards. We thought we'd share with you a video she captured and posted to her YouTube channel, and be sure to visit her blog -  similarly to us, she's masterfully juggling her life as a Nottingham Trent Knitwear student with her writing.

Since both Susie and Stevie began blogging about 5 years ago, they've seen the rise in popularity it has encounted, both from readers and writers. They both agreed that they want the industry to regard blogging as just another way of covering Fashion, rather than a strange phenomenon. This is the way it's going, and why shouldn't it? It's about individuality, and blogging gives the individual who wears it a voice. After all, Fashion needs an opinion.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Video Interviews at Vauxhall Fashion Scout: Anna Lee and Nicole Murray.

So, when these were shot, the whole video interview thing was new to us. Please excuse the shaky hand, often questionable focus and the awkward interview voice, which is indeed Harriet's. 
When attending Vauxhall Fashion Scout's exhibition, Harriet took the chance to talk to a few of the designers whose collections caught her eye the most. Videos allow us to really translate the collection to you all - catwalk shots are cool but sometimes don't capture what we're interested in, which is the methods, materials and thought processes designers go through. And what better way to deliver all of this than video interviews with them? We hope you enjoy these! 

Anna Lee is a young designer, who after graduating from De Monfort University went on to be awarded the Zandra Rhodes Catwalk Textiles Award at Graduate Fashion Week in 2010. I met Anna by chance at the National Portrait Gallery's All Walks event, and it was great to see her collection up close at Fashion Week, I really want some of the crazy leggings! Such beautiful, skillfull prints. 

Above I talked to Nicole Murray about her Autumn Winter collection, Evie and I loved Nicole's designs from the moment we saw them up close last year, her traditional techniques that are adapted to the modern woman create garments that are beautiful, feminine, and wearable. This collection introduced leather, which was a gorgeous chestnut colour and so soft!  

We're going to be entering the realms of film much more from now on, using our YouTube channel, so keep watching!

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Show & Tell - Caught on Camera

It seems some SS'11 campaigns adopted a more realistic style.

Grubby Glamour

I like what my scanner did to the photograph.

Midnight Mischief

Let Them Eat Cake!
Which ones your favourite? French Connection wins our vote.
H&E xx

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Running, but not in heels, at Vodafone London Fashion Weekend.

We  always watch the TV programmes about the glamorous (the Hills) and not so glamorous (Ugly Betty) lives of Fashion Interns with dreamy eyes and hope in our hearts that, one day, it will be us at the front of that queue of models with a clipboard in one hand and a pen in the other, probably frantically ordering last minute adjustments to hair and the re-pinning of garments. So as you can imagine, we leaped at the chance to be runners behind the scenes of the Catwalk at Vodafone London Fashion Weekend.

Upon arrival at the tent in the courtyard of Somerset House, we were introduced to the Stylist Molly and her Assistant, Lily.We were then straight to work - and sent out on 'pick-ups.' To see the address of the Louboutin press office being written on the page before me was like heaven, that was until I had made it there, red faced from actually running, and felt the weight of 7 pairs of divine red soled platforms! I then ran back to the station with the discrete brown paper bags which were stuffed with pink tissue, the only give-away being the note attached to each, with 'Miss Molly' hand-written in the same classic font as the Louboutin signature which made the header above it. From there, I made my way to pick up a BodyAmr dress, which was handed over by Amr Ali himself!

Long before this, Evie had completed her pick up, which was Mark Fast garments. So by the time I got back, Evie had already completed the tasks of  checking that all the Mark Fast Garments were there, placing them on to hangers for models to try on with stylist Molly, and was making up the boards which display the models' head shots and looks. The twelve beautiful girls each had four looks, comprised of two trends (one being inspired by the film Black Swan, and the other putting a ladylike spin on the neon trend), and two designer collections, the first by Bora Aksu and the second by Mark Fast. Whilst clothes fittings were taking place alongside hair and make up, we took on the task of shoe fitting, wincing as the models literally squeezed their feet in to the skyscraper heels, jotting down requests for plasters and heel grips.

Once all of the shoes and clothes were organised, a shoe run through took place, confirming that a few models had sizing issues! This was rectified with the ingenious use of black tape, which was bound ever so tightly around the girls' feet if the shoes were prone to slipping off.

The models practicing their walks in the highest stilettos we've seen
Louboutins in action!

Above is Melinda's board and rail, we dressed her on Thursday. From left to right, the looks on the rail are by Mark Fast, Jasper Conran, Bora Aksu, and Jasper Garvida.

Valeria in a breathtaking Mark Fast dress, it took a few people to get this extraordinary     garment on and perfectly arranged.

Dressers and Molly's assistant, Lily, watch the live feed of the show by the side of the catwalk's entrance and exit.

We got some great shots of the models as they left the catwalk for the final time, they all seemed very pleased to have made it in their heels! Above is Ania P and below is Marie.

It wasn't all hard work - we also got to have a peek at what Fashion Weekend had to offer in our breaks, meet Ellie Goulding, who performed at the catwalk, and I was also asked to stand in for a hair demonstration in the VIP Lounge, (my hair was back-combed into the high buns seen on the models above, a painful experience, but totally worth it as I got to squeeze in to a leather Giles dress!). We know experience is a priceless attribute in the battle for jobs in the Fashion Industry, but we honestly would do this again and again without question. It's hard work, it's voluntary, but it is so much fun. Thank you to everyone we met!! xx