A little window into my world

Monday, 19 April 2010

Quick Update

I have been busy busy and haven't had much time to post recently, but I have been busy writing, so soon there will be a big back log of back dated posts for you all to read. Until I get around to posting I will give a quick update of whats new with myself, my work and the blog.

My exciting news is that I have been given an unconditional offer to go back to University and top up my degree, waahhooo. I graduated last year having completed a Fda degree which was only 2 years of study, all be it two very intense years. I could have done the third year last year and topped up my degree into an BA Hons, but it would have meant moving to a completely different course, which I didn't really feel was for me. I decided to give the industry a go, but on hearing my old course were adding a third year I decided to reapply and top up my degree. I am now really excited to return to my studies to get some more design experience, and to complete a number of placements as well as explore the industry further. I loved my time at AIB and can't wait to go back!

With the news that I am going back to uni I am busying myself cleaning up my portfolio and setting out some clear goals. I really want this final year to cement some ideas I have about possible careers paths and to really build up my portfolio of work and gain as much experience as possible. I worked so hard on my degree to achieve top grades, and I intend to do the same next year so I will be working hard setting myself up to do as well as possible.

Aside from this education preparation I am continuing to work on swimwear collections as well as putting my pattern cutting and sewing skills to use by helping out a friend with her final collection. Its so easy to let your skills get rusty and forgotten especially with something so complex as pattern cutting, so having the chance to refresh them is really enjoyable. It has also been an opportunity to test my knowledge and has actually boosted my confidence knowing I still have my abilities. I love working with other people, and think her designs are beautiful. I really can't wait for the final outcome and will definitely post pictures once they are finished.

While I have been taking this year out I have been using this blog as a way of tracking my progress and developing my views and thoughts about the fashion industry. It is important to me that my writing skills are as polished as my design capabilities as communication is so important in the fashion industry. Press releases, reviews and reports need to use more complex comprehension then my more colloquial blogging style. Perhaps this blog doesn't really reflect this ethos, but the more I write the less of a block I will have once I return to my education. A number of my friends have been working on their own blogs to achieve similar things, and so to develop my blog we are going to collaborate on a number of articles and cross reference to share our thoughts and opinions of the fashion industry as well as social and cultural ideas.

All of these individual aspects that I am working to develop are important in order to become a well rounded fashion professional. I enjoy developing my skills and furthering my interest in various subject areas. I am going to be non stop busy preparing to return to university, but will try hard to keep my blog updated and filled with things are are inspiring me and updates about whats new. I am really excited and scared about the next year but using this focus will hopefully help me get ready.

As well as looking forward to going back I am preparing to do a bit of globe trotting before hand to gather new inspiration and have a well earned break. I am going to New York for my birthday in June to celebrate in style. Broadway, shopping and sight seeing are all in order with a number of artistic visits planned too. Then I am fingers crossed going to travel Europe in the summer. I love European cities more then anything in the world, the culture, the art, the languages and everything about them inspire me. I have been mapping my route which will include; Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Austria, The Czech Republic, and Poland. Every city will be different, and I can't wait to see what Europe has to offer. The trip is very ifs and buts at the moment, but hopefully it will all figure out soon. I am very inspired by European fashion so hopefully this will provide some good things to add to the blog.

Anyways, that's all my updates for now, keep watching for new/old blogs to appear.


Monday, 5 April 2010

Hot to trot

Summer is slowly rearing its head making me very overly excited for the new seasons trends. I will certainly be hunting out some super pieces this summer to compliment my wardrobe. With the new season approaching it would only be appropriate to look at the latest trends to hit the high street and see how we can incorporate them into our lives. This is my summer 2010 trend report.

My top 10 trends for summer...

1. I am loving the idea of cycling shorts for this summer. So wrong in theory but something so lovable about them. Most of us remember them from our school days as a black, shiny, Lycra horror story, but these patterned, lace and sheer beauties could make a great alternative to leggings this summer, or work fabulously layered under short shorts. Team them simply with a long top and some sandals and you are good to go. Here are three of my favourite pairs all from Asos.

Lace Cycling shorts £28 (also available in Ivory)

Sheer Mesh Cycling shorts £48

Motel Baroque Cycling shorts £18

2. Always a lover of play suits and jumpsuits I am happy to see them make a welcome return to the stores. Whether it be a beautiful silk evening look or a casual jersey beach throw over we should all invest in at least one this summer. Dressed up with heels and a jacket, or dressed down with sandals and sunnies, get in on the action. I personally love these little numbers.

Wrap front jumpsuit £95 from Reiss

Cap sleeve playsuit £18 from boohoo.co.uk

3. Taking it to the max. The maxi dress is making a return this summer. For those of us that are not stick thin this is a welcome cover up for us this summer. Still light and airy as well as feminine maxis will be everywhere this season. They can be tricky to pull off but there is a maxi for everyone, no matter your size or height. For maximum flattery think about which colours or patterns suit your skin tone, perhaps consider a three quarter length maxi if the full length drowns you too much. Shop around for different shapes and necklines, and be brave. I will be rocking this catrionarose maxi this summer, modelled here by the beautiful Kate...

Available from catrionarose.com for £45

but I am also loving Olivia Reuben's take on the maxi available at www.oli.co.uk definitely worth a peek.

4. Pastels. Candy pinks, powder blues and just lilacs are everywhere this summer. Pastels can wash some of us out, but if you mix and match you can make them work for you. I find pastels a bit too girlie for my style, so I will be rocking them up perhaps with this tasseled leather jacket from mango. If you are really girlie, this trend will work with your look. Here is my pick of the pastel high street.

Blue ruffle skirt £12 from boohoo.co.uk

'Petal' colour dress £55.90 from Mango (also available in 'cloud' blue)

5.Ditsy floral. Dainty, cute and everywhere this is a trend for the girlie girls. Floral skirts, dresses and long tunics will make this summer feel feminine and fresh. Layer them up with girlie coloured cardigans and top with bows for the ultimate ditsy floral look. Think Luella meets Cath Kidson with a squeeze of bright. If you are not all sugar and spice and want to make this look a little less sweet, mix and match with denim jackets, or biker boots to give it a little punch. Boohoo.com is dripping in ditsy florals and with prices starting from £12, you are likely to find a real bargain.

Topshop have a beautiful corset top for £30 in a ditsy floral print, but if you are on a bit of a tight budget this one from Boohoo.com is very similar and less then half the price...

Ditsy floral corset top from Boohoo.com for just £12

6. Updated preppy. Think pinstripe, brogues, satchels and bows. Jack wills meets Zara meets Banana Republic with a twist of mulberry. I am loving this look, and it is perfect for the work place. Mix blazers with tailored shorts and silk blouses for the perfect city look. Burberry encapsulates everything this trend is but if you can't afford the high end things, here is the pick of the high street for this look.

Tan brogues £54.99 from schuh

'Mid blue adivat shoe' from Faith £60

These shoes fit with this look brilliantly.
Visit www.zara.com, www.radley.co.uk and www.banarepublic.com to shop this trend.

7. African prints and soft safari are everywhere this summer. Dora the explorer meets African princess give a beautiful international look. Simple tunic tops, printed maxis, and harem trousers can be topped with braided bangles, Sapphire beads and head wraps for a gorgeous summer look.

Topshop have a beautiful African maxi dress which sums up the international look perfectly and at £30 its a bargain. Visit www.topshop.com to get a look.

Also worth an investment is this African print dress, £28 from Asos.

Think Alexander McQueen meets high street to get the look.

8.Clean and bright and breezy white. We all remember Blair Waldorf at the white party in gossip girl in a beautiful white dress. This summer we should bear that image in mind and invest in lovely white garden party frocks for summer 2010. Unless you are a super woman, I would not recommend this for everyday wear, white is easily messed with. Keep dress for those early evening cocktail parties and mix white tops with dark bottoms to keep them as clean as possible. Whether it's romantic whites, or bright whites, let all invest this summer.

White foxy dress from Reiss £169

White trousers from Mango £49.90

White lace dress from Mango £69.90

9. Ruffles, ruffles, ruffles. Not just Luella style, but modern, artist ruffles also. Think architecture inspired ruffles, meets cute Luella garden party part ruffles and combine to the max. You don't have to go all out with this trend, as ruffles will speak for themselves, so keep it simple. I think this Miss Selfridge play suit captures this trend perfectly, as do these Luella dresses. If your not that bold, how about a simple Victoria Beckham number, there is a ruffle for everyone.

Lipsy have some beautiful ruffle dresses on their website which I recommend everyone visit, but I also love...

Reiss Katlin dress £169

Ruffle neck dress from New Look £12 also avaliable in different colours

Ruffled blouse from Matalan £16

10.Denim. Ankle length, boy fit, crop jeans, shorts, shirts, jackets, and skirts. Denim is everywhere this summer. Doubled up or single it is an easy way to give that outfit a casual touch. There are s many quirky denim items around at the moment. I am personally loving awkward length jeans with a geeky pristine fold. Traditional Levis just wont cut it any more, here is my pick of the high street.

Iggy Jeans £30 from Asos

Denim waistcoat from Boohoo.com £20

Patchwork denim short playsuit from Asos.com £35

Denim topped dress from Mango £64.90

What ever your style make this summers big trends work for you. Mix and match and shop the high street to get the best bargains out there. Try something new and remember to wear it with confidence, fashion is all about fun so don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.


Hussein Chalayan @ The Design Museum London

A short report from final year of University about Hussein Chalayan's exhibition.

"Hussein Chalayan is one of the most visionary designers working in fashion today", and this is clearly demonstrated in the "first comprehensive presentation of Hussein Chalayan's work in the UK" at the Design Museum in London. Possibly one of the most exciting exhibitions I have attended in a while, Chalayan's work spoke to me on a creative level beyond fashion. Incorperating new media technology, with a design ethos that challenges social and economical ideas, this presentation of Chalayan's work is a window into the identity of the designer behind it.

Chalayan: The exhibition

These is an immediate artistic atmosphere that surrounds one after walking into the exhibition. The lighting and composition of the instillation's creates and uncertain mood of what might lay ahead. It is not just the pieces being exhibited that create this exciting and unknown feeling, it is the way that they are presented to us. The combined use of performance, art instillation's and video to present his concepts make this exhibition stand alone from other current fashion presentations.

It is not so much what is being exhibited, but how it is being exhibited that captures the imaginations of those visiting. It is the combination of fashion and new media technology that is of interest. There is a close relationship between these two industries in real life, and so using them to draw together his work is an interesting concept. This is a combination that Chalayan uses to present his work on the catwalk, as well as at exhibitions similar to this one.

The composition of the exhibition itself is like none other presented in London at this current time. Everything about it screams 'visionary'. There is nothing ordinary about this. Unlike the V&A exhibitions it is not all presented in one room, there is a narrative to the exhibition. You have to go on a journey around the work of Chalayan, and take a long hard look at the life of the designer behind the creations. It is this journey that perhaps makes the exhibition progress. The final presentation is in video form. It feels as if the stand still instillation's are leading you through to the final presentation of his work. This build up creates a sense of closure on the exhibition.

Chalayan: His life and his work

Hussein Chalayan is renowned for his use of innovative materials as well as his meticulous pattern cutting and progressive attitude towards new technology, all of which qualities are exhibited in the work presented to us in this exhibition. These is a clear sense of design identity presented here, which perhaps brings together all of this explorations of who he is and his own background. His work presents ideas of displacement , migrancy and cultural identity, reflective of his own upbringing living between two cultures.

"Chalayan's work demonstrates his unique ability to combine beautiful and wearable clothes for today with an intriguing vision of the future" This is something that strikes you most about his work. The exhibition shows the diversity of his work from haute couture pieces to his ready to wear work. Each garment is beautifully crafted to present a combination of his political and cultural ideas past, present and future.

"Chalayan describes his work as being a narrative incorporating different themes. His shows are designed to be a cultural experience for the spectator. Many of the themes explored in his work derive from his own personal history and cultural identity combined with his experience living and working in London". This is clear to see from this exhibition. It is this quality alone that makes Hussein Chalayan's work so inviting compared with other current designers.

It is his expression of his colourful background and his views that are the strongest influence on his work and bring a new sense of trend to his creations. There are political and cultural trends from the past that influence his current work that is for the future. It is in the bringing together of all these elements that make Chalayan's work stand alone from other designers.

To Conclude

This is one of the most exciting fashion exhibitions that I have attended a long time. Chalayan's work speaks to me on a level beyond fashion. The political, cultural and visionary ideas presented in his work are what makes him such a visionary designer. The exhibition itself is a reflection of how Chalayan chooses to present his designs, "His acclaimed runway shows function as performance pieces, which allow him to express important concepts". This is strongly reflected in this presentation of Hussein Chalayan's work at the Design Museum London.


Saturday, 3 April 2010

Drip drip drop.

So it would seem that every ones best friend this April will be a cute umbrella to keep dry during these April showers. I have been eyeing up some lovely umbrellas on www.brolliesgalore.co.uk and will definitely be investing to avoid any more drowned rat looks this spring.