Le Photographe // LFW SS15

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Tempted? Well that’s the idea, literally. Le Photographe’s inspiration stemmed from the bible’s ‘garden of temptation’.

The collection takes the rough with the smooth, combining embroidery with sleek shapes and tailoring.

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With references to the 50’s by way of flared skirts and neck a chiefs but with an organic twist to bring it forward to 2015.

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Christopher comments “The aim of our collection this season was to twist and extend the boundaries of wearable silhouettes, incorporating embroidery and fabric manipulation to bring a playful elegance to a new vision of the post modern wardrobe”

Think natural colours like raspberry, lemon and white combined with woven raffia emulating the twisted branches of the tree of life.

Sculpture in the Home // Pangolin London

On Friday Amy and I went to the preview of Sculpture in the Home courtesy of The Guardian.

It’s a dynamic exhibition celebrating not only beautiful British sculptures but also interior design by Amelia Mcneil, textiles and architecture. We were lucky enough to have a talk by the curator Polly Bielecka, where she told us how the exhibition had been given a modern makeover from its original post war state. It was amazing to hear all the ‘behind the scenes’ details. When you initially walk into the exhibition the first thing that hits you is its harmonious appearance, with each different medium of artwork complimenting the next. Listening to Polly delve into the secrets of curating really puts things into perspective especially with regards to just how much thought goes into creating such unity, giving a whole new level to the exhibition experience.

So if you can get yourself down to Pangolin London, you won’t be disappointed. The exhibition features works from Barbara Hepworth, Sanderson, Robert Day, Geoffrey Clarke and many more. And if you can’t, well here’s a few pics…

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Distressed

Don’t worry this isn’t a cry for help, today I’m talking distressed denim…

Here’s me last Sunday soaking up the sunshine at Regents park in my ripped H&M jeans.

Leather Jacket: Warehouse, Knit and Jeans: H&M, Necklace: Zara

Leather Jacket: Warehouse, Knit and Jeans: H&M, Necklace: Zara

Fancy ripping it up too? Then what about these…

 

LFW AW14 // Ashley Isham

So I might be a couple of days behind on reporting on the accounts of London Fashion Week but better late than never as they say.

Yet again the lovely people of Pop PR sent me some sumptuous tickets to see the some upcoming names in the London fashion scene. One of which was the amazing Ashley Isham…

Tweed fabrics in asymmetric cuts, greys mixed with yellow and blue hues. Texture was key with embellishment and twisted rope detail..take note because you will be wearing this come A/W 2014.

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Happy New Year

Hello all!

Happy New Year!

Remember me? I know it’s been a while since my last post (sorry!). Christmas and NYE were full of family and friends and therefore the blogging took a back seat while I returned to the 7 hills and fresh air of Sheffield.

Here’s a recap of my Christmas and NYE through the medium of photos, as the famous adage goes a picture is worth a thousand words

Work's Christmas Party

Work’s Christmas Party, Mayfair

Hair by Hershesons  

Christmas Jumpers and Birthday Celebrations in Sheffield

Christmas Jumpers and Birthday Celebrations in Sheffield.

Christmas Jumper: ASOS Marketplace Lillies of the Alley

Boxing Day, Derbyshire

Boxing Day, Derbyshire

Family Walks

Family Walks (and falls)

Treating my mum at Tamper Coffee

Treating my mum at Tamper Coffee

NYE, London

                      NYE, London

Sheer polka dot shirt: Zara

Hello, My Name is Paul Smith…

This weekend some friends and I took a look around Paul Smith’s first ever shop, watched one of his catwalks, viewed his shops from around the world and took a look into his personal collection of artwork…

How did we do it? Well I’ll let you into a not so secret, secret. You can do it too! All you need is a ticket to the Design Museum, London.

“The Design Museum takes you into the world of fashion designer Paul Smith, a world of creation, inspiration, collaboration, wit and beauty”.

Entering the exhibition through a replica of Paul Smith’s first ever shop, the exhibition takes you on a journey through the inner workings of his mind: his influences, his personal work spaces, his hobbies and so forth . What’s more though, is that you not only learn about what influences the great man himself, but you too go away with a desire to create and unleash your inner designer…

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Wendy Dagworthy: The Interview

Last week I met Wendy Dagworthy at her office in the Royal College of Art to talk career choices, doll house’s and silver shoes. Read on for the full interview…

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After completing a pre dip at Medway College of Art and a foundation course, Wendy went onto study fashion at Hornsey College. It seemed that ever since she was a little girl creating soft furnishings and clothes for her doll house and dolls (which she still has today!), she had an enthusiasm for styling and design…

Were there ever any doubts?

“No I don’t think there were any doubts at all. The foundation and pre dip was fantastic, we did absolutely everything you could possibly do. Fine art, silversmithing, ceramics, life drawing, printmaking, photography. I mean we just did the whole lot, which they don’t anymore, which is a shame. Then at the pre-dip you specialised in the discipline you wanted to go into and I went into fashion. I think cause I always made all my own clothes and loved fashion that was what I always wanted to do”

But was this choice your own choice or did your parents have any influence?

“No just me. My parents were great as they never pushed you anywhere, they just let us do what we wanted to do. So that was great and I’m a firm believer in that as well, to not try and force your children into an interest”

At the tender age of 22, most of us are still in education,flying back to the nest, or experiencing a mid-twenties crisis. However you’d just become your own boss – how did you do it?

“I suppose it was slightly unusual, but I’d worked for another company [Radley] for about a year or so and as I started my own company I cut down on days. So I gradually phased out working for someone else. I started [the business] because I really wanted to do something I believed in, it’s very hard to do something that your heart’s not in. Plus it was a lower level of the market than I wanted to design for. I always used to make all my own clothes and clothes for friends anyway, I think at the time it was all glitter jackets and satin. One of my friends knew a shop on the Kings road and she wore one of my jackets there one day, the shop assistant asked her where she got it and she told her it was one of mine. So she encouraged me to go along and try and sell the stock to them. So I made all the jackets up on my sewing machine, which was present from my parents for my 21st. [laughs] I’ve still got it and I still use it. That’s where it all began really. I just rang shops up and asked them if they’d like to see my new collection”

Do they still do that sort of thing now-a-days?

“Well I suppose you could still do that, but there’s London Fashion Week now”

The most important week in the British Fashion calendar – London Fashion Week may not have been so important if it hadn’t been for Wendy and her designer peers…

“Back then there wasn’t really London Fashion Week for designer clothes, it was more ragtrade, held at Earls Court and Olympia, you know real ragtrade. A group of us through Annette Worsley Taylor got together, and we were selling at that point but just through shops. We were all designers, there were probably about 10/12 of us and we thought ‘let’s show together’. So we rented a hotel, had a little fashion show, where we all put 3 things in each and invited the press and buyers . It was all very democratic, it was run by designers not by anyone else as such.”

Now the current recession has affected us all, well Wendy’s been through two and is still firmly on top. I wanted to find out how it had really affected her…

“It makes you stronger, it makes you realise things don’t go on forever and things will change.”

Do you thinks it’s affected the fashion industry as a whole?

“I think it has, yes. I think in the late nineties there were a lot of students, leaving college thinking ‘oh I’m going to be a designer’ with no thought of who they were selling to or how they were going to get it made. All they wanted to do was have a fashion show. As the recession hit quite a few people, it was the stronger ones who survived and I think that’s been good for fashion week. [before the recession] Buyers used to come over, put an order in with a young designer and they didn’t deliver or it was badly made which didn’t do London any good really. Now we’re much stronger, the designers are more, what’s the word, savvy? Business minded? Or they’re working with business partners which is the ideal thing

You said teaching was a natural progression for you…

“I used to set a lot of projects at colleges, not just one but I taught at practically every one in the country. I did quite a bit of external examining as well, so I was quite aware of education. When I closed by business [end of 1988] I was, at the time, an external examiner for Saint Martin’s and their course director resigned that Christmas so they asked me if I’d be interested in taking over. I was like, well ok, I mean at this point it wasn’t anything permanent but 10 years later I was still there”.

So it all fell into place really?

“Yeah, I think it did really. My son Augustus was about a year or so old and it was better for him as well as I wasn’t flying all over the world, which I did a lot. When you look back you think ‘god how did I do that?!’ We showed in Milan, London, Paris and New York, [reflects] so I must have been away quite a bit really. So yeah it worked well plus I enjoy it”

What about other aspects of your career?

“I don’t do so much consulting now since Betty Jackson stopped her main line. I enjoyed curating [Club to Catwalk at the V&A] that was great, I mean who knows, maybe?!”

Why did you make the change from Saint Martin’s to the Royal College of Art?

“I was headhunted for the job here and I thought oh ‘do I want to move?’ cause I loved being at Saint Martin’s, it was great fun, we’d built up a great team together. But then i thought ‘why not?’ it’s good to have a challenge. And it’s great working here cause it’s all post graduate, so it was just the next step up I suppose.”

What qualities do believe make someone a success?

“A passion for the subject, the right attitude, not having a huge ego either- that’s not great. It’s all about having the confidence to believe in yourself and just do what you really want to do”

Have you got any stars in the making that you’re currently teaching?

“It’s difficult to name names really, but we’ve got quite a few designers doing well at the moment and hopefully you know…We have a real mix of students, from those who go and work for someone else, like high profile companies such as Burberry, Chloe and Diesel, I mean practically every company has graduates of ours – which is brilliant. Then there’s students that want to go and do their own thing like Holly Fulton, Sophia Webster [footwear], Matthew Millar [menswear] who are all doing really well. So we’ve got quite a lot of names coming through.”

Apart from your bracelets what is your favorite item of clothing or jewellery?

“Apart from them? Well they are my favorite as my husband bought me them all. [pauses] Probably at the moment – silver shoes. [points to shoes] these! It’s great cause you can wear them with anything and they just brighten it up.

As we finished the interview off she gave me some parting advice, and advice I feel that after speaking with her is something she not only preaches but also lives by:

“Be yourself and enjoy what you do”.

Cocktails, Career Counseling and Catch-ups

I met up with Johanna Payton again on Monday at the Hippodrome in Leicester Square. She works at the Guardian (dream job or what?!) as well as writing her own fashion blog, lecturing at London Met and lending her stylish expertise to BBC Radio!

She hasn’t got a fashion background either, as far as education goes, so she’s a great role model for me. She’s proved that with enough determination you really can get there! Her optimism is infectious, after our catch ups I always feel like I can conquer the world.

It’s not only her words that inspire, her clothes do too…

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Some Nice Advice…

I’m off to an event at LK Bennett tonight so just time for a quick post today.

At the Hellen Van Rees show I was “working the room” attempting to network with some highly fashionable/intimidating people. When I noticed this lovely chap sporting this fabulous jacket and even more fabulous mustache. On asking him where his jacket was from he replied “Zara, picked it up on the way here this morning”…at this point I knew he was important, only important people impulse buy Zara, the rest of us do Primark.

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It turns out I was right, Tony is the Creative Director of the School of Media and Communication for London College of Fashion (wow what a mouthful).

After a brief chat, I asked him if he had any advice for someone wanting to make it in the business, he simply said “keep at it”. A beautiful, unpretentious piece of fuss free, honest advice. Thanks Tony, I will keep at it!