Doorways, hidden paths, secrets & stories. Images like this always inspire me with ideas for shoots. Doors have always been magical: “Alice opened the door and found that it led into a small passage, not much larger than a rat-hole: she knelt down and looked along the passage into the loveliest garden you ever saw.” -Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
I’ve been tagged by The Fashion Assistant to reveal my seven spring songs. I’m not sure about seven spring songs besides it’s summer – and I’m not the kind of girl who lies around on the beach and dreams the day away. Anyway this is what I’ve been listening to:
Blondie – Sunday Girl
We make fun of men who wear lifts in their shoes – I think in general life is difficult for the shorter man. King Louis XIV was only 5 foot 4 inches but some of his shoes were 6 inches high.
During the seventeenth century, high heels signified the wealth and privilege of men and women. King Louis XIV of France passed a law stipulating that only those who were granted access to his court were allowed to wear red coloured heels. Red heels still signify wealth & privilege – how many of us can really afford Christian Louboutin’s?
And why red heels? Red was a rare luxury as it was a precious commodity in 17th-century France; the dye was made from a small beetle, the cochineal found only on the Mexican cactus. (Synthetic dyes weren’t invented until the 1800′s).
Since the late 1700s, men’s shoes have had primarily low heels. There have been many boots for men that have a heel: there is the the cowboy boot and the Beatle boot. Also the Cuban heel has become somewhat acceptable for men and are not considered effeminate (but they’re not truly part of the main stream). At the end of last season we saw more fashion forward shoes for men: the Manolo Blahnik’s open toe – slingback.
So far I haven’t seen anyone wearing them but I hope some fabulous man does. I envision the wearer sitting at a posh cafe, everything white with canvas umbrellas and a perfect view of the ocean…Anyway this season Fendi has created a beautiful men’s shoes with very low wedge.
I don’t think the man who wears this shoe is interested in being taller or concerned about stature. It’s for a man who has attitude, a strong sense of personal style and perhaps a bit of humour.
To celebrate the launch of The William and Judith Bollinger Jewellery Gallery the V&A Museum invited Comfort Station amongst 18 other designers & artists to create an exclusive piece of jewellery as part of their “Cherry on the Cake” collection.
I love this necklace:inside the book are secret treasures & inspirations from the V&A including fabric samples, prints, wallpapers, ink drawings, illustrated catalogues.
Comfort Station was started by the lovely Amy Anderson after completing a fine art degree at the Ruskin, Oxford. Amy had many adventures from working in sculpture, photography and video installation all before creating bags fashioned in oak and jewellery with secrets & hidden messages. Each piece of jewellery is handmade in the Comfort Station studio in East London.
Erika Trotzig recently collaborated with Studio Private and photographer Yuval Hen. This is one of the images from their exhibition in London. I just love the feel of this shot, the light & the yellow background. I want to know more about the girl – it feels like a painting. Yellow backgrounds often remind me of the short story The Yellow Wallpaper (first published in 1891). It’s a story is about a women and her descent into psychosis. Her husband, also her physician confines her to room in a summer house where she is forbidden to work or even write, otherwise known as – the rest cure. With nothing to engage her she slowly becomes obsessed by the room’s yellow wallpaper. "It is the strangest yellow, that wall-paper! It makes me think of all the yellow things I ever saw — not beautiful ones like buttercups, but old foul, bad yellow things. But there is something else about that paper — the smell! … The only thing I can think of that it is like is the color of the paper! A yellow smell." Erika’s work is very beautiful, her pieces are very wearable and have the feel of haute couture and fine art. She studied pattern cutting in Stockholm before enrolling at Saint Martins. In 1988 after graduation she went on to work for Belgian designer, Josephus Thimister in Paris and then returned to London to launch her own label. Erika was awarded New Generation sponsorships, and sold in boutiques and department stores across the world, had catwalk shows during London Fashion Week, and exhibited in Paris and Tokyo.
I love these bags, very traditional with a twist – a modern day classic. I hate computer bags – they’re so ugly, so why would I want to put my lovely little lap top in just anything? Oh to have a Violet May python clutch for my laptop! I thought I’d grow tired of silver but it’s just so shiny I can’t help but want it.
I’m loving this white bag too, I know I’d use it even if I wasn’t carrying my laptop in it. There’s just something nice, very grown up about a white handbag. In a way it’s a bit old lady – retro perhaps is a catchier phrase. I hate when I want something and fashion gets the better of me!
I like when I go into a shop and there is signage about the shop’s ethical policies. I want to believe them but I have this nagging feeling …it’s too good to be true feeling…I should know better. In my head it’s just common knowledge that cheap garments equal some kind of exploitation. I’ve had nothing to prove it – this was just a something I taught from a very young age. I’ve always felt people should be paid what the job is worth to you, not the least amount you can get them to do it for – that’s a mentality that I hate. Anyway I think when people read the signs in shops about ethical labour policies they want to trust the retailer. It’s easier and if it’s a policy it must be true and it puts our mind at ease. Even if on some level we know or can’t believe that a top only costs a fiver; the shop has a policy, so it must be OK. After a programme like Panorama it’s all most impossible to for us the consumer to claim ignorance. What will retailers have to do to gain consumer trust?
The secrets inside a stylist’s kit are really not so secretive – sometimes there are just subjects that we don’t talk about too often – like nipples. You’ll notice in different magazines and advertising women with and without nipples. In Sex and the City you see lots of nipples and in M&S advertising women don’t have nipples. There was even a Sex in the City episode where nipple enhancers, Bodyperks were used!
I don’t have nipple enhancers in my kit, but maybe I should… Anyway I was on a shoot ages ago; the client was upset that they could see the model’s nipples, the photographer assured them that they could easily be retouched, but the client still showed some anxiety so the model wore nipple covers.
These nipple covers are only £5.00 from M&S!
Quote: Victoria Beckham helps her mates when she can, and new pal Kate Beckinsale is no exception. Kate said: “She gave me nipple covers. You don’t want your little peas sticking out, do you?” Er… no.
I am addicted to mascara and I’m dying to try the new Estée Lauder and Lancôme vibrating mascaras. I’m not brand loyal about mascaras as I’ll try anything if it will give me big full lashes! I am obsessed with skin care and I’ve never worn make-up to bed – ever. I always feel validated when I see a product I use in a make-up artist’s kit. A good make up artist is very picky about the products they use, so you know they use only what they really like. I don’t usually brag about products but since I’ve been in the UK I discovered No7 Cleanse & Care Eye Make up Remover and I can’t live without it. I can wear several (many) coats of mascara so eye make-up remover is very important to me. I’ve learned that you can buy it in Canada so I’ve got my mum hooked on it too!
I met with the super petite designer Ada Zanditon in her super sized jacket! Ada graduated from London Collage of Fashion in 2007. She spent four season interning with Alexander McQueen and in 2007/8 she worked with Gareth Pugh as a pattern maker. These images are from Ada’s graduate collection. I love the oversized shapes and how everything feels bit like a super hero. Lisa Snowden and Joan Collins have both been photographed wearing her clothes! For her next collection Ada is using ethical/organic fabrics and she presently has a new eco collection available in Oxfam 245 Westbourne Grove, London W11. You might have see some of her illustrations featured in the London Underground. This autumn Ada will be exhibiting in The Ethical Fashion Show in Paris.
Rakish Heels is a unique quirky new shoe brand. Lona Jones is the owner of Rakish Heels and she knows lots about shoes but most importantly she’s super sweet!
Rakish Heels only launch in February 2008. I’m a lover of spats and Rakish has something just as cool – heel covers! Each shoe comes with a detachable heel cover – it can transform the shoe from day to evening!
Lona in Vegas!
This video really says everything about Rakish – its quirkiness with it’s Victorian inspirations & charm. I really like when designers are just doing their own thing – they’re not following trends or copying others they’re just making & designing items that are an extension of themselves – things that they like.
I went to the opening preview of The Viktor & Rolf exhibition at the Barbican. It was quite amazing! I love the doll’s house – I think every girl loves a doll’s house. I had so many dolls when I was little, and my mum would make matching clothes for me and my dolls. I never had my own doll’s house and was jealous of one girl who had a German doll house. Viktor & Rolf’s doll house is 6m-high with three floors, endless rooms and it feels very luxurious and empty at the same time. There are 55 porcelain dolls living in the house. The dolls are only 2 feet high, with human hair and are made by hand by master craftsman Mr. B. Terrie. Each doll is designed & styled after the model who originally wore the outfit and the dolls have the same make-up that was worn in the catwalk show. The dresses are a true replica – everything is made to scale and even the original leather is used to make the shoes.
I keep thinking of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House and everything that Nora felt. Dolls can be so beautiful but have a very scary side to them especially the porcelain doll. One of exhibits had a doll surrounded by broken porcelain. In Viktor and Rolf’s work there is lots of dark humour, and there is a lot of it in the way the models are displayed as porcelain dolls. It’s eerie and adorable at the same time!
Of course an exhibition like this attracts fabulous people. I spotted super stylish Roisin Murphy. She’s a true fashionista and a wonderful singer!
…and one of my favourite people: Gok Wan!
Girls in Viktor & Rolf
So if you’re feeling like summer’s here and you’re already wearing your favourite Luella floral dress then it just might be time to customize your scooter! I love these flowers! I used to decorate my bicycle when I lived in Montreal. I don’t tent to cycle in London as I find that I’m always carrying way too much stuff. But oh, oh how I’d love to be the girl on a Blooming Scooter!!!
For more info check out Tucanourbano.it
I love how these two girls are dressed. They look like the kind of people you want as friends. Trustworthy, cool and fun! It’s interesting that a bright colourful dress, a groovy head band and a red hand bag can covey a message – so if clothing is a language- a method of communication – what are we saying and do we look very different when we are smiling?
Who can resist a pig in boots? Apparently this little piggy has never liked mud. She’d stand alone shaking in her pen while her mother & other siblings went out to explore the farm. Soon the owners, Debbie and Andrew Keeble noticed that she just didn’t like mud – they thought she might have mysophobia – a fear of dirt. Anyway, they kitted her out in some miniature wellies and now she’s quite happy! Cinders has become the mascot for the campaign to raise money for the Farm Crisis Network, which supports struggling farmers.
The Royal Collage of Art was transformed for it’s MA fashion show.
It’s really important to see London’s new talent. At the RCA there are 32 postgraduate students in menswear, womenswear, knitwear, accessories, footwear and millinery who are showcasing their garments both on the catwalk and in a static exhibition. I didn’t get see any other shows this week as I’d been quite busy shooting so it was good to see at least one show. The life of a designer is not as glamorous as it looks. It’s highly competitive and in a couple of minutes you’ve been judged on your life’s work – it’s quite brutal but I’m not sure that there’s a better process.
This was a great show!! I always love seeing bands that I’ve worked with. The Subways are known for their live performances and they don’t disappoint. They have so much energy and look like they’re having so much fun and of course the audience is totally captivated. Billy dived into the crowds during Turnaround and he also jumps of one of the balconies into his very loyal audience – you really have to believe in your fans to do that!! Oh Yeah was great and they played their new hit song Strawberry Blonde.
Yesterday’s shoot was all about Wonderful Hair. I’ve never had hair extensions and have never had the desire to have them – until today that is.
I love how Yulia looks while waiting for her hair to be done. Most models bring a book or something, occasionally I’ve known models who knit to pass the time.
This was a busy shoot as we had lots to accomplish but we really had a great team and worked really well together. I think too many people are thinking that working in fashion is just like life in The Hills! Although The Hills is my assistant’s favourite show she knows what really happens on a shoot & how much work is really involved.
And yes, sometimes there are perks! The perk was some red hair extentions!!