Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Collection: Hanae Mori SS16

Maintaining the signature theme of Hanae Mori's brand, Elegance, the butterfly fluttered its way into becoming the main source of inspiration for Yu Amatsu's SS16 collection. Traditionally, the butterfly icon represents transformation as it undergoes the process of emerging from the cocoon, its whole life changing as the former caterpillar discovers such grace in the hands of its beautiful wings. Perhaps that's the message behind Amatsu's work as his delicate, luxurious and simply glorious creations transform its wearer into feeling so stunning and spectacular.

Crisp, sheer fabrics take the form of the butterfly's wings through peplum waists, pointed shoulder and dramatic collar structures. These oversized features appear to lengthen the silhouette, emphasizing the sophisticated feminine figure by cinching the waist and protruding the shoulders and hips. Graceful movements of the butterfly in flight is emphasized through the soft movement of the delicate, sheer fabric.

Those swift fabric manipulations are then echoed through the use of heavier fabrics, enforcing more drama and further interest to them. Layered ruffles elegantly imitate the flutter of the butterfly's wings, whilst climatic dip hems add a slight theatrical tone.

Repetitive prints are formed through the motif of the butterfly, as collages of the symbol are created, depicting a chaotic scene of butterflies. Scalloped hems highlight the intricacy of the butterfly's detailed wings whilst oversized tops and long mid-calf length skirts are the key styles of the collection.

The bright, bold colours connoted with the butterfly were left to showcase until the end of the collection. Dazzling pinks harmonize with softer complexions as they portray the great beauty of a butterfly's detailed wings. Petal-like shapes also appear in the print, exhibiting the equal beauty of the butterfly's floral habitat.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

McQueen: A Play Inspired by the Life of Alexander McQueen

Fashion genius, Alexander McQueen, contributed abundance to the industry's identity. Creating masterpieces, he bewildered us with his formations, stunned us with his distinctive collections, and most of all, captivated us by the sincere wonder and amazement of the mind behind these true works of art.

Image from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/theatre/theatre-reviews/11617617/McQueen-St-James-Theatre-insufferable-navel-gazing.html
If you truly believe that any fashion designer is neither worthy nor important enough for such an honour of having the basis of a show stationed on their own life, then I challenge you to watch this magnificent play. Award winning actor Stephen Wight takes you through a lone night where the designer is struggling for inspiration for his up and coming collection. After the surprise of finding girl, Dahlia - fantastically played by actress Carly Bawden - stealing a dress, ideas strike and you're taken through a whirlwind of an adventure of the mystical thoughts within Lee Alexander McQueen's mind.
As the audience, you begin to feel sympathy for Lee as he meets with ghost from the past, Isabella Blow. The pair discuss the heated topic of their common denominator (besides them both leading outstandingly predominant roles in the fashion industry) of depression, conversing from the wonder Blow felt when she found, furthermore bought, all of Alexander McQueen's MA collection, to the suicidal depression that troubled and haunted them both. As the couple are wrapped in consultation, you witness the speciality of their relationship and just how much Blow's death may have had on McQueen's own depressional state.
Dancers coated in dream-like costumes twirled around the stage, a vivid representation of McQueen's mental state, yet the clear explanation for the inspiration behind all of his designs: his own madness. Choreographed by Christopher Marney, haunting faces and eerie movements threaten to tear down the great empire that McQueen has built around him and called his own

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Collection: Givenchy SS16 (womanswear)

A fully monochromatic runway show with complete refusal of even a pigment of colour can easily look underdone or a little plain or just simply too monotonous. It can feel boring and dull with not even an ounce of colour to brighten the collection. But not Givenchy's SS16 runway show. If anyone could pull it off, it would be Givenchy. And creative director Riccardo Tisci definitely made sure of that one.
Whilst prints took the form of beautiful lace and stunning embellishments, and white, silver, grey and black appeared to be the continuing favoured tones, it became apparent that a bride and groom were the sole inspiration for Tisci's work this season.

Straight through the seventies timehop, Gucci ensures us that the bardot top is securely here to stay as models strutted the run way in bandeau styles finished with gathering, enhancing the hourglass feminine silhouette from the shoulders.

Thick, cross over straps make the crop top all the more interesting, whilst the silky satin sash which appears to shape the garment emphasizes the femininity of a bride on her wedding day. Doubled with a knee length tube skirt, again the feminine figure is punctuated, although this time by the cinched in waist which is created.

Effortlessly chic and sophisticated, black and white garments were often paired together, the divergent tones creating drama due to their strong contrast. Trims of lace create delicate hems and edges, stealing the attention from otherwise plain attires, preventing the looks from appearing too monotonous.

The most glamorous of the collection appeared in beautifully embellished gowns. From ombre 20s' style feathers and fringing to classy dramatic and oversized fur, the models appeared to have stepped right out of Holywood and onto the runway. Sophisticated, slender shapes allow the flamboyant enhancements to take centre stage, dramatising the embellishments.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

AW15 Trend: Red

Wine, traffic light, scarlet, blush, merlot, ruby, mahogany. Welcome the colour of the season into your wardrobe and make a style statement for AW15. From delicate prints at Dolce & Gabbana to colour block at Balmain, designers were using the varied complexions to enhance their collections for this Autumn, adding strong bursts of colour to their work. Dare to clash textures like Christopher Kane or strengthen the boldness with a jet of black like Balmain. Alternatively, soften the audacious shade with white in the style of Antonio Berardi, or follow the ways of Dolce & Gabbana by using the complexion to highlight intricate details of a print.

L-R:  Christopher Kane, Erdem, Dolce & Gabbana, Balmain, Antonio Berardi

Shop the Trend

Culotte Jumpsuit - Boohoo
Burgundy Long Sleeve Top - New Look
Berry Spacedye Batwing Jumper - Boohoo
Laser Cut Out Top - Topshop
Bag - Topshop
Burgundy Midi Skirt - Missguided
Off the Shoulder Peplum Dress - Boohoo
Oasis Ankle Boots - ASOS

As echoed from the catwalk, the colour red has hit this Autumn Winters' shop shelves hard, exploding into an array of different shades and complexions. Opt for a brighter crimson for a louder affair, choose a burgundy or berry for a sophisticated style, or why not clash the two together for a confident chic aura? Although, yes, the option with the highstreet trend is there to dress the colour up in a peplum dress or midi skirt or to dress it down in a casual tee or jumper, but where are all the great red floral prints and the blooming geometrical sixties shapes which are also set to hit this seasons shelves? They just aren't there. Maybe more will appear as the season progresses, but this top colour trend could be all the more a little exciting on the highstreet if it were mixed and matched with other AW15 trends as it has all the potential to do so.

What do you think about the red trend?

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Making Choices: What I learnt from A-Levels

On Thursday morning I was amongst the thousands of people up and down the country opening my envelope containing those few letters which could change your life. Thankfully I got the results I need to go to UCA Epsom to do an Art and Design Foundation degree before hopefully progressing to a degree in Fashion Design. However, there were some tough decisions which I made on the way, and if I had chosen differently, I might have been able to achieve even better grades.

So whether you're starting A-levels in September, progressing from AS to A2, or even perhaps reading this in a few years time, here are some tips I learnt for choosing the right options for you.

I cannot stress the need and importance of researching ALL of your areas of interest before applying for sixth form/college. Search course guides, make lists, go to open days. There are so many resources out there explaining the content and structure of courses as well people and teachers who are available to answer all of your questions. Don't be too narrow minded. I made the mistake of only researching the four courses that I thought I was certain I wanted to study, resulting in me choosing three out of four subjects which were very similar content to each other (English Language, Literature and Journalism) which was frankly just too much English.

Fast tracking
After a year of textiles being my only break from too much English, I decided I'd rather pick up another art and design subject as this is where my interest lies, helping me to build my portfolio further. We came to the option of dropping Literature and Journalism for fast tracking Photography. Not many people are actually aware that you can fast track subjects, but it's where you sit both AS and A2 in the same year. It means twice the amount of work, meaning that you must ensure you're willing to put 110% effort into the course. It also means that in your early A2 sessions, you'll feel behind as the only student who has not yet learnt the AS syllabus. But as long as you use your lecturer and their knowledge as much as possible you'll catch up in no time.

If you live a journey away from your preferred college/sixth form, ensure that you are going to strive to attend every lesson. Living in a small seaside town, it took an hour and a half bus journey to get to college every day - and that's not including the hour and a half home! I have to admit, the dark winter mornings are a struggle, especially when it's dark when you leave in the morning and dark when you return at night. A levels are so fast moving, it's important you have to be sure you can commit to your lessons.

BTECs are as good as A levels
Day-in day-out I see tweets and memes and overhear comments about BTECs not meaning as much as A levels. This is totally wrong. If you're more suited to coursework or practical work in comparison to exams, you'll probably be more suited to a BTEC course. There's not much point doing exam based subjects if you panic in exams or find more "academic" subjects more challenging, resulting in you succeeding so much more if you choose the course that's suitable for you. If you'd rather a mixture of the two, some BTECs can be sat alongside A level options. They can also provide you with enough UCAS points to get into university too.

The most important thing is that you enjoy your time studying at college/sixth form. The only way you can be certain to enjoy those couple of years is by doing what YOU want to do. No one else. Teachers, friends and parents can all be pushy, attempting to persuade you into choosing their subjects or what they want you to do. DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN! The only way you can enjoy your subjects and succeed in them is if they're solely what you want to learn about.

I hope that everyone who received results this week is happy and good luck to anyone taking A-levels soon. I'll be happy if this post helps even just one of you!

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Gift Ideas from Not On The Highstreet .com

Birthday gifts for the friend/mum/daughter/sister who already have everything under the sun can seem completely and utterly impossible. You may feel that sending a different necklace every year can become boring, perhaps worrying over the implication that you no longer put much thought into the present, when in fact you did, but just couldn't spark up something that they didn't already have. Notonthehighstreet.com hand pick individual creative businesses, ensuring to give you a huge variety of unique things, giving you the best gift ideas for she whom has everything.

I actually gave one of these to my mum for her birthday last month, and she loved it! Fun and cheeky, its bound to gain a smile from your birthday recipient. Etched into the glass is three lines, with the words "small glass" at the bottom, "large glass" in the middle, and "[name's] glass" at the top.

Want the camping vibes without actually sitting in a cold, wet field? Choose any two packets of marshmallows along side a burner and bamboo skewers in order to bring the fun camping atmosphere into the home.

Made of concrete and available in two different sizes - small and large - these cute heart shaped flower pots will enhance any plant display.

Do people even grow out of pick and mix? It's a no from me! These personalised tree forms make for a much more exciting pick and mix version, almost looking too good to eat. Almost.

Adding a thoughtful touch to this bracelet, the personalised heart makes it a perfect not-too-over-the-top gift. As you chose the personalisation, it would also be great for a special birthday, such as 18 or 21.

With such a huge selection of seeds, why not give your gift receiver the fun of growing her own cocktails? The bonus for you? You'll probably be included in the creating and tasting of the cocktails too!

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Berry Red and Florals

I've always found red a difficult colour to wear, and until only recently, tended to stay quite well away from it. Quite frankly, it just scared me a little weeny tiny bit. However, lately I've been changing up my wardrobe , somewhat maturing it, and, as a result, the colour red is beginning to make an appearance. I'm opting for darker shades - a lot like this berry complexion - as they suit my pale skin much more than brighter and lighter tones.

Call me totally late, but I've only just started to really love the midi-skirt too. Oh yes, it's all wardrobe change over here! They're comfortable and practical (for work too) and with this one at only £5 from Boohoo, how could I resist? Being on the short side of short, it means that I can wear midis as high waisted when they sit on the knee - result! I bagged this Missguided crop top in the midseason sales and you can read about that haul here. I just love the bold flowers and the intricacy of their shapes' detailing as well as the cute pompoms adding so much fun to the outfit.

If you like this outfit, please double tap the photo on my instagram, (the link is here) in order to vote for me in Stylist Magazine's style competition!

How do you style the colour red?

Berry Red Midi-Skirt - Boohoo
Floral Crop Top - Missguided
Kimono - Boohoo
Caged Sandals - New Look

Thursday, 23 July 2015

SS15 Trend: So Much Denim

Denim was a serious contender for the dominator of SS15 shows as models sauntered down the runway draped in it from head to toe. From the daring double denim at Fendi and Chloe to the classic all-in-ones at Gucci and Christophe Lemair, designers have been cutting up all shapes and styles for the spring/summer trend. The trend covers garments for any occasion, varying from the comfort of the casual boiler suit to the elegance and sophistication of the shift dress. Ripped at the knees, patchworked, quilted, faded, pleated or frayed, the trend is so diverse with what seems like infinite amounts of denim combos - who knew denim could be so versatile?

L-R: Christophe Lemair, Chloe, Stella McCartney, Gucci, Fendi

Shop The Trend

Denim Dip Hem T-Shirt - New Look
Acid Wash Dress - New Look
Cross Front Crop Top - Boohoo
Cold Shoulder Chambray Shirt - Boohoo
Pinafore Dress - Tophop
Raw Hem T-Shirt - Topshop

Denim on the highstreet appears to echo that of the runway, varying completely in so many different shapes and styles. Alternatively to other SS15 trends, this one in particular focuses solely on the fabric that is used, meaning that individual gaments can be mixed and matched with other trends for the SS season, coinciding and harmonising with the likes of bralets and cold shoulders. Denim is moving away from the typical jeans-only, becoming so much more versatile and adventurous.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Abstract Printed Trousers

I'll be honest, I really wasn't sure about the whole printed, slightly loose 'n' baggy trouser hype that landed this season. I assumed they'd swamp my more petite figure, making me look even shorter than normal, and I totally was just not feeling brave enough for a full length of bottom boldness. However, as the weeks passed and I spied more and more people unconditionally pulling them off, my temptation to at least try on a pair began to grow. When I spotted this pair in Primark for a mere £7, I just could not resist. And that is the moment I realised my first judgements on these kinda beautiful trousers were completely and utterly, absolutely, wrong.


I opted for this monochromatic pair, being not quite courageous enough for the business of full colour, allowing the abstract print to take centre stage. I have a love for all things abstract and I love the fun and quirky factor of this loud print.

I decided to team these trousers with my crochet aztec tee. The thinking behind this being that, despite the clashing of the two prints, the all-white shade caused the aztec print to appear a whole lot more subtly as it blended with the white of the trousers, resulting in not so much of a battle for attention between the prints of the trousers and the tee - the trousers obviously being the victor.

 So, all in all, I could not be happier with these printed trousers, They're so uber comfortable and their light feel permits them a perfect summer staple when there's still that lingering cool breeze in the air. Also, a big thumbs up to the pet cat and rabbit who could not help but have a little nose whilst we took these photos!

Trousers - Primark
Aztec Crochet Tee - New Look (old)
Sandals - New Look (old)

Have you bought a pair of printed trousers yet?

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

DIY: How to Make a Tassel

Tassels are making a huge appearance for the current season and you can read my verdict on the trend here. They're such a fun way to add a cute finish or a dramatic outcome to any garment and they're super easy to make too. Follow these simple steps to making your own tassels, suitable to enhance any piece of clothing or accessory.

You Will Need:
Two pieces of card

Step 1) Cut off a length of wool and sandwich it between to the two pieces of card. Place it towards the top as illustrated above.

Step 2) First ensure that your pieces of card are the lengths that you require your tassel to be. Begin to wrap the wool around the length of the two pieces of card, across the opposite way from the strand of wool sandwiched between the two pieces. It may help to slit the top of the card with a pair of scissors in order to hold the first bit of the wool you are wrapping in place. Ensure not to wrap the wool too tightly as thinner card tends to curl, meaning that your tassel will be of odd lengths.

Step 3) When you have wrapped the wool around the card a substantial amount of times, the layers of wool will feel squishy when pressed down. Take the two ends of the strand of wool sandwiched between the card and bring them around so that they trap the wrapped wool between them as shown above. Tie this in a knot several times in order to secure.

Step 4) Now take the opposite end of the wrapped wool and cut down the centre of the loops of wool in order to separate the strands, allowing them to spring free. To help get the lengths even, place the scissors between the two pieces of card and cut along it.

Step 5) Remove the tassel from the card. Cut off another strand of wool and tie it close to the top of the tassel. This gives the tassel an interesting shape as it emphasizes the volume of the tassel.

Wrapping multiple wools at the same time gives a much more colourful, striking and intriguing effect!

How did making your tassel go?

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Collection: Elie Saab AW15

A fairy tale garden where delicate flowers are folding under the early Autumn's bright moonlight. A palace lawn embedded with dainty petals and nonchalant leaves. A sparkly trail flicks around this source of Elie Saab's influence for his AW15 couture collection and the wand of Cinderella's fairy godmother now belongs to The Great Designer himself as he creates his latest princess gowns.

Sparkling pieces of intricate lace flowers glisten in the light resting on top of sheer fabrics which swish in Disney Ice Queen style as the models walk the runway. Dramatic V-necks and fishtail skirts emphasize femininity whilst flowing sleeves add airs of elegance and grace.

Beautiful pigments of pastel pinks and blues appeared in the collection, the soft shades casting a subtle glow amongst the gorgeous floral embroidery. Blocks of embroidery enhanced bodices whilst fur accessories added ultimate sophistication and slim belts emphasized the feminine silhouette.

Next came the deeper, darker tones of blues and purples, creating a much more intense and dramatic effect on the collection. Flowing capes emphasize gracefulness whilst puffed cap sleeves depict the epitome of a fairy princess dress.

Completing Saab's collection were much bolder floral prints, printed on much heavier fabrics of a black tone. Completely contrasting with the light lace that opened the show, these appeared darker, more suited for the villain of the fairy tale as the fuller skirts and more pointed angles that were brought alongside these dark garments appeared so much more fierce and powerful.

What are your thoughts on Elie Saab's AW15 Couture collection?

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Primark Summer Haul

What on earth is going on in the UK at the moment? Not that I'm complaining mind, this weather is beaut-i-ful! Last month I picked up a few summery bits in Primark and I'm so glad I did! Primark have so many lovely things in store at the moment for the summer season and at such good value for money, its doesn't quite break the bank either!

Printed Camis -£4

Bold colours and enticing prints, patterned cami tops are great for pairing with skinny jeans and denim shorts, adding a rich and exciting flare to any outfit. They're longline, loose fit encourages a feeling of comfort for the wearer and they're perfect for layering with a variety of jackets and cardigans too. I love how the monochrome colour scheme of the above allows the main focus to be held on the radomly distributed small and intricate geometric shapes.

The pale colours of this cami harmonise with the soft shapes of the flowers creating a delicate print. I love the boldness of the flowers, as they unfold and take complete control of the pattern

Waterfall Jacket - £17

I think I'm slightly obsessed with long jackets at the moment. I blame the duster coat - that's how it all started. Anyway, I loved the delicacy of the waterfall feature, creating an elegant and soft movement to the jacket. It's pure white shade keeps the jacket looking lightweight - absolutely perfect for summer evenings!

Abstract Printed Trousers - £7

I've actually been debating the whole printed trousers thing for some time now. I was worried their very loose fit would swamp my short legs so wanted to try something quite subtle - not too bright. So when I saw these for just £7 I could not resist! I love how the monochrome black and white subtly detracts from the bold abstract print, and, with having to roll down the waistband, they're a good fit too!

Knitted Crochet Hem Top - £6

I absolutely love small and delicate details on tops at the moment so there was no doubting that I wouldn't fall completely head over heels for this beautiful crochet hem. It completely transforms the otherwise plain top, making it so much more interesting and exciting.

Duffle Bag- £8

A casual black bag will go with anything and everything, perfect for day-time outings or something to fit lunch and a drink in for work. I've never really followed the whole oversized bag trend, so this reasonable and efficient size was exactly what I was looking for. The strap is of a good length too, allowing the bag to hang nicely from the shoulder.

Have you purchased from Primark lately?