Category Archives: Fashion Journalism

Ooh you’re so hot…Jeremy Scott!

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Moschino and Jeremy Scott is a fashionista’s wet dream-come-true! Moschino has undergone a supersized transformation with Scott at the helm; we have witnessed a revival of the brasher, more in-your-face Moschino of the early 90’s, when it was under the creative leadership of its founder, Franco Moschino. Franco Moschino left an unforgettable mark on fashion history and although no longer with us, his sense of irony, his playfulness, individuality and genius are being brought back to life through Jeremy Scott.

Moschino

Moschino had until recently sort of faded into the background but since the appointment of Jeremy Scott it has sky rocketed from ‘mos-key-no who?’ To ‘MOSCHINO OBVS’ practically overnight. Jeremy Scott has long been a favourite of mine, from his iconic teddy bear trainers to coca-cola dresses and brilliant slogans, he is everything I love about fashion; kitsch and cool in equal measures! His ability to provoke, challenge and shock through his designs made him the perfect choice to lead Moschino out of their financial and creative stagnation.

Moschino Moschino Moschino    Moschino

The McDonalds pastiche in his first collection for Moschino was brilliant – I had been championing this idea for years, fashioning bras out of McDonalds cups at one point…but who would’ve thought they’d make a good handbag…utter genius! Those golden arches that are so synonymous with our consumerist brand driven culture are a statement of hyperreal proportions. He is not just playing because he can but he is deliberately laughing at the materialistic and consumption driven world of fashion – even using Barbie as his muse for his latest collection. (See Barbie’s don’t grow on trees). He is bringing back the irony that made Moschino what it was from the outset, making him a post-modern icon of the fashion world.

Moschino Moschino  Moschino Moschino

It was about time the muscles in the faces of the FROW learnt how to smile again. Why does fashion have to be so serious? And why does everyone take themselves so seriously? Come on let’s all laugh at the whole farce that is the fickle world of fashion and WEAR MOSCHINO!!

Dress: Moschino Necklace: Miu Miu 

Photography By Ben Sage 

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My Rebellion Against Normcore

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New York trend forecasting agency K-Hole coined the term ‘normcore’ last year but I think they must’ve been in a k-hole at the time or rather wish they were in one now. The term is supposed to signify a ‘move away from a coolness that relies on difference to a post-authenticity that opts into sameness’ but it has become exactly what it is supposed to be rejecting, especially within fashion where people are deliberately dressing #normcore!! That is not the point. Surely having items that are a sort of normcore uniform (beanie hat, straight leg Mum jeans and trainers) is actually going against what the initial idea of normcore was, which was for people to just be themselves without trying too hard to be cool.

Normcore is stupid and needs to be stopped in its tracks before it spirals out of control and we accidentally put the old woman from down the street in the ‘style hunter’ pages of Grazia because she is wearing the same black roll-neck and jeans that she has worn every winter since the 80s. This whole idea has probably forced Anna Della Russo’s frown to break through her Botox!

Normcore has lost its intended meaning, it’s not a thing, a fashion movement or even a trend…it’s nothing! Since when has anyone actually gone to the effort of looking as if they have made no effort? It seems pretty pointless to me to actually consciously decide to look, ergh…can’t even bring myself to say the word… normal. Why would anyone want to be normal?!

Its a bit like sitting on the fence, its just not very confortable. Or actually could this be what its all about? Comfort? Comfort clothing! A rejection of the imposed fashion trends and the innate desire to be cool and make a statement that has exhausted us for so long now, that we just yearn to just pull on a pair of jeans and an unbranded t-shirt because we don’t care anymore.

But surely all of us do this anyway? Either you’ve dressed up to go out and make a fashion statement or you’ve just popped out to get a pint of milk. You cannot tell me that my corner shop look is actually a normcore fashion statement.

Normcore shouldn’t be a fashion trend and it shouldn’t be photographed as a street style revolution because as far as I know it’s always been around. Have we really run out of new trends to discuss that we are looking to make boringness a thing?

Ok rant over. Now please join me in my rebellion against normcore.

By following my 7 glitter-coated fashion rules…

Rule Number 1: Too Much is Not Enough

Rule #1

Hat by Twinks Burnett*, Clutch: Mawi, Dress: Vintage, Platforms: Topshop

Rule Number 2: When in Doubt Add Another Accessory

Rule #2

Dress: Topshop Unique, Clutch: Mawi, Sequin bag: Reiss, Handbag: Prada, Shoes: Dolce and Gabbana, Headband: Topshop, Earrings: made by Me!

Rule Number 3: Always be Weather Appropriate 

rule #3

For when it rains…Jelly Shoes: Sophia Webster, Mac: Maxmara, Umbrella: Iva

rule #3

And for when the sun comes out…Hat: Malene Birger, Swimsuit: Vintage M&S, Hi-Tops: Manoush

 

Rule Number 4: Colour Block Rocks

rule #4

Top: Topshop, Trousers: Sportmax, Sunglasses: Joke Shop

Rule Number 5: Be Occasion Themed 

So when you are going to play tennis, make sure everyone knows you are going to play tennis.

rule #5

Top: Topshop, Skirt: River Island, Trainers: Nike

And when you are going to a funeral, make sure everyone knows you are going to a funeral!

rule #5

Hat: Joan Biggs, Dress: Asos, Shoes: Bally

Rule Number 6: Always Buy Easy to Match Accessories

rule #6

Dress and Matching Backpack: HORACE, Sandals: Shakuhachi

Rule Number 7: A Hat Fixes Everything!

rule #7

Hat by Twinks Burnett*, Dress: Roberto Cavalli, Trainers: Nike

Ka-Pow!!

*Check out the amazing Twinks Burnett at www.twinksburnett.com

 

Perfectly Pleated

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Pleats are having a renaissance but they’ve never really been that far away. Season after season they make an appearance of some sort, except this season they have gone from cameo to leading lady before you can say knife…pleat. The catwalks were full of pleated styles with my favourites being shown at Proenza Schouler, Christopher Kane, Givenchy and Antipodium.

S/S 14 Catwalks

Proenza Schouler, Christopher Kane, Givenchy, Antipodium

 

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Illustration of Givenchy Pleated Dress

As I stepped back into my vintage Jaeger pleated skirt for the first time since I was a teenager, I suddenly felt an air of lady-like sophistication swoon over me. So elegant and feminine in fact, that I thought I could get away with teaming it with converse, sports socks and a sweatshirt. Not just any old sweatshirt though, my new prized possession ‘Filles à Papa’ sex on the beach motif sweatshirt of course! pleats pleats

pleats

pleats

Sweatshirt: Filles à Papa, Skirt: Vintage Jaeger, Converse trainers, Nike socks

Proenza Schouler’s catwalk was awash with metallic-foil-printed silk pleated skirts, which brought a freshness and sharp modernity to the traditional pleat. When I saw these skirts in real life I was even more bedazzled by them, they are a work of art, so beautiful in fact that they may have to be hung on the wall rather than being hidden in the wardrobe.

pleat pleats pleats

pleats

Top: Zara, Skirt: Proenza Schouler, Sandals: Christian Louboutin, Sunglasses: Shakuhachi

I am always attracted to clothes that have a movement of their own as we walk, they add an air of importance and sex appeal but in a subtle way. The pleated skirt is so feminine and romantic when it catches the breeze, and flutters with such a rhythmical ease that I imagine hearing a xylophone accompaniment.  So off I go to float and twirl through the streets of London exuding the power of the pleated skirt.

 

You’ve got your mother in a whirl…

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…she’s not sure if you’re a boy or a girl. Having recently visited the ‘David Bowie is…’ exhibition at the V&A, my love and appreciation for Bowie has grown even stronger. Throughout his illustrious, marvellous, ground-breaking, glorious (insert superfluous superlatives here) career, he tirelessly thrusted gender identity and sexuality into the mainstream. Swinging the sixties may have been, but Bowie gyrated on through the seventies, a dream in neoprene.

           Bowie’s career really took off in 1972 when he stepped out in make-up as Ziggy Stardust in whirl of glitter, strutting platforms and fluttering eyelashes. Bowie himself married a woman, then came out as gay, then bi-sexual, divorced his wife, then subsequently stated in an interview that he’d always been ‘a closet hetero-sexual’ and went on to marry a woman again…a neon-hued, polysexual chameleon in warm leatherette.  Ziggy Stardust is not entirely male or female, or straight or gay. What Ziggy stands for is the instability of gender categories and our suppressed desires to cross the boundaries.

I particularly enjoy the ending when Bowie appears in drag as his three backing singers. German drag artist Romy Haag inspired his rubbing-the-lipstick-off gesture: it was a classic finale move by drag queens. Plus the rebellion of peeling off the wig and destroying makeup that had taken hours to apply.

Bowie on Boys Keep Swinging: “I do not feel that there is anything remotely glorious about being either male or female. I was merely playing on the idea of the colonization of gender.”

The ideas of androgyny and the blurring of gender categories have come out throughout his career and are being played upon in his latest video. The video features the androgynous models Saskia de Brauw (female), playing a man and Andrej Pejic (male) as a woman. This casual jumbling of gender and sexual identity is becoming commonplace within the fashion world, with the model Casey Legler recently becoming the first female to be signed to the men’s division of Ford Models.


casey legler

Model Casey Legler

Which brings me on to how fresh perceptions of what is masculine or feminine are transforming the fashion world. The pre fall collections this year seem to be dominated by the idea of unisex; with oversized coats and blazers, double breasted jackets and trouser suits. Hedi Silmane at Saint Laurent went so far as not to alter the cut of their jackets from menswear to womenswear. But the most radical designer of the moment is Johnathon Anderson, whose men’s collection bore many similarities to the women’s, with very masculine looking male models in strapless tops and short ruffled shorts. Conversely using patterns drafted for women for the shorts.

J W Anderson

J W Anderson Fall 2013

 

When the traditional gender barriers of fashion are crossed there is the potential to ooze sexuality in a completely unparalleled way. David Bowie, along with others such as Boy George, Annie Lennox and Grace Jones have empowered people to break through the socially imposed barriers and inspire people to freely choose to be whoever they want to be. David Bowie says: ‘Be who you are and, by the way, you can be whoever you want to be.’

I thought I’d have a go at being a boy…

boygirl1 boygirl2 boygirl3

Whoosh…whaam…blast

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Due to obviously leading a very busy and important life, this post has been quite a while in the making. I visited the Roy Lichtenstein retrospective in the opening week but nevertheless, the show is still on at Tate Modern and still attracting record numbers of visitors.

Tate Modern

It was obvious that there was going to be a serious “Lichtenstein effect” in fashion this season; as evidenced all over the S/S13 catwalks last September.

Black and White

black and white

black and white

Louis Vuitton and Balmain

Look Mickey

look mickey

mickey catwalk

Marc Jacobs and Meadham Kirchhoff

But when I walked into Topshop last month and saw the way in which they had referenced Lichtenstein I couldn’t help but think what tacky crap it all was! Just for the record, I am usually a Topshop fan but this time I could find few redeeming features in the Lichtenstein/pop-art inspired pieces. It was all far too obvious! You can find cheap Lycra dresses with comic strip writing for a fiver down on the market most days…it’s nothing new.

topshop

It then struck me how many parallels can be drawn between the work of Roy Lichtenstein and high street fashion today. Mainly the ideas of mass consumerism, popular culture and reproduction. Lichtenstein was obsessed with the banale, with the everyday crap of our lives, and he took his inspiration from the whole clichéd, throwaway culture of the times. And now perhaps high street fashion is the most disposable item of all; we buy and dispose of clothing at an alarming rate without a second thought.

hot dog with mustard

Hot Dog with Mustard, 1963

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Step-on Can with Leg, 1961

Another point that can also link Lichtenstein to high street fashion is plagiarism. Lichtenstein was accused of plagiarising comic strips and angered many comic strip artists who felt that his work was merely a rip off of theirs and didn’t deserve the acclaim it received. In response to this some people from the art world would say that he simply used the comics as inspiration and in fact improved them. In a way he took something for the masses and made it more exclusive – the opposite way to how the high street copies catwalk pieces.

whaam

Whaam, 1963 by Lichtenstein and also the original comic strip image above.

At the same time Lichtenstein also did a series of ‘idiot versions’ of famous artworks including pieces by Picasso, Monet and Mondrian. Whereby he would reproduce the famous pieces but in his own recognisable style. He wanted the pieces to deliberately appear ‘flat, impersonal and mechanical,’ taking his source and stamping it with his own distinct identity.

Femme d'Alger

Picasso’s Les femmes d’Alger, 1955 and Lichtenstein’s Femme d’Alger, 1963

So in a sense he took high art and made it more accessible, in a similar vein to how the high street parodies catwalk fashion. The difference being the high street does it in a very ‘copycat’ way, without adding an identity of their own. Whereas Lichtenstein said “the things I have apparently parodied, I actually admire”. If the high street worked with the same sensitivity and appreciation for the original pieces it’s possible we could have more affordable versions of high fashion that are not merely crude, mechanical reproductions, but ones that truly have a merit of their own.

me mickey