Thursday, 26 January 2012

Couture, couture, I love couture

Couture is spectacular. Whether you are one of those lucky few who can afford to purchase one of these extravagant pieces or not is irrelevant. To  me couture is a performance of the flamboyant and theatrical. There is such craftsmanship, expertise and quality embodied within couture collections that the pieces become almost art instead of clothing. 

Alexis Mabille proved that colour, yes, isn't for the faint hearted but can be as dramatic and elegant as any LBD. His SS12 collection was intelligent through the use of elegant shapes, strong lines and juxtaposing fabrics. There was an element of fairytale to his collection with enormous flower head pieces and coloured faces- personally I was reminded of the eccentricity within Alice and Wonderland. But that's what couture is, a fairytale. Couture evokes emotion and creates a sense of wonder and awe which perhaps can't be found in ready-to-wear.

No matter what anyone says; couture is an embodiment of pure talent and beauty- extravagant beauty.



Apologies for not blogging in a while, it has been a very busy month for me- as expected- and it doesn't look like the next is going to be any more relaxed. Thankfully my exams have now finished but that doesn't mean I can put my feet up with a tub of ice cream and a romcom box set, oh no! Coursework deadlines and my LCF university interview is looming- which I am extremely nervous about. Talking about university interviews, last week was mine at the University of Creative Arts in Epsom.I travelled up the night before and stayed with family relatives; didn't want to risk any delayed trains or perhaps even missing a train on the morning of. All evening I was reading, researching and making notes to ensure I was prepared for any questions that were thrown at me the next day.

On the morning of I was nervous and anxious- I think more about the unknown rather than the interview itself. I knew I was right for the course (fashion journalism) but I just needed to prove that to them. As I walked towards UCA I could spot my fellow interviewees instantly; one girl had a vintage black fur coat with striking red hair, another with a trilby and red leather trousers. We walked in one after another into the main reception area- the atmosphere was tense- and as I looked round at all the other hopefuls sat waiting a cloud of nerves descending upon me. I registered and took my seat. 

The time had arrived. We all rose from our seats and followed the interviewers out of the main reception, across the yard, through a door and through a hallway. At the end of the hallway was a woman, quite sincere looking, dressed in all black with an intimidating gaze; she was directing people into rooms opposite one another with a swish of a finger. I was pointed to the right. 

It was me and six others in the room; anxiously looking at one another. I wanted to laugh, talk or something to break the ice, break the tension, but nothing happened we all just sat there- waiting. The door suddenly swung open and an eccentric man dressed in a grey long belted wool (which he later told us was Armani), white brogues and rolled up bleached jeans. Never ever would one find any man dressed in such a way in Plymouth, but that is exactly why I need to leave. This man was my interviewer and one of the lecturers at UCA; his enthusiasm, knowledge and creativity was inspiring. I knew this was the environment I belonged in  with creative, opinionated, fashion focused people.

The interview itself was informal, more like a discussion. He made me feel so comfortable and relaxed- it was all very conversational. Questions such as: what's your favourite piece in your portfolio, and why? why do you want to work in the fashion industry? who's your favourite designer, current and of all time? what's your favourite magazine and why? These questions turned into discussions about many fashion related topics e.g. whether fur is acceptable, supersize models on the runway, the recession and whether cheaper really is better. I attempted to say as much as I could and ensured I talked about not just the clothes but the industry and contextual influences. Our interview ran on longer than the other group- probably because of our lengthy discussions- which meant our final task of writing a feature brief was rushed. I decided to focus on not just fashion but film, music and politics also. My brief was related to the release of 'The Iron Lady' and Margaret Thatcher's influence on not just politics but fashion; this lead me to discuss other fashion tribes and cultures within the 80s and their influences through music. 

Overall I feel it went well, but who knows how they perceived me or how I compared to other candidates. I know fashion journalism is what I am supposed to do, writing and fashion are two things I love and they consume my life. I long to be taught by people who have been or who are within the industry; be surrounded by focused  people who share my same fervent love for fashion. I suppose only time will tell. 
Fingers crossed.


Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Celine: Pre A/W 12-13

Once again Celine sets a fine example of how simplistic tailoring and soft lines can create the most beautiful of collections. There are no gimmicks or embellishments; the collection uses blocks of colour framed within a curved silhouette and sumptuous fabrics creating wearable designs with a hint of androgyny.

Exotic prints, statement suits, evening wear pyjamas, peplum waves, classic cocoon coats and luxurious leather- it seems this key fabric is going to continue to be popular into the next icy season. This collection is so wearable for its classic key pieces and the success of the tailoring: fitted with still enough room to move and feel comfortable in these wonderful designs. Simplicity is continued throughout the accessories: oversize bags from clutches to shoppers, pointed courts with a flattering toe-cleavage and fur snoods. Winter chic at its best with still a glimpse of those relaxed summer silhouettes.


Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Twenties Takeover

I sat snuggled in my duvet, still in my pyjamas but hey, it was Christmas day. The time had come that as a 5 year old child would cause me to become completely hysterical with utter excitement, that would create that fervent twinkle in my eye, that would cause me to race downstairs with no care of how ridiculously early it was- yes, it was the time to open the presents. However, now I am- as my parents would say- a young adult this madness has decreased somewhat and my bed seemed far more appealing. Nevertheless I made it and there I was cocooned on the sofa awaiting my delightful gifts (all of which were from my incredibly precise list including the addition of store and price).
This may just be the cynic within me seething through but the magic of Christmas appears to be slowly but surely fizzing out.  I have come to the sour realisation that the fantasy of Santa, the angelic school plays and the fanatical giving of Christmas cards that you experience when you’re younger are perhaps the only entities that create the wonder of Christmas. Therefore, now as a ‘young adult’ this enchanted time has amounted to just an excuse to gorge myself with an excessive amount of food and drink, receive presents that none of which hold the element of surprise as you’ve reached that point where it’s not the thought that counts, and spend a whole 48 hours in your pyjamas without anyone batting an eyelid.
However, after opening most of the items on my list there was one small gift left unwrapped. As I am not one for surprises I was a little tentative when my Mother placed this next to me accompanied with the words “Merry Christmas”.  As I cautiously lifted each fold I spotted a flash of gold (no, it was not a ‘golden ticket’) but it was instead delicately painted pages; but, pages of what? I turned over the final fold of the commercially decorated paper and there lay a tiny vision of beauty: The Great Gatsby. In that moment the magic and childish excitement of Christmas had been reignited within me.
My love of the 20s is no secret: the elegance, the poise, and the allure of subtle androgyny I find so beautifully enticing. Classic literature is a guilty pleasure of mine so the combination of the two is of course provides the perfect gift. It was as if my Mother had read my mind as I had just recently heard the news of Baz Luhrmann’s reinvention of the classic (which is out in December) - he is an inspiration of mine and an incredibly talented man which makes this act of complete genius even more wonderful- and this present instantly made all of my initial enthusiasm resurface. The Great Gatsby is a beautiful tale and who else would be more appropriate to portray this classic than heart throb Leonardo DiCaprio and the delicately beautiful  Carey Mulligan, who took on the role of Marilyn Monroe last year . With this talented cast there is no doubt in my mind that it will be a completely tantalising success.
My year ended with a delightful injection of the 20s and it appears that 2012 will end in a similar way; but what about in between? Well, it looks as if this elegant era is influencing not only the world of film but also the world of fashion. Designers from Ralph Lauren to Roberto Cavalli and Alberta Ferretti graced the catwalks of SS12 with visions of 20s beauty from sequinned, feathered, flapper-inspired numbers to elusive, calf-length hemlines. So, come on ladies! Grab your cloche hats, wrap over coats and fringed frocks as it is official, twenty-twelve is seeing the revival of the 20s and in my opinion it is about time.


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