31 January 2008
Anyway, I’ve decided not to do any work for now, and chill out reading a few magazines (the ones i bought earlier in the week!) as well as my housemate’s copy of Vogue which she kindly left behind for me while she is away this weekend. I should probably get on with my dissertation but I might do that tonight if i can. After I’ve been to see Sweeny Todd with some of my other housemates. I've heard good things about it, but also that it’s a bit gory? Ah I hope not or maybe just that it’s gory in Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow way. That was a great film wasn't it? I must make time to rewatch my favourite French films I have sitting on my shelf and also my housemates copy of The Chorus which she promised is well worth watching!
So when i heard about the collaboration between James Jean, a Taiwanese-American illustrator and DC Comics cover artist and Miuccia Prada, I was intrigued. Especially when i l learned that they would be using his 'naughty nymphs' fairy designs (apparently they are seductive nymphs rather than fairies). His images have been used in the Spring advertising campaign, alongside their fashion show and also feature in print-form on their garments. A selection of wallpapers from the collaboration between Prada and 2x4 (art design team) is currently on display at the Architecture and Design gallery at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
However, that's not all she will also be unveiling a short 4 minute illustrated film, Trembled Blossoms at her Soho Boutique on Feb 5th, right in the middle of NY fashion week.
The film is an extension of the illustrations by James Jean, evoking fantastical fairies, flowers and suggestions of Aubrey Beardsley, Art Nouveau and even Hieronymus Bosch.
The concept of the film is linked to the motions of a dancer playing a nymph (from James Jean's illustrations) who has had small tracking reflectors on her body which have been captured and recorded, then digitally superimposed onto the drawings. It is meant to evoke the lush animation of Disney in the 1930s-40s.
This collaboration could be seen as innovative and i have read many thoughts that deem it as being so creative that it pushes Prada right to the creative forefront. I'd like to differ because in regards to video installations in the past, it has all been done before, and is not a new concept. Just what is it that is seen as innovative? Surely it just highlights the technology used by the art&design and film teams championing James Jean's illustrations (obviously great exposure for him as an illustrator) What does it say about Prada other than incorporating the dream-like sequence to their S/S collection, does it really say anything about innovation?. We might refer to YSL's Stefano Pilati forgoeing the traditional runway this year and who showed his collection in customised showrooms and through a video installation during Paris Fashion week. Particularly with YSL, is this the way forward? Where fashion becomes further removed from the viewers? I'm not so sure but it's an interesting thought and one i will be thinking about, especially if the video makes its way on to the Prada Website.
For now though, i can only imagine the fashion elite watching frolicking nymphs and disney-esque animation surrounded by Prada Shoes, clothes and the like, while clinking glasses and eating canopés. Somewhat Surreal don't you think?
30 January 2008
Commenting on the design process Backlund says she sees her work as art and is greatly interested in how garments can highlight, distort and transform the natural silhouette of the body. Backlund also knits and hand crochets all the garments herself. She describes the approach to her work as more akin to sculpture than as a tailor and her trademark is in the very heavy wool collage knitting.
Upon first glance, her designs to me are very sculptural, almost architectural in design where you could almost imagine scaffolding holding up the pieces together. In Stockholm she exhibited huge, weighty tunics with exaggerated braided knitting and also resembling huge twisted balls of rope. Who knew that knitwear could be manipulated into these huge, sculptural forms?
Another young designer is Craig Lawrence whose work includes knitting bin bags for Gareth Pugh's first collection (S/S 07) His enthusiasm for knitwear shows in his fun and cleverly knitted pieces and describing knitwear as being more exciting than fashion design because you get to create your own fabric. He has since gone and worked for McQ and i am awaiting eagarly in anticipation for his debut collection.
This new approach to knitwear (which has long been associated with our grannies knitting woolly jumpers and hideous stuffed toys) is such a radical take. Perhaps we are entering a refreshing and exciting new era for knitwear and i, frankly can't wait to see more of it!
29 January 2008
We also hovered for a while by the Travel section in Waterstones looking at the New York travel guides. We hope to book tickets by Monday, so it will be a great end of term, end of Uni present to ourselves. Plus we might find our graduation dresses out there! It's all a bit exciting!
As always, i am forever on either the topshop or urban outfitters website, I was browsing the UO website and convinced myself into wanting a new jacket. I didn't want to buy it over the Internet as i really wanted to try it on before i parted with £55. Its a sort of motorcycle style jacket, and it would be a nice jacket for the spring, it's blue Cotton twill with a jersey fabric lining. I thought it could wear that with anything, a dress or jeans etc. However, it wasn't meant to be, we went into Urban Outfitters and it was looking a little bare and i think they were preparing to put out their new stuff and the jacket couldn't be seen anywhere. Still, in Spring i tend to wear my H&M hoodies as jackets so i suppose i don't really need one after all.
So i aimlessly pondered around the store looking to see what else would catch my eye and i came across the diffusion line from Vanessa Bruno,Vanessa Bruno Athé. I found a bag of hers that i had been eyeing up for ages. It's a large, slouchy black leather bag that is perfect for uni for stuffing all my books in. It has Double arm straps that fit nicely on your shoulder with decorative studs on the corners and strap. It was a tad expensive, and being a student can't afford to over indulge on things i honestly don't need. It's nice, but not nice enough for me to splurge £150 and the last time i popped in, the bag was reduced to £99 in the sale. Still too much.
But yesterday i went in, and i saw one lone bag on the side for a measly £40! That's over 75% off the original price. Net a porter (which the image is taken from, sold the bag for £112.70 in the sale and that's without p&p...but now sold out). This was crazy stuff, so after checking over the bag again and again in UO (surely being that cheap there must have been something wrong with it? but no) So of course i snapped it up! Though as ever with sales, i know its out of season and that larger totes are on their way out but instead, making way for the much smaller (but still over sized)Clutch. Though i have never been one for clutches, but things change huh?
Luckily i was able to splurge a little as i was finally paid for working over Christmas (I work for a department store in the holidays) Yay!
My housemate laughed and said she could see instantly the moment when something inside me snapped, apparently i had a 'look' on my face. Haha, well I didn't know that i had a look! Slightly worrying! To her further amusement, i harped on about it being perfect for holidays (obviously justifying my purchase, I don't know why i felt i needed to do this as she really isn't one to criticise as she is one of my favourite shopping partners!) The bag is huge (and as my other housemate pointed out, its probably half the size of me), i will definitely be able to fit some holiday essentials in it for the plane trip to Hong Kong (and New York!). Though having used it today, its very pickpocket friendly as there is no zip, just snap buttons to hold it together. Well...it was too much of a bargain to let it slip away.
I took it into uni today, and it definitely did its job, its so big though that I fear that I may run into the trap of fitting an obscene amount of stuff in there because i can. Ahh! Over and out!
28 January 2008
27 January 2008
Anyway, I'm straying from my main point...after working away at the dissertation i realised that you can study Art History and probably get away without seeing much art. I haven't gone to our Uni Art Gallery for a couple of months now, which is terrible when we have so many amazing artists, my favourite ones we have are the Monet and Degas oil paintings. Expressive brush strokes always win me over.
So i am definitely looking forward to the new exhibition called, Behind Closed Doors which is an exhibition made up of private collections from around Birmingham. I'm quite excited as included in the exhibition are Turners, Picasso's, Hockney, Paula Rego and a Cornelia Parker. There are some much older contributions e.g. Van Dyck which I'm not writing off, i can appreciate them but i have never found much affinity with them as i have with more contemporary art.
26 January 2008
My aunts/grandparents live in North Point which is right by Causeway Bay (Tung Lo Wan) on Hong Kong Island, which is one of the most popular places to go shopping. I can almost smell Hong Kong just by thinking about it. That might sound wierd, but its like that 'holiday' smell you get when you go away somewhere. We always have such a good time in Hong Kong catching up with the grandparents, aunts and watching loads of chinese mtv and chinese soaps. Plus it's also nice actually spending time together with my sisters, the apartments are so small that we are in each others faces all the time. It might sound like a nightmare, but in Hong Kong it works and we actually get along! Gotta save my pennies though, we are perfect partners when it comes to shopping. Though some of the shop assistants in Hong Kong don't leave you alone and keep commenting how beautiful the clothes are and that they have any size i want etc. Still, i'm told it isn't as bad as it used to be.
25 January 2008
Haute Couture in Paris has come to an end, finishing with Valentino's specatacular, last ever runway show. It is Alessandro Facchinetti who will be the one who will continue his legacy.
Returning to Galliano's offering of Art inspired pieces earlier this week, the make up was probably just as eye-catching as the clothes!
As you can see from all the photos, the make up team all worked hard glueing on sequins, shiny paper and feathers onto the models. At first, i wondered what on earth the models could have been eating when i spotted the table laid with paper plates. The brightly coloured assortment are feathers used for both false eyelashes as well as feathery additions on the face.
So much work goes into the backstage make up it's a shame there isn't more coverage on the process. I would love to be part of the chaos backstage, among the feathers, make up....and uber tall models.
The eyeshadows used are bright and matte which remind me of the great range of matte eyeshadows that MAC have. I noticed a few bottles of MAC foundation in the photos so i assume they have a mixture of MAC and Dior products for backstage. It must be so much fun to work backstage at fashion shows, glueing bits and pieces onto the models!
This leads on to my own make up routine. I hardly go a day without it and if i'm not going out at all i will still wear a teeny bit of brown eyeliner so i look more awake. I don't cake it on, but i can't live without the eyeliner, concealer and vaseline. I would happily leave everything else! Though really, i would miss everything else that is packed into my make up bag, including my powder foundation (liquid is only for special occassions) and my new christmas gift of a MAC palette which is so pretty (it looks like a paintbox). I have to say that spending that bit more on make up is important, i mean this stuff is going on your face so i can't bring myself to buy cheap products. Plus if you do spend more, you're more likely to get more for your money...which is good because i can't afford to buy make up all the time!
My brand of choice, is MAC because it actually isn't as expensive as all the designer brands like Chanel and Estee Lauder etc. Clinique are the experts for the skin though, and i wouldn't ever change my clinique foundation to a MAC one..
I thought i would end with a quote from possibly the most inspirational woman in fashion history ever, Coco Chanel... (Feminists...brace yourselves!)
"I don't understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little - if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that's the day she has a date with destiny. And it's best to be as pretty as possible for destiny."
24 January 2008
Look how beautiful they are! It makes me feel all greedy and want to take a huge bite out of each of them. Makes me think of Bruce Bogtrotter in Matilda (one of my favourite films as a kid) and his 'punishment' of having to devour an entire cake after stealing from Miss Trunchbull.
The Bakery in the Upper west side of New York was made famous by SATC where Carrie and Miranda stuffed themselves with cupcakes. Let me tell you, i can't wait to do the same and probably feel a bit sick afterwards.
So i am an avid watcher of Gossip Girl as well as catching the new show, Cashmere Mafia. Which is a bit of a SATC rip off, but i don't care, it's something to watch when i'm not writing my dissertation. Both shows, as you are probably aware, have characters that are dressed impeccably. I'll probably blog about Gossip Girl another day, but today i will focus my attentions on Cashmere Mafia. Brief outline of the plot, 4 extremely well dressed, high powered ladies who all met at Business school and have various posts such as Publishers and Managing directors and whose lives are riddled with love problems and the like.
Now i'm not here to criticise about the plot but i think it does ok in the entertainment stakes. Instead, I want to talk about the clothes! Lucy Liu's character in the first episode is walking with her boyfriend down some New York street, on the way to work. While none of them dress like Carrie Bradshaw who got to wear some pretty eccentric but fantastic outfits. These women are meant to be business-like and Lucy Liu's character does a fantastic job bridging business like uniform with the fun and frivoulous.
If i ever work in an office, this is how i am going to dress. Yeah you've got the typical simple white shirt, but its that skirt and the turquoise heels that make the real difference! It manages to be so business like but the colours in the skirt add that bit of extra fun to it all. In fact, i would probably go as far as to wear a turquoise clip, ribbon or something in my hair. However, 10 years on from now, when i'm older and wiser, i'll probably rethink the accessories...and hopefully have a figure like Lucy's. Dammit, i guess i will have to work on the latter. I should go for a run, but i'm too lazy and would mean buying clothes to exercise in.....on second thoughts, that would require me going shopping....hmmmmm, suddenly a jog sounds exciting!
23 January 2008
Last night i caught up on episode 8 of the stateside show. The theme today, was couture! The contestants had to create avant-garde pieces inspired by the model's hairstyles, so you have massive bouffant styles, birdnests and strange mohawk styles. Not only this they were asked to produce a last minute ready to wear look. Yeah No pressure guys! I was pretty intrigued as to what they would come up with, but i was left a bit dissapointed.
22 January 2008
Before i shoot off, i heard this on the radio, Radio 1 call it 'New Rave meets Old Dave'
Royal British Legion covering Klaxons Bit good!
I should be writing my dissertation right now i'm currently on 530 words out of 12,000, shocker i know but it's going ok as i only started writing it about half an hour ago. So i've done well!
My desk is a mess, and my bed looks so tidy and comfy i may end up having a snooze before i go and make my tea. Bangers and Mash!
Aside from my obession with cranberry, I love what Galliano has done with his recent collection for Christian Dior at Paris Fashion Week. Art has always influenced fashion and this is no exception. Gustav Klimt is a key influence and i love the intricately jewelled garments but with this very space aged, sixities make up. Very theatrical. Makes me want to get my paint brushes out!
Adele Bloch-Bauer I, Klimt, 1907
and Adele Bloch-Bauer II, 1912
The colours are so bright and amazing (no hint of cranberry though). Galliano, really manages to channel the vision of Klimt, can you imagine a world where people would wear crazy outfits such as these?. I particularly love the second orange dress with the poofy bubbled hem. Pity orange isn't really my colour, but is it anyones? Yellow doesn't suit me either but it doesn't stop me from constantly trying on yellow dresses.
This man is a genius, perhaps he's suggesting Tudor Stylee is the way to go?
Welcome to my new blog! I've been meaning to start one up again for a while, seeing as i started one sometime last year on livejournal but it never really grew into a blog. I guess blogs are like diaries, if you don't keep it daily then you just won't remember to use it at all.
So hopefully, this will be more of a success! I should really be in bed now, but i can't help but start off my blog with the new Miu Miu campaign shots which i absolutely love!
The photographs are really quite stunning, i love the palette of rich burgundy colours. If Circus themes are in then i will be wanting to emulate Kirsten Dunst in her Harlequin dress. I think i will be taking to wearing all shades of purple, and finishing off with a cute red ribbon in my hair! The dress is quite clever and i did have to glance at it twice to realise theres a hand printed onto the dress.
Anyway this is quite a short post, but more to come tomorrow i'm sure! 9am starts are uni are never good, especially when its on eighteenth century france, i do end up wanting to go back to bed...i do prefer C19 France with those Flaneurs, Degas and those Cafe Concerts where Toulouse Lautrec liked to hang out! Sigh...