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This calls for Jazz hands!

Posted on: 31 October 2009

The other day I came home to an amazing surprise gift! The lovely people over at New Look (thank you Helen!) sent me their limited edition gold, sequined cardigan. I posted about it a month or so ago, when I received their AW press release and cooed over this glitzy number and even tried it on in store. I couldn't believe my luck when I opened the package.
Dress (Hong Kong), Knee socks (emilio cavalli) Shoes (Topshop) Necklace (Vintage)

Of course I took the opportunity to take a few photos to show off the sparkly sequined number. It's so lovely and I am desperate to wear it on a night out. It's a bit too glitzy for uni...but I might just wear it anyway!
Hope you all have a lovely Halloween whatever you may be getting up to. What are you all dressing up as this year? Unfortunately I'm not going to any parties tonight...however, It's my birthday next week and I have a week of fun planned ranging from 90s clubbing, good food to fireworks. Something I'm definitely in need of regardless of whether it's my birthday or not!

I stole this pic from my friend, Rachel's facebook page. She's appeared on my blog before here and here, Check out her EPIC pumpkin. She's a talented so and so!

Before I forget, my friend, Laura has just started her own blog, Snapping Heartstrings Go and check it out and spread the love!

A little stressed.

Posted on: 27 October 2009

I realised yesterday, that Topshop was not the best place to go when feeling stressed as it was half term break and sale had launched. I avoided the sale and went upstairs and spotted an over sized t-shirt with a NYC skyline print on it and a cardigan by concession brand, Yuki.
Unfortunately I bought neither, especially as the cardi was priced at £59 and I didn't love it THAT much to hand over the cash...maybe when I'm a little less poor!

Chongqing IV (Sunday Picnic), Chromogenic Colour print, 2006.
Today, I came across some beautiful photographs for the Prix Pictet award. The award is unique because it focuses on photography and issues regarding sustainability. This years theme was based on impurity, excess, contamination, absence, control and was based on water related themes. The winner was Nadav Kander whose subject was based on the two China's, the ancient one that relied on the old waterways and the new transition of the country's rapidly expanding industry. His series entitled 'Yangtze, The Long River' is beautiful but also sad and depicts the country at a crossroads.

The full series can be found here and it really is quite thought provoking work. His work is mesmerising and while you're on his website, check out the other series, in particular 'Chernobyl, Half Life'.

I'm ill and ended up having to miss the trip to the lake district. A bit stressed out about it but never mind.

Don't look back into the sun...

Posted on: 24 October 2009

I wore this before the Autumn set in when the weather was a little brighter and we had the (very) occasional sunny day.Tee (Danny Roberts for Borders and Frontiers) Skirt (Oasis) Belt (Topshop) Shoes (H&M) Necklaces (Bexy Lady, Accessorize)

I'm off on a team building field trip with my class to the Lake district next week. The weather will be a world away from the time I took these outfit pics as it's going to be cold, wet and windy. I don't really know why I volunteered to go seeing as I'm not really an outdoorsy person and living for 3 days in hoodies and tracksuit bottoms will be an interesting experience. However, it will be a lot of fun! Haha...wish me luck!!

Let's Catch up!

Posted on: 19 October 2009

So as you all have probably gathered, life is pretty hectic around here. What with uni work and my grandparents and aunts from Hong Kong visiting. They have safely returned back to HK this morning and fingers crossed I get to see them sometime next year post masters! I am desperate to use my HK ID card which allows me to get into HK without a passport but instead just my finger print! High tech yeah!

Anyway, here is a brief catch up of some of the things that I have been up to!

At the beginning of October it was Mid Autumn Festival and Becky my youngest sister was given this plastic hello kitty lantern. It definitely wasn't quite the same as the lanterns I used to play with when I was younger!
We had a BBQ and done in the fashion that it has always been done in our family...Chinese style with everyone's food (or rather, meat) on skewers. It's definitely much more fun this way.
For all you veggies...I love sweet potatoes cooked this way!
One evening I made a humungus selection of Sushi.
A random outfit post! I have been taking outfit photos but most of mine are back in my bedroom again because It's so much easier when I'm getting ready to head out to uni in the mornings!
Cardi (Topshop) Purple Vest (HK) Tee (GAP) Skirt (UO) Belt (Oasis) Tights (Topshop)
It was also my sister's 12th Birthday and of course we had a yummy cake to celebrate. As part of her present I bought her Spirited Away on dvd. I love Studio Ghilbli and Spirited Away is one of my favourites. What's every ones favourite Studio Ghilbli film?Finally, this weekend I went out with some friends for a colleagues leaving do. It was so much fun! I wore that dress I bought a few weeks ago from Topshop. I forgot to mention that the dress isn't actually a Topshop dress but from one of the many brands they stock on the basement level (the best floor in my opinion!)
Me: Cardi (H&M) Dress (LOVE) Belt (New Look) Friends...Topshop, UO and Topshop!
I feel as though this post is picture heavy too but definitely less to take in than the post previously. I am so glad that you all liked the post! I was worried that it was too much text with me yapping on about various elements of the exhibition! It was definitely worth writing up :)

"I feel we have only just begun" Nick Knight, 2009

Posted on: 13 October 2009

Right first thing's first before the EPIC and picture heavy post about the SHOWstudio exhibition at Somerset House! Hopefully this post will provide an insight for those who want to visit the exhibition (please do!) and a virtual tour for the rest of you around the world. This is what I love about blogging, the little side bar at the bottom of my blog that makes a note of all the visiting countries really fascinates me and makes me realise that we may all be thousands of miles apart but we all share the same interests in fashion. Hello to you all, wherever you may be reading from!

SHOWstudio is a fantastic exhibition that bloggers won't help but adore. Why? Well why do we like writing our blogs? It's interactive and that is definitely the main theme of the exhibition of SHOWstudio.

As a website, it's principle aim is to interact with a huge online audience from around the world and the exhibition most definitely reflects that and uses many clever and fun techniques to really engage with the visitor. The website aims to 'demystify the creative process of fashion' but to understand the exhibition more fully then you definitely need to click on the website.

The exhibition itself is a funny one to review because unlike an art exhibition or a retrospective there is no chronology and rather, it documents different projects that the SHOWstudio website has been involved in. Each project is a separate entity that doesn't link to the one before or after it. There is not so much of a beginning or end but an overall feeling of the present which is perhaps fitting for the instant nature of the Internet.

The exhibition began in a mirrored room which reflects the fact that we only have one image of ourselves and by having a room full of mirrors, this forces us to see many different reflections of ourselves and which links to the intense scrutiny in which fashion and image culture is based upon. It was the perfect spot for an outfit shot and this most definitely is a space where physical image and dress is made quite apparent.Next we walk into a room which holds a huge, triple sculpture of Naomi Campbell. As you can see by the guy in the background, the Naomi's are easily three storeys high. As I've said before, interaction is a key part of the website and Naomi is the first of the interactive exhibits. Visitors are invited to a little drawing pad where the guy is standing and their drawings or thoughts are projected onto the sculpture. Naomi as we all know, is quite a prolific model and everyone has an opinion on her. Nick Knight draws on the fact that models are idols, celebrities and a reflection of the popular culture.The following parts of the exhibition were split into different areas of focus from the various projects. These were split into Process, Performance and participation.
PROCESS"The philosophy of SHOWstudio.com has been to demystify the creative process. Rather than offering the final product as the acme of creative production, SHOWstudio.com seeks instead to explore the process of getting there"
The following exhibit was called 'Power of Witches' from 2004 and was developed in collaboration with Rei Kawakubo. The idea of this project was to show the many processes that lead up to the creation of the fashion image. The project was based on a shoot for AnOther Magazine featuring the CDG Witches collection from AW 04/05. A live webcast was put into action which allowed people to see the everyday activities from retouching the image and other various changes.
This is a board which shows some of the studio shots, retouching sessions, progress reports and Rei Kawakubo's responses to the decisions.
The following project was called 'Sweet' from 2000 and was in collaboration with stylist, Jane How. This project involved experimentation with 3D imagery and focused on Jane's sweet wrapper creations of S/S '00 RTW collections ranging from Hussein Chalayan, CDG and Yoji Yamamoto. The results have various Sci-Fi connotations.It was also another interactive piece which allowed you to move the image so you could see it from different angles.
This sweet wrapper inspired dress was displayed next to it, and I was really amazed at the detail that she was able to capture with the muffin cases!
I thought this looked like a Hydrangea!
Following this was a project called 'Past, Present and Couture' by John Galliano, 2002. Thirteen photographs were commissioned as a part of an exhibition planned to celebrate Galliano's 5 years at Dior. Galliano chose different outfits to represent each of the haute collections he had created for Dior over the last 5 years and the models (Karen Elson, Alek Wek, Erin O'Conner etc) were asked to bring each look to life with various poses. Accompanying the photos were behind the scenes footage of the photo shoot and Nick Knights direction of the fashion image.
Next we had a project by photographer, David Weightman who created 'Picture/Message: Poser' in 2003. This was a four day shoot inspired by 1960's horror film, 'Peeping Tom' where the murderers victims were forced to watch their own deaths in a mirror that contained a video camera. I'm not one for scary movies so this is not something that I will be watching for reference! Anyway, Weightman took the idea and put a camera phone behind a concave mirror and toured the front rows of S/S 04 Paris Fashion Week. In this way, he takes the same kind of idea and forces those he photographs to confront their own appearance as he takes their photo. The likes of Anna Wintour, Tracey Emin and Katie Grand are all among the so called 'victims'.I really liked this next one. Titled 'Phonecarte' this project ranged from 2004-2008 and involved SHOWstudio asking models to participate for this answerphone message. Each phone 'belonged' to a different model and each one was asked to leave answer phone messages during different fashion weeks. The models involved were Karen Elson, Irina Lazareanu, Lily Donaldson and Lily Cole. What I liked about this is that it offered a unique and personal insight of what the model was experiencing and as the project highlights, a voice that is usually unheard during Fashion Week.
The following was called 'Banquet' and it was an interesting installation to explore. The banquet by Heston Blumenthal (British, molecular gastronomer-in essence a chef whose food is innovative but also a bit strange) was created as a commission from W magazine to photograph luxury evening wear from AW '04-05. Webcams were placed above the guests (as to see their plates) and hidden microphones captured their conversation. Guests included Dita Von Teese, Gemma Ward and Liberty Ross. This installation was fun because on the wall were photos of the guests and then directly below was a table where the images of the plates were projected and the sound recorded was also played. It very much felt like a ghost of a banquet and was quite odd to walk around!
PERFORMANCE
"SHOWstudio.com's championing of Live performance fashion has played a crucual part in the development of a new kind of fashion experience: The Fashion Film"
The next interactive exhibit took the form of the Model sessions. Created by stylist Simon Foxton, this part of the exhibition would feature a model, styled by Foxton and the model would be contacted by phoning the number shown. Originally the SHOWstudio project involved a live webcast where viewers would watch the models eat, read, listening to music of answering questions. The same idea applies to the live sittings for the exhibition. Unfortunately I was a little too early for the model to appear!This one involved more interaction where visitors were encouraged to mix and match various body sections to create an image. I loved this because it reminded me of the fashion designer games which I had when I was little. This was called 'Dress me up, Dress me Down' and performed by Liberty Ross, 2005. The idea stemmed from the idea that models let others 'use' their bodies in the form of creative direction by the photographer, stylist and retoucher. This project turns this around by allowing the model and audience to choose what the model wears and poses. The main message behind this project was questioning the industries reliance on sexual desire and fashion.
Perhaps this was the most interactive exhibit of all. I was lucky enough to turn up on a day where Nick Knight was in the LIVE STUDIO and taking photographs of male models for VMAN. We stood behind a two way mirror and got to watch the studio in action. I loved this secret interaction with the shoot and spent a good half an hour staring at the beautiful models and the photography in process. Nick Knight was very dapper in his monochrome suit.
This guy got the broody, moody look down to a T!Retouching...
This was particularly interesting as the the live shoot becomes a live gallery exhibit. It is something that is usually untouched and intangible to the viewer and here, it becomes a performance to be analysed.
PARTICIPATION
"SHOWstudio.com's commitment to creating interactive media that invites it's audience in is an important element of it's programming. This approach deliberately stands in opposition to most existing forms of art, where the audience is effectively mute, unable to respond"
Another interactive piece was called 'The Sound of Clothes: synaesthesia' which allowed the user to use a rollerball which would move on the screen. When it touched different areas of the garment, different music would be played. This looked at texture and sounds and ideas surrounding fashion and music. In particular, this explored SHOWstudio's ongoing investigation into different ways of communicating and describing fashion. This featured Nicolas Ghesquiere S/S 06 collection and involved the collaboration with composer, Nick Ryan.Unfortunately I cannot quite remember where this project fitted in with the exhibition but features slides belonging to different models.
Next we had the Design Download area which I mentioned a while ago. Here fashion designers including McQueen, Gareth Pugh, Margiela all contributed patterns as part of a competition for viewers and the winning designs on display were chosen by SHOWstudio.com and the curators of the exhibition.
FASHION FILM
"Film's capacity to show clothing as it behaves on the body, together with it's power to capture the spirit of fashion at a specific point in time, means that it is perfectly in tune with a generation of young fashion consumers who look beyond the printed page to experience their world instantly, live and online"
(all quotes from SHOWstudio exhibition guide)
At one of end of the exhibition was the film space where a large screen was showing various short videos. We've all seen Gareth Pugh's dramatic video online but seeing it on such a big screen with surround sound is something else!One of the last areas of the exhibition was titled 'The Fashion Body' by Nick Knight, 2009 and explores the fashion body through film. Various designers, photographers, models, film makers were asked to contribute towards a film for the season and concentration on a different area of the body using various pieces from the AW 09 collection.
Here is a pretty knee...
Phew! This took me forever to write up, so I apologise for the delay! There was so much more to the exhibition that I couldn't possibly cover it all, it would take weeks for me to actually gather my thoughts together and write something vaguely understandable!

The exhibition was incredibly current and relevant because so many bloggers have noticed the huge change in the way that bloggers are being viewed. With bloggers having a significant presence at runway shows, magazines and the increased events dedicated to bloggers we can definitely see first hand how the Internet is changing the fashion experience. This is the perfect way to end this review and it pretty much speaks for itself. Wise words Mr. Knight. I think us bloggers would all agree with you.
Oh and a big thank you to Dapper for sending this award my way :)

Beanie

Posted on: 09 October 2009

Dress (Hong Kong) Coat (UO) Tights, Beanie (Topshop) Belt (Vintage) Bow (H&M) Shoes (KG)
I love this dress and because it is knitted, it only tends to be worn during the colder months. It's a lovely blue and I almost always choose to wear some kind of red belt with it. I also am quite pleased to finally be able to wear this beanie. I bought it at the end of spring which meant that I had no time to wear it because it began to get (a little) warmer!

I cannot believe how little time I have for blogging these days. It really feels like I'm neglecting it but the masters is so incredibly time consuming....and that SHOWstudio post is taking forever to write up. It's nearly done and I plan to finish it this weekend! Anyway, this is the building which has been taking up so much of my time. It has a more contemporary extension to the building too but I like the section which faces the gardens. It's a lovely building to study in.
I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

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