Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Lee Alexander McQueen's last words.

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who was desperate to see the collection that Alexander McQueen was working on when he committed suicide last month. It was his Autumn 2010 Collection and there was some speculation as to whether it was going to be showcased. Luckily for us however, the fashion world just couldn’t resist.

Of the collection, there were only sixteen outfits that were 80% finished - his team finished them after his death and they were shown as a series of private presentations at Hotel de Clermont-Tonnerre on Monday 9th March 2010. In total, the clothes have been shown to a mere seventy or so people including a handful of fashion editors and the boss of Gucci group. McQueen’s design team are currently working on finishing the menswear and diffusion line collections which were also in progress before McQueen’s death.

It’s clear that the pieces were heavily inspired by religion and religious artwork through his usage of black, red, white and gold throughout the collection. I find this prospect somewhat disturbing when taking into consideration that he was designing these just before he took his own life – what did he mean for this collection to say to us?

There was a serenity and innocence about some of his pieces. One dress in particular caught my attention - a white angelic floor length piece with gold embroideries down the front and around the trail. It doesn’t take a genius, or even an expert in fashion to see that this dress was inspired by angels.

Alternatively, the collection also consisted of garments with a much darker feel to them. Take for example this black shin length cape, encrusted with golden tigers and heraldic embroidery worn with a strange and mysterious headpiece. There is just simply something dark and sinister about some of the collection in contrast to some of the serene, elegant dresses – the conflict between good and evil?

Sarah Wade, managing editor of mpdclick.com, once said to me that McQueen’s collections “illustrate a story that he is trying to tell”, and this was his last ever story; his last words in fashion form. We can never be certain as to what his last story was…but we can have a guess at the story behind this collection – A story of passion, determination, happiness, sadness, life and death.

I’ll end with some good news to lighten the sombre tone! Despite that being the last ever collection by Lee Alexander McQueen, it will not be the last collection to bear his name. A week after his death it was announced that the label would continue, however there has been no announcement as of yet to declare who will take McQueen’s place.

“There is no doubt that McQueen’s final collection was a triumph.”, said Jess Cartner-Morely in her very own personal account of McQueen’s last collection in The Guardian. “But there seems little to rejoice when there is no one to congratulate.”

- Toni Caroline


Sunday, 21 March 2010

S/S trend forecast - Bum bags

Despite feeling pretty low at the moment due to boys/family/money - I have actually had a rather good day:) I awoke feeling as though i'd made slight progress in the boy department which was nice. I then met up with the lovely Miss Maisie Johnson to take photos for her Magazine Design project, (The project i'm looking at Mods for).

Maisie chose 'Bum bags' for her S/S trend for her fashion spread which meant I had to model a variety of clutches posed as bum bags! Bum bags aren't the height of fashion at the moment but Maisie and I are uncertain as to why this is! Even when tightening the strap of Maisie's leather satchel to use as a bum bag in the photographs I was surprised as to how well it sat on the hips and also at how stylish it looked! Not to mention the convenience!

Here's just a few photos from the shoot!:

Will bum-bags come into fashion this spring/summer? Who knows :)


Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Ash Stymest

I really love the 'latest breed' of male model which have been popping up in the likes of ID, Super Super and I Love Fake Magazine. Androgynous, skinny and 'preferably' tattoo ridden - Ash Stymest is a perfect example of this.

"Talkin' 'bout my Generation"

Model: Toby Greenhalgh
Polo shirt: Fred Perry

Here are a selection of photographs that I wanted to share with you:)

They are for a University project in which I have to design and produce my own fashion feature and I chose to look at the MODern day MOD!

Model: Toby Greenhalgh
Polo shirt: Fred Perry


Sunday, 14 March 2010


Southampton's most stylish and creative citizens gathered together at the classy cocktail bar, Orange rooms, last night to celebrate fashion. "Its great to see people out in support of a great cause!" said Sarah-Leigh, managing editor of mpdclick.com and prime organiser of the event.

The night started with a delightful acoustic set from
Kelly Mordecai whose soulful voice and sweet personality charmed the audience and set a light hearted atmosphere within the bar. It was not all about the live music however as there was plenty to see and do; upstairs there was an accessories bar where you could buy kitsch handmade accessories. There was also a stall for 3H Italia showcasing their latest collection of watches, art from the uniquely talented artist Lisa Jean and my favourite, a stall for Hepwrights Vintage!

There was also another room upstairs for Oxfam, (who all profits throughout the night were being donated to), who were selling music and clothing.

Unfortunately I was helping out on the door when the fashion show commenced, but I did run in and have a sneaky peak and the models looked fabulous and their audience entranced! Being sat at the door though I did get to witness the finishing of the graffiti piece that was being done outside.

Overall I think that the first EVER Style Society was a huge success considering it was the first of its kind in Southampton! Sarah said, "It was great to see so many people enjoying the entertainment and donating generously! The next few days will see the final donations pour in and we look to be well on target to enable a classroom to be built as part of Oxfam's Unwrapped scheme!"

I can't wait till the next one and am certain that it will be even bigger and better than before so make sure you come to!

Here's a photo of me enjoying myself Style Society wearing:

Black leather shoes - Topshop £25
Black dotted tights - Topshop £8
Black high waisted shorts - Topshop £40
Grey horse head top - Urban Outfitters £25 in the sale
Teal vintage jacket - Ebay £10
Bag - Primark £9
My nans necklace.


H a p p y M o t h e r ' s D a y

I would just like to let the world know what an amazing woman my Mum is:) She is actually the most beautiful, caring, selfless and wonderful person in the whole world and I know i'm not the only person who thinks so. I try not to think about how much I miss her since moving away to University cos when I do think about it, it makes me sad!:( In an ideal world she would move with me wherever I went and would still cook me roast dinners on Sundays so that I can complain when she forgets to make me Cauliflower cheese.

I really am the luckiest girl in the whole world to have her!

Thank you Mum, I love you so so so much!

(...up to the sky, and down to the sea, around the world infinity...)


Thursday, 11 March 2010

Tim Burton's 'Alice in Wonderland' - Film review

Tim Burton took us back to wonderland this March 2010 with his latest film based on the Lewis Carroll novel, ‘Alice’s adventures in Wonderland (1865)’.

As a Tim Burton fan and also an enthusiast of ‘Walt Disney’s Alice in Wonderland (1951)’, I must admit that if anything, I was a little too excited for the release of this film! However, it was not entirely what I had visualised it to be…expect the unexpected!

I thought that if two great things were combined, something even greater would come into existence. Alice in Wonderland is such a vast and exciting story, full of strange creatures and bizarre concepts; there really are no boundaries! However it seems as though this time Walt Disney has held Burton back. The film starts well, but maybe a little slower than necessary – I love how you can immediately tell that it’s a Tim Burton film due to the paleness of the main character, ‘Alice’!

I loved his interpretations of the original characters and Johnny Depp’s superb performance as ‘The mad Hatter’ was obviously a winner! Despite the brilliant costume and makeup however, the plot itself was restricted and predictable. It seemed commercialised which is very unlike the distinctively dark and twisted world that Burton normally works within. There were aspects of the Burton that we all know and love in there, however Disney strongly shone through with it’s typical ‘goody’, ‘baddy’ plot in which the hero, (Alice), prevails at the end and slays the enemy, (the Jabberwocky). It was the heart-warming relationship between Alice and the Mad Hatter that bought more depth to the story and made it more enjoyable for me.

Tim Burton’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ is definitely worth a watch, however I feel as though Disney should have made an exception here, upped the certificate to a 12 and let Tim Burton do what he does best.


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Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Vintage Chicks!

My mum found these old photographs at my Nan's house:)

I find it interesting how fashion really does just loop around in circles - most of the time when I buy something new and show my Mum it results in her saying, "I used to have a jumper like that", or, "that was in fashion when I was your age!" It's almost annoying to hear your mother tell you that she's 'been there, done that' before you...but now i've seen proof! Take for example this lovely jumper she bought me as a surprise from ebay:

Now look at a photo of her, 19 years of age with her mum, wearing a very similar '80's style' jumper:

Here's a photo of me wearing mine in a photograph with my lovely Mummy to!:)

Furthermore, my latest purchase of shoes...black leather brogue/dance style shoes:

And hers...


Monday, 8 March 2010

Paris day 3 – (06/03/2010)

Versailles – the most beautiful city in the world!?

Wow! We went to Versailles this morning and I can safely say that it was the highlight of my time here in France! On driving in to the city we were greeted by rows of tall, elegant French style houses in different coloured pastels and with shutters on the windows. There are cobbled streets and trees and flowers everywhere. (It strangely reminded me of a town I once drove through in South Africa!)

When looking past the high, gold gates of Versailles Palace, it was clear that it had most certainly been built as a statement of wealth. The architecture style was bland, yet incredible! Gold traced the edges of the building making it even more visually impressive! It was scary to think about the history behind Versailles and my mind kept flickering back to images from the film, ‘Marie Antoinette’, one of my favourites. Once satisfied that we’d taken enough ‘touristy’ photographs we made our way inside. (It’s free entry if you’re under 25 and show your passport!)

On first glance the garden of Versailles palace was unimpressive. What was once a garden of spectacular splendour and beauty was now a wasteland…triangular shaped trees sat scattered around the area looking withered and sad. Fountains, which would have been full of life and energy, sending water dancing through the air and creating soothing sounds, now lay empty and dilapidated. The sky suddenly seemed duller, and the air colder. However, after turning a corner and heading toward the back of the palace I looked to my left and saw an immense sight. At the bottom of many steps was a canal, the ‘royal canal’, and it stretched off into the distance for what looked like miles. We walked down towards the canal then turned right to head towards ‘Marie Antoinette’s estate’!

It was a long walk and the weather was crisp! It was however worth the walk and the uncomfortable coldness. Unfortunately work was being done on the building and so scaffolding had been put up which completely destroyed the view. However after looking inside we went around the back where scaffolding wasn’t up and so I was able to take some photos! I liked how I recognised everything from the film!!

Until you’ve been there I don’t think you could ever imagine just how big Versailles is. The palace gardens stretch for miles and as you get deeper and deeper into them, more and more wonders are discovered! Lorna and I thought we’d got lost at one point! We went around the back of Marie Antoinette’s building and found more buildings, one of which was owned by the king. It was made of pink marble and in the past was used as a place to entertain his mistresses – it is also the home of the famous ‘Hall of mirrors’, which was where all the latest fashions were discovered. Wooden dolls dressed in these latest fashions would have been sent out to other cities such as Paris and London so that the rest of the world outside of the wonderland that Marie Antoinette had created for herself inside Versailles could keep up to date!

If you ever visit Versailles, equip yourself with a pair of comfortable shoes, as you will be doing a lot of walking! I would definitely like to go back again, preferably in summer, as I feel as though I didn’t get to see everything that I would have liked to. I would like to see the gardens during the summer season when the trees will have blossomed. I would also like to go back to see Marie Antoinette’s room within the palace which I sadly didn’t have time for!:(

(Me in Versaille - wearing my new dress £9 from Primark and new tights £8 from Topshop)

The rest of my day has pretty much been a blur! We left the hotel at 10am and I returned at 10pm…it’s been a long day full of castles, grand gardens and boat rides - kind of like a fairytale:)


Paris day 2 – (05/03/2010)

I woke up at 8am this morning feeling surprisingly alert and awake; my sofa bed had been much more comfortable than expected and I’d managed to sleep straight through till my alarm!:) I did enjoy my complimentary breakfast of a croissant with butter and jam and two glasses of orange juice…didn’t really fancy the cheese and ham though!

I was thankful that we got a lift to ‘Les Arts Decoratifs’ where Lorna and I found some rather interesting things to look at. My least favourite part of the museum was a section full of campaign posters for problems such as AIDS and sex trafficking. Some of the imagery was rather disturbing!! The most enjoyable part of the m
useum however was a small section within the ‘Animal’ exhibition, which consisted of various items of clothing and accessories made from real animals. (There was also some animal shaped furniture within the collection). I am not ‘for’ using animal parts for fashion however I found those pieces fascinating.

I must confess that I was not a fan of the thigh high snakeskin heeled boots, however there was a hat that particularly stood out to me. A hat made out of a pheasant. Despite the unpleasantness shadowing the idea of wearing a stuffed bird on your head, it looked very elegant!

Down the street from ‘Les Arts Decortifs’ a catwalk had just ended and despite being extremely envious of the ‘important’ people strutting out of a building where it had been held, it was very exciting to see the models and photographers…I thought to myself “That’s where I want to be in 5 years”, (ambitious, I know).

After going to an impressive antique magazine and newspaper shop, which would have been a lot more interesting if the publications were in English and if it hadn’t been so busy…we headed back to the hotel. I was incredibly relieved to be back in my pyjamas bottoms and annoyed that I was in Paris and felt ill! So, instead of going back into town for a look around the Lavre museum, which I have already been to, and to have some tea, I bought myself 24hour internet from reception and sat on Skype to talk to Craig. Best 10 Euros I’ve ever spent!

We’re going to Versailles tomorrow! I am so excited – I love the story and lifestyle ideologies of Marie Antoinette and cannot wait to see her estate!

Friday, 5 March 2010

PARIS - Day 1 (04/03/2010)

I’ve just settled myself into bed in my hotel room after a hot bath and after one of the longest days of my life.

I reluctantly dragged myself out of bed this morning at 6am leaving my very sleepy, and very cuddly, boyfriend behind. In getting to the University on time at 7am, we traditionally left half an hour late, which left me craving that extra half an hour of sleep...I am surprised as to how bearable the 9 hour journey from Southampton to Paris was!

Now, I don't want to sound like a spoilt brat, but after 4 hours of sleep and an epic coach journey the last thing I wanted to do was go up the Eiffel tower! We had half an hour to settle into our hotel rooms then at 7pm off we all went in to the heart of the city of Paris. Admittedly the iconic landmark is a treat for the eyes! However, I didn’t appreciate the long wait at the tube station whilst trying to organise the group or the depressing tube ride itself. But alas, Paris is a magical place, and as soon as I saw the towers splendour in the distance, my thoughts were not on the poor conditions of the underground!

Whilst some went off to gain the full experience of the Eiffel tower, I, along with others, went to sit in a French restaurant. (I have previously been up the Eiffel tower!) Whilst enjoying my meal it suddenly occurred to me that all five girls whom I was eating dinner with were complete strangers! But more importantly, I realised that they didn’t feel like strangers despite only knowing them for a short while:)

The view of the Eiffel tower was picturesque, the food was nice, but I was VERY tied! I was therefore very grateful for my bath and very happy to crawl under fresh sheets in freshly washed pyjamas. I am very much looking forward to my complimentary breakfast tomorrow morning, and also in visiting the ‘Animal’ exhibition. Let’s hope that tomorrow will be a lot more relaxed than today!

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