Saturday, 11 July 2015

To fur or not to fur?!


This week Fendi showed their first ever haute couture show in Paris for fall, and in true Fendi style it was all about the fur... And only fur! Despite Europe still battling it's way through economic downturn haute couture sales, and fur especially fails to slow down. 

Ever since time began us humans have been draping ourselves in dead animals in order to stay toasty in winter for about 100,000 years. In Europe fur is farmed ethically under strict and heavily policed legislation, and all luxury houses adhere to these guidelines in order to trade. For this very pleasure you can drape yourself in mink, chinchilla, hamster, rodent and all manner of furs. I personally am a fur girl, I wear rabbit and mink and have been hankering after an arctic fox for many years.

However I sympathise and understand the argument with those who don't share my views. Although farmed ethically, and the meat unused is sold into the restaurant industry so nothing is wasted, the way the animals are killed for the fur trade is less than humane. Despite this my views won't change, but I always ensure that I buy only vintage and from European sources, I will never ever buy Chinese fur due to the suspicious nature of the fur and the barbaric farming and slaughter disgusts me beyond belief. 

In times when many are struggling to even buy food, haute couture is booming. Although deeply secretive and client lists are protected better than state secrets it is a well known fact that Russian, Middle eastern and Chinese women are the main beneficiaries of one off pieces sometimes danding six figure sums. 

In a world so exclusive the question on everyone's lips this season will be to fur or not to fur... I know what I'll be doing even if mine don't cost more than a house! 

Let me know what side you're on! 

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Oh Oscar, Oscar, Oscar...


On the subject of Pre-Fall I have a burning desire for this backless Oscar de la Renta gown... Peter Copping is doing the godfather of fabulous proud, and keeping the spirit of one of the most iconic brands alive. 

God knows where I would wear it... To Tesco to buy Prosecco ready for the impending shortage?! 

Illustration be me. Enq...

Monday, 15 June 2015

Summer is dead... And it's not even summer yet!

I have two favourite times of year... Couture season and pre-fall. There. I said it. Don't get me wrong I love the merry-go-round of the fashion months, but after many a season in luxury retail the pre-collections are always my favourite. Especially Chanel whose are so utterly fabulous they have their own name, "Métiers-des-Arts" which is Karl Lagerfeld's way of flicking two fingers at the world and showing that he does everything better to the point he throws the show a massive party, makes a film about it and shows it about a year before the rest of the calendar.

Anyway back to the rest of the fashion world and it is the time of year when the Pre/Fall product hits shop floors, as a former shop girl I got sick of looking at the mainline collections for 6 months so the arrival of Pre-Fall and Resort is like a mini Christmas. 

First off this season I have been perving over Acne... It is perfectly Scandi minimalism, full of pastels and so sexually oblivious I'm considering robbing a bank so I can have it all, especially the lilac oversized straight jacket-esque knit and mega beanie... But I personally adore the very Acne mannish tailoring and flashes of grubby mustard and sky blue lace that is so un-Acne I could weep. If it wasn't so warm outside I would be bashing the plastic and prancing around in pastel mohair and wearing trousers so mannish I'd look like a modern day Annie Hall. Oh and don't even get me started on the navy... 

Don't get me wrong Karl you're magical but I can't give up my desire and love for wearable Scandi elegance that makes you realise why you love pre-collections. They are a magical little burst of "shit I didn't realise I NEEDED that forward thinking and totally weather inappropriate piece of knitwear" that crops up twice a year to save your life just before all the pieces you've bought over 6 months gets slashed in price the very minute you're sick of looking at it, making investing in new pieces all the more exciting. Not only that but now high street retailers such as Topshop and Zara are being savvy and joining in on the action. So regardless of your budget you can get a sneak peek at what's coming in stores the following season, and you can update your current season purchases and look ahead of the game. Plus it'll soften the blow caused by seeing all the pieces you invested in at the start of the season are being sold off at knockdown prices and rocked by anyone and everyone. 

Images Acne Studios Pre Fall 15 illustrated by me. 


Darlings... Sunday was my birthday and in true fashion hag style I felt that the "Only Way is Marbs" TOWIE special being aired on the very day was some kind of birthday magic from the telly box gods. But low and behold fears I had a mighty shock... 

Now I decided man-buns were ovahhhhhh about a million years ago  because dating a boy with better top knot game than me is, well, sacrilege! But I knew a boy rocking a greasy ballet bun was definitely being relegated to the sartorial graveyard when a very pretty man-child with better eyebrows than Kim Kardashian and a pout to rival a porn stars was prancing round poolside rocking one and giving half the Essex princesses the glad eye whilst wearing a "floral co-ord bebs" my point being once it's on TOWIE I know a trend/style/outfit/grooming habit is officially dead. Deader than disco. 

Now don't get me wrong he was fit... But will all the penis packers please just stick to looking like men. Why are they plucking their brows, shaving their pubes/pits/legs and nicking our hair styles?! The only thing differentiating Pete the Top Knot from the girls was his artfully trimmed beard! Even his outfit looked like he had borrowed it off his sister. Now don't get me wrong I can appreciate a metrosexual, I like men who can be romantic and understand the concept of SPF and moisturiser making you look fresh and not too old... But fake tan, brows tidier than mine and rocking my favourite hair style cannot be tolerated! I'm all for them doing a Gosling and embracing feminism, but looking like you no longer pack a penis is a step too far... It's high time all you bearded, man bun rocking hipsters started embracing your inner cave man! Next you'll be asking if I've heard of Sunday Riley face oils and wearing my bras! Bleurgh!

Man buns be GONE!!! I'll even pay for all of your hair cuts...  

illustration by me. Enq.

Meet Caitlyn...

Last week Vanity Fair's July issue hit news stands... Yeah, yeah not exactly newsworthy but in the year that gay marriage and transgender actresses are finally getting the column inches they deserve a certain Caitlyn Jenner took to the cover to launch herself mid-transition. 

I decided to use this nugget of news to re-launch my blog because for me the issue of equality in fashion is a pretty big deal... I tend to illustrate what I think and what interests me and the lack of ethnically diverse, trans and plus size models in high fashion and mainstream publications really frustrates me. 

I was so happy to see such an iconic title such as Vanity Fair commenting on an issue such as this... Don't get me wrong the fact Caitlyn is so high profile and one of the most celebrated athletes (before her most famous role as Mr Kris Momager Kardashian/Jenner) of the past century will be the main reason Vanity Fair chose her as the poster girl for transitioning, but I found it refreshing none the less. The fact that Annie Liebowitz shot the story is amazing too, I just think issues such as this are more important than taking down the gluten phobic queen of uncoupling that is Gwyneth Paltrow. I find it rather brilliant, and not just because it sells a shit load of magazines. Anyone with half a brain and a mild fleeting interest in fashion (and equality issues) knows this is a pretty big deal. I just hope that this kind of breakthrough keeps happening and maybe my wish will come true and RuPaul and Conchita Wurst will get asked to do Vogue... 

Let the haters hate... I still think it is utterly poignant that one of the biggest fashion and society publications in the world has a transgender woman on the cover. Oh, and doesn't she look fucking fabulous?! Now let's get some more women of colour and a dress size bigger than a 4 on Covers and I'll be quiet. Oh and fuck Kim... Caitlyn totally broke the Internet! 

Sunday, 20 October 2013

öffbeat presents The Shoreditch Fashion Show 2013

The Delightful Delectable Dom & Ink

The Colouring In Wall... so much fun

Vince Kidd

Sun Yin Xiaowen

Aphra Shemza

The fabulous Remotely Fashion girls...

Chic and co-ordinated

Last weekend I had the amazing privilege of attending The Shoreditch Fashion Show - held at The Oval Space - and cover it on the blog, and it was such a brilliant event. Not only was there amazing entertainment and the fashion show that we were there for, but there was work on display from some amazing talents and a doodle wall put on by illustrator Dom & Ink... Which made for much entertainment! The event was filled with fabulous fashiony folk dressed beyond well, so it made for marvellous people watching. Everyone was super friendly and happy to interact so it quashed any misconceptions that fashion is a total bitch fest, and I felt totally comfortable mingling with other bloggers and creative types. I had the chance to meet up with some fellow bloggers that I follow and met the Remotely Fashion girls whose blog you all need to hit up, it was really inspirational being around other bloggers and chatting about what we do. 

Sponsors Batiste had a super cute hair station where you could get your barnet jazzed up for the night ahead, and there were cans of dry shampoo and volumising powder decorating the bathroom so you could create your own styles too. I had a wonderful time and can't Anoushka and the öffbeat team enough for having me there! 

Friday, 4 October 2013

Biology Lesson

 Props to Mr Kane, he hasn't let a little giant conglomerate investment deter him, he still produces one of the coolest collections at LFW season after season, except now he has more pennies to splash on craftsmanship, components and staff and I respect him muchly for that. Actually I think I love him a bit, if he wasn't into dresses more than me I might even fancy him a bit! 

I adored his S/S14 collection, it was Kane all over, in a sea of florals over LFW Kne showed his own skewed version which was total and utter genius! I love that the cut outs seen at the beginning were inspired by sterilised petals and it only got cooler... This then descended into ditsy teeny floral prints in wispy fine chiffons teamed with "PETAL" and "FLOWER" motif sweaters, and the gowns were just as clever, with sequinned flower details and silks that had his über-cool arrows and biological drawings of flowers burned into the fabric that you would miss at first glance. 

I adore that whatever Kane decides is the focus for that season is done in such an original and edgy way, a way that nobody would ever think to do it, and this is what fashion should be about. It is meant to be about showing collections that ignite your imagination and make you dream of the impossible, fashion is meant to make you think and wonder and look a little bit unhinged. Since the recession hit most brands have been all about sales and commercial viability... and every once in a while a designer will come along who surprises you. And for me that is Kane, he has always done it but since everyone became skint and economies are failing he is the one at LFW that season after season chooses a "trend" that most are inspired by or touching upon and completely turns it on its head, makes it what fashion should be about, makes it random, stunning and like theatre. Don't get me wrong Ready-to-Wear is meant to wearable and fit into everyday life, but at the prices designers charge it shouldn't all be about "Made in Italy" and "luxury components" that reflect the price, it should be about art and drama and making your heart beat faster. Like couture but watered down a little... 

I say Chrissy Kane is the King of London... Long may he reign!