Friday, 31 October 2008
Thursday, 30 October 2008
I'm not saying that a fashion used to last 10 years but styles and cuts did last a lot longer than they do now. Admittedly our random research was based on a group of women in London and more specifically the London College of Fashion and it might not have been the same result in an office for example. But diversity and pace has been a massive driver of fashion for clothes, interiors even restaurants for the heyday of our recent consumer boom.
Now we are entering a period of zero maybe even negative growth (we are still not officially in a recession despite media doom mongers as two successive quarters of negative growth must be recorded!) will this bust mentality slow down fashion. Next A/W 09 collections will be a key indicator of what is to come. Luxury brands are currently weathering the approaching storm and even the High Street is not a complete loss, note John Lewis revealed a downturn in all areas but women's shoes!
This is the time to attempt to define your style to make good purchases when you can and to maximise your wardrobe. There are a number of ways to do this, one favourite is the mood board where you pin items you love and this reflects your taste back to you and helps define a look. Another way is to emulate, for example Audrey Hepburn, an obvious one I know but still relevant today. There is no wrong or right way to define you nor is there a style that is better than another.
I limit where I shop based on price, quality and style. Lets put it this way Chanel isn't on my list currently! I have places that reveal little gems and this year Kew still features on it - okay it might be just two items but no one else is wearing them unlike Topshop, so that reveals I tend to like items that are not must haves or mainstream fashion pieces. I'll always have a bit of a tomboy edge to what I wear but that doesn't mean I dress in a masculine way. I'm just not a neat freak or particularly of the Grace Kelly sophisticated mode.
My current style admiration goes to Cheryl Cole and I'm not alone in this but she has honed a style of her own which has a 60s edge to it, almost Mowtownish or other glitzy stars of that era but a very modern interpretation. Define your own style now and you'll see out the next few years with ease.
Wednesday, 29 October 2008
I want to enjoy Halloween and Bonfire night first, then a bit of a rest before the full assault of festiveness.
Mind you there is a lovely festive sequin skirt by Pink Soda Boutique in December's Easy Living, if I wasn't feeling so grumpy and poor I'd cheer myself up with some retail therapy.
I'll be cheery again before next post and for those of you who missed BBC2's British Style Genius then here's the iplayer link. Now this is an interesting one - very aspirational in terms of the petite bourgeoisie aiming to be bourgeois, very Bourdieu indeed!
Tuesday, 28 October 2008
Monday, 27 October 2008
Not for everyone I know, those who love a taser heel or any heel full stop. But who have you stumbled across recently that fits your bill?
Sunday, 26 October 2008
Friday, 24 October 2008
S & M (Sausage and Mash - I'm coming back here!)
After S&M some champagne will be in order.
Then from the old into the new. The glass, the metal and the bustle of workers, with the Gherkin rising majestically in the distant.
It is amazing how this new mecca of offices sits amongst the old streets and churches. Walk away from Bishopgate and you enter a mix of run down meets avant garde. Juxtapositioned between tat and cool is Caravan at the beginning of Redchurch Street.
And it turns out Caravan has moved from its old address in Spitalfields Market to its new address up the road on Redchurch Street off Shoreditch High Street. Emily Chalmers is the delightful owner and offers a glorious selection of the old and new in her interiors shop.
Beautiful decor and space to browse in sheer delight at Caravan
My favourite find was the stag heads which I intend to pop back for!
It was a sheer delight for top bird blogger Wee Birdy (more of this in next post) with lots of birdy pieces to choose from. I had a lovely chat with Emily before a wander around Brick Lane prior to my almost fashionable late arrival at the House of Masquerade event party (surely 15 mins after doors open is late!)
Thursday, 23 October 2008
I'm all for new styling and new ways so my thinking is I need to ditch the mend bit of make do.
Now, a while ago I was ahead of the game but with all this recession based quick journalism filling the column inches I want to refine my sphere of interest. Also I'm not nor have I ever been stuck in a 1940s time warp. Whilst I believe the resourcefulness shown is exemplary and many could do with learning some of the old ways skills, this blog is all about now (and me!)
I'm thinking of using the url name 'make do style' as the blog name proper and comment name. Not much of a departure but a timely shift methinks et vous??
Wednesday, 22 October 2008
Yes Mama what's it about?
Well, actually it's another Tom Ford story
Oh durr I'm bored already mama
No hang on for a moment, I know I'm a one trick pony but this is a really specially special old one from his Gucci days, so it's practically vintage.
One day a Gucci PR girl picked up the phone without a care in the world, she barely managed an audible greeting but it mattered not because the caller was already barking at her down the phone.
'Now you all listen in the PR department stop giving clothes to that Beckham women, I don't want her to be wearing them,' said an angry Mr Ford.
'But Tom darling we don't give her any of your gorgeously designed clothes', purred the PR cat.
'What well how on earth is she getting them!!'
The cat rolled her eyes and smirked as she delivered the blow to the uber designer Mr Tom Ford.
'Actually, she buys them from Gucci stores.'
Ah so they all lived happily ever after then Mama?
Well darling it's fashion he's given her tips now on how to dress, personally I'd have stuck with buying his items to avoid his most masterful of tips, dye your hair lighter as you get older, as divested to Carine Roitfeld.
Who is this lady mama?
Editor of French Vogue and side kick for Monsieur Ford. It just makes me want to dye my hair brown as I get older and eat your biscuit!
Tuesday, 21 October 2008
The result of being occupied in an academic zone is I couldn't careless what I'm wearing and actually have become more creative. The couldn't careless factor is my previous always on trend or being ahead type fixation. My slow fashion view is because I woke up and smelt the coffee. In fairness there is nothing worse than a preachy convert and I'm not out to convert a nation so you won't find me on a soap box any where soon. Also I don't think I had this thought alone, collective rebellion is more powerful than the individual. If I was rich and it didn't affect me financially would I be rebelling and thinking enough is enough, probably not but I'd be swayed eventually by a stream of change that is slowly evolving around us.
It's just my head is filled with shall I write an essay on Jean Paul Gaultier's film costumes or just do one on La dolce vita for my film and costume unit? How will I write an essay on comparing Truffaut and Luc Besson examining the autuer theory? How can I make a short film as part of my dissertation project?
Enough about the high brow me and back to the low brow stuff - gossip. I was going to give you the high brow definition of a film star as opposed to a celebrity so you could lead the way on dinner party discussions, instead I give you Tom Ford is an ass low brow story instead.
Tom Ford was invite to give a talk at the London College of Fashion, he insisted on certain things. In fact he insisted on quite a lot so much so that he overlooked one small detail in his perfect posing for camera (the talk was being filmed) his forehead was a bit shiny but he'd peed the LCF staff off so much during his chest hair arrangement that neither they or the make up artist bothered to address the shine. Anyway a rather narcissistic interview (by all accounts)conducted by Colin McDowell ensued. At the end students were able to ask questions. Now a rather brilliant but quite introverted young female student plucked up courage to ask him did he have any tips for any up and coming designers, to which he replied 'Oh honey go and out and have lots of sex you'll never be as young and beautiful again.' Enter tumbleweed stage right.
Monday, 20 October 2008
That's a mighty fine and large neck muff you're sporting.
The Reiss top is to wear on Thursday to the House of Masquerade in Shoreditch. I refer you to this by Disneyrollergirl. Now my invite from Absolut Vodka was supplemented by a rather nice little parcel which arrived on Saturday.
They sent me a really cool sequin zipped up bottle of vodka and a gorgeous mask. It makes for an interesting display on the book shelf and made me think I needed to make the effort for Thursday night, hence a new top. Although I have to pay him back as technically the money was for our wedding anniversary present - we are still collecting Vera Wang Grosgrain china and need more espresso cups!The china does only come out twice a year but it is a sheer delight and the only grown up things I possess. This spurred me on to do my most put off chore of the year the ebay listings. Luckily it was free listing day if you set start price at 99p and so I dutifully did the unused items. One is a cocktail dress that I had for a TV presenter, who's name escapes me and she never wore it.
I think I got it because it was very classic and on budget (for mid level TV peeps!). I just have to clear out stuff as I find too much makes me feel stifled. The only items I hang onto for my work are belts and costume jewellery. I can keep these without feeling oppressed by them. If I had a unit where I could store clothes I would keep them. My own personal wardrobe is kept quite streamlined otherwise I couldn't cope with too many clothes. I know some people can have wardrobes stuffed full of things but I have one drawer for t-shirts and jumpers and one wardrobe for my stuff. I have managed to sneak my lbds and a few other evening items into MrMD&Ms one which doesn't seem to bother me for some reason!
The only item of mine I'm parting with is a J Crew blazer. I bought it last September in New York and the first day I wore it was to a meeting in St Christopher's Place, London. It was quite informal in a coffee shop and I bounded in all chipper and was greeted with the sight of another person sat there with the same ruddy blazer on! I never wore it again. Usually I don't mind about someone else having a retail item the same but I never got over this encounter.
Thursday, 16 October 2008
I'm going to write this blog, comment on as many blogs as I can muster and then join oblivion for a few days to regain my good health.....So I'm continuing with a bit of a discourse on trends in relation to fashion. Now there were a few comment on trends and how you need a trend fix which I completely agree with. I think I should have put 'multiple trends' in the sentence 'only buy things you love rather than get caught up in trend fever'.
The trouble with trend fever is you sort of get sold a trend or feel compelled to adopt a trend to conform. I've been a sponge to cultural studies as part of my MA. I have to attend a unit called 'Approaches to Contemporary Fashion' and this week we study Barthes and semiotics. I won't go into it in great detail but distill the relevant points with regard to my advocacy of slow fashion.
The bit we all forget about fashion (garments, furniture, art) in society is that it is all about marketing. Because in fairness if you produce something you want it to sell. Trends in fashion get constructed, visual pictures of fashion garments and editorial with descriptive words sells us fashion. For example you might see a picture of a dress and think it is nice but an editorial piece might refer to it as a dress for dinner and you then contextualise that image in reference to wearing it for only a dinner date. Same with clothes labelled for summer, holiday, winter, skiing etc.
Barthes would argue that signs, have significance that becomes constructed by society and his argument extends to mass culture as manipulating people. He later revisited his work on Mythologies and gave more credit to the reader of signs choosing how they engage with text/image.
Where is all this going .....well when it comes to making do, you have to be quite brave, quite an individual to step out of mass consumption and the creation of trends which have a short shelf life. It is particularly hard when if you love fashion, adopting a trend gives you a reference for the now. But it is important not to get caught up in trends too easily as you will consume more than you need, so do fall for and enjoy a trend that captures your imagination but don't let trends consume your individuality.
And on that note, I'm ignoring marketing ploys to remedy my cold, all those over priced sachets and reverting to a make do hot toddy. Well I can boil the kettle, squeeze a lemon in and add a wee dram of whiskey from the bottle that sits in the cupboard gathering dust. I'll save my pennies to indulge a fashion trend thank you very much!
Wednesday, 15 October 2008
Pedestrian crossing foot bridge next to Hungerford Railway Bridge into Charing Cross, looking up to the London Eye
Tuesday, 14 October 2008
Monday, 13 October 2008
Sunday, 12 October 2008
The wonderful Observationmode has afforded me another opportunity to purge myself of random matters with the four tag thingy!
1. Four Places I go to over and over:
- to the nursery
- to London College of Fashion
- to Caffe Nero
- Waterloo station
2. Four people who email me regularly:
- my course director
- my style booker
- Net-a-Porter (they are wasting their time these days)
3. Four place I would rather be right now:
- New York
-in bed asleep
- a spa
4. Four of my favourite places to eat: (all currently in my head)
-Le Caprice (London)
- Baltazar (New York)
- Ninos (Roma)
- La Taxidermista (Barcelona)
5. Four people I'm tagging:
6. Four TV shows I watch over and over:
- Sex and the City
- Lazy Town
- Charlie and Lola (I quite like this one)
- and the freakin rest of cbeebies!
Saturday, 11 October 2008
Reiss: Bette dress £95
Friday, 10 October 2008
PS I'm a bit late posting today because I might have acquired a minor martini hangover courtesy of Everybodysaysdon't we met up for drinks last night and it was hilarious. It was a lovely night in Covent Garden and great to have finally met up!
Thursday, 9 October 2008
The lovely Skylark raised the issue of dualism by debating how to dress as an individual but also to 'fit in' with where she will be living. Dualism denotes a state of two parts, so movement and stillness, production and consumption, feminine and masculine. In fashion and society we constantly look for reconciliation between like and difference. Individuals are caught between dualism and trying to resolve this. Fashion is about being different and 'like'. the like, is a trend, being now, whilst different is individual expression with fashion. Fashion, the same clothes in context of trends (and I'm not talking hot looks, high fashion but similar style) allows us all to be in society, and yet fashion is always renewing and changing - this moves us forward.
The dualism of the individual taste versus societies taste (and value) is the hardest bit when you want to be and are being creative. Wearing items that are slightly autre exposes you and sets you apart except if you are surrounded by others equally autre.
Gosh lots to explore, this was just the tip and as the Marxists say - the dominant culture is that decided by the dominant people in society.
Wednesday, 8 October 2008
1. Clothes Shop: Selfridges, so much to shop and to love!
2. Furniture Shop: Habitat
3. Sweet: Roly's Fudge see evidence below. Luckily it is in Brighton, can't just nip out for it!
4. City: Roma but I could equally put NYC, Paris, Barcelona and London. I went on honeymoon to Rome and it was amazing (I'd been there before).
5. Drink: Gin & tonic with a slice of lemon or lime, the Gin has to be Bombay Sapphire or Plymouth Gin
6. Music: Stereophonics
7. TV Series: The Bill, don't ask I've always loved it!
8. Film: Currently La Dolce Vita by Frederico Fellini
9. Workout: the freaking escalator's at Waterloo, Bond Street and Oxford Circus
10. Pastries: the whole selection at The Wolseley
11. Coffee: Americano, black from Caffe Nero
I now have to tag others but I'm all out of tagging so I'm picking on no one mind you I think I'll pick on Dressed and Pressed!