Saturday, 13 April 2013

ALEXANDER THE GREAT- The Mcqueen version


I have felt recently a strong urge to pay homage to one of my most iconic fashion designers and this article was certainly overdue in my eyes.
Anyone and everyone involved or interested in the fashion industry will know Alexander Mcqueen. If you don't then you can as good as say goodbye to being a true fanatic of fashion.
Alongside fellow greats such as Valentino, Christian Dior, Giorgio Armani, Mcqueen was physically at the top of his game. From a normal background, brought up on a council estate he left school at only 16, only to bag a position in Saville Row Tailors before following on to Gieves and Hawkes.
The experience gained from working in some of the most well thought of tailors, allowed him to gain some valuable experience which led to his success in later life and the iconic introduction of some of his most outrageous, yet stunning pieces.

The introduction of his catwalk show, Spring/Summer 2011, brought in a new revelation which quite literally stated 'weird, wacky yet physically beautiful' with the inspiration of a giant mirrored cube containing 'mental patients' dressed in his newest collection whilst walking the lengths of the cube grabbing at the windows as if to be let out of the asylum. The raw disturbing picture that developed through his show may have shocked some audiences, but with the introduction of Kate Moss (one of our most iconic British models to date) and Erin O'Connor we knew immediately that Mcqueen had just upped his game. A whopping £70,000 pounds was spent on this one show but the true moment came with what I can only describe as the fat lady who sat placed within the center of the cube, naked, whilst wrapped in leaves, artistically placed in order to act as the main focus but not detract away from the mental dancers.... Fair to say the addition of 'the breathing tube' was a brilliant and rather inventive touch.
Women in a box (Spring/Summer 2011)
Spring/Summer 2011

Amongst his shows were numerous different themes, including the 'Paint theme' in his Spring/Summer 1999 show, which involved a woman standing on a rotating disc in the middle of his stage spinning, dreading the second the rotating robot looking machinery would ruin her beautiful pure white dress. The beauty however that came from that single 2 minutes or so, created a dress which spoke volume, style, glamour and playfulness  What about the Spring/Summer 2005 collection which displayed bright yellow colour on most of the models, often in the form of big skirt dresses, whilst the theme led them to be 'pawns' in a large game of chess. The sophistication and level of depth Mcqueen puts into each one of his shows makes it special for every member of the fashion world present.

Chess game (2005 collection)

As many of us know, Mcqueen passed away in February 2010, due to hanging himself in his home, only days before Fashion Week. It has been widely reported that the tragic loss of his mother who was his 'personal rock in life', caused him to take his own. The level of depth of his creations and the twisted themes they portray hint at a level of darkness within him that none of us could probably imagine. We can only speculate that a mind that dark, that inventive and that deep and complex, could use it in a personal manner. Sometimes the stress and difficulties in life over weigh the successes we achieve and feel, causing us to make bad decisions. For Mcqueen, he inspired others to trek the road he was on, achieving more success with every show and collection, but the loss we feel for him will not ever be removed.

I ask myself at this moment 'what direction would fashion have taken if Mcqueen had never existed, never
made it, never added his iconic touch to our catwalks?'. Well I can sum this up in one.
Life couldn't have existed without Alexander Mcqueen. He shaped us as a nation to open up to our  individuality and we are truly grateful.
R.I.P Mr Mcqueen. You are terribly missed by all. Don't stop ever stitching those clothes....wherever you may end up in the heavens above.
Mcqueen at his best

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Simplicity is the key for 2013

Simplicity for spring/ summer 2013

There never has been an easier time to feel and look great than during 2013. For women across the globe, the key to looking fabulous lies in the hands of a simple appliance of makeup and keeping everything to a minimum (ladies we need to still appear chic... lets not scare people away by overgrowing our lady 'brows' or hibernating those legs.)

As the clock struck 12 and brought in a new year, designers gathered upon their white wagons and horses to glide off into the sunset bringing simple pieces to the head of their runways. You better believe it ladies, cause fashion just got simple for once!
From quick pins up (top knots are now key in the world of fashion hair do's) as well as simple accessories right down to the bare minimum of make up. Don't fear though, the big, bold, defined yet different' look of the 60's is also back with a vengeance (follow the tips of Twiggy for the prefect 60's look.)  Fashion has finally come in to its own and banished the glad ragged ladies who were dolling themselves up with far too much makeup that they actually became caked in it.

My personal favourite of the 'simplicity era' is the classic take on a once well known 'bun', the topknot. The days of dead straight, lanky and over heated hair has vanished, and women are seeing themselves injecting life and certainly lift into their daily hair do's, with a quick 'I'm running late for work' throw up (but now the 'throw up' meets 'effortless chic' has just become a whole new version of sexy.)
Paul smith

Fashion has expanded into many different styles of 'hair fix ups', with braids becoming hugely popular (learn how to braid in every different way for a new slick feel to spring/ summer 2013. It can be perfect for that cute pin up with out the added hassle of being perfect), along with slick 'gel backed hair' (you didn't think you'd see that style too soon did u?) and the loose, easy to put together, low slung ponytail, which is situated at the base of the neck on mostly all the runway shows. The idea that no extra fuss is made is what has added an exciting spin to all the designers looks, because now we, as the audience, the fashion lovers and the dreamers, can concentrate solely on the extraordinary amazing pieces of art that they produce. After all that's the sole purpose of a fashion show right!?
Jason Wu


BUT it's not just hair that has had the reinvention... makeup is becoming simpler with less fuss needed. :)  Now it's your excuse to spend more time in that warm toasty bed with a cuppa than spending the added half an hour on your 'perfect' makeup which has to last you all day. As spring/ summer trends hit the catwalks from London to Milan and New York, seen amongst the great such as Valentino. Alexander Mcqueen, Chanel and our iconic pure British heritage designer Victoria Beckham. So now you've heard the good news, run out to your local boots or for those who have that added money check out the personal stalls in the heart of London's Selfridges or Harrods.... Minimal is back and has never been so easy.

My favourite products consist of:
Maxfactor's face finity 3 in 1 foundation (this can be really natural as long as it is not PLASTERED on. keep it simple and add like layers, either using a chunky makeup brush or your fingers. Either way should achieve an even coverage. See the website for more help:

*Note: Ask for help in places like boots if you find it difficult knowing your skin tone. I'm an ivory skin tone because I have such pale fair skin but the most important thing is to get it correct for you. No one wants to look like an oompa loompa.

Max factor face finity 3 in 1 in Warm Almond

A lovely moisturiser to use would be Clinique's or if your like me you borrow your mum's expensive Liz Earle products. This woman is a god as she has quite literally made all her products using the purest flowers and fruits with no added chemicals. Check out her 'Skin repair moisturiser  or the 'Superskin moisturiser'  She has also just set up a makeup range which speak's volume's,minus the absolutely extravagant prices that come with Chanel and Dior's products.

Liz earle website:
Skin repair moisturiser

Superskin moisturiser

All hail Spring/Summer 2013.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Is 2013 all about period chic? Downton Abbey's costume's influence the DO's of the fashion world

After a truly patriotic year, the British should be proud to call themselves so as the thrall and excitement of Britain's 2012 year has hit the fashion runway.
Yes general public, the top designers (Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Roberto Cavalli, and the superb Louis Vuitton) in the world have blown their catwalk viewers minds with the latest spin of ideas influencing their clothes and accessories for their autumn/spring collections of 2012/2013. None other than leading period drama, Downton Abbey, which won over our hearts with the love and struggles of Matthew Crawley and Lady Mary Crawley's relationship ever since the 1st series back in September 2010. As an adoring nation of period programmes, it was surely only a matter of time before the artistic creations of the Edwardian times entered our fashion industry.

Long gloves, silk and embellishments were common for the time.
This is now reflected in the clothes of the 21st century.
The most recent upcoming collections have used some interesting and truly accurate, yet with a slightly more modern twist, on the old period pieces of the day as would have been worn by the very best and wealthiest count and countess. The classic materials involving tweed, wool, lace and frills accompanied jackets, coats and long, slim pleated skirts of which would have covered most 'revealing female' body parts.

However, men's fashion is also booming in the style stakes with the latest shows sporting males dressed in tweed hunter jackets paired with the classic take on the common rifle (casual accessories of the modern 21st century) and sporting flat caps where there luscious locks hang preened and shaped underneath.) The Burberry show donned some wonderful outfits with spotty ties, pea coats, smart brogues and a dazzling umbrella to take the sophisticated man into the 'all to normal wet English weather'.

Amongst the rise in period drama costumes, the idea of butlers 'escorting you with your luggage' to your destination aims the most intriguing part of the fashion shows with top designers playing largely upon the 'Claridges' meets 'high end London aristocrats of the Edwardian period'. The mix of the old and the new certainly created a feast for the fashion elite's eyes and made one heck of a story for those keen, eager reporters.
Lets hope that Downton keeps on inspiring the fellow decades. That way the story of Downton can live on.

Thanks and recommendation goes to