Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Shop Floor Project

Having found Clara Francis' website a real inspiration I found out the people behind the website's design. The Shop Floor Project is a mother and daughter web company where artists and designers can exhibit and sell their work. The Shop Floor Project website is based on a shop, it encourages exploration using interesting links and collage mixing imagery and text. For a real visual experience visit The Shop Floor Project!

Clara Francis

I came across the jewellery designer Clara Francis in London and loved the intricate designs. Each piece is beautifully crafted using tiny glass beads stitched together to create an ‘embroidery’ type image. Later when I visited the website I loved how in keeping it is with the jewellery designs. I like the use of old imagery and interesting layout almost like a pop-up book!
Visit at www.clarafrancis.co.uk

Monday, 28 September 2009


Reem was another designer that I discovered at London Fashion Weekend.
Her work is a combination of vintage mix matched pieces put together to create an unusual design and array of textures. I love the hands-on approach to her work and the combination of different materials. I think her work is inspiring and each piece very different from any other. I think the outfits give a Victoriana feel but find a mix of more modern materials and prints (for example zebra stripes) keep it original and up to date.

Rag & Bow

By now you may have discovered my love of vintage and quirky clothing.
I discovered Rag & Bow at 180 the Strand at London Fashion Weekend. Unlike the other stalls, this stall had a sketchbook with lots of pictures and information about the company (something I had to have a nose at)
However, this is a vintage store with a difference! Rather then you travel to them they come to you, bringing with them an assortment of 1950-1980's hand-picked items! They also plan events on social network sites like Facebook and Myspace so if you don't want one-to-one shopping you can go with your friends to an event! All I can say is what a good idea, and although its early days yet I can see this really taking on!

Tatty Devine

Tatty Devine is a jewellery company with a difference. The founders Harriet Vine and Rosie Wolfenden first began by selling leather cuffs at Portobello and Spitalfields markets. Soon their quirky designs were of great interest and Tatty Devine was born.
I was enticed by the brightly coloured kitsch pieces, as well as the heart shape lollipops.

'this season is all about pom poms, pearlies, brass and buttons!'

Tatty Devine aslo features their badges (£3.50 for set of four) in this months Elle Magazine!

Check out their website!

London Fashion Weekend

This week I went to London Fashion Weekend with my friend Katie. This was also a great opportunity for me to see a selection of smaller independent companies like Rag & Bow and Tatty Devine, and to get some freebies and bargains! Believe me if you want a bargain you will have to be prepared to fight for it, this is not for the feint hearted! However, I did manage to pick up a bag from Billy Bag reduced by 75% much to the envy of others around me!

William Kilburn Postcards

I found these postcards at the V&A shop and loved the intricate detailing. I think it may be interesting to take a section of the image and duplicate it to create a fabric print. I love the burst of colour in each image.

Floral design (detail) William Kilburn (1745 - 1818) Watercolour on paper
From an album of designs
Britain, about 1788-92

Future Fashion Now at the Victoria and Albert Museum

Whilst in London for the London Fashion Weekend, I went to the V&A to see the current exhibition Future Fashion Now. Its a collaboration of work from the 2008 fashion graduates from the Royal College of Art. Showcasing research, design, technical and development process. This exhibition is a real inspiration for me as it showed other students work that I can relate to my own. Something I was particularly interested in was the sketchbook work that showed the process and ideas behind the designs and final outcomes. My favourite piece had to be the fur coat with stripy sleeves and leggings by Jonathan Penn. What I admire about all the outfits is that they all have a very individual approach.

Brighton Inspiration

Something I often forget is how inspiring our surroundings can be. This building I walk past every day to go to work and it was only when I had to avoid the tourists taking photos that I actually noticed this wall. I love the layers of different images mixed with different drawing style and colours. Luckily I had my camera to capture this wall, as often with graffiti it may change over night!

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Christopher Kane for Topshop

I loved his last collection inspired by monkeys, and am so excited about this! For Topshop the collection is based on Crocodiles, with giant graphic print tees and eyelet mirrored designs!
Christopher Kane for Topshop is to be launched next friday the 18th! Check out the online fashion film HERE!

Rihanna Strips Down for Italian Vogue

Extreme Couture by Steven Klien for the September Issue of Italian Vogue

I’m not usually a big fan of celebrities taking over models jobs but I think this shoot it better suited to Rihanna then any other model. I think the sharp futuristic approach really enhances Rihanna’s punky attitude and embraces her individual style. It gets my thumbs up although I think there may be a few too many photographs chosen for this shoot, because of the same set and similar clothing I begin to get bored. I think this would be improved if there was more colour added like the burst of electric blue!

Tim Walker - A Play of Dots

I loved the recent photo shoot by Tim Walker for the Italian Vogue September Issue. I felt it had a very Cruella Deville approach with all the typical Shona Heath trimmings.

Not a Brand Girl!

Whist in Milan I had a bit of a revelation. Having walked miles looking at designer clothing, I realised that today they all carry the same ‘branded look’. It was when I visited the vintage clothes shop that I realised the difference between now and then, and it isn’t just because of the era.

To me a big name designer should be something unique and stylish, something I am willing to spend a lot of money on! However, I found that most of the designers clothing was expensive everyday outfits. For example in Armani I found a plain black T-shirt with the Armani logo on and because of this ‘tag’ the outfit was priced at €70. Neither the quality nor the fabric was amazing so why was it priced this high?

In the vintage designer clothes store, you could clearly see the time and quality that had been put towards the pieces to make them individual. I think a lot of the top designer stores now lack this. Whilst some pieces may still have this individuality in a few of their pieces, I find it hard to distinguish the difference the everyday pieces have from the high-street. The designer has become branded and I find that now you buy a designer piece because it is ‘designer’ and not because of the quality.

For me to justify spending that amount of money I want well thought out design, good quality and care put into that garment. I think designer shoes, bags and accessories all have these qualities but today something is lacking in our designer clothing and it’s a shame because I think this really could be embraced. I am therefore, not a brand girl!

(Despite working for the brand Jack Wills, I am not converted)

Milan - A Vintage Designer Boutique!

In Milan I was taken to a vintage designer boutique. I was able to take many photos (being a fashion student has it's pros!) So many of the garments were beautiful but I particularly liked the Gucci scarf, ti amo!