Started on the 11th April 2011 - Blogging from a 20 year old Fashion Student

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Digital Revolution: Lost in the Pipeline

‘Digital Revolution’, the words have been passed back and forth from mouth to mouth in many different formats. It seems as though technology is on the brink of promise, especially when it comes to integrating it with fashion. Brands such as Apple have enlisted figures from the fashion industry to make the technology seem even more needed. But it seems like technological fashion is going backwards instead of forwards.

Ashish X Topshop

Ashish X Topshop, another collaboration for the popular clothing brand, now an empire of clothing, accessories and make up, reduced to a gimmick with one fell swoop of the Ashish collection. Led lights lined shoes and nestled themselves within the seams of PVC backpacks, dragging me back kicking and screaming to the days when see-through rucksacks had pockets of vibrantly coloured liquid and my trainers lit up when I ran, pressing down with extra force to make sure they definitely did work. I’m all for a 90s revival, don’t get me wrong, but when something is hailed as revolutionary, I expect something a little more up to date.


Trying to compete with the Google Glass, Apple is retracing their footsteps and poaching yet another fashion executive, enlisted to make sure we reach for the plastic come release. Less than a year after it announced the appointment of former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts, Apple got greedy and lured LVMH executive Patrick Pruniaux (Vice President of sales at Tag Heuer) into their lair lined with convergence boards and floating pixels. Strapping a phone to your arm is hardly high fashion though (gym fanatics have been doing that since the noughties, purely functional). Can we expect an Apple Resort collection anytime soon? Perhaps not, but that would be an idea if anyone is going to take this digital uprising seriously, it’s hardly comparable to any historical revolution, unless the Queen gets a bit over-zealous with iPad accessories and pulls a Marie Antoinette.

"Digital Revolution" @ the Barbican

The future of tech fashion has to go beyond LED lights, transcending the desirability of catwalks and couture, and coalesce with our ever-evolving need to be so current that the fashions of yesterday are already ancient. A jejune representation of this could be taking pictures or screen grabbing an image from a catwalk and hooking it up to fibre thin screens woven into fabrics. But with this loss of texture, the designs would seem flat and lifeless – much like a sad fake handbag. With this element of literally lifting from the runway and copying designs, snobbery could be taken to the extreme. The real garment, hand crafted, versus the cyberspace equivalent.

This flat electronic fashion, much like the Paper Op Art dresses of the 60s would be an elementary way of customising, the elitist equivalent of iron on diamante or patches of appliqué. Contemporary fashion has surpassed plain textures and silhouettes, so how could this digital structure really contend with today’s treadmill of maturing designs? A malleable material perhaps? This is what’s holding the revolution back. Photoshop creations will never be as good as impasto art, just as a digital representation of intricate embroidery and heavily structured silhouette could never contend with the textures and negative space of the real thing. We may just be too impatient to find the golden combination of wearable tech.

the Twitter dress

With no sign of wearable tech found in the collections at Central Saint Martins, the students at one of the most forward thinking universities around have ditched modernism in favour of referencing historical movements and hand crafting couture collections, regressing back to the days of intricate textiles. Why this incessant need to electrify one of the most luxurious analogue art forms we have left?

Friday, 18 July 2014

THIS WEEK | Rooms Magazine | 14/07/2014

Catch up with all my articles from this past week ~

Calling all hoarders! The first law of Kipple is to donate, care of Dan Tobin Smith, who is collating a chromatic display of our junk as a comment on how humans use, store and waste resources. 

E x

Sunday, 13 July 2014

THIS WEEK | Rooms Magazine | 07/07/2014

A week of interviews and articles for me with Rooms Magazine! Catch up below ~

I spoke to Shroomstudio’s co-founder, Christos Hatjoullis, about the creative process and the future of animation.

Is animation more than simply an art form encased by a computer screen? I spoke to Richard Barnett of Trunk Animation to discuss the multi-faceted industry. 

E x

Sunday, 6 July 2014

THIS WEEK | Rooms Magazine | 30/06/2014

Catch up on all the articles I wrote for Rooms Magazine this week ~

Scaled by surrounding mountains, the Manfredas produced a track with snippets of post-punk influences - The Doors' "This is the End" comes to mind

As the tennis season is in full swing, I wrote a short comedic piece on Ralph Lauren X Wimbledon

I interviewed Nikoline Liv Andersen, a Fashion designer who toys with the idea of beauty, contrasting her elegant garments with a twist of the grotesque, eerie romanticism.

E x

Sunday, 29 June 2014

THIS WEEK | Rooms Magazine | 23/06/2014

Hello all! Here are the articles written for Rooms Magazine this week ~

Confined [ ] Space pop up store puts a time limit on the license to purchase - at the Hackney Shop

Band, Safe Barracks, launch their new single this July in Hoxton

CSM Professor Wendy Meakin collaborates with her student to emit the message of "Love not War" by creating artwork inspired by Japanese emblems of love, and tattoo art to lacquer the shell of a 1960s missile

Add a little spice to your festival ensemble with Levi's Festival personas - be the envy of Kate Moss with their Muddy Mary outfit, or find your Portaloo Prince amongst the crowd...

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Review: Maleficent / GUISE Magazine

Maleficent, a prequel to the infamous Sleeping Beauty, is in many ways a retelling of our favourite fairytale. Angelina Jolie's soft dewy features are transformed into something austere - but was Maleficent always an evil Queen? I reviewed the film's costumes for Guise Magazine…

E x

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Interview | Christian Cowan Sanluis | Fashion Designer

Fashion designer and Womenswear student at LCF, Christian Cowan Sanluis is also a friend of mine who’s designs have been featured in countless magazines and favoured by Lady Gaga who wore an outfit deemed ‘the glitter tux’, immortalised forever through illustrations and articles.

Constantly perplexing me by effortlessly juggling student life with creating his own collections, I interviewed Christian to see just how he does it…

E: What was the motive for setting up your brand so early on, before graduating as most fashion students and designers do?

Christian: I'm too impatient, I just wanted to do it now, so I decided to just begin. I felt a head start would help. 

E: Designing at home or in a classroom is totally different to putting your ideas out there in magazines or press days, why take such a huge step into the unknown?

C: I always find university themes really constricting, so it's nice to do your own work. You call the shots and say what is right and what's not. So I started because I'm a control freak with my designs; I don't like being told what I think looks great isn't going to get me the marks!

E: Inspiration is found through many different areas of life, something ever changing and evolving. Do you have one driving force spurring you on?

C: I really enjoy working (so that helps). When I was younger I was heavily influenced by nature shows, (David Attenborough!!) and I always gravitated towards insects and the weirder animals. So I think that was my first influence, since then I've just wanted to create fun fashion that makes people feel empowered. 

E: How do you handle your success? Are you getting used to some things more than others?

C: Ha ha! I don't feel like much is different to be honest, but I have noticed more people are up for working together which is great, I love to collaborate and work with someone who has a different skill set.

E: Do you celebrate each milestone? How?

C: I get really excited for like 5 minutes and then feel unsatisfied, ha!

E: Always looking to the next project! Your collections really do seem effortless, you're so calm and almost secretive during term time, there must be a lot more to it than meets the eye - to you get any help with sourcing fabrics etc or is it more of a one man "band"?

C: I wish I had some bit team! But apart from help from my friends when they are round, (I use them as slaves) I do most of the work. Of course when it comes to the look book, video & presentation, there's tonnes of people involved. Which is nice.

E: Do you use the same processes as we do at LCF? Research - initial designs - samples - developed… or it is a totally different ball park?

C: No not really, I collect images I love on my phone, write notes of ideas, lots of scribbles and then draw them up. From there I devise a story to base the collection from.

E: What do you work towards?

C: I want to create a collection that feels young, energetic, fresh and fun! I want it to make people smile and laugh (in a nice way).

E: Do you really follow things like fashion week and go to exhibitions or do you think there are more ways to be in touch with the industry?

C: I always see what's happening through Instagram etc. I go to exhibitions when I can but I don't really attempt the LFW shows, although I do go to the parties that are around as its nice to see everyone - and get a free drink. 

E: Personally, I think that fashion, music, art, films etc can all be integrated, do films/music inspire you? What's your favourite film?

C: Yes, definitely! Music probably influences me the most. I grew up glued to the TV, watching music videos. The internet is a main source of inspiration and video games, so that's definitely where I feel at home.

E: The digital age! Would you ever consider designing for a film as many designers have done in the past (e.g. Gaultier for "Fifth Element")?

C: I'd love to! I just need someone to ask me!

E: What do you think is your greatest extravagance/indulgence?

C: Food. I have the worst diet ever, a lot of snacks come through my front door.

E: Too tempting to pass up, ha! So what's next for you and your brand?

C: I'm just trying to improve on what I do and get my work out there. I'd love to build up my stockists and have a great team onboard.

E: An empire in the making! Your designs are always immaculate, name something you think has been horrifically overdone in fashion?

C: Those Rottweiler t-shirts, they need to stop.

E: And something that needs more 'representation' in fashion?

C: I must say living in London I feel like everything is on show, we can't really complain.

E: Lastly, where's your go to place away from the fashion industry? Be it a place of tranquility or just somewhere a little different/exciting.

C: My mum's house near Cambridge, it's on a farm and her dogs are awesome so when it all gets a bit much I hide up there.

E: Thank you Christian! It was great to chat, good luck with all your future collections, we can't wait to see everything!

Follow Christian on Instagram (@christiancs94) and Twitter (@ChristianCXMCS) for updates on his new collections.

Want to intern for Christian? Get in touch! "Know any sassy people who would be up for helping with my SS15 collection and some extra projects? Send them my way!"

E x

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Return of the Rudeboy @ Somerset House

In a society where it seems as though subculture is a mere whisper of the past, the anarchy of Punk is slipping away as a memory while everyone is pacified by hands fused to their iPhones.

The upcoming Rudeboy exhibition at Somerset House is the injection of gritty subculture London needs. Curated and created by film and music’s Dean Chalkley and fashion’s favourite Harris Elliott, the duo have chosen to represent (and introduce some of us) to the sartorial subculture known for painting the town with urban style and swagger.

Mohair, pork pie hats and a sharp buzz cut were flooded with American Jazz and R&B – British dandy meets gangster, and infusion of notoriety and high society. Saville Row meets Shoreditch.

With a heavy emphasis on Bespoke British and soulful music, a tale of two cultures is realised, ballasted by visuals, portraits and playlists, within the unsuspecting neoclassical walls of Somerset House. A fitting exhibition space as if cast into the foundations.

Return of the Rudeboy exhibited at Somerset House is open to the public on the 13th June until 25th August 2014. Free Admission.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Inside the Industry with Dazed & Confused / Pigeons and Peacocks

The Evolution of Fashion Image Making

"The lecture halls at LCF's John Princes Street site, usually reserved for the voices of professors, was opened to the editors of Dazed and Confused this week for the College's ongoing series Inside the Industry. With an audience of young and emerging talent gathered to absorb wisdom, many of us wished silently to ourselves, "If only success were infection"…"

E x

Fashion and Furnishings / Pigeons and Peacocks

"The similarities between fashion and furnishings are greater than you think! When used in the home, pattern can convert an interior into something it is not. Wallpaper has the ability to cover the cracks in walls and hide uneven surfaces. Curtains shut out the world outside and create a new facade within…"

E x

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Flashback: Ab Fab / GUISE Magazine

As we await the release of the Ab Fab movie by Jennifer Saunders - who has frequently admitted that her procrastination frequently gets the better of her, we must be patient - I looked back on the retrospective of costumes adorning Edina Monsoon and Patsy Stone. A note to the costume designer, we expect nothing less than psychotic come 2015!

Here are some of my favourite costumes from the TV show we love so much!

E x

Friday, 30 May 2014

Haute Cuisine/Haute Couture UN-EDITED

With the release of fashion model Daisy Lowe's “guilt free” cookbook looming, we debate the often over-looked similarities between the art forms we love to feast on (be it with our eyes or with our mouths).

Model turned chef is not a rarity as fashion’s darling Daisy follows in the footsteps of Sophie Dahl and actress turned self proclaimed lifestyle guru, Gwyneth Paltrow (who is now found most in her kitchen, consciously uncoupling egg whites from their yolks) in their bid to become vegan mutations of Nigella (ever so slightly less vivacious and carb absorbing). However, the allure of a twenty something model can be bettered by nothing, the promises of which are whispered to you as your fingers click to pre-order on Amazon. You can be a model too if you just buy my book.

Fashion and food are synonymous with the word ‘lifestyle’ as they are the make up of our day-to-day lives; art forms that everyone interacts with regularly (one would hope). Transparent salutations to this are presented in the form of “lemon chiffon cake”, the dessert mille-feuille of French origins or the mutton sleeve. All signifiers that style of fashion and food allude to the trends of life's great many pleasures.  

Just as designers redesign and take inspiration from their predecessors. Fashion students are taught to look to the past in order to learn and further evolve the design of clothing, pushing the extremities of social ideals, taste and ergonomics. The same can be said of cuisine as gourmet chefs have teased our taste buds (even if only imagined). Unpalatable fodder, or a gilded creation from Heston? Many of us will never know; as we sit at the other side of the TV screen or read the latest cookbook, we may watch the culinary revolution unravel.

Fashion and food are both key indicators of luxury. Throughout history, competitive hostilities between those frenzied by any art form have occurred as they each try to outdo one another. The most delectable representation of this can be found in the Marie Antoinette, Sofia Coppola’s vision of 18th Century France seemed to include sweet delights and raspberry laced champagne as much as the candy coloured corsetry and mile high tresses (tall enough to inspire jealously in the matriarch of the Simpson family). Fancifully handed to us by Coppola with a little help from Siouxsie and the Banshees, the lifestyle was sold to us immediately. The mix of voguish aperitifs meant that a facile life of pleasure and luxury was at our fingertips whenever we pressed play.

Food in film can not only convey luxury but desire also. As an animal instinct one could argue that food is salient to our livelihoods more than clothing, however, it has grown into a necessity just as electronics, cars or gym memberships are most urgent on our list of previously nonessentials. The life of Riley.
   The most prevalent example of food and desire is comically found within the cartooned strokes of Lady and the Tramp. An infamous scene for an animation, filled with ardour and ever so imitable. It is within reach; even the most incongruent of home cooks can conjure a spag bol with limited incineration. Meaning that although less elegantly executed, our own romantic foodie memories can be created (even if they leave us with threads of spaghetti tickling our chin).

It only takes a few evenings of watching Masterchef to notice the trends within cuisine, as easily supplemented to us as a quick flick through of Vogue. Square plates, scallops for starters and a trio of desserts, all heavenly concoctions, yet, so changeable with every season.
   We may review both industries as pretty throw away, but imagine if at the end of creating your masterpiece someone had eaten it faster than you took to rustle it up. A new collection every few months, or a new meal every few minutes? It’s all a matter of taste.

Fashion and food can work well together: luncheons at which the crème de la crème of the industry dine together, cajoling with collaborators and scheming (I see it as more of a military operation than quant dinner party, everyone has their own agenda). Nevertheless, the two can also have a bittersweet relationship.
   I have been told many times that women have a love affair with handbags and shoes because buying them isn’t dependent on whether or not they feel bloated – you don’t need to look into a mirror to gaze at the leather strapping your feet together, neatly framing your pedicure. Getting your nails done can occur pre or post Sunday roast; however, shopping for a date night outfit is an occasion ever so dependable on figure. Meaning that food can be our best friend or worst enemy. A light lunch with girlfriends or a midnight dash to the fridge that leaves us penitently prodding our tummies as the thought of being too fat to fit into our Calvins darkens our doors.
   Previously mentioned model slash celebrity chef Sophie Dahl conveys the dysfunctional affairs we share with food while thoughts of what to wear tomorrow linger in our minds.

It seems that cooking for ourselves has become as quant as the image of 1950s housewives sewing from their mail order patterns in an effort to emulate the Hollywood elite. We have become proprietorial over our kitchens once more in a bid to become the image of perfection, with illusions of congeniality.

Good food and good fashion don’t need to institute guilt fuelled fits of clammy palms. Any aspect of the creative arts should instead ignite fervour to even the most apathetic of people; our lives orbit these art forms irrefutably and so positive relationships are a needs must when the devil drives

Click the link below to read the condensed version.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Film 4 Summer Screen @ Somerset House / GUISE Magazine

My fifth article for Guise Magazine, I can't thank my editor Anastasia enough for this exciting opportunity - I absolutely love writing for Guise, it has been two months already! I have been awarded such a great level of confidence, helping me to pursue my writing more prolifically.

With Film 4 Summer Screen at Somerset house looming, I chose a few of my favourite cult classics (tickets for which can be found -here-) and studied their iconic costumes - a catalyst to their fame? Or simply one of many art forms included within the medium of film?

My next article shall be a review of Disney's Maleficent on the 28th May, stay tuned!

A huge thank you to everyone who has supported my writing throughout the years of blogging and writing as a Columnist for Guise! This is an exciting chapter ~

E x