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

Thursday, 21 July 2011


Any of you who don't know me should know I had a major obsession with Florence Welch (which is partially why I had a fringe for about a year). So I was extremely pleased for the singer, 24, when I heard about her recent collaboration with fashion label, Gucci.

Flame-haired songstress, Florence Welch has become famous worldwide because of her vintage-inspired style - described by Florence as "half gothic bat crow winged fantasy, half golden '70s Stevie Nicks white witch. And a smattering of disco go-go hotpants" - as well as her extremely macabre choice of lyrics.

Despite such unique qualities, Gucci's creative director Frida Giannini has deemed Welch the inspiration for the Gucci autumn/winter 2011 campaign, and results are extremely similar to Welch's current romantic stage costumes...


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Just a quickie this time!

Sunday, 17 July 2011



Isabella Blow, who sadly died in 2007, was an eccentric editor who befriended Alexander McQueen and helped jump-start his career as a designer; as well as being an extremely powerful and influential public figure in the fashion world.

Born: 19th November 1958
Famous for: Being a style icon and editor as well as supporting British designer Alexander Mcqueen.
Style Characteristics: Eccentric millinery.

Early Life
Isabella Blow was born in Marylebone, London, in the late 50s. Her parents separated when she was only 14 and remembered saying goodbye to her mother by simply shaking her hand. 

Despite this, Isabella's mother was an influential figure within Blow's life as she recalled her fondest memory was trying on her hat collection -  something which Isabella later became famous for.

Isabella's career did not begin properly until the early 1980s when she was introduced to Anna Wintour (the fashion director of Vogue's U.S. edition). Wintour immediately hired Isabella as her assistant which began her fashion career; Blow thrived in New York, befriending affluential artisans such as Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

In 1986, nine years after moving to New York, Blow returned to London to work for Michael Roberts (editor of Tatler and The Sunday Times Style Magazine).

Blow married her second husband in 1989, changing her name from Broughton to Isabella Blow. Her friendship with milliner Philip Treacy began when she commissioned him for her wedding headdress - and so a "fashion relationship was forged". 

Soon after this friendship, Blow began to wear Treacy's hats regularly, they soon became part of her individual style. In a 2002 interview, Isabella Blow explained why she wore her hats (not for a practical reason) but, 

" keep everyone away from me. They say, Oh, can I kiss you? I say, No, thank you very much. That's why I've worn the hat. Goodbye. I don't want to be kissed by all and sundry. I want to be kissed by the people I love"

Blow was soon becoming known for her individual sense of style and  always seemed extremely fashion forward. Isabella's most famous "findings" were model Sophie Dahl (granddaughter of famous British author Roald Dahl) and Lee "Alexander" McQueen.

Lee McQueen (whom is known famously as Alexander McQueen, renamed by Isabella) was found by Blow as a student. She purchased his entire graduate collection for £5,000, paying it off in weekly £100 installments. This collaboration grew into a strong friendship and both McQueen and Blow helped eachother in their careers in the fashion world.

Isabella Blow's style has been defined simply by her outlandish millinery, which has more recently influenced others in the public eye (most notably Lady Gaga).

Illness & Death
Sadly, Isabella was nearing the end of her life in the new millenium. After a succession of events and attempts at committing suicide, Isabella Blow died on the 7th May 2007, aged 48.

McQueen & Blow

Saturday, 16 July 2011



Ossie Clark was a fashion designer most famous for his fashion designs in the swinging 60s. He predominantly focused on womenswear, however, designed some pieces for Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones.

Born: 9th June 1942
Famous for: Influential English fashion designer - often likened to Biba and Mary Quant.
Style Characteristics: Drapery, bold prints, Romanticism.

Early Life
Ossie Clark was an extremely influential fashion designer during the 1960s. It became apparent that he had a keen interest in fashion when he was a child as he often made clothes for his nieces and nephews, practised tailoring techniques on dolls and designed swimsuits for his neighbours - all before his tenth birthday. Raymond 'Ossie' Clark's secondary school recognised his passionate flair and fed his creativity by introducing him to magazines such as Harper's Bazaar and Vogue.

Although Ossie did not study fashion until university, he recalled his time studying architecture at school as 'invaluable' as it taught him about structure and form - all skills which he would later use as a fashion designer.

Ossie graduated successfully from art school in 1965 and had his first feature in Vogue within the same year. At the time, Clark's designs were heavily influenced by Pop Art and Hollywood Glamour which was fast becoming a modern concept in music, film and art. Ossie's designs were so innovative that he caused a stir in the fashion world.

The Golden Years: 1965-1974
During the mid 60s, Ossie became more well known within the fashion world, there was a great demand for his designs and he became known as the "King of the King's Road". It was during this time that Clark developed his flamboyant and romantic style which was later to be paired with his future wife, Celia Birtwell's textile designs.

Ossie was extremely popular, not only in London, he had also conquered New York and Paris. His popularity grew through dressing the rich and famous and adopted clients such as Marianne Faithfull, the Beatles, and most famously Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones. These bold stage costumes were often dissimilar to his romantic, floaty commercial designs as the jumpsuits he designed for Jagger were tight fitting and hardly decorated.

Celia Birtwell
Celia Birtwell and Ossie Clark met in Manchester in 1959, they married ten years later after their creative collaboration for the boutique Quorum. Birtwell's textiles featured vibrant patterns which were inspired by the natural world, much like the Art Nouveau movement earlier in the century. Celia produced the textiles and designed her own fabrics while Clark designed the structure of the garment. This collaboration worked well as the outcome was highly refined (Celia's skills lay in textiles whereas Clark was more interested in structure).

Although Ossie was still designing in the 1980s his popularity had diminished due to the fact that the King's Road had been dominated by Vivienne Westwood and her punk designs. Clarks romantic gowns were no longer desirable and so he soon became bankrupt as the fashion movements changed.

Ossie Clark was married and had expressed his wishes for a large family, however, there were accounts of him having homosexual relationships.

In 1996, 54 year old Ossie Clark was stabbed to death in his flat in Chelsea, London by a former lover, Diego Cogolato. Cogolato was convicted of manslaughter and jailed for a mere six years. Ossie Clark, another one of the greats who died prematurely.

In 2007, the name Quorum was purchased by Marc Worth and the label "Ossie Clark" was relaunched.

Since his death, many fashion designers (such as John Galliano, Christian Lacroix, Dries Van Noten and Prada), have noted Ossie Clark as being highly influential.

To this day, original Ossie Clark pieces are extremely sought after.

Sunday, 3 July 2011



Yohji Yamamoto was told that “White is the absense of colour, but black is the presence of all colours” – this is ultimately the reason for his favouring of black fabrics.
Born: 3rd October 1943
Famous for: Being an internationally known fashion designer, based in Tokyo and Paris.
Style Characteristics: Experimentation with silhouette and black fabrics.
Early Life
Yohji Yamamoto was born in Tokyo, Japan and originally attended Keio University. He graduated with a law degree, however, he felt the need to change career paths in the late 60s. The reason for this was predominantly to help his mother by working in her dress shop. He began his journey through the fashion world by attending the Bunka Fashion College.

After the Second World War, the college developed into an institution in order to meet the needs of a rapidly changing society. Ready to wear fashion was becoming more readily available and so the industry had to evolve to meet the needs of modern consumers.

Bunka shifted its main focus from tailoring to training commercial fashion designers and became known as a revolutionary learning facility as it was the first Japanese fashion college to open its doors to male students.

Yohji Yamamoto (as well as Kenzo Takada) is one of the most notable graduates, as he is now celebrated worldwide for his innovative designs - paving the way for future designers.

Fashion Career & The Brand
After graduating, Yamamoto worked as a freelance designer until the early 70s when he decided to start his own womens' clothing line, Y.

After establishing his clothing line with womenswear, Yamamoto created Y for men in 1979 - broadening his target market.

Yohji Yamamoto's clothing line soon became a brand, as, like many fashion designers, Yohji presented his signature perfumes for men and women in the early 90s.

One of the highlights of Yohji's career was in 2003 when he presented his ready-to-wear collection in New York Fashion week which was received extremely well and led to his reputation as an international designer.

In January 2011, Yamamoto celebrated the anniversary of his 10 year collaboration with Adidas (who felt they needed a more individual range of shoes and sportswear).

Processes and Techniques
Yamamoto is known for his experimental use of processes and techniques as a way of decoration/utility within his designs.

Fabrics are an important factor within any design process as they determine how the garment acts and reacts to the wearer. Yamamoto's preference for heavy fabrics and textiles which are not generally utilised in womenswear, high fashion or even clothing in general lends distinguishing characteristics to his designs.

Techniques such as embroidery, screen printing, Shibori* and Yuzen** are frequently used within Yamamoto's menswear garments as he tries to subvert people's perceptions of what men and women should wear.

"Fabric is everything. Often I tell my pattern makers, 'Just listen to the material. What is it going to say? Just wait and the material with probably tell you something'" Yohji Yamamoto

*Shibori is a particular method of dyeing cloth by binding small areas with thread in order to isolate areas to be died - beads can also be introduced to create shapes when steamed with the fabric.

**Yuzen is also a dyeing technique which originated in Kyoto in the 1700s. It was traditionally used for Kimonos and consists of over 20 steps (including, design, drawing, glueing, dyeing and decorating).