Wednesday, 31 December 2014

next year's words await another voice

The Good, The Bad and the People Who Don't Look Like Models

A lot has happened in fashion this year. I've rounded up some of fashion's biggest headlines of 2014 and made some hopeful "resolutions" about the direction that I hope the industry will take in 2015.

Feminism march at Chanel 

When I first heard about this I was so pleased because it opened up a conversation about feminism. However, the more I thought about it, the more problematic it seemed. Karl is NOT a feminist and has openly made anti-feminist statements in the past. Clearly he was just taking an important political movement that had been in the media a lot lately and commercialising it to make more money to buy pies I suppose. Yes, we all saw that muffin top of yours at the end of the Metiers d'Arts collection, Karl. I want to love Chanel, but I feel as though Karl has sort of dragged the brand through the gutter in 2014; using only mainstream model celebrities, insensitively commercialising feminism and protest in general and creating masses of outfits for each collection so that we don't notice how poor overall the collections are becoming. The sets for the shows have all been fabulous though; from a supermarket inside the Grand Palais to a Chanel logo shaped island off Dubai. It's not all bad and bleak, but for a brand as prestigious as Chanel, I think it could be doing better.

2015 Resolution: Karl to avoid commercialising political messages and make the clothes he designs for Chanel on the same level as the ones he designs for Fendi 

Rihanna at the CFDAs

Rihanna's iconic outfit for picking up the Style Icon Award at the CFDAs back in June was definitely one of the highlights of celebrity fashion this year. Rihanna has such a versatile style and proved with this look that she was absolutely deserving of the award that she picked up and spoke eloquently about.

2015 Resolution: For Rihanna to keep killing it and everyone to start wearing sheer glittery tops #freethenipple

Nicholas Ghesquiere's debut Louis Vuitton collection

Nicholas Ghesquiere got off to a fabulous sixties inspired start with the Fall 2014 Louis Vuitton collection. The Spring 2015 collection took a similar approach with lots of cute micro minis and an aura of elegance about every outfit.

2015 Resolution: For Nicholas Ghesquiere to keep pleasing our eyes with cute and glamorous Louis Vuitton collections. 

Kendull Jenner bought her way onto the runway

Kendull made her New York Fashion Week debut on the Marc Jacobs runway back in February. Since then she has gone from strength to strength, appearing on the cover of Dazed and Confused and closing for Chanel's Metier d'Arts collection alongside Cara Delevingne.

2015 Resolution: Boycott celebrities becoming models

Cara continued to be the centre of attention at Chanel

Karl Lagerfeld clearly sees something in Cara that most of the rest of us do not. Although she just seems to be becoming plainer and less professional, Karl continues to cast her in campaigns and for opening and closing Chanel shows.

2015 Resolution: Get Chanel to cast fresher models in their campaigns and shows

Jeremy Scott at Moschino

From McDonald's to Barbie, 2014 for Jeremy Scott as Moschino was, um, eventful. I wrote about it here.

2015 Resolution: Get Jeremy Scott fired from Moschino 

Gemma Ward's comeback at Prada

Gemma Ward's modelling comeback was greatly anticipated. Honestly, I was kind of disappointed. Although opened for Prada is a flawless comeback, I didn't really like the outfit she was wearing and she has lost the baby face features she had back in 2007. However, I do love her photographs from the Prada campaign and I hope to see much more of her in 2015.

2015 Resolution: Gemma Ward to walk for Alexander McQueen

Magdalena at Victoria's Secret

Although Magdalena didn't do many shows in 2014, she did walk for Victoria's Secret. Her walk, face and body absolutely slayed. If anything, she showed up all the overly commercial VS angels like Candice. Such a queen.

2015 Resolution: Get Magdalena to walk in more shows


Apparently the most googled fashion word of the year, normcore became huge in 2014. Although I loved the concept initially at the end of the summer and into autumn, it is getting old now. Fashion is about artful self expression and there's only so much that can be expressed with the same white t-shirt and ripped jeans as the person next to you. That't not to say that good quality minimalism is to be frowned upon, just that there's a difference between that and using normcore as an excuse to be lazy.  

2015 Resolution: Less ripped jeans and more art

Rumours of Meadham Kirchhoff closing down

There have been rumours of Meadham Kirchhoff closing down, which Ed and Benjamin have now firmly denied. It would be so sad if they do because the industry really needs their kind of creativity at the moment. However, it is not surprising that the brand lack money due to lack of money. Sadly it happens to far too many young designers. Meadham Kirchhoff's audience is teenagers, but most teenage fans of the brand cannot afford to buy the clothes. If they made the prices slightly cheaper they would sell a lot more. I would pay a decent amount of money for Meadham Kirchhoff clothes, but not as much as they currently cost. 

2015 Resolution: Meadham Kirchhoff to make their clothes cheaper

Happy new years eve everyone! I hope you drink lots of expensive champagne and greet the new year in bed with a model. 2015 is going to be a great year. I can tell. 

Saturday, 27 December 2014

don't let her face be skinned by the sun today

This is the outfit I wore last Sunday. The hairband was a gift, the earrings are from Miss Selfridge, the dress is from Rare, the shirt is from Topshop and the creepers are from Happy (belated) Christmas to you all! I got "The Dreaming" by Kate Bush on vinyl (my main present was Morrissey tickets) and I can't stop listening to it. I also got the Rookie yearbook, a skirt from American Apparel, a top from American Apparel, Not That Kind of Girl, false eyelashes, slipper socks, chocolates and everything I wanted. 

Basically a collection of stuff that I need to put away somewhere. Some of my zines, the Meadham Kirchhoff zine, a Beat Generation zine I got from a boot fair in the summer, the journal I started last week with some quotes in it, some of my mum's old film cameras that I need to get some film for, a cherry flavoured candle I got for Christmas, a shoe that's too small for me and I need to get rid of. And below, a Morrissey postcard I got from the concert last month, The Bell Jar (which I haven't read yet), Not That Kind of Girl, a book about the meaning of dreams, socks with penguins on them and 50 things to do once in a lifetime cards.

As it's the end of the year I thought I'd get out all my journals from 2014. So here they are. Three doesn't seem like much as I usually fill up four or five in a year, but I think that's just because the middle one has lots of pages. I started the brown one at the end of 2013. I decorated it with Morrissey, George Harrison and Bright Eyes lyrics, a Virginia Woolf quote and an extract from an Allen Ginsberg poem. The next one I started in April and only finished last week. It's decorated with torn up tickets, photographs and magazine shoots that I collected during the time that I kept it. I only started the last one this month. I ordered it from Etsy last year. I want to get some lace to decorate it with. So far it is mostly filled with quotes as well as a collage and a poem.

I never showed you some pages from this year so here are a few.

I made this after watching "Kill Your Darlings.". The writing on the right is Yeats' "The Second Coming."   

This one's about this split identity that I feel hangs over me all the time. That sounds very mysterious and embarrassing, but on the left is the deep, literary side to me and on the right is the narcissistic fashion obsessed side to me. I've found it difficult to create a way for both of those to coexist but after identity crisis after identity crisis I told my counsellor in my last session with her 4 months ago that I'd realised that I could be a romantic, sensitive, introspective poet and a narcissistic fashion freak at the same time and that's okay. Both come with their pros and cons, but I'm going into 2015 sure that I fit into both somewhere and that's fabulous.

My Christmas wasn't too intense this year as I only had my grandparents round. This evening Antonio's mum is having a party and tomorrow night my parents are having party so it's gonna be CRAZY. I still have a LOT of outfit posts planned as I have taken photos nearly everyday since Christmas break started.

I was featured in Independent Fashion Bloggers Links a la Mode last week.


Jolly Ol' Style Picks

Merry Christmas (to those who celebrate). How many of you are still in your PJs tinkering with your holiday loot? Or maybe flipping through magazines, blog feeds whatever while sipping that last bit of egg nog? Well, today is the big day. What's next New Year? Now is the time to reflect on giving, gratitude and also what worked for us this year, and what didn't work so much. Take it easy today... luckily there is a fantastic roundup this week to feed your inner muse!

Links à la Mode: December 25th

SPONSOR: Shopbop MR Bags, Gedebe, Kors Bags, Melissa, Bella Dahl, Frends, Meli Melo, Wouters Hendrix, Koolaburra, Joie Shoes & MCM Belts

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Hope you are having a great Christmas season!

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

the twelve days of christmas in style

Happy Christmas Eve! I've hardly started thinking about what I'm going to wear over the rest of the festive season, but here is some inspiration for the next 12 days; tomorrow, the intermittent parties, family gatherings and the new year itself. Merry Christmas!

25th December

It has to be red on the day itself. It's classic and simple. The more sparkles and faux fur the better. If there was every an excuse to go all out, it's Christmas Day. So, if you have a dark red couture gown collecting dust at the back of your wardrobe, GET IT OUT. Some people say that they wear their pyjamas all day on Christmas Day and, each to their own, but I usually screw up my face at those people because who wouldn't want an excuse to get dressed up and look snazzy?

26th December

It's best to go for something that's comfy and warm Boxing Day whilst you nurse your hangover and/or food baby. Keep it smart and stylish though because it's likely that family will pop round again on the 26th, so it's basically like a repeat of Christmas Day without so many presents.

27th December

The 27th is when it starts to get back to normal. Maybe you'll feel like taking a wintry walk? If you have a white Christmas, I'm jealous. I'll probably have to take wellies and an umbrella on a December walk where I live. If it's dry or snowing though, you can't go wrong with an oversized faux fur coat and fluffy jumper.

28th December

If you're having a party or another family gathering between Christmas and New Year, go for something simple and sophisticated like a little black dress. Make it more seasonal by adding elegant, subtle glittery eye makeup.

29th December

Jumpers and chunky boots are a classic winter ensemble as they are both warm and comfortable. Perfect for sitting round counting your Christmas money and finishing off the remaining mince pies.

30th December

Wearing a cute mini dress with ankle boots makes it more weather appropriate. Neutrals mixed with bursts of bright colour make a difference from plain wintry monochrome and grey.

31st December

Start the New Year as you mean to go on in head-to-toe shimmering gold. New Year's Eve is the perfect reason to steal all the attention and wear a striking gold embellished mini dress. Wearing something you feel happy and confident in on New Year's Eve will make sure that you start 2015 with a bang.

1st January

ALC Pre-Fall 2015

New Year's is about a fresh, new slate, so some of the next few looks are in clean, sharp monochrome. The colour palette that I want to dominate my wardrobe in 2015 consists of lots of monochrome, pastels and metallics. Staple, fitted pieces like a white shirt, black trousers, little black dress and black boots are timeless and well worth investing in.

2nd January

Adam Lippes Pre-Fall 2015

3rd January

Alexander Lewis Pre-Fall 2015

If you have another family gathering after the New Year, opt for something smart and chic. Vintage pastels and dainty heels are perfect for this. Stagger your extended family with the smart, well-groomed 2015 version of you.

4th January

Boss Pre-Fall 2015

5th January

5th January is back to work/school for many, so here are some more office appropriate styles. Polonecks will carry themselves through the rest of the winter. I'm sure. Crisp cotton shirts and chunky heeled boots are a must also.

And with that, I again with you a very Merry Christmas! I hope that you each have an absolutely perfect day tomorrow and get everything that you've been wishing for. 

Saturday, 20 December 2014

the last night of the fair

Last year Antonio photographed me at our town's annual funfair, but accidentally deleted all the photos. Last month we finally took some more and, one year later, here they are.

My town only has a funfair once a year and it's always at the end of November when the Christmas lights turn on. This year was the last time I'll be in town to go (for 3 years at least.) I went with Antonio and Poppy and although Antonio's in Year 12 and Poppy's in her first year at uni, we all agreed that this year has been pivotal. Everything's changing all the time at this age and it becomes very obvious how transient things are.

I wrote this in my journal later that night: Knowing that next year everything will change has inspired me to turn everything into an "event." Yesterday I walked home with Laura and we talked about friendships and theme parks. We sat on my bed and watched "Palo Alto" online, only interrupting to comment on our experiences of similar situations/feelings or to say what we'd do if we were that character. I went to the fun fair last night and this evening. Perhaps that may seem sad or odd. But, there's hardly anywhere in the world I'd rather be than a funfair. I want my life to be like a funfair; all those flashing lights, the thrills, the slight hint of nervous danger, the multi-sensory aspect of it all, the attention grabbing displays, the grittiness, the dizzying highs. With Laura, I went on 3 rides then we walked home the long way, past the edge of town; next to the black as tar river. I shone my phone torch and we talked about boys. 

I'm wearing a thrifted coat and dress, scarf that was a gift, Marks and Spencer's tights and H by Henry Holland shoes. I tried to dress to match the funfair, hence the sparkles and metallics and the brightly coloured coat.

Below is an excerpt from one of the short stories I've written involving funfairs. If you'd like to read more, just email me ( and I'll send you the rest of the story as well as the other Concrete Narratives stories.

He turned onto the High Street where a kaleidoscope of neon lights from the fair obscured his vision. Damon’s gang were catching up to him, and fast. Callum dipped into a side street, but they still followed. A waltzer ride flashed a line of pink lights consecutively as it got ready to set off. Leaving thought behind him, Callum jumped over the barrier and as the seats moved into motion, he slid under the bars and was soon spinning round at high speed. Once in every rotation, Callum would be thrust towards Damon and Lydia and the other boys. His insides began to twist themselves into intricate knots as his brain fumbled to formulate an escape plan for when the neon lights turned black and the rhythm of the quick rotation stopped. Perhaps if he stayed on the ride all night his pursuers would get bored and go home. Only he hadn’t the money to ride round all night and, even so, he knew that they weren’t going to give up. This was about power and to leave without kicking the shit out of him would severely bruise their egos and threaten their brutish masculinity.
The ride began to slow down and Callum jumped off before it had completely come to a halt. The greasy haired operator shouted after him, but Callum had more pressing concerns. He slipped between two close rides, but Damon had seen him do so.

Out of sight, behind the rides, Damon got a hold of the sleeve of Callum’s denim jacket...

An excerpt from another short story:

Soon the time arrives when we must leave this haven to enter the harsh reality of the fun fair. It is getting late so the kiddie scene has probably been and gone. Now it becomes much darker with drugs and alcohol and violence settling in and making it all the more exciting. There is an infinite energy and an aura of youth in the air as we trundle down the High Street. I cannot walk in a straight line even when I try. For some reason I keep demonstrating this to Rita over and over again as if to impress her. She is laughing at me but I’m not sure why. I’ve never been this drunk before but it’s a special occasion and perhaps this year I will have the courage to go on all the scariest, most unsafe rides. I can feel strained relationships evoked by love and hate surrounding me. Even the adults appear to have gone home; not wanting to stay where the adolescent waifs and strays inhabit. This is our turf now and this is our night. Although not as much our night as the night of the more popular cliques. We are still the outsiders; the ones that people don’t expect to get drunk other than with some poetic purpose. If tonight must have some sort of poetic purpose then I will quote Arthur Seaton from Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and say “all I’m out for is a good time. The rest is propaganda.” But why should I have to justify myself to anyone else? I’m young and I’m free.

It's now the Christmas holidays but I have loads of mock revision to do so I'll probably spend the first half of next week stress crying into deep-filled mince pies. I hope you all have a fab weekend!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

how did 50 years of feminism end in THIS?

On 4th December, the Daily Mail published an article by Sarah Vine titled "How did 50 years of feminism end in this?" In it Vine explains why she believes that the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show is more regressive for feminism than Miss World. Now, I know what you're thinking why am I reading the Daily Mail anyway? Surely it's a recipe for getting unnecessarily angry? What more could you expect from the Mail except the spreading of illogical information on feminism? However, my mum always gives me articles that she thinks I'll be interested in reading, and this happened to be the latest one.

My first issue with the piece is that Vine's opening sentence trivialises feminism, "equality excuse not to brush your hair." I get it. I opened the piece on feminism for my school magazine not in a dissimilar way. It is difficult to address Daily Mail readers about feminism without alienating them completely. However, Vine's derogatory attitude towards the 'stereotypical' feminist- "it is perfectly possible to make it in a man's world without looking like one"- contrasts starkly to her criticisms of the Victoria's Secret models, who, according to Vine are perfectly groomed solely for the pleasure of men.

Personally, I’ve always thought of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show as a fashion event. It’s one thing to have the attention of fashion experts and interested teens and another entirely for a gross old man to watch the show and leer at the models whilst touching himself when it’s broadcast on American television. Despite this, the whole idea of feminism is about not having to change our behaviour to “suit” male reaction.

She refers at one point to the models as “female flesh”, suggesting that that is how the models are perceived by the outside world, especially to men. However, I look at them and I see successful and empowered models with personality. The idea of models being “female flesh” is repulsive. Vine states that it is “hard to tell them [the models] apart.” Um, excuse me, have you SEEN Magdalena?!

The comparison to Miss World and the suggestion that Victoria’s Secret makes the former look “almost sweet in its innocence” I also believe to be incorrect. Miss World is about pitting women against each other, breeding animosity between women and breaking down feminism by damaging the unspoken sisterhood. Of course the modelling industry is just as cutthroat, but the Victoria’s Secret show itself is fun and the models are not competing for any title.

However, one point that I’d like to discuss/look into more is the idea that society has coerced women into believing that expression of sexuality is empowering, but that that idea is just another tool used by the patriarchy to keep women in their “role.” Nonetheless, this idea, along with many ideas concerning feminism and gender roles is very heteronormative. Personally, I don’t want to over think it too much because I believe that what we find empowering is down to the individual. I don’t want to stop making myself look nice because I’m worried that it’s just the effects of society “brainwashing” me.

Overall, the article belittles the fashion industry and the women who work within it as dumb, vain and undeserving of any recognition they get. YAWN: that opinion is so old. Furthermore, Vine’s criticism of both ‘stereotypical’ feminists and women who work hard on their appearance limits the choices that women have. Feminism is all about choice. We should be allowed to live our lives how we want without any other voice telling us we’re being “too masculine” or dressing/acting to “please men.” Sometimes I don’t shave for a while. Sometimes I diet. Both of those things are my personal choices and I shouldn’t be seen as a crazy radical or a vanity obsessed bimbo for either of them because it’s nobody else’s business. What I really want to know is how 50 years of feminism has ended in women still being criticised by society for their own personal choices, no matter what those may be.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

i wear black on the outside because black is how i feel on the inside

December has rushed by so quickly. I'm trying to feel christmassy but I've got an essay to hand in and an essay to write in class next week and I've heard that you're not allowed to hum Christmas carols under your breath during a timed essay under exam conditions. Also, the weather has suddenly got really, really cold. I don't think we'll get snow this year, just rain, but it's still difficult to dress for.

Wearing one of my favourite jumpers last week. I wear this jumper way too much and everyone must assume that it's because I love everything christmassy and wintry, but it's actually because it's the only black jumper I own. I'm still pleading my fairy godmother to buy me this Rick Owens one. It's so cold now that anything less than a jumper leads to spending the day shivering and regretting not wearing a jumper.

I always wear sparkly knee high socks when I want to add an extra kick to an outfit. I wore them over tights so that my legs weren't too cold. They look kind of school uniformy; an aesthetic that I can only appreciate now that I no longer have to wear a school uniform.

Besides that Rick Owens jumper, I also love this one by Bella Freud and Helmut Lang's. I think it's relevant to repeat what I wrote about black in this post in October:
Black is a colour I always go back to because it's so flattering. It's pretty difficult to avoid wearing black at all. It's in most items because it goes with everything. Coco Chanel said that black is the best colour because it wipes out everything else. It is a powerful colour.
I was just going to add some of my favourite high street black jumpers next, but some of the Topshop jumpers were such close copies of the jumpers I mentioned above that I couldn't not place them alongside each other:

£42, Topshop

Bella Freud, Topshop

Helmut Lang, Topshop

American Apparel, £62
Would look great as part of a preppy look over the top of a shirt and a pair of cigarette trousers.

ASOS, £22
Very sixties. 

Last night I watched possibly the most hauntingly creepy film I have ever seen. The Innocents is a black and white horror film from 1961, but it features some beautiful shots and terrifying music as well as singing children, unexpected ghosts and a creaky old house. What else could you want from a film?

Finally, some music I've been listening to lately is all on my latest 8tracks playlist if you'd like to listen. I hope that you have a good weekend!