Friday, 1 February 2013

2013 H&M Design Award: The Marvellousness of Minju Kim


I've always had a lot of respect for H&M as a global high street retailer, and my admiration for the brand is undeniably high, especially when you consider the support and opportunities they give to up and coming designers. The H&M Design Award not only gives their winner a show at Stockholm Fashion Week, but also a €50,000 prize and a mini-capsule collection to be sold at H&M stores. 
 Much to my delight, this year's winner was South Korean/Belgian designer Minju Kim, from Antwerp's Royal Academy of Fine Arts. Her winning collection, entitled "Dear, My Friend", not only impressed H&M's Head of Design Ann-Sofie Johansson, but a jury panel including blogger Hanneli Mustaparta, Style.com editor-at-large Tim Blanks, Leith Clark, Solve Sundsbo and Jonathan Saunders. 
I well and truly ADORED this collection. I loved how she played with bright colours, different textures and large, exaggerated but soft shapes. It appeared to me as almost an armour, as if the models were fending off their enemies with layer upon layer of thick textured fabric and those wonderful (I want to say metal?) masks. I particularly liked the juxtaposition of the collection with its strong shapes paired with soft fabrics, for example a cropped jacket with exaggerated blue furry sleeves. The collection for me encapsulated the way modern women dress - projecting a strong image with a strong silhouette, but then providing softness for themselves to show their comfortability as a woman. 
It was Donatella Versace who said "Fashion is a weapon that you can use whe you need it", and I think that Minju Kim's collection reinforced this, as she managed to create an armour for the modern woman in the form of bright colours and strong silhouettes. The woman is clearly extremely talented, and I for one can't wait to see what the future holds for her. 

                                            




(Photo credits to www.antwerp-fashion.be/SHOW2012/3/minju_kim/show.html)





Tuesday, 4 December 2012

3 New and Noteworthy Collaborations

1. Damien Hirst and The Row 
Twin sisters Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have launched a collection of Nile Crocodile backpacks, adorned with rainbow or gold polkadots, and even prescription pills thanks to artistic genius Damien Hirst. However, the bags come at a shockingly high price (in my opinion anyway), ranging from $35,000 to $55,000. OUCH.
The child superstar duo are known in the fashion world for their tough prices, but is this a little farfetched? As for Damien Hirst, things haven't been looking too good for him recently, since his works have lost 30% of their original sale price, and a third haven't sold at all. But with that said, the bags are pretty cool. After all, even Chouphette Lagerfeld, Karl's adorable and much loved kitty, has her twinkly blue eyes on them. (Images courtesy of Vogue.co.uk)




2. Meadham Kirchhoff and Amazon for OFW
In honour of Online Fashion Week, many designers and retailers such as Zatchels, Jonathan Saunders, ASOSare bringing out exclusive designs/collaborations/offers throughout the week such as with funds going towards Oxfam's Girls education project - which is aiming to help girls in areas of poverty in West Africa get basic education, or other charities such as Kid's Company and Breakthrough Breast Cancer. Amazon, as another example, have joined with eclectic design duo Meadham Kirchhoff to create a collection of snazzy sweatshirts for £75 each. A bargain surely?! (Images courtesy of amazon.co.uk)
Shop the collection here: http://goo.gl/VcFjj



3. Melissa and Karl Lagerfeld
This one for me is by far the most exciting. Melissa, the creators of (dare I say it) comfortable and stylish plastic shoes, have announced a collaboration with fashion King and Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld to come out in March 2013. Lagerfeld follows in the footsteps of amazing designers Vivienne Westwood, Jason Wu and Gareth Pugh who also designed collections with the stylish shoe designer. I'm so excited about this despite it still being three months away! Namely because it coincides with my birthday. But since the shoes are bound to be affordable as well as awesome, as Dame Viv's collection proved, why wouldn't you be?




Tuesday, 27 November 2012

KONNICHIWA, KYARY PAMYU PAMYU!


It's official. I have a full time obsession with all things East Asian. To be fair, it was a love affair that began months ago, when I decided to learn Korean out of sheer randomness, and the fixation has grown alarmingly. Korea soon led to Japan, and once I read the latest Dazed & Confused Asian-themed issue, guest edited by the amazing Nicola Formichetti - creative director at Mugler and famously the creator of Lady Gaga's meat dress, I was hooked. The issue introduced me to a new world, one where fun and eccentricity reigns supreme. From the stylish streets of the Harajuku district, to the wacky wardrobe of 19-year-old J-Pop sensation Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, it's an explosion of colour, and life, something I think is missing in the Western fashion world, where it's so governed by trends and expectations of what can and can't be worn.  
  I'll admit, things are definitely changing, perhaps I have this negative perspective since I live in Leicester - where UGG boots and aztec leggings seem to be the uniform. But Britain is becoming a breeding ground for fresh and fearless talent. It only takes one look at emerging British designers like Sister by Sibling, Meadham Kirchhoff, and many other designers who show at London Fashion Week, to show that the tide is turning, and that there is still room for fun and freedom in fashion.  After all, didn't Lanvin's Alber Elbaz say it best when he said: "Fashion is not about buying a second skin. Fashion is about having a fantasy"? 
 Anyway, back to my original point. What I love about Kyary is that she embraces the weird and wonderful with open arms, and this makes her INFECTIOUS. Her music, personally, is equally as infectious, as obscure as it may seem to a country that is obsessed with One Direction, and her music videos are super cute, or 'kawaii' as they would say in Japan. The feature on her in that Dazed issue actually made me fall in love with her, and I'd be very surprised if I wasn't the only one. 
  
              







Sunday, 30 September 2012

MEADHAM KIRCHHOFF SS'13 - "LET THEM EAT CAKE!"


 

The most exciting thing about Meadham Kirchhoff shows at London Fashion Week is always is the element of unpredictability, the enigma of their shows. With this season we saw a significant move away from their grunge, disco look, and into a land of luxury and  indulgence, which was perfectly in keeping with their tradition of unpredictability.

Surely Meadham Kirchhoff and Marie Antoinette is after all a match made in Heaven, no? 
 To put it simply, I was practically drooling all over my phone screen as I watched the live stream, and for once it wasn’t just due to the presence of cake. No, the clothes were even more beautiful than the thought alone of Meadham Kirchhoff creating a Marie Antoinette inspired Spring/Summer wardrobe. It was a precession of petticoats, polkadots, and puff-sleeved jackets. The genius design-duo safetly brought the baroque trend back with a bang, adorning jewels and fake pearls onto cuffs, collars, and belts. Thigh-high boots were donned also, many of them embellished with bows or with eclectic woven patterns. My favourite look? The Minnie Mouse tee with the jewel-encrusted collar, paired with an wonderful blue full skirt, blue knee-high socks and hat. The show was fit for a modern-day Madame De Pompadour. Rosy-cheeked, delicate-looking models graced the catwalks either eating a cupcake, or paused to swipe some of the icing with their fingers (never had I wanted to be a model more). And so the phrase once supposedly used by the French style icon/Queen of Debt herself  “Let them eat cake” sprung to mind. I’ve had a massive obsession with her ever since Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette became one of my favourite films, for the costumes alone (more than deserving of the Academy Award for Best Costume Design it earned). Meadham Kirchhoff themselves said that there was “nothing but beauty” concerned with the show, and I’m sure that there were little opinions to the contrary, undoubtedly one of my LFW highlights. 
(Photos courtesy of elleuk.com)









Friday, 27 July 2012

Azealia Banks for Alexander Wang.


 Over the past few months, foul-mouthed rapper, Azealia Banks, has certainly been making her mark not only in the music industry, but the fashion as well. Her mermaid locks first made their fashion debut back in January, when she performed her youtube sensation hit '212' at Karl Lagerfeld's house in Paris to celebrate his new 'KARL' collection, which recently made it's London debut at Selfridges on Tuesday to also celebrate the launch of his olympic-inspired collection to be stationed on Selfridge's third floor.
  It isn't the first time we've seen Alexander Wang and Banks as a duo, back in May, Wang took Banks as his date to the NY Met Ball, with her looking as hot as ever in a custom made dress and shoes by Wang. Personally, I couldn't think of a better collaboration, as the video for the T by Alexander Wang proves. Azealia's no nonsense attitude never fails to come across in her style, and it didn't fail to on this occasion either. As for Wang's upcoming T by Alexander Wang collection for the next season, it looks as though we can expect the usual high standard of his brilliant basic pieces with a slight nod to the 90's with his cute crop tops, I also spied a fantastic black bomber in the vid, which, I can tell you now is going to be on my wishlist!
  As for Azealia Banks, the video also acts as a preview for her long awaited 'Van Vogue' video, and it is deemed to be greater than her previous 'Liquorice' video, also directed by photography legend, Rankin. Azealia took to twitter to express her excitement for the music video release, tweeting that "The van vogue video is my best yet! I'm so excited !!!!!".
    As far as I'm concerned, I didn't think it could get much better than her marvellous music vid for epic track 'Liquorice', but it seems the collaboration between Rankin and Banks is force to be reckoned with. I for one, couldn't be more excited for when the Van Vogue video drops.
Alexander Wang and Azealia Banks at the MET Ball in May



Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Autumn/Winter '12 Trends: Houndstooth

As the upcoming Autumn and Winter season approaches, I'm getting more and more excited about the brilliant trends, so much so that I've already made about 10 outfit ideas (none of which feature clothes that I can afford, as per). One of my favourite trends for the next season is most definitely the revival of houndstooth, having seen colourful splashes of it at shows such as House of Holland - their houndstooth jumpers and tapered trousers are to die for!
 I've been midly obsessed with the bold print ever since Alexander McQueen's AW'09 spectacular show, which was and still is, for me, pretty much my favourite fashion show ever. I was about 13 at the time, I remember being completely transfixed by the theatricality of the show, entitled 'Horn of Plenty', and the Marilyn Manson inspired make-up, the incredible likeness to Cruella De Vil in those massive fur/cocoon coats, and the Philip Treacy lampshade/umbrella/plastic bag headwear. As Vogue fashion editor Miranda Almond so perfectly put it, "THAT was the kind of show that puts your faith back in fashion". 
  I realise I may have gone off on a slight tangent here (as I always do when speaking of McQueen), but I can't help but feel oddly sentimental about the reappearance of houndstooth for the next season, being an avid admirer of Alexander McQueen's work consistently up until his tragic death in 2010. 
  However, come Autumn, I will undoubtedly be donning the dogtooth print, due to the impressive pieces in the high street's AW collections. Counting down the days. 
(All photos below courtesy of vogue.co.uk)

       

       

           


             

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Nail Art: Polkadots

Couldn't be more happy that Models Own collaborated with Wah-Nails to create nail art pens, they are my saviour! So far I have only been able to fully master polkadots and wonky stripes, but there are an endless amount of possibilities for nail art designs. Here are some of my own, it's clear to see how my capabilities are quite limited in comparison to the brilliant nail art designs by the Wah-Nails team (go to wah-nails.com to check them out!):
-If you are also interested in nail art, I definitely recommend the nail art pens, they come in black, white, pink, yellow and blue each for £6 - worth it. The wah-nails' nail art book is also something I plan on getting ASAP to try and master some more interesting/eye-catching designs.