With all the madness of moving and fashion week, I totally forgot to share with you something that really really made me smile. My friends made me the most amazing leaving card ever, in the form of a blog hack! It is possibly the best thing I have ever received. It is ridiculously close to my blog, especially with the silly animal interlude. It also makes me miss my mates, as they really are the best ones around.
*WARNING: This post contains thoughts and social opinions*
London Fashion Week packed up and left town on Wednesday, with menswear taking the closing honours. I am really glad I made the push to make it over here in time to absorb some of madness that is fashion week – it’s sort of a circus mixed with a zoo. What really struck me was the prevalence of low budget DSLR’s (mine included) and girls and boys like me looking to catch a candid fashion moment, as well as capture the characters hanging out in Somerset House. I got talking to a few people (the fash pack are deceptively friendly) and one older Turkish man remarked that the normal people floating about seemed more important than the models, and in some ways I think I agree with him. For my part, anyway, I am as interested in how we the people interpret fashion and arrange it according to our budget and hip measurements as I am in glossy ads.
That said, I can’t ignore the latent narcissism and pure vanity of some of the people hanging out at Fashion Week HQ – there was certainly an element of “take my picture”, “notice me”, “look how beautiful I am, even though I’m not actually a model”. Some straight ups were a little too posed, some vacant stares a little too rehearsed. But the overwhelming majority of people I encountered and observed seemed to be genuine fans of fashion who were there to observe, and if people took their picture, fine, but that was not the overriding purpose of the exercise. It would be a bit glib of me to pretend like I’m not flattered if someone thinks I’m stylish – after all that is the industry I am in – but my focus has always been to create rather than take to the other side of the lens. Anyone with a passing interest in fashion will understand that street style photography has become a massive part of how fashion is now presented in the media, and dismissing it as nothing more than vanity is really missing the point of fashion imagery.
So I guess I’m being a hypocrite and saying that if you get dressed with the sole intention of having your picture taken, you’re an idiot, but if you have your photo taken because you are inherently stylish that’s fine? Yea, I think that’s basically what I’m saying.
Fashion has always had roots in exhibitionism, and I suppose the prevalence of bloggers now makes it easier to point the finger and call people up on it. Possibly we are uncomfortable with the notion of someone wanting that sort of validation; however, anyone who has ever dressed up to impress a boy or a girl or has dressed to fit in with a group is just as guilty of seeking validation through their outfit. And we all have to admire someone who is unashamedly proud of the way they put themselves together – that confidence and brazenness is what fuels the creative industries. Imagine Lady Gaga if she was just chill about things. We need exhibitionists in our midst, a focal point, a benchmark.
I have included some of my favourite shots from Somerset House over the two days that I was there. They have a theme that became apparent as I looked back on them – they are headless. In many of my shots, almost unconsciously, I found myself drawn to creating anonymity by cropping the figure – to create an image that is just about the clothes. Given my feelings on the narcissistic elements of the place, perhaps this was my psyche’s response – stripping them of their 30 seconds.
Ana (ms Ripped Knees) went and sat opposite Kanye and right behind Anna Wintour (you should have heard the din as she arrived). I stood outside and had a little CREEP. Clearly I wanted to be inside, but it was still interesting to see how a massive luxury brand put on their show. I ended up standing beside a security guard who had a radio link to the production team so I could hear all the frantic last minute instructions being barked as they rushed and shoved people into their seats in order to start the show as close to the time it was supposed to as possible (the term fashionably late doesn’t come from nowhere, you know).
I somehow managed to land myself right in the front of the blogger barrier so when the beautiful people were pouring out I had the best spot to pap them. Unfortunately I have no idea who anyone famous is, so I based my shots on how good their outfits were….Soz Sienna, I didn’t even notice you, until everyone else started running after you… 5’8 good looking glossy blondes are frighteningly common around these parts.
Disgracefully, I still havn’t seen the collection properly apart from Ana’s shots from the show – once I get sorted with a job and flat I can focus on the important things in life again.
I have mentioned before how cool I think the Christian Louboutin site is. Oh yea, and the shoes are ok too I suppose, heh. Seriously though, Louboutin is to our era what Manolo Blahnik was to the late ’90s/early ’00s; a man capable of creating shoes that EVERYBODY wants [poor Manolo, now that I think of it. He must be raging he's not top dog anymore]. I guess it’s a combination of good design – both aesthetic and ergonomic, as rumour has it Louboutins are comfy despite perilously towering – and managing to capture the zeitgeist and strap it to women’s feet. I am not sure what the zeitgeist is telling us with our huge chunky platforms and gravity defying heels *, but Mr Louboutin gets it, sticks a red sole on it and we all go gaga for it.
Zeitgeist, apart from being a weird word, is a weird thing. It changes imperceptibly, but sometimes so quickly that while you don’t notice, you just KNOW something is over or fresh. Which is why I love fashion/coffee table books. They document a moment, which may then age, or remain classic and timeless. I don’t need to tell anyone today about the importance and influence of reference material from the past, as our modern world is saturated with nostalgia and vintage everything. But I think I might mention that the Louboutin team have created a new volume chronicling the past two decades of work. I for one can’t wait to get my grubby mitts on it and have a good aul gander. Any book spanning that length of time is always worth a look, to see how a brand remains true to its identity while changing with the times. And in an industry where the slightest change of heel height or toe shape can make the difference between beautiful, relevant shoes or ugly rotten things, that is no mean
Published by Rizzoli, available in bookstores (do we still have those????) now!
*Speculative answers include – we like broken ankles, secretly we all want to be NBA players, we think having truly enormous shoes will make the rest of us look skinnier….
Finally made it to Somerset House today…I’m still reeling from the FASHUN of it all…..Here’s a bit of what I saw.
I am literally so overwhelmed, in a good way though. I knew there was this level of fashion, but I had NO IDEA. Somerset House really is a circus, I have never seen so many cameras in the one place, everyone snapping furiously. I was so shocked that they were taking pics of ME too, I think they must have mistook me for someone who might have been somebody….mwahahahahahhaha!
I was really glad of good company in the form of Ripped Knees. Although the crowd was remarkably friendly, it was great to have a real life pal and fellow fashion enthusiast/nerd to knock about with.
I went to outside Burberry (Ana had a ticket, I did not, sigh), and nearly got run over by Corine’s car. She was gawking at us as we were at her, WIN! I want to say words and words, and trust me, I will, but for now, let’s just look at lovely pictures of kick ass amazing style. I wish every day was fashion week!!!
Today has been a great, if long, day! Had a really fun shoot this morning for my new Jane Alexandra lookbook to accompany my new collection that will be available in Om Diva soon! With the help of stylist and general lovely bird Lisa Lú, and Kimberley and Martha in front of the camera, I am really happy with the results.
Here are a few snaps of the behind the scenes action – getting my candid shot practice in for FASHION WEEK ON SUNDAY, WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
A big big big thank you to the girls, they were all so great to work with – that wonderful mix of professional and super fun. Gah I love shooting, wish I did it more!
Following on from yesterday’s Sunday Funday I have one more addition, that warrants its own post – the Style Swap hosted by the lovely Lisa Lu in The Grand Social yesterday evening. Clothes were swapped, and stylist extraordinaire Lisa was on hand to talk style with those experiencing sartorial mental blocks, which happens the best of us every so often.
Lisa invited me down to show off some of my work at the event, giving me the perfect deadline to finish off some new pieces. I managed to get them done with about 5 minutes to spare (we’re talking Project Runway style last minute panic sewing here) and legged it down to the Grand Social to showcase them along with other designers such as my Om Diva stablemates Tokiki, Aliquo and the lovely crew from Horse & June. It’s still such a strange feeling showing my work to strangers, but I overheard one girl saying really nice things about the new pieces, so that makes it totally worth it!
I actually think I might keep this first dress for myself, I tried it on and I actually really like it! I suppose I should really like everything I make, in a if-you-don’t-love-yourself-who-will sort of a way, but still. This one I might wear. We’ll see.
I know I am beginning to sound like a broken record, but it’s events like these that make Dublin great, and I really feel like more people should take part in them, as they are fun, free and offer something a bit different. If I hear one more person moaning about how there is nothing going on and then they sit at home on their bums watching crappy tv while fun evenings like this ARE going on, well, I probably won’t do much, but I will quietly think less of the moaner. So there.
Things are pretty hectic here in Noisy Shoes HQ, trying to sort everything for the BIG MOVE, as well as finish up things I have been threatening to do for months and make dolla (ie retail job :/). Against all odds though, I have managed to squeeze in some fun times. Here are the things that I have been smiling at this week
It’s fashion week bitches!! I’m excited! This is the first Fashion Week where I have had an iPhone, so I am delighted with myself keeping up to date with all the collections, as they happen. I am so 2k11. Loving it. Highlights so far have been Prabal Gurung, Alexander Wang (obvs), Lela Rose & Altuzarra. So far next season is looking riiiiiight up my street – print & sporty, streetwear shapes. WIN.
image via style.com
Had my going away party on Friday in the Bernard Shaw, and it was lovely to have a gathering of friends all in the one place – pity it only seems to happen when someone leaves the country these days….Drinks were drunk and songs were listened to. Like this one, which I have been listening to this week and I love love love it. If you don’t know Pharaohe Monch, get on that shizz. Odd Future have a lot to thank him for, IMO!
3) Shoe Repair
Ok so this is really really lame I know, and I am quite clearly scraping the barrel of fun to even bring it up, but I collected some shoes that needed a bit of love and now it’s like having new shoes, but better almost, it’s like meeting up with old friends. Pretty friends, that make you feel good about yourself. If I had the time I would draw a picture of a shoe with a speech bubble that said “you look really nice today”. They are those kind of shoes. I’l post a pic soon. In the meantime, hopefully I will feel like that about these babies some day.
image via Fashionologie
Alejandro Ingelmo is my new favourite. I am literally obsessed overnight. Along with these babies, at his Milk Studios presentation yesterday he has these other amaaaaaazing sparkly heeled wedge shoe boots that would make you weep they are so pretty. Oh to be there and be happy and longful all at once. Is longful even a word? is now….
This Sunday, as part of Dublin Fashion Festival, there is a wonderful Style Swap taking place in The Grand Social (what used to be Pravda). While the Festival takes its cue from Fashion’s Night Out, offering events and discount around the city’s retailers, hosted by the wonderful stylist Lisa Lu, this Style Swap is a slightly different take. In the words of Lisa herself, “the aim of the event is to breathe new life into unwanted clothes – reclaim them as something new, or set them free to woo another. Make use of what you already have, or pick up something shiny and new from the pop ups by local clothing and accessory designers”.
Lisa is as lovely as she is talented, and has decided to host an evening where the you can bring your tired clothes and relax with cupcakes, live music (as part of Saucy Sundays), make up advice and demonstrations, and best of all Lisa will be on hand to help you look at your wardrobe with fresh eyes, and come up with different ways of wearing what you already own – creating a new look without spending a penny! Or bring a few bits and swap them with other like minded folk – one woman’s “so last season” could be another’s “just what I was looking for to go with that blouse/trousers/skirt”…..
Someone bring some Givenchy to swap with me?!
There will also be an array of local clothes and accessories designers showcasing their work on the night, if you do feel like having a bit of a splurge on something that you won’t find on every second bird you pass on the street (also known as highstreet syndrome*). I will be showcasing some of my new work, so it will be an exclusive preview, I was putting the finishing touches last night and I have to say I am really pleased with my new capsule collection! It’s a small edit of casual dresses, tanks and tshirts in beautiful silks. Pictures to follow!
seriously though, can we talk about this for a little minute….the cat hats…the prints…swoon
Apart from being involved, I cannot recommend this event highly enough. Money is tight for everyone, and events like these really prove that you don’t need to spend loads to have a great wardrobe – a fresh pair of eyes can be just what you need to take what you already have into the new season feeling confident and happy.
Did I mention that there is going to be cupcakes?
*It’s actually not know as that, I just made it up right now. Catchy, no?
so just to reiterate, if you have some unwanted Givenchy, come on Sunday and give it to me. thanks
Dublin Fashion Festival, our answer to Fashion’s Night Out, launches tomorrow, Thursday 8th September and runs to Sunday 11th September. Which is the worldwide Fashion’s Night Out, so I guess it’s appropriate, and definitely nothing to do with coat-tails. Organised by the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, the Festival offers, well, offers and discounts for all to enjoy some retail therapy in perfect time for Autumn/Winter. And as we all know, the only way to get out of a recession is to spend your way out of it (I did economics in college. No, really) so what better way to get people back in the shops than by adding a bit of fun and atmosphere to shopping and the city in general. Anyone who knows me will attest to my love of all things involving the words fun, party and clothes, so I am certainly signed up to this!
20% off Margiela is…still not gonna happen, is it…sigh
Stylist, tv presenter and general Irish Fashion Legend Sonya Lenon is the official Face of the Festival, and will be on hand throughout hosting fashion shows, makeover sessions and lots of other sartorial insight in the Festival HQ, the old Waterstones building. Everyone is invited to pop in and enjoy the events and the space for the duration, for a bit of inspiration between hitting the shops.
She looks great, I would look like crazy bag lady. No fair
Festivities will kick off on Thursday, 8th September with a day entitled ‘Street Style/Urban Chic’. The day will feature three fashion shows at 1.15pm, 6.30pm and 7.45pm, which will showcase autumn/winter collections from top Dublin stores to demonstrate how to nail the slick city look, no matter what your style.
Part Joan of Arc, part grunge. LOVE.
Friday at the Dublin Fashion Festival will be all about taking advantage of the wealth of fashion knowledge on hand at festival HQ. Whether you want to complete your look with a killer up-style, take the plunge into the world of red lips or get to grips with taking your look from day to night, festival HQ is the place to be. With industry experts from the world of fashion, hair and make-up, equipped with insider knowledge, Friday’s HQ will become a style school for one and all. Joining the ranks of this team of fashion gurus, Sonya Lennon will host a makeover master class to show people how to take your look from drab to fab, in a few easy steps.
Saturday will focus on ‘Fast Fashion’ and will applaud all that is great about fashion’s ability to keep us excited and interested, with constantly evolving styles, new innovations and revivals from years gone by. With three shows happening throughout the day, this is a spectacle that will inspire and delight, and get you thinking about how you can take the next season’s looks from the catwalk to your wardrobe.
Swoon. That is all.
Now, if someone could please get me loads of cash so I can do some shopping of my own, that would be super, thanks.
**PS: This post is also subliminally about black on black, maxis and grunge. Which are are high on the list of my Autumn Winter must-wear list.