Monday, 28 July 2014

Book Review: Talking Fashion

I read a quite a few fashion books. I've said this numerous times, but fashion books in general are my favourite genre - if it is a genre. I've read many over the years, but a few weeks back I picked up the book 'Talking Fashion' by Jan Kedves from the library, and I'm so glad I did.

This book was different to most books about the intriguing world of fashion. Most other books are either 'what to wear' kinda books, or hardcore history of couture books, either of which can be tedious. The concept of this book was basically interview after interview. It includes interviews with Raf Simons (being the most famous) to fashion illustrators, photographers - the lot.

Because it consisted of interviews and interviews only, it was written (obviously) in a completely conversational matter. Not everyone's cup of tea, but I personally found it very refreshing. Easy to read, and not mind-clogging at all. Casual and relaxing - something very new to the world of fashion literature.

Raf Simons was probably the most famous person who was interviewed in this book.
The pictures were also very well chosen and placed. Each relevant to the current subject the interviewee is talking about. Good quality with suiting captions, the pictures were un-faultable. 

If you, like myself, are an avid fashion reader, I recommend this book to you. It's oh so easy to read, and not at all tedious. Also, its very new and up to date. You can pick this book up for around £13.50 on Amazon UK. Its definitely worth the read. 

Saturday, 19 July 2014

3 Picks: American Apparel

American Apparel has been a huge brand for a little while now. They have grown in popularity very quickly, and currently seems the be the 'cool' place to buy clothes. Their very simple, kind of 90's looks have sparked interest with fashionistas all over the world; not just America. They have some very lovely bits and pieces for all styles and ages. Here are my top 5 favourite items from American!

The Grid Print Lolita Set

Colours: Black/White

Price: $88.00/£51.41 
(together, also available separately)

In the very playful cut but very minimal print, this Lolita inspired two-set is a great summer set. On the expensive side, but could be worn many ways. 

Medium Wash High-Waist Jean

Colours: stone wash

Price: $90.00/£52.58

I loved Mom jeans way before they were in fashion, and although I believe Thrift Shops are the best place to get them, if second-hand isn't your jam, then I think American Apparel offer a good substitute. 

Tennis Skirt

Colours: white/black/red/peach/navy/cream (more)

Price: $54.00/£31.55

The rather famous and widely copied Tennis Skirt has been extremely popular over the past few weeks. In my opinion, rather short, but nothing a pair of cycling shorts couldn't handle. 

Sunday, 6 July 2014

New Designer: Silvina Maestro and 'Theorema' Review

The other day I came across a very new and exciting fashion designer - Silvina Maestro. As a self professed 'conceptual fashion artist', Silvina who is from London, is young and has a long and prosperous future in the fashion industry. After graduating from Central Saint Martins, she was offered a job by Givenchy and almost immediately started working opposite Riccardo Tisci. 

Her most recent collection 'Theorema' is a very unsteady and unpredictable collection in my opinion; in a good way, of course. With this collection, you don't know where quite where you are standing, and each piece is very different. All too often, you see a collection based around the same look, and although that works for some, it is very refreshing to see it from another point of view. With merging but versatile pieces, it is one very impressive collection. 

With mixtures of flowing chiffon and structured cotton, and the combinations of modern clean cuts and heritage-inspired bodices, this collection gives versatility and surprise more than anything. My favourite pieces from Theorema are the cloud print skirt, and the one-strapped floral top that to me comes across as Valentino inspired. I also love the long, loose dresses that looks like they could be worn by that of a Greek goddess. 

The collection is different from one piece to the next, but it tied together by the almost monochrome colour scheme, with the exceptions of electric blue and gold.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

June Favourites

1.Rag and Bone  2.Monki  3.Chicnova 4.Blackfive
1.Etsy  2.Amazon  3.Oxygenbotique  4.Jades24

This month was the month when I eventually got my hands on a pair of Birkenstocks! I have loved them as long as I can remember, and I knew
I really needed a pair so I just bit the bullet and bought a pair. Their simple look and easy to wear style makes them the most practical sandals you can buy. I love mine, and will do for many years to come. 

Mandara Spa is a chain of luxury spa's all around the world. For Christmas, I was kindly given a huge set of all their amazing products including shower cream, scrub, hand cream, body cream, bubble bath, and this amazing oil. Oils are not normally something I buy, so I was most excited to use it. This oil is amazing; it makes your skin so soft, smooth and silky. Its in a easy to use bottle, and is not at all sticky. It smells lovely, and I can't explain how much I think this oil is worth the buy.

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS: Not everyone I know liked this movie, and I'm really not sure why. This movie is very popular right now, and the book even more so before. It was moving, happy and very sad. It made me think differently. It's an amazing movie, and I recommend everyone to head over to their local cinema and give it a watch because it is definitely worth the hype. 

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

The Difference between ART & TAT (Part 2)

Back in April, I did a ranty (potentially controversial) post about my opinion of the modern art scene. I spoke about reading too deep into simple pieces of art, that opinion aside, detracts from the actual piece.  If you missed it, you can find it here. I found that post and this post two of my absolute favourites simply because I felt that I wrote with such passion that doesn't always come through in an ordinary post. I've been doing more thinking, and have decided that a Part 2 is necessary to accentuate the original post.

On Saturday I went to a fine art exhibition, as well as a graphics exhibition, fashion exhibition, and 3D sculpture exhibition. It was by no means a huge deal, as it was my locals art's college class of 2014 works exhibition basically. While there, as much as I enjoyed it, I felt rather displeased with the grades some got in comparison to others. For example, there was one lad there who did these absolutely fabulous, realistic portraits. I was extremely impressed. Also there, was a girl that (although is no doubt very talented I assume) final piece was a sheet of vinyl plastic with a red circle in the centre in the shape of a dress. I am by no means belittling her or her work. I found out afterwards that this 'Vinyl Girl' got a distinction, while the portrait painter got a pass. I'm not one hundred percent on the criteria that needed to be covered to achieve this 'distinction', but for a grade that is completely based on this final piece, I was rather shocked to fin that this wonderful portrait painter had not done better.

'Eye of the Storm' and 'An Oak Tree' by Michael Craig Martin
This all rolls back to my original argument, that to me, the best things in art should either have or involve  A) obvious, physical talent visible to the eye B) a deep meaning showing a political statement, or at least critical thinking.

Now I  utterly understand that art and fashion are two industries that are completely run by opinion. There's no scientific facts or no 'right and wrong', but I find it ever so hard for those with a genuine talent in drawing, painting, sculpting, whatever - to be less appreciated then someone with a somewhat crazy idea that someone thought actually works.

Michael Craig-Martin is an extremely talented, forward thinking artist; a man whom I have much respect for. He's absolutely great at graphics, and has produced some really great works of art. I'm not sure if it's just me, but I find it terribly sad that the one piece of art he is famous for, he intended to be a joke, but the art world went crackers for. 'An Oak Tree' is a work of art that included a shelf and a glass of water. I'm not terribly bothered what this is suppose to be, but what bothers me is the fact that this is regarded oh so highly to art critics and lovers alike, but his other visual 2D art, (and so many others) is simply not recognised. Call me old fashioned, but I think it's all rather bonkers.

Because of the whole 'the art world is an opinion based industry' statement, I firmly believe because of that, too few actually express their feelings about a piece of art, but instead label it all these (in my opinion, hilarious) long, hard-to-pronounce words to make them sound clever and educated; to go along with the crowd perhaps. Honestly, I'm only too sick and tired of it.

I'm not saying stop respecting these artists or you don't know what you're talking about, but instead, lets also appreciate the talented people doing the paintings, the sculptors, the cuttings, who need to be recognised too. What do you think?

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Birkenstocks - Love or Loath?

Some love them and some despise them - for a pair of shoes, they're pretty controversial. They've been around for a very long time, and have come in and out of fashion magazines ever since - but still not all that many people like them, which I must admit is completely understandable. They're big, wide, clunky, heavy and completely unflattering, but for some reason they are so naf and ugly, I absolutely love them.

They're minimalistic in the most stocky way possible. Despite their totally unattractive features, they go practically with anything. They seem to go through popularity phases - and I don't know if it is just me, but they're in one currently. There's a variety of styles such as the classic double strap (the pair I have), the one strap, toe post, triple strap and many more. They're also available in pretty much an colour or texture. Also, if you're not prepared to dish out on the real Birkenstocks, you can buy them from anywhere such as New Look, Topshop, even Primark.

So, do you love or loath these shoes? Let me know in the comments: