Thursday, 14 June 2012

Graduate Fashion Week

Seeing as one of the most anticipated decisions in my life so far - to uni, or not to uni - is fast approaching, and quicker than I had realised, me and the rest of my course at college took a trip down to Graduate Fashion Week last Monday to suss out where we want to fritter away the final three years of our educational lives.... I mean study, spend loads of time studying our socks off for three years!

If you haven't been before, or just haven't heard much of GFW, it's basically a four day event held at Earl's Court where all the universities that run the top fashion degree courses come together and showcase their student's best work, and generally make you want to go to every university there is going. It's a chance to chat with students that are currently studying the courses you're thinking of applying to, as well as the tutors, and to see the kind of level of work that the students produce during their years as BA and MA students. Believe me when I say it's scary to see the standard that they manage to achieve, be it the beautiful illustrations, striking imagery or innovative garments that they all seem to effortlessly churn out time and time again.

On top of filling up the free canvas tote being handed out by those good ol' people at George at Asda (sponsors of GFW) with prospectus upon prospectus, there's also fashion shows running constantly throughout the day, so you can get a real exciting feel for being witness to some fresh out of uni, ground breaking talent. My college booked to see the De Montfort University Leicester show, and it most definitely did not disappoint. As you would expect when watching a catwalk promising to present the cream of the crop of fash grads, some extraordinary and breathtaking outfits swept before our eyes down the runway, along with some, err, interesting styling ideas - cue models adorned with candy coloured masks and fluorescent green strings dangling from noses...

E.L Patten.

I thank the work of Alison Woodhouse for providing the world with the most eclectic yet wearable range of knitwear I have personally ever seen. Every neon tone, and then some, has gone into this collection and the total mish-mash of colours, patterns, knits and textures made me very giddy and want to grab them all to add to my personal ever increasing, oversized jumper collection.

Alison Woodhouse.
Jennifer Anne Plaster.

The knitwear genius continued to flow as Clare Sant's menswear designs stepped onto the catwalk. The tribal prints and colour palette were seemingly predominant in her collection, and teamed with pyjama-style shorts the look was effortless; reminiscent of current street trends crossed with a pimped up Native American tribe.

Claire Sant.

Gorgeous pleating and layering of soft, sheer fabrics in delicate tones at Elysia Yeoh, styled with what can only be described at chic nurse's shoes, made for a very graceful and pared down collection which floated down the runway beautifully.

Elysia Yeoh.

I defy any self respecting girl to not adore a man dressed in a pastel coloured rain mac. The imaginative layering of pastel toned shirts, parkas and blazers by Amanda Salway ticked all the boxes for me, and I'm trying to resist all urges to use such a cliche word as 'cute' here, but my god aren't they cute! Don't you just want to pinch their cheeks? The collection was a successful mix of great tailoring, a few bleached out denim tones plus some surprising sheer fabrics - such a feminine take on menswear was really refreshing.

Amanda Salway.

Charlotte Casey.

Anne-Marie Bradley.

Taking a feminine spin on the sportswear style, Nicola Froud successfully clashed neons with pastels to create a juxtaposition of girly pleats and cardigans with cropped tops, slouchy jogger style trousers and drawstring rucksacks. I'm not quite sure what the idea behind the bin liner-esque bags was, but the odd accessory renders itself an irrelevant point to ponder on when the clothing and styling is as on trend, but still original, as this.

Nicola Froud.

Erin Dafydd.

Jade Clark.

Emily Lowsley-Williams.

I do apologise for the excessive amount of photos, just count your blessings that I managed to be brutal with myself and cut it down to this many! I'm gutted I couldn't take my big flashy DSLR (well, my mum's) to the show, and I had to settle for my compact digital which explains the poor quality of the photos. Even if, like me, you're not interested in taking any kind of design course, in my opinion the event is definitely still worth a visit. Although the majority of universities that attend are geared up for fashion design there's still a wide variety of courses on offer which you may not even be aware of, you just have to be more investigative and ask around for the uni's that offer more specialised courses. In other words, GO!

Keep smiling x

Friday, 1 June 2012

Always like this

I want to start by saying SORRY there's been a slight lack of posts for the last few weeks, I blame it on a mixture of lots of deadlines at college, and just my hectic life in general, and the whirlwinds of drama it brings with it. Unfortunately it's been slightly unfortunate timing that as soon as I ventured into my new blog, suddenly lots of dilemmas cropped up needing to be dealt with and I felt a bit exhausted and uninspired to blog. But that aside, on with the post! I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon and put together a little 'wishlist' that I've seen so many other bloggers do. Not the most original idea I know, but it'll give me a chance to tell you a little bit about a few of my favourite lesser known online shops and brands which are screaming to be hyped up because in my eyes they are quality. 

The colours in this dress from Silence + Noise are just so rich and gorgeous, and show me an open cut shoulder on any shirt, dress or t shirt and I will be all over it! The only place I've ever seen the brand be sold in so far is Urban Outfitters, but I could be wrong! They're prices are fairly reasonable (the sort of price range you would expect to find in U.O) and their whole aesthetic appeals so much to me personally because of their sharp lines clashed with draping fabrics and edgy distressed denim, it's got a sort of grown up yet still youthful and laid back vibe!
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 Okay so yes, this is a boring pair of classic converses. But although I've always owned knock-off replicated styles of the iconic shoe, I've never actually indulged myself in the real deal. This summer I plan to change this, so I am currently scouring the internet high and low for a site that sells them for less than the obvious places such as Office - I know they're there, and if anyone could let me in on the secret it would be much appreciated.
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This incredibly awesome vintage playsuit with batik design comes from an online shop called Yayer, a site which sells vintage and brand new pieces alongside one another. Although attempting to do this could result in looking like a mish-mash of styles and appearing like an online jumble sale, both sections manage to successfully keep to the same young, quirky and colourful aesthetic - I can very easily forget whether I'm looking at the Vintage or Modern page they're so alike! 
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Erm, so let's just say the 'lesser known shops' rule doesn't apply here, as I am shoving a pair of Topshop shorts in your virtual face! But look at them, high-waisted, bleached out, what's not to love! I particularly like how although they have a bleached effect, they're still a bright vibrant blue, not the typical washed out pale shade you usually come across. Next time I'm in Topshop these are definitely being snapped up - I am in dire need of some high-waisted shorts to nicely accompany all the crop tops I've accumulated recently. 
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The final piece on my 'wishlist' so to speak, is an amazing eye necklace from online shop Empty Casket. I'm quite obsessed with middle eastern jewellery - or in fact any kind of jewellery which has come from a completely different country and culture - and although all the pieces on this particular site are mass produced, they have some great cultural references such as the use of the middle eastern 'evil eye' symbol which I love, and generally just some pretty awesome bits and pieces! They also heavily use what I will call the skull/cross/stud/spike trend, but in a much more original and tasteful way to what you will ever see in Topshop, who cash in on this trend WAY too much, so much that it's all getting a bit tired now (not that I'm putting Topshop down, of course!). I'm yet to find a piece of Empty Casket jewellery that I don't wish I already owned, and anyone I've shown the site to immediately says, "This is so you!"
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Keep smiling x