Last night I came home and weighed my bag I had been carrying around all day.. It was just short of 10kg thats nearly an airline check in allowance. I didn't even have my laptop with me that day! No wonder my shoulder constantly hurts. Daily bag contents include gym kit, diary, note book, make up, magazine or book. Nothing out of the ordinary for a woman in London. I end up carrying a bag as big as a Birkin!
So I really I should use my North Face ruck sack, which had good comfort, storage, functionality and a bit of street cred. However when your wearing a fur coat and/or heels you look abit silly with a North face rucksack. I hate seeing women on the tube dressed in workwear or smart suits sporting a rucksack and trainers they clearly use for the gym. So what's the alternative?
The problem I find is there is no happy medium between comfort i.e North Face and style or elegance. I find Eastpak bags move around too much or the straps fall off. Rucksacks from brands such as Louis Vuitton are too small. Hmm elegant rucksacks... Is this a brief that can be solved? I think Im going to have to try and make BLACK NEON rucksacks or stop using public transport!
Monday, February 22, 2010
What this dashing gent knows about fashion (plus many other things) is beyond belief. He has always stood out from the crowd and has an unbelievable eye for detail plus the ability to convey his visions with clarity. Reading his blog is inspiring. (Kingston must have done something good for all of us, if nothing else it brought us together :)
The Willow Shoreditch opened this month. Its founder is Kingston Uni Fashion graduate, same class as myself. After designing for some of the best design houses in the world a friend of mine has decided to turn his hand to flowers, cake and coffee! The results speak for itself. Beautifully unique. Well done hun XXX
92 Hoxton Street, London, N1 6LP
A visit to the Tate Modern yesterday actually made my heart beat that little bit faster. The subtly of the colours is lost unless you see the real paintings. So relevant to todays design esthetic. Really inspiring, I can feel a new print range for BLACK NEON coming on. A must see for any print, graphic or typography designers.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
the fact that as an 'unknown UK designer' im so not in any fashion week loop its unreal, nor do I have the energy to try to be. I'm much more concerned with how I can raise money to fund production and hopefully create eventual sales to pay off 20K student debit that still looms, plus sampling costs etc!!!! Oh the glamour. Jeeese if only I was the daughter of someone famous! Im not the only one who is of this opinion...See Lara Bohinc's views at Vogue online.
I have tried this ring on and seem to find myself asking the question 'Would this be an inappropriate engagement ring? Answer, Probably but if i can do the washing up in it thats ok i recon! (my partners response "You cant ave that for an engagement ring babes, its not practical and no matter how much it costs it looks costume jewellery"
However I NEVER take off my grandma Muters diamond rings, which are clearly a more practical choice (even though she managed to crack a diamond during her time wearing them!!! War time was hard on ladies)
Perhaps this is more practical...
Friday, February 19, 2010
Not that summer is anywhere near, but the new SS10 collection that Reiss has offered us is amazing. I would definitely wear most of it. It seems to capture exactly how I want to dress right now, classic, timeless with a nod to lux sportswear and not forgetting two of my all time favourite colours....CORAL AND BRIGHT BLUE!! Mixed with a bit of gold jewellery you cant go wrong! I can just see me walking down Brixton high street with the wind blowing in my hair, closing my eyes trying to remember last summers trips with mum to Portofino and St Tropez. A daydream interrupted by "Oi love watch were your going"
I tried these Opening Ceremony wedges on in Liberty in the tan colour which is much nicer than the black. They are on my lust list for summer. All a woman wants, sexy and sturdy. Much like a good man!
These snake skin heels are pretty hot too!
I love hearing stories from my now 91 year old grandma about her time working in the mills in Yorkshire near Haworth 'Bronte Country' (were my mum was born) This is one of the only times she has a clear image in her mind of the past. She cant remember what she ate for breakfast however the stories she tells me of walking for miles across the heather moor and how she use to duck in and of out the machines at the mill house. (Along with tales of how her friend fell in love with one of the boys there, but his leg got cut off in one of the machines) Working conditions in factories is a whole other blog entry!
It make me think of several things:
UK state of Affairs - The wool mills/factories/companies existing in the UK including John Smedley, who were kind enough to send me lovely lambswool for my graduate collection in 2001. We have come to accept that products made in china are the norm but we need to support our heritage, workers and help sustain dying crafts. Which means not shopping in Primark. Our custom should go to companies who actively support UK craft such as www.albamclothing.com
Albam's owner James Shaw is the partner of my friend Tori. Tori is extremely talented in her own right and has recently returned from a stint at one of the top textile houses in Italy. Working on briefs for clients including Dior and Fendi www.torimurphy.com
Jame's vision and dedication to Albam and their philosophy is outstanding. I hope that more companies like Albam and myself who manufacture in the UK (yes a swimwear factory in the UK!!) can keep the blood running through our factories vains.
Fashion is often disposable but style and skills should be passed on through generations. My grandma Esther Dunlop (nee Tweedy) clearly passed a passion onto my mother for knitting (she later owned a wool and haberdashery shop) and my mum has passed on her talent, skill, keen eye for detail and colour to me. Im not just the product of a London Fashion course but years past nurture and craft passed down to generations. Nothing makes me prouder to wear my aran cable knit cardi I asked my mum to knit for me! Thanks MUM!
Our American counter parts - Americans seem to be alot prouder, or shout louder than we do about our brands and keep them going by supporting them. www.pendleton-usa.com founded in 1863 by Thomas Kay an English weaver. Pendleton continue to sell wool plaid shirts and Native American blankets, robes and saddle blankets. Cult store www.openingceremony.us have picked up on the desire for such items.
I truely hope as a nation we can sustain our creative skilled craft workers whilst maintaining our multicultural demographic and desires with all the rich diversity it brings.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Sharmadean of WAH Magazine and Wah Nails (www.wah-magazine.com) introduced me to Anna Laub from PRISM (www.prismlondon.com)
PRISM / Anna's ethos is great. The frames are produced using traditional techniques. Everything is hand-made and hand-finished in Italy. Making eyewear an accessory not simply a necessity. PRISM already boasts great press and stockists. Watch this space!
I cant believe how time passes. 18 MONTHS since my last post.
SO much has happened since then. Yesterday saw the shoot of the first BLACK NEON swimwear collection. It has taking months of hard work, pattern cutting, sampling, sourcing, and researching to get yesterday. I'm so grateful to the people who have helped to get me to this point. The support of studio usage, advice and opinion from 'Modernist'. Hannah Marshall for being a constant inspiration and being supportive of my tears! Marcus Ross (www.marcusross.net) for being the man behind the lens and making the shoot come to life. Model Simona and make up artist Jo Frost (www.jofrost.net) making the day flawless! Also not forgetting all my friends, family and partner who have put up with tears tantrums and questioning the meaning of life! I cant wait for you to see the shoot images, and be able to buy some swimwear!!!