Wednesday, 31 July 2013

90's fashion revival...but why?

90's Fashion trends.

It won't come as a shock to most of you when I point out that we are in the midst of 90's revival and have been for some time. It seems that fashion, film and music have all been building up to this point for the past few years. Crop tops, bomber jackets, printed silk shirts, platforms, jelly shoes and even scrunchies have all made their way back onto the catwalk and into our wardrobes. I, for one, never thought I would see a scrunchie again, but I found myself several weeks ago in American Apparel purchasing one, fluorescent yellow of all colours. I also now own not 1, not 2, but 8 different crop tops in a variety of styles, colours and sleeve lengths. If this is what we, as customers are buying, then it is undeniable that the 90's are back.

crop top, topshop crop,printed crop, 90's crop
Crop tops currently in stock on the British high street from Topshop, River Island and ASOS.

Footwear in particular has begun to mimic that of a previous generation. In the 90's platform shoes were huge, in terms of popularity and in the more literal sense. Championed by girl power group the Spice Girls, and splashed all over the media, everyone wanted a pair. I distinctly remember having a pair of double function platform trainers that I absolutely loved, they also turned into roller skates. Imagine my horror/delight(those two are so often closely intertwined) when I found some roller flatforms on Nastygal yesterday.

roller shoe, flatform, 90's, footwear, platform trainer
Roller shoes then and now.

Flatforms seem to be the 2013 take on the 1990's platform trend, much more functional but maintaining the same aesthetic.

The evolution of the platform.

The jelly shoe has also made a huge comeback this year and was the footwear of choice for the models at Graduate fashion week!All of these items have memories from childhood tied to them, as soon as I see/hear about jelly shoes I can instantly picture my childhood friends and I in our primary school playground, blue and white checked summer dresses, frilly ankle socks and clear glittery jelly shoes- brownie points if they were heeled. Maybe that's why this generation is so enamored with the 90's- every 90's garment/song/shoe has a memory attached to it!

90's shoes, jelly shoes, jelly sandals, glittery

This revival isn't restricted to fashion alone, it has affected our music too. With every nightclub now feeling obligated to host a 'Cheesy' 90's night, it's no wonder Britain is feeling nostalgic. Last week, in fact, I went to a 90's night in Angel, clad in my crop top and yellow scrunchie (could I be more of a 90's cliche!) I danced away to 90's classics like Whigfield, Eiffel 65 and TLC and I am unashamed to say that I absolutely loved it!As a decade the 90's was all about having fun; experimenting with gaudy prints and listening to upbeat pop music, but why is it suddenly making such a huge comeback?Is it because we need some more fun injected into our lives?

The AMA(American Marketing Association)has identified that fashion trends are part of an endless cycle and that this cycle repeats itself approximately every 20 yrs, but why does this happen? Do we just run out of creativity and feel the need to channel some from the past? Or are we constantly pining for the trends of the previous generation?

In Britain street trends seem to be started by young adults born in the late 80's/early 90's which could explain why we are seeing a revival of 90's fashion. It appears that we are obsessed with the clothing trends of the previous generation. Perhaps this is because the fashion trends from our childhood had an exclusivity- because we were young we couldn't be part of them!Maybe the 90's revival, and all revivals of previous fashion trends, actually demonstrates a generation experiencing what they feel they missed out on?

Wayne Hemmingway, along with a group of researchers from the University of Wolverhampton, found that the early 90's(1990-92) can now be labelled as vintage. He also observed that trends can only be viewed as vintage when we have had a significant amount of time and retrospect to evaluate them properly. The time period he gives for this evaluative period is 20 years- the equivalent of a family generation.

There are very few things our decade has in common with the 90's, but one thing that could have inadvertently affected trends in fashion could be the economy. According to an article in the Telegraph, "Britain is uniquely vulnerable to the deepest economic slump since the recession of the 1990's" Is this the common denominator between the two decades?Are we subconsciously associating our current economic climate with the recession of the 90's and dressing in a similar way as a result of this?
Perhaps this is why there has been such an increased love for vintage clothing?The economy has taken a dip leading to financial insecurity. Generally if we feel insecure about something we try and find security in another area. Could this be the case in terms of fashion?Vintage clothing provides reassurance and familiarity, maybe we even make subconscious links between vintage clothing and our childhood. As the 90's are now considered vintage, it could be asserted that the dip in the economy has caused people to flock to vintage stores, buying garments from the 90's and leading to a 90's fashion revival.

"This is for the over achievers and the self believers"-Dirty London + Typical freaks

foever21, flatforms, 90's, fashion, trends, trending, printed, textiles, fashion, high shtreet, graphic, rucksack, egyptian
T-shirt(£25.00), Necklace(£20.00)Typical Freaks, Shoes(£24.94), Rucksack(£20.00) Dirtysaint at ASOS marketplace, Crystal print leggings(£8.75)Forever21.
Oh how I wish I was wearing this outfit today!The beauty of the graphic tee is that it is such a versatile garment and can either be dressed up or down depending on how you accessorize it. As most of my style posts are things I would wear to work, I've opted for dressing the top down by teaming it with an amazingly priced pair of crystal print leggings from Forever21, a vintage black rucksack(who doesn't love a good rucksack!) and some studded white flatforms. 

Anyone who knows me is aware of my love/obsession/borderline fetish for big statement necklaces- it's very rare for me to leave the house without wearing one. So, of course, this outfit, would be incomplete without a necklace. While looking on the Typical Freaks website(see below for details) I came across this Egyptian scarab beetle pendant. I love anything with a historical reference, not so secret history geek that I am, and Egyptology has always fascinated me. I also love the colour of this laser engraved necklace as it changes colour in different lights.

This graphic tee is from new brand Dirty London, who specialize in creating unique graphic print t-shirts combining excellent photography and well thought out text. Their brand message is all about standing out, non-conformity and believing in yourself against all odds-such an excellent message!Here is the text from the 'About' section of their website:



One of the things I love about this brand is that every garment has a thought provoking quote tied to it providing a background story. For this style post I have chosen a tee depicting a figure with flowers and birds(the universal symbol for freedom) exploding from the head.This top comes with the following quote: 

"Logic will get you from A-Z, imagination will get you everywhere."

This quote is ideal for my current mood. This morning I woke up, looked at the weather and thought "Creativity is not going to come naturally today"- we all have these days, but seeing this quote has reminded me not to lose my imagination as imagination is the key to creativity!

New Brand:Typical Freaks

A little while ago I featured the style blog of Helena from, I loved the floral and fruity matching two pieces her mum had made her and was desperate to get my hands on something similar. While browsing around the Brick Lane markets on Sunday I was fortunate enough to come across a stall which sells similar garments. 

fruit print, watermelon, sushi, geometric necklace, statement necklace, flamingo, botanical trend, ss14, matching two piece
Add caption

Typical freaks belongs to design duo Sonia Xiao and Seun Ade-Onojobi, both of whom studied fashion at the University of the Arts( Xiao at London college of fashion and Seun at Central St. Martins). Their collection includes their own laser cut  jewellery collection along with matching two piece sets with prints inspired by everything from  tropical birds and fruit inspired prints(the watermelon print being a particular favourite of mine) to yellow cabs and sushi. These sets are are perfect for the botanical trend predictions for next Spring/Summer and I will definitely be investing in one!

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Mary Katrantzou's SS14 Collection and interview with Ryan Wayne( recent print designer at Mary Katrantzou)

"What I would wear today if I could..."

style blog, style, streetstyle, london, mary katrantzou, zara, nastygal,etsy, ASOS
Jumper(£36.00)Topshop, Trousers(£29.99) Zara, Necklace(£15.00)Etsy, Bag(£34.99) Anabella-Rose on ASOS Marketplace. Shoes(£64.09) Nastygal.

These printed trousers from Zara take obvious inspiration from Mary Katrantzou's AW13 collection with their dark moody colour palette and manipulated tree branch imagery! I am really happy to see that high street chains are being inspired by this collection as I have recently carried out a freelance brief inspired by Katrantzou's ink wash backgrounds and tree branches, hopefully this means the prints will sell.

 The weather isn't too great today so I have traded in the strappy cami top for a basic piece of lilac knitwear which brings out the small areas of lilac in the trousers and brightens up what could be a really dark outfit. I have chosen more flatforms(the obsession continues) to wear with this outfit, I love the holographic strap on these and think the white platform on the shoe prevents the outfit from looking too wintery. 

Mary Katrantzou, digital print, branches, AW13, FALL13, British designer
Details from the Katrantzou AW13 collection.

As you may be able to tell, I am in constant awe of Mary Katrantzou's digital prints and her Resort 14 collection completely lives up to what we have come to expect!Bold colours, immense amounts of detail and body contouring print placements, if these are the resort looks, I can't wait to see what she has lined up for her SS14 collection.

Mary Katrantzou, SS14, floral, flowers, print, digital print, brightly coloured, British design, resort, collection
Mary Katrantzou's Resort 14 collection.

Interview with Ryan Wayne(Senior Print Designer at Peter Pilotto) 

Before I started my current job I was due to carry out a 4 week internship at Mary Katrantzou, where I would have been working on the Resort 14 collection shown above. After seeing the completed collection and the amazing print designs I am a little envious that I was unable to be part of the creation process, sadly my bank balance at the time demanded that I take the paid job over the internship. Despite this I have stayed in contact with Ryan Wayne, who used to be Head of Print at Mary Katrantzou. Ryan has recently taken a job as Senior Print Designer at another of my favourite design teams-Peter Pilotto.

As a graduate I know I found it extremely difficult to break into the fashion industry. I worked night shifts in a Textiles factory for 4 months hoping that it would get me that little bit closer to achieving my dream of moving to London and having a design career.It is so difficult not to give up after graduating and the realization that, actually, the hard work hasn't even begun yet is quite hard to swallow. I thought that it would be really interesting, as part of this blog, to interview designers in a variety of different areas of fashion in an attempt to find out how they got to the position they currently hold and what advice they would give to new graduates and designers. Ryan Wayne is the first of these interviews!


M-Me     R-Ryan Wayne

M: Have you always wanted to work in the fashion industry?If not what made you want to work in this area?

R: Since I was about 15. But realized at about 20 I just wanted to do surface design and textiles. I was more a fine arts person than fashion but because I had the knowledge of making garments it just happened that way. 

M. What was your first role in the fashion industry?

R: An intern. I don't think there's any other way to get in our industry and I don't know anyone that didn't start out as one. But my first paid job was a print designer for Mary Katrantzou. 

M: Did you do any work placements/ internships before your first job?If so, where?

R: About a million! I interned or 'assisted' for Jane McMillan, Jonathan Saunders, Oxford Apparel in NYC, and Mary. 

M: What made you decide to move from Mary Katrantzou to Peter Pilotto?

R: I was a manager at Mary's and with any company I think the higher your position gets the less design and artwork you actually get to do because you're busy with emails and printers and the day to day. Moving to Peter has allowed me to get back to the creative side and also it's a different aesthetic which is very refreshing and challenging. 

M: Do you do any personal work outside of your full time job?If yes, what type of work do you?

R: I mess around with mixed media compositions and more artwork involving printing and photography. No fabric or fashion! It keeps me from becoming totally consumed. 

M: What are your main sources of inspiration?

R: It might sound strange but I get a lot of inspiration from my home and interior design type blogs like Apartment Therapy(
It's something about the different applications of print and colour an the arrangements. I've never really been able to find inspiration directly from fashion and fashion designers. But then again I'm a printer not a womenswear designer. 

M: What advice would you give to people who have just graduated?

R: Intern if you can, but if you've thought about doing your own thing do it now because its harder when you grow up and it's riskier to take that leap. It's grim out there and that's just the honest truth. But if this is really what you want to do you really have to persevere and eventually it will happen. 

M: What new upcoming designers have caught your attention and what trends will you be following in AW13 and SS14?R: Kenzo definitely. That being said I really like Opening ceremony too. I also really liked Givenchys recent couture show. But usually I'm a bit more minimal in my tastes. Peter pilottos SS14 should be great!

M: What do you think about British street style?Do you think it is influenced by the catwalk or do you think high end designers are inspired by street style?

R:This is a question that could be taken on for discussion for hours. But very simply I believe in the trickle down effect. Meryl Streep really did say it best in 'The Devil Wears Prada'. However there are subcultures (or streetwear) of fashion that exist and occasionally inspire a designer to go in a certain direction. I'll stop there. 

The Meryl Streep quote being referred to here is:

" You go to your closet and you select...... that lumpy blue sweater, for instance because you're trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don't know is that that sweater is not just blue, it's not turquoise. It's not lapis. It's actually cerulean. And you're also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves Saint Laurent... wasn't it who showed cerulean military jackets? ... And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. And then it, uh, filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic casual Corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin."

M: Where is your favourite place to shop and why?

R: Ha. I actually just bought my yearly crop of shoes. I'm not a big shopper. I don't like having to be rushed in with crowds so I'm more an online shopper. COS is a big one for me because its minimal but really nice materials and cuts. But if I could afford it it'd probably be Jil Sander and Kenzo. 

Givenchy's AW13 collection, Kenzo advertisement poster, Meryl Streep's character Miranda Priestly from  'The Devil wears Prada'.

Ryan Wayne is a living testament to the simple fact that if you want to 'make it' in the fashion industry, particularly as a textiles/print designer, you have to work hard (sometimes for free)and you need to persevere.

Monday, 29 July 2013

"What I would like to wear today..." Red Leatherette

For the first time on my blog the "What I would like to wear today..." style post is actually in line with what I have chosen to wear...minus the shoes...and the bag...

Off shoulder crop top(£12.00)Miss Selfridge, Shoes(£45.00) Topshop, Silk dungarees(£25.00) Red Leatherette, Necklace(£10.00) Primark, Bag(£19.99)

Yesterday I went for a little totter down to Brick Lane and the Truman brewery, probably one of the most exciting and lively places to go on a Sunday morning with markets galore. Among the vintage garments and accessories I saw these beautiful printed silk dungarees by Red Leatherette,they immediately caught my attention and of course I had to buy them!

Red Leatherette is a brand which embodies easy to wear garment styles with amazing bright geometric prints!After speaking to the owner I found out that they have actually only been set up for a few months and work on their garments from home, all the more amazing seeing how well the garments are finished!I would love to be able to direct you to their website so you can get your hands on some of their clothing but I haven't been able to find one. They do however sell their range at the Laden showroom on Brick Lane ( and in the basement market of the Old Truman Brewery every Sunday!

Below are some photos of their stall on Brick Lane and close ups of their garments and label.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

BP Portrait Award- Exhibition review!

Firstly I would like to ask my readers a favour.....I have recently entered a blogging competition to take over the well known Fashion156 blog for a whole week. This would be such an amazing opportunity to not only promote my blogging skills and my own work, but it would also bring a lot more traffic to my personal blog(textilecandy). 
I have been fortunate enough for my blog concept to be chosen as 1 of the 7 finalists but the winner will now be decided on who gains the most votes! Below is a link for the competition, if you like reading this blog then please vote for my concept by commenting-Concept 1: Becky Burns!Thanks :)

Exhibiton Reviw: BP Portrait Award!

I have been waiting to go to the National Portrait gallery to see this exhibition since its opening on 20th June and I can honestly say that it didn't disappoint!

Left: Advertisement poster for the exhibition, Right: 'Pieter' by Suzanne du Toit- prizewinner.

The BP Portrait Award exhibits the portraits of 55 artists from around the world, one of which is given a £30,000 prize. This year the prize money went to Boston painter Suzanne du Toit for her portrait of her eldest son. Although her portrait is technically sound, it was not my favourite. There are so many amazing works of art at the exhibition this year but, to avoid rambling enthusiastically, I have limited myself to 3 to write about!

'Mrs.Damon and Mrs.Healey' by Teri Anne Scoble.

Although there was an abundance of technically brilliant photo-realist style painters, the portraits that caught my attention all captured the subjects' personality in their work. One of the first paintings of the exhibition that did this was of two old women sat in hairdressing chairs (Mrs. Damon and Mrs. Healey by Teri Anne Scoble). Of all the portraits in the exhibition this is the one that exudes most personality. The conversation the two women are having is so animated that it is almost audible and, as a viewer, you find yourself wondering what the two women are speaking about. From the gesticulating hand of one woman to the tilting head of the other, you can tell that they are both fully engaged in their conversation. It reminds me of the older women I used to see on my daily commute to work. In fact, this scene would not be remotely out of place where I am originally from as the surrounding villages are generally accepted to be retirement villages.

From a painting full of character to it's antithesis-a painting that makes a point of removing personality. Carl Randall's depiction of commuters in 'Shinjuku Tokyo' seems to scream a message of conformity and reliance on technology. Having never been to Tokyo I can't directly relate to what is happening in this painting, but it is not very dissimilar to a daily commute on a London tube.

One of the many reasons I love Randall's portraits is because, while the other artists in the exhibition seem to be making a conscious effort to be photo-realist masters,his figures are stylized. With larger heads and elongated forearms and hands, we recognize them as being life like portraits but, at the same time, they feel imaginary and unrecognizable. Another symbolic aspect of Randall's painting?In such a huge sea of people in almost identical colourless clothing, don't we all become unrecognizable?

Carl Randall's work and the scene from finding Nemo (how Marlon and Dory look in this screen shot is how I spend a lot of my time in London feeling!)

Oddly enough this painting actually reminds me of a scene from Disney's 'Finding Nemo- the part where all the fish in Sydney Harbour are swimming in one direction. An odd association I know, but so often in the city I find that people are all moving very fast in one direction with single minded determination and a robotic sense of repetitive routine. It is this that Carl Randall captures so perfectly and, although the painting is based on Tokyo, it is so easy to relate it to London life.

'Kholiswa' is the central painting.

One of my favourite pieces from the exhibition is also the main portrait used in the advertisements/posters- Lionel Smit's 'Kholiswa'. At face value this portrait seems so different to the other in the exhibition, where many of them seem static and almost lifeless, there is so much character and movement in this painting. In the text the artist explains that he wanted to capture the waitress's life- her struggles as a single mother and her daily journey yo and from work. You can tell he got to know the subject properly. and he definitely achieved what he set out to do. 

The abstract brushstrokes of vibrant blue seem to capture the vivaciousness of the woman's personality and the muted brown shows the more mundane routine f her day to day journey. I love how there are black outlines still visible in the painting(around the chin and shoulder areas), they seem to give it a deliberate unfinished feel as though they signify how the characters life is unfinished/incomplete/not quite perfect. In terms of technique, this portrait may not be painted as perfectly as some of the others in the exhibition, but this is part of it's allure. After so many life-like portraits, it was extremely refreshing to see Smit's painting which has more abstract qualities.

"What I would wear today if I could..."+eagle jewellery trend+ Sarah Angold!

T-shirt(345.00)by Illustrated people, Disco pants(£16.99), necklace(£12.50) topshop, sandals(£20.08) Tina Nie's stoere at, vintage bag(£16.00)

I'm not usually a big fan of leopard print but I think the way it's used just on the sleeves of this oversized tee is brilliant!I'm looking after my younger brother today as he has popped down to London for a trip, so essentially I'm 'the boss' for the weekend- this top could not be more appropriate!

I found these gorgeous sandals on, which is fast becoming my favourite place to shop for shoes for my imaginary wardrobe. Their prices are amazingly low and,there are some great shoe styles on there as well, they have a huge variety of flatforms,I would definitely suggest that everyone gets on there and buys a pair....or 3!
Lastly, the necklace....birds seem to feature in all the high street jewellery collections at the moment, eagles being a particular favourite!In my experience this is something we shouldn't ignore as so many high street trends begin as jewellery trends- the evil eye and hamsa for example both started as a jewellery trend.

I decided to jump onto this eagle trend and bought the below necklace from Miss Selfridge for only £3.50. Although this eagle is a lot more simple than those in Topshop and on, it's in line with my, very small, budget and I'm going to attempt to customize it in my new "let's make my own jewellery"spirit....I'll let you know how that goes!

Finally, while browsing the shops yesterday I came across Sarah Angold who has recently secured a small concession in Topshop's freedom jewellery range.The collection is amazing and has a very art deco aesthetic. The designer uses her skills in laser cutting to create this extremely graphic jewellery range and I just love the holographic effect of the plastic she uses. It's always great to see a new designers handmade range in a high street giant like Topshop, it shows that the British high street is still interested in British designers and manufacture, even if it is on a relatively small scale!

Saturday, 27 July 2013

"What I would wear today if I could..."

"What I would wear today if I could..."
T-shirt dress(£!4.99), Sandals(£20), Necklace($19.90) Necklace21 at, Black fringed bag(£38.00) Urban Outfitters.

So today's outfit isn't particularly interesting, but it's the weekend and I'm having a gallery day so I need to be comfortable!I do love the necklace though, another Etsy steal(what a surprise!) at$19.90. The t-shit dress is not only great for a relaxed day walking around London, it's also bang on trend.

This is a really short blog post but I have some good ones in the making- exhibition reviews, designer profiles, interviews and an article about 90's fashion re-emerging, so keep coming back :)

Friday, 26 July 2013

"What I would wear today if I could..." +Kimono love!

"What I would wear today if I could..."

Cape jacket(£19.99), Necklace ($70.00/£45.51)Nutcasefashion on, Sandals(£18.00), strappy cami top(£18.00) Topshop, Yellow skirt(£8.99), Perspex bag (£29.97)styleaddict_store at

Yellow, Purple and Grey is an odd colour combo but I think it works really well in this outfit. As with all of my outfit choices I seem to pick 1 or 2 items and build the outfit around these items. This style entry is no different, with the entire outfit built around the necklace- another one of my Etsy finds(!Nutcase fashion is the online Etsy store belonging to Connie Lo from Hong Kong, her jewellery is described as being 'space tribal neon statement jewellery'. Although the collection is quite pricey, they are 100% handmade and definitely worth the money. 

I always find looking on Etsy to be quite inspirational, especially when I come across handmade items like this that look completely shop ready! I am still keen to experiment with making my own jewellery and, seeing as I have just been paid, might do some impulse jewellery supply shopping on my lunch break!

Another item I love in this outfit is the clear perspex bag. I am forever finding myself in situations where I have managed to lose things in the huge vortex that is my bag , a transparent bag seems to be the perfect solution for this!This perspex version is a great interpretation of the catwalk accessories trend and also gives a nod to the 90's fashion takeover trend that seems to have hit Britain.

Transparent bag trend on the catwalk.

Another huge trend at the moment that every high street store and online retailer has done their own interpretation of is the printed kimono jacket. I am definitely a huge fan of this item- I already have 3 in my wardrobe and am keen to purchase another one. 

Top row left to right: Like mynded(£58.50), BIBA(£69.00), Motel(£48.00),ASOS(£40.00), French Connection(£58.00), Topshop(£78.00),.
Bottom row left to right: ASOS(£40.00), Topshop(£60.00), Topshop(£55.00), Miss Selfridge(£37.00), ASOS(£40.00), River Island(£40.00), Pull&Bear(£12.99).

Although not remotely affordable, at £198.00 each, Anna Sui has some beautiful printed kimono shape jackets in amazingly rich colours #printcrush.

Anna Sui(first three) and Athena Procupiou.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

"What I would wear today if I could..."

"What I would wear today if I could..."

Recently I have been working on a Clover Canyon brief which focuses on the Winter Palace in Moscow and the obvious affluence shown through rich decoration and ornamentation. The deadline is drawing near and so for a final push of inspiration I would, in an ideal world, wear this 'Church fade' Illustrated People tee. 

I love the Illustrated People range and whenever I come across items in their Topshop concession or while browsing on ASOS I am always drawn to their unique digital prints. Illustrated people is a group of designers/illustrators who are based in a studio in East London where all of their designs are hand printed. Not only are their designs inspiring and original , they are also a perfect example of British manufacture and prove that garments produced in the UK can still be affordable!

Bag(£20.00), Necklace(£9.79/$14.99) Anetejewelry on, T-shirt(£22.50) Illustrated people, Silver disco pants(£22.99), Shoes(£44.47)

I love how laid back and easy this outfit would be to wear, although I'm not so sure how good an idea it is to wear lycra disco pants n our current weather. I'm sure I have posted about daisystreet's disco pants on numerous occasions but I still can't recover from the shock of how affordable they are- only £22.99 in comparison to the original American Apparel version at £74.00!!!

Another item in this outfit which I think is an absolute steal is this gold insect necklace from at £9.79!Etsy always seems to have such a unique selection of items, both handcrafted and from suppliers. it takes quite a lot of patience and trawling through pages, but there are some beautiful things on there!This insect necklace, as well as being extremely well priced, is bang on trend for AW 13/4 imitating Lanvin's insect brooches perfectly.

Details from Lanvin's AW 13/14 collection and some Insect necklaces in Topshop's current jewellery collection.

While browsing on ASOS for things to items to put in my blog I noticed that they have a vast selection of printed summer jackets at the moment!I love them all, it's probably a good thing I'm only online window shopping and not actually purchasing items as I might just have to buy them all!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

"What I would like to wear today" + Designer review: Finchittida Finch

I'm feeling in quite a geometric mood today so this is the inspiration behind today's "What I would like to wear today" post. I have also been dying to get my hands on this Topshop pencil skirt for ages so I have pretty much built this outfit around the skirt!I love the contrasting prints and it fits perfectly with the abstract geometric prints that are set to become popular next spring!

Sheer shirt(£38.00) Lavish Alice at, Royal blue cami top(£18.00) and Abstract print skirt(£22.00) both Topshop, Geometric necklace(£35.00) Finchittida Finch at, Black wedge heels(£25.00), vintage black bag(£18.71)

There are so many things about this outfit that I love- firstly the pencil skirt(as you can tell pencil skirts are a bit of an obsession of mine) and secondly the shoes! I have only recently discovered Linzi shoes and the prices are SO affordable without the quality of the shoes being compromised, as soon as I get paid I will definitely be buying a pair of shoes from here!

Abstract prints on the Pre-SS14 catwalks. Left to right: Prabal Gurung, Mannign Cartell, Issey Miyake, Phillip Lim, Catherine Malndrino, Clover Canyon. All photos taken from Resort SS14 collections.

Abstract geometrics with contrast print fills were huge on the Pre SS14 catwalks(shown above) and high street stores  and online sites have already begun interpreting this trend!One of my favourites, other than my beloved Topshop pencil skirt, is the ASOS dress(2nd from the right) which bears so much resemblance to Clover Canyon's Resort 14 collection.. The sweater dress is another of my  favourites- not only is this item a perfect example of the abstract geometric print trend it is also bang on trend in terms of shape as T-shirt/Jumper dresses are the new SS14 take on previous sports luxe trends.
High street and online interpretations of the trend. Left to right: Urban Outfitters(£80.00), Dress(£14.99)New Look, Dress(£13.99), Silence +Noise at Urban Outfitters(£10.00),Dress(£14.99), Dress(£34.00), Jumper dress(£57.37/$88.00) 

As part of my blog I want to increase awareness about new designers and startup businesses as I think its so important that we support one another. Finchittida Finch is a perfect example of this. They are a twin design duo that studied at the University of the Arts London and are now based in East London. 

I first noticed them while browsing graduate collections 2011, and am so happy to see that their talent hasn't gone to waste! The slogan for their brand is 'Made in London, inspired by Laos" and as well as their obvious design talent they aim to raise awareness about Laos and it's leftover landmines from the Vietnamese war through their campaign 'Fashion gives a F***K'! 

art deco, jewellery, monchrome, statement jewellery
Finchittida Finch's current collection and a photo of the design duo(top left).

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

"What I would wear today if I could..."

As every other Londoner, today's weather has caught me at a loss about what to wear, so I opted for shorts and a loose River Island top!

"What I would wear today if I could"....

Scallop hem shorts(£32.00) Topshop, Top(£44.27), Perspex bag(£39.00), Silver chain necklace(£12.00), The most amazing lime green Jeffrey Campbell rip-offs in existence(£26.22)
After all the thunderstorms and rain the city feels a little bit fresher today so lime green would be ideal! seems set to become a constant feature in my "What I would wear today if I could" blog and who can blame me- they seem to have consistently good, on trend clothing at a decent price. This top is no exception and I love the black tie dye style background with the lime green florals on top!

These shoes are an absolute steal at £26.22/$40.27 an identical rip-off of the Jeffrey Campbell Puff SS-DP in Green Neon which retail at  around £125.00!

Monday, 22 July 2013

"What I would wear today if I had the money..."

In a previous blog post I said that, as an alternative to a daily style blog, I wanted to blog an outfit a day of what I would wear if I had an income/bank balance that would allow me to shop! So here is today's outfit...

Skirt(£28.00), Shoes(£45.00) and Kimono(£65.00) all Topshop, Watch(£78.48) and Rings(£18.38) from, Metallic leotard(£31.31)- American Apparel.

 I'm fairly positive this won't be to everyone's taste but I love pencil skirts! They're perfect for work and this novelty marshmallow print is amazing- what better way to inject some personality into an office outfit! 

Although I'm normally not a fan of pink I love this Topshop kimono and think it makes a perfect throw-over garment for the lovely weather we've been having. I would put these statement items with a plain silver body and silver flatform sandals, who doesn't love a bit of metallic glamour!

I can see me becoming quite envious of my own imaginary wardrobe by doing this type of blog post!

Sunday, 21 July 2013

The decline of British textiles manufacturing and it's implications on generational unemployment!

After a recent visit to my hometown, Lancaster, I have been reflecting on the differences between the South of England and the North in terms of employment rates, values, style choices, and attitudes towards work!I think I have got to the point where I have thought about it enough to form my own opinions and write a blog entry and what I have found!

A friend was recently talking to me about how the textiles industry was one of the main building blocks of the British empire and how the North West, where I'm originally from, played such a key role in this. 

Left: British textile mill, Right: Inside Standfast&Barracks.

Perhaps this is the reason for my recent interest in the decline of British textiles manufacture or possibly my previous employment in one of Britain's few remaining textile's factories (Standfast&Barracks) but working for a fashion supplier in London and seeing how competitive garment manufacture is has made me curious about how the British textiles industry got to its current state!

Throughout the 18th Century Britain was determined to lead the Textile industry and lead it did!The 18th century saw the development of machines like the Spinning Jenny (Hargreaves 1764), the power loom (Cartwright- 1785) and roller printing(1780's), and with laws forbidding the export of English textiles machinery, including sketches, this suppressed textile machinery development in other countries. Britain was leading in textiles manufacture. 

Left to right: spinning jenny, power loom and roller printing.

The industrial revolution saw the British textiles manufacturing industry at its most successful, and the majority of the manufacture throughout this period was focused on Manchester and Lancashire.British manufacture peaked in the early 1900's and if we look at this area of the country now, however, the only evidence of a booming textiles industry is found in the converted mill buildings.

Left to right: Houldsworth Mill Reddish, Manningham Mill Bradford and The Royal Mill in Manchester. All of which have been converted into Luxury apartments. 

During WW1(1914-18) Britain was unable to export cotton overseas and as a result of this countries that had before been dependent on the UK's cotton manufacture began setting up their own factories. 
Japan is a perfect example of this, not only did it begin to produce its own cotton, it did so in a more inexpensive way than Britain. By 1933 Japan had become the world's largest cotton manufacturer. Alongside this was the introduction of synthetic fibres to Britain- Rayon in 1910 and Nylon in 1935 this meant that there was less demand for the luxury fabrics Britain was renowned for. 

Between WW1 and WW2 around 800 UK mills closed as a result of the lack of demand for British cotton. In direct relation with this, employment figures dropped. I am not claiming that a decrease in UK textiles manufacturing is solely responsible for UK unemployment, the 1920's also saw a decrease in the demand for coal mining, other issues obviously have to be taken into account but it definitely played a large role.

The 1960's/70's saw a further decline in UK textiles manufacture with mills closing across Lancashire at a rate of almost one every week! By the 1980's the Textile industry in the North West had practically vanished, in correlation with this the 1980's saw Britain's highest ever rates of unemployment.

As a result of the recession; the dependence on the post war welfare state; the closures of traditional manufacturing industries in the 1980's and the mass unemployment that followed, a permanent 'underclass' has evolved through generational unemployment. This group is largely accepted to be unemployable due to bad education and social background. 

It is this group that the disintegration of UK manufacture has affected most. This is not to say that everyone who works in a manufacturing industry belongs to this 'underclass', I myself have worked in a factory previous to my current job, nor to say that everyone in this new 'underclass' would fit well in a factory environment, but working in the manufacturing industry is inclusive regardless of education or background.

In an article I read recently on the daily mail website (, A N Wilson states:

" The truth is that...Britain has lost it's work ethic. In fact, it has lost its working class in the literal sense of the expression.... welfare brought not well-being, but a dependancy culture which sapped the wills of the formerly hard-working people of this country. it brought boredom and, as a result, alcohol and drugs. for the first time in history, there was a lower class which was both idle, and rich enough, through benefits, to partake of narcotics such as marijuana, cocaine and heroin- in the past the preserve of decadent upper class bohemians."

This seems to depict the new underclass perfectly but it is only learnt behaviour- if you are brought up with a strong work ethic this will stay with you throughout your life, the same can be said of people who are brought up without no work ethic. Generational unemployment, a result of outsourcing manufacturing industries, has led to mass unemployment and reliance on state benefits. This controversial topic has had a lot of media exposure recently (channel 4's 'skint', BBC's 'we all pay your benefits') exploiting the already existing tensions between the taxpayers and those reliant on government benefits. generally the taxpayers view this 'underclass' as having been:

" Pampered, hopelessly demoralized by doles, old age pensions, free education etc (this notion) is still widely held, it has merely been a little shaken perhaps, by the recent recognition that unemployment does exist."

Left: 'Skint' Channel 4 series, Right: 'We all pay your benefits' BBC series.

In my opinion the only logical way for Britain to reduce unemployment rates is to introduce the 'underclass' back into the employment system and in order to create enough jobs to do this, Britain has to return to using British manufacture, particularly in the Textiles industry.

After working for a fashion supplier for 6 months I understand the implications of relying on UK manufacture: the quality of garments aren't as strong as in China and the price doesn't match production prices of Turkey and India. Despite this, UK factories can respond to new designs 3 times as fast as factories overseas and with the current nature of the fashion industry being so fast this is something they should use to their advantage. The British Textiles manufacturing industry needs to focus on training its workforce to be highly skilled and capable of producing the luxury fabrics/garments Britain once excelled in.

At the moment there is an increased awareness about UK textiles manufacture and the importance of bringing the textiles industry back to Britain. New emerging designers, House of Hackney for example who produce their fabric at Standfast&Barracks(where I used to work!) are turning to UK manufacture, hopefully this is the start of a textiles manufacture reformation in the UK. 

House of Hackney manufactures it's quirky printed fabric in the UK. Stockists include: Selfridges, Liberty's, Urban outfitters and ASOS.

I urge everyone who reads this to take into consideration where their new dress/trousers/bag was manufactured. If we are all willing to pay a little extra for a garment manufactured in the UK we could encourage the high street chains to produce their collections in Britain, encouraging factories to stay open and preventing any further job cuts. Maybe it isn't too late to restore Britain's proud, hard-working working class?