Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Time to reflect on 2015

New year is always quite a reflective time for me and while I've been enjoying the luxuries of being back home in the UK this week I have been thinking a lot about 2015.

As with every year there are a mixture of memories I will cherish and ones I will try to forget, but thankfully I can say that in 2015 I had more of the former and less of the latter! 2015 has been the first year in a long time that I have felt the fragments of my life falling into place.

2015, for me, has been a year of growth; of figuring out what I want to do and actually making moves towards doing it(still a long way off of course). I've finally managed to start creating work I'm actually proud of(see below) and instead of leaving my artworks on scrappy bits of paper on my floor I've starting putting them onto products.

Christmas presents for my family: Elephant print neoprene clutch from Print all over me (, patterned headphones from Origaudio (,  Elephant phone case design from asda (

I decided, in my reflective mood, to put together a collage of the illustrations/work I have done this year that I am most proud of. Anyone who has seen how my work has progressed will probably be shocked to see colour finally emerging in my illustrations. This is one of the things I intend to work on next year. My main Christmas present from my parents(Father Christmas) this year was a selection of art materials, handpicked by me, to encourage me to add some colour into my work. 2016 will be a colourful year....hopefully!

I also finally got my act together and started working on a new logo(below middle) and website which I am hoping to Launch in time for my birthday at the beginning of this space...

Other than the work I've done this year, It has also been very interesting in terms of where I've been living and where I have travelled to. Getting out of London may well have been the best decision I ever made. I love London; I love the people I met there, the diverse culture, the social atmosphere and EVEN the guys I dated there. However, in London it is very hard to save money, the quality of your life is limited by your salary....and I work in the fashion industry so..... I lived in some 'quirky' warehouse conversions, which caused some people to assume I lived in an uninhabitable warehouse/crack den but, because rent in London is sky high, this was all I could afford. London s great if you earn a lot of money and can afford to have a social life; it's great if you want to start up a creative business(there are so many platforms for this), but if you work in London for less than 19k/yr you will get in debt and you will have to leave to maintain some form of balance in your life.

So I left. I move to Dusseldorf in Germany and then to Brussels(Belgium). This year I have travelled to Cologne, Antwerp and Amsterdam- none if which would have been possible had I stayed in London. I could not feel more blessed. Moving to Europe for work has enabled me to finally make a dint in paying off my overdrafts(they will be completely paid off before my birthday in February 2016). So here are a few photos from my travels...

1st column top to bottom: Dusseldorf Konigsallee, Cherry blossom on my street in Dusseldorf, houses by the canal in Amsterdam. 2nd column top to bottom: St Pauls Cathedral London, Countryside in Yorkshire, Church bells in Corfu(Greece), beach in Corfu. 3rd column top to bottom:  Brussels Grand place, Antwerp city centre, Brussels Grand place at night.

I have made some amazing friends this year, both in Germany and in Brussels, that have made moving away from home so much easier than I thought it would be. I have also been so fortunate to have friends from the UK come and visit me in my new surroundings.

On a rather serious note(generally I like to keep my more personal blog posts fairly lighthearted) I think everyone who has ever had a serious break up will know that it leaves you feeling empty and unsure of who you are. When you spend the majority of your time over a period of several years with one person, planning a future together, and then somehow it goes wrong(as many relationships do) you are left with a fragmented vision of the future that no longer includes the other person. This can be a great opportunity to re-design your life, it can also be extremely daunting. I found it to be the latter. 2015 was the first year I have felt like myself again; the first year I have felt completely happy and content with myself and the direction my life is heading. I am more confident in my creative abilities and my ability to form firm and lasting friendships and I am quickly discovering that I am a great deal braver than I thought. To all the friends that have emotionally supported me and excercised a great level of patience with me over the past few years- thank you, and to all the new friends I have made this year- I am so so glad our paths have crossed.

It was hard to select memories with friends for this year as I have so many, but I decided to choose snapshots from where I felt the happiest...

As dramatic as this may sound, 2015 has been a life changing year. I have lived in 2 different countries; paid off my overdrafts; FINALLY joined a gym and embraced a healthy excercise routine. I even took a break from dating(pretty serious for me...being in a country where I am attracted to very few people helps a bunch). I have learnt a lot about myself; my personality and my aspirations for the future. I am realising, as delayed as this epiphany may be, that I am me...and that's okay, in fact its pretty good. As a child I loved Dr. Seuss and my current feeling can be summarised in this quote...

So in 2016 I intend to be the most me-est version of me I can be.

Here are my resolutions/promises to myself for the coming year:

- Firstly I WILL learn French
- I will make steps towards setting up my own business. By the end of this year I would like to have a Website, Business plan and some loyal customers that aren't just family and friends.
- I will maintain my healthy eating/excercise routine
- I will save money towards setting up a creative business
- and lastly, but by no means least, I will make sure I get dressed and out of the house every weekend, I must not stay in my Pyjamas all weekend pretending to draw.

All are attainable goals.

Also 3 pieces of advice to myself for 2016:

- If you're feeling drunk on a night out- stop drinking
- If you don't like a guy you're on a date with you don't have to go out with him again- you're allowed to say no!!!
- Finally, Live colourfully!In clothing choices and in illustration work- no more black and white unless its commissioned.

Next year I already have plans to go to Amsterdam and Dusseldorf in January, Paris in February, UK in April and Italy in October so I have a lot to get excited about. As those of you who follow me on instagram will have seen, I posted this definition on my instafeed:

This is how I feel about next year.

I hope you all have a great start to the new year,whatever you may be doing! Let's make 2016 colourful, exciting and a year to be remembered and looked back on with joy and fondness! Speak to you next year ;) x

Monday, 14 December 2015

Catch up: Brussels lockdown and business aspirations

Things have been a little crazy for me recently. As anyone who reads this blog or knows me will be aware, in August this year I moved to Brussels. This past month Brussels has been more than a little hectic. The terror threat level was raised to 4 and the military moved in. Brussels was put on a lockdown. The presence of that many armed soldiers alarmed me as London is also on a level 4 threat but there is never an obvious military presence there. It seems like the protocol here is to hold off on increasing the threat level until absolutely necessary, whereas in London it is used more as a precaution.

Unfortunately none of these photos are mine as my phone containing all of my photos has recently been stolen. All photographs were found on Google.

The tag #Brusselslockdown became an internet sensation with people posting photos of cats to baffle the terrorists hiding out in the city. As interesting and upbeat a response as this was, it didn't make me feel any better about the fact that the people responsible for the Paris attacks were being arrested quite literally a few streets from my house. 

Photographs all found on google.

Oddly enough, the lockdown didn't interfere too much with my standard weekend routine of staying in bed, snuggling and drawing. As the lockdown on schools and transportation continued into the week I felt it was best to work from home on the Monday. I had completely forgotten how much I love doing this and it really made me miss freelancing. I think it's safe to say that, if you're creative by nature, an office environment is not where you are most productive. In bed with cushions, coffee and Christmas movies, however, is the best place to design Christmas fair-isle prints.

Some of the Fair-isle prints I worked on from my bed office during the lockdown week

I did have some photos I wanted to upload in this 'catch up' post of things I have been working on and photos of the numerous army trucks that have been stationed in the city but, in a recent alcohol incident, my phone was stolen/lost. The alcohol incident being that I consumed too much alcohol and left my phone on a table where someone then stole it(Belgian beer is sneaky like that- 3 glasses and I'm done). 

My lovely little phone has now been gone for a week and I feel like I have had a limb amputated. I find it remarkable how dependent I am on something so materialistic. This small object had literally become an extension of my hand, I am now experiencing a technological version of phantom limb syndrome.... I keep reaching for my phone to check the time; scroll through instagram; look at my blog statistics, do some pinterest research- only to find that the phone isn't there. I miss that heavy reassuring feeling in my pocket. I miss having a distraction in awkward situations. I miss instagram. For the past two Sundays I have been at a complete loss about what to do in the evenings as I no longer have tinder. 

One thing I am noticing in the absence of an iphone is that I am filling the void with actual substance. Where I would normally be scrolling through other people's lives and doing 'pinterest research', I am now making plans, writing more, and working on illustrations. I am actually really enjoying not have a piece of tech constantly strapped to my hand, but I still can't wait to get my replacement next week. 

A few Christmas character illustrations I have been working on
Prints of mine that have recently been in stores. Top row images are designs in C&A, bottom row: George at ASDA, George at ASDA, Marks and Spencers, George at ASDA, F&F at Tesco.

As mentioned earlier I have been missing freelancing quite a lot recently, not just working to more creative briefs but also being able to manage my own time and set my own deadlines. I find working in an office environment extremely difficult for so many reasons: 

- Firstly I am not a 9-5 person, I start waking up and properly engaging my brain around 11.30am(just in time for lunch which has to be taken between set times in the work canteen). Working from home I can start and finish whenever I choose and eat whenever I want to which is usually around 3.30pm, not between 12-2pm....

- I find creativity comes naturally to me in the evenings, post 6pm usually which doesn't really work well when you're working 9-5 in a creative job role. I can be tired and not in a creative mood all day until I get home and then suddenly my brain kicks into action, very inconvenient.

- In office's there seems to be a great deal of micro managing and other people trying to order your workload for you, I like to organise my work into an order that will enhance my creativity and increase my productivity levels....more often than not, my workload organisation makes little sense to everyone else, which is where micro-managing can occur.

Jason Fried's TedTalk explains this problem perfectly.

I know at some stage I want to set up my own business. I don't know exactly when and I also need to clarify what the start-up will involve, but it's definitely on the cards. Anyway this past week I have not been able to get the idea of starting up my own creative business out of my I'm taking some action towards this goal. I've started a business plan sketch book where I can keep all of my ideas from website layouts to garment tags, logo designs to pricing sheets and everything in between. Hopefully by doing this I will be able to de-muddle my head and move towards creating a professional business plan. I am really keen to create a strong brand identity to start me off and then, with any luck, the business plan will fall together.

As a step towards this I have re-designed my logo and created an intricate design that can also be simplified for price tags and clothing labels. I am actually(for once) really happy with it. I wanted the logo to reflect me as well as the business I intend to pursue so, as odd as it sounds, I chose a font based on this. I am short(5ft) and fairly rounded and so I chose a font to reflect that. I am aware that sounds like an awful joke, but that is the genuine reason for the font choice.

As it's all quite new to me I would love feedback on the logo design and any advice/tips anyone has for creative start up businesses. I want to focus quite a few blog posts on start-ups and maybe do a few case studies on ones I think have worked well.

Brand logo on the left, simplified tag logo/stamp on the right

I have also changed my blog layout(again!)so that it compliments the new logo. I've simplified the template and added a new black and white pattern to the background. One day I want to find the time to sit and create a stylised background print that will become the brands signature print. Maybe I'll tackle this when I create a website. No doubt the blog layout will change several more times before I find one I can truly commit to.....finding a blog template is a little bit like dating ;)

Next on my business 'to do' list is to secure a domain name and create a website....which will hopefully happen near the beginning of next year. Firstly I have to do some research into what I want the website to look like and what information I want to include. Hopefully when I get my new phone I can post some photos of my business plan sketch book and give you all an insight into my ideas.

Ciao for now x

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Premiere Vision Autumn/Winter 2016 print trend predictions

Normally I get to go to Premiere Vision as part of my job to do trend research and see the textile studios' new collections. I absolutely love it- it's great for networking with other designer/fashion professionals and it really helps me get my head around the trends of the coming seasons. Unfortunately this year I moved to work in menswear and this meant I could not go to PV as my current company sends only shape designers not graphic designers.To say I was gutted about this is an understatement as Premiere Vision is, in a professional capacity, the highlight of my year. 

In January, at the last PV event I attended, I was given a press pass after someone read my previous blog post reviewing the Premiere Vision print trends. This allowed me to take photos at the event and do a more thorough review(if you didn't see it originally you check it out here: After this Premiere Vision post, regrettably my blogging went downhill, became less frequent and I think you could definitely tell that I was becoming both frustrated and disenchanted with putting so much effort into writing a blog and creating moodboards that very few people saw. I very nearly quit blogging altogether. Then I reminded myself that I love writing. I love researching beautiful printed textiles. I love hearing peoples' trend predictions, learning the reasoning behind them and seeing them come to fruition. Above all else I love making fashion relevant to those who aren't interested in it and view it as unnecessary.

One of my favourite parts of the Premiere Vision events is attending the WGSN trend seminars. Although I do have a WGSN account and can view their trend predictions online, hearing the trend forecasters present and explain the background and inspiration for each new trend is incomparable to reading a brief trend outline on the internet.

So, despite not having been to the most recent Premiere Vision event, I have been able to look at the trend predictions for Autumn/Winter 2016 on the WGSN website and have decided to create some trend prediction boards anyway.

I have changed some of the trend names and have left out an 'old masters florals' trend as it isn't one I am in support of, but the majority of the trend names are exactly the same.

All of the above boards are high resolution images and can be printed as an inspiration pack- if anyone does use these for inspiration I'd love to hear about it!I sometimes come across my previous boards on pinterest and it's great to see them being used.

Print trends Spring/Summer 2016

This season I've done my catwalk review boards a little differently showing the close ups of the print rather than the whole garments. Although it is great to see the scale of the print on a body I want to use these boards as a reference point for print inspiration and I think that this works best when seeing the prints on their own (also, in part because erasing around thousands of slim runway models on photoshop is not really how I want to spend my spare time).

For the stripes trend board I have stuck to showing the prints on a garment as there is no real detail in the print to merit a close up and I feel it's important to see where on the body the designers have placed the stripes.

In recent seasons we have seen a huge increase in the popularity of checks and grids on the runway collections. From traditional plaids to clean graphic grids, checks have been on the rise. SS16, however, saw a noticeable decline in checks, making way for the stripe takeover.

The collections showed a vast range of stripe sizes, colour combinations and placements. Horizontal stripes are the most popular but vertical stripes also made several appearances(Tanya Taylor, J. JS. Lee, Issey Miyake). Lines were chopped up and placed together to make spliced/intersecting stripes(Paul Smith, Milly and John Richmond), this new splicing technique is a great way to soften a stripe. I often find that the more clean graphic block stripes can be difficult to wear without looking like a square/sailor/extra in a Tim Burton production, but intersecting stripes are amazing for breaking up solid areas. In terms of colour anything goes. There are less nudes used in next seasons' stripes, but as mentioned in my SS16 colour post ( ) SS16 saw a broad range of colour from pastels to stark black and white to bold brights. My favourite colour stripes have to be those shown at Milly and Hilfiger.

I love this trend far too much. It goes so perfectly with the new boho lifestyle I've decided I'm going to have. Much to the dismay of my more fashion conscious friends, last month I bought some pattern mixing "oh so bohemian" jersey festival flares from Boohoo and I got so excited about them that I think some people were genuinely concerned. I quickly reassured them that I would not be wearing them outside the house, they are for pyjama use only. I also bought a swinging hammock chair from an Etsy store based in Nicaragua, I have this lovely romantic notion(quelle surprise) that I will spend winter curled up in my hammock chair, wearing my boho flares, drinking mulled wine and reading intellectual books by candlelight......hahaha.... I'll let you know how that works out!

Anyway PATTERN MIXING. BOHEMIAN PATCHWORK. YES. This print trend is probably a little "too much" for a lot of people, but it doesn't have to be. Obviously with this trend it can very easily go wrong and you can either end up looking like you make/dye your own clothes(badly) or like you've worn all of you're patterned garments at the same time. It doesn't have to be that complicated, pattern mixing doesn't mean everything you wear has to be patterned. Kempner mixes an abstract floral with a graphic grid, keeping both prints in pink and black and the garment still looks chic and simple; Derek Lam mixes 3 different florals in muted colours and the dress doesn't look remotely makeshift. This trend definitely gets a thumbs up from me.

There was a distinct lack of paisley and ethnic inspired prints in the SS16 collections but I felt the need to mention them in a mini mood board anyway.

I recently posted about the new romanticism trend that has emerged for Spring/Summer 2016 ( and botanical florals are a huge part of this.

Ranging in colour from black and inky blue grounds at Topshop Unique, Etro and Versus to neutral and pinky grounds at Alexander McQueen, Laura Biagiotti and Giles.These prints are soft, feminine and take obvious inspiration from vintage botanical illustrations. Preen and Mother of Pearl really nailed this trend offering delicate flora prints with both dark and light grounds. This trend also made room for the emergence of tight floral prints reminiscent of the late 19th Century Arts and Crafts movement to which William Morris belonged. Unexpected for a Spring/Summer collection as this style of floral is normally associated with autumnal collections.

This trend consists of the remnants of the 70's floral trend combined with a mixture of other floral styles. The one thing these florals have in common is that they are all flat in colour with no texture and simple shapes. Marimekko worked this trend perfectly with an amazingly bright and on trend colour palette and solid simple floral motifs. Several of the flat florals appeared to take inspiration from oriental kimono designs with dark backgrounds and pearlescent silvery floral shapes (Jil Sander, Costume National and Suno). 

I am amazed and oh so happy about the longevity of this trend.When it emerged it was the first time, in my memory, that fashion print had leaned more towards art than commercial repeats. It's always so refreshing when a completely new trend like this appears on the runway as so often it feels like the designers are running out of ideas/inspiration for their collections. 

Julien Davids' painterly florals with a hand drawn overlay demonstrate this trend at its best. I will definitely be working nto this trend and creating some hand drawn floral prints. I might even create some that can be printed onto garments/accessories. I recently came accross a website called Print all over me ( which has a range of white products(garments and accessories) you send your design to them, they show you what it will look like on a product and then they make it.

There seemed to be a lot of floral prints in the SS16 collections that didn't fall into any of the above 3 categories(botanical, flat or hand drawn) but I didn't want to leave them out of this report as many of them are great for inspiration. 

As well as hand drawn florals Spring/Summer 2016  saw the hand drawn aesthetic continued in an outline/scribble trend With freehand sketches(Valentino and Nehera), illegible scribbled text(Ashish and Gucci) erratic loose lines(Jeremy Scott and Marc Jacobs) and outline motifs(Naco Paris and Jasper Conran). There is quite a lot of freedom with this trend and how to interpret it. I quite like the linear floral route shown at Tod's and Boss Women. 

This is another trend I love- abstract prints are SO easy and fun to wear. For Spring/Summer 2016 designers are moving away from the mark making abstract prints towards spray paint and brushstroke inspired designs, it's basically wearable art- whats not to love!When renowned designers/fashion houses like Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Missoni get on board with a trend you know it's serious. Chanel, in particular, worked this trend into their SS16 collection really well by layering brightly coloured hand painted shapes and changing the opacity of them to create areas of transparency. An offshoot of this hand painted abstract trend is a re-emergence of tie dye.YAY. The Valentino SS16 collection was one of my favourites and it showed the most amazing tie dye garments in really rich earthy colours, definitely worth checking out.

In recent seasons text/slogan graphics and conversational repeat patterns have been at an all time low but Spring/Summer 2016 saw a movement back towards these kind of prints. As I am constantly reminding people fashion reacts to it's surroundings which is why clothing and style is such a good way to gauge the social and economical atmosphere of a place/time period. Maybe the negativity of the news headlines over the past year has played a part in the resurgence of novelty and conversational prints, maybe the designers felt the fashion industry could use a bit of lighthearted fun?

The slogans/text on the runway for SS16 actually seemed to have a bit of a political edge, it's great to finally see a bit of grit on the catwalk- fashion, like art, makes a great political canvas. Naco Paris were particularly good at this with "Destroy fashion not the world!Help refugees!" As one of their slogans. Although extremely ironic, as this was a slogan in a high end design collection, it makes a very valid point. We are more than willing to spend £££ on new clothes but reluctant to send minimal amounts of money to help those in a less fortunate position.

 Moving swiftly onwards, before I get far too contemplative about the state of the world. with the florals many of the conversationals prints were bright colours against a dark ground(Moschino, Tata Naka and Giamba). Body parts also cropped up in a few collections from embellished hearts(arteries included) at Francesca Liberatore to Ashish's offering of a sequin biological design of  human body organs and a female nude dress(modelled by a man). Vfiles, of course, took it a step further by pasting penis repeats all over their garments....including a velvet penis ejaculating a floral motif....graphic... but bonus points for innovation. I can honestly say I have never before seen a floral ejaculating penis print. 

Despite being quite garish it does demonstrate, once again, how fashion is reacting to social norms. 2015 has seen a huge increase in awareness of transgenderism with Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner being pasted all over the news and social media and countless television documentaries educating the public about life as a transgender person(BBC "Young, trans and looking for love", "Transgender kids", Channel 4 "My transgender summer camp" and "Girls to men"). It is unsurprising that designers might feature the blurring of genders in their collections. As a direct reaction to this the majority of designers are now combining their womenswear and menswear collections to create joint women+mens collections and with many of the models it's borderline impossible to distinguish their gender at all. 

If you aren't keen on wearing a penis print or a topless nude another conversational theme that seemed to be quite popular was anything nautical. Fishing net prints at Sportmax; divers at Tsumori Chisato and fish at Stella Jean and Pucci. Max Mara even did a nod to the nautical creating a very Tim Burton esque black and white stripe collection with boating graphics and all over rope patterns. 

The next set of conversational prints are more wearable- birds and bugs. I can remember trying to persuade my previous job to let me design a range of bug/insect print after Lanvin's Autumn/Winter 2013 collection of jewel coloured bug prints was released. Apparently insect prints are "not commercial for womenswear" well this is what I was told at the time anyway, people felt that creepy crawlies were not pretty and cute enough to be on knitted jumpers. I think the Neith Nyer and Emporio Armani prints below prove this to be absolute rubbish. In my opinion if you can't adapt a high fashion trend to work for your customer, no matter how commercial and 'low end' they may be, you aren't very good at your job. Catwalk trends are there to be diluted for the high street.

Pop art style graphic repeat prints reminiscent of Andy Warhol's artworks were also popular being shown at Chanel and Au Jour le Jour.

Novelty knitwear with placement graphics seem to be increasing in popularity, they're not everywhere quite yet but there are definitely more of them than in recent seasons. Coach, Peter Jensen, Tommy Hilfiger and Trademark all featured a novelty knit.

Photographic prints, particularly black and white photos were also making a comeback with photographic nude torsos at Giamba and Taoray Wang; polaroid style photos at Jeremy Scott and Olympia Le Tan and a street scene at DKNY.

So there you have it, that's my print trend review for Spring/Summer 2016. Almost all of the prints from the catwalks are in these boards, obviously there will be a few I have missed but you get the general idea. 

Here's a quick recap:

- stripes: white based, intersecting, bright colours
- pattern mixing: splicing patterns
- paisley
- botanical florals: inspired by vintaged botanical illustrations on both dark and neutral bases
- flat florals: move on from the recent 70's floral trend, flat bold colours, no texture
- hand drawn florals: any hand painted, illustrative floral
- other florals: anything floral that doesn't fit into one of the above categories.
- linear/scribble: linear move on from the recent outline trend.
- abstract/tie dye: hand painted, brush strokes, spray paint and tie dye.
- text/slogans 
- conversationals: photographic prints, novelty placement knits,pop art conversationals, bird and bugs, the human body, and dark bases with bright colours.

It takes quite a long time to go through all of the catwalks and put these boards together so I really do appreciate it when people give feedback/appreciation/constructive criticism. It's great to know that these boards are being used for inspiration so please feel free to leave a comment or message me on facebook: or email me at:

I'll be posting my Premiere Vision report this weekend too so stay tuned :) x

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Fashion week trend review: Pop art, Oriental influence and Romanticism

Here are a few more trend boards I've been working on since fashion week, this time showing the styling and garment shape/fabrics/techniques side of the collections rather than the colours and the prints(I'm working on print boards to post over the weekend). 

Three themes, consistent in styling and print, stood out to me as strong trends that could become quite commercial: Bright pop art, Romanticism and Oriental inspired. So I have done more in depth boards for these trends looking at print, colour and shape.

First of the three is pop art. With the bright colour palette shown in my previous post it doesn't come as a surprise that many designers at fashion week drew inspiration from the pop art movement of the 1950s. This trend also re-emerged and became even brighter and more exaggerated in the 1980's, a decade that seems to have inspired a lot of the SS16 collections. From mock Warhol prints at Marc Jacobs to plain garments with a solid outline at Edeline Lee and everything in between. 

Pop art Spring/Summer 2016 trend.
I am quite looking forward to seeing how the high street interprets this trend and will definitely be buying into it....bright clashing colours...garish geometric novelty conversational prints..I am so on board with this. Taking into account how intense global politics are at the moment I think we could all do with some colour and fun injected into our lives by fashion.

Theme number two involves anything and everything oriental inspired: prints, garments shapes, belt styles and colour palettes. 

Left to right: Rihanna, Chloe Sevigny, Sarah-Jessica Parker, Alexa Chung, Georgia May Jagger.
Back in may, New York's Met ball took on a Chinese theme. Ignoring the questionable cultural appropriation that followed in attendees outfit choices(i am quite sick of discussing culturally appropriate garments) I found it very interesting that China was chosen to inspire the extravagant outfits people wore this year. In the past few months China has been centre stage on the political and economic scenes with numerous headlines drawing in the world's attention. A nuclear deal/agreement with the UK(, a war threat towards the US (, and efforts to include the Yuan as part of the global reserve currency ( China is having a pretty busy year so far so it is not particularly alarming that the designers at fashion week have drawn inspiration from this. 

Oriental inspired Spring/Summer 2016 fashion trend.

I want to re-iterate the point, as I have done on so many previous occasions, that fashion is not simply a selection of materialistic people designing overpriced garments for shallow socialites. Those people, of course, do exist. In actual fact fashion reacts to, and often pre-empts, what is going on in the world- not just in terms of aesthetic trends but on a political and socio-economic level. Many people dismiss fashion trends and feel they aren't applicable to their lives, that may be so(we don't all have the money, or the desire, to buy into every catwalk trend that emerges)but if strong trends all emerge at a certain time it is much more a reflection of the global climate than it is of a few designers just happening to have the serendipitous thought that silk kimono fabric is pretty and everyone should wear it. Apologies for the rant, it needed to be said.

The third key trend for SS16 is new romanticism. Originally a late 18th century- 19th century movement, it re-emerged in the 1980's and is making a second appearance for 2016.

Romanticism moodboard.

Such a beautiful alternative to the aforementioned pop art trend, new romanticism is delicate and tres feminine. A return to the romantic era with poet shirts, voluminous ruffles, sheer floaty fabrics, loose maxi shapes and soft botanical prints. 

New romantics Spring/Summer 2016 trend
I have spoken before about how skirts lengthen in times of predicted economic crisis. In times such as these, when we are craving security, we reference historical trends. The past is set and has a steady reassurance but the future is uncertain. Through the media, we are constantly bombarded with images of war, apocalyptic celestial objects and economic it any wonder we feel nostalgia towards the romantic era and attempt to recreate it!?

Aside from the three main trends highlighted above, I have also identified several other styles/techniques that are increasing in popularity.

Firstly Ruffles- An offshoot of the romanticism trend. The designer collections seemed to opt for the more ruffles the better, particularly featured on maxi length dresses.

Working in a similar way to the ruffles fad, dishevelled garments, frayed edges and loose strands all featured heavily in each fashion week. Even the ruffles on the catwalk were created in a ragged way, oddly enough it all worked quite harmoniously in hinting at the impoverished poets from the original romantic era. This being said I would feel very reluctant to buy into this trend. I find it hard to justify spending a substantial amount of money on something that has been designed to look destroyed.

On a different note there was a surprising amount of denim on display for SS16. Although denim made a slight comeback in the AW15 collections through the 70's trend(button down denim skirts and flares)it is now out in full force. An increasing amount of techniques/effects are being applied to runway denim,probably done in an effort to prevent the garments being so easy to replicate at a commercial price point. Heavy embroidery and applique(Holly Fulton and Alexander McQueen) , patchwork denim(Rodebjer and Vfiles) and printed denim(Marc Jacobs and Giamba) all featured in a variety of collections.

I usually avoid making any comments on garments shapes as it is not my area of expertise and this is predominantly a print blog but I could not document the new fashion week fads with mentioning this strange garment front shape. Body harnesses inspiring fashion is nothing new, for SS16 harness structures appeared on the  runway in two forms-first the style shown here, a reverse racerback, and secondly a cross over type harness which I have chosen to include in my oriental trend board as it takes on a more geisha-esque look. I do quite like this harness trend as it provides a new more structural garment shape. This being said it could be slightly problematic for those who are a bit more well endowed in the chest department as these reverse racerback shapes either push your boobs outwards, where they take residence under your armpits, or bind them to your chest....neither is particularly flattering.

This loose ties trend perplexed me, I honestly can't figure out whether or not I like it. It reminds me of a combination of things; functional bows on oriental belts and kimono ties, the fastenings of a straight jacket and the awful tassel cargo trousers we all insisted on wearing in the 90's. 

Even though I'm on the fence about this trend, a lot of runway designers are fully committed to it. 

For some odd reason 2015 saw the emergence of an obsession with mermaids, maybe we all just got a little sick of all of the unicorn quotes( "always be yourself, unless you can be a unicorn, then always be a unicorn" sound familiar?). Coloured mermaid  hair became 'a thing' special thanks to Kylie Jenner and her ever changing hair colours. 

A shimmer fabric trend, reminiscent of mermaid scales, is surely a natural progression of this sea myth obsession.

When executed properly I really like this trend, the metallic blues and two toned pearlescent shimmer styles in particular. However, if done wrong, it can look like a metallic fire rescue blanket/like you've wrapped yourself in tinfoil.

Lastly comes an increase in designers including headscarves in their collections. I wouldn't necessarily call this a trend, it's more a conversation point or an opportunity for designers to comment on globalisation, immigration and the ever growing Arabic market through garment styling. It is still extremely interesting to see headscarves seeping into high end fashion collections as Islamic fashion and Western fashion has been kept separate for so long.

As always I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback on this post. Print trends will be coming soon :)

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

The new colour palette for Spring/Summer 2016

Oh how I wish fashion week and Premiere Vision were spread out a little bit more. I have been working intensely on getting these trend boards finished and I'm still only half way there. I have all of the print boards to finish.....and the Premiere Vision trend well as my full time job. It's times like this that I question if there is actually a point to me doing all this for a blog that only has 55 followers. Then I remind myself that I enjoy looking at the new trends and the boards make for good reference points.

So here is the first installment of my fashion week trend posts: Colour.

For Spring/Summer 2016 pretty much anything goes. The lack of print throughout the collections was made up for by the bright colour palette on show. As a lover of bright colours, here are 3 new colour combinations that I particularly liked:

1. Blue and orange

2. Blue and yellow- I recently featured this colour theme on my new instagram layout, follow me @beckyloisburns and take a look :)

3. Solid primary colours- red, blue and yellow with touches of green and orange. This is the colour theme I'm using on this week's instagram posts.

The S/S 16 collections also provided a softer, less garish, colour palette to cater for those not keen on the brights. Nudes/Natural shades were popular across all locations, varying from soft beige tones to dusty pink and rose tinted creams. Often paired with delicate lace and voluminous ruffles as part of the new romanticism trend.

New York fashion week
London fashion week
Milan fashion week
Paris fashion week
Purple made an appearance in the SS16 collections in a variety of shades from dark aubergine and dusty lavendar to lilac and rich amethyst tones.

New York fashion week
London fashion week
Milan fashion week
Paris fashion week

Sugary pastel palettes were also present at all fashion weeks. In past collections pastel colours have been paired with white to create a fresh, feminine look. In the S/S16 collections the sugary tones were combined with other colours and placed alongside black, adding a new strength to this trend.

New York fashion week
London fashion week
Milan fashion week
Paris fashion week

Pink. So. Much.Pink. Generally I am not a fan of pink, usually it is a colour which is reserved only for my lipsticks. The hot pink that seems to be emerging, however, is something I could definitely get on board with.

New York fashion week
London fashion week 
Milan fashion week
Paris fashion week

Black and white as a colour combination is pretty timeless, which is why it emerges every year. The Spring/Summer 2016 collections, however, saw an increase in black and white being used both as prints and as solid colours. So many collections consisted solely of black and white garments. 

New York fashion week
London fashion week
Milan fashion week
Paris fashion week

Orange is another colour which I would normally shy away from. As the daughter of a scaffolder, fluorescent orange and yellow scream hi-vis jackets and workmens uniforms- which is exactly the route Moschino chose to take with their roadworks themed collection. Despite this I am a big fan of the flame orange, borderline scarlet, colour that seems to be coming through.

New York fashion week
London fashion week
Milan fashion week
Paris fashion week

Generally my feelings towards yellow are the same as my feelings towards pink- I don't wear it. But with so many of the runway collections featuring this colour, and with so many different shades to choose from, even I will have to get involved with this trend.  From Buttercup yellow at Edun to Bright yellow at Jonathan Saunders to ochre yellow at Issey Miyake, SS16 has provided a plethora of choice. 

New York fashion week
London fashion week
Milan fashion week
Paris fashion week

Green also made a come back on the runway. Shades of Emerald, Apple green and Sage green alongside deeper forest greens and khaki. SS16 really is the "anything goes" season in terms of colour.

New York fashion week

London fashion week

Milan fashion week
Paris fashion week
Blue has been increasing in popularity over the past few seasons but really seems to have peaked in the SS16 collections. Although there are some softer pastel blues, the majority of designers chose to use darker inky shades with pops of zaffre blue and cobalt.

New York fashion week

London fashion week

Milan fashion week

Paris fashion week

That's it for the colour trends of Spring/Summer 2016. As you can see above there's quite a huge range on next season's colour palette- black, white and neutrals are still present and popular but bright colours are back(finally!!!) Hopefully I will have another trend post done by the end of the week,although my laptop seems to be fighting against me at the moment.