Friday, 16 March 2012

debenhams: something unexpected

For me, the Debenhams press launch was a real eye opener. For me there was a few brand stereotypes that were reinforced, but there was also a few things I did not expect from the brand.
I have to say on arrival I was disappointed to be greeted at the door by occasion wear. It for me dates the brand and just reaffirmed a lot of old tropes I had about the brand. It felt a bit unsexy and dated. The thing is Debenhams is so much more than occasion wear and while I think it is an integral part of the brand, for it to feel like the focus felt for me, very stale, and was perhaps not the way I would have arranged the collections.
With that niggle out the way, I finally got a chance to see the new designers at Debenhams range, which quite frankly is fantastic. With new names like Jonathan Kelsey, Jonathan Saunders, Roksanda Illinic and Preen I was pleasantly surprised by the high quality contemporary tailoring. With flashes of neon and elegant draping the new designers have brought a really fresh, fashionable but very wearable collection to the floor.Roksanda Illinic's collection definitely stood out for me. It felt most like something that could live in my wardrobe. I mean I love love loved Preen's neon yellow crochet top but Illinic's collection have a contemporary elegance that I am all over. I fully expected when I went in to walk out with something from Illinic's collection but I ended up creeping at some of their other designers and ended up picking up a wee bit of Jasper Conran. I was not expecting the quality of tailoring or garments or to find as many pieces that I flat out adored. I definitely feel that their designers are Debenhams real strength and it would be wonderful to see these beautiful pieces get a bit more of a presence. Maybe I'm feeling a bit jaded with Topshop and the like at the mo, but it's nice to see there is a place to go for something a bit more elegant and timeless at an accessible price point.
Will have a few pics of the most stylish ladies from the press event in the next couple of days - lots of vintage detailing, prints and colour. Perfect.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

happy humpday: nail treat

I'm mostly away on dissertation at the moment, so bar the odd review/rant and fashion film thought would share you my Sophy Robson inspired nail art I got at the weekend. I have to say not having my acrylic stilleto nails is v.weird, and still adjusting to having normal nails again (read:being able to peel my own fruit/open cans of coke without the aid of my keys)...but still it's been a pretty seamless transition. £10 on the nose. Total dream. Aleady making plans for my next visit.
Salute is based down in B.A.A.D down the Barrowlands and is open Thursday-Sunday. Get on it.

Monday, 12 March 2012

ten30's fashion film "the white dress"

Thank god for Alan Moore. That's all I can say. In Glasgow we really are spoiled for designers, but Moore's own label ten30's self produced events are always a delight - retaining a sense of whimsy and curiosity. From air acrobatics in Oran Mor to a eastern European ballet in the Flying Duck - to a Scottish gangster inspired showcase in the Mal, what was next for Glasgow's maverick designer?
Paint. Lots and lots of paint.

Photo credit Mark Osborne
I will always have a soft spot for fashion film, and in the pass 3 years designers have upped the ante in creative beautifully constructed mini narratives. Moore however tackles a new approach. Destroying one of the signature pieces from his previous collection and creating something even more beautiful. Sexy, evocative and dark, Moore's foray in to fashion film is a voyeuristic sensual piece following a transformation of one of Moore's pieces - "The White Dress"

However exploring film is only the start of Moore's exploration of his brand this year. There seems to be a strong theme of transformation and evolution with his collection - building on his previous collections to turn them in to something different as well as collaborations with other designers. His latest collaboration is with vintage label Beaten Crimson where he has adapted some of her pieces through paint and embroidery.I sat down with Moore briefly after the show (read on a staircase in the middle of Sloans, who says fashion isn't glamorous) to chat more about why he wanted to go in to film.
"Film's something I've always wanted to go in to, I love the idea of capturing the moment, I mean you can't reproduce a moment - it has this sense of abstract beauty. " Although Moore confesses he is not much of "film buff" his search through art through motion and sound shows a real passion for the medium. "I always wanted to work in film, I could have more creative control of what story I wanted to tell. You loose so much in a photo. In film you can see the way the garment moves and capture a mood. I mean there is so much thought gone in to creating each garment, it's nice to put that same amount of process in to creating the film." Moore had a fantastic team behind him, working in SWG3 to shoot the short production and collaborating with Douglas King of 14c studios.
I have to say it's wonderful to see designers working in new mediums and I adore the leather skirt with custom skulls. Moore's designs continue to retain a dark, moody feel throughout - which should surprise no one, I'm totally on board with.
You can follow ten30 on facebook here to keep up to date with ten30 happenings.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

power power II: maya wild exhibition

For now my life seems to be absorbed with spreadsheets, dissertations and craft supplies, which all sounds fairly humdrum and boring, and yeah some of it is, but all are means to an end. With that in mind, I'd quite like it if between now and the foreseeable end that I took a wee break. What's a skinto student to do?
Naturally I've got my eyes set on Recoat Galleries latest exhibition - Power Power II - a solo exhibition of London based illustrator Maya Wild. Maya works in pencils, paint and collage and the exhibition features portraits mainly of musicians and the exhibition includes drawings of M.I.A, Patti Smith, Die Antwoord, Prince, Grace Jones, Dizzee Rascal and more.
Maya has designed for the likes ofDazed & Confused, Nylon Magazine, EMI, Adidas and The Rolling Stones, so with a client base like that you know her work is going to be all kinds of special. The exhibition looks fucking amazing and will be running at Recoat Gallery till the 8th April. While the portraits of the likes of Grace Jones and Prince are dreamy as anything, the bright geometrical prints are what gets my heart a peeter pattering. Of course they come on a tshirt.At £28 a pop....get on my body. I'd like one of each please.

Recoat is open Tuesday-Sunday 12pm-6pm and can be found at 323 North Woodside Road.

Friday, 2 March 2012

knit one, kill one

Sometimes my favourite things have a way of just coming together and creeping in to my life. Knitwear designer Katherine Brown's short fashion film "Knit one, Kill one" is pretty much one of those things.

Knit One, Kill One from Andy Brown on Vimeo.

The Twin Peaks inspired film explores the idea that knitters and serial killers have shared behavioural patterns. While specialising in knitwear, Brown cites that knitting in fact drove her "nuts" so this exploratory film is a beautifully stylised dark look at an often over looked craft. I'm definitely hoping to see more of her stuff in the future.

jane gowans - geology rocks

My love affair with the work of Dundee based jeweller Jane Gowans is well documented. Her matchstick collection for me is among some of my favourite contemporary jewellery design. I'm a classicist when it comes to my jewellery and Gowans has found that sweet spot between modern and timelessness that most designers strive for. Her new collection "Geology Rocks" launching at Black Box jewellery tonight retains that elegance, crafted using new innovative technology and traditional hand crafting methods. Dark oxidised silver and gold predominate this collection - which makes me think someone has been reading my memos. The pictures I've seen of the collection so far show a very sophisticated glamour, which doesn't feel forced. The collection is inspired by naturally occurring forms in nature and can be felt through the designs, and makes me a little bit sad I don't wear earrings.

Jane Gowans new collection "Geology Rocks" will be available at Black Box Boutique in Edinburgh from the 2nd of March. Still love Gowans and not Edinburgh based? Visit her website.
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