Thursday, 23 May 2013

Erwin Blumenfeld


There is a cracking wee documentary on fashion photography Erwin Blumerfeld at the moment which I would implore you to watch. BBC4 docs are always fantastic but the one on Blumenfeld offers a wonderful introduction to one of the greatest fashion photographers of the 20th century.  If you want to find out more SHOWstudio have a collection of his fashion films and a fantastic explorative essay on him if you should be so inclined. Perfect procrastination material.
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Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Mon help some sistas out: Saunt and Sinner Crowdfunding Campaign

It's no secret I'm a MASSIVE fan of talented up and comers Saunt and Sinner. The new luxe fashion label has been going from strength to strength. There isn't a lot of places I go without my Saunt and Sinner scarf and I was ALL about their Heather Nevay inspired debut collection 'The Broken Doll.'

The ladies are currently working on their second collection which I just know is going to be UH-MAZING and they are looking at scooting off to the Big Smoke to showcase their work in September. At London Fashion Week. Natch. And they are using one of my fave platforms to do it.

I think crowdfunding is amazing and gives people an opportunity to help small artists, designers, film makers and entrepreneurs the opportunity to grow, develop and create. Without crowdfunding Bonnie Blind would be sans laser, Johanna Basford's Wonderbeasts would have remained a pipe dream and my favourite app Zombies,Run! would be non existent. The girls are currently in the process of funding £2500. They are a third of the way there with only 12 days to go. If you love independent design and fancy helping out a couple of homegrown talent/babes I'd throughly encourage you to dig deep and get on it.

Saunt and Sinner Crowdfunding
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Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Nightwalk SS13 Review

I always enjoy Nightwalk. Easily one of the best grassroots fashion events going it really celebrates the independent fashion scene within Scotland. No pretension, no airs and graces - just killer production values, banging tunes and some of Scotland's most promising young talent.
The SS2013 took on a more restrained, softer look this year - giving the show a nice etheral vibe and giving the show a blank canvas to showcase the designs which spanned everything from luxe street, fantasy bridal to fine millinery. The show is very diverse and you can be assured if you're not feeling one look, there will be something along in a few moments. And I think that's what's so exhilerating about Nightwalk. The discovery. For me it's hearing a name that hasn't crossed my path before and falling utterly in love and wanting to know everything about them. It's a big show (and if one could have any critique about it, it can be a bit long) which allows for a very diverse range of designers to showcase their work. Here are my top picks.

Curioscope: 
I first came across Cursioscope when the focus was predominately on custom tees and jumpers to the development of this brand from it's more punk, diy aesthetic to a softer more feminine look is a pleasant surprise.  Laser cut collars, coloured faux furs and skater skirts made a fun, frothy collection and I can't wait to see more from Curioscope.
Catriona Macallister:
Ready to wear womenswear with a luxe feel pretty much sums up Macallister's work. Supremely tailored each look that she sent down at Nightwalk felt clean, sharp and elegant.  Beautiful clutch bags, fitted trousers and sharp button up shirts were some of my faves. 
Vanilla Ink: 
Dundee based jewellery studio Vanilla Ink brought some of their most talented jewelers to showcase at Nightwalk. A really eclectic mix of edgy showpieces and more elegant costume jewellery really showed the diversity and craftsmanship. Dundee's fashion scene is pretty much booming at the moment having given us the likes of Hayley Scanlan, Isolated Heroes and Jane Gowans. Vanilla Ink just adds to the cities impressive repertoire 
Danni McWilliams:
Delicious minimal streetwear made up Danni McWilliam's 11 piece Homegirl collection. Dungarees, split skirts and sheer fabrics - it was just what I wanted. Androgynous, soft and very very refreshing. McWilliam's designs just have an instant cool factor with looks that can easily transcend seasons. More of this please.
Obscure Couture
I've talked about Obscure Couture at great lengths before and I always love their catwalk shows. From a full beaded body suit to a straight up pony girl down their runway they keep their tongue firmly in the cheeky with their fairytale inspired collection. Their finale piece was stupidly beautiful. Uber femme and frothy their collection was fine,fresh,fierce. Pretty much what I've come to expect from the Obscurites.

I have to say this way my favourite Nightwalk yet. Scotland's independent fashion scene shows no signs of slowing down and neither does Nightwalk. It truly keeps going from strength to strength ad is becoming an institution in helping introduce new designers to a wider audience.

Photos coutersy of Bartosz Madejski
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Saturday, 18 May 2013

Soap and Glory Show Good Face Foundation Review

Real talk time. Spending £33 on foundation on the regular for me just isn't feasible  It also doesn't help that my luxe foundation de jour comes in a glass bottle. Not ideal for the running to work or slipping in to the gym bag. So what's a gal to do? My general experiences of drug store foundation is for the most part that the colours tend to be off and they don't have any real longevity. All I really want for a daily foundation is a good colour match, an even coverage and nothing too heavy. OH and a SPF is an essential.

I've been skeptical about Soap and Glory as a brand for a while. I mean their bath time goodies were always lovely but the brand initially came across as very style over substance. That said I had tried their concealer last year and loved it, and I had some Boots points to turn. It seemed to be worth a shot. And that's where Show Good Face comes in to play. A 2 in 1 foundation/primer this guy promises longevity and a medium coverage. So far so good right?

I picked up their palest foundation - The Fairest of Them All - which is actually a suprisingly good pale colour match. In the past I've found a lot of high street foundations have been too yellow or too orange, no such problem here. It can seem a bit of a false economy if you're spending £8-£12 on a foundation that just doesn't sit right. I know a few uber pale beauties have sang the praises of Rimmel and Dainty Doll  but really this probably the closest match to my skin tone I've found on a budget. The formula itself is quite light, though applying it to my skin I found it felt almost dry. It blended in to my skin well and offers a nice even coverage - though for any redness or blemishes I would build up with a touch more. It's probably not for you if you're looking for a total matte coverage, best if you're looking for something a little fresher looking. Does it last for ages? Not really. It does for a day in the office but if I'm heading out straight after work a wee fresh application wouldn't go a miss.

At £11 it's a really solid day to day foundation. The colour's great, I love the formula and it's got an SPF (a total beauty must.) Will it give you a heavy coverage? No, but it's perfect if you're looking for a good natural looking foundation. I picked mine up in a wee Boots offer (got myself a free eyeshadow palette and blusher from a few promos that were on) and Soap and Glory are currently 3 for 2 at the moment. I'd def recommend if you're looking for a nice day foundation without breaking the bank. If going to take advantage of the offer it's worth picking up one of their lipsticks (Pom Pom is my personal favourite).

Do you have any fave high street foundations?
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Monday, 13 May 2013

Monday Munch Courgette Pasta with tomato, lemon and garlic sauce.

Ever since I posted this guy on instagram (beewaits if you must) I've had people messaging me for the recipe. A low carb alternative to pasta? WITCHCRAFT. Seriously though this guy is super delicious, super simple and really easy to make. It's proper budget healthy eating and is vegan friendly if you take out my heavy handed use of hard cheese.

Ingredients:

1 Large Courgette
Handful of Cherry Tomatoes
2 Cloves of Garlic
A good old dash of lemon juice
Oregano to taste
The tiniest amount of oil
(Serves 1 for a quick solo lunch, though easy enough to bulk up, just go by the general rule of thumb of one large courgette per person.)

Courgette Pasta:

Cut the tops and tail off your courgette. The green skin can be left if you prefer, but I like to peel it off. If you have a vegetable peeler use this to slice thin strips of courgette away to make the pasta until you reach the seedy centre. Nae worries if you don't have such fancy kitchen contraptiony. Nothing than can't be achieved with a sharp knife. Once you have your thin pasta strips heat up a non stick pan. Add a dash of oil and heat till it's hot. Throw in your courgette. Cook for no more than 3 minutes. Any more and this guy is going to fall apart. 

Sauce:

I basically just decided to throw whatever was in the fringe to make up a sauce. You can use whatever you like - pesto, jar of whatever is sitting in your cupboard but this guy is super fresh and tasty so worth giving it a shot. In a pan heat up a little oil. Add your handful of cherry tomatoes halved with your diced garlic. Let it cook away quite happily. Add a good dash of lemon juice and maybe a wee tsbp of water to keep it going along nicely. I added a pinch of oregano.

I'd say it's best to prepare your sauce before the pasta, as your courgette noodles will cook SUPER fast. After they are cooked just pour them in to your sauce, stir and serve. I like mine with some faux permesan (to keep it veggie friendly.) This guy is super cheap and super fast to make and you can pretty much use it as an alternative to pasta if you're looking for something low carb and wanting to get some more veggies in your life. Let me know if you try it and what you think!
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Saturday, 11 May 2013

Disney Villain Inspired Shoes? Get on my feet already




I've slowly been making the transmission from dedicated heel wearer to finally appreciating a good flat (can't tell if it's me becoming sensible or just boring, or appreciating the longevity a lesser heel provides for the shape pulling on the night out) so when it comes down to it I like something a bit more interesting to get me all in about the idea of heels. When I found these bad boys by Kobi Levi you can bet I was all in about it. Levi's all about the novelty shoes - and his swan and flamingo inspired shoes are pretty mega but man, let's face it I am a proper sucker for a villain. 
He's started off with designing shoes inspired by let's face it, the holy trinity of Disney Villains - The Evil Queen, Ursula and Malificent.
I love a fugly wee shoe and I am in to the Maleficent shoe in a BIG way. I can't say I have particularly big feels for the Ursula number (and I ADORE her) but I feel this is more to do with my aversion to a sneaky wee peep toe than anything else. I love the idea of shoes as wee tiny art pieces for the feet and the designs are fun and playful and actually get me excited about wearing heels on the regular again.  Will definitely be stalking Levi's blog more so in the future.
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Thursday, 2 May 2013

Designer Spotlight Fiona Somerville

I came across Edinburgh based Fiona Somerville quite by accident and I couldn't be happier that I did. A local designer that specialises in luxury chunky knitwear? HELLO. I spend half my life (under-exagerating) huddling in a variety of jumpers, coats and cardis and Somerville's luxury knitwear with her skillfull use of draping and layering  just ticks an awful lot of boxes for me (especially that little striped number..I mean COME ON.) Naturally I need to ask all the things.


First things first - tell me about your background: 
I am originally from Falkirk, moved to Edinburgh in 2008 and graduated from Edinburgh College of Art with a BA Honours degree in Fashion in 2011. I live with my boyfriend and our fat cat Betsy, I work between my flat and the little studio I rent at the Arts complex here in Edinburgh.


Having gained lots of interest in my graduate year and at London Graduate Fashion Week I was also a winner of the Scottish Cashmere Club competition 2011. Having developed one of my oversized embellished cardigan designs, I worked with Hawick Knitwear and manufactured my design with the factory in the borders. Since graduation I have furthered my experience and worked in various design roles and with the high end cashmere label Belinda Robertson developing skills in E-commerce, marketing and wholesale. I am now pushing my fashion label to the next stage, developing my e - commerce platform through my website which I hope to have up and running by summer 2013 and will be selling through various online boutiques in the near future. 
I like to design feminine, desirable and flattering garments for every woman to lust for. Combining my Scottish heritage with cutting edge contemporary fashion I strives to create a luxe product that will catch your eye from across a room, a garment that you just cannot resist! Combining heavy piles of embellishment, with flattering cutting, draping and luxury knitwear is my design ethos.

Tell me a bit about your latest collection: 
My latest collection is all about simplicity and layering. Using luxe fabrics with clean long lines and layering these key pieces with heavier textures and introducing key patches of embellishment. The colour palette is influenced by Manhattan at night and the different colours, shapes and glamour that oozes from the skyline as the thousands of lights are switched on. 

You specialise in luxury knitwear - was there anything in particular that drew you to working with it: 
 I chose to specialise in luxury knitwear mainly because I love it! Considering its pretty damn cold in Scotland 80% of the year it also made sense. I love the shapes and drapes you can make with a knit, and with it being a good sturdy texture to work with this makes for a perfect embellishment surface. What a combination!

What (or indeed who) would you say are the biggest influences on how you design - why: 
 I would say the weather, I think this is why I never design too summery and why I love to style with layering!

My favourite designer has got to be Dries Van Noten. I think his designs are so beautiful and I would love to work with him if even for a day. I am drawn to his collections every season because of his clash of fabrics and mixture of separates in unusual ways. As a designer I love to experiment with a mix of textures, smart and casual and bit of androgyny. I think this is why I am drawn to the label.

Could you talk me through your design process (from conception to actually creating the garment): 
I work best when I work fast, I sketch quickly and loosely with suggestions of colour or embellishment and then move straight to toiling up an idea. I cut a lot of corners to get the shape just right and then I go back to create patterns neatly. 

Do you pay attention to trends or do you feel you follow your own formula: 
I tend to follow my own formula and just design what feels right. .I love looking at current catwalk collections so I am undoubtedly influenced in some way but I don't go out of my way to fit in with 'trends'
 
Do you have any favourite pieces you've designed: 
 All of my big chunky knitted coats have a soft spot in my heart - this is probably because I know the hours that have gone into them. I love the long evening gowns I created for Edinburgh Online fashion week too - even better these worn together. 
 
You focus on creating heritage designs with an edge - how important do you feel it is to produce within Scotland:
I am certainly always conscious of this, we have huge resources on our door step and I want to utilise these skills and use scottish product where possible.  I am always on the look out for groups and organisations to help make it possible to produce within Scotland. 

My favourite part. QUICK FIRE.

3 words to describe your design aesthetic: Opulence, Textured, Glamorous

Tartan or tweed: Tweed

Mohair, cashmere or angora: Cashmere

Chunky or fine (knit): Chunky

Pugs or Dachshunds: Dachshunds

Bruce Campbell or Bruce Lee: Bruce Campbell

Jammy dodgers or Jaffa cakes: Jaffa Cakes 

Somerville is a total hidden gem of the Scottish fashion scene and I've fallen head over heels with her knitwear. Bold colours, embellishment and draping? GURL. Just everything that's going on here. Definitely a name to keep an eye out for. 
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