Sunday, 27 February 2011


I've decided to lump these two collections for this review, partly for time/space and partly to illustrate a stark contrast between what happens when you transform childhood memories into fashion and get it right and what happens when you rip off Disney and get it wrong.

I'm starting with the exponentially positiveChristopher Kane.
His fluro-neon, "Princess Margaret on acid" (anyone else sick of hearing that quote?) SS11 collection was well received by insiders and hailed by the mags/blogs as one of the key collections from which retailers and trendsetters alike should take inspiration for the coming season.
Personally, I liked it because it reminded me of sweeties - in particular Rainbow Drops - which in turn made me think about my childhood, and with AW11 we can assume Kane is still riding this wave of retrospective inspiration. Lava lamps, crochet rugs, soda streams... all were cited as inspiration for this, another outstanding collection.

I'm not gonna lie, it was a grower. At first I was like, muted earthy tones, a vaguely 90s grungy feel mixed with a weird futuristic shapes, FURTHER contrasted with conservative lines and twin sets? REALLY?! I struggled for a while to put the collection into context... Then I realised I was over thinking it. Once I stopped freaking out I began to see the genius behind it all.

The prim and elegant black dress is transformed by trimmings of liquid-filled plastic made to resemble lava lamps. LAVA LAMPS, y'all! This particular inspiration could have been translated in a really pedestrian, obvious way but Kane is too cool for that. Instead he keeps the reference totally literal while still retaining the wearability of the garment.

I actually had a top like just this when I must have been like 14 or something. It was pink and white though, but it was an open crochet-knit just like this with plasticky straps. I get it Chris. I get it.

You can't fail to see this is beautiful - all the tiny shimmering pockets resembling sequins are actually filled with a clear viscous liquid... This'll be the Soda Stream reference then. Love that the mary janes give the look a deliberately dated feel.

More close-ups of that amazing plastic/fabric/whatever. Designed to warm to the body, the liquid inside shifts and moves exactly like a lava lamp does. Like I said before, the effect is futuristic but rooted in childhood memory. Just breathtaking.

Possibly my favourite look, but it's too hard to choose really.

The longer I thought about this collection, the more it reminded me of my youth. As well as the pink crochet top, I also had a spice girls cropped-top with a squidgy, liquid-filled plastic square on the front that said SPICE, and a rug just like that first image. I didn't have a lava lamp (weird scared by them) but I knew loads of other kids who did.

It got me thinking about staples from my childhood like astro belts, mood rings, those weird alien babies in slime, and that TV show The Tribe on Channel Five early in the morning... I fear I'm going off on a tangent but I hope you all get what I mean!

Anyway, yes, this was yet another outstanding collection by Christopher Kane. Perhaps even more so than the embroidered leather of AW10...

Now for the not so positive - Topshop Unique.
I didn't hate it all, in fact some of the later, 30s-inspired Art Deco looks were actually quite pleasing but I was generally left with an overwhelming feeling of disappointment. Oh Topshop Unique, I had such high hopes for you, especially given the absolute smash of last year's AW collection. A triumphant nod to woodland creature/Lion Witch & The Wardrobe chic, complete with mental bushy eyebrows and even the odd pair of antlers... This proves I don't mind a bit of childish fantasy or over-the-top styling!

But to basically copy the (lesser known 1956 novel but later a successful) Disney film 101 Dalmatians - to literally lift the inspiration from somewhere else and represent it directly without doing virtually anything to it? Nah, I simply didn't get this.

This collection showed just how much Topshop is a retailer first and foremost and a design house second. I like fun and quirky, I like cheeky and whimsical, and I've even been known to approve of tongue-in-cheek, but Topshop more than ever needs to up its game. A few fake Dalmatian fur coats and dog-eared models does not a fashion-forward collection make.

Seriously, am I being overly harsh here, or does this just look lazy and uninspired?

Are the proportions here whack, cos this coat is making this size 4 model look chunky. Not good. A trench coat with Dalmatian sleeves... Yawn.

I've pretty much run out of things to say about this. And that in itself is a BAD sign.

One of the looks I actually didn't hate. But then I'm a sucker for a fab fur coat, dress and knee-high combo. Again though, I feel like I've seen this before. I have no doubt that if any of these pieces make it to the shelves they'll sell like hot cakes, but are they doing anything different and original? Nope.

Again, another look I actually liked. The Art Deco print and drapey, lounge-wear feel of the set makes me glad that SOMEONE put some effort into this collection.
I don't really want to end on a low here, but SERIOUSLY?

I feel like I can't look at this collection objectively anymore because I've become kind of angry at it. It's a cop out... I'm sure those horrific doggy jumpers will sell out, but it just feels all too easy. I wish Topshop Unique had taken more of a risk.

Christopher Kane showed us that you CAN use childhood memories and experiences as inspiration for something greater, but you don't have to represent your influences it in a childish way. I was ROOTING for them, but ultimately I wish Topshop Unique had done better. I really do.

AS EVER I'd love to hear what you think - am I chatting rubbish?

Congrats if you made it to the end of this post btw, what a MONSTER!!

Saturday, 26 February 2011


If you're a fellow Weegie it can't have escaped your notice that the ever-awesome Glasgow Film Festival has been running this month. Sadly it ends tomorrow, though there is an amazing-looking film about Beat legend William S Burroughs on today which y'all should run and catch if possible...

Anyway last night I had the pleasure of the lovely Ayden from Little Blog of Horrors's company at the screening of Japanese director Daishi Matsunaga's documentary, Pyuupiru 2001-2008.

A series of Self Portraits by Pyuupiru

The film follows the acclaimed transgendered Japanese visual artist and former club kid Pyuupiru over his 7 year transformation from man to... woman? Well, no, not exactly. He has castration surgery but not gender reassignment surgery, so I guess technically he exists somewhere between the two. He explains near the beginning of the film how he wants to transform himself into the character of Pyuupiru who is neither male nor female, but purely artistic expression.... It's safe to say that by the end of his journey he's achieved that.

Sorry it's in Japanese - there is no trailer with English subs - grrr!

Over the seven years we see him transform physically and artistically, and it's clear the two journeys are intrinsically linked. It's his gender identity, sexual and emotional frustration, and burning desire to create which powers his work, and in turn his work helps him to come to peace with his true self.

The most moving part of the documentary for me was the completion of his "Light and Hope" installation involving the suspension of 50,000 gold origami  paper cranes in long strings over an 8m high cone. FRUSTRATINGLY there are no pictures online (not that I can find anyway, but let me know if you come across any) but trust me when I say it was a spectacular sight! Pyuupiru made 32,000 cranes himself and appealed for fans and members of the public to submit the rest... Dedication or what.

Watching him in an old manky t-shirt, slaving away over the installation for months and literally working his fingers to the bone to create something so magical and beautiful was truly inspiring. I felt it gave him as an artist a certian level of credibility which his perhaps most famous work, Planetaria, had lacked. I ain't no art buff but something about the Light and Hope piece left me with a lump in my throat...

Hilarious at times, and wholly unpretentious, if you get a chance to see this anywhere I recommend you do yourself a favour and go and see it.

The night was bookended by a hilarious opening speech by Glasgow's resident drag divas, Vanity Von Glow and Lady Munter, and rounded off with a fabulous fashion show showcasing some of Glasgow's finest including Obscure Couture and TORRES - expect to be hearing these names ever more frequently in 2011...

SO All in all it was a great night. Thanks to Urban Outfitters and Illamasqua for providing us with top-notch goody bags, Ayden and myself had great fun rifling through them :) Unfortunately we couldn't stay to enjoy the after party with Pam Hogg on the decks which was GUTTING to say the least but such is the perks of working 8-6 every Saturday in life...

Muchos thanks go to Claire from ITCOW and Bee Waits For No One who did a sterling job organising the event - Cheers chickadee!

The rest of my weekend will be spent working, finishing off some uni work, sleeping and preparing for my first day at the BBC on Monday for work experience - can't wait! Have a goodun bloggies :)


Tuesday, 22 February 2011


Ahhh! HOW ON EARTH has it taken me so long to get round to having a proper look at the NYFW shows? I mean LFW is practically finished y'all and here I am at least a whole week behind - dear oh dear!

(Actually, it's been due, in part, to being pulled in lots of different directions by other parts of my life at the moment - uni, work experience, CV pimping, generally pondering where my career/life is headed... *stares listlessly into the middle distance* Aaaaaaanyway...)

It's no secret that I love Alexander Wang. My sage Rocco bag is one of my most coveted items from the Net a Porter win, and if I could have the £5,000 again a large chunk of it would go on more of his bags/shoes/shirts/jackets you name it, I love it. I'll be honest and admit that my enthusiasm (obsession?) for him took a tiny dip with his SS11 offering as I just don't tend to dig white. As ever I was still impressed with the cut of the pieces and the overall feeling of optimism and purity the collection represented, but what can I say... I'm a goth at heart.

As you can imagine then, I was suitably wowed by Wang's predominantly black pre-fall collection. In particular I mentioned loving the mind-bending mid-length proportions of the dropped waist/hemlines, and all in all it created a fitting segway into the AW11 collection which showed last week in New York.

Predominantly an outerwear collection, Wang took a detour back into what he knows and does oh so well - sporty, Gothic, luxurious, cool...

Wrap me up in this jacket/poncho effort, please?

Just effortless.

Loving the silk long-shorts and fur collar.

Is it a fleece? Is it a poncho? Is it a dress gone wrong/right? Who cares, just look at that drapey hem. I wish I'd seen this in action -can just imagine how deliciously it moves...

Looking to jazz up that old black suit jacket? Faux-fur sleeves people! Of course! Topshop is already taking inspiration from Burberry and adding leather to the sleeves of its trenchcoats but come next season it'll all be about faux-fur sleeves...

This reminds me a lot of the Yohi Yamamoto's "suit as security blanket" theme from his AW menswear collection - there's definitely something similar going on with the proportions and over-sized cut of this. Just inspired.

Classic Wang cool-factor, no?

Is there a strong narrative going on here (a la Rodarte)? Not particularly.
Is Wang breaking from all tradition and re-inventing the wheel? Well...No.

But frankly, I don't care. Like Alabama Worley in True Romance I found myself repeating the same three words endlessly while browsing these pics... You're so cool, you're so cool, you're so cool...

Thoughts please??

I'm aware this post has been a total Wang love-fest (and who doesn't enjoy one of those........) HOWEVER I've since seen some big-named shows I have NOT enjoyed so much, but I always hesitate to post those kind of reviews. That said, I'm entitled to an opinion and by gosh Ima give it... Topshop Unique, I'm glaring looking at you...

More posts coming soon...

Saturday, 19 February 2011


Guess which well-known and much-hyped high street cosmetics brand is in the early stages of taking the first tentative steps into the fashion market?

That's right, we're talking apparel, accessories, bags - and weirdly stationary too - all from a brand which is much better known for eye-popping, neon bright lipsticks, eye shadows, glitter dust and crucially a now iconic cracked-effect NAIL POLISH...

As far as I can tell, no press release has been issued yet so I'm apprehensive at revealing the name (though I'm sure most of you will have guessed by now) but this is most definitely an exciting move!

Can't wait to see what they have up their sleeve...

Thursday, 17 February 2011


Geisha heels...

It's weird how your tastes can totally change from one extreme to the other without really realising it. I used to hate wedges CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE THAT?!

Seriously, I did. I was convinced all wedges were hideous and made your ankles, calves, knees and everything else fat, fat, fat. What on earth was I thinking - now I can't get enough!

The bigger - and crucially the flatter/more geisha-like - the better it seems.

Traditional geisha sandals

Won Hundred wedged pump, available at Urban Outfitters this spring/summer.
These come in black as well and I can FEEL a cult shoe trend brewing in my water...
 Topshop wedged sandals.
Ohhh dear me, these have jumped up to the top of my Topshop SS wishlist...

Melissa for Vivienne Westwood winged wedges.
I first saw these a while back on Queen Marie over at Kingdom of Style and loved them instantly.

So what do you think, are you guys on board with this emerging trend or not?

Wednesday, 16 February 2011


A wee treat for all you non-Scots out there..

Lloydspharmacy, some trendy cocktail bar, some trendy claiths shoap... Lloydpharmacy one word...

Series 2 HURRY UP!



click to enlarge

Who's all coming then?? I definitely will be - can't resist a cheeky discount! Last time I just popped in to Urban Outfitters I dropped a cool £95 in less than an hour... OOPSIE! So, yes, anything to lessen similar financial follies gets the thumbs up from me.

PLUS the folks at the Glasgow Film Festival are putting on a short film and photography exhibition in store until the 25th Feb, so get yerselves down, ken? Banging.

In other UO-related news, today I was very kindly sent some preview pics of Urban Outfitters' new Spring Summer stock - 20 hot new looks in all. As expected Urban have hit the nail on the head for SS11 - did we really expect less from them? Especially loving the Coop Designs' graphic zebra prints, Carin Wester's Acne-inspired maxi dresses and WHYRED's Wang-inspired white suit. The menswear looks are also really sharp. Here's my favourites for your enjoyment:

Available instore and online soon - keep your eyes peeled!



Tuesday, 15 February 2011


Remember the Givenchy couture collection that absolutely floored me, and just about every other blogger in town? You know the one - Japanese inspired bejewelled silk gowns with origami shapes and mad headdresses?

THAT'S the one!

Well, I'll be honest and say the Grammys kind of passed me by this year (Gaga, I love you, but that whole egg thing was a little lame pet) EXCEPT, of course, when I spotted the beautiful Florence Welch owning this exquisite gown from Riccardo Tisci himself:

Just STUNNING! I also much prefer her hair this colour as opposed to the brighter red she had for a while. Not sure anyone else would have been able to make such a gorgeous gown work except the ethereal, goddess-like Flo.

Second album soon please!

Monday, 14 February 2011

NO TIME post a proper review of BAFTA fashion (Alba, Swinton, Stone, HBC and that wee girl from True Grit all getting thumbs up tho, non?), OR to savor any of NYFW's pickings... YET...

But just enough time to post some fierce pics of my new shoe porn du jour.

What the hell's happened to me??? These are as Rainbow Brite, candy-cute, pre-pubescent and girly as they come but I WANT, I WANT, I WANT!!

These beauts come courtest of Etsy's Jamesrowlandshop whom I've posted about before in an Etsy Spotlight.

Honest to God, I'm a little disturbed myself at the wacky direction this recent penchant for colour is heading..............

You like??

PS thanks for all your comments on previous posts, guys! I ususally try to comment back on the original post (if I have time) but I hate the way Blogger doesn't alert you to follow-up comments, so if you ask a question or whatever and are expecting an answer I'll normally try and give on on the original post innit... Otherwise if you just email me at my hotmail (link at top) I'll defo respond. Dunno if that whole schpiel was a bit dorky or whatevs...

Saturday, 12 February 2011


Aye, SO... Last week for uni I had to write a review of a recently-released film or do a short round-up of the week's TV. Rather than try and tackle My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding or The Joy of Teen Sex in fifty words - an IMPOSSIBLE task, they are both so deliciously heinous to condense - my pal Carlin and I decided since we both wanted to see the new Brighton Rock film so badly, we may as well kill two birds with one stone.

Because I'm feeling lazy today, and fairly uninspired sartorially, here's what I wrote (more or less) for y'all to chew over:

Visual, visceral and violent, Rowan Joffe’s reimagining of Graham Greene’s classic 1938 novel Brighton Rock packs an unforgettable punch.

Despite having neither seen the original 1947 film starring Richard Attenborough as baby-faced killer Pinkie, nor read the book (shame on me, I hear my fellow English Literature alumni cry en masse) nonetheless I’m suitably convinced it stands alone as a gritty and poignant film in its own right.

The excellent Sam Riley of Ian Curtis biopic Control (2007) is outstanding in the lead role of Pinkie Brown – a young, ambitious gangster in a world of old dogs, who brutally murders a veteran of the rival gang as an act of revenge. When innocent waitress Rose (Andrea Riseborough) becomes linked to the crime, the suave but ruthless Pinkie must woo and ultimately marry her to save his own skin. The odd couple (Rose conjures up an image of Eastenders’ Little Mo, only more pathetic, and Pinkie resembles a positively Satanic Trevor) are pursued by pier-front cafe owner Ida (Helen Mirren) along with fancy man Phil (John Hurt) - the only two good eggs in Brighton it seems.

From Pinkie and Rose’s initial meeting to the climactic ending, the audience is kept on the edge of their seat, willing Pinkie to see the light and reform; to fall in love with the smitten and somewhat sandwich-short Rose, and escape a Brighton caught in the grip of the 1960s youth riots and clashes between mods and rockers. The tragic beauty of the film is that he never appears to, not outwardly anyway.

In one telling scene, Rose asks Pinkie to make her a record from a stall on the pier, and Sam Riley’s sneering face as he spits “I hate ya, I hate everything about ya,” onto the vinyl, sums up the true darkness in his heart. Rose can almost be forgiven for wanting to inspire Pinkie to change his hellish ways, but in another of many disturbing scenes, while Pinkie pinches the skin on the back of her hand for a few agonizing minutes, Rose replies that he can keep doing it if he likes it. Make no mistake there’s no tenderness here. It’s hard to sympathize with or root for a character as pathetic as Rose, and the intention is that we clearly should. But perversely I found myself on Pinkie’s side.

From the same producers as Atonement, Brighton Rock is cinematically and visually brilliant. The dull, shadowy pier, dreary surrounding seascape and sweeping panoramic shots all enhance the sinister mood which builds gradually to epic proportions. The 1960s setting and implicit background violence created by the mods and rockers beach-front battles add an extra layer of believability to the gangsters throwaway “carvings” and casual brutality.

With lashings of Catholic guilt, emphasized beautifully by an original, almost operatic score by Martin Phipps (think toned-down Godfather), plenty atmospheric cutaways to crucifixes and talk of Hell, Pinkie’s eventual damnation is expected but nonetheless shocking to witness.

And it’s Sam Riley’s Pinkie that makes this film what it is: a tragic and haunting portrayal of selfish lovelessness and ruthless violence amidst a changing world where the young are to be feared.

Brighton Rock is released in cinemas nationwide from the 4th of February.

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