Influencers // Catherine Deneuve

There numerous factors I concider when looking for icons who inspire both professionally, in beauty and fashion, and spiritually, that determine my love and obsession. From both the past and present I search for those who I dream to covet, those that remind hold or carry myself in such a way, to keep class and grace as the upmost importance in a woman, next to intelligence. Or remind me to keep my mind open to new pathways of thought, and can teach me their own life lessons in business, fashion, art, beauty, or any other venture. 
When it comes to admiring people, they may be someone I admire and covet but that does not necessarily mean I idolise them. They cannot simply 'be beautiful' but must exhude something special, instill inner confidence. 

Catherine Deneuve is one of those women, to me, who does just that. The Parisian actress, while having one of the most exquisite faces, still holds an incredible sense of dignity. 

Unexpectedly, the first film I ever watched Deneuve in was Roman Polanski's 'Repulsion', where she plays a mentally unstable girl with low self-confidence and issues drive her to the point of madness. Then the other well known films such as Luis Bunel's Belle de Jour and Francois Truffaut's The Last Metro.

Visually, I am a huge fan of any woman who can look just as sensual with their hair piled up on the beach in an oversized jumper, as when she is made up, in a Givenchy dress and dripping in Harry Winston diamonds. Catherine epitomises this. yes, these woman are beautiful regardless but what makes them so beautiful is that they appear to be truly comfortable in their own skin without succumbing to the pressures of heavy makeup or tight clothes and surely this is the kind of beauty that we aught to want our daughters to admire and the kind of beauty that we believe is unhealthy to aspire to.

Things have changed, certainly; we all know almost anybody can be 'famous' now and the word celebrity really does scorn the genuine stars of the industry amongst Instagram filters and contouring. Remember that diamonds do exist amongst the rough.


#CatherineDeneuve #FashionBlogger #BeautyBlogger #RomanPolanski #LuisBunel #FrancoisTruffaut

Documentaries // Mapplethorpe - Look At The Pictures

Robert Mapplethorpe is amongst not only what I see as the top class of photographers, but one of the icons that has acted as an influence to push my opinions and thoughts out of my comfort zone )old Hollywood glamour and the jazz age). His work, even though produced in the 70s and 80s is to me still at the height of modernity and  relevance.

In September 1989 Robert's exhibition was highly controversially closed and sent to trial, in what went as unacknowledged as Art.

Mapplethorpe made something out of his polaroids. 
He encorporated them into a type of Art. 
Which was something no one was doing.

He always wanted to go further. 
He was glamourising the penis.

Robert was a Devil and an Angel.
He was reliant on his charm.

Was he ambitious?
..... That is an enormous understatement.

Although the documentary maker seemed more obsessed with Mapplethorpe's explicit photographs and journey into sadomasochism, and little was shown on his lesser known series, such as his flower imagery and portraits, I did find the imagery displayed entirely powerful. This was a compelling view of Mapplethorpe that did'nt shy away from his narcissism, sexual bravado and a definite mean streak. Tracing his birth and childhood right through to his death of AIDS in 1989, using interviews from friends, family, models and ex-lovers, viewing this highlighted how Robert's photography become contemporary fine art; he had bold vision that ignited a culture war I believe is still raging today. 


#RobertMapplethorpe #Photography #LookAtThePictures #FashionDocumentary #PhotographyDocumentary

Industry // Is Burberry Merging with Coach?

Waking up to hear Burberry may be merging with Coach was not something I had expected to hear. Although this may help Burberry initially, with profits rising by as much as 4.8% and sales up 7%, I believe that as one of the few heritage brands left that England has to offer on the luxury front, this would absolutely not be the right move for Burberry or Coach. 
It could be said that some benefits may lay in the fact that Burberry is mostly concentrated in the UK and European region, while Coach is looking to make a presence in these areas. Burberry's merchandise is priced at a higher level than that of coach, and coach's strong networks in the US, and so there could perhaps be beneficial points for the merge. However, I don't believe that these benefits would be true for either company. 

"A more aggressive commercial strategy could be that of running Burberry harder - the 'American way,'" Solca continued. "As promising as this looks short-term, this would increase the risk of future brand trivialisation and compromise long-term growth and valuation multiples. 

Burberry is a British brand and sells itself as this, merging with what may be a similar label in age but one that hits a lower market level would only hinder the British line. At a time when both companies are financially stable, and with past mergers in luxury brands showing compromised long-term growth, this seems a highly unnecessary move if true. Burberry may need some rearranging but this merge would not make any improvements to either companies, and neither could be of any benefit to the other.


#Burberry #Coach #BusinessofFashion #FashionIndustry #FashionBloggersUK

Documentaries // The First Monday in May - China Through The Looking Glass

Although it is agreed that not all Fashion is Art and some is indeed Commercial, people continually underestimate the power of clothes to tell stories or speak to people. It is the human impulse to communicate and express; fashion represents what is happening in society; politically and economically. Five to Six thousand pieces of haute couture were paired with the entire asian wing, and the exhibit covered three locations with in The Met in order to celebrate a multicultural moment.

"Anna Winter has understood that high fashion, the most extraordinary expiration of this medium, when paired with celebrities, it becomes something bigger than both. Transcending. "

As, not only an insight into the highly secretive Met Gala and Anna Winters role within it, but into the production & work that goes into world-wide accredited exhibition and the creative history of China, I found this an incredibly insightful film. Having expected the usual Anna-Winter-approved standard of documentary, the breadth of knowledge resulted in me writing numerous pages of notes and points of further research. The First Monday in May goes on to highlight many of the controversial issues the exhibit and both the East and West face; the perennial debate of whether fashion can be Art, what the contemporary Chinese aesthetic is, the appropriation of cultures in fashion and art, and the image we have of China, through the stereotypes depicted in films in the past. Today we constantly look to the East for inspiration, and there is an ongoing dialogue between the East and West that most don't expect to be there any further than manufacturers and into the contrasting creative worlds.

"The image of China is a fabulous invention." 

Often film is the first lens through which western designers encounter Chinese imagery, and the exhibit explores the impact of movies in shaping their fantasies. Films created by the West show women as either 'the dragon lady' or contrastingly 'the cotton blossom', normally the 'femme fatale', as quasi matriarchal, financially independent, and sexually liberated. It is a feminist interpretation. 
Within the exhibit itself, film is the filter between art objects and the high fashion. Its use within the exhibit it is sometimes directly related, sometimes as a metaphoric device; projected against almost spectral figures throughout it acts as a continuity in addition to expression. 

However many risks went with the production. The new generation of China benefitted from rapid progress and modernisation within their last hundred years, causing the exhibit to be initially politicised by Chinese Reporters claiming that the West was, once again, seen to be plundering the East for inspiration. The exhibit created debate around colonialism and orientalist which could be interpreted as Racism. 
The question of what the modern Chinese aesthetic is, is described by the world renowned designer Guo Pei; "China destroyed their tradition when Eastern and Western cultures collided together. Wisdom was left by Ancestors and these skills can be used to create something new for the nation. Fashion designers of today in china are integrating traditional Chinese culture back into fashion with modern aesthetics."
It must also be noted that the inclusion of numerous film clips led to concerns for the exhibit, it is necessary to ensure people don't find the intensity of the installation and the 'imposition' of the design so powerful that it overshadows the intellectual content. And that it diminishes the focus on the intellectual content by the use of any gimmicks used to"create hype". 

Further viewing - "The Last Emperor" 1987, "Raise the Red Lantern" 1991, "Farewell my Concubine" 1993, "In the Mood for Love" 2000, "The Shanghai Gesture" 1941, "The Shanghai Express" 1932.
Persons involved -  Andrew W Bolton, Thomas Campbell, Anna Wintour, Baz Lurhmann, Wong Kar Wai, Alexander Mcqueen, John Paul Gaultier, Riccardo Tisci, Guo Pei, Diana Vreeland, Sylvana Ward Durrett, Stephen Jones.

#AnnaWintour #MetGala #TheFirstMondayInMay #ChinaThroughTheLookingGlass #SavageBeauty #WongKarWai #Vogue

On A Personal Note...

All things Hollywood glamour, in the traditional sense, are the epitome of fashion to me. Forever Timeless. I grew up surrounded by my Mother and Grandparents, both of which have an enormous influence on my style today. And being sat down to watch old Hollywood films, such as High Society, The Seven Year Itch and Houseboat, in addition to, most likely, every single Hitchcock film in existence, will most likely be linked back to in all my personal creative work whether intentional or not. I find films are the best way to expose yourself to new influences, opinions, visuals, art movements, music and icons. Something that can lead you in completely different directions from your original path of ideas. The exposure to each character and their individual thoughts, opinions and styles. And for me, there are in fact few modern films produced that I believe fully push the boundaries creatively. 

Since my childhood exposure to the traditional Hollywood films, I have since expanded my taste in films to include those such as the works of Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut, & Roman Polanski. Raymond Charles adaptions portrayed by Humphrey Boghart and Lauren Bacall are another favourite, as is Belle De Jour. Catherine Deneuve, Grace Kelly and Tippi Hedron to name a few of my absolute favourite actresses, whom all carry themselves with the confidence of Old Hollywood, they exude a glamour that few naturally carry these days. Innocently graceful. 

The few modern films that I include in my personal library include A Single Man (which I have to limit myself to a singular monthly viewing as to not overwatch, with Tom Ford being one of my top icons), Basic Instinct, and The Great Gatsby (although I thoroughly enjoy the original equally). I also have a slight obsession with documentaries, especially of the biopic genre. I find nothing is greater than being able to grow from and learn life lessons from those of extraudinaire, whom you would not ordinarily meet let alone have the chance to learn from.

In the future I shall be posting pieces containing my thoughts, opinions, favourites, actors, directors, movements, creative direction, music, books, photographers, styling, writers (the list is endless) in addition to the latest news in the fashion, marketing and technological industry that I find intriguing; but I thought it appropriate to outline where my own personal tastes stem from.


P.S. I am forever looking for new inspiration and creatives to learn from and inspire me, so I forever welcome any suggestions, questions and discussions!

Trends // The Pyjama Trend

I am a huge fan of anything that exudes class and glamour, with a luxury feel. The Pyjama Trend is one that fits directly into this, often featuring yards of silk, satin and velvet. This is absolutely one of the more versatile trends, a more timely take on the classicality of shirts and trousers.

 Originating from the 1920's, the boudoir trousers and ensembles were reinvented, and then embraced by Coco Chanel by the 1930's. During this era the more sultry side of this look even became referred to as 'loungamas' by Vogue, leading to the more prominent representation as a Hollywood eveningwear favourite. 

                             1920's                   Bergdorf Goodman Advertisement, 1975    Where the Wild Pyjamas Are, Vogue 1965

By the 1970's the pyjama trend became a daytime and evening look, and can be seen amongst Halston's designs (another icon of mine). The minimalist designer's matching sets epitomised luxe evening-wear. The dreamy languor of matching sets were embraced by high society as an alternative to overly fussy gowns.

Big Time Glamour, Vogue, 1974          Halston Drawing             Hudson's Bay, 1975

This trend has more recently been popular for a great deal of years now; perhaps initially returning in Dolce & Gabbana's Spring 2009 RTW show, featuring the feminine take on men's silk pyjamas. It was more about the minimalist take on the trend, "back then it was more subtle" (Holli Rogers, Net-A-Porter).
 In the more recent years the trend has been ever present, visible in Louis Vuitton Fall 13, Marc Jacobs Fall 13, Alberta Ferretti Fall 16, Max Mara Spring 11, Nina Ricci Fall 16.

                                                    Alexander Wang, Spring 16              Stella McCartney          Dries Van Noten, Spring 16

People like to exude a sense of attitude through their clothes, and what could make more of a statement than wearing pyjamas out and about. The slouchy, feminine, nonchalant feel, that gives the half-dressed and no effort appearance, whilst somehow looking smart and put-together, is what draws people to this trend. It's this appearance that allows it to be pulled off in the more luxe fabrics, that creates a more devil-may-care front.

Here are a selection of pyjama shirts currently available to relax in:

This Chloe Pyjama blouse hits into the robe pyjama feel too, a shirt suitable for daytime and evening, worn with jeans during the day or matching trousers during the evening for a classier feel. At £1,353 its tasseled belt cinches in the waist making it flattering on anyone. In my opinion you could get away with bed hair, minimal make up and boyfriend jeans whilst wearing this and still carry an air of grace.

Another Block colour Silk Pyjama Shirt, but this time in the more traditional style, and with matching trousers available. Featuring piped hems, this monochrome pair would be a great alternative to the standard tailored suit. At £832 (shirt, Valentino) & £734 (trousers, Agnona) perhaps worn around the office, or to an evening get together with close friends in your favourite little downtown bar.

Similar to the above Valentino shirt, this New Look piece is a cheaper alternative to the monochrome at £25. Plus everyone should always own at least one crisp white shirt.

Never one to miss an opportunity gaining another striped top, the Shirt hits both the 'traditional' style shirt, but with the horizontal stripes in red with boxier cut, I find it a more youthful take. Available from Marni at £362.

The painterly Florals of this Valentino shirt are a nice twist on the average repeated floral patterns.  Paired with perhaps a pair of trousers with contrasting graphics, available for £1,878.

This is most definitely a trend I will continue to wear in the years to come, but with more own personal twist of course. The Shirt and Trousers of pyjama-wear are already bringing forward other pyjama-related trends, such as loafers, Robes and Slip dresses. All of which I am excited to see the progression of in the future. Perhaps this could lead to the better designing of actual pyjamas as nightwear, as I'm sure you are all aware, the market is very limited. An aspect I hope to discuss in future posts.

Thank you for reading and any comments on how you would wear the trend, or any bargains you've found for the trend, in addition to questions are absolutely more than welcome

#Pyjama #PyjamaTrend #Shirts #Tailoring #Chanel #Valentino #Chloe #Silk #luxury

Icons // The Life & Death of Bill Cunningham

What I find most inspiring is the passion Bill had, to the extent where he refused pay for majority of his life in order to maintain truth and innocence. He could not be bought, neither could his work, he only wanted to share the art with the world. But share it without the industry forcing it's opinion upon it. Sharing it to breed a more individualistic flare in each and everyone who would read or see his work. Be it the Upper East side Socialites at elaborate banquets, or the flamboyant eccentricity of self-made characters criss-crossing the streets of New York.

Having now viewed "Bill Cunningham - New York" tens of times, in addition to following him for a great deal of years, to me Bill embodies what I view as the current major quandary in todays world of fashion. Fast Fashion. Fashion means money. Fashion is loosing all creativity in order to create the greatest, quickest profit. Fashion should be an art. And although I also understand the way the business world works, I believe currently it is not working and creativity is paying the price. Fashion weeks are being reshuffled. Perhaps in years to come they will not exist. Too much a strain is upon designers and the art of fashion becoming more and more constrained. Increasing numbers of designers are expressing their own worries about this issue, one that led to the resignation of Raf Simons at Dior. 

What started out as a brief piece on one of the influencers in both the fashion world and my personal life, has led me onto an important issue in the industry. An industry I will absolutely be returning to in one or more future posts in further detail.
I just wonder how other people have been influenced by Bill Cunningham, his ideals, and what your views are on 'Fast Fashion", so feel free to leave ideas, opinions and questions below


#FastFashion #BillCunningham #FashionIndustry #FashionDocumentary #RafSimons