A press day is always a welcome end to my less than thrilling day job so I eagerly counted down the hours and then headed to Graphic Bar in Soho where Lewis and Leigh
PR held their AW15 press day. There was a chilled out party vibe as House of Alt provided a background of classic R & B tunes- if it wasn’t so early and a school night it would have been hard to get me out of there as some of my old time faves were churned out- and it made me feel good that the younger kids were aware of the soundtrack of my youth! On top of a great ambiance each corner of the bar had an exciting visual treat ranging from cool graphic prints, extravagant hats and bath bombs that made me hungry ( well hungrier than usual ).
Stvdio 5 cosmetics- still wishing these were edible!
With my mum being far away in the Caribbean, St Lucia, I really appreciate how special mothers are so have picked out some of the finest gifts you can find for this mothers day (in my humble opinion).
1. Recycled rubber necklace handcut in Indonesia from my boutique www.realmoftreasure.com or available at Broadway Market, London Fields, Hackney.
2. United Nude red leather shoes with their signature metal heel available at Shoeshoplive.
3. An adorable Hotel Chocolat set with pink rose, an eaton mess white chocolate slab and champagne truffles ( thank God I just had lunch otherwise I’d be drooling over this).
5. A Ren Morrocan Rose Otto gift set with luxurious body lotion and shower gel. Nothing makes me feel more pampered than the sent of rose oil!
6. A Diptyque candle as every lady needs to have at least one of these at some point in her life!
7. Finally a stunning mother of pearl shell and black resin clutch from my new favourite handbag designer Nathalie Trad.
Don’t forget to treat yourself too- after or with mum of course!
Although Giuliana Rancis has apologised for her, now we learned scripted slur on Zendaya’s locs hairstyle at the Oscars, it still raises the question of the negative connotations surrounding them and other more natural ‘black’ hairstyles. I wish we could live in a day where all people can wear their hair however they want without being judged (with the exception of a presumed mentally challenged lady I saw wearing a wig after cutting off all the hair from the ‘roots’- leaving a bald Barbie effect #onlyinlondon). However black people who choose to wear their hair without chemical processing- for those who don’t know we don’t have naturally straight hair so use either heat, straight perm or weave to get the look- are often forced to make a political statement. Whilst naturally straight haired people or even those with loose curls can wake up- put a comb through their hair and go to work, the same is often frowned upon if someone like me decided to go to work with my hair- combed but its natural tightly coiled poofy fro. I went though a period of time where I actually did this- as my hair was an awkward length- too short to tie back- and I’ve never been one that likes to spend ages doing the usual styles- braids, weaves even twists on my hair. I’m lucky enough to be living in the most cosmopolitan city in the world and have worked in a lot of very relaxed and cool workplaces where my hair has not been an issue but since I’ve never stayed anywhere that long I don’t know if this would have changed if I had tried to climb the career ladder. I’m not sure how well my fro would go down in a board meeting for example. I understand that some work environments demand very neat styles and even those with straight hair are required to tie it back- and I have no problem with this.
I just think there is still a very dated attitude towards natural black hairstyles like locs and the even sadder thing is that some of the worst attitudes are within our own community. I have Jamaican heritage and surprisingly its not a hairstyle that is well respected in the country where it currently has the strongest cultural links ( although it actually originated in ancient India and Egypt and is said to have been worn in the Bible). I’m glad Giuiliana / Fashion Police made the comments as discussion is always a positive thing. I hope people of all races will be challenged about their attitudes not just on hair but on judging people based on old fashioned ‘backwards’ concepts of beauty.
Here are some absolutely gorgeous celebs rocking locs and showing them in all their glory. Plus the best women I know wears them, my Mum ❤
Hannah Adamaszek is one of the most exciting up and coming artists of the moment. She is currently exhibiting in Lulu Guinness’ pop up gallery in collaboration with floating gallery, Beautiful Crime. Hannah graduated from Bournemouth with an art degree. She creates street art using mix of ink, acrylics and spray cans. I caught up with the smiley lady in Covent garden, just down the rd from the Beautiful Crime store and she filled me in on the whirlwind of cool stuff she’s been involved in over the past couple years.
The Beautiful Crime pop up features the work of Hannah Adamaszek, Bansky, Goldie (yes the drum and base artist with gold teeth) and portraits of Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell.
Hannah’s work is largely inspired by Native Indian’s (a culture that we both admire see earlier post) and this influence can be seen in her trademark striking female portraits that feature elegant strong women painted in soft dreamy colours. She appreciates the way they value nature and live in harmony with the earth. She also gets inspiration from jewellery and is always on the look out for new designers. Another important factor is travel and Hannah is lucky enough to have lived in Switzerland, Austria and Australia. Pinterest is essential to her work as it enables her to look at places she’s like to go and base her creations on the resulting themes and colours. Her trip to the Milla falls in Queensland, Australia inspired one of her striking portrait. Hannah also took part in a local art project inspired by nature in a community project in my hometown on the Walthamstow marshes, Mural on the Marsh, painting over the slightly less visually appealing street tags of youths on a mural.
Hannah wearing golden grass earrings made by Native tribes in the Amazon from my website ; www.realmoftreasure.com
Hannah has had an epic year with the Beautiful Crime pop up, exhibiting at Stroke art fair in Berlin and her first solo show at the amazing Curious Duke Gallery in London, but the main highlight for her was leaving her job at BT in April to focus more on art. The gutsy move has definitely paid off and the talented lady has been busier than ever and is deserving the recognition she deserves with recent sightings of her work in the Metro, Daily Mail, a competition in the Stylist and being shortlisted in the Saatchi Showdown competition. She will also be exhibiting at the Ben Oakley Gallery in Greenwhich’s Christmas show on December 13th. Her advice to artists is not to give up even after getting lots of rejection which is something she has experienced and targeting the right gallery for your work is also important. Her next goals are to paint a huge wall and do some work in other countries. I look forward to following the rest of her promising career.
The coolest mirror ever
Solo show at Curious Duke Gallery
I’ve attended London Fashion Week on and off over the years and each time it seems to get better and better. Dolce & Gabana model David Gandy recently expressed his view of London as the most important fashion capital of the world and Tom Ford bluntly said that us Londoners have even conquered the French in the style wars. Having lived in Paris for a year I did notice the difference in the sartorial preferences of the two cities and must admit that London definitely has that je ne sais quoi (even though French fashionistas can master chic blindfolded). As I’ve previously mentioned in this blog being a Londoner just makes me biased towards the fashion of my city which I believe to be more diverse and bold than the other main fashion capitals (Milan, New York and Paris). Whilst Japan definitely steals the global crown for adventurous fashion with its Harajuku girls, whilst I admire their fashion and culture I know I couldn’t pull it off. London fashion has just the right level of edge not to be boring but to stand out from the global crowds. This couldn’t be more clearly demonstrated than by the delights that were showcased by the plethora of designers at London Fashion Week SS14. The following shows in particular really blew me away and left me yearning for more. Luckily there were so many more visual (and culinary) treats that I will share in my next posts.
Conchita Perez (above)
Conchita Perez and Mark fast both celebrated the punk and grunge revival which is especially a la mode since the Punk exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum (New York). Fast’s collections are usually uber sexy so the dark hair and clunky boots were a departure for his signature glamour puss vibe, plus the models had particularly boyish shapes (part of me was hoping plus sized model Crystal Renn would make another appearance in his show as I truly believe his dresses are somewhat better suited to curvier women). Conchita Perez took punk to another level and models walked down the catwalk with attitude and one even did a diva like dance/walk which was cool. As always there were very structured shapes especially in the jackets and cryptic phrases written on pieces in graffiti style. This was hands down the best show venue despite getting lost in the rain to find it. The railway arch / tunnel added to the striking visuals of the collection and was the perfect backdrop.
The Swedish School of Textiles degree show and Fyodor Golan were both light and airy compared to the former two shows. These shows were full of colours, luxurious silk and chiffon fabrics and left me with a warm feeling. The Swedish School of Textiles show lasted for a full hour but I was mesmerized for every second and only realised the show was that long after a PR told me after it had finished. The show had what Scadinavia is known for, effortlessly cool minimalist pieces but I was also pleasantly surprised by some more complicated designs with intricate cut out details and unusual shapes. Golan’s collection had a similar simplicity to what is usually expected of Scandinavian design combined with perfect tailoring and beautiful rich colours and fabrics. I can imagine how any woman could be transformed into feeling regal when wearing pieces from the collection. You may think it doesn’t get much better than this but there was even more of this calibre of talent that I will share in my next posts.
I’m still blown away by the wonders of Graduate Fashion Week after attending last week at Earls Court. It was an eye opener for me to see the number of universities throughout the UK that seem to have excellent fashion courses. As a Londoner there is always the bad habit of thinking that anything outside of London will have a tough time competing with the fruits of the capital. My regionism was definitely challenged and it was great to see the creative talent that this whole country is blessed with not to mention the tangible excitement in the air of graduates showcasing their designs to the public for the first time! This is only part of the exhibition as there were so many amazing pieces I had split my coverage in to two parts with the second post coming soon.
Designers From the Previous years Graduate Fashion Week.
Norwich University of the Arts
I had a very exciting start to the week as I attended the second day of Graduate Fashion Week at Earls Court and watched the highly anticipated international show. The show was a collection of designers from twenty fashion schools from various corners of the earth. Its a great concept and a really cool experience. I’ll always be biased and in thinking that the UK as a lot of the world’s best design talent but was interested to see what the rest of the world had to offer. The show was anything but boring and was an eclectic mix of wearable to not so wearable and wacky styles. As expected the Scandinavian and Japanese designers were some of my favourites but I also loved the collections from Esmod Berlin which were a million times more edgy than most established German fashion brands such as Escada. Here are some of my highlights.
Mimar Sinan Turkey
Istituto Marangoni Milan
Shih Chien Taiwan- this designer, Angus Chiang, won! Still reminds me of a psychedelic / fururistic cookie monster
Fashion Institute of Technology Italy
Let me know your thoughts!