Manchester based fabric designer/maker & editor-in-chief of HOT BLOOD magazine

Sunday, 1 March 2015

LONDON FASHION WEEK AW15: why I adore fashion week, and London specifically

This season I didn't actually make it to LFW and yet it was, in many ways, my favourite so far. Since graduating from uni in June, I've started numerous projects and sketchbooks and let them all tail off. And since LFW AW15 I've designed/made 3 different neoprene digital prints, made one neoprene printed clutch, one digitally printed maxi dress, 12 new designs and have another metre of digitally printed fabric arriving tomorrow to be made into a dress. It's reasonably safe to say I've been entirely re-inspired.

And it's for that reason that I LOVE London fashion week; it's fresh, exciting and inventive like no other city. New designers are always emerging at LFW, established designers are always pushing the boundaries to create something different (plastic paisley parkas at Mary Katrantzou? Amazing). It's impossible to not be inspired watching the textures, colours, techniques, styling, music, set design and concepts that go into the LFW collections. I've shared some of my absolute favourites from this season & why I love them here!




Ashley Williams has just grown bigger and better throughout her career. Still fresh as ever, bizarre prints that seem to summarise what we didn't even know we were vibing, beautiful textures and girls who walk with amazing attitude.




Shrimps blew me away because of how beautifully the set contrasted with the pastel-bright faux furs. The details were absolutely charming too - a diamanté pin in a pink kilt, green faux fur, Sophia Webster collab faux fur trimmed shoes. Magical.




As I've already mentioned, Mary Katrantzou proved that she is full of much more than just digital prints, pushing all the boundaries with a baby pink foam cube runway and tinsel-filled hoods. It represented what LFW is best known for: innovation.




Claire Barrow drove her handpainted illustrations and screen printed garments into the new season with ease, combining them with beading and texture to give them an edge. The windswept presentation was beautiful, giving her dark designs an almost ethereal side. And those earrings, woah.




I interned for Ryan Lo for SS15 (blogged about here), and so have followed him since then to see where he'd go. This collection is by far his best. It's entirely grown up and refined, without losing the saccharine style that upholds the Ryan Lo girl. Frozen princesses, Russian furs and genuinely interesting cuts of dresses make this a pretty seriously amazing collection.




THE RUFFLES, THE DARK LIPS, THE PRINTS! I don't need to say anymore.




As ever, the CSM MA show was phenomenal. For me, Matty Bovan completely stole the show with his decaying giant glitter knits and exciting use of colour and texture around form. They're all so talented. So inspiring. 


Image via Dazed Digital

Mary Benson's AW15 show was, quite possibly, my favourite (though I say that every time I see each of these). The neon boxes, painted on t-shirts, Bowie references, metallics, lurex socks & heels, ruffle trims with frayed denim, roughed up hair, long nails, eyebrow art and bohemian/gang attitude was beautiful. I adored it.


Hope you loved some of these too! Watch out for my own LFW inspired designs which will be up in an editorial on my magazine, HOT BLOOD magazine, soon 

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

PRINCESS JEANS





I've been mentioning on social media recently that I was going to start pushing my blog in a more "fblogger" type direction - so here's my first #ootd (details below)! I've been obsessed with my Mom jeans recently, I'm dying for another pair so I can customise them again. I love them with the layering I've demonstrated here - and the colours! PINK 

The cow print collar is a recent addition to my wardrobe and I adore it. I love it with my handmade pink scarf, which is from my degree show collection and works perfectly as a kimono. I've made sure my makeup and accessories are glittery & tacky as ever to set the pink off, and curly hair is my staple!

What's your favourite colour to wear, and what do you wear to compliment/contrast with it?

Monday, 8 September 2014

Animals by Emma Jane Unsworth: post novel thoughts

I'm still reeling from finishing Animals by Emma Jane Unsworth. I think what it is that really got to me is Laura Joyce's (our protagonist's) acute striving for something more, trying to fight against what is ingrained in her - it's a relatable feeling as a single graduate who seems to experience the two questions "What are you going to do with your life, then?" and "How's thing's in your love life?" more than any other (do I sound a bit bitter? Animals has brought it out in me... but more on that in a minute). I felt that whilst the main 'devil and angel' characters of Laura's best friend and boyfriend were presented as such hyperboles, the characteristics that made up their stereotype became less and less clear. For instance: fuck you, angel hyperbole boyfriend, for thinking that the solution to Laura's problems is to not drink, to settle down getting married and to ditch her wild best friend. And fuck you, devil hyperbole best friend, for preaching that love won't make you happy, teaching that forgetting makes you feel better and acting like trouble is always fun. It seemed, to me, that every character that shared their opinion in the novel was at once both right and wrong about it. It affected me watching the protagonist figure that out too. It was exceptionally cleverly done to make the reader feel so.

I was in turmoil reading this book. I had to keep walking away; I felt what Laura Joyce was feeling so poignantly it was, at points, too much - of course, in the best way. It's so refreshing to read a book that properly makes you FEEL. As I just mentioned, Animals brought out bitterness and resentment and angst in me, but it also brought out giddiness, infatuation and I think above all: hope. I thoroughly went on a journey (so cliché, but sometimes clichés represent the truth better than other words can) reading Animals and it felt amazing to get to the end with Laura, mostly at peace. It helped me figure out some shit in my head too, which is sort of why we read, right?

I must just mention the setting too; it's an excellent depiction of Manchester, a setting completely made for the story and it's used to it's absolute utmost to enhance the plot & characters. The flow of this novel is endlessly beguiling - the proficiency of the use of language, setting and ideologies is set against a ruthlessly personal and poignant novel. It's SO good.


Saturday, 30 August 2014

Shredded tulle sequin princesses - or: How did I not blog about Ashish AW14 earlier?!

Giant satin bows, crimped meringue hair, LED shoes, tiaras on every girl, Polly Pocket makeup, shredded tulle, glorious sequins, sport socks, clustered crystal hems, wedding dress skirts, candyfloss colours, Chloe Norgaard(!), shimmering tinsel jackets, oversized ruffles, ethereally electric music, sequinned tracksuits, gold and pink, iridescence. Ashish AW14 took everything I've been fawning over and made it about a million times more romantic, and therefore completely incredible. It's sugar-sweet nostalgia without making you wince; the endless sequins are balanced with the sportswear silhouettes and layers upon layers of tulle. It's an absolute myriad of textures, topped of with rainbow LED platforms. Perfectttttt ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 



Friday, 29 August 2014

TRUE ROMANCE

Tinsel curtains, cow print skirts, blood, murder, Chesterfield cigarettes, stoner Brad Pitt, dance music, Cadillacs, Christian Slater, fringed lampshades, motels, cocaine, LA, blonde bobs, boobs, guns, trashy TV, diamanté horseshoe rings, Gary Oldman with dreads, metallic earrings, call girls, impromptu marriage, kung fu movies, spilt popcorn, blue heels, rollercoasters, Christopher Walken looking like a vampire, movie stars...





Instagram update/outfit(s) post!

 I've been so busy since finishing uni (more explained in a blog post soon!) that I have hardly posted at all! Sorry about that, I'll get back on it ASAP. I might do a little blog revamp soon too! Here's a peek at some outfits I've been wearing recently - purple & pink all the time!

Featuring Asos, Jen Cheema, Topshop, Elle Shoel, Cow vintage 



Monday, 14 July 2014

Exhibitions, pom poms and a new project!

There's been so much going on recently it's been hard to keep up! In the last few weeks I've graduated from University of Cumbria with a 1st Class Honours BA (Hons.) in Contemporary Applied Arts (specialising in printed textile design), exhibited at the incredible initiative that is New Designers alongside some amazing emerging designers, started a new project based on veils, feminism and novels, generated an obsession with organza pom poms and customised some shoes, become infatuated with creating contemporary jewellery and watched some incredible movies.

I'm really excited about my new Veils project. I'm not giving too much away until I have it underway but there's some really interesting concepts about paradox, decadence, sexual ideals, purity, feminism, silencing, gender, novels, and power. And some exciting techniques: digital print, screen print (acids and pigments), transfoils, glitter transfers, beading, machine embroidery, PVC embellishments, laser cutting, ruffles and fraying. We'll see...