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Valentino AW16 show, interview by Tim Blanks

March 30th, 2016

I wanted to share this brilliant Tim Blanks/BoF interview with you.

A wonderful and intelligent insight in to the inspiration behind the Valentino AW’16 collection. Not only wonderful to see those clothes moving, as they were conceived to be, but also to understand the designer’s vision behind the collection. Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Picciol steal my heart yet again.

For more inspirational fashion show posts, just take a look here.

Enjoy! Lucy

Teatum Jones, AW16 at London Fashion Week

February 23rd, 2016

The Teatum Jones AW’16 collection shown on Saturday night was, in my eyes, their best yet. As recent winners of the International Woolmark Prize it’s clear that Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones have hit their creative stride in spectacular style, garnering the recognition that this label has long deserved. After seeing the show I can absolutely see why the Woolmark judges chose Teatum Jones as their winners. This design duo have always been very textiles innovation focussed, specifically developing most of the fabrics for each collection. With the inspiration for this collection coming from the Foxford Woollen Mill, they delivered stunning pattern and texture through their attention to textile detail which perfectly blended historical reference points with Teatum Jones’ view of modern elegance.

Teatum Jones, AW16 collection at London Fashion Week, Blink London, fashion blog, catwalk show review

Teatum Jones, AW16 collection at London Fashion Week, Blink London, fashion blog, catwalk show review

Teatum Jones, AW16 collection at London Fashion Week, Blink London, fashion blog, catwalk show review

Teatum Jones, AW16 collection at London Fashion Week, Blink London, fashion blog, catwalk show review

I caught up with Catherine Teatum after the show to gain some more insight in to the collection.

Blink: Is this AW16 collection an extension from your Woolmark prize collection, or was the prize collection an extraction from your plans already underway for AW16?

Catherine: The human story is what comes first so there wasn’t an order of creativity as such. That poignant human story then wholly influences patterns we looked at and fabric textures we want to create. So both IWP and mainline FW16 evolved at the same pace and because we have discovered new and innovative ways to use merino wool in our collections, it naturally spread across both. This is something that we will continue to do. We’ve unlocked the magic in this simple and natural fibre and we are excited to pursue those investigations.

Blink: The reference points for this collection feel very much about your Irish family background. How did Rob’s influence dovetail in to the story?

Catherine: The story was based on a woman Agnes Moirrogh Bernard whose life’s ambition was to use wool as a powerful symbol of hope for those less fortunate. She just so happened to be based in Ireland very near to my family home! Both Rob and I travel to the mills together and the process of creation is experienced together.

There a very beautiful thing between two creative people who know what the other is thinking and doesn’t question it – trust.

Blink: How did you come across the story of Agnes and the Foxford mill?

Catherine: My dad recommended that we go to visit it. Initially he took me there on a day out together last August 2015 and I was instantly captured by Agnes’s story. I went back a month later and spoke to the crafts people at the mill and then Rob and I travelled there several times throughout the development process. 

Blink: The colour palette felt far richer and brighter than I might have expected from the historical woollen reference point. What was your inspiration?

Catherine: Teatum Jones creates bold, exquisite fabrics that are married with modern, relevant shapes. We feel that AW16 was probably our most competent example of that to date. The inspiration to create these fabrics was inspired by the natural and unstoppable spirit of the Irish people in the story. Coupled with the incredible diversity in landscape textures that you find in Ireland.

Blink: The colourful sand catwalk pathway was beautiful. What was your inspiration behind that?

Catherine: We felt the sand was a poignant way to tell our AW16 story. Sand never stands still, it constantly evolves and each time the models walked and created a new impression in the sand, that seemed to perfectly reflect the journey of Agnes and the Irish people of Foxford that she worked so hard to provide a future for.

Blink: How do you think winning the Woolmark prize impact on Teatum Jones?

Catherine: It’s given us the opportunity to really pursue our textile innovation and development. To really discover what’s the next level of possibilities of wool. It’s also given us the opportunity to be physically present in store for every single one of our retail partners’ launches.

Blink: The knitwear in this collection seemed to play a stronger part than previous seasons. Was that a conscious intention?

Catherine: The rural Irish women would hand knit everything and it’s a skill that was passed down through generations. We wanted however, to create a collection of knitwear that hit every single wardrobe stoppable desire that our women needs and only use the finest merino yarn to create a these knitwear pieces.

Here’s some of my highlights from the show so that you can get a closer look at some of the stunning detailing.

For more from London Fashion Week, just look here. For more interviews then look here.

Enjoy! Lucy

Kendrick Lamar ‘God is Gangsta’, Music Monday

February 22nd, 2016

This is the third time we’ve featured Kendrick Lamar as our #musicmonday and this time it’s not only because we are serious fans, it’s also to celebrate Lamar’s recent multiple Grammy wins. Much deserved Mr Lamar.

This is total creative innovation; a new voice, a new sensibility that takes hip hop and rap forward in a direction that is both relevant and smart, taking this musical artform forward while still referencing musical history from jazz, soul and funk traditions. If you haven’t spent some time with To Pimp a Butterfly yet, we suggest you should as a matter of musical urgency.

For more new music posts, please just click here.

 

Enjoy! Lucy

Liberty and the Art of Pattern at the Fashion and Textiles Museum

February 16th, 2016

This is our second post about this great exhibition at the Fashion and Textiles Museum, but you know we love Liberty London ever so much so we thought it deserved two posts! As we mentioned in yesterday’s post, the exhibition ends with a focus on two of Liberty’s most impactful and influential pattern designers, Susan Collier and Sarah Campbell. This design duo (and sisters) designed for the brand between 1961 and 1977, helping Liberty to re-establish it’s aesthetic in a way that was both respectful of its past but also relevant for the fast paced change in London’s fashion scene.

Liberty in Fashion, The Art of Pattern at Fashion and Textiles Museum, Liberty London, vintage Liberty, Liberty florals, fashion exhibition, fashion blog, Blink London

Liberty in Fashion, The Art of Pattern at Fashion and Textiles Museum

They worked from fragments of designs discovered in Liberty archive, developing new variations on established themes as well as creating brand new designs. Many of the designs we consider heartland Liberty were actually created by this duo in this period of intensive creativity. This section of the exhibition shares a look at Collier and Campbell’s sketchbooks and their original artwork which is an utter inspiration.

Liberty in Fashion, The Art of Pattern at Fashion and Textiles Museum, Liberty London, vintage Liberty, Liberty florals, fashion exhibition, fashion blog, Blink London

Liberty in Fashion, The Art of Pattern at Fashion and Textiles Museum

Liberty in Fashion, The Art of Pattern at Fashion and Textiles Museum, Liberty London, vintage Liberty, Liberty florals, fashion exhibition, fashion blog, Blink London

Liberty in Fashion, The Art of Pattern at Fashion and Textiles Museum

Liberty in Fashion, The Art of Pattern at Fashion and Textiles Museum, Liberty London, vintage Liberty, Liberty florals, fashion exhibition, fashion blog, Blink London

Liberty in Fashion, The Art of Pattern at Fashion and Textiles Museum

Liberty in Fashion, The Art of Pattern at Fashion and Textiles Museum, Liberty London, vintage Liberty, Liberty florals, fashion exhibition, fashion blog, Blink London

Liberty in Fashion, The Art of Pattern at Fashion and Textiles Museum

I even discovered that Liberty had created ceramics and tiles too!

Liberty in Fashion, The Art of Pattern at Fashion and Textiles Museum, Liberty London, vintage Liberty, Liberty florals, fashion exhibition, fashion blog, Blink London

Liberty in Fashion, The Art of Pattern at Fashion and Textiles Museum

For more from inspirational exhibitions and events, take a look here.

Enjoy! Lucy

Beyonce ‘Formation’ is our #MusicMonday

February 15th, 2016

Get in formation beeaatttccchhh. Oh yeah, I like that! Beyonce slays yet again. Brilliant track, brilliant message, brilliant styling.

For more of our Music Monday posts, look here.

Enjoy! Lucy

Liberty in Fashion at the Fashion and Textiles Museum

February 15th, 2016

It’s all about flowers just now after hitting this exhibition all about Liberty at the Fashion and Textile Museum as well as Painting the Modern Garden at the Royal Academy. I’ll share more about the RA’s show soon, but first I want to tell you all about this wonderful exhibition and this wonderful space in Bermondsey. If you are in to fashion and textiles, and you haven’t yet discovered this gem I strongly suggest you hotfoot it down to the Fashion and Textiles Museum ASAP!

Liberty in Fashion at the Fashion and Textiles Museum, Liberty London, vintage Liberty, Liberty florals, fashion exhibition, fashion blog, Blink London

Liberty in Fashion at the Fashion and Textiles Museum

If you read my review of Anna Buruma’s book about Liberty London you’ll already be very much in the mood for taking a trip down Liberty’s memory lane. This exhibition not only takes you through some of Liberty’s biggest fashion moments, it also charts some of the history of how this amazing retailer developed it’s very particular design style and how that fitted in to the fashion world as a whole. It’s no secret that we adore Liberty London, and this exhibition affirmed that love even further.

Liberty in Fashion at the Fashion and Textiles Museum, Liberty London, vintage Liberty, Liberty florals, fashion exhibition, fashion blog, Blink London

Liberty at Fashion and Textiles Museum

The exhibition looks at how Liberty textiles were included in craft revivals, like this stunningly smocked child’s outfit from the Seventies, as well as tracing it’s history through all of the fashion decades pretty much since Liberty’s first day of trading out of that iconic store. There is so much to be inspired by here, taking you through all of the key silhouettes from each fashion period as well as showing how Liberty and their fabulous florals dovetail in to each era. Those floral designs are really central to spotlighting the evolution of what we identify as Liberty’s DNA today. Such creativity and also a surprising amount of diversity- but all really identifiably Liberty.

an original 1930s artwork, Liberty in Fashion at the Fashion and Textiles Museum, Liberty London, vintage Liberty, Liberty florals, fashion exhibition, fashion blog, Blink London

an original 1930s artwork. Liberty in Fashion at Fashion and Textiles Museum

1940's frocks, Liberty in Fashion at the Fashion and Textiles Museum, Liberty London, vintage Liberty, Liberty florals, fashion exhibition, fashion blog, Blink London

1940’s frocks. Liberty in Fashion at Fashion and Textiles Museum

1940's frocks, Liberty in Fashion at the Fashion and Textiles Museum, Liberty London, vintage Liberty, Liberty florals, fashion exhibition, fashion blog, Blink London

Liberty in Fashion at Fashion and Textiles Museum

There are even contemporary looks too, showing how international designer names have incorporated Liberty into their own looks, and there’s some new prints fresh from the Liberty design team too.

Vivienne Westwood SS13. Liberty in Fashion at Fashion and Textiles Museum, Liberty London, vintage Liberty, Liberty florals, fashion exhibition, fashion blog, Blink London

Vivienne Westwood SS13. Liberty in Fashion at Fashion and Textiles Museum

The final section in the exhibition is a separate room dedicated to ‘The Art of Pattern’ and the work of Susan Collier and Sarah Campbell. These sisters were instrumental in taking the Liberty aesthetic forward during the 60’s and 70’s, creating many of the most recognisable Liberty patterns. We’ll share some more with you in a post tomorrow so keep an eye out for it.

 

Enjoy! Lucy

Blink Catching Up: Fair Fashion

February 10th, 2016

Ferry journey from Istanbul

Apologies for the lack of a Music Monday or any other posts yet this week but I have been on a rather exciting last minute journey and just got back very late last night.

You may have spotted this image on my Instagram account on Sunday. It’s the ferry out of Istanbul taking me across to Mudanya on the long journey from London to Bursa. I was on my way to meet a really exciting collection of manufacturers and mills to kick off a wonderful new Blink London Consultancy project. I’ll share more with you as it develops (and if I’m allowed).

There are several areas in Turkey where textile and garment manufacturing happens, and has been happening for centuries, and Bursa is one of those. I love working with Turkey as a fashion manufacturing resource because the way that this country’s fashion manufacturing has evolved means that there are inherent sustainable practices. You will very often find that the garments you are having made in Turkey are being constructed from fabric that has been woven or knitted in very close proximity to the garment production plant, and often that fabric has been created from Turkish yarn too. This means that already your garments have incurred as few miles as possible before being shipped to it’s final destination. That is always going to be good news.

I met with a mill that has been awarded more eco certificates than any other in Turkey to date (and to Swiss standards, not Turkish ones), and in fact is becoming a vegan factory. Yup, you heard that right. This is a factory who is working towards eliminating any animal created fibres that cause that animal to be killed during that fibres harvesting. They are also supporting ethical and cruelty-free fibre producers when they are buying wool, and working at the forefront of recycled synthetics. I am so very impressed.

So here’s to a long and exciting relationship blossoming from here, and to me sharing more really positive fashion industry news with you from my new project!

Enjoy! Lucy

Valentino’s snake circlets and our hair adornment obsession

February 4th, 2016

Here’s our second indulgence in some Blink Towers team high-fiving. Hope you didn’t mind yesterday’s too much. So let me take you back to our fixation  on hair adornment. We looked at minimalist hardware vs sparkle explosions. We also featured some fashion fabulous tiaras and flowers. Well look at what cropped up in the Valentino Couture collection. Yes, it’s another post of adoration to the brilliance that is Valentino, and this time focussing on the snakey circlets slithering around their models’ heads.

Jewellery detail from Valentino Couture 2016, image from Vogue Runway, jewellery trends, fashion blogger, couture trends, Spring 2016, Blink London

Valentino Couture 2016, image from Vogue Runway with thanks

Jewellery detail from Valentino Couture 2016, image from Vogue Runway, jewellery trends, fashion blogger, couture trends, Spring 2016, Blink London

Valentino Couture 2016, image from Vogue Runway with thanks

Jewellery detail from Valentino Couture 2016, image from Vogue Runway, jewellery trends, fashion blogger, couture trends, Spring 2016, Blink London

Jewellery detail from Valentino Couture 2016, image from Vogue Runway with thanks

As with our post featuring the Chanel Couture show eyeliner, this isn’t necessarily something to pop on to complete your look on a daily basis, but on the other hand maybe it is just the added fashion excitement that your weekly big shop needs?

Images from Vogue Runway, with huge thanks.

For more accessories posts, take a look here.

Enjoy! Lucy

Chanel Couture 2016 and our eyeliner obsession

February 3rd, 2016

This is where we have a moment of self-congratulation. A brief smug second. A little sigh of satisfaction that we are on the right fashion track. I hope you can take it because this is a two parter of self-satisfaction, just to get it out of the way!

Do you recall our post about my eyeliner obsession? If you didn’t read it before, you can catch up right here. Well look what popped up at the Chanel Couture show? Seems Karl and I have more in common than our love of cats…

Eyeliner detail from Chanel Couture 2016, image from Vogue Runway, beauty trends, beauty blogger, couture beauty trends, Spring 2016, Blink London

Chanel Couture 2016, image from Vogue Runway with thanks

Eyeliner detail from Chanel Couture 2016, image from Vogue Runway, beauty trends, beauty blogger, couture beauty trends, Spring 2016, Blink London

Chanel Couture 2016, image from Vogue Runway with thanks

Eyeliner detail from Chanel Couture 2016, image from Vogue Runway, beauty trends, beauty blogger, couture beauty trends, Spring 2016, Blink London

Chanel Couture 2016, image from Vogue Runway with thanks

It’s not one we’d recommend for your everyday, bombing around town, getting your chores done look. In fact it’s not one we can image suggesting an appropriate occasion for- but what it does do is cement the need for some eyeliner up-skilling. And I know just who to ask…

Images from Vogue Runway, with huge thanks.

For more beauty posts, just look here.

Enjoy! Lucy

Radley supports the British Heart Foundation

February 3rd, 2016

Could there be any chicer way than this to display your support for the British Heart Foundation?

Radley supports British Heart Foundation with the limited edition 'Sweetheart' range, Valentines day, fashion handbag, National Heart Month, fashion blog, Blink London

Radley supports British Heart Foundation with the limited edition ‘Sweetheart’ range

Radley have launched their ‘Sweetheart’ collection, a limited edition cross body bag and matching coin purse in perfect time for both National Heart Month (February) and of course Valentine’s Day! All profits from the sale of these two styles will be donated to BHF by Radley, so you can proudly wear your heart not quite on your sleeve, but you know what I mean.

There are over 7 million people in the UK currently living with heart and circulatory disease, and I’m one of them so obviously I think this is fabulous for oh so many reasons!

Natalie Bolton, Design Director at Radley comments “We are delighted to be partnering with the British Heart Foundation, designing these fun limited edition products that will raise funds to support its essential ongoing research in the fight against heart disease.”

James Hails, Head of Corporate Partnerships at the BHF, adds: “We’re delighted to be working with Radley again for 2016. As a charity we are reliant on the support of organisations like Radley to help us raise essential funds to continue our vital research. The designs are fantastic and we hope people will wear them with pride knowing they are helping millions of people.”

For more accessories posts, just take a look here.

Enjoy! Lucy