Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

“Blink” Pattern Inspiration: Celia Birtwell x Valentino

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

As a preview to a post that is coming up very soon, we wanted to share this lovely video with you. One of my longest standing fashion love affairs has been with the work of Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell. And if you’re an avid Blink London blog reader, you’ll know that I have a newer, and seasonally increasing fashion passion for Valentino (check our post about the recent Valentino couture collection). Imagine my excitement when I discovered that Valentino was working with Celia to create the print and pattern for their pre-Fall 2015 collection!

The collaboration has continued and Celia’s work can be seen in the Valentino collections right up to SS’16 menswear as well as Resort ’16 womenswear. Watch out for more on this on the blog in the upcoming week.

Enjoy! Lucy

“Blink” Inspiration: Working as a Designer- how we illustrate

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

When I work with students who are just starting on their design education, the first thing I make sure they know is that you don’t have to be excellent at drawing to be a great designer. Being a fashion illustrator is a very different role to being a fashion designer. Some of the lucky few are blessed with being both, but mostly we working designers just find a way that suits us to best express our ideas, in a way that our colleagues, bosses, suppliers, clients can understand what we are trying to express.

I am not a great illustrator by any stretch of the imagination. However I have found my own style, my own visual language to show my design ideas, developed over many, many years of working as a womenswear designer. My style is pretty clear and understandable. Hey, I love David Downton and Rene Gruau as much as the next fashion fan, but you try cutting a pattern from their drawings! Also, as a working designer, you are pretty much always time-poor, so you need to find a rather speedy way of getting your creativity from your imagination and on to a piece of paper.

Many people now create their design work using a computer, but I am pretty old-school in that respect. It’s still all about the pen, pencil, rubber and marker pens for me! I thought you might like a little insight into the way I create my design drawings- from very scruffy thumbnails to the finished sketches. What you see here is the process we at Blink London go through once a month when creating our retail reports for our international clients. The aim is to distill all of the big looks we’ve seen at retail each month in to a few pages of drawings, inspiring and informing our clients all in one go. No biggie…

Stage 1: the 'thumbnails', fashion drawings by Blink London, fashion drawing, fashion illustration, fashion design, Blink London fashion blog

Stage 1:the ‘thumbnails’, fashion drawings by Blink London

Stage 1: a very rough, ‘back of a fag packet’ downloading of ideas onto a few pages. I would NEVER usually let these see the light of day! I tend to create these as ‘flats’, so a garment drawing rather than ‘on the body’.

Stage 2: drawn up in pencil, fashion drawings by Blink London, fashion drawing, fashion illustration, fashion design, Blink London fashion blog

Stage 2: drawn up in pencil, fashion drawings by Blink London

Stage 2: those scruffy thumbnails get redrawn on a body template that I have developed over the years. Using a template is a great way of making sure you spend your time designing rather than illustrating. I make sure my pencil is super sharp and that my trusty rubber is close to hand!

Stage 3: adding colour, fashion drawings by Blink London, fashion drawing, fashion illustration, fashion design, Blink London fashion blog

Stage 3: adding colour, fashion drawings by Blink London

Stage 3: next I rub out some of the pencil lines (I know this may seem like a weird thing to do!), leaving just a faint trace so that I can add colour without being stuck with pencil lines that I might want to change a little when I later over-draw with my pen. Out come the Copic and Promarker pens that suit me to represent a flesh tone and also to add some shadow, depth and detailing to the designs.

Stage 4: adding definition, fashion drawings by Blink London, fashion drawing, fashion illustration, fashion blog, Blink London

Stage 4: adding definition, fashion drawings by Blink London

Stage 4: hopefully now rubbing out some of the pencil lines makes more sense! As I want my clients to fully understand the ideas I am delivering, I like to make the drawings look well defined. To do that I redraw all of the key elements with a super fine black pen (my one and only choice for this is the Muji rollerball in 0.38). I may then add a few more pencil or marker flourishes, but pretty much, that’s it folks!

They may not be super artistic, but they do the job well enough as far as my retail report customers are concerned. Happy customers, happy me!

For more fashion inspiration, take a look here.

Enjoy! Lucy

“Blink” Inspiration: Valentino’s AW’15 Couture collection

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

Of course any fashion fan worth their salt has a soft spot for the ever-tanned Valentino, but I must admit that since he handed creative control over to Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, it has become an even more significant, wonderous and influential label.

The pair delivered a AW’15 Couture collection that was even more Valentino than I have ever seen before, but not so much about the man himself but more about utterly embracing the Roman roots of this brand. As we expressed rather over enthusiastically for the Giambattista Valli collection, we can also see super skilled craftsmanship at the beating heart of this collection. This is what couture is about, this is what luxury fashion is about; handworked product to a level that pretty much makes each garment a work of art equal to any painting or sculpture. This is far from everyday fashion as we can possibly get.

There was lots and lots of black, but with a lightness of touch, sheerness and delicacy that ensured it didn’t feel at all dour. Stunning brocades brought antique feeling pattern, flashing with metallic touches, which then lead to some stunningly all-gold looks fit for a Goddess. Enhancing the Roman theme there was also a scattering of stunningly ‘Papal’ red statements too.

Every look was accessorised with beautiful golden jewellery that looked as if it had been discovered in some ancient treasure haul, featuring pagan looking symbols that again hinted to the layers of history, culture and tradition that makes Rome such a unique, creatively rich and fascinating place.

Valentino AW'15 Couture. Images with thanks to Style.com, Blink London, fashion blog, couture show review, AW'15

Valentino AW’15 Couture. Images with thanks to Style.com

Valentino AW'15 Couture. Images with thanks to Style.com, Blink London, fashion blog, couture show review, AW'15

Valentino AW’15 Couture. Images with thanks to Style.com

Valentino AW'15 Couture. Images with thanks to Style.com, Blink London, fashion blog, couture show review, AW'15

Valentino AW’15 Couture. Images with thanks to Style.com

Valentino AW'15 Couture. Images with thanks to Style.com, Blink London, fashion blog, couture show review, AW'15

Valentino AW’15 Couture. Images with thanks to Style.com

Valentino AW'15 Couture. Images with thanks to Style.com, Blink London, fashion blog, couture show review, AW'15

Valentino AW’15 Couture. Images with thanks to Style.com

Valentino AW'15 Couture. Images with thanks to Style.com, Blink London, fashion blog, couture show review, AW'15

Valentino AW’15 Couture. Images with thanks to Style.com

Valentino AW'15 Couture. Images with thanks to Style.com, Blink London, fashion blog, couture show review, AW'15

Valentino AW’15 Couture. Images with thanks to Style.com

Valentino AW'15 Couture. Images with thanks to Style.com, Blink London, fashion blog, couture show review, AW'15

Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Picciolo. Valentino AW’15 Couture. Images with thanks to Style.com

Thanks again to Style.com for being such a fantastic fashion resource. If you’d like to see more show reviews and inspiration, take a look here.

Enjoy! Lucy

“Blink” Inspiration: Giambattista Valli, AW’15 Couture Collection

Friday, July 10th, 2015

We have discovered a new level of fashion joy. Have you seen the Giambattista Valli couture collection? It is beyond luxurious. I think that between Valli and Dior, the whole lexicon of luxury fashion is being redefined. Fendi and Lagerfeld can bugger off into the history books with their all fur disgrace along with the old fashioned ideas of luxe that fur represents. Giambattista Valli reminds us with this collection that true luxury, and true couture is all about the craft, skill and diversity created by those legion of ultra talented ‘petit mains’ teamed with a geniusly innovative designer.

Building on those vast skirted looks from the AW’14 couture collection Valli again plays with acres of airy tulle in sweeping skirts, but this time in tandem with puff ball style surges of volume at empire line or hip. There is a strong feeling of 60’s cocktail hour with fancy pants layered over with matching tunic or coats, enhanced with the high contrast monochromes of flashes of acid trip brights. The 60’s vibe is reaffirmed with those huge rounded shades, studded with massive, square-cut crystals. Oh, and what about those vast earings? Giambattista, we are utterly in love!

Giambattista Valli, AW'15 Couture collection. Images with thanks to Style.com

Giambattista Valli, AW’15 Couture collection. Images with thanks to Style.com

Giambattista Valli, AW'15 Couture collection. Images with thanks to Style.com

Giambattista Valli, AW’15 Couture collection. Images with thanks to Style.com

Giambattista Valli, AW'15 Couture collection. Images with thanks to Style.com

Giambattista Valli, AW’15 Couture collection. Images with thanks to Style.com

Giambattista Valli, AW'15 Couture collection. Images with thanks to Style.com

Giambattista Valli, AW’15 Couture collection. Images with thanks to Style.com

Giambattista Valli, AW'15 Couture collection. Images with thanks to Style.com

Giambattista Valli, AW’15 Couture collection. Images with thanks to Style.com

Giambattista Valli, AW'15 Couture collection. Images with thanks to Style.com

Giambattista Valli, AW’15 Couture collection. Images with thanks to Style.com

Giambattista Valli, AW'15 Couture collection. Images with thanks to Style.com

Giambattista Valli, AW’15 Couture collection. Images with thanks to Style.com

Giambattista Valli, AW'15 Couture collection. Images with thanks to Style.com

Giambattista Valli, AW’15 Couture collection. Images with thanks to Style.com

Giambattista Valli, AW'15 Couture collection. Images with thanks to Style.com

Giambattista Valli, AW’15 Couture collection. Images with thanks to Style.com

Giambattista Valli himself, AW'15 Couture collection. Images with thanks to Style.com

Giambattista Valli himself, AW’15 Couture collection. Images with thanks to Style.com

Huge thanks to Style.com for being such an amazing fashion resource. For more fashion inspiration, just click here.

Enjoy! Lucy

“Blink” Lifestyle: House of Hackney goes Wild

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

Well, the House of Hackney‘s aesthetic has always been on the wild side so perhaps the post title should read ‘House of Hackney goes Wilder’!

This East London pattern-centric brand has championed the blurring of lines between trends for fashion and those for interiors, so much so that we will most likely envy any home that is lucky enough to be decorated with their new line in wallpapers. This collection of designs each features wonderfully characterful animals, blended with an Art Deco and Toile du Jouy look. As an added feel good touch, as well as having the most fabulously decorated house on your street, you can also enjoy the feeling that comes with the fact that House of Hackney will be donating 5% of the collection’s proceeds to the Born Free Foundation.

Now for the tough part. Which paper to choose? Here are some of our favourite designs and colourways. You can find more on House of Hackney’s website.

House of Hackney's 'Sumatra', in off white azure

House of Hackney’s ‘Sumatra’, in off white azure

House of Hackney's 'Panadamonium', in olive

House of Hackney’s ‘Panadamonium’, in olive

House of Hackney's 'Art Deco Menagerie' in prowl

House of Hackney’s ‘Art Deco Menagerie’ in prowl

House of Hackney's 'Art Deco Menagerie' in zeal

House of Hackney’s ‘Art Deco Menagerie’ in zeal

House of Hackney's 'Art Deco Menagerie' in flamboyance

House of Hackney’s ‘Art Deco Menagerie’ in flamboyance

For more lifestyle posts, take a look here.

Enjoy! Lucy

“Blink” Inspiration: Mid Century marvels at LV’s Resort ’16 show

Friday, June 12th, 2015

We have been shoulders deep in Resort’16 coverage on Style.com. Every time around there seems to be more and more labels showing more and more looks for Resort. What has previously been a compact offer, a mini preview and a more embraceable element of a label’s seasonal output has now become a full-on fashion-fest and it’s both fabulous and overwhelming!

High on the list of both fabulousness and overwhelmingness is the Louis Vuitton show. Not only was the collection itself another testament to Ghesquière’s greatness, it was also held in a rather fantabulous location; the John Lautner designed, Bob Hope estate in Palm Springs.

Let’s start with the collection itself. An outing of over fifty looks which to us feels like the wardrobe of Joan of Arc should she have been about in the Sixties. Armour and chain-mail interpreted in super soft and elegant textile treatments. Those geometric straps and bands around the midriff. Combinations of mid century feeling linear details, clean silhouettes and the all important sense of futurism, along with our current obsession with all things sports.

Louis Vuitton Resort'16, images with thanks to Style.com, JOhn Lautner, Palm Springs, Bob Hope estate, fashion design, Blink London

Louis Vuitton Resort’16, images with thanks to Style.com

Louis Vuitton Resort'16, images with thanks to Style.com, JOhn Lautner, Palm Springs, Bob Hope estate, fashion design, Blink London

ouis Vuitton Resort ’16, images with thanks to Style.com

Louis Vuitton Resort'16, images with thanks to Style.com, JOhn Lautner, Palm Springs, Bob Hope estate, fashion design, Blink London

Louis Vuitton Resort’16, images with thanks to Style.com

Louis Vuitton Resort'16, images with thanks to Style.com, fashion trends, fashion news, Blink London, fashion blog

Louis Vuitton Resort’16, images with thanks to Style.com

Louis Vuitton Resort'16, images with thanks to Style.com

Louis Vuitton Resort’16, images with thanks to Style.com

Bold, brave and innovative- just like the location! Which segues us nicely on to the amazing Bob Hope estate. My oh my. I am a mid century design fan and so this is, well, everything! When I think of an architect who sums up the American mid century building design lexicon, Richard Neutra always springs to mind. To my shame, I wasn’t even familiar with the work of John Lautner. Well, due to Nicolas Ghesquière’s genius choice of show location, I am now fascinated by this architect and this building in particular.

John Lautner (image from Pinterest)

John Lautner (image from Pinterest)

The John Lautner designed Bob Hope estate in Palm Springs (image from Pinterest), mid century design, architecture

The John Lautner designed Bob Hope estate in Palm Springs (image from Pinterest)

The John Lautner designed Bob Hope estate in Palm Springs (image from Pinterest)

The John Lautner designed Bob Hope estate in Palm Springs (image from Pinterest)

The John Lautner designed Bob Hope estate in Palm Springs (image from Pinterest), mid century design, american architecture

The John Lautner designed Bob Hope estate in Palm Springs (image from Pinterest)

The John Lautner designed Bob Hope estate in Palm Springs (image from Pinterest)

The John Lautner designed Bob Hope estate in Palm Springs (image from Pinterest)

Even though this feels utterly mid century, this building (the largest private home ever designed by Lautner) wasn’t completed until the 1980’s. It’s currently on the market, and could be yours for a cool $25 mill.  Lautner said of his design aesthetic  “The purpose of architecture is to create timeless, free, joyous spaces for all activities of life.” I think he certainly achieved that here.

For more inspirational posts, take a look here. For more lifestyle, just look here.

Enjoy! Lucy

“Blink” Inspiration: Barbara Hepworth, part 2

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

So now that I have you in an arty kind of mood, I have some more Hepworth insights to share with you. If you’ve been keeping your eyes on our instagram feed you will have noticed that I was on a rather lovely road trip last week. I was whisked off in an open-top sports car and driven down to the depths of beautiful Cornwall. Not only did I have a wonderful few days of well earned rest, I also enjoyed my first ever airbnb experience (marvellous and can’t wait to do it again!) as well as having a chance to head to St Ives, which has been on my list of ‘things to do’ far about a decade!

Barbara Hepworth museum and sculpture garden, St Ives

Barbara Hepworth museum and sculpture garden, St Ives

Well, St Ives doesn’t quite look as it did in that 50’s film on the earlier post we shared about the upcoming Barbara Hepworth exhibition at Tate Britain, apart from one small part- Hepworth’s house and studio along with it’s wonderful sculpture garden which is now a museum run by the Tate.

Barbara Hepworth museum and sculpture garden, St Ives

Barbara Hepworth museum and sculpture garden, St Ives

The interior space is lovely and well curated, but the magic really happens when you step outside into the garden. This is where the sculpture studios are located too. The garden is populated by Hepworth’s work, placed exactly where she decided they should be. It’s a small space but with the way the foliage and the sculptures work together, it feels far larger.

Barbara Hepworth museum and sculpture garden, St Ives

Barbara Hepworth museum and sculpture garden, St Ives

Barbara Hepworth museum and sculpture garden, St Ives

Barbara Hepworth museum and sculpture garden, St Ives

Barbara Hepworth museum and sculpture garden, St Ives

You can glance inside a few of the spaces where Hepworth created her work and it looks as if she has just stepped out to make a fresh cup of tea. It is utterly entrancing and gives you such a wonderful sense of this genius woman, how she lived and how she created.

Barbara Hepworth museum and sculpture garden, St Ives

Barbara Hepworth museum and sculpture garden, St Ives

Barbara Hepworth museum and sculpture garden, St Ives

Perhaps you’re thinking “Uh, hello, this is a fashion blog, not a bloomin’ art and culture blog”. Well, apologies, but this is where fashion starts. The future of fashion doesn’t come from within fashion. It starts with art, culture, life… well, everything that makes us excited, drives us to move forward and to innovate, even if that inspiration comes from the past.

So shall I see you at the Tate Britain Barbara Hepworth exhibition, notepad or sketchbook in hand? I hope so.

For more inspirational posts, take a look here.

Enjoy! Lucy

“Blink” Inspiration: Barbara Hepworth, part 1

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

Several months back I was invited to an exhibition preview for the upcoming Barbara Hepworth exhibition at Tate Britain. I love her work so was very excited to hear that they were staging an exhibition as I have never seen more than a handful of her sculptures together at any one time.

As it was months in advance of the show opening, instead of having the exhibition all ready to be viewed they instead gave us a a pre-show teaser in the shape of this wonderful vintage film about the artist. It is 50’s through and through, from Hepworth and her personal style to the music, the colour levels and the narration by poet Cecil Day Lewis. How wonderful to see this amazing sculptor at work.

I love this film so much and thought you’d enjoy seeing an excerpt from it too, just to get you in the mood as the exhibition is opening at the end of this month. Tate Britain will be showing over 70 of Hepworth’s most significant works, of various scales and materials, in the first London based retrospective for over fifty years.

It’s sure to be influential and impactful so not to be missed as far as we’re concerned.

The exhibition details:

Opens on 24th June, until 25th October 2015 at Tate Britain in the Linbury Galleries

Admission £16.30 (£14.50 concessions)or £18.00 (£16.00 concessions) with Gift Aid donation

Open daily 10.00 – 18.00

For public information call +44 (0)20 7887 8888, visit tate.org.uk, or follow @tate #Hepworth

For more posts about influential events, just click here.

Enjoy! Lucy

“Blink” Inspiration: The end of an era…

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

Don’t panic! This isn’t the announcement of a total end of everything Blink, but it is the end of a part of our business. Sorry for the recent radio silence but we have been in deep and intense meetings about this business of mine and we have come up with some decisions…

Blink London was founded as a reporting service, delivering targeted, swift and informed fashion retail news from London to the fashion industry around the world. The reports were conceived after spending years as a time-poor designer working in an increasingly demanding and speedy industry. I wanted to give designers just like me some brilliantly functional tools to allow them to feel inspired  and informed right from the comfort of their desks. Well, for the last ten years or so we have managed to do that, working closely with our wonderful agents all around the world. However, with the increasing level of free information and inspiration via the world wide web (and blogs just like this one!), teamed with the total global domination of the industry giant that is WGSN (and Stylesight) that we have decided to close the doors on this part of our business.

Oouuff, it’s been a tough decision for me as I don’t like to walk away from anything, but we have fought and struggled and worked our little bums off for long enough and it’s now it’s time to let the curtain fall on that part of Blink London so that we can instead focus all of that creative energy on the remaining parts. One of which is my passion project, this gorgeous blog and all of it’s attending social media activity (which will get more gorgeous, more posts, more love). The second part of Blink is the teaching and lecturing that I do for some of the most respected fashion education establishments as well as the Blink London Blogging and Social Media workshops (of which we are very proud), and I hope to be doing lots and lots more of this.

Blink London's 'Intro to Blogging and Social Media' workshop, learn about blogging, social media, London based blogging class, fashion blogging, lifestyle blogging, beauty blogging

Blink London’s ‘Intro to Blogging and Social Media’ workshop

The third and final part of what we do is perhaps the part that you know least about. That’s because we work as creative consultants to the fashion industry. Perhaps you saw the recent post about our lovely client, Iffley Road? Well, we work with several other brands as their design team as well as dipping in and out of businesses all around the world delivering our view for future seasons, forecasting trends for specific areas of their businesses and helping them to redirect their brands in to exciting pastures new.

If you are looking for deeply skilled creatives to work with you and your fashion or lifestyle brand, then take a look at this and please do drop us a line as we would be delighted to talk to you. Just email me at info@blinklondon.com

Blink London Creative Consultancy, fashion design, design consultancy

Blink London Creative Consultancy

Enjoy! Lucy

“Blink” Inspiration: Iffley Road’s Icons

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

You may know me as a fashion blogger, but actually my ‘day job’ is as a fashion designer and creative consultant. One of the brands that I am currently honoured to be working with is the brilliant British runningwear brand, Iffley Road. I am the design element of this business, helping Bill and Claire, Iffley Road’s founders, turn their concepts, thoughts and aesthetic ideals into reality. That reality is a perfectly refined, functional, modern yet somewhat elegant collection of items to make up the perfect running wardrobe.

My first pieces for them have just gone live on the Iffley Road online shop, and will also be on Mr Porter and on the shelves in Barneys New York. Very, very exciting times. I must say that the creative consultancy relationship is a wonderful one when you have clients like Iffley Road. They have a clear vision, a clear call to action when developing new styles, and a very strong aesthetic. They don’t just express that aesthetic through the product, wonderful packaging and great branding. They also express it in very artistic ways, like the current limited edition, anniversary running top featuring artwork by graphic artist Richard Mitchelson, and also like this wonderful animated film.

To celebrate the anniversary of the world’s first sub 4 minute mile ran by Roger Bannister on 6 May 1954, Iffley Road commissioned British animator, Hugo Glover, to create a piece dedicated to some of the Icons of British Running, past and present. It is a lovely thing, whether you are an avid runner or not. Please also take a look at the film “Behind the Icons” to see how the animation was made, showing all of the intense creative work that went in to this film.

If you’d like to know more about our creative consultancy services, just look here.

Enjoy! Lucy