Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

“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

“Blink” Inspiration: AW’15 Forecaste

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

We set out to create a set of simple show reviews from our favourite AW’15 London shows, but as we were going through all of the coverage we got distracted. You see, it’s impossible to select looks from the shows without feeling a certain mood or inspiration coming through, noticing iterations on certain silhouettes, proportions, textiles, colours and patterns.

Please be assured that those show reviews are coming, and there are some exciting steps forward in the handwriting of many of the London labels to see, but before we get there we’d like to share with you what we are now feeling rather fixated upon. It’s pretty easy to pick out a period of reference as a style shorthand when forecasting, but when we looked at these shows it all became far more specific than that. We felt that many of the labels, as diverse as they are, looked to have been inspired by the very particular design aesthetic of the Vienna Secession and the Wiener Werkstatte.

Blink London AW15 fashion forecast, Wiener Werkstatte, Vienna Sucession, fashion trends, fashion inspiration

Blink London AW15 forecast: Wiener Werkstatte

The Wiener Werkstatte was a group of multidisciplinary studios and workshops in Vienna who’s focus was on living in and with art in every aspect of life. They spanned about 30 years from just before 1900, and so this group explored design aesthetics that incorporated both Art Nouveau and Art Deco. Their use of pattern and form was bold, linear and really utterly innovative, from architecture to fashion.

If you’d like to explore this groups work then look at Josef Hoffmann, Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele. For a muse, Klimt’s model and life partner, fashion designer and businesswoman, Emilie Floge, who is featured on our moodboard top centre, and bottom right of centre, is the perfect candidate. While this innovation was happening in Vienna, running parallel to this group and creating a quite similar aesthetic were the amazing Glasgow School of Art focussed artists and designers like Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

I hope you can see why we have headed off on this particular tangent when you see the show coverage we’ll be posting! You can also see quite a bit of late 60’s, Prada-esque ‘ugly beauty’ and lots of wonderful craft feeling embroidery and textile manipulation.

Enjoy! Lucy

“Blink” London Fashion Week: Our View, Overview

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

We’ve been deeply discussing our overall experience of London Fashion Week, looking at what stood out for us in a ‘big messages’ kinda way, and it seems that this AW15 LFW has been all about extremes. Yes, London is known for pushing the creative envelope to its outer limits, but this is something more than that. This is about extreme opposites of ethics, approach, vision and execution.

On one side of these opposing parties are those brands, designers, labels that are pushing forward into the future of fashion, somewhat in line with the vision expressed in ‘The Next Black’, which you can see here in our post from September’s LFW. These visionaries are delivering product made in brand new ways, with new technologies, blending traditional craft skills with a new view of craft that incorporates 3D printing (watch out for out Larissa Hadjio post) and taking traditional techniques are using them in fresh ways (watch out for our Georgia Hardinge post).

This is the side that we are sticking with, that we are loving and supporting. This is the side that includes designers like Christopher Kane who season on season deliver us a new take on femininity, a fresh view on surface pattern and who embraces innovative textiles and construction techniques.

Christopher Kane, AW15 (image with thanks to style.com)

Christopher Kane, AW15 (image with thanks to style.com)

This is the side where Mary Katrantzou can be experimental, creating a new view of beauty. Where she can create her very unique aesthetic all around new digital printing techniques, and then drive that forward to deliver a brand new take on surface interest in a fresh, bold and geometric, 3 dimensional way.

Mary Katrantzou, AW15 (image with thanks to style.com)

Mary Katrantzou, AW15 (image with thanks to style.com)

On the opposing side are a shockingly large number of labels who were showing real fur with utter abandon, in quantities that we have never seen before in the British fashion industry. We were left feeling very conflicted when a few of the labels that we regularly feature and have loved for the longest time, included this inexcusable material in their AW15 offer. Actually this feels like a continuation of several social media conversations we’ve had with Brit brands over the past few months, where we’ve called them out on their use of fur and asked them about their sourcing policy, only to be pretty much shut down in a public forum and invited to contact them directly, privately. Hmm, if you don’t feel able to publicly discuss your controversial choice of materials, then perhaps you need to consider those choices a little more deeply?

For us this is very firmly the opposite camp to those wonderful fashion innovators as it represents a carelessness, a very old-fashioned viewpoint and a lack of ‘big picture’ thinking. These are the fashion ‘backsliders’. These are labels that seemingly haven’t taken the time to investigate that perhaps there are better, more ethical and more effective materials to work with. These are the labels that need to take on board that luxe comes in many guises, that fashion is not relevant if it is without a conscience and without a thorough, well thought though set of decisions behind it. Remember angora-gate?

There is a trend for using real fur as a trim on accessories. How little regard must you have for the creature to use real fur to create utterly pointless clip on pom-poms for your shoes? Taking this natural material, then dying it bright, bold, dayglo colours makes even less sense to us when you can create that look brilliantly, Shrimps style, using fabulous faux fur?!?

Shrimps, we love you and your brilliantly bonkers AW’15 collection by the way, showing just how exciting and innovative fake can look. We think all of you fur wearing fashionistas and all of you fur using fashion brands need to take a leaf out of this young Brit brand’s book.

Shrimps, AW15 (image with thanks to Dazed Digital)

fabulously faux from Shrimps, AW15 (image with thanks to Dazed Digital)

The future for fashion must be forward with innovation, approach and ethics. Are you with us?

For more from London Fashion Week, just take a look here.

Enjoy! Lucy

“Blink” Inspiration: Teatum Jones, AW’15 preview

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

Tomorrow Teatum Jones will be presenting their new season collection as part of London Fashion Week. Prior to that we are delighted to share an exclusive preview of what Rob Jones and Catherine Teatum have been inspired by for AW’15.

Here’s a corner of their moodboard, and some of their key words…

Teatum Jones AW15 Moodboard Snippet

Teatum Jones AW15 Moodboard Snippet

‘Speed, soul, grit, northern, exhilaration, aspiration, keeping your feet on the ground and your hearts in the air’

Knowing this gifted pair, the show is bound to be supported by an amazing soundtrack too. I’m expecting the music to have something to do with Gloria Jones as she seems to be the TJ muse for this season, even dropping in to their studio last week to meet the team. I wonder if she’ll make a personal appearance tomorrow too?

For more inspiration, just look here. For more from us about Teatum Jones, look here.

Enjoy! Lucy

“Blink” Inspiration: The Making of a Dior Couture Dress

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

There are no words I can add. Just watch and be awed by the beauty of Dior Couture.

Enjoy! Lucy

“Blink” Inspiration: vintage at Portobello Market

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

 

Portobello Market, West London

Portobello Market, West London

Due to the luck of having an early appointment just off of Portobello Road on Friday morning, I got to indulge in what used to be one of my favourite pastimes; a mooch through Portobello market.  Friday’s the best day to see fantastic vintage here, so if you are looking for some fashion inspiration then this is the day for you. On Saturdays it all gets a bit Camden…

I only had a brief wander through from the Golborne Road end down to the undercover market and yet I came across all sorts of gorgeous and unique potential purchases. As it is, I managed to restrain myself to buying a small collection of Victorian postcards and some floral-themed cigarette cards- both a bargain after some negotiation.

Portobello Market, West London, vintage apothecary bottles, London market

Portobello Market, West London

Portobello Market, West London, vintage textiles, fashion inspiration

Portobello Market, West London

Portobello Market, West London, vintage ribbons, vintage haberdashery

Portobello Market, West London

For more inspiration, take a look here. For more shopping news, you should just click here.

Enjoy! Lucy

“Blink” 2015 Predictions: All Tied Up

Friday, January 30th, 2015

When we’ve been out and about doing our retail research, there has been an un-ignorable addition to the accessories offer right across the fashion map. I think it’s safe to say that we will all be tying one on for Spring Summer. Yes, folks we are talking about the return of the silk scarf. I know that we have posted about this a couple of times before, here about the Jason Wu silk squares for St Regis, and here about Emma Greenhill’s sumptuous silk scarves, but there is still more to be shared with you on this very important topic!

Here are some shots that we have grabbed when out around town over the last few weeks. I think you’ll agree that this is pretty strong evidence that silk scarves have got the accessories department all wrapped up… (sorry couldn’t resist!). There are a multitude of ways to rock your scarf too. If you aren’t quite convinced that a full on headscarf is for you, then why not try a more subtle cuff tie or a shoe with a scarf inspired tie (both by Dior)?

Scarves: big fashion news for Spring Summer 2015

Scarves: big fashion news for Spring Summer 2015

Across the top, from left to right we have Louis Vuitton, Kenzo and Chanel. In the mid row we have Dior and Dolce and Gabbana. In the bottom row is Miu Miu, Dior and Fendi.

For more accessories posts, just take a look here.

Enjoy! Lucy

“Blink” Inspiration: Christopher Kane, pre Fall 2015

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Does anyone else feel like the fashion industry is on an inspiration overload just now? I can’t recall a January being this show-heavy before. We’ve had womenswear pre-Autumn. We’ve had menswear Autumn ’15 which featured quite a few womenswear looks too (check out this post). And right now we are in the midst of the couture shows. Oh, and in a few weeks we’ll start the round of international fashion weeks for womenswear AW’15. Phew, I’m exhausted just being an observer, but imagine how the design teams are all feeling!

Even though these labels have had to deliver collection upon collection in quick succession (I particularly feel for those that do womenswear, menswear and couture!), there has been no lack of amazing, inspired and innovative looks to be dazzled by. We’ll be featuring just a few from various of our favourites, and today we kick things off with Christopher Kane pre Fall ’15.

This is a brand with a super strong, well-clarified handwriting. Christopher Kane stands for tough elegance mixed with urban boldness, a graphic approach to pattern and embellishment teamed with a wonderful eye for proportion, highlighted by a clever mixture of textiles. This collection reflects that mood while still taking the concept forward.

I will actually be showing this collection to my LCF fashion design students in February. It’s a perfect example of how a designer evolves ideas throughout a collection. You can almost see the steps from style to style taking place, from black, through pink, into lace and then florals. Tone on tone delineation into colour blocking, into high contrast graphically placed embellishment.

Here are some of my favourite looks form the show, but we encourage you to get on to Vogue.co.uk (where we swiped these images from, with thanks) to check out the full offer.

Christopher Kane, pre-Fall 2015

Christopher Kane, pre-Fall 2015

Christopher Kane, pre-Fall 2015

Christopher Kane, pre-Fall 2015

Christopher Kane, pre-Fall 2015

Christopher Kane, pre-Fall 2015

Christopher Kane, pre-Fall 2015

Christopher Kane, pre-Fall 2015

For more inspirational posts, take a look here. Many thanks to Vogue.co.uk for the images.

Enjoy! Lucy

“Blink” Inspiration: Discovering Lanvin by May Giraud

Monday, January 26th, 2015

This is a guest post by our lovely French work placement, 15 year old May Giraud. We tasked May to undertake a research project, with the inspiration coming from a visit to the V&A.

As part of my work placement, we went to the Victoria and Albert Museum to have a look at the fashion department. I fell in love with one of the Lanvin dresses.

Robe de style, Jeanne Lanvin, ca. 1922-3 (image from Pinterest)

Robe de style, Jeanne Lanvin, ca. 1922-3 (image from Pinterest)

This is the white organza dress with colourful flowers; one of her signature “robes de style” looks. I chose this one because I find it simple but very considered at the same time. It is quite simple because of its white colour but also considered with those perfectly well placed flowers, Usually I don’t really like flowery decoration but here it gives the dress all it’s charm. The tiers at the top and bottom of the dress, contrasted with the small waist, is the shape that was the fashion at this time. I really like that this dress is very light and elegant, perfect for a young lady.

Jeanne Lanvin Robe de Style of white organza, fashion drawing (image from Pinterest)

Jeanne Lanvin Robe de Style of white organza, fashion drawing (image from Pinterest)

Lanvin is the oldest French fashion house still in business.

Jeanne Lanvin was born in 1867. At the age of sixteen she started as an apprentice milliner. In 1889, she decided to open her own millinery shop. Her only daughter Marguerite was born in 1897. Having her own daughter inspired her to create mother and daughter clothes. First she made dresses for one of her younger sisters and her daughter. Other mothers with daughters saw those really nice dresses and asked her to make some for them too. In 1909 Jeanne began selling her dresses and her reputation grew. What was so particular was the fact that she offered clothes with no difference between the women and children’s styles. That same year she opened her own couture house in Paris.

In 1913 Lanvin created her famous “robes de style” and the dress that I chose from the Victoria & Albert museum is part of that signature look.

She created her first perfume in 1925, called ‘My Sin’. Lanvin became famous as a perfumier, and now there are around 30 Lanvin perfumes to choose from.

Lanvin, "Arpège" bottle (1925). (image from Pinterest)

Lanvin, “Arpège” bottle (1925). (image from Pinterest)

A year later a menswear division was launched, making her the first couturier to dress whole families. Jeanne Lanvin also dressed famous film actresses in the 20’s and 30’s. She also had clients like the Queens of Italy and Romania, and English princesses.

Lanvin is still a very successful brand with Albert Elbaz as the creative director since 2001.

Lanvin's logo (images from Pinterest)

Lanvin’s logo (images from Pinterest)

The brand’s logo is still the same as was created by Jeanne. It was inspired by a photo taken with her daughter in 1907 (image on the left). On the picture it looks like they are wearing mother and daughter dresses and hats, symbolic of Lanvin because Jeanne’s reputation grew because of these famous dresses and she started her career s a milliner.

Huge thanks to May for that insight into this iconic and influential label! For more inspirational posts, just take a look here.

Enjoy! Lucy

“Blink” 2015 Predictions: Code Breakers

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

In this 2015 prediction post we are focussing on fashion’s blurred lines, the breakdown of gender rules and the liberation of style across sexes. The whole androgyny thing has been a topic for ages, joined and enhanced by boy models who look like like girl models, that was then followed by girl models who look like boy models. With this gender swap-shop the only natural conclusion seems to be what we are now seeing in the Prada and Gucci menswear shows, occasionally in the womenswear pre-fall collections and also on the streets being worn by the fashion pack. Boys in skirts are old news. Now the emphasis is on girls borrowing from the boy’s wardrobe. Okay this isn’t brand new news (hello Coco Chanel, Katherine Hepburn) but what is news I guess is that this isn’t news!

All codes are broken, all bets are off. Regardless of your gender, your shape, your age, your whatever, you put on what you like, what you feel good in and what reflects your mood of that day. Suit up and look sharp ladies? The choice is yours.

CB - Pre-Fall 2015

CB – Pre-Fall 2015

Gucci AW15 menswear show

Gucci AW15 menswear show

Prada AW15 menswear show 1

Prada AW15 menswear show

London Fashion Week, Ji Hye Park

London Fashion Week, Ji Hye Park

Found on whowhatwear.com

Found on whowhatwear.com

Leandra Medine

Leandra Medine

For more inspirational posts, including our predictions, take a look here. All images are via Pinterest and Style.com with huge thanks.

Enjoy! Lucy