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Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

Fashion Forecasting from Blink London: Authenticity

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

In our last forecasting post we talked about the all-encompassing importance of passion. Your collections must be built from a place of altruism, created out of clever cooperation, intended to be seasonally resilient, and feel energised by your passion. Behind everything though must be our next forecasting focus. Next we talk about authenticity.Authenticity, fashion forecasting, 2016 fashion trends, Blink London, fashion blog

This is how you stand out from your close competition. This is how you respond to the seasonal trends in your own unique way. This is how you build a loyal customer base. This is how you create a consistent brand identity, fit out your shops, create your advertising campaign, set the tone of your management style, communicate across your social media channels. You will have utter clarity if everything comes from a place of authenticity.

Of course you must have a brand statement that is fully formed and well defined so you understand what your authenticity is. What is your raison d’etre? What drove your business to be created in the first place? What is the unique need that you alone fulfil? Of course this should evolve over time as markets change, as your business develops, but the heart of what you stand for, your purest authenticity, should remain the same at all times.

In addition to what authenticity means for a brand, we must also look at the absolute importance of the authenticity of how your product is created. Part of this can be rooted in your brand identity (the tradition of where your brand was born), and expressed through the craft employed in making your product- which in turn informs your brand’s identity. But in a more tangible way, the expression of care that comes with a product that has been crafted using authentic techniques, authentic materials, developed from authentically historical reference points is so very important. Not only does this ensure that you are delivering something unique, you are also delivering something of value that encompasses all of those key forecasting directions that we have already identified.

The way forward is not about more for mores sake. It is about doing less but doing each thing better, with more care, more consideration and more honour. There is a joy in that which will give you and your customer untold pleasure.

This is the final part of our series of predictions. I do hope that you are feeling inspired. We are and we are very excited to see what the next round of collections have to offer.

Enjoy! Lucy

Fashion Forecasting from Blink London: Passion

Monday, January 11th, 2016

Our next statement of intent for 2016’s fashion direction is ‘passion‘. All of the other focus words that we have featured in our 2016 fashion forecast need the energy that passion brings to give them depth and longevity. So I suppose what I’m saying is that passion is all pervadingly important in everything you do…Passion, fashion forecasting, 2016 fashion trends, Blink London, fashion blog

passion

ˈpaʃ(ə)n

noun

strong and barely controllable emotion. A strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something. A person toward whom one feels strong love or sexual desire. A strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything: a passion for music.

We truly believe that the passion with which you designed a product, made a product, retailed a product, bagged up a product is what makes the critical difference. Your engagement in what you’re doing; the care, attention, emotional investment in your role within the fashion industry is critical, ensuring that what you do resonates with your intended customer.

The power of passion in your approach should never be underestimated. This will protect you from the sloppy, lazy, it-sold-through-last-year-so-lets-do-it-again trap. We are innovators, creators, sensory stimulators and path-finders and in order to do any of those important things successfully requires absolute passion at its heart.

We hope that you’re enjoying our look at the future of fashion and please watch out for more. If you’d like to see more inspirational posts, just click here.

Enjoy! Lucy

Fashion Forecasting from Blink London: Cooperation

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

We hope you have enjoyed our previous forecasting posts looking at resilience and altruism. Today we turn our attention to cooperation.

Cooperation, fashion forecasting, 2016 fashion trends, Blink London, fashion blog

cooperation

kəʊˌɒpəˈreɪʃ(ə)n

noun

the action or process of working together to the same end. A situation in which people work together to do something. : the actions of someone who is being helpful by doing what is wanted or asked for. Voluntarily arrangement in which two or more entities engage in a mutually beneficial exchange instead of competing.

For the past few season’s the watchword has been collaboration. This has been a really important movement, but we think it has evolved in to cooperation. While collaborators of course work together, the switch from that to cooperation represents a more mutual, supportive endeavour where both parties have an equal benefit.

Within the fashion world this has given us some great innovations in retailing, enhancing the physical retail environment with space given over to pop up events from businesses that share your mission, identity, aesthetic and customer type while delivering something other to what you yourself sell. It is a collation of related beliefs while the products themselves stay separate. It enhances both parties brand identity, exposes them to new customers and shares hard won kudos.

These partnerships should be entered into with great care however. Your choice of partnership reflects who you are as a brand in a very powerful way. Oasis creating space for Rockett St George in the Argyll Street store over the Christmas trading period is a great example of clever cooperation. Rockett St George enjoyed their first physical retail venture, and in the heart of London too. Oasis gained extra ‘respec’t points, lifting them up just a touch from their very close competitors. It was a win/win.

In the year ahead we look forward to seeing more of these innovative, and also altruistic cooperative relationships showing up across the fashion map. There will be more from our fashion forecasting series tomorrow. In the meantime, for more forecasting posts, take a look here.

Enjoy! Lucy

Fashion Forecasting from Blink London: Resilience

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

Yesterday on the blog we focussed our forecasting view on altruism. Today we have a new forecast focus…Resilience, fashion forecasting, 2016 fashion trends, Blink London, fashion blog

resilience

rɪˈzɪlɪəns

noun

the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity. The capability to recover size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress. An ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.

Resilience is a good quality to foster in yourself, perfect to deal with the stresses of life in general when you look closely at the definition. It’s that elasticity element that is key here. Resilience is not a rigid, hard thing. As a designer in the fashion industry I know first hand about resilience. It’s quite a tough call having to present your ideas to scrutiny by committee. You have to be flexible, open-minded and of course brave, but above all you must be resilient as you’ll have to get up in front of that same committee time after time.

From a brand perspective, resilience equals longevity, and again that flexibility is key. Take the stresses and pressure of a changing environment, competition and customer and allow those things to help shape you, strengthen you, keep you on your toes, clarify your beliefs and character. Fluidity, openness, responsiveness all sit perfectly well within our view of resilience.

From a product view, resilience is a must. We don’t mean that everything must be tough and strong. Who wants a silk blouse that feels like a pair of jeans? Resilience is about creating product that will work through more than just a passing fashion fad. Considerate design, a view to your brands values and the reality of wear should all combine to create product that is fit for purpose, and perhaps even has that ‘after purpose’ re-purposing or ‘afterlife’ concept planned in too.

We hope that you are enjoying our fresh take on forecasting for this season, feeling the picture we are starting to build. There will be another piece added to this puzzle tomorrow. In the meantime, for more forecasting posts, take a look here.

Enjoy! Lucy

Blink London reviews Pre Fall 2016 collections

Thursday, December 17th, 2015

The fashion industry is a constantly forward-moving entity, permanently shaping the future in the image defined by a select set of highly creative minds. That sounds pretty heavy right? Well, it is heavy from the perspective that this is a global business that is worth a huge amount of money to many, many people. In direct contrast, this is light as a thought, fleeting as a feeling, as fluid as satin. This is the stuff of dreams turned in to reality. Fashion’s influencers delve deep in to their psyches to divine how we’ll be feeling in the year ahead and how we will want to express that in the most visible way possible- through the way we dress. These are some of the reasons why I never, ever, ever tire of this amazing industry.

Now I can be sure that my fashion passion is absolutely continually fuelled as the inter-season collections are becoming more and more significant and diverse. Even though this has been the case for several annual fashion circuits, I am still usually caught by surprise when the pre Autumn collections pop up on Vogue Runway. Well, it’s just happened again but this time I was more prepared, readier to do a little bit of time travel into next July and August. Over the next few posts I’ll be sharing my highlights from these recent pre-Fall 2016 collections with you.

Kicking things off, here’s my one favourite look from Bottega Veneta.

Bottega Veneta pre-Fall 2016, images with thanks to Vogue

Bottega Veneta pre-Fall 2016, images with thanks to Vogue

I chose this single image from their collection as it sums up many of the things that are looking strongest across many of the pre-Fall collections:

  • maxi length
  • still a 70’s feeling
  • large scale geometric colour blocking
  • lots of shades of red
  • a softly smart feeling

Watch out for more posts featuring our choices from some of the key collections. For more inspiration in the meantime, take a look here.

Enjoy! Lucy

Fashion Forecasting for the year ahead…

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

So, as 2015 draws to a close, our thoughts turn to the year ahead. We have already seen what fashion’s biggest labels think we should be wearing for Spring Summer 2016, as well as a little preview of Autumn Winter 2016 through the pre-collections which have just been shown. Elle.com shared insight in to what inspired some designer’s Spring 2016 collections which is lovely to look at against what actually hit the catwalks. The fashion forecasting houses are way past 2016 already of course, as are most fashion designers, but before we shoot too far in to the future there are some very interesting changes afoot in the world of fashion which we have been pondering…

Missoni pre-fall 2016, from image Vogue.com with thanks

Missoni pre-fall 2016, from image Vogue.com with thanks

Where is Raf going and what is going to happen at Dior? How long can Gucci sustain their new geeky chic direction and what else does new creative director, Alessandro Michele, got up his sleeve? How will Balenciaga‘s appointment of Demna Gvasalia, formerly of Vetements, impact on the brand’s aesthetic? Will we all be 3D printing our own clothes any time soon? How will the high street compete with the growth and diversification of the online shopping experience?

Gucci pre-fall 2016, from image Vogue.com with thanks

Gucci pre-fall 2016, from image Vogue.com with thanks

And perhaps most importantly of all, what on earth will the Kardashians do next to in order to keep hold of our undivided attention? Well, I think their impact on the global psyche was very well reflected in the utter fashion mayhem caused by the H&M x Balmain collaboration. Crikey, that Olivier Rousteing knows how to work his celebrity smothered intagram account with supreme skill, featuring his Kardashian/West/Jenner bezzies on a regular basis. Not that long ago the general high street fashion shopping populous would most probably been totes unaware of Balmain as a brand, and now they are knocking each other to the ground for this collab collection in a mosh pit style frenzy!

Kendall Jenner modelling Balmain x H&M. Image swiped from Pinterest with thanks

Kendall Jenner modelling Balmain x H&M. Image swiped from Pinterest with thanks

Well this leads us on to another interesting question. Who on earth can follow up that H&M collaboration? The joy of these collabs is not lost on me. I am a proud repeat wearer of several bits bought from the Stella collab, the Marant collab and the Margiela collab (although no one was injured in my purchasing of those items). I came across this interesting article putting some odds on potential designers who may or may not be under official H&M consideration. Who will you put your money on?

For more fashion inspiration to get your brains swirling just like ours, look here. If you’re after shopping news in particular, then you should look here.

Enjoy! Lucy

Liberty London launches The Chesham Cabinet Collection

Friday, December 11th, 2015
Liberty London's Chesham Cabinet Collection, Arthur Liberty

Liberty London’s Chesham Cabinet Collection, Arthur Liberty

The other week we were delighted to be invited to Liberty Interiors new collection launch. The Chesham Cabinet Collection has been inspired by some of the world’s finest ‘cabinet houses’ and dolls houses.

Queen Mary's Dolls House, Windsor Castle

Queen Mary’s Dolls House, Windsor Castle

We met with some of the Liberty London designers who told us how they were so inspired by the scale play and intense detailing, craft and workmanship found in these amazing dolls houses. They translated that inspiration in to a stunning collection of new interiors textiles designs translated across velvets, linen, wallpaper and even Scottish made, luxurious woollen blankets.

It was wonderful to see the mini room sets created by the Liberty team, but my absolute highlight was being able to see the original, hand-painted artworks for these designs, painstakingly created by Liberty’s textile designers. No computerised design work here!

Liberty London artwork for the Chesham Cabinet Collection

Liberty London artwork for the Chesham Cabinet Collection

Liberty London artwork for the Chesham Cabinet Collection

Liberty London artwork for the Chesham Cabinet Collection. Close up

Liberty London artwork for the Chesham Cabinet Collection

Liberty London artwork for the Chesham Cabinet Collection

Liberty Interiors Chesham Cabinet Collection

Liberty Interiors Chesham Cabinet Collection

Liberty Interiors Chesham Cabinet Collection

Liberty Interiors Chesham Cabinet Collection

Liberty Interiors Chesham Cabinet Collection

Liberty Interiors Chesham Cabinet Collection

Thanks so much to the Liberty Interiors team who were so generous with their time. Wonderful to be able to see the whole creative journey behind these stunning new designs, and wonderful to see how such a recognisable heritage brand continues to innovate.

For more interiors inspiration, just look here.

Enjoy! Lucy

‘The History of Modern Fashion’ on Blink London’s Christmas Wish List

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015
The History of Modern Fashion by Daniel James Cole and Nancy Deihl, published by Laurence King

The History of Modern Fashion by Daniel James Cole and Nancy Deihl, published by Laurence King

Did you catch our review of David Downton’s newest book? If you are still after more Christmas gift inspiration for the fashion obsessive in your life, then this is the perfect addition to your shopping list. ‘The History of Modern Fashion’ is another recently published title from Laurence King, and so you have every chance that your giftee won’t already own it!

Now this is a beautiful book visually, gorgeously glossy and reassuringly hefty, with wonderfully inspirational images on every page, making it an engaging coffee table number- but if your fashion friend is serious about their chosen subject this is sure to satisfy their enquiring mind. Starting with the period that the authors call ‘The Dawn of Modern Clothing’ between 1850 to 1890, this book then takes you on a thoroughly researched and deeply informative journey, decade by decade, right up to the 2000’s.

'The History of Modern Fashion', the 1920s

‘The History of Modern Fashion’, the 1920s

'The History of Modern Fashion', the 1960s

‘The History of Modern Fashion’, the 1960s

'The History of Modern Fashion', the 1990s

‘The History of Modern Fashion’, the 1990s

As a fashion history geek, I can honestly say that I haven’t come across such a thorough and yet accessible look at this subject in a very long time. Fabulous work Daniel James Cole (History of Fashion teacher at FIT and New York University) and Nancy Deihl (Director of the MA program in Costume Studies at New York University).

For more Christmas gift ideas, and more besides, take a look at our ‘retail’ category.

Enjoy! Lucy

Alexander Calder at Tate Modern

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015
Alexander Calder at Tate Modern, mid century art, London, art exhibition, Tate, fashion blog, Blink London

Alexander Calder at Tate Modern

On Monday I was invited to preview the Alexander Calder exhibition at Tate Modern. It’s hectic at Blink Towers, what with launching Bella Illustrations and a couple of very exciting design projects we’re working on (top secret!) but nothing was going to stop me from catching this show. I am a mid century design nut, and as such this is a key exhibition to see- as is the Eames exhibition at the Barbican which we’re hitting up later today. So, pretty much I am in mid century inspiration heaven right now!

Alexander Calder at Tate Modern, mid century art, London, art exhibition, Tate, fashion blog, Blink London

Alexander Calder at Tate Modern

This exhibition is wonderfully spacious. Not just in a literal way because I doubt these rooms will rarely be this empty, but more kind of emotionally… That’s because calder’s work is so spaciously airy, both occupying space but also working so wonderfully with empty space in between the elements of his work. I have always adored the mobiles that Calder created, but there is so much more to his work too. It was a joy to discover his simplistic, bent wire forms as well as those works that feel like 3D paintings, emerging from a wall mounted canvas.

Alexander Calder at Tate Modern, mid century art, London, art exhibition, Tate, fashion blog, Blink London

Alexander Calder at Tate Modern

Alexander Calder at Tate Modern, mid century art, London, art exhibition, Tate, fashion blog, Blink London

Alexander Calder at Tate Modern

The forms are fluid yet strong, bold and simplistic but also wonderfully complex in the way that they change as you move around them and they move in space too, as shown by my rather wobbly, speeded up view of this kinetic sculpture moving very subtly in the ambient breeze within the gallery. The shadows of these works are as much part of this exhibition as the work itself, adding a further impression on the gallery walls and floors. As you move through the exhibition, starting with those groups of work that I knew less and moving towards the Calder signature style that I know best, so I knew that the mobiles were coming up, but nothing could quite prepare me for their beauty. My oh my oh my…

Firstly there’s the scale to consider, and even though these are utterly light and delicate some of the mobiles are actually quite large. Next is the fact that the elements on the mobiles are hand painted or hand crafted so there is a subtle level of texture that you can see as these move in the light. Then there the fact that these have been suspended with such care, grace and balance. Something that at first sight is rather simple perhaps become utterly enchanting. I decided to post videos of these two large mobiles to try and share with you the movement, subtle though it is in these clips, as that is what this work is all about. Calder called them ‘preforming sculpture’ and this is descriptive perfection.

This exhibition is open from today until 3rd April next year so you have no excuses! Book yourself a ticket ASAP. All the details can be found on the Tate’s website.  For more inspirational events featured on the Blink London blog, take a look here.

Enjoy! Lucy

David Downton ‘Portraits of the World’s Most Stylish Women’ on Blink London’s Christmas Wish List

Friday, November 6th, 2015
David Downton 'Portraits of the Wold's Most Stylish Women', published by Laurence King

David Downton ‘Portraits of the Wold’s Most Stylish Women’, published by Laurence King

Are you already compiling your Christmas gift shopping list? We are here to help, well only if you are shopping exclusively for fashionable, style conscious people with exquisitely good taste!

The first item on our list is this wonderful new book, ‘Portraits of the World’s Most Stylish Women’, featuring the work of world renowned, intensely gifted fashion illustrator and portraitist David Downton. Through over 170 drawings collection from over 16 years worth of work, Downton shares with us his portraits of some of the world’s most iconic and stylish women. Interspersed with the images are some wonderful insights from Downton.

Even if the person you are planning to gift this book to already has an extensive collection of fashion books (like me), I feel sure they’ll find space for this gorgeously, glossy number (like me!). Not only will they appreciate the book itself, they will surely also consider you even more fabulously stylish than ever before as the genius that bought them this!

David Downton 'Portraits of the Wold's Most Stylish Women', published by Laurence King

David Downton ‘Portraits of the Wold’s Most Stylish Women’, published by Laurence King

David Downton 'Portraits of the Wold's Most Stylish Women', published by Laurence King

David Downton ‘Portraits of the Wold’s Most Stylish Women’, published by Laurence King

Watch out for what’s next on our gifting list! Happy shopping!

Enjoy! Lucy