Friday, 2 December 2016

COVER STORY: JANUARY 2017: DAVID BOWIE


"There's a star man, waiting in the sky" and his name is David Bowie. Style icon, artist, musical legend. From the early '60s right through to his death in 2016, David Bowie was admired and loved by many fans and friends throughout the creative world for his contributions to style, music, art and fashion, with a career that spanned for over forty-eight years of his life. He paved the way for many other artists to be unique and taught them to be themselves with their music, their performance and their looks. He in many ways, single handily changed what it meant to be an 'artist', not just in music, but in fashion, in art and in performance.


I begin, of course, with his music, of which there are many songs, written by himself and by others that we all know and love. Bowie's lyrics, style of writing and the structure of some of his songs such as 'Let's Dance' forever changed the way in which we as music lovers listen to music, and the way in which songwriters and lyricists write their songs. The BBC documentary "David Bowie, Five Years" (which is available on Netflix) is a fantastic insight into the way in which he wrote his music, alongside such legends as John Lennon  who helped him co-write 'Fame', a song he wrote based on personal experiences with his management, and the band Queen, who co-wrote 'Under Pressure'. He has performed onstage and in music videos with pretty much every single musical talent, you can think of including Mick Jagger, Cher, Luther Vandross, Bing Crosby, Tina Turner and Coldplay. His last album to ever be released 'Blackstar' debuted in January 2016 and was the biggest selling album of the year, coincidentally, the same day as his birthday, a mere two days before the shocking news of his passing from cancer and was a triumph to the collection of albums and songs the artist had released since the debut of his first solo single 'The Laughing Gnome' in 1967. Tributes to his music are everywhere online from fans, but I think for me, my favourite has to be Lady Gaga's at the 2016 Grammy's. She single-handedly embodied Bowie's essence and gave a truly spectacular visual and vocal performance in collaboration with technology giants 'Dell' of some of his best and well-loved songs. Legendary songs such as 'Fashion''Ashes to Ashes''Life on Mars' and 'Let's Dance' will forever be in both my iTunes library and my heart as personal favourites of mine, particularly 'Fashion' (for obvious reasons). 

He was very much, a visual artist, his looks and style were shocking, unique, thought provoking and interesting to look at, influencing and changing the way that we see artists when they perform and changing even the way in which fashion designers created their clothes even today. In 2013, Jean Paul Gaultier created a fitting tribute to Bowie and several other 1980s iconic looks and styles, including Grace Jones, Michael Jackson and Boy George.  Bowie created and forever changed his looks both in his music videos and within his onstage performances and created characters that reflected his style and his music at the time of its release (my favourite being the clown from the album Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) which was referenced in the BBC TV drama 'Ashes to Ashes'. Ziggy Stardust was probably one of the most popular among fans and his most iconic (his reference to the space age heavily influenced his music with songs like 'Space Oddity') and is often the most talked about when people speak of him and his music. He certainly was a visual man, giving the likes of Grace Jones and Madonna a run for their money when it came to fashion, but it was thanks to the crazy, eccentric and fun decades of the 1970s & 1980s that he was allowed to experiment with his visual looks and wardrobe (let's be honest, most guys these days certainly wouldn't paint their faces white and wear eyeliner). An artist who is massively influenced by both Bowie and Queen alike is Lady Gaga. Her ability to be able to change her looks and style so often both onstage and in her everyday life, was heavily influenced by the two artists, which she herself has said in many interviews and is rather fitting and fun to see that even modern artists today within my generation, are still being influenced by iconic artists.

He was and still will forever be someone to be admired by myself, by other musicians and by fans, someone who's influence will carry on even after his death, someone who will influence the way we dress on catwalks and on stages, someone who's music will make people dance in bars, it'll be played in people's homes and on people's playlists I think for as long as music is written and will forever influence the way in which artists perform, someone who changed what it really meant to be an 'artist', and someone, who will never be forgotten.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

MANCHESTER ART GALLERY: FASHION & FREEDOM: 14-18 NOW

Manchester is well renowned for its work in the creative arts. From its actors such as Christopher Eccleston, its singers such as The Smiths to its fashion designers such as Henry Holland and artists such as L.S Lowry, its contribution to creativity is much celebrated throughout the UK and the world. Manchester has housed some of the most wonder exhibitions over the past few years throughout its various museums and art galleries in and around the City, that I have had the privilege of visiting since I've been living back in here. From art to fashion, photography to illustration, paintings to design, it's showcased and given birth to some of the most iconic artists and designers the UK has to offer.
































































Up until the 27th November, Manchester Art Galery is housing the 'Fashion & Freedom' exhibition. A look at the style and fashion that women were wearing during the first world war years of 1914-1918, but with a modern and contemporary twist. Contributions from major and emerging designers from around the UK such as Vivienne Westwood and Holly Fulton alongside each other was fantastic to see, with each individual designer stamping their own style on the inspired pieces from the period, yet having a real cohesiveness between them to bring together a wonderful tribute to the ladies that still managed to remain stylish, even through dark and horrific times. It enabled the women of the period to really be free, in the sense that for the first time in British history, women were encouraged to work whilst their husbands and lovers were out fighting for their country.










































Modern and contemporary pieces in the collection, mirror historical pieces from the time that have been put on display from the British Fashion Councils archive, including corsets and undergarments and really allows the talent of the emerging designers who have contributed to the exhibition to shine for the public to see. Also alongside the clothes, a lineup of small documentaries and short films have also been specially created to complement the pieces that are on display in the gallery.




The exhibition is perfect for any fashion lover, or to be honest, any lover of the creative arts in general. It showcases beautiful craftsmanship and is a must see for anyone looking for some creative inspiration or looking to learn a bit of history from the hard working, dedicated ladies that were given the freedom that they thoroughly deserved at the time. Let me know what you guys thought of the exhibition if you've visited it, in the comments below and as always, let's be social:

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

KEEP IT STYLISH: MANCHESTER STREET STYLE: GO GOTHIC



So I have been wanting to do street style photography on my blog for a very long time now, but life being the way that it is, I just never have really found the time to do it. I've been a fan of The Mancorialists photography for a while now, looking in on his blog and website from time to time to see what kind of style he's captured from the diverse and busy streets of Manchester. So it really is my honour that he has given me his permission to use his photographs to showcase the very best of Manchester's style from the streets.

This month I noticed that 'gothic' seemed to be a popular look and style amongst his work. Everything from leather jackets, pins & badges to 'all black'. Designers such as Rodarte, Mulberry, Christopher Kane and even Dior massively showcased this style on their catwalk shows. This is one of my all-time favourite trends for both Men and Women and in the images you see above, Manchester sure knows how to diversify and bring uniqueness to a trend that is huge for Autumn/Winter 2016.

You can check out The Mancorialists work in the links below, which if you're a fan of street style photography I really recommend you do, but for now, I'll let his camera lens and work do the talking:

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

FEATURED MENSWEAR BRAND: JE SUIS MOI

So most people hate Monday mornings, the weekend is over, the hangovers are still upon us and the working week has begun yet again, but as far as my Monday went this week, it was pretty epic. Myself and Yvonne (one of my favourite photographers who I met through work) went to meet Jamie, head designer and creator of the Manchester Menswear brand Je Suis Moi, the translation to English being 'I Am Me' to talk about the brand, his inspirations and to take a look at his Autumn/Winter 2016 collection for his brand new line.


"I'd say what inspires me the most, is probably the streets. I'm always looking at what people are wearing and try to figure out how I can make the pieces that I see, something a bit different or more personalised. Fashion for me is always about individuality which is what I really wanted to reflect in the brand. I had a look at your blog this morning actually and I read your article Ten Fashion Documentaries Every Fashionista Needs To Watch, so I think it'll be a quiet weekend in for me with my girlfriend just watching some fashion documentaries and looking for some inspiration". (I recommended to Jamie that he watched Bill Cunningham: New York which is perfect for street style inspiration for any of you fashion photographers reading).


"I usually buy just the basics from the high street and make all my other clothes myself, because then I always have something different and unique to wear that no one else has, I like a lot of street-wear so I like jumpers and hats"  We went on to talk about how interesting it is how menswear and men's attitude towards dressing has changed over the past few years, and how it's great that men really do make an effort with their appearance just as much as women do. Yvonne told us "I can remember my parent's style from when I was growing up and remember seeing photographs of them back in the 1940s, and men really made an effort in those days with their suits and their general look, so it's great to see that come back around full circle with the style of men today. Back in the early 2000s, men didn't really care much for their appearance or style, these days everyone's getting their shoes polished and eyebrows waxed!"


"It started off really from me having my own photography studio business and then I was kind of bored with seeing people wearing the same clothes, so I wanted to create clothes that were a little different and unique for men, and that's how the line started off really. Every piece we make only ever has forty per piece, and we'll never make more than forty of each piece from each collection". I mentioned that fast fashion was a huge part of the fashion industry (particularly in the UK) so for me it's nice to see designers and creative individuals making their own clothes and redefining the way in which we style them and create our own looks. Fashion bloggers and the whole 'street style' genre, have played an unbelievable major part in influencing the way in which major fashion designers and fashion editors are making and styling their clothes for their lines on the catwalks and for the editorial spreads of major magazines like Vogue.































































The clothes? magnificent. The camel tone colour mixed into luxurious leather (a full cowhide is used to make the jackets) with an earth tone shirt fitted with oversized statement pockets on the front (two of my personal favourite pieces) was magnificent. The collection really has a cohesiveness about it, and fits in perfectly with one of my favourite trends for men this season 'Way Out West'. The fabric and materials that are used to make the collection are all British made, which Jamie said: "fits in well to the area of Manchester that we're based, because Manchester is well known for its history in the cotton industry". It was also a great chance for me to try the clothes on and take part in a small photoshoot wearing the collection (which was immensely fun). Jamie mentioned that he is currently working on his next collection for Spring/Summer 2017, which he'll be bringing out sometime in the early months of next year (something that I look forward to).



One of the things I admired most about Jamie, was that I asked him if he'd been to University to study fashion and he said that he hadn't, and that he'd started his line just purely from his own back following the success of his photography studio business, because he wanted to make something different for men to wear, which for me was very relatable, very inspiring and very admirable and proof that with some determination you can get anywhere in life if you work hard enough for it. I really look forward to seeing how the brand flourishes in the future and look forward to seeing what he'll be bringing out for his Spring/Summer 2017 collection. But until then guys, don't forget to show the brand some love on their Twitter page, check out their website for the full collection and as always, let's be social:

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

TREND REPORT: SPRING/SUMMER 2017


As Spring/Summer 2017 draws to a halt on the catwalks of the four major cities, we walked away bedazzled by its statements, its pops of colour, its new creative directors that gave new lease of life into some of the most beloved houses of fashion, its throwbacks to past decades and its moments that made us quite literally say "oh my god". In Paris, Chanel gave us robots. Yes. Actual robots were the first models to strut onto a technology themed catwalk, with the girls wearing snapbacks and carrying small sparkling robot purses (think futuristic streetwear meets 1980s prints with the classic Chanel silhouette). Saint Laurent gave us black & white along with tailoring, both with classic 1980s shoulder pads right through to fitted suits to show off the feminine silhouette. The house of Dior was given a new lease of life thanks to its fresh creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri, who gave us statement tees, my favourite being "we should all be feminists". In New York Marc Jacobs took us to the dressing up box mixing dreadlocks, bright colours and gorgeous prints that will make a statement and make any passer-by think "wow". Alexander Wang also went street wear with a touch of neon and sports luxe thrown in their with his collection.

Over in London, as well as MulberryJasper Conran went for dark toned stripes, in multiple shapes mixed with dresses and earth-toned suits, VERSUS Versace gave us mustard yellow colours (my personal favourite trend for the season) mixed with sharp cuts whilst Simone Rocha completely reinvented the suit, taking elements of its shape and cutting them into sharp shirts, dresses and grey mac coats. And finally over in Milan, Moschino also took us to the dressing up box, creating playful outfits that looked like Barbie cutouts from a magazine with a 1950s retro twist, Gucci made pink the hottest colour to wear for Spring/Summer 17 alongside yellow, whilst Jil Sander mixed three trends together, think 1980s suits meets stripes meets black & white (if you thought killing two birds with one stone was good, this is even better). And finally, Prada made black & white a thing, mixing the two contrast colours in its pieces alongside the house of Saint Laurent who showcased pretty much the entire show in the colours, proving that black & white can certainly be worn in any context, at any time of the day and in any piece of clothing that is creatable. 

















So there we have it, Spring/Summer 2017 and what I think will be hot off the catwalk when the new season arrives. What do you think of Spring/Summer 2017? Who were your favourite collections from the shows? What's your favourite trends for the season and what trends will you be trying out? Let me know in the comments below and as always don't forget to be social:
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