It is the morning after a night that took six hours to prepare for. Preparations involved most of my favourite activities so work it was not but effort was definitely exerted. The brief was to show up attired in a cool vintage costume from the period spanning 1920s to 1960s. Roommate Beth and I hit the charity shops of Islington and Crouch End, me showing more than my usual and considerable enthusiasm. She was a little apprehensive about finding the right outfit with only 4 hours to spare. Supported by stiff coffee and a few mouthfuls of chocolate brownie we hit our groove. Beth decided she wanted to shed her conservative reserved self and reveal her inner show girl. No problem. I found her a black taffeta dress with net underskirt to use as a base and we took it from there. Earlier I had told her of this amazing Aladdin’s cave of antique clothing, furniture etc. It is to be found on the Holloway road and is run by Barry and his two colleagues. I have to say Barry proved to be quite the guy. He dedicated himself to our cause displaying customer service that you couldn’t get if you paid for. He hunted high and low for the mysteriously disappeared black feather boa, and playfully offered up masks and other coy accessories. We left with a green and black lace corset, an authentic riding crop plus a black eye mask. A very powerful little object. I got me a gorgeous red hat.
After a couple of flip-flops I settled on becoming a fifties pin-up. I found the dress at my new favourite charity shop in Crouch End. (These are updated daily if not oftener). The dress has a black buttoned-up bodice with strawberry print skirt. So far so spot on. I built up the look adding my red hat, red bag, corsage, earrings. Of course a pin-up isn’t worth her red lipstick and nail polish if her undergarments aren’t in order. I organised myself into fishnets, lacy black bloomer knickers and suspender belt . It’s supposed to look authentic right? Beth like the wonderful girl husband she is painted my nails for me and I reciprocated by cutting and pasting her into the dress.
We hit the haunted underground at late o clock. To see the rest of the story in pictures go to my flickr page.
On my travels today I spotted many exquisitely attired lads and ladies. It thrills me how fashion conscious and ready people are in this town. I find it excites and energises me to see creativity at play in peoples’ dress. Stumbling upon Soho a vision in pink wool crossed my path. Her look is so simple but striking. A vibrant coloured classic coat teamed with some choice accessories. It works for me. Introducing the lovely Yuto Chihaya from Japan…
Here I am in a previous life. During one of several sabbaticals from airtime chimping I tried going back to college. It was not for me and I must say nor was Dundalk . I’m a concrete lovin’, pollution huffin’ big city girl. This was taken in Dublin while on my Easter break. I discovered since then that style is what I love and must pursue.
On my recent visit to Future Beauty at The Barbican in London I was struck by the amazing style of the visitors. A bevy of impossibly stylish youngsters were there to soak up and learn about fashion the Japanese way. My pick of the day goes to Hana Choi from South Korea for her exemplary colour scheme. Matching her natural colouring with her outfit is inspired. She is a divine vision of mocha and ebony.
Future Beauty, 30 Years of Japanese Fashion opened yesterday at The Barbican Centre. Having nothing better or more glamorous to do myself and my friend Fan went down to check it out. We spent nearly three hours marveling at the exquisite and sometimes incredible works on display. The show comprises two whole floors of white on white rooms. The first thing to strike me was the attendees. Mostly fashion students I am sure, young, hip and dressed with so much style that they demanded as much attention as the exhibits themselves. An atmosphere of awe and reverence encapsulated the show. It is twenty years since I was last at The Barbican but I don’t remember it being so hushed and church-like.
On the first floor a series of mannequins are displayed in an open plan room which is gently divided up by curtains of sheer white fabric. All the mannequins are without hair or extra embellishment which serves to highlight the extraordinary creations by designers like Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto. Particularly striking to me were the honey-combed constructions of polyester organza by Junya Watanabe pictured.
Red polyester organza honeycomb ruff.
We rested awhile and watched some amazing films featuring catwalk shows, interviews and working methods of Miyake, Kawakubo and Yamamoto. What pleased me the most was the kaleidoscopic explosion of joy in Miyake’s featured show. Smiling animated models pouring freely onto an open platform in blocks of bright neon had me laughing with delight. Superhuman dancers illustrated perfectly the truly remarkable qualities of his exceptional designs.
Upstairs the exhibits are arranged in separate white rooms around two atriums that somehow don’t seem like atriums. To me it felt like we had traversed in a straight line? Perhaps this is deliberate on the curator’s part. Like the origami designs by Miyake, the building itself folds out differently in experience to its physical configuration. Here we see a more colourful and playful display introducing the newer younger generation of designers like Mintdesigns, Undercover by Jun Takahashi plus an example of the world famous street style from Tokyo’s Harajuku district.
Fan described it as an inspirational day out and it was.
Introducing the gorgeous Louise Gambrill. I met Louise at The Crafty Market back in June which she runs. It is currently on every Sunday in Shibeen. Besides this she is a talented artist with buckets of natural style. Here she is at work toting the marketeer’s essential and current hot accessory, a leather “fanny pack”. The look is effortless and relaxed, functional and fun. The eighties Mohair sweater with glamour applique motif adds the right amount of sparkle to the utilitarian boots and jeans. Her shock of honey-blonde bed hair is what I am after.