Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Amour Fou

(Photography by Jamie Corbin)

Translation Crazy Love and the epitome of fantasy! I can't tell you how much I enjoyed Charlie Critchley Crozier's collection at Bristol Rockstyle (19/8/10) A wonderful fairytale with princes and princesses in hues of white. So of course I am dedicating a post to it! Word of warning this may be an image heavy post but they are beautiful so I hope you forgive me!

I had a rather informal chat with imaginative designer Charlie (the wonders of facebook) after the show and discovered her inspiration for the collection, her love of drawing and fantasy...
(Photography by Jon Craig)

Yes it is over!!!!!! I do feel very blue today (20/8/10) though and I really don't know what to do with myself right now. This is the worst post show depression I have ever had. I spent so long locked in a room in my fantasy bubble stitching away the creations that came into my mind that now its over and the bubble has burst I really miss it. I am however replacing that bubble with a new fantastical theme for my next show.
(Photography by Jon Craig)

Well where do I start?
(Photography by Jamie Corbin)

Amy (Miss Bristol) asked me if I would like to show a collection for her new show and as soon as she said it was for the Variety Club I instantly wanted a fairytale for adults. I have always been in my own fantasy land and I wanted to create something that can be turned into a fashion story on the stage. A mixture of fashion, acting, music and dance.
(Photography by Jamie Corbin)

I wanted something that had a splash of everything I love most, ballet, romance, romeo and Juliet, Jane Austen, Shakespeare, 60's world peace and free love (that was the idea behind the twins with a Shakespearean ruff thrown in) and every single fantasy movie I had ever seen.
(Photography by Jamie Corbin)

Whilst I stitched I imagined all my models wearing my designs inside a snow globe walking around in a dreamlike state and I told Amy what I was looking for and she helped piece my ideas together and make my dream a reality. I have a lot of Amy and Erin (the ballerina) in the designs I made for the night, they really are two wonderful magical sisters and should be an inspiration to anyone.
(Photography by Jamie Corbin)

I started by sketching all my designs on paper which took a while as I love drawing as much as creating and try and turn each design into artwork and then I looked at fabric and tried to get a feel for costs and style and the making process took about 3 months as I have orders and I have a part time job too.
(Photography by Jon Craig)

I am having my website built and its getting there slowly but surely so I will be advertising and selling one off designs through that. I have had a rush of orders come in and a few wedding dress orders. I have just got the centre spread for Eye Magazine so will be doing a shoot for that. I will hopefully be having a launch party at the end of the year and I am designing something totally new for that!!
(Photography by Jamie Corbin)

A launch party - I hope that is a guest list I can make my way on to... I really enjoy the story behind the designs as well as the designs themselves. I think Fantasy and Fashion walk hand in hand and this fairytale take on it is really pleasing! I will be paying close attention to Charlie and Amour Fou and what she does next!!

(Illustration by Charlie)

Best Wishes
Fashion Fantasist xx

Saturday, 28 August 2010

'A Gladiator Brogue Hybrid'

Is how Mr Fashion Fantasist described these babies that I bought on Tuesday (24/8/10)...They are Teardrop Oxford Shoes from Urban Outfitters aaaaand I liked them so much I was very naughty on Wednesday (25/8/10) and bought the same in black!I don't really feel that bad about buying them, personally think they go with everything!

Best Wishes
Fashion Fantasist xx

Young British Designers

I am super excited!! Sorry for my lack of posting this week but I have lots to share with you so I hope it will make up for it...

But back to the excitement!! If you remember I did a guest post for the very lovely people at Young British Designers and in return received a Charlotte Taylor scarf (which I adore btw!) Welllllll here is the video for their website launch.... Which will be in the week commencing the 6th September!! Excited!!

A whole host of British designers will be involved in this website: Felicity Brown, Kinder Aggugini, Fannie Schiavoni, Simeon Farrar, Julian J Smith, Elliott J Frieze, Sophie Gittins shoes, Eudon Choi, Alice Palmer (a finalist of Fashion Fringe 2010), Swagga & Soul, J. W. Anderson (jewellery) etc etc etc!!! I really can't wait to see how the website turns out and have loved following the girls from YBD on Twitter!

It will definitely be a website to visit often and I look forward to exploring all the British designers - some that I haven't heard about which is even more exciting!

Anyway sorry for the over use of the words 'exciting' and 'excited' I just really can't wait!!

Do check out their Blog in the meantime and also follow them on Twitter and watch THIS SPACE for the website!

Speak very soon
Fashion Fantasist xx

Friday, 20 August 2010

Bristol Rockstyle

Gosh! What an evening!!!! It was absolutely tipping it down before I left and on twitter I was getting in a tizz about whether to wear the nude outfit or not... I risked it! Luckily leopard print is back in so my big leopard print umbrella didn't look out of place!! :) Here is the outfit as promised...I am sorry I have had to do the cheesy thing of cutting out the background but our flat really isn't the greatest back drop in the state it is in!So anyway arrived in one piece and fairly dry...

The evening was hosted by the exuberant Julian Bennett from the British version of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and of course his 'sausage' (dog) Lulu - who by the way is adorable and such a professional - didn't pee on the catwalk - always a good start! The venue it's self was gorgeous - loads of cornicing. There was seated, standing and VIP sections - I think I was quite lucky as I managed to get a seat right at the front of the catwalk!!

Once Julian had warmed up the crowed the first act to perform was a dance group called funk fatelle. A group of six girls who did an interesting mix of body popping and Hip Hop. Was really enjoyable and a great way to start the evening... I had no idea what else was going to be in store!!

The first fashions to hit the catwalk were from Guess - They also suited and booted Julian's first outfit of the evening. It was a really nice performance. The models came on to the catwalk from the end closest to the audience and there were three groups of models (two couples of boy and girl and a threesome of one boy and two girls) They all acted like they were at a club and were having a great time. It was a mix of casual and evening wear and I really liked the performance.I really liked the fuchsia dress. It had a photographic building print that really caught my eye.The next collection to appear on the catwalk was The Clifton Vintage Boutique. The clothing was supported by Sarah Walklett who sang 'Aint No Other Man' and boy did she have a pair of lungs on here! She was amazing!Fielding and Nicholson offered a great collection of Tailoring for men. Loved the features of the double button and bright linings.

A very stylish suit and evening wear collection came next with Louis and Josh singing with acoustic guitar - They had been at the press evening. The collection was Amanda Wakely and my favorite pieces were two dresses worn by twins. One was silver and the other purple and they had a very Grecian feel to them. Floaty pleating and sailor knotted rope at their waist.Really elegant and the models were a good choice!

Gilly Woo's collection took to the stage with a very talented ballet dancer! - Who was only 13! She was mesmerising. The collection was corsets and frills. My favorites were a periwinkle blue see through dress and a sky blue corset with white and yellow detailing and bows, it reminded me of pottery. But Gosh those Waists!!!! Those corsets were proper corsets that pulled them in or they just had the tiniest waists I have ever seen!Unfortunately this is the only in focus photograph I got of Gilly Woo's collection... I must try and sweet talk a photographer and try and get some better pictures to show you!!

The Rapper Genetic then took to the stage. A really different style music to the previous act. The clothing shown was from our very own Motel! Their new cadge backs were a feature.During the interval the very talented Amy Evans sang with a back of why the show and everyone was there. The whole event was a charity show to raise money for The Variety Club who does amazing work for sick, disabled and disadvantaged children.Amy won a singing competition and had an amazing voice, it was really pure and worked well with the slide show (even though there were a few tiny technical difficulties)Still a wonderful performance.

The second half opened with a bang! A trio of street walkers called Team South Blessed did an amazing performance of stunts and flips - and all staying on the catwalk, at some points I was sure they would fall off it!The next collection was by Henry Hunt... Coming from a private school myself it was all very familiar... The hunting jackets with hoodies, school style skirts. It was a sweet collection and very very sloanie!Vixy Designs were really interesting. They were heavily worked into with machine embroidery, random objects and graffiti. I got an element of recycled fashion mixed with street wear and also wales as inspirations. They walked down the catwalk to a trio called Base 6.The next thing to grace the catwalk was ahem barely there... A company called Lick and their range of underwear for men... The room defiantly perked up and I have to say I was unsure where to look... But for your curiosity here is a picture....enjoy! hehe!!In case you are interested spiders and spider webs were a feature along with the union jack with bright pink and blue...

The next collection is one of my favorites (no bias here even though I have met the designer)The collection had a wonderful mix of fairytale and fantasy which I really enjoy in fashion. I think it is important to have a fantasy element and even a storyline - it doesn't always have to be wearable it is about imagination. Anyway this gorgeous collection in white hues, bronzes and floaty fabrics. It was obviously a fashion fairytale with princes and princesses, the ballet dancer was back and I loved the flower bikinis with gauze capes. I will be doing a separate blog post on Charlie Critchley Crozier the creator of Amour Fou so watch this space...Colonel Mustard was another menswear collection, but with Men actually IN clothes! A great mix of casual and smart. Julian was wearing Colonel Mustard as part of his second half outfit.

Puckoo Couture made for a brilliant finale! Bright leotards, women on stilts and a rather dark sexual edge... The women on stilts were fantastic and looked like tropical birds.It was a really successful evening and I hope lots of money was raised! Well done to Miss Bristol and Tyrone Jones for creating such an enjoyable event. I really enjoyed the mix of fashion, dance and music it was really great!Also thank you for the lovely goody bag - the cake was delicious!Best Wishes
Fashion Fantasist xx

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Don't Know What To Wear...So Going To Go NUDE!

If you follow me on twitter you will know that I am going to Bristol Rockstyle tomorrow evening! (19/8/10) And I am really really excited! I am friends with Miss Bristol (the organiser) and Tyrone Jones (the other organiser) on facebook and have heard that Julian Bennett from Queer Eye For The Straight Guy will be hosting the evening and apparently there will be some other surprise celebs. So along with the Bristol Fashion Elite there will be some famous people and probably press.... (I sort of count as press but you know what I mean!)

So I was in turmoil what to wear.... Aaaaaand after browsing the shops I have fallen for a French Connection dress that had just a great reduction and looked so lovely it was hard to ignore...£95-£35!!!! Yes Please!!!!

So here is the outfit I am planning on wearing...So I am teaming this lovely nude lace shift dress with a trench coat and my new Aldo shoes :)

Unsure about whether to wear jewellery or to boycott it... The neck line is quite high so any necklace overlaps the dress but here are the choices...I will hopefully take a photograph of the final outfit on me tomorrow - not feeling particularly photogenic at this precise moment but watch this space!

Best Wishes
Fashion Fantasist xxx

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Catherine Day Photography

Well yesterday I finally got around to doing a post about The Dairy in Cardiff and their launch party. I am glad I went or I would not have come across the lovely photography by Catherine Day. So I did a little investigating (by investigating I mean I picked up her business card and looked up her website and email...) and I am glad I did!! The work on her website is really worth a look!! It is hard to chose a favorite photograph from options like Fashion, Beauty and Nudes.I emailed Catherine and asked her a few questions about her inspirations, techniques and her own favorites..

On The Dairy blurb about you and your work it says you were interested in photography from a young age. Was there a photographer you liked in particular or was it actually just taking pictures that you enjoyed?
My Dad was my initial inspiration really, as he would take his camera out on family walks, and I was always intrigued by how a little box could freeze an actual moment, so when I was about five he let me use one of his old 35mm cameras and I was hooked straight away! Although the first time I used it I was so excited to see the photos that I opened the back of the camera and pulled all the film out. Thankfully my technical knowledge has somewhat improved!What is the concept behind your work?
Some of my work is inspired by events, thoughts, dreams and nightmares from my own life. The levels of inspiration differ greatly from one shoot to another, but it's there no matter how subtly. I rarely share these inspirations as they're deeply personal, but they serve the purpose of making me much more emotionally attached to my work, plus it's rather cathartic.
Some images are a twist I've tried to think up to give the image a humorous or dark edge, and others are born from a sudden flash of inspiration that's come from nowhere placeable, or films, books and random things I see in the world. Once an idea gets caught in my mind, it very rarely leaves!Some of your work is very abstract - eg the nude in the bath. How do you go about creating these shots? Also the nude which is just blue paint against black?!
The nudes in the bath were lots of fun to create! The bath was suspended on boxes and filled with a mixture of warm water and pink milkshake. Unfortunately the water was cold by the time it was full and Ulorin Vex (the model) was absolutely freezing the entire time! She was such a trooper though (as always) and endured it to get the shots. Meanwhile, to get high enough to capture the images I was leaning horizontally off a 20ft ladder with an incredibly heavy camera system. It was rather terrifying as I have a fear of being on ladders! To get the abstract look to the photos I used a mixture of Photoshop and magic ;)The blue paint nudes were pretty simple, and I did them for one of my final year projects in University a few years ago. The model (one of my housemates at the time, she had a rocking body!) stood butt naked in the bath, I poured blue poster paint over random parts of her and then using Photoshop erased any part that wasn't paint covered. Et voila! I got a 1st for that project, I was rather chuffed.I really like the series of photographs 'Chemical' What exactly do they illustrate?
The 'Chemical' series is a narrative illustrating the side effects I experienced that were caused by the chemicals in different anti depressants. It's a deeply personal series, but was an awful lot of fun to make!

Here is a behind the scenes look at the making of this photoshoot. The make up artistry is amazing!

And finally What is your favorite piece of your own work?
Oof, my favourite piece! I'd have to say the Chemical series in it's entirety is my favourite, although I really love the latest photo of Sohui wearing a Hello Kitty hair bow by ChubbyBunny. Sohui and myself shoot together quite a lot, and I think it has to be my favourite we've ever done, her attitude in the image is just awesome! I'm going to be retouching a few more of these soon.So there you go this is Catherine Day the very talented photographer and retoucher. I have really fallen for her work - the mixture of purity and whimsy but with dark edges never far away really work. Would love for my collection to be photographed in this white, pure but dark stylised way!

Hope these photographs inspire you and help get you lost in fantasy and I leave you with this photograph of a girl being carried away by balloons. It is the last day of the Bristol Balloon Fiesta today so I will be craning my neck out my window in the hopes of spotting some of the 100 hot air balloons that will be released at six o'clock.Hope you have had a good weekend!
Fashion Fantasist xx