Monday, March 22, 2010

I'm No longer Dazed & Confused

A two week internship at fashion and music magazine Dazed & Confused confirmed my aspirations of being a journalist. Daily tasks included transcribing interviews (listening to Spike Jonze for almost 6 hours did not taint my opinion of him, but it did not make me want to see his new movie I'm Here which is a tale of two robots in love in LA) researching for features and joining the other interns tp sort out the daily post (which turned out to be a more confusing task that I had first imagined but I became quite the post woman by the end of it). I did however get to do two phone interviews and one via email which both scared me to death and gave me the confidence to do interviews in the furture.

The May issue will contain two of the interviews. The first with Jaiden Saint James discussing his magazine, Re-bel, and the second with Will Gregory from Goldfrapp and Adrian Utley of Portishead. The latter is about a really exciting project the two friends are currently collaborating on. They are in the midst of writing a completely new and contemporary film score to the 1920's French silent film The Passion of Joan of Arc. .

The interview with photgrapher Ewen Spencer was featured on Dazed Digital today and recounts the short film he made as part of the Massive Attack project featuring their new album, Heligoland.

I also got to attend the April issue lanuch party in CAMP in Shoreditch where i got to see the band Glasser live and the cover stars (above), The xx, dj-ed afterwards. The whole experience at the magazine, watching everything unfold and listen to new relseases from the desk next to me. Tim, Deputy Editor is also the Music Editor and provided the soundtrack to my internship. From Foals and LCD Soundsystem's new albums to the Vengaboys and afternoon mambo, there was never a dull moment in the office. Keep an eye out in the next issue of Dazed & Confused for my little aformentioned pieces, every little helps as they say!

Read the interview here:

Saturday, March 20, 2010

No Distance Left to Run

Oasis or Blur? The only question in the 90s that really mattered and it divided families, housing estates and classrooms throughout the decade. Oasis were either on or off, and then they had a bust up, and got back together. Are they together now? Who knows.

But Blur famously split after extreme personal differences. What once started up as a band of brothers, well best friends, turned out to be an alcohol fuelled frenzy of tours and festivals that eventually led to their demise. Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon were no longer on speaking terms and eventually, Blur were no more. They all went their seperate ways... Damon started numerous bands such as the Gorillaz (who have just released Plastic Beach, their sophomore album) and The Good The Bad and The Queen; Alex James started a family, a cheese farm (and created possibly the best named cheese of all time, Blue Monday) and wrote autobiography A Bit of A Blur (which is now on sale in HMV for a mere £3); Drummer Dave Rowntree went to law school and Graham Coxon focussed on family life.

No Distance Left to Run
documents the bands revival in 2009 and follows them on their 'comeback' tour, mainly focussing on their spine tingling Glastonbury performance. It films interviews with other journalists, band practice and individual interviews with the band members, all of which reveal different facets to the Brit Pop innovators. Damon is filmed tearing up on stage at Glasto after the 80,000 crowd sing in unison the emotive lyrics of 'Tender', the lyric that Coxon dreamt up whilst in bed and had to scrawl it down immediately.

The reconciliation occured on a porch of a housing estate between Albran and Coxon and they two put their past behind them and said 'Let's get the band back together one last time'. The live performances over the summer, that consisted of a flavourful setlist of 'Parklife', 'Girls and Boys' and the monsterous 'Song 2', took Blur to new and dizzying heights. Let's hope they came away with the success of this documentary and perhaps start dreaming up some more classics for us to sing back to them.


Possibly one of the most moving live performances of our time. Or maybe I'm just bias!

Watch the documentary in full on BBC iplayer.

To Clog or not to Clog

Clog- such a funny word for a funny-looking shoe. Associated with many Eurpoean cultures but most notably the Dutch, clogs have managed to creep their way into the trends this spring, much like the brogue has done before. Shoes are the one thing in fashion that tend to go full circle, dating back a number of years and all of a sudden explode onto the catwalks and filter down to the streets in a matter of months.

Once predominantly made out of wood, the clog has been tweaked since the 19th Century and has been reinvented by designers such as Chanel and Miu Miu. Soon you will no longer need to learn how to clog-dance before stepping out in a pair of these wooden wonders. Karl Lagerfeld came under a lot of criticism when he styled his models for Spring/Summer 2010 in custom made clogs with the Chanel logo encrusted onto the familiar bronze studs that attach the linen to the wooden sole. But anything Vogue praises tends to become an instant hit, and when Alexa Chung sat cross legged on the cover last month donning a pair of these Chanel clogs, it has been all that fashionista’s can talk about. She admitted herself that they are quite difficult to walk in, especially with tights, but since when has fashion been practical?

With an array of fabrics to choose from, such as linen, leather or suede, clogs are set to be this seasons ‘it’ shoe. Try a pair of Miu Miu’s sheepskin lined ankle boot clogs, or stick to the traditional silhouette but with a patchwork twist, the chunkier the heel the better.

And it doesn’t have to have a designer stamp, high street stores such as Topshop and River Island have imported their clogs straight from the Netherlands (well, from their factories, but who knows, they could have one in Amsterdam) Not to be mistaken with the extremely comfortable crocs, these new takes on the traditional comfortable clog are far from clumpy and frumpy as they have once been described. So, you have to ask yourself, are you a cloggy?

It's not just Alexa who has taken a liking to the clog...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Green is Serene- Lá le Phadraig Shona Dhiabh

St. Patricks Day wouldn't be complete without a dash of green in your outfit for the day. Whether it's merely a green scarf or belt, or perhaps you tend to overdose on the colour head to toe, show your Irish pride and embrace the Irish culture in one of these pieces. How about wearing one of these cute t-shirts from Urban Outfitters for a casual day look to look the part at the parade, or this green satin goddess dress to add a bit of glamour to the evening. I will be opting for this mint green cardigan for a subtle nod to my homeland, and of course there will be face painting involved.

Both t-shirts UO £28

Jasmine Guinness Dress £58

Silence & Noise Jumper £35 (the forest green colour sets off the model's fiery red hair beautifully)

My pick for the day: Topshop Cardigan £38

This will undoubtedly be played throughout the day in various pubs and clubs and will make everyone Jump Around after a few pints of the black stuff

But this is what will be sung today all around Ireland in the trad ceol sessions.


Monday, March 15, 2010

One Colour on Everyone's Hips

There was one colour that was visible on every catwalk and on everyone in the front row that is set to filter down to the masses very soon. Camel is the new name for beige apparently and will be a major look for AW10. The most common item in this colour was the coat. Even though Spring is among us, the coat was out in full swing over the AW10 fashion weeks due to tempestuous weather conditions in London and Paris. It seems fashionista’s were taking inspiration from the catwalks straight away instead of waiting until September by the looks of these street style snaps by Scott Schuman, aka the Sartorialist.

A palette of browns and oranges were the backdrop for the Chloé collection this season with an older woman feel to the collection. High waisted trousers with silk pussy bow blouses were evident, with a mix woollen and tweed coats in similar shades being exhibited. Beige, beige, and more beige as Sarah Mower put it, it seems the colour has become a signature element of the season.

Street style saw people in herds donning the range of beige shades from alpaca to caramel. Giles by Giles Deacon was awash with the same tones mixed with 60s inspired hair and make up. The colour came in shift dresses, leather skirts and scarves. Marc Jacobs also hinted at the trend with the odd piece flickering in and out of his collection.

Easy to wear with every, try to avoid looking too washed out with a beige and camel overload. Do mix tones with accessories or liven the outfit up with some red lips or towering sandals with chunky knit socks. Fashion blogger Susie Lau is a fan of the new popular shade, and was photographed at Paris Fashion Week wrapped up in a vintage camel toned coat but kept it fresh with a powder pink chiffon scarf.

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On a Good Day

Robin Pecknold has conquered a few covers in his short time as Fleet Foxes are somewhat modern folk's answer to the voices of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Their perfect pitch harmonies echo around venues and he sang 'Katie Cruel', originally by Karen Dalton, without a mic, a cappella, on the edge of the stage on the majority of their tour last year. Pitchfork released the news last week that Pecknold will be breaking away from Fleet Foxes and will go on tour later this month with country singer Joanna Newsom. Robin's voice is a mix of powerful notes and sweet tones and on this record he unleashes a new side to the song itself. Timid on stage, it is such a beautiful surprise when he belts out 'Ragged Wood' and then resides on tracks such as 'Tiger Mountain Pleasant Song' and 'Oliver James', all of which are on their debut album, Fleet Foxes.

'On a Good Day'


This is a video from the French bloggers La Blogotheque, who have also taken to bands such as Bon Iver when they are visiting Paris. This video shows the range of Pecknold's voice as well as the musical talent of the other memebers of the group, improvising with random instruments and using the Grand Palais acoustics to elevate their harmonies.


He also wears the best checked shirts, flannel mostly, in an array of different colours. The band don't seem too focused on their image which is a breath of fresh air these days, and I managed to get my hands on a similar shirt to Robin's two years ago in Rokit, Covent Garden for a mere £10. It's still one of my favourite vintage pieces to this day.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Fashionable Polymath


A polymath is described as ‘a person of great and varied learning’ and in modern society, Noam Chomsky is classified as such a person. But what about the many different fields, other than philosophy and history, that see people of great and varied learning channelling their creativity into a wide range of arenas? The recent premiere of ‘A Single Man’, the directorial debut of fashion’s most fashionable man, Tom Ford, has highlighted the fashionable polymaths’ capabilities and confirms that it takes more than advertising a high street brand to get you credibility. He decided to postpone his designing until the film was finished as he did not wish to neglect one or the other. People would be surprised to know the amount of work Ford actually put into the making of this film, and he infused his experienced fashion knowledge right down to the Windsor knot that neatly laced the neck of Colin Firth.

The lines between designer, model, stylist, director and photographer have always been somewhat blurred, with many people having to market themselves with a handful of these traits just to book a job. With many actors and singers crossing the threshold into the fashion industry, seeing as the entertainment business is a perfect walking advertising opportunity for designers, the fashion industry has become a creative melting pot.

Cecil Beaton noted photographer, costume designer and fashion designer on his wealthy résumé, Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood started out as boutique owners in the late 1970s which led to designing. and for McLaren, a steady managerial music career with the Sex Pistols. The list is endless but in recent times, faces have stepped out from behind the styling cupboard and camera and delve into the unknown and throw themselves into new projects that will test their creative talents.

Melanie Ward stemmed her fashion career from the stressful world of styling. Working her way up the ranks, she soon became the ‘must have’ stylist for designers, noting Helmut Lang and Calvin Klein as distinct believers in her aesthetic. There was however a hazy line that created problems whilst styling for many different designers, a problem which Ward picked up on. ''For me, a stylist is a major part of the support system for a designer. But a sign of professionalism is to know when to stop. It's a question of integrity. You respect them and their style.''. Her most famous stint at a design house was at Helmut Lang where for 13 years she acted as a creative director. She then spent time in the Chanel Rue Cambon address in Paris under the sunglass-shaded eye of Karl Lagerfeld as a consultant and Ward has taken that collaboration’s insights with her. Ward’s mantra confirms the fashionable polymath’s meaning- “There’s no reason why you can’t be an editor, a consultant and a designer. You can wear many hats, you just have to have integrity.” And integrity is written all over her new venture.

Ward has recently branched out into designing for her own label, Blousons Noir, with Graham Tabor. Their tea towel inspired collection for SS10 landed in all the major department stores around the world including Browns of London and Barneys, New York. With the fashionable polymath generation taking hold, it is their versatile ability that sees them triumph in other fields. Her styling background has been an invaluable tool in the transition into designer. “Often, a designer will draw something without vaguely thinking about how it will look on the body,” she says. “During my years working with Helmut, he would start with an art reference, but for me, I think about the body”.

Not unlike Ward, Paula Thomas has diverted from her model roots to become a fashion designer in the star studded city of Los Angeles where she now tames her rock n’ roll lifestyle. Once apart of the 90s model scene in London and acting as muse and creative partner to knitwear extraordinaire Julien MacDonald, Thomas’ thirst for designing was quenched by her fashion houses’ conception. Thomas Wylde embodies Paula’s rock n’roll lifestyle with the punk chic that L.A has opened up to her. Her days of magazine covers have been converted to long nights behind the drawing board, constantly reinventing her signature prints and accessories that will keep the celebrity clientele happy. Sienna Miller and Lindsay Lohan are noted fans amongst an army of Starbucks clenching Californian’s that scuttle down Sunset Boulevard. Now known as Paula Thomas for TW to omit confusion that the face behind the label is a man, Paula uses her immense knowledge of the fashion industry to create a successful ready-to-wear line. While we may not compare her to the great Noam Chomsky just yet, she is undoubtedly a candidate for a successful transition into designing amongst her contemporaries.

"Sam Taylor-Wood went down the same route as Mr. Ford, but had had some directorial experience previously with her groundbreaking art installations and the 2005 film of David Beckham sleeping. What has been described as the ‘slash career’ by one journalist, the crossover between art and film has been accomplished in recent times by a new wave of artists, such as Steve Mc Queen, Spike Jonze and Michel Gondry who have all made the transition into film, and done so successfully. The film in question is Nowhere Boy, a tremendous depiction of a young John Lennon without the usual Beatles-riddled story line. Her involvement in the fashion industry distinguishes her from the others yet the creative aesthetic is still present. In the opposite direction, acclaimed French director Sofia Coppola created a line of handbags and matching sandals with long time friend Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton. "My idea of Louis Vuitton was of a company with a great heritage and great quality, and working with them solidified this.

Could the polymath be taking advantage of their creativity for lucrative purposes or are their motives genuinely creative based? Iain R. Webb confessed that in order to make it in the fashion industry one must be a jack of all trades, and do it for free. When he first entered the realm of magazines he had to be editor, contributor, creative director and sub-editor (his most notable affiliations were with Elle and The Face). Herein lies the ideology behind the fashionable polymath- it is not enough to be a person of great a varied learning, one must be successful at it too. Being fashionable is just an added bonus.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Lily in Disguise

On the back of her recent Brit award for Best Female Artist, which she accepted whilst wearing an orange afro wig, Lily Allen has revealed that she is quitting music for the foreseeable future (two years is quite seeable but we’ll let her away with that one) in order to pursue the different pathways life has to offer.

As face of the Spring/Summer ‘10 Chanel campaign, Lily joined a long list of singers and actresses who have gone before her in the hop from one business to the other, such as Emma Watson for Burberry, Chloe Sevingy for Chloe and indeed her own collection for Opening Ceremony. But what better way to hone your love for shopping by turning that talent into a business venture. Lily will channel the creative juices that were once used for gold-chained melodies to a more down to earth job, such as running a shop.

The boutique Lucy in Disguise which will be co-run with her sister, will offer customers items which they can hire rather than splurge on. She insists her ideals are politically flavoured, stating that “It’s about making fashion democratic”. Surely it’s not just a way to keep the money flowing whilst her music career is on hiatus and a way of finding use for her abundance of designer gear that has be thrown at her in recent years. “It’s about getting really nice clothes but letting people rent them for affordable prices so they can go out and feel like a million dollars and it won’t cost them a million dollars.” Let’s hope it won’t end up looking like the costume shop where that dreadful luminous wig was found.