The September Issue

TheSeptemberIssue

I’m probably the last person in the world, well, the fashion world at least, to watch The September Issue. Strangely it had a profound impact on me. I’d read all the reviews about Grace Coddington being the true star to emerge from the documentary and of course I concur…but in a way my heart felt heavy for her. She struck me as a true artist with a beautifully creative eye. The photo-shoots she styled blew me away in their portraiture aesthetic and the care and joviality she exuded on set were truly refreshing. The saddening aspect of the film for me was the realisation that creativity must be curbed to appeal to the average reader and maintain sales figures. I know that in consumer society money drives everything but it was disheartening to actually see that process in motion. Grace understood the need for careful editing and the harnessing of celebrity to boost sales, but its effect seemed to visibly dampen her enthusiasm.

Anna Wintour, on the other hand, seemed to embrace what was required commercially and not let it curb her exacting nature and definitive ideals. The swiftness with which she edited hugely produced photo-shoots was astounding. She knows exactly what sells and is not prepared to compromise in any way, especially for something that only has an aesthetic appeal. It is about the clothes, the advertising, the sales and not necessarily the art. The element of the film that stood out for me was the formidable partnership between Anna and Grace. Their agendas are different but completely the same. Their relationship is a tour de force, offering equilibrium in an industry that is torn between two opposing factors – the beauty of fashion and what actually sells.

Le Cinéma

film

I went to the cinema last week to see a double feature, something I realised I haven’t done for MANY years. In fact, the last time I saw two films back to back in the cinema it was The Little Mermaid, followed by Ghost with my Mum! I actually haven’t been to the cinema, full stop, for a VERY long time. Our nice, shiny flat screen seemingly offers enough to not have to “film out” so frequently. I had completely forgotten what a true cinematic experience is like. I went to see Twilight followed by the sequel, New Moon; I shall make one thing clear from the outset, this is NOT a review! My opinions on the film are too biased and clouded by my love of the books to offer an objective viewpoint. What I want to talk about here is the true charm this “event” had to offer. The films were shown on the cinema’s largest screen and the midnight performance was completely sold out. The hype surrounding the film translated into an electric pre-show atmosphere. People were genuinely excited to see this film, as opposed to the usual air of nonchalance that accompanies a cinema trip. It’s hard to put into words exactly what I mean but normally, even though you may be excited on the inside prior to a film, it’s not something you overtly demonstrate at the cinema. The spectacle of this premier almost gave the audience carte blanche to indulge in the frenzy. I wasn’t a fan of the clapping, whooping and attempts at a standing ovation…but all the other aspects made it a very special experience.

The sense of nostalgia was quite overwhelming. As a child, all my cinema visits held such magic. Cinema’s always seemed packed, possibly as there weren’t 20 screens! The cinema itself felt physically different – it was a theatre, you were there to see a show. The huge velvet curtains of the auditorium were drawn and only began to open when you heard this. The cinema smelt odd – a strange heady mix of hotdogs, popcorn and cigarette smoke (the by-gone age when people smoked indoors, well anywhere basically!!) Last week’s double feature seemed to give everyone in attendance the permission to relive that sort of memory and to act with giddy, childhood enthusiasm. It restored my faith in the true cinematic experience and has etched itself in a nice little niche in my memory.

PHILOS-o-FACE

philosoface

What grabbed me first was the website. I’m not usually a fan of flash intros but the spectacle of watching Woody Allen’s face merge with that of Nietzsche was too delightful to prevent me from diving in. Essentially these are little badges or pins but the charm and intrigue they evoke is quite gorgeous. I love the idea of people illustrating their philosophical and political allegiances, literally on their sleeve! I think it’s the child inside of me that loves the allure of a little badge. As an adult, I am still drawn to the most ridiculously cutsie, kitsch button pins and brooches and these somehow offer a seemingly more mature alternative. The most recent PHILOS-o-FACE project is called the Director’s Cut. Instead of professing your love for philosophy you can unleash your inner movie snob. Think David Cronenberg is a genius among directors? Then pop his face on your neckerchief! Worried your favourite director’s face isn’t overtly recognisable in front of the camera? Then feel free to switch your loyalty to someone a little more media friendly like Señor Spielberg himself.

If I ask myself why this website appeals to me so much, I have to look back to a gift Things of Random Coolness gave me a few years ago. He bought me a vintage panel bracelet, with iconic faces adorning each link. It was extremely delicate, so of course I managed to break it. I’ve never been able to find anyone skilled enough to repair it, so it sits lonely in a draw. Here’s a little photo. These badges remind me so much of it, it makes me want to go out, buy 12 and try to recreate the magic of my bracelet! So, now you can decide – directors of the modern age or philosophers that have shaped society? Then ask, should I show them off? The answer for me is yes….now, which ones to buy?

Links à la Mode

links

Merci to all the gang at Independent Fashion Bloggers, for including me in their Links à la Mode section this week. Read on to see who else they deemed read-worthy…
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Blog Pairs

bloggercouples

The phenomenon that is blogging is everywhere. Disney Roller Girl and I were discussing just the other week how difficult it is in to maintain your integrity in a fashion industry that is almost fully embracing the power of the blogger (I think she’s posted about that today) I mentioned to her the better part of me, Things of Random Coolness. He runs a beautiful blog and was the inspiration behind my initial venture into the world of blogging 3 years ago. Inspiration = He secretly began his blog and I stumbled across it one day and asked him what he was doing. I then had a childish, stamp-feet tantrum about the secrecy and moaned, “I want to do that too!” Random Fashion Coolness was born!

Anywhoo back to the point in hand! He endeavours to maintain integrity through his blog. He never posts for the sake of posting or because someone sends him a “gift.” That might mean no posts for a month but at least he knows that everything he blogs means something to him. I was thinking of his influence on my blog. He calls me out on things he dislikes, helps me “screen” invites etc. I do not always welcome the criticism or heed his advice and it is annoying that 9/10 times he’s right!

There are lots of blogger partnerships out there that make their work all the more endearing for me. The most famous blogging couple du jour has to be Garance Doré and The Sartorialist, Scott Shuman. If you look at their blogs, I really feel you can perceive a noticeable shift in direction and style once they became a couple (maybe less so in Scott’s work, where commentary is minimal) Another favourite blogger partnership comes in the form of What Katie Wore. Joe, her boyfriend, is the photographer and blogger, Katie his fashion muse. Each day Joe posts a picture of Katie’s phenomenal ensemble and a comment, giving a little insight to their daily lives together. Susie’s Style Bubble and Steve’s Style Salvage blogs share their home’s balcony for displaying their newest ensemble look.

These musings on blogger partnerships led me to think of the wonderful Agathe of Styles Bytes. She was an original blogging phenomenon. I was an avid reader of her blog and marvelled as she posted about her forthcoming nuptials to Kristoffer of Trashion. Their life and relationship played out through the blog and we as readers were voyeurs to their beautiful bubble. The simplicity of their ceremony and her dress inspired my own wedding day. Then suddenly, one day in April 2008, Agathe headed to Stockholm and Style Bytes was no more. The demise of their relationship in some way lead to the end of Agathe’s musings on fashion and the beginning of a new chapter in her life. Kristoffer’s blog now seems to be run by a Scottish lass!!! I also miss the gorgeous Molvin, their indoor pet pig – I used to LONG for posts about him!

I’m interested to see if there are any other blogging partnerships out there and how your accomplice contributes to what you create.  Things of Random Coolness is a very private person; you will not find much information about him on here (and certainly NO photos!) If you blog together, how much information do you choose to reveal about yourselves? Fill in my contact form or comment on this post (adding your sites), as I’d like to see how many blogging couples are out there for a little article….

Glossy Magazine

glossy

The world of Fashion seems to be fully embracing the blogosphere and the benefits it can bring. Free, quirky advertising coupled with fresh, unadulterated opinions in a growing medium. I mentioned Sketchbook’s Blogger Edition last week, so I was thrilled to see Glossy Magazine takes a similar path. It mixes illustration, photography, fashion and fully champions the potential of the blogger. Its current issue features articles on The Sartorialist, Garance Doré, Sea of Shoes‘ Jane and Igor+André‘s Danny Roberts and also offers two covers, one illustrated, one photographed. The element of the magazine that holds the most appeal for me is the fusion of illustration and photography. Quirky little doodles surround the beauty of Alexa Chung and Chanel Iman, making it the literary equivalent to a sweetie shop. Fledgling magazines with a definitive sense of direction will gain my support, ones that embrace the blogosphere will always keep me fully engaged.

Tweets, Goats and Brix

brix

Twitter – the scourge of modern society for some, ALWAYS headlines news and the current source of woe for Stephen Fry. I tweet too much. I have Twitter “friends,” one of whom Things of Random Coolness has begun referring to as, my “Twitter Husband!” For me it is a source of frivolity, fun and light-entertainment; it has also been a great platform for the blog. Last week I @-ed Brix Smith-Start after watching her Fashionair style profile. It was a visual delight; seeing the minimalism of her beautiful home and personal pics from her 80′s post-punk incarnation in The Fall. At the end, I believed Mrs. Start proclaimed a fear of goats and knives. I @-ed her, to reassure her that I would NEVER bring a goat to the Start Boutique. Brix replied saying, “I love goats, bring one down!” (at this point Brix believes me to be the modern day Heidi and I am questioning my hearing!) It eventually transpires that Brix had said GHOSTS and hilarity ensued. 3 days of direct messages later, Brix rings me at home! I was in shock that a.Brix spoke to me directly and b.Tweets could lead to such an event! Brix was a sheer delight; jovial, interesting and engaging. We discussed some interesting future collaborations and Brix invited me up to her boutique to meet her. So, I’m off up to Start in December and will keep you posted as to the result of our meeting….now I just need to find a goat to take with me!

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