I write this post to inform you that I shall be AWOL from the blog for a week or so, as well as my Twitter and Facebook page. I’m heading off to Canada to partake in a little skiing, although at the rate the temperatures are rising, it could be a spot of water sport. I am slightly worried about the lack of Twitter. I’ve been kind of weening myself off it the last few days, to see if I can go without reading my whole feed….it’s not going to be easy; I predict high temperatures and night-sweats! I’m detouring via New York on the way home to breathe in a little American (well New Yorker) style. Please feel free to email, I may not respond until my return but it will be nice to know you are thinking of Random Fashion Coolness.
Several recent incidents or articles have left me mulling over what to write in this post for a few weeks. What actually spurred me to finally post it was this conversation,
“That is SICK but in a good way. That is sooooo sick but in a bad way.” This intellectual exchange was the treat that lay in store for me once my iPod died on the way home from Manchester a few weeks ago (damn you Apple; I LOVE you but hate your limited battery life!) Two twenty-something university students were sitting discussing the specimens on offer in OK Magazine. Their hair was ironed to within an inch of its life. Foundation was caked on in cement style proportions. UGGs were donned, jeggings were worn. I have no issue with these superficial details but I do take umbrage with their conversation, which continued in such a manner for 3 hours. Every aspect of it revolved around the trivialities of what, by some, is perceived to be feminine; fake tan, make-up, waxing, Cheryl’s hair, I could go on and on….but I wish not to relive the torturous banter suffered by my fair ears.
I so happened to be reading an article on Sexism in last month’s Elle at the same time spurring me on to debate, who is today’s feminist? Most teenagers I know idolise Cheryl Cole to an unhealthy extreme. She has finally taken action and left her adulterous husband; could this be seen as a positive step for feminism? None of us actually know the truth of their relationship woes, therefore can we judge anything about the soon to be former Mrs. Cole? If you read the Daily Mail, 90% (their favourite statistic) of teenage girls aspire only to be a WAG. I know many who perceive this a positive element of feminism in the new decade as these women are finally taking control and going after exactly what they want.
Fashion is an industry in which many strong women reign supreme, but would they earn the same level of respect in any other industry? Are they where they are because of their inherent male traits that they overtly demonstrate to emphasise their power?
This issue is HUGE and not one that can be debated in a single post. For me the feminist of the new decade doesn’t burn her bra or demonstrate with placards in the street. They act subtly and with integrity to gain and earn respect in whichever field they work or sphere of society they inhabit. They seek independence and self-improvement, regardless of what others around them achieve. It’s not about competition but a desire to progress for one’s self as opposed to pleasing someone else.
The Terry Richardson saga has recently played out in the press. His methodology in gaining overtly sexualised images has been called into question, as many models come forward with their tales of exploitation in his hands (quite literally at times.) Some of the stories I read left me sick to the pit of my stomach. Were they tales of a step backward on the feminist trail? In my mind yes. I was then forced to ask myself why only a small minority of models have come forward with their accusations? Is it because the others are the new true feminists of our time? Are they harnessing their sexuality to gain exactly what they want? To witness the number of females that offered themselves up for American Apparel’s Best Bottom in the World competition was evidence enough of people taking ownership of their own gender dominance. No-one forced them to offer up pictures of their derriere, no-one offered them obscene amounts of money – the recognition of their rear’s prowess and some A&A goodies were all that was at stake.
I’m really interested to know what your thoughts are on this matter. Who is the feminist of today for you? Are there any females you admire, look up to and would hold in high esteem to anyone that asked? I am left confused and worried and no clearer on who she is.
I remember when they were one of few e-tailers, under the guise of As Seen On Screen, selling wares “inspired” by celebrities. You could buy Kylie’s famous white lycra all-in-one, a J-Lo inspired deep plunge dress, the list rolled on. ASOS has come a long way from those humbler beginnings. A dominate force in the British e-shop market, ASOS now boasts independent designer collaborations, alongside well established designer names and high street products. They update at a rate of knots, so I was interested to see their set-up when invited to their recent “Access All Areas” blogger event.
The night, for me, was a story of people and not of clothes. A select group of bloggers was assembled, champagne was added and the ASOS girls mingled. The ASOS employees, many of whom have Twitter, uphold and represent the brand perfectly. What I liked about actually meeting them was that their loyalty seemed utterly genuine. This didn’t seem to be a contrived marketing machine, albeit a very slick one. Finally meeting the people that email me little stories, send out press content and @ me via Tweet Deck was a joy. They were as sincere as I expected them to be (or they are the best actors I have ever met…get them to Hollywood I say!!)
Bringing together bloggers is a flawless way to generate happiness. There must be a collective noun for bloggers by now? Well, whatever we are, when we come together a hive of creativity and chaos seems to emerge. It was great to catch up with my faves; Disney Roller Girl, Mademoiselle Robot (pictured centre with the The Very Simon G,) Isabelle O.C., Kiki’s Delivery Service (2nd from right) and Catherine Kallon of Red Carpet Fashion Awards (far right) A highlight of the evening was chatting with the lovely Joe and Katie from What Katie Wore. We moaned about the extreme heat while I hid in the corner in my pvu (bad choice) jacket, ate every canapé that passed and stroked Butters the Pomeranian!
There was no catwalking for me (not my thing,) plus my pvu (a.k.a. pleather) jacket had brought me out in a sweat…or was that the champagne? Stephanie and Susie of ASOS were delightful; I hope to chat to all the other ladies properly on my next visit. My biggest surprise was the gift bag as I left. I didn’t get a chance to glance inside til my return train journey finally commenced. I was so delighted I emailed Susie immediately. In an inconspicuous little envelope hidden under lots of other little treats, was a gift card to spend at ASOS…my only dilemma now is what to buy! In a way a voucher is harder to shop with than “real” money as I feel I should get something worthwhile, different, that I wouldn’t normally choose to spend my money on. Any suggestions would be greatly welcomed!
Other brands take note! ASOS dazzled the bloggers and in many cases did more than just keep us “on side,” they converted us to the ASOS way (all before offering us free stuff!)
P.S. The clothes! OOops….The selection on offer was pretty special some amazing rope shorts, high-waisted hareems; as and when I spot them online, I’ll try to point them out.
I have a problem, I’ll admit to it…but only here on my blog. I get VERY excited about things very easily and then obsess over them a little bit (well quite a lot.) I guess that’s why the blog suits me so much; it can be an outlet for all my gushing madness! If I think something merits greatness I want to shout it from the rooftops.
Two things have caught my eye this week. One is thesixtyone. It’s an online music-streaming interface that showcases new artists. What I love about it is its aesthetic appeal matches the pleasure it offers to the ears (aural pleasure just didn’t fit there!) The artists offer little pop up bios and info as you listen as well as photos and artworks. These little snippets, sometimes submitted by the artists themselves, offer a great insight into who they are and what inspires them musically. Often, a musician’s external influences appeal to me more than their actual work, revealing a truer picture of who they are. (Thanks to Appendix Magazine for pointing me in thesixtyone’s direction)
The second thing is a set of city guides, which would adorn any shelf with their beauty. Portraits de Villes by be-pôles may look good but their appeal lies in their content for me. Photographers/artists are asked to photograph a city through their respective lens; the result – a photo-log of their experience. The ensuing shots may not be what you’d expect to see of that city but it sheds a whole new light on what the metropolis means to that person. A personalised view of a city holds so much more than a banal, “visit this” “do this” repetitiveness of some (not you Wallpaper or Le Cool ;) guides.
There endeth the discoveries for today. See more of what catches my eye over at AnOther Magazine.
I write this here wee blog because I love it and I expect very little from it in return. So if any opportunities offer themselves to me I am SUPER grateful. This week, one of the most chaotic of my “real” life, offered me a lovely invitation from AnOther Magazine. Their AnOther Loves blog has been on my roll for some time; it offers a Tumblr style portal to showcase lists of coveted pieces. So, there is somewhere else you can follow a little bit of Random Fashion Coolness, over at AnOther Magazine.
I’m already LOVING its simplicity and the search for unique pieces. One of the first pieces I chose to LOVE was Monsieur Serge Gainsbourg by The Felt Mistress. One of the nicest things for me was the editors appreciated the masterpiece in fabric too. The lovely Felt Mistress is showcased in this little interview on AnOther’s homepage. I hope you like what I choose to love; I feel honored to be asked to contribute. Take a look at my LOVES and let me know what you think.
This may be my first post dedicated to children’s wear but after seeing Muchacha’s designs, I felt almost compelled to post about them. I have never before wished to be young again; there were no Tom Hanks BIG moments for me as a child either. My age has always been just a number indicating my amount of time on earth. I don’t feel particularly wiser or more mature as the number steadily increases. The visible signs of my years are creeping in and age envy may join them soon but I hope my age acceptance remains.
Muchacha’s clothing contradicts my usual balanced attitude to age. On seeing their dresses I wished to be 8 again (just for the day) or for them to make their dresses in giraffe adult sizes. Pearl Lowe posted a picture on Twitter of her beautiful young daughter wearing a Muchacha dress. It was Alice in Wonderland themed (as many things appear to be of late ;) and extremely unusual. A tweet back from Pearl and some further investigation led me to the Japanese brand’s VERY unusual and beautiful website. It is super kitsch and fun to play with; the only downside is my complete lack of Japanese (maybe the Felt Mistress could help me.) So if you are a miniscule adult, the proud owner of a beautiful daughter or a lover of beautiful things (the latter is me!) look at Muchacha’s website. You can also purchase some of their gorgeous designs on Alex and Alexa in the U.K. or Little Fashion Gallery in the rest of Europe. I just downloaded their super-cute desktop wallpaper – if you love cats, you’ll adore it too.
I think the main reason I’m drawn to Muchacha (apart from the overwhelming kitsch!) is the fact that they make clothes for little girls to be just that…children; not mini-adults or over-sexualised tweens. Muchacha means little girl in Spanish and that’s just what the brand allows them to be. I know that comment may come across all blue rinse and Daily Mail but I feel the rush to be a grown-up is slowly eating away at the happy, carefree days of childhood. (Sensible lady hat is on for the next few days!)
There were a few stand-out shows for me this London Fashion Week. As the last 7 days have passed, I have had time to contemplate and ask myself why they appealed to me so much (and if they still did, post-buzz of LFW.) One of the shows that still stands out in my mind is Topshop Unique.
The first thing that hits you is the show space itself – Topshop masterfully commandeered the former Flower Cellars of Convent Garden. You descend from the yawning openness of the white-washed entrance, down a subterranean path to the dark depths of the catwalk. The Hospital Club showcases the empty vastness of the vacant space REALLY well. Adjacent to the catwalk is the Topshop Café, a bustling hive of activity pre-show. There’s food (praise be during Fashion Week!) champagne, drinks and a general atmosphere of calm and joviality that I didn’t feel at the other shows as I waited in the queue…outdoors! Garance Doré wrote a whole little bit of wonderfulness on the Café, which I won’t try to top (see the post here.)
Once the show threatened to begin, the usual hive of activity was stirred up. A listers galore began to arrive and an even more frenzied round of flashing and papping commenced. Front row highlights for me included Kate Lanphear, Scott Schuman, Alexa Chung and Julia Restoin Roitfeld. Lorraine Candy from Elle was sitting just opposite me and I had to restrain myself from running over and gushing about her amazing Twitter tweets!
So to the show. For a start it was, well, a SHOW. Every last detail of the theme had been considered. The catwalk was strewn with leaves. The archways were adorned with woven bracken. It was Where the Wild Things Are meets Girl Scouts, meets Little Lord Fauntleroy. There was a sense of “Lordy” elegance coupled with the dirty outdoors. Do any of you remember the show The Box of Delights? That for me was a resounding inspiration. I found the eerie opening titles on You Tube, which contain a lot of the Unique catwalk influences (I was completely terrified by this programme as a child!) The styling reflected the trend effortlessly with wild monobrows, crazy dishevelled hair and glistening “moist-look” skin. This Topshop podcast shows how the space was transformed and discusses the “twisted Narnia” theme and how it was created.
I love how every piece was wearable. Faux furs (thank goodness….more on fur later!) thick cable knit tights, phenomenal shoes. My pictures hopefully paint a better picture – see my Flickr set for a better visual treat. There’s also a little finale video to show the whole collection. I know many people have questioned Topshop’s inclusion on the main schedule, mainly due to their design “team,” as opposed to an individual creator. I think this cohesive, wearable, yet innovative collection should silence the critics. Putting all these elements together, explains why Topshop Unique stood out for me. The venue + clothes + theme = a sheer, refreshing delight. I also could see myself in many of the clothes and hopefully, with Topshop’s pricing, will actually be able to purchase some.
*All photos belong to me or were taken from the Topshop Inside-Out Blog.