10 August 2014

So Long Summer

So it's August, the time of the dog days of summer and sales.  It also sees the growing knot of excitement for the clothes addicted, their back to school moment, the Autumn fashions.  Suddenly the flimsiness of summer clothes feels tired and tatty, sandals become unsubstantial in both form and aesthetic.  We start to crave a soft woollen jumper and a new pair of ankle boots, all smooth uncreased leather ready for us to stride out into the elements.  The weighty ad filled September issues start to appear on the newsagents shelves, adding fuel to the excitement, the shops fill with darker hues and warmer fabrics, this is when we reinvent ourselves.  It's no co-incidence that the Autumn fashions always have a faint preppy air, this is the grown up version of a new pencil case.

As exciting as this time is for me, I no longer covet everything I see in the look books and catalogues which drop through my letterbox.  The older I get the more I find I veer away from fashion trends and fads.  I know what I like and what suits me, personal style is now paramount for me.  This is not to say that I am stuck in a rut, obstinately ignoring new shapes and textures, personal style should evolve as life and budget change.  I do however now shop with longevity in mind.  Cut, quality and fabric are what attract me not fast fashion, the clothing version of the one night stand.  Silhouette changes slowly in the fashion world, as long as you keep your silhouette current then you will be saved from the accusations of looking antwacky (that is a Scouse term meaning unfashionable for those who need translation).

It's squally and wet outside today, the perfect time to start day dreaming about the whiff of woodsmoke, the tingle of the cold on your cheeks and mugs of thick hot chocolate.  Or if you live in a city, damp crowded busses and dog shit in the mounds of fallen leaves that you gleefully kick.  However, let's leave reality at the door and salivate over the best of the A/W 2014 High Street look books.

Jigsaw
French Connection
& Other Stories
 Whistles
Top Shop
All Saints
Reiss

1 August 2014

Mondrian at the Tate

A few weeks ago I was kindly invited to the private view of Tate Liverpool's summer exhibition of Mondrian and his Studios.  I did intend to write about this much earlier, but life intervened as it often does.


The exhibition is timed to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the artist's death and it tracks his path from figurative art through to abstraction.  As well as the largest number of neo-plastic paintings by Mondrian ever exhibited in Britain, it also has a life size reconstruction of his Parisian studio.  I'm not a huge fan of Mondrian's paintings but this and the personal items on display are absolutely fascinating.


Yes I saw that you all baulked when I said I wasn't a fan.  Personally if you've seen one Broadway Boogie Woogie you've seen them all, however,  the principles of De Stjil are right up there in my book.  De Stjil was the Dutch avant-garde movement which Mondrian founded and it is their principles which has had such a profound effect on both the art and design worlds.  There is a direct line from the ideas propounded by De Stjil to modernism and minimalism, both of which I am very fond of.   Yes we have had the Yves St Laurent De Stjil dress, Sarah Schofield's De Stjil swimsuit as well as a million tacky Mondrianesque prints on everything from trainers to plastic bags.  


It is the idea of distilling both colour and form down to their essential forms as well as the use of asymmetry is where the real impact, especially in fashion is felt.  Without Mondrian and his ideas on abstraction, we would not have the concepts of colour blocking, nor the elegant simplicity of designers such as Raf Simons work at Jil Sander, Phoebe Philo at Celine or Maison Martin Margiela amongst many, many others. 

Raf Simons for Jil Sander Fall 2012

Phoebe Philo at Celine 2011

Maison Martin Margiela SS 2013

Individual collections such as Prada's Fall 2011 collection have also directly referenced Mondrian with the use of grid lines and colour blocking.


Running alongside the Mondrian exhibition is another lesser known, but still extremely influential artist, Nasreen Mohamedi.  Born and bred in India, she too moved from the figurative to minimal abstract art.  This for me, is the highlight of the Tate's summer offering  and I urge you all, no scrap that, I command you all to go and see it and drink in its monochromatic simplicity, tis pure beauty.  Her photographs especially are worth a long shufty.  In comparison to the familiarity and coldness (in my eyes anyway) of Mondrian, Mohamedi's work has a quiet elegance which I found quite moving.


Mondrian and his Studios and Nasreen Mohamedi runs from 6th June to 5th October.
More info can be found here Tate Liverpool

14 June 2014

Beccy







Reading:  Game of Thrones
Listening to:  Yoshiki

Apologies for the terrible photo everyone, I may have been a little bit drunk.

6 June 2014

26 May 2014

25 May 2014

Grace


Reading:  Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
Listening to:  Magnetic Fields

24 May 2014

Lorna


Reading:  The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Listening to:  Azari & III

19 May 2014

23 April 2014

Frances Cassandra


I spotted Frances Cassandra at the Outfit launch last week and lo and behold she is another blogger, we are a well dressed lot.  Check out her blog at francescassandra.blogspot.com.

22 April 2014

Outfit

OK, out of town retail parks, not usually a hotbed of fashion, more a bit of a meh, alright for basics and the DIY store type of destination.  Arcadia Group over the last couple of years have been quietly putting this right, with the latest of their Outfit shops opening at New Mersey Retail Park in Speke.


So what makes Outfit worth a visit?  Well it houses the majority of the Arcadia brands under one roof, and this means high fashion and a fast turnover of styles in a shopping environment that you would not expect.  In a way it is a similar idea to department stores, but as we know, they tend to only house small capsule sized choices from each brand.  Outfit has a wide choice and what I particularly liked is that it is catering for all ages, and sizes in one place.  So you don't normally buy clothes in Topshop, but you do quite like the accessories?  No more traipsing ladies, all in one place.






Right practical things.  The store is well laid out with a big of common sense.  There is one think I hate, and that is wondering aimlessly trying to find something because the store designer took inspiration from a jumble sale.  Life is just too short.




The changies, good seating area for bored mates, kids and fellas outside.  The girls were really pleasant and helpful and didn't tut or roll their eyes when I had them running back into the store to get me things every two minutes.  Kudos for their patience.  The cubicles are roomy, but I have one small criticism.  The mirrors are those ones that make you look like your legs are made out of pure cellulite.  Use the one at the end, much more flattering.


And finally the staff, shop floor staff were friendly, quite glamourous, as above, but not pushy.  Also they seemed to, I'm not sure whether this was accident or design, to have matched the ages of the floor staff to the brand where they worked which actually is a canny move I think.  The girls on the tills were also really lovely, even though it was late when I left they were chatty and happy to chinwag, I do like that.

Anyway, give it a go you lot.  I will be going again.


7 April 2014

Thomas and Noah


Reading:  To a God Unknown by John Steinbeck
Listening to:  Dan Greenpeace Piano Breaks 2