11 February 2015

Argento

Last Friday I was lying in bed with a stonking cold and feeling very sorry for myself, then the postman knocked.  I very grumpily got out of bed to open the door where I was handed a large box.  Back in bed I tore it open to find a bunch of promised goodies by Argento  Now I see all your cynical smirks, I like most bloggers get loads of these emails from PR companies asking for write ups on their products in exchange for some trinkets.  Most of them I ignore because I'm not selling my soul with this blog for a bit of tat.  Those that make it through you can guarantee have impressed me and that why I am now going to sing the praises of Argento and encourage you chaps to click on their website to have a look.

Argento is a veritable cornucopia for jewellery and watches.  Brands include Pandora, Michael Kors and Hot Diamonds, but they also stock smaller brands that cover all tastes and prices.  I dare you to go on here and not find a ton of items which you will then spend the rest of the evening day dreaming about.  Special mentions goes to the Argento collection, pretty nice I must say and reasonable prices and then there are the Olivia Burton watches.  I'd like all of them please.


Olivia Burton Midi White and Navy Watch £70.

Argento Lapis Double Ring £20


 Argento Pull Through Leaf Earrings £15

15 January 2015

A Belated Transmitting Andy Warhol


Well first of all apologies for my tardiness in getting this blog post up, two months in fact, that's quite good for me really.  Now if you have forgiven me can I wish you all a happy, prosperous and stylish new year?  OK now that's out the way shall we have a little look at what Tate Liverpool currently have on show until the 8th February?  It's only the first major solo exhibition in the North of England of the master of popular culture himself Andy Warhol!


You would be hard pressed to find anyone in Britain who has not heard of Andy Warhol, recognises his screen prints or uses the quote 'In the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes'.  It was his belief that art should be for everyone, and from my way of thinking this was his greatest achievement.  He was instrumental in finding new ways to spread art, via his paintings, film, Interview magazine and most intriguingly lifestyle.  The Factory was one of the most iconic hangouts of not just the 1960s but the 20th Century.  Frequented by a vast array of people from all backgrounds, it gave birth to the Warhol Superstars and one of the most influential bands of all time, The Velvet Underground.  All were ways in which he democratized art.  Using easily recognisable images, and serial repetition 'transmitted' his ideas into the public consciousness.


The exhibition is not just a display of these well known paintings, there is a vast array of the other media which shows the breadth of his work.  The most special for me is the recreation of the Exploding Plastic Inevitable.  As a youngster I wanted to be Edie Sedgwick, all leotards and big earrings.  I devoured anything I could get my hands on which related to her and the Factory, which was not easy in those pre internet days.  I would have given several digits to have experienced the 'total art' environment, to have seen the Velvets live and to have lived that debauched glamorous lifestyle.  Now on a November evening down at the Albert Dock I got my chance, and it was boss.


I will leave you with some of the great man's quotes which I hope will leave you both smiling and thinking.

"My fascination with letting images repeat and repeat, or in films case 'run on', manifests my belief that we spend much of our lives seeing without observing".

"I think everybody should like everybody".

"Art is what you can get away with".

"Isn't life a series of images that change as they repeat themselves".

"I have Social Disease.  I have to go out every night.  If I stay home one night I start spreading rumours to my dogs".


Transmitting Andy Warhol is on till 8th February 2015 at The Tate Liverpool, go you won't regret it.

20 November 2014

Nook and Cranny & INSPO Magazine



Bold Street is possibly one of Liverpool's greatest streets, iconic, full of local businesses and watched over by the Bombed Out Church.  Over the last couple of months you may have noticed a new shop opening, full of pretty cards and gifts, its focus on good design saves it from being twee.  Nook and Cranny was originally based in the Bluecoat complex and I had visited a couple of times and was impressed even then.  With Christmas consumer madness just days away, can I suggest you have a look in here before you visit the large High Street shops.  Not only will you be supporting a local independent business but you will come out with some truly gorgeous presents.


Last week Nook and Cranny held a blogger event in conjunction with INSPO magazine.  The shop has a space to the rear which they are using to host various events from a fashion exchange to life drawing classes.  Last week's event was to celebrate the launch of the Celebration of Style conference that was being held in the city.  They had work on display from fashion students from Liverpool City College, and it was a chance for local bloggers to get together, have a bevy and swap ideas, so of course I gabbed the leg off everyone and took a load of pictures, as I do.









INSPO magazine was a bit of a revelation as I had never heard of it before.  Based in Gostins Building it covers fashion (men and women) and beauty and is aimed at the twenty something creative demographic.  It is glossy and well laid out, but what most impressed me is the fashion shoots.  They had avoided that cheesy Cheshire set look that most of the local lifestyle magazines have and have opted for edgy instead.  This is not the sort of magazine which would suit the big hair big tan girls but for people who are interested in good design and more challenging ideas.  I sincerely hope it goes from strength to strength, they are trying something new and this is so refreshing.

13 November 2014

Factory Settings


Edie, Nico, Baby Jane Holzer, Candy Darling:  Warhol Superstars all of them.  The Factory in all it's seedy silver glory was one of the most iconic fashion periods of all time.  Black leather jackets, denim, striped tops and metallic dresses are a goldmine of inspiration and are classics which have never been bettered than when they were worn here.

With the launch of Transmitting Andy Warhol at Tate Liverpool last week, for which I will be treating you all to a full blog post, I thought I would get you all in the mood by having a look back at this gloriously chic time.







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