Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Reject Everything








Wearing: Meadham Kirchhoff X Topshop dress, thrifted crochet jacket, vintage petticoat, Lipstik jelly sandals, purple beaded choker and pinback from LovelyGirlHearts (etsy).

This outfit was inspired by Meadham Kirchhoff's S/S 2015 collection in which London's dynamic duo rebelled against all things gross such as misogyny, homophobia and Terry Richardson.
If you haven't checked it out I highly recommend it. The dresses were largely inspired by the Riot Grrl movement and the spiky hairstyle of Bikini Kill's lead singer Kathleen Hannah. My hair is a little too long to pull off some spunky pig tails but I realised the streaks through it kind of echo the rainbow dyed tresses from Meadham Kirchhoff SS11- which was a happy accident. What I would like to say is that I put heaps and heaps of thought into this outfit and wanted to emulate the newest collection as much as possible, but really it's just an excuse to wear all my favourite things at once on a day when I needed cheering up.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Meadham Kirchhoff Spring 2015



Meadham Kirchhoff titillated audiences at London Fashion Week by delivering a tantalizing alternative to the mainstream fashion industry. We were left with some hints as to their intentions when they advertised an open casting call for their show a few weeks before the big event, but I don't think anyone could have imagined anything this big. As always Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff have delivered a stunning setting, moving away from the decadent French palaces of Marie Antoinette nestled in Versailles and instead the imagined ruins of a dilapidated teenage bedroom. These include haphazardly painted wooden picture frames in red and blue to match the clothes. At the very back of the backdrop you can see a blue-haired woman, artist and photographer Arvida Byström for Polyester Zine (if you haven't checked out either and feel inspired by this collection I highly recommend that you do!). 




The open casting call I mentioned before came to fruition in the form of a diversity of different body types, races, as well as both men and women melting together to create an androgynous identity for the collection. This only underlined Meadham Kirchhoff's mantra for their Spring collection which was "Reject Everything (that mainstream fashion represents)", a statement aptly finished by London style blogger Susie Bubble during her review of the collection. It's been hailed as the salvation of, and the most highly overrated event from London Fashion Week (although I have yet to see the clothes made by those critics and highly doubt they are capable of originality beyond malice and name-calling). I think in terms of the models they employed it was not nearly as diverse as I had hoped, and honestly felt disappointed when met with white wash which served as a constant reminder that a pale complexion is still disproportionally represented in all forms of media. Meadham Kirchhoff was progressive and made a statement at fashion week, but we must continue to strive towards change if we are to truly reject everything. 




The inspiration of for the show stemmed from a love for what was termed 'The Riot Grrl movement' clumping together punk rock bands such as Bikini Kill and Bratmobile in the third-wave of feminism which worked towards being queer inclusive. Although the movement was largely imagined within the minds of the tabloids who found it easier to picture that Kathleen Hannah and Courtney Love were having sleepovers, painting each other's nails and filling in their journals together it inspired a whole subculture. You can see that this aesthetic was highly influential on Meadham Kirchhoff, who borrowed from elements of the DIY ethic and zines made by lonely teenagers from their bedrooms and commercialized them. The wild hairstyles featuring spunky ponytails, baby braids as well as plastic hair barrettes featuring things like "I HEART JESUS" may also be attributed to this movement, lending an entire look to an army of teenage girls and young women like myself who can't afford to buy the clothes themselves, but who may be inspired by them- something which is a far more powerful tool in today's economy.





Knee high socks accompanied by bright leather strappy shoes created outfits caught somewhere in between superhero and roller derby queen. Of course it's hard not to be reminded of shoes from Danish fashion designer Henrik Vibskov but I still loved seeing all the weird and wacky colour combinations walk down the runway some tall some short, and some looking like sad banana peels. Sad banana peels or pointy elf shoes hiding in some Scandinavian village complete with patchy tights speckled with what looks like tinsel. Or some aspects borrowed from the amazing sheer ruffled dresses. They make an appearance every year but with so much sass and attitude delivered as part of this year's new mission: to change the face of the fashion industry it's hard not to fall in love with the Meadham Kirchhoff staple piece all over again. This year they were also decorated in long tassels in bright pastel colours, with garters, and with large blazers and over sized jackets.   




In a world where feminism and the fashion industry do not commonly coexist, and some poor misguided fools think models need to be "saved" from an oppressive regime driven by seemingly unobtainable standards, designers Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff have discarded their previous endeavors from the last few seasons. And they have returned to the kind of deconstructed baby doll dresses in sheer perhaps more suitable for a baptism were they not so torn and disheveled. What's more after exploring the notion of menswear they have included men in their runway show in order to represent the LBGT community and rebel against homophobia. Freedom is a corrupt notion and part of our everyday culture that we all sort of believe in, but we have been urged to see that this is not true. Whether you believe this or not is entirely up to you, it is not up to me to give you permission to seek the answers to these ideas and questions. But inspire you to understand that you can give yourself that permission. 




*All images via Style.com

Friday, September 26, 2014

IT'S MY BIRTHDAY AND I'LL CRY IF I WANT TO











Wearing: Romance was Born top, Asos skirt, American Apparel socks and Dr Martens boots.

Today I am 21 years old and I feel like I've really changed a lot since last year. We all have a picture of what kind of person we want to be like when we grow up and I feel like I am closer to meeting that person- the ideal version of myself. I dyed my hair about a month ago because I felt a change within myself
and how I feel after spending three weeks in the desert and I wanted the outside to reflect that change on the inside. I have my good days and I have my bad days but I try not to get too anxious about it anymore and make more time to do the things I enjoy in between work. I've spent more time on my blog and within the last year the quality of my photos has improved, but there's still more work to be done. I'm still not expressing myself as clearly or in the way I think I am, but there's still more time. One thing that's become really clear to me over the last few months is that by many standards I am still a baby. I have grown so much- but there's still lots of growing I have left. The only question is, what will I grow into and what will the next year bring?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Christopher Kane Spring 2015

In the wake of the highly influential Professor Louise Wilson's death, her students have been left to contemplate her teachings and among them was London designer Christopher Kane. I've reviewed many of his collections, but his Spring 2015 was particularly special and somewhat personal. You see one of the earliest collections Kane designed back when he was a student Saint Martins was inspired by the bondage photographs of artist Nobuyoshi Araki, and transferred these motifs to clothing incorporating knotted cords and ropes. Fast forward to 2015 and Kane has revisited this motif but added another level of complexity to the show with the ropes tying Kane to his past in a tribute to his old teacher Louise Wilson and her legacy, as well as the impact she has had and will leave on the fashion industry. 

I love this dark and moodier colour palette, I've been thinking a lot lately about maturity and aging what with my twenty-first birthday fast approaching next week. Even though I love to do things like write in my diary or do activities often associated with youth I think being able to maintain a sort of passion or obsession about things and approaching them with a childlike fascination is healthy. Who was it that said, children are naturally inquisitive until we beat it out of them? I'm probably paraphrasing here but we kind of lose our enthusiasm about life as we approach adulthood and it has very little do to with working a 9-5 job (not that there's nothing wrong with that) and it happens well before we file in our first tax return. I've been rambling for a while now but I think these playful and seductive motifs in shades of black, white, wine red and powder blue make the techniques Kane has employed here all the more powerful. 

In his previous collections, Christopher Kane was inventive and playful in his designs, but this introduction of old school Hollywood glamor and luxury satin suits and dresses has me swooning for a completely different set of reasons. An idea can be simple, but if the execution is carried out to the best of the maker's ability it can still win hearts. I believe that is what we're seeing from this particular collection in which Kane exercises restraint and allows the audience to digest the more texturally complex pieces from the collection. Those dresses are still absolutely gorgeous though, and when shown together as part of a runway collection we kind of see an evolution or transition where variations of a single component emerge. Even those satin suits cinched around the waist with a simple knotted cord are a reminder of Kane's ties to Louise Wilson.

As a continuation of last season's delicate tulle dresses with rectangular extensions mimicking the pages of a delicate book Kane has again ingeniously used tulle to accentuate the waist, hemline and shoulder. An extreme exaggeration of this trend would be something like a dimetrodon (often mistaken as a dinosaur), but I think by being judicious and using each outfit to emphasise a certain part of the body the outfits are chic without being boring. And yet, they are avant garde in nature and could easily be paired with something a little more garish such as vintage Versace or Comme des Garcons. These tulle flaps have been downplayed with the addition of sensible flat shoes in the most gorgeous shade of burgundy and a sensible, boxy handbag. But I see through this ruse and can only dream of the potential for quirky outfits with distinct silhouettes. 

I was delighted about the addition of these powder blue pieces amongst all the sombre black, white and wine red but although the shade is kind of pastel it's not exactly a youthful blue either. I mean it's not the shade of blue one typically interacts with in life or nature so it casts a strange and unusual tone over the whole narrative. I do however like the strappy sandals in the same matching blue. That style of shoe has appeared throughout the collection and as always Kane has given careful consideration and matched his shoes with each outfit and again we see the evocation of bondage or ropes tied around the feet. Although I must say, those are the prettiest most gentle looking straps I've seen so far. The little rivets on the sides kind of remind me of how most film directors and comic book illustrators interpret the Frankenstein monster.

Although I've tried to remain unbiased in my commentary for the sake of ~journalistic integrity~ but I can now safely say that the rope embellished dresses are my favourite pieces. They are what made me want to write about this collection and the outfits which opened the show were particularly powerful because they integrated the burgundy, blue, white and black. Those beautiful woven cords used as belts and jackets made from layer upon layer of rope made me feel nostalgic for ancient board games like Snakes & Ladders. Watching fashion shows makes me feel like I am living on another planet, but when they intersect with my everyday life they have an even longer lasting effect. In this case I now want to inspect my local op shop for those analogue treasures. But of course as soon as I play a board game I generally get bored, unless it's monopoly in which case I get excessively competitive. It'd be much more safer for me and everyone else I care about if I continue to lust after more fashion from New York and London.