Monday, 28 March 2011

The Week Ahead


In Her Shoes

I'm having a little of a issue at the moment.  I'm craving shoes.  Everywhere I look I lust after them, on the tube, online, in shops.  I want flat brogues, pastel ballet slippers, multi-coloured sandals, rope wedges.  High or low, boots or flip flops, I want it all.

Warning: shoe porn.


Friday, 18 March 2011

Take No Prisoners

It is a well known fact that art imitates life, art cannot help but be influenced by its social and political setting.  Art that is produced in London, 2011 is a world away from art produced in Dehli 1267.  The same is said with fashion, critics have documented the drop in hemlines, cleaner lines and more robust fabrics in the 1940s in response to the war, where women stepped into the roles of men.  The hedonism of the 80s saw bright and bold colours, strong silhuouettes with warrior like shoulders to indicate the selfish brand of Western capitalism.

Today, years into a recession where cuts are being made left and right, where our rights as students, working mothers and near-retiring workers are close to being infringed on, it is harder to see the correlation between fashion and life.  Hindsight is a friend in this matter and it will not be long before we can ascertain the influence the economic crisis has had on the worlds' artists.

This month's issue of Dazed and Confused engages with this topic, displaying a provoking cover that will stand out between glossy models and celebrities on Vogue, W, Elle and it's counterparts.  While I have not yet been able to get my hands on the magazine, I'm excited to see what the team have produced.  Whether it's an insightful look into our ongoing financial hardships and "age of austerity" or a superficial theme remains to be seen.  I admit that I'm not terribly impressed by the editorial "Eat the Rich" - donning an army jacket and DMs does not make you a revolutionary.  But I shall reserve my judgement until I get myself to a newsagent!


Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Pint Sized Icons

Every year has their break-out stars in the world of celebrity.  The ever elusive world of fashion also has their newcomers; with a  few choice red carpet looks, fresh candid style suddenly the actress can find herself front row at Miu Miu.

Such is the case of Oscar nominated Hailee Steinfeld.  Holding her own against heavyweights Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon was not enough for the actress, now she is embroiled in a fashion battle against seasoned veterans, the Diane Kruger's and Alexa Chung's of the fashion world.

Another newcomer was Elle Fanning; starring in a semi-autobiograpical film by Sofia Coppola had made a star out of Kristen Dunst and Elle was no exception.  Over night she turned into fashion gold.

But unlike Alexa Chung or Blake Lively who became style stars overnight, Elle and Hailee have one thing in common.  They've barely hit puberty.

Sites like, Vogue, WWD were fawning over the teenagers' style, worshipping their penchants for skyscraper heels and pretty dresses.  Forums had similar reactions as well, predicting these two girls to become fashion heavy hitters.

And yes, they do look good.  Great even; both have showed that they (or their stylists) have a brilliant eye when it comes to fashion.  Yet it strikes me as little girls dressing up in their mother's clothes.

I was not allowed to wear make-up until I was 15.  Perhaps I'm in the minority, but that is how my mother dictated it.  She is no stranger to make-up, she coats herself in Lancome, Chanel, YSL and Dior every day, but for her daughter she wanted to me to grow up first.  Embrace my childhood before I dolled myself up to look twice my age.  Granted such an attitude was met with plenty of resistance from me, I remember allowing my friends to apply eyeliner and lipgloss on me before we went out.  But the rule was there.

Looking at pictures of Elle and Hailee reminds me of American child beauty pageants, a practise that honestly, makes me sick to my stomach.  Little girls are painted with lipstick, thick foundation, blush, eyeliner, eyeshadow, hairspray, glitter and more fake tan than the cast of Jersey Shore.  It's no way for a child to grow up, paraded in front of adults and judged by their make-up, hair, dress and overall beauty or lack of it. 

Those pageants are merely an extreme and I am in no way suggesting that Elle and Hailee resemble these clownish girls.  Elle and Hailee have wisely presented themselves as young teen starlets with their make-up minimal and their dresses somewhat age-appropriate.  But I cannot help but wonder what effect this will have on them.  Are they not parading in front of adults, judged on their beauty or lack of it?  In regards to a celebrity in her twenties and older I have no objection to dissecting every inch of her outfit, but for a girl of twelve it feels a little cruel.  When I was Elle's age I remember wearing a lot of short denim skirts and zip up hoodies (long before Bieber made them his staple), at Hailee's I wore a lot of black and skulls.  I dread to think what the girls of Go Fug Yourself would say about me.

Of course, I'm not a celebrity and I never have been.  Going into acting means putting yourself out there in the harsh world celebrity, where every remark is analysed, every ounce of fat debated, every wrinkle sneered at.

At the tender age of twelve and fourteen I find it hard to believe that Elle and Hailee know quite what they're getting into, no matter how many well placed statements they may make.  I remember Lindsay Lohan as a bright, talented teenager, several years later and no one could have guessed her career would have spiralled into chaos.  However with every Lindsay there is an Emma, who at the age of nine was cast in the biggest franchise of all time, Harry Potter.  Over a decade later and Emma Watson remains scandal free.  And then there's Natalie Portman and Jodie Foster, both who played contentious characters dealing with adult themes of sex, drugs and violence.  Decades later, both are scandal free (and with a few Oscars between them).

So a teenage life in front of the camera does not guarantee you a permanent room in a rehab centre.  But I won't be judging any outfits of Hailee's and Elle's on this blog.  Analysing Elle's outfit in the same post as Alexa, Leighton, Kate, and ADR does not seem right to me.  One moment I may be thinking that Elle's dress would look better with a different colour shoe, maybe a smaller necklace, next I may think "if only she had leaner arms" or "she's so flatchested she looks like a boy in a dress".  Hold on, she's twelve.  Of course she's flat chested.

I'm inclined to wait a few years before I begin to pass judgements on these girls.  Describing Elle Fanning as a style icon seems far too premature for me.


I'd love to know your thoughts.  Any readers out there who are similar ages to these girls?  Do any older readers take cues from these two babies?

Also - Suri Cruise?  Discuss.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

The Week Ahead

Sourcing my pictures for my weekly "inspiration" post can sometimes be incredibly easy, I'll have dozens of images saved over the week and I'll find it hard to edit it down to a post worthy size.  Other times I really have to push myself to find images which can lead to a post of so-called "inspiring" pictures that aren't really inspiring at all.

It was such a week, where there were virtually no images I wanted to post (and as a rule I try not to post images that have already circulated the blogosphere).  But then I noticed that Tim Walker was at it again - there are months when you won't see a single image by Tim Walker and then for one month his work will be featured in every magazine.

Both Vogue Italia and Vogue UK feature editorials in this months issue.  And they are classic Walker. 

Walker inspires me - as I'm sure he does you, because his editorials are so much more than the clothes.  One of the first things you notice about a Walker photo is the setting, whether the model is precariously perched on the top rung of a ladder, crouched against a decayed wall, lying spreadeagled in a meadow.  The second is that it'll probably make you laugh, or maybe elicit a wry smirk.  His work is whimsical, ironic yet is heavily steeped in the fantastical and romantic, like a permanent Wonderland.  Like Alice, when looking at his images you notice absurd qualities, a blur, a larger-than-life prop, surreal models with imaginative styling. 

So this week, I bring you a post filled with Walker, from as early as 1996 to present.  I hope it inspires you as much as his work inspires me.


What's the verdict?  Genius or overrated?  I'd love to hear (read!) you're thoughts.