Thursday, 22 November 2007

Web-zines, e-zines, the internet, its all amazing and quite frankly its mind boggling to me. The assignment was to look at ten e-zines, and what struck me was the layout and presentation of each was all very different.

My favourite that I came across, for some bazaar reason, was Henry Holland’s official site: The bright rainbow coloured glitter and golden frames emblazoned on a black background stood out from the crowd. Some might call it tacky but I don’t, it seems to go so well with his overall t-shirt design and I think its great. I found that quite a lot of the fashion e-zines I looked at had a bleak white background, it was very glary to me. I suppose they did this so the clothes stood out and you’re meant to think wow what great clothes but I personally find it too dull and ordinary compared to Holland’s sparkly madness.

When looking at the e-zines I couldn’t help but compare them to the picture of Holland’s website in my mind. The editorial sites were obviously stark in colour in contrast, but that’s understandable. They created the formal no nonsense look with black, red and white, the bold type and the informative language, which the Holland site lacked; it was all pictures of the notorious t-shirts.

E-zines are just another step in the advertising world and the creativity to construct something that allows someone to see what your designs, work, news is all about with just a click, is amazing.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Kate's duo

I thought for a different muse combination I would look at a designer I had never heard of before: Proenza Schouler. That is to say the design duo Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, who seem to have paired up with the Hollywood star Kate Boswoth.

Since the two guys partnered on their graduation project in 1999 all has gone well and their modern, luxury label has been in business since 2002, presented with the CFDA’s Perry Ellis Award for new talent in 2003. The partner’s designs showcase simple silhouettes with a resemblance to the cheeky sixties and a comparable modernism to Courrèges or Paco Rabanne.

Kate Bosworth often wears Proenza Schouler’s designs and attends big fashion calendar events with the pair as well. Not only does Kate appear to love their clothes but loves their company as well; a perfect match for a muse combination, I think.

Kate stands side by side with the duo, in what looks a gorgeous shift dress; simple with delicate decoration round the edges, they look so good together. A perfect advert for the designers clothes.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

The 'Golden Lion' of Christiane Joy

Christiane Joy, the New York designer and stylist’s muse relationship takes it that one step further, taking mother-like pride in her loyalty to her muse Karen O. She says, “Karen looks pretty amazing,” and the designs for Karen O’s stage outfits are, “Simple but effective.”

Karen O the front women of the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, since meeting Christiane Joy 2 years ago has been seen in nothing else for stage performances and shoots but Christian Joy’s designs, which obviously compliments Karen’s own personal style so well.

The flamboyant showstoppers include the “car crash dress” and the “shrimp dress,” (a taffeta and tulle ball gown), in which Karen O twirls and jumps around to the garage-rock music showing her underwear,her latest show being the 'Golden Lion.' Karen has managed to put Joy’s designs on the creative map, with demand growing for what was once only available online. As Karen has become a fashion icon with many Karen O look-a-likes publicity has grown for the designer and the workload has increased, as a result Joy plans to open an actual physical store.

The punk rock avant-garde style of Karen O and Christiane Joy is a match made in heaven and it will be the making of Joy’s own label, which goes to show what power the muse has.

Friday, 2 November 2007

Ethereal glamour

Nina Ricci, with silky fabrics and feminine colours have chosen Reese Witherspoon to be their model and muse.

The petite blonde who I will always associate with Sweet Home Alabama and Legally Blonde, recently divorced from Ryan Philippe and mother of two (interviewed in the latest issue of Vogue) has shown yet another elegant façade to her appearance.

Wearing a yellow Nina Ricci frock to the Golden Globe Awards, accompanied by red strappy shoes and a single diamond bangle, Reese Witherspoon looked gorgeous as she walked down the red carpet.

But this isn’t just a one off; she looked the epitome of glamour as she stood in the intense purple bustier dress by none other than Nina Ricci. The pleated silk in delicate layers tumbled to the floor.

Reese Witherspoon has put the classic French Nina Ricci fashion house back on the A-list radar, her ethereal looks complimented by the delicate fabrics.

Paradis is perfect

Karl Lagerfeld: most recently noted for Lagerfeld Confidential: a documentary of the designer’s every day life, has chosen his muse to be Vanessa Paradis. Since 2003 at the Chanel couture show they have been inseparable, with Vanessa modelling in many of Chanel’s advertising campaigns, as well as choosing his designs to wear to special red carpet events.

Vanessa Paradis, the French actress, model, singer and wife of Johnny Depp, first modelled for Chanel 14 years ago, and has now become their glamorous walking advert.

Lagerfeld’s faces for Chanel also includes Kiera Knightely as well as the latest face that appears to be Rinko Kikuchi, who captivates Lagerfeld with her ‘Manga character’ look, the ability to first appear a mysterious woman and then show the face of a child next.

Paradis’ first advert for Coco Chanel was commissioned after her hit single “Joe le Taxi,” the perfume advert pictured Paradis on a trapeze, in a birdcage, and she said it was, ‘like being in a fairytale.’

Lagerfeld’s Chanel campaigns seem to have a mysterious lure to them and obviously Vanessa Paradis and Rinko Kikuchi add to that concept.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Moschino muse is a Burlesque beauty

The Creative Director at Moschino claims, ‘Today it is very difficult to find a woman who has a style,’ so I think he has met the perfect match with the Burlesque performer Dita Von Teese and her trademark 1940s red lips and nipped in waist.

This muse match pairing seems a perfect combination; Moschino’s cheeky and playful designs combined with Dita’s unique radiant image, highlights what I think is a distinctive image of Moschino. Dita obviously seems to like the old-Hollywood style glamour: feminine and elegant. She has said that she likes vintage clothing and modern designs that encompass that image such as Moschino.

Dita also featured in the Independent this Wednesday for her ‘cinematic delights’ that await us. It is reported that the dancer has agreed to play a young stripper in The Boom Boom Room as well as playing the lead in Martha Fiennes’ biopic next year.

The exotic Burlesque dancer formerly married to Marilyn Manson, is a modern day pin up that advertises Moschino’s latest designs a treat.

Playboy the unexpected

I can’t say I have ever read a men’s magazine, but the lecture on Men’s Alternative Magazine Market was really interesting, and I had no idea that Playboy; the first men’s magazine not to be aimed at gay men, has political articles and is actually quite a literary magazine.

When I hear Playboy magazine mentioned I think of the Hugh Hefner surrounded by beautiful young blonde woman and the Playboy mansion. I don’t think of literary and political articles. I’m sure I am not the only one that categorizes the Playboy mag into sex and nudity for men either!

Oz, Interview, Friends, Blast, Man About Town and The Best Generation are just some of the men’s magazines from the past, with Interview still going strong. In fact men’s fashion magazines of today are a strong competition for women’s in terms of the range out there, and Arena, L’umo Vogue, Another Man and VMan are the leading reads of today in terms of men’s fashion.

Men's fashion

I don’t really pay that much attention to men’s fashion, and so from our lecture on Men’s Alternative Magazine Market, I now know some of the key figures in men’s fashion. Although personally I prefer less ‘out there’ fashion for men, I like the shirt and jeans look more so than the tight black skinny jeans that make some guys look like they have sticks for legs. However I am not a fashion critic.

Apparently Raf Simons the Belgian fashion designer, Hedi Slimane who designs for Dior Homme, Walter Van Beirendonck with the woolly jumpers and cartoon pictures and Thierry Mugler known for his fantasy and silver designs are key fashion figures in terms of men’s fashion in the present market.

Raf Simons’ extreme designs involving futurism and the idea of the ‘interzone’ with the dreamlike reality still maintains a masculine feel and is one of the leading men’s fashion designers. Also he is most probably renowned for his collection based on terrorism, which was to show on 9/11, but of course had to be withdrawn.

Hedi Slimane put skinny jeans on the map, demanding the extinction of the baggy jeans, and that the future equalled skinny. Now all you see is guys wearing skinny jeans, so I guess Slimane was right in his prediction that skinny jeans was the next step in terms of men’s fashion. Slimane is also well known for his photo shoots for men’s mags and his previous best friend, Pete Doherty.

Woolly jumpers and t-shirts brightly coloured with cartoons emblazoned on them are by none other than, Walter Van Beirendonck whose cartoon portrait also appears on the front, and whose latest head fashion was published in the recent issue of Dazed&Confused. Glamour in the eyes of Beirendonck is anything to do with toys, computers and Rave imagery.

Thierry Mugler, who now concentrates on perfume, was all to do with magic and fantasy and dressing men in silver. Now Thomas Engelhart has taken over the designing concept and the label is still going strong.

I now feel slightly more informed on men’s fashion, although I have to say I do prefer looking at clothes for women.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Matthew Williamson and muses galore

A muse match made in heaven; Matthew Williamson and Sienna Miller; the man who says his clothes are, ‘girly, sexy and beautiful’ with the woman who will always be renowned for her ‘Boho-chic’ some summers ago.

Was Sienna dumped, to become known as an ex for a little while, as I’ve also noticed Williamson has an alternative muse: Jennifer Lopez. Although not that long ago Sienna was wearing a lovely green mini dress, a creation of none other than Matthew Williamson at the designer’s bar party in London St Martins Lane.

Matthew does seem to have quite a few ‘ex’ ladies, Cat Deeley, Jade Jagger and Kelis, since his launch in 1996, so it would not be surprising to find Matthew has shown signs of indecision between Sienna and the singer Jennifer Lopez. Perhaps that’s why he is so widely liked as his clothes have been seen on lots of beautiful women.

Williamson’s clothes have been in the limelight once more with his return at London Fashion Week showing his skill with colour and beading once again, as well as an exhibition of his work and design at Design Museum in London, to celebrate his 10th anniversary open from 17th October and then becoming an international tour after 3 months.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Fahion muse meets business muse

Third on Elle’s top 10 muses, Christopher Kane the 24-year-old Scottish designer has taken the muse pairings a step further. Christopher’s chief muse, Tammy Kane is his sister, business partner and sometimes stands in as the in-house model. Not only that but she is also a trained designer herself and helps to create fabrics, however Christopher is the front man and face of the label in this ‘family business.’

Kane’s Spring/Summer 07 collection saw skimpy dresses but then came Autumn/Winter 07, which is my personal favourite, the rich velvets in reds and greens created that unique Tudor style, which saw his designs appear in many magazines.

Although this brother and sister pairing seem to be the perfect match in this fashion world, Tammy doesn’t seem to appear in the limelight that often compared to other muse pairings. However the couple’s muse approach obviously works as Kane wins New Generation Sponsorship for the third time.

Monday, 22 October 2007

Neon galore

Every magazine I look at or read; all I see is Henry Holland or Agyness Deyn or both of them together. I might be slightly over exaggerating here but it is definitely true that this new pairing are in the lime light a lot!

They are best friends and old-time pals, so it’s no surprise that Agyness Deyn is Holland’s muse and the face of House of Holland. I was looking at the House of Holland website today as well and its amazing…rainbow coloured and sparkly (some might call it tacky, but I call it fabulous). There was also a great blog on the website; it was a poem about Henry Holland which made me smile.

On the official website Agyness can be seen modelling the various neon bright coloured t-shirts, saying things like GET YER FREAK ON GILES DEACON with her well known platinum blonde hair in some comedy poses, eg,bunny ears.

I think this couple show another side to the muse pairings; bringing a fun appearance to the fashion industry.

Saturday, 20 October 2007

How related are music and fashion?

Personally I think music has always been a big contributing factor to our Fashion industry, and I don’t think many people realise that music journalism has been around for as long as fashion journalism, but it has.

I learnt today that Melody Maker was actually launched in 1926. I was quite shocked that music journalism has been around that long and people were criticizing classical music in the 19th Century, however then I realised that actually VogueUK has been around since 1916, so why not music as well.

Punk’s, Emo’s, Hippie’s, Indie’s and Glam Rock are just a few subcultures that have occurred due to changes in music over the years. Flower power Hippies listening to the Beatles, Punk’s with spiky multi-coloured hair listening to the Sex Pistols. Some might argue that actually it’s the other way round and that actually fashion influenced these cultures but I personally disagree. For example, when you look back at the 1920s the music influenced the designs of ladies dresses, which were given embellishments and tassels so they sparkled and swayed when they danced.

New subcultures seem to appear overnight with the new music and I don’t think you can actually prove whether fashion influences music or music influences fashion.

Friday, 12 October 2007

Fashion Muses, take 2

“Today’s undisputed king and queen of cool,” Marc Jacobs and the woman he calls, “young and sweet and innocent and beautiful,” otherwise known as Sofia Coppola. A muse-match made in heaven.

Marc Jacobs and his varied style…pretty prom like dresses, layered looks and oversize prints, ‘downtown meets glamour vibe’ seem completely compatible with Sofia’s own laid back approach to glamour. He even describes her as, “the epitome of the girl I fantasize of.’

I was shocked to see them only coming in at 4th position on’s top ten muses, beaten by the designer’s Christopher Kane and Henry Holland, the influential pairing didn’t seem to quite make it in the eyes of Elle magazine.

However, whenever a red carpet is near Sofia is adorned in yet another of Jacob’s masterpieces. When taking home, “Best Screenplay” Oscar for Lost in Translation Sofia displayed a subtle yet elegant dress of a purple silk. Understated and feminine with her flowing curls Sofia seems to hold her Oscar with pride.

I think this is another pairing that yet again show that the muse is very valuable to the designer to showcase the beautiful dresses.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

I realised magazines were important, but taking a role in our class system?

I don’t think it is too evident, when you pick up your favourite magazine, that these everyday publications of our lives contribute to the division in our class system, but each magazine has its target audience. By looking at the adverts you are looking at the psychology of the reader.

Magazines are helping to define the classes, such as the Elitists with Dior and Gucci ads that the Fatalist’s can’t afford, with their ‘real life’ stories and ‘disaster’ articles. Then you have the Individualists who buy magazines such as iD and Tank, Super Super and Nylon. Perhaps targeted to the younger audience with up and coming designers, Gareth Pugh for instance has been a major factor in many recent articles. On the other hand Good Housekeeping, Lifestyle and Vanity Fair are the ‘everyone’s equal,’ ‘spread the wealth’ Egalitarians.

Through magazines everyone seems to be categorized into specific groups of fashion: Punks, Emo’s, Cosmopolitans and the High Fashionistas, corresponding with their wealth in society. Is this fair? Well, in a way I suppose it is as someone who buys Dior and Gucci probably won’t want to buy a magazine with only New Look or Bay Trading Company clothes.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Fashion Muses

It seems to me that in order to make it “big” in the fashion industry, designers must have a beautiful muse adorned with one of their latest creations. All designers have had celebrity muses at some point, Madonna as Versace’s ‘face’ from 1995-2005 and then Halle Berry for their Spring/Summer 2006 collection.

The muse almost seems to conspire with the designer to advertise and display the newest dress, or just influence the designers by their own individual style. Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra made an impression on Alexander McQueen creating the ‘darkly romantic autumn show.’

As number 1 in the top ten new muses on, Thandie Newton and Giles Deacon are the new top pairing. Thandie Newton now constantly appears parading out in a ‘Deacon masterpiece’ a show stopping, made to measure design. She herself describes his work as ‘sublime’ and publicizes the fact that Deacon, “won best fashion designer of the year!” Giles has also been known to complement Thandie on her, ‘natural style.’

However not all the observations of the new pairing’s creations are positive; The Guardian labelled her as wearing the “worst dress,” describing the mushroom pufftail as, “more taffeta slug than anything else.”

All criticisms whether positive or negative however have resulted in Thandie’s red carpet fashion status being launched to the top of almost every best dressed list placing Deacons dresses in the spotlight once again.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007


Magazines, whether they are consumer, contract or trade, their influence over the fashion industry is huge.

The consumer magazine being one for the masses; with its audience as the general public, has the greatest influence over what people perceive they should or should not be wearing. These magazines, such as Vogue, Elle and Harpers Bazaar don’t just cover the hi-fashion, but extend into lifestyle and music, leaving no topic uncovered in order to delve into the minds of the consumers.

What I think is amazing about magazines though, is that there are so many out there, and I don’t presume to know that many of them either, but because there are so many, they each have their own specific readership and target audience.

Why are magazines so important to our lives? I suppose consumer magazines inform people what they believe the latest trends to be, how to wear them and where to find the, all important clothes. But can we not survive without them?....I’m not sure if we can. For example without magazines like Draper’s Record, shops and little boutiques would not stock that ‘amazing dress,’ or the latest autumn styles.

So what does make a good magazine? I’m not sure whether it’s a magazine that involves everything or just concentrates on a specific area...such as fashion!