Tuesday, 4 August 2015

/ / Dazed Fashion Forum / /

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Once upon a time, earlier last month to be exact; I was procrastinating trying to figure out what to do with my day when a feed on Instagram captured my attention. In less than 300 words I had to explain what was the biggest fashion moment in 2015 and submit it to Dazed and Confused.

My mind was everywhere; the options were endless. Was it Taylor Swift creating a new fashion video with Bad Blood introducing the ‘New Supermodels’, over taking George Micheals ' Too funky' and 'Freedom' videos? No.  Or was it perhaps Viktor&Rolf's runway where art became fashion with models wearing canvases? Almost, but it felt to standard.  Could it have been the political stance at the Rick Owens show? 300 words would definitely not have covered that.  Should it have been an article about Bruce Jenner’s transformation and gender in fashion? That would have been at least 1000 words. Or should I have taken then humorous approach and written about the Valentino couture show and comparing the couture to Valentino’s face. (That would have been hilarious, but mean….. and no one likes mean). So I came up with this:

“Originally an acronym: a word now used rather frequently to describe anything from the formation of cells, mathematic calculations to people and their wrong doings. Can you guess what it is yet? Formerly known as   the Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code in the 1960’s, the word BASIC has taken the fashion world by storm. The word resonates feelings of the unrefined, irrelevant, the copy, the norm, the tedious, the basic. Much like any new fashion fads, many have uttered the word. The cool kids in the newest clubs, the hipsters in their snazzy new pubs, designers, models you name it. And even if you haven’t yet verbalized the word it must have crossed your mind at some point and one day soon, when you’re ready, it will manifest itself and you will breathe a sigh of relief as you realise it epitomises what you wanted to explain perfectly.

Spectators, constantly ‘fashion shaming’ industry people, have always torn fashion to shreds endlessly. However 2015 fashion has claimed the industry back through the word ‘basic’.

This year we saw the ridiculously fabulous Kate Moss being asked to leave an easyjet flight and the talented Marc Jacobs accidently exposing himself on instagram both things have happened to many but only becomes of importance when a celebrity does it. The two filmed themselves together calling out all the basic bitches, letting them know ‘they’re basic’.

This was two fingers up to everyone, and was done ever so eloquently. They are the creatives and the muses of industry. I don’t remember Warhol or Edie Sedgwick ever having to apologise for any of their actions. In a world that is so PC, we need to remember that art and creativity broke boundaries by not following the status quo and breaking the basic rules. “

These 297 words granted me access to the first ever Dazed Fashion Forum, which allowed me to sit in for talks with some incredibly creative thinkers in the industry.

It started with a talk from Nicola Formichetti, Creative Director for Diesel. His imagination saw no boundaries. His laissez faire attitude to the industry and being true to himself made his approach to his genius so innate and somehow tangible.

What Nicola Formichetti made me think about:

·      If you’re not prepared to work hard you wont get anywhere
·      Be you, trust in yourself and your instincts
·      Have a digital detox (once in a while)
·      What you love to do will bring you success.

Following Nicola Formichetti we were introduced to Somerset House Fashion Curator Shonagh Marshall and set designer Shona Heath. Here they talked about the struggles of getting into the industry, their success and their creative processes to creating atmospheres through and within work.

What Shonagh and Shona made me think about:

·      Work hard
·      Be prepared to do anything your job requires of you
·      You will work for nothing at points but it will be worth it
·      Its ok to be a bit obsessive with your research

We then had the head of fashion at the RCA Zowie Broach in conversation for Fashion editor of the Independent Alexander Fury discussing the future of fashion and what direction it was heading.

What Zowie Broach made me think about:

·      In order to make a change you need to create a tribe
·      You must challenge culture and yourself
·      Be disruptive
·      It is human nature to make and craft

Although I really would have loved to be part of the workshops, I was in cerebral mode; I was thirsty for more words of wisdom to inspire me. Enter Gareth Pugh, Katie Shillingford and Ruth Hogben, a dynamic threesome that understood each other and each other's work.

What Gareth, Ruth and Katie made me think about:

·      Work in a team
·      Work with people as invested as you
·      Don’t think like a poor person (Michele Lamy’s words to Gareth Pugh)

Susie Lau then introduced film director Kathryn Ferguson, producer Juliette Larthe and co-founder of Studio XO Nancy Tilbury to the stage to discuss women in fashion film, behind and in front of the camera. 

  What Kathryn, Juliette and Nancy made me think about:

·      The struggle is real (RuPaul reference)
·      Sexism and discrimination is rife in the industry
·      It has come a long way but still has a long way to go

We then took a turn to music in fashion, with composer Frederic Sanchez talking to Dazed editorial director Tim Noakes about the importance of music during runway shows.

What Frederic Sanchez made me think about:

·      Its ok to change things last minute if it doesn’t feel right
·      Contradiction is great
·      Use sounds that you wouldn’t necessarily ever think of using (think outside the box)
·      Mix genres 

From music to make up we met Isamaya Ffrench, interestingly initially approached for her elaborate face painting skills.

What Isamaya Ffrench made me think about:

·      Not everyone is going to get you
·      Not everyone is going to like your work
·      Do it anyway
·      You can't please everyone

--> And finally, the talk that made me feel sane. I was no longer thinking alone in thinking that the industry is discriminating against age, colour and class (amongst other factors). Here we were introduced to artists/ former model Phoebe Collings-James, artist Matthew Stone and Publisher Reba Maybury, and oh boy how I wanted to get out of my seat to applaud, shake hands and hug these people. 

What Phoebe, Matthew and Reba made me think about:

·      There is a lot more going on then we think
·      The industry needs to be diversified on so many levels
·      There are a lot of fashion politics that need to be eradicated
·      There is a way of thinking as a society that also needs to be either eradicated or altered
·      Progression is vital at this point
·      We need to come together and change not only what is wrong in fashion but what is wrong with the society we live in and todays politics
·      It is unacceptable to stand by and do nothing
·      This goes beyond fashion and art this is about culture and the evolution of us as human’s/thinkers as opposed to be sheep following and believed what we are told is true. Because it is not

I have been invited to things like this before, and the feel has always been that  ‘you must adapt to the industry’. For once, the underlying theme was fuck the world- do you! As self-help as it sounds this was about how one needs to create the future they want for their selves.  The world is changing because I truly believe that people have had enough of how it’s being run. We are treated like sheep, having to follow suit at whatever is told to us and I know for sure my generation has had enough. There are so many factors and economical scare tactics that are made in attempt to hinder anyone’s development. Having been thinking about this for time and time again I decided to go back to university this September to study the ins and outs of fashion to research how and where we can start the change in a broader perspective. The change has already started within cultural groups and certain areas in cities. We’ve even gotten to the point where subculture seem to no longer exist and if the they did they are keeping themselves very quiet.  I insist that a revolution needs to happen soon! Not to be destructive, but to be disruptive and make a change to OUR worlds and society. Yes you live here too, are you happy following the status quo? Do you never look around and see how things are run and think ‘what in gods name is going on?’. We can’t think that liking something on Facebook makes you part of a movement! Technology brings factors of issues to our attention and we can choose to acknowledge them or not. The truth of the matter is it has made us hide away. Hide behind a computer, hide in a room- never really needing to go out because we have convinced ourselves pressing a like button has made a difference. I know this because I too am guilty of this. We no longer have human interaction, which makes communication and working as a tribe, a force together as humans awkward and uncomfortable. How do we think we can change the world this way?

Everything is stagnate and stale, and will remain so until we make a difference and make the changes we want to see in the world in ourselves.

We are in creative state of limbo, causing a cultural state of limbo resulting in general limbo. 

During her talk Zowie Broach explained how the opening paragraph of Dickens’ ‘Tales of Two Cities” reflects exactly where we are at present.  She was incredibly right. I just would have hoped we would have come a long way from 1859.

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way." 

Charles Dickens: A Tale Of Two Cities (1859)

Lets start making a change. 



Friday, 10 July 2015

// This is My Hair // I Don't Wear Wigs //

Men's hair, much like a lot of other things for men, can be weak, limp and lifeless (I dare you to find out where that statement was from. Say it in a Geordie accent and you might get it). And much like anything to do with men’s fashion and style, I try to do the complete opposite of what we should follow. Who wants to look like everyone else? I know I sure as hell don’t. 

I had been growing my hair for a while; letting my Egyptian curls dominate my life for months on end. Yes this got annoying at times with countless products used and thinking about when I could wash my hair calculating hours to the t of what I should do to my hair for a certain event, party, occasion. Shall I be curly? Straight? Wavy? Slick back? The options were endless which was exciting and gave me another thing to think about when getting ready. On the flip side, it gave me another thing to think of when getting ready!! I already enough to think about as it is! You can’t win with me. So it was time for a change.

I was approached by a hair stylist who gave me a great deal and I jumped on that mo fo like there was no tomorrow. 

And this is how it went:

Step 1: Bleach

Now with this, you have to aim to achieve the Side-show Bob look.  If you don’t get this part right, you’re doomed

Step 2: Bleach Again

For the second bleach if you don’t feel like the wrath of Satan taking a steamy hot turd on your head, you’re definitely not going to get the result you want. Remember, beauty is pain, pain is beauty. Trust, I still kept smiling while I could feel the top of my head slowly burn and my soul being tormented by philosophical theories of what pain truly is. Does the body rule the mind or does the mind rule to body, I really did NOT know! 

 Step 3: Colour

After the pain was washed out, using very cold water, we applied the colour. A lovely grey tone; the whole reason why I did this in the first place. My dreams of being a Silver Fox were nearing, beating Mother Nature to the punch.

--> Step 4: Selfie

After 3 hours of pain one deserves to take a few selfie’s to document this procedure. Consider it an act of selflessness to explain to everyone.

Selfie 1: Crazy Scientist:
 Selfie 2: Slutty bitch in heels

 Selfie 3: The summer bae

Selfie 4: The BAB. Boss Ass Bitch.

After a week of not really wanting to touch my scalp in fear that my whole head would fall off, I finally got my ass to a hairdresser, washed my hair a few times and this is now the end result.