Who Made Your Clothes?

Who Made Your Clothes?

Articles, Fashion
Who Made Your Clothes?

Who Made Your Clothes? | Photo: fashionrevolution.org

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the devastating Rana Plaza collapse killing more than 1100 people.  Since the collapse people are seemingly more aware of the processes that go into the making of their favourite garment, but with the ease and affordability of high street retailers are people willing to do something about it? With Primark (one of the retailers manufacturing at Rana Plaza) reporting profits up 14% on last year and plans to open their first US store this year it would seem not.

Fashion Revolution came up with the “Who Made Your Clothes” campaign to mark the anniversary of the disaster, encouraging people to wear their clothes inside out, photograph themselves and tweet the retailers asking WHO made them.  A fantastic idea that makes people question where their clothes are made, and puts pressure on retailers to react and be more open with their ethical policies.  However, although I do think this idea has merit, I also feel quite sceptical.

With Primark’s profits soaring I feel as though, yes, people are more aware of the production process of a garment but it isn’t altering their shopping patterns.  If people are willing to shop in places such as Primark then what will make them wear their clothes inside out and fight for change?  I just feel that the people who are likely to have worn their clothes inside out are the ones who are already interested in changing the way we make our clothes.  In fact, when looking through the #insideout street style photos on Vogue.co.uk many of the items worn were either vintage or from a variety of ethical brands.

Magazines were quick to report on the Rana Plaza disaster when it first occurred but are keen to be the first to showcase the newest collection from fast fashion brands.  Again, they have been a voice for Fashion Revolution’s campaign for change whilst still advertising brands known to have below standard ethical policies, something I strongly think needs to be addressed.   I believe that if we really want to create lasting change when it comes to fashion we need to look to our fashion magazines to put more emphasis on ethical and sustainable fashion and not to forget the manufacturing process when it comes to a pretty dress with a low price tag.  There are many brands out there fighting their ethical and sustainable corner but getting little recognition in magazines,  we need to stand up for these brands, spread the word and help show people how beautiful ethical fashion can be.

What are your thoughts on Fashion Revolution’s “Who Made Your Clothes” campaign? Did you wear your clothes inside out?

 

{This post was written whilst watching The Sound Of Music (Maria is the ultimate upcycler – curtains into all those outfits!) and eating Champagne truffles!} 

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An Unlikely Style Icon

Articles, Fashion

My latest article to be featured on Men’s Fashion Magazine. I hope you enjoy it.

Last Saturday saw the return of the much anticipated new series of Doctor Who. While the Doctors have regenerated so too have the fashions. British eccentricity has remained a fundamental aspect of each of their key looks, all be it a little tamer now as it was in the Sixties. As we live in an ever growing celeb conscious world, basing fashion choices on our favourite stars and characters, the Doctors style is ever more accessible.

Doctor Who John Pertwee
Doctor Who Paul McGann

Each Doctor has at least one unique item of clothing. From Jon Pertwee’s capes to Tom Baker’s Scarf, the cricket outfits of Peter Davison to the foppish attire of McGann, there is no denying each actor has brought their own memorable sartorial twist to the role. Although eccentricity remains at the heart of the Doctor’s fashion sense, recent years have seen a change in the colour clashing, punctuation adorned outfits into more realistic, fashionable choices.

Colin Baker Doctor Who
Peter Davidson Doctor Who

Christopher Eccleston’s portrayal of the Doctor saw a move away from the frilled shirts, capes and colour pallet of the past and channelled a darker, more rebellious attitude. The multi-coloured coats had been replaced with dark leather jackets. Gone were the quizzical expressions and eccentric manners, replaced instead by a tormented and guilt ridden character. David Tenn­ant, the tenth Doctor, saw a turn towards past outfits, all be it slightly more modernised. Moving away from the troubled, leather wearing Doctor of Christopher Eccleston, Tennant bought the eccentric Englishman back into the role. The Doctor’s sartorial choices have been described as a cross between Jarvis Cocker and Pete Doherty. Pairing a creased suit, with an open collared shirt, a long coat (not dissimilar to those of Tom Baker) and a pair of light converse, he undoubtedly became one of the kings of the geek chic trend. “I wear bow ties now, bow ties are cool” a mantra that has stuck with the current Doctor since his first appearance. Matt Smith’s character has run with the traditional Doctor Who look, modernised by Tennant, opting for a tweed style jacket rather than a suit, and personalising it with his signature bow ties.


Geek chic has been a popular source of inspiration for many designer collections over the last few years. It is easy to draw comparisons between the Doctor’s sartorial choices and current trends. APC’s A/W 12 catwalk was awash with blazers and skinny fit trousers, but the key to the outfits were crisp, fully buttoned up shirts. Something Matt Smith’s Doctor relies heavily on.

Balenciaga infuses the trend with a little hipster ‘cool’. Top buttons were fastened, and as David Tennant’s character preferred, footwear was kept light in colour. All Doctors have a single thing in common, and that is their take on the classic British heritage look. Burberry, an iconic fashion label when thinking about British heritage and eccentricity, offers true inspiration for a quirky, English ensemble.

BurberryBurberry

Matt Smith’s Doctor has been known to don braces from time to time, an item that featured prevalently in Rag and Bone’s A/W 12 collections

With Timelord attire infiltrating the catwalks, whether it be the style of broody Christopher Eccleston or the eccentric characters played by David Tennant and Matt Smith, the Doctor’s style as never been so easy to imitate. Take inspiration from the following items to compliment your eccentric, English style. Balenciaga have an array of leather jackets in their A/W 12 collection if Eccleston is more your style. It’s accessories that give the Doctor his unique look time after time, so look to bow ties and braces to finish your outfit.

So what do you think of the style of Doctor Who? Who was your favourite? Let us know!

You can check out the published article here and while you’re there you may as well have a look at some of the other articles there!

Chanel Cruise Collection 2013

Articles, Fashion, Uncategorized

Karl Lagerfeld did it again, in yet another outstanding off season runway show, this time for Chanel’s 2013 Cruise Collection. Set in the Gardens of Versailles arguably their most famous resident was clearly a key influence behind the collection; not the Eighteenth Century Marie Antoinette synonymous with the Palais de Versailles as you may think, but more of a 2006, Sofia Coppola, Marie Antoinette.

A multitude of pastel coloured, pageboy cropped wigs made their way down the catwalk, accompanied with interlocking C’s mimicking the beauty mark of MA, on the cheekbones of the models’ courtesy of makeup artist, Peter Philips.

Brocade, jewel embellishments and ruffles were key components of this year’s collection, adorning everything from jackets, to dresses, and even swimsuits. The dip dye trend of the last few seasons showed no signs of abating with wide brimmed hats bringing one of the most coveted trends of 2012 firmly into 2013. The show started with a very feminine and tranquil feel, with pastel colours, wide brimmed hats, lace and a mix of short dresses and long billowing skirts dominating the runway. This didn’t last long before a pair of leather embellished trousers and jacket to match bought a punk edge to the show. Many of the models were sporting creepers in a range of colours, including gold. Creepers and short, sparkly hemlines shouldn’t work unless it’s a Spice Girls fancy dress party, but somehow Karl pulled it off. The creepers create a very ‘wearable’ feel to each piece, as well as adding a punk edge to the collection: an echo of the pink converse of Miss Coppola’s Marie Antoinette?

The 2013 Cruise collection is yet another triumph for the Kaiser, with Eighteenth century inspiration colliding with 21st Century fashion to form an incredible collection and show. It is worth giving kudos not only to Karl, but also to Marie Antoinette, for it is something remarkable that a woman renowned for being at the forefront of fashion is still having a huge impact on one of the leading fashion houses three centuries on!

Green Carpet Challenge

Articles, Fashion, Uncategorized

I am big fan of eco fashion and a firm believer that we should all be doing a lot more, me included, to make our fashions go further: repair, reuse, and eventually recycle. The Green Carpet Challenge is something that really reallly interests me and long for red carpet events to see which designers have collaborated with the GCC to tackle the project and what they can design.

Livia Firth owns an eco conscious shop in London and in 2010, when husband Colin Firth was doing the red carpet rounds for A Single Man, she made a conscious desicion to wear only ecofriendly gowns to accompany him to the award ceremonies. These outfits had to encompass labour rights, up-cycling, there had to be low waste, have a low carbon impact, and had to be made from low impact, sustainable fibres, alternative fibres and organic fibres. When people talk of eco-friendly clothing the idea of fleece made from recycled bottles always springs to mind, but this is not suitable for a red carpet event. With a red carpet comes great sartorial responsibility, and thrifted dress with a couple of resewn patches just isn’t going to cut it. Livia teamed up with journalist, Lucy Siegle and ethical stylist Jocelyn Whipple to help find the most sustainable, red-carpet-suitable, gowns available.

I am so glad that this Green Carpet Challenge didn’t fizzle out after the 2010 awards ceremonies, but has actually grown into something amazing. More and more people are taking up the challenge, with Cameron Diaz taking part for the Met Ball. I have compiled a selection of some of my favourite GCC looks (thanks http://www.eco-age.com/green-carpet-challenge) to prove that fashion can be ethical and beautiful…


Cameron Diaz at the 2012 Met Ball


My personal favourite, Livia Firth in custom Valention GCC dress for the Oscars


Meryl Streep took up the Green Carpet Challenge for the Oscars


and proving it’s not just frocks that can be ethical, a classic tux can be too.

Vero Moda – Summer Campaign

Articles, Fashion, Uncategorized

I bought (and blogged about!) a Vero Moda dress in Spring and it’s become one of my favourite wardrobe possessions. Not usually Vero Moda’s biggest fan I have found myself frequenting their website more and more to uncover some new goodies. The best thing that came about from todays little snoop was their new Summer ad campaign. It’s not dissimilar to the Superga campaign I’ve mentioned before in that it provokes desire for a real summer roadtrip. The similarities may have something to do with The Chung being the face and inspiration for many of their products, that girl is in demand! Where as once Vero Moda would have been siginificantly under the radar for many, bringing Alexa Chung in to front the Spring/Summer campaigns has given the brand some much needed fashion credibility. There’s a lot of lace, a strong sixties vibe and splash of florals which for me is the perfect summer collection.


I don’t often find myself gravitating towards sequined clothing, but this skirt is just brilliant. It’s my birthday on Saturday and I’m sincerely hoping I will open my wardrobe and this skirt will be smiling at me, willing me to wear it all birthday long!




This ad campaign was a delightful little break from packing my life into boxes and the rain hammering on my windows. I’d much rather get me some sun and hammock than a box and some parcel tape.

I dare you to watch it and not want to load your boards and acoustic in the car and meet your friends at the beach.

Is it time for Superga summer roadtrip yet?

Articles, Fashion, Uncategorized

I absolutely love Superga shoes, and the advertising campaign is just brillo. The Chung is both the star model and the creative director, and I think she’s done a perfect job at creating that summer road trip feeling. It makes me want to crack out the mix tapes, grab my gal pals, pack a picnic and set off on a road trip, camping out, dancing and embracing the freedom the sun brings. I’m umm-ing and ahh-ing between the camel ones (to replace my old camel daps which I lived in last year), a pale pink pair or some bergundy ones, although by the end of the summer you can guarantee I’ll have a pair of each!

Oh, Valentino!

Articles, Fashion

I cooed, swooned and actually drooled a little, when I first watched Valentino’s S/S 12 runway show back in October.  I was immediately excited by the prospect of the ad campaign these gorgeous clothes would feature in.  The time has come, spring collections are inflitrating our stores and the campaigns are ruling our magazines.

I absolutely adore the setting for Valentino’s campaign, shot by Deborah Turbeville. Although it was apparently shot in Mexico, it reminds me of wandering around the Palatino (I think that’s what it is called, correct me if I’m wrong) near the Collosseum in Rome. The models are reminiscent of girls from a bygone era, their gaze, postures and their delicate steps echo an idea of innocence and grace. This campaign is just beautiful, and I can’t help linger for slightly too long every time I come across these delightful photographs.

Darling S/S 12

Articles, Fashion, Uncategorized

I absolutely love the label, Darling.  I’ve been waiting for the S/S 2012 collection pretty much since I got over their Winter collection last year!  We stock Darling in the shop I work in and the first few pieces have started to arrive, and they are beautiful (I’ve already put aside a jumper for payday).  The British label won Drapers “Womens Wear Brand of the Year, 2011”and with their vintage inspired shapes and prints it’s not hard to see why.   The lookbook makes it feel as though Summer is here already, and the floaty fabrics, floral prints and scalloped shorts make me think of a modern Virgin Suicides.

Answer Me This!

Articles

“What makes curly fries smell different to non curly fries?
Answer me this, answer me this.
Should I tell her I’m her Dad or should it stay a surprise?
Answer me this, answer me this, Helen and Olly, answer me this!”

 -“Episode 106 Theme Tune”

 

How often do you get a podcast that has a different theme song each week? A podcast where the listeners control most of what is discussed during the show? And a podcast so funny it’ll make you giggle out loud when walking down the street? Answer Me This! has all of the above. After accidentally stumbling across this podcast on one sleepless night, the best accidental discovery since Alexander Flemming left his research to grow mould, a day hasn’t gone by that I haven’t listened, or even spoken, about this genius podcast.

Starting in January of 2007, Helen Zaltzman, Olly Mann and Martin the Soundman began hosting the question and answer based podcast from their living room. Over the last five years, it’s still being produced in their living room, but with the addition of two Sony Radio Academy Awards, silver in 2010 and Gold in 2011. Answer Me This! sets out to answer a range of questions sent in by listeners, ranging from the serious and academic questions, “If you associate doctors with medical qualifications why do people with PhDs call themselves doctors?”, to the not so serious, “What is the point of crinkle cut beetroot?”. The drunk voicemails are absolutely incredible, and it’s worth keeping an ear out for them. Helen, Olly and Martin the Soundman offer a hilarious and informative look at the questions, drawing from a range of resources, Helen from her copious number of books and dictionaries and Olly’s preferred (but not always 100% precise) knowledge source, Wikipedia. Their answers are thought provoking, enlightening and witty, and I feel I have learnt more in the last 6 sleepless, podcast filled nights than I have in my last 16 years in education! The questions are interspersed with witty banter, anecdotes and parody jingles. This podcast is comedy genius and I am surprised it hasn’t been sponsored, or even spoken about more often.

So what are you waiting for? Get yourselves on iTunes and get downloading, they’re free so there’s no excuse. Run along, download, and laugh yourselves silly. And if there is anything you have been pondering over for a while why not get Helen and Olly to Answer Me This!