Friday, 29 June 2012

Royal Ascot 2012. Ladies day!

So last Thursday saw Royal Ascot, Ladies Day 2012. I went along with my mum and a few people from her work. Although every time I go to Ascot the weather seems to be against us we always manage to have a lovely time. This year was no exception, with champagne breakfast and surprisingly no traffic on the way to Ascot the day was off to a good start. I was also very excited at this year was my first year in the Grandstand & I must say I will never go back to the silver circle now. 

Champagne breakfast.

Me & mum before we left.

Dress from BIBA. Fascinator: Vintage

If you haven't been to Royal Ascot races yet, then next year is a must!

Harvey Nichols-try to contain your excitement.

I'm not sure about you but I actually find Harvey Nichols latest sale advert quite funny?! 
I know the adverts which show a variety of people who have wet themselves at the thought of the Harvery Nichols sale have sparked outrage but I find the light-hearted humour from the luxury department store refreshing. 

Harvey Nichols Sale Leaflet that was sent to many customers over the UK
After many showed their dissapointed on twitter a spokesman for Harvey Nichols defended the latest campaign: 'We developed the campaign to promote our summer sale and capture the excitement in a light-hearted, humorous way.' 

This isn't the first time a Harvey Nichols advert has sparked controversy after pushing the boundaries of advertising. Around Christmas time Harvey Nichols released an advertising campaign that showed women who had apparently had casual sex the night previously and were in fact doing the 'walk of shame'. 

Either way Harvey Nichols have everyone talking about them and you know what they say 'no publicity is bad publicity'. Who knows maybe Harvey Nichols are trying to cause controversy? We will  now have to wait and see what they come up with next.

Interview with fashion designer, Hasan Hejazi.

The Hasan Hejazi woman is confident, fun and powerful. Hasan discusses with Third Floor his opinion on the fashion industry and how to remain positive in this difficult climate.

Since graduating, up-and-coming womenswear designer Hasan Hejazi has already achieved a tremendous amount and shows no signs of slowing down. Hasan graduated two years ago from The London College of Fashion with a master’s in Fashion Design. His graduate collection consisted of glamorous and powerful evening gowns that combined decadent luxurious fabrics with an indigo colour palette. The collection was showcased at the V&A and soon after was selected and stocked in Harrods as part of the ‘Harrods Launches’ initiative. “My first collection got picked by Harrods and it sold really well, which was amazing.” Growing up, Hasan had a keen interest in fashion design and at a young age he began experimenting by sketching dresses. “When I was really young I started designing wedding dresses for my mum. She was already married though, so I’m not too sure why I did that.” Hasan’s passion for dresses still influences the main body of his work today, with his signature luxury gowns and dresses accounting for the majority of his designs.

When it comes to fashion design, Hasan has always been persistent and determined when it comes to fashion design: he applied to study at Manchester University and, after being knocked back the first time, he pursued his dream and a year later was finally accepted. After graduating from Manchester University, his talent was recognised by London College of Fashion and he secured a place on their master’s Fashion Design course.

Hasan’s design aesthetic combines luxury garments with a fresh sporty edge, and for him the strong relationship between celebrities and his brand is extremely important. When designing, Hasan has been known to name his dresses after the celebrities they have been inspired by: “One of the most inspirational women to me is Madonna, so I named one of the dresses M because I didn’t want to be too obvious about it.” Another dress, the ‘Kylie’, was navy and chiffon, and immediately Hasan thought it would suit the celebrity: “I found the e-mail address for Kylie’s stylist, William Baker, and he said they loved the collection and a fitting with Kylie was arranged. Unfortunately, Kylie wasn’t very well so the fitting didn’t go as well as planned. However, they told me she tried on one dress which she fell in love with and it turned out to be the dress I named after her, before she even knew what it was called!”

Kylie Minogue, Marina and the Diamonds, Fergie from The Black Eyed Peas and, more recently, Jessie J have previously worn Hasan’s designs. His garments have graced the pages of Dazed and Confused, Tank and Vogue India, and the highly respected photographer Rankin shot his Spring/Summer 2011 collection look book. Scott Clark, the stylist for Marina and the Diamonds, contacted Hasan about Marina wearing one of his designs for the NME music awards. Hasan and Scott built up a strong working relationship. Scott also happened to work as a stylist for Rankin’s shoots: “It all came about from connections and he loved what I did. I found myself completely star-struck by him.”

When talking about his typical customer, Hasan describes her as: “A woman who is sure about who she is. She is powerful, but sometimes she might feel more powerful by putting on one of my dresses. I get inspired by lots of different types of women.” For his second collection, Hasan decided to name his dresses after women that he has found inspirational throughout his life. “Sometimes I will design a dress and I think it would suit a certain celebrity or musician so for my second collection I decided to name all of my dresses.” During the design process, colours, as for any designer, are extremely important for the talented Hasan. It was after his graduate collection that he made the decision to include pink in every collection, and it is now established as his trademark colour. “Somebody once wrote that Valentino has his red and I have my pink. Pink can be really fun and sexy, and then really sophisticated at the same time. Last season, even if a dress was white or green, the lining was always bright pink; it is my trademark colour.”

Despite the current economic climate, Hasan remains optimistic and has a positive mind- set when it comes to designing. “To be creative doesn’t cost money; I love sketching and will happily sit and sketch away, although it can often be disheartening knowing some designs might not get made.” Offering advice to those starting out in the fashion industry, Hasan states: “If you haven’t got passion and designing isn’t something that excites you every minute of the day, I would say give up now.” However harsh a reality this may seem, Hasan’s passion for fashion design has had a huge impact on the success he continues to have today. “The fact that I love designing so much helps me stay positive and excited.” With regular celebrity commissions and private consultancies coming in thick and fast, Hasan has made the decision to go against the grain, taking a couple of seasons out to design what he wants and when he wants.

Words by Katie Handy-Beith

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

James Quaintance. Skater.Tattoist.Model

James Quaintance. Skater. Tattoist. Model
I remember the first time I saw James Quaintance. It was at the Oliver Spencer Autumn/Winter 2012 show at London Fashion Week. Overall the choice of models used in the show was to a high standard and visually interesting and intriguing for those watching. One minute an eldery man with heavy beard would come out and the next thing you know it was heavily tattoed model, James Quaintance. Although at the time I didn't even know who he was. As somebody who has tattoos (not as many as Quaintance mind) it was lovely to see someone on the catwalk with so many tattoos. 

It wasn't until Graduate Fashion Week Gala show 1 where I saw James again and instantly remembered the Oliver Spencer Show where I first saw him. There is just something about him that is simply mesmerising and I had to share it with you.

 What do you think?

Monday, 18 June 2012

Interview with NEWGEN designer; Tim Soar

Today the new NEWGEN designers have been announced for Spring/Summer 2013. Earlier in the year I interviewed NEWGEN designer, Tim Soar who was given exhibition space this year. 

Menswear and womenswear designer Tim Soar discusses his views on how the recession has had an effect on the business side of fashion.

Tim Soar is a British fashion designer of both menswear and womenswear, who was one of this year’s featured NEWGEN designers. He is also the owner of the global music consultancy company, Music Concrete, through which he has collaborated with brands such as Fendi and Adidas. Tim’s keen interest in fashion design was first sparked when he established POST Design in the 1980s with the renowned graphic designer, Neville Brody. Since POST Design, Tim has continued to design using menswear as his main focus, and his menswear label SOAR was launched in 2006. 

After six years working successfully as a menswear designer, Tim made the decision to branch out into womenswear: “I love menswear but there came a point when I thought womenswear is definitely going to be the way to establish my business and to move forward in fashion.” For his womenswear collections, Tim carries over his signature style into his collections, but altered with a feminine touch. Through his NEWGEN sponsorship, Tim’s Autumn/Winter 2012 womenswear collection was allocated exhibition space at London Fashion Week in which his collection was showcased. This year, his Autumn/Winter collection was heavily inspired by Japenese culture: “There are a lot of Kimono and Samurai armour references and an a-symmetry indication that was drawn from traditional Japanese clothing.”

Tim’s womenswear line takes aspects from his menswear collections, such as sharp tailoring and strong silhouettes with a fresh sporty edge, and adapts them in a way that is suitable and appealing for a female market. Tim discusses how the economic climate has been partly responsible for his switchover into women’s clothing design: “I wanted to make some money and womenswear is a much, much bigger market. It is very easy in fashion to have a business that doesn’t make money and it’s even easier to do so in menswear.” The recession means that it has been a very difficult time for fashion designers and Tim plans to use his womenswear collection as a way of establishing his business and making a name and profit for himself: “Notoriously, the late Alexander McQueen only started going into profit three or four years ago and he was one of the biggest designers Britain has ever produced.” For the time being, Tim’s main focus will be predominantly womenswear, but he still continues a menswear collection, with his eventual aim to bridge back into menswear. 

For Tim’s womenswear collection, NEWGEN has been a huge contributing factor to his success. “I knew about the BFC [British Fashion Council] from my menswear, so it was natural to apply for NEWGEN with my womenswear.” NEWGEN is one of the world’s most internationally recognised talent schemes, working in conjunction with the fashion industry, and in the past has supported designers such as Alexander McQueen, Matthew Williamson, Christopher Kane and, more recently, Meadham Kirchhoff and Mary Katrantzou. Discussing the benefits of NEWGEN, Tim states: “It is fantastic and a great platform for designers. London Fashion Week is internationally known, the BFC is internationally known, and therefore to be associated with it is just amazing!” London Fashion Week is very different when compared to other fashion capitals in terms of its strong support network for up- and-coming designers: “London has a great artisan history; something similar to NEWGEN doesn’t exist in Paris and it doesn’t really exist in New York or Milan. London is great because it has eclecticism.” London has a huge influence on the fashion industry worldwide and, in August 2011, took the fashion capital of the world top spot from New York, according to a survey by Global Language Monitor, conducted each year. “One of the biggest things that London has given to the fashion industry in the last ten years is vintage as a concept. It’s all about mixing style together and eclecticism, mixing old and new with expensive and old.” 

When it comes to the inspiration behind Tim’s designs, he uses a combination of physical and mental artefacts, as he says taking these mental references and turning them into designs is about “developing the mental picture in my head”. “I have been involved in the fashion industry for a long time now and have a huge mental reference of the last 30 years of fashion.” When it comes to physical artefacts, Tim loves vintage clothing: “I buy a lot of vintage pieces, and will often take a mood from them.” 

Within Tim’s designs, resilience remains an important factor for both his menswear and womenswear collections. “All of my garments are made with really good fabric that I know is going to last, and I think that is really important. There are some pieces which you know are going to be season pieces. They may not be physically tired but you know that, visually, people will want to have moved on. As a designer, it’s important that the price of your garments is heavily reflected in terms of quality. Your clothes have got to last – if people are paying a lot of money for your designs, then the clothes have got to last.” 

While the turbulent economic climate continues to have an effect on the fashion industry, for Tim the ‘sale’ aspect is something that he takes into account when designing his collections: “The fashion industry is going through a tough time, the general economic situation is not good and that leads to stores being more conservative about what they sell and becoming ruthless if items aren’t selling. It has to be a business, so to a certain degree this can limit what you’re doing, as you need to acknowledge that you need to make money. Fashion isn’t fine art, it is making clothes for people; and if your clothes don’t sell, then you aren’t doing your job properly.”

Word by Katie Handy-Beith

British Vogue Editorial: Paper Plates

British Vogue certainly isn't my favourite Vogue out there but every now and again they will produce a gem of an editorial that I will simply have to share with you. What initially attracted me to the editorial 'Paper Plates' was the magnificent  set design by Shona Heath, closely followed by the intricate and beautiful styling by Charlotte Pilcher and photography by Tim Gutt.

June 2012, Vogue UK
The June 2012 editorial sees Lara Mullen take on various Olympic sports in a way appropriate for British Vogue. Gutt and set designer Heath have worked together before and their combined effort shows similar style of work to photographer, Tim Walker. 

Set design: Shona Heath
Photography: Tim Gutt
Styling: Charlotte Pilcher
Model: Lara Mullen

Friday, 15 June 2012

Famous for Fifteen...

I'm not sure about you but I NEVER win competitions. At GFW Famous For Fifteen, a new niche brand that provides unique and customised vintage clothing had a pop up stall where they were running a competition to win one of their t-shirts or vests. The style of their clothes was just up my street so I thought I would enter the competition. All I had to do was take a picture of me at the pop up store and tweet it to them. Here is my picture: 

Me at the 'Famous for Fifteen' pop up store

I was sat in Burger King with my friend today when I dropped my diet coke all over the floor and all down my leggings. I saw the funny side to it but thought 'WHYYY ME?!'. Almost immediately my phone buzzed to notify me that I had won the Famous for Fifteen competition. So now which tshirt or vest do I choose?

I love this t-shirt

& this one

AHH I want them all :)

Or do I choose this one?!

Which one would you choose?

If you haven't heard of 'FamousforFifteen' yet then remember the name and check them out:

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Victoria Beckham for Interview Germany June/July 2012

While everyone in the UK seems to be busy talking about David Beckham's cover shot by Doug Inglish for Elle UK his beautiful wife is also causing a stir in the magazine world. 

David Beckham shot by Doug Inglish for ELLE UK

Victoria Beckham graces the cover of Interview Germany for the June/July issue and even though you can only really recognise her from her peering eyes it is simply stunning. 

Victoria Beckham wearing Thomas Tait & Gareth Pugh on the cover of Interview Germany
Shot by Angelo Pennetta
Styled by Beth Fenton

The perfect Front Row?

I was sitting yesterday at the GALA show for Graduate Fashion Week looking at all of the important fashion icons going to sit on the Front Row. Allocating front row seats for fashion shows I can imagine is a huge task in itself. I have always been mesmerised by the FROW (front row) and the importance and prestige that surrounds it. If I am at a fashion show and I don't know who somebody is on the front row it leads me to question "who are they" shortly followed by "what's in their goody bag?". This led me to think about if I was a designer who I would allocate my front row seats to. In no particular order I have come up with my perfect front row:

1. Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen

2. Mario Testino
3. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
4. Alexa Chung

5. Kanye West
6. David Gandy
7. Alice Dellal 

8.Hasan Hejazi 

9. Mary Katrantzou
10. Alexis Knox
11. Susie Lau (Susie Bubble)

12. Daphne Guinness
13. Henry Holland
14. Olivia Palermo

15. Anna Dello Russo 
16. Lucinda Chambers
17. Victoria Beckham
18. Vivienne Westwood
19. Scott Schuman (The Satorialist)
20. Pandemonia & snowy

Who would be on your front row?

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Graduate Fashion Week Day 4!

I had a brilliant day today at Graduate Fashion Week, helping out at Southampton Solent University's interesting stand. Created by the Fashion Management and Marketing students the stand certainly attracted the right crowd and was a great talking point! As a Fashion Photography Graduate of 2012 I thought I should do my bit my helping out at the stand and talking to possible students about the diverse range or courses at Southampton Solent. There was so much to do and see at Graduate Fashion Week and the 4 day long event really is a must for anyone Graduating next year. 

Southampton Solent University stand, 2012. 
Middle Image: Third Floor Publication.
Photography by Jennifer Frazer
Styling by Sophie Hawkes
Top Image: Photography by Nia Alexandra Baldwin
Photography by Jade Kennedy
Model: Karla Kuhn
Photography by Holly Corsie
Third Floor Publication
Photography by Jennifer Frazer
Styling by Sophie Hawke
Main Image: Photography by Nia Alexandra Baldwin

Graduate Week as you may or may not know is sponsored by George @Asda this year. They had a lot organised for the week and events designed to help Graduate's from CV building to going through your portfolio.Today they also had Fashion Writer, Colin McDowell doing a Q&A session with the one and only Henry Holland! When I found this out my day was complete and I thought I had to abandone the Solent stand for a bit to go and see what Henry had to say and maybe even ask him a question myself. 
Left to right: Henry Holland, Colin McDowell and Hilary Alexander
Henry Holland at Graduate Fashion Week

Henry Holland at his Q&A session with Colin McDowell
To start with Colin McDowell asked Henry some questions of his own to give the audience an idea into the background of how Henry Holland originally went into print making, onto a journalism course and then his career as a designer. Then it was time for us to ask the questions but at first everyone seemed a bit reserved and shy. 

I finally plucked up the courage and asked Henry 'I have recently graduated in a Fashion Photography degree but I now want to become a fashion journalist, what advise would you give me in this difficult climate?'. 

I can't remember exactly what his answer was as I feeling a bit starstruck, but he told me to not be put off by the fact that my degree isn't in journalism and to get as much experience as possible. He said when interning he had a job working in a bar to make ends meet and he advised I did the same. By this point I was relieved that I was even chosen to ask a question! Of corse I forgot my camera so when I stopped Henry after the Q&A to get a picture, to my luck it was blurry!
Me and Fashion Designer, Henry Holland :)

Other highlights at GFW

While at GFW I also took the time to check out FamousForFifteen's pop up store in association with Elle. They are a new niche brand that provides unique, customised vintage clothing. Check out me at there pop up store today:

Me at FamousForFifteen's pop up store at GFW!
Draper's Press Board at GFW
Student's showcasing their work at GFW
Daphne Guiness at GFW Front Row
My favourite collection at GFW 2012
Caryn Franklin speaking at GFW 2012

Winner of the Gold Award 2012 went to Chloe Jones.