Monday, 25 February 2013

Fashion Issues: Fashions Weight Problem

The fashion industry's attitude towards food, body image and weight-gain was perfectly pilloried in the 2006 film, The Devil Wears Prada . Miranda Priestly's first assistant, played by Emily Blunt, has succumbed to the ideal of the impossibly tiny model proportions featured in glossy magazines:
"See, I'm on this new diet," says Blunt. "I don't eat anything. And right before I feel I'm going to faint, I eat a cube of cheese. I'm one stomach flu away from my goal weight."

Since modelling began, the industry has been rife with eating disorders and substance abuse. For most women it's just not genetically possible (past puberty) to both fit the sample sizes made by designers and eat normally. Adriana Lima's preparation for the Victoria's Secret runway show, a company which prides itself on using models with curves, caused a stir when she told The Telegraph she doesn't eat solid food for nine days before the show.

The fashion industry has always had a strange relationship with the real world. It is a weird bubble of air kisses and wealth that spends its life on the road, rolling up in one city after another, accompanied by ruthless booking agents and designer houses who think nothing of charging more for a dress than most of us earn in a month.

Six months later the high street copies the styles and we are all walking about in mass-produced versions of the catwalk outfits.
But while I can laugh at the spectacle, appreciate how important it is for the British economy and ooh and ah over the outfits, there is something strangely uncomfortable about it all.
The main reason for that isn’t the exorbitant prices, it is the models. The hollow-eyed, emaciated young women who clatter up and down the runways in too high heels with clothes in tiny sizes hanging from their nonexistent hips.

When you stand next to a fashion model for the first time, especially a ‘high fashion’ model, you become suddenly aware that you are in the presence of a very different kind of human being. More often than not, she’ll tower above you, Amazonian in stature. When you look closer, you’ll see that her skinny legs and arms are, rather than the result of months of starvation, usually part and parcel of her very specific body type: a body type that which is both unusually slim and statuesque, with hips and breasts kept to a minimum. That’s not to say that some models don’t underfeed themselves, or that their working conditions aren’t often appalling or rife with pressure to do so (as we’ve stated in previous columns, the fashion industry has a lot to answer for) but merely that the ‘fash pack’ favours one particular body type, and one which is by its very nature uncommon amongst the general population.

Women are increasing dissatisfied by fashion’s unwillingness to market to them. A lot of women wear a size 14 or larger but most standard clothing outlets cater to sizes 14 or smaller.

Model of the moment Cara Delevingne looks like a fun girl, but she also has the appearance of someone who hasn’t eaten a square meal since the age of 10.

Type “Cara’s thigh gap” into Google and you will see the effect these models have on young women.

I’m not blaming Cara, she set out to be a fashion model not a role model, but her success has made her the go-to girl for the catwalk and the poster girl for stick thin legs. I don’t know if her pins are naturally so thin, with said gap between her thighs, or whether she lives on fresh air to achieve the emaciated look. Whatever, the reason, it has made her the designers’ favourite, for now.

Meanwhile, there are those who have argued that fashion’s preoccupation with the ‘un-feminine’ body shape is down to its being dominated by gay men who apparently want all women to look like little boys, a theory that has more than a whiff of homophobia about it and fatally ignores the huge participation of women within the industry. The message that we’re hearing is that the fashion industry says women’s bodies are always supposed to look like something else, perhaps anything else, other than ‘naturally female’. It’s a tempting conclusion - but the problems with its logic are glaringly inherent

Back in the real world there are teenage girls devoting their cyber time to gushing over Cara’s skeletal frame. Let’s hope most of them aren’t actually trying to achieve it.

Meanwhile, the average size of a British woman is a size 16.
How did that happen?

We have one group of females tweeting about their efforts to be underweight, while the rest are filling their faces with junk food.

It's when there is great pressure exerted on that general population to believe a catwalk body is achievable that we start to see problems, and it’s only when you’re actually in the presence of that model (something most people don’t experience, ever) that you realise how utterly preposterous and definitely unachievable that body type is. And it is fashion’s worship of that one genre of figure that results in the skewed standardisation that damages so many young women. Never in history has so much been demanded of so many through the photography of so few.

There are people who have become so disassociated with real food they don’t actually know what they are eating unless it is written on the front of a cardboard box with a picture.
So will models elsewhere soon be reaching for milkshakes and doughnuts?

In the audience at these catwalk shows and fashion exhibits sit rows and rows of diverse women, the norms who conform neither to one vision nor the other, and they rarely see their reality mirrored back at them. That reality exists only in the swimming pool changing room, or at the gym, or in the nation’s bathrooms – the only places where bodies that are uncompromisingly flesh which sags and wobbles lurk – here be monsters!
Elsewhere, these bodies are all too often airbrushed out. Fashion may occasionally be a freakshow, but according to them, the most monstrous thing of all is run-of-the-mill, non-aspirational, un-Photoshopped humanity. It just doesn’t sell clothes, it sells dreams.

Behind the Scenes: Pearl Collar Denim Jacket

Hi guys, is this not the most amazing jacket, ever?! I got the jacket from a charity shop and I hand beaded these pearls and diamantes onto a collar and added them to the jacket. I wore it on my previous OOTD and it will be available for purchase on!

OOTD/Wear Troika: Pearls, denim and leather

Vest - Topshop
Jacket - Vintage House of Troika
Leather Leggings - AX Paris (New Look)
Shoes - Gifted*

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Review: Rihanna x River Island Collection

High street brands and superstar collaborations have become something of a trend within recent years, with Kate Moss inspiring a Topshop line and Madonna’s partnership with H&M, Rihanna too joined the band wagon.

Since the debut of Rihanna’s first ever fashion line with the U.K. chain River Island it has been swarmed with bad reviews from fashion critics calling it a “horror show”, “slutty” and “porny”, it has been named uninspired, underwhelming and unattractive.
Rihanna is known for her penchant of the Ninties, with a dose of sport-luxe and River Island provided a platform for the superstar’s designs to sell, and it being one of the only high street brands that most closely relates to the stars personal style. Her style is a mix between slick and streetwise, urban and uber-luxe and I hoped the collection would reflect this.

It was a first for high street brand River Island as they showed during London Fashion Week – not only that, but they announced the most anticpated collaboration of the year. A series of models walked around a huge multi-level stage rocking pieces from 
Rihanna’s Spring collection for River Island.

The nine minute show, held in a abandoned central London post office, started an hour late – including a brief appearance by the star herself. It wasn’t difficult to see why the show wasn’t critically beloved, but there is no denying Rihanna’s influence was clearly visible, from the belly chains to the see-through mesh tops to the high slit skirts. In fact, a large part of the problem may be that the only person who can pull these clothes off is Rihanna herself. The collection seemed like an ode to Eighties Norma Kamili meets Alexander Wang sports luxe.

From a palette perspective the collection features dark hues with a bit of sunshine yellow and scarlett thrown in. Island inspired florals and prints, which are perfect for spring/summer.
Celebrity collections are always warrant a side eye  as you never know fully how much creative input Rihanna actually had, according to Vogue UK the the singer worked with designer Adam Selman via e-mails and phonecalls and attended fittings after the samples were made , but as it has Rihanna’s name on it is guaranteed to fly off shelves.

There have been many grumbles in the fashion industry about celebrities who turn their hand willy-nilly to designing clothes, and can be an overnight success. This hampers up-and-coming, skilled fashion-degree designers from making it in the industry or at the very least, diminishes the sense of expertise behind creating fashion.

Even before Rihanna unveiled her collection for River Island at London Fashion week, there were some who did not look favourably at allowing a popstar to hijack an event which is supposed to be about celebrating creativity, passion and original thinking in fashion. Which when it comes to celebrities there is not a lot of designing by them involved. The British Fashion Council tried to ofstand the raising eyebrows by saying Rihanna was not part of the “official” LFW line up. Unlike Katie Holmes’ Holmes & Yang line and Victoria Beckham’s critically-acclaimed collections that occupied respected slots on the schedule, which put Rihanna’s clothes were already at a disadvantage before the show even started.

Giles Deacon, told the Times: “I can understand the high street brands wanting to have visibility, but London fashion week’s integrity rests on it showcasing the best of the UK’s design talent. It would be dangerous if this became compromised due to scheduling issues.”

Which seems like a very polite way of saying its not fair for the Highstreet and a pop star to takeover and steal the limelight from real designers. Her show began an hour late and conflicted with designer Thomas Tait’s time slot.

Rihanna’s creations have been said to be ‘characteristically simple’, ‘crack whore chic’ and slutty, just like her.’ Which is sad considering her style is revered by so many young women. Yet the Nineties references (nipple-baring mesh dresses and Baywatch with bikini line revealing red bathing suit have proved too much for her young audience.

Rihanna’s collection failed. With see-through dresses, cheap-o knits and poorly designed denim, it makes me wonder how the co-designer Adam Selman fit in. Did he really approve of this stuff or was he just happy to work with a superstar?

I can see where she was going with this collection she was trying to channel that comfy girly-yet-grunge-sports luxe look but unfortunately instead we got nipple-baring, crotch-flashing mesh outfits and bra tops, the collection featured a lot of bare flesh from exposed navels and skirts with slits slashed up to the waist. These aren’t exactly what a stylish girl wants to throw on a casual night out. Considering the collection was targeted at her younger audience it is not what I would consider suitable for the average teen.

Rihanna told Elle: “I love the high street shops. The stylish kids on the street, they’re the ones that set the trends. The designers all want to see what they’re doing and they go out and design their line and sell it back to the same kids and it’s like: who not go directly to the source? I find in the high street shops they pay more attention to the street fashion than what’s going on in high fashion. And they turn stuff around pretty quickly.’

Although the collection did have quite a bit of bare flesh she did include some seriously elegant maxi dresses, dip-hemmed shirts.

One issue I had with the show were the models, either the models were too skinny or the clothes were too big, but there was definitely an issue with fitting as some items like the maxi dresses that are supposed to cling onto your body just hung on the models.  Considering this is a high street collection having really skinny models makes the clothes less wearable considering the typical River Island customer isn’t a six foot bag of bones.
Despite that, the prices are really good, River Island have not pushed up the prices just because they have Rihanna’s name on it.

Call me a prude but overall I think the collection is just too revealing some may say slutty yet a bit safe and boring. The whole thing was a little too heavy on the nineties vibe, it doesn’t get more literal than Baywatch-inspired red one piece. In all honesty the collection is just not for me it’s too raunchy and the weird aspects of street style incorporated into the collection are just weird and not wearable. I was hoping for a more We Found Love vibe, with the tartan and flared denim skirts, something young and wearable.

I don't want to jump on the bash Rihanna bandwagon. I love her music. But she puts the exclamation point on the whole celeb designer trend. Why do we keep hyping these things up?

I’m a fan of Rihanna’s style she has the right mix between sporty/sexy mix that finds her one day in Timbs and jeans, and another in a skin clinging spaghetti strapped dress and simple ankle strap heels. But I think she should reconsider her ‘career’ as a designer.

That being said here are few pieces I like e.g the maxi skirts, maxi dresses, the boots and the backpack. Check them out on:

Rihanna for River Island is available at River Island stores and online on March 5, 2013. 

What do you guys think of the collection?

Monday, 18 February 2013

OOTD/Wear Troika: How to wear a spiked bra

Something as 'out there' as a spiked bra may not appeal to you ladies as its not something you'd think to wear. Here are a few ways you could wear it:

Spiked Bra - House of Troika
Skirt - Primark
Chelsea Boots - Topshop

This is good as maybe as a going out,  outfit paired with a blazer and bracelets.

Review: Teyana Taylors Harlem GLC x Adidas

Teyana Taylor is a lot of things; a singer, dancer, actor, fashionista and ofcourse G.O.O.D. music's first lady. On top of all that though, she can now add shoe designer to her long line of credentials. If you follow the songstress on Instagram, you’d know about her recent collaboration with Adidas to create the Harlem GLCs.

The Harlem Good Luck Charms named after Teyana's hometown

After teasing her fans with glimpses of her signature shoe for weeks on Instagram, The First Lady of G.O.O.D Music, Teyana Taylor released full photos of her anticipated Teyana Taylor x Adidas Originals Harlem GLC trainers in December and now they have finally been released and are gracing the feet of several celebrities such as; Wale, Big Sean and Cassie to name but a few.

Teyana Taylor and label mates Big Sean & Pusha Tee all wearing the Harlem GLCs

The sneakers were created with her passion for basketball and Harlem in mind. They are quite reminiscent of the Adidas Torsin Attitude as they have the same shape, they feature a bronze scaled leather on the upper with contrasting black side panel branding, along with black laces up the back. Teyana’s affinity for high end fashion shows up in the form of studded motif on the tongue, and an open leather lace system on the rear portion of the shoe. A black sole provides the finishing touch for the versatile shoe.
The Adidas Harlem Good Luck Charm (GLC) were released on February 16 during NBA All Star Weekend and made history being the fastest selling trainers in Adidas history.

Everyone knows Teyana is a proven sneaker-head with one of the baddest kicks collection. Taylor’s shoe has to be one of the most unconventional pair of kicks out there. The songstress took to twitter to say how the shoes were created with females in mind "my next sneaker will Come in bigger sizes for men. However I had to do something for the ladies first because we never get good kicks!!" I suppose maybe she is hinting that we should expect alot more when it comes to trainers from her.

I like the design its high fashion with a street edge which is very Teyana. I think the design of the shoe its self is great and they're obviously very distinctive and different from anything else on the market right now. My only problem with the shoe is I think there is too much going on from the scaled reptilian colour and the laces at the back and the oversized studded tongue. Personally its not what I was expecting from Teyana, I was hoping for something maybe slicker and edgier but I have to commend her highly for her efforts. The shoes are great and I love the mixture of high fashion and basketball. I'm excited to see more from Teyana as a footwear designer. 

What do you guys think of the Harlem GLC's?

S.M. x