3 October 2013

From Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s

Hey guys!
I have to apologize for my absence but lots of things have happened since I moved back to uni and the course with its new projects is actually driving me crazy (but I love it so I am happy anyways! - such a workaholic!). Anyways I promised a post about the exhibition at the V&A's in London about the street styles and fashions of the 80s and here it is people! :)
Alright so first of all the exhibition is located on the first "level" of the museum, and it is the purple area highlighted in the map below.

There are plenty of interesting and amazingly executed garments to look at; being an 80s fashion exhibition, "Club to Catwalk" showcases over the top and exciting looks by the most experimental designers of the (crazy and amazing) decade, including Vivienne Westwood, Betty Jackson and John Galliano.

The exhibition is like a dreamy walk down memory lane, and everyone, even people born in the 90s, feels familiar to this decade - blame it on the music (which plays all over the rooms at the exhibition, bringing an explosion of vitality), the movies or the influences which the fashion of this decade has had on the following eras.
It all starts with the emerging theatricality in London fashion, so highly influenced by the birth and popularity of its clubs (i.e. Heaven, Taboo), going on to the vibrant imagination and creativity of a whole new generation of designers.

This outfit above reminds me very closely of the movie Metropolis (check it out here), where the female protagonist is turned into an evil robot by a crazy scientist.

Along the path inside the exhibition, there were some TV screens showing fashion shows (all original footage from the 1980s); I have to admit I've never seen 80s runway shows before and this was definitely a pleasant and interesting new thing! Forget about super skinny and all-look-alike models, forget about plain music and... think about loud club music, fancy (and happy) models dancing down the runway, crazy choreographies with models playing instruments and singing: imagine how cool would that be - and how cool it was!

If you're really interested in this exhibition or in the 80s in general and want to know more check out this video here , by CraneTVVideoMagazine.

So do you like the 1980s as a decade or do you think it was a bit too over the top? And if you've visited the exhibition, what is your opinion about it??

x, Val.

25 September 2013

Fashion & co: London.

Hi everyone! I apologise for my absence but I've had LOADS of things to do since I've moved back to the Uk on the 18th and I've been sorting my new house and room out :)
Thank god now everything's done and I've started university again so I can also come back to my blog.
Being very close to London I'm always very interested in what's going on there; I love London, it's one of my favourite cities and it's not only a cultural melting-pot, but a "fashion melting-pot" (if that makes any sense) as well! It's such a diverse and fascinating city, and the people who live there are as part of its charm as the buildings and streets.
Right now there are some really nice exhibitions going on, all worth checking out.

  • "Club to Catwalk: London fashion in the 1980's" at the V&A Museum - this exhibition is going to be open until the 16th of February 2014 (Ticket price: £5) and I will go see it on Saturday, 28th September, and hopefully I'll be able to tell you guys how it was and show you some pictures if it will possible to take any. In the meantime if you're interested, you can check the website out here.

  • "The glamour of Belville Sassoon" at the Fashion + Textile Museum - this exhibition will be open until the 11th of January 2014 (Ticket price: £8 adults; £5.50 students). You can check out what this exhibition is about here.

  • "Miles Aldrige: I only want you to love me" at Somerset House - hurry up, this exhibition will be open until the 29th of September (Ticket price: £6 adults; £4.50 students). You can find more info about this exhibition here.

  • "Isabella Blow: fashion galore!" at Somerset House - this exhibition will be open to the public until the 2nd of March 2014 (Ticket price: £12.50 adults; £10 students). you can find more info here.

  • "Pearls" at the V&A Museum - this exhibition will end on the 19th January 2014 (Ticket price: £11 adults; £6 students). You can check it out here.

  • "Fashion Rules" in Kensington Palace - this exhibition will be open until Summer 2015 (Ticket price - including tour of the palace: £15 adults; £12.40 students). There will be dresses from the collections of HM The Queen, Princess Margaret and Diana, Princess of Wales. You can check it out here.

So have you seen any of those exhibitions?? If yes which one(s) and did you like it/them?

x, Val.

17 September 2013

Food & Co.

Hello everyone!
So I wanted to write a post about my day yesterday. I stayed home for the whole morning to pack - tomorrow I'll leave from Rome (Italy) where I've been staying most of the summer, and I'll go back to London :)
I am actually really happy I'm going back; during the whole (academic) year I've got used to living on my own, being able to do what I wanted when I wanted. Independence is addictive: once you get a taste of it, you just can't let it go. Or at least that's how it worked for me...
Anyway as I was saying, I spent the whole morning packing my things, and then I went out for dinner with some friends and family to a new Chinese Restaurant called "Platinum": it was a very nice place, with great interior design and very nice food. The atmosphere was lovely, and the karaoke corner we had in our private room was so fun! I wanted to post some pictures of the restaurant and food, and then show you guys what I wore for the occasion :)

Zara blazer
Zara trousers
Aldo hat

What do you guys think of this place and what do you think of my look?? Do you like hats? I personally love hats! Someday I'm gonna write a post about them, and I'll show you all the hats I've got :)

x, Val.

15 September 2013

Mary Katrantzou S/S 2014: fab as always.

Mary Katrantzou is stunning as usual. Her collection was amazing; the prints were so expressive - as they always are - and the designs were very interesting. The silhouettes were quite varied, from some fitted dresses or ensembles to looses fits (pictures below).
The prints this time were pretty different from the last collections' - and btw I totally loved her Resort 2014 collection, there were some amazing sweaters and trousers (you can check it out here) and her Fall 2013 collection, with the amazing prints showing fairytale landscapes and views (check it out here). The prints in this new S/S 2014 collection were more definite, they were pretty direct and vivid, different from the dreamy landscapes of the Fall designs, and the cuts were again different from those of her Resort collection.
So here's a big THANK YOU to the great Mary for presenting such a beautiful collectionexecuted with great verve and polish.

1. Here's the first "type" of print: dresses and ensembles are like big canvases showing the English shoe for excellence: the Oxford shoe.

2. The second print seen on the runway is a a close up of trainers shoes, very colourful and I would say appropriated since one of the newest and hottest trends is "sport-chic".

3. The third and last print seen at the show is a very vivid, colourful and alluring floral print, presented by the Greek designer in different colours and versions. I think this one if my favourite print from her collection, and also the designs are amazing (I love the third picture showing the light blue dress with the purplish flowers and the last picture).

So do you guys like this S/S 2014 collection??

x, Val.

13 September 2013

Goodbye Tailored Jacket: an autopsy.

I know it sounds really weird and kinda creepy too, but this post is not about what you might expect. For the summer I've been given a "Made-to-Measure" project about tailoring. In the long list of things to do for research there was the deconstruction of a tailored jacket in order to see the multitude of hidden techniques and details in a garment. We also had to take lots of photographs to document our autopsy and record the process through detailed notes in our sketchbook.

I wasn't that excited at first - the idea of tearing into pieces a tailored jacket wasn't high on my list of favourites - but I need to admit I've changed my mind as soon as I started the process. It is time consuming, but like all things we have a passion for, it got me completely. I found myself cutting through paddings, linings and pockets, literally craving for more details and interesting ideas.
I ended up with sleeves looking like fabric patterns of a tailored jacket, padding and interfacings barely recognisable and a more than ever vivid interest in the art of tailoring.

I thought you might be interested in how a jacket is on the inside, under the lining that covers all the magic happening underneath; so here is a short visual reportage of my "findings".

So this is how the jacket was before the process...

Inside pocket and lining visible here.

This jacket had just one central vent. You can also find jackets with two vents or with no vents at all. The positioning of a vent on a jacket helps the tailor to give the perfect fit to the jacket and to allow freedom of movements.

Front darts visible in this picture.

Lapel seen from the "other" side: it's made of felted fabric, which helps the collar to hold its shape and have more structure.

What's on the shoulder, underneath the lining.

Shoulder pads.

The sleeve is made up of two separated patterns.

Flap pocket.

Bodice patterns (Front).

Front dart on main bodice shown from the inside. The darts help create the curves that allow the garments to fit on our bodies.

Have you ever wondered "what's inside" a tailored jacket or - more generally - your garments?? I think it's really fascinating to know how a garment is constructed.

x, Val.