Thursday, 4 September 2014

Fashion Awareness Direct (FAD) Fashion Futures Final

So September has rolled around again, which means it's fashion month! Exciting, eh?

Well, I'm excited about this month in particular because I've been lucky enough to be offered the opportunity to attend FAD's Fashion Future's final at London Fashion Week! How great is that?!

....What's that you say? What the blooming hell is FAD, you ask? Well then, let me enlighten you.

Fashion Awareness Direct, more simply FAD, is a registered charity in the UK which creates creative opportunities for young people between 15 and 25 years. Their expertise and workshops enlighten young people of how to realise their potential and bridge that daunting (speaking from experience here, guys) gap between education and successful careers in the fashion industry.

I was part of a one-day FAD workshop when I attended the Intensive Journalism course I was blabbing about a couple months ago. We went out and did a little street style photography, shop reports and created trend mood-boards based on our findings. I really enjoyed the experience and made some great contacts, which got me this show reporting gig for the FAD Fashion Futures final.

Finalist, Daniella, with her final design.

FAD offer several different programs, but their main program is the Fashion Futures course - which this year celebrates an astounding 10 years of inspiring young people!! This consists of learning all the practical skills required to design and create a garment.

Toni with her final design
This year 23 finalists who've passed through the program are showcasing their final design at London Fashion Week. You can learn more about the finalists here.

Renee with her final design. All images sourced from FAD blog.

The skills FAD provide participants are incredibly valuable, "It's not enough anymore to have 3 A's at A-Level", says finalist Daniela, and she's right. Programs like FADs' are helping future creatives to stand out from the crowd when applying to Universities and jobs. Charities like FAD are a necessity for helping young people learn more about the industry; if you can spare any money, any and all donations will be of a huge benefit to the charity and the future generations of creatives and designers in England.

I'm really looking forward to seeing all of the finalists offerings in person at Fashion Week, and to sharing my show report with you all.

All the best,


Dr. Martens: Heritage British Brand

Always at the forefront of British alternative and youth culture, Dr. Martens began life humbly as the boots for policemen and industrial workers. But in the 1950's when youth came to realise they no longer wanted to look like their parents, Dr. Martens came into play.

It was the skinheads who first adopted the boot, prior to Pete Townsend of The Who donning a pair of classic 1460s on stage and bringing the brand to the attention of the masses. Soon after, a pair of Docs became a part of every youth culture's look.

Today, Dr. Martens are putting their prices of two of their classic designs back to their 1960s original price...£3.

I didn't personally fancy fighting my way through the carnage on Carnaby Street to get a pair, but good luck to all of those at the 4 stores involved.

Dr. Marten's current campaign asks us: what do you stand for?

Me? I stand for adventure, equality and freedom (especially when I'm wearing my floral 1461s).

What do you stand for?


Designers/ Up and Coming Talent: Jane Bowler

Hi everyone. I hope everyone has had an enjoyable summer break - time to get back to work though, unless you're a designer like Jane Bowler, whose been working hard all summer promoting her kick-starter project.

Azealia Banks shot by Rankin for Hunger Magazine

It's likely that perhaps you haven't heard of Jane Bowler - I myself hadn't until I went on a fashion design course at the V&A museum in April run by the young designer in question.

My work from Bowler's workshop at the V&A. Via her Instagram.

If I remember correctly, Jane Bowler studied her foundation degree at the brilliant Loughborough University (the UK's top sports university - but also acclaimed for their art department) before continuing to study at the Royal College of Art. Her final collection consisted of recycled plastic bath mats, and the plastic aesthetic just...stuck.

AW11 fringing

What Jane can do with plastic is quite incredible: fringing, armour-like geometric garments, cutout jackets and even knitwear pieces. And don't get me started on her accessories; headpieces a-plenty in all shapes and forms, necklaces and earrings made from iridescent painted neoprene. Bowler's work is so original that it's got to the point where I can go 'ah, it's a Bowler.' 

Ellie Goulding, Glamour Magazine

Her artistry and vision is paying off. Jane Bowler garments have garnered the attention of big-name celebrities (Nicki Minaj is one of the latest to buy into Bowler) and publications desperate to use her unique garments in shoots shot by photographic royalty.

Here are some of my favourite pieces from Bowler's collections so far:

AW13 Tesselate
AW13 Tesselate

I love Bowler's headpieces, as shown on the left. The jacket on the right is made of plastic and apparently is really uncomfortable to wear - but magazines love novelty items like these for styling shoots.
SS13 Undercurrent
The way Bowler has used plastic to recreate fish-scales (or mermaids - let your imagination run away with you) for the Undercurrent collection is perfect for layering.

As is the AW14 collection. Featuring plenty of garments with cutouts allows for ample layering opportunities.

AW12 Transcendency 
The plastic in the SS14 collection almost resembles feathers on the bodice. I love the way the look created is contrasting - it emphasises that featherlike detail on the top.

Jane's fringing is absolutely enthralling to me; the movement these garments create is very appealing.

AW12 Transcendency
AW12 Transcendency 

The pieces of the Transcendency collection show the pure technical ability of Bowler and her team. The plastic is manipulated to create voluminous sleeves.

There is a variety of silhouettes in the collection, and again - brilliant accessories. The collection is tied together with subtle links between garments (see the fringing on the sleeves of the garment on the far right), aiding in cohesion.

If you've got a taste for Bowler designs now that I've showcased her work so far in her career, you can help to fund her future ventures - and in return own a piece of Jane Bowler artistry - by buying her limited edition and one-off designs through her Kickstarter page.

All images via Jane Bowler's website

Treat yourself! And be happy in knowing that you are supporting not only an emerging designer, but also London's thriving fashion scene. (Jane runs workshops for those who are interested in garment and jewellery design - not just at the V&A but in her own studios.) Let's help London maintain its status as the fashion capital for new talent and innovation.

Keep on top of what's new with Jane Bowler designs by:

I hope you enjoyed this post and will keep an eye out for Jane Bowler's work, and help fund her SS15 Lookbook and Fashion Film.

All the best - and happy Fashion month! It's going to be a busy one.


Saturday, 9 August 2014

Lookbook/ Lola Paris

2-piece velour suit and silk blouse in autumnal shades.

L-O-L-A Lola, lo lo lo lo Lola! (I really hope you know what I'm singing, otherwise this just comes across as plain weird...)

Hello all, I'm writing from rainy/sunny/I-just-can't-make-my-mind-up France. Me being my obsessive self, I bought - let's see... -  6 French fashion magazines (they're only a euro!) within the first two days of my week-long stay. What can I say? When in France, do as the fashion savvy french do!

I won't lie,  despite sudying GCSE and AS Level French, my grasp of the language isn't quite fluent enough for me to read without fault through all of the articles, so I've taken to flipping happily,  looking at the pretty pictures. And - oh! - what a beauty I've found!

French Glamour's final page flaunted Lola Paris, a brand previously unknown to me, so I did a little spelunking and poured myself over their vision for Autumn Winter 2014. The book features some Burberry Prorsum F/W 2014-esque blankets paired with a belt and sleeveless shift, beautiful peacoats - and don't get me started on the suits!!

The smart-casual cool of suits paired with trainers is very on-trend - if you care about keeping up with trends - but also darn aesthetically pleasing. The unexpected pairing of trainers with dresses is something I already do (hey, I'm a sucker for comfort) - but suits...I love the look so much that I'm looking to invest in a two-piece!

Here are my favourite pieces from the Lola Paris F/W 2014 collection.

Love the monochrome contrast on the left look. The right look just screams Burberry, right?
I can't begin to express my adoration for this look, style reference!!

All images sourced from here.

For the full lookbook, check out Lola Paris' website. They've recently opened three new boutiques in Paris, and another in Lyon - so lucky you if you're a local!

All the best from lightning-storm France!

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Info/ Journalism Tips!

Hallo everyone. Since last we spoke I attended this fantastic journalism course with T!Media. Being so inspired by the course I felt inclined to create a fresh start in the blogosphere. No - this is not the end of The Fashion Edition, but it is the beginning of my new blog, Gun & a Pack of Sandwiches!

The difference between the two? Well here I mainly post fashion-related things, but on my new squeeze I'll be posting any and everything under the sun; being free of the word 'Fashion' in my blog name is rather liberating when it comes to writing, I must say!

I thought I'd share some of my tips picked up on the journalism course as I know that many of my fellow bloggers - and indeed you readers - are interested in pursuing a career in writing or journalism.

Quick Tips:
Get WORK EXPERIENCE. Experience shows that you truly are interested in becoming a journalist and are proactive in pursuing this desire. Having experience in journalism before application to a job will separate you from other applicants. TIP: Start off targeting small local publications as you have a greater chance of being accepted. This also goes for getting a job. Start small: smaller companies are likely to have more tasks to issue you, whereas bigger corporations will probably leave you to do the filing and make cups of tea.  You DON'T NEED A DEGREE. All of the journalists who've presented to us so far have declared that most journalists don't have a degree - it's experience that is important. If you do want to do a degree media studies is not recommended. A solid English degree, or other essay writing subject will suffice - that's if you're convinced university is the place for you. 

...For the rest of the tips, read on here. And, if that's not enough, there are 10 more great tips from ex-special correspondent journalist and author, Edna Fernandes!



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